TTT: Favourite Friendships

TTT-Big2 (1)
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.This weeks topic is favourite friendships. I think this has to be one of my favourite topics – who doesn’t love literary friendships? I’m just going to get straight into it.


  • Locke and Jean from the Gentleman Bastard sequence by Scott Lynch
  • Shardlake and Barak from the Shardlake series by C. J. Sansom
  • Cadvan and Saliman from the Pellinor series by Alison Croggon
  • Hadrian and Royce from the Riyria Revelations series by Michael J. Sullivan
  • Darrow and Sevro from the Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown
  • Lirael and the Disreputable Dog from the Old Kingdom trilogy by Garth Nix
  • Sonea and Cerys from the Black Magicians trilogy by Trudi Canavan
  • Merry and Pippin from LOTR by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Elizabeth and Jane Bennett from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Sherlock and Watson from the Sherlock Holmes books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


It actually took me a while to come up with all of these. I started writing the post and my mind just went blank :). Anyway that’s it for today. I love friendships in books so I loved this topic. What are some of your favourite literary friendships? I’d also love to know whether you’ve read any of the books mentioned. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.






Bookish Gift Guide

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. As you can tell from the title, today I’m going to be sharing some bookish gift ideas. Christmas is coming and since this is a book blog it seemed appropriate to post a bookish gift guide. I think I did one of these the first year of my blog but I didn’t post one last year. I thought I’d get one out before we get to December starts so there is time before Christmas is here to source anything.  I am a massive fan of Christmas so I’m starting to get excited now. Anyway let’s get started.
  • Born to Ice / Paul Nicklen / this is an expensive one at £80 but I wanted to include it anyway because his photos are incredible and I’d love to have this book myself.
  • The Writer’s Map / Huw Lewis-Jones / if you love bookish maps then this is well worth a look. It contains essays on creating these worlds/maps as well as pictures of various maps.
  • The Penguin Classics Book / Henry Eliot / this one is basically a book about books and it looks like a great gift for any book lover.
  • Book sleeves / this is a great option for anyone who always has a book on them. The sleeve will protect your books while in your bag. Book Beau has great options and you can find loads on etsy.
  • Bookish posters / these are such a good gift option, especially if you get one related to a favourite book – for example, I love this poster which you can get on Red Bubble.
  • Maps from the etsy store, Land of Scrolls / these look so good and there are loads of options to choose from. My favourites include the Old Kingdoms map and the Middle Earth map.
  • Bookish clothes / there are a lot of different ones available. This sweatshirt is pretty accurate and this Pride and Prejudice t-shirt is another good option – both from etsy. There are a lot of options so you will definitely find something for you.
  • Folio Society edition / these are beautiful editions and make an amazing gift for any book lover.
  • An illustrated edition / again this makes a great gift if you find one of their favourite books. I got an illustrated edition of Watership Down a few Christmases ago and I love it.
  • Other ideas: bookmarks, subscription to a bookish box, a signed edition of a favourite book, a box set, bookish mugs, bookish totes or a bookish gift card.
That’s it for today. I hope it’s been helpful – I know I’m always looking for gift inspiration. These are just some ideas for you guys. Christmas is my favourite holiday so I’m pretty excited it’s that time of year once again. Do you guys love this time of year too? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

The Faithful and the Fallen series / John Gwynne

Title / Malice, Valour, Ruin and Wrath
Author / John Gwynne
Publication Date / 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016
Genre / Fantasy
Series or standalone / 4 book series
Page no. / 646, 648, 800 and 736
Star Rating / ★★★★.5

This is a four book epic fantasy series set in the fictional world of the Banished Land. The first book, Malice, was Gwynne’s debut novel. Each book is written using multiple perspectives, although we mainly follow the events centred around one of the main characters, Corban. I will not be going into detail on the plot because I don’t want to spoil anything. 

In terms of the plot, these books will keep you on your toes. There are many twists and turns that keep each book engaging and the pacing maintains the flow the story really well. The plot is compelling throughout and I loved every second of reading these books. The action scenes are another strength in this series. Moving onto the world building. The Banished Land is a wonderfully written fantasy world with interesting history and cultures. It was great to be able to see various parts of this world throughout the four books. The Faithful and the Fallen series is epic in scale and so enjoyable to read. I cannot say enough good things about these four books. 

Overall this is a fantastic series and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s definitely one of my favourite series now. If you are looking for a new epic fantasy series to read, check these books out. A Time of Dread is the first book in a sequel series set 130 year after the events of Wrath and is also well worth a read. Seriously these books were so good. Have you guys read this series? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time. 


If you liked this… try this….

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I have part 2 of the if you liked this then you should try this recommendation post. I really enjoyed putting the first one together and you guys seemed to quite like it too. It actually takes me a while to put together these posts, because my mind goes blank when I come to write it :). Anyway. let’s get started.


If you liked the Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb then you may like the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss

These books both contain a classic coming of age fantasy story and are fantastic examples of the epic fantasy genre. Both series are character driven with a well written world and compelling plots. If you are a big reader of fantasy then both of these series are well worth checking out.


If you liked Twelve Kings by Bradley Beaulieu then you may like The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

Both are considered Silk Road fantasy and are fantastic introductions to their respective series. Each contains a wonderfully written and unique world, as well as compelling stories and incredible characters. These series are both unfinished but I’ve loved everything I’ve read so far of each series. I highly recommend both of these books.


If you liked The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood then you may like Circe by Madeleine Miller

These books give us a new look into a familiar Greek myth, Odyssey.  If you are interested in Greek mythology then both of these books are well worth a read. Each of these books are very well written and contain compelling stories.



That’s all I have for today. I am definitely planning on doing more of these posts, so keep an eye out in the future for them. Have you read any of these books? I’d love to know what you thought. I hope you guys are having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.








Li Du series / Elsa Hart

Title / Jade Dragon Mountain and The White Mirror
Author / Elsa Hart
Publication Date / 2015 and 2016
Genre / Mystery/Historical fiction
Series or standalone / Trilogy
Page no. / 368 and 320
Star Rating / ★★★.5


This is a mystery, historical fiction trilogy set in 18th century China. It follows Li Du, who was once a imperial librarian but is now in exile, as he unfolds the mysteries set in front of him. In book 1 he must unravel the facts behind the recent murder of an astronomer. As this is a series review, I will not go into details of the plot of either books.


The first thing that drew me to these books was the setting and I am happy to report that it didn’t disappoint. Hart has done a fantastic job at creating a vivid look into 18th century China. Now I don’t know a whole lot about this time period so I can’t comment on authenticity, but I will say that I was immersed in this world. It was such an interesting backdrop to each of the stories and it seems like Hart has spent quite a lot of time writing it. I loved that we got to explore more of the world in the sequel. Although I have not read the third book, I do know that Li Du has to return to Beijing, so I’m looking forward to seeing that setting. The writing is good in both books and I found it easy to settle into the flow of the story. Each book was quite a quick read for me because once I started reading I didn’t want to put the book down.


In terms of the plot, each of these books was compelling. The pacing is quite slow at times, but I think it was well suited to the story. The focus is more on collecting all of the facts and trying to figure it all out, rather than making this an action packed read. While I enjoyed both of these books, I personally liked the story of the second book a little bit more. For whatever reason I found it to be slightly more engaging. I also think that the second book felt more assured. Hart seems to have really settled into the flow of writing these stories and characters. Speaking of the characters, this trilogy contains a great cast of characters. Li Du is a fantastic protagonist and I’ve enjoyed his development through these two books. The other characters are also well written, if a little lacking at times. Overall though I really liked the cast of characters in both books and look forward to seeing how they progress in the third book. The ‘villains’ could perhaps be a little more fleshed out, but it’s only a minor complaint.


Overall this are enjoyable reads with a fantastic setting and interesting characters. The story continues in City of Ink which was released in August 2018. I will definitely be checking it out at some point in the near future. Have you read these books? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.






T5W: Books I Want To Before 2019

Top 5 Wednesday was originally created and run by Lainey aka gingerreadslainey (Youtube channel) but it is now being run by Sam aka Thoughts on tomes (Youtube channel). Each week there is a different topic. You can check out the groups Goodreads page here for any more information and the future topics. This week’s topic is books you want to read before 2019. I could put all the books currently sitting on my shelves unread but I’ll try to narrow it down to five books. Two of the books are 2019 ARCs I’m excited for and the other three are 2018 releases I’d like to read before the end of the year. Let’s get started.




It’s really not that long till the end of the year now, so I’m hoping to get to all of these books but we’ll see. I’m excited to get to all of these books though. Hopefully I won’t be distracted by other books or video games. I’ve actually managed to read the majority of 2018 book releases that I was excited for, so I’m pretty happy about that. What books do you want to get to before 2019? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.







Book Haul

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I’ve got a book haul to share with you all. I’ve been lucky enough to receive a couple of books from publishers and I’ve also picked up a few books myself, so it seemed like a good idea to post a book haul. Let’s get started.


ARCs sent to me:

The Winter of the Witch / book 3 of the Winternight trilogy / Katherine Arden 
From Ebury Publishing – I’ve loved the first two books in this trilogy so I am very excited to read this final sequel. If you haven’t checked out these books yet I highly recommend you do – each book has been so good and I have high hopes for this book too.


The Priory of the Orange Tree / Samantha Shannon / Bloomsbury Publishing
From Bloomsbury Publishing –  this is an epic fantasy book, and you guys know I love fantasy. I love the Bone Season series by the same author so I have high hopes for this book.



Books I picked up myself:

Hokusai: A Life in Drawing by Henri-Alexis Baatsch
For anyone curious, Hokusai is one of my all time favourite artists, so I’m always interested in books about him. This is a fantastic book. It showcases his work really well and I’ve loved flipping through it recently.


Bloody Rose / book 2 of the Band series / Nicholas Eames
I really enjoyed King of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames so I’m looking forward to reading more from him. I’ve heard great things about this sequel, which makes me even more excited to read it.


White Chrysanthemum / Mary Lynn Bracht
I picked this one up on a bit of a whim, because the synopsis sounds really good. I think it’s going to be quite a hard read due to the time period, but I think it’s also going to be interesting.


I am also about to start a distance learning course on the anatomy and physiology of dogs and cats, so I have a couple of books related to the course. First is Animal Biology and Care by Sue Dallas and Emily Jewell, and the second is Essentials of Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology by Victoria Aspinall.


Those are all the books I’ve picked up recently. I am so excited to get to The Winter of the Witch and The Priory of the Orange Tree. Thank you so much to the publishers for sending them my way. Of course, I will let you know my thoughts on each of these books once I’ve read them. Have you read any of these books? I’d love to know what you thought. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.