Bookish Academy Awards

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s the end of the year, which means it time for me to do the bookish academy awards tag. I’ve done this for the last couple of years and I think it’s a great way to round up the year of reading. There are 13 questions in this tag, all about the books you’ve read in the past 12 months. I apologise in advance for the repeat answers but I couldn’t help myself. Let’s get started.

Best Actor: (Best Male Protagonist)
I couldn’t pick just one, so the first is Shen Tai from Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay, and the second is Corban from the Faithful and the Fallen series by John Gwynne. Both of these characters are fantastic.


Best Actress: (Best Female Protagonist)

Sarine from the Ascension Cycle by David Mealing, Cywen from the Faithful and the Fallen series by John Gwynne and Elin from The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi.


Best Cinematography: (Best Plot Twist)
There are so many possibilities for this one but I’m going with the Fitz and the Fool trilogy by Robin Hobb. There were so many twists within this trilogy and while reading you never know what is going to happen next. It was such a fantastic trilogy. 

Best Costume Design: (Best Book Cover)
There were so many fantastic covers this year, I couldn’t choose just one. Instead I have six of my favourites to share with you guys. 

Best Supporting Actress and Actor ( Best Male and Female Sidekick)
For best female sidekick I would have to say Wei Song from Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay. She is such a fantastic character and I would love a book all about her. Sorry for using all the same books but for the male sidekick I’m going with Dath for the Faithful and the Fallen series – he’s just such a loyal friend, I had to include him.

Best Original Screenplay: (Most Unique Plot/World)
The first book that comes to mind is The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi. It is unlike anything I’ve read before and found it quite refreshing in that way. I absolutely adored this book and I loved the world. 

Best Adapted Screenplay: (Best Book-to-Movie Adaptation)
I haven’t actually seen a lot of book-to-movie adaptations this year – I think I’ve only seen a few. My favourite adaptation is Annihilation, based on the book of the same name by Jeff Vandermeer. It does diverge from the book a bit but it was fantastically shot and the acting was so good. I definitely recommend watching it. I also loved To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, but I haven’t read the book. 

Best Animated Feature: (A book that would work well in animated format)
The Spellslinger series by Sebastien de Castell would work really well in an animated format. Four books are currently out and each of them have been so enjoyable to read. These books would translate wonderfully into animation and they could do some really cool stuff with the magic system. I would definitely watch this show.

Best Director: (A writer you discovered for the first time)
Once again I couldn’t pick just one… so my favourite first time authors include Guy Gavriel Kay, Nahoko Uehashi, David Mealing and Sean Russell. 

Best Visual Effects: (Best Action in a Book)
Once again I’m sorry for the repeat answer but the first books that come to mind are the Faithful and the Fallen series by John Gwynne. The battle scenes are so well done. Another book that does battle scenes really well is The Wolf by Leo Carew.

Best Short Film: (Best Novella or Short Book)
I haven’t actually read any novellas this year, so let’s move straight on to the next questions.

Best Picture: (Best Stand-Alone)
This one has to go to Circe by Madeleine Miller, which is about the sorceress from Greek mythology. I loved this book and I would highly recommend checking it out, especially if you love Greek mythology. Coming up with this answer actually showed me I don’t actually read a lot of standalones. Maybe I’ll try to read more next year.

Best Documentary: (Best Historical Fiction or Non-Fiction)
I continued reading the Shardlake series by C. J. Sansom and I just love these books so much. The characters are so well written, the time period is interesting and the plot is always compelling. If you love historical fiction mixed with mystery then you need to check these books out – they are so good.

That’s it for today. I love doing this tag to round up the last year of reading, although I have to admit that looking back I haven’t read as widely as I wanted to. Ah well maybe next year :). What are your favourite books from 2018? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Pippa

The Queens of Renthia / Sarah Beth Durst

Title / The Queen of Blood, The Reluctant Queen and The Queen of Sorrow
Author / Sarah Beth Durst
Publication Date / 2016, 2017 and 2018
Genre / Fantasy
Series or standalone / Trilogy
Page no. / 353, 360 and 419
Star Rating / ★★★★
 
Don’t trust the fire, for it will burn you.
Don’t trust the ice, for it will freeze you.
Don’t trust the water, for it will drown you.
Don’t trust the air, for it will choke you.
Don’t trust the earth, for it will bury you.
Don’t trust the trees, for they will rip you,
rend you, tear you, kill you dead.

This is a YA fantasy trilogy set in the fictional world of Aratay. This land is full of spirits that represent elements and these spirits want to rid the world of humans. However without the spirits, the world would die, so the humans must live together with them. The one defence against these inherently aggressive spirits is the Queen, who is the only one that can control them. Young women that show talent in controlling spirits are trained as heirs so one can replace the queen when she dies. When a queen dies another must be ready to assume control of all the spirits, otherwise the spirits will destroy everything. This is a brief description of the setting of this trilogy. The world is one of my favourite things about these books. It is so vividly written. Nature is very much entwined into this world and I loved that about the setting. It’s unlike anything I’ve read before. So if you’re looking for fantasy with a unique setting, then you need to check out these books. I cannot say enough good things about this world. 

There is also a fantastic cast of characters. All of the characters are wonderfully written. They are all flawed and complex with interesting back stories. I also loved the way the relationships were developed throughout the three books. The characters are definitely one of the main strengths of this trilogy. In the first book we mainly follow Daleina, but in the second and third book we have the added perspective of Naelin. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with this initially because I loved Daleina as a character, but it does work well for the story and the change did grow on me.  One of my favourite things in the first book is that Daleina isn’t the most powerful heir. She has to work hard for what she wants and I think a lot of people will be able to relate to that. Another thing I love about this trilogy is the strong, interesting women that play such a big role in each book. Basically, there is a fantastic cast of characters in this trilogy and I would love to see more from them.

The plot is developed so well throughout these three books, although the third book felt a little rushed to me. The plot remains compelling in each book and there are some fantastic twists. Intrigue plays a big part in each book and Durst writes these elements so well. As I said I do think the third book felt a little rushed at times and I did get quite frustrated with Naelin, but I still really enjoyed this instalment and it was a great conclusion to the trilogy. 

Overall this is a fantastic trilogy that features one of my all time favourite worlds. If you enjoy fantasy, especially YA fantasy, then I highly recommend checking these books out. A companion book to this trilogy, The Deepest Blue, is set to be released Spring 2019. I definitely plan on checking it out. Have you read these books? I’d love to know what you thought. I hope you are having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

Pippa

Beautiful Books of 2018

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. The year is coming to an end so I thought I’d share some of my favourite book covers from the past 12 months. There are so many fantastic book covers and I love sharing my favourites with you guys. Let’s get straight into it.

The Beast Player / Nahoko Uehashi / ★★★★★






The Hyena and the Hawk / book 3 of the Echoes of the Fall trilogy / Adrian Tchaikovsky / ★★★★

On my kindle:
A Veil of Spears / book 3 of the Shattered Sands series / Bradley Bealieu / ★★★★
The Wolf / book 1 of Under the Northern Sky series / Leo Carew / ★★★★
The Book of M / Peng Shepherd / ★★★
The Silence of the Girls / Pat Barker / ★★★.5

There are so many incredibly talented artists out there creating these beautiful book covers. I have to admit to being very much influenced by covers – if it’s a pretty cover I’m definitely more likely to pick it up, but hey who doesn’t love a good cover? Anyway that’s it for today. Have you guys read any of these books? I’d love to know your thoughts. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

Pippa

T5W: Books with fantastic female protagonists to gift to any fantasy lovers

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 to give as gifts. For this one, I’ve decided to share 5 books to gift to any fantasy lover who loves fantastic female protagonists. Basically I’m taking this opportunity to talk about some of my favourite fantasy books. You guys know I love the genre and I like to take any opportunity to talk about my favourites. All the books I’m going to mention are fantastic and I would highly recommend checking them out. Sorry for the long title – I couldn’t work out how to shorten it. Let’s get started.

All of these books are fantastic and I love the female protagonists so of course I’m taking the opportunity to share 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.

 

 

Pippa

Top 10 Underrated Books of 2018

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. As you can see from the title I’m going to share 10 underrated books I read this year. All of these books have under 5,000 ratings on Goodreads and that is how I picked the books. I’m not going to go into any details about these books, otherwise this will be a very long post; just know that I really enjoyed all of these books and would recommend them. In no particular order, let’s get started.

That’s it for today. I really enjoyed these books and would definitely recommend checking them out. My absolute favourite out of this list would definitely be The Beast Player. What was your favourite underrated read from 2018? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

Pippa

Tombland / C. J. Sansom

Title / Tombland
Author / C. J. Sansom
Publication Date / October 2018
Series or standalone / Shardlake series
Page no. / 865
Overall Rating / ★★★★.5


The seventh book in the Shardlake series, this sequel is set two years after the death of King Henry VIII and focuses on the Kett Rebellion of 1549. Matthew Shardlake is called upon by the Lady Elizabeth to investigate the murder of the wife of a distant relative in Norwich.

 

I have loved all of the previous books so I had high hopes for this instalment and it did not disappoint. Once again Sansom weaves all the threads of the story together so well. I love that we go through the investigation with Shardlake and we can make judgements along the way with him. As with all the previous books in this series, the progression of the mystery is so well done. It was a little slow to start for me but after a couple of chapters I was completely invested. One thing that may frustrate some readers is that once the rebellion started, it felt as if the book lost a little of it’s purpose. It didn’t know whether it was a account of the Kett rebellion or a murder mystery. The focus shifts from the murder to focus on the rebellion and I have to admit that I was initially a little disappointed because I was so invested in the mystery. Having said that, I did find it really interesting to read about this rebellion as I know very little about it and I did really enjoy the plot of this book, although it is perhaps a little drawn out. Like the previous books in this series, I found this instalment so compelling and once I started reading I didn’t want to put it down. 

 

The character development continues to be a highlight of this series. Shardlake is a fantastic protagonist and it was  I particularly loved the growth of Nicholas in this latest instalment. Sansom has also done a great job at developing the relationships between the characters. There were so many interesting new characters introduced in this book and all of them were well written. Moving on to the setting. Once again Sansom has done a great job at transporting the reader back to the 16th Century. Although I know very little about this rebellion, you can still see the research Sansom has done for this book. I cannot comment on the authenticity of the historical story line, but it is vividly written and so interesting to read. As with all the previous books, the writing is fantastic. 
 

 

Overall I loved this book and I would highly recommend checking this series out. All the books in this series, including this latest one, are so enjoyable to read. I think Sansom plans to bring Shardlake into the reign of Elizabeth I, so there may be more books in the future. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for new books in this series. Have you read this book? I’d love to know what you thought. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

Pippa

T5W: Book Wishlist

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 your book wishlist. Basically the books that you would love to get, either as a gift from someone or a treat from yourself. My wishlist and TBR are always growing so I definitely have five I can share with you guys. Let’s get started.

That’s it for today. These are five books that are definitely high up on my wish list. What do you have on your wishlist? I’d also love to know if you’ve read any of the books I mentioned. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

Pippa