#Friday56 – The Hawthorne Legacy

Happy FriYAY Bibliofriends!

This week’s Friday 56 comes from The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (book two of The Inheritance Games trilogy). I love this series so much! It’s so bingeworthy and full of thrills, secrets, puzzles and family drama!

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.


It took ten minutes for our search to hit pay dirt: a remote control taped to the bookshelf, behind one of the leather-bound books. I peeled off the tape and got a better look at the remote, which had only one button.

The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

You can check out my full, spoiler-free reviews of The Inheritance Games here and The Hawthorne Legacy here.


Drop me a comment below or connect with me here:

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

The Harry Potter Book Tag

Happy ThursTAG Bibliofriends,

All the September ‘back-to-school-ness’ always has me thinking about Harry Potter and Hogwarts so when I saw this book tag on Lou’s Book Stuff I was just itching to have a go myself! I have no idea who created this Tag and I’m sure there’s so many versions of HP tags out there as well but thanks to the creator!

I love this series so much! I’ve lost count of how many different editions I have of each book and if I ever had a time turner I’d be using it for constant rereads!


What house are you in?

Definite Ravenclaw – every single sorting activity I have ever done (through all those Pottermore variations…) have been Ravenclaw!

What is your Patronus?

My patronus is a nebulung cat, which I find so surprising because *whispers* I don’t actually like cats…
Although reading my patronus description actually makes things make sense as in my day-to-day life I am a teacher!

A nebelung cat patronus appears for witches and wizards of amazing souls. They are very friendly and are high achievers. These witches and wizards always strive to be better than they were yesterday and challenge others to do the same. For them you can never stop learning, helping, teaching, or seeing new things. They are loyal and hard working individuals.

What is your wand?

Cypress wood with a phoenix feather core, 10 ¾” and hard flexibility

Rarest core type, one of the least popular woods and a hard flexibility… 😂 Yep, sounds about right! 🙈

What would your Boggart be?

I have no idea what my boggart would be – it would probably change each and every day from spiders, to loneliness, to Pennywise… who knows what the hell could be coming out of that wardrobe! 😂

What position would you play in Quidditch?

Can I be the referee or a commentator? I’m really not very athletic so there’s no way I’m catching that snitch, whacking a bludger or throwing a quaffle through a small hoop whilst clinging onto a broomstick for dear life!

Would you be a pure-blood, half-blood, or muggle born?

My family is so different so it’d probably be half-blood.

What job would you like to have after leaving Hogwarts?

Professor… at Hogwarts! If I ever succeed in running through that brick wall at Kings Cross and actually making it to Hogwarts don’t think for a second I’m leaving!

Which of the Deathly Hallows would you choose?

Invisibility Cloak so I could hide away all day reading somewhere without being disturbed. The wand would just be too scary as people would constantly try to take it from you and the idea of the resurrection stone completely freaks me out (another one to add to the boggart list!).

Favourite book?

The Half Blood Prince – It feels like the deep breath before the plunge and the way that last part ends felt like the biggest cliffhanger of the whole series. I really liked the character development of the Half Blood Prince himself as well! 😉

Least favourite book?

Probably Goblet of Fire – it just feels like a middle ground place where we’re on the cusp of waiting for the inevitable and it took many, many pages to get there…

Favourite Film?

Either Philosopher’s Stone (magical introduction and wonder) or Deathly Hallows Part 2 (heartstopping conclusion to everything!).

Least favourite film?

Again probably the first two for the same reasons as the books.

Favourite character?

It has to be Snape – hero / anti-hero / morally grey?
His character arc is so wide and complex that he’s definitely one of my favourite literary characters of all time.

Least favourite/most hated character?

Percy Weasley – I just find him incredibly annoying.

Favourite teacher?

I really liked Lupin’s teaching style – it’s one of the few times we actually saw them having fun whilst learning. 

Least favourite teacher at Hogwarts?

I don’t think I could cope with having Professor Trelawney as teacher.

Do you have any unpopular opinions about the series?

I loved Chamber of Secrets and many people seem to hate it so perhaps that’s my unpopular opinion…

Oh… and BRING BACK THE ORIGINAL POTTERMORE! I never made it to the end! 😭🙈


I had so much fun reliving some of my favourite (and least favourite!) Potter moments with this book tag! Consider yourself ‘tagged’ if you’re a fellow Potterhead! I’d love to read your answers!

As always, feel free to drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

Biblioshelf Musings – The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Hello Bibliofriends!

This week’s Biblioshelf Musings is The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.
The Hawthorne Legacy is the second book in the thrillingly exciting The Inheritance Games trilogy where we followed the twists and turns of Avery’s story as she embarked upon a treasure-hunt style mission to claim a billion dollar inheritance left to her by a mysterious stranger. Secret passageways, puzzles and riddles had me binging this book in just one day so when the sequel came up for grabs on NetGalley nothing would stop me from hitting that request button!

Advance warning, there may be spoilers for book one ahead! If you wanted to go back to the beginning, you can check out my spoiler-free review of The Inheritance Games (Book One) here.

Thank you to the publishers Penguin Random House Children’s UK, the author and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Book: The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Inheritance Games (Book #2)
Genre: Mystery / YA
Publication Date: 9th September 2021
Publisher: Penguin Random House Children’s
Pages: 368
Rating: 📚📚📚📚

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Intrigue, riches, and romance abound in this thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Inheritance Games perfect for fans of Karen McManus and Holly Jackson.

The Inheritance Games ended with a bombshell, and now heiress Avery Grambs has to pick up the pieces and find the man who might hold the answers to all of her questions – including why Tobias Hawthorne left his entire fortune to Avery, a virtual stranger, rather than to his own daughters or grandsons.

As the mystery grows and the plot thickens, Grayson and Jameson, the enigmatic and magnetic Hawthorne grandsons, continue to pull Avery in different directions. And there are threats lurking around every corner, as adversaries emerge who will stop at nothing to see Avery out of the picture – by any means necessary.

With nonstop action, aspirational jet-setting, family intrigue, swoonworthy romance, and billions of dollars hanging in the balance, The Hawthorne Legacy will thrill Jennifer Lynn Barnes fans and new readers alike.

My Musings

The Inheritance Games is quickly becoming my most binge-worthy reading series of all time! I was initially drawn to it through my love of treasure hunts, puzzles and riddles and devoured the first book in just one sitting. Unravelling all of the clues and passageways was a major part of the reading thrill for me and whilst there were still trap doors and hidden messages in abundance, The Hawthorne Legacy allows the family saga and character development to take center stage.

After having so many secrets spilled, you could definitely be forgiven for pondering where on earth this series could go next – well panic not as Jennifer Lynn Barnes has found the fictional supply of cornflour for this one as the plot just gets thicker and thicker!

Billion-dollar inheritance aside, Avery’s character is still on one hell of a journey – there’s the ongoing media training and confidence aspect of being thrust into the limelight, her increasingly complicated relationship with sister Libby, the resurfacing of her long-gone father, the quest to find the mysterious homeless guy she played chess with and of course, who could forget her Mum’s ‘I have a secret’? (which ends up blowing up a major plot line) – that’s without even getting started on mentioning those four particular Hawthorne grandsons…!

Enter: Max! Her character was light relief and added buckets of humour with her non-sweary mannerisms and attempts to help Avery filter through her variety of thoughts and problems. I loved her presence in this novel.

As for the romance element – I’m torn! I’m mainly here for the secrets and intrigue, so I was grateful that Avery’s romantic relationships didn’t dominate the plot. There is still enough here to keep it interesting and mystifying but it seems like the strangest of love triangles which keeps flip-flopping round and my verdict is still out on who I’m really rooting for. I genuinely can’t make up my mind whether I’m Team Jameson or Team Grayson and I’m convinced it could still all change yet again in the final book!

Now that a large proportion of Hawthorne HQ has been explored, I was curious to wonder where all of the sleuthing would come from this time round. I was so happy to see the treasure-hunting taking off in previously unseen wings and even jet-setting locations. Those elements were by far my favourite parts of the novel! Invisible ink, curious objects, numerical codes… all of the same features I adored in the first instalment were so cleverly intertwined into the plot. Some of which were brilliantly guessworthy and many more twists which kept me revising my theories left, right and center.

If you enjoyed The Inheritance Games then you’re absolutely going to need and love continuing this incredible series!
But reader, a little word of warning…
…Arm yourself with your reading tennis racket for this one because the secrets, action, drama and reveals keep pinging at you so thick and fast, you won’t dare to put this book down!

Now, when can I get hands on The Final Gambit…?


Find out more about this book here:

NetGalley | Publisher Website | Amazon | Waterstones | Bookshop.org | Goodreads | Author’s Twitter: @jenlynnbarnes | Author’s Website

Connect with me here:

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

#SixforSunday – Fictional Schools/Universities I’d Want To Go To

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends!

I kind of neglected the Six for Sunday side of posts last month but September brings a brand new monthly theme and one that is so relevant to my current goings on – The School Month! Today’s six picks are all about fictional schools and universities which we’d want to go to. Surprisingly, despite being a teacher, it turns out I haven’t read that many books based in education settings so trying to put together this list was a little tricky. I’m loving the dark academia vibes of some upcoming and recent book releases so there may be a couple of them featured here too.

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. September’s theme is ‘The School Month’. 


Fictional Schools/Universities I’d Want To Go To

  1. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – Harry Potter
    The school that heightened my love for reading, Hogwarts is definitely one of the places I wish existed in real life!
  2. OASIS School – Ready Player One
    I love the whole idea of the OASIS world so getting to attend a virtual school is a must!
  3. Sunnydale High / UC Sunnydale – Buffy The Vampire Slayer
    Buffy is one of my favourite TV shows and I’ve read loads of the series books too. Imagine attending a school on the Hellmouth with Buffy and her pals!
  4. Jordan College / Lyra’s Oxford – His Dark Materials
    I’ve been to Oxford several times and always get swept away by the dreaming spires, beautiful architecture and the different colleges dotted all over the city. Lyra’s Oxford mixes the stunning educational settings with that extra bit of magic and mysticism I love in my fiction.
  5. Scholomance – A Deadly Education
    This is one of the Dark Academia reads currently on my TBR. It doesn’t sound like a conventional magic school setting but I love the plot premise.
  6. Dalloway School – A Lesson in Vengeance
    Dark. Twisty. Witchcraft. Hauntings. This book just found itself right at the top of my “need-to-buy” list.

What fictional schools, colleges or universities do you wish you could go to?
As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

The Wrap – August 2021

Howdy Bibliofriends!

“August slipped away like a moment in time…” – wow, where have those holidays gone and how is it September already?! Looking back now it feels like it disappeared in the blink of an eye although actually feel like I reached the perfect balance of relaxation and recreation to prepare for the forthcoming month!

Life Update

It was really nice to get back into reading and blogging again Summer – it’s definitely been my most active month for a while. I spent a majority of my holidays by the sea in Cornwall. We had some beautifully warm weather and sunny days. Where we are there is a main beach where all the tourists congregate but if you walk about a kilometre further up you discover a little secret beach which I literally had to myself every single day bar the rare dog-walking local ambling past. It was bliss!

Away from Cornwall I managed to catch up with some wonderful friends; we had an indulgent afternoon tea that was filled with all sorts of goodies and even a cheeseboard! I felt like such a Snorlax afterwards. I went to the races a few times with our stable yard which in turn led to seeing UB40 perform. But by far, my highlight of the entire month was our DB BBQ. DB is one of my racehorses and in amazing style he managed to win his hat-trick race (his third back-to-back win) on a day when two of the other yard’s horses also achieved the same feat so it was a treble of trebles! The whole of our syndicate got together to celebrate and it was a night filled with fabulous food, friendship and fizz. We each got mugs with our lovely horse on it and I came away with a stunning framed picture of one of his wins which now takes pride of place in my Office.

As August drew to a close I prepared myself for starting my new job at a brand new school – unloading my car I just couldn’t help but look around in awe at the school settings and the disbelief that I actually get to work there! I’m finally feeling super excited and positive about starting work again and I can’t wait to meet my new class! Wish me luck for September though, I know it’s going to be such hard work! 😂🙈

The rest of this Wrap Post follows my usual format (Past Reads, Current Reads, Upcoming Reads, Films/TV, Music/Podcasts, Pokemon Go) so feel free to skip any irrelevant parts!


What I’ve Been Reading

August felt like I got my reading mojo back (slightly!) – I read 4 books in total and although I’m still 6 books behind my reading goal schedule, August’s progress has been the best since about March. Here’s what I read in August:

Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (Strike #5)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I love the Strike novels. The plot just feels so well crafted and by the time I think I’ve finally figured out whodunnit, there will be a red herring or twist in the tale to make me have to rethink everything! This was edge-of-my-seat, page-turning crime and I loved every minute of it!

Can You Sign My Tentacle? by Brandon O’Brien
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
If you’re looking for a weird Sci-Fi, Poetry, Comptemporary fusion then look no further than this book! I received an eARC of this Carribbean author’s work from Netgalley. It takes Lovecraft and modern hip-hop influences and turns them completely upside down. I went into it on a bit of a whim but it was incredible and seriously made me consider the power of writing and imagination to send a message and challenge ideals without resorting to cancel culture. You can read my spoiler-free review here.

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This was a delightful Fairytale retelling of The Wild Swans. I was blown away by the magical world Lim created and can’t wait to read more of her writing. Check out my review here.

The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Inheritance Games #2)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Puzzles, secrets, invisible ink and a whole heap of family drama… I adore this series of books and have literally devoured each read in just a day! After the ending of The Inheritance Games, I had no idea where the sequel would go but I was SO HERE FOR IT! I couldn’t believe it when I got my ARC request accepted on Netgalley and now I’m left twiddling my thumbs until the final installation of this gripping trilogy. My review is up next week so swing back to check it out!

#CurrentlyReading

I’m still going with my Kafka On The Shore audiobook by Murakami – I have about three hours left but I’m finally starting to pull together some little threads about what I think is going on! Perseverance has definitely been the key with this read!

For now I have parked She Who Became The Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan. I’ve heard great things about it so I’m determined that it will not become a DNF (I’ve only ever done that once before!), but I found it so hard to get into a reading rhythm and found myself just abandoning it and turning to TV – so for now, to keep my reading motivations on track, it’s on the bench. Anyone else ever feel that way with this book or is it just me?

I have FINALLY started my Rick Riordan reading journey with Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief! I haven’t even seen the films so I’m completely unspoiled. I only picked it up last night but I’m already halfway through. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to discover Camp Half-Blood, I love it!

Upcoming Reads

This month I am taking part in the Magical Readathon hosted by G (Book Roast). I loved this so much in it’s previous format with the Harry Potter OWLs/NEWTs theme but this time around it’s back… refreshed, rebranded, with it’s own unique magical world created specifically for readathon purposes! It’s like the readathon of all readathons and always helps me tick off my reading goals. G has put so much work into this, it’s epic! She’s epic!!
You can read my TBR for it here.

What I’ve Been Watching

Far too much TV in August to be honest but it was the holidays, so who cares?!

I have discovered the absolute joy that is Outer Banks on Netflix. If you’ve been following me for a little while you will know that treasure hunting is practically my favourite trope in the whole wide world. Hence why this treasure-hunting, mystery teen drama set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and the Bahamas was one of my favourite summer binges!

Greys Anatomy has long been one of my favourite TV shows until I somehow stopped watching it around Season 13 – probably as everything moved to streaming services and my broadband signal back then was so poor I couldn’t even watch a YouTube vid without it buffering! For some reason I just seemed to ‘remember’ that it was on Disney + now so I steamrollered my way through Seasons 13, 14 and 15 – I’m forcing myself to take a little break before launching back into Season 16 but I don’t think I can really wait that long before curiosity eventually kills the cat! 🙈

I caught the second season of the French programme Lupin on Netflix. Assan is a the main character who fashions his escapades on the French literary character Arsene Lupin, a gentleman burglar and master of disguise, from the novels by Maurice Leblanc. I liked that it wasn’t a terribly long series and answered the big cliffhanger of a twist from season one. I’m not sure whether there’ll be a third season but the storyline kind of feels resolved for me know so who knows whether it’ll be back.

My friend recommended Sex/Life to me so I watched that on Netflix. Isabella Summers, the Machine part of Florence + the Machine, did the music for it so that also pulled me in (FATM are my all-time favourite band!). It was an interesting series although I got a little annoyed in the end by Billie’s character and the very, very final scene was a bit of a WTF moment! Love triangles irritate me slightly as I always end up changing my mind about who should end up with who – I know that’s kind of the point but I procrastinate enough in my own life, I don’t need to be overwhelmed by it in other people’s too! 😂

It’s been a bit of a quiet month at the cinema but I did manage to catch:

  • The Suicide Squad – I’ve decided I’m definitely a Marvel girl – the DC movies just don’t keep me entertained enough.
  • The Courier – This was an interesting film that was definitely worth the watch and whilst I appreciated the storyline (based on real events) I don’t think it’s one I’ll need to watch again.
  • Don’t Breathe 2 – This was an entirely different film to its predecessor and was more violence than horror. I enjoyed the story they created with the blind man’s character as it gave the film a little more depth than the first one.
  • Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins – A fun film but a little longer than it needed to be.

What I’ve Been Listening to

Not much other than my audiobook of Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.

Pokemon Go Update

Eevee Community Day was the best event of the month – and not just because Eevee is one of my favourite Pokemons, it definitely helped in me completing the Eevee shiny dex! My favourite wild shiny catch was Clefairy! I wasn’t really paying full attention as I was walking to the cinema but when I caught sight of those shiny green ears I could have squealed!

August’s Shiny Haul
Kabuto
Eevee x 11
Clefairy
Caterpie

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


And that’s a wrap! How are you all doing? What are you looking forward to this September – are you taking part in Magical Readathon or any other Readathons? How are you doing with your 2021 reading goals now that we’re in the final quarter of the year?

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

The Inside and Out Book Tag

Happy ThursTAG day Bibliofriends!

School officially starts again TOMORROW and my brain is full of a weird mix of excitement and nerves. So this final, final day of summer feels like the perfect time to have a go at The Inside and Out Book Tag which I was tagged in by the fabulous Riddhi over at Whispering Stories.

I loved the simplicity of this tag all about reading habits and preferences. It was great to take a break from book lists where I feel like I constantly just list the same books over and over again! 😂


  • Inside flap/back of the book summaries: Too much info? Or not enough?
    If it’s a paperback, I always read the blurb on the back of a book so it’s never too much info for me; if it’s a hardcover I tend to skip it – I’m aware there’s not necessarily any logic in that but that’s just what I do.

  • New book: What form do you want it in? Be honest: Audiobook, eBook, Paperback or Hardcover?
    I buy audiobooks and ebooks if I feel like I’m getting a good saving on the price. Most of my new books come from book subscription boxes so the majority are hardbacks but if I’m physically going into the bookshop I’ll buy paperbacks which is my preferred reading format.
  • Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books; take notes, make comments, or do you keep your books clean, clean, clean?
    AArrghhh! I can’t write in books – I think the only books I ever purposefully wrote in were my High School reading texts and even that was minimal. I can’t even bend a spine on purpose so there’s no way I’m taking the weapons of ink to those beautiful paper leaves.
  • Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you’re deciding on a book? What if you’re unsure of the author’s gender?
    Gender has never been a factor for me when buying a book and it’s not something I’m conscious of paying attention to, it’s the story that matters to me the most.

  • Ever read ahead? Or have you ever read the last page way before you got there?
    Guilty! I tend to flip to the final page of the actual story just to see what page number it finishes on without all of the acknowledgements and extra snippets etc… Sometimes though, I end up spoiling myself by catching sight of a word or character name and then my eyes just get sucked in!

  • Organised bookshelves or outrageous bookshelves?
    A mix of both! My organised bookshelf in my room is tidy and arranged mostly by size and TBR preference. The bookshelves in my office however are kind of organised, being in that they’re in alphabetical order according to genre but they’re also outrageously double stacked and crammed to bursting.

  • Have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)?
    Probably not – the cover or title definitely draws me in but I always tend to read what the book is about before buying it. The only exception is if it’s a book by one of my auto-buy authors, then it just goes straight in the bag with no knowledge of cover or blurb!

  • Take it outside to read, or stay in?
    Outside in summer, indoors in winter.

That’s a wrap! If this is the type of fun, easy tag that’s right up your street then consider yourself ‘tagged’ and drop me a pingback on your posts! I’d love to see how many of us have outrageous bookshelves or flip to the back pages for a sneak peek!

Enjoy the weekend ahead everybody and as always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

The Ancient History Book Tag

Happy weekend Bibliofriends!

I found this amazing book tag over at Stephen Writes and as a huge History fan I was immediately tagging myself to have a go! At University I did a Joint Honours degree in English Literature and History so this tag really does combine two of my biggest academic loves!

I think the origins of this tag came from Books Michelle’s channel over on BookTube so big thanks to her for creating it – go check it out!


The Stone Age: one of the first books you remember reading.

Reading was such a huge part of my childhood. I was so lucky to have parents who read to me every night and a Grandfather who would always buy me books from our weekly car boot sales. It’s so hard to pick just ‘one first book’ but some of my earliest reading memories involve Roald Dahl, Wizziwig by Geraldine McCaughrean and Care of Henry by Anne Fine.

Ancient Greece: your favourite myth-inspired book (doesn’t have to be Greek mythology), or retelling.

I’ve always been fascinated by myths and legends, they are the most historical stories of all time. As a child I used to think they were about real beings and creatures and I loved trying to find the balance in them between fantasy and reality. For me, Lore by Alexandra Bracken absolutely embodies this – I really liked the contemporary spin and clash between old meeting new.

The Roman Empire: a book featuring an impressive empire or kingdom.  

Lord Of The Rings is my favourite fictional empire in the whole book universe. I live in part of the world Tolkien was living and inspired by so I love seeing elements of the Middle Earth landscape every time I leave my house.

The Middle Ages, (or the Dark Ages): a book that is an absolute bummer.

This maybe a slight #unpopularopinion alert but I never really understood the hype surrounding Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin. I don’t think Lou and Reed’s characters grabbed me enough to get swept away by their story.

The Renaissance: a book that you’ve learned a lot from, or that made you think.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas definitely made a mark on me and made me think. Starr’s narrative and circumstances are so important at raising awareness of racial issues and how important it is that we come together rather than carry on tolerating hurtful segregation.

The Industrial Revolution: a book featuring an invention or concept that you would love to have in your own life.

Ready Player One is one of my all-time favourite novels ever so I have to pick the OASIS for this one. It’s so vast that possibilities are endless. I could definitely imagine spending countless hours inside this virtual world if it were a real concept.

World War I & II: your favourite historical fiction book about the World Wars (or if you don’t have one, your favourite historical fiction book in general).

I don’t tend to read too much World War Fiction as I much prefer Tudor England or Renaissance history. When I was studying War literature for my A-Levels I remember loving Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. It was such a sentimental and lyrical read.

Present Day: a book everybody should read in present day according to you.

I found this prompt so difficult because I’m well aware that my tastes in fiction are completely different to everyone else’s so I chose a non-fiction book instead. A Life on our Planet by Sir David Attenborough really brought my attention to current environmental issues. Some of the facts and figures were quite shocking and devastating. I think it’s an informative book which seeks to give some different solutions and ways that the whole world can make changes to help each other look after planet earth.


That’s a wrap! Please feel free to tag yourself if you want to take part. Don’t forget to link it back to the original tag creator Books Michelle.

Do you like History? What are your favourite historical periods? Have you got a favourite historical read? As always, drop me a comment below to chat!

T xx

The Magical Readathon is BACK!

Happy Saturday Bibliofriends!

I used to adore picking my wizarding world careers to study for OWLs and NEWTs as part of The Magical Readathon every April and August hosted by the fabulous G (Book Roast). Well now it’s back with a majorly exciting overhaul! I mean, there is a entirely new fictional world, characters, provinces… everything! It’s like it’s own unique fantasy saga and I cannot wait to get stuck in and set up my TBR!

This September, we are getting our first glimpses into the world of Aeldia because G is hosting an introductory Readathon for participants to make their way through The Novice Path to Orilium Academy before the familiar format begins with brand new magical races, affinities and careers. I am bowled over at G’s amazing attention to detail. This must have taken absolutely hours to craft and put together. There are additional character profile prompts and challenges to take part in before April 2022 as well but for now I’m just going to stick with the first part of this epic Readathon of all Readathons!

If you’re a former Magical Readathon participant or you’re wanting to take part in more readathons in the future, you should definitely check out G’s launch video here and access the G drive complete with all maps, trackers, prompts and guides here.

All images, logos and graphics are G’s content from The Magical Readathon Google Drive.


Magical Readathon: Orilium – The Novice Path TBR

To complete the first challenge you only need to complete two of the prompts which is going to be super helpful to me as I start my new job in September and I’m slightly anxious it’s going to affect my reading whilst I get my head around everything! 🙈 That being said, of course I’ve still gone and mapped out a TBR for all 7 prompts! 😂

The Novice Path Entrance
Prompt: Read a book with a map
Book Choice: Redemptor by Jordan Ifueko
I can’t wait to read the sequel to Raybearer and discover what happens to Tarisai – the map in this book is pretty spectacular too.

Ashthorn Tree
Prompt: Read a book that keeps tempting you (or is on top of your TBR)
Book Choice: Dune by Frank Herbert
This book has been tempting me for so, so long! I’m totally in the mood to get stuck into this space opera before the movie comes out.

The Mist of Solitude
Prompt: Read a standalone
Book Choice: Midnight in Everwood by M.A. Kuzniar
I adore the Nutcracker so I was thrilled to get this retelling as an eARC from Netgalley.

Ruin of the Skye
Prompt: Read a book featuring ghosts/haunted house, or other supernatural elements
Book Choice: Never Have I Ever by Isabel Yap
I heard about this haunting collection of short stories and legends from a Book Riot podcast and knew that I immediately had to purchase it.

Obsidian Falls
Prompt: Read a thriller or a mystery book
Book Choice: The Violent Season by Sara Walters
I read an early extract of this book from a Sourcebooks Fire newsletter and thankfully got approved for an eARC. It’s had some great reviews already and I’m hoping it’ll fit the ‘thriller’ part of this prompt perfectly.

Tower of Rumination
Prompt: Read a five star prediction
Book Choice: Useless Magic by Florence Welch
Florence Welch is one of my absolute idols! Her music tells so many stories and I love the macabre, mythological spells they weave. I’m so excited to get my hands on this and read it!

Orilium Academy Arc
Prompt: Read a book with a school setting
Book Choice: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
I’ve said many a time that I really need to read this series – well here’s hoping this readathon kicks me in the butt to actually do it!


And there is my September / Magical Readathon TBR! I definitely don’t think I’ll get round to reading all of them but at least the motivation to even attempt it will be there! 😂

Are you, or do you plan to take part in the Magical Readathon this September? Feel free to leave me your TBR links below or as always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#Friday56 – Six Crimson Cranes

Happy FriYAY Bibliofriends!

This week’s Friday 56 comes from Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim. I was blown away by the magical storytelling in this refresh of The Wild Swans! The attention to detail in descriptions was exquisite and I particularly love Kiki the sentient origami crane which was one of my reasons for choosing this part of my Friday 56 extract today!

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.


A fine, silvery-gold thread of magic rushed out of my lips and twisted across the bird’s wings before settling there, as if stitched onto the paper. Then her wings flapped once. Twice. And she lifted, circling my face.
“Kiki!”

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

You can check out my full, spoiler-free review of Six Crimson Cranes here.


Drop me a comment below or connect with me here:

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

Biblioshelf Musings – Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

Hello Bibliofriends!

This week’s Biblioshelf Musings is Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim. Sometimes you start a novel and know immediately that you are going to absolutely love and devour it – Six Crimson Cranes was one of those books! It completely transported me into a world of utter magic and fairytale.

Thank you to the publishers Hodder and Stoughton and the author Elizabeth Lim for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I didn’t manage to finish reading the whole e-ARC before it was archived but I was so thrilled when an exclusive edition of Six Crimson Cranes arrived in my July Fairyloot box – it has the most beautifully detailed cover and the sprayed edges feature the six cranes and Kiki the origami crane! It’s a work of art and I love it so much!


Book: Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
Genre: Fantasy / YA
Publication Date: 8th July 2021
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Pages: 454
Rating: 📚📚📚📚

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

Raikama has dark magic of her own, and she banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Peniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and, on her journey, uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne—a conspiracy more twisted and deceitful, more cunning and complex, than even Raikama’s betrayal. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to contain—no matter what it costs her.

My Musings

Elizabeth Lim’s voice and storytelling style conjured up a whole world in my head which I found fascinating. From the mountains, forests, rivers and seas, from Iro to Gindara and the dragon realms and islands in between there was always a new landscape to get completely immersed and lost in. It’s definitely one I’m adding to my bucket list of fictional worlds that I need to travel to.

I enjoyed that this was more than just your average retelling of The Wild Swans. I’m more familiar with the Grimm version (The Twelve Brothers) but I enjoyed the way that the author stayed true to the Anderson fairytale by weaving it into a stunning narrative then filling it up with extra characters and additional plot points. There was plenty of action, drama and complicated obstacles for the characters to overcome. The whole narrative exuded a magical quality, almost like lots of little moments from my favourite Disney movies all weaved together like golden threads intermittently throughout.

Shiori’s character initially came across to me as quite childish and naïve, everything she was supposed to be as a Princess living a fairly sheltered life – but then following the curse and the hardships she faced, her character was given the space to grow and mature. By the end of the novel I was championing her due to how much she had evolved through all of her trials and tribulations. Kiki, the sentient origami crane was so adorable that I had to have a go at creating some of my own!

Seryu the dragon shapeshifter was so fascinating and I’m excited to hopefully explore a bit more of the Ai’Long Realm in the next book. Takkan’s role in the story brought a little bit of romance which I was completely here for, but I’m being a little sceptical of a potential love triangle appearing in the sequel… I could be barking up the complete wrong tree though so I guess I’ll have to wait for book 2 to find out!

Several years ago, I remember reading a Chinese proverb about how an invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. As a big believer of fate and divine intervention etc. I was so taken by this idea and here, in Six Crimson Cranes, Elizabeth Lim incorporated it so beautifully into her storyline that it made me love this book even more. All of the magical elements and events relating to the threads of fate and Shiori’s weaving of the starstroke were so vivid that it definitely appealed to all of my reading tastebuds!

Just on a personal note, I found the ending to be slightly drawn with regards to one particular character. I appreciate that it was setting up for a sequel but I was way more interested in the outcome of the narrative between Raikama’s and Zairena’s characters because I found them so intriguing and hope we get to see them later in the series.

Overall, Six Crimson Cranes is one of my new favourite fairytale retellings. Elizabeth Lim’s story manages to exude mysticism, drama and folklore from every page. Stunning!


Find out more about this book here:

NetGalley | Publisher Website | Amazon | Waterstones | Bookshop.org | Goodreads | Author’s Twitter: @LizLim | Author’s Website

Connect with me here:

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