Monday, 28 January 2008

Eva's Book Meme

I was tagged by Margo from who was tagged by Rhinoa from

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?
The one that springs to mind is Child of the Phoenix by Barbara Erskine, I read Lady of Hay by her and was frankly bored to death and it really has put me off readong anymore of her books, even though I have read others of hers and enjoyed them.

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?
Ooh great question! It would have to be Sorcha from Juliet Marilliers Sevenwaters Trilogy, Saban from Bernard Cornwell's Stonehenge and Gandalf from LOTR for dinner - what a great night that would be!

(Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can't die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it's past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?
Hmmmm that would have to be To The Tower Born by Robin Maxwell about the Lost Princes, it was totally 101% boring!

Come on, we've all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you've read, when in fact you've been nowhere near it?

The first 2 Harry Potter books, at my old job everyone and I mean EVERYONE was talking about them so just had to say I read them LOL although the reality is I only read the first one a couple of years ago, and the worst thing is when everyone was talking about them I had to pretend to know what they was going on about when in fact I didn't have a clue!

As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realise when you read a review about it/go to 'reread' it that you haven't? Which book?

Don't think thats ever hyappened to me.

You've been appointed Book Advisor to a VIP (who's not a big reader). What's the first book you'd recommend and why? (if you feel like you'd have to know the person, go ahead of personalise the VIP)
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, because it is set in an era I'm very familiar with and is such a brilliant read about one of historys most interesting people in my opinion!

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with? Spanish

A mischievious fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier, the book that got me into Fantasy!

I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What's one bookish thing you 'discovered' from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?
Definitely books I would never have looked up otherwise like Stephenie Meyers Vampire series.

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she's granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.
Definitely prsitine trade's I much prefer those over hardbacks.

And the final portion of this assignment is to tag four others:

Kailana's Written World
Marg at
Daphne at

*And, for extra credit, if you leave a comment letting Eva know you've done the meme with a link to the post, she will give you some link love via a big list of who's participated. Additionally, if you link back to her original post, she will enter you in a drawing to win The House at Riverton. If you're an American, this is especially exciting since it isn't going to published until April. ;) To be in the drawing, you must have posted the meme (and commented) by February 5th, which is when she is holding the drawing.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Stonehenge by Bernard Cornwell

Four thousand years ago, a stranger's death at the Old Temple of Ratharryn-and his ominous "gift" of gold-precipitates the building of what for centuries to come will be known as one of mankind's most singular and remarkable achievements. Bernard Cornwell's epic novel Stonehenge catapults us into a powerful and vibrant world of ritual and sacrifice at once timeless and wholly original-a tale of patricide, betrayal, and murder; of bloody brotherly rivalry: and of the never-ending quest for power, wealth, and spiritual fulfillment.

Three brothers-deadly rivals-are uneasily united in their quest to create a temple to their gods. There is Lengar, the eldest, a ruthless warrior intent on replacing his father as chief of the tribe of Ratharryn; Camaban, his bastard brother, a sorcerer whose religious fervor inspires the plan for Stonehenge; and Saban, the youngest, through whose expertise the temple will finally be completed. Divided by blood but united-precariously-by a shared vision, the brothers begin erecting their mighty ring of granite, aligning towering stones to the movement of the heavenly bodies, and raising arches to appease and unite their gods. Caught between the zealousness of his ambitious brothers, Saban becomes the true leader of his people, a peacemaker who will live to see the temple built in the name of salvation and regeneration.

This is a fantastic book, if you have any interest in Stonehenge you will love this, nobody truly knows how Stonehenge came to be built and this story was so beautifully told I would like to think there is some truth in the story and the real story of Stonehenge. I have never been to Stonehenge but, have been to many stone circles and the energy you get from them is so unreal so I can only imagine what Stonehenge can bring.

If you love Historical Fiction I am sure you will really enjoy this and Bernard Cornwell is a fantastic writer and really done a brilliant job of bringing the beginnings of Stone henge to life.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows by J K Rowling

Harry has been burdened with a dark, dangerous and seemingly impossible task: that of locating and destroying Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes. Never has Harry felt so alone, or faced a future so full of shadows. But Harry must somehow find within himself the strength to complete the task he has been given. He must leave the warmth, safety and companionship of The Burrow and follow without fear or hesitation the inexorable path laid out for him.

So the final book in the long running Harry Potter series and I am sorry to say I was very disappointed, the storyline was good but, it didn't have me as engrossed as the other books had. I did feel some of the plots appeared to be a little rushed.

I have seen some people quote this book as being the best book they have ever read, well I am really sorry but, if that is so then they really can't have read very many books! I know primarily this book is aimed at children/young adults but, I think as the series went on it seemed for me more aimed at "older" adults.

Now I'm probably giving this book a really rough deal and that is only because personally I felt it was not as good as others in the series, it just seemed as though it had been rushed too much but, overall still a good book.

I'm not going to reveal any spoilers in case no-one has read it yet, I felt like I was the only person in the world who hasn't read this book, it felt that way anyway, I'm sure it isn't! Anyway overall, a good read not an engrossing one but, I am glad the series has finished now and think it was the right time for J K Rowling to finish this.

Where she will go now I don't know and whilst I don't think she is the greatest author in the world, far from it, she has brought reading to a great many people who may not have otherwise been interested in picking up a book and she should be highly commended for that.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Holder of Lightning by S. L. Farrell

Bringing home the sheep one evening, Jenna idly picks up a stone that feels good in her hand. She pockets it, and her life is never the same thereafter. The stone is Lamh Shabhala, a cloch na thintri that gathers and holds the mage-lights from the sky. Indeed, it is the master such stone, capable of waking the others, and by choosing Jenna, it makes her First Holder.

Although that is a painful, disfiguring, emotionally challenging responsibility she doesn't particularly want, many others whose motives are entirely self-serving do. Already, other cloch are waking, and since, throughout history, the stones have been used as instruments of war and destruction, their holders intend to battle for all the power they can grab. Yet previous holders, who live on in Lamh Shabhala, want an era of peace and prosperity to begin with Jenna.

Billed a celtic fantasy and being a fan of Kate Forsyth's series I thought this would be a lot better than it was, I know there were moments when I thought I just can't be bothered and then it would pick up and seem more interesting.

Jenna is a very interesting character, at times she seems so likeable and you really want the best for her and then sometimes she could be so annoying, a bit like the book I guess, and I suppose that goes hand in hand.

Some of the characters were fine, unfortunately I didn't getto know the characters enough to really get involved and like them. Mac Ard was one I just couldn't work out why he wanted Lamh Shabala so bad, unless I missed something along the way?

Overall it was a fairly mediocre fantasy which on the outset has good potential but, I do think it wasn't all that well written. It was S.L. Farrell's first book I have read and not sure if it was his/her first novel overall if so for a first novel it was fine, I wouldn't say it was a bad novel , I have certainly read worse but, I am afraid I won't be in too much of a hurry to read the sequels.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

The Druidry Handbook by John Michael Greer

Firstly I am not a Druidess nor do I practice druidry, what I am is a pagan and like to learn as much as I can about other paths, that said I am very drawn to Druidry and my online name, Cerridwen is my patron Goddess (oor Ceridwen) who has very strong links with Druidry.

It has been such a long time since I have read a non-fiction book, mainly a lot of Pagan texts go over the same ground, especially Witchcraft & Wicca books, I'd forgotten how much I enjoy reading non-fiction!

This book I feel is more aimed at the new druid or someone wanting to learn more about the Druid path, the book does state that it can be used by experienced Druids but, I am not sure there is anything here that someone who has been on the path a long time would find of use.

You can read through the book end to end as I did, or you can just read sections as you go through. It has a very good section on the Ogham and there are some excellent methods for meditation, this would be a really good reference book as well.

The first part of the book looks more at the history of Druidry and its roots which was very fascinating and also very useful was at the end of each section a list of useful other recommended reading material.

The final two sections was more on the practical part of druidry and it was very interesting, the author I found seemed quite flexible in how he feels the reader could practice Druidry given where they may live etc. Obviously any path of Paganism is a nature path and the best place for ritual is outisde although as we know this is not always possible so some good alternatives are listed here.

Overall,this was a really good insight and for someone just getting into druidry I think this would be an excellent first book, its not comprehensive of course I don't think any book could be burt, this would definitely help with that first toe in the water into Druidism.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

The Gemini Trilogy by Virginia Andrews

Book One - Celeste

Warning: Contains spoilers!!!

He was her mirror image. Now the mirror has cracked. Celeste and her identical twin brother, Noble, are as close as can be - until a tragic accident takes Noble's life. It's a loss that pushes their mother, a woman obsessed with New Age superstitions, over the edge. Desperate to keep her son 'alive', Celeste's mother forces her to cut her hair, wear boys' clothes - and take on Noble's identity. Celeste has virtually disappeared - until a handsome boy moves in next door, and Celeste will risk her mother's wrath to let herself come back to life.

This book was in some ways quite disturbing, Celeste is the least favourite from her Mother's point of view so losing her son Noble is truly devastating, by turning Celeste in to Noble is quite traumatic, the one part was when Celeste was on the toilet doing well what girls do! But, then her Mother tells her she must stand up to have a wee!!! It makes you wonder if she truly believed Celeste was Noble and just what went through the womans head.

Losing a child is traumatic for any Mother (and Father) but, I felt really no pity for her by what she done to Celeste and practically ruining her life by making her be someone she wasn't.

However, a family move in next door, a man with 2 children a boy and girl. The boy tries to befriend Celeste/Noble hlthough he doesn't seem terribly friendly but, anyway finds "Noble" and his Mother quite strange until one day he discovers that "Noble" is a girl, the upshot is Celeste/Noble becomes pregnant and has a child called Celeste setting the scene for the next book.

Though this book may seem strange and at times disturbing it is so gripping, never a dull moment to be had.

Book Two - Black Cat

She hid her true self. Now the truth will be revealed ...Living a life of lies under the thumb of her widowed, spiritually obsessed mother, Celeste has been forced to take on the identity of her dead twin brother Noble. She's almost forgotten what it's like to be Celeste - except for the one thing that keeps her sane: caring for her darling daughter, Baby Celeste. But when Celeste's mother marries a kindly neighbour, a new breed of poisonous secrets and vicious enemies will force Celeste to do what she must - to survive the darkness ...

So now baby Celeste has arrived and some things she does seems to make her as strange as her Grandmother. Celestes mother passes baby Celeste off as her own and also marries the man who used to live next door who bizarrely is Baby Celestes Grandfather.

So Dave, the man next door and father to Elliott, Baby Celeste's father marries and moves in with Celeste's Mother, he also has a daughter betsy who is such a wild child and causes havoc, she eventually finds out that Celeste is not really Noble and is in fact Noble and then all hell breaks loose.

This episode was even more eventful than Celeste and I haven't even mentioned half the story here!

Book Three - Child of Darkness

As a child, she was Baby Celeste, the one thing that kept her mother in touch with reality. But now her mother is in an institution, and sixteen-year-old Celeste Atwell is alone in the world. Adopted by a wealthy couple, Celeste has everything a girl could desire: designer clothes, luxury cars, even a handsome boyfriend. But her indulgence may come at a steep price -- because the secrets hidden within her new family are too dangerous to keep under wraps....

Baby Celeste is growing into an adult and stays in her home until one day a young couple come along wanting a young girl to foster, Baby Celeste has lierally everything she could ever want, her own bedroom when she has been sharing with other girls all the colthes and make-up she could ever want and a rich boyfriend to boot.

This book was so disappointing, Baby Celeste's real Mum, Celeste makes practically no appearance in this book which is such a shame, it would have been better for Baby celeste to have spent the time trying to find out more about her past than the life she spent with her foster parents, and her foster mother did seem quite shallow and didn't really add much to the story.

I really enjoyed the series but, the last book was a bit of a letdown, but all in all highly gripping!