Sharing Saturday Forty-Eight

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The weeks are simply flying me by for I have almost hit the fiftieth week of doing these Sharing Saturdays!  I’ll do something special in two weeks but for now, I decided to show you some amazing fan art for three amazing books that I have read and reviewed.  Let’s get started!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Clueless

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik

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Sharing Saturday Forty-Seven

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I am so excited for today’s post since I am a logophile.  I will once again be sharing new and exciting words that I have found in my travels throughout the bookish world.  I previously posted five fun words on Sharing Saturday Thirty-Seven and I decided that I had to do it more often.  Curiously enough it is exactly ten weeks later that I decided to do it again.  Without further ado… here are five unique words!

Farouche – sullen or shy in company (adjective)

Ataraxia – a state of serene calmness (noun)

lacuna – an unfilled space or gap, a missing portion in a book or manuscript, a cavity or depression especially in bone (noun)

Anthropophobia – fear of people and society (noun)

Echt – authentic and typical (adjective)

Book Review: The Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell

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Desperate to escape the prison of her life and an arranged marriage, Silviana runs into the forest with two friends to find a different life.  Soon though she steals into a jail and leaves a message for the Sheriff stating that she will protect the innocent.  Soon people are flocking to her hideaway and before long a band of rebels is born.  As the past and that which she fears most approaches, Silviana must decide whether to flee or fight and if she does fight what she is willing to pay to save those she loves. 

The Forest Queen was an intriguing new twist on the old ballad of Robin Hood.  It was filled with dark twists and the process of overcoming pain and facing the fears of the past.  The characters were heartfelt and the world building was unique but could have been expanded upon.

The world building was different and the author created something entirely new for the basis of the tale.  We learned little of it and it was much the same as the original Robin Hood.  The kingdom is filled with oppression from the nobles through overtaxing and the harsh punishments enacted due to minor infractions.  Besides that, the book told little of the surrounding environment in which the characters interacted besides the existence of a forest, a shire, and a river.

Image result for fantastic! gifBesides the somewhat unsatisfactory world building, the characters were fantastic.  The main character, Silvie was haunted by nightmares due to her brother.  Her character growth was wonderful to read about for she grew from a girl unwilling to change and see life, as is really, is into a young woman who steals from her brother and the nobles giving the pilfered goods to the poor who are barely surviving so that the rich may live in resplendence.

Her love interest, Bird was mediocre.  He was strong and quiet always supporting Silvie but his character was not expanded on or really grown throughout the tale.  He was not my favorite and the attraction between Silvie and Bird was slow and almost nonexistent.  Besides Birdie, there was Little Jane who grew from a frightened girl turned out of her home to a happy and excited mother.  Her character growth was excellent since we saw her acceptance of a new life that afforded her options she had never thought of before.

Silvie’s brother, Sheriff John was extremely cruel and his intentions towards his sister were most certainly not pure.  He was just like any other cruel Sheriff who imprisoned and heavily taxed his constituents then tortured, killed, and jailed them for their inability to sustain the high taxes.

Overall, I quite enjoyed the book.  There were a few hiccups at the beginning when the author skipped a few scenes into the future which I personally found annoying but I liked the retelling of Robin Hood and would still recommend The Forest Queen.

 

Sharing Saturday Forty-Three

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Fall is finally here!  I can’t believe summer has come to a close.  My summer flew by in a wonderful whirl of books and time spent interacting with my amazing followers. Fall is a simply gorgeous time of year with the color changes and I am excited for Winter to follow close on the heels of fall.  Today, I will be sharing with you the introduction of an essay I wrote regarding the poem “Ars Poetica” by Archibald MacLeish.  It is below. Enjoy!

Poetry is simply a gorgeous creation of words marching in inky blackness against the startling white of a page.  And yet the emotion and imagery evoked by twenty-six symbols is stunningly unforgettable. This may in part be due to the idea recognized in Archibald MacLeish’s “Ars Poetica” which states that poetry simply is, not overflowing with a set meaning.  “Ars Poetica” focuses on the manner in which any form of art should be personally interpreted instead of set in strict connotations. Through the use of metaphorical couplets, almost constant rhyme, and iambic pentameter, the poem balances free verse and classical poetry.  Along with that, the author forms twists by switching the rhyme scheme and not completely sticking to a single meter creating a paradoxical piece. For me personally, the resonance of “Ars Poetica” brings back memories of childhood reading endless poems, stories, and books.  In the end, poetry is meant to be, to convey emotion and the everyday struggles and joys of life; it is not filled with meaning and “Ars Poetica” imparts this idea with poignant ease.

 

Sharing Saturday Forty-Two

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Saturday is upon us.  Today I have some wonderful news! Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco comes out in three days!  Three days!  It seems like only yesterday that it was two months.  I can’t wait for its release so that we can enter yet another bloody mystery.

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Book Review: Siren’s Lure by Frost Kay

Book Review: Siren’s Lure by Frost Kay

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Hayjen never believed in legends, myths, or rumors.  That was until he was captured and enslaved by a race that was thought to be safely ensconced from the rest of the world.  As danger stalks ever closer, Hayjen is tossed into the watery depths of the sea where he begins to question everything he has ever believed.

Lilja is intent upon vengeance.   Scythia will fall and she will bring it about for what they took from her can never be replaced. But an accident occurs and despite the laws, she rescues a dying man at the cost of exposing a secret she has kept for years.  A secret that could destroy an entire race.  I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.  This book was published March 27th, 2018.

Siren’s Lure was an intriguing short novella that is part if The Aermian Feuds series.  I have not read any of the books that make up the series besides this prequel but I was immediately drawn into the tale from the first sentence.  The world was filled with siren-like creatures, pirates, slave traders, and kingdoms on the brink of war.  Add to that stunning characters with unique abilities and charming personalities hiding pain and secrets and I could not put the book down.

The characters were what first drew me into this tale.  Hayjen and Lilja are the two main characters.  The book’s chapters alternate between their two perspectives.  They were both unique and charismatic in their own ways.  Hayjen is a man captured and enslaved.  His goal is to protect all the women on the ship and when they are rescued by pirates he keeps a sharp lookout for deceit.  He is pained at having left his sister and all he wants to do is protect Mer and return to the sister he left to fend for herself.  His serious and protective ways endeared him to the reader.

The other contributor to this tale, Lilja is a hunted creature whose very kind is supposed to be extinct.  She was banished from her family and she now rescues those enslaved so that they do not face the same fate she did.  As a younger woman, she was enslaved and she suffered mightily at the hands of her captors.  But she looks beyond her past to the future and her optimistic ways and love of books endeared her to me.

Image result for i want more gifThe characters were not the only thing that enthralled me.  The world building was unique but since the tale was so short I only managed a glimpse into the complicated world built by the author.  There were so many unique aspects that made up the universe that the small look into it was not enough.  I am determined to read the rest of the series for this single short novella has captured my imagination and dug its claws in.

In the end, I would definitely recommend this novella.  I believe it can be read separately from the rest of the series but I will find that out soon enough when I read the other books.  Read it for it is worth being in its thrall for a short hour.

Sharing Saturday Forty-One

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Saturday has shone its face once again.  Sadly, I am behind on posting and it has been a week since my last post, Sharing Saturday Forty.  So, I am at last posting and today I will be sharing a short poem with you and my thoughts on the meter used throughout the poem.

I recently stumbled upon a verse that commemorates fallen soldiers on the Thermopylae battlefield at which the Persian’s attacked the fortified Spartans.  It is heart-rendingly sad and thought inducing.  The poem is below and beyond that is a paragraph articulating my personal opinion on the meter that infiltrates the work.

“Inscription for a War”

Linger not, stranger. Shed no tear.
Go back to those who sent us here.

We are the young they drafted out
To wars their folly brought about.

Go tell those old men, safe in bed,
We took their orders and are dead.

The poetic meter of an “ Inscription for a War” creates a beat that seems to count out the final moments of the dead in verse.  The poem consists mostly of iambic pentameter which is slower and stresses the syllables in the manner of a heartbeat or the pounding of drums.  This is an excellent meter for the poem, a commemoration of men who died in a battle planned and brought about by those who would never fight at the front line as mentioned in the third stanza,  “Go tell those old men, safe in bed, We took their orders and are dead.” The meter does not break throughout the entire poem seeming to never end just like a memory forever passed on. It affects the mood of the poem by infusing it with hope through remembrance for the young drafted to fight a war in which they want no part or know not the true horrors of war.  However, it also adds a finality and acceptance to the poem with the constant beat of the iambic pentameter. Overall, the poem seems to be a symbol for all the wars that have been waged throughout history and the meter seems to batter out the never-ending constancy of war. In the end, the author excellently uses iambic pentameter throughout the six line “Inscription of War” to complement the contents and ideas contained within it creating a poignant commemoration for those long forgotten.