Saturday, 21 January 2017

Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don't.
As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.
Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down? {goodreads summary}
Every Maas book I read is better than the last. If you haven't read any of her novels yet, I can't recommend them enough; she is a superbly talented author. The plot, the characters, the romance... I honestly can't decide which detail of this series I enjoy the most.

“The world will be saved and remade by the dreamers.”

I loved the inclusion of all the characters from the novella series (which should definitely be read along with the full length novels, as they contain so many important character details). It emphasised just how rich and detailed Maas' world building is and prevented the jarring inclusion of too many new characters this late in the series. 

“You will find, Rolfe, that one does not deal with Celaena Sardothien. One survives her” 

And then, of course, there was the ending. Maas - Queen of the cliffhanger - delivered a Court of Mist and Fury worthy twist that will ensure I'll be thinking about this novel until the conclusion to the series comes out. 

“Even when this world is a forgotten whisper of dust between the stars, I will always love you.” 

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Skin Deep: Inspiration and Planning

A few months ago I posted a little bit about my next short story, Skin Deep, which is a gender-reversed retelling of Beauty and the Beast. My plan is now complete and I'm ready to start work on chapter one, so I thought I would share a little bit of information about my inspiration and initial planning. 

After I'd got my initial character ideas down in Scrivener, my next job was to find and read the original fairytales. The most famous version of Beauty and the Beast (besides the Disney film) is by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, but this is an abridged version of an original tale by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. Both are worth reading, although they are rather different to Disney's interpretation. Skin Deep will use aspects from both tales, as well as a lot of new elements, just like Mirrored Snow and Princess Charming.

As well as my reading research, I also started to put together a Pinterest board. I make these for all my stories as I find them a really helpful way of compiling my ideas. The images are also be really helpful when I come to work on my cover art. You can take a look at my Pinterest board for Skin Deep below. It contains a few hints of what's to come. I'll be posting the first chapter on the blog before it goes on Wattpad, so keep an eye out for future updates!

Saturday, 7 January 2017

PopSugar 2017 Challenge

Despite failing miserably at last years, I'm still going to give the 2017 challenge a go. I will try to update the list below as I go along. You can find out more about the challenge here

A book recommended by a librarian
A book that's been on your TBR list forever {Snow Like Ashes}
A book of letters
An audiobook
A book by a person of colour {We Should All be Feminists}
A book with one of the four seasons in the title
A book that is a story within a story
A book with multiple authors
An espionage thriller
A book with a cat on the cover
A book by an author who uses a pseudonym {Jane Eyre}
A bestseller from a genre you don't usually read {American Gods}
A book by or about a person who has a disability {Crooked Kingdom}
A book involving travel {A Gathering of Shadows}
A book with a subtitle
A book that's published in 2017 {Carve the Mark}
A book involving a mythical creature {Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them}
A book you've read before that never fails to make you smile {Harry Potter - I'm due a series re-read!}
A book about food {The Weekend Baker}
A book with career advice {Structuring Your Novel}
A book from a nonhuman perspective {interesting... not sure what to try for this one}
A steampunk novel
A book with a red spine
A book set in the wilderness
A book you loved as a child {HP counts twice if I'm reading multiple books in the series, right?}
A book by an author from a country you've never visited {Way Down Dark}
A book with a title that's a character's name {Anna and the French Kiss}
A novel set during wartime {Margot & Me}
A book with an unreliable narrator {I love these! This is a great excuse to find a really good one}
A book with pictures {one of the many, many picture books I will be reading this year...}
A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you
A book about an interesting woman
A book set in two different time periods {The Next Together}
A book with a month or day of the week in the title
A book set in a hotel
A book written by someone you admire {The Cursed Child}
A book that's becoming a movie in 2017 {I will need to do some research for this one as I can't think of any off the top of my head}
A book set around a holiday other than Christmas {An Easter story? Or a spooky Halloween read?}
The first book in a series you haven't read before {This Raging Light}
A book you bought on a trip

It's a really interesting list! There are some extension ones this year too, but since I usually struggle with the basic list I won't look at them quite yet. I've tried to fill in some of the gaps with novels I'm already planning to read. I will update with reviews as I go. 

Are you taking part? Let me know in the comments if so and please post your ideas for some of the categories.