March 2021 – #WrapPost

Howdy Bibliofriends!

Life Update

It’s been a little while hasn’t it? I took some time away from my blog over the past couple of weeks to deal with some things on the home front, and they’re not fully sorted but it’s also not really in my control to sort so my headspace is in a bit of a weird place right now.

What I am loving is that Spring is finally arriving – even if in typical British style the day can turn from sun to snow to hail all in the space of a morning! It has been so nice to catch up with friends and actually socialise again as England comes out of another stage of lockdown. I always used to have a packed diary but I had forgotten how tiring it can be actually having to make the effort and get out there – I think I took to the lockdown hermit life too well even though I was still in school like normal! How are you all coping with the different stages of the pandemic wherever you live?

What I’ve Been Reading in March

March was a pretty good reading month for me even if I did hit a massive reading slump which is kind of still ongoing… 😏 Taking part in the ‘Tis the Damn Readathon was so much fun as it’s been quite a while since I’ve taken part in one. It was also a really good way to keep me in my Taylor Swift zone. Ever since Folklore my fandom has reached brand new heights! 😂

Books I read:
> The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
> The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley (audiobook)
> The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
> Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie (audiobook)
> Lore by Alexandra Bracken
> Locke and Key Vol. 2: Head Games by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez
> The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox

Instead of repeating myself, I did a small breakdown about each book and the readathon prompt they were for in a separate wrap post which you read here!

What I’ve Been Watching in March

  • Shadowhunters – Series 1

I finished watching the first season of Shadowhunters on Netflix. Being completely honest, I’m not sure it’s something I’ll continue with. I’ve read all of the books so was curious about the series but there are so many other things I think I’d rather try watching as I wasn’t really blown away by this one.

  • The Angel

I think this was based on the true story of Ashraf Marwan, an Egyptian spy (and President Nasser’s son-in-law) who tried to bring about peace with Israel. I didn’t really know any of the story beforehand so it was a little bit confusing to follow.

  • Extraction

Now this film I really enjoyed! Chris Hemsworth (a.k.a. Thor) is a mercenary tasked with rescuing a kidnapped teenager from a load of drug lords. It was fairly gory and there is a large amount of violence but I enjoyed the bond the mercenary and the teenager developed during the film.

  • Dead to Me – Season 1

Wow, this show! I can’t believe I didn’t see the twist at the end of the first episode coming! From there, the whole season was so addictive and I had to just keep clicking ‘next episode’ to see everything unfold. It’s kind of a tell-all show where the watcher knows exactly what is happening and is just waiting for the characters to find out to see their reactions. I definitely need to find out what is going to happen in season two after that incredible season finale.

  • Wandavision

OMG the ending to Wandavision, it went slightly off tangent for me but then the exploration of Wanda’s and Vision’s relationship just melted me! I’m so pleased we got to see Monica Rambeau as I can’t wait to see how her character evolves in the upcoming Captain Marvel II.

What I’ve Been Listening to in March

March has definitely been the discovery of the podcast! I’ve been listening to three different ones on a bit of a cycle during the mornings whilst I get ready for work.

That’s What I’m Tolkien About
This is such a great podcast by Mary Clay Watt which explores each the world of Tolkien chapter by chapter. I’ve come to this podcast fairly late (it’s up to episode 91/92 already). The Lord of the Rings and the movies have already been covered so I decided to start with The Hobbit chapters which are updated every Tuesday and always feature a special guest. I was so tempted to try and read the chapters along with the podcast, which I may go back and do for the LOTR books (the reading slump has beaten me to it this time around).

It’s Super Effective
This Pokémon podcast comes out every Monday and discusses all of the latest updates in Pokémon world. It’s pretty hefty at about 1.5 hours long but there is a mashup style music remix featuring as a break to each one which is kind of addictive. There’s a little too much TCG and Masters chat for me in some parts but the hosts SBJ, Will and Greg are incredibly entertaining and I like the Pokémon news and Pokémon Centre shopping updates they do. There’s also a Pokémon of the week style quiz to try and guess.

Book Riot’s SFF Yeah!
There had to be a bookish podcast in there from Book Riot! I love the way Sharifah and Jenn share their recommendations about books. I’ve mentally added so many more books to my TBR and actually preordered two books purely from their recommendations.

Pokemon Go Update

March was pretty quiet in the Pokemon Go stakes. I did find a group of local players in the village I live so I have been participating in more events and raids etc. which has been really nice. Rayquaza Raid weekend was such hard work! 😂 I did 15 raids, caught 14 of them and my 13th catch was my only shiny – how’s that for superstitious!  

March’s Shiny Haul
Krabby
Landorus (Incarnate Forme)
Fletchling (evolved into Fletchinder and Talonflame)
Voltorb
Eevee
Electrike
Castform
Chikorita
Pidgeot
Spearow
Rayquaza
Skarmory
Wingull

My Trainer Code: If any fellow Pogo players want to add me, my trainer code is: 8327 7170 2277

What I’m Looking Forward to it April

  • Easter holidays and Creme Eggs!
  • Lockdown easing and seeing friends.
  • The Shadow and Bone series!
  • Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

And that’s a wrap! What have you been reading/watching/listening to/doing in March? What are you reading in April? Have you got any exciting Readathons or social events lined up?

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

‘Tis the Damn Readathon Wrap Post

Aloha Bibliofriends!

In March I took part in the Taylor Swift based ‘Tis the Damn Readathon with my friend who is one of the biggest Swifties I know! Quite often my reading ambitions fall on the fantasy side of magical realism so I always end up giving myself too much to do and then fall out with myself when I don’t hit the goals: #ownworstenemy
I came up with a TBR of about 7 books as I wanted to try and hit all of the album prompts – you can read about that here!
Right towards the end of the month I hit a massive reading slump which probably killed my blog vibe too to be honest. I have just started reading Crescent City whilst it’s still the Easter holidays so I’m hoping that drags me out of it.

  • Album: Taylor Swift / Prompt: Read a Memoir / Book: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

I love the Star Wars franchise and actually won a copy of this book through Bookmarks which is an online research panel lead by Penguin. It was the perfect choice for a memoir and it was so strange reading this knowing that she tragically passed away shortly after its publication. You read my review here.

  • Album: Fearless / Prompt: Do some meditation (non bookish prompt)

I didn’t read anything for this but I do meditate every morning before going to work so this felt like an easy prompt to achieve.

  • Album: Speak Now / Prompt: Listen to an Audiobook / Book: The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

I was pleasantly surprised by this audiobook and ended up adoring its plot and characters. There was a day at school during remote learning where we set the children on an off-timetable creativity day so we didn’t have a live lesson schedule, this audiobook was the soundscape to my redecorating the classroom and laminating all of the resources. It’s one of those I could listen to again and again! Read my review here.

  • Album: Red / Prompt: Read a book with red on the cover / Book: The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

This was a late addition to my TBR as I unexpectedly got approved for this on NetGalley in preparation for the paperback release of the book. This was such a great SFF book with a really curious twist on magic. I’m so intrigued that I can’t wait to see where the series goes next. Read the review here.

  • Album: 1989 / Prompt: Read a book with a number in the title / Book: Locke and Key Volume Two: Head Games by Joe Hill

So I cheated on this one a little – I didn’t have time to read my TBR selection for this but I figure it counts right? I watched the Locke and Key series on Netflix and was so captivated that I had to start reading the graphic novels too. They’re a little different to the TV show in terms of the timeline but it still satisfies that void whilst I’m waiting for Season Two to drop.

  • Album: Reputation / Prompt: (Blank Space Tile) Read a book Taylor has referenced / Book: Peter Pan (Audiobook)

I used a Blank Space tile for this one as I struggled to think of an idea for any of the prompts. I came across an audiobook of Peter Pan read by a whole cast of celebs including Joanna Lumley, David Walliams, Kit Harrington and others. It was put together by Martin Jarvis who did the Good Omens audiobook which I also loved. I enjoyed exploring this as it was a classic which I haven’t read before.

  • Album: Lover / Prompt: Do some self care (non bookish prompt)

This prompt happened lots in March, mostly with ice cream! 😂

  • Album: Folklore / Prompt: Read a book based on mythology / Book: Lore by Alexandra Bracken

When I discovered this book was a standalone, it rocketed up my TBR and I was definitely in the mood for some contemporary, yet magical YA last month. It was such a fun read and I enjoyed the way the author mixed the ancient mythology into a modern world context. There might be a review of it coming soon if I get time.

  • Album: Evermore / Prompt: Read a mystery or thriller / Book: The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox

Again, this was a little bit of a cheat one as The Absolute Book is classed as Fantasy but after reading it I feel that it definitely has a mystery twist too – I was mystified through all 640 pages, right up until the Epilogue! 😂 I read this for NetGalley so this week’s job is to get the review finished!


That’s my ‘Tis the Damn Readathon Wrap! It was so much fun to take part in a Readathon again, I can’t remember the last time that happened. Thanks so much to my friend @megalynreads on Twitter for suggesting it and to the fabulous team over at ‘Tis the Damn Readathon for putting together the most comprehensive Swiftathon I’ve ever seen! It definitely helped motivate me to keep my reading goals on track in March!

Did any of you take part in the readathon? What did you read in March?

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

Biblioshelf Musings – The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

Hello Bibliofriends!

This week’s Biblioshelf Musings is for The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart. There was such a buzz about this book across the blogosphere on it’s initial release in Hardback format, that I was so excited to get my hands on an e-arc of it from NetGalley in preparation for the paperback release date on 8th April 2021. Huge thanks to Little, Brown Book Group / Orbit, Andrea Stewart and NetGalley for my complimentary copy in exchange for this honest review.


Book: The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
Genre: Fantasy / Science-Fiction
Publication Date: 8th April 2021 (Paperback version)
Publisher: Orbit / Little, Brown Book Group
Pages: 496
Rating: 📚📚📚📚

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.

Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.

Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people.

My Musings

Shifting islands, an empire on the brink of revolution and a sinister magic involving shards of human bone… It’s no surprise that this was right up my bookish street!

Told through the perspectives of five different characters, the main story follows Lin, the Emperor’s Daughter as she tries to regain her lost memories and learn the complexities of bone shard magic in order for her father to declare her as his heir. Elsewhere around the empire, we follow Jorvis, a smuggler, as he attempts to escape both the Ioph Carn and the Empire whilst smuggling children away from trepanning ceremonies and trying to track down a mysterious boat which kidnapped his wife several years previously.

With the addition of sapphic couple Phalue and Ramani (a Governor’s Daughter and her partner) who are trying to put their different upbringings aside to compromise on their ambitions to create a better world, and a mysterious island-dweller Sand who can’t remember anything about her past, there is plenty of character development to keep your mind buzzing as their storylines gradually become intertwined in the course of the novel.

For me, Stewart hit the right balance between the length of each character’s perspective and the pacing of them throughout the story. Each character break left me on a cliffhanger, just wanting to find out more. Lin’s determination and braveness made her likeable and Jovis’ vulnerabilities and honesty made me champion him as his storyline took various twists and turns. I also admired the way that Stewart was not afraid to be bold and daring when it came to the fates of her characters. My heart was in my mouth at more than one point whilst reading this book (with one particular moment involving a family of side-characters leaving me reeling)!

Mephi was by far my favourite character though – I’m such a sucker for animals and the mysterious nature of his origins and power is something I am hugely intrigued about. His relationship with Jovis was wonderfully written so I hope we get to see and learn more about them both in the sequel.

I need to say how much I loved the STEM representation within this book! For those who may not be aware, STEM is an acronym used in education to describe subjects relating to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. As a primary school teacher (and the Maths/Computing lead), there has been a big shift in the promotion of these subjects, particularly with providing opportunities for girls and young women to try and inspire them in pursuing these industries in their future careers and highlighting just how widespread and multi-faceted these subjects are.

It was so refreshing to see the main character, Lin representing this through her pursuit of learning bone shard magic. The idea that bone shard magic is some sort of magical computer programming for the strange, Frankenstien-esque, living constructs was a really intriguing and unique type of magic which is so different to the most common forms that you usually encounter in fantasy stories.

I loved the way Stewart mixed these ideas together and the way performing the magic was explained. It gave just enough detail so that I could fully understand what was happening, whilst at the same time being subtle enough to keep it mystical rather than overwhelmingly scientific.

The constructs themselves left me freakishly curious; part-human / part-animal, they brought a quirky element to whole narrative. At times, I struggled to visualise them in my head but I enjoyed how unique and strange they were. As the plot unravels, we get to understand a little more about how the constructs are made and it was interesting to see how they are integral to some of the bigger plot twists and developments within the story.

I loved the Asian-inspired world and the shifting islands that Stewart created. It was supernatural yet realistic. Through the descriptions of each place, I could clearly build a picture of the islands in my mind and I liked how they had their own stories and vibes, as well as the way they interacted with each other and provided a stage for the different characters and events. The incident with Deerhead Island towards the start of the novel put the scope and scale of what could happen in this world right at the forefront of my mind. I still feel like there is so much more to explore of this empire and I’m hoping we get to see that in The Bone Shard Emperor.

Overall, this fantasy with a STEM-based twist did a superb job at setting the scene and whetting my appetite for the rest of the series. We are now familiar with the world, the magic and the characters. Breadcrumb trails have been left for even more secrets to be uncovered about Lin and Jovis, the constructs, the mysterious Alanga artefacts and the future of the empire. The chess pieces are on the board and I can’t wait to see how they move in the second instalment of this Drowning Empire series! 

Why Should I Read This?

For the quirky, computer-science element to the bone shard magic.
For an intertwining cast of characters all converging on an Empire on the brink of political revolution.
For a unique, Asian-inspired fantasy which seeks to redefine the parameters of blending science with magic.

About the Author:

Andrea Stewart is the Chinese American daughter of immigrants, and was raised in a number of places across the United States. Her parents always emphasized science and education, so she spent her childhood immersed in Star Trek and odd-smelling library books. When her (admittedly ambitious) dreams of becoming a dragon slayer didn’t pan out, she instead turned to writing books. She now lives in sunny California, and in addition to writing, can be found herding cats, looking at birds, and falling down research rabbit holes.

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Amazon | Waterstones | Bookshop.org | Goodreads | Author’s Website | Publisher Website

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