Getting Excited About Spinning Silver

This news is a little bit older by now, but I’m super hyped about Naomi Novik’s upcoming novel Spinning Silver. It’s inspired by Rumpelstiltskin and is supposed to come out July 10th of this year. Her previous fairy-tale inspired novel, Uprooted, was an instant favorite of mine and I can’t recommend it enough. Not to mention just look at these covers!!!

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“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

———

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Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders… but her father isn’t a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife’s dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty–until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers’ pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed–and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.

But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it’s worth–especially when her fate becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand.

———

I’m planning on reading her other series Temeraire sometime this year too so if you’ve read it I’d love to know what you think of it! Rather than a fairy-tale retelling its an alternate history series with dragons (my ultimate weakness). You can check out the first one, His Majesty’s Dragon, here on Goodreads

You can read an excerpt of the new novel here on the Verge! Let me know what you think! I’ve read it and I’m already quite obsessed.

 

 

 

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5 Great Webcomics

I don’t know how many of you read webcomics, but I completely adore them! Once you’re caught up on a series the new pages don’t take long to read so they’re great if you’re waiting for class to start or commuting somewhere. I love the illustrations too! Please note that none of these are finished yet. 

1. Spectra Spell by Lisa Harald

This is a very new comic so I can’t say much about it at this point, but I already love it. However one of the main characters is autistic and the other is a transgirl so I’m excited if only for that. There’s also quite a few strange things happening, including magic weird weather and strange creatures. The art is also very cute and professional in appearance. I hope that some of you try this one because I’d love to hear what you think of it!!! I love the others on the list as well of course but this one has quite a bit more diversity than the others which gives it an extra boost!

You can read it here

2. Rise From the Ashes by Madeleine Rosca

Winter is a ghost with an intense devotion to the house she haunts. Her house becomes damaged and she falls under the control of an organization called the Red Crows who control and use ghosts. She’s an interesting character with no real desire to help or stay with the Crows, just wanting to return to her house. There is also some mystery surrounding her past and what kind of person she was when she was alive, which I am very excited to find out!

Updates on Wednesdays

Read it on Webtoons

3. The Bane of the East by Martlas/jesterland

This one’s about witches and magic, which for me was an immediate draw. The main character, Belladona, is the daughter of a witch that was widely hated by everyone who struggles to perform magic herself.

This one doesn’t have as well defined of an update schedule as Rise From the Ashes but I still love it.

Read it on Webtoons

4. Monster Pulse by Magnolia Porter

Monster Pulse has lots of interesting characters. The main two are Bina and Julie, two kids who have one of their body parts transformed into a monster that continues working as the original body part did and protects them from harm. They become endangered by a shady organization that caused the monsters in the first place and do their best to keep their monsters secret and themselves safe from the organization, along with several other characters. It’s a very cute story and I enjoy the relationships that the monsters have with their humans and each other. I’m not caught up with it at the moment but if you’re interested there’s quite a bit to read (It was started in May of 2011 and most recently updated this Jan 18, 2018). The art and anatomy also evolves and gets better as the story progresses and I looking back at the beginning and seeing how it has improved.

Find it here

5. The Pigeon Gazette by Pigeoneer Jane

Unlike the other comics I’ve mentioned, this one is not story based so it’s very easy to read quickly. The author is very funny and all of the different panels are very unique and entertaining.

Read it on Tapas

 

Also check out Sarah’s Scribbles. It’s not one of the 5 because I think it’s quite a bit more well known than the others (at this point it’s won Goodreads Choice awards twice) with and you can also purchase it in print form.

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I’m Back! Also Brief Book Recommendations for Younger Readers

I’ve been inactive for quite a while longer than I ever intended! Partially because I started college a while back and got busy with classes and such. I’m determined to change that, so I’ll be posting once again very soon. Nice to see you all again! In the meantime here are a few books that I really enjoyed when I was younger. Since I’m quite a bit older than I was when I read most of these, I find it very interesting to consider how my taste in books has evolved and stayed the same.

 

1195044Title: Swordbird

Author: Nancy Yi Fan

Published: February 1st, 2007

Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads 

The blue jays and cardinals of Stone-Run Forest have turned against each other. According to legend, only Swordbird, son of the Great Spirit, has the power to conquer evil and restore peace to the land. But is he real or just a myth? Can Swordbird arrive in time to save the forest . . . or will it be too late?

Twelve-year-old author Nancy Yi Fan has woven a captivating tale about the birds of Stone-Run Forest and the heroism, courage, and resourcefulness in their quest for peace.

Why I liked it:

I can’t say that I remember everything about this book, but I do remember that it really inspired me. The author was only 12 when she wrote it so it made me feel encouraged to also continue writing. I think that all young writers should consider checking it out, especially if they like birds and adventure. Beyond that I loved the interactions of the birds and their quest all felt very engaging, and they were written with an undeniable passion. I can’t say for sure that I would love it as much now, but I think back on it fondly and plan to read it again at some point.

 

769483Title: Magyk

Author: Angie Sage

Published: May 11th, 2005

Rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads 

The first part of an enthralling new series leads readers on a fantastic journey filled with quirky characters, clever charms, potions and spells. Ages 9+.

The 7th son of the 7th son, aptly named Septimus Heap, is stolen the night he is born by a midwife who pronounces him dead. That same night, the baby’s father, Silas Heap, comes across a bundle in the snow containing a newborn girl with violet eyes. The Heaps take this helpless newborn into their home, name her Jenna, and raise her as their own. But who is this mysterious baby girl, and what really happened to their beloved son, Septimus?

The first part of this enthralling new series leads readers on a fantastic journey filled with quirky characters, clever charms, potions and spells, and a yearning to uncover the mystery at the heart of this story…who is Septimus Heap?

Angie Sage writes in the tradition of great British storytellers. Her inventive fantasy is filled with humor and heart: Magyk will have readers laughing and begging for more.

Why I liked it:

I loved the magic in this and I loved Septimus. The development of the plot and the characters kept a firm hold on me during the few years that it took me to read up to Syren (book 5 of 7) which is where I stopped. Even now I am still interested to see what will happen to the characters in the last two books, so this is another series that I will probably pick up again eventually paying no mind to its status as a middle grade book.

 

159069Title: A Wrinkle in Time

Author: Madeleine L’engle

Published: 1962

Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads 

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract”.

Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?

Why I liked it:

I’m sure that most people have heard of this one because its going to be a movie soon, but I already love it in its original form, though I do plan to watch it and it looks much much better than the 2003 adaptation (IMBD). The characters in this book are all quite wonderful. Meg is a likeable protagonist and her interactions with her love interest are very sweet and innocent. I really rooted for them to get together. Meg’s love for her younger brother Charles Wallace was also very sweet, and I adored their relationship even more than Meg and Calvin’s, which is saying a lot because I find that sibling relationships can easily seem forced or overdone, if their relationship is healthy at all. Aside from the relationships of the main characters I also loved the world building and the twists at the end. This is a middle grade book that adults and middle grade readers can both enjoy.

 

 

Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King

Title: Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future

Author: A.S King

Published: October 14th, 2014

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Goodreads 

In this masterpiece about freedom, feminism, and destiny, Printz Honor author A.S. King tells the epic story of a girl coping with devastating loss at long last–a girl who has no idea that the future needs her, and that the present needs her even more.

Graduating from high school is a time of limitless possibilities–but not for Glory, who has no plan for what’s next. Her mother committed suicide when Glory was only four years old, and she’s never stopped wondering if she will eventually go the same way…until a transformative night when she begins to experience an astonishing new power to see a person’s infinite past and future. From ancient ancestors to many generations forward, Glory is bombarded with visions–and what she sees ahead of her is terrifying: A tyrannical new leader raises an army. Women’s rights disappear. A violent second civil war breaks out. And young girls vanish daily, sold off or interned in camps. Glory makes it her mission to record everything she sees, hoping her notes will somehow make a difference. She may not see a future for herself, but she’ll do anything to make sure this one doesn’t come to pass.

Continue reading

I Recommend… Anne McCaffrey and The Harper Hall Trilogy

Those that know me well are likely aware that I love dragons. I read books about the creatures somewhat obsessively, as well as watch shows including them and collect objects involving them.

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But of course, I love some dragon books more than others, just as I favor some authors above others. And since I’ve recently reread the book for what must be the third or fourth time, it seems only natural that I speak about The Harper Hall Trilogy and Anne McCaffrey. These aren’t all of the books that McCaffrey has written, certainly not all of the ones about dragons, but I continue to find myself pulled back to them, the first two in particular. They aren’t even exactly about dragons, to be truthful, but the creatures that dragons came from. The main focus is on the fire lizards. What all dragons would have remained if the humans of Pern had not genetically engineered them to grow bigger and fight off the deadly Thread that falls from the planet’s Red Star on occasion. But these mini dragons are just as interesting to me as their larger and more highly focused on counterparts.

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My copy of the first book in the series is proof to that, as it has become largely mangled and torn from various rereadings as well as its age (it was published in 1976).

So why do I like it so much? The short answer would have to be the main character. Her name is Menolly and I love her. Menolly is a bit younger than most YA protagonists at fourteen, but this doesn’t stop her from being just as awesome as any of the more well known YA protagonists.

At the start of the novel Menolly lives with her family in the Sea Hold. This wouldn’t be much of a cause for trouble for most, but Yanus, Menolly’s father, makes everyone work with the fish and do other sea related chores, and sees music as pointless at best. Menolly prospers even among these conditions, and manages to leave the hold and Impress nine fire lizards. Basically I find her very impressive, especially since practically everyone in her original home is prejudiced against girls. I’ll leave it at that, so that anyone who wants to read Dragonsong can discover for themselves how she finds the lizards and survives without her hold. It really is amazing.