Why Do People Love Bridget Jones’ Diary?

Bridget Jones’ Diary (Bridget Jones’ Diary #1) by Helen Fielding

So I watched the movie before reading the book. How did I feel about it?

I HATED the movie. There was a few things that were good, like the cooking scene, but on a whole I thought it sucked. I don’t see at all what it has to do with Jane Austen. To read my full review, go here.

So the book?

I didn’t like it either. I gave it zero stars on Goodreads.

Now I know you might think this review is a copout, as there is hardly anything written, but you do not know how many times I have tried to review this book.

I have read this book three times and I just don’t get it. I don’t find the characters interesting or as amazing as everyone else seems to. I especially can’t stand Bridget!

I just do not get it.

Could someone please explain it to me?

For more Bridget Jones, go to You Are a Horrible Cook, But I Will Eat What You Prepare Anyway: Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

For more on Pride and Prejudice, go to Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MATURE

For more Pride and Prejudice variations, go to Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MILD

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Victoria and the Rogue

In other news, I typically do 14 posts on romantic moments in film and TV, but I will not be doing that this year. It’s canceled.

I know, I know. I hate breaking with tradition, but I’m just not in the most romantic mood. Sorry all…

I hope you all have a great Valentine’s Day, if you are one to celebrate.

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Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) by Kevin Kwan

So a few weeks ago I posted on Instagram that I was reading Crazy Rich Asians, but I couldn’t post on it as I was in the middle of Horrorfest VII.

Or post in my case.

So I saw this book when it first came out on Goodreads, it struck my interest and I put it on to-read, but did not read it as, well you book lovers know how it is:

But then I read this article comparing the book’s characters to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. That made me even more interested.

Hmm…

Then when an opportunity to get a copy of the book came my way-I could not resist. I had to read it.

So first things first? Is it really as good as the hype says it is. You know me-the more they over pump the more hmmm…let’s say exact I am in my judgements-picking apart the book.

Welll…I thought it was……

Hmmm…

Super Freakin’ Fantastic

Now you guys know I’m not going to say that if I don’t really mean it. It was so good I didn’t want to put my book down and I am being literal-If I didn’t have to work I would have stayed up reading or just called in sick.

So I know zero about Singapore, the culture, class system, tradition, etc. I am thankful for all of Kwan’s footnotes as they were extremely helpful. Reading it reminded me of the first time I read classic literature and had no understanding of the culture of why people did what they did and had to go do all the research.

Kwan helps you out of hours of work by providing it for you. I don’t know how your publishing process went, but I imagine there was at least one person who was probably like there are too many footnotes, no one will read that, let’s just get rid of them-but let me tell you-I am so, so thankful. Thank you Mr. Kwan.

So the story begins with Rachel who has been raised by her single mother. They moved all over the country, settling in Cupertino, CA and her mother worked hard and moved up in real estate business. Rachel has studied hard, has her master’s degree, and is a Professor of Economics in New York.

So Rachel is set by a friend to meet the “perfect guy” She is completely not interested as she isn’t really looking and she doesn’t like to date Asian guys. Every time she has gone out with an Asian guy she feels as if they are more interested in her resume and transcripts than who she is as a person (I have an Asian friend who has told me she has had the same experiences), but then meets Nicholas Young. He is amazing, has an English accent, and the two fit together.

They have been dating five years and he decides to invite her to come to Singapore with him for the summer. He thinks they would have a great time, with him showing off the places he loves, and them attending his friend’s wedding.

Rachel is unsure at first but decides to go as it will be fun: she loves Nick, and she will be able to visit with her best friend from college, Goh Peik Lin. Her mother is a little worried, as she knows that Rachel isn’t going to be prepared for the traditional Asian culture having grown up in America.

When Rachel gets there she gets the surprise of her life-Nick is crazy rich. Beyond thought of all rich-like Gatsbyian rich (but legal). His family is one of the top richest in Singapore, and he is expected to be the sole heir of his paternal grandmother’s fortune. Nick thinks his family will love Rachel but…

Majorly

Yes, seriously. His mother, Eleanor Young is obsessed with power and prestige. She has been maneuvering the Young life-first watching and planting herself with Nick’s father at time he was ready to be married (who incidentally has since moved to Australia to get away from her)-stealing him from his long-term girlfriend, and taking a backseat in parenting-essentially giving Nick up to his grandmother-so that he could be her sole heir. This girlfriend has thrown a serious gum in the works as his Nick is prime to be thinking of marrying and this California Asian is unacceptable.

Unacceptable

She begins a plan to throw a more suitable woman at him and remove Rachel from the picture. As soon as she had confirmation of her name, PIs have been dispatched.

Edison Cheng is Nick’s cousin, and a very wealthy banker who is always concerned with image and aspiring for more. His brother is dating a more distasteful woman than Rachel-pop star singer Kitty Pong. His family is determined to end their engagement as well for a more “suitable match”.

Her

Nick’s best friend is his cousin, Astrid Teo. Astrid is beautiful, stylish, and envied everywhere-every man wants her and every woman wants to be her. Astrid has her own family melodrama-intervention story. She fell in love with Charlie Wu and the two were engaged, but Astrid gave in to the pressures of her family and how they felt him being a self-made millionaire was not good enough for their daughter. Years later she met and married Michael-handsome, charming, and even more unsuitable. He is in computer technology and trying to create a company. He’s been so busy with it, making excuses to skip family dinners and such. One night Astrid looks at his phone and discovers messages from a woman-an affair?

Nick and Rachel have fun eating food (Singapore’s number one thing), spending time with friends, and then get tied into wedding stuff. Nick heads off to a truly horrible bachelor party-while Rachel is asked to join the bachelorette party. She finds herself mistreated and targeted as every woman wanted Nick and all are doing all they can to get him before the rings get placed on Rachel’s finger.

After the wedding things come to a head. Eleanor reveals the information found out by her private investigator-Rachel’s father is not dead, as she had long believed, but imprisoned in China. She and Nick’s grandma tell him he needs to end the relationship. Rachel is hurt beyond measure with the truth that her mother lied coming out-especially the way it did- and beyond furious at how Nick’s family and friends have treated her. She’s done. She heads to stay with her friend and go to China to meet her father.

Astrid has run into Charlie Wu and run away with him. He comforts her and helps her track down her errant husband as it turns out he isn’t cheating on her.

He wanted her to think so, so she would leave him. He does not want to be known as Astrid’s husband, he wants to be his own man. Charlie feels bad for the woman he loves, yes loves not loved, loves-and begins to do all he can to inflate the stock and make Michael a millionaire. As long as she’s happy he’s happy.

Nick tries to tell Rachel he doesn’t care about his family and loves her, but Rachel is not taking it. It is not enough when his family will treat her like that. Nick heads back to his friend and recent bridegroom-Colin, trying to get advice from him. Colin urges him that if he loves Rachel to fight for her.

Rachel is headed to China when she gets stopped by the surprise of her life. Nick is there, that’s expected, but he brought her MOTHER?! Since Rachel has found out the truth about her father she would not speak to her mother, but now she stops and listens. It turns out that her mother was married off to a wealthy man who ignored her. He did his duty to try and make a child, but otherwise he abused her or ignored her, with his family being even worse. She had an affair with a nice man, Kao Wei. She became pregnant, and fearing for their child’s life-Kao smuggled her out and sent her to America.

Rachel is understanding of her mother-and after all the information Eleanor found out about how awful her mother’s husband was- she is forgiving and willing to give Nick a second chance. They still have the whole Summer and head off to Marina Bay Sands.

It was amazing and the world they live in-it was unthinkable. Reading this I felt like Nick in The Great Gatsby or Dan in Gossip Girl times a 1000.

A great read I could not put down. I was fascinated with this crazy rich world.

So the question on everyone’s mind. Is this Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion? 

Idea!

NO

Yes

I’m serious.

Yes!

Astrid’s story is very Persuasion I will concede that. Charlie is in love with Astrid after she turned him down he continued to love her from afar-never getting over her.

But Rachel and Nick are nothing like Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.

Elizabeth was from a well-off family, curse you Pride and Prejudice (2005) that makes everyone think they are poor. Mr. Darcy was not as fun and animated as Nick. Yes, Lady Catherine did not want them to marry but their societal classes don’t quite fit. Instead this is Northanger Abbey. 

Northanger Abbey tells the story of a girl from a good family-not rich or gentleman’s family, but one that does well that gets the trip of a lifetime. She goes as a companion to the big city of Bath full of pleasure and parties as such. Rachel Chu is the same. Her mother worked hard and does well for herself, as did Rachel. Like Catherine-we would consider them well off, however people of means: Nick’s family, General Tilney, Blair Waldorf, Tom Buchanan-would not. Catherine finds herself in a world full of sharks-trying to navigate a world she no idea about- just like Rachel.

Nick is wealthy man, but very modest, down to earth, approachable, and fun. Just like Mr. Tilney. Mr. Tilney meets Catherine at Bath and laughs at society’s tradition, going aganist them by speaking to her without be ing introduced, joking around, having fun. Nick is the same way. He even risk disinheritance for her-just like Tilney.

Now there are many factors trying to keep the two characters apart in Northanger Abbey. The first is Jonathan Thorpe. He trumps up how rich and wealthy Catherine is (just like when the rumors abound that Rachel is of the Tawainese plastic Chus)  He tries to drive a wedge between the two as he wants Catherine’s “fortune”. He’s like all the women who are after Nick’s fortune. Also is General Tilney, Eleanor Young and him are a perfect match. Both care about controlling their children’s lives and trying to make sure they choose a path that gives them monetary bliss. Genral Tilney marries his wife for his money and wants his second son and daughter to be wealthily wedded. He steers his son toward Catherine, manipulating and doing all he can to get them together-then when he discovers that the fortune is false-sends her packing. Eleanor works the same way-she tries to get Nick with any number of “suitable women” and does her best to send Rachel packing-succeeding just like the general.

And run fast

Eleanor and Astrid also share some similarities. In the movie (I know what am I saying please forgive me) Eleanor falls in love with an “unsuitable man”-one her father keeps her from marrying. He works hard to create his own business, becoming wealthy enough to please him. With Astrid same story, except the money didn’t matter-it was a class issue.

Pop star Kitty Pong is dating Alistair Cheng. She is a pop star social climber, after him for his money and very low class-just like Isabella Thorpe. Isabella Thorpe hooked onto Catherine and her brother James, becoming engaged like that. Isabella comes from a poor family and is trying her best to poach a wealthy man. When it is revealed that James Morland does not have as much money as she wants-she drops him for Captain Tilney (who ends up leaving her in the cold). Kitty follows the same pattern. When Alistair’s cousin tricks Kitty into thinking the Cheng family has nothing, she dumps Alistair for the very wealthy Bernard Tai.

So what do you think? Are you swayed by my arguments that this is Northanger Abbey? Or do you still think it has more in common with Pride and Prejudice.

Idea!

Either way it is a great story and one that is well worth a read.

For more Northanger Abbey, go to No One Would Have Ever Guessed

For more Persuasion, go to Right Away I Know I Won’t Like You

For more Austen-like reads, go to Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers: A Change of Fortune

Jane Austen’s Guide to Dating

So often we feel as if we will never find love.

But never fear, Austen’s books can guide us into finding our perfect match.

That’s not what I am talking about. I mean real life dating.

Yep, with the fantastic book:

Jane Austen’s Guide to Dating by Lauren Henderson

I can’t remember if this book was recommended to me by Goodreads or by one of you followers-but somehow it was and I decided to check it out. At the time I got it I was interested in dating anybody:

But then eight months later I was and thought what better time to start.

Each chapter covers a topic to do with dating and analyzes couples from Jane Austen’s novels. One couple has examples you should follow:

And a couple with examples you shouldn’t:

Henderson then has a modern-day couple who she uses as an example.

And she concludes each chapter with a list of Dos

And Don’ts

For example:


CHAPTER SIX:

LOOK FOR SOMEONE WHO CAN BRING OUT YOUR BEST QUALITIES


The chapter starts off examining the relationship of  Charles and Mary Musgrove.

The two are complete opposites with Charles being very outdoorsy and Mary a hypochondriac. Charles is good-natured and easy-going, while Mary unkind, snobby, and self-absorbed. Mary is whiney and shrill, while Charles still acts like a child versus a man.

Charles is also still in love with Mary’s sister Anne, who he originally proposed to.

Mary is a bully, manipulator, and only cares about herself. In fact when her child gets injured she argues with her husband about who can attend a party-gets upset when Charles says she should stay home with their child and then convinces Anne to babysit her boy.

What jerks

Basically, both have bad qualities and they feed off each other. Mary mangifies Charles rebellious spirit, his bad additude, self-indulgence and the sam for Mary.


LESSON TO BE LEARNED:

DON’T BE INFECTED BY THE BAD QUALITIES OF THE PERSON YOU’RE DATING!


 

Henderson then goes on to give a real life example of couple Brad and Louise. Brad was an okay cleaner, while Louise was a total slob. When they got together, her bad habits caused Brad to pick up on it and he became a slob as well. They had a messy apartment, bills were always final notice or overdue, laundry piled up, and they began to resent each other.


WHAT TO DO INSTEAD:

SET A POSITIVE EXAMPLE, USING HUMOR TO HELP IT ALONG


THERE IS NO PERFECT PERSON FOR YOU

THERE IS ONLY THE MAN WHO IS GOOD ENOUGH

Anyone you meet will have qualities you hate. You have to look at whether the good outweighs the things that annoy you. Can you tolerate those things in exchange for all the stuff you love that he brings to the relationship?

Henderson then goes on to describe a couple-Gary and Lucy. Lucy is easy-going and pleasant while Gary is a worrywort. Whenever Gary would get upset and rant, Lucy always made sure to validate his feelings, tease him, and give him the reassurance he needed.

It will all be okay

We then look at Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth.

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (1940)

Darcy falls for Elizabeth because she is who she is. She sees him and how she acts and lets him know what she is not interested in.

He learns his lesson and ligtens up-letting her see him and the things about each other they may not really like-they tolerate for all the other things they do.


LESSON TO BE LEARNED:

YOU SHOULD LIKE WHO YOU ARE WHEN YOU’RE WITH THE PERSON YOU LOVE



WHAT NOT TO DO:

DON’T CLOSE YOUR EYES TO A BAD PATTERN OF BEHAVIOR


 

Henderson uses the real life example of Lacey and Mark. Lacey was really into Mark, but he didn’t prioritize their time-was always having a ton of parties and events to go to, always switching up plans and changing what he was doing, he would stay out all night and not tell her where he was, she would dress for one thing and Mark would change it-leaving Lacey uncomfortable and out of place.

This would make Lacey mad and she would nag him. She felt she had no control or say and more and more tried to control him.

Mark actually enjoyed the nagging as it made him feel rebellious and naughty-like he was disobeying his mother. In fact his behavior turned Lucy into a bitter, angry, mother like character.

Ouch


WHAT TO DO INSTEAD:

LISTEN TO YOUR BOYFRIEND WHEN HE GENUINELY TRIES TO HELP YOU


Henderson gives us the example of Kate and Lee. Kate was a beautiful, thin, blonde and also an anorexic. Henderson shows how Lee was able to help Kate by showing that he cared for her and was there for her, also trusting her and not pushing her too much.

We then see Emma and Frank Churchill

Frank is a coxcomb, he only cares about himself and his interests. He flatters people, and when their back is turned cuts them down to the quick. He is secretly engaged to Jane Fairfax and treats her horribly.

When he gets with Emma he brings out the worst in her and she in him. They both bring out a the careless, judgmental, and sarcastic sides of each other. They would have been an awful couple always bickering, nasty, mocking, judgmental, rude, etc.

Ugh


LESSON TO BE LEARNED:

DON’T DATE SOMEONE WHO ENCOURAGES YOUR SELF-DESTRUCTIVE IMPULSES


WHAT NOT TO DO:

DON’T MISTAKE DANGER FOR EXCITEMENT


Kate an AT&T supervisor fell for Rob a rock ‘n roll guitarist. Everything he did was exciting and new to Kate, but soon it cut into her real life and she wasn’t performing so well at work or missing too much. She tried to talk toRob about it but he didn’t care and eventually Kate had to cut back on their partying or lose her job. Rob dumped her and quickly hooked up with some other girls, leaving Kate crying her heart out and trying to pick up the pieces of the life she had completely dropped for him.


WHAT TO DO INSTEAD:

PICK A BOYFRIEND WHO IS A GOOD INFLUENCE ON YOU


Beverly was a real party girl and would always go over the top when she had a few drinks. She could be very cruel but never listened to warnings until Ed. Ed was quiet and calm. The two complemented each other and brought out the best traits in each other, smoothing down the rough ones.


SUMMARY:

DO

  • Keep Your Own Values:If someone doesn’t have the same fundamental value system as you-and, worse, if they try and sway you from what you know to be right-you are not in a good relationship.
  • Choose Someone Who Brings Out the Best in You: Your boyfriend should help you to strengthen your positive qualities and suppress the negative ones.
  • Support Him as Much as He Supports You: Its a two-way street. If you’re both helping each other to reach your goals in life and be nicer, happier people, you have a much greater chance of maintaining a successful, strong relationship.

DON’T

  • Try to Change Your Boyfriend in Major Ways: Either decide you can put up with his annoying quirks, or leave him. If you start trying to change him you will turn into a nag, and you WILL end up hating yourself.
  • Be Influenced By His Bad Behavior: Don’t get sucked into things you feel aren’t good for you. Don’t stay around someone who wants to drag you down.
  • Put All the Blame on Him: YOU chose him, after all. If he’s not good for you, why did you pick him in the first place? Instead of blaming him, spend your time more and more usefully by figuring out why you made that mistake so you won’t repeat it in the future.

TIPS FOR TELLING IF YOU’RE WITH SOMEONE WHO BRINGS OUT YOUR WORST QUALITIES

  1. You’re stuck in a rut of criticizing each other, without the situation ever improving.
  2. You feel irritable most of the time you spend with him and you can’t put your finger on why.
  3. You change your outfit or hair five times before going out on a date with him, never sure whether you’ve picked the image of yourself that will please him.
  4. You disagree with a lot of his core values, but you yell yourself it doesn’t matter, because they have nothing to do with your relationship.
  5. You find yourself doing things with him that you would never normally do-things you don’t mention to your friends because you know they would disapprove.

Then at the end of the book they have a quiz so you can see which Jane Austen character you and your significant other are. I took it before I read the book and got:

Elizabeth Bennet

I took it after I read the book and got:

Elizabeth Bennet

If your score is 41-51, you are Elizabeth-outgoing, funny, and direct. You want a serious relationship, but it’s essential for you to find someone you can have fun with or teach to have fun. Your best matches are:

  • Mr. Darcy
  • Henry Tilney
  • Captain Wentworth

Then I took the quiz for my then boyfriend (now my fiancé), and I got for him a mix of Captain Wentworth, Henry Tilney, and Mr. Bingley

But my boyfriend (now fiancé), said he wanted to take it and he got a mix of Captain Wentworth, Henry Tilney, and Mr. Bingley.

If his score is 41-51 he is Captain WentworthHenry Tilney, or Mr. Bingley-straight forward, happy, and looking for love. PROBLEM: If you’re used to playing games, you may put him off. SUITABLE FOR: Everyone-his happy nature and friendly disposition make him the easiest man to get along with on the whole list.

I don’t think he’s very much like Mr. Bingley, but I could see Mr Tilney:

Or as Captain Wentworth:

If I were you and dating I would definitely check this book out.

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Prude & Prejudice

For more Emma, go to You Cannot Think That I Will Leave Off Match-Making

For more Northanger Abbey, go to In Celebration of Northanger Abbey

For more Persuasion, go to I’m On a Boat

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Pride & Prejudice: A Latter Day Comedy

For more Sense & Sensibility, go to The Austen Series: Reason and Romance

 

A Quest of Swords and Wizards: The Crown Conspiracy

Day 17) Q is for Quest: Choose a book in which the characters go on a Quest

Quest

So a quest? Which book to do? There are so, so many to choose from.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

I thought and thought and finally settled on:

crownconspiracytheftofswords

The Crown Conspiracy (The Riyria Revelations #1) by Michael J. Sullivan

I know I’ve talked about this before on here, but I wanted to bring it back as it was such a fantastic story.

Iloveit love

And I think more need to know about it.

BookWithNoFandom

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

So four years ago I had just come back from class and after dropping off my bags and books I got on the computer to check my email. When I went on, I was notified by the school’s post office that I had received a package and needed to go pick it up as it was too big to put in my box.

ooh!

ooh!

I was surprised as I hadn’t ordered anything or was expecting anything from anyone, so I couldn’t wait to pick it up. When I got it, I didn’t recognize the sender’s label and had no clue who it was.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

When I got home I opened the package and saw Theft of Swords-Volume I of The Riyria Revelations containing The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha by Michael J. Sullivan.

princess-leia-i-dont-know-what-youre-talking-about

I was completely puzzled. Who was this who sent this to me? How did I get it?

suspicious Hmm

Then I realized, I must have won it on GoodreadsGoodreads does drawings in which you win a free book, and all you have to do is give an honest review and post it on the site. I used to enter in every drawing for every book and the books I had won prior to this all had not been very good.

I don't like it 11

So when I received this book I wasn’t very thrilled to read it. In fact I put it off for a long time until my curiosity got the better of me. One day I decided to read a few pages and see what it was all about.

I-am-going-to-try-this-Well-Rested-Makeup-Tutorial-it-works-amazing-1024x1024maybe

Well one page turned into many as I just couldn’t put it down.

PutthebookDown

After I consumed the novel I had to keep going, reading the second book and then trying to locate the rest. There weren’t any at the local or college library so I had to Inter Library Loan them and wait…

waitingforbookinseriesNosleepNeedanswers

Finally they came and I just devoured them, the rest of my life taking a back seat as I had to find out what happened next.

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melbourn are two of the greatest thieves you could ever go against. Their duo goes by the name Riyria, that name being known throughout the land.

RiyriaRevelationsHadrianRoyce

At the beginning of the novel, the two are heading to work on a job when they are stopped by some thieves. All they have to do is say who they and they scare the others off like rabbits.

Run Away

They head off to try and rob Archie Ballentyne, the Earl of Chadwick, by breaking into his impenetrable tower.

Wecandoit

Meanwhile, Archie Ballentyne has been waiting for Marquis Victor Lanaklin. Archie has unsuccessfully been trying to woo his daughter, Alenda, as he is after the Lanaklin lands. He has managed to intercept some of her private love letters to the rebel Degan Gault, and wants to use them as leverage with the father. In order to keep them safe he has locked then in his study in the crown tower, a gigantic tower with only one entrance, the only one who can open it being Archie.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

But when he goes to show the letters, they are MISSING! They have been stolen, along with the Marquis’ carriage. Who could have done this? Riyria.

idon'tgotthis

They return back to their pub and deliver the goods to Alenda, receiving their payments.

Today life is great

Today life is great

But just as one job is finished, there appears there is another who wishes their services.

StoryOfMyLifeSomeLikeItHotMarilynMonroe

Hadrian goes to meet with the man, Baron Delano DeWitt. He has a job that needs to be done tonight. Sadly, Baron DeWitt has committed the biggest mistake anyone in that region could, he looked upon the wife of the master swordsman, Colonel Pickering. Colonel Pickering will duel anyone who stares at his wife, and with his skill he is impossible to beat.

thisisheavybacktothefuture

His only weakness? His special rapier that he cannot fight without. Baron DeWitt has stolen the sword and hid it in the castle’s chapel and he wants Riyria to smuggle the sword out of the castle before they search and  find it.

suspicious Hmm

Now Riyria has a rule about accepting rush jobs, they don’t. But Hadrian isn’t really a thief, he has a warrior’s heart. He likes things to be fair or to fight for something “right”, justice, etc.

Batmanjustice

He has felt a little disheartened at stealing things for royals, then notifying the party they stole from to get payment to steal it back. This is a job that will mean something. Plus the pay is really good.

Hmmm....

Hmmm….

Royce was raised on the streets and has been a thief as far back as he can remember. He has no qualms about what they do, and because of what he has been through he is also extremely suspicious. He does not want to take this job, but Hadrian convinces him it is worth it as they will get 200 gold tenets.

That's a lot of money

That’s a lot of money

That night they sneak into the castle and into its chapel. They go to search for the sword but find the king, dead.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

As their minds grasp the situation, a dwarf starts screaming out that they killed the king. Guards swarm on them and they end up locked up in the dungeon.

Not good

Not good

Yes, someone murdered the king and framed them. But who? And why?

what what'shappeningSupernatural

Alric Essendon wakes from a tumble with a maid to discover he is the new King. He is furious over the death and prepares a horrible punishment as his revenge.

floral-bonnet-gifIWillEndYouFirefly

Alric is a little lost at what to do, but his Uncle Percy Braga is there to lend a hand and assist him. Meanwhile, Hadrian and Royce await their fate in the dungeon; Hadrian wishing he hadn’t tried to take the job and Royce wishing he had talked Hadrian out of it. To their surprise they receive a royal visit from princess Arista Essendon.

Whattheheck

Arista questions them, so Hardrian tells her the story, claiming they did not kill her father. And to their surprise, she believes them.

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

Arista is not like other women. Her father sent her to University and she studied the lost art of magic. She had been given a warning about the threat upon her father’s life but unfortunately didn’t heed it. Now she wants to hire the two to kidnap her brother.

SayWhat?BuffyVampireSlayernosense

Hadrian and Royce are surprised, but Arista explains that she thinks someone is after the Essendon line and wants to kill her brother as well. She wants them to smuggle him out of the castle and go to Gutaria Prison, the secret ecclesiastical jail. They they will meet the wizard, Esrahaddon, who will be able to guide her brother. They think it is odd, but faced with death, they take the job.

Let'sdothis

Arista has a complete plan in place. She will send two monks in to administer the last rites and have the two unchained to pray. They will knock the monks out, switch clothes and meet her in the kitchen where she will have Alric.

perfect plan

Everything goes off without a hitch as they head off to the prison to find Esrahaddon, the wizard. As they continue their quest they run into a monk with a photographic memory that survived a massacre; a hidden prison that not only is built into a rock wall but once you enter cannot leave; the great wizard Esrahaddon who has been alive for eons; and secret church and government plot to answer the legend of the god Novron’s son and unite all the kingdoms under one rule!

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Meanwhile, Arista tries to rule in her brother’s place but finds treachery very close to home. They try to brand her a witch and kill her.

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Will this ragtag group be able save the throne? Or will they be outwitted and destroyed by these agents of Novron.

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The book was so fantastic, that I won’t reveal the ending. You must read this book and rest in the series yourself. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

May

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to So You’re the Little Woman Who Wrote the Book that Made this Great War: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

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For more on The Riyria Revelations, go to Portrait of a Fangirl

For more magic and wizards, go to The Unknown Princess Nevermore

For more on Jane Smiley, go to Is This Really Just the Same?: Daring Chloe

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Speaking of magic, there is just a magic of Christmas that cannot be beat. It is just an amazing time of the year. That thought leads us to today’s Christmas Carol, Christmas Needs Love to be Christmas. It was written and recorded in 1993 for Andy Williams’ Christmas Album. It was released in 1994 and marked his first appearance on Billboard 200 album chart in 20 years. That’s magical.

I like this song because it reminds you what the heart of Christmas is, love.

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For more Andy Williams, go to When I Get Into a Novel

For more Christmas Carols, go to The Great Depths of the Ocean are Entirely Unknown to Us: Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

I Finally Read Moby-Dick

Day 12) L is for List: Choose a book from your to-read List

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Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

So reading lists. It feels like they will never end.

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And every time I read a book, it feels as if I add ten more.

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To help keep track of that, I have a Goodreads account and I try and work through it. But then I have another problem:

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Yes, so even though I have too many books that I own and haven’t read; and too many on my to-read list, I keep getting more.

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My shelves are stuffed:

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And I have boxes full of them everywhere:

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So I tried to figure out what book to review, and settled on Moby-Dick. 

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Moby-Dick or The Whale was published by Herman Melville in 1851. At the time it wasn’t received, and by the time of his death the book was out of print and hadn’t generated that much money.

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However, readers are fickle and in the 20th century, the book became so popular it was given the title of one of the Great American Novels. William Faulkner was known to have wished he was the one who wrote it and D. H. Lawrence called it “one of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world”, and “the greatest book of the sea ever written.”

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Wow

I had started The Great Illustrated Classic version when I was much younger, but never finished the book. I had to return it to the library and I’m not sure why I didn’t recheck it out, but I never read, or finished reading it, ever again.

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This book has been on my to-read list since I’ve joined Goodreads, and my friend even gave it to me for my sixteenth birthday, but I had still not read it. Leaving it buried under all the other to-read books.

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But this year I decided to read it!

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So what did I think after all this time?

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I didn’t like it.

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I know, I feel horrible for even uttering those words…

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But it is the truth.

It's how I feel.

It’s how I feel.

So let’s go over what the story is about, and then I will share why I didn’t like it.

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Plot Synopsis:

Ishmael signs up to a whaling ship, having to share his room with a Polynesian harpooner, Queequeg. At first Ishmael is afraid of him, but the two end up becoming extremely good friends.

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The ship they go on is the Pequod, which is led by Captain Ahab. Now Captain Ahab has lost his leg to a mighty white whale, Moby-Dick, and he is incensed with revenge, planning on finding him and killing him on their journeys.

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The ship sails, and while the crew hunt for the whales to bring back their blubber; Ishmael shares his philosophies of whaling, his idea of the British, the different whales they meet, etc. The novel ends in a bitter battle as Ahab finds his prey; but will he be able to destroy it or just himself?

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So Why Didn’t I Like It?

The biggest problem for me is that this novel is a little bit of everything and moves from topic to topic instead of being one concise story. I mean Ishmael’s thoughts seem to wander everywhere as he will switch from the adventure on the whale ship to his thoughts of religion, how the color white is evil, that the British snootily look down on the Americans but need them, etc. This random philosophizing I could definitely do without, especially as there is no segway but a real rattling on.

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Blah, blah

I mean I really enjoyed the adventures in whaling and anything with Captain Ahab, I thought he was a great character, but sadly there wasn’t more of him.

Why not?

Why not?

What also struck me was how hard Melville was trying to make a “great American novel.” We know people from England looked down at America at this time, and you can see how hard Melville is trying to prove that American writers are just on par as the British.

“But where this superioty in the English whalemen does really consist, it would be hard to say, seeing that the Yankees in one day, collectively, kill more whales than all the English, collectively, in ten years.”

Yeah, I don’t think he is just talking about whales, it seems there is a deeper meaning under there…

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So I didn’t really care for it, but at least I finally read it! Now I can cross it off my list and move onto the next item.

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to Someone is Killing By Copying Old Murders!: Real Murders

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For more Lemony Snicket quotes, go to I Think I Have Found a Means of Conveyance…An Elephant: Around the World in 80 Days

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Today I choose the Christmas Carol, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. It was written by Pastor Edmund Sears in 1849. At the time he was depressed and saddened by the war with Mexico and the strife that hung in the air. His friend, Pastor William Parsons Lunt, asked him to write a poem and this was what Sears came up with.

A year later, composer Richard Storrs Willis, wrote the music that the poem goes with.

I choose the version done by Celtic Woman as they are a fantastic group.

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For more Celtic Woman, go to You Will Be Haunted By Three Spirits: A Christmas Carol

For more Christmas Carols, go to Midnight in Austenland

Have You Seen Megan Hipwell?: The Girl On the Train (2016)

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Have you seen Megan Hipwell?

I first was introduced to the book this film is based on by Goodreads. Everywhere I looked they promoted the book and kept recommending it to me.

They were constantly attacking me trying to get me to read it. That kind of pressure actually made me not want to read it at all.

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But then I saw the film coming out and decided that I would like to read the book before seeing the film. I figured out who the murderer was, but thought the book was pretty well written.

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So before we start with the film review, let’s give a bit of background on the book. So the theme of the book is that you never really know a person, there is a lot more than meets the eye.

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So the book is told by three female narrators who are completely unreliable.

1) First we have Rachel Watson. Rachel is bitter, obsessed, and an alcoholic. We want to like her and believe in her, feeling for the wrongs that have been committed against her, but at the same time we can’t trust her. First of all Rachel is an alcoholic who continually blacks out when she gets drunk and never knows what actually happens. Besides that, Rachel admits that she has an overactive imagination so we never know what she does remember or see to really be what she says or whether it is made up in her head.

2) Secondly we have Anna Watson. Anna was a real estate agent by day, party girl by night. When she met Tom Watson, Rachel’s husband at the time, she wanted him; became the other woman; got pregnant and became the new wife. She dislikes Rachel and the disruption she brings as she continually plagues their life. As Anna is willing to do all she can to get rid of Rachel, can we actually believe what she says about her or is it just jealousy?

3) Last we have Megan HipwellMegan says right away that she is a liar and makes things up all the time, no one really knows who she is. Therefore, how can we trust a single sentence she utters? Her story is told in flashbacks, leading up to her disappearance and murder.

So I  decided to see the film, how did it hold up?

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Well………………………………………………………………………….

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I thought the film was pretty horrible. It didn’t capture the thrills of the book, the language and screenplay was horrid; and they just inserted sex everywhere! I was furious! WHO WROTE THIS? It sucked!

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So let’s count down what made this film so bad.

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1) Setting

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So they changed the location from England to New York and I thought that was a bad decision. First of all I’m tired of everything being New York, it is getting kind of boring. Besides that I thought England was a better choice as unlike America, Europe is so centered on trains. I also thought the weather and location added a certain suspense to everything.

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Plus the way the police interact and a lot of mannerisms; didn’t translate over as well to American. I mean there was Rachel’s obsession with her house that is very English, a type of Peril at End House that we have here, but not as strong.

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2) The Language

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The book was well written and crafted well in creating the story. The film, however, was not done well. I can’t believe the person who wrote this was paid any money, it was bad. Just F-bombs; no mystery, no suspense, nothing.

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3) Too Much Sex

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They trade out character development and actual plot to just show sex like every ten minutes. None of this was in the book, as it didn’t need that to be a good story. In fact the excessive sex just made the story weaker.

I mean when you watch the trailer they market it like 50 Shades of Gray. That was not what the book was about.

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4) Where was Anna?

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So the book is split between three narrators, the film did well with two but Anna had hardly any character development. In fact she was barely even in the film. Why would they do that? She was a big part of the story?

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5) Surprises Revealed Too Early

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So the book is a SUSPENSE. A THRILLER! You aren’t supposed to reveal things right away, they are supposed to be done slowly.

However, this film took all the thrills out early on. If you watch the trailer, the killer is revealed. They tell everything about Rachel’s reason for drinking, Megan’s secrets, etc.

It is like they wanted to do a drama instead of a thriller.

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6) Most of the Casting Choices were Horrible

So I disliked almost every actor they choose to play these characters. What were they thinking? Who was in charge of this? They should be fired.

Scott Hipwell

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In the book Scott was a wealthy IT consultant. He had a lot of money and could support the two of them, have a nice house in the country, and live off having to travel and work like once a week to twice a month. He was kind, handsome, charming, respectable, etc. You wanted to like him because Rachel did. Rachel believed in him and never thought of him being a killer or ever hurting his wife. He had to be someone you felt comfortable with, that way when Rachel realizes she has no idea who this guy really is, just who she imagines him to be, it takes on a real creepy tone.

In this, from the way he [Luke Evans] dresses and acts he seemed abusive and controlling. I never trusted him in the film as straight off the bat he acted and looked like someone who would hurt women. He never appeared trusting, kind, or gentle. He never appeared IT and their home looked barely lived in and worn. It just didn’t work and he didn’t work.

Tom Watson

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So in the book, Rachel describes Tom as being strong, powerful, and having the shoulders that seemed like they could carry all their weights and burdens. He is remarried, but at the same time the way he treats Rachel is almost like Cousin Ashley in Gone With the Wind, keeping her on a string.

In this film, I was surprised that they picked Justin Theroux. He was small and made me think of a weasel. I never thought he seemed comforting or a good husband; he looked like a liar and a cheat the whole time. I thought he was a bad choice, as like Luke Evans, he just couldn’t create a sincere or kind facade.

Anna Watson

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As said before, Anna was supposed to be party girl turned wife. In this she had no character development and the only bit we had was that she loved being a mom and thought it was the best thing any woman could do. We never heard about what she thought about their relationship, her hatred of Rachel, her needs, desires, etc.

Megan Hipwell

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I thought she was okay. They definitely played up the sexual angle, but didn’t focus on everything she went though to be who she was. All she was was a sex addict; not a grieving sister, former drug addict, bankrupt business owner, wife, friend, etc.Megan was much more complicated than just sex.

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The only thing I really liked was Emily Blunt as Rachel. She did extremely well in showing the emotional abuse and effects of alcohol. Good job, Emily!

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To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For the previous post, go to He’s Married to a Corpse. He Has A Corpse Bride!: Corpse Bride (2005)

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For more films on disappearances, go to What Have We Done to Each Other?: Gone Girl (2014)

For more Emily Blunt, go to Beast or Man: The Wolfman (2010)

For more films based on books, go to That Face-I’ve Seen Her Before…: Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1997)

Portrait of a Fangirl

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Yes our Life of a Fangirl posts are back!

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Sorry to have taken so long to finish these posts. It just seemed as if every time I tried to something came up, and then I had to stop for Horrorfest, the holidays came up, etc.

But here we are with another fandom post!

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Journey

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What can I say about this band other than the fact that they are AWESOME!!!!

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Their songs are amazing, the vocals fantastic, the music incredible, and the lyrics are just out of this world.

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I don’t know how they do it, but every song just connects to you as a listener.

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Every time I hear a song, I just get so excited and crank up the volume as I sing at the top of my lungs.

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If I had to choose my five favorite Journey songs, which is a practically impossible feat, I would choose…….

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Don’t Stop Believin’ (you all saw that one coming), Any Way You Want ItSeparate Ways Worlds Apart, Wheel in the Sky, and I’ll Be Alright Without You.

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For more on Journey, go to Any Way You Want It

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Michael J. Fox

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I just love Michael J. Fox. He is one of my all-time favorite actors.

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Oh yes, Michael J. Fox you can do no wrong with me. I love you and everything you have ever been in. Even when you wore horrible shirts in that film that made zero sense, High School U.S.A.; and the camp one, Poison Ivy.

Now you all know my favorite is Back to the Future, one of the best films ever and the best starring him.

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No one can beat the amazingnest he bring to the role of Marty McFly. It just wouldn’t be as cool without him.

And of course he isn’t a one hit wonder, I love everything else he has been in: Doc Hollywood, The Secret of My Success, Greedy, For Love or Money, Homeward Bound I & II,  The Frighteners, Atlantis, Teen Wolf, I could go on but should stop now.

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Besides his films he is an amazing writer. I’ve read all his  books and his style is so fresh and reads like a conversation. When you read his words he is so humble, caring, and completely honest. I enjoy his books as much as I love his films. I just love him.

For more on Michael J. Fox, go to The Future is NOW!: Happy Back to the Future Day

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The Riyria Revelations

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I was first introduced to this series on a giveaway on Goodreads. Like once a month I’ll go through and just enter to win free books. Often times, by the time they have picked a winner and are sending out the books, I’ve completely forgotten about it and am surprised to receive a package.

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One day I checked the mail and found a package for me. When I opened it up I saw that it was Theft of Swords the first volume in the Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan. I had totally forgotten ever entering any giveaway and was completely unsure as to what this book was.

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I looked it up on Goodreads and thought it sounded interesting so I decided to give it a read. I was unprepared for what I found.

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I LOVED IT!!!!! I started reading a few pages which quickly grew into the first book. I would have continued completing the second, but had homework.

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As I worked on it, all I could do was think about what was going to happen next. I quickly finished my work and went back to the book, reading long into the night.

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I finshed it, but then I needed the next book.

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Unfortunately I had to wait as my library didn’t have it, but a sister library did. It was agony! I just had to find out what happened and I needed to now!

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What made it even worse was that I knew NOBODY who liked it, making me suffer alone.

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Eventually the next book came in and was just as good as the first. I had to experience the same trauma waiting for the third volume, but it was worth it. Unfortunately, it was over too soon.

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I still kept it around as I didn’t want it to be over.

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So Volume 1: Theft of Swords contains the first two books.

Book 1: The Crown Conspiracy

Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melbourn are thieves for hire. Hadrian is tall, broad shouldered, and a skilled swordsman; being an ex-solider and mercenary. Royce is althletic and wiry, once belonging to a gang of thieves his skills are quietly stalking, safe-cracking, etc. The two were introduced and while orginally disagreeable with each other, they became great teammates and best friends. Hardian has a strong moral code and sense of justice, while Royce is cautious and more of a planner. The two balance each other well.

One day they are hired to steal a sword, and when they go to retrieve it; they find themselves as scapegoats for the the murder of the King! His son and now king, Alric, locks them up, soon to be hanged. Unbeknownst to him, his sister Arista, sorcerer in training, frees them and has them join her in her quest to free a long ago locked up wizard. They set out on the quest, along with ateempting to find out who really set them up and what was their ulterior motives.

Book 2: Avempartha

A young, innocent, farm girl, Thrace; travels to find Hadrian and Royce to get their help. In her hometown there is a monster attacking, the only thing that can stop it being a sword. As the two are caught up in the schemes of the freed wizard Esrahaddon; Royce finds himself trying to enter an Elven tower, while Hadrian tries to rally the town folk to stop the beast. Things become more complicated as it appears there is a contest to detsroy the beast; the victor being the fulfillment of an age old prophecy and ruler of the world.

The second volume contains books 3-4, Volume II: Rise of the Empire

Book 3: Nyphron Rising

The traumatized and completely shell shocked Thrace has been crowned the fulfiller of the prophecy. People are backing her, which causes King Alric and his sister Arista to go to War. Arista once again hires the thieves, who discover that the only way they can emerge victorious is to discover the truth of Hadrian’s past.

Book 4: The Emerald Storm

Hadrian has discovered the mission he was born for and sets out to discover the true heir of Novron. His quest takes him onto a ship, setting out to find Merrick Mauris. Even though Royce hates going on ships, he joins him on the quest, for their “final trip”. As they sail out, they discover much more about the people they know and what the ulterior plans are, more than they ever expected.

The third volume contains books 5-6, Volume III: The Heir of Novron

Book 5: Wintertide

The New Empire, with the puppet empress Thrace, has decided to hold a victory celebration. The prepare to execute Degan Gault, leader of the rebels; along with the Witch of Melengar, Arista. After the execution, they prepare to marry Thrace off and later kill her. Unfortunate for them, Hadrian and Royce have returned to save Arista and the true Heir, preparing help place him on the throne.

Book 6: Percepliquis

This is it, the end. The thieves have decided to head out to the ancient ruins of Percepliquis, in order to gain the tools needed for the true Heir and to restore them to the throne. They are accompanied by a mass of friends from their previous adventures. But what happens next is a shock to all; and when the true heir is revealed will these characters be able to survive what happens next and pick up their lives after their adventures?

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These books were just so amazing. Not only do you have such fantastic and incredible adventures, but two extremely hot, loyal, and awesome men.

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I highly recommend to it all. Check it out!

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Sabrina the Teenage Witch

I grew up reading the comic in the Archie Comics magazine. This grew to the animated TV show and then of course the live action TV show that I absolutely loved.

Sabrina Spellman is a sixteen-year-old half witch living with her witch aunts and their cat Salem, a warlock banished into animal form.

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Every episode lasted a half hour and involved Sabrina getting into some type of shenanigans because of her powers and later trying to solve them.

The show was great until she went to college. They lost the funny characters and she was too mature and grounded in her magic.

Besides the amazing comedy, this show had one of the best pairings.

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Harvey and Sabrina forever. Harvey was just a regular guy; football quarterback, car mechanic, etc. But when he got with Sabrina, he’d find himself caught up in the craziness of her magic. Being turned into a silent film mountie, having to save her from a troll, turned into a frog, etc.

Through it all he just rolled with it and was always there for Sabrina. Love them.

Most of the episodes are on Youtube, and all are on Amazon Instant Watch. You should definitely give it a look.

For more on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, go to A River of Candy Corn Runs Through It: Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1997)

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LifeasaFangirl

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For the previous post, go to It’s A Fan World After All

And Stay tuned for part 18

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For more book-filled posts, go to Folio Fatigue