Cover Wars Wednesday

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would try something a little different and take part in the weekly bookish meme, cover wars Wednesday (created by Book is Glee). Basically I am going to be comparing the different covers of one book and I thought what better book to use then my first five star read of this year, Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay. I loved this book so I thought this would be a great opportunity to share it with you guys.
I’m not a fan of the cover on the left, but I really like the two others. The paperback I own has the cover in the middle, which is probably my favourite. There’s something about people on the cover that never works for me. I think the other two work better in terms of the book itself too, if that makes sense. They give a better feel of what the book is.
The German edition is definitely my favourite – it looks amazing. I think I like it even more than the English edition. The Italian and French editions are similar to the middle English edition. I’m not a big fan of the Spanish edition but it’s not too bad. It’s so interesting to see all the different cover designs, whether it’s just different editions or different countries. I think all of these covers are great in their own way.

 

Anyway my favourites are definitely the middle English one and the German edition. Which one do you like best? I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Seriously it was so good. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

T5W: Hidden Gems in Fantasy

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 hidden gems in your favourite genre, so of course I’m going to be talking about the fantasy genre. These are five books that have under 1,000 ratings on goodreads and are books that I loved. I highly recommend checking out all of these books. Let’s get started.

 

  1. The Ninth Rain / book 1 of the Winnowing Flame trilogy / Jen Williams
  2. The Tiger and the Wolf / book 1 of the Echoes of the Fall trilogy / Adrian Tchaikovsky
  3. To The Sky Kingdom / Tang Qi / translated by Poppy Toland
  4. Fudoki / Kij Johnson
  5. Emperor of the Eight Islands / books 1 & 2 of the Tale of Shikanoko series / Lian Hearn

 

That’s all I have for you guys today. I’d love to know what your favourite genre is and some of your favourite books from that genre. I’m always up for an exchange of bookish recommendations :). I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

The Girl in the Tower / Katherine Arden + Giveaway

Title / The Girl in the Tower
Author / Katherine Arden
Publication Date / 2018
Series or standalone / Book 2 of the Winternight trilogy
Overall Star Rating / 
Read till the end for a chance to win a hardback edition of The Girl in the Tower, as well as a paperback edition of The Bear and the Nightingale.
Goodreads synopsis: For a young woman in medieval Russia, the choices are stark: marriage or a life in a convent. Vasya will choose a third way: magic… The court of the Grand Prince of Moscow is plagued by power struggles and rumours of unrest. Meanwhile bandits roam the countryside, burning the villages and kidnapping its daughters. Setting out to defeat the raiders, the Prince and his trusted companion come across a young man riding a magnificent horse. Only Sasha, a priest with a warrior’s training, recognises this ‘boy’ as his younger sister, thought to be dead or a witch by her village. But when Vasya proves herself in battle, riding with remarkable skill and inexplicable power, Sasha realises he must keep her secret as she may be the only way to save the city from threats both human and fantastical…

 

“Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory of the other: of a life left unchosen. Decide as seems best, one course or the other; each way will have its bitter with its sweet.”

 

Now this is one of most anticipated books of 2018 and I was lucky enough to receive an arc copy from Ebury publishing, so thank you very much for sending me an arc. I also have a hardback edition to giveaway so read till the end to know how to enter. I loved the first book in the series, although I had initially thought that it was a standalone, so I was very excited at the prospect of a sequel. I thought this was a fantastic continuation of this trilogy and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of reading it. This sequel has everything I loved about the first book but it felt like Vasya had grown as a character and it was so easy to slip back into this world. This development felt completely natural and it was great to see her become a little more mature. I liked that this growth is very gradual but at the same time you can clearly see her spirit remains very similar to what it was in book 1.  Her character is definitely one of my favourite things about this trilogy, although Morozko is also a contender for favourite character. We also have some fantastic secondary characters in this book and the villain is so well written. Arden does a fantastic job at creating characters that you really become invested in. All of the characters in this book are wonderful; they are all complex, they all have flaws and it’s just a pleasure to read about them all.

 

The world of this book is so atmospheric and vivid. You almost feel like you are in this wintery Russian world, which is great because I love this world. The writing makes it so easy to become fully immersed in this world. I think reading it in the winter is a good idea because of the atmosphere created in this book – you’ll feel even more immersed in the world. I don’t read a lot of books set in medieval Russia so this world is a refreshing change to the worlds I see in other fantasy books. Arden does a wonderful job at blending history with the fantasy elements. Details of everyday life are dotted throughout and add to the realism of the world, while the fantasy elements are woven so well they add a fantastic sense of a fairy tale to the story. I also loved that we got to see Moscow in this instalment, whereas with the first book we were very much focused in the countryside. The world is definitely one of my favourites at the moment. In terms of the plot, this sequel picks up soon after the events of book 1 and continues the story of  Vasilisa (or Vasya), a young woman very much constricted by the world in which she lives. I loved that we were throw straight back into the story as I think it made it easier to get into the flow of it again. The plot is compelling throughout and I found it hard to put down once I’d started reading. This story definitely has more of a sense of urgency and so a little more fast paced then the first book, but I think that really worked with the story. I am always a bit cautious when reading a sequel as some second books are just not as good as the first, but that is not the case with this one. If anything I think this sequel was better as Arden become more comfortable and confident with the world and characters.

 

How to enter the giveaway: Unfortunately this will be UK only, so if you live in the UK comment down below that you want to enter and leave a way for me to contact you – an email address or your twitter handle so I can message you. If you don’t want to enter here then check out my Twitter for the giveaway tweet.  Thank you to Ebury publishing for sending me a copy to giveaway. Ends 31st January.

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If you can’t tell I absolutely loved this book and I can’t recommend it highly enough, I think this sequel is a little more sure-footed then it’s predecessor, which really tells you how much I enjoyed it. I am so excited for the third and final book, The Winter of the Witch, which I think has a tentative August 2018 release date (this could change). If you enjoy fantasy with a fairy tale feel to them or want to try some fantasy set in Russian then I highly recommend checking this out. This book was just as good as the first book, if not better, so if you enjoyed the first you will probably love this book too.  Have you started this series yet? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

2017 Favourites

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s time for another favourites post – this one is going to be all my non bookish favourites so films, musics, TV etc. Who doesn’t love talking about their favourite things? 2017 has been an alright year for me – I had my blogging 1 year anniversary, had my first review posted on Fantasy Faction site as a contributor, started learning to drive, passed my theory test, went to Crete for the first time and started a distance learning course about dog psychology. I know that probably doesn’t seem much to a lot of people but with my mental health I’m pretty happy with the past year. Anyway let’s get started.

 

TV:
  • Eternal Love aka Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms
  • Final series of Orphan Black
  • Season 2 of Stranger Things
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
Films:
  • Arrival
  • Wonder Woman
  • Siege of Jadotville
  • Star Wars: the Last Jedi
Video Games:
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4)
  • Assassins Creed: Origins (PS4)
  • The Rise of the Tomb Raider (PS4)

 

Music:
  • Dua Lipa’s album – favourite song: New Rules
  • Don’t smile at me (album) by Billie Eilish – favourite song: Bellyache
  • Gashina by Sunmi
  • Peek-a-boo by Red Velvet
  • Havana by Camila Cabello
  • Discovery by Kailee Morgue
  • Wishlist by Kiiara
  • Fine by Tayler Buono

 

Other:
  • My bullet journal
  • Adidas sweatshirt
  • HP sprocket (portable printer)

 

That’s all I have for you guys today. Overall 2017 was an alright year for me, although the anxiety of starting to learn how to drive wasn’t great :). What were your favourite things of 2017? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

TTT: New To Me Authors 2017

toptentuesday

It is that time of the week for another Top Ten Tuesday. 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. This weeks topic is new to me authors in 2017. I have quite a few authors that I found this year which I am pretty happy with. Any marked with an * mean I have only read one book by that author. Let’s get started.

 

Although I’ve only read one book by some of these authors, I definitely want to read more from them and/or keep an eye out for any future releases by them. Have you got any new favourite authors? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Favourite Books of 2017

Hi guys I hope you are all well. It’s the first day of the new year and so I thought I would share my favourite books of the past year. I’d been wondering whether to post before the year was ended but decided to at the start of the year. These are my favourite books from everything I read in 2017. I did full reviews of a lot of these books so I will link to any of them for you to check out if you so wish. I’m not going to go into detail about these books but just know that I loved all of them and would highly recommend checking them out. Let’s get started.

 

Disappointing books of 2017:
  • The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera
  • Guns of the Dawn by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

 

After reading some pretty fantastic books in the past year, I’m looking forward to another year of reading. What are some of your favourite books of 2017? And have you read any of my favourites? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

Bookish Academy Awards 2017

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating and if you aren’t I hope you have a great day anyway. I did this tag last year and I think it’s quite a good way to round up the year. I will be doing a whole post about all my favourite books though, so keep an eye out for that. If you hadn’t already noticed about me I’m quite an indecisive person so for most of the questions I have multiple answers. Now I’m just going to get straight onto the questions.

 

Best Actor: (Best Male Protagonist) 
Once again I can’t just choose just one so I’ve a couple to share. Two of my favourites are Vaelin from the Raven’s Shadow trilogy by Anthony Ryan, Tormalin from The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams and Ven from the Queens of Renthia trilogy by Sarah Beth Durst.

 

Best Actress: (Best Female Protagonist)
There are so many options for this one so I’m sure you’re not surprised that there’s going to be multiple answers for this one too :). My favourites include Noon from the Ninth Rain by Jen Williams, Mara from the Empire trilogy by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts, Vasya from the Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden, Daliena from the Queens of Renthia trilogy by Sarah Beth Durst and Pole from Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan.

 

Best Cinematography: (Best Plot Twist)
My answer for this is kind of cheating but I want to mention it anyway as I never expected it to happen and that is the development of Malta in the Rain Wild Chronicles. I know it’s not technically a plot twist but while reading this series I was so surprised by her development. She starts off as a completely unlikable character and slowly progresses to be such an interesting character. Other than that, I’m drawing a blank for this one.

 

Best Costume Design: (Best Book Cover)

 

Best Supporting Actress and Actor: (Best Male and Female Sidekick)
For best male sidekick I’m choosing Hokanu from the Empire trilogy by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts and for female sidekick I’m choosing Sonami from the Tensorate novellas by JY Yang. I’d love to know more about both of these characters, although Sonami is more of a secondary character then a sidekick. I don’t know that either of these characters would be considered sidekicks but I want to mention them anyway.

 

Best Original Screenplay: (Most Unique Plot/World)
There have been some amazing worlds in the books I’ve read this year so I’ve got a couple to share. Firstly Ebora from The Ninth Rain by Jen Willams, secondly Aratay from the Queens of Renthia by Sarah Beth Durst and the world of the Echoes of the Fall series by Adrian Tchaikovsky. I also love the world of the Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier.

 

Best Adapted Screenplay: (Best Book-to-Movie Adaptation)
To be honest I think I’ve only seen one book to movie adaption and that was Fantastic Beasts, although I haven’t actually read the book. I enjoyed the film though.

 

Best Animated Feature: (A book that would work well in animated format)
I’m not too sure about this one but maybe the Spellslinger series by Sebastien de Castell. I’ve really enjoyed the first two books in the series so far and I think that it has potential for an entertaining animated show.

 

Best Director: (A writer you discovered for the first time)
Once again I have more than one answer for this one. I’ve come across some great new authors this year including Juliet Marillier, Madeleine Thien, C. J. Sansom and Patricia A. McKillip.

 

Best Visual Effects: (Best Action in a Book)
I would say a lot of the books I’ve read this year with action scenes were written really well. I thought the action in The Bear and the Serpent by Adrian Tchaikovsky and Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. The action in Anthony Ryan’s books are great too.

 

Best Short Film: (Best Novella or Short Book)
I don’t actually read a lot of novellas but I did read and really enjoy The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho. It’s only about 50 pages long (I think) so it was a pretty quick read.

 

Best Picture: (Best Stand-Alone)
The best stand alone is probably The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. Mckillip, which I loved. I picked it up on a bit of a whim and I am so glad I did – it was fantastic. I did also really enjoy Artemis by Andy Weir, which is another great standalone.

 

Best Documentary: (Best Historical Fiction or Non-Fiction)
I haven’t read a lot of historical fiction books this year but I did read the first two books in the Shardlake series by C. J. Sansom. I loved both books so I’m excited to continue on with the series. Another historical fiction book I enjoyed was To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin – I loved the setting of the construction of the Eiffel Tower.

 

That’s all I have for you guys today. I’ve read some pretty fantastic books this year so keep an eye out for my favourite 2017 books post which will be posted soon. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa