July 2019 Wrap Up


July was a re-read month for the most part so the vast majority of the books I read I knew I loved but there still managed to be some disappointment.

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Review: The House of Sacrifice by Anna Smith Spark

The House of Sacrifice

Anna Smith Spark

Empires of Dust #3

Harper Voyager

536 pages



Release Date: 25 July

Copy received from Netgalley.  All opinions are my own

The further you get into a series, the harder it is to review.  There is only so much you can say without giving anything away and you can’t really talk about the plot without mentioning what ahs happened before it which would lead to spoiling the rest of the series.

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DNF: The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

The Queens of Innis Lear

Tessa Grattan

Harper Voyager

568 pages



People have a lot of opinions on whether or not you should review a book that you gave up on.  How can you adequately review a book that you never read in its entirety?  To avoid anybody complaining, this isn’t going to be classed as a review, this is an explanation as to why I DNF’d The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Grattan because, even though I only got to 30% of the way through the book I do have some opinions on it.

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July Re-Read #3: The Golden Fool by Robin Hobb

The Golden Fool

Robin Hobb

The Tawny Man Trilogy #2

Harper Voyager

632 pages



Woohoo Bookly has failed me.  It keeps on crashing so I can’t pull up all of my stats.  Luckily for me I keep a note of some of them in an excel spreadsheet but unfortunately not all of them.  I hate things being incomplete.

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Review: Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter

The Rage of Dragons

Evan Winter

The Burning #1

Little Brown Book Group UK/ Orbit

544 pages



Copy received from Netgalley, all opinions are my own.

The Rage of Dragons contains three of my favourite tropes, class imbalance, revenge and brutal warfare.  Reading Tau’s story where he wants revenge on the higher ups in society whilst at the same time having to fight a brutal war which is being lost pushes all of my buttons.

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July Re-Read 2: Splendour of the Gala by Ken and Jean Smith

The Splendour of the Gala

Ken and Jean Smith

Ergo Press

114 pages


Tomorrow is the Durham Miners’ Gala.  If you didn’t know the Gala is a trade union festival held on the second Saturday in July in Durham.

Fun fact: I wrote my MA dissertation on the Gala.

The Durham Miners’ Gala, or The Big Meeting as it’s known locally, was first held on the 12th August 1871 in Wharton Park.  It moved to the Racecourse the following year and has been held there almost every year since, except for during the First and Second World Wars, in 1921, 1922 and 1926 due to ongoing industrial action.  It was initially held as a show of solidarity for the miners’ against the coal owners and manages to be both political and social at the same time.

There’s no coal mines in County Durham anymore but the Gala still remains popular.  Every lodge in the area had and still have their own banner with a variety of images and themes and they are paraded around Durham before heading to the racecourse where selected speakers make speeches.  At 3pm there is a service at Durham Cathedral where new banners are dedicated.

I love the Gala, I find the history fascinating and I like that it is an event which has survived the closing of all the pits.  It’s a very unique event, heavily steeped in history and tradition but it’s still a fun day out.

The Splendour of the Gala is a love letter to the event.  It talks about the history, the banners and the bands and has a lot of recollections of the event.  It is, of course, only something that would be of any real interest to people living in County Durham but it feels like it was written with love for the Gala.

July Re-Read 1: Fool’s Errand by Robin Hobb

Fool’s Errand

Robin Hobb

The Tawny Man Trilogy #1

Harper Voyager

584 pages



I don’t often cry when I’m reading.  In fact, I can count the number of books that have made me cry on one hand so for a book to utterly break my heart to the point where I am sobbing uncontrollably… well that’s a special book indeed.

Fool’s Errand is definitely one of those books.

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