Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Source: www.headline.co.uk
Source: www.headline.co.uk

“A world of witches, daemons and vampires. A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their
future. Diana and Matthew – the forbidden love at the heart of it.

When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it’s an unwelcome
intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she’s kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires. Sensing the significance of Diana’s discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire genticist. Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels…”
(Source: www.headline.co.uk)

First I have to say that I am currently in a very witchy mood! I am obsessed with all things witches, I guess it’s because of the season..halloween is not far etc. So since I began to watch Witches of East End again (which by the ways is awesome and I do hope that someday there will be a third season!!) I can’t get enough of witches. And since I had “A Discovery of Witches” on my TBR shelf I picked it up and started reading.
And I freaking loved it from the beginning onwards!

Deborah Harkness created a book with such a unique atmosphere and really great characters that I was sucked right into it. The book is rather thick, it has nearly 700 pages and I needed over two weeks to finish it. But that was one thing I loved about the book. I didn’t rush while reading it. Normally it would have bugged me that I was relatively slow reading this book, but somehow it didn’t. I took my time with it and it was worth it. It isn’t that the book wasn’t exciting or anything, but it just suited the mood in the book. Everything needed time to develop, the plot, the characters and me.
All in all I enjoyed the plot, but sometimes I had to roll my eyes about it. There were parts where the characters did something that wouldn’t make sense to me, but that was just a minor thing. I really loved how the relationship between Matthew and Diana developed. Another one of those taboo relationship, he is a Vampire she a Witch and they are not allowed to be together. But they just don’t care and I say go for it! Those two are just so perfect for each other, I loved every moment they had together. Sometimes they were very frustrating, but more often they were just sweet and funny. The age difference of them made it so much more interesting!
What I also loved about the book is that Diana is a historian and that Deborah Harkens put so much detail into describing it and how she works, it made me wish that I was a historian! It sounded so cool and interesting and the parts where she is at the Bodleian Library at Oxford were so exciting for me, I just had to google images of it! I imagined myself right there with her. That is one of those things that set the mood for me! I loved it!

What I did miss a bit was more of the witchy kind of stuff. Diana didn’t use her powers at first, her power developed throughout the book. I wished for more spells and potions and this kind of stuff. But nearing the end there was some of it..but not enough for my taste 😉

I am really glad I picked up this book. It is one of those special books that stick with you for a long time and make you wish you could crawl right into it to be part of the story!
There are two more books in the series and I already have them at home and can’t wait to continue the story of Diana and Matthew.

Have you read this book? Did like it as much as I did?
Can you recommend any other books/movies/TV-Shows with Witches? Lets hear it!

xoxo

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Review: Falling Kingdoms – Morgan Rhodes

Source: www.penguin.com
Source: www.penguin.com

War brought them together. Love will tear them apart.

Princess Cleo of Mytica confronts violence for the first time in her life when a shocking murder sets her kingdom on a path to collapse. Once a privileged royal, Cleo must now summon the strength to survive in this new world and fight for her rightful place as Queen.

The King of Limeros’s son, Magnus, must plan each footstep with shrewd, sharp guile if he is to earn his powerful father’s trust, while his sister, Lucia, discovers a terrifying secret about her heritage that will change everything.

Rebellious Jonas lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Witches, if found, are put to death, and Watchers, immortal beings who take the shape of hawks to visit the human world, have been almost entirely forgotten. A vicious power struggle quickly escalates to war, and these four young people collide against each other and the rise of elementia, the magic that can topple kingdoms and crown a ruler in the same day.
(Source: www.penguin.com)


I came across this book while looking trough amazon. No I actually came across another book by this author which I thought sounded cool, and saw that it was a Spin-off of this series. So I thought I´d better start with the first series, I don’t want to spoiler myself or something like that 😉

The summary and the cover was what appealed to me about to book. I remember seeing a few weeks before on a blog I think and I just bought and started reading.
First I have to say I am really torn with my opinion on this book! But lets start at the beginning.

The start of the book was really captivating and could make me want to read on and on and that is wonderful. We were confronted with prophecies and murder and secrets. It was really promising. I really liked the world the book was set in and everything that came with it. The magic, the intrigues the forbidden love(s). I think that there is so much potential and I hope that the world building continues in the following novels. I want to know more about the past of Mytica and about the witches and watchers and how everything works.

While the world developed fine in this book, I thought that the characters lacked very much. The book is told from different point of views. We have Princess Cleo, who was the character I liked most. Then we have Prince Magnus who I didn’t like at all. And then there is Jonas who I am not sure if I should like or not, but I tend to yes right now. In between we have a few short scenes told from the perspective of some other characters but these three are the main ones. While I liked Cleo the most, I sometimes just couldn’t understand her choices. She was very very naive and childish at moment, but at others she was brave and strong. But I wished for more development on her part!
Magnus on the other hand I did understand , at least the choices he made or rather why he is like he is. That doesn’t mean that I like him, but he has a side on him that could turn my mind!
And Jonas..I think him I could understand the most. His motivations were clear from the beginning.
I think the lack of character development is the fault of the many point of views. Not everyone can pull that off (they’re not all a Cassandra Clare :P). Sometimes I felt like it was not one story but three different stories put into one book.

The last thing I have to criticize is the love story. What was that?! I don’t want to spoiler anything, but I have to say it was really unrealistic and that I believe that it wasn’t the “real” love story of this series! Ahhh and one other thing. Sometimes the characters in this book did things with no good reason, like start a war with no good explanation on why. Did I miss something or were there none?

Still, despite all my critique I enjoyed the book and I see potential for the following novels. I really hope that Morgan Rhodes put more work into her characters and that book 2 will be better. I am definitely giving it a chance!

The one where I talk about my favorite season…

Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.
– Lauren DeStefano, Wither

Fall has also always been MY favorite season of the year. But I kind of like the word Autumn more. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know it. It kind of has a nice ring to it (:
The fact that it is my favorite season may or may not have to do something with my birthday, which is in October. Of course the coolest month of the year 😛
Ok, ok I admit it, it might be possible that this is ONE reason.
But there are many, many others!

I love that Autumn is so colorful. The leaves on the trees are changing their color from green into various shades of orange, red and brown. I just love how that looks!

Another reason is that it gets slightly colder again. I mean I like Summer and I want it to be sunny and hot, but all has its limits! And I love that it in Autumn the temperatures go lower bit by bit. We have some sunny days where it is still warm, but then we also have colder days where you just want to cuddle up on the couch with a good book and a cup of tea. And I love that! It´s not wintery freezing, it’s a mixture between warm and cold.

I also love that I can drink more tea again. In Summer I also drink tea..to breakfast at least. But that was it. In Autumn and Winter I can live off tea 😀 I drink tea all the time and I looooove tea! And I miss it all the time in summer!

A fact that I also love about Autumn is the kind of “New-Beginnings” feeling. School start again (in my case University), it´s a fresh, new year and everything is possible.

I also like to buy Autumn-clothers! Like boots and pullovers and scarfs! I could bury myself in this stuff!

What is you favorite season? Tell me!

xoxo

Bout of Books 14 Challenge #1: Fictional World Travel

As I just announced in the previous post the Bout of Books 14 has started and this is the first challenge.
The Rules etc. are here

I am currently in Austria and the books I chose are: (From top to bottom)

-Drums of Autumn – Historical Scotland
-The Invention of Wings – Historical USA
-The Island of the red mangroves – Historical Jamaica
-Longbourn – Historical England
-Die Ärztin von Tsingtao – Historical China
-Prodigy – Dystopian USA

As you can see I like all things historical 😉

Bout of Books 14 Updates

Good Morning people (:

Today starts the Bout of Books read-a-thon! If you don’t know just follow the link and check it out!

I am participating for the first time at Bout of Books and have to figure out how this all works. I already did a couple of read-a-thons, but not this one.
I think I still have to figure out how that works with the schedule/Twitter chat etc. because of the different time zones! But I think I´ll manage (:

My Goals for this week:

The problem with me is that I am terrible at sticking to my goals! Especially with reading goals. I am totally a “Mood-Reader” I just read what I am in the mood for.
But I plan on finishing the book I am currently reading. I am about halfway trough and have at least 200 pages to read. Then I am going to see if I NEED to read the sequel of this book or if I am in the mood for something else 😉
Then I plan on listening to an audiobook a bit.
And I will just head into the read-a-thon and see what I get done, the important part is still the reading part (:

I decided today (It is Tuesday and I decided to change my update system) that I will use this post for all my updates in this week!

Monday 

number of books I´ve finished today: 0
total number of books I´ve finished: 0
number of pages I´ve read today: 133
total number of pages I´ve read: 133
how many hours I´ve read today: 4

Tuesday

number of books I´ve finished today: 1
total number of books I´ve finished: 1
number of pages I´ve read today: 140
total number of pages I´ve read: 173
how many hours I´ve read today: 3,5

Wednesday 

number of books I´ve finished today: 0
total number of books I´ve finished: 1
number of pages I´ve read today: 55
total number of pages I´ve read: 228
how many hours I´ve read today: 1.5

Thursday

number of books I´ve finished today: 0
total number of books I´ve finished: 1
number of pages I´ve read today: 46
total number of pages I´ve read: 274
how many hours I´ve read today: 1 h and 45 min

Friday

number of books I´ve finished today:
total number of books I´ve finished:
number of pages I´ve read today:
total number of pages I´ve read:
how many hours I´ve read today:

Saturday

number of books I´ve finished today:
total number of books I´ve finished:
number of pages I´ve read today:
total number of pages I´ve read:
how many hours I´ve read today:

Sunday

number of books I´ve finished today:
total number of books I´ve finished:
number of pages I´ve read today:
total number of pages I´ve read:
how many hours I´ve read today:

A new addiction for my TV-Show obsessed heart

Hello Guys (:

Yes I am still alive..I know I didn’t quite stick up to my promise that I would post more frequently again and I am sorry. But o you know that feeling when you just don’t know what you should write about? I´m having that right now!

But today is different because I spent the last three days watching a series that I discovered and I just had to finish the first season. And now I want to tell you about it.

I am sure many of you know this series already because the first season got out in 2011. I am talking about:

Do you know that feeling when you want to watch a tv-show but you don’t know which one? I have that quite often because all my favorite shows are on brake now or I finished them already. So I scrolled through netflix to see if something appeals to me. And then I saw Once upon a time and though hey I started this show a while back..maybe I just give it another try!

And I did that.

When I watched the pilot for this show at least a year ago I wasn’t quite convinced. But now…as I am finished with the whole first season..I like it. Very. Very. Much!
I mean whats not to like? The show is about fairytale characters cursed to be in our world. Hello?! Awesome 😀

I love that the show is divided into two worlds and that we get to see the events of both of them! That can sometimes get a bit confusing because the events in fairytale-land are not always chronological, but thats ok..you geht used to it 😉

I really love the concept of the show and I think they did a pretty good job converting it. It would have been too unrealistic if Emma had believed Henry in a matter of episodes.

What I didn’t quite like about the show was that almost every episode has its own story. That was on the one hand really good, because we learned about the different stories of all the different fairytales, but for me it dims a bit the suspense of the show. I like it when every episodes ends with a little cliffhanger. But this is not right with the whole season. There is also a main-plot of course..so that rounds it all up again.

I also missed the love story a bit. I mean there was a hint for one..but that didn’t develop in any direction. I really need a romantic part with everything. With books and tv-shows especially. But that is just a minor problem because I know that in the next seasons that will change! And I hope its a good love story, with much drama…and love…you know what I mean? (;

So now to the characters.

Source: tvline.com

I have to say Emma is not my favorite character so far. I mean she is kind of kick-ass and all that..but there is something about her, that I can not name, that I don’t like. But she is ok and there are definitely good chances for development!
She is a realistic character which I bet many love and can identify with her. The funniest thing about her where I always had to laugh a bit was when she became sheriff and all of a sudden she is a pro at it. Where did she learn to be a sheriff? xD

Source: fanpop.com

Regina is obviously the villain in this season. And she is good..I mean evil..but she plays it good. I hate her sometimes and want to punch her in the face..but that is how a good villain should make you feel (;
I get her story and i get why she is so mean and evil and hates Snow so much. But what I don’t get is why she loves Henry so much. She is evil and one might think that a person as evil as her doesn’t care about a little boy. But then again..every evil has its weakness…

The rest of the main characters are all pretty cool and I like them. Henry is a sweet kid and I am excited to see what he is up to in the next season.
Snow and Charming are also very likable and the first season was about their story and how they found each other again and again! I think that Ginnifer Goodwin is perfect as Snow White! And she is so beautiful!

I am really happy that I gave this show another try and I came to like it very very much. I needed a few episodes to get into it, but once that was done I couldn’t stop watching! And now I am going to start with season two!

Have you seen Once upon a time? Who is your favorite character? Or least favorite? Tell me!

xoxo

Source: persephonemagazine.com