Twittering Tales: Reality

Twittering Tales challenge is hosted by Kat Myrman. The goal is to write a twitter-length story, in 140 characters or less. You can see the challenge HERE.

I’ve missed quite a few of these challenges, I know. But I still love them, and I’m happy to be back! πŸ™‚

Reality

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Not real, they said.
But when she ran, shadows followed.
Then path became a broken bridge.
Abyss underneath, not as scary as her illusions.

(138 characters)

Currently Reading: The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie

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β€œLifeβ€”the way it really isβ€”is a battle not between good and bad, but between bad and worse”
― Joseph Brodsky

I’ve just reached the end of Before They Are Hanged, the second book in this trilogy. Overall, I really like this series, and I can’t wait to see what the finale brings!

There’s a lot to like about this series. The writing is slow-paced, which I think is a good thing. Instead of writing many fight scenes, the author really focuses on the characters – and they are all amazing and interesting. The narration is third person subjective, and we are given the story through the perspective of several characters, all of them unique.Β This doesn’t mean the plot is boring, not at all. There is figthing. And spirits, magic, strange creatures, torture. There’s mystery and problems to solve.

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The characters are, in my opinion, the greatest asset of this book. They are unpredictable, flawed, and very real. All of them have their own story, their own personality, and very different motivations. Neither of them is perfect, but they aren’t evil either.

Logen Ninefingers is a notorious man, perceived by many as a savage – and with a good reason. And yet, there is certain kindness and innocence about him. Sometimes, he gives very good advice, which proves he’s actually quite clever.

“Doing better next time. That’s what life is.”

– Logen in Before They Are Hanged

Jezal Luthar seems like a perfect knight. But he is vain, sometimes almost stupid. And yet, strangely likeable.

Bayaz is a wizard. The most famous one. Wise, yes, and powerful, but there’s also something dark about him.

Glokta in an Inquisitor. A torturer. He grew cruel and bitter after the painful events that had made him a cripple. But he is also smart and his snarky comments are, in my opinion, the best part of the book.

“Every man has his excuses, and the more vile the man becomes, the more touching the story has to be. What is my story now, I wonder?”

– Glokta in The Blade Itself

Ferro is a wild woman whose only purpose in life is revenge. She trusts no one. She shows kindness to no one. But there’s much more to her than what meets the eye.

There are many more interesting characters in this book, all of them layered and well-developed. All with a story to tell. What more to say? This is an amazing fantasy series, and though I’m not finished reading it yet, I think I can recommend it to all fantasy lovers.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?


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Infinite Loop (A Short Story from the Underword)

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I died.

It just happened. And in such a stupid way. If I weren’t dead, I’d be angry with myself. To fall off a cliff… Who does that?

On the positive side, once you’re dead nothing matters anymore. Some feelings are left, some memories from the past, some emotions that were strong while you were alive. I’m a spirit now, a shadow of myself, but I am still me. It’s hard to explain it to the living, so I’ll leave it at that.

It all happened just like they said it would. I appeared next to a wide river, a river so long I could not see its end. I was greeted by a boatman. Well, actually, he just gave me a small nod. He didn’t welcome me or call out my name. I realized I had a golden coin in my hand, and I handed it to him. He then helped me climb into the boat.

“It’s strange,” I said.

“What’s strange?” I was surprised that the boatman actually replied.

“It’s all happening just the way I though it would.”

“Well, I don’t see why it’s strange then.”

“I didn’t expect it to happen the way I expected it to happen,” I tried to explain. I guess I’m quite bad at explaining things.

The boatman said nothing. He must’ve thought I was a complete fool. Before I had the time to feel embarrassed, the ride was over. It was impossible we’d already reached the other side, but this was the Underworld. You can expect everything. I had passed to the other side, and I wasn’t bothered by such questions anymore. My only desire was to be given a place to live, my own little piece of eternity.

“Oh, not again!” the boatman suddenly gave a loud sigh. In that moment, he almost looked like your average mortal.

I looked ahead and saw a young woman approaching the river bank.

“I will come for you, my love!” she shouted into the void.

“I know, my love!” even I, being dead and all, was surprised to hear a voice respond to her from the mist.

“Stupid young people,” the boatman grumbled.

“What is going on?” I asked.

“These two stupid lovebirds are really making a mess here. I don’t know why the Mistress allows it. I think she finds it funny. Well, it stopped being funny after the first forty-two times!” he screamed into the mist.

“What are they doing?” I wanted to know.

“Well, he promised her that, if she died before him, he would go to the Underworld and beg the Master and the Mistress to let her live. He would take her place. And she promised she would do the same. Stupid young people. They swore an oath to each other. They never realized it lead to an infinite loop.”

“Infinite loop?”

“You aren’t too bright yourself, are you? Well, he was the first to die. Killed in a war. And she did what she’d promised. She pleaded the gods to let him live and take her instead. They had better things to do than deal with their nonsense, so they accepted. They cared only for the number of souls, not who those souls belonged to. But, you see, now she was dead, and he was alive. So, to honour his oath, he had to come back and take her place. And then he was dead and she came here again… You understand?”

“That’s quite stupid,” I had to admit.

“Well, at least we see each other in passing,” the girl hissed at me and took her place in the boat.

The boatman shrugged in resignation and went to do his job.

I felt like laughing, but I didn’t. Everything was paler now, even my amusement. Still, I knew, I would like my new home.


A silly story. Hope you like it anyway. XD

Currently Reading: The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

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I said in one of my previous posts that I wanted to talk more about my current reads. So, I decided to start writing short posts such as this one in which I’m going to tell you a little bit about the book I’m reading, share some of my thoughts on it, and maybe share an interesting quote. Hope you’ll like them!

The book I’m currently reading is The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood. It’s a well-known book, I think, so most of you probably know what it’s about.

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In this novella (I’d say it’s a novella since it’s only 198 pages long), Atwood allows Penelope, Odysseus’s wife, to tell her own story. Penelope talks about the events from The Illiad and The Oddysey from her own point of view. She shares her thoughts and feelings in a manner which seems very sincere. This Penelope is not just a loyal wife who waits her her husband – she actually hates that this is how she is remembered. The prose is raw, clever, and ruthless.

The very first paragraph really caught my attention, and I think it really shows what this book is about. So, I’ll leave you with this paragraph, and hopefully it will make you want to read the book. πŸ™‚

Now that I’m dead I know everything. This is what I wished would happen, but like so many of my wishes it failed to come true. I know only a few factoids that I didn’t know before. Death is much too high a price to pay for the satisfaction of curiosity, needless to say.

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Unlikable Protagonists

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Top 5 Wednesday is hosted by Samatha at Thoughts on Tomes. The guidelines and topics can be found on theΒ Goodreads group.


“People always tear down “unlikeable” protagonists. But tell us the ones you pulled for!”

When I saw this topic I was very excited. I love talking about flawed characters. But, then, I realized it’s actually hard to find 5 unlikeable protagonists that I love. :O This is what I came up with in the end:

1. Catherine Earnshaw (Wuthering Heights)

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I don’t think Cathy is unlikeable, but many people hate her, and I can understand why. Well, not completely… Did she make mistakes? Yes. Is she a horrible human being? No, I don’t think so. I think she was just very unhappy, and I felt sorry for her. And I liked her very much.

2. Rorschach (Watchmen)

Is Rorcharch a bad person? Absolutely. And yet, I found him very interesting and I felt really sorry for him. Having a horrible life doesn’t justify being horrible to other people, but despite being brutal, Rorschach did possess certain (questionable) ideals, and he followed them no matter what.

3. Carmilla (Carmilla)

She’s a vampire, a blood-sucking monster. But what can I say, I love vampires. XD And I actually think Carmilla kind of liked Laura. Who knows? We never heard her side of the story.

4. Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles)

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This is a cheat, because everyone likes Lestat. He did some bad things though, and you couldn’t call him a likeable person, um, I mean vampire. XD But I love him, and I love whiny Louis as well.

5. Severus Snape (Harry Potter Series)

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Snape is not exactly a protagonist, but I think he fits the theme well. Though many people love him, he’s not a really nice person. I completely understand people who hate Snape, and I agree with them. Yes, some bad things happened too him, but that doesn’t justify the way he acted towards Harry, Neville, and other students. Also, he was a Deatheater. However, I found him intriguing, and I have to admit I was happy that in the end he did something heroic. At that point, I kind of rooted for him, though I hate to admit it…

That’s it! Now, are there any character you like, though you feel that you should hate them? XD

 

This or That Book Tag

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Lovely Chelsea @spotlightonstories tagged me to do this fun tag – thank you so much! ❀ You can read her post HERE. Now, let’s begin!

Rules:

  • Mention the creator of the tag (Ayunda @ Tea and Paperbacks)
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you.
  • Choose one of the options, you don’t have to tell the reasons why you chose that but you can also do them if you want to.
  • Tag other people to do thisΒ tagΒ to spread the love!

This or That?

Reading on the couch or on the bed?
On the bed. I usually read on my bed, in my room. It’s peaceful and cozy. πŸ™‚

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Male main character or female main character?

I don’t really care, as long as the character is interesting. Both work fine for me.

Sweet snacks or salty snacks?
Definitely sweet snacks! Cookies are my favourite kind of snack.

Trilogies or quartets?
To be completely honest – stand alones! When it comes to series, I don’t have a preference, but I’ve never liked a series with too many books so far. It usually gets repetitive, with unnecessary twists.

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First person POV or third POV?
Again, I have to say I like both. It really depends on the writing style.

Reading at night or in the morning?
I mostly read at night, before going to bed. However, any time of the day is great if I have the time. πŸ™‚

Libraries or bookstores?
I have a big problem with both here, in Croatia. OK, maybe the capital of the country, Zagreb, has better bookstores and libraries, but here in Split they are pretty horrible. Especially since I don’t like reading the Croatian translations of books that are originally written in English. But in an ideal world, I still wouldn’t be able to choose… I’d love both!

Books that make you laugh or books that make you cry?
Books that make me cry. Definitely. Yeah, I’m not a very fun person… XD

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Black book covers or white covers?
Black everything! πŸ˜‰

Character driven or plot driven?
Character driven. If characters are flat and boring, I won’t enjoy the book and not even the most interesting plot would save it. Also, I don’t like very fast paced books. In my opinion, those books lack depth, and I really want to feel something while I’m reading.

I guess that’s it! If anyone wants to do the tag, just say so, because I really don’t know who to tag. I feel like I’ve been tagging the same people all the time…

Mid-Year Bookish Freak Out!

I really, really wanted to do this tag. It’s always nice to look back on the books you’ve read. So, though I wasn’t tagged, I decided to share with you some thoughts about the books I’ve read so far. Here go the questions:

1. Best book you’ve read in 2017 so far

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The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I can’t believe I’ve waited so long to read it… And now I really want to watch the series, too.

Another both wonderful (though also horrifying) book I want to mention is Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. Even if you’re not a vegetarian/vegan and you don’t even want to be one, I think you’d appreciate reading this book. It reveals all the horrors of factory farms – and they go beyong animal cruelty (as if that’s not horrible enough). I wrote a big post about this book, a sort-of summary, so you can read that if you want to know more about it.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017

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I’ve read the last two books in Tales of the Ketty Jay series this year, and they’re just as good as the first two. So much fun! And I don’t really like fast-paced books, but this series manages to be both fun and action-packed and feature some interesting, fleshed-out characters. Every single character has his/her own story and personality, and I fell in love with them, despite all of their flaws.

3. New release that you haven’t read but want to

Definitely A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. I can’t wait to read it!

4. Most anticipated releases for the other half of the year

I’m actually not expecting a new release… I mostly read old books. XD

5. Biggest disappointment

Verland: The Transformation by B.E. Scully. It’s a vampire novel, and I’ve been searching for a while for a good vampire novel. This one, sadly, didn’t meet my expectations, though I really thought I would like it. It even has some good reviews on Goodreads.

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6. Biggest surprise

I did manage to find a good vampire novel! Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin is really great! It’s set in the 1850s, in the American South, and it’s quite different from other vampire novels I’ve read. However, it’s innovative in a way that doesn’s entirely turn its back on old, well-known vampire fiction. It’s my first novel by Martin, so I didn’t know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.

7. Favourite new author (debute or new to you)

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Maaaybe Marie Brennan. I’ve just finished Memoirs of Lady Trent series today, and I immediately googled the author to find out what else she’s written. I was actually thinking about puttting this series as the answer to the 2nd question, but I liked the first few books a bit more than the last two so I decided not to. Despite that, this series is amazing and I would recommed it to everyone who would like to study dragons. I sure would! πŸ˜‰

8. Newest fictional crush

I don’t have one…

9. Newest favourite character

Lady Isabella Trent and Natalie Oscott from the Memoirs of Lady Trent. They are both smart and brave women who oppose the patriarchal society they live in and follow their dreams.

10. Book that made you cry

I rarely cry, but The Princes Diarist by Carrie Fisher really made me sad… And it was also funny at times. Carrie Fisher was such an amazing person.

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11. Book that made you happy

Reading a good book always makes me happy, though I don’t read very happy books. XD

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far (or received)

Just look at those books in the answer to the 7th question. They are gorgeous and I love them! Those dragons! ❀

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

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I don’t need to do anything! XD Jokes aside, I want to read The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie and The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood. Probably some other books by Atwood, too.

And that’s it. So, what are your favourites of this year so far? πŸ™‚