00 OUAT IXHurrah, here we are, spring is definitely on the way because it’s time for Carl’s annual Once Upon a Time challenge! And the eighth time I’ve got involved in the nine years it’s been running. The challenge starts today and runs until 21 June, which seems ages away but given how quickly the first quarter of this year has disappeared it will come around in a flash 🙂

I’ve pulled together quite a long (for me) list to choose from but I’m only aiming to complete Quest the First which means I have to:

read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time categories. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres

Really looking forward to taking part!

So, this is what I will be selecting from (in no particular order):

  • Tithe by Holly Black – I’ve been planing to read this for years “Sixteen year old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother’s rock band until an ominous attack forces them back to her child home. The place where she used to see faeries”
  • Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce – “It is Christmas afternoon and Peter Martin gets an unexpected phone call from his parents, asking him to come round. It pulls him away from his wife and children and into a bewildering mystery”
  • Poison by Sarah Pinborough – SP is becoming a favourite author, and this is “a beautifully illustrated re-telling of the Snow White story which takes all the elements of the classic fairytale that we love (the handsome prince, the jealous queen, the beautiful girl and, of course, the poisoning) and puts a modern spin on the characters, their motives and their desires”
  • The Road to Bedlam by Mike Shevdon – the is the second volume in a series of four and I reviewed the first one here “There’s been an accident. It’s your daughter. But Alex isn’t dead. She’s been snatched because she came into her magical power early. Her father, Niall Petersen, must use his own wayward magic to track her down and save her from the madness of Bedlam.
  • On Becoming a Fairy Godmother by Sara Maitland – I started this book for last year’s challenge but for some reason didn’t get very far with it, so happy to pick it up again; this is a collection that “breathes new life into old legends and brings the magic of myth back into modern women’s lives”
  • The Copper Promise by Jen Williams – I have signed copy of this novel from book event where I met the JW (along with Den Patrick below); “There are some tall stories about the caverns beneath the Citadel – about magic and mages and monsters and gods.”
  • Songs of Earth and Power by Greg Bear – a re-read of what I thought was a hugely important fantasy book. “The Song of Power opens the gateway to the Realm of the Sidhe, a fantastic, beautiful, dangerous world.”
  • White Apples by Jonathan Carroll – which is “a captivating and constantly surprising tale of life, death, and the realm between.”
  • The Boy with the Porcelain Blade by Den Patrick – as mentioned above, I also have a signed copy of this – “Lucien de Fontein is one of the Orfano, the deformed of Landfall. He is lonely, tormented by his difference and a pawn in a political game.”
  • Time and Again by Jack Finney – “Si Morley is marking time: he’s bored with his job as a commercial artist and his social life doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. So when he’s approached by an affable ex-football star and told he’s just what the government is looking for to be part of a top-secret project, he doesn’t hesitate for long.”
  • The Mark of the Beast by Rudyard Kipling – a selection of the fantastical stories of Kipling, with an introduction by Neil Gaiman and an afterword by Stephen Jones who edited the collection. I have already started this one!
  • The Book of the New Sun (Volume 1) by Gene Wolfe – “Recently voted the greatest fantasy of all time, after The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun is an extraordinary epic, set a million years in the future, on an Earth transformed in mysterious and wondrous ways, in a time when our present culture is no longer even a memory.”

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I’m also going to take part in Quest on the Screen and will try to watch two films I’ve had on my shelves for ages:

  • Stardust – based on Neil Gaiman’s lovely novel, I’m embarrassed that I haven’t watched this yet
  • Tangled – Rapunzel in cartoon form, thought I’d watch this in preference to Frozen (though I will get to that eventually!)

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