Thursday, February 27, 2014

Harry Potter MotW #31

Harry Potter Moment of the Week 

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted over at Uncorked Thoughts. The idea is to share a favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself! Upcoming topics & how to join here.

  Favorite Marauder

Gah! This is painful to even think about since three out of the four Marauders are among my favorite characters in the entire series...so singling out just one seems impossible.  Even though James was a bit of a prat in his younger years, he turned out to be an incredibly brave and selfless man.  Plus he's the father of the Chosen One ♥  Then there's Remus Lupin, who I love even more because his sheer existence tugs at my heartstrings in all the right ways.  I adored him as a DADA professor and mourned his departure just as much as Harry did.  - PLUS me & Lupin share a birthday (March 10th) - how cool is that?!  Despite how incredibly amazing those two are, I pick:

Sirius Black

Young Sirius was so freaking cool, I can't help but think I would have had a major crush on him...and then older Sirius was a perfect mix of brooding, loving, tragic, protective and jaded. Gah! He's so awesome!  Sirius grew up in an awful family with horrible beliefs and yet he still managed to fight for good side.  And don't even get me started on how many times he put his own life on the line to help his loved ones (because of the feels, oh em gee I could drown in those feels)! Sure he had his darker moments - mainly brought on by Snape - but I don't care cause I just love him so damn much. 
Sirius Black III (1959 - 18 June, 1996), also known as Padfoot and Snuffles in his Animagus form, was a pure-blood wizard, son of Orion and Walburga Black and elder brother of Regulus by a little over a year. Although he was the heir of the House of Black, Sirius disagreed with his family's belief in blood purity and defied tradition when he was sorted into Gryffindor instead of Slytherin at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which he attended from 1971 to 1978. As Sirius' relationship with his relatives deteriorated, he gained great friendship in James Potter, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew. The four friends, also known as the Marauders, joined the Order of the Phoenix to fight against Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters during the First Wizarding War. Sirius also became the godfather of Harry Potter, son of James and Lily Potter. When Pettigrew betrayed the Potters to Voldemort, Sirius sought to exact revenge on Pettigrew. However, Pettigrew was able to frame Sirius for his betrayal of the Potters, the murder of twelve Muggles, and the staged murder of Pettigrew before Sirius could accomplish this.
Sirius was sent to Azkaban for twelve years, eventually becoming the only known person to escape the prison unassisted by transforming into his Animagus form of a massive black dog confused with a "Grim." Sirius exposed Pettigrew's treachery to his old friend Remus and his godson. After Lord Voldemort returned in 1995, Sirius rejoined the Order. He was killed by his cousin Bellatrix Lestrange during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries and subsequently cleared of all charges by the Ministry of Magic.
He briefly appeared again through the Resurrection Stone for Harry, along with James, Lily and Remus in 1998. -Harry Potter Wikia

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Way of Kings RAL Week 9

I can't believe it's already the 9th week of our Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings read-along!  As much as I'm excited to know all the secrets it contains, I'm already dreading the massive book-hangover that will no doubt hit once we're all done D:  This week was truly mind-blowing so without further ado: let's get discussing!


*Week 9 - Chapters 58-65*
Caution: Major Spoilers Ahead!

1. Adolin has a change of heart, not only about his father, but about how he views the war. How do you think this will affect the story going forward?

I'm glad that things finally shaped up for Adolin to see that his father has not lost his wits.  It was such a burden to carry around for nothing, not to mention distracting when there are bigger fish to fry.  I feel like having Adolin's support & trust will help Dalinar regain his confidence and trust himself (and his instinct) more.

2. Elhokar reveals that he sees figures with symbol heads, which sound suspiciously like the ones Shallan keeps drawing. What do you make of this?

I don't know why, but I feel like those symbol heads are a bad omen.  They didn't act outright aggressively towards Shallan but they felt very ominous to me.  Considering what we already know about King Elhokar, I can't shake the feeling that they hold some darker intentions. I have to say that I was outright surprised that Elhokar was seeing the figures too - what a twist!

3. What do you make of Dalivar's most recent vision? Was the king he talked to really Nohadon, author of The Way of Kings? If so, what do you think the timeline is? What happened before and after what Dalinar saw? Were the strange, rock-like corpses really Voidbringers?

I believe that Dalinar truly did speak to Nohadon. I don't thin the visions are necessarily in chronological order, nor would they need to be.  I think the Stormfather choses what visions to share with Dalinar at the right time to reveal the necessary bits and pieces in order to help Dalinar come to his own conclusions about these events.  That way, he'll be able to use his knowledge in his own time better.  As for the creatures, I believe them to have been Voidbringers yes.  That battle was probably a Desolation where all those people died trying to fight them off.  I truly don't know what could have happened after what Dalinar saw. I hope his words might have encouraged Nohadon somewhat - maybe even encouraged him to begin writing his book ;-)

4. Dalivar and Navani finally share a passionate kiss, and then start conducting a covert romance. What are your impressions of the relationship? Has your opinion of Navani changed at all?

I didn't get the impression that Navani changed at all, I just feel like we didn't know enough of her to assess her actions properly.  I think she is being truthful in her admittances to Dalinar that she had loved him and wished they could have been together even back then.  I feel like I trust her more now than I did initially...though of course I could be way off.  I'm too trusting for my own good sometimes >.<  Anyways if I'm right, I feel like their relationship could help Dalinar gain some stability - not to mention peace of mind.  So I'm all for that!!

5. Kaladin's decoy plan works almost miraculously well. How do you see this affecting the story going forward, and in what way? Address the issue both for Kaladin and his men, and for the war at large.

I'm a tad bit worried at the implications of Kaladin's choices here.  I understand the reasoning and necessity behind it but at the same time I'm still conflicted about their war with the Parshendi...now even more so than before.  And if the war is wrong,well Kaladin's actions could alienate the Parshendi even further...not to mention the huge target it put on Kaladin himself.  It truly was ingenious though and if the Parshendi didn't revere their dead so it never would have worked.  I don't know, it's a double edged sword I guess.

6. So Moash wants to kill someone out of vengeance. Any guesses who or why?

I have absolutely no guesses on this one.  None whatsoever.  I'm loving learning a bit more about Moash and I'm glad he seems to have finally come around where Kaladin is concerned but I feel lie we still don't know enough about him or his past to venture a guess.  I suppose it could be anyone for any number of reasons.  All I know is I can not wait to find out!

7. Why do you think Sadeas abandoned Dalivar as he did? Was this done intentionally? Was it planned in advance? What are your thoughts?

Holy $#!\! that scene floored me!  I mean, I was cursing out loud and shaking my head in disbelief.  Remember what I said in Q.4 about being too trusting?!  I should have seen this coming but I was totally content believing Sadeas had finally come around.  And that that GIANT douche-nozzle goes and pulls this EPIC betrayal?! GAH!!  I can't even.

*takes a few deep, calming breaths*

I have to hand it to that slimy creep though, he executed his plan flawlessly -  it really was epic.  I think now more than ever Sadeas sees Dalinar as a threat.  King Elhokar was begining to see the value of Dalinar's plan to abandon the war and for whatever reason Sadeas needed to get rid of him.  I seriously hope Dalinar survives and gets to be the one to stick it to Sadeas though!

*Extra Bits*

I've got nothing this week - all the notes I jotted down were addressed in the questions above and I'm choosing not to try and think up of anything else remotely clever to say.  I'll just go ahead and continue reading XD

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Harry Potter MotW #30

Harry Potter Moment of the Week 

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted over at Uncorked Thoughts. The idea is to share a favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself! Upcoming topics & how to join here.

  The Best Spell

Ahhh, there are so many brilliant spells to chose from! I mean, let's be honest, JKR really outdid herself with the sheer number of spells she thought up...not to mention how practical, imaginative and epic they all are.   I don't now, I've always been a fan of the Lumos/Nox combo - I mean, my black cat's name is 'Nox' and eveything! Oh and I'd certainly want (need) to learn Expecto Patronum if I lived in a world with Dementors, but I think the best spell of all might be:

Expelliarmus

Let's be honest, it was a long shot the first time Harry used it against Voldemort but it turned out to be the most perfect spell he could have chosen. Eventually it became Harry's trademark spell, having saved his skin on multiple occasions.  Not to mention saving the world and all that. Here's more on Expelliarmus
The Disarming Charm, also known as the Expelliarmus Spell or Disarming Spell (Expelliarmus) was a defensive charm which forced the victim to release whatever they were holding at the time. It is common to see this spell used in duels, to make an opponent release their wand. It can also be used to rebound an wizard's spell in the hopes of striking the opponent with said rebounded spell.
It is not known precisely who created the Disarming Charm. Some wizarding historians claim that it may have been invented by Merlin himself...it became Harry Potter's signature spell and he notably used it to kill Lord Voldemort during the Battle of Hogwarts by rebounding his Killing Curse.  -via Harry Potter Wikia

I also found a few other cool 'Expelliarmus' gifs while I was searching for the one up top ^^ so I figured I'd share:


And I know this next one here is for a completely different fandom, but oh the joys of when your two favorite fandoms collide XD

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Way of Kings RAL Week 8

Welcome to week 8 of our Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings read-along!  I think ever single section we read gets more and more epic, honestly I can't get over being so continually blown away by a set of characters and their respective storylines.


*Week 8 - Chapters 51-57*
Caution: Major Spoilers Ahead! 
1. What do you think of Dalinar's latest vision concerning the Radiants? Can you make sense of them? Do you think Jasnah will prove or disprove Dalinar's visions? And what did you think of Dalinar and Navani's almost moment? ;) 
 
I think the latest vision was to show Dalinar how quickly things dissolved into chaos when the Radiants left their Shardblades to be taken up by the masses.  As much as it was probably wrong for the Radiants to walk away from their blades, I doubt that they were ever meant to fall in the hands of regular people.  It could explain why Dalinar has such distaste when he uses the Shard in battle...but I could be way off!  I honestly think Jasnah will be able to shed some light on Dalinar's visions - at the very least, she could confirm the locations existence but maybe even more than that.  As for Dalinar and Navani's 'moment', I still wonder about her intentions.  Does she truly have feelings for Dalinar, or is does she have her own agenda...?

2. Dalinar proposes a military alliance with Sadeas. Given what we've read of their relationship and of Sadeas' character, did Dalinar make the right move? How long do you think this alliance will last? Has Dalinar finally gotten Sadeas on his side by using Sadeas' interests (gemhearts, the Shardblade, etc.) as incentive or does Dalinar have something else up his sleeve?
 
I think Dalinar's decision was the right one at the right time.  Their joint plans seem to be putting Dalinar even closer to meeting up with Kaladin and the Bridge Four crew so I'm excited :D  And despite all his flaws, I think Sadeas might be a valuable ally when the time is right.  We'll see though but I guess I'm still holding out hope that Dalinar's visions and advice about Sadeas hold true! I worry about Dalinar bargaining with Sadeas for a Shardblade though, he's already promised one to his son, not to mention his previous attempt to bargain with one...feels like all this might blow up in his face in a big way.
 

3. This is the first time we've read in detail what it's like to be a Shardbearer fighting with Shardblades in battle through Dalinar. What did you think of it?
 
Honestly, as thrilling and addictive as it was to read, it's also pretty horrific.  I mean the damage that one single Shardbearer can bring forth is astounding.  And when you consider that those weapons were supposed to be used to protect and defend the helpless...it just seems all kinds of wrong to be using them for border disputes and gemhearts.  Don't get me wrong though: if Kaladin can get his hands on one of those I'd be DYING to see him make use of it to fight all kinds of terrible beasts (like Voidbringers!)  Sanderson's fighting scenes are always incredibly epic and this one was no exception!

4. We get a big reveal about what's happening with Kaladin this week regarding the Stormlight as well as a revelation regarding Syl's nature. What did you think of it? Given what we know now, what else do you think he is capable of?
 
I could not be more psyched that Kaladin finally clued in about his special abilities.  I was surprised at Syl's involvement though; guess I didn't see that one coming but it was awesome nonetheless!  More than anything now, I want to see Kaladin learn ALL about his powers and I want Syl to remember EVERYTHING she was before.  I swear right now just typing this I'm so excited ERKHARGH!!  *ahem*  but yeah, I think the new perspective it brought to Kaladin could truly benefit him and bring him closer to his true purpose ♥

5. Kaladin initially blames his curse as the reason why people around him keep dying. Is there some truth to his claims, that this binding ability has some correlation with the casualty count around him, or is Kaladin simply grieving over recent losses? If the former, do you think this might have any connection to what the Radiants are and whatever happened to them?
 
I feel like now that Kaladin shifted his ideals and decided to focus on saving other for them and not out of fear of what it does to him if they die, his ''curse'' might not be so much of an issue. Of course, his connection to the Lost Radiants could very well be tied to his losses all of this time.  There has to be repercussions for how the Radiants deserted but it seems unfair that Kaladin would have to pay for it...
 
6. Wit/Hoid is turning out to be more than just the life of the party and a thorn on the sides of the other highprinces. As we've seen, he's not very playful with Dalinar and is quite sober, even ominous, with Kaladin. What did you think of his conversations with Dalinar and with Kaladin? What do you think he's up to? How does he factor in with everything else that's going on at the moment (or what's to come)?

Wit/Hoid was totally ominous with both Kaladin and Dalinar wasn't he?!  I thin Wit has great respect for both of them and that's why he chose to share wisdom with them. It makes me trust both Kaladin and Dalinar even more hehe!  I adored both of Wit's scenes with both Dalinar and  Kaladin.  There are probably some hidden clues and purpose to what he said and with Kaladin we saw how it ga because of all the hints of things to come...and because they prove Wit's greater role in everything.  That story he told Kaladin was something else though right?? Wow, I was just as mesmerized as Kaladin by Sanderson's EPIC writing in that scene!  And the whole thing certainly gave Kaladin a whole new outlook on things.  Wit clearly chooses who to spread his wisdom to carefully and when the events that are looming on the horizon finally bring everyone together I hope Wit is there.  His wisdom and humor might be direly needed to help ally our two heroes.

Extra Bits
 
* Kaladin's final moments leading up to him becoming a slave were brutal.  I had an inkling that Amaram would be pissed aladin hadn't given him the sword but that was brutal.  I can certainly understand Kaladin not trusting lighteyes better now.

* The interlude about Geranid and Ashir measuring the Spren and locking their physical forms had me mystified O_o  I have no clue as to what it could mean but it was impressive all the same haha!

* And then the interlude with Szeth.  Wow that was twisted and horribly tragic.  Being Truthless sounds horrible if it means not being able to have to will to stop the madness - like being used as a deadly weapon in such a cruel and merciless way.  I think Szeth might be the one we need to watch.  The one that 'will destroy us'.  He's losing himself inside the deeds he's forced to commit and if no one steps in to stop him, he could burn the world down.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Harry Potter MotW #29

Harry Potter Moment of the Week 

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted over at Uncorked Thoughts. The idea is to share a favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself! Upcoming topics & how to join here.

 Favorite Moment in Book 6

This is another tough one to narrow down because Half Blood Prince stands out as one of my favorites in the series.  So I'll be cheating straight up in this one and selecting a collection of moments:

The one on one training sessions between Harry & Dumbledore


I've said it many times before, Dumbledore finally taking a first-hand approach to Harry's education was something I'd been hoping for since the start of the series so to me all of those moments are golden.  As much as I've always adored and admired Harry, I knew he could benefit greatly from getting a closer loo into the workings of Dumbledore's mind.  And let's be honest, the two of them exploring Tom Riddle's past could not have been more compelling.  To get to see what made Tom Riddle grow into Lord Voldemort was incredibly fascinating, to say the least!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Way of Kings RAL Week 7

Welcome to week 7 of our Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings read-along!  I'm certainly excited to be having my post up on the right day this week but I'm even more excited about the freaking plot twists that went down this week!  Wow, my mind is reeling and more than even I just want to stop living my real life and dedicate all my time to reading ALL of this book!


*Week 7 - Chapters 43 - 50*
Caution: Major Spoilers Ahead!

1. What did you think of the replacement for the delightful Lamaril, or rather, what did you make of his wife, who seems to do all his work? She assumes that chasm duty is the worst punishment that she can throw at the bridge crew, so were you surprised that Kaladin saw an opportunity in it so quickly?

I was quite content with Lamaril to be honest because even though he seemed vile and underhanded this new replacement lord and his wife seem to truly have it out for Bridge Crew 4 - like their current state of affairs wasn't bad enough.  However, being assigned to permanent chasm duty seems to have had a hidden silver lining...thus far. So we'll see how things go.  I'm glad that Kaladin didn't fall into complete despair again because of it though - and that he was able to find a glimmer of hope and cling to it.


2. Please use this opportunity to list all the imaginative ways that you would like Roshone to suffer for forcing poor little Tien into the army. :(

I think we were all scared to reach the point where we found out what happened to poor Tien :*(  and I can not believe how horribly bitter and petty Roshone continued to be. He surpassed his own previous self in cruelty.  My heart is completely ripped apart for Kaladin and Tien's poor parents too, who lost not one but both their sons to a tyrant.  Ugh what a horrible tragedy!

3. Finally, somebody is asking questions about the inconstancy of the Parshendi artifacts and how Gavilar changed in the months leading up to his death. What do you make of the accounts that Shallan is reading? Also, what do you think about Shen, the Parshman added to the bridge crew?

 I'm very curious as to why Gavilar became so intrigued by the Parshendi; and so quickly at that!  I want to know more about his sudden changes in personality near the end of his life.  The inconsistencies that really bother me are the seemingly unexplained one between the Parshendi proper and the Parshmen. It seems to me that they are of the same race, but they could have been separated thousands of years ago and thus evolved in very different ways.  At the core though, the Parshendi seem much more evolved than the rest of the world here seems to think they are.  Shen is still too much of a mystery to me so I won't attempt at a guess.  I do think that Kaladin's choice to be fair to him is a step in the right direction for him though - I hope he can eventually widen his scope and extend the same curtsey to certain light eyes *ahem*

4. Shallan has some seriously bizarre visions or hallucinations. Do you have any new ideas about the nature of the symbol-headed figures: are they good or evil? What about the alternative world and the beads: could that really have been the soul or essence of the goblet that she spoke to before it changed into blood?

 Oh man, that was trippy wasn't it?!  I'm still not convinced that Shallan actually Soulcast.  It seems to me like what she did was the mirror opposite of what Kaladin can do.  Where Kaladin takes energy from the spheres into himself, Shallan seemed to suck the energy our of something to transfer it to another being...on that I'm not sure is a benevolent being.  Like, at all o_O  It was like she was able to feed something dormant.  Whatever she actually did and whatever is speaking to her, I'm sure it's not good.  The whole thing worries me terribly, because I like Shallan - things certainly are looking bleak for her at the moment.

5. Does Kaladin’s dream / vision seem similar to those that Dalinar has been having? He is called the ‘Child of Tanavast, Child of Honor’ and there is mention of an entity called Odium, who appears to be rather bad. Do you have any speculation about these two beings, how they fit into the world that we have seen so far and why the name Odium makes Syl hiss and fly off?

Kaladin seems to sense the hidden power and magic that lays in the Storms...and just like with Dalinar they have some strange effect on him.  A being spoke to him again during the storm and I still think it could be the Stormfather himself.  Just like I thought it was when Dalinar had his visions!  Both of these men seem to be getting vague but important messages (or warnings) of things to come.  I think this Odium being might be just what Shallan inadvertently fed power to. After all, in Kaladin's vision where he was a storm, he saw some strange power very close to a cowering girl in her room - seemingly right when Shallan was in her room having her own vision.  I hope that Syl will elaborate on it further at some point but who knows; she did seem beyond terrified just at the mention of it.

6. We have learnt some more about the events following Cenn’s chapter way back at the beginning of the book. Were you surprised that Kaladin defeated a Shardbearer almost singlehandedly? This still does not explain why he is a slave, but does it bring us closer to guessing?

 Well, this section certainly cleared things up for me since when we got a glimspe of it at the begining, I though Kaladin was already fighting with a Shard...my mind must have drawn the assumption since he was naturally so skilled at combat >.<  Anyways, YES I was blown-away once again by Kaladin's battle skills.  He aversion to claiming to Shardblade reminded me of Dalinar's own disgust with using his own Shardblade the last time he did so.  I think we'll be getting the true explanation for Kaladin's turn from soldier to slave in the next chapter though. *Urge to read on...almost...unbearable.* *twitch*

7. I think I made it quite clear last week that I did not trust Kabsal, so I am now feeling rather smug. However, I did not guess at the poison in the bread: did it surprise you as well? Can you see any way that Shallan can reconcile with Jasnah now that the theft has been revealed? 

 I had my doubts about Kabsal, but I never expected something so drastic and desperate from him.  Even he seemed confused by how insistent he became for Shallan to try the jam so I feel like I need more information about that whole scene.  I certainly hope Jasnah continues to investigate him further.  I was also surprised by how things took a turn for Shallan and Jasnah.  I honestly can't think of any way for Shallan to make amends at this point. Unless her hidden powers come to light and Jasnah has some knowledge about it all.

*Extra Bits*

* Is anyone else beyond fascinated about the lost city of Urithiru?!  It seems like the place could hold a lot of answers to the questions Jasnah, Kaladin and Dalinar have been asking.  Alls I know is that I *need* to know more. A.S.A.P.

* It struck me as odd that the Parshendi were the ones to teach the Alethi to hunt Chasmfiends for their gemhearts.  I don't know why, but there seems to be hidden meaning to that fact...

* I know I sound like a broken record but Kaladin's flashbacks to his youth enthrall me completely.  He was already so impressive, even as a youth. He noticed everything that went on with his family.  How his father began spending the spheres, and his tactics behind the scenes to undermine Roshone. This time around though, I was especially amazed by Hesina herself.  What an amazing woman, mother and character.  I can see how both Kaladin's parents shaped him into the hero he will undoubtedly become.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Review: The Assassin and the Empire

The Assassin and the Empire by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass #0.4
Published July 20th 2012 by Bloomsbury

A Throne of Glass Novella.

Celaena Sardothien is the assassin with everything: a place to call her own, the love of handsome Sam, and, best of all, freedom. Yet, she won’t be truly free until she is far away from her old master, Arobynn Hamel; Celaena must take one last daring assignment that will liberate her forever. But having it all, means you have a lot to lose . . .
The Assassin and the Empire is the fourth Throne of Glass Novella and although it's bittersweet from the first page on, it was just as addictive and well-written as the entire Throne of Glass series. It brought some serious feels to the table this time around and even though I more or less knew what was going to happen, I was surprised by the intensity of emotions that Sarah J. Maas was able to evoke here.  Novellas normally aren't long enough to deliver both a solid, satisfying plot and a emotional punch but The Assassin and the Empire did just that - so much so that I was left craving picking up Throne of Glass for a re-read!

Since I've already read Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, I had a pretty good idea what I was getting into with The Assassin and the Empire - in fact from the first pages, I knew I was in for one hell of a ride.  Sure enough soon I was on the edge of my seat, biting my nails...which was followed closely by dread as I approached the terrible events that were about to unfold.  Finally,  I dissolved into a puddle of feels and tears at the end; craving a re-read and wishing I'd read these in chronological order so that I'd have ToG & CoM to dive into!

Experiencing what Celaena went through first hand like this definitely shed some light on her behavior and actions in the series proper.  As gut-wrenching as it was, I feel like it a necessary part of the story for Maas to tell - and she did so brilliantly.  It was gorgeously sad in a way that shatters your heart in all the right places.  I don't think it would have been possible for me to feel more of anything for Celaena really.  And now more than ever, I feel like there are so many more twists and surprises to be delivered in the series.  So much is still left open and unresolved that I feel like I won't be able to handle the wait for all the books to be out - let alone the wait till Heir of Fire comes out in September!

I'm going to leave it here, because anything else I'd want to discuss would include spoilers but suffice it to say that The Assassin and the Empire was an absolutely stellar conclusion to this set of four novellas!  I'll definitely be re-reading them in March when The Assassin's Blade releases - followed closely by a full series re-read I'm sure ;-)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Harry Potter MotW #28

Harry Potter Moment of the Week 

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted over at Uncorked Thoughts. The idea is to share a favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself! Upcoming topics & how to join here.

 Would you pick cat, toad or owl etc and why?

Aww, this is a tough question because it's always a toss up for me.  On the one hand, I love the idea of having an owl that could deliver my post, and fly secret messages anywhere in the world...but no matter what, I simply can't go against my true nature so I would pick:
Cat

I feel like we only just scratched the surface when it comes to cats at Hogwarts.  I'm sure they would have developed some really cool abilities from being around magic so much!  Plus to me, Witches and cats go hand in hand.  I can't imagine being a young witch and heading out to Hogwarts without a feline companion!  Snooping around at night would definitely not be as much fun - and if I had Harry's cloak (which never seemed to entirely fool Mrs Norris) my cat could find me and tag along haha

Hopefully I could befriend a school owl...or convince the teachers to let me have two animals. I always loved that black owl that Sirius used once in the films - the one that bit Harry XD

Way of Kings RAL Week 6

Once again I have to apologize for posting late with my post...but I am one day ahead of last week so hopefully by next week I'll have fully caught up ;-) Anyways, I think it's mind-blowing that we're already at week 6 of this read-along!  And man did things ever heat up this week - Wow!!  Without realizing it, I even read ahead one chapter because I was so engrossed in the story LOL  So let's get to discussing:

*Week 6 - Chapters 33 - 42
Caution: Major Spoilers Ahead!

1. Both Kabsal and Jasnah have spoken to Shallan about stealing the Soulcaster, and both have done so in a pretty lighthearted manner, considering how serious it would actually be to steal it. Do you think Kabsal was telling the truth when he brushed off Shallan’s questions about his plan to steal the Soulcaster? Is he still interested in stealing it? Does he have other, deeper motives??

I honestly hope that Kabsal doesn't have any deeper and more sinister motives but at this point I can't be sure. He seems genuine enough but I'm not convinced his motives are all that honorable when it comes to Jasnah or anything relating to her.  I'm not sure if Kabsal was being 100% forthright with Shallan about much of anything to be honest.  I think his attraction towards her is likely real but I feel like he know more about Soulcasters than he let on.  And I also wonder if he knew more than he let on about any plants to steal or the Soulcaster...I don't know, he just seemed overly nonchalant and in a hurry to change the subject; not to mention get away.

2. By the end of the section, Shallan has found out that she'll be able to return home in one week, but she's torn between wanting to continue her studies, and being able to take the stolen Soulcaster home. So far it looks like her theft hasn't been detected, but do you think she’ll be found out before that time? Do you think she should leave, or might decide on her own to stay? Could something else happen to make her stay?

I'm truly hoping that Shallan sees the light and opts to stay put.   To me her family don't seem especially worthy of all the trouble she's putting in helping them...though I can certainly see why she feels obligated to, seeing as they're her family and all >.<  but it seems obvious that she's becoming a better person in her new-found independence.  It seems that both Shallan and Jasnah are benefiting from their interactions and debates with one another.  I also have an inkling that Jasnah will desperately need her Soulcaster sometime soon... and  I shudder to think at what might happen if that moment comes and Shallan has already left O_O

3. How much do you think Jasnah actually knows about the theft of her Soulcaster? Is it even remotely possible that Jasnah is still in the dark about it? If she knows, did she in fact dupe Shallan with a fake, as Shallan theorizes? Or did Jasnah let her steal it? Why??

It is possible that Jasnah has yet to notice the switch of her Soulcaster but it seems unlikely to me.  She doesn't strike me like the kind of woman who misses even a single beat.  I wonder about her not mentioning it at all though.  Could she have found a way to fix the broken one currently in her possession?  Or even switched it back with her own somehow? Either way I think she might even suspect Shallan to be the culprit but that's complete speculation on my part at this point.  I just hope if I'm wrong on all counts that Shallan replaces it before Jasnah even notices haha

4. During the Highstorm, Kaladin experiences a lull during which the wind and rain stop, he feels no more pain, and he sees an enormous “face of blackness, yet faintly traced in the dark”. The face is described as, “Inhuman. Smiling.” Was Kaladin just hallucinating? If not, do you think this being had something to do with recharging the sphere? With Kaladin somehow feeling better before the storm kicked up again? Or could this being be malevolent? Thoughts/theories??

I think the face in the Highstorm might have been the Stormfather himself and he likely did charge the sphere; either directly or indirectly, through the Highstorm itself.  It was almost like Kaladin died during that lull and came back to life, though he probably was just very close to dying and was recharged by the storm and the sphere.  Whatever that face was, I think it regarded Kaladin in a positive way and meant to help him.  At least, I hope so because if the 'presence' in that Highstorm was malevolent, I literally shudder to think at the faith of our beloved Kaladin...

5. Before Kaladin is forced to endure the Highstorm, he tells his men to come out after the storm is over; he says he’ll open his eyes and look back at them, and they’ll know that he survived. Kaladin obviously survives, and everyone in Bridge Four is really glad about that. But we haven’t yet seen a reaction from anyone other than Kal’s men. Do you think Kaladin’s survival could have a wider impact than just giving his own group of bridgemen hope?

I definitely think Kaladin's survival will have a wider reach than just the bridgemen - though that in and of itself was impressive enough considering how they all were at the start of this.  He certainly made himself into quite the legend with those 'last' words though, didn't he?  And even though we all knew he was going to survive - it was still brilliant when he did!!  I think that when everything starts to go down, his survival will gain him widespread notoriety and more than likely reverence.  He seems likely to give hope to the masses at large in the future.

6. We learn quite a bit about Teft in this section… kind of. But pretty much everything we learn just leads to more questions. What do you think about these “Envisagers” Teft mentions? How much do you think Teft knows about Kaladin’s ability to use Stormlight? It seemed like Teft became wary of Kaladin after he recovered – why? Do you think he'll tell Kaladin about what he knows?

Teft seems to know an awful lot about the legends of old, doesn't he?  Certainly much more than he's leading everyone else to believe.He put two and two together and knew exactly how to give Kaladin what he needed to heal which was great.  What worries me is how reluctant Teft was to believe what his mind already knew about Kaladin.  It was more than that though, he seemed to outright dread it.  I'm curious about the Envisagers though and I hope Teft reveals more - hopefully he goes to Kaladin before going to the Envisagers themselves though...just in case!

*Extra bits*

I'm still loving Syl more and more - a new favorite scene was her staying by Kaladin during the high storm.  The way she stood before him as if to protect him from the worst of it!! ♥

* Jasnah's take on justice was interesting, to say the least.  I wonder what role she'll take on when the Desolation strikes?

* As usual, the flashbacks into Kaladin's  youth were captivating -  and equal parts heart-breaking.  His father's revelations and continued bad-luck really make me feel for the family as a whole.  And piece by piece they help create a bigger picture for Kaladin's character.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Way of Kings & Words of Radiance Giveaway (Intl)


In celebration of our read-along of Brandon Sanderson's Way of Kings - combined with the fact that book 2 in The Stormlight Archive: Words of Radiance is coming out in March, Tor has sponsored a truly epic giveaway of 10 copies of Way of Kings & Words of Radiance.  This portion of the giveaway is for U.S. and Canadian residents only but us hosts didn't want our International followers feeling left out, so we got together & added an additional 2 copies of each for an international giveaway!


U.S./Canada Giveaway:

Let's start with the U.S. and Canadian portion of the giveaway, sponsored by Tor for 10 copies of each book! Note: Since Words of Radiance only comes out in March, those copies will ship once the books is out.

Rules: Tor does not ship to P.O. Box addresses.  Winner has 48 hours to respond to email so make sure the email address you submit through Rafflecopter is legit!  As hosts, we are not responsible for any books lost in the mail...etc.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

International Giveaway:

As hosts, we didn't want our international readers/fellow fans of Sanderson missing out so we decided to offer up 2 additional copies of each book (so 4 winners in allAs long as The Book Depository ships to you, you can enter but we ask that U.S. & Canada residents refrain from entering this portion since there are more copies up for you guys to win above ^^

Rules: Winner has 48 hours to respond to email so make sure the email address you submit through Rafflecopter is legit!  As hosts, we are not responsible for any books lost in the mail...etc.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everyone!! xx 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Stacking the Shelves *32*

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews showcasing new books we've gotten a hold of (bought/given/gifted/trade/for review).

Hi everyone :) My haul this week mostly consists of review copies - and one delayed Xmas gift that was unavailable at the time I placed my order. I have to admit that I'm pretty darn excited about all of these though:

*Click on the covers for Goodreads link*




So for those of you that are wondering: Touch of Power was the Holiday holdout. I'd specifically wanted that ^^ cover but Amazon didn't have it on hand when I placed my order.  Initially the estimated delivery date was mid-February so I was psyched when I got the e-mail saying it had shipped!  Sunrise is the third and final book in the Ashfall trilogy - and even though I *still* haven't read Ashen Winter, I couldn't resist scooping up book 3!  In my defense, I'm planning on getting into book 2 a.s.a.p. ;-)  A World Without Princes is the sequel to A School for Good & Evil which I'd recently featured as my WoW pick.  Despite my issues with book 1, I'm still very curious about what will happen next for our heroines & hero.

Dark Eden is characterized as a dystopian sci-fi fantasy, so you can imagine how that combination of genres got me hooked.  The synopsis sounds like nothing I've ever read before too which is exciting!  Finally, Talented is about a young female assassin with revenge on her mind.  Oh and she seems to have some psychic or paranormal gifts! *squee*

Let me know what you think of my books this week!
And don't forget to link me up to your haul!!