Book of the Week-The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Welcome back to the Book of the Week, treatment in its new day, physician Thursday! I changed the outline of my blog a little bit and moved the Book of the Week from Friday to Thursday. Okay, and I am totally aware that is neither Thursday nor Friday and I’m already doing seriously horrible at sticking to my blog outline. I’m trying to do better though and its been kind of a busy week.

But moving on. I am on a reading high right now, trying to make my goal of 200 books in a year and so far, I’ve read 11 books this year, which isn’t too bad considering its mid-January.

So it actually was kind of hard to pick a book for a book of the week.

However, I was reading the sequel to this week’s book of the week and I realized how much I enjoyed the story and I wanted to talk to people all about the sequel. Well, I can’t really do a post on the sequel of the novel without first talking about the first story. So here is this week’s Book of the Week.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson 

THE-GIRL-OF-FIRE-AND-THORNS

So the basic premise of the novel is this: Elisa is a princess in the country of Orovalle, the younger sister, with no real purpose and no direct line to the throne. She isn’t beautiful; in fact, she enjoys her food a bit too much and is known for being a very kind princess but a very FAT princess. To make matters worse, she is married off to Alejandro, the king of the near by desert country of Joya d’Arena, in secret. Alejandro is gorgeous, and his son adores Elisa but she’s in a loveless, secret marriage and she feels even more useless than she did in her own country.

Because Elisa has a destiny, a destiny given to her from God in the form of a Godstone, a blue stone in her stomach, visible through her navel that makes her as a chosen one, one who will do somehing great as the will of God. This, of course, makes her a hot commodity, and only puts a SLIGHT bit of pressure on her.

And then she is kidnapped by a group of kids her own age, who live in the eastern areas of the Joya d’Arena , where war has raged for generations, unknown to the weak king, Alejandro. They hope by bringing God’s chosen to their cause, they will finally be able to defeat the Invierne army that threatens the entire kingdom. Finally, Elisa feels like she has a purpose…and a boy named Humberto, who looks at her like no one else in the world ever has.

The Good or the Bad: 

First, I’m going to start with the bad, because there isn’t a lot. The biggest “issue”, if you will, for this book was the God aspect of it. In a lot of fantasy novels that are written, there is some form of religion. It only makes sense because religion is the way we explain how things happen, how we came about. Its where we get our morals and our “rules”, where we came from. It only makes sense that gods would exist in these alternate universes. However, with Elisa’s Godstone and her destiny from God, and all that, it got a little too religious for me. I’m an atheist and can only handle a little bit of religion and I had a hard time determining if it was the God of a fantasy world or if it was a book with heavy Christian values. I’m not a Christian so heavy Christian themes in a book is hard for me to stomach. Its why I have such a hard time reading the Chronicles of Narnia, but I love Harry Potter.

Moving on though, the rest of the book is absolutely fantastic.

First (you know, besides the first ‘first’ that talked about religion), there’s the character of Elisa herself. She is a wonderfully written character. Tamora Pierce, one of my absolute heroines, says “Elisa is a wonderful, believable hero, the kind that every reader can imagine as herself.” This is a perfect way to describe Elisa. She’s a younger princess, getting married to this extremely handsome king on her sixteenth birthday, and she’s a born Chosen one from God, and she’s fat. She’s insecure in her own body and her own destiny and she’s forced to marry an extremely handsome king, who has no interest in actually recognizing her as his wife. She feels like a child and she feels useless. How many of us have felt that? If you haven’t felt that, you must be a robot.

But of course, Elisa doesn’t always stay this timid and afraid little girl. She becomes an adult, though through trial. She’s kidnapped by people who need her help, because she is the Chosen. And even though she feels completely inept and she has no clue whatsoever what the Godstone and its purpose is for her, she is able to help. And the best part of her stepping up and helping, and gaining the confidence to lead these people, is that it comes from herself. It doesn’t come from her Godstone. The Godstone may have been the reason that she was brought into this but it isn’t what makes her the great leader that she is. It isn’t what gains her the loyalty of those people, it isn’t what causes the friendship she gains in her guard, Hector, the adoration she wins from her new son, Rosario, and the love she gets from her friend, Humberto. That is all 100% Elisa and its fantastic.

There’s the story itself, that captivates me enough to keep reading. You can’t help but want to root on Elisa the entire time. Even though Alejandro is a weak king and he rules his kingdom in an indecisive manner and he’s letting his outer eastern providences die in defense of his whole country, you can’t help but want them all to win. You even can’t help but rooting for him a little bit, as he realizes what he has done wrong and how he tries to fix it. Even though Joya d’Arena is in shambles and its poor and the people are starving and they can barely defend themselves, you want them to win because you want Elisa to win. And Elisa believes in the Joya d’Arena people. You are so excited to watch as she goes from a overweight, shy and unsure princess to a confident and capable ruler.

I don’t want to give away too much of this book, because there is so much to it that makes it an enjoyable book. Its fast paced enough to keep you wanting more and all the characters are believable. Elisa is one of the most believable female characters that I have ever read. Alejandro is a real character in that he represents the weakness of previous rulers, the reality that not all leaders are strong. I love Humberto and Cosme, Elisa’s captors who become her friends, because of their determination to succeed, to defend the place where they love and leave.

And the sequel is only that much better. This is a book that I definitely recommend. Five stars. A round of applause. Two thumbs up. Standing ovation. Rae Carson is a very talented and engaging writer and I can’t wait for more people to pick this book and enjoy it. I hope that this post encourages you all to pick up the book and that it encourages everyone to read the sequel, The Crown of Embers, which is even better than the first. I can’t wait til this fall with the last installment in the series comes out because its sure to be an instant hit, and even more enjoyable than the first two.

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Top Eleven Badass Fictional Ladies

So a couple months ago (actually kind of awhile ago), information pills I did a blog post on the hottest fictional boy characters. I’m a little boy crazy and I probably could have done more than eleven. But I managed to narrow it down.

Unfortunately, viagra order I got some complaints from my small male audience, viagra saying where is the list of hot girls?

So this is the closest thing I can come to this. I mean, I do like girls and I do think every single one of the ladies listed below are pretty damn hot. I also think a ton of them are hot because they are so badass.

I mean, there is something about a woman with a weapon in her hand that is simultaneously sexy and badass.

I know that a lot of you won’t agree with this list. I know you all have your own opinions which is awesome! Unfortunately for you, this blog is called WhataNerdGirlSays and I’m the “girl” in that and I get to pick :)

So enjoy my list and feel free to complain ALLLLLL you want in the comments. I love to hear it, good and bad haha.

MY Top Eleven Badass Fictional Ladies 

11. Elena Fisher

I don’t know how many of you have played the Uncharted games on the PS3, but they are some seriously awesome games. They play well, the stories are fuckin addicting and the characters are so damn real. Half the time, I am content to just watch my boyfriend play because it’s like a movie. Nathan Drake is the main character in these games, kind of a modern day Indiana Jones, who always has a lady by his side and one of those ladies, one that seems to keep appearing over and over again in these games is Elena Fisher. Chloe, the curvy brunette, gets a lot of the fan boys attention but Elena gets my attention. That girl is wicked. She is a journalist, determined to get the story, no matter the cost, and she can handle a gun as well as anyone…and if you need a getaway car, she’s the one to call. Nate Drake can deny it all he wants; he finds Elena sexy as hell and this girl does too.

10. Marion Ravenwood

I don’t care that I wasn’t even born when this movie came out, I mean, my parents were both still in high school when this movie came out. But Marion Ravenwood is easily my favorite Jones girl. She is AWESOME. She is so pissed at Indiana, slaps him in the face and shows absolute disdain for him at times. I really like her because she can hold her own. She can handle a knife and a gun and she’s a tough cookie. No matter what is thrown at her, she relies on herself to get out. After being kidnapped, she doesn’t sit there and think “Oh, I’m just gonna wait for Indiana to save me”, she is clever enough to try and get out of the situation herself. Plus she is so damn sarcastic. I love sarcasm; its a wonderful artform and I love a heroine that can kick ass while having a snarky attitude.

9. Inara Serra

It took me AGES to get into this show. I had heard of it but I didn’t really think it was something I liked. Like Doctor Who, people bugged me enough for me to finally go “Eh, why not?” and I watched it. I figured, its less than 15 episodes and its on Netflix so I can watch it for free. And I am so glad. I went through all the episodes so incredibly fast. And throughout all the episodes, the one character that really caught my eye (besides Nathan Fillion as Captain Mal…hubba hubba) was Inara. Inara is on the ship, Serenity, with the rest of the ragtag crew but she has a slightly different purpose than the other members. Inara is a highly sought after, very classy prostitute. But despite that, she’s so badass. One, she’s gorgeous. Two, she could be on any ship in the galaxy, but she chooses to stay on that one, no matter what happens. And she’s badass in her own right. She’s not always out there in the fight but when she is? I want her on my side.

8. Isabelle Lightwood

Isabelle Lightwood is not the first person I noticed when I started reading the Mortal Instruments. Obviously I noticed Jace Wayland first (HUBBA HUBBA). And then I noticed Clary Fray. Obviously. Clary and Jace are the main characters in this series. But then I started to notice Isabelle Lightwood. Clary gets thrown into this Shadowhunter world at sixteen years old; she has never known anything of it before. You are experiencing this world anew along with her. Isabelle, on the other hand, has been raised a Shadowhunter…and she’s a badass Shadowhunter. She’s brave as hell, and she’s going around, killing demons while wearing short skirts and stilettos. Sexy and deadly. I love the fact that her weapon, her signature weapon, is a gold whip. I mean, can you give her a weapon that is anymore sexy and badass? I have no idea why Isabelle is carrying a flamethrower in the trailer for City of Bones, but who cares? It’s awesome.

7. Katniss Everdeen

Katniss Everdeen is a badass, female character all the way up to Mockingjay. Then she gets whiny. But BEFORE that, she’s badass. She’s too busy feeding her family to worry about boys. I mean, sure, she’s sixteen and its passed her mind. She has hormones, right? And I bet Gale was one hot piece to look at it. But she’s like, “Cool, Gale is hot…I’m hungry”. And that’s awesome. She’s more concerned for survival than anything else. Even when she is in the Hunger Games, and its so beyond obvious that Peeta is head over heels in love with her, she utilizes it to her survival. Now, I’m not advocating using a person who loves but how many of us wouldn’t use that sort of protection when our life is on the line? I admire a girl who puts her own survival above anything else. When her dad died, and her mom gave up, she could’ve curled up in a ball and just let life take her but she didn’t. She remembered what she could do, with plants and hunting (and her badass bow) and she survives. AWESOME.

6. Alianne Cooper of Pirate’s Swoop

Alianne Cooper is sixteen years old, and she’s daughter of the King’s Champion (who is also the first female knight in a century) and the King’s spymaster. Her godmother is the queen and her godfather is the queen. She has adopted aunts and uncles that are the Commander of the King’s Guard, the most powerful mages in the realm and so on. Her brothers are a university student of magic and a page on the path to knighthood. You could say that she has a lot to live up to. And the best part? She totally does, and she almost surpasses them all. She makes the mistake of sailing her boat alone and is captured by pirates and is sold into slavery into the neighboring Copper Isles. When she is given to a family, she realizes that she’s caught up in a rebellion, to take the country back from the tyrannical rulers and give it back to the natives. She becomes the spymaster for the rebellion at sixteen years old and is a pivotal part in its success. And she can handle a pair of daggers pretty damn well.

5. Scarlett O’Hara

Badass. Think about it: Scarlett O’Hara was a young woman, in the South, in the mid 1800s, when women were seen and not heard, there to make good marriages but not much more than that. And Scarlett O’ Hara is opposite of all that. Even in the beginning, when she is sixteen and looking for a husband, she still doesn’t fall into that proper bred Southern woman. She goes for what she wants and she takes whats not hers. Ashley Wilkes doesn’t love her, can’t marry her? Well, then, that’s fine, let’s steal India Wilkes’ beau and marry Charles Hamilton. She’s rash and ferocious and quick tempered and awesome. Atlanta is falling to pieces, the Yankees are coming and she’s like, I don’t care, I want to go and she goes home, even after Rhett Butler ditches her, and her two slaves, a sick Melly, her small child Wade (read the book) and Melly’s newborn. And despite protests amongst all her friends and family, she finds her way back into wealth, doing what she has to do so she is never hungry again. Perfect.

4. Doctor companions

I tried to pick one. I really did. I was like, Rose, duh. But Donna…and Amy! Ugh. So I decided that number four on the list was going to be the four companions of the new Doctor Who series. Rose Tyler is the most badass, taking everything in stride and fixing it. I love Rose because she’s that perfect equivalent to the Doctor; sometimes she’s just one step above him and it’s just awesome. Martha is pretty badass too; she’s a doctor and pretty much saves the world, walking all across it to save it. Donna is one of my absolute favorites: she has such little belief in herself and yet she’s the most important woman in the world. She saves the world! And Amy Pond, oh Amy Pond, the girl who waited. The Doctor’s companions are like Bond girls…except better. Not only are they hot but they are smart as hell and they kick ass. And hell, they keep the Doctor in line and there’s not many who can do that.

3. Clary Fray

I love the Mortal Instruments series. The one thing I don’t like about TMI is the love triangle. I hate love triangles. Please go away. Why do you think that people don’t like Twilight? I know my beef is that I want to tell Bella to shut the hell up about whether to choose Edward or Jacob and just be badass. God. That’s what sets Clary apart. Sure, Simon, plain ‘ol lovable geeky mundane Simon, and Jace, hot, sexy, dangerous Shadowhunter, are fighting over Clary. In my personal opinion, Simon never really has a chance so I don’t know that it was much of a love triangle. But despite Simon and Jace fighting over her, Clary is too concerned on saving her mother, and then saving the Shadowhunters and Downworlders. She comes from Shadowhunter blood, but she’s a mundane, a human, and she’s rushing into vampire lairs to save her best friend and tearing apart ships with powerful runes and making Portals into Idris so she doesn’t get left behind. She creates the Alliance rune, to convince Shadowhunters and Downworlders to work together, against the bad guy, to save the world. And she’s a redhead. I love Clary Fray, she’s awesome.

2. Princess Leia

You know when I decided Princess Leia was the biggest badass ever? When Luke Skywalker walks in to rescue her and she’s like “Yeah? So?” Best. Moment. Ever. She doesn’t know this guy and she’s not falling down at his feet, dying to be rescued. She basically gets herself out of everything. She can handle a blaster like no body’s business, and she runs circles around Luke (ew, he’s her brother haha) and Han. Even when she’s being tortured to reveal the location of the rebel base, she still lies to protect everyone. Her snarky attitude and sarcasm, and her absolute determination to spurn her feelings for Han. She’s fantastic. There’s a part in Empire Strikes Back where she is so concerned on getting everyone else evacuated off of Hoth and its only until Han basically drags her, that she leaves. She is so commited to the rebellion and its awesome; she’s willing to do anything for it. And those buns, there’s never been a hairstyle like that haha.

1. Hermione Granger

Plain and simple, Hermione is the best, most badass heroine ever. You can argue with me all you want. The fact is, she’s smart as hell and she’s never going to dumb herself down for anyone, even Ron. Even though Ron finds her intelligence annoying at times and intimidating at other times, she sticks to her guns and never hides her intelligence and that’s fantastic. And when Ron is an absolute jerk and leaves her and Harry, she carries on. She continues to fight. Her morale is down and she’s sad, and she goes days without saying anything to Harry, but she still fights on, looking for those Horcruxes. And damn, she’s just so smart! She finds solutions to everything and she’s a quick thinker. I don’t know how many times characters in the book are just amazed at Hermione’s brilliance. No matter how many times it happens over the course of the books, you still want to cheer every time she  spouts off a random bit of information or gets them out of a sticky situation. Also, who knew that little dorky Emma Watson would grow up to be so beautiful? Hermione is NOT supposed to be that attractive but she makes it work and its awesome.

So most of you probably don’t agree with my list and that’s okay! Because everyone has different opinions and tastes. These eleven fictional women rock my world and make my palms a little sweaty :) And since I know you all are going to disagree with me, why don’t you share with me your picks! I always love to hear from you guys and I want to know what sexy fictional ladies tickle your fancy :D

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

See you soon!

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Top Twelve Fictional Places (Oh Why Can’t They Exist?!)

Some of the best things about all these fandoms I’m obsessed with are the awesome worlds that come along with them. I think that’s partly what makes some of these fandoms so damn awesome: the fact that they’re taking place in some mystical, fictional place where amazing things happen. There are so many fictional worlds out there that I wish really existed and there are definitely places that I wish existed. So, of course, I created a list. I had to. I love lists :D and what a better list than one describing all of my favorite fictional places!

WhataNerdGirlSays’ Top 12 Fictional Places 

12. Pokemon World (Kanto, Johto, Etc). 

Pokemon Blue, Yellow and Red are my favorite video games of all time. They were really the first video games that I got into. I adored the show, I collected the cards, I played the game. Of course I did. To this day, I still love watching the show and playing the game (not so much the cards, I just never could understand it haha). I love the world of Kanto. For one thing, you’re ten years old and you’re ready to leave home and go on an awesome adventure. I don’t think I was old enough to walk home from school when I was ten years old! Then there’s all the awesome people, the pokemon, the training, the cool places to go, the battles, and so on. I wish this place was real! I could totally train pokemon! That or I’d just catch them all and stare at them all day because they’re so damn cute.

11. The Kingdom in Howl’s Moving Castle

“In the land of Ingary where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist…”

This mostly comes from Hayao Miyazaki and the Studio Ghibli team. They do an amazing job in all of their movies; their animation is stunning and the artwork is beautiful. This is what makes me want to live in Howl and Sophie’s world, known as Ingary in the books. I don’t know that they ever call it by anything in the movies but its called Ingary in the books. Yeah, the kingdoms are a little screwed up in their pointless war, but once that’s all done, I feel like it’d be an awesome place to live. The city where the palace is located is bustling and busy and so fantastically metropolitan. Then there’s the beach front town where Howl’s other shop is located where there’s the vast ocean and street market. Plus there’s magic and fancy clothes and it’d be so fun to do all of that. Oh yeah, and I want a fire demon named Calcifer, voiced by Billy Crystal.

10. Hundred Acre Wood

“Wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.”

 I have a completely unhealthy obsession with Winnie the Pooh for a fangirl of twenty-four. I ADORE Winnie the Pooh. I love the old A.A. Milne stories and I can’t get enough of the Disney adaptations. I will sit on that ride over and over again at DisneyLand and you can catch me singing various songs from the movies at any point in time. Is it no wonder that I think it would absolutely and totally brilliant to live in the Hundred Acre Wood. When I think of the Hundred Acre Wood, I think of childhood. It represents childhood so much; think of the last original Disney movie where Christopher Robin leaves the forest to grow up and go to school. And who doesn’t want to revisit their childhood when it involves adventures with a silly ‘ol bear and a nervous little piglet and a gloomy donkey and a bouncy tigger? I know this girl does.

8. Rivendell/the Shire

“Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It’ll be spring soon. And the orchards will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And they’ll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields… and eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?”

I’d like to say that I would love to just live in Middle Earth, but besides Rivendell and the Shire, Middle Earth kind of scares me, even after its saved. It’s so vast and unknown and there are so many creatures of unknown out there and it seems so dangerous. I like to stick close to home. Hobbits don’t stray to far from home, and some people may not like that much, but I don’t think there’s much harm in that. Of course, I want adventures and fun, but in the end, I love coming home. And the Shire is a quaint little countryside home that is perfect for those Hobbits. Besides, I would fit in sooooo well with Hobbits. And there’s Rivendell, where the lure is just the beauty and mysteriousness of it. Elves are such a mystery, even after all the encounters you have with them. They’re gorgeous (hello, Orlando Bloom in a wig. Hubba hubba). There is something very magical about Rivendell.

8. The Burrow

 

“It’s not much, but its home.”

I am part of a big family. I so know what its like to be a Weasley. There are seven kids in the Weasley family and there are six in my family. I think this is partly why Ron is one of my favorite characters; I can totally relate on the whole big family thing. That being said, the Burrow just sounds like everything I could’ve ever wanted in a home. It has the family together in once place, being a family together. It doesn’t have a forced feeling. It’s a real home, with messes in the rooms and the gardens, and homemade blankets and sweaters all over the place and a homemade dinner every night. Even though the Weasleys are poor, they have the Burrow and the Burrow is their home. It feels like a home. Its where their family gathers to be TOGETHER. Its where Harry gets his real, first experience on what its like to have a home and a family. And that fact that it’s a hodgepodge of rooms and additions makes it that much better. Like everything else Weasley, it’s a little crooked, a little out of place, but perfect in every way.

7. Narnia

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!”

Now I’ve probably said it about a million times already, but I mean MOVIE Narnia, not book Narnia. My quote is from the books, and don’t get me wrong, I do like the books but well that’s a whole ‘nother blog post. I like the idea of Narnia, as this secret place that the Pevensies escape to and its where they belong and where they are able to become themselves. If the Hundred Acre Wood was childhood, Narnia is that middle ground, where a child becomes an adult. All the sons of Adam and daughters of Eve that pass into Narnia give to Narnia…but Narnia gives them just as much back. I like the idea of being able to find a secret, magical land in the back of a wardrobe where I’m going to have adventures and learn more about myself and the world.

6. Tortall

 

“Does anyone in this land act like they’re supposed to?”

The quote itself explains it. Tortall is a land of its own, where things happen that seem so out of the ordinary. The King’s Champion is a woman, one of the most powerful mages in all the world is a woman, there’s woman fighting, there’s schools for the lower classes, there’s so much. Tortall has everything a fangirl could need with knights and mages and fantastic creatures and all of that, but it’s so revolutionary at the same time. It shows equality and tolerance. It promotes the idea of educating your population, all of it. It has a king and queen, who get to know their people, who act like normal people. Girls are amazing in Tortall; they’re clever and ambitious and powerful, just as they are in the real world. I would live in Tortall, easily. I could become a female knight or a mage (if I had the Gift) or a scholar or a Queen’s Riders or join the King’s Own. Tortall represents a sort of crazy wishful world, an example of what we should be. It’s not perfect but its near enough and King Jonathan and Queen Thayet work their butts off to make it so.

5. Time and Space in The Tardis

 

“Think you’ve seen it all? Think again. Outside those doors, we might see anything. We could find new worlds, terrifying monsters, impossible things. And if you come with me… nothing will ever be the same again!”

The Doctor has a way of pulling you, making you want to go with him, even though its dangerous. And it IS dangerous. The Doctor gets himself into crazy, insane, dangerous situations where your life, his life, a species life, the universe is at stake. And yet, you see amazing things as well. There’s a reason that his companions are so enamored with him; there’s a reason they’re so attached and they find it nearly impossible to leave. The Doctor gives you the entire universe, a life that is amazing and unique and different every single time. You literally have the entire universe in the palm of your hand. Anywhere in time and space.You can go anywhere you’d want to go. I couldn’t even begin to make a list of the places I wished to see. I wish that the Doctor’s world existed. I wish he existed and he’d take me along with him.

4. Camp Half-Blood

“Keeping Young Heroes Safe from Harm (Mostly) For Over Three Millennia”

I’ve been absolutely obsessed with Greek mythology for a good chunk of my life. It’s fun and it’s interesting. It was the religion of these people; these tales were what they used to explain everything, whether it was to do with the body, or the nature or anything. I remember wanting to name my cat “Artemis” once and everyone made fun of me. It took me awhile before reading the Percy Jackson series because I thought of it as a little kids’ series. Mistake one. Harry Potter is a kids series and I ADORE it. And I adore Percy as well. How cool to be a demigod, with a god or goddess as a parent (though in the book, they all seem pissed at their parents) and to have cool powers and save the world. Camp Half-Blood sounds so COOL. I wish I could live there. Its like all my obsession with Greek mythology come to life! Obviously I couldn’t be a daughter of Artemis, even though she was always my favorite, but I’d imagine being a daughter of Athena. Athena seems like a good Ravenclaw counterpart.

3. The Galaxy

“For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes”

I want to be a Jedi. I want to live in the Star Wars universe. I want a lightsaber and a blaster. I want to be Princess Leia. I want to rip Han Solo’s clothes off. I want to fly an X-wing or the Millenium Falcon. I want to race pod-racers. I want to save the galaxy. I want to live by the Force and battle the Dark side. I want to be part of the Rebel Alliance. George Lucas created a wonderful, vast, epic world and who wouldn’t want to be a part of it? The fact that the first movie came out in 1977, over thirty years ago, and still enjoys a crazy popularity just shows how captivating this world is. It has those classic elements of a typical fantasy, with the princess and the “knight in shining armor” with the swords (lightsabers) and the evil empire taking over. It has a magical component, it has the wide old man and the loyal retainers. And yet it is set in this badass science fiction world. Its the best of both.

2. Idris 

“To a Shadowhunter, Idris is always home.” 

Shadowhunters are humans who have angel blood and spend their lives fighting demons, and keeping the earth safe from demons. There are Shadowhunters stationed all across the world to keep it safe but their home is the country of Idris, and its capital city, the glass city, Alicante. It is described in the books as the sort of Jerusalem for Shadowhunters. I want to be part of this world and live in Alicante because I want to be a Shadowhunter and marry Jace Lightwood. I’m half-way kidding with that.There’s something intriguing about a glass city where the world’s most powerful warriors and protectors live.

1. Hogwarts

“Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

“Hogwarts was the first and best home he had known. He and Voldemort and Snape, the abandoned boys, had all found home here. ” 

How much do I really have to explain about this? Hogwarts is my home just as much as it was to Harry and Snape and Tom Riddle. It was the first time I ever felt like I was a part of something. I learned the meaning of good and evil, right and wrong, the meaning of friendship, of love, of bravery, of tolerance, of courage, of happiness and sadness, of gain and loss. I get teared up just thinking about it, just reading those quotes by Queen Rowling. There is nothing in this world that has touched me or changed me like these books have. How could I not want to go to Hogwarts? Its enchanting, and mysterious, and fun and wonderful. It’s every good word that is out there. There is no fictional place in the world of movies and books that I wish was real like Hogwarts. Its real for us. It will always be real for us. Always.

So that’s my list of favorite fictional places. I’m sure there’s about a hundred more that you all are thinking of so share them in the comments! You know I always love hearing from you :D

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Book of the Week: Trickster’s Choice

Welcome ot my newly weekly segment. Now, drugs normally I’m going to be posting this around Thursday, ed Friday or Saturday to keep it nicely spaced out from the Tuesday Three. For now, approved the first one will be posted today because I’m sick in bed and I need something to do besides watching Once Upon a Time reruns.

So now, I will introduce you to the new weekly blog: Book of the Week. Each week I will review a book for you. It may be a book that I’ve already read in the past, it may be a new book, it may be a book I absolutely hated. Eitehr way, I’m sharing a book with you guys :D I also asked my good friend, Jackie, the awesome nerd-writer over at seekingbazinga.com, to help contribute to this.

For the first week, I decided to do one of my favorite books of all time. This book is both popular and overlooked at the same time.

Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce

Book One of The Trickster Series by Tamora Pierce

Tamora’s Series (in Order)

The Song of the Lioness (Alanna)
The Immortals (Daine)
The Protector of the Small (Keladry)
The Trickster Series (Aly)

The Plot:

This is the first book of Tamora’s fourth series in the Tortall world. Now, it IS helpful if you read the series in order. But it doesn’t ruin the experience. The first Tortall book I picked up was this one. Tortall is a fictional land where there are kings and queens, knights and mages, magical creatures and all sorts of fun and awesome stuff.

Now, Alianne of Pirates Swoop is the daughter of the King’s Champion (who also happens to be the first female knight in over 100 years) and the King’s Spymaster. Her brother, Thom, is learning to be a mage at the palace university and her twin brother, Alan, is being trained to be a Knight of the realm. Aly is sixteen years old, an adult, and has yet to find her way in the world.

However, she knows exactly what she wants to do: she wants to be a spy. Trained at her father’s knee, she is clever and knows the way of a spy world. Of course, she is a well-bred, noble girl and that is out of the question. After getting into an argument with her mother about her future, she does what any other normal sixteen year old would do: she takes her ship out to sea, to go on a nice little sail until her mother leaves again.

Her ship is soon attacked and boarded by pirates and she is sold into slavery in the nearby Copper Isles. Ever the clever girl, she makes herself as ugly as possible in the slave pens to deter anyone buying her as a bed warmer. Instead she is given to the Balitang family, a rich noble family in the heart of the Copper Isles kingdom. She begins to learn the history of the country: how it was once called the Kyprish Isles and was ruled by the brown-skinned raka people…that is until the white luarins from the nearby countries invaded and took over.

It doesn’t take long for Aly to get swept up in a secret, underground rebellion involving the raka slaves and servants of the Balitang house, a trickster god by the name of Kyprioth and the two eldest daughters of the family, Saraiyu and Dovesary, who are both luarin and raka, and have royal blood in each line.

The Good or the Bad:

Obviously since this is one of my favorite books in the entire world, it is definitely good. There are several reasons for this.

Tamora Pierce is amazing at writing fantastic strong female characters. And I love strong female characters (see: Joss Whedon). Aly is only sixteen-years-old and gets sold into slavery in a foreign country, a country which is hostile toward her own. Despite all of this, she’s insanely clever and smart. She fits herself in so well, and gets information without seeming like she is getting information. She forms a bond with the trickster god, Kyprioth, that is more like friendship than worship. Once she uncovers the rebellion going on in the house, she’s intrigued. She’s fighting her hardest to escape and make her way back home but the history of the country and the intricacy of the rebellion is almost like fun for her. Its a chance to finally use all the skills and intelligence she has.

As much as I love all the series of Tamora’s, I love this one the most. Yes, because it was the first series I read of hers, but also because I love how much more complex this story was. The ideas of slavery and invading another country and taking it as their own…these are not new ideas. These ideas are part of our own history. It seems like almost a little bit of a political statement on the part of Pierce. Its just another interesting way to read about slavery and conquering, from the conquered point of view.

There are also amazing characters in this book, besides just Aly. If anyone ever needed a lesson on character development, this is a person to go to. Every single one of her characters are individual and unique and written so well. There’s a character for everyone. All these characters are so round and believable, I can’t think of any of the characters that are flat. And the villians, the royal family of the Copper Isles, are so evil, in such a conniving, sneaky, slippery ways. You’re literally disgusted at the things they do, especially once you start reading the second book.

The best part? There’s romance (which I do love) but its not mushy or forced and roll-your-eye worthy. And  no love triangle. Aly feels something for her new friend, Nawat, but she is more concerned with her task at hand than love. She’s so focused and driven. LOVE it.

So I definitely recommend this book, to anyone. I would recommend it more to girls/women but I’ve heard of guys liking it as well. The link above is a direct link to its amazon page, where you can pick it up in paperback for under 10 dollars. I hope to hear from some of you that you’ve read it or that you plan to! Check out the Tuesday Three tomorrow and keep an eye out for my Comikaze blog coming soon!

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