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

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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:

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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.

One or ten more new book series couldn’t hurt..

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Every Tuesday over at  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start

Most of the series i’ve listed below are for series that I’ve intended to start and have in actual fact bought the first, and in some cases the second, book already but just not managed to make the time yet.  Here they are – I will get to them one day, even now I’m trying to peg back my review books to a more reasonable monthly amount so that I can fit my own books in!:

  1. Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen #1) by Steven Erikson – a book I bought ages ago when I got all caught up with the praising discussions of other bloggers – and here it is still unread.  I think maybe the fact that there are 10 books puts me off which is silly really -it’s not like I have to read them all at once after all.
  2. Promise of Blood (Powder Mage #1) by Brian McClellan – a series I’ve wanted to read for a while.  In fairness I’ve only just bought a copy of the first but even though it’s not had a long wait I’m keen to get to it.  I’ve read lots of positive reviews and I understand this has a great magical system.
  3. Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel #1) by Josiah Bancroft – I bought the first book last year and even though I’ve read it this series has such glowing reviews I bought the second as soon as it was released.  I intend to get to them very soon.  VERY SOON – yes the caps lock was necessary.
  4. Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1) by Rachel Caine – Another series that I’m longing to get to and have in actual bought copies of the first and second books.
  5. The Blade Itself (The First Law #1) by Joe Abercrombie – this is going to sound unbelievable but I’ve managed to buy the full set of this series (twice) and the first book three times – and yet I’ve still not read it!  Something is going seriously wrong somewhere.  There is a story behind it of course – obviously I don’t just keep re-buying the same books but I won’t bore you with my foolish consistency.
  6. His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire #1) by Naomi Novik – strangely this is one of only two series on this list that I don’t yet own copies of – perhaps I should resist temptation until I’ve read at least one of the series that I already own books for – it could be a new rule – no more new books until I’ve read one – but, then again, maybe not.
  7. Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations #1-2) by Michael J Sullivan – I’ve owned a hard back copy of this book for some time too – it makes me feel guilty every time I see it sitting on the shelf, patiently waiting.
  8. The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1) by Stephen King – this is a series that I want to read and also don’t want to read! I recall one of my friends saying they were disappointed with the last book and it put me off a little – I know I shouldn’t let it get to me but there it is.  I own the first in the series.
  9. The Magicians (The Magicians, #1) by Lev Grossman – this is the second series that I don’t yet own but really would like to read. Again,  I do think I should probably read some of my owned books first though.
  10. Not a series but two books by the same author that I’ve been wanting to get to for a while – Under My Skin and White Lies by Zoe Markham.  They both sound great – well, I wouldn’t have bought them otherwise, obviously.

That’s it for me this week (although I’m sure if I look on my kindle I’ll find maybe a couple more series that I could have included *sighs)

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