If you’ve ever been trapped reading a boring book to a young person, I feel your pain. These books are NOT boring. They’re really well written, beautiful and interesting. Even better, they’re about magic, strange happenings, special powers, and mysterious characters. What’s not to love?Cream Buns and Crime is the perfect collection of short stories for buddying young detectives. Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are famous for solving murder cases, but there are many other mysteries in the pages of their casebooks. Join them as they solve two new, never-before-seen cases and pick up some helpful tips along the way. The perfect story for Nancy Drew’s everywhere.A Question of Magic. Serafina’s life takes an unexpected turn when she receives a letter from her great-aunt Baba Yaga, who by the way is a powerful witch! Summoned to her great-aunt’s cottage to begin her new life, Serafina finds it difficult to leave her family and the boy she loves behind. As she gets familiar with her new role, Serafina learns that strangers can ask her one question and she must tell the truth… but telling the future doesn’t necessarily mean knowing the right answers. E.D Baker’s re-imaging of Slavic folklore captures its readers from the first page and reminds us to be careful with what you wish for! I loved that Baker was able draw from Slavic folklore. Baba Yaga is such a famous character and it is nice to see her being written about in the 21st century. In her own unique way, bestselling author E.D. Baker has crafted a funny and romantic story that combines some fabulous details from the original Slavic tale, with a wonderful new twist!Strange Star. Villa Diodati. Switzerland, 1816. It’s a dark and stormy night. Four freethinkers join their host Lord Byron at his estate for a night of chilling tales. Felix, Byron’s serving boy, cannot wait for the night’s festivities to begin. He plans to hang onto every morbid word! Frantic banging at the door quickly brings the night’s festivities to a halt. A young girl is at the door and she needs help.Her clothes are in tatters and a strange scar is clearly visible on her neck. The story is far from over because a monster rides in her wake! Strange Star is another great hit from author Emma Carroll. Beautifully written, haunting and sinister. I couldn’t put in down.Submitted by Eimear from the Relief Staff Panel.Access eBooks/eAudiobooks on your phone, tablet or reader. Once you have installed the app, search for Dublin in the ‘Library’ field provided and then sign in using your library membership card number and PIN. Watch our how to video on Borrowbox. Members of other library authorities will need to log in using a different link.
Although I am way past reading young adult fiction (agewise, that is), I do love it. I devoured ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins and ‘The Divergent Trilogy’ by Veronica Roth. So when a borrower recommended the ‘Tearling Trilogy’ by Erika Johansen, I gave it a try and I was hooked.The ‘Tearling Trilogy’ is a dystopian novel with elements of fairy tales and dark magic. The first book, The Queen of the Tearling, is set in an area called the Tearling somewhere in the middle of a mystical ocean around three hundred years after the 9/11 events in the United States. Time is counted as before and after ‘the Crossing’ when a small group of citizens fled a dictatorial United States to set up their own utopian territory. The main character, Kelsea Glynn, is a feisty young woman who had been hidden away and brought up in secret after her queen mother had mysteriously disappeared and thought to have been murdered.Kelsea has been prepared for her future role from childhood onwards and yet she has been kept in the dark about the kingdom’s dark past and present. When she turns nineteen, she inherits a deeply divided country full of corruption and dark powers that is subjugated by the Red Queen of rivalling kingdom, Mortesme. Kelsea sets out to win the support of her people and to defend the Tearling with the help of the Royal Guard who are sworn to defend the Queen to the death.In the subsequent books, The Invasion of the Tearling and The Fate of the Tearling, as Kelsea fights the Red Queen and her army, she develops a mysterious connection to the pre-Crossing United States and to a woman called Lily Mayhew. Through Lily she learns about the time before the Crossing which might hold the key to her own and the Tearling’s survival. This trilogy is a crossover between adult and older young adult fiction. Judging by the reviews on Goodreads, it seems that this is one of those novels that you either love or hate. I loved it.Access eBooks/eAudiobooks on your phone, tablet or reader. Once you have installed the app, search for Dublin in the ‘Library’ field provided and then sign in using your library membership card number and PIN. Members of other library authorities will need to access BorrowBox using a different link.Submitted by Charlotte from Donaghmede Library.
Lately there have been a number of books with witchy themes. Not so much the pointy hat black cat and broom toting middle aged spinster toiling over a cauldron witch. But women who are different, the outsider who does not conform, the outcast who does not comply, and are therefore a danger. Women perceived to be subversive and confrontational just for showing intellect and independence, for having a connect to nature and old traditions. They deal with tales where there is dissonance between public opinion and personal reality. The books have many other common themes from the rehabilitative nature of female friendship, to the unyielding grip of the past in our present circumstances. The stories variously play women as villain, victim, and heroine, and a combination of all three. But witch? Well you’ll have to read the books and decide for yourself.Burial Rites by Hannah Kent Burial Rites centres around Agnes Magnusdottir a servant of no means from north Iceland condemned to death. She is accused of murder after the bodies of two men known to her, one her master, are found slaughtered and burned. She is confined to an isolated farm through a bleak and claustrophobic Icelandic winter to await execution. Her story is told through her interaction with Toti, an inexperienced local priest who is preparing her to meet her fate. And via her friendship with the compassionate Margaret, wife of District Officer Jonsson and mother to their fearful daughters, on who’s farm she stays. Supposedly morally ambiguous: an ‘inhumane witch’, a calculating ‘bloody knowing’ villain, murderous Agnes is gradually revealed. Burial Rites is inspired by the true story of the last woman put to death in Iceland in 1829. Hannah Kent’s first novel, inspired by a trip to Iceland as a teenager, it was much lauded for evoking a sense of place – cold unforgiving - that reflects in the attitudes of its inhabitants. Her writing style successfully and at times poetically conveys the time and mores it is set in without becoming burdened by historic detail. And goes some way to right the unjust treatment Kent felt Agnes received when originally researching the case for a PhD. But did Agnes do it?The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave In a storm off the coast of Norway in 1617 the island men of Vardo perish whilst setting off for fishing grounds. They leave behind a remote island populated almost entirely by their widows and children. The women divided turn either to God or the old Sami religion. Some wait on the structured governance and charity of the region, whilst others take matters into their own hands and begin boat fishing and herding themselves. Maren is resourceful and headstrong enough to try more independent means to survive. Soon she befriends and acts originally as handmaid and tutor, and then as more to Ursa the newly arrived Commissioner’s wife. But Absolom is vainglorious in his ambitious pursuit of authority on the island. He fixates on the tendency in some islanders towards the old religion, and on survival pursuits he sees as manly in the women. As paranoia and suspicion take hold he readies himself for an assault on all that is ungodly. Millwood Hargrave’s usually writes for young adults and this is an initial venture into adult fiction. The strong characterisation and narrative required to pass muster with younger readers is evident in this book, as is her skill as playwright and poet. She builds tension to a fateful climax - but will Absolom bring King Christian’s laws on witchcraft to bear on his wayward flock?The Familiars by Stacey Halls Stacey Halls’ background as an article writer and editor for magazines undoubtedly helped her excel at suspenseful storytelling and writing in a clear uncluttered way. Another debut novel, The Familiars is set in 1612 at the time of the Pendle witch trials. A pregnant 17 year old Fleetwood Shuttleworth finds a letter not intended for her to read. Having suffered a number of miscarriages, it is written that she will not survive the pregnancy. But as mistress of Gawthorpe Hall she must fulfil her husband Richard’s right for an heir, her existence depends on it. By chance she meets Alice Gray a young local girl and midwife who promises to help her. But Alice’s medicine draws from the old ways and its practice throws Alice into suspicion. Will the women and their friendship survive a Lancashire where men’s wont is to destroy anything which is deemed contrary?Watch our how-to video on Borrowbox.Access eBooks/eAudiobooks on your phone, tablet or reader. Once you have installed the app, search for Dublin in the ‘Library’ field provided and then sign in using your library membership card number and PIN.Members of other library authorities will need to access BorrowBox using a different link.Submitted by Drumcondra Library
It's almost a cliche at this point to say that teen fiction isn't just for teens anymore. Young adult fiction is a category of fiction written for readers from 12 to 18 years of age. While the genre is targeted to teenagers, approximately half of YA readers are adults. Summer, like youth, is fleeting. But the books we read when we're young can stay with us for a lifetime. Both these titles come highly recommended for our teen readers by our colleague Eimear from the relief staff panel.Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly. It’s the moment she’s waited for – Isabelle is about to win the handsome prince. There is only one problem, Isabelle isn’t the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and stole the prince’s heart. No, Isabelle’s the ugly stepsister, who decided to cut off her toes in order to fit into Cinderella’s glass slipper…. which by the way is now filling with blood.When the Prince discovers the truth, Isabelle is banished, cast out in shame. But after all it’s no more that Isabelle deserves: Isabelle’s a plain girl in a world that values beauty, a feisty gir, in a kingdom that expects women to be seen but not heard. Isabelle has tried to fit in, to be just like Cinderella, but she’s not.Instead, Isabelle cuts off her toes in order to fit into a world that doesn’t accept a girl like her. A world that has made her jealous, empty and mean spirited. The is what she has been told and that is what Isabelle believes, until she gets a chance to change her destiny and prove to the world that it will take much more than heartache to break a girl. Evoking a darker, earlier version of the Cinderella story, bestselling author Jennifer Donnelly brings us a tale of empowerment, that challenges gender roles and reminds us that we all have a say in our destiny.The Red Scrolls of Magic (a Shadowhunter’s novel) New York Times bestselling author Cassandra Clare and award-winner Wesley Chu team up to bring you the first installment in this new series. It follows High Warlock Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood as they tour the world together after the Mortal War.Magnus Bane wants a holiday — more like a lavish trip around Europe, with his boyfriend Alec Lightwood of course! No sooner have the two settled in Paris when news arrives that a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand has begun causing chaos all over the world. Now Magnus and Alec must race against time to track down the Crimson hand and its new leader, before it’s too late!Watch our how-to video on Borrowbox.Access eBooks/eAudiobooks on your phone, tablet or reader. Once you have installed the app, search for Dublin in the ‘Library’ field provided and then sign in using your library membership card number and PIN.Members of other library authorities will need to access BorrowBox using a different link.
Fantasy and Science-Fiction eBooks and eAudiobooks
For many of us, it may not be easy to wind-down if currently at home or self-isolating and the current global situation can be a little grim and worrying; so why not take the opportunity to indulge in some escapism and get away from it all with the wonderful selection of Fantasy & Science-Fiction eBooks and eAudiobooks available through our online resources with BorrowBox.Relax and let Dublin City Libraries help you escape (if only for a few hours) to myriad, diverse worlds of mystery, magic, miracles, monsters and mayhem!To help you get going, here is a selection of 10 otherworldly titles to try.Please note that you will need your Dublin City library card number and PIN and also to download the BorrowBox app. Watch our how-to video on Borrowbox.The Painted Man Peter V. BrettThe initial installment of the five volume Demon Cycle from New York author Peter V. Brett showcases a world devastated by the Corelings, mysterious, violent elemental entities that nightly arise to ravage and destroy once the sun sets. Humankind has been reduced to shrinking, isolated enclaves of people sheltering desperately behind the failing protection of runic wards but these fragile magical barriers are beginning to fade and the future looks hopeless unless a way can be found to fight back. The Demon Cycle has enjoyed phenomenal international success and Peter V. Brett's work has sold millions of copies and been translated into twenty-three languages.The Beauty of the Wolf Wray DelaneyWray Delaney is the nom de plume of internationally renowned, multi-award winning children's writer Sally Gardner whose title Maggot Moon was the recipient of the Carnegie Medal in 2013. Beauty and the Wolf is a role-reversing, lavish, gothic retelling of Beauty and the Beast, for adults, which challenges our received perceptions of gender roles and beauty and is set in an Elizabethan England where magical curses are real and where appearances can be very deceiving. This is Gardner's second adult novel following her debut title An Almond for a Parrot.The Sky People Terry Goodkind Before they disappeared the Sky People mandated on the Sun People one unbreakable commandment, one tenet that must never be broken; not to take life. Although it has left them at the mercy of rival tribes, who loot and pillage with impunity, unhindered by such a constraint, the Sun People have kept their word and exercised pacifism, until now. Raging River, Priestess of her Tribe, fought back and the son of the chieftain of the Wolf People tribe lies dead at her hands. Facing the extirpation of her kin because of her actions, Raging River must do the unthinkable and find the long-missing Sky People. This is the Sci-Fi debut from internationally best selling American fantasy novelist Terry Goodkind whose sixteen Sword of Truth novels have earned him countless legions of fantasy-fiction fans across the globe.The Little Snake A.L. KennedyThis novella is a sparkling, modern day fable of greed, death, war and friendship whose chief protagonists are Mary, a child growing up in a city of 'sad, tiny houses of the squashed-in people' and 'tall, sparkling buildings full of crocodiles and meadows' and her friendship with her 'immensely handsome' friend Lanmo, a talking golden snake. Touching and frequently deeply humorous and wry The Little Snake is one of the most unusual, moving and fabulous (in every sense of the term) pleasures you will encounter. It springs from the mind of A.L. Kennedy a Scottish comedian, author and academic whose work has received huge critical acclaim and garnered numerous prestigious awards. The Three-Body Problem Cixin LiuA Chinese radio-scientist transmits an interstellar message and eight years later receives a reply. A mysterious group of 'gamers' has embedded themselves in virtual reality to play a game that spans aeons and always ends in destruction. A fabulously wealthy environmentalist creates a ruthless, faction-riven, secret society that spans the globe. A nano-tech expert seeks to find out why renowned scientists are dying in incomprehensible circumstances. Across the globe the nations secretly rally to avert an event 450 years in their future that will spell disaster for all of humanity but which cannot be prevented. An imaginative tour-de-force on an epic scale which defies the imagination The Three-Body Problem (the first installment in a trilogy) by Cixin Liu was the first ever recipient of the Hugo Award by a Chinese author.Spinning Silver Naomi NovikWhen a young woman tries to salvage over her father's failing moneylending business she finds that she can 'turn silver into gold' but her success comes at a price as she comes to the attention of an other-worldly monarch who holds her fast to her boast. If she can increase his riches she will have his hand in marriage, if she cannot then she will die. Very loosely a re-imagining of Rumpelstiltskin, Spinning Silver is a enchanting tale, expanded from a prior short story penned by Naomi Novik. Spinning Silver was the winner of the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel, as was the author's previous smash hit, Uprooted.The Book of M Peng ShepherdAcross the globe people's shadows are disappearing and in their absence the populace begin to succumb to amnesia. Although, in isolation, they have managed to avoid this fate for two years Max discovers one day that her shadow too has now been lost. Fearing her impending erosion of identity and frightened that the erasure will imperil her husband, Orlando, Max secretly flees. Desperate to find her, Orlando embarks on a dangerous journey to track her down aided by an array of recorded messages she left behind; but will he find answers in New Orleans, or is the woman he loves gone forever even if he can locate her? This debut novel is magnificent near-future dystopia concerning the power of memory, identity and love.The Tiger and the Wolf Adrian Tchaikovsky In this first installment of the Echoes of the Fall series we are introduced to Maniye a girl torn between two worlds; that of her father's Wind Runner Wolf Tribe but she also holds within her the heritage of her mother's people, the Tigers, as a result of the rape of her mother while held as a prisoner of war. In this bronze age fantasy milieu people can 'step' or channel the totem animal spirits of their tribal deities and Maniye must flee the clutches of her cruel fathers plans to gain power over both tribes and make her way in a world where clan is set against clan. Whilst she tries to reconcile the warring animal spirits within, she faces danger and betrayal at every turn. Meanwhile, there are storm clouds gathering to the south. Bestselling fantasy author Adrian Tchaikovsky has been a conferee of both the British Fantasy Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award. Somewhat interestingly, given the animalistic elements of this trilogy, he has a background in zoology.Shadowless Hasan Al ToptasHasan Al Toptas is one of Turkeys most acclaimed postmodern authors and a winner of the Orhan Kemal Novel Prize, the Cankaya Literature Prize among many others. Shadowless is a surreal, dreamlike, kaleidoscopic enigma which recounts the mysterious disappearances of a local girl, Guvercin, and a barber, Nuri, from a rural Anatolian village. The latter, it appears has been translocated, by means unknown, to a distant city where he has little recollection of how he got there. Is magic at play? Has some kind of evil eye been placed on the village? Are people being abducted and will they return? Shadowless is the second of the author's novels to have been translated into English, in this instance, by Maureen Freely and John Angliss.Golden State Ben H. WintersIn the near future territory of Golden State (roughly analogous to contemporary California) Laszlo Ratesic is an investigator working for the Speculative Service with an innate talent for discerning lies who is called upon to examine the death of a worker in a rooftop fall ,while aided by a promising, enthusiastic junior, Aysa Paige. Abilities such as his are highly valued in the state as wilful falsehood and untruth there is a crime, punished with great severity. In a society where almost every detail of everyday life is ubiquitously monitored, recorded and surveilled their suspicions are aroused when they discover the deceased's Day Book (the continuous chronicle of their daily lives) may have been tampered with. Winters has created a hugely detailed and persuasive dystopia which neither shies away from exploring what happens when a recognised good, honesty, is taken way beyond logical extremes nor detracts from a compelling story that functions as a classic detective mystery.
Fantasy Fiction - magic, mythical and the supernatural
The difference between the fantasy and science fiction genres hasn’t always been an issue. However, there are a few key differences in the genres that can help us to separate one type of book from the other in the ‘science fiction vs fantasy’ debate.Fantasy involves things that do not exist in real life. On the other hand, science fiction is almost related to real things, and based on technology and science. Science fiction deals with scenarios and technology that are possible or may be possible based on science. Some science fiction such as far-future space opera or time travel stories may seem implausible, but they are still not beyond the realm of scientific theory. On the other hand, fantasy general deals with supernatural and magical occurrences that have no basis in science.Isaac Asimov, once asked to explain the difference between science fiction and fantasy, replied that science fiction, given its grounding in science, is possible; fantasy, which has no grounding in reality, is not.Fantasy is an older genre of literature than science fiction; in fact, fantasy is arguably the oldest genre. If we look back at the earliest surviving stories from human civilisation such as the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh or ancient myths, we find stories of gods, monsters and magic. Science fiction is a relatively recent genre of the last century.Both science fiction and fantasy require rules. Just because fantasy is not based on scientific facts or speculation doesn’t mean that anything can go in fantasy. Certain laws must govern a fantasy world as well; the difference is that in fantasy, the author makes up the rules.Surprisingly, science fiction and fantasy cannot always be distinguished by settings or other elements. Many would argue that Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series is science fiction despite the existence of dragons while others say the Star Wars films are clearly fantasy despite the space setting. A quick reference list to help you easily find all of McCaffrey’s books: the Dragonriders of Pern series, Acorna series, Catteni series, Brainships, The Talents series, The Tower and Hive sequence, Petabee Universe series.There’s no shortage of excellent fantasy books these days. That’s a good problem to have as far as these things go, but sifting through mountains of books can be daunting. That's where Dublin City Libraries come in.In Nevernight, Mia Corvere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.Destined to destroy empires, the child raised in shadows made a promise on the day she lost everything: to avenge herself on those that shattered her world. Before she seeks vengeance, she must seek training among the infamous assassins of the Red Church of Itreya.Return to a world of magic and adventure from best selling author Raymond E. Feist. This bundle includes the complete Serpentwar Saga. The bundle includes: Shadow of a Dark Queen (1), Rise of a Merchant Prince (2), Rage of a Demon King (3), and Shards of a Broken Crown (4).Return to the world of Midkemia. Ancient powers are readying themselves for a devastating confrontation, and a dark queen has raised a standard and is gathering armies of unmatched might.The Hobbit is the unforgettable story of Bilbo, a peace-loving hobbit, who embarks on a strange and magical adventure. Bilbo Baggins enjoys a quiet and contented life, with no desire to travel far from the comforts of home; then one day the wizard Gandalf and a band of dwarves arrive unexpectedly and enlist his services – as a burglar – on a dangerous expedition to raid the treasure-hoard of Smaug the dragon. Bilbo’s life is never to be the same again. Since its publication in 1937, J. R.R. Tolkien’s classic tale has remained in print delighting each new generation of readers all over the world.Helene Wecker's debut novel is an eerie tale of two magical creatures set loose in 19th century New York. A golem – a mythical creature of Jewish lore – awakens during a sea voyage, and is taught to pass as human among the diverse groups of people living in the city. At the same time, a tinsmith in New York accidentally frees a genie from a flask after centuries of imprisonment, but he's trapped in human form seeking a way to return to his full power. The pair meet and become friends, and must team up to counter an evil sorcerer who wants to enslave them both.Philip Pullman has returned with a follow-up to the His Dark Materials trilogy. The Book of Dust is a second trilogy set in the world of Lyra Belacqua and her inner self in animal form, Pantalaimon. At the point of writing two of the trilogy have been released: La Belle Sauvage (2018) and The Secret Commonwealth (2019). The first of these is set before the tumultuous events of His Dark Materials. But the second fast forwards to a decade after their conclusion. There's espionage, spies and frantic attempts to stop the world from vanishing into darkness.Marlon James, who won the Booker prize for A Brief History of Seven Killings, is not traditionally a fantasy writer. Black Leopard, Red Wolf focuses on the political tensions between warring states, in a world populated by a host of magical creatures: cannibals, vampires, witches, ghosts and sorcerers. "...A dangerous, hallucinatory, ancient Africa, which becomes a fantasy world as well realized as anything Tolkien made..." - Neil Gaiman.Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is set in 19th-century England around the time of the Napoleonic Wars. The book’s premise is that magic has returned: two men, Gilbert Norrell and Jonathan Strange, wield it. Written in a comedy of manners, Jane Austen style, it took its author British writer Susanna Clarke ten years to write.Ursula Le Guin is one of the titans of fantasy and sci-fi – her books explore political and feminist themes in fantastical settings. The Left Hand of Darkness focuses on an androgynous civilisation, and The Dispossessed is set in anarchist Utopia. The Earthsea series is more traditional but still brilliant – we follow Ged, a teenager at magic school, who causes a disaster dabbling in the dark arts. Readers have pointed to the similarities between Ged’s school and Hogwarts.Harry Dresden is a professional wizard in a version of modern-day Chicago where fantastical creatures lurk just underneath the surface. He makes his living as a private detective, solving cases that bridge the worlds of the real and the uncanny. In Butcher's Storm Front, the first book in long-running series The Dresden Files, he finds himself duelling with vampires, werewolves, and the mob.The Rivers of London, set in a lovingly described version of present-day London charts the adventures of Detective Constable Peter Grant, one of two wizards in the Metropolitan Police. It grounds its fantastical elements in the scientific method, and the mixture of flying spells and police jargon gives the ongoing series a unique and enjoyable tone. The first book, Rivers of London, describes an encounter with a malevolent spirit that draws Grant into the capital's magical underworld.
2017 Citywide Reading Campaign for Children Book Selected!
We are delighted to announce that 'Knights of the Borrowed Dark' by Dave Rudden, published by Puffin Books, is the chosen book for the 2017 Citywide Reading Campaign for Children.This reading initiative is organised by Dublin City Council’s Public Library Service as part of its UNESCO City of Literature programme with the aim of encouraging children to read for pleasure.There will be author visits to Dublin City Public libraries as well as city-centre based events to promote the campaign from January to March 2017. Full details about the campaign and events will be available in early January. Copies of KNIGHTS OF THE BORROWED DARK will be available in all Dublin City branch libraries."I am honoured and delighted that 'Knights of the Borrowed Dark' is Dublin UNESCO City of Literature’s Citywide Read. This is the city that taught me how to write, and I owe so much to its vibrant, friendly and supportive literary community. There's a wild, swashbuckling charm to Dublin that very much inspired the strange and magical world of the Knights (though thankfully with less clockwork women and waistcoated misery-drinkers) and I can't wait to share it with Dublin's young readers and help them find stories of their own." says Dave Rudden.This is the sixth year of the reading initiative. In previous years books chosen for the Citywide Reading Campaign included Alan Early’s Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent, The Nightmare Club series featuring Annie Graves , The Powers by Kevin Stevens, Danger is Everywhere by David O’Doherty, and last year’s book was The Book of Learning by E.R. Murray.Reviews:Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden review – a magical debut (Guardian, 7 May 2016)Book Review – Knights Of The Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden (Rick O'Shea, RTÉ 2fm and RTÉ Radio 1 Broadcaster)Reader Reviews on Goodreads.See also Puffin Books website.
Question: When might a Harry Potter not be a Harry Potter? Stumped? Answer: When it is not written by J.K. Rowling!So what then is this we hear of a new Harry Potter book to be launched on the 31st July? Indeed it's true, the eight book in the series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I & II, is to be officially launched in Livraria Lello (Lello Bookstore) in Porto in Portugal. Now it might be a tad unfair to say it is not a J.K. Rowling book as, though not penned by her, it is based on an original story by her together with a number of others. And it is officially the eight book on the Harry Potter series. So there, record clarified.The significance of the date 31st July? Jt is J.K. Rowling's and Harry's joint birthday!The launch on the 31st July in Porto is that of the official script book of the play of the same name, which premieres in London’s West End at the Palace Theatre on the 30th July. The play was written by Jack Thorne and is based on an original story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne himself.Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I & II follows the life of the now more mature and overworked Potter and his youngest son Albus Severus 19 years after what was the final book in the original series, 'Deathly Hallows'.Did you know? 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the UK publication of the very first book in the series, Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone.About the Book:It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places. (from publisher Little, Brown)This Special Rehearsal Edition will be available until early 2017, after which a Definitive Edition of the script will be available (publisher's note)Why Livraria Lello?This bookshop (see right, click to view larger image) is rumoured to be the inspiration for Rowling's own Flourish and Blotts bookstore in the Harry Potter series and indeed for much of her writings in the series. And it is easy to see why, it is truly a thing of beauty this, one of the oldest bookshops in Portugal. The bookshop opened to the public in 1906 and has a neo-gothic facade, a beautifully curvaceous art nouveau staircase and stained-glass skylight. The travel guide Lonely Planet named Livraria Lello the "Third Best Bookstore in the World!". J.K. Rowling frequented the bookshop and the cafe on the upper floor while she lived in Porto in the early 1990s, teaching English as a foreign language during her stay there.See this 360 degree view of the bookshop.Below: Flourish and Blotts Bookshop (click to view larger image)Check the library catalogue for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I & II.See also the previous blog post POTTER MANIA!!!!! listing the previous seven books in the series.
The series of interviews I have been doing with authors was actually inspired by a conversation between Ruth and I about a year ago. Unfortunately her previous books proved impossible to source with our suppliers, and Treachery of Beautiful Things was difficult, but we persevered and it is in stock.Ruth and I know each other online and through several conventions, we're both librarians, fantasy lovers and lovers of old books, only she gets to work with them in her job.1. So what kind of fiction do you write?All kinds of fantasy, for people of all ages. 2. Why?I love magic in my stories. I love a sense of the fantastic, the numinous, the wonder whether it’s in a new world or something to be found in everyday life. 3. How long have you been writing for?As long as I can remember. 4. What is your library history like?I'm from a family of readers, and we always belonged to our local library. I still do and now have the great pleasure of letting the library keep my children in reading materials because trying to do so myself would bankrupt me! Working in libraries, and having worked in public libraries in the past, gives a very real sense of how important a place a library is. 5. Does it give you a special thrill to see your books in your local library?Definitely. 6. Do you visit your local library often?Every week, more or less. I may have mentioned my kids are voracious readers. They’d go every day if they could. 7. Do you use the interlibrary loan system in your library service (well I might as well get a minor plug in!)Yes. I have books on reserve right now! ;) It’s a fantastic facility, especially when it comes to some of the more tricky to get research books. 8. Have you ever reserved your own book just to prove it's in stock?No, but you're giving me ideas now... ;) 9. Did you have a favourite author as a kid?Susan Cooper, Alan Garner, Enid Blyton, J. R. R. Tolkien (well I started reading him as a kid) 10. Have you read those books again as an adult?Yes. 11. What was it like? Did it stand up to adult reading?The Dark is Rising sequence was as brilliant as I remember. I still don't understand Red Shift but love Garner's language. I recently read his adult sequel to the Alderley Edge trilogy, Boneland, which was phenomenal and I will have to reread several times. Such an incredible book. Tolkien is a lifelong read, and I read Blyton with my kids. 12. List five favourite authors (who aren't you!)Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Sarah Rees Brennan, Susan Cooper, Stephen King 13. Have you read any books about Ireland that made you laugh/cry/breathe smoke?Many. It's one of the reasons I'm quite nervous about writing stories based in other cultures. I've seen how wrong it can go. Quite often it’s something as little as the way a character speaks. I have a horror of that “Oirish” accent. Hopefully as I am now writing about Ireland I’m getting it right. A Crack in Everything is a YA urban fantasy set in Dublin, which will be released next year from O’Brien Press. I drew in a lot of my own local knowledge writing it but then discovered there were many things I needed to follow up on and double check. I’m writing book 2 at the moment and rooting out more Dublin folklore, settings and stories to use. 14. Do you read any genres outside what you write? Deliberately?The story is the most important thing to me so yes. I'm a big fan of thrillers and historicals. It's not so much deliberate as that I read what I enjoy so that doesn't have to limit me to one genre. It's refreshing and often gives me ideas. One story I'm working on at the moment was inspired by a book on England's medieval queens. 15. Do you go to any Irish Conventions?Yes, Octocon and Pcon annually. I've also been to Wexworlds and TitanCon. I'll go wherever I'm invited basically! 16. Do you go to any non-Irish Conventions? Any favourites or recommendations?I go to the Romantic Novelists Association annual conference. Not a convention as such but one of the most valuable weekends away for me as a writer. I’m heading off to London for Worldcon next year, with a quick turnaround to be back here for Eurocon in Dublin (called Shamrockon) the following weekend. Very excited about that, and the possibility of a Worldcon in Dublin in 2019. But basically the same thing goes - if someone invites me I'll go. 17. Do you have any hobbies outside of writing?I knit a little (badly), make jewellery occasionally, draw (not in a while). It's all quite intermittent. I love to cook, which I have to do on a daily basis. The problem is I never know when a story is going to hook me and pull me away from a hobby. And there have been a few charred dinners in our house. I also like walking and exploring forests and hills. I’m a member of the Native Woodland Trust but never seem to make the gatherings. I’m wonderful at planning research trips which drag my family up hills, into forests and in search of prehistoric tombs and the like. We took a trip to England while I was editing The Treachery of Beautiful Things so I could trace the path of one character from Dragon Hill to the Uffington White Horse and on to Wayland’s Smithy along the Ridgeway, mainly so I could find out if there was a gate across the path to Wayland’s Smithy. (There was!) 18. Have you visited Libraries in any other country?Oh yes, I've been very lucky with my current job in that there is an international association and we meet every 18 months. There is usually a visit to a few libraries involved. So far I've been lucky enough to see the Carmelite library at Krakow, the National Libraries in Malta and Madrid, El Escorial, the Vatican library and most recently the Theological and Philosophical Halls at the library in Strahov Monastery in Prague. Beautiful places. 19. Which one impressed you the most?Probably the Theological hall in Strahov for looks alone. Malta and El Escorial were wonderful too.
Jonathan Stroud - The Bartimaeus Trilogy. A Must Read for Every Fantasy Fan
Post by Fabienne Sauberlich."The temperature of the room dropped fast. Ice formed on the curtains and crusted thickly around the lights in the ceiling. Then two yellow staring eyes materialized in the smoke. "Hey, it was his first time. I wanted to scare him"."This is the beginning of Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus Trilogy, a fantasy series that is all at once fantastic, thrilling and funny, with two main characters that will immediately capture your heart.So what's it about? The story is set in a world where wizards are the most powerful people, and humans without magical powers are lower class people. Wizards conjure up demons to work for them, but they treat them like dangerous slaves knowing that a demon will take every chance he gets to kill his master.The first book in the series, "The Amulet of Samarkand", starts with a conjuration. Nathaniel, a very young wizard who is far too young to be allowed to adjure a demon. But Nathaniel is very talented. He conjures Bartimaeus a very powerful old demon. He should know what risk he is taking because conjuring "is not like hailing a cab. You don't get just anybody if you call".The story is told through the eyes of the demon Bartimaeus who he is a very unusual demon with a very good sense of humour. Bartimaeus doesn't like to be adjured anyway but a little boy trying to give him orders is really unacceptable. Unfortunately for him this boy is a very good wizard, so he doesn’t make any mistake that would allow Bartimaeus to kill him, and he is very good at getting both of them in a lot of trouble. Bartimaeus doesn't like trouble either, he knows when it is better to run away as fast as you can instead of fighting back. But unfortunately Nathaniel doesn’t know this and Bartimaeus has to protect Nathaniel and to obey his orders.And so they become a team although they don't like each other. This changes with the adventures they survive together, but they are both far too proud to admit it.The other books of the trilogy are "The Golem's Eye" and "Ptolemy's Gate". There is also a prequel that tells of the adventures Bartimaeus has experienced before called "The Ring of Salomon". About our Guest BloggerFabienne Sauberlich is a student of Library and Information Science in Germany with special interests in Psychology, Horror, Fantasy and Mystery Media.