Wyrd & Wonder this year was a surprising success for me. I read more than I expected and, although I didn’t post as much as I expected, I did pretty well considering how unprepared I was.
I hit all my W&W goals:
✓ Read mostly fantasy.
— Apart from a thriller novel I completed early in May, all my reads were intended to be fantasy reads, although there was one that leans more into horror and another that I didn’t realize was religion but I count it anyway since I picked it up intending to read it for W&W.
✓ Publish mostly fantasy-related posts.
— Apart from a review or two that weren’t for fantasy novels, I’ve managed to pull off posting 95% fantasy-related posts.
✓ Do the W&W challenges.
— I’m so happy I found a way to do this that works for me. I sometimes did the challenges on Instagram, but I knew there would be times that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. Wyrd & Wonder Wednesdays helped me to resolve this; I made the challenge into mini tags. 😊
✓ Host a giveaway.
— I managed to do this as well! And I’m so happy so many folks signed up for it. I will reach out to the winner this week. (The winner will have up to 2 days to respond before I choose someone else. I will announce the winner on here on June 7.)
I also intended to watch fantasy-related shows and play such games on my PlayStation, but that bit didn’t work out. I was mostly hooked on watching Daredevil and the Punisher TV series on Netflix, and I didn’t have time for games.
As for the TBR I created, I completed 6 of the 18 books I listed and am currently reading 2 of them. That’s a HUGE success for me! I never stick to a TBR.
I decided to participate in the bingo challenge Imyril created at the last minute. Basically, I read a bunch of stuff I felt like reading and am now checking to see if they match up with any of the challenge categories.
Here are the categories I managed to hit:
I’ll mention which book matches what category below.
W&W Books Read
I read A LOT of comics for W&W and a couple picture books and about 2 novels. The variety worked well for me and kept me motivated to keep reading and discovering new stories. Here’s what I read:
Wizard Beach by Shaun Simon, illus. by Conor Nolan
It’s a middle grade fantasy comic book about a boy named Hexley Daggard Ragbottom who leaves the cold mountains of his homeland to find his Uncle Salazar, “Sally,” the greatest wizard, so that Sally can help his people end the horrible frost. But Hexley finds his uncle on permanent vacation at the beach and learns about a different way of life while there. It was a silly, fun read.
Bingo — set in, on or by the sea
Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Vol. 1 by Matthew Colville & Matthew Mercer, illus. by Olivia Samson
The first volume in a Dungeons & Dragons-inspired fantasy comic book series. Two half-elves arrive in a town to investigate the waters around it and realize there’s more going on in the town than they initially expected. They make new friends along the way. I REALLY enjoyed this since I now understand some Dungeons & Dragons references, but even if I didn’t, I would still have been entertained. I really liked the illustrations as well.
Bingo — unreliable allies
Manor Black, Vol. 1 by Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt, illus. by Tyler Crook
This is the first in a fantasy comic book series that seems like it’ll touch on horror. It’s about a family of powerful sorcerers whose patriarch — Roman Black — is nearing death. Roman’s children all wonder who he will pass on his powers to, but a young mage pops up and messes up all their plans. This one really intrigued me. I like the bit of mystery to it and the slight creepiness to the story as well. I look forward to reading the next volume.
1602: Witch Hunter Angela by Marguerite Bennett, illus. by Stephanie Hans
So… apparently this is part of the Marvel universe. (I had no idea.) Angela and Sera (I guess those well-versed in the Marvel universe will be familiar with them) are witch hunters living in 1602 during the time of King James’ England. They hunt Faustians, humans who made deals with fey creatures for unnatural power. The story was okay but didn’t really grab me; however, I liked the art.
Moonstruck, Vol. 2: Some Enchanted Evening by illus. by Grace Ellis Shae Beagle & Kat Fajardo
It’s the second volume in the YA fantasy comic book series, Moonstruck, which is set in a college town and focuses on several characters but mostly a werewolf barista named Julie. In this volume, Julie and her friends get caught up in some fairy mischief. It was a sweet, fun read, and of course, I loved the art.
Bingo — magic school
The Wizard’s Tale by Kurt Busiek, illus. by David T. Wenzel
Middle grade fantasy graphic novel about an old wizard, Bafflerog Rumplewhisker, who sucks at being an evil wizard. He embarks on a quest with the woodcutter’s son, Muddle, to retrieve the Book of Worse, a book filled with dark magic. I surprisingly liked this a lot more than I thought I would. I assumed that it was a picture book, so I was also surprised to find that it’s not.
Bingo — standalone
Little Witch Hazel: A Year in the Forest by Phoebe Wahl (illus.)
I read an ARC of this children’s picture book that contains four stories about a tiny witch who lives in the forest and helps the animals she meets there. It’s not as exciting as I thought it’d be, but it was okay.
Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham, illus. by Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha, and Craig Hamilton
One of the best things I read for W&W. It’s basically a mystery involving fairytale characters. Basically, all fairytale characters have been exiled from their lands due to a threat there and now live in the real world. This issue focuses on finding out who committed a murder. I enjoyed this immensely and can’t wait to read the next volume.
Bingo — award winner
Oona by Kelly DiPucchio illus. by Raissa Figueroa
Children’s picture book about a mermaid and her best friend, Otto, who love to dive for treasures but are unable to get the greatest treasure they’ve ever seen because it’s down so deep. Sweet story, but I liked the illustrations more than I did the story.
Bingo — fantasy creature on the cover
The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg (illus.)
Children’s picture book about a widow who finds that she possesses a witch’s broom. It was a good read and the illustrations are stunning.
Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold
It’s the second in the World of Five Gods series and is about dowager royina, Ista, who goes off on a road trip to seek some reprieve from the gods after her “madness” had been lifted but gets caught up in a god’s schemes again. It’s hard to briefly describe, but it was SUCH a good read! I really enjoyed it.
Bingo — reluctant heroine
Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett
One of Pratchett’s Discworld books; it’s the fourth in the Witches subseries. In this one, Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat go up against elves, who are back to play their horrible tricks. I had fun with this but didn’t enjoy it as much as I did the previous book in this subseries.
Ramayana: Divine Loophole by Sanjay Patel (illus.)
A beautifully illustrated middle grade book that tells one of the greatest Hindu stories — the story of Rama, an avatar of the god Vishnu, whose wife, Sita, was kidnapped by a demon king. It’s an epic tale that Patel does a great job of condensing and telling in this book. I loved the illustrations, of course. For some reason, I thought it was straight-up fantasy, which is why I chose it to read for W&W. It wasn’t until I started reading that I noticed it’s religion-based. (But I still used it for the bingo, heh heh.)
Bingo — Asian author
And that’s it for this Wyrd & Wonder.
Have you read any of these?
And did you participate in W&W? If so, what was your favorite read?