Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Book Look #3 Quintana of Charyn

Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta is the third and final installment in The Lumatere Chronicles.

I have to say after reading Froi of the Exiles, this was one of the books that I was highly anticipating the release of, and was really excited to read.

For those that do not know, The Lumatere Chronicles is a fantasy series based on the struggles, journeys and lives of the remaining Lumaterean royal family, those close and dear to them as well as dealings with neighboring nations.

Despite being marketed towards a younger audience, (you generally find this series in the teen section of your local book store), by no means does this mean the series is a quick and easy read. (Particularly the last two books.) The story is complex with a detailed and richly meticulous writing style to match. The surrounding environment, kingdoms, cultures, characters even religions have been carefully planned and executed. It is quite apparent that a lot of time and thought has gone into every little detail, thought and concept that is present in the books.

Being the final book, (in the series so far), Quitana of Charyn has definately been about tying up all of the loose ends from the Froi story arc and in fact it does this quite well. The ending was ever so slightly predictable, or at least you were hoping for it to end the way it did, even so it made for a very satisfying end to a very heavy and meaty series.

I personally enjoyed the series very, very much, however this is not one for everyone. The story is complex, so you need to be patient, it can also be quite graphic, harsh and not very upbeat AKA the comedic elements are on the lesser end of the scale. Although due to the complexity of the plot and the mature nature of the series I really think that a lot of adults can enjoy this series
, or at least the ones' that like fantasy and the politics and cultures of different kingdoms. 

The series itself contains sex scenes, references to rape (the scenes are not detailed or graphic however they are there), violence and expletives. While the concentration of these varies in each book I've included them all since I think you really need to at least read Froi of the Exiles (the second installation in the series) in order to fully enjoy Quintana, and Froi has the highest concentration of all those things out of the whole series. I know all this sounds like very heavy stuff but it is written in such a way that I don't think younger readers will really be able to understand what is actually happening unless they stop and think about it really, really hard....and then there are other parts in which it's quite clear what events are taking place however the author does focus more on the characters emotions rather than the details of the events.

If this sounds like something you would like definately give this series a go. You don't need to read the the first book - Finnikin of the Rock, in order to enjoy Froi and Quintana, however if you do you will have more of a back story to go on.

I know that the author has entertained the idea that she may be open to delving into the back stories of some of the minor characters of the series sometime in the future...But I'd say that until Marchetta says it's actually happening this series is complete.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the box below!

You can find out more about the author Melina Marchetta HERE!!!

Maisy xxx

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Be Back Soon...

I have writers constipation at the moment. 

The Illusionist - Montage from Roughhouse Animation on Vimeo.

It's not writers block because I have tonnes of things which I want to write about and topics for posts planned I just can't get the words out of my head, therefore I shall call it writers constipation!

I've been sitting out here for about 3 hours trying to get the juices going for an update on the last two weeks but I guess when there's no flow....erm... there's no flow!

I've decided that the best thing to do right now is just go away and come back another day when I don't feel so congested. Sigh... I can foresee irony in my future, I have a big exam this week and will probably start to feel really bloggy right before my exam, when I should be studying. Hehehe. 
I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens.
I can promise that there will be a Book Look this Wednesday though, I've scheduled it and everything so that'll definately be happening.

In the meantime I thought I would leave you with snippets of one of my favourite animated films called L'Illusioniste (The Illusionist). The first one is a small montage and the second one is a tongue-in-cheek scene from the film about the Brittish boy band that makes appearences throughout the film.

I've also included a short film made by Toniko Patoja in his first year of studies, called "Serenade to Miette". It may seem a little rough but I think it's nice to be able to see the animation in it's infant stages. It makes for a good reminder of how much time, effort, labour and love goes into a few minutes.


L'Illusioniste - Britoons from Roughhouse Animation on Vimeo.

Serenade to Miette from Toniko Pantoja on Vimeo.

If you would like to see more of Toniko Pantoja's  work you can  Click Here!!!

If you would like to learn more about L'Illusionniste   you can  Click Here!!!

Or you can purchase it on iTunes Here!!!

Once again Enjoy!

Maisy xxx

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Book Look #2 Corner of White

First of all I have to say that Jaclyn Moriarty is one of my all time favourite authors! I was introduced to her works by a dear friend of mine, (who actually happens to be a family friend of the Moriarty clan according to my memory), when I was in my early High School years. This special friend sent me a copy of "Finding Cassie Crazy" (also known as The Year of Secret Assignments) and may have mentioned "Feeling Sorry for Celia" in one of her letters. Now that I think about it I can't remember which one I actually read first... Hmmn... Anyway back to the author.

The target audience of Jaclyn's books are teens and young adults although I must say that I do think adults will enjoy these books too! (With the exception of "I Have a Bed Made of Buttermilk Pancakes" the only adult novel Moriarty has published to far as I am aware. It's a got a great plot and twist but really is for adults, not one to read to the kids before bed.) 

Moriarty has a rather clever and unique writing style in that her stories on a general whole are narrated by random post-its, notifications, diary entries, letters, memoirs and emails in some cases court hearings; which sometimes seem to almost be thrown at the reader all at once. Often all of the information and notes seem somewhat jumbled, random and disconnected and it is only as the reader progresses through the story that these become threads of clues which twist and turn and tie up neatly at the end to make for very very satisfying reading. Moriarty has made a fine art of making the small and seemingly insignificant details become crucial elements to the direction of the plot, often resulting in pleasantly  unexpected plot twists and surprises.

Moriartys' writing contains a fresh and modern out look on the world and if there is one thing she knows well it is the minds and teen spirit of young people and to quote one of her characters: 

"...the joy of the envelope..." Mr Botherit - Finding Cassie Crazy 2003

I can guarantee that you will find AT LEAST one letter formatted piece of writing in all of her written works.

With all of this information in tow, as well as being familiar with Moriarty's writing style I must say I was a little bit skeptical when I heard of the concept that Moriarty had planned for her next novel. This being a magical fantasy concept to be set in a magical kingdom called Cello forming a trilogy series. The first in the series being "A Corner of White". I personally was not sure what the writing style was going to be like and whether it really would suit a magical fantasy type novel. 
The result?

I  L O V E  L O V E  L O V E D  this  B O O K !!!

It's a fresh and modern telling of when two different worlds collide and contains a concoction of magic, science, sensibility, heart, culture, soul, the imaginary, the make believe and the human condition. 
Like most of her novels the loose ends all come together to tie up neatly at the end however in the case of this book the ends only tie up to make the first stage of a bow. It is just enough to leave the reader with a feeling of satisfaction but also leaves the reader with questions and an appetite to be satiated with the (in my case highly anticipated) next installment of the series.

The writing style compared to her previous novels has a bit more narrative compared to the short snippets of notes or letters, however I think it is necessary and well suited for the genre. The story has elements of romance, adventure, action, mystery and intrigue. So far the first part of this trilogy has been light on the romance and magical elements, (so if you're not a fan of that please don't let it deter you from a great read, and if you do like that you'll still like this book), focusing more on character growth and plot. (Which in my opinion is absolutely fine, whether or not the author will choose to delve deeper into these themes in the later books is unknown.) I should also make note that it is a little bit fact heavy, so just be prepared for that. The first book makes for a lovely coming of age story with potential for more growth to be seen in the future.

I would recommend this book to just about anybody. As far as mature themes go...hmmmn... The main protagonists in the story are 15 year old teenagers, so of course there is the odd sexual reference (NO sex scenes) and themes to do with parental relationships and alcoholic fathers. There's no explicit language written, if a character does use that sort of language it will just say So-and-So swore etc. I think this novel would be appropriate for those 13 years and older. :)

Like always I would love to get to know my blog visitors so please leave a comment down below!
If you would like to see what Jaclyn Moriarty is up to you can check out her official page HERE!
And if you would like to you can ORDER and BUY the book HERE!!!

Maisy xxx

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Guess What? I've moved!!!

So I may have made a promise that I couldn't keep in my last post, I'm sorry! I'll try to refrain from promising stuff like that in the future and if I actually carry it through then it'll be a nice surprise. Right are we good now?

This will be a little bit of an update I suppose. If you read the title you will know that I have recently moved! I've moved to the city, (some would say the 'Big Smoke'), temporarily. Although my new place is absolutely lovely and I would love to stay, I'm really just here to help a friend out for about three months whilst she is gallivanting around in foreign places overseas. So I'm looking after her room and things and paying her rent etc. while she is away.

I'm loving the style of her room. Just about everything is white and the room has tonnes of natural light during the day so everything is really bright, which is a huge contrast to my old room where I'm just living for that golden haze in the afternoon. (My house is extremely dark, even during the day.) My family had a joke that it's like involuntary light therapy. Mr Sun: "You're going to light therapy whether you want it or not!"

I'm also back at University. We have just ended the second week of semester. I'm not sure how I'm going to go with these subjects but hopefully I'll be able to pass. Fingers crossed. If I am able to perform well this semester then I'll be able to graduate and finally get out of this never ending degree!

I wasn't able to get the financial aid that I was expecting to so I'm currently looking for part-time work or some sort of sponsorship for living, (seriously if there is a billionaire out there who's feeling charitable I won't say no to a rich benefactor). Although I feel I should note that I was actually still planning on looking for work even if I was to receive financial aid, after all things like that aren't designed to be a permanent source of income. It's definately made things harder and more of a struggle than I really think is necessary at this point and time of my life but it happens. I'm pretty sure you can expect a post about being poor or looking for work some time in the future.

On a more positive note, I really do feel like being here in this nice, clean and new environment has been a blessing and something that I really needed. It's like before I was trapped in a dark closed box and now I've been released...kinda... It's like things are a little more clearer now and my brain is less foggy, messy but less foggy.

On that note I shall leave this post for today and wish you all positive experiences throughout your day today!

Maisy xxx