In accordance with the FTC, I would like to disclose that I purchased this book. The opinions expressed are mine alone and n(From my blog: Quill Café)
In accordance with the FTC, I would like to disclose that I purchased this book. The opinions expressed are mine alone and no monetary compensation was offered to me by the author or publisher. I did not write this review while under the influence of the Imperius Curse, or the threat of either the Cruciatus Curse or Killing Curse.
This morning I walked into the same building where I purchased Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows nine years ago – the book we all believed to be the final instalment. Until now.
It's true, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is not technically "The Eighth Harry Potter Book" as many have dubbed it. It is the rehearsal script for the two-part play that has just premiered in London. However, it does start off where the seventh book left off.
Nine years ago there were hordes of readers shaking in excitement to see how Harry Potter's journey would end. Yet there were only a handful of them when I went to get a copy of The Cursed Child at its release date of 11:01am on the 31st of July here in New Zealand.
I finished reading The Cursed Child in just a few hours and I don't consider myself a particularly fast reader. True, the format is entirely different – being mainly comprised of dialogue with few descriptors – but it was that same Potter fervour that propelled me through.
Unlike a lot of readers, I never asked for or wanted a sequel showing the next generation at Hogwarts. Nor did I yearn for a prequel starring the Marauders. In fact, the only series that piqued my interest was the idea of one about Albus Dumbledore in his years leading up to becoming the man as we knew him to be. There was so much conflict and character development to explore... Alas, it will never be.
The Cursed Child was something that I was initially excited about, but then put out of my mind. Even leading up to the release date, I hadn't pre-ordered a copy. Yet the night before its release it hit me. I knew I would be at the bookstore at 11:01.
Now I've read it.
To be perfectly candid – and to quote Cecily Cardew "I think that whenever someone has anything unpleasant to say, one should always be quite candid" – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is hard to swallow as canon. It's an odd notion, because while the play may have been penned by Jack Thorne, he co-conceived the story with John Tiffany and J.K. Rowling herself.
This is the part where I will go into some spoilers, but I won't dissect the book because, frankly, I feel thoroughly confunded. However, SPOILER WARNING. You have been warned. Please do not cast any Unforgivable Curses my way.
(view spoiler)[It is curious to me that the play chose to incorporate two of the biggest causes for disgruntlement in the Harry Potter fandom. It expands on the epilogue, which so many people – myself not included – detested, and it heavily incorporates the use of time travel, which many readers have been iffy about. Mainly the fact that it popped up and then went away. Surprise, it's back! I suppose that's the real reason I find Harry Potter and the Cursed Child so hard to take in as canon. It weaves together so many different realities, that I’m unsure how seriously to take depictions of certain characters. When Snape is acting like Sirius in one reality and Hermione is acting like Snape in another, it gets incredibly confusing.
To speak with perfect candour, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reads like a trippy fanservice. Which isn't to say that I didn't enjoy it and – clearly – thoroughly devoured it. I suppose it's just something that takes time to digest. I never expected there to be another instalment in the Harry Potter universe – in whatever form – and now I and many other fans will have to adjust to this expansion.
My favourite parts about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child would have to be the friendship between Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy, along with each and every instance Ron and Hermione were together. Their dynamic has always been one of my favourite aspects of the Harry Potter series, and it was wonderful to read. I do wish that Rose Granger-Weasley had been more prevalent in the story. I was under the impression that we would have another Hogwarts trio – Albus, Scorpius and Rose – but I was mistaken. (hide spoiler)]
I would love to be able to see the play performed. Many times while reading the stage directions I wondered how certain effects might be pulled off. I am incredibly jealous of those who do get the chance, and I think it might give a more well-rounded impression of the story to see it brought to life on stage.
All in all, I have no regrets in reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I thoroughly recommend that you read it for yourself, and I look forward to discussing it with other fervent Harry Potter fans....more
In accordance with the FTC, I would like to disclose that I purchased this book. The opinions expressed are mine and no mone(From my blog: Quill Café)
In accordance with the FTC, I would like to disclose that I purchased this book. The opinions expressed are mine and no monetary compensation was offered to me by the author or publisher.
Sophie Hatter is the eldest of three sisters and is set for a dull life once she inherits her family's hat shop.
After losing her temper and insulting a rude customer, Sophie is turned into an old woman. Unable to tell anyone of the spell, Sophie sets out to find an answer and comes face-to-face with a fire demon and Wizard Howl, who is said to eat the hearts of young girls.
Sophie strikes a bargain that will lead her on a journey back to youth and discover what an adventure it is to truly live.
The characters and intricate weaving of the plot are what makes Howl's Moving Castle a favourite of mine.
Sophie is a driven character, with sewing talents and temper flaws. She grows into a daring woman in the progress of the story and goes through experiences - aching bones and riddlesome spells - that strengthen her and give her the courage to seek out her dreams.
Howl is a charismatic drama queen. Full of quirks and cowardice, he is the stealer of hearts and the most-wanted wizard in the land of Ingary.
I read this book for the first time years ago when I learned of the then-to-be-released film adaptation. Once I realised that the book was written by Diana Wynne Jones, whose Chrestomanci books (Charmed Life and sequels) I adored, I purchased a copy and devoured it.
From the first chapter I was hooked by the lyrical prose. I was intrigued and captivated by the constant turn of events and the developing complexity of the story.
This has since become one of my favourite books and Howl one of my favourite fictional characters. I never tire of the cleverness of the story and how it shows the way in which the characters' perspectives change for the better.
I know that plenty of people have seen Hayao Miyazaki's animated film adaptation and loved it. I know I did but I implore you to read the novel as the film is only based on the book, which reveal marvelous aspects of the story that you never knew existed.
Howl's Moving Castle is a favourite of mine that will remain on my shelf and in my imagination. I recommend it to anyone who is looking to be swept up in a world of magic and a journey of self....more
Johnny repairs shoes all day in a fancy hotel in Florida. His dream to be a shoe designer flourishes when Princess Victoriana checks in. Johnny's bestJohnny repairs shoes all day in a fancy hotel in Florida. His dream to be a shoe designer flourishes when Princess Victoriana checks in. Johnny's best friend, Meg, convinces him to try and get the Princess to wear one of his shoe designs...but Princess Victoriana has her own proposition for Johnny. A quest.
Victoriana's older brother has was turned into a frog by a witch and has gone AWOL in Florida. In exchange for finding her brother, Victoriana offers Johnny something he never expected - her hand in marriage. With the aid of Victoriana's magic cloak Johnny sets out to find the frog prince, meeting plenty of other enchanted creatures along the way.
Can Johnny help Victoriana? Does he really want to marry her...or will his future take a different path? One thing is for certain - his life will never be the same.
After reconnecting with Alex Flinn's story telling in 'Lindy's Diary' (the companion novel to 'Beastly') I was keen to read more of her work. The author has a very clever way of taking fairy tales and weaving them into a modern day setting, so that it reads like something that could happen today but still has the magical feel of an authentic fairy tale.
'Cloaked' is unlike 'Beastly' in that it does not incorporate only one fairy tale into the plot. While I had heard of the story of The Frog Prince, there were six other stories weaved together which I was unfamiliar with. The way in which all these classic tales came together to make a new one was interesting, compelling and most of all, fun.
Despite knowing nothing about the fairy tales woven into the book, the modern day references to movies and Disney World made the experience even more tangible. There was even a nod to the chat room in 'Beastly.'
I was wrapped up in 'Cloaked' and I'm eager to read more books by Alex Flinn. Lucky for me, I have a copy of 'A Kiss in Time' on hand.
Determined to learn more about his curse of a gift, Braden sets out for Belle Dam, only to be caught in the middle of a feud between two rival witch fDetermined to learn more about his curse of a gift, Braden sets out for Belle Dam, only to be caught in the middle of a feud between two rival witch families.
With the discovery that he has his own family ties wrapped up in the conflict, Braden is having a hard time keeping out of it. Things get even more complicated when he meets Trey, the son of one of the rival families.
Will Braden's growing feelings for Trey jeopardise his search to discover the truth about his witch eyes?
Someone wants him dead. Both families could use him as a powerful weapon for their cause. Who can Braden trust?
Ever since I saw those eyes on the cover art for this novel, I was intrigued but once I'd read the synopsis, I knew I had to read this book. The release date came and I searched for it on shelves everywhere but with no luck. I was torn between supporting bookstores and getting this book now. Lucky for me, there seemed to be only a week delay in shipping copies and I snatched one up as soon as I found it. That night - last night - I started to read. I was up until ten to five in the morning.
There are a few things you should know about me. I do not stay up all night reading books, even really good ones. I yearn to be addicted to novels but it almost never happens. Also, I hate 'Romeo and Juliet' so the "rival house feud story" could have been a massive turn-off for me. Of course, I willingly lost sleep over this book, so you can tell it delivered.
Braden is an awesome character. I think that perhaps if this were someone else in his place, I wouldn't have felt as attached to the story. His wit was infectious and he was sympathetic, without being a character who seemed to be asking for sympathy, which a fair amount of protagonists in young adult novels are prone to do.
I never had my head quite wrapped around what was happening in Belle Dam. Just when I thought I had something figured out, something else came along and surprised me. The characters all intrigued me in their own way and I was fascinated to learn more about them all. There was no thoughts of, Oh no, not this chick. Next please! I'm interested to see more of the character developments in the next novels and witness the dynamics between the rival families and those around them progress.
I was most impressed by how the relationship between Braden and Trey was handled. I can be am very cynical about romantic aspects in novels. I loved seeing how they interacted and watching the relationship between them develop. It was nice to read about a pair of characters, where there is none of that, "Oh, I love you so much, please don't leave me, I would die for you..." nonsense (à la 'Romeo and Juliet') but the attraction is clear.
'Witch Eyes' is a book I would be quick to recommend am recommending to you right now. I am more than eager for the sequel and can see myself rereading this book in the future. Scott Tracey is an excellent writer and I look forward to reading more of his work.
In accordance with the FTC, I would like to disclose that purchased this book. The opinions expressed are mine and no moneta(From my blog: Quill Café)
In accordance with the FTC, I would like to disclose that purchased this book. The opinions expressed are mine and no monetary compensation was offered to me by the author or publisher. I did not write this review while under the influence of the Imperius Curse, or the threat of either the Cruciatus Curse or Killing Curse.
Translated from the original runes by Hermione Granger, with additional analysis by Albus Dumbledore and introduction and illustrations by J.K. Rowling, comes the five magical tales of Beedle the Bard.
When this book was released, I purchased two copies of it: the mass-produced edition and the collector's edition that was cloned from one of the five special hand-written copies.
It had been a while since I'd read it and after recently rereading and reviewing 'Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them,' I was compelled to explore more magical wonders of the Harry Potter realm.
I was pleased to discover that I couldn't recall all of the details for the stories, though I remembered them in part. Their unfoldings were as entertaining to me as when I first read them.
Beedle's tales are something akin to the writing style - or rather feel - that other well-known children's stories have but his are something outside the generic. They deal with such wonderful characters and inspiring morals.
Much as I loved the stories, half the contents of the book is Dumbledore's analysis on each individual tale. He gives us a further insight into the meanings behind the stories and how Beedle's writings have been received by witches and wizards since they were first penned.
Such as Muggle fairy tales have been reinterpreted by many throughout history - such as the Grimm brothers who ironically made their stories far less grim - Beedle's tales have been rewritten to tone down or abolish violent aspects or to suit the story to a more anti-Muggle agenda. I am pleased to be able to read the translated, non-censored version of Beedle's tales.
My favourite of the five tales are 'Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump' and 'The Tale of the Three Brothers.'
Babbitty is a character who possesses such humour and wit that she had much magic within her that is more than what can be summoned by her wand. I think that if I could have chosen a story of Beedle's to be read to me when I was a child, it would have been Babbitty's.
'The Tale of the Three Brothers' is the most well-known because of the final installment in the Harry Potter series. It deals with strong morals we can all consider on a personal level as it focuses on something which affects us all: death.
The story is brief but beautifully told. Dumbledore's notes on the urban legends that surround the items in the story are most interesting and give this tale more grounding in reality, since it has affected so many people throughout history.
Something I noticed with the three brothers was the mirrored symbolism they had with three characters in the Harry Potter series. While the first brother died for power, the second for love and the third greeted death, so did three of the men in the novels die in an akin manner.
While these three men in the Harry Potter books are not immediately related as the brothers are, there is only a generation that divides them from one to the next, with the eldest dieing in pursuit of power and the youngest taking the decision to greet death.
Throughout the book are several illustrations by J.K. Rowling which help bring the stories to life in the imagination of the readers. In the collector's edition of the book, there are plenty more illustrations included and even some larger prints. While the mass-produced edition of Beedle's stories is wonderful, the way in which the other is designed and presented is even more magical to read from, giving a feeling of authenticity.
'The Tales of Beedle the Bard' is a book that every lover of tales must read and every Harry Potter fan should own....more
In accordance with the FTC, I would like to disclose that I purchased this book. The opinions expressed are mine and no mone(From my blog: Quill Café)
In accordance with the FTC, I would like to disclose that I purchased this book. The opinions expressed are mine and no monetary compensation was offered to me by the author or publisher. I did not write this review while under the influence of the Imperius Curse, or the threat of either the Cruciatus Curse or Killing Curse.
I have never been much of a sports person, and I wouldn't consider myself someone who reads up on the history of one, but I was captivated by 'Quidditch Through the Ages.'
From the history of the broom, to the now-endangered species of bird that the Snitch is modeled on, and the prominent teams throughout the UK, Ireland and the rest of the world, I read this book in almost one sitting, aloud to my mother.
I now feel far more informed about the sport of Quidditch and quite intrigued. Perhaps I shall pay closer attention to the sport in future. Now that I know more of the history, I find it a lot more exciting. Whisp even included a brief history of the evolution of the game in my own country, New Zealand.
I think that while I am living in the USA, I will look into the game of Quodpot. It seems like something worth seeing at least once.
I would recommend reading Kennilworthy Whisp's 'Quidditch Through the Ages' and discovering its insights for yourself. I also implore you to check out the Comic Relief Website and to look into 'Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them' by Newt Scamander, which is another brilliant book that gives a greater insight into the magical world....more