The River Leith, an amnesia story worth remembering

There were other people in the occupational therapy ward….People who were shells of the beings they were before, empty and unable to give anything back to the world except for the memory that once they were more, and that they never would be again.

The River Leith was my first Leta Blake book, but it will definitely not be my last. From the first page, I enjoyed Blake’s writing style and the obvious development that went into these characters. I’ve read amnesia novels before and found all of them lacking, but not this one.

When Leith wakes up in a hospital with no memory of the last three years of his life including his roommates and friends he can’t remember, his frustration and anger practically leap off the page. Blake did a fantastic job getting inside the emotions of not only the amnesiac but the devastated boyfriend whom Leith can’t remember. Zach’s vlog posts about the loss of his love are heartfelt and believable. I’ve never read such a convincing account of amnesia from the devastated point of view of those who are forgotten. Seeing Zach’s POV only through his vlogs was a fresh way to convey not only what was happening in the story, but also how Zach was feeling. Little lines about a forced smile or nervous fingers picking at a loose thread painted a perfect picture of Zach’s ordeal.

And though the book had plenty of sex, which is expected in an M/M book, it never detracted or overshadowed the real story of Leith struggling to find the man he had once been and reconciling with the person he now is. Unlike so many books with amnesia storylines, The River Leith really explores how much is lost when a person loses their memories and whether or not life can resume without them.   

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Sarah Maas’ Throne of Glass series delivers a heroine worthy of Game of Thrones

heirI just reread Crown of Midnight, the second book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah Maas. I like this series for a number of reasons.

 1) Prior to this, I had been going through a funk where female protagonists had been getting on my nerves, and I found myself not wanting to pick up a book with a female lead, which probably eliminates about 60% of all the books out there.

 2) Celaena is a heroine who is brave, mysterious, and real. She shrugs responsibility, shies away from addressing a situation she feels she can’t face, and makes mistakes. Who hasn’t done those things? That makes Celaena relatable. On the other hand, she is a highly trained assassin, can transform from a girl in love to a heartless killing machine in minutes, and has more secrets than Victoria (you know who I mean;)  That makes her intriguing. She reminds me of some of Game of Thrones ladies. She’s a little bit Arya and a little bit Daenerys.

3) She is surrounded by an equally intriguing cast: Nehemia, princess of a fallen kingdom and practically a prisoner under the evil king of Adarlan or is she? Nehemia is hiding just as much as Celaena is and her secrets could bring about the fall of another kingdom; Chaol Westfall, Captain of the Guard is loyal, honorable, left behind his own chance to rule in order to protect the man who does rule, and is hopelessly in love with an assassin whether he will admit it or not; Prince Dorian has an evil king for a father, a spoiled brat for a brother, a crush on his best friend’s girl, and, oh yeah, a secret so destructive that if the wrong person ever found out Dorian’s head would be on a pike outside his father’s glass castle.

4) Unlike a lot of series, I find this one unpredictable. There are four (maybe five – I’ve read conflicting accounts about the final number in this series) more books to come, and I have no clue where to even begin guessing what comes next, who will die, and who will be left standing when we reach the last page of the final book, though I bet Celaena will still be alive and slicing and dicing her enemies.

Heir of Fire is just weeks away. I can’t wait to follow Celaena on her next adventure.