After a lengthy hiatus I have decided to return to muse upon some bookish things.
Currently Reading: A Dance with Dragons Part 2: After the Feast
This is (currently) the final instalment of George R. R. Martin’s epic series, A Song Of Ice and Fire, which I have been reading for a very long time. I did a mini review of the third book in my summer reading mini reviews post , which I seemed to really enjoy. I think for me, the key to reading this series is only committing when I have lots of time for reading. In a holiday, I can devour these books pretty quickly, and enjoy them a lot. When I try to read them during the term though, I end up in a bit of a deadly cycle. Each time I pick up the book I seem to have forgotten entirely what’s going on, which is made only worse by the fact that each character only pops up every 7 chapters or so. I am lost in a sea of confusion, which only makes me less likely to pick up the book. The marvellous plot is almost entirely lost on me, and I can never remember who’s doing what.
I’ve also been borrowing the e-book from the library so it seems to have expired every time I feel like reading it. Ah well, my gritty determination to finish will (hopefully) see me through.
I’ve also just finished watching the series with some friends, which in some ways has made it easier to follow the plot, although sometimes just leads to more confusion, when I can’t remember which things happened in the book, and which in the series.
Enough Game of Thrones rambling. I’m going to be jolly glad when I can get onto something else.
Book (so far) – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️4/5
My Commitment – 0/5
The next book cover design I’ve done is for the classic fantasy book Gormenghast.
It’s part of a trilogy following the Royal family of an enormous castle called Gormenghast, which has existed for thousands of years, and is full of strange rites and rituals. It’s an intriguing series, which I’ll probably do a proper review of once I’ve finished the third book (which I’m partway through).
The black bird (which fortuitously landed on my windowsill!) reminded me of the Countess Groan, who has a great affinity for birds, and has flocks of them following her around all the time. The bricks in the background represent the constant presence of the castle walls, which nobody ever leaves, and the dark lower half of the image suits the book’s sinister themes.
I don’t think this series receives the attention it deserves. Why doesn’t anyone talk about it!? Harry Potter is fab, but surely there’s a little bit of enthusiasm for middle grade magic left over? No? Come on guys.
Stravaganza is a middle grade series about teenagers travelling from the present day to a parallel renaissance Italy, Talia. I read the first four books as a child, and absolutely adored them, so a few years ago when I found out that two more had been written, I of course reread the whole series.
Each book focusses on a new main character who discovers they are a Stravagante, someone able to travel between England and Talia. The main characters return in subsequent books, allowing an overarching plot as well as new individual character stories. The Stravaganti are often experiencing hardships in the present day, resulting in a perfect mix of “real-life” struggles as well as exciting historical political intrigue.
Although it’s a while since I read the series, I do remember absolutely falling in love with some of the characters, particularly Arianna, a young Talian noble woman. I was so invested in the fates of all the characters, and the racing plots, and the beautiful descriptions of all the stunning festivals and historical costumes. UGH IT WAS JUST SO GOOD.
It’s a magical series that cemented my love of reading.