Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones

Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: 8th February 2018
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆
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Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her. 

When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world—or the ones Liesl loves—is in her hands?

Continue reading “Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones”

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Release Date: May 2015
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
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Plot: Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

What happens when you see a pretty cover of a book at work and buy it without any idea about what said book is about?

Me. You get me.

I dived into Uprooted at the beginning of a 12 hour journey back home and I was initially a bit hesitant when I began to get the idea of the story. High fantasy isn’t usually my jam but I’m dipping the knife in and licking the jar clean. I was on a HF high and not quite ready to come down again.

But as I kept going, I found this story so layered and so epic that I’ve crowned it 5 stars and I don’t regret it all.

First of all is the world. The world in any HF has to be on point; you might not think I could be a good judge of this since I’m all about my real contemporaries and my magical realism, but in Uprooted the setting was so spot on. I loved it’s Eastern European styled lands of magic and monsters, with beautiful dresses and cute villages and woods with dark secrets. It felt like a darker Disney film, although not really Disney at all.

Characters sometimes end up taking a back step when it comes to HF because world is key, but I loved Agnieszka right away; I loved how she wasn’t special or perfect at her craft straight away, but had to build and build until she could finally fulfill her destiny. She has a beautiful friendship with her best friend Kasia too, and there’s a wonderful scene in there for all you fans of girls overcoming jealousy and bitterness and learning to love each other.

Sarkan is a grumpy wizard who’s locked himself away in a tower. He’s one of, if not the most powerful wizard in the land, yet he still comes across as a scared lonely man who you just want to wrap in a blanket and tell him to shut up and smile.

I love going in a book blind and being pleasantly surprised. If a book catches your eye and it hasn’t been recommended by loads of people on Twitter, chances are it’s still good and still deserves your time. It was lucky I found Uprooted!


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The Book Theme Meme | The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

So last week, I came across this fantastic meme over at Lila’s beautiful blog, The Book Keeper’s Secrets, and honestly, I got a little bit excited. You’re gonna see this meme a lot on my blog. A LOT.

Anyway.

The Book Theme Meme’s aim is to pair a book with a song or piece of music. How do they relate to each other in your opinion? It can be in any way, shape or form. It might not relate at all, but when you hear a particular song, you think of a particular book or series.

nightcircus

This week, I’ve chosen one of my all time favourite books, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, a beautiful, magical tale set in Victorian England, where two magicians battle for the top spot in a competition that spans years.

The song I’m pairing it with is a song (covered) by Rufus Wainwright, called ‘Complaint De La Butte’. A song that appeared on the Moulin Rouge OST, which also happens to link to the book in my eyes.

While the song is very, very French, it still fits perfectly with the time frame and setting of The Night Circus. It’s melodic, gentle, and magical. To me, it truly resembles everything about Celia and Marco’s story. And I hope, should it every become a film/show, the song appears on the soundtrack. Moulin Rouge! is also one my favourite films, coincidentally set in the same time as The Night Circus, with magical realism rather than magic. But to me, it all wraps up together in this little magical trilogy of book-film-song. I adore all three, but every time I hear ‘Complaint De La Butte’, I think of The Night Circus.

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