Tag: Wyrd and Wonder

Wyrd and Wonder 2022

Posted May 1, 2022 by Nicky in General / 4 Comments

Wyrd & Wonder
Image credit: tree wolf image by chic2view on 123RF.com

Well, here we are again!

I know I’ve been missing from the blog for a while, due to some downtime caused by my host, and burnout on my part. I’m hoping I’m back, with a backlog of reviews to post, and the Wyrd & Wonder event to join in… especially now that I have full weekends off work, and a bit more time for myself. (Same number of hours, actually, but it still feels somehow like more time to myself.)

What will I be reading? Well, I don’t know. As usual, it’ll be “as my whimsy takes me”, but I’m planning on joining in the Fionavar Tapestry reread, and I have a few fantasy books on my BookSpinBingo card for May. I think there are some unposted fantasy reviews in my backlog, so I’ll queue those up to post soon, too.

But otherwise, I’m just here to hang out, and if I read plenty along the way — well, good.

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Wyrd and Wonder: A TBR

Posted May 1, 2020 by Nicky in General / 17 Comments

IMAGE CREDIT: Flaming phoenix by Sujono Sujono

It’s time for Wyrd and Wonder! I’ve taken a while to firm up my plans for it… and honestly, they’re still not very firm. I’m still firmly in the school of “as my whimsy takes me” with reading (and if you get that reference and you’re into fantasy, we should be friends), but sometimes it’s nice to have some ideas. So… here are some ideas!


I really love rereading books. First off, it’s usually something that you know you’re going to enjoy, or at least get something out of. It can be such a great comfort, too. And for me, I think I get something slightly different out of it each time. Here’s what I’m hoping to reread this month!

  • The Books of Earthsea, by Ursula Le Guin. It’ll be my first time reading the illustrated edition!
  • The Midnight Queen, by Sylvia Izzo Hunter. I meant to reread it last month, but so much stuff happened and I didn’t feel much like reading.
  • The Lost Plot, by Genevieve Cogman. I’m actually partway through this already!
  • The Copper Promise, by Jen Williams. I don’t remember that much about this one, and clearly I need to in order to read the whole trilogy!

New-to-me reads

These can be divided into two groups: books I’ve already started and stalled with for whatever reason, and books I’ve never even started. Of the first group, I definitely want to tackle these:

  • A Conspiracy of Truths, by Alexandra Rowland. I suspect it’s at least six months, maybe nine, since I actually picked this up. Whooops.
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow. This has not been stalled for nearly as long, thankfully!
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon. I’m actually working through this at an average speed of 5 pages per day, due to reading it with my coworkers. I won’t finish it this month unless I sprint away from them, but it’ll be on my mind!
  • The Library of the Unwritten, by A.J. Hackwith. I’m sorrrryyyyy. I’m slow.

And the ones which are wholly new to me:

  • The Tethered Mage, by Melissa Caruso. I hear so many good things!
  • Hexbreaker, by Jordan L. Hawk. Or maybe the start of the Whyborne & Griffin series. I’ve been meaning to read Hawk’s work for a while, anyway!
  • The Ninth House, by Leigh Bardugo. I’m late to the party, I know.
  • The Mortal Word, by Genevieve Cogman. Also late to the party! I want to catch up with this series.
  • The Secret Chapter, by Genevieve Cogman. These books are like candy for me, after all.
  • Brightfall, by Jaime Lee Moyer. I don’t know how I’m going to feel about this from the sound of it, given my Medieval Lit background, but I’m ready to give it a try!
  • Hallowdene, by George Mann. I need to return this to the library once it opens again, so I figured I might as well include it!

Aaaaand I think that’s more than enough, and I’m unlikely to finish this many! But who knows.

What will you be reading for Wyrd and Wonder, if you’re taking part?

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Readalong – The Ninth Rain & Trail of Lightning

Posted May 12, 2019 by Nicky in Reviews / 2 Comments

Text banner: Wyrd and Wonder: Celebrate the Fantastic (1-31 May) - plus a gorgeous stylised dragon glyph

Cover of Trail of Lightning by Rebecca RoanhorseTrail of Lightning:

– 24 hours isn’t long to forge a partnership, but it’s been eventful! Do you think Maggie and Kai make a good team? Why?
– A Trickster comes to tea! We meet our first Bik’e’áyée’ii – what do you make of Ma’ii? …and his mission?
– We learn more about Maggie’s past, and about Neizghani. Do you think she’s too hard on herself? How do you feel about Neizghani’s role in her life – and about the way he left?
– Any predictions or other observations at the half-way stage?

I’ll confess, I’ve now finished the book. I just couldn’t stop reading once I got into it — I was worried I’d forget things. So I’ll try and answer this without any spoilers and with what my impressions were at the time, but I apologise if I get inadvertently spoilery!

Maggie and Kai as a team:

I wasn’t sold on it at this point (or actually even at the end of the book). It feels like there are too many secrets, and Maggie’s holding back too much. There’s certainly potential, because she’s definitely responding to his friendly advances.


Is a trickster, so he’s playing a long game and keeping his cards close to his chest. I wouldn’t trust Coyote as far as I could throw him. It’s hard to see at that point what the trick is, but he’s Coyote; you know it’s coming.


His whole thing about evil tainting Maggie reminds me of the fact that so many abusers have themselves been abused; there’s an element of truth to it, and to the idea that if you have darkness inside you, you’ll always be fighting it. I don’t think that’s just true of Maggie, though; I don’t think she’s somehow set apart from the people around her, that the people around her are better than her. Neizghani’s oversold it.

Predictions or observations:

Would be unfair at this point, given I’ve finished the book. I’ll just observe that having finished it, I’m curious about the next book, enough that I’ve bought it… but I’m not sold on the series and this definitely isn’t going to top my Hugo ballot (though it will come ahead of Space Opera). The background is fascinating, and I enjoy the fact that it’s not your typical cookie-cutter urban fantasy. But something about the storytelling, the characters, isn’t quite working for me.

Cover of The Ninth Rain by Jen WilliamsThe Ninth Rain:

1. ‘You travel with an Eboran, and you explore the Wild, and you’re looking for things that might kill you. None of it makes sense.’ – What are your first impressions of Lady Vincenza ‘Vintage’ de Grazon?
2. Not your traditional Elves, eh: how do you feel about Ebora and the Eborans?
3. Parasite spirits, mutant animals and really big grapes: would you live safe behind city walls, or would you make your home in the Wild?
4. In a nightmarish world, a few bad dreams are to be expected. Or are they? How much are you reading into them?


I love her! She knows what she wants and she’s going for it. I enjoy her scientific curiosity and her will to push on and figure things out. She’s pretty no-nonsense, and yet she has ideals as well.


Reminds me of Elantris, in some respects. The Carrion Wars sound awful; clearly the Eborans have committed atrocities, but just as clearly, they aren’t all bad. Human-ish, just long-lived and different, in part because you have different priorities when you live 1,000 years. In terms of specific Eborans: Tor is entertaining, but could fairly clearly be more. Hest’s fervour is… discomforting; I’ll be interested if she continues to be a quasi-sympathetic character with terrible moral boundaries.

The dangers:

Oh hell yeah I’d be in a city. I want to believe I wouldn’t turn a blind eye to the dangers, and I’d do my part to protect the city, but… nope nope nope. City for me. Of course, a parasite spirit there would wreak absolute havoc, but statistically, it seems a lot safer.


I’m assuming they’re prophetic, some kind of warning, or even an instinct. They could be being sent by someone as a warning, or by the Jure’lia as a threat, or maybe people are just inherently sensitive. Still, I’m fairly sure there’s a new invasion incoming — we know already that they’re cyclic — and that the dreams are significant.

…I suspect I’ll finish this one too before the next question post. Must try and keep notes!

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Wyrd and Wonder 2019

Posted April 18, 2019 by Nicky in General, Giveaways / 16 Comments

Text banner: Wyrd and Wonder: Celebrate the Fantastic (1-31 May) - plus a gorgeous stylised dragon glyph

It’s nearly time for Wyrd & Wonder! I suppose I better do the introduction if you haven’t met W&W before, Dear Reader. Wyrd & Wonder, meet the Dear Reader! Dear Reader, this is Wyrd and Wonder! It’s a month-long celebration of all things fantastical, with various readalongs, discussions, giveaways and shenanigans throughout the month.

I’m notoriously bad at keeping up with this kind of thing, but I thought I’d do a start-up post at the very least! And while I’m at it, why not take the opportunity for a giveaway?

Rules and Ways to Enter:

  • The prize: One (1) book of your choice from the fantasy books I read during the period 1st May – 31st May, to be mailed to you directly from BookDepository.com or gifted via Kindle if you’re in an eligible country (this is flexible — if you have another preference, let me know if you win!)
  • How to enter: Use the Rafflecopter below! There are three ways to enter:
    1. Click once for a free entry
    2. Leave a comment on this post. The prompt in the Rafflecopter is: “Are you doing anything for Wyrd & Wonder? (You don’t have to be for a chance to win, I promise!)”
    3. Posted about Wyrd & Wonder! Post something Wyrd & Wonder themed and give me the link to the post! Tweets don’t count, sorry, but anything longer-form does! You can do this multiple times, once per day!
  • Terms and conditions: 
    • By entering, you consent for your details to be collected by Rafflecopter for the sole purpose of verifying your entry and contacting you if you win.
    • The winner will be contacted via email and will have three days to respond before I contact a runner-up to offer them the prize.
  • Duration: Until 31st May!
  • The books you can choose from: 
    • Magic Bites, by Ilona Andrews
    • A Natural History of Dragons, by Marie Brennan
    • Snowspelled, by Stephanie Burgis
    • Sorcerer to the Crown, by Zen Cho
    • The True Queen, by Zen Cho
    • The Traitor Baru Cormorant, by Seth Dickinson
    • Magic for Liars, by Sarah Gailey
    • The Dark Days Club, by Alison Goodman
    • The Afterward, by E.K. Johnston
    • Valour & Vanity, by Mary Robinette Kowal
    • Of Noble Family, by Mary Robinette Kowal
    • Dreamer’s Pool, by Juliet Marillier
    • Fire Logic, by Laurie J. Marks
    • In An Absent Dream, by Seanan McGuire
    • Middlegame, by Seanan McGuire
    • Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
    • Uprooted, by Naomi Novik
    • Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik
    • Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City, by K.J. Parker
    • Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse
    • The Ninth Rain, by Jen Williams

Welp, that should do it! Are you ready for this, folks?!

IMAGE CREDIT: Dragon – by  kasana86

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