Tag: A Song of Ice and Fire

Sunday Summary – 1st November 2020

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s weekly Sunday Summary post! This week’s post is a little later than usual since I shared a blog tour post this Sunday just gone. Since the rule of thumb with these things is to not post again on the same day, my update is coming to you a couple of hours later.

If you haven’t taken a look at yesterday’s post, which is a publication day push review of Unbroken Truth by Lukas Lundh, please do! I also shared a Hop Tu Naa (that’s Halloween to you) post on Tuesday, listing my Top Ten reads for the spooky season. If you are still in the mood for a sinister read you can still go and check out that post too. If you like horror, psychological thriller or even a humorous take on the holiday… there’s something for everyone on the list. Enjoy!

 

Books Read

My main priority of the week has been reading Unbroken Truth by Lukas Lundh, as I needed to have the book read in advance for yesterday’s blog tour. As of last week’s Sunday Summary post I had only just started the first few chapters, so I have read pretty much the whole book this week. At just over a couple hundred pages, it wasn’t a long read and so worked well with my schedule this week.

In addition to Unbroken Truth, I have also read about 25% of Sherlock Holmes and the Ripper of Whitechapel this week. This particular book will be featuring on my blog in the next few days. This also is a similarly short read and it feels like I have barely put any effort in to get to 25% through. I’ll be reading a lot more of this in anticipation of my upcoming review – find out below when this is going live.

I’ve spent this week off work and investing some more time into decorating. I’m pleased to say I am VERY NEARLY done now and I’m happy with all my hard work. It’s given me the opportunity to make more progress with audiobooks, which I’ve enjoyed. My first listen of the week involved finishing Jack the Ripper: Case Closed by Gyles Brandreth. I only had a couple of hours or so left, so I wrapped this up on Monday.

I’ve been in a Game of Thrones-y mood these past few weeks. I’ve listened to the soundtracks a lot and toyed with (and dismissed) the idea of reading the books again – I’ve only just finished them!  I have, however, decided to listen to the audiobook! I think that’s a fair compromise. I’m enjoying it well enough so far, although some of the narrator’s pronunciation of names etc gets on my nerves as I don’t agree with it! It’s still enjoyable though and I’ll continue to listen to it.

 

Books Discovered

I’ve been good again this week and not added any books to the TBR. Who knows, at this rate, I might stand a chance of dropping some off instead of my usual breaking even (or adding books!)

 

 

Coming Up…

The first post I will be publishing next week is my review of Sherlock Holmes and the Ripper of Whitechapel. This will be going live on Tuesday morning, so I hope you can join me for that. Based on what I have read so far, I expect the review will be a glowing one!

Since it is now November (seriously, where is this year going?!), I’m going to share my next reading list on Thursday. At the moment I only have a couple of books in mind to read, so I’m going to have a think between now and then and by Thursday I should have made my mind up about what I’m going to read.

Last, but not least, I’ll be publishing my Sunday Summary update at the end of the week, as expected.

 

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post! What have you been reading?

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 25th October 2020

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s weekly update post! I hope you have had a good week, whatever you got up to!

Mine has been a little unusual as I curbed the reading and blogging for a few days in order to finish studying for an exam, which I sat on Wednesday. All went well and I passed the exam, so it was worth the effort! Consequently, though, I only shared one post this week. I decided my one post would be a review since I wanted it to be a more in-depth post. With that in mind, I shared my first audiobook review in three months, which featured Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff.

 

Books Read

I’ve only made a brief start on a read I am reviewing for another blog tour next week. Unbroken Truth has a definite sci-fi vibe from the first few chapters I’ve read. I like how the introduction has set the scene for the novel and I’m looking forward to reading this over the next week.

I haven’t read so much this week, but I have been listening to audiobooks. I’ve made a bit more progress with Jack the Ripper: Case Closed by Gyles Brandreth. I’ve only got a little way to go to the finish, and I expect to do this in the next day or two.

I have also had the urge to read and enjoy the A Game of Thrones series again this week, and so I have started listening to the audiobook of the first book in the series. I’ve read the kindle and physical copies of the books to date, but not listened to any of the audiobooks.

 

Books Discovered

I’ve added a book to my TBR for the first time in MONTHS! I watched Des on ITV player earlier this week and loved it – I hadn’t realised there was a book about Des Nilson and the murders. Since I really enjoyed the series I have added the book written about him, Killing for Company, to my TBR.

 

Coming Up…

Since I have a couple of blog posts scheduled towards the end of the week, I want to take part in another Top Ten Tuesday post. This week’s scheduled post is a Halloween ’freebie’, and so I think I’ll be sharing my Top Ten Chilling Hop Tu Naa reads (Hop Tu Naa is the Manx equivalent of Halloween).

On Sunday I will be taking part in the blog tour for Unbroken Truth and sharing my review of the book. As a result, my usual weekly update post will be published first thing on Monday morning.

That’s all from me in today’s post! I hope you have a good week and I’ll see you in the next one!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 21st June 2020

Good evening everyone and welcome back to my weekly update post. I hope you have all had a good week and a good weekend celebrating Father’s Day? I was fortunate enough to be able to spend mine with my dad, and although we didn’t do too much, it was lovely to spend the time together.

I’ve kept the blog content pretty light this week as I have been busy with a few other things. I’ve finally got the thumbs up that the exam I had scheduled for next month is going ahead, so I’ve been studying a little more than usual. That said, I did publish a couple of posts this week. On Tuesday I shared the Stay at Home Book Tag. It has been ages since I’ve done a post like that and it was good fun! Friday’s regular First Lines Friday feature post shared the opening lines to a book I have on my TBR. I bought this book after reading the author’s debut novel. I was so impressed with it and I’m hopeful this will also live up to expectation.

 

Books Read

This week’s reading progress has been pretty good. In addition to studying, I managed to finish reading part 2 of A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin. That also means I’ve finally finished my re-read of the series! I started at the end of 2018 as I wanted to read them again before the next book, The Winds of Winter comes out. There is still no publication date for that yet, so it’s a good job I didn’t rush! I’ll probably be able to read them all again before it comes out. That’s not a complaint, don’t get me wrong. I would much rather GRRM took his time to get it right rather than rush it…

My second read this week was Never Ever Tell by Kirsty Ferguson. I am taking part in a blog tour tomorrow, and as at writing this post, I have half an hour’s reading time left. So, I have a busy night tonight! Once this post has gone live, I need to finish that and then write my review of the book ready to go live in the morning.

I haven’t really listened to much of Whispers Underground this week. Maybe half an hour at most.

 

Books Discovered

I’ve been *good* this week and I haven’t bought or added any books to the TBR this week. I’ve just spent my money on everything else instead…

 

Coming Up…

I’ve already given you a big lead as to what is coming up next week. My first post of the week is going live first thing in the morning. It has been a little while since I shared a blog tour post, so I’m looking forward to getting back into it. I’m not signing up for as many tours as I had previously, but I still enjoy doing them. Tomorrow’s post is a review of Never Ever Tell by Kirsty Ferguson.

My next post will be a Friday feature as I need some focused time on studying. Next week’s post is a Shelf Control post, so I’ll be looking at the next book on my TBR and discussing what I like about it and why I want to read it. I hope you can join me for that!

As always, I’ll wrap up the week with another Sunday Summary post!

I’ll wrap things up here as I still have a bit of reading to do and another post to write tonight! What have you been reading this week?

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 14th June 2020

Hey guys – I can’t believe I’m here again, writing another Sunday Summary post. This week seems to have gone pretty quickly for me, although I can’t particularly pinpoint why. I guess I’ve been kept busy with reading, studying and the odd job around the house as well. I’ve not really been prioritising blogging this week in favour of these other things, particularly studying. I’m supposed to have an exam at the beginning of next month and I’m waiting on confirmation if that is actually going ahead or not. For the moment, for obvious reasons, I am treating it as if it is going ahead and so it’s getting a lot of focus.

I did spend a little time on my blog this week and I shared a book review of Elantris by Brandon Sanderson on Thursday. I am a huge fan of many of his books and Elantris is no different! If you haven’t had a read of that post yet, please check it out!

 

Books Read

I’ve made good progress with A Dance with Dragons this week. Since finishing a crochet project I was working on (a lovely yellow jumper I can’t wait to wear in the winter), I’ve spent more time reading again. Last week I was 35% of the way through the book; this week I am just under 70%. This book had around 70 pages of appendices and an excerpt of The Winds of Winter, at the end. So, realistically, I only have a few chapters left of the book. Just less than a hundred pages in fact! I’m going to try and finish it by tomorrow at the latest! That will be my re-read of A Game of Thrones done! I started about a year and a half ago, so it’s taken a while! I’ll have to sate my Game of Thrones fix by reading Fire and Blood whilst I wait for the next book…

As well as reading A Dance with Dragons, I’ve also listened to a few chapters of Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch. I finished Moon over Soho last week and I’m jumping into the next book already. I’ve taken so this series really well and I’m enjoying it, so why not carry on with it?

 

Books Discovered

I saw a post on my personal Facebook account the other day about books, and how the BBC apparently reckons the average adult has read only 6 out of the 100 they list. I shared the post ticking off the books I have read, which currently stands at 13. Given how much I read, I’d have been disappointed with myself if I’d only come out at the average number. I’m pleased with 13, but realistically I have many more of the books on my TBR to read. I’ve just counted and there are 10 that are already on my TBR list. I did make one addition to my TBR as one title popped up on that list that I didn’t have.

I remember years ago I picked up The Colour Purple by Alice Walker and read the opening pages in my school library. It was definitely in my earlier school years, so I was perhaps 11-12, and it really stuck with me. I sensed it was a bit too mature for me back then and so I didn’t check it out, but now I think it’s something I want to read properly. So, this week it got added to the TBR.

 

Coming Up…

There is still quite a bit of reading to do this month. I’m also conscious of a blog tour I need to be prepared for the week after next. That said, I am still going to schedule a few posts for you next week though. I happened across a fun book tag on another blog and I haven’t shared anything like that lately. So, I’ve decided to give it a go and have a bit of a fun post to kick off the week.

In addition to that, I’m also planning on recommencing my Friday feature posts. It will have been nearly a month since I shared such a post by the time next week’s First Lines Friday post goes live. I really like sharing these and they are quite easy for me to put together. I’ll still have plenty of time to get, what I need to, done.

What have you been reading this week?

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 7th June 2020

Hi guys! Welcome back to another Sunday Summary update from me. I hope you have had a good week?

This week has felt a little more normal to me. After the busyness of last week and all the home improvements I’ve been doing, it has been nice to enjoy a little time off. It’s not for a lack of stuff that needs doing; I still have some tidy up jobs to do but until yesterday I lacked the tools to do it. I’ll be back at it next week!

I shared two blog posts with you this week – my June Reading List and an audiobook review for Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris. If you haven’t caught up with either of these posts I’ve posted the links here.

 

Books Read

This week I have been making more progress with A Dance with Dragons pt 2 and I am now approximately 35% of the way through the book. I’ll be reading this again tonight and hopefully picking it up more frequently next week. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to make some better progress soon.

In addition to ADWD, I also continued listening to Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch. I actually listened to this last night whilst working on a jumper I’ve been crocheting. I only had a couple of hours left or so and managed to finish this in one sitting last night.

 

Books Discovered

I have bought a few more books this week, but none of them are discoveries particularly. Since I finished Moon over Soho and I’m really enjoying the series, I spent 3 of the audible credits I had accumulated on the next few books in the series. I’m invested now and it makes sense to me to continue to enjoy these on the same medium.

In addition to the above, I also bought a kindle copy of a book today. I had an email about a deal on a book in a series I’m currently reading. In fact, I’m coincidentally reading one of these books a little later this month! I love the Saxon stories series by Bernard Cornwell and I was always going to read Sword of Kings at some point anyway. So, it made sense to get a copy now.

 

Coming Up…

Since I am going to be doing a few bits around the house and studying in case my exam goes ahead next month, my posting schedule is going to be a little light. Midweek I am going to share a review of a fantasy novel by one of my favourite authors – Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. I read this book towards the end of last year and it has been eagerly awaiting a review since then. I really enjoyed this book (as I have all Sanderson books, to be fair) and I’m going to be sharing why with you very soon!

Then, as usual, I’ll give you my round-up of the week in a Sunday Summary post.

That’s all from me in this Sunday Summary post! What have you been reading? Have you read any of the books mentioned in today’s post?

 

 

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Reading List – June 2020

Hey guys and welcome to June’s reading list!

No surprises this month, I am actually setting a reading list this time. It was very unusual not setting one last month, but definitely the right decision to make. I had more than enough on my plate with moving house and getting tidied up afterwards without pressuring myself to read as much as possible in between.

The truth is I am going to be working on various bits and pieces in the next few months. Almost the entire house still needs redecorating for example, and that’s going to take time to do. I’m also supposed to be taking an exam in a month’s time, but that’s uncertain at the moment. The venue has cancelled pretty much all exams right now, but with one corona case left and thirteen days since our last positive testing, I’m hopeful that we will beat the stinking virus and the situation may change. Whether it happens or not, I’m still preparing for it now, so that’s more time I have to set aside for it.

Long story short, yes I am setting a TBR… but it’s not going to be a long one. I don’t want to overburden myself or lose focus on home improvements because that’s more important. I love my reading and my blog, but I know that taking a ‘step back’ is what’s needed in the short term. If I do manage to read more than I expect – great! Equally, if I don’t, I’m not going to kick myself. I’m already 6 books behind schedule so I’m very unlikely to hit this year’s target of 80 books. I was on track before the move happened, but not anymore and I doubt I’ll claw it back. Never mind.

So, enough ramble… shall we check out my TBR?

 

A Dance with Dragons pt 2 – After the Feast – George R. R. Martin

Goodreads – A Dance with Dragons

The future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance.

In King’s Landing the Queen Regent, Cersei Lannister, awaits trial, abandoned by all those she trusted; while in the eastern city of Yunkai her brother Tyrion has been sold as a slave. From the Wall, having left his wife and the Red Priestess Melisandre under the protection of Jon Snow, Stannis Baratheon marches south to confront the Boltons at Winterfell. But beyond the Wall the wildling armies are massing for an assault…

On all sides bitter conflicts are reigniting, played out by a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves. The tides of destiny will inevitably lead to the greatest dance of all.

 

This entry probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you, since I am part way through the book from last month. I’ve read about 140 pages so far, so I’ve made decent progress… but also a good way to go too. I’m such a fan of the series that I don’t find these difficult to read. Some long and complicated books can feel like a bit of a slog, but A Game of Thrones is an old friend to me at this point. I can pick them up and put them down really easily as I know so much about the plot, characters etc from earlier reads and the TV show, that it’s not new content to learn. Finishing this second part will complete my re-read of the series, which has been long overdue.

 

Never Ever Tell – Kirsty Ferguson

Goodreads – Never Ever Tell

She’d do anything for her boy…

Vanessa Sawyer knows all about pain. She’s felt it every day since marrying the boy who fathered her baby in high school. All he’s meant are broken bones, broken heart and broken dreams. But he also brought her the love of her life. When her son Wren was born, her baby boy was her salvation.

Vanessa watches Wren grow and become a young man she can be proud of. Until one night everything changes, including Wren. One night that her son refuses to speak of. Now Vanessa can’t rest, not until she uncovers the secret that her son has been hiding from her.

Will she find the answers she’s searching for or will her quest for the truth take her to a dark place where all hope is lost?

One evil act. One tragedy. Lives destroyed forever.

 

Although I have a reduced TBR, I am taking part in a blog tour this month. Just the one. I loved the sound of Never Ever Tell and from what I’ve read about it, the book contains some pretty mature themes. If you don’t like reading about domestic violence or rape then you probably don’t want to read either this book or my review of it on the 22nd June. The last book I read on the topic of rape actually made my Top Reads of 2019 list, so I have high hopes I’ll enjoy this one!

 

Chimeborn – Daniel Curry

Goodreads – Chimeborn

Welcome to Whitby, the quaint, magical town on the sea. Its ruined Abbey watches over from the East Cliff, broken and long since abandoned. However a magic within watches over Darcy Colben and his friends – the Chimeborn.

Born in the witching hour of midnight and gifted with magical sight, Chimeborn can see the Abbey for what it really is. A centuries old academy for their kind, and home to the Council of Chime. The power of Saint Hilda still resides in Whitby and this power has been shattered among the modern Chimeborn. A battle brews for control of the ancient magic, and sides will need to be chosen by all.

Ideal for strong young readers, and an enjoyable story up to young adult, this tale of power and growing up will leave you desperate to explore the shores of the north-east of England and find the magic for yourself.

 

A long time ago I reviewed Daniel Curry’s first book, The Kitsune in the Lantern and really enjoyed it. His books are aimed at readers far younger than I am, but I don’t care, I enjoyed it anyway! Chimeborn is the start of a new series and I’m looking forward to reading the book and letting you know my thoughts.

Chimeborn has been on my review request list for a little while, and I figured a light, short read is the sort of thing I need right now! The synopsis sounds great and on a good night, I can probably read it in one sitting – two tops!

 

The Burning Land – Bernard Cornwell

Goodreads – The Burning Land

The enemy is massing on the borders, a united force for once.

The king, a man of many victories, is in failing health, and his heir is an untested youth.

Uthred, the king’s champion, leads his country’s forces to war, but his victory is soured by personal tragedy and by the envy of the king’s court. So he breaks with the king and takes off for the land of his birth, determined to resist all calls for his return. That is, until one unexpected request…

This is the making of England brought magnificently to life by the master of historical fiction.

 

The Burning Land is the fifth Saxon’s Stories novel by Bernard Cornwell. This series has fast become a favourite of mine; I love the characters and the setting, and it’s well written and entertaining too!

I’ll be happy if I round off the month having started but not finished this book. Like I said, i don’t want to take on too much. I’m already well acquainted with the series so I should be able to jump in nice and easily, despite not picking up the series for just over a year!

That’s my reading list for June folks! Have you read any of these books? Do any catch your eye? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 31st May 2020

It’s time for another weekly update, although this one is going to be a bit sparse. Welcome back another Sunday Summary post – I hope you are all keeping well in the present situation?

So far I’ve only shared one post with you this week, (this being my second). On Tuesday I shared a Top Ten Tuesday post featuring my top ten opening lines of books. I do a fortnightly series on Friday’s in which I feature one book at a time and in more detail, but this was a quicker overview of many short, snappy openings. I was also supposed to be sharing an audiobook review of Cilka’s Journey, but I’m sorry that it didn’t go live.

This week’s Sunday Summary post is very sparse as I actually spent my week doing a lot of other things. If you are a regular reader you may remember that I moved house a few weeks ago. Since moving in I’ve had quite an extensive list of things that need doing to tidy the place up and make it my own. Well, it’s fair to say I have spent a lot of time this week going towards that. From taking a filter off my bedroom window to removing, filling and sanding down all the screw holes left behind, I’d done my fair share of little jobs by midweek.

I decided to keep going though. I knew one of the first larger jobs I wanted to do was repaint my lounge and dining room. The existing colours weren’t my preference and one of them didn’t match the wallpapered feature wall (in my opinion). Since its open plan, I wanted to repaint it a neutral shade throughout. And I have. I spent about five hours after work on Thursday and Friday and around five and a half hours yesterday getting it done! I still have a couple of little tidy up jobs to do, but I’m really proud of what I have gotten finished in the last week.

Consequently, my review for Cilka’s Journey didn’t happen because I was too drained to do it. I started it on Thursday night but barely got anywhere and I stared at it for all of five minutes on Friday at 10pm before deciding I just couldn’t be bothered. I think you’ll understand why.

 

Books Read

As a result of all the DIY I’ve been doing, my reading time has suffered a lot. I read a couple of chapters of A Dance with Dragons pt 2 last night before bed, and that is literally it. I don’t feel guilty though – I think my time elsewhere has been well spent!

 

Books Discovered

Nothing to report here either this week!

 

Coming Up…

Despite still having a couple of jobs to do I am planning on a little more activity here next week. Of course, we start a new month tomorrow, so you can expect my reading list in the next couple of days!

I’ll also be finishing my review of Cilka’s Journey since I have started it, so that will go live this Friday instead.

Sorry it’s only a short one but that’s all from me this week! What have you been reading?

 

 

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Sunday Summary 24th May 2020

Hey guys – it’s time for another bookish update from me! Welcome to today’s Sunday Summary post. I hope you are all having a lovely weekend?

After my house move, I definitely feel like I am getting back to a sense of normal – both in terms of living and blogging schedule/reading. I know things here have been a little on the light side of content, but unfortunately, that’s the way it has had to be! Over the next few months, I’ll be juggling my free time between studying for a work-related qualification, making home improvements and my hobbies. I’m obviously going to do the best I can and I’ll be keeping up with blogging. It’s just not going to have 100% of my focus for a little while. I’m not going to be bored, to say the least!

I did actually make an effort with Wednesday’s post by writing a review. It’s been a good few weeks since one of those went live! This week’s review was for a horror/thriller novel called Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky. In Friday’s Shelf Control post I shared a classic novel on my TBR that I’m looking forward to reading in future.

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary post I was 40% through Vox by Christina Dalcher. I picked up where I left off and I read it in a couple of nights before bed this week. I absolutely loved it! It’s a really easy read and the plotline drew me right in. Given that I was looking for something lighter and easier to read to ease myself back in, I made the right choice with this book. It’s just what I wanted and needed!

Before picking up Vox I had debated using this month to complete my re-read of A Game of Thrones. I started this over a year ago and now I have just the second part of A Dance with Dragons to read. I wasn’t feeling up to such a mammoth task, but after reading Vox and getting my reading mojo back, I felt ready to make a start on it. I’m already on page 95 and even though I’m still only a few chapters in, I feel at home with it already.

 

Books Discovered

 

I haven’t added any books to the TBR for a good few weeks now, but I’m definitely making up for it this week!
The first addition to the TBR this week actually arrived for me on Monday. Just before moving house, I requested a review copy of The City of a Thousand Faces from Orion. There was a bit of a mix-up and this accidentally went to my old address, but my former neighbour was really kind and let me know it had turned up there so I could pick it up! A huge thanks to Becky for that – you’re a star!

That actually becomes relevant for the second book I have added to the TBR as well. When having a catch up with her after picking up the book she described a book someone had told her about that she liked the sound of. They couldn’t remember the name or author and so she asked my help in identifying it. I had no joy, but Becky messaged me a few days later with the name of the book – Dear Rosie Hughes. I had a look myself and it sounded really good, and it’s free on Kindle… so I downloaded a copy!

The third and final addition to the TBR is a crime novel with a bit of a science-fiction twist that caught my eye. Access Point focuses on the murder of a student, and her roommate who takes matters into her own hands when the investigation draws a blank.

It’s fair to say I’ve made up for my recent dry spell of adding books to the TBR, wouldn’t you agree?

 

Coming Up…

I really like the Top Ten Tuesday topic coming up this week – opening lines. I’ve shared quite a few in my First Lines Friday posts by now, but I’m going to go through my list of books read and find my favourite, concise book openings and share why they captured my attention or why I like them so much!

Typically I’d be sharing a First Lines Friday post with you this week, but since the Top Ten Tuesday post is going to be the same topic, I’m going to do something different this week. I enjoyed taking the time to commit my thoughts to a review this week, so on Friday, I will share a review of a historical fiction audiobook I listened to earlier this year. Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris is another harrowing account of the atrocities committed during the Second World War. If you read or listened to her other book, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, then I absolutely recommend this one too! More on that on Friday.

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post. Enjoy your long weekend and I’ll catch up with you again same time next week!

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – A Game of Thrones Characters

Now that the finale of A Game of Thrones has come and gone, I thought it the perfect opportunity to talk about my favourite characters of the series! There are a lot of mixed reviews about that last episode and I’m not surprised. I have no problem with the ending, but I feel there could have been a little more drama or tension in between. Nevertheless, it’s a fantastic series and for us book-lovers, it isn’t truly over yet!

I’ll be taking the books and the TV show into account for this list, (spoiler-free) since up until A Dance of Dragons, they are close to one another. I’ll also be ranking my characters from number ten to one… so here we go!

 

10.   Tormund Giantsbane

Source: HBO

Tormund Giantsbane… he’s not so much a friendly giant if you cross him. He is formidable to his enemies and fierce friends with those that see past the furs and wildling exterior. He’s a bit of a drunkard and apt to boasting, but if you can beat anyone who says otherwise into the dirt then why not?

We get to see an intimate friendship between Tormund and Jon. It’s the kind of friendship I think we all look for.

 

 

9.   Brienne of Tarth

Source: HBO

I really love Brienne for her loyalty and her confidence to follow an unconventional path in life. Brienne is one of the few female warriors of the series, and she is frequently bullied for her choice. That, and her appearance. I guess I relate to her in a way because I have been in her shoes – not a sword-wielding knight, obviously, but I’ve been bullied for my appearance too. In my teenage years, I opted for similarly short hair (as Brienne in the TV series). I couldn’t tell you how many unpleasant comments and assumptions were made about me. I didn’t care all that much – I kept it for five years before I decided to grow it back.

If there is one thing I would like to have in common with Brienne more than anything, it’s the drive to do whatever you want regardless of other people’s approval. It’s too easy to fall victim to peer pressure. I think if we were all a little more like Brienne, the world would be a better place.

 

8.   Littlefinger

Source: HBO

Littlefinger’s cunning and intelligence win him a place on my top ten list. An advanced player in the political scene, Littlefinger came from pretty much nothing. He’s a self-made man… but not necessarily the type you want to be if you plan on making any friends in life.

Not all his personality traits are admirable by any means, but becoming the Master of Coin proves he has some skill. Deception and manipulation are never far around the corner where Littlefinger is concerned, but these don’t fail to stir up relations and events throughout the series!

 

7.   Samwell Tarly

Source: HBO

Sam is just so cute! He’s scorned by his father and forced into a life that without the help of his friends, he’d have no hope of surviving. Thankfully he is the type of person you cannot help but like. Before joining the Night’s Watch, he enjoyed singing, dancing and burying his nose in books… much to his father’s distaste. I don’t profess to be any good when it comes to the singing and the dancing (alcohol is required for the latter), but a serious love of books and studying is something we share in common.

Sam is a bit of a softy and socially awkward, but he is also very intelligent. He’s the type of man I’d like to meet really.

 

6.   Olenna Tyrell

Source: HBO

Perhaps there aren’t as many sword fighting women in A Game of Thrones, but plenty have other weapons of choice. Olenna is a wiser and more experienced player of the great game. She won’t have any trouble land on her doorstep, that’s for sure. With a look that could wither anyone less adept at dreading the murky waters of politics, she is a force to be reckoned with!

I love her ferocity in defending her own too! Nothing means more to Olenna Tyrell than looking out for her family, her granddaughter Margaery especially. In what is probably one of my favourite scenes ever, we find out what happens to those that threaten Highgarden’s little flower!

 

5.   Cersei Lannister

Source: HBO

Cersei Lannister is a character that we love to hate, wouldn’t you agree?! It’s easy to point out all her murderous, incestuous flaws, but the one thing we cannot discredit her for is her fierce love for her children. She is, above all, a mother.

Cersei’ s roots in one of the most powerful families make her a formidable foe. Being the Queen definitely has its perks. Being in the spotlight also has its dangers too; it can win you many enemies. Cersei is no stranger to this and uses everything she has about her in order to stay on top. Treading on a few toes to do so is child’s play, let’s put it that way!

 

4.   Jon Snow

Source: HBO

Jon is a Bastard by name, if not so much by his nature.

He has spent his life on the back-foot, all-too-aware that he doesn’t fit in. He has grown up believing that he embodies all that is wrong in a family, which I think is one of the reasons he is driven to always do the right thing. Jon will even sacrifice himself for the greater good – somewhat noble, but I wish he would have some self-worth. That said, however, I think we all love Jon’s almost constant state of brooding. Jon is inarguably one of the kinder, more honourable men in Westeros, but as Ned Stark learned very early on, that doesn’t always serve you well.

 

3.   Daenerys Targaryen

Source: HBO

Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, The rightful Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, Queen of Dragonstone, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons. So many titles… all of them are applicable.

Dany is probably one of the better character arcs we follow throughout the series. We get to watch her blossom from a meek child into a strong, commanding, dragon-taming woman.

I wouldn’t want to cross her, just saying…

 

2.   Arya Stark

Source: HBO

Here is another lady I wouldn’t cross. Arya transforms from a young, wilful girl struggling to master the etiquette required to become a lady into a woman that re-writes the rules, her way. Arya isn’t one to be told what she can or cannot do – if she sets her mind to it, it’s as good as done.

In the beginning, Arya’s survival was a bit of potluck. She is lucky to fall into the hands of friends in the immediate aftermath of her world being turned upside down. Her fortune doesn’t last, however. She quickly learns how to defend herself after being thrust out into the wide world alone. It’s a learning curve that really defines her character. She is my second favourite character of the series. At one point reading the books I thought she had been killed. I had a tantrum for days and refused to read on, sulking. It was unfounded, but still.

 

1.   Tyrion Lannister

Source: HBO

Finally, we get to my favourite character in the series! A Lannister, I hear you gasp! Yes, you’re reading this right.

I’ve always enjoyed Tyrion’s wit and dry humour. There are so many great quotes in the books that are from this character’s lips. Aside from Arya, he is the only character I wanted to make it through the coming turmoil. As long as he lives, I’m happy.

Tyrion is very intelligent but massively underappreciated. The vitriol and scorn he experiences as a result of his deformity have instilled in him a strength that few characters can match. He is also a great lover of books, which always gets you brownie points with me.

 

So there you have it – my top ten characters of the series! What do you think? Do you agree with me? Who is your favourite character, and why?

 

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Book Review: A Clash of Kings – George R. R. Martin

At a time when A Game of Thrones is a hot topic, I really want to keep the fervour going because it is SO WELL DESERVED! As some of you may know, I have been re-reading the books since around December last year. My reading schedule meant that I couldn’t fit the whole series in before the TV show, but never mind! It doesn’t hamper my enjoyment of it at all! Are you reading the books or watching the last season?

Today, I’m reviewing my recent re-read of A Clash of Kings.

 

A Clash of Kings

Goodreads – A Clash of Kings

A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who hold sway over an age of enforced peace are dead, victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel…and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.

Here is the second volume in George R.R. Martin magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Storm of Swords. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R.R. Martin stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.

 

My Thoughts…

Where book one of the Song of Ice and Fire series sets the scene for a long haul conflict that spans the remainder of the series, A Clash of Kings is the true beginning of the conflict. A Clash of Kings introduces a number of new characters (and dragons) to the game, including new chapters from the perspectives of Davos and Theon. The growing war over the true heir to the Iron Throne drives great change into the lives of many. Every character has a unique storyline.

It isn’t something I noticed until I went back to the beginning, but the complexity and sophistication of the character relationships and narrative develops gradually throughout the books. It was only making the jump back from A Dance with Dragons to the beginning again that I noticed how simple things were in the early days… by comparison anyway.

Even though the complexity increases, never have I found each character arc difficult to follow. Each character perspective is re-visited frequently enough that we don’t forget where they are and what they are up to. Geographically, the narrative is far more diverse than A Game of Thrones. However, as we are building on a sturdy foundation of geography, history and lore already established, the progression feels natural, not confusing.

I can talk about the love of my series all I like; in the grand scheme of things, my review is unlikely to make a difference about whether someone picks up the series or not. Arguably the TV series has been the greatest influence on book sales, with 8 million copies of A Game of Thrones being sold following the airing of the first season (source: Forbes). It’s a topic that a lot of people are talking about right now, and as a lover of the books and the TV show, jointly and severally, I am proud to be a part of the community.

 

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