This was a fantastic spin on the traditional sacrificing a virgin to the dragon story. Like all of Pierce's stories, Plain Magic champions the strength of women and integrity over all else. Tonya’s frustration at being trapped in a small village where her mentors refuse to teach her only heighten the inequality and strength of Tonya’s character. As the sacrificial virgin, she contrasts against every ideal that these tales normally purport for such a symbol – she is not malleable, completely pure, or helpless.
This month meant the return to my Masters, so while I've been reading some of my old favourites while trying to be inspired to do more writing. Constantly talking to other avid bibliophiles and writers has certainly helped though! The lack of internet has been difficult to do all of my research for said projects though... weekly access to the internet has made life more than a little difficult! Luckily I have so many books to wile away the hours between bouts of writing and Masters work.
This is an incredibly sweet little story. It is about a girl who doesn’t quite want to grow up, and the power of our connection to nature. Both aspects of which I can relate to entirely. After all, who really wants to grow up and take on the mantle of responsibility?
It is hard enough growing up, finding your place in high school and just generally not making too much of a fool of yourself when puberty strikes. Now, imagine doing this with a family that believes in witchcraft. A family that is not quite what everyone else would consider as normal. Pierce uses this extreme to remind us to not only stay true to ourselves, but how truly difficult it can be to come of age in today’s world and society.
There is something incredibly intriguing about secret societies – probably the fact that they are secret is what tends to fascinate us. A ghost story using a shady secret society was a perfect way to tell the last story in Ghostwriting: Tales of the Supernatural. It was suspenseful, intriguing, with just the right dose of love, lust and betrayal.
In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have read this right before I went to sleep, it certainly gave me some very interesting and tripped out dreams. But, isn’t that a mark of a good story? Something that can affect both the conscious and the subconscious? The use of a curse and a building’s history to build this ghost story helped to add to the sense of mystery and suspense.
This week has been all about BILBIES! It’s honestly been a little hard to concentrate when I’ve been out all night spotlighting for Bilbies, with the occassional Boodie (Burrowing Bettong) and Woylie (Brush-tailed Bettong) thrown in. I’ve also had the privilege of spending time in the presence of a couple of echidnas and a wombat…
There is nothing like visiting a world that you have loved since childhood, and Tortall and Other Lands is a great way in which to do this. Yet, it isn’t just about Tortall, Pierce tells stories about womanhood, coming of age and overcoming odds in spite of everything that can happen. It is this great range of stories that will enthral and captivate any reader again and again and again.
I’m not normally very interested in ghost stories. Even growing up, at sleep overs, I always found them a little boring. So it was a pleasant surprise to find a collection of short ghost stories which I actually enjoyed. Better yet to find a collection that makes me question my preconceptions about the world that I live in and how I am able to influence my reality.
The first few sentences left me incredibly attached to Kai, in a way that rarely happens in such a short period of time. Her supernatural abilities were also something that I had never imagined or heard of before, yet, they seem like an incredible ability to possess. Partner this intriguingly vulnerable character with Nathan, and a serial murderer, and this is one of my favourite short stories.