Posts Tagged juliet marillier

3 Mediums 3 Reviews

I haven’t written for a while, and I haven’t read anything substantial, though I have read and watched a bit, so I decided to give a couple of short reviews all in one post. We’ll see how it goes.

– Book: Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Having read a couple of books by Juliet Marillier already, I know she favors a good fairy tale. So when I saw that this book was based on the fairy tales “12 Dancing Princesses” and “Frog Prince”, I wasn’t surprised. It’s about 5 sisters that live in a castle in Transylvania (yes, there are, in fact, vampires) in 1500s. They discover a portal from their room to another world, where they go dancing each full moon by crossing a lake called Deadwash. Deadwash, in fact, is the same lake where their cousin drowned many years ago. Jena, the main character, also has a pet frog with whom she can communicate via her thoughts. They are living quite harmoniously until their father falls ill and goes to another city to get well and their cousin (the younger brother of the drowned one) takes charge of their beloved castle.wildwood dancing

This is a young adult fantasy book, or so I heard, though other than the fact that the story is a bit simpler and shorter than her other books (at least the ones I read) it’s not that babyish. I like the relationship between the sisters, although Jena is sometimes really annoying. I like the cousin, Cezar, and how evil he can be. Also I really enjoy a good love story, and this one is not a bad one. There are also vampires, though they are not called thus but “Night People”, and you know I also enjoy a good vampire story. It also has this small historical vibe, and she even mentions Turks. It’s overall a good story, though I’d prefer her Sevenwaters Trilogy any day.

– Movie: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

I do not exactly run to the theater after a Harry Potter movie has been released (though I was among the first who purchased the books), but when I actually get there, I do enjoy it immensely. Sometimes I find myself to be the only one laughing or crying (not at the same time, hopefully) and attract a couple of weird books. Who cares.

Anyway. As with the books, each movie is a better than the last, and a lot more sophisticated. I don’t even believe I have to talk about the plot at this point. When I had read the book, I had cried my eyes out on the bus, for an hour at least. Thank God I didn’t cry that much, though I cried a little bit, because the ending is the most heartbreaking yet. I believe it’s even worse than the last one. Though it’s been a while since I read the book, I can physically detect the differences between the book and the movie, the most obvious being Harry and Ginny. It was a lot better in the book, as usual. I also don’t remember Dumbledore asking Harry if there was something going on between Harry and Hermione. That just doesn’t sound like something old Dumbledore would do. There is another thing: I heard that in the first script, Dumbledore actually mentioned an old crush on a girl, but J.K. Rowling said that Dumbledore couldn’t have a crush on a girl because he’s actually gay. I already knew she had said this, but it’s still funny.harry potter and the half blood prince

I like the flashbacks to Tom Riddle, and I like whoever plays both the child and the teenager. He’s close to the Voldemort I imagined. Especially the way he speaks reeks evil. I adore the scene where Harry visits Hagrid with that Professor Horace, and he’s kind of drunk. I love Ron, as usual, when he eats the love-potion-induced chocolates and is lovesick all over the place. I also like Draco Malfoy, and how he’s finally a center character trapped between good and evil. It’s just so enjoyable. All Harry Potters are enjoyable. Rowling is such a genius. I only have one negative thing to say, and it’s that the ending is a bit rushed, especially the bit with Snape, but I can see that there’s nothing to be done about the short span of a good movie.

– Manga: Constellations on my Palm by Chisako Sakuragi and Yukine Honami

This is one of the lighter yaoi mangas I have encountered. Mizuho is a college student (as these things go) and Enji, his cousin, comes to Tokyo to study and stays with Mizuho’s family. They used to be really close, but something happened in the past, when they were still teeny kids, and Mizuho avoided seeing Enji since. When they meet again, Mizuho sees that Enji barely talks to him, and is cold as ice. He really wants to go back to the way things are, but Enji doesn’t seem to want to. constellations on my palmThe title comes from the fact that they used to watch the sky together, and stare at the stars. In fact, now Enji is studying to be an astronomer and seems mad at Mizuho because he has abandoned his childhood dreams.

The story is pretty straight-forward, and nothing really surprising. But I did enjoy the way the story goes, all calm and deep, and Mizuho’s changing feelings. Enji is especially a nice character, though he seems cold at times. Their chemistry is just right. The misunderstandings go a bit too far, but that’s to be expected. It’s nothing hard core, so it can be a good starting point for the immense world of yaoi. Good stories are hard to come by in yaoi, so this one is a good choice.

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Luck of the Irish

I have tons of stuff to do today, but I am still trying to blog, which is weird, since I’m never busy nowadays. Anyways. Today, I’m going to talk about Juliet Marillier, a fantasy writer, since I finished her book The Dark Mirror, which is the first book of the Bridei Chronicles. Previously, I read her Sevenwaters Trilogy, which is mainly the basis for this post.daughter of the forest

Juliet Marillier is from New Zealand, from this town with Scottish roots. She also belongs to a Druid order, and she has been diagnosed with breast cancer in March (which doesn’t have anything to do with the books, but I am stating this anyway so you can utter a prayer). Sevenwaters Trilogy takes place in Ireland, in 9th century AD, before it was under English dominance and the  Irish were still mostly Pagan and druids played a big role. It consists of three books. The first one, Daughter of the Forest, is from the point of view of Sorcha, the only daughter of Lord Colum, who’s the lord of, well, Sevenwaters. She has six brothers, and her mother died giving birth to her. She has some supernatural abilities, like communicating mind to mind with her brother and sometimes seeing the future etc. She’s also a healer in the community. One day, their peaceful existence (which is never actually really peaceful) is disrupted when Colum takes a wife. His wife is an evil sorceress who has bewitched him, and one day she turns his brother into swans. She escapes, and one of the Good Folk tells her to weave them sweaters with this nasty plant. The Good Folk is this form of being, like magical beings that live in the forest by the way, and they play a huge part in the book. Sorcha goes through a lot, and I mean a lot through the book. It has some really heartbreaking moments. 

The second book, Son of the Shadows, has a misleading title, it’s not from the point of view of a son at all, it’s based on the life of Sorcha’s daughter, Liadan, who has a different adventure of her own. She’s captured by an army of warriors and taken to the camp of the Painted Man, who are actually guns for hire. There she meets Bran, who’s their leader, and is more than he seems. I really like this book, too, it has some good moments. And the third book, Child of the Prophecy is, yes, about Sorcha’s granddaughter, though she’s not Liadan’s daughter, but her sister’s. This one is somewhat different, since Fainne doesn’t grow up in Sevenwaters, but in a cave with his druid father, who’s actually the son of Lord Collum and his sorceress wife. One day the sorceress shows up and tells her to go to Sevenwaters to do a bunch of evil, and Fainne struggles all through the book, making this the most depressing of the three. The love story in this one isn’t like that of the others, it’s much less apparent. This one is my least favorite, though it’s more surprising than the others. 

This, I believe, is the first fantasy trilogy I finished (yes, I never got through Lord of the Rings. Sue me.), and since I’ve always been fascinated by Pagan culture, I really enjoyed it. There’s a fairy tale like atmosphere, lots of mystical druid lore, rituals, spells and the like, people who can do extraordinary stuff, and solid love stories. There’s a lot of description of the forest and stuff, which can get a bit tiring, but all the people drama makes up for it. The women are very strong, sometimes a bit too strong, and the men are, well, they are pretty strong, too. There are plenty of heartbreak, surprises, and if you’re too soft, you may find yourself crying, though I didn’t cry (I haven’t cried since Harry Potter).

Since we’re on the subject, I can mention the Bridei Chronicles, too. This trilogy is a bit different, since I only read the first book, The Dark Mirror. There are two points of view, one of Bridei, who’s the foster son of Broichan, the druid of the King, who’s raising Bridei as the future king. The other is Tuala, the baby of the Good Folk that Bridei finds in the forest one day and raises as her “sister”. It begins when Bridei is just 3 years old and comes to Pitnochie, Broichan’s house, and is educated in all aspects. He finds Tuala when he’s six, and they grow up together, and they understand each other better than anyone. However, Broichan doesn’t like Tuala at all, since he fears that this little minx may be disrupting his plans of raising an invincible leader. 

This trilogy takes place in the 6th century AD, and follows the King Bridei of the Picts. Yes, Bridei becomes king, but I’m not really spoiling anything, it’s very obvious since the beginning. I don’t know what happens in the other books, because one thing I learned reading these is this: never read the backs of the books, or the summaries at the end of the book, because they spoil the next book. It doesn’t say generally state what happens, it names names and tells everything. It’s a nightmare. So I did my best not to read, but I’m pretty sure what the other books are about, since the other characters, who are going to be main characters in the other books, made themselves pretty obvious.Sevenwaters

Here is the website of Juliet Marillier, which is pretty cool since she has pictures of the place she based Sevenwaters on. She also wrote the fourth book of the trilogy, which sounds weird, “fourth book of the trilogy”. She also has other books, and one of them actually takes place in Istanbul. So, lots to explore that way.

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