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Break the Tropes: Fantasy Edition

Back in April, I did a more general Break the Tropes post. This time around, I wanted to focus more on tropes that are found more in fantasy novels. Feel free to comment what you’d add to the list!

  • Instead of the Legendary Artifact being found safe and sound, have it be a dud.
  • You know that magical sword that will cleave through the darkness? Have it break on the first swing.
  • Have the wise old wizard be a laid-back young necromancer.
  • Heck, instead of having the necromancer be an intimidating character shrouded in darkness and death, have them use their powers to bring back to life their old pets.
  • Seriously, have the “Cat Lady” of the story be the “Cat Necromancer.”
  • Mistake who is actually the Long Lost Heir to the Throne.
  • Make the Chosen One actually be the antagonist of the story.
  • Make the elves buff instead of lean and limber. If they’re still in their natural forest habitat wielding bows, they should be some of the most muscular characters in the book. Climbing trees and using bows takes much more strength than swinging around a sword!
  • Imagine underground elves.
  • Imagine forest-dwelling or even seafaring dwarves. Get the bearded guys out of their caves and mines to see how they react.
  • Have the kingdom of the Dark Lord or Bad Guy be the place with the happiest citizens or the area of the land that gets the most sunlight.
  • Instead of having mages use elemental magic compatible with their personalities, give them magic that goes against their nature. Have the calmest mage use Fire abilities, making it difficult to stir up enough passion to start a flame, or the energetic Earth mage having a hard time settling down enough to persuade a plant to grow.
  • Those stories about characters being the Descendant One of a powerful, magical being that lived eons ago? Yeah, genetically speaking, there’s probably a good couple of dozen Descendant Ones now.
  • Let a princess rescue the prince.
  • Let a princess rescue the princess.
  • Or a prince rescue a prince.
  • Have the dragon rescue whoever is trapped in the tower.
  • Have the dragon be whoever was supposedly trapped in the tower after learning magic from the witch that had trapped them in the first place.
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Posted by on August 7, 2017 in Home

 

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Book to Movie Wish List

Alright, so the most if not all readers claim that the book is always better than the movie. However, there’s just something magical about seeing your favorite characters come to life on the big screen, about seeing the settings, hearing the lines, experiencing the story in an entirely new medium (if the movie is done well, of course).

Down below are a few books that I totally wouldn’t mind sitting in a dark theater for a few good hours to watch them on the big screen:

51gfkfjupcl-_sx322_bo1204203200_The Night Circus

Is anyone surprised to see this on the list? With the special effects capabilities that we have nowadays, I would love to see the magic from this special circus light up the movie theaters. The timeline that’s portrayed in the book may be a little tricky to keep up with, especially if one hasn’t read the book, but I’m certain the past and future parts of the story can be pulled off somehow.

23437156Six of Crows

A story with unique magic thrown into a wild adventure with a diverse bunch of young adults… Sign me up. The impossible risks these characters take in order to achieve their goals just for the chance at better lives had kept me hooked until I turned the very last page. With the right cast and director, this book may be a fantastic adventure movie.

20727654The Paper Magician

This was one of the most recent books I read, and I enjoyed the story and characters. The different types of magic were whimsical and interesting, considering they initially didn’t seem to be strong enough to help the protagonist achieve her goals in saving her mentor. It’s the type of imaginative fantasy that will bring in anyone who wants to go on an adventure amid dreams, hopes, and even doubts that need to be overcome.

41cx8my2unl-_sx324_bo1204203200_Fahrenheit 451

This book was one of the better books on my summer reading list way back when I was still in school. Dealing with censorship and the need to protect free speech, thought, and imagination, it’s an important book dealing with an important and tough subject. It’d be strikingly visual with the burning scenes and could be an emotional roller coaster for those who like to bring tissues to the movie theaters. (Edit: Apparently this was already made into a movie! Thanks Jen!)

51y2zuflwwl-_sx346_bo1204203200_Tuesdays with Morrie

This movie would definitely be a tearjerker. A memoir for a beloved teacher that taught about life as he struggled with his terminal illness, this movie would have all the gorgeous string music to accompany the narrator’s memories of his teacher while the audience cries. It would be a thought-provoking story with the accompanying visuals to really hammer the lessons in the minds of the viewers.

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2017 in Home

 

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Review: The Paper Magician

“Perhaps the man wasn’t so mad after all. Or maybe it’s a madness [she] can learn to appreciate.” — Charlie N. Holmberg, The Paper Magician

“The Paper Magician” Review

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This post may contain spoilers.

 

I picked up The Paper Magician because it was on some list that I found somewhere on the Internet that suggested other books that people might like if they enjoyed Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. Charlie Holmberg has created a unique set of magical rules, wherein a magician is bond to only one manmade material, such as rubber, glass, or paper.

The novel opens up with the main character, Ceony Twill, arriving at the house of the magician she will apprentice under, Emery Thane. Thane is one of the few Paper Magicians in the area, as paper isn’t the most popular materials to spell. Ceony herself would have preferred to be bond to metal, to enchant cannons and bullets instead of scrapbook material.

Yet, as Ceony is apprenticed under the eccentric Magician Thane, she learns the intricate art and wonder of spelling paper as well as Excisioner, the forbidden magic of spelling human flesh. When an Excisioner storms into Thane’s and Ceony’s home to snatch Thane’s heart, it is Ceony who embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue the magician’s heart. She not only learns but experiences her teacher’s hopes, dreams, and darkest memories and doubts that created Thane’s spirit during this quest, all while trying to avoid becoming the Excisioner’s next victim.

I definitely enjoyed the unique magic system in this book. Being a reader and a writer, I appreciated the new magic that paper can bring the world. The descriptions of the special Folds that the papers need in order for the spells — animated, defense, attacking — to be completed were wonderful, as were the general setting descriptions. The narration succeeded in bringing the reader along with Ceony on her journey, and it kept me turning page after page.

That, and Thane had a skeleton butler named Jonto made out of paper and he had even created a paper dog for Ceony. Those little touches were adorable.

I wasn’t a fan of the main antagonist of the book, however. The Excisioner twist was definitely interesting in itself, but the battle between her and Ceony seemed to be more like two women fighting over the love of a man. The reason behind the fight reminded me of a couple of catty high schoolers, even if the settings and the fight itself was entertaining. The motive for the fight did not keep me invested.

Nevertheless, I did enjoy the book enough to consider getting the sequel the next time I’m willing to lighten my wallet at the bookstore. If you enjoy magic, historical pieces, and eccentric characters, you may enjoy Holmberg’s The Paper Magician.

“The Paper Magician” gets a 4 out of 5 stars.

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2017 in Book Reviews

 

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Review: Six of Crows

“None of us move on without a backward look. We move on always carrying with us those we have lost.” — Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

“Six of Crows” Review

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This post may contain spoilers.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is a book that has enormous hype around it. Due to all of the wonderful praise I had been hearing about it, I picked it up during one of my Barnes and Noble shopping sprees. It hung out on my bookshelf for quite a while before I picked it up during the blizzard my area had yesterday.

I finished this 450+ book in a day.

I could barely put the book down! Despite the fact that I was initially confused at the magic system the author had incorporated, seeing as I hadn’t read the previous trilogy by her, this book was fantastic. I was able to figure out and keep up with the lore, even though I was new to the author’s world (as I’m presuming that I would have had more background information if I had read the previous trilogy).

The story, after the first few chapters, was fast-paced and action-packed. The plans and trickery were well-written in their adventure, and you could never tell if everyone was going to make it out alive from the dangerous heist they had been contracted to pull off. Trying to kidnap a scientist that had created a powerful drug for the world’s magic-users from the most notorious prison in the world was something only those who had nothing left to lose would try to do, yet there they went.

Each character was distinct and the diversity surrounding their cultures was fascinating. Despite their differences, they didn’t kill each other (although it wasn’t for lack of trying on some of their parts) as they raced through their mission. The dreams and friendships kept them all hanging on to an impossible hope that they would live through the job and have better lives in the end.

There were women friendships! There were men and women friendships that didn’t end in romance! There was sexuality diversity! There was no instant romance — rather, you saw and experienced the characters falling in love amid the chaos of the mission, and it was all beautifully written.

My only obvious grievous with this book is that I obviously have to go out and get the sequel now. If you enjoy magic, dangerous odds, and snarky but lovable characters, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy Six of Crows!

“Six of Crows” gets a 5 out of 5 stars.

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2017 in Book Reviews

 

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Circuses and Carnivals

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Circuses and Carnivals…

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Pantomime by Laura Lam

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2017 in Home

 

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Marathoning

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This past Saturday into Sunday morning, Rachel and I went over to a friend’s house and marathoned all eight of the Harry Potter movies.

It was marvelous!

We had done this before last summer, except we started the movies later in the evening and ended up sleeping through most of them. This time we were better prepared, starting early in the morning with some coffee and doughnuts. We spent part of the movies with our coloring books (mine was actually a Harry Potter one) and playing Harry Potter Clue, aside from eating.

Rachel and I actually stayed awake throughout the 19-ish hours it took to watch every movie (our friend took a couple of naps), and we ended up making our way back home about quarter to four in the morning.

While it was odd not to work on writing or anything blog-related throughout Saturday, it was nice to have that downtime. We compared the movies to the books multiple times, and it was great reminiscing about and discussing the magic and the feelings we have for the series, from favorite parts and characters to aspects we’d tweak and make a bit different.

Despite how long it’s been since this series has been first written, it still captures our hearts and imaginations, welcoming us home.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2017 in Home

 

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Yet More Books

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… Rachel and I bought more books.

I don’t remember every buying this many books in a month before! I mean, yes, we did have a few gift cards (mainly Rachel) from Christmas and I had gotten a free gift card due to using my Barnes and Noble credit card often enough, but I’m sure it’s because of Rachel and me that Barnes and Noble stayed in business this month.

Anyways, the three books that I bought this past weekend all have to do with magic and have very pretty covers!

(I wholeheartedly agree with the “don’t judge a book by its cover” in regards to people, but let’s be real, everyone judges books on their covers.)

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard is about those with magic that differs from the norm. These magics differ from person to person, such as someone who is able to tell truth from lies is called a Truthwitch. Caraval is by Stephanie Garber and is about a dangerous carnaval game. It reminded me of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, prompting me to pick it up. The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser is about one who has the power to “jump” into a story and interact with its world. Be honest, how many of us have always wanted this ability?

Has anyone else read these books or have some other new books they want to share?

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2017 in Home

 

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