I Heart Characters!

I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani @ Perspective of a Writer to showcase our book blogger love for characters! Each week she’ll supply a topic and we’ll supply the character. Post on whatever day suits you, about characters from whatever media you love (books, movies, K-dramas, television, manga, anime, webtoons, whatever!) and link up on Thursday so we can all blog hop and share the character love.

i heart characters

This weeks topic is – A Creature You’d Want to Adopt (An animal or creature character you’d want as a companion.)

Amanda- I’m going to choose Bryaxis from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas. This is one of my absolute favorite series and there are so many different creatures. Bryaxis was one of my favorite creatures that I’ve read about in quite a while. So terrifying that Cassian won’t even describe what it looks like to anyone else, so old that the only thing it desires is someone to talk to and a window to see the stars. I would love to talk to Bryaxis and learn the things that it has seen through its life and get it to share some of its knowledge with me. I don’t know that I would want Bryaxis as a traveling companion or anything similar but I would love to be the person to spend time in the library fulfilling the agreement made with it for someone to talk to. I’m so intrigued to see where this part of the ACOTAR story goes once the next book/series comes out.

Antonia- For me, this will always and forever be Shalkan from The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. He’s a unicorn; you’re probably thinking pure, fluffy being of joy and goodness, right? Well you got the fluffy part right. Shalkan is sarcastic AF, stubborn, badass, and all-around not what you’d expect from a unicorn. I love him so much.

Thanks for reading bookworms! What creature would you choose for this week’s topic? Feel free to let us know in the comments!

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Book Worlds

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.Each week we’re given a new prompt for a top ten list of all things bookish. This week’s topic is top ten bookish worlds I’d want to (or wouldn’t want to) live in. As usual, I agree with Amanda so I’m going to take her idea and do five book worlds I do want to live in and five I don’t.

TTT

 

Book Worlds I Would Want to Live In

  1. The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory- Magic, dragons, elves, unicorns, and tons of other magical creatures? Yes please.
  2. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien- I’d like to live in this one only after the events from these books take place and the war is over. I’d hole up in the shire with books and food and gardening. It would just be perfect.
  3. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling- Again, I would love to live here after the war was over. I just can’t imagine anything better than being a witch and going to Hogwarts.
  4. Dragon Jousters by Mercedes Lackey- Have you guys figured out yet how much I love dragons? I seriously loved the way they were portrayed in this series. Almost like very large, slightly dangerous pets.
  5. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis- These were the books that really got me into reading. I mean the staying up all night, crying over fictional characters kind of reading. I would LOVE to be able to go to Narnia.
  1. Book Worlds I Wouldn’t Want to Live In

 

  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins- Were these books amazing? Yes. Would I ever so much as visit this world for even five seconds? No.
  2. The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima- I loved this world. It had fantastic characters and the setting and cultures were extremely interesting, but there was just as much about this world that I didn’t like. It’s on the brink of an all out war, they only just got rid of a semi-corrupt government and for a country that only ever has female rulers, the treatment of women was sometimes annoying.
  3. Year One by Nora Roberts- I love Nora Roberts and I love dystopians but I would never want to live in one of these post-apocalyptic worlds.
  4. Graceling by Kristin Cashore- This one actually sits between the two categories for me. I loved so much about this world but it was also very flawed.
  5. The Devouring by Simon Holt- I’d blocked this one out until I was looking through my booklist while making this list. This. Series. TERRIFIED ME. Demons called Vours that possess people. The whole thing was creepy and frightening and I want nothing to do with it.

Well these are my choices this week. I really loved this topic and want to see what everyone else came up with as well. Let me know what you think in the comments. Thanks for reading!

-Antonia

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Favorite Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week has a different prompt to which you make a top ten list. This week’s prompt is favorite heroines. Since my list of favorite heroines is infinitely long, I tried to choose the ones who had the biggest impact on me while reading. Here they are (in no particular order):

  1. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen- She will forever be my all-time favorite heroine. She’s witty, tough, loves her family unconditionally and isn’t afraid to admit she’s wrong. She was who I wanted to be when I grew up.
  2. Maximum Ride from the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson- She’s badass and caring and makes tons of mistakes. But she’s always trying her hardest to fix them. It’s so easy to relate to Max that she instantly became one of my favorite characters.
  3. Elizabeth/Abigail from The Witness by Nora Roberts- I connected with Abigail from the beginning. I loved watching her grow into a strong, compassionate woman.
  4. Vestakia from The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory- From birth, she had everything working against her but she refused to let it control her life. She’s genuinely kind and brave even when she’s absolutely terrified.
  5. Lyra Belacqua from His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman- She was one of the first characters to have a real affect on me. She’s stubborn and talks back and impulsive but she always does the right thing.
  6. Wanderer from The Host by Stephenie Meyer- I will never stop loving Wanda. She’s an alien possessing a human girl and she still manages to be the most honest and caring character in the book.
  7. Katsa from Graceling by Kristin Cashore- Another character I related to instantly. Her uncle, the king, has used and controlled her since she was a child but she had the courage to fight back, even when she believed her powers made her a monster.
  8. Sydney Sage from the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead- One of the bravest heroines I’ve ever had the pleasure to read about. She goes against everything she was taught to believe to save people who she was raised to think of as evil. She risks everything because she can see the best in people.
  9. Hyacinth Bridgerton from It’s In His Kiss by Julia Quinn- She’s one of the funniest characters I’ve read about. She’s sarcastic and smart and not afraid to speak her opinions during a time when women were expected to act a certain way. I wish I could be best friends with her.
  10. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling- I almost didn’t put her on this list simply because I knew so many others would. But when it came down to it, I couldn’t think of anyone else who met the standards she set. There’s a reason Hermione has shown up on so many lists this week. She’s smart, brave, funny, loving. She believes in herself and in her friends and even when she’s scared she’s always there for the people who need her. The great thing about Hermione is that she’s always true to herself and never lets anything change her.

Do any of your favorites coincide with mine? For the same or different reasons? I’d love to hear some of your own choices so leave them in the comments or link to your own post if you have one. Thanks for reading.
-Antonia

Reader Ravings: Reading Books Twice

I know I haven’t been writing reviews lately, and that’s partly because up until about a week ago, I’ve barely read anything the past two months. In an effort to spice things up a bit and encourage ourselves to post more in the future, we’re going to add in the occasional discussion-type post, called Reader Ravings (because who ever actually talks rationally about books), where we randomly post about reading related topics that come up in our lives. Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments or even write your own post using the topic. (We’d love if you linked any of those posts in the comments so we can read them too!)

I have many favorite aspects of reading; the way books smell, getting to know new characters, feeling like the world dropped out from under you at a sudden plot twist… pick pretty much anything that involves books and I probably love it. But one of the things I love the most is reading a book for the second time.
This topic popped into my head because the last two books I’ve read have been books I’ve read (and reviewed) before; Crown of Vengeance by Mercedes Lackey and James Malloryand Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead. And what I noticed while reading them is that I enjoyed the experience much more than I did the first time. For Crown of Vengeance, it’s a 600-page fantasy novel with some serious world-building and history thrown in and I think so much information was being thrown at me that there was no way I could possibly remember it all the first time. When I read it again, I was able to pick up all the details I’d missed and I understood everything much better. For Gameboard of the Gods, while there was a lot of information, the pace and suspense is what threw me the first time. Everything happens so fast. I just wanted to know more and more and couldn’t breathe until I finished the book. Knowing how it ends, let me relax and I could appreciate the characters stories more.
Now I’ve found it can be difficult to figure out what the general opinion is on this topic because people don’t generally talk about reading a book for the second time. We talk the first to the point of redundancy because it’s new and exciting and we want to share it with the world but the second time doesn’t rate as much attention. Because of this, I might be wrong in my assumptions but it’s always seemed to me that the majority of people don’t like reading the same book twice, and the readers who do reserve it for their select few favorites.
I can’t, for the life of me, understand it. For most books, I even like reading it better the second time than the first. The first time I read a book I try to go slow and absorb everything so I don’t miss any details but I always end up getting sucked in and blowing through it before I know what’s happened. I’m so invested in the characters’ lives and so worried about what’s going to happen to them that sometimes finishing a book can just leave me emotionally exhausted and I’m sure all of you know what that feels like.
Amanda and I’ve had discussions about this and we both agree that while we always retain the key points and basics of the plot, after awhile it’s hard to remember any of the smaller details. I understand it’s unreasonable to think I could possibly remember every single line of every book I’ve ever read but when I think about a book years, or even months, after I’ve read it I can only remember that a character got from point A to point B but not how. Except that’s the entire point of a book. It’s like the phrase “It’s the journey not the destination”. How a character overcomes the odds to reach their goal is more important than the fact they got there.
That’s when a book gets added to my mental TBRT (To Be Read Twice) list. When I think of a book and can’t remember all those important little details. And no, not every book I read gets added. If that were the case I would never read anything new, and books I want to read a second time tend to get pushed back in order to read new books first. Usually, it’s when I just want to relax and enjoy a book that I pick up one of my TBRTs and because I’ve already read it, sometimes I’ll just stick a bookmark in and read new books that come up before picking it back up again. I almost always have a partly-read TBRT sitting around my room.
What bothers me most is when I tell someone I’ve read a book more than once. Occasionally I get someone who doesn’t think it’s a big deal but more often than not, they don’t understand why and a lot of the time it’s someone who generally doesn’t read at all. I don’t try to tell you that you can’t watch movies twice, do I? It’s the same principle. I enjoyed reading it the first time, so I’m going to enjoy reading it the second time.
And for the people who somehow think reading books twice is inferior to reading books once? It’s asinine opinions like yours that make me prefer reading over social interactions. (I’m not kidding. I’ve received a condescending head shake and a “How old did you say you are?” on numerous occasions when this topic’s been brought up.) I mean, at least I’m reading! There are hundreds of thousands of people who don’t read and I don’t mean the ones who are illiterate. Do you really care more about the fact I reread books than that there are people who refuse to learn everything books can teach us? That’s absurd.
What’s your opinion on reading books more than once? Do you like it less or more than the first time?
-Antonia

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Rewind

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week we post our Top Ten for the weeks topic. This week’s is a rewind so we get to pick a topic we missed or wanted to revisit. I chose to do my top ten book I wish I could read again for the first time. Antonia chose a different topic, but also liked this one so her top ten is here along with mine. We hope you enjoy!
4b6b0-toptentuesday
Amanda’s Top Ten:

1)Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling– I’d like to be able to re read this whole series for the first time because well, it’s Harry Potter and I love them.

2)Looking for Alaska by John Green– This is my all time favorite book ever. I would love to be able to read this for the first time again. It was an amazing book and I’m going to try to put it on as many Top Ten’s as I can.

3)Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn– I read this book when my older brother was in school and he had to read it for one of his classes. I’m really glad I got to read this book and it’s one that I’ll keep rereading forever.

4)Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich– I would like to read this book for the first time again for purely x rated reasons. This is one of my favorite books in the now twenty book series.

5)Exit Here by Jason Myers– This is another book that has made it to my favorites list. I’d love to read this again for the first time so that I can fall in love with the story all over again.

6)Burned by Ellen Hopkins– Ellen Hopkins needs to be on this list somewhere. Burned is my favorite of her books.

7)The Book Thief by Markus Zusak– This book was amazing. I did just recently read The Book Thief, but I’d love to read it again and again.

8)Twilight by Stephenie Meyer– I know, haha. I put Twilight on this list because this saga was a huge part of my younger years and I read it so many times I could almost recite it to you. If I could read these books over for the first time, I wonder how I would feel about them.

9)Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith– I put this on this list mainly because I would love to be able to sit down with all of the books and just go crazy reading the whole series for the first time.

10)The House of Night Series by P.C. and Kristin Cast– This is also on the list because now that the whole series is out I would love to be able to have all of them and read them all for the first time. I think I lost interest in this series because I couldn’t keep waiting for the next one to come out.

Antonia’s Top Ten:

1)The Outstretched Shadow by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory– This is a given for me. It’s my favorite series of all time and I wish I could meet the characters all over again.

2)The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima– These books made me feel so many different emotions. I wish I could experience that all over again.

3)Twilight by Stephenie Meyer– I wish I could love this series like I did when I was fifteen before the movie and all the twihards ruined it for me.

4)The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis– I wish I could feel all the feelings these books made me feel before they ruined my childhood by ending.

5)The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks– It’s one of my favorite love stories ever. I wish I could read it again without knowing how it ends.

6)Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead– I wish I could fall in love with Dimitri again without knowing what happens to him.

7)The Shack by William Paul Young– This book literally ripped my heart out, stomped on it with steel toe boots and shoved it back into my body. As masochistic as it sounds, I wish that could happen again.

8)The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling– I shouldn’t have to explain this one to anyone.

9)The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini– I wish I could read all four of these books consecutively for the first time. So much time passed between the release dates that I ended up forgetting too many details between reading them.

10)The Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout– I only wish I could read all of these consecutively for the first time, after the last book comes out this summer. I had so many feelings for all of these books.

These are our top ten books we’d love to read again for the first time. What are yours?

Crown of Vengeance by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory

Summary: Many legends begin as history, and much history begins with a single person caught up in an extraordinary time. So it is with the great Elven Queen Vieliessar of Farcarinon, who was the first to lead the forces of Light against the Endarkened. Perhaps the greatest Elven Mage of all time, Vieliessar was the first person to ever bond with a dragon. On behalf of her people and to save the world, Vieliessar worked astonishing magics…and paid a heartrending price.
But long before those days, Vieliessar was Varuthir, a young orphan who dreamed of becoming a knight. Varuthir’s dream was cruelly ripped from her when she was abruptly banished to the Sanctuary of the Star, to spend her life in service to the greatest Mages of the Fortunate Lands.
The Sanctuary was Varuthir’s prison- and Vieliessar’s birthplace. For ti was there that she learned that she was not just the last heir of the vanished kingdom of Farcarinon but also the Child of the Prophecy, whose coming heralded the destruction of the hundred kingdoms. More, Vieliessar discovered she was a Mage of undreamed-of power.
But magecraft alone will not make Vieliessar High King over the Hundred Houses. Her campaign to seize the Unicorn Throne is a tale of loyalty and betrayal, of love and loss, and of sacrifice and salvation. Of moments of humanity in the midst of war. And of the greatest battle of all, between Light and Dark.

This book is the third trilogy Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory have collaborated on. The first was the Obsidian Mountain Trilogy (possibly my favorite series ever) and the second was the Enduring Flame trilogy which takes place about a thousand years after the events of the first. They’ve just published the first in the Dragon Prophecy trilogy, which explains the history of events and people from the Obsidian Mountain Trilogy. I’m not sure what the timeline is for this one. I want to say it’s two thousand years or so before OMT, but I’m not sure so don’t quote me on it.
I’m so happy I finally read this book. At the same time, I’m really upset I finally read this book. This is only because I have no idea when the next one’s going to come out but probably not for at least a year. A fact that makes me want to cry.
I loved this book. In my personal opinion, Lackey and Mallory can do no wrong. I’ve read many other books by Lackey and liked all of them. I haven’t read any by Mallory yet but I’m sure I will at some point. I’ve loved both series they’ve written previously. They’ve created such an extraordinary world with amazing characters.
I was worried that I’d be disappointed by this book because I’d had my hopes up for so long. I wasn’t disappointed at all. I loved this story. I only wish I didn’t have to wait for the rest of it.
The characters are elves that live for about a thousand years, give or take a few centuries. This makes it so they’re still considered “young” long after what it means in our world. This meant I got to watch Vieliessar grow up through several decades. And no, it felt neither rushed nor drawn out. Vieliessar is a great, strong, female lead. At first it seems everyone and everything is working against her, but she doesn’t let it stop her. She fights against the prophecy set on her from birth, but when she realizes it’s something she’s meant to do to save the Hundred Houses, she sets everything else aside and whole-heartedly throws herself into the task, despite everyone telling her she’s crazy. I love her and I can’t wait to see what she’ll do next.
Runacarendalur is basically the equivalent to the male lead. I didn’t really like him much at the beginning. He seemed like all the other ambitious, arrogant War Princes. Eventually, I realized he’s not and now, I love him. Also, SPOILERS, they’re bonded! (It’s the equivalent of soul mates, just more magical. If one of them dies, the other does also.) It makes me so happy even though they think they hate each other. They don’t. They’re going to love each other. How do I know this? Well, because it has to happen or I’m going to cry. Also, I CAN’T BELIVE HE FUCKING LEFT! And then the book fucking ended! I am so not happy about this. But it’s okay. Because he’s going to come back and love Vieliessar for forever. …Because I said so. END SPOILERS.
If you like fantasy books I would absolutely recommend these books. If you haven’t read the other two series, I would advise you start with the Obsidian Mountain trilogy, partly because it’s my favorite and partly because it’s the first one they published. I would advise reading the Enduring Flame trilogy after Obsidian because it gives away some very important details. If you’d rather read them all chronologically (which I know some people prefer), that might be a little difficult considering only the first book in the Dragon Prophecy trilogy is out.
However you decide to read them, you absolutely, 100%, without hesitating, should run to your bookstore or library and read them. Right now.
I don’t get the chance to talk to many people who’ve read these series, so if you have, I would love to hear your opinion on it.
-Antonia

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