YVO’S SHORTIES #50 – The King’s Guard & Radiance Of Tomorrow

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! Today two completely different reads, but both worthwhile. The King’s Guard is the third and final Fire And Thorns novella and without doubt my favorite of the bunch. And I have been wanting to read Radiance Of Tomorrow forever, especially since Ishmael Beah‘s memoir made such an impact. This fictional story also set in his country Sierra Leone is another powerful and heartbreaking read.

Title: The King’s Guard
(Fire And Thorns #0.7)
Author: Rae Carson

Genre: YA, Fantasy
First published: July 30th 2013
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Finished reading: September 19th 2018
Pages: 111

“The less you say, the more your words will matter.”


I have been reading the Fire And Thorns novellas before tackling the sequel, and I have to say this third and final one is probably my favorite of the bunch. The King’s Guard is partly set in the royal palace and is partly an adventure and rescue mission. Hector makes a great main character of this novella and his character is very easy to like. The writing is solid as always and I managed to read it in no time at all… The plot and setting are well fleshed out for a novella and I had a great time reading this one. These novellas are a great addition to the original series and especially the last two novellas are without doubt worth the read if you enjoy the series.

Title: Radiance Of Tomorrow
Author: Ishmael Beah

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fiction
First published: January 7th 2014
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
Finished reading: September 20th 2018
Pages: 256

“We must live in the radiance of tomorrow, as our ancestors have suggested in their tales. For what is yet to come tomorrow has possibilities, and we must think of it, the simplest glimpse of that possibility of goodness. That will be our strength. That has always been our strength.”


A Long Way Gone is one of the most devastating and heartbreaking memoirs I’ve read to this date, and well written at that. I’ve been meaning to read Radiance Of Tomorrow for years now, and I’m glad I’ve finally had the opportunity to do so. While Radiance Of Tomorrow is a fictional story this time around, it has the same setting in Sierra Leone and the same emotional rollercoaster ride. Make sure to brace yourself before you start this one, because it won’t be a happy journey. Radiance Of Tomorrow tells the story of what happens in the ruined village Imperi after the war in Sierra Leone ended. The beginning sets the tone of what will become a heartbreaking, devastating and very emotional read, with little lights shining upon the hope the characters have things will become better in the future. Descriptions of both characters and setting are excellently done and I loved the ‘fusion’ of different languages as the author translated expressions from other languages literally to describe things. This book shows us what it was like for the locals after the war, the struggles still there as they try to survive with all odds against them. You will take the characters under your wing and suffer with them as setbacks occur… Radiance Of Tomorrow has a wonderful bigger message and is without doubt a very powerful and emotional read. I’m glad I decided to finally pick up!


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BOOK REVIEW: A Long Way Gone – by Ishmael Beah


Title: A Long Way Gone; Memoirs Of A Boy Soldier
Author: Ismael Beah
Genre: Memoir, Non Fiction
First published: February 13th 2007
Finished reading: March 4th 2013
Pages: 218

Rating 4,5

“I joined the army to avenge the deaths of my family and to survive, but I’ve come to learn that if I am going to take revenge, in that process I will kill another person whose family will want revenge; then revenge and revenge and revenge will never come to an end…”


Even when I first heard about this book, I knew A Long Way Gone would leave its mark on me. This memoir telling the story of a young boy soldier in Sierra Leone is both impressive, sad and overwhelming. Ismael Beah was lucky enough to survive the terrors of the civil war and tells us without filter exactly how things really were for young boys in Sierra Leone. Make sure to have a tissue box closeby, because you will need it while you read A Long Way Gone!


Memoirs Of A Boy Soldier tells the story of Ishmael Beah, now twenty-five years old. In this memoir he tells his heartbreaking story of his experiences during the decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone and the ongoing predicament of child soldiers in conflicts worldwide. When Beah was 12, he was forced to escape from attacking rebels in Sierra Leone. He was separated from his family and as he travelled around his country to escape the war, he was forced to join an army unit in order to stay alive. There they brainwashed him by giving him drugs and by thirteen, he had seen more people die (quite a few by his own hand) and experienced incidents that others may not have to deal with throughout their entire lives. At the age of 16, however, UNICEF removed him from the unit and gave him a chance to be forgiven and to start a new life in Freetown. When he traveled to the USA to participate in a conference, he was given a chance to teach others about the horrific and unimaginable things he was forced to face . Things that millions of children around the world still face today… He had to go back to Sierra Leone after the conference, but when the situation became too dangerous to stay in Freetown, where he lived with his uncle, he fled the country and was able to get back to the USA, where he lives to this day.


This book is a truly impressive story and I admire Ishmael’s courage to tell his story to the world; admitting that he killed a lot of innocent people in the process. I respect him for that and also for giving us the opportunity to read and try understand how children are forced to do horrible things when facing war. This book is definitely recommended to those who enjoy reading non fiction, memoirs or stories about foreign cultures. Warning: A Long Way Gone is not for the weakhearted.