Friday, August 19, 2016

52 in 52 - book 20! Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - JK Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

Somehow news of the Harry Potter saga continuing escaped my radar until the play manuscript had been published as a book! Whilst I am not a Potterhead, and have no interest in the movies or fandom, I do genuinely love the books and enjoyed reading each of the first 7 as they were released whilst I was in primary school. I have very fond memories of sleepovers with my best friend, and her *patiently* waiting for me to finish the chapter she had just finished so that we could talk about it- that's love, no spoilers!- and so my Kmart checkout impulse purchase was this book. 

I work a half day on Fridays, and my beloved is out of town for work, so I decided that my body needed some time in the great outdoors, something that gets pushed to the back of the schedule far too often! And why not bring a book. 

Winter is such a dreadful season, unless you are in paradise! Gorgeous weather. Sunshine, pleasant breeze, and a glorious beach, all to myself. 

Three hours of serious relaxation and the adventure is already over - don't be deceived, a manuscript is formatted to take up more space than a novel, it's sadly shorter than I would have liked! 

But it is a good read, dealing with family dynamics and the crippling effects of history and choices on the present and future.

Take an afternoon off. Open a book! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Dress for a princess

This beautiful little girl turned 4, so here is the dress I made her. Floss Style Rosie Dress with fabric I had :) 

52 in 52 - book 19 - Prince of the Blood - Raymond E. Feist

 I finished another book! Whilst the reality that I need 33 books in roughly 16 weeks seems an impossible reality to finish this challenge, I'm going to persist and see how many I can complete anyway. 

Prince of the Blood was another re-read, a book I haven't read for several years. Fantasy and adventure, it is excellently written and unputdownable. 470 pages. 

Twin princess think their father, Prince of Krondor, is unreasonable and takes the fun out of life. The death of their only male cousin, and the news that no other make heir could arise due to the queen's ill health, forces their father to drive home the gravity that the elder twin, Borric, is now the heir to the kingdom- and needed to begin to think and behave as such. And his twin Erland would never be King, but must always publicly support his brother, no matter his actual opinion, lest the kingdom be thrown into civil war at the hands of disagreeing factions. 

A diplomatic assignment to travel to the land of Kesh to attend the Empress' 75th jubilee is required, and Prince Arutha takes this as the opportunity to teach his spoiled court-born sons about the world. It's a risky mission, the Keshians are known for murder and underhanded dealings. 

Just days before they are due to depart, an attempt is made on Prince Borric's life, by none other than a member of the Keshian royal family. 
To prevent risk of offence and war, plans are changed and a small party is sent off along a less direct route, to foil any others from a second attempt. 

A stopover at the magician's academy on Stardock Island sees much change- Jimmy the Hand turned Baron James falls deeply in love with Gamina, daughter of Pug, who can speak and hear thoughts - whilst reviving James who nearly drowned, she learned every secret of his life, and loved him. With this intimate knowledge of his history, he couldn't help but love her back- she was the first person he had no secrets from, the true sense of intimacy. 
The party was delayed for a wedding celebration, and then Gamina joined the travellers on their mission to Kesh. 

A sandstorm gave bandits the perfect opportunity to attack the party, looking for things of value, and prisoners to sell as slaves. Having lost his sword and won magicians robes to replace his own lost tunic in a game of poker, Borric is captured and manages to live through the deadly walk to Durbin. Though barely. 
The rest of the party regroup, and search for the Prince. They must eventually assume him to be the one dead at the bottom of a rock fall where his shoe was found, and prince Erland- now Heir to the Kingdom, must push on and not show grief to those of Kesh, he must behave as the heir. 

With the assistance of a beggar turned failed their, Borric escapes the slavers yards, but the massive hunt put on for him indicated they were aware of his identity but unwilling to share it- saying instead he had murdered the Governor's wife. 
Near death experiences follow them to the docks, a stolen boat, chase by the sea patrols looking for the escaped prisoner, and a full day of bailing out the water of the sinking boat. A rescue by a larger vessel saves the day, they work hard, the captain is fair, but suspicious, and so puts them out before the pilot boards to take the ship into Kesh. 

I wasn't planning on writing this much! I need to get to work! I may update later, if not, awesome read. You should check it out. 

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

52 in 52 - book 18 - A Darkness at Sethanon - Raymond E Feist

Instalment 3 in The Riftwar Saga, the continued battle against the army of 'the enemy' 
Another incredible work of fantasy, unputdownable engaging stories seamlessly intertwining the paths of characters from different cities, cultures, planets and times. 

More then one pot of tea was enjoyed with this saga! 
527 pages of excitement! The best bit is that despite The Riftwar Saga being now complete, there are still 27 other works in Midkemia and Kelewan for me to reacquaint myself with! 

I think next is a change of pace with "who switched off my brain" and then perhaps some Matthew Reilly to prepare for his new book release!

Despite being in week 27 and having only finished 18 books, I am hopeful that I may yet catch up! Dare to try :) 

Happy reading ( ps, read everything Raymond E Feist, and Matthew Reilly) 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

52 in 52 - book 17 - Silverthorn - Raymond E Feist

Quickly following its prequel was Silverthorn, second in the series and the saga. The war has ended, but there is other trouble afoot. The new prince's almost wife is is on the verge of death, and no one knows the cure. 432 pages of adventure and battle, fantasy at its best. I highly recommend everyone who loves fantasy to read these books!


52 in 52 book 16 - Magician - Raymond E Feist

To get back into the groove of reading, I've chosen a saga I've read before, starting with Magician, a book published before I was born and will be a classic long after I'm dead I am sure. 
681 pages of exceptional fantasy that I lost myself in at once. Following the life of an orphan boy, his best friend, and the 'Royal family' in a a small rural community, through exceptional twists and turns. The book covers about 30 years, and it's unputdownable

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Behind again! Challenging times! 52 in 52 - book 15 - parts a & b - Christmas at the Beach Cafe, Christmas Gift at the Beach Cafe, Lucy Diamond

So 52 books in 52 weeks doesn't work so well when you hit "mental block" with reading... I know that sounds bizarre, but there really are times when you just can't get into the book that you've started, and we're really enjoying.... Ah well... I worked out a temporary solution - The Beach Cafe by Lucy Diamond has a couple of Novellas based on the same storyline, so whether or not reading the two of them counts as one book, I'm not sure....  But I'm claiming it! So book 15 is 2 novellas!

Both of these novellas take place after the original The Beach Cafe (book 5 in my 52 in 52 reading challenge), The first, Christmas at the beach cafe takes place months after the original novel. Evie, the "black sheep" of the family, is thriving in the cafe left to her by her aunt - something that is surprising to her family, and almost equally to herself- and her chef turned boyfriend Ed has moved in, life is good! Evie's favourite day of the entire year is Christmas - clearly the season mentioned in the title! Evie is all set for their very first Christmas together, small, romantic, and secluded from the whole world as their sleepy village shuts down against the cold of winter. 
All this goes awry when Ed's brother turns up unannounced having just arrived back in the UK from Thailand. Evie has heard all about him and his travels from Ed - however he seems to be doing his best to make a rift between Evie and Ed, and Ed can't even see it!! As if things weren't far enough off track...
It's been a month since I drafted this post, hoping to get straight back to it.... I'm just going to publish it now....