What I’m Reading Now: A Very Large Expanse of Sea

This is apart of our Diverse Narrators challenge. A Muslim girl trying to navigate the world 1 year after 9/11

Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

I’ve said it one but I’ll say it again. Holly Black is at her best when she writes about fairies. She is just well versed in fairy mythology that makes this world feel so steeped in tradition but also new and original. Add all he Royal Court intrigue and you have one great story. The Wicked King is the second book of her Folk of the Air trilogy and after the first book there was a lot of stack. Jude outmaneuvered her father to get the throne away from him and save her brother from having to grow up to soon. She tricked Carden into the throne while controlling him and thus the real power in the kingdom. A lot of the story revolves around those who have power and those who do not. Jude a human living in Fairy often times felt powerless. Even though she learned how to fight from Madoc she would always be at a disadvantage but the thing she has over fairies is that she can lie. Lying and her cleverness is what got her this far but controlling Carden is harder than she anticipated. He doesn’t like being commanded by her anymore than he does being the High King. Things get even more complicated when the Queen of the Undersea is taking this moment to push her advantage and someone close to Jude has or will betray her. Fairies may not be able to lie but that doesn’t mean they can’t deceive. Jude’s strength is her ability to strategies. To see Jude constantly adjusting and planning is truly fascinating. She is constantly looking at all the angles but even the best make mistakes. As much as she plans, she can’t always see the whole chess board. In the end, after all her planning and scheming she is not only maneuvered by Madoc but Carden as well. I’ll admit, I did not see the ending coming. I guess I should have guessed something was up since the title of the next book is The Queen of Nothing but it was still stunning. It’s agonizing that I have to wait until next year to find out what’s going to happen but I know one thing. Jude has not been defeated yet. She’ll be back and all fairies better beware.

Late in game 24 in 48 update

So, I wasn’t sure that I would make it to 18 hours. I am pretty pleased that I will definitely make it to 18 hours. I won’t make it to 24, though. That’s okay.

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

1. Seared by Suleikha Snyder. I finished this earlier today.

2. Circe by Madeline Miller. I finished this yesterday. Oh, god. It’s so good.

3. The Kalevala by Elias Lönnrot and Keith Bosley (translator). This epic oral tale has been so enjoyable. I’ve been listening to it first thing in the morning. I think I’m now about halfway done.

4. King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard. I’m two chapters away from finishing this one! Woo!

5. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz. I’m only two chapters into this but I’m very curious to see where it goes.

There’s a chapter of a stats book I’m hoping to also polish off this weekend. I’m pretty happy with this weekend! And, even happier with the new books I’ve added to my tbr from recs from twitter, litsy, and instagram.

24 in 48

I have signed up to do 24 in 48! I have literally no hope of actually making it to 24 hours, but I would like to try. Mostly, I’d like to finish the half finished books I’ve started in the last six months so I can turn out some reviews. Are you also doing 24 in 48? Even if you aren’t, what are you excited to read this weekend?

Reality is Stranger than Fiction

I thought I would circle back to this post from almost three years ago. As you know I am a fan of Cassandra Clare’s books. I have read all of her books in the Shadowhunter-verse and find her character’s compelling. In 2016 another author I read, Sherrilyn Kenyon accused Clare of copyright infringement and stealing elements of her own series the Dark-Hunters. I’ll admit that I haven’t been paying attention to the outcome of the suit but it was recently brought up again due to stranger the fiction happenings in Kenyon’s life. (more on that later) Clare went to Tumblr to set the record straight and the frustrations of having your work questioned with little coverage on the outcome. You can read them here and here. It turns out that the suit of copyright was dropped in 2016 after Clare and her legal team were able to prove that elements of Clare story she felt was stolen from Kenyon was either written and/or published before Kenyon or was inaccurate. The part of the suit that was settled in 2018 was for the trademark that had more to do with Clare’s publisher’s marketing materials and the Shadowhunter’s TV show then it did with Clare herself. It’s a shame that the dropping of copyright lawsuit wasn’t as widely covered as the initial lawsuit because that is two years that Clare had to deal with rumors and accusations that her work was not her own. In the time passing from there and now I head many comments about how Clare is a plagiarist and it wasn’t even true. I’m glad that she was able to clear it up and hopefully she and everyone else can move on.

So what brought this on, you say. Well Sherrilyn Kenyon in her January newsletter to fans revealed that she has been poisoned by her husband and his mistress that is also their kids tutor in an conspiracy to take her money and life’s work. It reads like one of those bad Lifetime movies that you watch in the middle of a Sunday when there is nothing else on. Is it true, who knows? In the letter Kenyon mentions that it was her husband that had brought suit to Clare and not herself. (It’s also worth noting in the letter Kenyon says that the lawsuit was settled and not dropped but from Clare’s posts we know that is not true) Kenyon also claims that her husband is suing her for the copyright of her characters and this is why some of her books have been put on hold. I’m a big fan of her Chronicles of Nick series. The latest book in the series or spin-off series, I’m not sure how to categories it. The latest book was supposed to come out last September but September came and went without any news of it until December when I read it had been taken of the publishing schedule altogether without a reason. So it makes sense if she is in a legal battle over her books characters that they would be put on hold. If true, then Wow! Her husband is one piece of trash. The audacity to claim any kind of ownership over her work is truly appalling. I do hope it gets settle quickly and if allegations are true that he has been poisoning her then I hope he goes to jail. Anyway, the letter is one crazy read and reminder that sometimes reality is stranger than fiction.

Review: The Golden Tower by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

For the last book in the series, I didn’t find this one all that exciting. I felt it lacked in action and suspense that the others had. To me the outcome that our heroes would would succeed never seemed in doubt. Even when they themselves didn’t know how they were going to defeat Alex. Whatever suspense that the last couple of books tried to create was gone. Maybe that’s because the big battle between the Mages of the Magisterium and the followers of the Enemy of Death happened at the end of the last book. This book they had to battle the arrogant teenage Alex, who accidentally turned himself into chaos and wanted nothing more then power. Not to end Death or prove a point. He wanted a cool headquarters, his enemies gift wrapped for him and his girlfriend. That’s it. Talk about a boring villain. As for our heroes, Call who has been plagued with the fear that he wasn’t who he thought he was because he carried the soul of the Enemy of Death. Throughout the series he dealt with self doubt and the doubt of everyone else. He would keep track of every evil thing he did and tried to figure out if that made him evil or if he was already evil. Battle after battle, he worked to do everything to save his friends and eventually came to the conclusion that he knew who he was. He was good and bad like everyone else but the decisions he made were his own and not someone else’s. That’s a lesson for all of us. So all in all it was a good series. I think that maybe if I was a middle school kid reading this than an adult, it would have been more exciting. I would recommend it to any young kid who is reading or has read Harry Potter as another series they might like but maybe not for adults unless you are a big Holly Black or Cassandra Clare fan.