Weekly Wrap Up : 25/6/17

Well, the weather has been glorious although it does now seem to have broken.  I’ve had a fun weekend, maybe a little wine fuelled, but lots of friends and maybe a couple of late nights – I hope you’ve all had a good weekend too.

In terms of reading this week:

  1. The Court of Broken Knives (Empires of Dust #1) finished and review to follow
  2. The Bones of the Earth – not yet finished – next week though
  3. Borderline (The Arcadia Project) by Mishell Baker – this book took me by storm and just woo’ed me!

My cover highlight this week is The Arcadia Project books – I will be reading No2 pretty damn quick sharp:

Which is your favourite?

How was your week?  What you currently reading?

‘The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house All that cold, cold, wet day’

FFO.jpg

Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .   This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below. This week’s theme:

Cat “In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this”

This week was much better than the previous two weeks which I did struggle with  – this week I actually had a few books to choose from but eventually went for Holly Black’s Curse Worker series – a series I enjoyed, in fact I’ve pretty much enjoyed everything I’ve read by Holly Black – which makes me think I need to go read The Darkest Part of the Forest soon:

My favourite this week is, probably unsurprisingly the cover I’m most familiar with:

white2

Which is your favourite?

Next week – Hat

Future themes:

30/06/2017 – Hat “It is always cruel to laugh at people, of course, although sometimes if they are wearing an ugly hat it is hard to control yourself “

07/07/2017 – Gold “All that is gold does not glitter”

14/07/2017 – Boats “The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea, in a beautiful pea green boat…”

21/07/2017 – Planet “Any planet is ‘Earth’ to those who live on it”

Friday Firsts : The Bones of the Earth by Rachel Dunne

FridayFirsts
Friday Firsts
 is a new meme that runs every Friday over on Tenacious Reader. The idea is to feature the first few sentences/paragraph of your current book and try and outline your first impressions as a result. This is a quick and easy way to share a snippet of information about your current read and to perhaps tempt others.  Stop on by and link up with Tenacious Reader.    This Friday I’m reading : The Bones of the Earth by Rachel Dunne.

 

32493123Etarro’s fingers scraped along the wall, loose stones crumbling away and rough spots tugging at the pads of his fingertips as he ran.  The path he followed made a circle around the inside of the mountain, and he was running fast enough that the circling was starting to get to him, making his head spin worse than it already was, making it harder and harder not to throw up.  If it hadn’t been for the screaming, he would have stopped to catch his breath to settle his head and his stomach.  But there was the screaming, and his feet couldn’t stop moving.

He ran from one pool of dull light to the next.  The low-crackling forges with their blue flames were the only thing keeping the inside of Mount Raturo from being tar-black.  The spaces between the torches were tar-black, so dark his hand against the wall was the only thing keeping him from stepping over the edge of the path and turning into a splatter on the floor of the mountain.  He stopped breathing each time the wall ended in one of the hallways that branched off the central spiral, and he didn’t start breathing until his fingers barked against the other side of the tunnel mouth.’

My First Impressions

This is an unusual start and is part of the prologue of the book.  It certainly makes me curious about why this character, Etarro, is tearing around a dark mountain and clearly risking his life in doing so.

What you reading this Friday??  What are your first impressions??

*The above excerpt was taken from an advanced reader copy and it is possible that the final version may have further changes.

Rotherweird (Rotherweird #1) by Andrew Caldecott

Posted On 22 June 2017

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rotherRotherweird is a very unusual book about a strange town that appears to be almost trapped in time, full of quintessential English characters living in what on the face of it appears to be an idyllic country setting.  Of course, appearances can be deceptive and behind the chocolate box cover facade of Rotherweird lies a rather sinister mystery.  This is like a strange mash up of a number of genres including fantasy, historical and mystery which for me worked like a charm.

Before I picked up Rotherweird I had very little idea of what to expect but I was intrigued by the comparisons that were floating around, especially to Strange and Norrell and whilst I will say upfront that the story here is completely different I can completely understand where those remarks have come from.  It’s to do with the feel of the book, the descriptions and world building and the way the author just provokes a feel of timelessness.

First off, the place itself.  Rotherweird is a complete anomaly.  Hundreds of years ago and by special decree of the Queen the place was made independent and it’s inhabitants have since that time led a secluded life with virtually no congress with the outside world. As you can imagine this has resulted in a number of quirky characters and strange traditions that are positively eccentric. The town itself sounds beautiful with intriguing architecture and old stone buildings, a large old fashioned school and a beautiful if somewhat neglected manor house.  Brigadoon is a fictional Scottish village that only appears for one day out of every hundred years – Rotherweird is a strange fictional village that feels like it only has one outside visitor every hundred years.  Outsiders are not welcome here and those that are invited are usually as a result of deliberation and careful thought.

Secondly, the people live a sleepy existence, apart from the fact that there seems to be an inordinate number of incredibly intelligent people in the village and their creativity, research and invention is sent forth into the wider world in many different forms.  And yet this is a village with no need for modern contraptions – in fact the place seems to revel in it’s own lack of reliance on such things and this really helps to increase the strange feel.

Of course there’s the history – and I would tell you more but that is of course against the rules.  What happens in Rotherweird stays in Rotherweird.  Well, that is, nobody discusses history, there are no records available and how or why Rotherweird found itself independent from the rest of the country is something of a mystery.  Now, while this history of Rotherweird is not shared with the inhabitants it is imparted to the readers by the use of two timelines.  You may be wondering why Rotherweird was cut off from the rest of England.   Basically, it boils down to fear of 10 rather gifted children who at the time seemed to be unnaturally gifted.  The first instinct of those in power was to execute the children but thanks to the actions of one character the children were rescued and secreted away from the world instead and to all intents and purposes things have ambled pleasantly onwards since that time.

On top of this, the book is something of a portal novel.  The town has two well hidden portal points that only a couple of people are aware of that lead to a very strange place indeed.  A rather creepy place that seems to ooze with threat and spark with magic.

As the story begins, two new people are about to join the inhabitants of Rotherweird and whilst they’re not particularly the catalyst for what takes place, because there is already a strange and brooding atmosphere, they certainly help to push things forward.

In terms of criticisms.  Nothing that greatly bothered me in particular but I would say that this has something of a meandering style, the author introduces a lot of characters and it feels like we dip in and out of their lives quite sporadically.  This in turn makes the characters feel a little lacking in depth.  I didn’t mind this particularly as I felt like the characters were almost supposed to come across a little like cliches from a typical countryside village with the busybody, the eccentric, the old pub landlord who likes to gossip, the stiff upper lipped head teacher, etc.  The book also has it’s own pace – it isn’t going to be rushed.  It’s a book that makes you read it and pay attention. So, quite a bit of world building and a leisurely pace – if these don’t particularly appeal to you then take note.

A strange fantasy, a quirky village, some considerably amusing chapters, particularly concerning the village boat race, odd characters and a magical mystery that started many many years ago and is about to be revisited.  I really enjoyed Rotherweird  and look forward to reading more.

I received a copy through Netgalley courtesy of the publisher for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

 

Waiting on Wednesday : An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

AEofR“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was created by Breaking the Spine.  Every Wednesday we get to highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  My book this week is : An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson.  This book sounds awesome and I really want it in my life.  Due out September 2017.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

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