Tag Archive | March Magics

Book Ishness/News! (April 2019)

Good day, my Pagelings!

I have a whole passel of bookish news and book ishnesses to share with you today, and you’re not going to want to miss these freebies, a giveaway, some exciting books releasing, and my March Magics wrapup, as well as a look at my current nightstand of books I’m reading!

Giveaway!

Firstly, in case you missed it, I’m giving away a paperback of The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead, and there’s still two days left to enter to win it, so hurry and enter here! (US only, ends midnight 4/17/18)

Vote for your favorite fantasy!

If you’ve read 2 or more of the 20 books that made it to the semi-final round of the fan-voted Alliance Awards hosted by Realm Makers, then you can vote for whichever ones you’ve read using a star-rating system! You still have a week left to vote — get it in before April 23! Vote here!

They include (titles link to my reviews if I have them): The Story Peddler (Lindsay A. Franklin), The Electrical Menagerie (Mollie E. Reeder), Spice Bringer (H.L. Burke), Song of Leira (Gillian Bronte Adams), Renegade Skyfarer (RJ Metcalf), Mark of the Raven (Morgan L. Busse), Fawkes (Nadine Brandes), Bitter Winter (Jaye L. Knight), Common (Laurie Lucking), and many others! So go check it out!

Jill Williamson Audiobook Kickstarter

Jill Williamson launched a kickstarter to fund audiobooks of her stellar Blood of Kings fantasy trilogy, and it has cool rewards if you support it! The first goal is fully funded, which means there WILL be an audiobook of By Darkness Hid, but there’s still a little to go to reach the first stretchmark (for an audiobook of To Darkness Fled) and it would be amazing if it could get even beyond that, so go check it out and see if it’s something you’re interested in! (I love this series and Jill was one of the first authors I got to meet, so the idea of this coming to audiobook is exciting to me. ^_^) [EDIT: The audiobook of book 2 is now funded! EEP! We need your help to get the final book in the trilogy funded too! :D]

Fairy Tale Central is live!

If you missed when I shared about it, the new website Fairy Tale Central, hosted by some of my dearest fairy tale loving pals, has been absolutely ROCKING it with reviews and commentaries and all sorts of fairy tale goodness, focused on the fairy tale of the month, Rumpelstiltskin. Sound like fun? IT IS! Be sure to check it out if you haven’t!

(And while you’re at it, check out the new website of one of the founders, Christine Smith, who moved from Musings of an Elf to a new and even more gorgeous site, ChristineSmithAuthor, and if fairy tales or fantasy or writing is your thing, you NEED to check out her blog!! <3)

APRIL RELEASES

So much coming out this month, and I feel like I’m even missing a few!

  • H.L. Burke has a new book out, Match Cats, three short tales of cats and love — can’t wait to read this one!
  • Flight of the Raven is coming AT LAST!! I adored the first book in this series by Morgan L. Busse (Mark of the Raven) and have been dying to read the sequel ever since. It’s arriving April 30th and I could not be more excited!
  • Encircled, a collection of six fairytale retellings by six authors, including Laurie Lucking, J.M. Hackman, and Jebraun Clifford, released TODAY and is so pretty sitting shiny and new in my Kindle. I can’t wait to check it out!
  • I just read Shadow Figure, which is a short story releasing in just a few days from E.B. Dawson. It’s the sequel to Government Man (another short story), kinda dystopian and sooo intense but I loved it! I’ll be reviewing several stories by this author soon. 😀
  • Cait at Paper Fury has a new book out, The Boy Who Steals Houses, and it sounds like a fabulous contemporary novel!
  • This Cursed Flame by Selina J. Eckert, releasing April 27, is available for preorder and features a mix of urban and portal fantasy, elemental magic, genies and djinn, some fabulous female friendships and delightful characters, stunning settings that feel straight out of Pinterest fantasy art boards (in the best possible way), and a talking ocelot! I loved this one, and totally recommend it! (Disclaimer: I did edit it. But. You know. It’s still unbiased-ly good. ;))
  • A Greater Strength from Rebecca P. Minor (who runs the Realm Makers writers conference) also released today! I haven’t read the first book yet but it’s FREE at the moment and features elves, so I’m looking forward to reading it — plus, just look at the gorgeous cover of this sequel! :O
  • The Fourth Musketeer (Part 2) just came to Patreon from Kyle Robert Shultz, with more Julio and the Three Musketeers and a certain other fan-favorite character. It’s so, so good! (One of these days the Patreon stories will come to a collection for other readers, but for now, there they are.) (And I did edit this one as well.)
  • Speaking of things I’ve edited and also speaking of Kyle, he has two nonfictions releasing this month! (Yes, this boy has been busy. XD) The 10,000-Word Secret is a short nonfiction book available for free to subscribers of his new nonfiction-and-writing related newsletter, and Not Write Now is a hilarious and brilliant reverse-psychology book on writing, which I totally recommend! It. Is. Perfect. XD It’s releasing April 30th and is up for preorder too, and you can check out his post about both of these.
  • And finally, Hazel B. West (author of my favorite Modern Tales of Na Fianna books) is coming out with an urban fantasy retelling of Hades and Persephone called The Flower of the Underworld which I NEED IN MY LIFE. I’ll be sharing about it for the blog tour when it releases next week on April 23!

Wait, not quite finished!

C. M. Banschbach has a new short story out, free for subscribers to her newsletter! It’s a short story prequel to something you may have heard me flailing about as “The Mountain Baron” which is now going to be TWO books, the first of which, Outcast’s Oath, is releasing this summer (and features the character I call my smol floof of anger management issues, Rhys the Mountain Baron). I’M SO EXCITED. ❤

Definitely check out the short story! 😀 (Because it’s free and I beta-read it so I know it’s amazing, and you need this snarky Scottish-like epicness in your life. YOU JUST DO.)


MY READING NEWS

APRIL NIGHTSTAND

Oh, look, we’re halfway through April already. Wonder how that happened . . . *nervous laughter*

Instead of making lofty reading goals that I knew I wouldn’t make, I just took a photo of all the books I was currently reading when April hit (pictured above) and have fit in a couple of small things since.

  • I actually read TWO nonfictions this month (*gasp* Three if you count reading The 10,000-Word Secret again, since I edited it.) Odyssey of a Texas Sailor — a true story of a Texan man attempting to sail from England in a boat by himself in 1985, told in his journal which is highly amusing, and gathered by his daughter and published. Larger than life, fun, and absolutely fascinating! And Oh Snap! I’m Making Money . . . Now What? by Chris Morris, which is the only accounting book with a sense of humor, apparently, and was useful. 🙂
  • I finished my 6th read of Howl’s Moving Castle (left over from March Magics) and I REGRET NOTHING. I love that book so, so much!
  • I’m listening to The Electrical Menagerie on AUDIOBOOK and having a blast! I’ve been meaning to reread that one since I finished it last year, so this is a treat. 😀 I’ll be reviewing the audiobook when I finish, so stay tuned! (CARTHAGE AND HUXLEY FOREVER. ❤ )
  • I’m also listening to Cress, though I am not very far in yet and have sort of put it on hold until I finish The Electrical Menagerie . . . but I love it so far and am looking forward to returning to it. 🙂
  • And I finally got back to my re-read aloud of Second Son, and am loving that! BRANT! ❤
  • I’m halfway into the ebook of Spindle by W.R. Gingell, Fellowship of Fantasy Bookclub book of the month. I ADORE IT SO FAR! It’s like Sleeping Beauty with a Howl’s Moving Castle flavor. 😀
  • I’ve also been beta-reading and copyediting, and recently binge-read a whole handful of sci-fi short stories by E.B. Dawson and got ADDICTED to them. They’re so good, halp! (And I don’t even read sci-fi??) I’ll be reviewing those soon because I MUST FLAIL.

So! There’s the first half of my reading for April. 😀

MARCH MAGICS Wrapup

Yes, hello, March ended over two weeks ago and I haven’t shared about how my March Magics went! (But don’t worry, wizards are never late, and I was reading about a lot of them, so clearly I’m immune to lateness too.)

Here are the Pratchett and Diana Wynne Jones books I finished in March — not very many, but so delightful!

  • The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett was SO SO GOOD. I adored it. 😀 (Those Nac Mac Feegle, though! XD) Plus, the illustrated copy I found at my library was the coolest. O_O
  • My reread of Reflections by Diana Wynne Jones was absolutely delightful. ❤ I loved revisiting her thoughts on fantasy, writing, children’s books, and of course her own works. So much gold!
  • And Hexwood was brilliant and I still love it SO MUCH — plus it was fantastic to read it now that I knew what was actually going on. XD I think it’s going to need at least a third read at some point! (AND MORDION. I HAVE SO MANY FEELS.)
  • And I read about half of Howl’s Moving Castle, which I finished in April, and is still my FAVORITE BOOK EVER. ❤

March Reads

I didn’t read much in March that wasn’t March-Magics related, but let’s see . . .

  • Healer’s Bane was a fascinating novella with a gaslamp/dystopian type flavor. I really enjoyed it and have many feels! Read my review.
  • The 10,000-Word Secret I already mentioned and it’s pretty cool (and free!).
  • And also This Cursed Flame! I guess when I edit things and then they come out the next month, it’s handy, since I know they’re good and can tell you to go look them up! 😉
  • So yeah, those and March Magics books are all I managed to read in March, but I guess it’s still a reasonable number of books, and they were all really good, so. 😀

Whew! I think that’s it on the news front. So much exciting bookishness going on! What book things are you excited about? Let me know in a comment! Thanks for reading! 🙂

Bookish News Roundup/March Magics 2019!

Once upon a time, a blogger used to blog. This was a long time ago, but there were likely fearsome, lengthy, time-consuming, important quests involved and totally valid reasons for her absence of many moons. Fortunately, this blogger is back today to share bookish happenings, releases, cover reveals, a free book, and of course March Magics!

Once upon a time (even longer ago), a fabulous author named Diana Wynne Jones wrote some of the best fantasy ever to grace the page. This month is all about celebrating her work (and that of another fabulous fantasy author, Terry Pratchett) and even if I’m approximately two-thirds of a month late posting about this, I have been doing things to celebrate when time allows. XD

So.

It’s March.

I’m not quite sure how this happened?

But I do l love March. It’s my birthday month (I had a FANTASTIC bookish one!) and Diana Wynne Jones month and St. Patrick’s Day and spring (happy Spring, as of yesterday!) and all things good. ❤ Particularly Diana Wynne Jones March. 😉

So here’s how I’m celebrating one of my favorite events of the year, and all the other March madness! (It’s a good madness, I promise.)

MARCH MAGICS

March Magics is hosted by Kristin @ We Be Reading and this year the theme is Riches Well-Told. Which means we get to re-read our favorites! I’m totally down for this. 😀

There’s also a readalong for Howl’s Moving Castle (YESSS! Hoping to do that this week) and for The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett — which I just read and was delightful!

Here’s my stack!

Status update on these!

  • The only new-to-me book in this stack is The Wee Free Men, which I read this month (about the only book I’ve finished, but you know. XD) and it was SO SO FUN! I loved it so much! 😀 It felt totally different than the other Discworlds I’ve read but I LOVED it. The Nac Mac Feegle are the best. XD And I managed to find a GORGEOUS fully-illustrated edition at my library, so reading that was just magical.
  • I’m about a third of the way through my Hexwood re-read (which I loved the first time) and I’m sooo enjoying it! Especially now that I know what actually happened. XD I can’t wait to finish. (MORDION. MY FEELS.)
  • I’m reading an essay per day, more or less, of Reflections: On the Magic of Writing. I’m loving it! I read this collection years ago but I appreciate it so much more now that I’ve read more of DWJ’s work, and I think most of her things are best on a re-read. Even if I don’t agree with every thing in it, there are SO many gems in here about fantasy, writing, and her own work. I ADORE IT. I think I’m on track to finish by the end of the month. If you’re a writer or a fantasy fan or a DWJ enthusiast, you HAVE to read this. I don’t read much non-fiction but this one is phenomenal.
  • I’m definitely planning to pick up Howl’s Moving Castle this week for my sixth read and I can’t wait! 😀 In the years since I discovered it, I’ve re-read it almost every year (just missing two years, one of which was last year), so it’s definitely time! (I almost always read it in the spring for some reason! It just seems a spring-y kind of book. Maybe because spring cleaning. Or May Day…)
  • I’m SO hoping I will find the time to dive into my first re-read of Fire and Hemlock, but if not, I will definitely have to do it next month. I’ve adored this one for ages but been a little afraid to reread it (while also been wanting to reread it ever since I closed the final page). I’m SO looking forward to it.
  • And if I get a minute, I’m totally planning to re-read Mort, which is one of my favorites. XD A Guards! Guards! re-read would not go amiss either, but looking less likely. But hey, I’ve read The Wee Free Men this month and that was totally awesome, and I’m in the midst of re-living some DWJ magic, so anything else I get done, or don’t, it’s all good. 🙂

So there’s an update on my DWJ and Pratchett reading/goals!

I haven’t made any specific plans for March Magic-ish posts (being too busy to blog on this or any other topic) but I’m still holding out hope that I’ll do something more — maybe I’ll Howl myself into writing one or two before the month is out. 😉

Meanwhile, check out my DWJ page where I’ve collected some DWJ-ish things.

And enjoy this quote, which I’ve been thinking a lot about lately as I don’t allow myself time to take care of myself between all the busy things . . . *cough*

Onward to the non March-Magics Marchness!

MARCH RELEASES

  • A Dream Within a Dream by Kristina Mahr — I still need to read book one, but look, another gorgeous book from Uncommon Universes Press!
  • Hertz to Be a Hero by Bryan Davis — I just picked this up at a homeschool convention I went to for my birthday. I’m so excited to read it! Middle-grade superhero novel? Yes please! Check out my review of book one, Wanted: A Superhero To Save the World, which you should totally read!
  • Healer’s Bane by Hope Ann — I’m reading a review copy of this fantasy novella and enjoying it so far, so expect a review for it in late March! (I mean, later than it already is. *cough*) It’s got a dash of gaslamp and semi-dystopian and it’s fascinating.
  • Betrayal by Blood by RJ Metcalf — Prequel to the steampunk-fantasy book Renegade Skyfarer! I need this in my life!
  • The Door to Camelot by Suzannah Rowntree — This is actually a re-release, which I share about later in the post under gorgeous-cover-reveals but YAY ARTHURIAN!
  • The Road to Bremen by Kelsey Bryant — This one actually released at the end of February, but I had to include it! Lovely retelling of the Bremen Town Musicians, with adorable illustrations! I love it so much. ❤
  • The Fourth Musketeer (Part 1) by Kyle Robert Shultz — This is a fabulous novella retelling of The Three Musketeers, featuring dragon-shifter Julio Aquino from Horseman and . . . another surprise character from the Afterverse. 😉 The first part is up on Kyle’s Patreon and the second half is coming April 2. (If you’re not on Patreon, the stories he puts up there will someday be collected in anthologies available elsewhere, just so you know!) I edited this and it’s one of the most fun things I’ve read in a long time. XD
  • Elapse by Sarah Holman — Pictured below since it’s not on Goodreads yet, but this is another short story in the Tales of Taelis series and it just released! 😀

OTHER MARCH NEWS

(a.k.a. a free book and some gorgeous covers!)

Free through March 22

Retrieve by Sarah Addison-Fox is currently free on Kindle! (You may remember my review for it from before the gorgeous cover change!)

Coversss

Speaking of gorgeous covers, in case you missed it . . .

The Electrical Menagerie has an epic new cover! And an audiobook! AAAHH! You need it in your life. ❤

There was also a cover reveal for an upcoming fairytale anthology called Encircled, featuring stories by Laurie Lucking (author of Common), E.J. Kitchens, J.M. Hackman, Jebraun Clifford, and others! It’s sooo pretty and sounds amazing!

Sarah Holman has a new Tales of Taelis short story out! I love this cover and can’t wait to catch up on the series! 🙂

Also, guys! Suzannah Rowntree is re-releasing her book, Pendragon’s Heir, as a TRILOGY with shiny new titles/covers! IT’S EXCITING. And a good reminder I need to get around to reading this!

What if King Arthur had a daughter?
Blanche was an ordinary girl in 1900 England…until the knight crashed through her door. Now, her guardians say she’s a princess lost in time.
Now, her father’s enemies want her dead.
Raised in the wild, Perceval has never known his father. Hoping for answers, he sets out to pledge his sword to the legendary King Arthur Pendragon. But dark forces threaten Camelot. And darker secrets fester behind the legend.
Sparks fly when Perceval steals a kiss from the strange damsel he finds in the forest. Blanche doesn’t trust this brash young knight…but as assassins close in, he might be her only chance of survival.
If you love Narnia and Middle Earth, you’ll be enchanted by this beautifully crafted Camelot! The Door to Camelot is Book One of Pendragon’s Heir, an acclaimed new Arthurian retelling now being re-released in three volumes.
Get it now (99 cents) • Goodreads

MY MARCH NIGHTSTAND

Or, the non-March-Magics part of it

I’m sort of laughing at myself right now since this is the photo I took at the beginning of the month, of what I wanted to read this month, and I’ve done none of them. I just haven’t had time to read and it’s BREAKING MY HEART but you know, life. *cough* Look at pretty books because they are pretty:

I’ve listened to all of fifteen minutes of Cress so far (no time for life! Aagh!) but so far it’s neat and Cress is adorable.

Haven’t touched the rest so far. *cries* I need a vacation dedicated to reading. 😛

I’m also still totally planning to read a couple of ebooks which might take precedence. So. You know. That might happen, they’re just less easy to take pictures of. XD

MY READING NEWS

Other than, you know, a lack of reading this month . . . *cough* Here’s stuff I read last month!

February Reads

I talked about some of these in my February Ishness post on my other blog, but these were mostly fun. Beneath the Haunting Sea would be my favorite, with The Gilded Wolves being least-favorite. Scarlet is super fun as an audiobook! Also, I will be sharing a review for Ewan Pendle and the Castle of Nightmares as soon as my brain has a coherent moment between life things!

And there you are, my pagelings! Are you doing anything for March Magics? Do you have a favorite book by Diana Wynne Jones, or have you not read her yet? (This is an excellent time to remedy that!) And are you ready for Spring? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading! 🙂

March Magics 2018: Wrapup

I know this is a bit late, but bear with me as I wrap up my reading etc. for March Magics!

(via webereading.com)

Books Read

For March Magics 2018 (all new reads this year for me) I managed to read:

  • The Game – Diana Wynne Jones — This was a quite short novella, so I wish there’d been more, but what there was I LOVED. The idea of the Mythosphere was AWESOME, I loved Flute and Fiddle and Troy, and there were some great references (like the one about The Lord of the Rings and the One Ring. XD). Loved it! 5 stars
  • Dragons at Crumbling Castle – Terry Pratchett — This was a collection of shorter stories by young Terry Pratchett, which were published in a paper when he was in his teens. I loved them! XD The illustrations were actually kind of distracting/annoying to me (and definitely made the book seem like for a younger audience than it needed to be), but most of the stories themselves were downright hilarious, and simply sheer fun! In a way, I enjoyed it even better than some of his fiction for older readers, because sometimes you just want to enjoy yourself. 😛 5 stars
  • The Homeward Bounders – Diana Wynne Jones — Um. OKAY THEN. O_O This one was fascinating and very different. It’s in first-person (I ended up really loving Jamie, the narrator boy) and… well… let’s just say that DWJ wasn’t all that into happy endings apparently at this time? *cough* It was kinda bittersweet, though at the same time I don’t know how else it COULD have ended. It was like Dogsbody in that way. ‘Twas scary too! But really addicting. And the world-hopping was fascinating. There were also a couple of characters I loved. XD I felt like it was a lot more serious at first and didn’t get really funny and DWJ-ish until the second half, but I really started to enjoy it then. OH. BUT ANCHORS. O_O So, since I was reading this for the first time, and I also had A Blink of the Screen by Pratchett out from the library, I was NOT okay with the Doubleday anchor on the side of that book (see picture above). NOT OKAY, I TELL YOU. (If you’ve read The Homeward Bounders, you will know why. O_O) Anyway, I read it finally and liked a lot of it. 5 stars because I couldn’t not.
  • Yes Dear – Diana Wynne Jones (picture book; not in the above photo) — This was a cute little picture book I read quickly while visiting a library during the month. Not a lot to it, but it was fun. 🙂 4 stars
  • A Blink of the Screen – Terry PratchettShort story anthologies are always a huge hit-or-miss with me. A lot of these I just didn’t “get,” connect to, or care for, particularly some of the stranger or more sci-fi ones. But I did enjoy some of them! Particularly the one about English queues, the one about Father Christmas, and a couple others I don’t recall just now because I don’t have the book handy at the moment. So some of those are 5 stars and I loved them. XD It’s funny to me that I loved his short fiction from when he was younger (i.e. the Dragons at Crumbling Castle book) better than the ones when he was older and “a better writer.” XD I think I may go back to Pratchett’s longer fiction, and Discworld in particular. 😛 2.5 stars overall; ratings varied
  • A Sudden Wild Magic – Diana Wynne JonesNot my favorite DWJ book — it’s an Adult book (very, very specifically) and this is why I feel like she should have stuck with children’s books. XD I don’t recommend it for younger readers, and feel like a lot of my friends simply wouldn’t care for this due to some of the content. (Definitely don’t start out with DWJ with this one — start with Howl’s Moving Castle, because it’s the best. :D) This was an interesting read, and while I didn’t care for some of it, it was gripping and fascinating as always — I’m pretty sure DWJ can’t write a terrible book; just not her best. And the car stuff was pretty funny. XD And I liked some of the characters at times (just… less than usual…) and some of it was fun. And centaurs. 😀 Anyway, not a must-read, but I’m glad I got around to reading it in my continuing journey to read all of DWJ’s books. 3.5 stars

Other March Magics Ishness

This month I also picked up a copy of Pratchett’s The Carpet People when I was visiting a book shop for my birthday… so I’ll get to read that one at some point too.

I will definitely have to still get around to reading DWJ’s Unexpected Magic anthology, which I intended to try but it was out at my library, so I did not get the chance to read it this month, sadly… But sometime!

Posts

As far as posts, I shared these reviews (click covers to visit their posts):

And, on my other blog, I shared a post about some of my favorite Diana Wynne Jones quotes and talked a little bit about them:

Diana Wynne Jones: 6 Quotes to Live By

(the rest are in that post)

Anyway, those were the festivities for this March Magics, for me.

I had fun and I’m looking forward to next year, as always. 🙂

Thanks to Kristin for hosting!

Did you read any Diana Wynne Jones or Terry Pratchett books this March? And have you read any of the ones I mentioned? Let me know your thoughts!

(P.S. What do you think of my new blog header??)

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

Have another belated review from a couple of March Magics ago. XD

GuardsGuards

5starrating

Title: Guards! Guards!

Author: Terry Pratchett

review

This is less of a review, and more of a things-and-thoughts-about-the-book sort of affair.

I read this one a bit belatedly for March Magics—my first Pratchett novel. People say his books are reminiscent of DWJ, and there is a reason, namely: hilarious fantasy. (I still prefer hers, but he can be fun.)

It’s hilarious and a mess and doesn’t take itself seriously, and is basically a fun rollick. XD It takes SO MANY fantasy tropes and turns them on their heads. It has footnotes. (And one of its footnotes had footnotes.) Any book that has as detailed a thing about libraries on page three as this one has is bound to be great. (Also, the librarian is an orangutan. Because it can.)

The blurb (at least the one I read) seems to act like the book is about Carrot, but it’s really about Vimes. Captain Vimes is the LAST person you’d think of as a hero or even as Main Character material. He’s the most unlikely hero imaginable. But I surprised myself by realizing by the end that I absolutely loved him! XD He’s great.

Anyway, it follows the Night Watch of the city of Ankh-Morpork, a few down-on their luck, scrapings-of-the-gutter fellows. Captain Vimes, Sergeant Colon, Nobby, and Carrot. There’s also Lady Ramkin, who is interesting; the Patrician, who is creepy; and the little dragon named Errol!! (My favorite quote about Errol: “He’d eaten most of the table, the grate, the coal scuttle, several lamps and the squeaky rubber hippo.”)

You can’t really describe the PLOT, as such… there’s just a lot of stuff going on. There’s the Watch, and shenanigans, and it’s fun. 😀

Also, silly names like the Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night. And helmet plumes. Also: dragons! And there’s a dash of timey-wimey to spice things up. The thing about the lost heirs!! (I kind of wish it might have turned out a little different about that character… but I don’t know if he’d have wanted that anyway, so I dunno.) There’s a bit of language/rude jokes, but still. I loved the thing about “a million to one chance but it just might work” and how people never say “it’s a certainty but it just might work”. XD There were also some brilliant things about dungeons (never build one you can’t escape from). And, of course, how people in books tend to yell “Guards! Guards!” — because they really do.

There are no chapters, just scene breaks, so it feels like a movie. This also makes it impossible to stop reading, which is awkward for those of us who need to remember to go sleep sometime.

Anyway, I enjoyed it a good deal, and this and “Mort” are probably still my favorite Pratchett books. 😀 I’ll have to try some more with the Night Watch sometime…

Some Favorite Quotes

“set a deep hole with spring-loaded sides, tripwires, whirling knife blades driven by water power, broken glass and scorpions, to catch a thief”

***

There is an art in throwing knives and, even then, you need the right kind of knife. Otherwise it does just what this one did, which is miss completely.

***

It was said that, since vast amounts of magic can seriously distort the mundane world, the Library did not obey the normal rules of space and time. It was said that it went on /forever/. It was said that you could wander for days among the distant shelves, that there were lost tribes of research students somewhere in there, that strange things lurked in forgotten alcoves and were preyed on by other things that were even stranger.*

Wise students in search of more distant volumes took care to leave chalk marks on the shelves as they roamed deeper into the fusty darkness, and told friends to come looking for them if they weren’t back by supper.

*All this was untrue. The truth is that even big collections of ordinary books distort space, as can readily be proved by anyone who has been around a really old-fashioned secondhand bookshop, one of those that look as though they were designed by M. Escher on a bad day and has more staircases than storeys and those rows of shelves which end in little doors that are surely too small for a full-sized human to enter. The relevant equation is: Knowledge = power = energy = matter = mass; a good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.

***

A couple of guards grabbed Vimes tentatively by the shoulders.

“You’re not going to do anything heroic, are you?” whispered one of them.

“Wouldn’t know where to start,” he said.

***

“Do you think picking someone up by their ankles and bouncing their head on the floor comes under the heading of Striking a Superior Officer?”

***

What would Captain Vimes do now? Well, he’d have a drink. But if he didn’t have a drink, what would he do?

“What we need,” he said slowly, “is a Plan.”

That sounded good. That sentence alone sounded worth the pay. If you had a Plan, you were halfway there.

***

“Oook,” the Librarian pointed out, patiently.

“What? Oh. Sorry.” Vimes lowered the ape, who wisely didn’t make an issue of it because a man angry enough to lift 300lbs of orangutan without noticing is a man with too much on his mind.

***

Fortunately, the chances of anyone surviving the ensuing explosion were exactly a million-to-one.

factoids

Genre/Category: Epic Fantasy

Age Group: Adult

Published: 1989

Pages: 288 pages (hardcover)

Series?: Part of the Discworld series, which frankly confuses me because there’s so many and they’re… yeah, confusing. But also book one in the Night Watch / Ankh-Morpork City Watch sub-series.

When Read: April 5 – 6, 2016

Favorite Character: Captain Vimes

Source: Library

Other Notes: Read it (a week late) for the March Magics a couple years ago, celebrating Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett, hosted by Kate @ We Be Reading.


Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

 

Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones

Here, have a review from a couple of March Magics ago, which I never got around to posting. 😛 (This is making me want to get it out of the library again and re-read it!)

DSmirror

5starratingTitle: Deep Secret

Author: Diana Wynne Jones

review

I’ve discovered that I’m downright horrendous at writing reviews for books by Diana Wynne Jones. I plan to write one, then I put it off, and put it off, because I know that it’s far too complex to do justice to in a review — and how even do I wrap my head around it all, exactly?? So once again, as I did with Fire and Hemlock, I’m going to need to just start typing and hope something semi-coherent and possibly slightly resembling a review will come out of it…

This story is a mix of fantasy/sci-fi/modern, with some other worlds thrown in for good measure. Most of it takes place at a sci-fi/fantasy convention of all places. Talk about an original setting! It’s in first person but you totally forget this fact as the story draws you in.

I found this one in the adult section of the library (I usually frequent the YA room… sorry-not-sorry, but all the good stuff’s there!). I suppose it’s a bit more Adult than most of DWJ’s books (more language/dark/gruesome/disturbing/implied stuff) so be aware of that. I don’t really recommend it to teens because it’s kinda dark… But it’s so absorbing!

I LOVED the multiple-worlds stuff. Absolutely fascinating.

There are centaurs! YES.

I also loved the idea of “deep secrets” which Magids (the magic users) thread into the world through stories and art and such. Absolutely brilliant.

There were also a few things about writing and I think some jibes at publishers, etc., which I found hilarious. XD

DS-DWJ

The DWJ library book visiting some of its cousins who live on my shelf

I think it’s possible DWJ put herself in it. There was a lecture on A Sense of Humour in Fantasy. “Some woman beside him wrote funny stuff too” and said that in her own writing, sometimes her jokes made her laugh. (And I remember in some interview or essay or somewhere, DWJ said that about herself.) So I think she put herself into this book and I LOVE IT.

She definitely put in a fan of her book “Archer’s Goon”, as somebody at the convention wore a badge that said “All power corrupts, but we need electricity.” I was just sitting there grinning absurdly as I read that. XD

There are other references too, which made me happy, like to LOTR (somebody had a T-shirt that he said read: “I am a Hobbit.” In Elvish. I think she was making fun of these people, but it was funny. XD), and The Princess Bride. And at one point there was something about being rather like “a magical Bertie Wooster with an invisible butler”. I totally lost it there. It was the BEST.

As usual with DWJ books, there’s a fabulous cast of characters that I love. There’s Maree and Rupert (who tell the story in turns) and they’re so… well… THEM. It’s hard to explain. But I love ’em! Then there are other characters like Will (he’s great!) and Rob the centaur (!!). And one of my absolute favorites is Maree’s cousin Nick—who is, I hear, based on a teenaged Neil Gaiman, who Diana Wynne Jones knew. She based Nick off him, and he’s so incoherent in the morning before he’s eaten breakfast and IT MADE MY DAY. So very hilarious. And one can’t forget neighbor Andrew, the “fabulous Nordic type”! But no more, lest there be spoilers. (Oh! And the quacks! A sort of otherworldly duck. 😀 Loved them!)

I’m absurdly proud of myself for only staying up until 2-something a.m. and having the willpower to go to bed without finishing the last 70 pages. I got to the part where it said: “And, I see in retrospect, that was the last moment when events were in any way within my control.” And I thought: “Welp, I’d better go to bed before things get worse.” 😛

Anyway, DWJ is brilliant and I love her books so much, and this one was no exception! It was longer than many of them. I get addicted to her longer books and LIVE in them, and then have a tendency to accidentally go around in a haze for the next few days, vaguely living in the story again in the back of my mind after spending 414 pages in it…

DeepSecret

“Where is the road to Babylon? / Right beside your door.”

The road I’m looking for is the road to the library to get the sequel, thank you very much.

The story doesn’t need it, but I do.

summary

From Goodreads:

deepsecretAll over the multiverse the Magids, powerful magicians, are at work to maintain the balance between positive and negative magic, for the good of all.

Rupert Venables is the junior Magid assigned to Earth and to the troublesome planets of the Koyrfonic Empire. When the Emperor dies without a known heir, Rupert is called into service to help prevent the descent of the Empire into chaos. At the same time, the senior Magid on Earth dies, making Rupert a new senior desperately in need of a junior. Rupert thinks his problems are partially solved when he discovers he can meet all five of the potential Magids on Earth by attending one SF convention in England. However, the convention hotel sits on a node, a nexus of the universes. Rupert soon finds that other forces, some of them completely out of control, are there too…

factoids

Genre/Category: Contemporary Fantasy / Sci-fi / Inter-world Fantasy / ??? / DIANA WYNNE JONES (which is a category of its own, or should be, because it’s really hard to fit her books into pigeonholes…)

Age Group: Adult

Published: 1997

Pages: 414

Series?: Book 1 of Magids; followed by The Merlin Conspiracy

When Read: March 22 – 23, 2016

Favorite Character: Oh my GOODNESS, don’t ask me this! O_O (Er… I know I’m asking myself; shush.) Rupert or Rob or Nick or Will or Andrew or somebody. Probably most of the cast because you just get so attached to DWJ characters…

Source: Library

Other Notes: Read for March Magics, hosted by Kristen @ We Be Reading

Have you read this one? I feel this NEED to talk to people who have. XD (And I also want to re-read it either before or after Realm Makers, because Sci-fi/Fantasy Conference…)

Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

#MarchMagics Wrapup {2017}

And March Magics comes to a close. Always a bittersweet feeling, because I don’t want it to END, but at the same time it was a delightful event!

I know I for one definitely immensely enjoyed this month of celebrating Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett.

Here’s a look at my magical March. 🙂

Books I Read

  1. Wild Robert – Diana Wynne Jones — New read, quick and delightful; didn’t want it to end! 5 stars
  2. Aunt Maria – Diana Wynne Jones — Also a new read, I was so glad to finally get to read this; I enjoyed it a ton. 5 stars
  3. Howl’s Moving Castle – Diana Wynne Jones (re-read; 5th time) — I was currently in the middle of re-reading this one when March hit, so I finished it up, and it was an absolute delight, as always! ❤ I’m amazed at how I still caught new things on my 5th read. 5 stars (and/or all-the-stars-ever!)
  4. The Pinhoe Egg (Chrestomanci #6) – Diana Wynne Jones (re-read) — This was for the March Magics readalong finishing up the Chrestomanci series. I had recently re-read the earlier books in the series, so I just did this one this month. IT’S SO GOOOOOD. 5 stars. ❤
  5. Mort – Terry Pratchett — Also for the read-along. This was my second-ever Pratchett book and I THOROUGHLY enjoyed myself. XD 4.5 stars
  6. Reaper Man – Terry Pratchett — Read-along again, and absolutely LOVED one of the main story-threads (the Bill Door one), although I wasn’t as crazy about the other main one for some reason. 4 stars
  7. Year of the Griffin – Diana Wynne Jones (re-read) — This one was for a read-along that the Diana Wynne Jones Fan group on Goodreads had. I had forgotten so many things about it! I couldn’t believe it. I liked it the first time, but I loved it SO much more this time! ❤ 5 stars
  8. Soul Music – Terry Pratchett — Also for the March Magics read-along; I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the ones before, but still had its fun moments and was interesting. 🙂 3 stars

DWJ Posts this month

I had SO much fun with those How to Read Diana Wynne Jones and Diana Wynne Jones Experience posts. 😀

Reviews

Other March Magic Things

New DWJ book to read

I got Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones for my birthday this month. I can’t wait to dive into reading it! 😀

DWJ book and chocolate rose for my birthday. Chocolate and DWJ books have something in common: they can’t remain in the house long before I devour them. ❤

Photoshoot

I had an excuse to do a DWJ and Terry Pratchett book photoshoot. Which, as you can imagine, made me happy. XD

(I’ve read all the DWJ books I own except Hexwood. I’ve only read 4 Terry Pratchetts though, so the rest in the picture are ones I have yet to read.)

Archer’s Goon film

I saw the old BBC mini-series of Archer’s Goon (1992) which I had never heard of before but “coincidentally” discovered this month and binge-watched. It’s two-and-a-half hours of cheesy 90s British fun. It doesn’t do the magical and larger-than-life and humor of the book justice, but was nonetheless fun, just to see a DWJ story come to life on screen. 🙂 It actually had quite a lot of dialog from the book, so in a sense it was far more “true” to the book than most adaptions these days… Anyways, it was VERY strange and not as good as the book, but I enjoyed it for some reason anyway. XD

Diana Wynne Jones Book Page

I also decided to make a DWJ Project page on this blog! It can track the books I’ve read, and the ones I want to read, and other fun stuff like quotes graphics I’ve made. I’m hoping to gather some fun links etc. there, and add to the page overtime. 🙂

Conclusion

In general, I just really enjoyed immersing myself in DWJ things like reading posts and listening to a podcast and just… all the DWJ goodness!

And Terry Pratchett too, of course. 😉 Before this month, I had only read one of his books, so I enjoyed getting to read a few more. The Discworld books are definitely strange and not for everyone, but I’ve been enjoying them fairly well. 🙂

Overall, it was a splendid month of humorous fantasy, and I love any excuse to hang out in the worlds of Diana Wynne Jones. ^_^

Thanks very much to Kristen @ We Be Reading for hosting! I had a world (or several) of fun!

I look forward to another magical March next year. ^_^

Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

The Pinhoe Egg by Diana Wynne Jones

5starrating

The March Magics theme this year is “A Matter of Lives and Death” — the Lives part referring to the Chrestomanci series, since Chrestomanci is the title of a nine-lifed enchanter.

For the Diana Wynne Jones read-along for March Magics which Kristen @ We Be Reading is hosting, four of the Chrestomanci books were featured.

Today I’m looking at the final one, The Pinhoe Egg. I just read it for the second time and had an absolute blast with it! ❤ *hugs book* So, so good! ^_^

Here, have a review. (Please excuse the flailing; I can’t help myself.)

Title: The Pinhoe Egg

Author: Diana Wynne Jones

factoids

  • Date read: March 5, 2017
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2006
  • Pages: 515 (hardback)
  • Series: Chrestomanci, #6
  • Fave character: Chrestomanci
  • Source: Library
  • Notes: Re-read aloud (reading for second time), for March Magics Diana Wynne Jones readalong

[Find The Pinhoe Egg on Goodreads]

review

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH I LOVE THIS BOOK SO SO MUCH!!! It may be my absolute favorite Chrestomanci book ever. ❤ And one of my top DWJ books, period.

Just so much is going on in this thing! Not to mention all the fabulous characters, including several familiar ones.

It’s closer to an actual sequel-type-book than Diana Wynne Jones usually wrote. A lot of her sequels follow entirely different characters, just in the same world, with cameos. This was more of a proper sequel to Charmed Life and some of the other Chrestomanci books, and it was such a delight to be back at Chrestomanci Castle with Cat, and Chrestomanci, and Millie, Janet, Roger and Julia, etc. New characters Marianne Pinhoe and her brother Joe were great fun. I also really liked Irene! And a certain character who’s a spoiler ‘til near the end… but he was great too! 🙂

It’s HILARIOUS, too. Julia and Janet going into a horse-craze, Roger and Joe and their inventing, etc. (WE BELONG TO CHRESTOMANCI CASTLE!)

And I so so enjoyed reading about Chrestomanci and his misadventure or two and how he fixes things when he knows about it; Marianne and the Pinhoe shenanigans; Cat and his problems with having to raise a baby griffin, keep a horse happy, help Marianne without Chrestomanci (doesn’t go so well), and learn more about his magical abilities, because he is, after all, going to be the next Chrestomanci someday.

These CHARACTERS, though!

Cat is just a fabulous hero. I really like him a lot, for some reason.

Marianne is a lot like Cat, though his opposite in some ways. They’re fun together.

Millie is the best mum/wife ever. She’s so calming and great! Gah.

Time would fail me to talk of sullen Joe Pinhoe, Roger and Julia, Cat’s sort-of-sister Janet, the lovely Irene (formerly Pinhoe; yes, there are a lot of Pinhoes in this), and all the rest. But it’s such an awesome cast!

Plus Klartch the griffin. There’s also a unicorn. Yesss to the fantasy goodness.

Last, but far from least, Chrestomanci himself is the absolute BEST!

I felt like we got to see an unusual amount of Chrestomanci in this one, which was fantastic! His dry and witty dialog, his sarcastic look that makes you want to melt into the ground, his elaborate dressing-gowns (one for every day of the year, according to an interview with the author!), his elegant suits, his vague looks that mean he’s paying extreme attention, his calm ability to step in and fix a magical disaster efficiently and with some great sarcastic remarks — as soon as he knows the disaster is there, of course (since the main characters often don’t tell him until it’s almost too late).

But he’ll also make sure that the right people help fix it, so that they learn from their mistakes, etc., and also that the right people get their comeuppance. It was also fabulous/hilarious to see him more in a parental-type-role, dealing with the antics of his son and daughter, Roger and Julia, as well as with young Cat and Janet.

AND HIS DIALOG. I CANNOT GET OVER HIS DIALOG. He’s sooo funny and dry and sarcastic and just… I cannot. (It was absolutely so much fun reading this book aloud, if only for his lines.)

Chrestomanci (a.k.a. Christopher Chant, since Chrestomanci is merely the title of the nine-lifed enchanter) is simply one of the absolute best characters ever; and if ever I was in a magical difficulty, I’d definitely want his help!

I love this series, and although I would read dozens more if there were any, this book was the perfect ending for it. Classic DWJ, and Chrestomanci is one of my top-favorite characters ever. ❤

Have you read any of the Chrestomanci books? (Which is your favorite?) If not, you must read one ASAP, because they are delightful books, and you need Chrestomanci in your life!

Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer