Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Apollo's RavenApollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I feel like this was the book to introduce me to historical fantasy, and for that it will forever have a special place in my heart. We follow two kingdoms trying to fight for survival, Rome and Celtic culture, young first loves etc.

From page one, I did not realize that I was about to embark on this exciting journey, filled with political intrigue and magical abilities involving animals. I was hooked on the first sentence, and was constantly thinking about what would be the outcome for these character. Truly, I cared and connected with their struggles and joys, which is a rare thing for me to usually say.

Tanner has created a bad-a*s princess from Brittanica, Catrin who is fierce and loyal and my favorite character in this book. I just love her determination to change fate/ change the outcomes of things. She has all of these hidden magical abilities that were deeply explored, and definitively satisfied what I was looking for in a character.

The gods demand the scales be balanced for the life you take. If you deny my soul's journey to the Otherworld by beheading me, I curse you to do the same as mine. I prophesize your future queen will beget a daughter who will rise as a Raven and join your son, Blood Wolf, and a mighty empire to overtake your kingdom and to execute my curse.

This is the curse, that was said by the former queen at her first execution as to what will happen in the kingdom's future. The whole plot of the book revolves around trying to change/break this curse so that Catrin can save the ancient kingdom of Brittanica, which she loves oh so much because it's always been home. Her star-crossed lover, Marcellus who's on the other side of the conflict, and because of this it added another layer of 'why we can never be together' to their relationship.

In general, I thought that this book was just well-crafted. My only one complaint would be that there were too many storylines going on at the same time, that I often felt like I was losing track. Not only are their so many characters, but we also get to learn everyone's backstories, which can be extremely helpful for worldbuilding but can get a bit confusing when trying to connect the dots.

**This is an OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day and you can find it here on their website.**

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Poems of Robin R. Rabii: Insights That Nurture ConnectionThe Poems of Robin R. Rabii: Insights That Nurture Connection by Robin R Rabii
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Going into this poetry collection, I was a little bit hesitant because this usually isn't the medium through which I consume written art. From the beginning, the prologue and various soliloquies turned me off, because I started wondering if this whole book was going to have such a wordy alliterating style.

Fortunately, I found some treasures that I could ponder on. The author doesn't hesitate to address issues like racism, sex, politics, feminism, homosexuality, environmental issues, head on; which is something that I could really admire.

One great thing that he was is choose a descriptive image and flow with it for the stanza of the majority of the poem. That makes it feel more consistent, and what also contributes that that feeling of consistency was the repetitive. Sometimes there are phrases that seem to repeat over and over again, but I can identify that's just to emphasize a certain point that he was trying to convey.

However, the balance that has to be struck is to not make it too preachy and for it to come from a place of humble suggestion. I understand that the author clearly wants to convey a message to the reader, but saying "do this, do that." isn't going to be that effective for me. If I honestly wanted to go learn how to be a better human, I would go to some other trusted source.

Another writing device that is often utilized in poetry is rhyming, and the author does rhyme in several spots. Most of the time, I find rhyming distracting, if not unnecessary because it makes me go on a puzzle hunt trying to connect which words rhyme with which one that subtracts me concentrating on the message.

Within the poem about Mother Earth that's called "Unconditional",he uses the metaphor of a violent assault to describe what humans are doing to earth. Obviously, since the first stanza the reader knows exactly what he's talking about based on the context, yet he still comes right out and says "this is mother earth" directly in the poem. I feel like that's overstating, or rather stating the obvious which seems to indicate that he isn't keeping his poetry mysterious enough.

My absolute favorite poem was called "Holding Hands" in which it describes the marriage of two gay guys and it really had an open and frank discussion. The way that the author set it up what in an interview or Q & A style which really make for an interesting discussion. My favorite line from that is:
Unclog your thoughts,
Accept love as a smasher of boundaries...(and later on)
Love unclogged is true freedom and
hope for all of us,
creating possibilities for the impossible.

Overall, if you want to get into a collection of poems that explore deep themes and problems in today's "conditioned" society, I would say to go and pick this awesome collection up to give it a try!

This book was an OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day and you can find it here!

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