Going into Guardians of the Dead, I had only vague ideas of what it was about. I knew that it was set in New Zealand, involved Māori mythology, contained an asexual side character and appeared on many asexual representation lists. The last two are largely why I picked up the book. Plus, I was in New Zealand at the time and thought it would be cool to read a book set there.
Ellie Spencer is a seventeen year old who’s counting down the days until she can graduate from boarding school, where she really only has one friend – Kevin. Her largest concern is getting roped in to do martial arts choreography for a local student play, but strange things keep seeming to happen to her. First of all, something is up with Mark, that guy she has a crush on. And who’s the strange woman who’s practically stalking Kevin? Soon Ellie will find herself unwittingly involved in the worlds of myth and magic.
The Goddess Chronicle is a retelling of the Japanese myth of Izanagi and Izanami, told through the original tale of Namima, a priestess who becomes an assistant to Izanami after her death. Namima and her older sister Kamikuu were born on a small island, known for its Oracle. Kamikuu goes into training to become the next Oracle, but Namima forced into isolation as the priestess of death. She encounters love, betrayal, death, and she becomes obsessed with the misfortune of the hand Fate dealt her.
The Goddess Chronicle was all right, but I never cared much about it. On the bright side, it was easy to read and relatively short. It’s three hundred pages long, but the font’s big and the pages are on the small side. Thankfully, this meant that it wasn’t too much of a hassle to finish.
A Wizard Abroad is the fourth book in the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane, which starts with So You Want to Be a Wizard. It’s also my least favorite book in the reread so far.
In A Wizard Abroad, Nita’s parents decided to send her to Ireland to go stay with her aunt so that she can “take a break” from wizardry and working with her friend Kit. However, once Nita gets to Ireland she finds that the entire country is layered with old magic and that the distance between worlds and times is incredibly close. If the situation isn’t dealt with, bad things could happen.
The Archer Who Shot Down Suns: Scale Bright Stories by Benjanun Sriduangkaew. ★★★
(Note – at the time I’m writing this is free on Kindle)
This collection contains three stories retelling Chinese mythology. In retrospect, it’s probably not a good idea to read something based on Chinese mythology when you know absolutely nothing about Chinese mythology. So, that’s quite possibly behind why this book didn’t do much for me. Ultimately, it was probably worth reading (at least the last two stories), just not reading again.
However, if you like either Chinese mythology or lesbians, this is the book for you!
The premise of Cobweb Bride is simple: one day Death announces that until his cobweb bride is delivered to him, all death will cease. And cease it does – people continue to die in that their hearts will stop beating and their limbs will stiffen, but their souls and consciousnesses will not move on. They are trapped without relief in their dead bodies. Neither the ill nor the mortally wounded are able to pass on, but must remain trapped until death begins again.
Cobweb Bride is epic in scope, with a wide number of characters with differing positions in life and responses to the crisis. However, the clear protagonist is Percy (short for Persephone), an unwanted village girl who sets out along with a multitude of other girls to find Death and present herself as a possible cobweb bride.
I’ll admit, I was hesitant going in. I worried that it would be too much of a romance, but as I read, my fears faded away. Cobweb Bride is clearly an epic or historical fantasy and a good one at that. The writing was simply gorgeous. Nazarian’s lyrical words carried me away to a land of bitter cold, dark forests, and opulent palaces.
I work more in traditional media than I do in digital. However, I’m not very good about photographing of scanning my pieces. They tend to build up into massive drifts of artwork. Yesterday, I went through and photographed all the piled up paintings and drawings. Also, the week before was spent in an intensive thirty hours of art classes. Some of the pieces from that are included in here, others were passed along for the art show.