Tough Traveling – Unique Flora

Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn is the mastermind of Tough Traveling. What’s Tough Traveling? Pretty much, it’s a weekly feature on Thursdays where we dig around to come up with examples of common tropes in fantasy, using Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland as our inspiration and guide. Nathan has invited one and all to join in the fun, so feel free to come up with your own lists and add the link on Nathan’s weekly post, which will also contain (unleash) the next weeks theme. So let the fun begin … This weeks theme?  UNIQUE FLORA Self-explanatory. If you know of a plant that is either not on earth, or doesn’t act the same way in fantasyland as it does on earth, then you can consider it unique. Have fun.   So, I felt indecisive this week and seemed to just pick books that had multiple examples in them, and keep it at that. I also feel like I am really missing some!! But   Possibly all the Plants and Trees from The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley Mother nature is given a cruel and dangerous twist in this world, there are plants that can melt away your skin, pitcher plants that can devour…

Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Books I Loved Reading with Book Club (plus some I wish I had)
Top Ten Tuesday / January 27, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish This feature gives a weekly Top Ten list. We all love lists, right? This week’s theme: Ten Books I’d Love to Read With My Book Club/If I Had A Book Club (or you could pick a specific kind of book club — like if you had a YA book club or an adult book club or a science fiction book club etc.) It’s late on Tuesday, but when I saw the theme, I decided I had to do the list. I’ve been running the book clubs at Fantasy Faction for a couple of years, and I help organize the Book of the Month for r/Fantasy’s Goodreads group, so when it comes to book club choices, yes! I have an opinion, and yes! I can make some lists!! I decided to break this one up though and do two sets of 5. The first was going to be my 5 favorite book club choices that I have already done, the other is 5 books I have read, but would have LOVED to do with a book club. But I got carried away with my first list, and decided to make…

Tough Traveling – Kings

Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn is the mastermind of Tough Traveling. What’s Tough Traveling? Pretty much, it’s a weekly feature on Thursdays where we dig around to come up with examples of common tropes in fantasy, using Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland as our inspiration and guide. Nathan has invited one and all to join in the fun, so feel free to come up with your own lists and add the link on Nathan’s weekly post, which will also contain (unleash) the next weeks theme. So let the fun begin … This weeks theme? KINGS KINGS come in four kinds: Puppet Kings, Bad Kings, Good Kings (rare), and Long Lost Kings. I’ve been out of the loop for a while, and am excited to jump back in. 🙂 It’s fun coming up with these lists, and I’ve missed it. Wow. This is another week where I’m tempted to do a ASoIaF edition. There’s just so many Kings to choose from!! So I’ll do two lists for each of the 4 types of kings. One ASoIaF, and on one from other series so I don’t bore everyone 🙂 I am going to put a disclaimer that my ASoIaF ones might have spoilers. Read at your…

Tough Traveling – Quest Objects

Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn is the mastermind of Tough Traveling. What’s Tough Traveling? Pretty much, it’s a weekly feature on Thursdays where we dig around to come up with examples of common tropes in fantasy, using Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland as our inspiration and guide. Nathan has invited one and all to join in the fun, so feel free to come up with your own lists and add the link on Nathan’s weekly post, which will also contain (unleash) the next weeks theme. So let the fun begin … This weeks theme? QUEST OBJECTS QUEST OBJECTS can be various, but are quite strictly defined by the Rules. They are: 1. Material Objects. Cups, jewels, orbs, rings, scepters, stones, and swords. 2. Places. Hidden Kingdomes, islands, old ruined cities, stones, temples, valleys and fountains. 3. Persons. Apprentices, hardship, princes. 4. Knowledge. Usually for birthright or magic or both. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – I don’t care if this is Science Fiction, it is like the ultimate Quest, one that every person alive has dreamed of winning. Within the virtual playground called the OASIS a lottery ticket of sorts is hidden, just waiting for a determined gamer to find their way there….

Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
4.5 Stars , Reviews / July 24, 2014

This is a whirlwind of magic, adventure and self-discovery. Oh yes, and witty acerbic humor. That’s something I may not have stressed enough in my previous reviews of this series. I love the sarcastic humor that is so prevalent through out these books. And where I felt Magician King was lacking, Magician’s Land made up for it (in spades). I honestly think this is probably the strongest of the three books. In this we find Quentin, as usual, trying to find his place in this world (or that world, any world, really). But he has grown up and matured a tremendous amount. He’s still Quentin, but he is no longer defined by his angsty wallowing. He’s finally stood up and realized he has the power to change his freakin attitude, and in turn maybe positively impact how things turn out instead of just assuming its all shit and then waiting for it to happen and saying, yeah, see, everything is shit. I don’t want to dwell on the past, and Quentin’s previous shortcomings in the personality department. I just want to say that his character has grown tremendously. This whole series is a clash of the magically wondrous and imaginative…

The Magician King by Lev Grossman
3 Stars , Reviews / July 20, 2014

This book had a slightly different feel to it than The Magicians, at least in some ways. It still has the sarcastic edge to it and the irreverent attitudes that made me love The Magicians. Always a good thing. But Quentin does not seem quite so angsty, and seems to have grown quite self-aware of his needless angst. Also, The Magicians was a coming of age story paired with the story of coming into the world of magic. It was a book of growing up, discovery and the pain that is encountered along the way. This book was a story of Quentin’s quest and Julia’s backstory, intermingled. In The Magician King, we meet back up with Quentin, Julia, Eliot and Janet serving as Kings and Queen of Fillory. It’s a rather posh and very magical but to be honest, somewhat boring life. Eventually, I think Quentin realized this, because, well, he’s Quentin, so he can’t be happy. And it gives him a reason to start pursuing something else. Something less boring because we can’t tell a story that’s boring, now can we? So Quentin begins a journey, during which I think he is coping with loss and is probably still trying to find…

The Magicians by Lev Grossman
4 Stars , Reviews / July 8, 2014

The Magicians by Lev Grossman is one of the most divisive, marmite books I have come across. Love it or hate, it usually gets a reaction. So, no need to keep you in suspense, I fall on the love side of the fence here.  I realize the book is not perfect, but for me, it was a great read. A common claim with this book is that it is Harry Potter meets Narnia. I suppose I can see where they are coming from since this is a school to learn magic. And the Narnia reference comes into play as well. But just because a book has some basic similarities in the general blurb does not mean the books are at all the same type of read. So, if you have break down the book like that, I think I’d have to throw a little Catcher in the Rye as well. Even in Harry Potter’s darkest days, he never achieves the level of depression, self-doubt, and angst, etcetera that Quentin Coldwater feels. Also, this is college. And not the college that the Hogwarts kids would likely go to either. It has sex, drugs, and alcohol to help feed the angst. The…