NON-SPOILER REVIEW: Everless by Sara Holland ⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐

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In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

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The Joy of Giving

 

A post for two consecutive weeks! I can’t believe it.

This one’s a little different – I was trying a bit of a different style. Let me know what you think!


The hill our house was poised upon was steep, and curved inwards on one side, creating a shallow, sheltered cave halfway up. The hill, like everything around the house, was ours, and my parents had spent their lives doing all they could to keep me – and their tenants – out of that little cave, though for what reason, I couldn’t tell. I had spent my childhood assuming they were worried that I might fall from the mouth, or become injured where they couldn’t reach me, but I had climbed up to it often, and had come to no harm. My family was peaceful, and I had nothing to escape from, but the thought of a secret place all to myself was irresistible as a child.

When I was fourteen, of course, this peace was to end, when illness fell upon our house, leaving us all bedridden. I would soon recover, but my parents’ condition only worsened; it was not long after I received the news that they were not long for the world that I, seeking solace in my seclusion, went once again to the cave in the hill.

It took barely a moment, having pulled myself onto that ledge, to know that something was wrong. The air, usually light and pleasantly cool, felt stuffy and uncomfortably tight, as if not only the air but the space around me was being sucked into the blackness further in. The strange thing was, the cave didn’t go any further in; but this time the dead end of the cave wall, usually damp and glittering in the light at this time of day, was obscured by a darkness that made the cave seem deeper, an impossible tunnel to someplace I had a feeling I would rather not go. With every hesitant step forward I watched the cave walls at my sides swallow up the sunlight from my vision, but as my eyes adjusted, I realised that I was not alone.

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REVIEW: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns – Julie C. Dao – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress–and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.  (From Goodreads)

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Staccato Skies

Waterproof Words

Call me old fashioned, but I like to look at the stars. I like to imagine an existence beyond the limited confinements of our solitary rock. I like to count them in their clusters and laugh at how quickly I lose track of which I have counted and which I have not, to draw invisible lines between them in my mind. I like to think about the wonders that coexist alongside us. Of supernovas and black holes and oh, to think! How very insignificant we are! Fragile, fleeting, futile. Fricatives of the universe, harsh beneath the tongue. If I were to choose a sound for myself I would be the softness of the sibilants. I would sit among staccato skies and see the sun between seconds of silence. A solitary secret. A salacious song.

One day I shall sit upon the moon. I shall view our trivial planet from a…

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Gender Differences and Sexism in Spoken Communication

Waterproof Words

You’ll notice from the title of this essay that I am writing of “spoken communication” and not language; this is because I not only want to talk about what we associate with the sexes, but how they differentiate in terms of syntax and prosodic features, and exploring conversation theory as a whole. To begin with, for some context, H.P Grise (1975) suggested that there are four ‘maxims’, or rules, that combine to make a healthy conversation. These are quantity (neither participant dominates the conversation), relevance, manner (avoiding ambiguity) and quality (being truthful). Disregarding these is considered as “flouting the maxims”, and can lead to either confusing or argumentative conversation. Linking this to gender differences, men tend to “flout the maxims” more often than women due to their instinct to dominate. This means that they will interrupt more, express disagreement, or show reluctance in pursuing topics initiated by others. Contrarily, females…

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New Tales From Old Yarn (A Book Promo and a Brag)

New Tales From Old Yarn (A Book Promo and a Brag)

I’m not going to pretend like this post will be entirely modest, I’m just going to come out and say it: I am seventeen, and I am published. It may be exclusively a free ebook, but I have a short story in an anthology and I am allowed to be obnoxiously proud of that. And if anything, that fact that it is free and online should only make it easier for you all to read it. (Hint hint.)

The book itself is named ‘New Tales From Old Yarn’, and it’s an anthology of new myths and legends and reimaginings of old ones. My contribution, Any Other Name, is a lesbian retelling of the original Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, wherein the rose the Beast guards is in fact his human daughter. The other stories, in my potentially biased opinion, are all brilliantly creative, all written by writers on tumblr, and all amazing in their own right. The initial idea and the bringing together of the stories is thanks to the wonderful Lorna, and the later organisation and publishing is all down to the hard work of the equally wonderful Barbara.

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From Any Other Name. Look how official!

The book itself is free to download and read from Amazon or various other sites/stores, with great reviews so far, and any downloads, recommendations, or reviews would be incredible for a self-published work like this. If you want to check out any of the other writers, there is a masterpost here with all of our tumblrs. We also have our own wordpress!

If I’m allowed to be a bit sentimental and self congratulatory on a promotion for a group effort, I’m still genuinely in shock that I got to be part of something like this at the stage I’m at, so thank you again to Lorna and Barbara for the opportunity!

 


 

(As a quick personal update, I’m looking to start putting out short stories and reviews much more frequently in the coming months, so I should have something new posted soon. Executive function hasn’t always been my strong suit, especially dealing with school and work as well now at the same time, but bear with me and I promise this blog will be stepping up its game soon!)