Hello fellow adventurers. I can’t believe tomorrow is the last day of May, and thus Wyrd & Wonder has come to an end. I’m pretty sad about that, but I’ve loved this first experience of mine so so much and can’t wait for the next one! I’m sure I’ll write a wrap-up post, so I’ll save the sentimentality for then, but I wanted the chance to look at some of the prompts I missed out on in the last two weeks. Over the last few months my husband and I have been in the process of buying an apartment, and I was not prepared for the way nothing happens for ages, until everything happens at once. On Monday 17th we got a call to say that people higher up in the buying chain are pushing for the completion date (aka moving day) to be the 28th May and even though it eventually got moved to June 2nd, I’ve been in a bit of a frenzy since then and haven’t had the chance to write as many blog posts or do instagram photos. Also, I’ve packed all my books, so I don’t exactly have a lot of material for pictures! But never fear, in a few weeks they’ll all be in their cosy new home and you’ll be sick of me showing off my shelves to you.
So with that little personal trivia behind us, here are our prompts –
19. ‘Who’s afraid of the suck fairy?’
The suck fairy visits old favourites and removes their sparkle, leaving you wondering what Past You ever saw in the book (or show, or movie) in question, or ones you’re avoiding a reread of to escape the Suck Fairy having its way. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit recently, because I’ve realise in rewatching some old favourite tv shows that they don’t quite hit the spot the way they used to. Mostly this happens with comedies (no, Friends, misogynistic jokes aren’t funny) but a few months ago I also started watching Lost with my sister and husband (third time round for me – though I’ve never actually finished it) and I don’t know if it was the fact that I was hearing other’s opinions alongside my own or if it’s just dated now, but it didn’t give me that same thrill.
With books, I think this happens a bit slower, and I don’t think I’ve had a moment when I’ve been reading something I’ve loved and started disliking it but there are definitely a few series I’m scared to reread. The first is The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, which has been a favourite since I was about 12, and I remember fondly my friends and I learnt some of the Ancient Language to write to one another in class. Then my brother got into it and so I got to share the love of it, but in the past year I’ve seen a few people dunking on it, and some of their points are very valid, so I’m scared that if I picked it back up that’s all I’ll be able to think. *sigh* The other is A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin because I’ve also reread that series about 3 times and always appreciate the detail and storytelling of it, but what with the end of the TV series (which I didn’t watch) and the drama that’s surrounded him lately, and the fact that we may never get the next damn book, I’m not exactly sure I want to dive back into Westeros.
20. Fantasy Creature on the Cover
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
This was hard, actually! Lately a lot of my reads with creatures on the cover haven’t actually been fantasy creatures, just animals! But I found one in the end, and it’s one of my favourite covers actually. So simple yet effective. Piranesi by Susanna Clarke is a very low fantasy story, and I’d highly recommend it!
21. Fantasy in Translation
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Another childhood favourite (though I’m not too worried about the suck fairy with this one just yet) this is originally written in German, and I actually read it first in Italian so for me it’s double translation! Hurrah for multilinguals who give us access to even more exciting things.
22. Get in the Sea
This was for Maritime Day, and I love any excuse to celebrate maritime fantasy, because I’ve read some great ones lately! I think the first fantasy I read that was mostly based at sea was Robin Hobb’s Liveship Traders Trilogy, and though I had mixed feelings about some of it, it’s stuck with me over the years (another to reread eventually) and is probably the reason I thought to pick up RJ Barker’s first book in the Tide Child Trilogy, The Bone Ships. Okay, I know I mention these books every blog post, but in this house we love and respect RJ Barker, because he’s absolutely phenomenal. Then there’s The Forever Sea by Joshua Phillip Johnson, which is set on a sea of prairie grass (mind blown) and Virginia McClain’s latest book Sairō’s Claw which has some great sailing sequences, a couple naval battles, and a charming smuggler.
23. Book Rainbow
I actually did this one over on Instagram! I used some recent middle-grade fantasy reads that I’ve enjoyed or am looking forward to reading! There are so many good middle grade books out, it’s amazing.
24. *How* long has that been on your shelf?
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
I’ve owned this book for at least 6 years, and at some point it got put in a drawer because of lack of space, and then eventually into a box in the shed, and only now have I revived it to prepare it to go onto a shelf in my new home. I had every intention of reading it when I bought it, but I’m sure I don’t need to tell anyone who may be reading this how things go…
25. #TropeTuesday: Chosen One
Another one I actually managed to do over on instagram. I talked about Rand al’Thor from The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, which is a series I’m in two minds about. I’ve read six of the fourteen books, and found that things are just happening too slowly, but at the same time I’ve come this far already so I might as well push on, right?
26. All the feels
The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec
Wow this book will take you for a ride. It’ll have you feeling warm and fuzzy, it’ll have you laugh at Loki’s antics and smile at the tenderness between him and Angrboda. It’ll have you frustrated, and angry at the gods, and sobbing on the stairs in the middle of the afternoon (or maybe that’s just me).
Taliesin by Stephen R. Lawhead
This is from the 80s, I believe, and it’s a series I’ve read over and over, and I always jump at the chance to show it a little love! Highly recommend it for a great mystic blend of Arthurian legend and Atlantic magic.
28. Off the Beaten Track
This prompt is to do with indie and small press reads, and I have to say that this year is the first I’ve actually heard of a lot of indie and self-published authors thanks to Twitter so for this prompt I’m going to mention a few that I’m very keen to read. Code of the Communer by Kai Greenwood, Forged in Shadow by Megan Haskell, The Iron Crown by L.L. MacRae, Last Memoria by Rachel Emma Shaw, Bloodsworn by Tej Turner, and Of Honey and Wildfires by Sarah Chorn. There are so many more, and I’m probably gonna try and make my way through some of the SPFBO finalists from the last few years and will be following this year’s one closely.
29. 5 ⭐ Fantasy Reads
Ah man, so many lately actually! I’ll try not to repeat some of my earlier answers but I’ll definitely be repeating things I’ve mentioned on the blog before. There’s just so much amazing stuff right now so most of these are books I’ve read this year: The Unbroken by C.L. Clark, For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten, Sistersong by Lucy Holland, The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri (I haven’t actually finished reading this one but I knew from the prologue that this was gonna be a 5* read for me). Oh, I just realised I chose all female authors which wasn’t intentional but women are on fire with their fantasy and I’m so glad they’re taking a bigger part of the marker! Okay, wait I’m supposed to do five word reviews for bonus points…
- The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon: dragons, complex characters, incredible worldbuilding.
- Uprooted by Naomi Novik: magical forest, angst, sexy wizard
- Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko: African, powerful woman, found family
- The Unbroken by C.L. Clark: colonial commentary, conflict, Touraine’s arms.
- Sistersong by Lucy Holland: gender dynamics, magical Britain, Keyne 💙
- For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten: twisted, angsty romance, magical forest (again)
- The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri: imperial, tragic lesbians, complex characters
And there you have it! I had a lot of fun putting this together (though probably spent far too much time on it) and, once again, I’ve loved taking part in Wyrd & Wonder and I’ve discovered other wonderful bloggers through it. Safe journey through the written word, fellow readers!