img_1384-0

WWW Wednesday | 22.02.17

Happy Wednesday friends!

Didn’t think I’d have this post for today, but I have to share my reading habits with you because of one word: SCHWAB! 😍

Thanks to the lovely Sam at Taking on a World of Words for hosting this amazing blog hop every week! If you aren’t following her already, you’re missing out 🙂

Want to join in? All you have to do is answer these questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

CURRENTLY READING

Dreadnought (Nemesis #1) by April Daniels

33126630Blurb:

Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the world’s greatest superhero. Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But before he expired, Dreadnought passed his mantle to her, and those secondhand superpowers transformed Danny’s body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl.

It should be the happiest time of her life, but Danny’s first weeks finally living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined. Between her father’s dangerous obsession with “curing” her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and her fellow superheroes arguing over her place in their ranks, Danny feels like she’s in over her head.

She doesn’t have time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer—a cyborg named Utopia—still haunts the streets of New Port City, threatening destruction. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.

An ebook received through NetGalley, this book was just released in January and I’m actually rather enjoying it. The unique perspective has drawn me in and there’s an eclectic cast of characters to round it up. The story seems to be working with extremes but I do appreciate that the author is trying to explore the force of transphobia (and homophobia to some extent). The protagonist is highly likeable and the writing is quirky and and suits the first person POV.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

30278755Blurb:

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

So far, this is proving to be a very inspiring and motivating read! I find it especially poignant these days, and maybe just the kick in the creative butt that I need 😅

FINISHED READING

A Gathering of Shadows & A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #2 & 3)by V.E. Schwab

20764879Blurb (from A Darker Shade of Magic, the first book)

Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

29939230Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

What an absolutely brilliant series this has been! Whether it’s the gripping prose or the engaging world building or the memorable characters, Schwab has brought such magic into the world with this series. I haven’t felt this satisfied with a conclusion in a long time and it’s bittersweet to know that the adventure is over. Of course, that’s where the magic of the re-read comes in.

I do highly recommend this series ❀

READING NEXT

The days are winding down, but I’m still hoping to get through these ones!

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

31430932Blurb:

If you want something done right….

When the ruthless Pirate King learns of a legendary treasure map hidden on an enemy ship, his daughter, Alosa, knows that there’s only one pirate for the job—herself. Leaving behind her beloved ship and crew, Alosa deliberately facilitates her own kidnapping to ensure her passage on the enemy ship. After all, who’s going to suspect a seventeen-year-old girl locked in a cell?

Then she meets the (surprisingly perceptive and unfairly attractive) first mate, Riden, who is charged with finding out all her secrets. Now it’s down to a battle of wits and will… Can Alosa find the map and escape before Riden figures out her plan?

Debut author Tricia Levenseller blends action, adventure, romance, and a little bit of magic into a thrilling YA pirate tale.

Wolves of the Calla (Dark Tower #5) by Stephen King

4978Blurb:

 

 

Roland Deschain and his ka-tet are bearing southeast through the forests of Mid-World on their quest for the Dark Tower. Their path takes them to the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis. But beyond the tranquil farm town, the ground rises to the hulking darkness of Thunderclap, the source of a terrible affliction that is stealing the town’s soul. The wolves of Thunderclap and their unspeakable depredation are coming. To resist them is to risk all, but these are odds the gunslingers are used to. Their guns, however, will not be enough….

 

Ashael Rising (Vessel of KalaDene #1) by Shona Kinsella

34097124Blurb

Ashael is a hunter-gatherer woman, apprenticed to Bhearra, the healer and spiritual leader of their tribe.

The Zanthar are invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force of everything around them. They were last seen on KalaDene 200 years ago. They have returned, looking for The Vessel, a being prophesied to hold the life-force of the land.

Iwan is a slave to the Zanthar, descendant of the folk that were taken as slaves the last time the Zanthar visited this world. He is sent out as a spy, while his mother is held hostage to ensure his compliance.

When Iwan and Ashael meet and she invites him to stay in Oak Cam, neither of them realise that she is the one the Zanthar seek. The fate of KalaDene and all of its people rests on Ashael’s shoulders.


Share your WWW link in the comment or let me know what your reading habits have been like lately. Let’s spread the bookish love across the sphere 😊

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

pablo(1)

Isle of Winds | James Fahy

Happy Tuesday friends,

Sorry I’ve been quiet lately. It’s been a busy week and I’ve been focusing my attention elsewhere.

Today, I have a new review to share with you. 🙂


28173857BLURB

Robin Fellows lives with his grandmother and lives what appears to be a rather ordinary life for a normal twelve year old boy.

But when Robin’s Gran dies, quite suddenly and a bit mysteriously, his world is turned upside down. A long lost relative comes out of the woodwork and whisks him away to a mysterious new home, Erlking Hall, a quiet estate in the solitary countryside of Lancashire.

Suddenly Robin must adjust to his new reality. But reality is no longer what he thought it was


Erlking has many secrets – as do his newly found Great-Aunt Irene and her servants. After a strange encounter on the train and meeting a cold, eerie man on the platform, Robin begins to notice odd happenings at Erlking.

There is more than meets the eye to this old, rambling mansion.
Little does he know that there is more than meets the eye to himself.

Robin is the world’s last Changeling. He is descended from a mystic race of Fae-people, whose homeland, the Netherworlde, is caught in the throes of a terrible civil war.

Not only this, but in this new world there is a magical force that has infiltrated the human realm.

Before he can wrench power from the malevolent hands of the Netherworlde’s fearsome tyrant leader, Lady Eris, he must first search for the truth about himself and the ethereal Towers of Arcania.

The first instalment of The Changeling Series, Isle of Winds is an engrossing tale written in the traditions of high fantasy story-telling while carving out a magical new realm. It is perfect for fans of The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter series.

REVIEW

Since I can remember, fantasy has been my genre of choice. I grew up on the magic and whimsy of Tolkien, Rowling, Lewis & Pullman. If I were a child now, I would equally have delighted in this bookish treasure.

But don’t get me wrong. As an adult, I have adored it. I just feel bad that my past self never got to grow up with the magic that this book brought to life for me during its reading.

As a reader, there are always two aspects of a novel that I need to be completely convinced of: memorable characters and convincing worldbuilding. Of course, the plot has to be strong too, but if it is missing either of those features, there’s a good chance that the plot will not be as gripping or engaging as it could be. Fortunately, Isle of Winds excels on all counts.

We are introduced to our protagonist, Robin Fellows, in a moment when life is catapulted from the familiar. His grandmother is dead and he is being forced to relocate to a manor to live with an aunt he never knew existed. Of course, the thing he doesn’t realize quite yet is that he’s about to discover the truth of his heritage and stumble into a fantastic adventure that most kids dream about.

From the get-go, Robin is a likeable boy with a natural curiosity and a good spirit. As with every good story, he’s only as strong as his supporting cast, and they are in anything but short supply. From the formidable Aunt Irene, to the enigmatic Karya, these characters blend into Robin’s life as he comes to uncover the Fae world he was born into.

And what a world it is! The mythology that layers it is superb and leaps off the pages with such vividness that you feel ready to get lost in yourself. The manor where Aunt Irene lives, Erlking Hall, is a beautifully imagined place with passages and secret doors to rival Hogwarts. The Netherworlde is crafted with equal attention, a parallel land existing with the world we know. The magic system of Arcania is full of its own mystery, while the mystical folk that inhabit the world take inspiration from Greek and Roman mythology! Have I conveyed the brilliance of it yet?

CONCLUSION

A truly remarkable debut to a series, Isle of Winds is full of twists and turns and provides an adventure that is engaging, gripping and captivating. A magical ride you don’t want to miss.

RATING

quills


If you want to interact with James, you can find him here:

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

If you want to discover the magic of Isle of Winds for yourself… AMAZON

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

the-inionaofa-chronicles

The InĂ­onaofa Chronicles | Title Reveal & Other Tidbits

Happy Thursday friends!

Today, I’m excited to share some news about my urban fantasy series: The InĂ­onaofa Chronicles.

First, let me highlight some tidbits about the series that you might not yet be aware of…

PRONUNCIATION:

I’ve gotten a few questions about this one, so I figured it would be a good idea to share the trick of it with you.

InĂ­onaofa combines two Irish words: InĂ­on and Naofa.

InĂ­on means daughter or girl and Naofa means holy or sacred. For the purpose of this story, the word InĂ­onaofa means Sacred Daughters. The purpose of that, well… you’ll have to read to find out.

Now, how do you pronounce it? As such: In – een – nay – fa.

The Series Structure:

I have a total of twelve novels/novellas planned for this series. I can’t go into too much detail for some of them because it will spoil a major arc. At the moment, four full length novels will make up the core of the series with the novellas working as companion pieces. In this large system, ElĂ©onore works as a prequel of sorts, but an essential one, as the character of ElĂ©onore is at the heart of the series. I would recommend reading her before leaping into the series…

And speaking about leaping into the series, now seems like the perfect time to present the title reveal for Book One of the InĂ­onaofa Chronicles…………………………………

…..

…..

TITLE REVEAL

3 …..

2 …..

1 …..

 

Harkening (1).png

 

That’s right. HERALDING.

I don’t have a blurb to share with you right now, mainly because I haven’t written one yet, but also because any blurb would hold some spoilers for ElĂ©onore, but I can share a small premise (if you really don’t want spoilers, just skip the purple bit)…

Eléonore scratched only the surface of a grander plot in Quebec City. Demons and sorcerers are conspiring, a new force is awakening, and all of it heralds an entirely more sinister hellhole of trouble for Eléonore to get sucked into.

CRAFTING THE SERIES

This is just a reminder that for the next few months every second Thursday will be dedicated to a new blog series – CRAFTING THE SERIES – that will explore my journey with ElĂ©onore. I’ll start with conceiving of the idea. If everything goes well, I’ll be providing PDFs to accompany each step to help you take your story from creation to publication too!

Exciting times are coming 🙂


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

img_1384-0

WWW Wednesday | 15.02.17

Happy Wednesday friends,

This seems to be a thing now, posting every second week, and it’ll probably stick because life is hectic ;P

As always, WWW Wednesday is a wonderful opportunity to delight in discovering what other people have read, are reading or will be reading. Because our TBRs are in need of it, right? 😅

Thanks to the lovely Sam at Taking on a World of Words for hosting this amazing blog hop every week! If you aren’t following her already, you’re missing out 🙂

Want to join in? All you have to do is answer these questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

CURRENTLY READING

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab

20764879Blurb (from A Darker Shade of Magic, the first book)

Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

I have been putting this one off because I wanted to read it close enough to A Conjuring of Light‘s release date. Since that is LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY!!!! now seems like a good time to start on this one 💖

UPDATE: Only 40 pages in and I am already in love. There are pirates!!!

FINISHED READING

Game of Shadows by Erika  Lewis

31140987Blurb:

Ethan Makkai thought that seeing ghosts was the worst of his problems. Between his ethereal gift and life with a single mother hell-bent on watching his every move, he feels imprisoned. When Ethan sees a chance to escape, to leave the house by himself for the first time in his life, he seizes it, unaware that this first taste of freedom will cost him everything.

Ethan is thrown into a strange and eerie world, like nothing he’s ever seen. He’s assaulted by dive-bombing birds and rescued by a stranger who claims to be his bodyguard. His apartment is trashed, and his mother is kidnapped to a place Ethan never knew existed—a hidden continent called Tara.

Travelling to Tara in search of his mother, Ethan discovers that everything he knows about his life is a lie. His mother is royalty. His father is not dead. His destiny is likely to get him killed.

Confronted by a vicious sorcerer determined to destroy the Makkai family, Ethan must garner strength from his gift and embrace his destiny if he’s going to save his mother and all the people of Tara, including the beautiful girl he’s fallen for.

Definitely a new fantasy series to look out for. I was fortunate to receive an ARC from NetGalley and really devoured this one. Reminded me of Percy Jackson and The Mortal Instruments with a Celtic twist. And the mythology really was the best part! My review for it will be up next week in anticipation of its release February 28th!

Dawn Study (Soulfinders #3; Poison Study #6) by Maria V. Snyder

30375956Blurb (from Poison Study, first book in the series):

Choose: A quick death
Or slow poison…

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…

Well, that brings this series to an end. I’ve enjoyed the ride and especially certain character arcs. While I was glad to follow this series to its end, I hate to admit that I wasn’t completely sold on this extended trilogy in the Poison Study universe, if only because a lot of the conflict and conversations became repetitive over times and Yelena’s character seemed to fall to the background too often. I think I’ll review this and Night Study together as they really lead one into the other.

A Second Chance at Life by Kassandra Lynn

33838303Blurb:

Lady Elaina had everything—wealth, title, and irresistible beauty—until her jealous half-sister ruined her reputation and forced her into a disgraceful marriage. She died amidst the flames, murdered and betrayed by her husband and half-sister. As the flames roared, the loss of her unborn child created a thirst for revenge.

A magical amulet sent her two years back in time. She has another chance to make things right for herself and her family, yet what began as a plot to undermine her half-sister’s machinations quickly evolved into a political conspiracy that will rock the entire empire and make Elaina realize she might not have traveled back in time alone.

This is another NetGalley arc and I had such difficulty getting through it. To be honest, it’s not the kind of story I tend to go for, but I was intrigued by the premise and thought it might be a nice change of pace. But the dialogue was terribly stilted and the characters unlikable as a whole. What was most difficult for me though was the unrealistic worldbuilding. I put up a review on GoodReads and I will say that others have more positively received it. It might just be me then and so, while I won’t recommend it, I will advise that I am also not one for romance heavy plots with no other substance, so that’s a bias to take into account.

In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle

In CalabriaBlurb:

From the acclaimed author of The Last Unicorn comes a new, exquisitely-told unicorn fable for the modern age.


Claudio Bianchi has lived alone for many years on a hillside in Southern Italy’s scenic Calabria. Set in his ways and suspicious of outsiders, Claudio has always resisted change, preferring farming and writing poetry. But one chilly morning, as though from a dream, an impossible visitor appears at the farm. When Claudio comes to her aid, an act of kindness throws his world into chaos. Suddenly he must stave off inquisitive onlookers, invasive media, and even more sinister influences.

Lyrical, gripping, and wise, In Calabria confirms Peter S. Beagle’s continuing legacy as one of fantasy’s most legendary authors.

This is reminding me that I’ve read more NetGalley ARCs then physical books. I do not like this statistic ;P
 In Calabria is my second Peter S. Beagle book and so far my favourite (I haven’t read The Last Unicorn yet though, so…). I fast tracked the review because it releases today in the UK! So happy book birthday! A five star review from me. You can find it here!
Isle of Winds (The Changeling #1) by James Fahy
28173857Blurb:

Isle of Winds is the first instalment in a Middle-Grade age fantasy series

Robin Fellows lives with his grandmother and lives what appears to be a rather ordinary life for a normal twelve year old boy.

But when Robin’s Gran dies, quite suddenly and a bit mysteriously, his world is turned upside down. A long lost relative comes out of the woodwork and whisks him away to a mysterious new home, Erlking Hall, a quiet estate in the solitary countryside of Lancashire.

Suddenly Robin must adjust to his new reality. But reality is no longer what he thought it was


Erlking has many secrets – as do his newly found Great-Aunt Irene and her servants. After a strange encounter on the train and meeting a cold, eerie man on the platform, Robin begins to notice odd happenings at Erlking.

There is more than meets the eye to this old, rambling mansion.
Little does he know that there is more than meets the eye to himself.

Robin is the world’s last Changeling. He is descended from a mystic race of Fae-people, whose homeland, the Netherworlde, is caught in the throes of a terrible civil war.

Not only this, but in this new world there is a magical force that has infiltrated the human realm.

Before he can wrench power from the malevolent hands of the Netherworlde’s fearsome tyrant leader, Lady Eris, he must first search for the truth about himself and the ethereal Towers of Arcania.

The first instalment of The Changeling Series, Isle of Winds is an engrossing tale written in the traditions of high fantasy story-telling while carving out a magical new realm. It is perfect for fans of The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter series.

Just finished this one last night and it was W – O – N – D – E – R – F -U – L! A brilliant fantasy adventure that fits in beautifully with classics like Chronicles of Narnia and The Hobbit! Seriously friends. Read this one! My review should be up soon!

READING NEXT

Uh….

29939230

Yep! 😊

But also… I know that I won’t get through my February TBR. It was ambitious to begin with, but I am trying to get through these before the month through…

ARCS:

31430932   34097124   30279514

My Bookshelf:

4978     24453082

Perhaps still a little ambitious…


Let me know what you’re reading or have read or plan on reading next or share a link to your post.

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

pablo(1)

In Calabria | Peter S. Beagle

Happy Monday friends,

Hope you’re having a lovely start to the week so far. Here’s a new review to start off mine.

Thank you to NetGalley and Tachyon Publications for offering me this ARC in exchange of an honest review.


30316199BLURB

From the acclaimed author of The Last Unicorn comes a new, exquisitely-told unicorn fable for the modern age.

Claudio Bianchi has lived alone for many years on a hillside in Southern Italy’s scenic Calabria. Set in his ways and suspicious of outsiders, Claudio has always resisted change, preferring farming and writing poetry. But one chilly morning, as though from a dream, an impossible visitor appears at the farm. When Claudio comes to her aid, an act of kindness throws his world into chaos. Suddenly he must stave off inquisitive onlookers, invasive media, and even more sinister influences.

Lyrical, gripping, and wise, In Calabria confirms Peter S. Beagle’s continuing legacy as one of fantasy’s most legendary authors.

REVIEW

Earlier this year, I had the joy of reading Summerlong. It was the first novel I read by Peter S. Beagle and I was determined to not make it my last. It was a most wonderful decision!

“He simply took pleasure in putting words in order, exactly as he laid out seedlings in the spring, and tasting them afterwards, as he tasted fresh new scallion or ripe tomatoes…”

In Calabria was even stronger than Summerlong, introducing genuine characters and an even more whimsical and heartfelt tale.

It is a simple story about Claudio Bianchi, an elderly man who lives an isolated life with his animals and poetry until the day he is visited upon by a unicorn. She comes to him, looking for his help, and he is there to give it. In return, he is inspired in poetry and love as his quiet life faces a complete upheaval.

The greatest strength of his novel is in the lyrical prose that Beagle deftly wields to draw a reader into the Italian countryside. He crafts such brilliantly vivid images and uses language that provokes emotions and thoughts. It is equal to the one used in Summerlong, if not even more impressive.

“The unicorn met his eyes fully once more, and then vanished so swiftly that Bianchi would have, with time and determination, remembered it as a play of shadow and starlight, but for the single distant chime of a hoof on stone.”

This story also excels in its poignant themes. Through the obsession of society over rumours of the legendary, Beagle explores human fascination with the whimsical and their need to contain it, which is then contrasted by Bianchi’s desire to protect and preserve the magical.

“From that point he began calling the unicorn La Signora, though only in his mind, and in the poems. It seemed more respectful.”

It is a beautiful story that is presented within these pages, with characters that command your attention and sympathy and a climax that resonates with true magic.

CONCLUSION

A lyrically engaging and beautifully quiet novel that brings whimsy to life, Beagle is indeed a master of magical realism.

RATING

quills


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

pablo

This Week in Review | 05.02.17-12.02.17

Good evening!

Sunday is coming to a close here friends. I hope you had a lovely weekend. Mine’s been fairly productive, if not a little hectic at the same time.

Just coming to share the highlights of my week with you 🙂


Posts on My Blog

Eléonore Annoucement

REVIEW | Summerlong by Peter S. Beagle

REVIEW | Desert Jewel by Natalina Reis

My Writing Projects

I’m working on two main projects at the moment, the sequel to ElĂ©onore – title reveal coming this week – and a new high fantasy screenplay. I’ve reached 7k in the sequel and 10 pages in my screenplay which is less than I hoped, but not shabby when all is said and done.

I’ve outlined both so I know where the story is going in each case and expecting that some changes will be coming as they always do. It’s the plantser in me.

My screenplay is one that I conceived a few years ago, but left without touching for a while. After rewatching all of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies with my sister, I felt inspired to pick it up again and try something new: to write a fantasy film without basing it on a novel. I think the story is unique and I look forward to sharing more about it as it comes.

With regards to the second book in the InĂ­onaofa Chronicles, I like how it’s taking shape, though I am also aware that it’s going to need a wee bit of editing once it’s done. Not worrying about that now, though. This first draft is about the writing!


Hope you’ve all had an amazing week and best of luck with the next one. Let me know what special moments have defined your life this week. Stay safe and be good to one another, friends!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

pablo-4

ElĂ©onore & the InĂ­onaofa Chronicles | A Couple of Updates

Happy Thursday friends,

I’ll try to keep this post as short as possible. I just have a few announcements to share with you today concerning my debut urban fantasy novella ElĂ©onore

What People are Saying…

It’s been over two months since ElĂ©onore was published and I can’t express how pleased I am to see how warmly she’s been received. Here are snippets of reviews:

33113796This is Faith Rivens’ debut work, and she has burst onto the scene with a bang.

ElĂ©onore was a wonderful read for so many reasons. There’s a lot of action, a great main character, and enough feelings to make any brick tear up!

I was particularly impressed by the natural character banter and strong character building that made this story feel remarkably effortless – a true pleasure to read.

Faith Rivens has a wonderful way with phrasing, sentence structure and story pace, and her dialogue is effortless.

I think ElĂ©onore is the kind of character you can’t help but love. She’s a kick-ass heroine, not perfect but a strong-willed one.

If you enjoy urban fantasy, you should absolutely give ElĂ©onore a try. I’m looking forward to further books from this author.

Seriously, everyone! These words warm my heart! I’m extremely grateful that she’s received as much positive feedback as she has. You never know when you put your first work forward what you’ll get in return. The support and encouragement is more than I dared to hope for!

dance happy dancing excited yay

If you want to see more, you can check out ElĂ©onore’s GOODREADS PAGE.

A WEEKEND SALE!

Starting tomorrow and running up to (and including) Sunday, February 12th, Eléonore will be on sale for 5.00$ on CreateSpace.

If you’d like a chance to grab a physical copy, now is the time 🙂

disney book books

COMING DISTRACTIONS!

This is the announcement I’m most excited to share with you. Starting in two weeks, I’ll be scheduling bimonthly posts (that’s every second week) about my process of writing ElĂ©onore. I’ll go through the entire journey of it, from conception to publication and a bit beyond.

I benefited in the past from fellow writing bloggers who have shared their take on the craft and I hope to lend others the same inspiration and motivation to conceive their own ideas and write the story in their heart.

On top of this, I’m in the middle of preparing a bimonthly newsletter. It’s not ready yet, but with any luck it’ll be up in time to coincide with the first of my ElĂ©onore writing posts. So keep a sharp eye. 🙂

newspaper

A final note, I’m currently working on the sequel to ElĂ©onore. It will be the full length novel in a planned quartet. Next week, I’ll share a title reveal and a bit more about the exciting plans I have for the InĂ­onaofa Chronicles!


Well, that’s it from me for right now. Stay well, dearest friends!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

pablo(1)

Desert Jewel | Natalina Reis

Hello Friends,

Wednesday is dwindling, but here’s another review!

Thank you NetGalley and Hot Tree Publishing for granting me this ARC in exchange for an honest review!


31123668BLURB

Rebellion brews inside Milenda’s heart as the date for the Trials approaches. As the heiress to the throne of Natale, she is forced to choose a consort from the survivors of the grueling quest across the desert.

Milenda’s heart belongs to Jaali and wants no part in the ancient and cruel ritual, but the Elders—the true rulers of Natale—will not back down.

Jaali was brought from the far North as a child slave. His only chance to be with the woman he loves is to volunteer for the Trials, no matter how dangerous or how much Milenda objects.

Together they begin their journey of discovery and rebellion against the Elders. But will their love be enough or will they lose everything they’ve fought for?

REVIEW

I requested this book initially because of the beautiful simplistic cover, the promising premise, and the diversity of the characters. I read a lot of high fantasy, but I do not read too many set outside of European-esque worlds. It’s something I working harder towards.

My thoughts in the end are conflicted. On the one hand, this was a brilliantly conceived world with visual imagery that sets the reader solidly into the world of Natale. The prose really is wonderful and manages to captivate.

When it comes to plot and characters, however, the story fails to reach its full potential. There is a lot of great substance to work with and the romance at its core between Milenda and Jaali is easy to root for, but the romance takes too much of the focus and for it, these characters suffer as individuals and the plot remains stagnant. It’s a shame too because political intrigue and issues of race are bubbling on the surface to add depth to the story. They just never come across as well as they can.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that Milenda never feels like the main character when she should. The story promises to be about her trying to make her own choice, but she does little to see it come to fruition, mostly just pining after Jaali and allowing others to tell her there’s no point in fighting.

Of course, I don’t want to be too hard on this story. It held a lot of potential, and Natalina does provide an entertaining story for people looking for romance heavy plots. I was just hoping for a bit more.

CONCLUSION

The world building is exquisite, but the plot fails to meet the potential that is promised in the premise.

RATING

m2ysolay


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

pablo(1)

Summerlong | Peter S. Beagle

Happy Wednesday friends,

Still behind on reviews, but we’ll get there!

Thank you to NetGalley and Tachyon Publications for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!


BLURB:

30298463Retired history professor Abe Aronson is a cranky, solitary man living out his autumn years on Gardner Island, a ferry ride away from the hustle and bustle of nearby Seattle. One rainy February night, while dining at a favorite local haunt, Abe and his girlfriend Joanna meet an engaging enigmatic waitress, new in town and without a place of her own. Fascinated and moved by the girl’s plight, Joanna invites her to stay in Abe’s garage. It seems everyone falls for the charming and invigorating the waitress, but she is much more than she appears, and an ancient covenant made a millennium ago threatens to disrupt the spring and alter the lives of Abe, Joanna, and all those around them forever..

 

REVIEW:

Peter S. Beagle, renowned for The Last Unicorn, crafts a story reminiscent of Neil Gaiman, blending reality and whimsy into a stirring narrative about family and the bonds we form. Abe and Joanna are our protagonists, characters in the later years of their life, who have been together for a long time but are not married. Their mundane, every day lives are changed for the better when they meet Lioness, a beautiful young girl who seems to be on the run from something. Or someone.

The premise initially drew my interest and once the story was started, I was hooked. The plot is not one that develops at a quick pace, and in fact is slow going until the midpoint, which might be a turn off for some people. I enjoyed it well enough, loving the lyrical prose that Beagle wielded as he brings to light the truth of Lioness’s past and explores the way in which Abe and Joanna are called to reexamine their lives in the wake of this new presence.

One of the standout characters for me was Joanna’s daughter, Lily, who becomes smitten with Lioness to the point of utter devotion. She is an intriguing character and her relationship with her mother is one of the strengths of the novel. It’s unfortunate that there isn’t more focus on her. Overall, the characters slowly discover new truths about themselves and follow meaningful arcs that reach fulfilling, if not satisfying ends.

Lioness is of course the cornerstone of the story and the truth of her heritage is one that anyone with a grasp on mythology will quickly come to recognize. It’s frustrating that it takes Abe and Joanna as long as it does to discover it for themselves.

Though the slow pace might deter some people, there is something beautiful to be discovered in the subtext of this novel and its thematic resonance. At its heart, this is a story about relationships and explores how and why people form certain bonds.

CONCLUSION:

An enchanting tale that weaves the mystical into every day life and a thought provoking tale.

RATING:

quills


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

pablo(1)

The Blue Sword | Robin McKinley

Happy Thursday friends,

Here’s a new review. I might get another up today if I can. I seem to be falling behind on these….


BLURB

Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the Homelanders and the secretive, magical Hillfolk. Her life is quiet and ordinary-until the night she is kidnapped by Corlath, the Hillfolk King, who takes her deep into the desert. She does not know the Hillfolk language; she does not know why she has been chosen. But Corlath does. Harry is to be trained in the arts of war until she is a match for any of his men. Does she have the courage to accept her true fate?

 407813

REVIEW

This is the second Robin McKinley book I’ve read and I am ever more enamoured with her writing. Sometimes I read books from the 1980s and earlier and realize that they are a league above their own.

The first of two books set in Damar, a fictional world that McKinley masterfully created, I actually read this one after the second because the first (Hero and the Crown) is actually a prequel published after The Blue Crown (have I lost you yet?). I am rather glad that I made this choice because it was great to see characters from the first mentioned. Do you have to read it in that order? Not at all.

As an avid reader of fantasy, I am always looking for a unique read that can pull me headfirst into a new world and keep me captivated within it. Well, The Blue Sword did that masterfully through intriguing characters, magical moments and stunning worldbuilding.

Harry is our protagonist, an orphan, who is captured by the king of the Hillfolk and made to adapt to the desert landscape as she discovers secrets of her past and becomes a formidable warrior. Harry grows from a timid creature to a fierce woman who is not afraid to form opinions and stand out, filled with courage and heart. There is no doubt that McKinley crafted a heroine who captures the essence of female empowerment, a precursor to today’s more renowned Katnisses and Hermiones.

Meanwhile, Corlath, the Hillfolk King, makes for a strong male counterpart, a man governed by a will greater than his own. He works perfectly in the story as someone for Harry to learn from and deviate from as she follows her story arc.

The overarching plot is one that draws parallels to Lord of the Rings, moving towards an epic battle to protect the Hillfolk and Damar. It is within this structure that Harry is allowed to grow and arguably flourish as her small world expands into something far greater than herself and she is called to rise to new challenges. It’s difficult to say much else without spoiling. At once a coming of age story and a quest narrative, the plot delights and satisfies throughout.

As brilliant as the characters and story are, it is the prose itself that seals the deal on this beautiful narrative. Much like favourite authors of mine, Kay and Jemisin, McKinley wields a mighty pen in crafting her sentences, using lyrical prose to ensnare the senses and captivate the reader in the story.

The worldbuilding is equally powerful, especially because of the way it’s written, with the setting coming to life on the page. The desert locations are beautifully described and masterfully come to play within the larger story itself.

CONCLUSION

An epic fantasy that ignites the imagination with its characters, worldbuilding and prose, The Blue Sword is one fantasy readers won’t want to miss.

RATING

quills


Have you read this story or any other books by Robin McKinley? Have you enjoyed them? Let me know in the comments. 

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink