Books Told from Different Perspectives

Narrators are an essential part of all novels, novellas and short story collections. They can either be one of the characters or mere fictional observers that take no part in the action. Some books even have more than one narrator, the story being told from different perspectives or points of view. Those perspectives can be conveyed in a variety of ways – via a first-person narrator; an omniscient narrator, who knowns everything about all of the characters; or a third-person narrator who adopts the point of view of a specific character.

I’m always drawn to books that feature chapters narrated from different perspectives, presenting a compelling mix of voices. From the ones that I’ve read and enjoyed, despite not all being favourites of mine, there are seven that immediately sprang to mind.


A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

At the beginning of the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin, Robert Baratheon is the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms and sits on the Iron Throne. After the death of his Hand, he invites his old friend Lord Eddard Stark to assume the suddenly vacant role. Peace is fragile, though, since the lords of Westeros are playing dangerous games and the exiled Targaryens want to take back their father’s throne. The intricate characters and the enthralling plot turn this book into a compelling mix of fantasy and political machinations. It is told in the third person from the perspectives of various characters: Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen and six members of the Stark family – Ned, Catelyn, Bran, Sansa, Arya and Jon Snow. Continue reading


Book Series – What I’m Reading

Reading book series is a great way to become fully immersed in a fictional world. I’m currently sinking my teeth into five book series and, until I finish at least one of them, I don’t plan to start a new one. Whenever I complete a book series, the plan is to replace it with another one of those on my wish list. I’m only mentioning on this post the series that I’m not caught up on (reason why the list below doesn’t feature A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin) and that I want to finish.


The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

This is the first trilogy in a larger fantasy series set in the Realm of the Elderlings. So far, I’ve only read the first book, Assassin’s Apprentice, which is set in the Six Duchies, a land ruled by the Farseers. Fitz, the bastard son of Prince Chivalry, is trained as an assassin and in the traditional magic of the Farseer family – the Skill. Not only is this book full of court intrigue, it also delves into various human emotions.

After finishing this trilogy, I’ll certainly read the other series set in the same world. Although I considered the possibility of reading all the series featuring Fitz first and only afterwards picking up the remaining ones, I’m now more inclined to read them in order of publication. Continue reading

‘Mulheres de Cinza’ (‘Woman of the Ashes’) by Mia Couto

My rating: 4 stars

Mulheres de Cinza, or Woman of the Ashes in the English translation, takes place in the late 19th century, during the last days of the state of Gaza, the second largest empire led by an African. However, Mia Couto gives more importance to the characters’ inner struggles than to the historical events, which develop in the background. Told from the perspectives of Imani and Sergeant Germano de Melo, this novel, the first in a trilogy, delves into imperialism, racism and cultural erasure.

Fifteen-year-old Imani is a member of the VaChopi tribe, who inhabits Nkokolani, near the coast of Mozambique. Their land was at the centre of a dispute between the VaNguni and the Portuguese, of whom they were allies. The leader of the VaNguni, Ngungunyane, was the ruler of the state of Gaza. This conflict divided Imani’s family. She had two brothers. One, Dubula, had always been fascinated by the VaNguni, having left home to live in the forest. The other, Mwanatu, was raised in a catholic mission, as was Imani, and his allegiance lied with the Portuguese. He was working at the Portuguese military barracks as an assistant of Sergeant Germano.

Throughout the book, Imani recalls events from hers and her family’s life. Her existence was an amalgam of two different worlds. She spoke Portuguese at home but at the same time wondered what her life would be like if she became Ngungunyane’s wife. Her father once told her a story about a bat that had desired to belong to more than one world. As he was wounded, the bat fell at a crossroads. Neither the birds nor the rats helped him, because he was not of them. Continue reading

Books Waiting Too Long to Be Read

I always try to keep my TBR pile under control. Thus, I generally read the majority of the books that I buy in the subsequent months. Occasionally, however, some of them are left waiting as I decide to pick up newer additions to my shelves. I’ve recently realised that there are five books on my shelves waiting to be read since 2017. I’m still interested in reading almost all of them, but my enthusiasm has waned since then.


The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

I bought this book back in January 2017, I believe, but for reasons unknown never got around to reading it. This is a crime novel written by J.K. Rowling under a pseudonym. Private detective Cormoran Strike investigates the apparent suicide of a troubled model. This will be the year that I’ll finally read it!


Vozes do Vento by Maria Isabel Barreno

This book by the Portuguese writer Maria Isabel Barreno is the one that I’m least eager to pick up. I read about four pages soon after buying it, but as I couldn’t get into it I decided to put it down and give it another try in the future. It is a family colonial saga set in Cape Verde. Continue reading