Currently Reading: Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

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I’m really happy with my book choices lately. Juliet Marillier’s Daughter of the Forest is amazing so far, and I believe it will be amazing ’till the very end.

This novel is a retelling of the fairy tale “The Seven Swans”, but it’s also so much more than that. It’s a story about six brothers and a sister, Sorcha, who will in the end have to save all of them. I believe this sentence from the Goodreads description portrays it perfectly:

Daughter of the Forest takes the reader to an Ireland on the edge where history and fairy tale meet.

The book has fantastical elements, but the magic feels so realistic that you almost don’t percieve it as something foreign or made up. It is also deeply rooted in Celtic folklore, and it speaks about the history of Ireland and Britain, where different nations lived, fought, and coexisted. At times it felt like reading historical fiction.

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One thing I’ve noticed, which may not be that important to everyone, but is very important to me, is the way this book deals with animals and nature. Respect which the characters show towards nature is very true to Celtic beliefs (I’m not an expert on this, but I’ve read about it quite a lot). It is stressed many time just how important nature is, and I think this is something we should hear more often. The villain of the story shows her true nature by doing bad things not only to people, but also to the plants. Animals are treated with respect. One of the brothers saves a dog, loyal Linn who appears all the time in the book (at least for now). Another brother saves a wounded owl, and cries as he lets her fly free. Sorcha doesn’t even eat animals, and I was so happy to read that, since it is not that common to have vegetarian characters.

I had not eaten flesh or fish since I was a small child, for I had always felt a closeness with other creatures that made my senses revolt at the very idea.

Then, there’s also her reason for not wearing shoes:

“I need no shoes, Father,” I said, hardly thinking. “My feet are tough, look,” and I raised one narrow, grubby foot to show him. “No need for some creature to die so I can be shod.”

I was so excited to read this, as I, too, don’t wear leather at all. And then, this book is also against war, and it makes it clear that people shouldn’t be judged by their nationality. So many good messages! This is what one of the brothers, Finbar, says to Sorcha:

“But there are two sides to every fight. It starts from something small, a chance remark, a gesture made lightly. It grows from there. Both sides can be unjust. Both can be cruel.”

Sorcha is kind and loving, but she’s also smart and she always speaks her mind. She knows how to make potions and is a very good healer. It isΒ clear that she is proud of who she is, and that she doesn’t want to change for anyone.

“Why should I be polished and improved like goods for sale? I might not even want to marry! And besides, I have many skills, I can read and write and play the flute and harp. Why should I change to please some man? If he doesn’t like me the way I am, then he can get some other girl for his wife.”

Of course, good messeages don’t necessarily make a good book, but this book IS good. It is interesting, thought not too fast-paced. It gives you time to get to know the characters, without being too descriptive or slow. I really hope it’ll stay this good until it’s finished.

Have you read Daughter of the Forest? Do you want to? Feel free to let me know. πŸ™‚


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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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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™‚

Top 5 Wednesday: Top SFF Books on My TBR

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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.


This week’s topic are fantasy and science fiction books, but the ones you haven’t read yet, but want to read SOON! There are much more than five SFF books I really want to read, but here are the six books that first came to mind so I guess I want to read them most. Yes, I said six. Five is not enough this time. πŸ˜‰

1. Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan

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I ordered this book recently and I can’t wait for it to arrive! I loved the first book in the series, A Natural History of Dragons, which you probably know since I’ve talked about it a lot. Lady Trent is a dragon naturalist, and that is basically my dream job. I have to read this, soon! Actually, I have to read all of these books. The last one comes out in a month or so. πŸ™‚

2. Royal Assasin by Robin Hobb

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I’ve recently read the first book in the Farseer Trilogy, Assasin’s Apprentice and I can’t wait to continue with the series. I really like the main character, Fitz, the world, and I want to learn more about the Fool!

3.Β TheΒ Long Way to a Small, Angry PlanetΒ by Becky Chambers

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I’ve heard great things about this book. It’s supposed to be a very character driven science fiction/ space opera with aliens – which sounds amazing. My boyfriend actually bought a copy recently, so I’ll borrow it from him. Soon, of course. πŸ˜‰

4. Company of LiarsΒ by Karen Maitland

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I don’t know much about this book, but it is set in the Middle Ages and has some magical elements, so it’s a combination of historical fiction and fantasy. I’m a bit obsessed with the Middle Ages, so this is a must-read for me.

5. The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell

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This is the first book in Bernard Cornwell’s series about King Arthur, and as a huge fan of Arthurian legends I need to read it! Also, I kind of want these covers… They are so pretty. (Yes, you shouldn’t judge the book by the cover, but just look at them!)

6. Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

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This is an epic fantasy book, also a first in the series which is often classified as dark fantasy. It’s supposed to be very, very violent and gritty, and that kind of draws me to it… I’m probably crazy. XD But I think dark and violent books can be great if done well. That’s why I can’t help being intrigued by this one.

Have you read any of these? Did you like them?

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy Books

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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.


In collaboration with the BooktubeSFF Awards, this week’s topic is to talk about your favorite science fiction and fantasy books of all time. I was hard to choose just five, but here are my picks. Also, I mostly like the not-that-traditional approaches to both fantasy and science fiction so these might not be exactly what you are expecting. Still, I think they fit the category:

1. Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

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Terry Pratchett is amazing, and I love his Discword series, though I have many more books to read from it. Small Gods is my favourite so far, and it is one of the books in Discworld series that can be read as a standalone. It’s both fantasy and satire, with Pratchett’s incredible wit and humour.

2. Tales of the Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding

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The Ketty Jay is a flying steamship, and her crew are pirates. Well, sort of. This book is part steampunk, part fantasy, part science fiction, but mostly adventure and fun! I love it, and the characters are amazing, deeply flawed but still lovable.

3. Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

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This is a very unique book. It’s a retelling of several tales from the Russian folkore, all put into one strange but beautiful story which tackles many different themes. This book is hard to describe, but I found it incredibly interesting, and Valente’s writing is great.

4. Β A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

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In this book, the main character, Lady Trent, basically lives my dream. She goes on an expedition to study dragons. The way in which dragons are portayed here is exactly how I imagine and like them – they are intelligent, magnificent animals. They are not evil (I really don’t like when dragons represent evil and have to be slain), nor do they speak human language. They are just a part of the world, living their own lives in their own way.

P.S. The gif is from Pete’s Dragon, a wonderful Disney movie that made me cry.

5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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Yes, I know what you are thinking: Do you have to include Frankenstein in every list you make?! Well, I guess I do. Come on, this is the book that started science fiction! How can I not include it? Also, it’s perfect.

Honourable mention:Β Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab

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This series is a honourable mention because I still haven’t read The Conjuring of Light, but I can’t wait to! Shades of Magic took me by surprise – I liked it more than I thought I would. I think what I liked most are the characters, and the unique world. Vicious is another amazing book from this author, which combines science fiction and superheroes, and deals with the notion of good and evil. Highly recommend that one, too.

Another honourable mention: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Not in the top five only because I think everyone’s heard of it and it does not need introduction. However, this book is a gem! It plays and jokes around with fantasy themes, the characters are more than memorable,Β and it’s really a fun story.

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This was a great topic, so you have to forgive me for mentioning more than five books. πŸ˜‰ Can’t wait to read your posts, I really need more recommendations!

Happy blogging! πŸ™‚

Top 5 Wednesday: Fictional Jobs I’d Want to Have

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


This week’s topic, as the title says, is to choose five fictional careers you’d want to have. This one was a bit hard for me, since there are not many truly fictional careers in the books I’ve read. In the end, this is what I came up with:

1. Magizoologist (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)

Do I even have to explain this? Studying magical creatures is the best! Also, this means I’d be a witch, and that’s something I really want to be. πŸ˜‰

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2. Dragon naturalist (A Natural History of Dragons)

This career is similar to the previous one. In the book, Lady Trent goes on an expedition to study dragons. I love dragons, and I would love to do the same!

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3. A member of the Ketty Jay crew (Tales of the Ketty Jay series)

An airship pirate? Count me in! Yes, the characters of this series get in a lot of trouble, and the captain doesn’t always know what he’s doing, but as the story progresses they really become one big family. And everyone is crazy in their own way. XD

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4. Digidestined (Digimon)

I’m not sure if this can be considered a job, but Digidestined are children chosen to travel to the Digital World and raise their Digimon. Together, they fight the evil Digimon that threaten the Digital World. I loved Digimon when I was a kid, more than Pokemon. It had a better and more complex story, and I was never really comfortable with the idea of Pokemon fighting one another for no apparent reason… Anyway, I’d love to have a Digimon friend. πŸ™‚

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5. Antari (Shades of Magic series)

Not really a career either, but Antaris who have the rare ability to travel between different worlds are often “employed” by the rulers of Londons to carry their messages. Now, I have to be careful with this one, because it’s dangerous. I have to admit I’m not quite sure if I really want this, but I do love magic and the idea of travellingΒ between worlds is a very appealing one. To be honest, I didn’t know what to put as my last pick, it was between this and being a superhero but “with great power comes great responsibility” and I’m not sure if I want that kind of pressure. XD

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So, those are my picks. What do you think, would you like to have one of these jobs?

Colours of Good Morning

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It was time for school, and the boy left his home with the bag on his shoulders. The boy. That’s how he came to think of himself. Yes, he had a name, and not a bad one, but not everyone knew it. As he walked through the farmer’s market each day, people would call after him. And they called him boy.

“Hey, boy, do you want some sweet strawberries?”
“Little boy, a few lovely apricots to take to school!”
“Come, boy, buy an apple! You now what they say about apples and doctors!”

The word started to sound right to him, though a bit disheartening. That was what he was. A boy. Just a boy. A nobody. Most people were nobodies, pretending to be somebodies by wearing a name. Only a few really became more than what the people in the market place called them. The rest – just numerous boys, girls, ladies and sirs.Β The boy wanted more than that. He hated monotony. He yearned for something exciting, something new, something magical. As he passed through the market, it seemed painfully dull to him, despite all the orange apricots, red apples, yellow lemons and green cucumbers. Colours were nothing in comparison to what he hoped for. He dreamed of dragons, fairies, and evil forces that had to be defeated. He wished to be a hero, brave and kind, loved by all.

Suddenly, an old man caught his attention. The man was wearing dirty, shapeless clothes, and begging for some money. He seemed completely grey, standing not so far from the colourful market. Some people passed by, but no one seemed to notice him.
The boy had nothing in his pockets. He wanted to become a hero, but now, he couldn’t even give some change to the poor old man. He felt embarrassed.

Well, the boy thought, Β I may have no money, but at least I’ll show him that I see him. I will show him that I care.

With the widest, kindest smile, the boy turned to face the old beggar.
“Good morning!” he greeted him.
The old man raised his eyes, and the boy saw that he was smiling. The lines on his face started to fade. The old beggar jumped from joy, but when his feet touched the ground, he wasn’t an old man in rags anymore. His clothes were clean and white, and on his now golden hair proudly stood a royal crown.
“Magic!” the boy gasped.

A single “good morning” turned the beggar into a prince.