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Folks, I don’t post a lot of Kickstarter projects here, but this one’s a little different. It’s an idea that’s near and dear to my heart and . . . well, I’ll let the title speak for itself.
Gaiman Kickstarter Video and Colfer Original Fiction Help Launch The Read Quarterly.
The Read Quarterly (TRQ), the magazine launching in January 2016 to discuss the culture of children’s literature, has today revealed its first issue cover and has announced that the magazine will contain an original four-part Eoin Colfer story, Holy Mary, to be published through the first year.
TRQ have also announced details of how to support the first issue of the magazine via Kickstarter and have revealed that Neil Gaiman has been instrumental in setting up that campaign, even recording a video for them to help push the crowd funding.
Sarah Odedina, one of the founders of the magazine, said “We have had such fantastic support since we announced The Read Quarterly. We are excited by the Kickstarter campaign as we feel that its energy suits our magazine so perfectly. Support has already been flooding in from such luminaries as authors including Malorie Blackman and Neil Gaiman, publishers Neal Porter and Louis Baum and bookseller Melissa Cox. We look forward to growing our magazine to reflect the energy and drive that is so characteristic of the children’s literary scene around the world”.
To support the Kickstarter please go to www.kickstarter.com/projects/748565480/the-read-quarterly. Pledges for the project start at £20 and you will receive not only Odedina and Manning’s undying gratitude and the joy of supporting the project from the start, but also exclusive prints, bags and original artwork. From publication, the magazine will be stocked in bookshops and there is also a subscription service from issue two onwards.
If you are interested in stocking the magazine, please contact Kate Manning at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Launching in January 2016, The Read Quarterly will be a forum in which global children’s literature can be discussed and debated. Created by children’s literature enthusiasts, each with a wealth of experience in the publishing industry, Sarah Odedina and Kate Manning, this quarterly magazine will provide an environment in which both writers and readers can share their enthusiasm, introduce new ideas and challenge old ones.
Martin and Joanna Pistorius Embrace Faith, Hope, and Love
Several months ago, I wrote a review of Ghost Boy,by Martin Pistorius. Gems of his remarkable life story nestled in my mind. One facet that continued to shine was how faith, hope, and love grew when he met his wife, Joanna. It made such an impression that I hoped to talk more with her. Joanna and Martin were on a book signing tour in Norway when I caught up with them. Joanna graciously agreed to talk with me when they returned home to England.
If you have not read Ghost Boy yet, Martin tells an amazing story of going from a healthy twelve-year-old boy to living in a waking coma state, unseeing and unknowing of his surroundings. Four years later, his mind slowly wakes up. But his body does not.
Then, for ten more years, his mind is completely aware—aware that he is trapped inside an unresponsive body and powerless to communicate with others.
You’ll have to read the book to get the whole story of Martin’s incredible journey. Eventually, he is able to communicate and he meets Joanna. Both Joanna and Martin are originally from South Africa. However, Joanna was working as a social worker in England when first introduced to Martin. Martin’s sister and one of Joanna’s friends were roommates in England. All three girls were together when Martin’s sister contacted him in South Africa on New Year’s Day in 2008. It was during this Internet Skype conversation that Joanna first met Martin.
Instantly, she was attracted to Martin’s kind heart and infectious smile. The feeling was mutual and their online friendship began.
Since the advent of film and television production, Shakespeare's plays have been adapted, re-imagined, and performed on screen hundreds of times. Although many early Shakespeare adaptations remained faithful to his work, over time writers and directors selected only certain characters, plot lines, conflicts, or themes into their films.
In a 1929 lecture, Martin Heidegger argued that the following claim is true: Nothing nothings. In German: “Das Nichts nichtet”. Years later Rudolph Carnap ridiculed this statement as the worst sort of meaningless metaphysical nonsense in an essay titled “Overcoming of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language”. But is this positivistic attitude reasonable?
The September sales slowdown that many have predicted based on DC and Marvel glitches was revealed in Diamond’s figures released earlier today. While the gap between Marvel and DC narrowed, Image had a strong month with 11% of the dollars and 12% of the units. The lack of Secret Wars and late shipping seems to have hurt Marvel, but […]
What's a first page in publishingland? In a properly formatted novel manuscript (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point type, etc.) there should be about 16 or 17 lines on the first page (first pages of chapters/prologues start about 1/3 of the way down the page). Directions for submissions are below—they include a request to post the rest of the chapter, but that’s optional.
A word about the line-editing in these posts: it’s “one-pass” editing, and I don’t try to address everything, which is why I appreciate the comments from the FtQ tribe. In a paid edit, I go through each manuscript three times.
Before you rip into today’s submission, consider this checklist of first-page ingredients from my book, Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling. While it's not a requirement that all of these elements must be on the first page, they can be, and I think you have the best chance of hooking a reader if they are.
Were I you, I'd examine my first page in the light of this list before submitting to the Flogometer. I use it on my own work.
A First-page Checklist
It begins engaging the reader with the character
Something is happening. On a first page, this does NOT include a character musing about whatever.
The character desires something.
The character does something.
There’s enough of a setting to orient the reader as to where things are happening.
It happens in the NOW of the story.
Backstory? What backstory? We’re in the NOW of the story.
Set-up? What set-up? We’re in the NOW of the story.
What happens raises a story question.
Caveat: a strong first-person voice with the right content can raise powerful story questions and create page turns without doing all of the above. A recent submission worked wonderfully well and didn't deal with five of the things in the checklist.
Also, if you think about it, the same checklist should apply to the page where you introduce an antagonist.
Kassandra sends the prologue and first chapter of Demon Princess . I suspect it’s YA. The author does not want the rest of the chapter posted.
Please vote and comment. It helps the writer.
I walk down the dim hallway leading to the throne room. The only sounds are the echoing of my footsteps and the rustling of my crimson gown as I stride toward my crowning ceremony.
This would be just a temporary arrangement, I tell myself. The first thing I’ll do upon taking the throne is to send every available demon to search the kingdom and its surrounding areas for my father and brother. They’re still alive, just missing. They can’t be dead, no matter what others are saying. They wouldn’t leave me to rule alone, to sit on the throne that dwarf me and swallow me with its size and coldness. I was never cut out to be the Demon King. Just the thought of invading human cities and expanding our kingdom gives me the headaches. They seem unnecessary and … labor intensive.
I can now hear the commotion of many people talking at the end of the hallway in the throne room. My heart drums louder the closer I come to it. A wave of nervousness hits me at the thought of facing all of my father’s subjects, most of whom don’t approve of a female king and will most likely challenge me on the spot. When I’m in front of the heavy double door leading to the throne room, I take a deep breath and run my hand to smooth out my silky dress. The gesture calms my uptight nerves and erases all apparent emotions off my face.
I enjoyed the voice and the interesting nature of the world. While the first page verged on a little too much set-up, it still worked to raise some good story questions. Too bad the author did not want the rest of the chapter posted, you might have found it interesting. Kassandra, there a a number of spelling and other writing errors that you need to deal with before sending this out--my notes below will give you some idea. I think it's possible that the opening is strong enough in terms of story to interest an agent or a reader, but the writing isn't ready for prime time and you'll lose people because of the mistakes. But the story sounds promising. Notes:
I walk down the dim hallway leading to the throne room. The only sounds are the echoing echo of my footsteps and the rustlerustling of my crimson gown as I stride toward my crowning ceremony.
This would be just a temporary arrangement, I tell myself. The first thing I’ll do upon taking the throne is to send every available demon to search the kingdom and its surrounding areas for my father and brother. They’re still alive, just missing.They can’t be dead, no matter what others are saying. They wouldn’t leave me to rule alone, to sit on the throne that dwarf dwarfs me and swallowswallows me with its size and coldness. I was never cut out to be the Demon King. Just the thought of invading human cities and expanding our kingdom gives me the headaches. They seemIt seems unnecessary and … labor intensive.
I can now hear the commotion of many people talking at the end of the hallway in the throne room. My heart drums louder the closer I come to it. A wave of nervousness hits me at the thought of facing all of my father’s subjects, most of whom don’t approve of a female king and will most likely challenge me on the spot. When I’m in front of the heavy double door leading to the throne room, I take a deep breath and run my hand to smooth out my silky dress. The gesture calms my uptight nerves and erases all apparent emotions off my face. The line about people talking was written to say that the hallway was in the throne room, which doesn’t make much sense. The line about erasing emotions from her face is a break in point of view as she can’t see what happens to her face. I suggest you find another way to show us that or, actually, just cut it as it’s not all that necessary. Or maybe something like I put on a frown to cover the fear that I'm sure shows on my face.
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Reading a blog post in which the blogger complained bitterly about Walt Whitman's Leaves Of Grass, one of those national classics kids have to read because, well, it's a national classic, made me think of the books I've had to read in my time.
Until about Year 10, there were no set texts that I can remember. We read what we wanted and wrote book reports. If the teacher was being especially creative, we were allowed to do these in the form of a book dust jacket - something I'm sorry to say has come back in my school at Year 7 level, where, until this year, there was a creative response that involved book trailers and fan fiction and such things that let the kids use their imaginations and show that they had understood the books.
Anyway. At Year 10, we had to read John Wyndham's The Chrysalids, which I took home and read in an evening. Next day I asked my teacher,"What do I do now?" His response was,"I don't know. I haven't prepared anything yet. You were supposed to take three weeks."
He was a nice man, but not a very good teacher. There should have been reading and discussion in class and some work given to us as we went. I'm not sure he had even read it himself yet.
I did enjoy The Chrysalids, which was about a future dystopia in which, after a nuclear war, there is a Puritanical society where anyone with a mutation was banished to the lands still affected by the radiation. The children from whose viewpoint the story was told had an invisible mutation: telepathy. That could have been great for class discussion, though, having reread it, I loved it again, but felt that the style was a bit dated. I wouldn't set it, though I would invite good readers to try it.
Our Shakespeare that year was Julius Caesar. Again, we didn't actually read or discuss it in class. We saw the movie with James Mason and Marlon Brando(a very sexy Mark Antony), but that was it. I had so looked forward to discussing this in class, having read my sister's copy before I was out of primary school. I am not even sure the teacher ever read the essay I wrote. I don't think any school does that one any more; our own kids are doing Romeo And Juliet this year, and that one has been the Year 10 Shakespeare for many years. Probably more appropriate for teenagers - I was a very strange teenager, one who would have enjoyed any Shakespeare.
The next year's texts were Catcher In The Rye and Brave New World, both of which I had already read and loved, our Shakespeare was Richard III. I've already mentioned in previous posts that this was the year I discovered Richard and went on to read Daughter Of Time and join the Richard III Society; we had a wonderful English teacher that year. I've downloaded both novels to my iPad recently. Going by all the complaints on Goodreads, Catcher In The Rye is not all that popular these days, but it's known as the "first" YA novel and it used to be an act of rebellion to read it, one of those "under the covers with a torch" books. Probably because there have been so many YA novels since it was published it no longer has the effect it once did and is a bit dated. The ultimate indignity is that it's now a set school text! Brave New World is, I think, still relevant, though I don't know if anyone still sets it.
I get a bit of a mishmash in remembering my Year 12 books, because I did both English and literature, so there were a lot of books to read and I can't quite recall which books I had to read for what.
Here are some of them: the poet was Lord Byron. We had to read the Prologue to The CanterburyTales. I loved both, but I wasn't very good at writing about poetry, alas! Reading it, writing it, but not writing about it.
The Jane Austen was Pride And Prejudice. I confess it took me a couple of re-reads to appreciate that one, though if you have to study Jane Austen at high school level, that one is probably the best. That was before all the dramatisations made this novel such a big deal - and well before Colin Firth emerged from the lake in his wet shirt! We only had the book and, while the teacher was much better than the one I had in Year 10, she couldn't quite get me enthused about the books we studied. Not her fault.
The Dickens was Great Expectations, which I did enjoy. I have to agree with my sister that the hero,Pip, is "a little shit!" Peter Carey seems to think the same, judging by his novel Jack Maggs.
We did The Importance Of Being Earnest - that year the Drama Club performed it. I got to be Lady Bracknell. It was a good thing to do, because we had to discuss the characters and how they should say the lines and why.
The Shakespeare was King Lear and if I'd always been a fan, that one turned me into a raving Bardoholic. I remember my copy falling open to the scene where Lear banishes Cordelia with that passionate speech... and I was hooked for life.
We read James Baldwin's Go Tell It On The Mountain which, alas, I can't remember at all, and Darkness At Noon by Arthur Koestler. That one is about a former Party leader who is imprisoned and expecting to be shot any day. He has flashbacks and thinks about all the horrible things he's done for the Party in his time, and whether or not the end justifies the means. And he talks to the prisoner in the next cell by Morse code, as they can't talk any other way. I have read all three in that "trilogy". It wasn't a trilogy in the normal sense, just three books on similar themes. I read TheGladiators, his novel about Spartacus, when I was about twelve or thirteen. The final was Arrival And Departure, which I read in my university years.
You can see that the types of books we had to read for English in those days were very different from today. A lot more complicated,a lot more assumption you could handle them.
And not one Australian book in the lot!
What do you remember from school days? Did it affect you? If you are still at school what do you think of your set books? Are there any authors you'd read again?
बात बहुत साल पुरानी है जब रविंद्र जी से ज़ी न्यूज चैनल के लिए इंटरव्यू लेते हुए मिलने का सुअवसर मिला… उनसे बहुत सारी बाते पूछी और इंटरव्यू खत्म होने के बाद मैने अपने सबसे पंसदीदा गाने की फरमाईश की जोकि उन्होने सुनाया भी …
गाना था फिल्म अखियों के झरोखों से का …. जाते हुए ये पल छिन्न क्यो जीवन … !!! बेहद बेहद शानदार गाना जो सीधा दिल की गहराईयों मे उतर जाता है … !!
आज आप दुनिया मे नही रहे पर आपका संगीत, आपकी आवाज सदा सदा इस दुनिया में गूंजती रहेगी …
Menahem Asher Silva Vargas, the Guinness World Record holder for largest collection of Harry Potter memorabilia, didn’t want to pack his over 4,000 items away in boxes somewhere. So this week, after a previous exhibition at Mexico City’s Museum of the Antique Toy, Silva Vargas opened his own museum.
According to an Associated Press article published by El Daily Post, “The House of Asher Potter” museum (a literary name if we ever saw one) opened in Mexico City earlier this month. Silva Vargas, or “Asher Potter,” started his collection in 2001 and has been building it for the past 15 years.
“I had the good fortune to be able to register it and make the Guinness record a year ago,” Silva Vargas, 38, said. “I’m very proud of it because the record belongs to Mexico. Mexico is now an authority on Harry Potter fandom.”
The collection is expansive. There are nearly 4,000 official items counted toward the record, but Silva Vargas also has nearly 400 paper items, including magazine articles, clippings, and autographs that weren’t counted. Rather than store it all away in a Gringotts vault where these things would never be seen, Silva Vargas opened his interactive museum in a family residence in Mexico City.
It recreates a number of passages from the novels, including the Potter home… There’s a themed cafeteria, a terrace, a small gift shop and a movie room… The museum also has the contribution of El Callejón D, a themed café located in the south of Mexico City, which offers museum visitors such Potteresque fare as veritaserum and butterbeer.
Visitors can also interact with two birds that Potter fans know well — a crow and a snowy owl…“We want to create a consciousness about birds of prey,” said Javier Illescas, a falconer and museum collaborator. “These two birds in the museum were rescued from logging areas.”
From what we’ve read of it so far, the House of Asher Potter may need to be added to a list of unofficial Harry Potter sites to see.
To read more, see the Associated Press article, here.
Today is October 10th! What’s the big deal about today, October 10th? Well, October 10th, that’s today, is Star Wars Reads Day, the day to get your young children hooked on Star Wars. Chronicle Books has a wide selection of Star Wars books and games to get you in the spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi. I …
This debut novel by Emil Sher is quite honestly one of the most extraordinary and challenging books I've ever worked on--an incredible example of voice; a narrative that will ask you to think about the interplay between language and images, what you expect from a narrative, what makes a good ending in books and in life. It came over the transom to my colleague Anne Shone of Scholastic Canada, who shared it with me, and is illustrated throughout with richly evocative black-and-white photos. This past week, it was nominated for Canada's Governor General's Award -- their equivalent of the National Book Award.
Without further ado, Five Questions for Emil:
1. Tell us a little bit about your book. At first blush, Young Man with Camera is about bullying. But as T— would likely ask: “What about the second blush?” At its core, I believe this novel is about a lifelong friendship between T— and Sean that is tested in ways that reveal the breadth and depth of their bond. It’s also about a blossoming friendship between T— and a homeless woman named Lucy that is cut short. T— values both relationships, and both are brought into sharp relief at the hands of Ryan, who is not simply a garden-variety bully: he’s a dyed-in-the-wool psychopath. T— has long been in the crosshairs of "Joined at the Hip," his name for Ryan and the minions who have tormented him ever since a kitchen fire accident left him with facial burns. His perch on the margins gives T— a singular perspective that he captures in striking black-and-white photographs. When he bears witness to an assault, camera in hand, he is forced to make some very difficult, life-changing decisions. To keep silent is to bury the truth. To speak out is to put the lives of loved ones at risk. For a young man who hungers for the truth, T— moves forward by being true to himself.
2. If this book had a spirit animal or theme song, what would it be and why? In a world of tortoises and hares, it’s a tortoise that would feel most at home between the covers of this book. Tortoises often go unnoticed; they slowly make their way beneath the radar, so to speak, with none of the eye-catching speed of a hare. I think T— would feel a kinship with a tortoise. They may not make a move for a long time but you can practically hear their thoughts tumbling inside. And like a tortoise, T— needs a protective shell of his own as he navigates the bruising bumps of life.
And while I don’t know if T— would ever finding himself listening to Stephen Sondheim’s "Send in the Clowns," I do know it would resonate with him. Listen to it once and you would think it’s about a trapeze artist who has lost her timing. But, in fact, she is speaking of a whole other loss altogether that has nothing to do with circuses and clowns. There’s what you hear and then there’s what is actually being said. Just as there’s more than meets the eye in a photograph, this song takes on a very different meaning when placed in a larger context. Context, as T— believes, is a synonym for the larger truth. In that way, "Send in the Clowns" is of a piece with T—‘s world: there’s more to it than meets the ear.
3. Please name and elaborate on at least one thing you learned or discovered about writing in the course of creating this book. It is sometimes said that “Character is plot,” which I believe to be true to the extent that I have long been drawn to stories anchored by compelling, complex characters. But a memorable protagonist doesn’t necessarily mean that the story will engage and keep us connected from start to finish. And so it was with T—, who I took a shining to from the get-go but whose motivations and intentions and reactions and decisions all had to be cracked open and justified and structured so they moved the story forward. One of my favorite photographs in Young Man with Camera (artfully shot by David Wyman) is of a bicycle half-buried in snow. “It makes me think of a story that ends before it’s over,” says T—. “There’s no And then.” No matter how rich and varied characters may be, they need an “And then….”
4. What is your favorite scene in the book? There are three moments in the novel that have stayed with me, and they are all linked to friendship. There is the scene early in the story when Ruby appears from the back of her father’s store with a paper towel she offers to T—. It’s a lovely gesture, made all the lovelier because of the loveless humiliation we know T— has just endured at the hands of Joined at the Hip.
T— is not accustomed to a lot of physical contact, other than being tripped and shoved, which makes what Lucy does all the more meaningful. During the scene where they look at a photograph together — "Girl with Striped Face" — Lucy reaches out and gently touches T— ’s scars, without judgment.
T— and Sean have long shared the same boat. We learn that boat is made from different stuff when T— describes the importance, the necessity of being by his best friend’s side as Sean wades through some very difficult waters: “If there’s something you really don’t want to do, it helps to have someone help you not do it. Not right away. Not for a while. Not until you’re ready.”
5. What are you working on now? Is it premature to share a working title? Unexpected: a fish-out-of-water story about a seventeen-year-old single father.
I missed this announcement earlier this week, with all this week's prize-announcements overshadowed by that big one on Thursday ... but they have announced that The Fishermen, by Chigozie Obioma, has been awarded this year's inaugural FT/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices prize for African and Middle Eastern fiction (get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk).
If you’ll be in London, England for Hallowe’en and you’re at least 18 years of age, we’ve just learned about a live comedy performance that might be up your alley (though sadly it won’t be in Diagon Alley). Time Out, a London site-seeing website, rated a new comedy show a critics choice must see in a recent article. The show, Harry Potter and the Inappropriate Hallowe’en, is put on by Laugh Out London comedy club–which Time Out ranked the 3rd best comedy club in London.
Harry Potter and the Inappropriate Hallowe’en is described by the event’s creators as the unofficial sequel to Harry Potter, and thus far its only performance date is on Hallowe’en itself–which is, incidentally, the anniversary of the deaths of Lily and James Potter. It is a comedy that centres on Harry returning to Hogwarts years later as an adult to attend the annual Hallowe’en party. Some pressing questions, such as these, from the event page, will be answered:
There will be wands, spells, owls and people with Latin names that represent part of their personality. How will Harry keep his neurosis in check? Will Ginny develop a personality? Is Malfoy still a twerp?
The show features a set of critically acclaimed performers. Adam Larter stars as Harry Potter, and Eleanor Morton as Ginny Weasley, among others.
It takes place on Saturday, October 31st at Leicester Square Theatre and commences at 7:15 p.m., with a run time of 1 hour and 30 minutes. Adults aged 18 and over are welcome, and to encourage the spirit of Hallowe’en, ‘fancy dress’ (costume) is strongly recommended. The fee is £12.50 for regular tickets and £10 for concession tickets (a discounted fee for seniors and students). Please click here for the full event details and to purchase tickets.
The Frankfurt Book Fair runs 13 through 18 October.
Iran has already thrown a hissy-fit and withdrawn from the fair, over Salman Rushdie speaking at the opening press conference -- see, for example, the DeutscheWelle report -- so it's safe to assume they won't be 'guest of honour' at the fair anytime soon -- but Indonesia is this year.
At Qantara.de Martin Maria Schwarz writes about this -- suggesting: "the literary scene in Indonesia works differently" -- in Discovering a new world.
Among the works he mentions (if not by name) is Dewi Lestari's Supernova -- under review at the complete review, as are several other (but not yet enough !) Indonesian titles; see the index of South East Asian Literature under review.
In any case: good to see some attention to literature from this area -- and great to see that it's prodded US and European publishers to take a closer look at (and even publish a few ...) titles from the region.
Per CBR During his panel at NYCC, Scott Snyder announced that his Batman collaborator Greg Capullo will be taking a break from the title after Issue #51 (which, just a guess, may very well be the wrap-up of the Commissioner Gordon as Batman story arc). Snyder stated that reason for this was that Capullo would […]
How about some anime and manga discounts to celebrate all the exciting news and events at New York Comic Con? Amazon Amazon has got every digital volume of Naruto on sale. The first five volumes are available for $1.99 each, and the rest of the series is on sale for $3.35 or $4.49 a volume. ... Read more
The story of our Solar System is developing into one of the most absorbing – and puzzling – epics of contemporary science. At the heart of it lies one of the greatest questions of all – just how special is our own planet, which teems with life and (this is the difficult bit) which has teemed with life continuously through most of its 4.5 billion year lifetime? Not all of the answers are to be found here on Earth.
I have lost count of how many times I have read and re-read POISON STUDY by Maria V. Snyder. It has been a few years since the last re-read, because I've been reading Maria's other books--there are so many! So while it's not quite like reading it for the first time, it's been refreshing in many ways. I love how it draws me in even after so many re-runs! (By the way, don't you totally want that new cover on a paperback to add to your MVS collection? I know I do!)
Thoughts on Chapters 1-8
I decided to start my read-along as a re-listen. The audiobook, read by Gabra Zackman, transports me back to 7 years ago when Fire Study came out. We sold out of the new book so fast, I had to wonder why I'd never heard of Poison Study before. I took it home and read all night. I don't think I moved from my bed until the last page was turned and the last tear wiped away.
Yelena, our main character, is sympathetic from the start, but not in a sorry way. I feel trepidation for her--I mean, she's evidently killed someone, she's paying with her life, and she's "set free" just to be poisoned? The first few chapters are a rollercoaster of hope and despair. The first time, I already knew I would enjoy the ride all the way to the end, because while she's down, she's not out. When she's offered a hand up, a glimmer of hope, she grabs it. She may not know yet what she's doing--there's a lot of self-discovery to come--but she's acting on instinct and a will to survive, and that made me love her at first sight.
Valek is a tricky one in many ways. Sure, he's in a position of power, and he's just poisoned the new poison-taster he hired out of the dungeon (so she won't run away, because she gets the antidote daily as long as she shows up for duty). He doesn't exactly inspire immediate thoughts of white-knight heroism... and that might be a good thing. He did offer her a chance to not wither away in the dungeon, but there's a lot of trust to be built if he and Yelena are going to be on the same team.
Again, already knowing what will happen, I'm reminded how the changes in perspective really kept me hooked throughout the series. On the one hand you have the close-ups. It's Yelena and her personal troubles, trying to stay alive, trying to come to terms with the past that haunts her, and trying to gain control of her life. On the other hand you have the big picture, the Commander and his state, cleansed of magicians (mostly by Valek), trying to keep orderly peace and erase a bloody history of Ixia which had been overrun by cruel and power-hungry people.
It's going to be an epic adventure, and this is just the beginning.
There's still plenty of time to join the 10th Anniversary read-along! You can also check out thoughts on Chapters 1-8 at the other read-along hosts.
10 winners to celebrate 10 years! Grand Prize is a signed hardcover first edition of Poison Study and Magic Study (both books). First Place a signed hardcover first edition of Poison Study 5 winners will get a signed cover flat of the original cover of Poison Study 3 winners will get a signed original bookmark for Poison Study