A Wrinkle in Time

“Qui plussait, plus se tait. French, you know. The more a man knows, the less he talks.”
― Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet, #1)

A Wrinkle in Time is a science fantasy novel written by American writer Madeleine L’Engle, first published in 1962. It is also a first book of a Time Quintet.

Book follows the lives of the Murray family. Father of Meg and Charles Wallace has disappeared mysteriously a long time ago. One day the kids meet a new friend Calvin and three strange women named: Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Which. These ladies tell children that their father is in danger and that they have to travel through time to find him.

“We can’t take any credit for our talents. It’s how we use them that counts.”
― Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time: With Related Readings

I had a hard time getting into this novel. I guess it had been on my TBR list for a long time because but I truly learned about the existence of this book when the movie adaptation hit the theatres. I have mixed feeling about Wrinkle in Time. I felt like the younger me would have loved it but somehow magic of this book didn’t reach me as adult. And that made me confused because I still love Narnia to death.

There were a lot of good  things in this book. First, genre is funny… it’s like science fiction except that it’s fantasy and that shows in the book. I feel like it has more emotion and less technical/ science fiction-y mumbo-jumbo. I liked W Ladies and them quoting everything and everyone because the words did not come easy for them. And I liked how simple everything was. Evil in this book is mostly described as ‘The Black Thing’ or/and ‘IT’, yet you knew exactly what it was.

“Euripedes. Nothing is hopeless; we must hope for everything.”
― Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

Characters were well built and Meg is an unique persona. I don’t know that many main characters who’d be like her. Homely, awkward and math loving. Fantasy elements, new worlds and creatures were entertaining.
4/5 stars but I wouldn’t read it again.

How-To Read A Wrinkle in Time
1.
Short (just over 200 pages) simple and creative, perfect read for kids. I think it also has nice lessons on how things and people and places are different and how we should always fight the evil in this world.
2. First part of a quintet so there are 3 books more for those who adored this.
3. I sensed some religion-ess in this book. A bit similar to Narnia.

“A book, too, can be a star, “explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly,” a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.”
― Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

Have you read this? Thoughts?
Have you seen the newest movie adaptation? I haven’t but I found cast choices interesting.

Featured image source

No fairy godmother. No magic pumpkin. Just one grumpy girl and a glass slipper.

If the shoe fits, wear it.
If it doesn’t, make it.


Happily is a fairy-tale retelling by author Chauncey Rogers. This fantasy retelling will be published April 3, 2018. I received advance reader copy of the book in exchange for honest review.

This is not your typical happily ever after kind of story. It does not even begin with once upon a time….

“Ten days ago, the weather was nice. I suppose I’m obligated to tell you about the weather fist, right? It seems that’s what they always do. Either that or that awful cliché of “once upon a time.” Only this wasn’t once upon a time. It was just ten days ago.” ― Chauncey Rogers, Happily

Guess what happened? Well ten days ago, the prince fell in love with a girl whose name and face he didn’t even know and then lost her. And now? Well, a shoe was their best approach to finding her…
Meet Laure. Laure is a teenage street urchin just trying to get away. Where the rest of the world sees an enchanting love story, Laure sees royal incompetence and an opportunity to exploit it. She’ll have wealth and a way out of a life she detests, if she can only manage to hoodwink the royal family and survive to tell the tale.

I was very positively surprised by Happily. By surprised, I mean that I don’t usually set very high expectations for self-published books. Happily exceeded my expectations by millions of miles… First, just look at the cover. Let’s start with that. It’s perfection, I adore it. Glass slipper, title and tagline and the ambitious “If the shoe fits…” …there’s no confusion to what the book is about. You kind of want to turn it around and see what’s it about. Next, I loved the humor in the book. I guess whenever authors lighten up the mood by supposedly funny/ sarcastic descriptions, it always wins me over. I liked the characters. Laure was an interesting main character. She seems a bit rebellious and that might annoy you at first but then her bravery wins you over. And friendship…between Laure and Luc was adorable because Luc is in many ways opposite of Laure.

“Yep”, Luc said. “See, what I did was called work. That”, he said, reaching up and grabbing the coin from my hand, “is called payment. A lot of people do it every day ― both the working and the paying.” He put the coin back down in the bag and said, “Maybe someday you’ll experience it yourself.”
“Very funny.”
(…)
“Nah, not really. I mean, I suppose some work is funny. Most of it is just a part of life, though.” ― Chauncey Rogers, Happily

There were some plot twists that were a bit weird before I thought about them so I didn’t like that. Moreover, I didn’t quite like the ending (although no one likes coming to an end of a good book) because it felt a bit rushed. All in all, though, this was a lovely read and I warmly recommend it if you have a passion for retellings.

4/5 stars

Tips:
1.
If you are a reviewer, you can get free e-book copy of the book up to March 26.
2. 
Fast-paced and sweetly humorous adventure. I would read this to my kids if I had ones. According to the foreword of the book, Rogers was working on his last book ‘Cleaving Souls’ when his three-year-old asked what was he doing. He replied that he was writing and his daughter asked whether he could read it to her. At a time, Rogers was working on thriller so he declined but promising he would write the next story for her. 
3.
300 pages but honestly it feels like one hundred, not lacking anything in the plot and there’s never a dull moment.

Do you like retellings? How does this sound to you?

/Anastasia

The Children of Húrin

“A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Children of Húrin

The Children of Húrin is an epic fantasy which original version was written by J. R. R. Tolkien  in the late 1910s, he revised it several times later, but did not complete it before his death in 1973. His son, Christopher Tolkien, edited the manuscripts to form a consistent narrative, and published it in 2007. The book contains 33 illustrations by Alan Lee.

Recently I’ve been re-reading Tolkien’s works. I have read this and his short story Kullervo. In short, the novel describes lives of Túrin Turambar, son of Húrin, and his sister Niënor and their struggle against fate and the curse that has been cast over Húrin’s family.

“Let the unseen days be. Today is more than enough.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Children of Húrin

This is obviously not quite Tolkien, yet it’s more than tolkienesque. The Children of Húrin takes us to a time thousands of years before the events occurring in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, partly connecting with the story in The Silmarillion. I think reading this novel helps you to fil some gaps.

“Why must you speak your thoughts? Silence, if fair words stick in your throat, would serve all our ends better.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Children of Húrin

All in all, enjoyable read for Tolkien fans.
4/5 stars

Tips
1.
This is not for everyone. I think this is for people who like to read, for ones who’ve liked Beowulf and for more  hardcore fans who’ve spent time learning Sindarin or Quenya.
2.
Illustrations are gorgeous, very warmly recommend this because of them alone.
3. 
Children of Húrin connects nicely with some of Tolkien’s other works. If you plan to read this, read The Silmarillion first.
4.
Darkly beautiful, don’t expect an happy ending.
5.
The story is mainly based on the legend of Kullervo, a character from the Finnish folklore poems known as Kalevala. If you have time to glimpse through Kalevala, I warmly recommend it. It’s entertaining and dramatic. If not, you could read short story ‘Kullervo‘ by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Have you read this? What is your favorite Tolkien?

“False hopes are more dangerous than fears.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Children of Húrin

How-To Catch a Falling Star

“A philosopher once asked, “Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?” Pointless, really…”Do the stars gaze back?” Now, that’s a question.”
― Neil Gaiman, Stardust

Stardust is a novel by British writer Neil Gaiman, published with illustrations by Charles Vess in 1999. It tells a story Tristran Thorn who promises to bring back a fallen star for his beloved and crosses the wall that divides his English country town from a dangerous world of lords and witches, all of them in search of the star. And Tristran soon discovers that stars are not how he imagined them to be.

“He stared up at the stars: and it seemed to him then that they were dancers, stately and graceful, performing a dance almost infinite in its complexity. He imagined he could see the very faces of the stars; pale, they were, and smiling gently, as if they had spent so much time above the world, watching the scrambling and the joy and the pain of the people below them, that they could not help being amused every time another little human believed itself the center of its world, as each of us does.”
― Neil Gaiman, Stardust

Stardust was I think the second book I read by Neil Gaiman, first one being Neverwhere. I adore his writing and have to agree with Stephen King when he said that “Gaiman is a treasure-house of story and we are lucky to have him”. Stardust is a beautiful fairytale targeted more to adult readers, and it’s a wonderful thing that someone writes fairytales for adults.

“It’s not hard to own something. Or everything. You just have to know that it’s yours, and then be willing to let it go.”
― Neil Gaiman, Stardust

“Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at the stars because we are human?”
― Neil Gaiman, Stardust

I’d rate this book 4/5 stars. I’d give more but the problem here lies in me loving  Neverwhere and  American Gods even more.

Tips
1.
You´ll adore Stardust if you love fantasy and if you like books like The Princess Bride or works of Lord Dunsany.
2. It’s a quick read because it’s a short read, under 250 pages and because Gaiman writes so brilliantly.
3.
If you love reading fairytales, here’s one you should read.
4.
You can read an excerpt of Stardust here.
5.
There is a  good film adaptation of the book from 2007.

Have you read Neil Gaiman’s books? Have you read this?

“You have to believe. Otherwise, it will never happen.”
― Neil Gaiman, Stardust

How an Angel And a Devil Fell in Love

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.
It did not end well.”
― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a fantasy novel written by Laini Taylor. It was published in 2011.  The story follows Karou, a seventeen-year-old Prague art student. Karou has bright blue hair and she was raised by chimera, or creatures that have attributes of different animals and humans. The chimera she lives with demand teeth in exchange for wishes and send Karou to fetch these teeth for them. In the beginning, Karou has yet to discover what the teeth are eventually used for. While on one of these missions, Karou meets a seraph named Akiva, and seemingly this is not the first time the two of them meet.

“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”
― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

I read this book for the first time almost four years ago. First of all, I adore the covers of this book. The feathers and the mask really put you in the right mood. Moreover, I enjoyed the little passages like the one above. There is the classic Once Upon a time beginning, however after that something is different. Something goes wrong. And clearly it will not end in happily ever after. Then, I really loved the setting of this book. Prague is such a gorgeous city and it has that air of mystery about it. You never know what kind of creatures might hide there.

“It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry ‘Monster!’ and looked behind him.”
― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

What I didn’t like was perhaps the romance. It didn’t exactly bother me but the concept of forbidden love and angels falling in love with devils is kind of very worn out in young adult literature. I do think, however that Taylor realized it in an expert manner.

“Once upon a time, a little girl was raised by monsters.
But angels burned the doorways to their world, and she was all alone.”
― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

All in all, Daugher of Smoke and Bone is incredibly smart, surprising, funny and unforgettable. (I mean here I am reviewing it  four years after I first read it.
I’d rate this book 4/5 stars.

Tips

1.I warmly recommend this book to all lovers of fantasy and paranormal.
2. There are two more books in this trilogy called  Days of Blood and Starlight & Dreams of Gods and Monsters. I plan to review those two on my blog soon so heads up.
3. If you’re even tiny bit interested of this book, I really recommend visiting the official Tumblr site for Laini Taylor’s series. Because there you can find this amazing art such as this one here below:

Source: http://thenovl.com

4. A perfect book to take with you to Prague. So basically you should buy this book and book a flight there.
5. There might be a film adaptation in the future.

Have you read this? Thoughts?

~Anastasia

“Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes its own magic.”
― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone