Three Illustrated Books by Akiko Miyakoshi

After reading the three books by Miyakoshi below, I now consider myself a fan of her work. I love her illustrations. They have a coziness to them that greatly appeals to me. I also like her stories. The ones here are charming, relatable, and fantastic. They do a great job depicting a child’s voice, and I had a wonderful time reading them, although I’m not a fan of the endings. They tend to fall a little short for me. Anyway, here are more details on what I read.


The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi (illus.), transl. from the Japanese by Kids Can Press

Genre

Children Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2010

(Goodreads)


My thoughts

I began my introduction to Miyakoshi’s work by reading The Tea Party in the Woods, a charming story about a girl who befriends animals she met at a tea party in the woods.

Because it had snowed all night, Kikko’s father decides to visit grandma’s house, which is on the other side of the woods, to clear the walk for her. But he forgot the pie for grandma. Believing she can quickly catch up to her father, Kikko decides to follow his footsteps in the snow to take the pie to grandma. But on the way through the woods, Kikko arrives at a tea party with a bunch of animals in attendance.

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“Grave Mercy” by Robin LaFevers

I read this back in May for a book club I have going with some friends. A mutual friend who read and loved the series highly recommended it to us, so we went in with high hopes expecting an exhilarating story about assassin nuns. But unfortunately, this one didn’t work out and was a total bore for us.


Genre

YA Historical; Fantasy

Series

His Fair Assassin, book 1

Pubbed

2012

From Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

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Magical Readathon | 2021 — The Novice Path

The Magical Readathon is back everyone!

The readathon was initially inspired by the Harry Potter books, but the creator — G, a booktuber who runs Book Roast — has moved away from them due to comments J.K. Rowling made regarding the trans community. But now the readathon is back and better than ever because G created her own world and magic systems for the readathon.

(Click here for the video where G gives all the details about the readathon and shares the files for it. G created the readathon — the world, lore, magic systems, all that stuff. She commissioned Lisa, who did the art for Orilium Academy below.)


Some Background

The readathon is now based on a planet called Aeldia that contains 4 continents — Irtheria, Darkmeadow, Kerador, and Daerune — that are populated by humans, elves, earthlings, iltrians, skaimorns, and dwarves, as well as demons and dragons and other creatures. When sorcerers reach a certain age, they are compelled to journey to Orilium Academy to further their studies, a journey called the Novice Path.

For this part of the readathon, we will all follow the Novice Path to Orilium Academy.

(For details on all this, see the Book Roast video linked above.)


The Novice Path

The readathon begins with the Novice Path, a monthlong readathon where participants must complete at least 2 prompts by midnight on September 30 to succeed. Only one book may be used for each prompt. Next year, we will move on to the next part of the readathon where we begin our studies at Orilium Academy.

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Comics Roundup #61: Conspiracy of Ravens

It’s the cover that got me. I was tempted to purchase a copy at first, but instead I did the financially responsible thing and borrowed it from my library. So, yes, I’m quite proud of myself at the moment.


Conspiracy of Ravens by Leah Moore & John Reppion, illus. by Sally Jane Thompson

Genre

YA Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2018

From Goodreads

Teen schoolgirl Anne unexpectedly inherits a mysterious locket and a crumbing English mansion estate from her long-lost aunt. She unearths the family secret that she’s part of a magical legacy that gives her fantastic abilities, and she isn’t the only girl whose family is involved. But not all the girls are so willing to use their new powers for good…

From the writers of Albion and Wild Girl and the artist of Atomic Sheep comes this original graphic novel perfect for tween, teen, and adult fans of fantasy and superheroes alike! (Goodreads)

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Two Illustrated Books on the Ramayana

So a couple months ago, I read two children’s books that retell the classic Hindu tale, the Ramayana. My knowledge of Hinduism is VERY limited — I only know the names of a few of the gods — so when I picked up Ramayana: Divine Loophole (which I read first), I did so assuming the it was a children’s fantasy book. It wasn’t until I started reading that I learned it’s an essential part of Hindu mythology.


Ramayana: Divine Loophole by Sanjay Patel (illus.)

Genre

MG Classic; Mythology

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2010

From Goodreads

Artist and veteran Pixar animator Sanjay Patel lends a lush, whimsical illustration style and lighthearted voice to one of Hindu mythology’s best-loved and most enduring tales. Teeming with powerful deities, love-struck monsters, flying monkey gods, magic weapons, demon armies, and divine love, Ramayana tells the story of Rama, a god-turned-prince, and his quest to rescue his wife Sita after she is kidnapped by a demon king.

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“Lords and Ladies” by Terry Pratchett

Here’s another one I read a while back and have waited too long to chat about.

It’s the fourteenth novel in the Discworld fantasy series, which takes place on a flat world that lies atop the backs of four elephants that stand on the shell of large turtle floating through space.


Genre

Fantasy

Series

Discworld, book 14
Witches, book 4

Pubbed

1992

From Goodreads

It’s Midsummer Night – no time for dreaming. Because sometimes, when there’s more than one reality at play, too much dreaming can make the walls between them come tumbling down.

Unfortunately, there’s usually a damned good reason for there being walls between them in the first place – to keep things out. Things who want to make mischief and play havoc with the natural order.

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“Paladin of Souls” by Lois McMaster Bujold

I unfortunately waited too long since reading this book to review it. Certain details have faded from memory due to time or have been crowded out by the many other things I’ve read since then. As such, this review will be shorter and less detailed than I’d like, which will probably appeal to some, but I love being able to reread my review years later and remember nearly everything I thought of the book.


Genre

Fantasy

Series

World of the Five Gods, book 2

Pubbed

2003

From Goodreads

In a land threatened by treacherous war and beset by demons, royal dowager Ista, released from the curse of madness and manipulated by an untrustworthy god, is plunged into a desperate struggle to preserve the endangered souls of a realm. (Goodreads)

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Top 5 Tuesday #60: I Love Buildings on My Covers

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm, and now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

This week’s topic:

Top 5 books with buildings/vehicles on the cover

(What are your 5 favourite covers with either vehicles or buildings on them??)


Well, guess who got carried away with this topic? I love illustrations of buildings, and a couple of the books I’ve bought and read over the years are due to this reason. So I went beyond the required 5 and listed a good bit below that I own.

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Illustrated Books: “Oona” & “The Widow’s Broom”

I love picture books and can’t get enough of them. Here are two I read back in May for Wyrd & Wonder, a celebration of all things fantasy. One is about a little mermaid searching for treasure and the other is about a widow who acquired a witch’s broom.


Oona by Kelly DiPucchio, illus. by Raissa Figueroa

Genre

Children’s Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2021

From Goodreads

Meet Oona. The big sea’s littlest mischief maker.

She and her best friend, Otto, love to search for treasure . . . but often find trouble instead.

Messy trouble.

Tricky trouble.

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Book Haul #76: Not Since June

Time for a huge book haul because I haven’t done one of these since June. I hope you’ll see something here that interests you.


Purchases

Physical

As always, the majority of these were bought because I love the cover. For example, the Language of Flowers, which tempted me every day that I went in to work at the bookstore. I’ve had my eye on Black Sun for some time now both because of the cover and because the many rave reviews got me curious. And again Cinnamon and Gunpowder has appeared in my haul post. I initially borrowed a copy from the library, but I fell in love with the writing after a few pages and HAD to get my own copy, specifically this edition because of the cover.

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