Reviews tagging Murder

The Unspoken Name, by A.K. Larkwood

8 reviews

booksandbodylib's review

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adventurous dark emotional sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

This is the perfect book to finish my 2021 reading challenge on. I absolutely loved this!!! It will definitely not be everyone's cup of tea, but my god, it was mine! All the cups!!! Dark, eerie, queerie (hehehe), and character-driven with the most epic world-building. Csorwe and Shuthmilie are everything and Tal??? He adds that levity that balances it all out. It sort of gave me Senera/Relos Var from the A Chorus of Dragons series by Jenn Lyons vibes, which is HIGH PRAISE. I cannot wait for The Thousand Eyes. 

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candidceillie's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75


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kamreadsandrecs's review against another edition

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adventurous sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

... there’s truly something wonderful in this novel. The world, the characters, the plot, the themes – all have immense promise. But sadly, they are all smothered by the writing style, which muffles and dims the parts that ought to be memorable and striking. There are stories, of course, that suit such dry and deadpan delivery, but that style does not serve this novel well at all. Where the reader ought to be drawn in close to the characters, ought to inhabit the setting, ought to be moved by the plot or ponder upon the themes, they are instead set back at a distance, observing everything with dispassion. This is not exactly something I want to feel from a fantasy novel, and I’m sure there are plenty of other readers who would agree. 

Full review here: https://wp.me/p21txV-KE

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laurajones's review

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adventurous tense medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes

5.0


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kelseyland's review

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adventurous dark medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Remarkable world-building + sharp, engaging writing + LGBT rep = the high fantasy novel of my dreams.

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banrions's review

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adventurous dark emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

This was such fun!!! Really interesting world building and some great characters, can’t wait to see what happens next. 

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samespelho's review

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adventurous emotional mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

I spent a long time with this book, mostly because I was not in a big reading mood in the last couple of weeks, but also a bit because this wasn't a very easy novel to get into. There were some time skips and structure decisions that I found arguable. However, for the most part I really enjoyed the book. The main character, Csorwe, was an interesting lead who went through considerable growth over the course of the story, and there were plenty of other compelling characters. Where the novel really shines is the setting: a Planescape-reminiscent multiverse with cool magic, gods, wonders, and numerous mysteries to discover. I also really enjoyed seeing so many queer characters just having adventures, their arcs not being all about their queerness.

There are some weak parts where the author quite obviously struggles to find her voice and to choose the right structural frame for all the events, but this kind of thing is something I expect from a debut. Overall, The Unspoken Name is packed with plenty of cool ideas, and I'm curious to see where the series goes next.

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cgcunard's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated
Got this book as a gift from a friend for xmas 2020 - and man, I have good friends! I loved reading this, even though it is not something I think I would have picked up for myself. Most of the critiques or doubts I had about the plot and/or character development in parts 1 and 2 became explicitly addressed as central themes of the text in later parts. I love that it feels like it can stand alone, even as I'm excited to see that there is a sequel in the works! 

Larkwood writes beautiful prose, spare when it needs to be and incredibly evocative almost always. The worldbuilding is strong, and is delivered in a way that feels very natural. There are many things that I don't know about how some of the stuff in this world works, yes, but that actually feels realistic in itself--we get as much of an understanding of it as the characters do. It means I know a lot about what people are eating and wearing, and less about the mechanics of the (super incredibly fascinating I'm jealous I didn't think this one up) magical transit system that links a variety of worlds.

Also, it has complex, messy, significant queer relationships (yes, plural!) - which are not even necessarily what the story's about. Or rather, yes, one of them becomes a thing the story is about, but there's no context of homophobia or forbiddenness around it so it's just. A relationship! Almost as though queer people are just. People??? Maybe I've just been reading too much YA lately, but even as a major romance junkie, it was so refreshing to read a fantasy plot where romance was important while also nowhere near all-consuming driver of plot. (I say all this as a queer woman; worth noting the author is as well.) 

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