2020 Wrap Up

What an insane year this has been, I have read a lot but no more than usual. I’m very glad to see the back of 2020 although I’m still terrified at what next year will bring, but I know I’ll be able to read some brilliant books no matter what!

Total books read: 50

A nice round amount! The list includes 7 books by Terry Pratchett and 6 rereads.

Favourite book: Circe by Madeline Miller

Least favourite book: The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

Shortest Book: The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald (144 pages)

Longest Book: Rogues (collection of short stories) edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois (913 pages)

Genre I read the most of: Historical Fiction or Fantasy

Favourite series: Tudor Legacy by Laura Andersen and A Song of Ice and Fire (of course!) by George R.R. Martin

Audiobooks: I listened to 12 audiobooks in total, I’ve definitely listened to less this year, I lost my motivation for them a bit and during lockdown I preferred to read physical books!

Favourite audiobook: The Time Travellers Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer, narrated by Mike Grady

I hope you all have a lovely New Year even though we can’t go out and celebrate! Here’s to a less strange 2021!!

A Song of Ice and Fire Re-read: A Feast for Crows

This is my favourite of the series so far simply because three of my best characters have the most chapters; Cersei, Brienne and Jaime! It’s the first time we get to see Westeros through Cersei and Brienne’s eyes and I have the best time reading their thoughts. Cersei is sassy and so brutal I laugh a lot, unless she makes me emotional. Brienne is an absolute gem, I love learning more about her and her childhood. I just want to give her a massive hug. Jaime continues to be the chaotic sass king that we know and love.

We get to go to Dorne, finally! I love Dorne, the people are so badass, I would not mess with them! Arianne Martel is the next in line to rule Dorne. In Dorne women can inherit lands and titles before men and Arianne is a true feminist, she wants those rights for Princess Mrycella as well. Dorne however is in meltdown, they have lost their beloved Prince Oberyn, his bastard daughters The Sand Snakes want revenge. But Doran Martell is intelligent, he knows they can’t win a war against the Lannisters now that they have the Tyrell’s with them. He makes the decision to keep the girls imprisoned so they don’t stir up anymore trouble.

Brienne is literally the kindest person in Westeros and everyone treats her like crap and always has, it’s so depressing! When Brienne went to fight for Renly, the knights in the camp had a bet on who could seduce her first. They were all being nice and romantic to her face and then laughing behind her back, they are all on my kill list. Brienne cares so much about others, even when she came across some of the Bloody Mummers who captured her and Jaime in A Clash of Kings, they attacked her again, she killed them and still felt guilty. Even though they are evil! She deserves all the good things in the world and I would love to adopt her and show her the love she deserves!! Her last two chapters broke my heart completely, she tried to protect a group of children against seven horrible men and then got captured by the Brotherhood Without Banners. They took her for a Lannister, unfortunately her sword does have a lion on its pommel…and she has a note from the King granting her permission to move about the land. Lady Stoneheart told her to kill Jaime and she could go free, but Brienne would rather die until she sees her friends being killed too. I’m still crying about it.

Cersei starts the book having just learned her father is dead. And has been murdered by Tyrion who she thought was locked away. Cersei gets increasingly paranoid that Tyrion is still creeping around the castle in the walls. She decides to burn down the Tower of the Hand with wildfire after Tywin’s funeral. So extra, I love it! Cersei is not going to let anyone take her power from her, Tommen is still far too young to rule and like hell is my girl going to let a man rule over her again. Unfortunately Cersei manages to anger both Jaime and Kevan in her ruling. They are the only dependable family she has left. She makes some questionable decisions, the worst by far was letting the creepy, pious ‘sparrows’ take up arms in the name of the Faith. The Faith Militant were disbanded and banned back in the early Targaryen days. They caused trouble for Maegor I who had super powerful dragons at his disposal. To give them power back is beyond stupid, these idiots are obsessed with ‘sinners’ and punishing them. No one is safe. One of the most important things we learnt about Cersei was the prophecy she heard about herself when she was a child. She went to see a Maegi with her friends, Cersei still thought she would get to marry Prince Rhaegar at this point so her questions were about that. “Queen you shall be, until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear. Three children for you. Gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds. And when your tears have drowned you, the volonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.” The prophecy explains a lot of Cersei’s paranoia, she believes Margaery is going to take everything from her, that all her children will die before her and that Tyrion will kill her. I don’t think the younger brother mentioned in the prophecy is Tyrion. Jaime was born after Cersei, by moments but he is younger and his growing rage towards her could spell serious trouble. I worry for Cersei, mainly because I know what’s coming.

Jaime is spiralling in King’s Landing. He’s still trying to recover from loosing his hand and Tyrion’s warning to him that Cersei has been having multiple affairs keeps ringing in his head. He also has to deal with the guilt that he caused his father’s death. He let Tyrion free and his brother went straight to kill Tywin. Awkward. Jaime refuses to rule as the King’s Hand, he struggles enough with leading the Kingsguard. He is better at politics than he gives himself credit for but he’ll never be as good as Tyrion. Cersei sends Jaime to the Riverlands to take Riverrun back from Brynden Tully. On his way there he saw how desolate that part of the realm is now. It has been destroyed by the war. Outlaws roam the land along with a huge pack of wolves led by a direwolf. Jaime’s disdain of the Frey’s made me laugh, he tore some of them apart. They are a bunch of idiots and Lady Stoneheart is coming for them. Jaime seemed to feel better outside the city walls, but the outlaws may find him too, before long.

On my kill list: Littlefinger, Hyle Hunt and all the vile knights who were horrible to Brienne, Randyll Tarly, Walder Frey and all of his pathetic spawn, Olenna Tyrell, the Ironborn, The High Sparrow and his followers.

Let me protect them: Brienne, Cersei, Jaime, Arya, Sansa, the smallfolk of Westeros.

Heartbreaking death: Maester Aemon

Maester Aemon was one of the kindest and wisest characters in the whole series. He thought he was the last Targaryen in the world for years, but luckily before he died he found out about Dany and her dragons. I will miss all the knowledge he had to share, one of the things I find most incredible about him is that he could have been a king. His older brothers all died but he was already training to become a maester. He knew he wouldn’t be a good ruler so he declined and the throne went to his younger brother Aegon instead. He was never hungry for power, and he worked at the Wall to protect the whole Kingdom. And now his watch has ended.

Favourite quotes: “It was one thing to slay a lion, another to hack his paw off and leave him broken and bewildered.” – Brienne thinking about when Jaime lost his hand.

“She wanted sleet and ice, howling winds, thunder to shake the very stones of the Red Keep. She wanted a storm to match her rage.” – Cersei – this sums up Cersei’s constant rage so well, whenever I am angry this quote comes into my head.

“The women are the strong ones, truly.” – Arys Oakheart – thanks bro.

“Words are wind. They cannot hurt you. Let them wash over you.” – Brienne – this woman is so strong the amount of crap she puts up with from everyone else and still she carries on, so proud of her.

“It is being common born that is dangerous when the great lords play their game of thrones.” – Septon Meribald

The next in the series is A Dance With Dragons, George decided to split AFFC and ADWD up to focus on different characters which is why everyone at the Wall and in Essos wasn’t mentioned in AFFC. I’m probably not going to have as much fun with the first half of ADWD but I am looking forward to reading from Tyrion’s point of view again.

A Song of Ice and Fire Re-read – A Storm of Swords

This post will contain spoilers for A Storm of Swords so don’t read on if you haven’t read it yet.

A Storm of Swords is a very long book, so long that it’s split into two here in the UK. This one probably has the most major character deaths of the bunch. It’s terribly emotional and Westeros is in absolute chaos. Four Kings are left standing but by the end of the book three of those will be dead.

One of my favourite things about the book is Jaime’s pov chapters, we get to see his adventures with Brienne. I say adventure and it sounds fun but they had an awful time trying to outrun everyone and get back to King’s Landing in one piece. Jaime is very sarcastic and therefore funny to read but I also love reading about his life in the Kingsguard when he was younger. The chapter when he opens up to Brienne about when he killed the Mad King is so emotional and adds more complexity to his character.

I was got very frustrated that no one would listen to the women in this book. Catelyn knows so much, she knew Theon wasn’t to be trusted and when Robb brought his stupid wife back and her family, Cat knew that their fear of Grey Wind was a bad sign as well as obviously angering the most petty Lord in the whole Seven Kingdoms. Also Cersei sensed danger at Joffrey marring Margeary and she was right, he died.

Never go to a wedding in Westeros. First we have Sansa having to marry Tyrion who is over twice her age and worse for Sansa, a Lannister. Tyrion was also unhappy with the match and refused to share Sansa’s bed until she was ready.

Then of course we have the Red Wedding which is the most devastating event in ASOIAF. Robb Stark was winning the war until he broke his word to Walder Frey and married someone from the Westerlands instead of one of Frey’s daughters/granddaughters. The Northerners need to get back to their homeland to take back their homes from the Ironborn, but the way is barred by the Freys. Eventually they come to an agreement and Edmure Tully is to marry a Frey instead. All seems well, Robb apologised and was forgiven. But after the wedding feast a slaughter ensued. All our Northerners were murdered, including Robb and Cat and their army outside the castle. The worst part is that Arya was within moments of seeing her family again before they were taken from her. I will never be able to read those chapters without ugly sobbing, it’s so horrible.

Lastly we had the Purple Wedding. A royal wedding with Joffrey and Margaery tying the knot. Everything was going fine until Joffrey decided to use Tyrion’s embarrassment as a source of entertainment. He insists that Tyrion be his cub bearer and pours wine over his head. But someone else had better ideas than letting their only granddaughter marry a sociopath. Joffrey appeared to choke on some pie, but really he was poisoned. I hate Joffrey but Cersei having to loose her son that way breaks my heart. Tyrion was set up, he was the one pouring the King’s wine, the perfect time to slip him some poison.

Tyrion’s trial was also a set up. It’s a tough read because of the injustice of it all. Tyrion has no witnesses himself so he looses it, confesses that he would love to murder everyone in the room and call for a trial by combat. Full respect, Tyrion has been treated like rubbish his entire life and finally he has had enough. The trial by combat is such a good chapter. Oberyn Martell agreed to fight for Tyrion against the monster that is Gregor Clegane aka The Mountain. The Mountain killed Oberyn’s sister twenty years ago when King’s Landing fell in the war. Oberyn wanted revenge and almost had it, but he would not finish it, he had Clegane on his back, stabbed and dying but he insisted on waiting until Clegane had admitted his crimes. The most gory major death to date in ASOIAF I think, sorry Oberyn!

The epilogue is arguably my favourite part of the book. The Brotherhood without Banners have recruited another undead member. Thoros brought our Catelyn back to life. She can’t speak and she can’t remember much, but she is out for revenge and hanging Frey’s in the Riverlands with the help of the Brotherhood. I am desperate to read more of Lady Stoneheart, my poor Cat.

Favourite death: Tywin Lannister, I hate this guy, he’s been emotionally abusing his children for decades so it’s no surprise that Tyrion was the one to finally end his life. The best part is that he was on the toilet! “Tywin Lannister, in the end, did not shit gold.” One of my favourite lines ever, so funny.

Let me protect them: Arya, Sansa, Jon, Tyrion, Jaime, Cersei, Brienne, Bran and the smallfolk of Westeros.

Favourite quotes: “Their blades made a little island of light , but all around them stretched a sea of darkness, unending.” – In Jaime’s dream, him and Brienne are casting the only light he can see. When he wakes up he goes back to Harrenhall to stop her being killed by the vile Bloody Mummers.

“Sansa is no longer yours to torment. Understand that, monster.” – Tyrion to Joffrey.

“A man has a right to vengeance. But he slew a man beneath his roof, and that the gods cannot forgive.” – Old Nan from a story she told Bran. Frey is going down.

“Brienne looked so miserable that Jaime almost found himself wanting to comfort her.” – Jaime (I’m not crying, you’re crying!)

“We are puppets dancing on the strings of those who came before us and one day our children will take up our strings and dance in our steads.” – Tyrion. I just love this image.

“Sourcery is a sword without a hilt. There is no safe way to grasp it.” – Dalla

On my kill list: Walder Frey and all of his vile spawn, Stannis Baratheon, Melisandre, The Bloody Mummers, Gregor Clegane, Olenna Tyrell, Littlefinger.



Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Couples/Ships

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic by thatartsyreadergirl is a Love Freebie so I chose to share my favourite literary couples. Most of my picks are couples but some aren’t canon (yet!). I detest Valentines Day and everything it stands for but I like talking about my favourite ships so here we are!

1. Braime – Brienne of Tarth & Jaime Lannister, A Song of Ice and Fire


These two are so in love, they just don’t know it yet. They start out hating each other, Jaime is Brienne’s prisoner but she has been tasked with taking him safely home. Unfortunately they encounter horrible people along the way, they go through hell together and at the end they have genuine respect for one another. In the fourth book of the series they are apart, but not a chapter of their’s goes by without them thinking of the other. Brienne almost lets herself be executed to save Jaime’s life, Jaime risks everything to protect Brienne and ends up having his right hand chopped off. It’s a classic enemies to friends to lovers relationship, we’re just missing the last part!

“I dreamed of you.” – Jaime on why he went back to save Brienne from Harrenhal.

“In this light she could almost be a beauty, in this light she could almost be a knight.” – Jaime’s thoughts about Brienne.

“She went to sleep dreaming of the fight they’d had, and of Ser Jaime fastening a rainbow cloak around her shoulders.” – Brienne dreaming whilst on her travels to find Sansa.

2. Claire and Jamie Fraser, Outlander

Claire and Jamie

I could not be more in love with these two, they’re so adorable! Their love stretches across time, they meet when Claire is on her honeymoon in Scotland in the 1940s and comes across a magical portal which takes her back in time to 1743. Through the choas of the time they find each other. They love each other so much and I just want them to be happy together but everything keeps getting in the way.

“Does it ever stop? The wanting you? Even when I’ve just left ye. I want you so much my chest feels tight and my fingers ache with wanting to touch ye again.” – Jamie

“I will find you,’ he whispered in my ear. ‘I promise. If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory, two hundred years without you – then that is my punishment, which I have earned for my crimes. For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. But there is the one thing that shall lie in the balance. When I shall stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weigh against the rest.'” – Jamie

“To be with Jamie was bliss, adventure and absorbtion.” – Claire

3. Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy, Pride and Prejudice

Elizabeth and Darcy

My favourite classics couple, I love angst and these two have it in bucket loads. They remind me of Brienne and Jaime in that they don’t realise for ages how much they care about the other person. They meet when Darcy is still arrogant and broody and Elizabeth puts him in his place. Darcy actually realises he was in the wrong and tries to change his behaviour for the better.

“You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged; but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever.” – Mr Darcy

“They walked on, without knowing in what direction. There was too much to be thought, and felt, and said, for attention to any other objects.” – The moment after Elizabeth finally admits her feelings for Darcy.

4. Minuette Wyatt and Dominic Courtenay, The Boleyn Trilogy

Minuette and Dominic

The Boleyn King is the beginning of a series in which history is changed and Anne Boleyn gave Henry VIII the son he wanted. Minuette and Dominic are childhood friends of Princess Elizabeth and Prince William. Their relationship is friendship for the most part until something sparks between them. Unfortunately the future king also has romantic feelings for Minuette and if they betray William and tell him of their feelings it could put their lives at risk. But through all the fear and stress of living in a Tudor court, their love sustains.

5. Fleur Delacour and Bill Weasley, Harry Potter

Bill and Fleur

I love these two because everyone doubts them and their love for each other but that’s because they’re incredibly shallow and projected that onto Fleur assuming she was too. Bill and Fleur met at Gringotts Bank where they both worked, Bill has always been a complete individual, and I think Fleur liked that about him. They got married while their world was on the brink of war and fought together to protect their families.

“You thought I would not weesh to marry him? Or per’aps, you ‘oped?’ said Fleur, her nostrils flaring. “What do I care how ‘e looks? I am good-looking enough for both of us, I theenk! All these scars show is zat my husband is brave!” – Fleur after Bill was injured by a Death Eater and Molly assumes she doesn’t want to be with Bill anymore.

“While her radiance usually dimmed everyone else by comparison, today it beautified everybody it fell upon. And once Fleur had reached him, Bill did not look as though he had ever met Fenrir Greyback.” – Bill and Fleur’s wedding

6. Katniss and Peeta, The Hunger Games

Katniss and Peeta

My babies! They break my heart! I started shipping them in Catching Fire, the trauma they went through connected them and they were able to comfort and support each other. When they are separated in the last book, it was horrible and Katniss managed to break through Peeta’s conditioning and connect with him again. Their book at the end of the series is one of my favourite things, together they write about their lost friends and tell the stories to their children.

To this day, I can never shake the connection between this boy, Peeta Mellark, and the bread that gave me hope, and the dandelion that reminded me that I was not doomed. – Katniss

“Peeta and I grow back together. There are still moments when he clutches the back of a chair and hangs on until the flashbacks are over. I wake screaming from nightmares of mutts and lost children. But his arms are there to comfort me. And eventually his lips.”

7. Cersei Lannister and Rhaegar Targaryen, A Song of Ice and Fire

Cersei and Rhaegar

A slightly out-there ship as we never see them together in the series. It’s more a pre-asoiaf ship. When Cersei was a child Tywin tried to arrange a marriage for Cersei and Prince Rhaegar but Aerys deemed the match unacceptable. I think Rhaegar would have been a far better match for Cersei than Robert ever was, we know that he was kind, creative and melancholic. If it had come to war for the Targaryens against the North and Stormlands then with the help of the Lannisters they would have won. More than that I think Cersei would have been much happier and really that’s all I care about!

“However bright a torch might burn, it could never match the rising sun. – Kevan Lannister wondering what would have happened if Cersei had married Rhaegar.

“Had any man ever been so beautiful? He was more than a man, though. His blood was the blood of old Valyria, the blood of dragons and gods.” – Cersei remembering Rhaegar

8. Lucette Courtenay and Julian Le Clerc, The Virgin’s Daughter

Lucie and Julian

Lucie is the daughter of Minuette and Dominic who I spoke about earlier. Her and her siblings have grown up close to court and Elizabeth’s daughter Annabel. Lucie wants to escape and is tasked with spying on a dangerous French Catholic movement. She stays with the Le Clerc’s who have ties to her parents and both the brothers are suspects. But Lucie doesn’t know that Julian is also working for the English. At first they don’t like each other, but as they start to work together they realise their attraction and affection for each other.

I want to be undone by you. I want to be the one to come to pieces in your arms, to forget there is anything in this world but the two of us.”

9. Harry Potter and Hermione Granger, Harry Potter

Hermione and Harry

Possibly controversial but I thought these two would end up together. Ron and Hermione used to argue constantly but Harry and Hermione cared for each other and supported each other always. I have nothing against Ron, I just didn’t get it!

Hermione turned around and beamed at Harry; her eyes too were full of tears.” – When Fleur and Bill are saying their vows Hermione turns to look at Harry.

“Hermione raised her wand, moved it in a circle through the air, and a wreath of Christmas roses  blossomed before them. Harry caught it and laid it on his parent’s grave. He put his arm around Hermione’s shoulders, and she put hers around his waist, they turned in silence and walked away through the snow, past Dumbledore’s mother and sister, back toward the dark church and the out-of-sight kissing gate.” – Hermione knows what Harry is thinking before he even mentions flowers, this is one of the most emotional and beautiful scenes in the books.

10. Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth, Persuasion

Anne and Frederick

Another classics couple with angst! At the beginning of the book Anne hear’s Frederick’s name for the first time in years. She rejected his proposal some time ago and has come to regret it, they meet again when Frederick rents her family home and the sparks are still there. Like I said earlier, I love angst and because Frederick is still upset there is a lot of it.

“I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago.” – Captain Frederick Wentworth

End of the Decade – My Favourite Books from the Past Ten Years!

It is so strange to think we are at the end of the 2010s, it’s been a pretty dodgy decade in many respects but I have read some fantastic books! Most of the books weren’t published in the last 10 years but it’s when I discovered them.

11059675. sy475 1. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

The fullness and complexity of these books and the characters has kept me coming back to it, I’ve read the first three books a few times already. The more you read it the more in depth you see the story. I am so happy I’ve found ASOIAF, even if it does make me cry a lot!


157709272. Dominion by C.J Sansom

The book is set in the 1950s in Britain except the Nazis have taken over, we never fought them. It is one of the most terrifying and genius books I’ve ever read. It felt so real, I was so distressed! Our main character works for the government and is unhappy with the changes taking place so he joins the freedom movement lead by Winston Churchill. He feeds them important files but then he gets involved with protecting a Jewish scientist who has been locked in an asylum. If the Nazis find out where he is, the world is doomed. I strongly recommend this book, it’s incredible.

27329773. The Millennium series by Stieg Larsson and David Lagercrantz

This series is so brilliant and dark, it’s terrifying at moments but it always comes back to the characters and how genius they are. Lisbeth who has had to fight her whole life against truly evil people who are still out to get her and Mikael who thrives on exposing conspiracies, which has got him into trouble a few times.

893136. sy475 4. The Book Thief by Markus Zukos

Just genius, narrated by Death as he tells us about his run-ins with Liesel as she discovers her love of reading. Her foster father teaches her to read, soon she is stealing books from Nazi book burnings. Liesel lives in Germany during WWII and her world is made more dangerous when her foster family hide a Jewish man in their cellar. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read, I’d never read a book that centred around the innocent German people during WWII before and this was written superbly.

186245855. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

These books have so many important themes about corruption and controlling governments and its such a chilling premise, children fighting to the death for the entertainment of the elite. As a reader it made me have a good look at our own media and how toxic it can be. Aside from that the characters are real and flawed and I love them.


182735216. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

This book is one of my favourites ever! It’s like my dream book with past lives/WWII but it’s better than anything I could have imagined. We follow Ursula through her life from birth to her many different deaths. In each life different choices are made. It’s such a magical book and so different from everything I had read from Kate Atkinson before, I’m so glad I found it!


131472307. The Long Earth series by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

Sci-fi heaven, one day on Earth, hundreds of children disappeared at once, they moved to a parallel world with a devise that had gone viral on the internet. Soon adults realised what was happening and humanity was changed forever. Humanity spread out into the connected worlds where we made new homes for ourselves. In my favourite book of the series, scientists found a way to reach Mars and found its own string of parallels.

6514. sy475 8. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

This book is about Esther Greenwood’s struggle with mental health, Esther has moved to New York to try and be a journalist but soon finds herself breaking down. It is so powerful and such an important book, I’m very glad I read it.



33871762. sy475 9. The Power by Naomi Alderman

Just epic! Through some strange evolution young girls suddenly gain the power to channel electricity through their hands. They can shock others, hurt them and kill them. They can also release the gift in older women. A shift is happening, no longer are men more powerful. The book follows different young women and one young man on their journeys through this fascinating time. But is life better under woman’s rule or are all humans inherently corrupt?

38530939. sy475 10. The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

I love this book so much! I read it this summer and fell in love with it. It’s a story about time and how precious stories are. How houses can hold memories forever but not always in a bad way, Birchwood Manor is a place of safety and comfort.


There we are, bring on the 2020s and all the books they will bring!

A Song of Ice and Fire Re-Read – A Clash of Kings

This will contain spoilers for A Clash of Kings so read on with caution!

This is one of my favourite in the series. The way George describes the war torn country is chilling, in fantasy we often read or see the glory of the battles but not the effects they have on the people left behind. The Riverlands are burning, it’s people rounded up and brutally killed. Arya gets captured by a group of vile men determined to get their hands on gold or the illusive Beric Dondarion who was sent out by Ned Stark to capture the Mountain and is still continuing his quest.

Tyrion had the most chapters in this book which is lucky because his were definitely my favourites. He is either making me laugh or cry, there is no in between! Tyrion and Cersei’s relationship is so complicated, I absolutely love reading them sass each other and try to out do the other. They’re both as dramatic as each other. But ultimately Tyrion worked hard to protect King’s Landing in this book, he was never thanked for it but he saved the city.

The Battle of Blackwater is one of the most epic and chilling sequences in ASOIAF, we flick between Davos, Tyrion and Sansa to get the full view of the battle. I of course was rooting for King’s Landing because half my favourites are in there and Stannis is the worst! I forgot how arrogant and pathetic he was until I read these chapters. He’s convinced he is the Azor Ahai, a prophecy that claims this man will come to save Westeros in its darkest hour. This is hardly our darkest hour for starters and you can’t rule your way out of a paper bag Stannis, face it, no one likes you, no one respects you and using magic to kill your own brother does nothing to help you. That’s probably why I hate him the most, Renly was a sassy gem, I miss him!

One of the most important chapters was when Daenerys visited the House of the Undying. She went there to secure funds for some ships but ended up seeing visions of the past and future. There is so much in there; Dany sees here old childhood home with the red door, she witnesses her father sitting on the Iron Throne calling to “burn them all.” One of the most important visions that we only now know the meaning of now is the Red Wedding *shudders*. Dany sees her brother Rhaegar and his wife Elia after the birth of their son, Rhaegar names his son Aegon and declares he is the prince that was promise, but he wants another child because “the dragon has three heads.” There were many more but my other favourite was a blue flower growing from a chink in a wall of ice (our boy Jon!)

On my kill list: Stannis Baratheon, Melisandre, Theon Greyjoy, all the Iron Born, Joffrey Baratheon, Tywin Lannister, Gregor Clegane and everyone working with him and Littlefinger.

Let me protect them: Arya, Sansa, Jon, Tyrion, Jaime, Cersei, Catelyn, Brienne, Bran and the smallfolk of Westeros.

Favourite dynamic: Cersei and Tyrion – although they don’t really get on at all, they’re constantly paranoid that the other person has the upper hand. But honestly together they are so funny, they’re both clever and brilliant at living life in the capital (i.e bribing and manipulating people) if they teamed up they would be unstoppable. There is one moment where Cersei truly shows her affection for Tyrion when they learn that Stannis went to attack Storm’s End, it is such a lovely moment. “They laughed together. Cersei pulled him off the bed and whirled him around and even hugged him. For a moment as giddy as a girl. Is this the Cersei that Jaime sees? When she smiled, you saw how beautiful she truly was.”

Favourite death: Stannis’ hopes and dreams – *evil laugh* when he lost at the Battle of Blackwater he barely left his chambers for weeks, you can’t magic your way out of that one can you! He was an arrogant fool and his army paid the price. My favourite bit of the aftermath is that the soilders swear they saw Renly’s ghost fighting against Stannis, that’s karma!

Favourite quotes: “There are ghosts everywhere. We carry them with us wherever we go.” – Jorah Mormont

“The gods don’t care about men, no more than kings care about peasants.” – Brienne of Tarth

Love is poison, a sweet poison, yes, but it will kill you all the same.” – Cersei Lannister

I think it passing odd that I am loved by one for a kindness I never did and reviled by so many for my finest act.” – Jaime Lannister

Who I actually want to win the war of the Five Kings: I would have loved Renly and Robb to form an alliance, Robb could rule the North and Riverlands and Renly the rest. But as much as I hate Joffrey, I wouldn’t want the other Lannisters to die so…awkward.

Most heartbreaking deaths: Renly Baratheon – I think it’s so sad because of all the potential that Renly had, yes his claim to the throne wasn’t strong but to be killed by magic, a literal stab in the back by his own brother, it was so awful. Also he’s one of the few gay characters in the series and Loras’ heartbreak at losing his boyfriend was too much. Also Brienne who was also in love with Renly saw him murdered before her eyes but could do nothing, if Catelyn hadn’t been there Brienne would have been left in the pavilion, in shock and sobbing at the death of her king. Luckily Catelyn saw the danger they were in and ran.

Maester Luwin – I mean the entire destruction of Winterfell was awful but when Bran and Rickon find Maester Luwin dying in the Godswood it’s so sad. This man helped raise all the Stark children and when Ned and Catelyn left he became another parent to the boys. He was such a kind and wise man, he did not deserve to die in such a way. When the boys leave him they are leaving behind their childhood and any happy memories that they have from it.

I have started A Storm of Swords already and it’s already making me cry! What are your thoughts on A Clash of Kings?

A Song of Ice and Fire Re-Read – A Game of Thrones

There are spoilers ahead for this book so proceed with caution!!

It starts with one of the best opening chapters I’ve ever read. You know you’re in for a chilling (pun intended) and brilliant ride. The prologue is set beyond the Wall, three men of the Night’s Watch are looking for signs of wildlings and instead find creatures that have been gone for thousands of years.

In ASOIAF the chapters are told from different points of view, we switch from person to person. It’s such a clever way of telling the story, especially one as complicated as this. Everyone gets more and more spread out across Westeros so it wouldn’t make sense to stay with one person. Although one character has many more chapters in this first book…Ned Stark.

I love how much of the history of Westeros we get in the book. All the religions and kingdoms fascinate me. But it doesn’t distract from the current events in the story. Westeros is a very dark and brutal place, with medieval values when it comes to women, people of colour and of course no one is allowed to be lgbt. The only place that seems chill is Dorne but we haven’t been properly introduced to them yet!

My favourite chapters are usually Tyrion’s, Jon’s or Catelyn’s. Although any mention of Cersei will have me on alert! It frustrates me that we don’t get to hear her thoughts until A Feast for Crows, the fourth book.

Character’s dreams play a big part in the books. “Everyone knows that dreams are prophetic.” – Sansa Stark. The Starks especially have really important dreams, Bran and Rickon both dream that their father is in the crypts after he was executed. Bran and Arya both have wolf dreams in which they become wolves and see the world through their eyes.

On a different note I cannot tell you how much I hate Robert Baratheon, he’s such a vile, self indulgent arsehole. The fact that Lyanna died obviously haunted Ned for years, because he’s her brother, but Robert thinks he had this weird claim to her. “You knew Lyanna’s beauty but not the iron underneath.” – Ned Stark. Robert went to war to ‘take her back’ and then when he won he painted Rhaegar Targaryen as a murderer. I am convinced as are many fans that Lyanna left of her own will because she loved Rhaegar as he loved her. Then Robert spends the next fifteen years treating Cersei like crap. I am genuinely surprised she didn’t have him killed a lot sooner, she really has the patience of a saint.

Ned being so honourable he risked all of his family’s lives…good job idiot. Seriously, what is wrong with you? Sure Joffrey is a sociopath, but with the right leaders beside him like Tywin Lannister (I also hate him but he is good at running the country) it would have been fine. It’s not like Stannis is any better, he’s practically a robot, no one likes him, why don’t we just avoid thousands of people dying in a war no one wanted. I could literally rant about Ned’s incompetence for hours.

It is terrifying how young some of the characters are. The show did at least one thing right in making Dany, Jon and Robb a lot older than they are in ASOIAF. They are all thirteen or fourteen at the beginning, Bran is only seven, Arya is nine and Sansa eleven. I completely forgot how young they were and it amazes me how they navigate the horrors to come at that age.

A confession: Despite Jaime and Cersei throwing Bran out of a window I somehow managed to forgive them. I blame their complicated characters and the phenomenal acting of Lena Headey and Nikolaj Coster Waldau. From what we see of them in this first book, I don’t think I would have warmed to them at all. The Lannister siblings are deeply troubled, thanks to the worst father in Westeros – Tywin. If I could go back in Westeros time and adopt all three as children I would! They’re also the sassiest characters by some way which wins them all bonus points.

Characters who break my heart the most: Jon, Tyrion & Dany

Most underrated: Sansa – she’s just a child and she adapts so quickly at the end of the book to ensure her survival, yes she trusted too easily but she learnt her lesson.

On my kill list: Littlefinger, Joffrey, Robert, Lysa, The Mountain & Tywin.

Let me protect them: Arya, Sansa, Bran, Dany, Jon, Robb, Tyrion, Cersei, Jaime, Catelyn and all of the smallfolk of Westeros.

Favourite quotes: “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.” – Ned Stark

“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die, there is no middle ground.” – Cersei Lannister

“The heart lies and the head plays tricks with us, but the eyes see true.” – Syrio Forel

“For the first time in hundreds of years, the night came alive with the music of dragons.”

Favourite dynamic: Jon & Arya – they are so cute and they love each other so much! They think of each other all the way through their seperate journeys, they wonder what the other is doing and recall their childhood together. And Jon giving Arya her sword Needle was so important to her, it’s one of the few things she has left of Winterfell at the end of the book.

Favourite death: Robert Baratheon’s death is by far my favourite in the first book. I had a little chuckle because it was cleverly done, Robert was out hunting boar and his squire had been instructed to get him as drunk as possible. Then they let his arrogance and stupidity do the rest. Robert missed the boar and was speared in the stomach instead…shame (not).

I have started a Clash of Kings, it is one of my favourites, but it’s so sad! Seeing the war torn countryside through Arya’s eyes is so upsetting! But anyway let me know what you think of A Game of Thrones in the comments.

Top Five Tuesday – Fantasy Books

A new Top Five Tuesday, the prompts are created by Bionic Book Worm. I love fantasy as a genre and here are my favourite five picks:

117354561. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

I don’t think anyone is surprised that this is the top of my list. I can barely go five minutes without talking about this series, it’s phenomenal. The world of Westeros and Essos that George has created is so real, it’s a cruel and brutal world with dragons, undead ice zombies and devastating wars. Wherever we go in this world the detail George describes is incredible, when we change to a different point of view you know where you are almost immediately.

202537372. The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

This world that Terry Pratchett created is so brilliant, it’s quirky, random, it’s a flat disc with land and sea like ours on top. The disc rests on four elephants who in turn stand on the Great A’Tuin, a giant turtle who swims through space. Every single book in the series is funny and thought provoking. Death is probably my favourite character and I think my favourite book is either Hogswatch or Soul Music.

442933073. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

I read the Hobbit when I was about ten. I absolutely loved it, I’ve read it again since and it doesn’t get less magical. I think it’s the adventure side of it I really enjoyed and of course it sets the scene for the Lord of the Rings trilogy.



709474. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman

I’ve been re-reading this series and I hd forgotten how good it was. The original world in the first book is home of Lyra, everyone in her world has a daemon, a piece of their soul in the form of an animal, always with them but they’re able to converse and play together. Children’s daemons can change form until the grow up and stick to one thing. We then travel to different worlds, one like ours, one where shadows come and steal the grownups souls. It’s quite a dark series for children actually! In the third book there is a war approaching between God himself and Lord Asriel’s army of combined forces. It’s detailed, complex and fascinating.

219562195. Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

I really enjoyed this series, it starts with a boy being abandoned by his family to the heir to the kingdom claiming he was his bastard son. Fitz grows up in the castle kept out of sight and eventually he is trained to be an assassin.



What are some of your favourite fantasy books?

Top Five Tuesday – Unputdownable Reads

A new Top Five Tuesday, the prompts are created by Bionic Book Worm. I’m not usually one to rush a book, I’ve never read a book in one sitting. I prefer taking a step back and thinking about the story and what’s going on with the characters. But there are books that I’m always itching to pick back up even if I’ve just put them down!

78228951. The Millennium series by Stieg Larsson & David Lagercrantz

I couldn’t choose just one of these books, they are all addictive. Each book has a mystery to be solved, quite often it’s connected to Lisbeth Salander our resident badass. The journalists at Millennium magazine are usually hunting down a story as well. There’s always a lot going on and they’re just fantastic.

34078772. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

One of my favourite books of all time, it’s set in the early 2000s, the 80s and early 1900s. Cassandra’s grandmother Nell has recently passed away. Nell has left all of her property to Cassandra, including a cottage in rural England. Cassandra is confused, they live in Australia and as far as she knew Nell never had any interest in England or it’s countryside. She goes to investigate why her grandmother would have brought the rundown cottage. She follows in Nell’s footsteps. We also meet Eliza, a young poor child living in London with her brother, their parents are dead and they have to work all hours of the day to afford food and shelter. I remember when I first read this I just desperately wanted to know what happened to Eliza and how Nell and Cassandra were connected to her. It’s such a beautiful book and all Kate Morton’s have the same gripping nature.

187106193. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

Will a week go by when I don’t mention this series in one of my posts?! No because I love it that much! With all the twists and turns in this story, the shady characters and unexpected deaths, I never want to step away from these books. Ever…you’ll have to pry them out of my cold, dead hands! (I’m feeling very dramatic today) Also the way George writes it from different points of view, if you get to the end of a character’s chapter and want to find out what happens next, you’ve got to read another few chapters to get back to them, genius if not slightly cruel.

125100824. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

This is my favourite Hunger Games book and it is so intense. It’s split in two the first half is Katniss and Peeta on their victory tour of Panem and training for the Quarter Quell. The second half is in the Capital, the tributes training, fighting, making allies and finally entering the arena. The arena part is so fast paced, I could hardly tear myself away.


232014105. The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan

This book is set in England and split between the 1890s and the early 1930s. In the 30s the house hasn’t been lived in properly for years, there’s still a housekeeper and gardener in case the owners need it but they hardly ever return. Alice has fallen pregnant after having an affair with a married man. Her mother is appalled and sends her to Fiercombe Manor where she used to work and still knows the housekeeper who works there. Alice soon discovers the foundations of another house in the grounds but no one will tell her why it was destroyed. She finds diaries dated from 1890, a young woman, pregnant like her, but married. We see glimpses into Elizabeth’s life as well. I couldn’t stop thinking about this book while I was reading it and wondering what could have happened to Elizabeth. It’s clever and a really emotional read.

What are some of your favourite unputdownable reads?


Top Ten Tuesday – Page to Screen Freebie

I personally don’t mind watching films/tv shows before I read the books, although most of the time I do it by accident! Some of the books on my list were made into great films, others not so much.

1. The Hunger Games series


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These are first because I think the films stayed really true to the books, Suzanne Collins worked with the directors and writers closely and it shows. Her vision for the book has transferred wonderfully to the screen. I saw the first film of the series before I read the books but after I found out it was a book, I got hold of it as soon as I could! Catching Fire is my favourite book and film of the series, it tranfers so well to the screen.

2. Atonement


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I saw this film first as well and I fell in love with it. It’s a stunning film and when I read the book I could see why, the many descriptive passages were so detailed it really transports you to 1940s Britain and France. The endings are the main difference to the film/book, the same thing happens, we’re just told in very different ways. I think the film and book rank equally great.

3. Harry Potter


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I read the Harry Potter books first long before I saw the films. The books are so important to me, I absolutely love them. The films are good, I really enjoy them, just not as much as the books, they’re quite a few differences, especially in the later films but it still works. Books definitely win here!

4. A Song of Ice and Fire vs Game of Thrones


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Again I started watching the show before I knew about the books, but I caught up pretty quickly. ASOIAF is one of my favourite books series’ ever, George R.R. Martin is a genius! I have a love/hate relationship with GoT. The first two seasons are incredibly close to the books, however the show writers make gradual changes over the course of the show, season five was a complete let down, they diverted so much from some characters stories, I almost gave up. GoT also shows the writers’ true misogynistic natures by having more sexual violence against women in it than any of the ASOIAF books. They cut out some key characters later on and changed some great characters (the Sand Snakes) into vengeful two-dimensional versions. Visually of course GoT is stunning and the actors are incredible but it still looses out to ASOIAF because the writers suck!

5. The Chronicles Of Narnia


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I really like the Narnia books, but I actually think I prefer the films! They’re so pretty and magical, I could watch them forever. They haven’t made the whole series into books though which is slightly disappointing, but all of the Pevensie’s adventures have been transferred onto screen.

6. Persuasion


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I love this book and I love period dramas so the TV adaptation I watched is right up my street. Sometimes I struggle to follow classics when I read them, Persuasion wasn’t like that but I still really enjoyed seeing it brought to life by actors.

7. A Series of Unfortunate Events


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I love these books, they’re so strange and quirky and clever, Lemony Snicket is brilliant! The series has been made into a film and a tv series. The film covered the first three books and just wasn’t good at all. It didn’t cature Snicket’s quirkiness, the whole film came off as odd and bleak. The tv series is much better, not as good as the books, but closer! There is a narrator in the show and the characters talk in the same way that Snicket wrote for them.

8. The Other Boleyn Girl



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This book is so good! It’s set in Tudor times and it’s about Anne Boleyn and her sister Mary who had an affair with Henry VIII before Anne married him. The film is good, but some bits from the book are missing and I’m pretty sure there’s more violence in it than the books which is why it’s so far down on the list.

9. Before I Go To Sleep


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This book is so gripping and scary. I could hardly put the book down when I read it and years later they made it into a film. Despite the brilliant cast it didn’t really have the same effect as the book, there was tension but it was more confusing. I had forgotten the ending as well so that wasn’t the reason I didn’t like it as much.

10. The Girl on the Train


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Amazing book, so cleverly written, all the layers of deceit and drunken confusion from the main character Rachel. The film was ok but again I didn’t feel as much tension or urgency to find out what was going on. Most of the time it felt like we were just watching Rachel have a breakdown. I did remember the dramatic end to the story though for this one so that might be why I wasn’t as invested.

So basically books rule! They’re always going to be better, probably because there’s more detail and we can let our imaginations run wild!