Midnight Designs: Uprooted and Spinning Silver

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Uprooted and Spinning Silver are the perfect modern fairy tales: bewitching, evocative, with a strong streak of feminism. I am sharing my love for Naomi Novik today by bringing you two phone wallpapers featuring Agnieszka and Miryem

Important:

  • Characters and quotes belong to the brilliant Naomi Novik.
  • The phone wallpapers are free for your personal use only.
  • Please do not edit, repost, redistribute the images.
  • They are made for iPhone 6, but should fit most smartphones.

 

Uprooted Wallpaper

I was a glaring blot on perfection. But I didn’t care. I didn’t feel I owed him beauty.

Spinning Silver Wallpaper

Because that’s what the story is really about, getting out of paying your debts.

  • Find more of my free book-related designs here.
  • If you enjoyed these free graphics and want to support me, you can find me on Society 6.
  • Alternatively, you can commission me for your custom graphics by contacting me.
  • Finally, you can grab me a cuppa via Ko-fi here.

Author Interview: Aliette de Bodard for #1KBE

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My most anticipated short fiction anthology of the year, A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, is out this week. As you might remember, I am hosting a reading challenge in conjunction with LitCelebrAsian to celebrate all of the authors involved in the anthology. It is my absolute privilege to share an interview I did with Aliette de Bodard today. She contributed a retelling of Tấm and Cám, a Vietnamese fairy tale I grew up hearing.

Interview

1) What drew you to the story of Tấm and Cám, why did you want to retell this tale in particular?

For me, Tấm Cám is such a seminal Vietnamese tale, and it had a huge impact on me as a child–not so much the first part, which didn’t feel very distinct from Cinderella at the time, but the series of Tấm’s deaths and reincarnations and how she always struggles to come back to her husband no matter what shape she’s in. At the same time the familial dynamics always bothered me (as in many fairytales) because they pitted sister against sister (and not in a particularly charming way since the darker-skinned sister is the evil one). So when I retold it, I wanted to change this; and rather than have the story be about a wife striving to reach her husband, be about a sisters trying to reach each other and find a life together! Continue reading “Author Interview: Aliette de Bodard for #1KBE”

Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 6

Apologies, I am a day late with this reread. I recently started working the Sunday shift, so we might have to change the reread schedule a little, depending on how busy I get! Thanks for understanding.
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Reminder that these posts will contain spoilers for the ENTIRE book. If you haven’t finished reading The Poppy War yet, feel free to check back when you are done.

Chapter 6 is largely a training chapter, made engaging by the interactions between our favourite master-student duo: Jiang and Rin!

REREAD INDEX

Chapter 6

The snow was lovely to observe for all of two serene minutes. Then it became nothing but a pain in the ass.

It’s winter in Sinegard, and Rin has little patience for it. I have to admit, snow was very disappointing after the first few minutes. Continue reading “Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 6”

Book Review: The Book of M

39899065Rating Four Star

Title: The Book of M

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Series: No

Goodreads

Book Depository | Dymocks | Booktopia

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Harper Voyager in exchange for an honest review. I also read a large part of this book via audiobook, which was purchased through my own Audible account.

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The Book of M is a one of the best post-apocalyptic fiction I have read in recent years, and it’s hard to believe it’s a debut novel. It’s a poignant examination of human memories and connection, filled with powerful and surrealistic imageries. The last pages of the novel still haunt me, and I keep catching myself thinking about the book’s shadowless world. I did have some issues with the book which I will discuss below, but overall, this book marks Peng Shepherd as an author to be watched – I can’t wait to see what she will come up with next. Continue reading “Book Review: The Book of M”

Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 5

TPW Reread 5.pngAnother week, another chapter of The Poppy War. In this chapter, Rin deals with menstruation, tops her classes, steals a library book, and is a general badass.

Reminder that these posts will contain spoilers for the ENTIRE book. If you haven’t finished reading The Poppy War yet, feel free to check back when you are done.

REREAD INDEX

Chapter 5

Content Warning: Self-harm

Rin gets a harsh reality check after Jun bans her from Combat class after a scuffle that was largely Nezha’s fault. She responds to the elitism at Sinegard Academy by resolving to beat every single one of these aristocratic children in all their classes. Rin’s brand of hardcore determination is a large part of why I love this book so much.

But Nezha attacked first.
The more she considered this, the faster her despair crystallized into anger.

Rin is consistent in always managing to turn most extreme emotions into rage, it’s no wonder that The Phoenix loves her. Also explains why she can relate to Altan so easily. Continue reading “Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 5”

Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 4

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It’s that time of the week again! Today we take a deep dive into Chapter 4 of The Poppy War, where the infamous Altan Trengsin makes his first appearance.

Reminder that these posts will contain spoilers for the ENTIRE book. If you haven’t finished reading The Poppy War yet, feel free to check back when you are done.

REREAD INDEX

Chapter 4

We quickly learn that Sinegard Academy is pretty much a glorified bootcamp, where students are literally left to either sink or swim. Continue reading “Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 4”

#1KBE A Thousand Beginnings and Endings Reading Challenge

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This challenge is co-hosted by LitCelebrAsian, so please keep an eye on the blog and twitter to follow updates, author interviews, and more!

What is A Thousand Beginnings and Endings?

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is an upcoming anthology featuring retellings of mythology and legends from East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.The collection is edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, and will feature stories from the following authors: Elsie Chapman, Renée Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, Alyssa Wong.

For more information and preorder:  Harpercollins | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indiebound | Book Depository | Dymocks | Booktopia Continue reading “#1KBE A Thousand Beginnings and Endings Reading Challenge”

Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 3

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Welcome back to The Poppy War Reread, this week we are diving into chapter3.

Reminder that these posts will contain spoilers for the ENTIRE book. If you haven’t finished reading The Poppy War yet, feel free to check back when you are done.

REREAD INDEX

CHAPTER 3

Content Warnings for Chapter 3: allusion to drug use and drug addiction, allusion to genocide.

Rin and Nezha are the last to arrive to the main hall, thanks to their scuffle at the end of the last chapter. I love that the older students are being loud and brash on purpose to set the new recruits on edge, reminds me of my good old days in high school. Continue reading “Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 3”

Book Review: The Queens of Innis Lear

37795682Rating Three Star

Title: The Queens of Innis Lear

Author: Tessa Gratton

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Series? No

Goodreads

Book DepositoryDymocks  |  Booktopia


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Harper Voyager Australia in exchange for an honest review.

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I still vividly remember studying King Lear for Year 11 English class, for me, it’s Shakespeare’s most memorable tragedy. I spent many hours that year writing about the folly of men in power and the toxicity of patriarchal societies, so I was immediately intrigued when I learned of this feminist retelling of King Lear. Continue reading “Book Review: The Queens of Innis Lear”

Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapters 1-2

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I’ve made it loud and clear on numerous occasions over the past weeks that The Poppy War is my favourite read of 2018. I think it has the potential to be one of my favourite reads of all time (I usually wait a couple of years after my first read to make that call). I’ve had such a hard time getting the book out of my mind that I’ve decided to do a detailed chapter-by-chapter reread while waiting for the sequel. Please join me if you have finished The Poppy War but want to dive back into this world.

SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE BOOK BELOW. PLEASE DO NOT READ THESE POSTS UNTIL YOU HAVE FINISHED READING THE POPPY WAR.

Reread Index

Content Warning of Chapters 1-2: self-harm, allusion to sexual assault, drug addiction and drug use, death, hit-and-run accident.
Continue reading “Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapters 1-2”