Writing, D&D and Maps

Hello!

Well the start of 2021 has been…interesting? I’m not sure that’s really the right word, but it’s the one I’m going with because it’s less complicated than some of the others. However, between lockdowns and everything else, our house currently being in disarray because the kitchen is being done (cooking in the living room is strange and I don’t like it, although the dog is loving in as it brings her closer to the food), and sheet ice making it very hard to get out and about for walks it has been incredibly hard to focus on writing. Instead, I’ve been reading – a lot – and I now I have a bunch of reviews to write, I’ve been doing some world-building for a new DnD campaign that I will be starting up at the end of this month, and I’ve managed to poke at my editing off and on.

I’m not quite at the point I hoped to be with my editing, but progress is being made. I managed to untangle a fight scene where I almost killed one of my main characters without intending too (I am terrible to my characters, but he isn’t supposed to die… ). I’m attempting to set up a schedule for the coming weeks (I miss work, and the structure it gives me), so hopefully I will be able to catch up, but considering *gestures at the world* I consider any and all progress to be good at the moment.

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Book Review: Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen #1) – Steven Erikson

Hello!

I’m back with my first review of the year, and with my first read of 2021 – Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson. The Malazan books are something I have heard mentioned over and over again, with very mixed opinions, to the point where it felt like an almost mythical series. I had already planned on doing a series challenge this year to clear some of my TBR, and I decided that now was the time to dive into some bigger ones as well – both Malazan and Wheel of Time. I decided to start with the one that I was least sure of, and well… I loved it.

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Book Summary:

The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations with the formidable Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.

For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cadre mage of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.

However, it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand…

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December Wrap-up, January TBR and a Peek Beyond

Hello!

We did it, we survived 2020. I have to admit that 2021 doesn’t look so different at the moment, especially with what else happened last night at 11PM, but while we face an upward hike – I’m currently stuck at home and furloughed once more – I am optimistic. Life is too short to be any other way. And while 2020 was a hell year, it wasn’t without bright spots.

I started this blog and it has grown and gone much further than I ever imagined when I first started, I’ve made lots of friends through blogging, read lots of fantastic books and spent lots of wonderful hours under imaginary skies.

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2020 Rewind

Hello!

Posting this today, as I will most likely not be around on NYE. Despite everything this has been an excellent year for reading (it was how I survived lockdown #1 – and it along with writing – will see me through the current lockdown). As a result, I finished this year having not only completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge target of 200 books, but surpassing it to read (and listen as I have dipped into audiobooks this year) to 333 books. I’ve had favourites, discovered lots of new authors especially indie authors, and sure there have been some that I haven’t enjoyed quite as much for one reason or another, usually that they’re just not meant for me and someone else will love them as much as I love my favourites.

This year, between all the sudden debate I have seen about best/worst of list, and just because 2020 has been a hell year, and none of us need to add to that, least of all when we are about to be free of 2020. I have decided instead to highlight ALL the books that I have read this year. Below the cut you will find a gallery of all the books I have read – some I’ve reviewed in one format or another on this blog, others are only across on GR and some only have a rating because sometimes it’s nice to read a book and not have to try and arrange words into a review. I have not included covers more than once, even though there are a few books that I have read more than once this year.

Anyway enough rambling, here are my 2020 books.

Along with a massive thank you from me to the authors, illustrators, narrators, agents, editors and publishers that have brought these books to life over the years, and given me a chance to lose myself in their pages.

**
Rowena

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One Year On

Open Birthday Greeting Card Near Pen

Hello!

Today is the one year birthday of Beneath a Thousand Skies, and I wanted to thank everyone for making it such a fantastic first year (despite the chaos that has been 2020). The idea for this blog actually happened about a month earlier, when I realised that I was fed up of not having people to babble with/to about books and I started looking into creating a book blog. The plan then had been to launch 1st of January 2020, but I read The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang and I needed to review it, and so on the 27th December Beneath a Thousand Skies had it’s first POST.

Since then, I have made almost 170 posts, read over three hundred books (a feat I don’t think I would be able to repeat, and is the only good thing to come out of lockdown). I have participated in blog tours (which I didn’t know was a thing before this year), events and challenges. I have turned my TBR from a pile into a tower that keeps on growing.

I have also met lots of wonderful bloggers, readers and authors over the last year.

So thank you again, and here’s to a better 2021 (and lots more books!)

**
Rowena

Two People Toasting Flute Glasses

The Sunshine Blogger Award

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Hello!

Today I am finally getting around to answering this tag – in my defence some of the questions had me stumped for a while. Thank you to Jake at Jake is Reading for the Sunshine Blogger Nomination, please do check out his fantastic blog (and prepare your TBR for some additions).

How does it work?

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions prompted by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
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Farewell 5-Star Rating System (well soon…)

Silhouette Of Man And Trees

Hello!

As I have mentioned previously, I have been intending on doing away with the five-star rating system on the blog for a while now, after seeing some discussion on the matter and knowing that star ratings are sometimes harder to define/explain as it is so subjective, and I know there are books that I have rated higher because while they have problems *I LOVED THEM* and that was reflected in my rating. I will still be using the 5-star system for goodreads and other sites, but here I wanted to introduce something different here and I’ve finally settled on a system (and a look for the badges) that I am happy with.

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