Favourite First Lines

Hi guys, how are you? I am pretty happy that we are a fair way into the cooler months now. I am definitely more of a autumn/winter person. Anyway today I thought I’d talk about some of my favourite first lines. I think first lines can really draw you into a book, so I’ve come up with a few that I think are great and set up the book really well. Let’s get started.

 

“It is said, in Imardin, that the wind has a soul, and that it wails through the narrow streets because it is grieved by what it finds there.”
The Magician’s Guild / Trudi Canavan

 

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
Pride and Prejudice / Jane Austen

 

“It was night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.”
The Name of the Wind / Patrick Rothfuss

 

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
The Hobbit / J R. R. Tolkien

 

I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time
The Shadow of the Wind / Carlos Ruiz Zafon

 

It actually took me a while to come up with these as I’ve probably forgotten the first line by the time I’ve finished the book :). I think first lines are a great way to pull the reader in though. Do you guys have any favourites? I’d also be interested in know if you’re autumn/winter people or summer/spring people… I also just want to quickly apologise for not responding to comments for a while – I’m not in the best mental space right now so please bear with me. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Recent Favourite Music

Hi guys, so today I thought I would talk about something a little different. Basically I am going to be sharing some of the music that I’ve been loving recently. I love listening to music and there’s some great songs out at the moment. I’ve been loving Spotify ever since my mum got the family account thing. It’s a great way to find new music too. Let’s get started.

 

I would say I have a quite eclectic taste in music, although I’m not a fan of heavy metal or anything that involves shouting. I also find it quite interesting how your taste in music can change over time – in my late teens I wasn’t really listening to the stuff I am today. Anyway I would love to know what you guys have been listening to lately. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Current Favourites

Hi guys, how are you? I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would share some of my current favourites. This is going to be a non bookish post so I hope that is alright with you. So I’m going to be talking about things I’ve been loving over the last couple of months – really since I did my last favourites post back in December, I think. Let’s get started.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn is probably my favourite game of the year so far, but I also really enjoyed Uncharted: the Lost Legacy. Both are fantastic video games. I cannot wait for the release of the new Assassins Creed game in October!
  • My Birkenstocks – I have annoyingly small feet with a wide foot and skinny ankles so I have always struggled to find shoes that fit me well. The ones I have are from the kids section but they fit well and they are super comfortable. Definitely a new favourite, although I probably won’t be wearing them any time soon now.
  • The Electra Jeans from Mango – finding a good pair of jeans is always a struggle but these fit nicely and are comfortable. They are my go to jeans at the moment. I do have to hem them though as they are too long for me.
  • Dua Lipa’s debut album is fantastic. I’ve been listening to it a lot over the past few months. My favourite song is probably New Rules.
  • Two TV shows I’ve recently enjoyed are Orphan Black and Person of Interest. The last season of Orphan Black was recently released and it was so good. I’m currently waiting for the last season of Person of Interest to be released on Netflix.
  • Aussie 3 Miracle Oil – my hair had been feeling a bit rubbish so I decided to try this and I’m happy to report it definitely made my hair feel a bit healthier. I tend to use this before shampooing but you can also use it on damp or dry hair.
  • Almond milk and honey soothing and restoring lotion from the Body Shop – my skin can be quite sensitive so this has been great at soothing and moisturising at the same time.
  • White Company Orange Grove Diffuser – this just smells amazing and lasts really well.
That’s all I have to share this time but I definitely plan on doing posts like this in the future. Unless you guys hate it, in which case I probably won’t Anyway what are some of your favourites right now? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

The Black Magicians trilogy / Trudi Canavan

Title / The Magicians’ Guild, The Novice and The High Lord
Author / Trudi Canavan
Publication Date / 2001, 2002 and 2002 (first published)
Overall Star Rating / 
Goodreads synopsis of book 1: This year, like every other, the magicians of Imardin gather to purge the city of undesirables. Cloaked in the protection of their sorcery, they move with no fear of the vagrants and miscreants who despise them and their work-—until one enraged girl, barely more than a child, hurls a stone at the hated invaders…and effortlessly penetrates their magical shield.
What the Magicians’ Guild has long dreaded has finally come to pass. There is someone outside their ranks who possesses a raw power beyond imagining, an untrained mage who must be found and schooled before she destroys herself and her city with a force she cannot yet control.

 

“It is said, in Imardin, that the wind has a soul, and that it wails through the narrow streets because it is grieved by what it finds there.”

 

This is one of my all time favourite series so I thought it was about time that I did a series review on it. For me this will always be a fantastic trilogy. I am well aware that it has some flaws but they don’t detract anything for me. Basically this is quite a sentimental favourite. I didn’t have a great time during my teenage years and this is one of the series I would escape to. Anyway let’s get started with the actual review.  This is a three book fantasy series set in Kyralia. It is divided up by districts and the capital is Imardin. I would say that this is a fairly traditional fantasy setting, but that is not a bad thing as the world is an interesting one. If you are looking for unique settings though, than you won’t find that here, but if you enjoy fantasy school settings than you may want to check it out. Not only do you get a good grasp of the culture, politics and magic system of the world, but you also get a good idea of the landscape and terrain of the place as well. Everything is well thought out. Personally I think the world is one of the main strengths of this trilogy. The writing is good, although it is a little repetitive at times. These books are very easy to get into and can be quite quick reads. The first half of the first book is definitely quite slow in terms of pacing. It does drag but do bear with it as it does get better and the pacing even outs. Due to this I think the series as a whole could have been shorter overall. I personally think the plot is quite compelling though.

 

It does rely on the rather overused ‘special’ main character who is more powerful than other people. I think perhaps if I read it for the first time now I would have got a little frustrated with it but at the time it didn’t bother me at all. I think as a whole the characters are well written and you come to really care about them by the end of the trilogy. Sonea is one of my favourite characters, but the secondary characters are just as good – I seriously love Rothen so much. Yes they can probably be seen as quite cliched and stereotypical but I still think they are well written. Perhaps it’s something to be aware of though. The character development through the three books is great and I loved seeing how each of them progressed. I will admit they are quite simply drawn but you’ll still come to care for them. The relationships are good, although some do develop quite quickly. This one is actually quite a tricky one to review. As I’ve mentioned I am well aware of it’s flaws but I still love this trilogy so it’s tricky to come up with a balanced review, if that makes sense.

 

Overall this is a fantastic trilogy that I have reread a few times. I am well aware it isn’t perfect and has flaws but I still love it. Perhaps if I read it for the first time now as a more critical reader I would have a completely different reaction to it. I don’t know. This trilogy will always be one of my favourites as it helped me through a tricky time. I would definitely recommend checking this out, especially if you love the fantasy genre. Have you guys read this series? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Favourite Fictional Places Part 2

Hi guys, how are you all? I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would share some more of my favourite fictional places. There are some incredible worlds out there and I love talking about some of my favourites. I’ve done one of these post before, which you can check out here. Let’s get started with four more fictional worlds I love.

 

Renthia / the Queens of Renthia series / Sarah Beth Durst
Goodreads synopsis: Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . . But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms.
With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits’ restlessness—a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land . . . before it’s bathed in blood.

 

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Sevenwaters / the Sevenwaters series / Juliet Marillier
Goodreads synopsis: Lovely Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. Bereft of a mother, she is comforted by her six brothers who love and protect her. Sorcha is the light in their lives, they are determined that she know only contentment. But Sorcha’s joy is shattered when her father is bewitched by his new wife, an evil enchantress who binds her brothers with a terrible spell, a spell which only Sorcha can lift-by staying silent. If she speaks before she completes the quest set to her by the Fair Folk and their queen, the Lady of the Forest, she will lose her brothers forever.
When Sorcha is kidnapped by the enemies of Sevenwaters and taken to a foreign land, she is torn between the desire to save her beloved brothers, and a love that comes only once. Sorcha despairs at ever being able to complete her task, but the magic of the Fair Folk knows no boundaries, and love is the strongest magic of them all…

 

Sharakhai / Songs of the Shattered Sand series / Bradley P. Beaulieu
Goodreads synopsis: Sharakhai, the great city of the desert, center of commerce and culture, has been ruled from time immemorial by twelve kings—cruel, ruthless, powerful, and immortal. With their army of Silver Spears, their elite company of Blade Maidens, and their holy defenders, the terrifying asirim, the Kings uphold their positions as undisputed, invincible lords of the desert. There is no hope of freedom for any under their rule.
Or so it seems, until Çeda, a brave young woman from the west end slums, defies the Kings’ laws by going outside on the holy night of Beht Zha’ir. What she learns that night sets her on a path that winds through both the terrible truths of the Kings’ mysterious history and the hidden riddles of her own heritage. Together, these secrets could finally break the iron grip of the Kings’ power…if the nigh-omnipotent Kings don’t find her first.

 

Dara / the Dandelion Dynasty trilogy / Ken Liu
Goodreads synopsis: Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites. Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, and shapeshifting gods. Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions—two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice.

 

All of these worlds are absolutely amazing and quite unique. I love that in Renthia everything is built in trees, and that Sharakhai is so different from your typical fantasy setting. Sevenwaters sounds like such a magical place, and I would love to be able to explore Dara. How amazing would it be if you could visit these places? Obviously I know that’s impossible though :). What is one of your favourite fictional places? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

5 Reasons To Read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Hi guys, today I thought I would do another 5 reasons to read type review. I wanted to talk about one of my favourite classics, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte. I read it a couple of years ago now and I loved it. It’s actually probably time for a reread. Anne is such an underrated Bronte sister so I wanted to share my love for this book. I also have the Penguin English Library edition which is stunning. Anyway let’s get started.

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  1. Helen is a fantastic main character, who is so well written. She is quite a guarded character but you can really sense an air of vulnerability from her throughout the book. I just think she’s quite an interesting person. The other characters are also well written.
  2. As with the other Bronte sister, Anne’s writing is fantastic. I found it easy to get into and so I think this could be a good place to start with the Bronte sisters or classics in general.
  3. The content for the plot is so progressive for the time and it’s also interesting to see what things were like at that time. I found the plot to be compelling throughout but I think that some may find the middle drags a little bit.
  4. If you enjoyed the works of the other Bronte sisters, than you need to check this book out too. Or if you just enjoy Victorian literature in general than I would recommend it.
  5. Although this was published in 1848 it was still accessible to modern readers. Personally I think it has aged very well and would recommend it to everyone who enjoys classics, especially people who prefer Victorian literature.

 

That is all I have to share with you for now :). As you can probably tell I loved this book and Anne’s other book Agnes Grey is also well worth a read. Have you read this book? What did you think? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

TTT: Books set in a school

toptentuesday

It is that time of the week for another Top Ten Tuesday. It is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This weeks topic is a back to school freebie, so I thought I would share my top 10 books set in school. I personally really enjoy this type of setting so it seemed like a good topic to talk about. The books I’m sharing today are some of my favourites and I would recommend checking them all out :). Most of these are fantasy book – one is a mix of dystopian and science fiction. Although I have loved all of these settings, it actually took me quite some time to come up with this list. I have eight books to share so let’s get started.
  1. Wylerly College from Sabriel by Garth Nix.
  2. The University from the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss
  3. Hailsham from Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  4. The Magicians Guild from The Black Magicians trilogy by Trudi Canvan
  5. The Academy from the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher 
  6. The Convent of Sweet Mercy from Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
  7. The Order from Blood Song by Anthony Ryan
  8. The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst (not sure what the school is called)
That’s it for this weeks top ten Tuesday post :). It took me a while to come up with this topic but I got there in the end. I hope to read more books set in schools in the future, as I really enjoy them. Do you have any favourite fictional schools? I hope you are all having a wonderful and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa