Streak of White Hair in Fantasy

Hello Fiction Lovers!

So I just saw this post: A Streak of White Hair: Fantasy or Reality? over on another blog called Thoughts on Fantasy and I wanted to share it with you. The post talks about how likely it would be for the streak of white hair that’s so common in fantasy to actually occur in real life, and what some of the causes might be. It was really interesting to read. I would recommend that you read it as well, because it shows how something small in a story can have an interesting history behind it.

Please let me know if you have any questions and I hope you all have a good week!

Book Recommendation: Steal the Stars

Hello Fiction Lovers!

This week I thought it would be interesting to tell you about an audio book that I just finished listening to recently: Steal the Stars. This book is different from books I would normally pick up because it’s sci-fi and includes aliens. I like sci-fi books, but I’m much more likely to read a fantasy book. However, I’m very glad that I decided to give Steal the Stars a try because it was a wonderful, well-written story and it had an ending that I wasn’t expecting, but also felt much more satisfying than the ending I expected. The reason I decided to give it a try was that along with including an alien and a crashed UFO it also includes forbidden love and a heist–both of which are plots that I love to read about.

It was also interesting to listen to, because instead of the standard one or two readers you normally would get for an audio book, they used a whole cast. It was really more of an audio play than an audio book, and they did a good job of making it more immersive by using some sound effects and playing with distance. If a character was supposed to be across the room they really did sound farther away (but the difference was never enough that you had to mess with the volume a lot, if that’s something that annoys you). Another thing to mention is that even though there is a full cast of characters with different voices you won’t have trouble remembering who is who. All the actors did a good job making their character distinctive. There is also an actual book, I believe, that you can buy and read, but I haven’t read it so I’m not sure how it compares to the audio book.

All in all, I would definitely recommend that you listen to/read Steal the Stars even if it has an element that you normally wouldn’t be interested in. You can find it on Audible and Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and please let me know if you have any questions! Also if you have listened to/read Steal the Stars feel free to post your thoughts in the comments, but please no spoilers.

The Clues to a Great Story

Hello Fiction Lovers!

So I’ve been watching TED talks recently and this week I thought I’d share one with you that I thought made some good points. The speaker of the TED talk is Andrew Stanton and he talks about the clues to a great story. He doesn’t specifically talk about writing but a lot of what he says can be related back to it. I hope you like it and let me know what you think in the comments!

Here’s the link: https://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_stanton_the_clues_to_a_great_story?referrer=playlist-how_to_tell_a_story

Reading Recommendation

Hello Fiction Lovers!

Today I thought I’d recommend a book I reread recently: Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce. This book has been one of  my favorites for a long time and every once in a while I’ll take the time to read it–and its sequel–again. Doing so is always worth it.

Trickster’s Choice is about a young woman, Aly, who wants to become a spy in the field but her parents won’t allow it because of how dangerous that work is. However, Aly ends up getting captured by pirates and sold into slavery. From there she is recruited by a god and must use her wits and the spy skills she was taught from a young age to protect a family and help a rebellion.

The book has a good romance that isn’t rushed, interesting magical creatures, complex characters, and is paced well. I enjoyed it when I discovered it in middle school and I still enjoy it now in college so I believe that it can appeal to a wide range of ages. You don’t have to read Tamora Pierce’s other books to understand Trickster’s Choice or its sequel, but doing so can give you a greater appreciation and understanding of Aly’s parents and the family’s connection to several other characters that get mentioned. Her other books are also enjoyable to read as well, and if you like Trickster’s Choice I would highly recommend that you read them if you haven’t done so already. If you have then I would recommend that you read them again for pleasure’s sake.

If you’ve read Trickster’s Choice feel free to post your thoughts on it down in the comments (but no spoilers please). Also please let me know if you have any questions and I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Writing Resource Recommendation

Hello Fiction Lovers!

This week I thought I’d talk about a writing resource that has been really helpful to me: Writing Excuses. Writing excuses is a podcast that has 12 seasons so far that covers everything you could ever want to know about writing a book. It’s hosted by Brandon Sanderson, Howard Taylor, Dan Wells, and Mary Robinette Kowal and they cover everything from POV to world building to characterization to publishing. It’s also interesting because each of the hosts–as well as the guest speakers they sometimes have–write in different genres so you can get perspectives that you wouldn’t normally hear. They try to keep each episode around 15 minutes which makes it easier to have time to listen to it and they give a writing prompt at the end of every episode. They will also promote a book every week. I’ve found some really good books through those recommendations so I would encourage you to make a list of the ones that sound interesting to you and read them when you have time.

Here’s the link to the Writing Excuses website: http://www.writingexcuses.com/start-here/

I hope that you all give Writing Excuses a try or let me know if you already listen to it and what your favorite episode is so far. Please let me know if you have any questions and have a good week!

Game Recommendation

Hello Fiction Lovers!

Today I thought I’d recommend a game that I enjoy playing. It’s called Dragonwood: A Game of Dice & Daring. The goal of the game is to attack monsters and defeat them to earn points. The person that has the most points once both dragons are defeated or once the Adventurer deck is gone through twice wins the game. There’s also enchantments you can use to defeat the monsters. It’s a simple, fun game that can be played through pretty quickly. The longest game that I played took around 40 minutes, I think, and most got done quicker than that. The game can be played with 2-4 people and is recommended for ages 8+. It’s definitely more fun to play with 3-4 people, though. The designs on the cards are colorful and cute and the dice are a pretty red. It’s important to note though that the dice only go up to 4, so you can’t use a normal dice to replace one if you lose one.

The game is easy to learn and I’ve had older people, fellow college students, and younger cousins have fun playing it. Here’s the official description, if you’re interested:

Dare to enter Dragonwood! Deep in the heart of this mythical forest lurk angry ogres, giggling goblins, and even the famed and fearsome fire-breathers themselves! Collect sets of adventurer cards to earn dice, which you will use to roll against your foes. Stomp on some fire ants, shriek at a grumpy troll, or strike the menacing orange dragon with a magical silver sword. Choose your strategy carefully because the landscape of Dragonwood is ever-changing. Only the bravest will overcome the odds to emerge victorious!

Thanks for reading and I hope you have fun playing this game! Let me know if you have any questions and feel free to recommend any fantasy games you like to play in the comments.

“The Way of Kings” Book Soundtrack

Hello Fiction Lovers!

I just read this article on Fantasy Faction and I thought I’d share it with you: http://fantasy-faction.com/2017/the-kaladin-book-soundtrack-based-on-the-way-of-kings-by-brandon-sanderson-call-to-action. I’m sure many of you have heard of The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson and I thought you might want to support the kick starter to create this soundtrack based on the book. There are only three days left to become a backer and it’s all or nothing depending on if they get their funding. If you can’t become a backer I would still strongly urge you to share the project with others so more people know about this really cool project. The Fantasy Faction article is about how the project came to be and was truly inspirational.

I hope you all have a fun weekend! Please let me know if you have any questions and feel free to post your thoughts in the comments.

Book Recommendation

Hello Fiction Lovers!

This weekend I was organizing all the books I bought over the years–which made me realize all the books I still want to get in print–and came across some my old favorites. Now I’m planning on revisiting all of the interesting characters and stories they contain over the next few months. I thought I’d share what they are with you as well in case you were looking for something good to read.

The first recommendation is Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series that gives the foundation for many of her other books. It’s about a girl, Alanna, who wants to be knight and has to pretend to be a boy to achieve that goal. I liked watching her grow up as well as the magic and battles that take place throughout the series. Pierce is very good at writing heroines and I would also recommend the other series she’s written.

The next recommendation goes to Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold. It’s the first in a lovely quartet composed of romance, danger, unique magic and monsters, and realistic characters. I believe it’s one of the more distinctive fantasy series I’ve read, in that it did have it’s own distinctive monsters and magic that tied in well together and made sense for the world. It doesn’t rely on preconceived expectations but draws the reader in under it’s own power. It is also one of the best fantasy romances I’ve read to date.

The third recommendation is Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. He also creates a unique world where heroes are reborn as gods and magic is governed by color and Breath. The story involves a reluctant marriage, fear of war, living gods, and a sentient blade. Truth be told, the cover was the thing that first drew me to the book and what really made me want to read it. The cover’s simple but beautiful, and depicts the reluctant bride (so if you’re like me, you can picture her as more than a vague impression hair, hands, and body outline).

Those are the main books I really want to re-read now and I hope you’ll enjoy them as well. Feel free to post in the comments books you would like to re-read and let me know if you have any questions! I hope you have a good week!