To celebrate Julie Kagawa’s new YA release, the action-packed, fun-filled, Asian fantasy, Shadow of the Fox, I have a guest post today from the lovely lady herself!
Today, and on theme with Shadow of the Fox, I’ve asked Julie to chat with us about her favourite creatures from Asian folklore.
Personally, this is an area that fascinates me. I love fantasy and fairytale creatures with all my heart, but I especially like learning about new creatures or different cultural interpretations of famous creatures.
I don’t know much about Asian folklore, but I am desperate to explore it more because these tales are so filled with wonder, magic and fascination! I’m also making an active attempt to read more diverse fantasy reads based in different countries because I want to support Own Voice authors. So Bring. It On!
Julie, welcome to Blogs of a Bookaholic, it’s an absolute pleasure to spotlight you here today!
Shadow of the Fox was my first Julie Kagawa book, and it did not disappoint.
With a blurb full of things like DRAGONS, and SCROLLS and MISCHIEF, where could it go wrong, really?!? This diverse read takes place in a beautiful Japanese setting which is utterly immersive, beautiful and unique.
Thank you to HQ young adult for giving me the opportunity to review a copy!
A single wish will spark a new dawn.
Every millennium, one age ends and another age dawns…and whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers holds the power to call the great Kami Dragon from the sea and ask for any one wish. The time is near and the missing pieces of the scroll will be sought throughout the land of Iwagoto.
The holder of the first piece is a humble, unknown peasant girl with a dangerous secret. Demons have burned the temple Yumeko was raised in to the ground, killing everyone within, including the master who trained her to both use and hide her kitsune powers. Yumeko escapes with the temple’s greatest treasure – one part of the ancient scroll. Fate thrusts her into the path of a mysterious samurai, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan. Yumeko knows he seeks what she has and is under orders to kill anything and anyone who stands between him and the scroll. Continue reading
Oh man. The disappointment of this book. I can’t even handle it.
The thing is, I thought this was a slam dunk for me because:
a) GORGEOUS COVER. Doesn’t it just make you want to pick it up and stroke it immediately?
b) I love stories about witches, curses and forbidden spellbooks and I rarely find a book focussing on these things that I dislike.
c) The author’s debut book was SUPER POPULAR and highly praised.
Um, well I hate to be the one to burst everyone’s pumkin, but while The Price Guide to the Occult may look cute on the outside, it’s kinda rotten, smooshed and disorganised on the inside.
Not only was this my first 1-star read of the year, but it’s also the first ARC I’ve ever disliked. So while I’m thankful to the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review, I am unfortunately unable to say much that’s positive about this novel. However, I am going to do my best to both outline the issues I have with it, and also highlight some reasons why you might get on better with it than I did!
*TRIGGER WARNING: This book contains self-harm and child abuse and I will be discussing it.*
So, what’s it all about?
The wind is howling, leaves are turning that gorgeous shade of orange as they float down to the frosted ground, and your coat and tartan scarf have been taken out of the wardrobe and dusted off. We all know what this means, it’s autumn.
I had so much fun collating my top 7 Books on my summer TBR pile a couple of months ago and I was surprised by how well my reading went. I have always been a mood reader and I was unsure how I would get on with a list, (in fact, I thought I’d end up going totally off-script and not read anything I expected to) but I READ ALL THE THINGS GUYS, AND IT WAS SO SATISFYING. I really enjoyed changing up how I picked my reads, so I thought I would give it a go for Autumn too! As noted previously, my reading tastes definitely change with the seasons, so you’ll find a lot of fantasy novels on this list!
So without further ado, here are 6 books I’d like to get to this Autumn (AKA, the books I’m getting crazy grabby hands for!)
Overall Impression: A unique and powerful book unlike any other I have read. It’s raw, emotional and haunting.
A Monster Calls is a book that has received multiple awards. It’s one of those that is praised everywhere and I have yet to read a single negative review of it. This initially made me petrified to pick it up because I was worried it couldn’t possibly live up to my preconceived expectations. But it turns out I didn’t need to worry because this book was phenomenal.
I was told it was dark.
I was told there would be a sad young boy.
I was told there would be tears.
But none of this prepared me for the sledgehammer of emotions I was hit with as I made my way through its gorgeous illustrated pages.
The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.
But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…
This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.
It wants the truth.
I want to preface this review by saying that I feel like it’s impossible I will be able to do this book justice, so much of the magic in this story lies in reading it, experiencing and uncovering its truths for yourself. But, as always, I will do my best (and waffle on for far too long)!
“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.’
– G.K. Chesterton
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I adore this quote! The dragon imagery is probably quite a big factor in that…but the thought behind it is brilliant as well. I find it so interesting when I look back on all of the books I’ve read and what I’ve learnt from them. Sometimes you don’t even realise it’s happening until you look back years later, but there are characters that have taught me courage, Continue reading
You can never get a cup of tea large enough, or a book long enough to suit me – C.S. Lewis
Hear hear C.S. Lewis! I am the kind of person who isn’t afraid of long books, as far as I am concerned, the longer the book means the longer the fun! That is, as long as there is a legitimate reason for it being long rather than using filler to bulk it out. Long classics I will admit, are more intimidating. Something about the idea of committing to such a long novel that will take hard work and concentration to get through can be a little scary. However, for the most part I am one of those people that revels in the challenge. I want to read that long classic on the shelf to prove that I can, that I have the willpower and maturity to tackle it! And hopefully, along the way I will really enjoy reading it….if I don’t, well, it’s a long painful slog to the end. 😛 Continue reading