Archive for February, 2016

#FinishItFeb 2016 Week 2 Round Up

FinishItFeb1

Personal Target: Finish two series

Books read this week: One (kind of)

Total books read: One

Series completed for challenge: None (up to date with one series)

Faye’s Challenge Update: You can read about Faye’s week here

General feedback: While I had every intention of reading the books I had designated for the challenge. I got distracted by the very shiny, recently released, gorgousness of The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury (you can read Pruedence’s glowing review and check out the gorgeous cover here).

Return to the darkly beautiful world of The Sin Eater’s Daughter with a sequel that will leave you awed, terrified . . . and desperate for more.
Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin’s life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.
When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won’t reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help her, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds shatters everything she believed about her world, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom.

I confess I am unrepentant. Firstly, the book is the second in a series, so really reading it was in keeping with the spirit of #FinishitFeb. Secondly, it was so good that I could never be sorry for spending time in Melinda’s dark and twisty world!

I do love being able to get my teeth in to a meaty series, absorbed in familiar world and spending time with beloved characters but I have to admit that I sometimes suffer from series, or rather trilogy fatigue. While there is something undeniably comforting about the familiarity of the trilogy formula, watching your favourite characters be pitted against increasingly complicated and horizon expanding situations, your favourite ships develop and then get pulled apart only to be reunited for the final push. Comforting isn’t always challenging or edge of your seat exciting.

I can’t tell you how totally refreshing it was to pick up and devour Melinda’s rule breaking, second instalment. I love how she so unceremoniously tosses in opinion changing, gasp out loud, head spinning plot points with nothing more than an casual unapologetic shrug. Oh so you though it was going to go differently? I guess you’d better hold on tight and enjoy the unpredictable ride!

Very often book two is a bridge between the world building of book one and the world conquering and redefining of book two. The Sleeping Prince, while a fantastic edition to the Sin Eaters series, leaving me itching for the next instalment, stands on its own merits and could be read and enjoyed without knowledge of it predecessor*

Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: February 2016
Format: ebook
Pages: 336
Genre: Fantasy
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Own copy
Challenge: British book

This week is half term which traditionally has had a negative impact on my #FinishItFeb efforts. I’m hoping that I will get at least part way through one of my challenge (paper) books.

How have you found week two of the challenge? Will half term be a help or hindrance for your personal targets?

Its not to late to join the challenge. Check out this post(here) for more details.
Posted by Caroline

*Not that I’d want to deny anyone the pleasure of reading Melinda’s debut novel

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The Sleeping Prince

Melinda Salisbury
Sleeping PrinceReturn to the darkly beautiful world of The Sin Eater’s Daughter with a sequel that will leave you awed, terrified . . . and desperate for more.
Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin’s life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.
When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won’t reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help her, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds shatters everything she believed about her world, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom.

Having read The Sin Eater’s Daughter I was quite eager to get my hands on Melinda Sailsbury’s sequel. What I did not expect was for it to match if not almost rival its predecessor. A rare occurrence in the world of sequels, where although good, a sequel does not usually quite compare to the initiating chapter of the story.

The world I’d previously encountered was already perilously fragile and hanging on by a diplomatic thread, surrounded by mystery and alive with the promise of rebellion and so much more. I didn’t think much else could be added to make it more enticing but naturally I was wrong.

Errin’s tale added alchemy, magic, and more impossible love. The stuff of fairy tales, if you will. But not the nice ones. The dark ones. Where the prince does not bring salvation but damnation, where courage springs from the most unlikely of sources, love grows even though it is forbidden, sacred vows are broken and we are once again reminded that history is written by the victorious and therefore not always a true recollection of that which has actually happened.

I devoured this book in less than 24hrs and am now wishing I hadn’t. Needless to say it all ended far too soon and am now left wanting more dark magic, more alchemy, and well just generally more!

Melinda’s narrative technique made me feel as though I’d been plunged into a world falling apart in every aspect, where kindness has long been forgotten and considered weakness but magic still happens and the power of plants and alchemists has not completely vanished. Although for all intents and purposes this YA has everything a fairytale requires, each member and each scene is overcast by shadows, darkness and the threat of impossible obstacles. And I loved it!

The unfurling darkness that surrounded the ever so feeble light at the end of the tunnel tantalised me all the way through this story, and now that I’ve finished it remains there taunting me to find out what happens next, and whether despite its distance will the light come back to this world and good overcome evil.

Each character had light and dark in him/her, and the returning characters were further enriched and had new depths added to them. Everything felt like a new story even though technically I was coming back to somewhere I had kind of already partially visited. The seamlessness with which one character’s tale finished, whilst a new one started, whilst equally carrying through an overall story, pulling on several threads and important chess pieces was wonderfully done, and I take my hat off to the author for it.

Melinda has undoubtedly done a fantastic job at creating something new whilst continuing this saga. I’m only sorry that I’ve turned the last of its dark pages. But the chance of a “happy ending” remains, and although I’m fairly certain it won’t be pink and fluffy I remain hopeful that a perhaps darkened pink but not quite shadowed final page awaits us all in the next book. And I cannot wait for it to come!

Reviewed by Pruedence

Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: February 2016
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
Genre: Fantasy
Age: YA
Reviewer: Pruedence
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book

The Sleeping Prince and it’s predecessor, The Sin Eaters Daughter, are available to buy now. Click here for a short cut to Amazon. Alternatively , learn more about The Sin Eaters Daughter series and its author by visiting Goodreads here

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#FinishItFeb Caroline’s Week 1 Round Up

FinishItFeb1
Personal Target: Finish two series

Books read this week: None

Total books read: None

Series completed for challenge: None

General feedback:
This week hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped! Unfortunately between illness, my own and my baby’s, work and other commitments I haven’t had the opportunity to even start the challenge.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet. The baby is sleeping so I’m going to take the opportunity to crack open one of those gorgeous hardbacks!
How has your week been?

You can read how well Faye has been getting on this week by clicking here You can also add your round up posts to the linky.

How have you found the first week of the challenge? Its not to late to join the challenge. Check out this post(here) for more details.

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How To Draw

We are delighted to welcome Pig to Big Book Little Book to teach us how to draw him and his farmyard friends.

How to draw for BBLB

How to draw for BBLB2

How to draw for BBLB3

How to draw for BBLB4

How to draw for BBLB5

How to draw for BBLB6

How to draw for BBLB7

How to draw for BBLB8

How to draw for BBLB9

How to draw for BBLB10

How to draw for BBLB11

How to draw for BBLB12

How to draw for BBLB13

topsectertdiaryofpigWe love Pig, but Pig loves Farmer. After all, Farmer gives Pig yummy slops and special back scratches, and calls him Sausage and seems to love him more, the fatter he gets. Just as well Pig doesn’t speak any Farmer. But Duck does (Duck’s clever like that), and he’s determined his best friend should know the truth.

Emer Stamp is the author and illustrator of The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig. Emer grew up on a farm in Devon before training in graphic design and working for some of London’s top advertising agencies. She was the Creative Director for the Adam and Eve DDB communications agency, which creates advertisements for clients including John Lewis, Halifax, Cadbury’s and Save the Children. She lives in London. To learn more about Elma’s workvisit her website here Twitter account here, or her Goodreads author’s page here.

The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig and its sequels are available to buy now. Click here for a shortcut to Amazon

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