Review | Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

sixofcrowsTitle: Six of Crows (2016)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group/Orion
Read: 2nd – 6th June 2018
Genre: young-adult; fantasy
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams – but he can’t pull it off alone. A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction – if they don’t kill each other first.”
(Synopsis from the publisher)

Continue reading

Review | The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

languageofthornsTitle: The Language of Thorns (2017)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Illustrator: Sara Kipin
Publisher: Orion Children’s Group
Read: 27th – 28th January 2018
Genre: young-adult; fantasy
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns. Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price. Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, no. 1 New York Times-bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love. Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans of the Grishverse. This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them beautifully illustrated with art by Sara Kiplin that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.” (Synopsis from the publisher)
Continue reading

Currently Reading/Watching | 1st December

You may have noticed, my blogging has slowed down. Why? No real reason, to be honest, apart from the fact that I’m lazy and right now I’d rather consume the culture (be it films, TV, or books) than write content about it. I go through phases, my blogging mojo will undoubtedly (read: hopefully) pick back up again soon but, for now, I thought I would mention a few things I’m currently reading and watching, in case anyone is curious or looking for something new to try!

Currently Reading

 

The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

In November, I read quite a fair bit (my monthly wrap-up will follow shortly) and I’ve recently finished (re)reading The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, which consists of Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising. Since I read and adored Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom, I knew I wanted to re-read the original Grisha trilogy to revisit the world of Ravka and see if reading the later duology enhanced the reading experience of the first trilogy and so on.

I’m happy to report that it did, a lot, in fact, and I really enjoyed my re-read of the series. Book two, Siege and Storm still remains my favourite because of reasons (cough Nikolai cough) but I ended up enjoying the whole thing a lot more than I did the first time I read it. In fact, I find Alina less unbearable of a narrator now, and I don’t hate Mal himself nearly as much as I did on my first read (I still hate the ship, though). My love for the Darkling endures, naturally.

Although I’m going to try to read something else now, I am very, very tempted to use this as an excuse to re-read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom and maybe then I’ll be able to read The Language of Thorns, to perfectly finish off my re-reading of the Grishaverse and to get excited for The King of Scars, even though that book’s release is some way away still! We shall see…

Continue reading

October Favourites

October was a rather lovely month; it usually is. It’s my birthday, so that’s always very nice, mainly because it gives me an excuse to spend money on books and/or food. October brings a proper sense of moving into Winter at last, with all the suitably aesthetically pleasing golden leaves falling off trees, and with Christmas decorations beginning to creep into supermarkets and shops. I adore Christmas, and winter is my favourite season, so I’m very much looking forward to the months ahead. However, this post is not about what is to come but what has been – specifically, these are a few of the things I enjoyed in October. If you want to see September’s favourites post, you can find it here, otherwise read on to find what I obsessed over in October.

Favourite Books

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

crookedkingdomAnd in a completely predictable turn of events, just as Six of Crows had pride of place on my September Favourites post, so does Crooked Kingdom on this October Favourites post. I inhaled this greedily over the course of the 24-hour readathon a couple of weekends ago, and I was so incredibly sad once it was over. That is the sign of a truly brilliant book. It’s a complete change of pace from the first, though, so if you’re expecting another heist then you’ll be sorely disappointed; rather, it deals with the fall-out of the conclusion of Six of Crows and its action is more focused in on that den of thieves and dubious morals that is the city of Ketterdam itself. I loved it, it’s one of my favourite books of the year, and as a duology these novels have quickly but firmly become some of my all-time favourite YA fantasies.

Favourite Films

Doctor Strange

The latest offering in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Dr Strange was a film I always knew, from the very first teaser, that I’ve have to see in the cinema, in the best way possible. Having now seen the film I’m fully convinced that if you see it in anything less than IMAX, it won’t be the same film. It’s a film that bends reality, time and space, and matter itself, so obviously depth of frame created with 3D is downright necessary. I hate 3D, it makes my eyes and head hurt, but I’d watch Dr Strange over and over again in 3D. Although I’m always a Benedict Cumberbatch fan (I even ignore the weirdness of hearing an American accent come out of that mouth), I have to say he wasn’t my favourite character at all in the film. Tilda Swinton is epic, as Tilda Swinton often is but, for my money, the cape was easily one of the best characters, second only to Wong.

Continue reading

September Favourites

Last month’s Favourites post was a reasonably long effort. Either this month I’ve been more discerning, or I’ve had less new favourites to report, or I’ve had less time to procrastinate and so find new favourites. Actually, that last one sounds most likely. What with finally, mercifully finding a job, worrying about starting that job for days, rushing to move all my possessions over to my new home in Liverpool, getting used to having a job again and all the stuff that goes along with it, getting used to living with Liz (not that that takes much/any effort at all)… well, life has been a bit in flux in September. However, there are still some things I have been enjoying a lot, so I thought I’d share them with you today now that October looms ahead.

Favourite Books

sixofcrowsSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

So, this past month I finally got around to reading Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows and by gum it’s good! I adored the Grisha trilogy against my better judgement… and by better judgement I, of course, mean that I have some level of awareness that the characterisation and writing quality could be improved a little. However, Bardugo’s stories are compulsively readable, so obviously I knew this duology about a gang of ruffians taking on an impossible heist to break someone out of an impenetrable fortress would be right up my street. And, hallelujah, everyone was so right when they said this was like a huge level-up from Bardugo’s previous books, it was SO GOOD. In fact, the sequel Crooked Kingdom is laid in wait beside me and I will definitely be picking it up in October.

Favourite Songs

Can’t Stop The Feeling! by Justin Timberlake

Yes I know this song has been out for well over two months so it’s nothing revolutionary, not is it at all obscure. But I’m going to go ahead and admit that I first heard this song thanks to the Trolls trailer which played before Finding Dory. And I didn’t really have much/any desire to see the actual film but I love this song. I defy you to not at the very least want to chair dance. I keep hearing this song everywhere in the UK now that Trolls promotion is kicking up a notch over here and I can safely say I am still not sick of this song – surely the sign of an absolute tune.

Continue reading

T5W | Books You Want To See As TV Shows

top 5 wednesdayWelcome one, welcome all, to ‘Emma Remembers Top 5 Wednesdays Exists And Decides To Join In’… again. Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s theme is Books You Want to See as TV Shows. As a huge fan of TV, it will come as no surprise that it was difficult to narrow down my choices to just five books. But, for the most part, these books are all stories I feel would warrant a long story-telling format than, say, a film could provide.

I had severe case of deja vu whilst composing this list and I realised it’s because I’ve actually done this topic before and a lot of my choices are still the same! I’m nothing if not consistent (read: obsessive) about books I want/need as TV shows. I’ve tried to include a few new things into the list though, just to mix things up.

Continue reading

Friday Reads | 2nd September

Just a quick Friday Reads post from me today! Here I’ll share what I plan to read this Friday and into the weekend ahead but, as we all know, I rarely follow through on reading plans once I document them here.

However, there is one book in particular that I have to finish this weekend because it’s getting embarrassing now that I haven’t finished it yet, like really genuinely quite embarrassing.

Can you guess what it is?

Highly-anticipated sort-of sequel.

It was released at the end of July.

It features a beloved character but has received mostly less than favourable reviews.

Have you guessed what it is yet?

Continue reading

T5W | Books To Be Read By the End of the Year

top 5 wednesdayWelcome one, welcome all, to ‘Emma Remembers Top 5 Wednesdays Exists And Decides To Join In’… again. Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s theme is Books You Want To Read Before the End of the Year. Now I’m sure we all have TBR stacks, TBR shelves on Goodreads, maybe an old-fashioned pen-on-paper list of some books we really ought to get round to, so this isn’t exactly a struggle to put a list together. What is a struggle is limiting it to just 5 choices – but, hey, everyone likes a challenge so without further ado, let’s go…

Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday | Anticipated 2016 Releases

toptentuesdayAnother Tuesday, another Top Ten Tuesday. For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the book bloggers and list lovers, The Broke and the Bookish, and each week they post a topic for bloggers to respond to. This week’s theme is about getting excited for all the great books due out in the latter half of this year: Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half Of The Year. (I’m taking this to mean any books coming out from now, basically because there are a couple I wanted to sneak in here but they’re published in June!)


savageBonus: This Savage Song – V.E. Schwab
(Greenwillow, 5th July or Out Now for us lucky UK-ers)

We’ll start of with this bonus pick because it’s already out in the UK and I already possess it – yes it’s all lovely and shiny and new (and as yet untouched) on my bookshelf. I love Schwab as a writer – I frequently stalk her Twitter to get an insight into the reality of being an author and boy, oh boy, is she a level of organised I aspire to. So, obviously, I would anticipate any and all of her creative pursuits (especially since I’m off to YALC to hear her speak at a panel!). This one promises to be deliciously dark urban fantasy and in Victoria’s own words: “It’s the story of Kate Harker, the only daughter of a crime boss, and August Flynn, the son of a man trying to hold his city together. Kate is a human who wants to be a monster, and August a monster who wishes he were human.” Yes, just yes.

Continue reading

Book Travelling Thursdays | Villains

168709Book Traveling Thursdays is a weekly meme for book bloggers which celebrates the distance a book travels by way of its covers. I’ve only recently discovered this meme thanks to the blog of the co-creator, Catia (the other being Danielle) and the Goodreads group, but I love the concept of it – particularly because it gives me the chance to see beautiful editions of books and develop some major cover envy.

This week’s theme is… Because some books have amazing villains choose a book with a character you love to hate! Whilst thinking long and hard about this, theme a quote from a particularly villainous character kept rearing its ugly head – “Fine. Make me your villain” – which I adore because I think it hints at a much more complex characterisation, and perhaps also how easily we denigrate people sometimes too easily as ‘villains’ in a way that makes the word itself lose some meaning and oompfh. Slightly philosophical musings aside, for that reason I’ve chosen to feature Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, specifically Shadow and Bone, and the Darkling who is set up as the villain of the piece.

For those who don’t know, Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone is a young-adult fantasy set in the world of Russian-inspired Ravka, a kingdom torn apart by the manifestation of darkness called the Shadow Fold which contains all manner of flesh-eating creepy monsters. Enter Alina Starkov, an orphan girl who must leave behind the regiment, her best friend Mal, and the life she knows, when a dormant power lurking within her explodes, catching the attention of the powerful but sinister figure known as the Darkling. Under his direction she is taken to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite of Ravka. There she makes friends and enemies and is taught how to harness and channel her powers. Unsurprisingly, it is never that easy or simple, especially not with the Darkling’s involvement.

Now, onto the covers…

Continue reading