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Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

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This is the beginning of the story of the assassin known as Fitz. I first read the book Fool’s Errand some time ago and realised afterwards that Assassin’s Apprentice is where the story begins. Fool’s Errand is a later trilogy where Fitz is older and I had to start at the begining after enjoying Fool’s Errand so much.

It can be hard to explain properly what makes a book so intriguing and why you like it so much. I read half of this book without even realising how much I’d read. This is one of those books where you do lose all perception of time, you are right there in the story world and read so much without effort.

There’s so much going on in this book and you can’t see it before it happens, it’s seamless. The characters are great and the settings, culture and history are rich and absorbing. I can only wonder at Robin Hobb’s ability to write a fantasy novel with such a immense world.

There’s a lot of politics in this book but I didn’t really think “oh, boring politics” but more that the politics were causing the events and problems that Fitz is affected by and this novel is never boring!

I loved this book. It’s a perfect read and I can’t wait to continue with the next one and be back in this world again.

Assassin’s Apprentice is part one of The Farseer Trilogy despite it being part of a trilogy, there are no loose ends or deliberatly drawn out story line like you usually find in books that have a follow up. You finish this book satisfied that everything is concluded but also wanting more.

Recommend to all readers 🙂

 

AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE COVER:

I love the cover, who doesn’t love a gorgeous cover? And do you ever know you designs it? I found out after I’d bought this book that an artist I was following on Twitter designed this cover :0

And I just now discovered her work is/was actually in a gallery in Tenby my favourite place :0

Jackie Morris, you can read about how she designed this particular cover here

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Holiday Book Haul

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So I’m back from my holiday in Boscastle, Cornwall. Isn’t it a beautiful place? The cottage we stayed in is right on the river and it’s a constant calming background noise. This is the view from the cottage:

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I didn’t buy that many books this holiday, last year I bought a few from Truro charity shop and two from the second hand shop right opposite my cottage. I couldn’t find any I fancied in the second hand shop and I wanted to limit how many I bought. That was easy giving that the places we visited didn’t have books shops. I did find a book in the English Heritage shop in Tintagel, ‘Cornish Short Stories’ I’ve read afew already and they are really good.

But I found a bookshop in Padstow:

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I had to borrow this image from goggle/trip advisor as it was too busy to get a good photo

Ok, I didn’t just stumble upon it, I checked online to see if there was one. These are my books:

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The Salt Path by Raynor Winn I’d heard about recently, I’d read a sample online and loved it but didn’t want to buy it just yet, so many books, but I couldn’t pass a signed copy. I’ve read the first few chapters and I’m hooked already.

Trying not to read too much of these books yet as I still have one on the go and one to start, a classic book I read with members of the readitswapit forum.

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It’s really hard though as they’re both good books. The Salt Path is a story of a woman and her husband walking and camping on the South West Coast Path which is 630 miles going from Somerset to Devon, via Devon and Cornwall. A true story! I recommend it, I’ll let you know more when I finish it 🙂

Have you got a holiday planned/ have you been? Do you plan to buy books? Or take them with you?

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Writing Wednesday: progress?

I won’t keep going on about not having time to write or to read and keep up with blogging. Although I honestly don’t know how you do it!

I did make some progress this week but not much.

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There’s this worry I have that I will never be productive with my writing and as each month passes where I haven’t met my goal I worry and try again and again.

Sometimes like recently a lack of time and energy has been my problem. And I wondered if I’d ever get any writing done. But then one morning I was itching to write…. If I haven’t written in a while I’ll get this urge to, I just have to! I sat down with no idea what to write but after reading what I wrote last I continued with the story I’ve been writing.

It still doesn’t have a middle or end because I don’t have the idea yet. Brains work in odd ways.

Whilst not having time to write maybe the best thing to do is keep open to ideas and relax. Enjoy the free time when you get it. Enjoy the sunshine and maybe something will spark an idea and you’ll be ready when you have time again.

Time, clock, beach.

Thanks for reading. I’m on holiday soon so it’s going to continue to be a quiet blog. Crossing my fingers that I find time or find a way to fit blogging in with my job and everything else. 🙂 Suggestions?

 

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How To Stop Time By Matt Haig

I heard a lot about this book on social media, which made me want to read it more. I’ve only read one other book by Matt Haig so far: The Radley’s, which is a funny story about a family of vampires. It’s an original vampire story, much like How To Stop Time is original, Matt Haig is one of those writers who you can’t say is like any other writer. His ideas and words are original and fresh and you know you are going to get a good story when you pick up one of his books.

How to Stop Time by Matt HaigSynopsis from Wordery:

“Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old history teacher, but he’s been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen it all. As long as he keeps changing his identity he can keep one step ahead of his past – and stay alive. The only thing he must not do is fall in love . . .”

My Review

Who doesn’t wish that they could be young and live forever? Since reading books about vampires I have been convinced that I would not like to, not unless my loved ones could also. Tom Hazard suffers with a condition which makes him age slower than normal humans and he has seen so much and been through so much.

His story is amazing, we’re told it in his voice dipping back and for through time. We’re told so much in such a small space of time. In the present he’s started a new life and is a school teacher, returning to London which brings back memories of his life and love from the time he lived there before.

This book is an effortless read, one you could sit down and read at once it is impossible to stop reading it. Once it’s over you wish there was more, although the story is told with no loose ends it’s a character you could happily read more about and learn more about his life. Matt Haig’s writing is exquisite, with sentences that have so much truth in them, pearls of wisdom:

“If only we could stop time…. That’s what we need to work on. You know, for when a moment of happiness floats along. We could swing our net and catch it like a butterfly, and have that moment for ever.”

“This is so often the way with life. You spend so much time waiting for something-a person, a feeling, a piece of information – that you can’t quite absorb it when it is in front of you. The hole is so used to being a hole it doesn’t know how to close itself.'”

“But the thing is: you cannot know the future. You look at the news and it looks terrifying. But you can never be sure. That is the whole thing with the future. You don’t know. At some point you have to accept that you don’t know. You have to stop flicking ahead and just concentrate on the page you are on.”

That last quote is the basic principle of mindfulness, being in the here and now rather than worrying about the future or dwelling on the past or wishing your life away because you can’t wait for something to happen.

I’d love to reread this book just to find more quotes like these and also to read more by Matt Haig as this book was uplifting in the end and speaks to everyone.

Did you enjoy this book? Share your favourite quotes.

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I’m still here 👋

My blog has never been so quiet. I’ve been working a lot more than usual lately and had a few things going on. So my reading, writing and blogging has not been normal.

But I’m still here. Currently reading:

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

Just A Job by Patsy Collins

Terrible photo sorry, I’ll talk more about this soon.

I keep meaning to read one of Patsy’s novels but ended up buying this short story collection instead and reading it on my break in work. I have a lot of books to read…. I can’t help it.

Hoping I get back to normal blogging soon. ☺

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Poldark

I haven’t been reading many books lately, so there haven’t been frequent reviews here,  I’ve been busy and:

I’ve been catching up with my Poldark books before the new series starts tomorrow 🙂
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I managed to read the rest of this book in about a week! I didn’t think I could do it!

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I watched the series, (maybe because I remember Aidan Turner from Being Human) loved it and it led me to the amazing books by Winston Graham. His writing is  atmospheric and … it’s amazing!!!  Then last year I visited Cornwall. I hadn’t been since I was a child and it’s strange how I never saw anything about Poldark back then.

Cornwall for me, when I was younger and visiting for the first time, was The Mists Of Avalon country (Tintagel) and Daphne De Maurier (Jamaica Inn I read then possibly bought during my visit).

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But now it’s Poldark country. Of course Cornwall is more than that, it’s a beautiful place. I stay in Boscastle and last yr I visited a Poldark exhibition in Truro museum and Charlestown where they filmed the Truro scenes. (You can see my blog post about my holiday last year here)

I going back  again this yr and hope to go to Bodmin jail where they also did some filming. I love Cornwall. It’s funny how books can be so connected with a place.

Boscastle is also a Thomas Hardy town. You wonder when you wander around if you are following in his footsteps. It’s where he met his wife and wrote A Pair Of Blue Eyes, the main character is based on her.  The book is set in Boscastle but the places have been disguised (Castle Boterel). I bought a copy from Boscastle last year, I’d never heard of it before despite being a Hardy fan. There’s a memorial stone for his wife in the grounds of a chapel in Boscastle.

Of course Dorest is true Hardy country I’ve been to Swanage and Weymouth but not to any places connected to Hardy.

Do you have any books that connect you to a place?

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova is my favourite book, it connects me to one of my other favourite places Tenby in Pembrokshire because it was where I bought it and the first place I read it. I don’t have any other books connected to Tenby unless you count the history book I still haven’t read. I need to find more, or write one 😉

Excited for the return of Poldark on BBC1 tomorrow at 9pm!!!! Any Poldark fans out there?

 

 

 

 

 

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Insecure Writers’ Support Group

 

It’s time for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. How does it work?

To quote from the website here

“Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!”
I’ll be in work today -again- so I’ll have to catch up with everyones posts later. This month the optional question is:

 What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

I’ve always found thinking of character names tricky. Even when I research on online sites it takes me some time to decide on the right name. One year during NaNoWriMo my character was called ‘Friend’ all the way through because I couldn’t think of a name.

I can’t really say anything about book titles. I haven’t finished any yet. I struggle equally with short story titles. But these are the least of my worries, generally finishing a story to a good standard (or just finishing it) is enough of a challenge at the moment.

I was recently reminded about the Name Generator on Scrivener, I think I read it on the Scrivener Virgin page but I can’t find it now. (One thing on my writing to do list which I never get around to is: learn how to use Scrivener and read the info on that website). I found more info on this site http://www.atfmb.com/2012/01/23/scrivener-quick-tip-name-generator/

If you go into the ‘Tools’ drop down menu and then onto ‘writing tools’ you will find this little box. You can select the letter the name will start with and male or female.

 

I’ve always used babyname websites in the past- discreetly- there’s some websites that allow you to search for names by meanings: http://www.meaning-of-names.com/search/ I often use this website http://www.20000-names.com/ because it has fantasy names and deity names which is helpful if you’re writing something that fits that genre.

At the moment I need to focus more on finishing stories and then I’ll worry about these types of problems.

Facebook reminded me yesterday that it’s been three years since I won the writing competition, that flew and I’ve done nothing since. I really need to do something. Thanks for the knock down Facebook. I am so tired of not being productive and complaining about it. I can only keep trying, though I do feel like waving a flag with the word ‘help’ on it. I really fit the description of Insecure Writer.

Keep trying and thinking positive…. Use this little reminder (thanks Facebook!!!) to spur me on. Work brain work.