Musings on Knife - R.J Anderson

So, it's 3:30am here as I type this. I have just finished re-reading 'Knife' by R.J Anderson. It still remains one of my fave books in the WORLD. In a world of books about fae and pixies it's nice to read a book that actually has 'real' pixies. I mean, I'm a fan of Aprilynne Pike's 'Wings' series. I can't say I hated 'Need' by Carrie Jones. I have one massive problem with these books though, it isn't a flaw in the writing, or the characterisation, but it's the fact that, well, they aren't all that original. 'Knife' is beautifully written and unforgettable, sure, but what I love most is that it isn't a book about a human who turns into a fairy, its a book about a real fairy, a real, tiny, flit around in a tree fairy. Whats more, it's about the real, tiny fairy falling in love with a real size human. I'm certainly partial to a bit of romance! Well, as I said, it's 3:30am here, I really need to sleep, so i won't be typing up a real review. I will, however, leave you with an Amazon link, and hope that you heed this advice and BUY IT! Buy it HERE. Also available in Ebook form here.

Review: The Swan Kingdom - Zoe Marriott

Darkness has fallen across a kingdom far, far away. The queen is dead- killed in the forest by a terrifying beast- and her daughter, Alexandra, suspects that the new woman in her father's life is not all that she seems. Exiled and betrayed, Alexandra must face magic, murder and the loss of all she holds dear in a desperate struggle against evil. 

That's what the blurb says and I have to admit, after first reading that, it sounded like every other magical fantasy out there. I bought it though, simply for the fact that the cover art was absoloutely stunning. Let's put it like this though. I started the book on the car ride home and I had finished it two hours later. This title is the one that showed me that a book can be beautiful.

 Everything about this book is gorgeous, from the way that Marriott writes, the characters, the settings. It's because of this that Marriott, in my opinion, deserves a place amongst better known authors of the genre such as Shannon Hale and Robin McKinley. Our protagonist, Alexandra is also our narrator. It's through her eyes that we see the story. Alexandra is a character for all the ugly duckings out there. She starts off as plain, lanky Alexandra, the fourth child, the one that the king doesn't really care about. This has made her worried about how everybody else sees her. This is a very good plot device because this makes her relatable to all the other teenage girls out there. Alexandra has three brothers, one who will be a great king, one who will be a great commander and one who will be a great scholar. This alienates Alexandra even more because she herself has no notable skills apart from being able to do small workings (little bits of magic), which is a skill her father doesn't encourage.

At the beginning, Alexandra marks the spot for all ugly ducklings in the world. That, I think is the reason why this book is so easy to reread. It's beautiful -I know I keep using that word but it's all I can think of to describe the book - to see Alexandra grow over the two years the book spans. Marriott does this very well, without making it obvious but hinting at little things, showing her stronger side. Especially where she stands up to Zella. Ahhh, Zella. Typical fairytale antagonist? I think not. While she holds all the cliches: evil prescence, evil magic, evil stepmother, stunningly beautiful withan evil form. She also has hidden depths, which are sort of hinted at throughout the book and revealed right at the end. I never thought I'd cry for an evil stepmother, but in this case I did. We also have the handsome prince, Gabriel, who pulls off all his handsome princely duties in the book. Saving her, caring for her, just being an all out handsome prince. I found myself falling in love with this character. (Zoe, if he's based off anyone in particular, send him my way.

 Now, I think the greatest thing in this book is Marriott's poetic prose. From the start of the book, when Marriott describes Alexandra's life before things start happening to the action scenes, the pacing is perfect. The images her storytelling creates are so vivid, you begin to see as Alexandra does and feel what she does. I read faster in the action parts but just went with the flow in the slower parts, which I think is the mark of a true writer.

I love how Marriott manages to envelope a story in one fairytale (the Wild Swans) but also alludes to so many more, (The Ugly Duckling, The Children of Llyr as just two examples). Another thing that strikes me when I read this book is how informally she writes while also making the dialogue sound a little fairytaley. I'd read The Wild Swans before and I had many question that were answered for me, in this book. Congratulations to Zoe Marriott, she certainly has me hooked!

Overall rating: A 

Stand alone/series: Stand alone
Released: March 5th 2007 (Paperback)
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 288
Book obtained via: Bought!

Jade has a list!

Hello everybody, back again! This time with a list! (woo-hoo, I'm sure my zero followers are so excited about that) This magical, mythical list is a list of books that I have on my bookshelf to review. Theres lots of them and most of them are good. Sorted by author (alphabetical) R.J Anderson Knife Holy Black Tithe Ironside Libba Bray A Great and Terrible Beauty Meg Cabot All American Girl Avalon High Jinx Mediator series Missing series Princess Diaries series Teen Idol Tommy Sullivan Is a Freak Anne Cassidy The Dead House Sarwat Chadda The Devil's Kiss Cassandra Clare Mortal Instruments series Rosemary Clements-Moore The Splendour Falls Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games/Catching Fire Marianne Curley Old Magic Sarah Dessen The Truth About Forever Just Listen Last Chance Jenny Downham Before I Die Becca Fitzpatrick Hush, hush Alex Flinn Beastly Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl Beautiful Creatures Shannon Hale The Goose Girl The Book Of a Thousand Days Princess Academy Simone Howell Everything Beautiful Susan Hubbard The Society of S Marie-Louise Jensen Daughter of Fire and Ice Carrie Jones Need/Captivate Lauren Kate Fallen Malinda Lo Ash Eden Maguire The Beautiful Dead: Jonas & Arizona Sarra Manning Nobodys Girl Melissa Marr Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, Fragile Eternity Zoe Marriot The Swan Kingdom, Daughter of the Flames Stephenie Meyer Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn The Host Alyson Noel Evermore, Blue Moon Jan Page Selina Penaluna Christopher Paolini Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr Aprilynne Pike Wings, Spells J.K Rowling Harry Potter series Carrie Ryan The Forest of Hands and Teeth Cynthia Leitich Smith Eternal Tantalize Maria V. Snyder Poison Stufy, Magic Study, Fire Study Scott Westerfeld Uglies Gabrielle Zevin Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac

Introducing myself.

Here we go! My first book blog! (Now to hope I keep it going). A little bit about me is needed, I guess. My name is Jade. I'm English. A read a lot. That is about it I guess. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a perfect book. Theres always a flaw somewhere and I have a habit of picking them out. In no way do I mean I don't enjoy these books though. Some books I absoloutely adore. I'm slightly cynical and very sarcastic. I review things in my ehad, I made this blog because I may as well WRITE some reviews. So, next time!