Monday, March 18, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.

I haven't done of these this year for the simple reason that I haven't read many books. That doesn't mean I haven't been reading though - it just means I've read one very long book. This is my books so far this year:

Inspired by the movie I read The Hobbit in December, and decided to embark on a reread of The Lord of the Rings (in Norwegian) while I was still in the mood. It took me all of January and February to get through it, but I finally finished all 1000+ pages. It may have taken me two months, but it's still a lot quicker than the first time I read it 10 years ago, when I spent nearly one and a half years on it (reading other books in between, of course). I think I enjoyed it more this time around, and it didn't feel nearly as slow as I remembered. I'm happy I took the time to read it again.

After the brick I needed something light so I read The Magic Mirror and the Seventh Dwarf by Tia Nevitt (my review), which is a clever retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. On a whim, and because it had been collecting dust in my bookcase for far too long, I also picked up Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones. It's the first book by her I've read but it won't be the last.

I hardly ever buy a book with the intention of reading it straight away, but I did yesterday with the Kindle edition of Down and Dirty by Christine Bell. I had been struggling with deciding what to read next and I knew this one would be a hot nice and quick read.

Like I said I've been having a hard time deciding on a new read since finishing LOTR. It's stupid really; I have hundreds of unread books but I can't find one that interests me enough to pick it up. Perhaps you have any suggestions? I'm looking for something not too heavy that will grab me from the first few pages.

What are you reading this week?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Thoughts on Her Majesty's Will

Her Majesty's Will
By David Blixt

First published: 23 April 2012 by Sordelet Ink

Read: 18 May – 9 June 2012
E-ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads | Amazon

Before he was famous, he was a fugitive. 
Before he wrote of humanity, he lived it. Before he was the Bard of Avon, he was a spy.

A very poor spy.

England, 1586. Swept up in the skirts of a mysterious stranger, Will Shakespeare becomes entangled in a deadly and hilarious misadventure as he accidentally uncovers the Babington Plot, an attempt to murder Queen Elizabeth herself. Aided by the mercurial wit of Kit Marlowe, Will enters London for the first time, chased by rebels, spies, his own government, his past, and a bear. 

Through it all he demonstrates his loyalty and genius, proving himself to be - HER MAJESTY'S WILL. (Goodreads)

My thoughts

This book got off to a slow start for me. I have to admit that I was close to putting it aside thinking it wasn't for me, but as it was a review book I decided to give it a few more pages. I'm very happy I persevered, because once the story got going, it hit the ground running.

I think the main reason I had trouble getting into it at first, was the old-fashioned language. English isn't my first language and it took me a while to get used to the style. When I got past the initial barrier it didn't bother me anymore. Reading it on my Kindle where I quickly could look up words I didn't know, also made it easier. The writing is littered with puns and alliteration and Shekespearian references, which made it all the more interesting. Like this:

"Near is as good as," scowled Sir Oliver. "If a man be in the cowpie or near the cowpie, he smells it all the same, I daresay! Don't you daresay? Who dares not to say?"

"...the burly bristling brute bent his brain to the paper."

Ultimately this book was good old-fashioned fun. Kit is a marvellous character and my favourite; easy-going, witty, a scoundrel and a con artist. Will is more cautious by nature, but quickly finds himself drawn to Kit and his schemes. Their relationship develops into a great friendship as they take it upon themselves to uncover the conspiracy to murder the queen.

Bottom line: A delightful romp featuring well-known characters that will leave you turning pages long into the night.
My rating:

David Blixt online: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thoughts on The Magic Mirror and the Seventh Dwarf

The Magic Mirror and the Seventh Dwarf
By Tia Nevitt

First published: 18 February 2013 by Carina Press
Series: Accidental Enchantments #2

Read: 15-19 Februrary 2013
E-arc received from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads | Amazon

Prince Richard is cursed. Enslaved to a magic mirror, he must truthfully answer the evil queen when she uses it to call on him. To keep from betraying innocents, Richard wanders the countryside and avoids people.

All her life, Gretchen has been teased for being small. When she hears of a hidden farm populated by little people like her, she sets out to find it—and is welcomed by the mostly male inhabitants. Lars in particular woos her with his gentle kindness and quiet strength.

Danger looms when Gretchen meets a runaway princess and offers her shelter at the Little Farm. Wandering nearby, Richard instantly falls in love with the beautiful princess, and is later compelled to tell the queen that she is not the fairest of them all. Enraged, the queen vows to find them and destroy them.

If either Gretchen or Richard are to have their happy endings, they must team up to break the mirror's spell before the queen kills them all… (Goodreads)

My thoughts

"Richard ran."

So begins this retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and those two words were all it took to get me hooked. We are thrown straight into the story where Prince Richard, slave of the Magic Mirror, is trying to escape from always having to tell the Queen the truth. I instantly liked Richard and unlike most fairy tale princes, his character develops throughout the story, making me like him even more.

We are then introduced to Gretchen, a dwarf in her late twenties who all her life has been bullied because of her size. When she hears about a farm where there are other people like her, she decides to leave her home to find it, because she wants to be with people like herself. Gretchen is a very interesting character; strong and independent, but kind and selfless despite having met so much hostility from other people. She doesn't want a husband as much as she wants somewhere to belong. "I'm not looking for love, Mother," she says before leaving. "Just someone who will accept me. Maybe love will come in time." If I wasn't already rooting for her, I certainly was from that point on.

Naturally there is also the brave and beautiful princess and the evil queen, as well as many other elements you will recognise from the original fairy tale of Snow White. Tia Nevitt weaves it all together in a refreshing and surprising way and I was never once bored (like I always am with the original story - even the Disney film). Now, this is a fairy tale and that does of course mean we all know how it's going to end. But the journey towards that ending is quite different from what you'd expect and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

My rating:

The Accidental Enchantment Series

  1. The Sevenfold Spell (2010)
  2. The Magic Mirror and the Seventh Dwarf (2013)

Author online: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Series I'd Like To Start

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature / weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we make a top ten list from a given topic.

This week's topic is

Top Ten Series I Would Like To Start

I tend to start far too many series and never finish them, so what's ten more, eh? ;)

1) A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
I really want to watch the TV series Game of Thrones, but I'm weird and won't watch anything based on books until I've read the book first. I own the first book in the series so I should just get reading. But it's long and a bit intimidating and I just finished rereading The Lord of the Rings so I'm afraid I won't be picking up A Game of Thrones just yet. Thinking about it, this is true for many of the series on this list.

2) Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
I've wanted to start this series for years, ever since I almost bought book 6 without realising it was part of a series.

3) All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness
A friend keeps reccommending this to me, and from what I've heard it sounds like it would be right up my alley.

4) Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles series by Tess Gerritsen
Another book series I want to read before watching the TV series.

5) Cotton Malone series by Steve Berry
Turns out I've accumulated quite a few books by Steve Berry because they sound like great thrillers, but I've never actually read any of them.

6) Wyatt series by Garry Disher
What can I say, I love con artists. Plus, this one is Australian.

7) Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
With the movie coming out this year I'd love to read this series.

8) Michael St Pierre series by Richard Doetsch
Another thriller series that sounds really good.

9) Courts of the Feyre by Mike Shevdon
I bought the first book when I was in Australia 4 years ago so my copy has travelled half-way across the world - I should read it for that reason alone.

10) Kingkiller Chronicle series by Patrick Rothfuss
I've heard so many good things about this series and I just really want to read it.

So tell me, which series would you like to read?

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