Book: Aesop’s Fables (Wordsworth’s Classics)

“Lions regularly team up with asses. There’s a fox somewhere too…”

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Author: Aesop

Genre: Fantasy, Classic, Animals, Age: All

Do you ever think that some stories are familiar, but you can’t pinpoint where you’ve read them before? Reading Aesop’s Fables is like stumbling into that experience over and over again.

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(The Crow and the Pitcher)

Of course, as the book’s introduction is quick to point out, Aesop didn’t really *write* these stories, he merely collected them. This version from Wordsworth contains around 250 short tales, which feature anthropomorphic characters and situations that make them cross paths. Each story is a quick read, taking roughly three minutes to read at most, and I found myself finishing the book in a couple of days, since I was using it for light reading before bedtime.

There’s nothing amazingly complex about the experience,  since each story starts and finishes with few plot-points. For someone used to reading long, epic fantasy books, this was such a refreshing experience and almost a mental cleanse; I could stay with the characters for a few minutes, and then abandon them, and only take the central  message forward.

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Book: Nicholas Sayre & The Creature in the Case Cover Image

“Of scratching and inkings”

Author: Garth Nix

Genre: Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Age: YA+

Released: 1st October 2007 (UK version)

Going on a Garth Nix kick, I had a look through this book, which a follow-on story from The Old Kingdom Trilogy (The Abhorsen Trilogy). There are a few nice pictures which relate to the short stories that I haven’t seen online. Garth Nix’s short stories have been published in various fantasy anthologies, but I haven’t come across any of these illustrations, possibly because this is an old children’s edition.

I will try and upload the illustrations as I review the stories. This is the Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case image, which I have already reviewed.
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Credit goes to David Wyatt, who has illustrated the headings of the stories for the Harper Collins Children’s Book’s in Great Britain 2006. Photographs taken by me.

Manga: My Little Monster (Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun) Volume 1 Summary + Review

“I’m not getting involved with this”

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Publisher: Kodansha Europe

Genre: Romantic, Comedy, Shojou, Drama  Age: 13+

Released: 20th March 2014 (UK Version)

Hardworking schoolgirl Shizuku Mizutani is a student with a life mission to get perfect grades. Her life is turned upside down when she is asked to deliver a homework assignment to the school delinquent, who then manages to convince himself he is love with her. Haru appears to have very little social skills, but the pair clearly have a chemistry, even if Haru is getting in the way of Shizuku’s goal of being number one at her school.

This is the manga that formed the basis for the anime series, and the first volume covers up to the first two and a half episodes.

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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News: J K Rowling denounces Hermione-Ron Romance

“Overshadowed by best friend…?”

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This revelation has been ricocheting it’s way through the news outlets, J.K. Rowling, the creator of the famous Harry Potter series, has commented that Hermione should have been with Harry, and not Ron.

This is a shocking announcement after the conclusion of the series, which sees Hermione and Ron in a harmonious relationship, and having two children together.

There have been lots of critical analysis of the author’s comment, and one of the most interesting and detailed is Tor’s ‘Erased by Time and Blockbusters—The Cautionary Tale of Ron Weasley‘, which was initially published two weeks ago ahead of the comment, but it coincidences greatly with this new development. The article analyses why Ron Weasley is the weakest of the trio, and how his portrayal in the movies is a major contribution to this.

While it is doubtful that J.K. Rowling feels the movie version of Ron is significant enough to overwrite her internal version of Ron, she states that her changed feelings towards Ron and his relationship with Hermione, have come from a new-found perspective from time.

See more information at this source.

News: Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive Book 2) Release Date

“Of Extreme OCD-ness”

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Author: Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Epic Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Age: YA+

Released: 6th March 2014 (UK version)

Following up on my post from eons ago, a lot of little details have appeared for the next book in the Stormlight Archive series. The release date for the UK version has also changed, and is now in March 2014. Pre-orders are being taken at all the usual places, (Amazon, Waterstones, etc) and this book is guaranteed to hit bestsellers’ lists all over the world.

However, in my usual infuriating way, I am refusing to pre-order this book, because… it isn’t the same size as the other books in the series. For some reason, newly released hardbacks and paperbacks are much larger than the paperbacks issued after the first year. (I’m not sure if this a UK-only issue, or not).

It is very obsessive compulsive, but I want to have an uniform collection, and since I only have the smaller paperback version of The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive Book 1), then the rest of the series will have to follow suit.

The few details that I have allowed myself about this book is that it is about Shallan, and there are  some new characters for the interludes.  For the rest, I have covered my ears, and  sang loudly so no spoilers will come to me.

As usual the UK version of Brandon Sanderson’s books have covers by Sam Green. I absolutely adore his art style.

Words of Radiance is available for Pre-order at £20.00 for the Hardback edition.

Book: The Dragon Reborn (The Wheel of Time Book 3) Review

“Where’s Rand?”

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Author: Robert Jordan

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Age: Adult

Released: 10th December 1992 (UK version)

The third book in the series is a bit strange, in my opinion. It draws away from Rand, who I firmly believe is the main character, despite the infinitely large cast.The book instead follows the various subgroups that are in a quest to follow Rand, and his path of destruction, whether they know it or not.

Warning! Contains spoilers!

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News: Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness Book 1)

“Is this a new revival for Tamora Pierce in the UK?!”

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Author: Tamora Pierce

Genre: Action, Adventure, Romance, Age: YA+

Released: 28th August 2014 (UK version)

This is something that I have been checking up on for the past few months. A mysterious new listing has appeared on Amazon
, for a Red Fox Publishers’ re-release, of Tamora Pierce’s bestselling YA series.

Alanna: the First Adventure is one of those books that I can credit for getting me into the fantasy genre, and the rest of Tamora Pierce’s books can be said to have kindled a lifelong love with fantasy.

Pierce’s books are notoriously difficult to find in the UK. They were published in the early 90s, but seem to have gone out of print, and brand new versions usually have to imported from the US.

Red Fox Publisher, a division of The Random House Group has listed Tamora Pierce as one of their authors, but haven’t listed any books under her name as of yet.

The listing on Amazon confirms the release date, but doesn’t confirm the cover. Is this going to be a release of the original Red Fox publication from 1986, shown in the picture above? I hope not. Personally, I will hoping for a revamp similar to the Point Fantasy series’ covers.

At this point, very few details are known. It may be a low-key book release for a lot of people, but this is a great opportunity for British readers to experience an amazing author.

Amazon Blurb below:

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Currently Reading: The Dragon Reborn (The Wheel of Time Book 3)

“It’s getting pretty epic”

Author: Robert Jordan

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Age: Adult

Released: 25th June 1992 (UK version)

I think I purchased this book way back, and only now have managed to bite into it. It’s hard getting into epic fantasy books recently, they just feel like too much work. The Wheel of Time series in particular, is so long that just looking the book seems to put me off. I eased myself into it one afternoon, and found myself back in this wonderful world.

I suppose there is no point in explaining the plot, because most people seem to be aware of what this series is about, and those who don’t would not want spoilers for the *third* book in the series. It’s hard to describe the direction of the plot in any case. At least the writing is surprisingly easy to read; I wouldn’t have pinned it down as something for older readers, but the sheer size of the each book will tell you differently. I will put up a review as soon as I can.

There is a short summary below from an official source.

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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Book: Warbreaker Review

“Absorb all colour”

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Author: Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Age: Adult

Released: 29th December 2011 (UK Version)

Two sibling princesses that couldn’t be more different; both are from the small Kingdom of Idrian, and through the bounds of duty and war, they end up in the bustling city of gods. Princess Siri is the youngest, and a troublemaker. Princess Vivenna is the stern eldest, and tasked with the duty of marrying the God King.

In the capital of Hallandren, war is in the air, as hidden forces move to take back the city. A mysterious assassin moves through the streets, with a sword that must never be drawn. A whimsical and lazy god holds responsibility, for the armies of thousands of Lifeless.

Warning! Contains spoilers!

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Book: Chivalry (Coraline & Other Stories) Review

“This will look lovely on my mantlepiece…”

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Author: Neil Gaiman

Genre: Surreal, Horror, Age: Children’s+

Released: 5th October 2009 (UK Version)

Old Mrs Whitaker has a habit of treating herself to gifts and ornaments from her local charity shop. One day, she finds a dusty old object, which turns out to be the Holy Grail… and decides that it would look rather nice on her mantlepiece.

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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