#wyrdandwonder – Magical Artefacts

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(May is the month of Wyrd and Wonder – details here, Twitter: @wyrdandwonder)

tttTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week I’ve picked a topic from the Wyrd and Wonder list instead and the theme is:

Top Ten magical artefacts

So, I’ve had a good think about this and, of course, some of these will be really obvious but I had to go there and some are hopefully not so obvious:

The One Ring.  The Lord of the Rings by JRRTolkien – I had too.  It’s the first one that sprang to mind.  A ring forged by Sauron, the Dark Lord, with an evil purpose in mind – world dominion.  The Lord of the Ring is the story of the quest, taken on by 9 companions known as the Fellowship, to destroy the ring by returning it to the fire’s of Mordor.  One ring to rule them all.

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Image from Wikipedia

There are lots of things to choose from in JKRowling’s Harry Potter series from wands, to magical cloaks to the Philosopher’s Stone – I’ve chosen something a bit more mischievous – the Marauder’s Map.  The Map is a magical piece of parchment that when activated, by using the words ‘I solemnly swear that I am up to no good’, reveals a complete map of Hogwarts, including secret passages.  It also reveals the location of people within the castle.MaraudersMap.png

Excalibur – King Arthur’s legendary sword – pulled from a stone? or given to the bearer by the Lady in the lake.  Lots of different stories are available TH White’s Once and Future King, for example, or adaptations – Disney’s Sword in the Stone:

 

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Original theatrical release poster

The Ruby Slippers – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum’s  – strangely enough I don’t think the shoes in the novel were red – but it was a long time ago that I read the book.  The Ruby slippers originally belonged to the Wicked Witch of the East – who died when Dorothy’s house dropped out of the sky and landed on her!  The Wicked Witch of the West desperately wants the slippers for their powerful magic and pursues Dorothy to try and claim them.

Ruby

Seven league boots – apparently these are magical items from folklore but I first became aware of them in Diana Wynne Jones wonderful Howl’s Moving Castle.  As you may imagine, the person who wears these boots can travel seven leagues every time they take one footstep – very useful for quests!  And I love this quote:

“It’s amazing the way one can take a step ten and a half miles long and still always land in a cowpat.” 

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“Drink Me/Eat Me” – magical food and potions from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  After following the White Rabbit down a magical rabbit hole Alice drinks from a bottle she finds on a table which causes her to shrink – fortunately a cake with the words ‘eat me’ written in currants reverses the magic – although not with the results she hoped for.

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The Magic Mirror from Grimm’s fairytale – Snow White in which the evil queen asks her magic mirror every morning ‘“Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”   One day, the mirror, which always answers truthfully, tells her that Snow White is the fairest in the land.  Enraged, the Queen sends her hunter to kill Snow White – and I’m sure you know how the story goes from there.

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A magic eye – Greek mythology tells of three sisters – witches, who shared one eye and one tooth. Perseus – known for beheading Medusa – stole the witch’s eye to force them to give him information in his search for Medusa and how to defeat her.

Stygian witches

Image taken from Villains: Fandom

Shardplate – magically enhanced armour from Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archives.  Shardplate gives the wearer enhanced speed and strength and protects the wearer more than traditional armour.  Shardplate can no longer be forged and therefore the remaining suits of armour are highly prized.

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Sting – I started with Tolkien and I thought I’d finish with an artefact from his books.  Sting.  A sword that originally appeared in The Hobbit and was found by Bilbo Baggins who later gives it to Frodo in the Fellowship of the Ring.  Sting is a magical sword that can detect when orcs or goblins are near by.

Sting

Frodo and Sting, LotR, taken from Wikipedia

Obviously, I’ve missed some iconic artefacts off here – I’ve tried to go for a mix of obvious and not so obvious – give me your own examples of magical artefacts please.

 

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Can’t Wait Wednesday : Stormsong (The Kingston Cycle #2) by C.L. Polk

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Today is the start of Wyrd and Wonder – a month long event that is a celebration of fantasy.  Check out the details here and join in the fun in whatever way you would like to do so.

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking Can't waitthe Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : Stormsong (The Kingston Cycle #2) by C.L. Polk.

Stormsong.jpgAfter spinning an enthralling world in Witchmark, praised as a “can’t-miss debut” by Booklist, and as “thoroughly charming and deftly paced” by the New York Times, C. L. Polk continues the story in Stormsong. Magical cabals, otherworldly avengers, and impossible love affairs conspire to create a book that refuses to be put down.

Dame Grace Hensley helped her brother Miles undo the atrocity that stained her nation, but now she has to deal with the consequences. With the power out in the dead of winter and an uncontrollable sequence of winter storms on the horizon, Aeland faces disaster. Grace has the vision to guide her parents to safety, but a hostile queen and a ring of rogue mages stand in the way of her plans. There’s revolution in the air, and any spark could light the powder. What’s worse, upstart photojournalist Avia Jessup draws ever closer to secrets that could topple the nation, and closer to Grace’s heart.

Can Aeland be saved without bloodshed? Or will Kingston die in flames, and Grace along with it?

Expected publication: February 2020

Wyrd and Wonder: Stunning Debut : Westside by WM Akers

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(May is the month of Wyrd and Wonder – details here, Twitter: @wyrdandwonder)

The month of May is full of Wyrd and Wonder and today’s prompt is ‘Stunning Debut’.

I’ve just finished reading Westside by WM Akers and I absolutely loved it, my review isn’t posted yet but I wanted to share the love of this book with everyone and today’s prompt is the perfect opportunity.  This is a story that marries mystery, urban fantasy and 1920’s prohibition New York.  The setting is a divided city and the atmosphere is reminiscent of Gangs of New York.  It gave me a Gaiman/Lynch vibe in the portrayal of other worldliness and the criminal underworld.  A definite 5 out of 5 star read for me.

WestsideHere’s the synopsis and cover:

A young detective who specializes in “tiny mysteries” finds herself at the center of a massive conspiracy in this beguiling historical fantasy set on Manhattan’s Westside—a peculiar and dangerous neighborhood home to strange magic and stranger residents—that blends the vivid atmosphere of Caleb Carr with the imaginative power of Neil Gaiman.

New York is dying, and the one woman who can save it has smaller things on her mind.

It’s 1921, and a thirteen-mile fence running the length of Broadway splits the island of Manhattan, separating the prosperous Eastside from the Westside—an overgrown wasteland whose hostility to modern technology gives it the flavor of old New York. Thousands have disappeared here, and the respectable have fled, leaving behind the killers, thieves, poets, painters, drunks, and those too poor or desperate to leave.

It is a hellish landscape, and Gilda Carr proudly calls it home.

Slightly built, but with a will of iron, Gilda follows in the footsteps of her late father, a police detective turned private eye. Unlike that larger-than-life man, Gilda solves tiny mysteries: the impossible puzzles that keep us awake at night; the small riddles that destroy us; the questions that spoil marriages, ruin friendships, and curdle joy. Those tiny cases distract her from her grief, and the one impossible question she knows she can’t answer: “How did my father die?”

Yet on Gilda’s Westside, tiny mysteries end in blood—even the case of a missing white leather glove. Mrs. Copeland, a well-to-do Eastside housewife, hires Gilda to find it before her irascible merchant husband learns it is gone. When Gilda witnesses Mr. Copeland’s murder at a Westside pier, she finds herself sinking into a mire of bootlegging, smuggling, corruption—and an evil too dark to face.

All she wants is to find one dainty ladies’ glove. She doesn’t want to know why this merchant was on the wrong side of town—or why he was murdered in cold blood. But as she begins to see the connection between his murder, her father’s death, and the darkness plaguing the Westside, she faces the hard truth: she must save her city or die with it.

Introducing a truly remarkable female detective, Westside is a mystery steeped in the supernatural and shot through with gunfights, rotgut whiskey, and sizzling Dixieland jazz. Full of dazzling color, delightful twists, and truly thrilling action, it announces the arrival of a remarkable talent.

 

Friday Face Off :  “As full of spirit as the month of May”

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(May is the month of Wyrd and Wonder – details here, Twitter: @wyrdandwonder)

FFOHere 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 – the list has been updated to help out those of you who like to plan ahead – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.  This week’s theme:

 “As full of spirit as the month of May” – A cover featuring a festival/party/celebration

Well, I confess, I struggled with this one and had to go with a classic because I knew I’d find a cover that fit somehow.  I hope everyone managed this easier than I did!  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and a couple of covers with the Mad Hatter’s tea party:

I quite like a few of these to be honest.  But, I think my favourite, because it seems to fit in my mind with the imagery I always picture for this novel, is this one:

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Which one is your favourite?

Like last week I’ve added a Mr Linky here so that you can leave a link if you wish or please leave me a link in the comments so we can all visit and check out each others covers.  Thanks

I’ve updated the list and included themes through to the end of 2019 – I’ve also included events that I’m aware of so that you can perhaps link your themes up where possible (if you know of an event you’d like to share that let me know in the comments).  I also have a list prepared for 2020 and so will set up a separate page soon for forthcoming themes.  As always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment.

Next week – A cover featuring a fantasy beast

Future themes: (if you’re struggling with any of these themes then use a ‘freebie’ or one of your favourite covers)

2019

(May is the month of Wyrd and Wonder – details here, Twitter: @wyrdandwonder)

17th May –  “The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow!” – A cover featuring a fantasy beast

24th May – “bibbity, bobbity, boo” – A cover that features ‘magical things’

31st May –  “simples” – A favourite fantasy cover 

7th June  – “One swallow does not make a summer” – A cover that makes you think of Summer 

14th June – “Coraline opened the box of chocolates. The dog looked at them longingly.” – A cover featuring something sweet

21st June – Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year – Pagan rituals/standing stones/blazing suns – a cover with your own interpretation

28th June – “And who decided which people wore the striped pyjamas” – A cover that is striped

5th July – “The question of whether or not we are alone in the universe… has been answered” –  a cover featuring something/somebody historic 

12th July – A wrap around cover

19th July – “You can’t choose between life and death when we’re dealing with what is in between.” – A cover that is grainy or looks like ‘white noise’

26th July – “Ludo ….. down” – A cover that is Upside Down

2nd August – “There are children here somewhere. I can smell them.” A cover featuring children

9th August – “I’m disinclined to acquiesce to your request.” – A cover featuring Pirates

16th August – “The haft of the arrow had been feathered with one of the eagles own plumes” – a cover featuring feathers

23rd August – A cover that is a movie tie in

30th August – “I wandered lonely as a cloud” – a cover that is predominantly yellow

6th September “Warm September brings the fruit” – a cover that is seasonal for Autumn/Fall

13th September – Friday the 13th – unlucky for some!  A cover with ‘curse’ in the title

20th September – “Your hair is winter fire,January embers.” – A cover featuring hair

27th September – Freebie

4th October – “Feed me Seymour” – A cover that is 60s horror

11th October – ““And, though there should be a world of difference between the smile of a man and the bared fangs of a wolf, with Joss Merlyn they were one and the same.”  – a cover featuring an Inn

18th October – “It’s your favorite scary movie, remember? He had on the white mask, he stalked the babysitters.” – A cover featuring a scream

25th October – for Halloween – pick any scary cover you like

(I’m hoping that November will once again bring to us SciFiMonth – Twitter @SciFiMonth)

1st November – A cover that is predominantly grey

8th November – “big badda boom” – a cover that features an explosion

15th November – “No thinking thing should be another thing’s property, to be turned on and off when it is convenient.” – a cover featuring a robot

22nd November – A cover that is Futuristic

29th November – “When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.” – a cover that is 60s sci fi

6th December – Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by this sun of York”  – a cover that puts you in mind of winter

13th December – A cover that features a temple/or religious icon

20th December – Longest Night –  a dark and foreboding cover

27th December – the festive season – a cover that is glittery or sparkling

(2020 – January is Vintage SciFi month so I’ll be including possible themes to take that on board.)

Throwback Thursday : The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs

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(May is the month of Wyrd and Wonder – details here, Twitter: @wyrdandwonder)

ThrowbackThursday.pngThrowback Thursday, is a new feature created by Tenacious Reader with the aim of  highlighting books from your reading past. This can be virtually anything, a book that you previously read and loved, a book that you want to highlight again, maybe it’s a book in a series and the next book is due out shortly so you want to focus some attention on the series.   Anything goes – so long as your book isn’t a current release as there are already plenty of ways to highlight the latest books.  

Given the Wyrd & Wonder event and the spotlight on fantasy this week I’m highlighting another urban fantasy series that I love (last week’s TT was the October Daye series): the Mercy Thompson series of books by Patricia Briggs.  This is another long standing series that has a new book released today and with that new release the total number of books in the series now stands at 11 titles.  This is a series that is well worth picking up, particularly if you like a strong female lead.  Mercy is a no-nonsense car mechanic with a Native American heritage that has given her the ability to shape shift.   Again, this might seem like a daunting backlog of books but it’s the sort of series that pulls you in so successfully that you will probably end up binge reading a lot of them (at least that’s what I would probably do!).  I  highly recommend this series, it builds on a strong foundation and adds more and more depth with each successive book.  Feast your eyes on these lovelies:

And, released today, the latest in series:

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