Top 5 Wednesday| The Joke's on You

I want to kick this blog post off with a little PSA: Keeping up with writing blog posts has become increasingly more difficult the closer I get to my dissertation deadline (just my 2,000-word commentary left to write!) and my last two essays. So, I want to focus on that while I can and give myself the best chance I can - I hope you understand. The rest of my T5W may be prewritten from now until the end of April until I am back mid-May, as well as some other book reviews and book tags. 

Now back to T5W: 

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly blog group that comes together to discuss that week's topic by putting together a list of five books, tropes, and characters. The idea was first curated by the wonderful Lainey at GingerReadLainey and is now run by Samantha from ThoughtsonTomes.

This week it's all about our favourite 'Jokesters', which to be honest, was a really tough one - 'jokesters' don't typically stick in my mind, nor do I care for them very much.

1. Fred and George Weasley
Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix
J.K. Rowling
Of course, these two were going to be on this list, and will probably be the most referred to on this week's lists. Their prank on Umbridge before leaving Hogwarts for the final time, was a great way of creating satisfaction for the reader because let's be honest, we all wanted something to happen to that pink cow.

2. The Fool
Royal Assassin
Robin Hobb
By definition, The Fool is a royal jester - jokester - but his role is more complicated in terms of his relationship to the main character, Fitz. Because of this, it makes his character intriguing enough for me to claim that he's one of my favourite characters in the Farseer Trilogy, and hope to continue on with their story soon.
3. Kitty Song-Covey
To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Jenny Han
Once you get past what she did to Lara Jean (the letters), Kitty is the comedic humour that interjects itself during the conflicts of Lara Jean's relationships that keeps TATBILB on the fluffy side of cute contemporaries. 
4. Safi "Safiya" fon Hasstrel
Susan Dennard
At this point, I am yet to head back into the world of the Witchlands in Bloodwitch. That being said, I really miss Safi's sense of humour and everyone around rolling their eyes. She's the comedic one in the duo that is Safi and Iseult, full of great (semi-bad and cringe-worthy) puns, and I can't wait to read about her again!
5. Nikolaj Lanstov
Seige and Storm
Leigh Bardugo
After finishing the original trilogy last year, I still think back to Nikolaj and the genuine giggles I used to get when I read some of his lines. Perhaps, one day I'll get to read King of Scars... once, you know, I finally read Six of Crows.

Review| The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1)
Holly Black

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UK Publisher: Hot Key Books

UK Release Date: July 28th, 2018
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 370

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Well, well, well... I finally gave in to the hype machine of the book community. And somehow, The Cruel Prince still somehow exceeded my expectations. 

I can be oddly specific I can be about the kind of fae I like to read about, I like dark, twisted and never really knowing where the main character or I stand in trying to figure them out to predict their next move. 

I wanted 'cruel', I wanted 'wicked', and I wanted 'intricate' and that's what Holly Black delivered in her A-game. 

I absolutely loved Jude as a first-person narrator and as the main character. She felt grounded, her motives and how she dealt with them were interesting and believable. I especially like the dynamic that was explored between Jude's sisters and how they have grown into the people they have because of the action's that happened before the events set in The Cruel Prince.

I have some issues with what everyone identifies this book with: the romance between Jude and Carden. On the one hand, I'm glad that the "hate-to-love" aspect wasn't solved within a chapter and seems to be ongoing onto the next book, The Wicked King. However, there are some early instances at the beginning of the book that left me with an unsavory taste in my mouth. For me, they weren't challenged enough to make me completely buy into this relationship set-up (and that's to assume that they will be endgame). Ultimately it was bullying, but I am hoping there is some set up for this to be resolved. 

Top 5 Wednesday| A Lil' Spring Reading

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly blog group that comes together to discuss that week's topic by putting together a list of five books, tropes, and characters. The idea was first curated by the wonderful Lainey at GingerReadLainey and is now run by Samantha from ThoughtsonTomes.

The clocks have moved back and there's a light breeze in the air (who am I kidding, I live in North Wales) and I'm struggling to stay inside and finish my degree. Nothing new.

I am at the most part a mood reader, so you'd think that this weeks topic, Spring Reads, would be an easy one for me. I'll be talking about books that both remind me of spring and that I want to read this season. 

I really enjoy books that either look towards summer (I can't believe I no longer get summer holidays now I'm almost graduated) or look towards winter (my favourite season). 

1. Other Words for Smoke 
Sarah Maria Griffin 

I recently just got this one in the post from TitanBooks and I know that as soon as I finish my current read this is going to be up next. I've been anticipating this books since last summer. This is one of those books that I feel is going to give me that taste of summer with its bi, witchy, feminist fairy tale.

2. The Unbound (The Dark Vaults #2)
V.E. Schwab

We all know I could read V's books all year round. But there is something to be said about her books at the cusp of Spring. The Unbound is the only one of her earlier books that I am yet to give a reread, so I anticipate treating myself with her wonderful words as a treat when my deadlines get a little rough.
3. Nights at the Circus
Angela Carter

I love Angela Carters's stories. The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories are one of my all-time favourite short story collections. I have no idea why her books seem to come up during this time of year (might be something to do with when I was revising for my A-Levels).
4. All That She Can See
Carrie Hope Fletcher

There is a lot of magical realism on this list, and I'm really not that surprised. Maybe it's that fresh breezy air that convinces my mind that there might just be some magic in the world? 
I've read Carrie's two previous works (All I Know Now; On the Other Side) and they were really fun to read. 
5. A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)
Deborah Harkness

This might be the longest novel on this list and one that doesn't really say spring to me. However, it is one that I really want to get to and possibly go on to watch the TV adaption that aired last year. 

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