By the way, I think it goes without saying that the Shades of Magic trilogy is a favorite of mine (why else would I be doing this tag?), and therefore it could be used for many of these categories; so, to give other books/series a chance (or okay to be honest, to keep my weak heart from having to choose between favorites and categories), I won't be using it (or Victoria) for any of my answers.
A book that you keep going back to despite trying to quit it.
I'm just going to pretend this one says "book/series" like the rest of the questions, because man it really needs to be said. Two years ago, the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas quickly become a favorite of mine. I mean, clearly, since I named the blog after a beautiful quote found in book one, but now I almost feel I should choose a new name… 😬
I know some people complained about the "shift" from CoM to HoF, but I welcomed the change with open arms, as I knew there was a much larger, more complex story Sarah had to tell. (I mean I can't imagine ToG without Manon and Elide, my faves.)
Anyway, last year, Empire of Storms is where things changed things for me. I know some thought the characters started acting unrealistic in QoS, but I didn't feel that way at all (though some things didn't happen the way I wanted them to). EoS, however, felt like I was reading fanfiction, which meant there was way too much cringe-worthy smut and too many out of character moments. I honestly am terrified for ToD to come out… but of course I'll still read it, because how can I have come this far to not just go ahead and finish the last two books? *sighs*
A book/series that you've left behind forever.
Well, I would never say never, as I've "given up" on quite a few books and series over the years and then completely changed my mind, but the first thing I thought of was The Hunger Games. I don't ever see myself rereading the trilogy, as I didn't care much for it when I first read it. I liked the premise, but Katniss was boring, her love interests were boring, and after the first book, the plot was redundant. I also hated the ending. So there's that.
A majorly bad book/series with just one beautiful spark.
I can't think of a good answer for this one… If a book/series is bad enough that I refer to it as "majorly bad," it's because I couldn't find one redeeming element. However, a series that I don't necessarily consider "great" yet keeps me coming back to it is Susan Dennard's The Witchlands series.
While I found Truthwitch underwhelming and endlessly boring and hated most of the characters (plus the instalove 😷), I also loved the premise. I really appreciated the idea/prophecy that Susan chose about best friends saving their land rather than going with the whole "chosen one" route (which would probably have starred the beyond irritating Safiya). Iseult and Aeduan were also intriguing enough to hook me; in Windwitch, they were pretty much the only reason I kept reading.
A book/series that you feel blessed to have read. Aven.
So many books (some that I've even mentioned in this tag) are worthy of this category, but I'm going to go with Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo because I do feel blessed to have been given a second chance with her books. A year or two ago, I just couldn't get into Shadow and Bone, but after reading SoC, I am more than willing to give it another shot now that I am aware of the fantastic characters and plots Leigh is capable of pulling off.
A book that changes every time you read it.
So for a book to change every time I read it means I have to have read a book more than once… which I don't really do. 😅 I have to use A Song of Ice and Fire for my next answer even though I'd love to use it here (since I'm constantly gaining new insight on the world and characters' previously hidden motivations), so since that's out of the question, my answer here has to be The Infernal Devices–my favorite Cassandra Clare trilogy (so far).
With each new book she writes, it makes me want to go back and reread TID. Like with each new installment of ASOIAF, we're always learning more and more about stories we thought were finished and characters we thought we knew everything about. It makes rereading worthwhile for someone who doesn't have a lot of time to do so. 😏👍🏼
A fictional world that makes you feel love and fear. Antari.
I mean, love applies to almost every fantasy novel I read. I fall in love with the worlds and the characters, but there's only one series I truly feel fear in, and that's A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. (Game of Thrones, for those who don't read the books.)
Every time I wait for a book to come out, I'm like "nooo, all my favorites are going to die this time, I just know it," and then the book comes out and all characters come out unscathed; or, someone dies and it's of course sad but bearable because the book either ends or the series can survive without them. Either way, it never impacts me as much as GRRM's books do.
With GRRM, I feel anxious just picking up the book. With him, no matter how strongly fantasy the books are, he is always realistic about the possibility of death. Just because a character seems like s/he's the hero of the story or everyone's personal favorite, it doesn't mean they're safe. As he puts it, in most stories you'll find the hero facing impossible odds, and yet you're not truly scared for him/her because you know s/he'll make it out alive.
Not the case with GRRM's storytelling.
Book/series that started meh, but ended up being great!
I don't know if it's because of the deer on the graphic, but The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater instantly came to mind. While first reading The Raven Boys, I was truly conflicted as to whether or not it was worth it to continue the series; I just couldn't tell what direction everything was going in. It seemed like the book was trying to be too many things, and after not loving Maggie's Wolves of Mercy Falls series, I was worried history would repeat itself. BUT, I'm so glad I continued it, because I don't know how I lived without Ronan and Adam and Gansey and Blue and Noah and, okay, everyone else for so long. (Oh, by the way, this is all provided that The Raven King didn't end the way it did, because, wow. What. A. Letdown.)
A book/series that you would kill for.
I recently noticed that I never talk about manga here on the blog, and I figured this is the perfect place to start since Noragami is what first came to mind. I don't think I've ever cared so much about a group of characters in manga before. I've definitely loved characters to bits, but never a group this large at the same time. The characterization is just so, so great, and there's so much going on story-wise–so many questions left. I can't wait to see how it all ends up.
The world is dying. Save one book.
Okay this is just mean. How can I only choose one book??? Honestly, I'd probably waste too much time trying to decide and lose them all in the process. 😩 I really, truly cannot answer this one. 😭
Name a book/series that has utterly consumed you.
This is my last question to answer, as I always do my tags out of order due to my overly-indecisive nature. Other than all of the other books/author's I've mentioned (I only want to use them once) Juliet Marillier's Daughter of the Forest has become a recent favorite of mine that I'm already itching to reread. The rest of the Sevenwaters series is okay, but none will ever compare to DotF. Or at least, so far none have.
A book/series that you refuse to open.
I'm not sure if this is asking for a book I refuse to open because a) I think it's bad or b) because I'm not ready for the emotional impact it will have on me… I'm going to go with option b to keep this positive! A book I refuse to open because of the feels is, drumroll please… On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta!
Saving Francesca and The Piper's Son both destroyed me in so many ways. Melina's characters (and their lives) are always so incredibly realistic and just ugh. I am so glad to have found her, the queen of contemporary. ☺️ Though I can't be sure without having read it, I expect On the Jellicoe Road will send me on the same emotional rollercoaster, but before then, I must prepare. 😏👌🏼
An author who controls your purse strings a la Osaron.
This has to be Laini Taylor, hands down. I bought her entire Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy within four days–funny story actually: I bought the first book, devoured it in the same day and by nighttime I had already decided to order the sequel via Amazon Prime. Well, two days was much too long of a wait of course, so I bought the eBook while waiting for my physical copy and of course finished it before the hardcover arrived. 😂 Impatient me then placed an order for the third book, and well, after lasting only a day… I think you can see where this is going. 😂
Anyway, now I anxiously await any and all of Laini's releases and preordering is a must. ☺️ Yay, author love!
What character/s from the Shades of Magic trilogy would you like to see have a spinoff?
ALL OF THEM. Okay but really is it okay if I go with Edward Archibald Tuttle III? 😂 I know he may be a strange choice, but he reminds me of Lazlo from Strange the Dreamer. What can I say? I love my dreamers and I love my underdogs. Plus, I'd love to see where he goes from here. Knowing what he now knows and seeing what he's seen… Plus, I'm curious as to how Grey London will be under new (well not new; we just haven't seen much of it) rule.
If you could rule one of the four Londons, which one would you rule?
Well, I think this one's kind of obvious–Red London. There's absolutely, without a doubt, no chance I would survive in White London, so that's out; Black London in that same regard is also a no-no; and why would I ever choose to live in Grey London when I knew the intriguing and irresistible Red London and all of its glorious magic existed? I mean, I definitely wouldn't want to take the throne from Rhy, and I would kill to meet him and Lila and Kell and Alucard, and also Holland if I got to choose the point in time when I–okay honestly can we just pretend this question asks where I would live? I'm clearly not cut out for ruling when all I would want to do is follow my favorite characters around like a lost puppy and just bask in their presence. 😂 RED LONDON. DONE.
And that's my Four London Book Tag! I actually don't know how many of my blogging friends have read ADSOM–though I know a few want to start it–so I'm just going to say that I tag anyone who stumbles upon this post and would like to join in!