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 Dance With Dragons

This post will contain spoilers for A Dance With Dragons!

As I suspected I was not as into this book as I was AFFC. I enjoyed meeting Griff and Quentyn but some of the chapters at the beginning started to bore me a bit. Also please get Stannis away from me. In the middle it gets more exciting as everyone closes in on Meereen.

At the beginning it appears that both Tyrion and Jon have changed for the worse. Tyrion is horrible, all he thinks of is violence, he scared a girl half to death in his first chapter. Jon is making cruel decisions like sending Gilly away without her baby and sending Maester Aemon to his death to ‘protect them’. Just tell Stannis to go away, he’s a sociopath, you don’t have to be one too Jon!

Bran’s chapters end early on, we barely hear anything from him. He is still trying to learn how to use his gift. But there is a chapter with Theon where he is in Winterfell’s Godswood, he hears whispers and thinks he can see Bran’s face in the weirwood tree so clearly our boy is getting better.

I enjoyed reading about all the characters converging on Meereen. Quentyn, Griff, Aegon and Tyrion all trying to get to Dany and trying to navigate around all the armies headed for the city. Dany is in real trouble, she has about ten armies heading for her city. While inside the city walls her people are being murdered. It’s an absolute mess and I still don’t fully understand her decision to stay there rather than head for her ‘home’ in Westeros. Not that I want her to attack my babies but I am worried for her.

The biggest game changer in this book is finding out that Rhaegar’s son Aegon is still alive. Jon Connington, one of Rhaegar’s childhood friends somehow swapped the boy for another and has kept him hidden in Essos all this time. They have been plotting with Varys to get Aegon to marry Dany. Another Targaryen changes everything, ‘the dragon has three heads.’ Aegon is the second. But he decided to go in a different direction on Tyrion’s advice, Aegon takes the Golden Company across the sea himself to take Westeros. They don’t have any dragons but they do have the element of surprise and a war torn country to prey upon.

Tyrion gets his humour back later on. He also saves Jorah from being sold to a woman who kills her slaves for meat. They end up escaping their masters and joining the Second Sons. Tyrion is trying to convince them to join Team Dany again when we leave them. But Dany has gone, she has disappeared with Drogon so who knows if she will ever see Jorah again.

Jon also chills out slightly. He sasses Stannis’ wife and her stupid guards. It’s hilarious how up their own arses they are. Jon thinks Arya is riding to the wall fleeing Winterfell and the Boltons but it’s actually Alys Karstark who is running from her uncles and an unwanted marriage. As we know Arya is in Bravos learning how to become an assassin! I am proud of Jon, he made sure all the wildlings could come through the Wall and help protect themselves from the White Walkers. But some of the Night’s Watch loathed him for it. My Jon died alone in the cold, betrayed and stabbed by his own men.

The only Theon chapter I could read without wanting to throw the book across the room was quite late on. The Bolton’s and their allies are all snowed in at Winterfell, waiting for Stannis’ army to arrive. But men keep turning up, murdered, the storm is only getting worse. The North Rememberers.

Jaime only has one chapter, he’s just wandering through the Riverlands, in no haste to get back to King’s Landing where his sister is imprisoned! Thanks bro. But before he can get home he comes across Brienne. Usually this would be great, but she has been tasked with bringing Jaime to Lady Stoneheart. I don’t know how Jaime is going to talk himself out of this, I just really don’t want him to die!

Cersei’s chapters broke my heart. I hate seeing her suffer like that. The whole time she is imprisoned she still has faith that Jaime is coming with his army to save her. But we know that is not true. I am so in awe of her strength, even when faced with the humiliation of the walk of atonement, she is fierce and strong and knows that this is the only way to reach Tommen. I was sobbing through the whole chapter but she has her champion now, the Sparrows’ days are numbered.

This is a re-read but I completely forgot what happened in the epilogue! Kevan Lannister is now acting a regent. He is trying to make the chaos around him better. But he is doing too good a job. He was summoned to Grand Maester Pycelle’s chambers, only the old man is dead and Kevan gets shot in the chest with a crossbow. Varys has somehow managed to get back into to capital. He’s determined to have chaos so that Aegon can swoop in and take the throne. Kevan was the Lannister’s only hope, I have no idea what is going to happen in The Winds of Winter but it doesn’t bode well for most of my favourites.

On my kill list: Stannis, Melisandre, Theon, The Boltons, Walder Frey and all of his offspring, The High Sparrow and all his followers, the Ironborn, Jon’s murderers and Varys.

Let me protect them: Cersei, Jaime, Brienne, Arya, Tyrion, Jorah and Dany.

Heartbreaking death: Jon Snow

Some people believe that Jon isn’t dead or that he will be brought back in TWOW but to me it was clear that Jon died in his last chapter. I will never forgive those traitorous pieces of shit for killing Jon. He was the kindest and most intelligent person at the Wall. Jon was the only person who could see that by protecting the wildlings he was stopping the Wights army of the dead from growing stronger. The betrayal is the worst part, Jon put everything into being the best Lord Commander of the Nights Watch he could and they stabbed him in the back, literally. I am so sorry Jon.

Favourite quotes:Men are beasts, selfish and brutal. However gentle the words, there are always darker motives underneath.” – Vagarro’s Widow

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, the man who never reads lives only one.” – Jojen Reed

“I rose too high, loved too hard, dared too much. I tried to grasp a star, overreached and fell.” – Jon Connington, this quote breaks my heart. He’s spent most of his life in love with Rhaegar and hoping some day to avenge him.

“I am a lioness, I will not cringe for them.” – Cersei Lannister

“However bright a torch might burn it could never match the rising sun.” – Kevan Lannister, thinking that if Rhaegar had married Cersei the prince would not have turned to Lyanna.

That’s all we have for the moment, most of my favourites are in peril and I am patiently waiting for The Winds of Winter to be published!

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 Five Tuesday – Books that have caused a hangover

A new Top Five Tuesday, the prompts are created by Bionic Book Worm. This weeks topic is what books have given youna hangover, I put a picture of tea as it’s my cure for hangovers (or anything really). I’ve never really thought about book hangovers before, but my definition is not being able to stop thinking about the book and its events, because it’s so emotional so on that basis, here is my list:

931241. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling

I remember when I first read this staying up late to finish it and being heartbroken by the ending so then I couldn’t really sleep. It definitely affected me for days, especially knowing that the next book would be completely different because Harry wasn’t going back to Hogwarts.


133641112. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

The book as a whole is so suspenseful but we have the worst shock towards the end of the book. I was so traumatised but the flash forward at the very end saved me from complete despair, it was so beautiful. But the shock this book gave me stayed with me.



63079643. A Storm of Swords by George R.R Martin

Three words: The Red Wedding. I will never get over what happened to my babies. I still ugly sob everytime I read that chapter, I re-read the book recently and put off this chapter for days! There are more surprising deaths in the book but this is the part that caused me the most pain.


38530939. sy475 4. The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

This book left me in a haze, a good haze. It ends with the knowledge that places hold memories and ghosts sometimes but that doesn’t have to be bad, it might be that someone is looking out for us. My full review is here.



8203435. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

Saying goodbye to my favourite childhood characters was so tough! Mainly the last half of the book was the most difficult but when I finished reading the epilogue, I remember wondering how Harry’s life was in the nineteen years in between the last chapters.

What are some books that gave you a hangover?

My Top Five Reads of 2019

It is almost the end of the year so I thought I would pick my favourite reads from 2019! It’s been my first full year of running this blog which has been really fun, I might try and post more next year.

399654251. Fire and Blood by George R.R. Martin

I am fascinated by the history of Westeros and the Targaryens are the most interesting of them all. It is written like a history book but is still just as gripping as ASOIAF. I can’t wait for the second part to be published!



25905342. sx318 2. The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley

This is the second book in the series and we follow Ally on her journey of discovery to Norway. I loved reading about Norway and some of its history and Ally is such a strong character, I really connected with her.



40719860. sy475 3. The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz

I love the Millennium series, Lisbeth Salander is one of my favourite characters ever, she’s so complex and badass. This is the fifth book in the series and at the beginning we find Lisbeth in prison. She’s only there for a few months but she finds out that as a child she was almost involved in a experiment carried out on twins. They separated twin children and put them into families with different wealth and status. As always Mikael and Lisbeth investigate and get into serious danger!

39797816. sy475 4. Tangerine by Christine Mangan

Tangerine is set in the 1950’s in Tangier, Morocco. We meet Alice first, she followed her husband to Tangier but has struggled with the city. The stifling heat and the crowds cause her to panic. Then an old school friend arrives out of the blue and brings back dark memories. I loved how strange all the relationships were and then we were gradually told the reasons why, very well written.


2336795.Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

My favourite Discworld books are probably the City Watch ones, in this story a cult of bitter citezens try to summon a dragon to attack the city. Dragons haven’t been seen for hundreds of years, but somehow they manage it. The City Watch consists of only a handful people, they are not respected by anyone and the laws are so corrupt that normally they barely have to do anything, but with the threat of the dragon they must step up. Witty, engaging and bonkers as always.

There they all are, Happy New Year everyone!

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?

Nightflyers and Other Stories by George R.R. Martin Review

“Man invents gods because we’re afraid of being alone, scared of an empty universe, scared of the darkling plain.”

I can hardly put into words how brilliant this collection of stories is. My favourite type of story are ones that look at the depths of humanity, our drives and flaws. All these stories are set in our future on alien planets or deep in space and yet we are still the same, still so flawed and desperate to find something better.


An obsessed scientist hires a ship and a crew to take him to an alien ship that he has dremaed of seeing for most of his life. The Volcryn have never made contact with any other race, they are almost as old as the universe and appear to have been fleeing from it for eternity. They travel far away from civilisation on purpose? No one knows.

But their ship has other ideas, their captain stays sealed in his chambers, watching them, only communicating with the humans through a hologram.

This story was creepy and engaging, I really enjoyed it. The whole concept is very clever. Some of the members of the crew were telepathic/psychic and throughout the other stories humans crop up who have those abilities, I really like the idea that we evolve to be able to read minds etc.

But now the darkness woke in the room, a holoscope coming to life, cold black and stars everywhere, points of icy unwinking brilliance, no up and no down and no direction, the floating control sphere the only feature in the simulated sea of night.”


We find ourselves in Grotto, a quiet world that humans have settled on and discovered the rare jewels that lie in its caves. We meet some of the miners who don’t have to mine themselves because they have corpses to do it for them, they control the dead and put them work. It took me a little while to get used to the premise of this story but Martin has a way of describing things that puts you so fully in the narrative you can’t possibly question it.

A really interesting tale about the greed of humanity and how we will always find ways to divide us.

Weekend In A War Zone

This one really messed me up! On Earth there has been no war for over fifty years. Brilliant, well done us…except there are corporate get away weekends for people who want to experience war, who want to kill others. Real people, they pay to kill people. Extreme paintballing.

And Seven Times Never Kill Man

This story shows the evil of humanity, we colonise, we slaughter and we destroy what we fear. We have invaded an alien planet and instead of living peacefully with the Jaenshi people that live there we a fighting them.

The Jaenshi are a peaceful people, they worship their gods at their pyramids. They spend hours praying and asking for guidance on any decisions they must make. When one tribe fight back against the humans, they are punished, their children slaughtered, their pyramids destroyed.

This story was a tough read, it made me so angry and upset. But we continue to do this on our own world, I hope we never reach any others because we would be as awful as this story depicts.

Nor the Many-Coloured Fires of a Star Ring

In the depths of space scientists discovered a gap in the universe, the reverse of a black hole perhaps? They created technology to open the gap, on the other side is a void, no stars just darkness. Still they build a base and investigate. For Kerin this trip is exciting, his girlfriend is the scientist who has lead the research and he gets to accompany her on the adventure. At his heart he is a poet but he enjoys his work, sending out the probes to see into the nothingness. But Kerin starts to get affected by the void, he curls in on himself. The way it was described sounded like he had depression, Kerin blamed his proximity to the void, he started worrying about the probes he was sending out he could hear them screaming into the darkness.

Outside the window the stormfires raged on. The view filled an entire wall in the monitoring room, a tapestry of ever-moving flame, a flowing pattern of liquid light of every colour and shape.”

A Song for Lya

This one is probably my favourite, it’s so beautiful. It’s set on a world older than ours, with a people older than humanity but they have never progressed like we have, their technology isn’t sophisticated. But they are happy and young and free. Why? Because they are ruled by on organism who feeds on them and eventually kills them as soon as they reach fifty years of age. The Shkeen’s religion is based on the Unity that they gain upon their death.

Humans have lived alongside the Shkeen for a number of years but they have started to have an alarming number of converts to their strange religion. Robb and Lyanna are both gifted telepaths. Lyanna can read people’s thoughts and Robb can read their emotions. They have been asked to help find out why so many humans are essentially killing themselves by joining this religion.

I really enjoyed seeing this world through Lya and Robb’s eyes. I love what George did with this story, I won’t give it all away but it’s so profound.

How much can human beings know each other? Aren’t all of them cut off really? Each alone in a big dark empty universe? We only trick ourselves when we think someone else is there. In the end, in the cold lonely end, it’s only us, by ourselves, in the blackness.”

I know I’ve mentioned it a lot but George is a genius and I just can’t get over how incredible he is!

Top Five Tuesday – Books On My TBR List

A new Top Five Tuesday, the prompts are created by Bionic Book Worm. This weeks is books I’m most excited to read on my TBR list. The list itself has 150 books on it but I’ve decided to go for ones that are a bit further down.

1. The Moon Sister by Lucinda Riley

This is the fifth book is the Seven Sisters series and it follows Tiggy’s story. I’m excited to read about Tiggy, she’s quite spiritual and calm she seems like the grounding force of her siblings and she lives in Scoland looking after wild deer. What a job, I can’t say I would deal with the cold well but caring for animals is definitely life goals!

2. The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin

We still have no idea when this will be published but I will freak out when it’s announced. I can’t wait to read what happens next to my favourite characters. Please hurry George!

3. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Ever since I read about the premise of this book I’ve been really eager to read it. It’s a murder mystery with a twist. At a big party, Evelyn is murdered, Aiden a guest, must solve her murder or the day will keep repeating itself. Each day Aiden wakes in a different guests body so he has many perspectives to work with. I’ve read a few reviews and it’s praised highly, the concept alone is very clever so I can’t wait to get my hands on this one.

4. Circe by Madeline Miller

I’m a bit behind the times with this book, but I only recently found out about it and am already obsessed. Circe is born in Ancient Greece, she has the power to turn rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. Zeus is threatened and banishes her to a deserted island where she hones her craft. I was looking up books told from villian’s points of view and this came up on the list. A powerful woman who threatens society is banished and decides to fight back, sign me up!

5. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I am guilty of watching the tv adaptation of these books first but I’m still very excited to read them. It’s historical fiction, we’ve also got time travel and Claire and Jaime are the most adorable cannon couple in fiction ever without being soppy or annoying. The books are told from Claire’s point of view I think and I can’t wait to read her badass thoughts.

What books are you most excited about on your TBR list?