#SixforSunday – Favourite Colours

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

It’s the final week of this month’s Six for Sunday theme all about colours!

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot


Favourite Colours

I think I have many favourite colours. I like and wear a lot of blue, am drawn to anything pink, always pick out the green sweets as they’re the best and will often say purple when someone actually asks me what my favourite colour is…! Perhaps I should say my favourite colour is rainbow! With that in mind, this week’s favourite colour selections are some of my favourite book covers of all time which feature these colours.

  • Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović
  • Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre
  • Summer at the Lake by Erica James
  • Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust
  • Written in Starlight by Isabel Ibañez
  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

What are your favourite colours? Do you have favourite styles when it comes to book covers? Do you ever judge a book by its cover?
As always, leave your links below or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#Friday56 – The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice

Happy FriYAY Bibliofriends!

This week’s Friday 56 comes from The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice. This debut novel by E.S. Barrison is the first novel in The Life and Death Cycle series. Big thanks to the author for approaching me and providing me with a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, the Friday 56 is a weekly bookish prompt. It’s quite easy to do and could cover no end of different books and genres so seems great if you’re looking for a quick snippet to discover something new!

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.


Of all the people who had to enter her hideaway, of all the people it could have been, why did it have to be Brent Harley? His silver eyes, marked with stress and fear, left a shadow around her. His words weighed heavier.
A woman in black… Rho exhaled. But it’s only ever been me.

The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice features a beautifully crafted world with labyrinthine tunnels, a soul enshrouding mist-demon and a main character who strives to stand up for his own destiny. You can check out my full review here.


Amazon | Follow on Twitter |Author’s Website

Drop me a comment below or connect with me here:

Twitter | Goodreads | Book Sloth: @thebiblioshelf |Email: thebiblioshelf@gmail.com

Biblioshelf Musings – The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice

Hello Bibliofriends,

Back in July I was approached by E.S. Barrison to read and review her debut novel, The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice which is a new-adult, dark fantasy book and features as the first part of her The Life and Death Cycle series. Big thanks to E.S Barrison for sending me a digital copy in exchange for an honest review.


Book: The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice
Series: The Life and Death Cycle
Author: E.S. Barrison
Genre: New Adult / Dark Fantasy
Publication Date: June 14th 2020
Publisher: Self-Published
Pages: 436 (e-book)
Rating: 📚📚📚

Synopsis (from the author)

Storytelling was outlawed. Magic had all but vanished.
That all changed when the woman in black came to town.

Branded with the black stamp at a young age, Brent thought he would end up a vagrant like his father. His craft was telling stories, but the Order had long forbidden any weaving of tales. When Brent sees the woman in black, she leads him into a menagerie of tunnels beneath the earth where his life falls into the nauseating, but beautiful, mist of the dead.

He finds friendship in Rho, a young woman who hides her face with a tree branch while roots and vines bow to her every whim. Together, they embark on a journey to explore the world, escape the watchful eyes of the Order, and discover the woman in black’s secrets.

For thousands of years, the mist and the tunnels were under the sole guardianship of the Council of Mist Keepers. But as new monsters enter the mist, and magic is forced out of the shadows, the Council searches for young blood to join their ranks and Brent’s next in line.

My Musings

The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice is a gritty and complex debut plunging readers into a world filled with tunnels, forbidden magics, storytelling and lost identities.

The jewel in the crown of this debut novel is the multi-layered, magical world that Barrison has created. In the day-to-day we see a poor community suffering just to make ends meet whilst being ruled over by a very stiff and conservative Order; but then, the main character Brent and his sidekick Rho take us on a journey into a mysterious labyrinth of secret tunnels. Fast forward further into the novel and portals transport our imagination into the weird and wonderful places so at odds with Brent’s hometown. All through this, Barrison’s elaborate descriptions really help to bring each different world alive.

I was really intrigued by the varieties of magics on show in the Mist Keeper’s world. Brent’s storytelling powers reminded me of one of my favourite childhood books, Inkheart, whereas Rho’s power over flowers and nature put wonderful images into my head and was a stark contrast with the more urban settings. As for the Lady in Black, I kept visualising her as a cross between the lady from the Scottish Widows advert and Sarah Woodruff from John Fowles’ novel The French Lieutenant’s Woman – this gave her a really dramatic appeal which heightened her presence as Brent’s guide.

At first, I admittedly found Brent to be slightly annoying. His character tends to have a woe-is-me attitude and constantly seems to blame himself throughout the first half of the book. I think this may be what made me feel that the pace initially took a little while to get going. However, once we meet the big-bad demon, Brent comes more into his own. This character growth sees his demeanour and motivations change and the final parts of the novel really pulled me in.

Through her meticulously crafted world and characters, it’s clear that Barrison is a talented writer. At times lyrical and moving, at others edgy and unflinching, The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice is a brilliant tale of how a boy who loved to tell stories is able to find his own strength and identity, bring his stories to life, and use them to stand up for himself and fulfil his destiny.

Favourite Quotes:

What good was a storyteller in a land where stories were taboo?

If this was death, at least paradise was indeed a library.

Don’t you see? It’s just one big tale – one big story. We’re all a part of it. We all are.

Why Should I Read This?

For a complex, multi-layered world which gets more and more intriguing throughout.
For an urban, edgy and gritty ‘new adult’ take on the dark fantasy genre.
For the journey of self-discovery and identity of the main character.

Find out more about this book here:

Amazon | Follow on Twitter |Author’s Website

Connect with me here:

Twitter | Goodreads | Book Sloth: @thebiblioshelf |Email: thebiblioshelf@gmail.com

#BookTag – The Ultimate Book Tag

Aloha Bibliofriends,

It’s still technically the holidays for one last week! I am dreading the return to work so so much! Anyway, the perfect distraction from those thoughts was completing this mammoth ‘Ultimate Book Tag’!

I first saw this over at Witty and Sarcastic Book Club and knew that I had to add it to my Tags list. It’s a long one so grab the popcorn (or any other bookish snack!).


Do you get sick while reading in the car? 

Weirdly, this completely depends on how I’m feeling. Sometimes I get sick if I’m reading an e-book, sometimes I get sick reading a physical book and other times I’m absolutely fine with either… I take ‘mood reader’ to the next level with that answer! 😂

Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why? 

Carlos Ruiz Zafón – he just has such a way with words and descriptions. Thing seem so lyrical, haunting and beautiful all at the same time.

Harry Potter or Twilight? Give Three Reasons Why?

Harry Potter – All. The. Way.

  1. I am the age range that grew up alongside Harry Potter and remember the agonizing wait for the next book to be released – it is such a huge part of my life whereas Twilight didn’t have that same impact on me.
  2. The Wizarding World is such a diverse place that you can find different things there each time you visit depending on what you’re looking for: comfort, humour, acceptance, family, villains, nifflers, the Room of Requirement… etc.
  3. In my own very small and humble opinion – There’s only one kick-ass vampire world that reigns supreme and that is Buffy! There’s no way Twilight’s topping that for me!

Do you carry a book bag? If so, what’s in it? 

I always carry a physical book in my bag if I’m carrying one – and if not, then there’s always my NetGalley shelf app and iBooks on my phone!

Do you smell your books?

I’m officially enrolled at Book Sniffers Anonymous but sshhh… don’t tell! 🤐

Books with or without illustrations?

Tricky one… I’d probably say either way! The only difficulty comes when the illustration doesn’t match the picture I’ve built in my head, then I’d wish they weren’t there! 

What book did you love while reading, but discovered later didn’t have quality writing? 

The Given Duology by Mindy McGinnis – I think the story and world was incredibly interesting but the writing style was strange to get my head around. There were so many different perspectives and some would be first person whereas other would be third person. It wasn’t enough to stop me enjoying the series though.

Do you have any funny stories from your childhood involving books? 

It isn’t really funny (ha ha!) but my grandparents had a bookshelf in this tiny little room outside their bathroom – I used to hide in there reading all the books and I was obsessed with one called Cyril Fletcher’s Odd Odes (from 1974) – I can’t tell you anything about the book but I can still see every part of that book cover in my mind. Looking back on it now, it seems like the strangest place to put a bookshelf!

What is the thinnest book on your shelf? 

I have countless skinny children’s books and picture books – one of my thinnest and smallest amongst them is Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman.

What is the thickest book you own?

The Norton Anthology of Poetry at 2182 pages – I purchased it for a university module and can’t bear to part with it. It’s great for dipping in and out of to get my poetry fix.

Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself becoming an author in the future?

I don’t write other than reviewing and blogging. One of my dreams is to have a book of my own – perhaps a book of short stories or novellas; I’ve got quite a few ideas swirling up there in my head.

When did you first get into reading? 

I wouldn’t be surprised if I was born with a book in my hand! My Dad would always read me a bedtime story every night. My Granddad would always buy me books at car boot sales and one of my earliest school photographs is me sat in the book corner reading Thomas the Tank Engine. 

What is your favorite classic book? 

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. I had to read it for school so it was kind of a ‘forced read’ but it’s one of the first classics I remember really enjoying. Failing that, absolutely any fairy tales (they’re the classics of classics right?!).

If you were given a book as a present that you’ve already read and hated, what would you do? 

Smile gracefully then do one of those “leaving books in places as gifts for strangers” type things.

What is a lesser known book you know of that is similar to the Harry Potter series and the Hunger Games series? 

Harry Potter – Chloe Shipton and The Quill of LeFay by Lynn Veevers. Lynn approached me back in 2018 to read this. She wrote it for her daughter who loved Harry Potter and wanted another ‘magical school’ type story to read.

The Hunger Games – I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like The Hunger Games but the Divergent series sometimes reminds me of it. I know that’s not quite lesser known but still…

What is a bad writing habit you have? 

I use ‘really’ an awful lot and then have to take it out when I read my writing back to myself.

What is your favorite word? 

I have so many – I’m such a logophile!

Meadow, effervescence, mystic, ethereal and ever bookishly: vellichor

Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? 

I can’t say that I actually know the difference between them so I’d probably say nerd and then get told that I’m one of the other two!

Vampires or faeries? Why? 

Vampires on TV, Faeries in books – I struggle to like bookish vampires and I’m not a fan of TV faeries.

Shapeshifters or angels? Why? 

Angels for guidance; shapeshifters for their cool abilities. I can’t pick! I’m so bad at either/or questions!

Spirits or werewolves? 

Spirits – I can’t think of a werewolf I actually liked.

Zombies or vampires? Why?

Vampires – at least they have characterisations whereas zombies always seem to just be the literal walking dead.

Love triangles or forbidden love? 

Forbidden love – I’m a sucker for a bit of angst! Love triangles always seem to end up with one person being hurt and I just can’t deal with constantly routing for one person then flipping to the other or even both together! They’re just too complicated for me whereas forbidden love brings a much more satisfying kind of dramatic tension.

Full-on romance books or action-filled books with a little romance?

It has to be action-filled with a little romance. I think Fifty Shades ruined ‘romance’ for me for life! I know I sound like Goldilocks but I find romance to be either too chick-lit, too smutty or too predictable or a whole range of too ‘insert-adjective-here’ for me to actually immerse myself in it.


Blimey what a long tag! I feel like I’ve waffled my way through all of it but I guess they don’t call it the ‘ultimate’ for no good reason!

Thanks for reading if you got this far! Consider yourself tagged and give me a pingback to your post! I can’t wait to read your answers! 

Have a good week everyone!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Autumn Colours

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

It’s time for the final season’s colour this week in Six for Sunday: Autumn! This one was probably the easiest season for me to choose for!

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot


Autumn Colours

For me Autumn is all about the leaves changing colour on the trees and nights drawing in with some spectacular sunsets. I think that’s pretty self-explanatory with all of the colours featuring here!

  • Illuminate by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  • The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
  • Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
  • Circe by Madeline Miller
  • Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

What colours do you think of when it comes to Autumn? Is Autumn very different in your country?
As always, leave your links below or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#Friday56 – Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale

Happy FriYAY Bibliofriends!

This week’s Friday 56 comes from Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale by Andrea Blythe which I received as an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Andrea Blythe and Interstellar Flight Press for the copy. It was a bewitching, fresh retelling of a classical Brother Grimm story of the Twelve Princesses.

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, the Friday 56 is a weekly bookish prompt. It’s quite easy to do and could cover no end of different books and genres so seems great if you’re looking for a quick snippet to discover something new!

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.


The Black Fox could steal anything – jewels hidden inside castle keeps, entire towers full of gold or the tower itself, kisses and secrets and lives.

This is such a wonderfully short and sweet read. If you’re a fan of fairytales and modern retellings which give the protagonists their own identity and voice then there’s sure to be a lit for you to like in Twelve. If you want to find out more about Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairytale then you can check out my full review here.

Amazon | Interstellar Flight Press| Author’s Website | Twitter | NetGalley


Are you a fairytale fanatic? What’s your favourite fairy tale retelling? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

Connect with me here:

Twitter | Goodreads | Book Sloth: @thebiblioshelf |Email: thebiblioshelf@gmail.com

Biblioshelf Musings – Twelve: Poems Inspired by The Brothers Grimm Fairytale

Aloha Bibliofriends,

Fairytales have always had a special place in my heart. I love reading and analysing them so much so that my university dissertation was based on the tale of Sleeping Beauty and a whole section of my bookshelves are dedicated to fairytale theory books from the likes of Jack Zipes, Bruno Bettelheim and Marina Warner. When I came across Twelve: Poems Inspired by The Brothers Grimm Fairytale by Andrea Blythe as an eARC on NetGalley I was immediately captivated and wanted to read it. Thank you to Interstellar Flight Press, Andrea Blythe and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.


Book: Twelve: Poems Inspired by The Brothers Grimm Fairytale by Andrea Blythe
Genre: Fairytales / Poetry
Publication Date: September 7th 2020
Publisher: Interstellar Flight Press
Pages: 64
Rating: 📚📚📚📚

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Twelve is a poetic retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairytale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” Bewitching and beguiling, this short series of linked poems takes the reader to the underground realm and back, following the stories of twelve princesses and their life after the magic shoes.

My Musings

To me, fairytales are the original story. With elements of folklore and oral-storytelling passed on from generation to generation until they are finally written down and published for anyone to read, it’s no wonder that each of these amazing stories have different variations and attributes linking to a myriad of cultures across our planet. Modern-day retellings often seek to gender-bend or feminise these tales, questioning the traditional roles of the obedient princesses who require a loving stereotypical marriage as their happily ever after.

In Twelve, Andrea Blythe manages to pull off a modern retelling in spectacular fashion whilst retaining the elements of fairytales and storytelling which all of its fans love. Taking each sister one by one, Blythe dedicates each of the Twelve Princesses with their own unique voice and identity giving fresh substance and purpose to the once subservient, archaic damsels-in-distress in search of their prince.

As characters of their own, we see the ringleader whose decision it was to condemn their failed suitors to death; the sister whose stubbornness and obstinance defied punishment and carried on her dancing regardless of the King’s ruling; the wannabe-baker who despite being told to stay out of the kitchen ends up finding more than one passion in the pantry; the Belle-like book-lover who managed to camouflage herself amidst the stacks.

Twelve was not quite poetry in the form I was anticipating and represents more of a prose-style narrative, however the writing was lyrically beautiful just the same. Language and imagery contribute to a huge part of my enjoyment in a book and, for something shorter than what I’m used to reading, Blythe brought this in spades! The haunting imagery of the Third Sister’s tale is sure to resonate with any bibliophile who has ever been lost and caught up in their own little bookish world.

The Author’s Note at the end seeks to clarify Blythe’s inspiration for writing these wonderful poems. It gives credence to the fact that she is well-versed in the genre and this tale in particular. It was interesting to read her motivations for writing Twelve and take on board her own viewpoint in bringing these stories to life.

Favourite Quotes:

Her blood spit within her veins like dragon fire.

The library became her realm. She slept on the nests of old discarded pamphlets and nourished herself on the pages she consumed.

She might read you and find in your flesh the story that shapes you.

Any small fraction of magic could have settled itself under her skin.

Why Should I Read This?

For the bewitching storytelling.
For a fresh uplift on a classical fairytale.
For the diverse representations and identities of the Twelve Princesses.

Any reader with a passion for fairytales is sure to find something to enjoy in this short and sweet collection of poems based on tale of The Twelve Princesses from The Brothers Grimm.

Find out more about this book here:

Amazon | Interstellar Flight Press| Author’s Website | Twitter | NetGalley

Connect with me here:

Twitter | Goodreads | Book Sloth: @thebiblioshelf |Email: thebiblioshelf@gmail.com

#BookTag – Mango Book Tag

Hey Bibliofriends,

How are you all doing this Tuesday?
In the search for some fresh and funky new book tags I stumbled across this amazing Mango Book Tag over at ZeeZee With Books (thanks for doing it!!). Mangoes are one of my favourite fruits to eat, so much so that I bought the book A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif purely based on the fact that the word ‘mango’ was in the title – talk about “clickbait”! 😂

From reading ZeeZee’s post, I had no idea there were so many types! I don’t even know what varieties we get imported to supermarkets here in the UK but I can guarantee I’ve never seen a hairy one or a spotted one here – it’s making me want to go on an ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ style adventure seeking out the world’s best mangoes!

The tag was created by Nandini at Novels and Nebulas who was inspired by The Tiger in Moonlight series by Swati Teerdhala as the main character shares the same love of mangoes that Nandini does. The prompts come from South Indian mango varieties and mango dishes. From reading her original post and the reasons behind her prompt selections, you can tell how much this fruit personally means to her and her culture so I’m glad and thankful that she created it and put it out into the book blogosphere for us all to have our own fun with! 


Raw Mango: Your most anticipated release

Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline – Ready Player One is on my ‘God Tier’ of favourite books of all time, so since hearing that Ready Player Two had a release date for November 24th 2020, every other anticipated release has been wiped from my memory and this is the only thing I can rave about or focus on! I practically check NetGalley and Edelweiss every week just on the slightest chance that it’s been listed for review requests.

Banganapalli: Longest book on your TBR

Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas at a whopping 803 pages is definitely the longest on my physical TBR pile of owned books – I’m trying to clear the TBR somewhat first before settling down to attempt reading it.

Alphonso: A hyped book you love

Another Maas but The Throne of Glass Series – it got me back into reading again after my Potter shaped book hangover and is probably one of the bigger reasons why I’m so into YA Fantasy.

Totapuri: A book with a green or yellow cover

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer – I was initially very sceptical about this when hearing that the main narration was moving away from Rhen and Harper, and that there was a new character introduced that we hadn’t met yet. After reading it though, I think I actually prefer this one to A Heart So Dark and Lonely. Come to think of it, I am also highly anticipating Cursebreakers 3 as well! Haha!

Neelam: A rainy day book recommendation

From Notting Hill with Love… Actually by Ali McNamara – Rainy days in the UK are often gloomy, grey and very wet. Inspired by some of the greatest Richard Curtis films, this would be my perfect rainy day read if you’re looking for something lighthearted, warm and snuggly.

Mango Pickle: A book that makes you feel nostalgic

Care of Henry by Anne Fine – the children’s library I used to visit as a kid was so welcoming and inviting. It had brighly coloured animals and murals painted all over the walls with lots of soft squashy cushions. I loved spending time in there whilst my mum was working and Care of Henry was one of my favourite children’s books to sit and read.

Mango Kulfi: A feel-good book recommendation

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – Don Tillman is such a strangely charming character (in a way, he’s a bit of an advocate for mental health even though this isn’t the main driver of the book). His quest to find true love, against all the odds (and many of his own making) brings laughter, tears and by the end I was championing him all the way! It’s a great read! 


Peeled, diced and eaten… that’s a mango wrap! Mango-lovers amongst you, or even those of you that aren’t consider yourself tagged!
Please do try and stop by the original post by Nandini at Novels and Nebulas if you’re interested in finding out all about the mangoes and dishes here, and also why they mean so much to Nandini!

Have a great Tuesday everyone!
T xx

#SixforSunday – Summer Colours

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

We’re finally at the Summer colours week – I think it’s so much easier to become inspired by something if you’re living through it! Much of my summer so far has been spent down by the coast staring out over the sea so many of these selections should be holiday related as that’s what I tend to think about when it’s summer time.

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot


Summer Colours

Summer is so much fun and I love love love the heatwaves and warmer weather, I especially love the long summer holidays. With that in mind, my summer colours are all vivids and bright colours which pop off the page!

  • Anna K by Jenny Lee
  • Nocturna (Fairyloot Exclusive Edition) by Maya Montayne
  • Nine Perfect Strangers by Lianne Moriarty
  • The Sunshine and Biscotti Club by Jenny Oliver
  • The Lonely Hearts Travel Club: Destination Thailand by Katy Collins
  • The Plus One Pact by Portia MacIntosh

What colours mean Summer to you? What is your favourite activity to do during the Summer time? What’s your favourite holiday read?
As always, leave your links below or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#Friday56 – Ignite the Sun

It’s FriYAY time again Bibliofriends!

This week’s Friday 56 comes from Ignite the Sun by Hanna C. Howard which I received as an e-arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It was a brilliant traditional YA fantasy debut in which light battled against dark!

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, the Friday 56 is a weekly bookish prompt. It’s quite easy to do and could cover no end of different books and genres so seems great if you’re looking for a quick snippet to discover something new!

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.


Milla hugged me briefly, her fleeting embrace like birds’ wings, and as she released me, I threw my arms impulsively around Phipps.

The whole cast of characters in this novel felt like they had come straight out of the pages of folklore encyclopaedias – mages, banshees, elves, dwarves, nymphs, naiads and a witch-queen. They really were my favourite aspect of the story. If you want to find out more about Ignite the Sun then you can check out my full review here.

Amazon | Blink YA Books| Waterstones | Hanna C. Howard on Twitter


Have you read Ignite the Sun? What are your favourite folklore characters? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx