Friday, 18 January 2019

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To Cull or Not to Cull?

To Cull or Not to Cull?

ETA: I wrote this post before things regarding Marie Kondo escalated on Twitter and became racist. The way people have behaved has been disgusting and inexcusable, but that's not what this post is about. It's about the initial reactions from people who couldn't imagine getting rid of books.

Marie Kondo's Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo caused quite a stir on Twitter when she suggested getting rid of books that don't spark joy. At first, it was quite amusing to see people's reactions, but then it became quite shocking. People were adamant that you do not get rid of books under any circumstances ever, as if getting rid of books was sacrilege, like Marie Kondo was some kind of monster for even suggesting it. The reactions to those outraged was quite amusing, though, with people taking the mick out of them, and with others pretty much telling them to lighten up.
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Tuesday, 15 January 2019

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Once Upon a Retelling: Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

Once Upon a Retelling

Welcome to Once Upon a Retelling! I'm a huge fan of retellings, and I'm really interested in hearing about authors' own love of the original stories, and what inspired them to retell those stories. And so Once Upon a Retelling was born, a feature in which I interview authors about their versions of well-loved tales.

Today, I'm so excited to have Joanna Ruth Meyer stopping by the blog to discuss her Beauty and the Beast and East of the Sun, West of the Moon mash-up retelling, Echo North.

Joanna Ruth MeyerCan you tell us a little about Echo North? What kind of a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and East of the Sun, West of the Moon is it?

Echo North is a re-imagining of East of the Sun, West of the Moon, starring a girl with a scarred face, a white wolf (instead of the white bear like in the original), and an enchanted library filled with books you can literally step into. The setting and landscapes are inspired by 19th-century Siberia, and I’ve borrowed a big element from the Scottish ballad Tam Lin for the ending!

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Monday, 14 January 2019

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Review: Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold


Published: 2nd October 2018 | Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Elana K. Arnold's Website

The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: when the prince-who-will-be-king comes of age, he must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.

When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, however, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon, or what horrors she has faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome prince, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny to sit on the throne beside him. Ama comes with Emory back to the kingdom of Harding, hailed as the new princess, welcomed to the court.

However, as soon as her first night falls, she begins to realize that not all is as it seems, that there is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows–and that the greatest threats to her life may not be behind her, but here, in front of her.
From Goodreads.

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Trigger Warning: This book features rape, sexual assault, abuse, and degradation, and discussion of suicide.
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Friday, 11 January 2019

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Are Non-Western Inspired High Fantasies Only Having a Moment?

Are Non-Western Inspired High Fantasies Only Having a Moment?

Over the last few weeks, I've read quite a few #OwnVoices high fantasies by authors of colour, inspired by non-Western cultures, and I have been loving them! There have been quite a few that have been published over the last few years - An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi, City of Brass by S. A. Chakroborty, Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan, Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean, Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri, Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa, and many more - which is awesome for authors of colour; they finally get to tell their stories and have them sold. Diverse high fantasy is finally having it's moment, and it's about time. However, it does make me wonder, is it only a moment?
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Tuesday, 8 January 2019

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My Most Anticipated 2019 YA SFF Releases by Authors of Colour

My Most Anticipated 2019 YA SFF Releases by Authors of Colour

Today I'm sharing with you ten of my most anticipated YA SFF releases of 2019 by authors of colour! A lot of these - though not all - are #OwnVoices stories based on the authors' own cultures, which really excites me! I've been loving non-Western inspired fantasies recently! And most feature protagonists of colour, too!
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Monday, 7 January 2019

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Review: A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna (Bought)


Published: 11th September 2018 | Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Sangu Mandanna's Website

In a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back.

Raised alone and far away from her home on Kali, Esmae longs to return to her family. When the King of Wychstar offers to gift the unbeatable, sentient warship Titania to a warrior that can win his competition, she sees her way home: she’ll enter the competition, reveal her true identity to the world, and help her famous brother win back the crown of Kali.

It’s a great plan. Until it falls apart.

Inspired by the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian stories, A Spark of White Fire is a lush, sweeping space opera about family, curses, and the endless battle between jealousy and love.
From Goodreads.

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Friday, 4 January 2019

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Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi


Published: 8th March 2018 | Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Tomi Adeyemi's Website

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.

Zélie remembers when the soil of Orisha hummed with magic. When different clans ruled - Burners igniting flames, Tiders beckoning waves, and Zélie's Reaper mother summoning forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, anyone with powers was targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Only a few people remain with the power to use magic, and they must remain hidden.

Zélie is one such person. Now she has a chance to bring back magic to her people and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must learn to harness her powers and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orisha, where strange creatures prowl, and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to come to terms with the strength of her magic - and her growing feelings for an enemy.
From Goodreads.

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Trigger Warning: This book features attempted rape, mass murder, violence, torture, and oppression.
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