Can you believe how far our Wyrd and Wonder journey has taken us? What a few weeks it’s been – this fourth round-up of your adventures is as epic as any that have gone before! Before we tackle the last week, let’s take a moment to take a look back at the chatter along the road.
This week, I’m focusing on discussions and interviews; Lisa has your reviews and random treasure over at Dear Geek Place; and Jorie will be sharing her second round-up of Challenge tweets at Jorie Loves A Story later this week.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…
We’ve had some big questions recently, kicking off with the thorny question of genre boundaries as Brittany at Perfectly Tolerable considered whether Star Wars is fantasy or scifi (or both? Both is good!).
Annemieke reflected on the often-disappointingly familiar gender roles portrayed in fantasy and looked at some reads that reject them in favour of constructing a new paradigm.
Jessticulates explored whether alternative histories (should) have ethical boundaries through the lens of two recent titles whose blurbs made me see red (yes, I’m a bit of a history nerd; your mileage may vary). She also made a solid case for British towns and cities that deserve to be fantasy locations (hell yes – there are surely enough London-based fantasies at this point). Less contentiously, she also had a round-up of her thoughts on this year’s Hugo Award nominees.
Lists and recommendations
What’s that? You’ve got some room in your Bag of Holding? Not for long – our adventurers have some books you’re going to want to stash in there…
- Sammie at The Bookwyrm’s Den needs your help – she’s got a stack of books with amazing opening lines, but which should she read first?
- Dianthaa at Dianthaa Dabbles took a look at books on her r/fantasy bingo that nobody else had read – and why you should read them (she’s not wrong – there are some great books on this list!)
- Caitlin at Realms of My Mind has been scouting the up and coming list – she found twelve summer releases you’re going to want to watch out for
- Lila at Hardcover Haven suggested ten fantasies to get you started with the genre
- Line at First Line Reader celebrated the Clever Ones – the ten most intelligent fantasy characters
- Louise at Foxes and Fairytales picked five brilliant stand-alone fantasies
- Brace yourself! Jenna at Falling Letters featured thirty-five middle-grade fantasy favourites – conveniently grouped into defining categories (nice!)
- The most contentious list of the week? The Fantasy Hive picked their top five Wyrms in fantasy – did your favourite dragon make the list?
You know the old saying of don’t judge a book by its cover? That’s all well and good, but Wyrd and Wonder is here to celebrate the artists as well as the authors! Erin showcased the artwork for four favourite series and I tried to pinpoint what elements are sure to have me loving the cover of a fantasy book.
Top Five Tuesday (hosted by The Bionic Bookworm) and Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) always provide a good excuse to make TBRs creak! As usual, there have been some fabulously Wyrd and Wonder flavoured diversions from the official prompts:
- Sammie at The Bookwyrm’s Den suggested ten fantasy elements we need in the real world
- Tammy at Books, Bones & Buffy shone the spotlight on twelve upcoming YA fantasy books to get excited about
- Caitlin at Realms of My Mind introduced us to her favourite fantasy opening lines
- Anouk at Time for Tales and Tea gave us five reasons why she loves the Strange the Dreamer duology
- Annemieke at A Dance With Books explained why she loves doing Wyrd and Wonder (aww, shucks, that’s not sunset that’s us blushing)
- Jessticulates celebrated ten reasons to love The Goblin Emperor (SO MUCH LOVE; I second all these reasons)
- Sammie at The Bookwyrm’s Den shared ten reasons she love reading fantasy (there are so many – what are yours?)
This year’s favourite Wyrd and Wonder tag is shaping up to be the always-delightful 5 Star (Fantasy) Books in 5 Words (created by Matthew Sciarappa). This week’s entries are a double helping from SJ Higbee (and Mr Higbee) at Brainfluff and a joint entry from The Captain and First Mate at Captain’s Quarters.
It’s been a busy week for interviews:
- Over at Armed with a Book, Kriti chatted to Joshua Gillingham about his Norse myth-inspired fantasy The Gatewatch
- Jorie caught up with Tracy Richardson about her paranormal environmental adventure Catalyst
- …and with LP Owens about his debut fantasy Yggdraslia
- Last but not least, there was a #SatBookChat with Owen Crane on Twitter
The Wyrd and Wonder Challenge
So much challenge goodness to share! Jorie has a recap of the Challenge activity on Twitter, while I’ve got a round-up of your long-form responses and a few picks from this week’s activity on Instagram. Don’t forget to check out #WyrdAndWonder on Instagram to see the rest.
So much challenge goodness to share! Jorie will be hosting a recap of the Challenge activity on Twitter, while I’ve got a round-up of your long-form responses and a few picks from this week’s activity on Instagram. Don’t forget to check out #WyrdAndWonder on Instagram to see the rest.
Day 18 | Celebrate a storyteller – Peat Long sang the praises of classic author David Gemmell. Jake shared his gateway author into fantasy: Tamora Pierce
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Over on Twitter #wyrdandwonder Day 18 is ‘celebrate a storyteller’. So I’m sharing The Immortals Quartet by @tamora.pierce since it first got me hooked on fantasy! I’m still waiting on my copy of book 3 to arrive but couldn’t wait to share! Absolutely worth the read along with her other books set in Tortall. – – – #booklover #bibliophile #booknerd #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookworm #bookaddict #tamorapierce #bookcommunity #bookporn #epicreads #fantasy #fantasyart #fantasybooks #epicfantasy #bookblogger #wildmagic #magic #ya #yafantasy #yafiction #yafantasybooks
Day 19 | I like big books and I cannot lie – no surprises that a party full of fantasy readers have a lot of big books on their shelves!
- Erin shared her top 5 doorstops in Erin’s Library
- Peat Long discussed his love of books of big ideas – and the fantastically odd approach taken by Grant Morrison to hype The Invisibles
- Day 20 | With great power comes great responsibility – Natrosette considered characters who take responsibility in spite of lacking the powers
Day 20 | With great power comes great responsibility – Natrosette considered characters who take responsibility in spite of lacking the powers. Caitlin argued you can’t get much more powerful than the gods – even when they’re dead…
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Today's #WyrdandWonder prompt is "With great power…" So let's talk about gods! THE DIVINE CITIES by Robert Jackson Bennett envisions a world where the gods have been killed off in the last war, and the magic that the gods powered has completely collapsed. But when certain magic devices start working again, it becomes clear that some of the gods might not be quite so dead after all. I really enjoyed this series, especially the way there were significant time jumps between books, each focusing on a different main character. * * * #bookish #bookstagram #booksofinsta #fantasybooks #booksbooksbooks #fantasyseries #fantasynovel #sff #bookseries #robertjacksonbennett #bookblogger #bookaholic #bookobsessed #readersofinstagram
Day 21 | Beyond the binary – the Tensorate novellas have had a few nods this week, because they’re epic, original and devastating. Lisa made them her pick for day 21
Day 22 | Tall ships and tall kings, three times three… A mythic Tolkien quote for World Maritime Day? Any excuse to revel in maritime fantasy (and share our mutual love of m(urd)ermaids)… Julia gets bonus points for octopus plushies (AAAAAH)
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#WyrdAndWonder day 22-24 prompts: Tall ships Comfort reading Consummate professional Can heartily recommend each of those books! #fantasy #fantasyfiction #fantasybooks #fantasyreader #bookrecommendations #bookstagram #bookaholic #favouritebooks @mattheppe @gailcarriger @robjhayes2013 @devinmadson
Day 23 | Comfort reading – what books do you turn to when you need a literary hug? Mayri the Bookforager has a manga rec (and the most comforting looking reading buddy)
Day 24 | Consummate professional was wide open to interpretation (and accessorising with pointy objects), but I loved Gerry’s unexpected take (‘scuse me, need to go update my TBR)
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Day 24 of Wyrd & Wonder is all about the Consummate Professional. Or not, as the case may be. . . The Bees is one of the weirdest books that I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Think Watership Down but well… with bees. . . Flora 717 is one of many bees born into the ‘flora’ or sanitation class of the hive. Her role? A mute, unthinking cleaner who has her place & that’s where she should stay. Except she’s not mute & she’s certainly not unthinking. Does she stay where she was placed? What do you think? 😉 . . This is a great allegory of class systems, politics, religious fervour & rising above your circumstances to fulfil your potential. So no, Flora 717 is not a consummate professional by any stretch of the imagination but then we wouldn’t have a story if she was. . . Also, bees are great. Don’t harm them, we need them! . . P.S swipe left to see my ‘helper’ assisting. . . 🐝 What book or character do you think of when you think of a professional? . 🐝 Alternatively, who do you think *really* isn’t one?! . 🐝 What’s the weirdest book you’ve read that somehow works & you’ve liked it? . . #wyrdandwonder #wyrdandwonder2020 #consummateprofessional #ornot #books #bookloversofinstagram #bookwormlife #booknerd #bookish #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #booksofinstagram #bookbloggerlife #bibliophile #bookstagramuk #readersofinstagram #thebees #lalinepaull #letshereitforthebees
The Goblin Emperor read-along is nearly over, and it’s fair to say all our emotions are set to FULL (at least three of us have been unable to resist zooming to the finish after the events of week 3). Lisa will post questions for the final week’s read on Goodreads midweek.
Our thoughts so far:
- Week 1 | Dear Geek Place | A Dance with Books | Book Forager | Foxes and Fairytales | Lynn’s Books | Natrosette | Peat Long | There’s Always Room For One More | Word Wilderness | Zezee with Books
- Week 2 | Dear Geek Place | A Dance with Books | Book Forager | Foxes and Fairytales | Lynn’s Books | Natrosette | Peat Long | There’s Always Room For One More | Word Wilderness | Zezee with Books
- Week 3 | Dear Geek Place | A Dance with Books | Book Forager | * Foxes and Fairytales | Lynn’s Books | Natrosette | * Peat Long | There’s Always Room For One More (this post) | Word Wilderness | Zezee with Books
* Links will be added shortly
Anyone chipping in who has read the book / series – please, no spoilers!
A word from your hosts
A heartfelt nod to you all who added your links to the Master schedule – it reduces what can be a full day’s task into a couple of hours, which your hosts are all deeply appreciative of.
Right, let’s squeeze in one more round of adventures before we run out of May!