Lists, Rowena Rambles, Writing, Wyrd & Wonder

Top 5: Fantasy Music Artists

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Hello!
I thought that I would do something a little different today for Wyrd & Wonder and look at music. Some on the list are covers or versions of fantasy songs, others are music that I (and this is very much personal opinion) associate with fantasy whether through listening to it while reading/writing fantasy (I can’t work without background noise, and its usually music or Criminal minds), or just through the name. Of course, this list is highly subjective, and I am always find new music but here we go!

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Rowena Rambles, Writing, Wyrd & Wonder

Roll those Dice!

Hello!

So, today’s prompt for #WyrdAndWonder was Goblins, which for me meant Dungeons & Dragons and Critical Role. I had always wanted to play DnD, but I was too shy to approach the groups I knew about, and I had no idea where to start. Then I began to watch Critical Role at the start of Campaign 2, and I fell in love, while it was a game with rules and dice rolls it was the storytelling that caught my attention and got me hooked. A couple of episodes in and I was recommending it to some of my friends. Soon we were all watching it and talking about it, and it seemed like a natural progression when we all went ‘why don’t we play?’ We knew each other, we trusted each other, there was no worry about finding a group where we belonged, we already had that, and so the decision was made almost before the question was asked.

It’s not quite that simple, as while most of us had met at university via the Anime Society, we were now spread out across the UK and for some time the US and the Netherlands. So, we went online – a good thing really considering the current situation – and it has spiralled since then. We now have three campaigns so that we can keep playing even when one of the DMs (as several of us were/are still studying at postgrad), and oneshots where we can experiment with new stories and formats. Some weeks, I am DM and running around as Variant Human Fighter, other weeks I am a Tiefling Wild-Magic Sorcerer/Warlock (who may or may not have taken the party to the Shadowfell and Feywilds, and dropped a Fireball on her own head), or a Drow Rogue in the craziest party of the three. I’ve been a Firbolg Druid/Bard in a Firbolg only one-shot, a Tiefling Draconic-Origin Sorcerer in a Battle Royale which ended with my character trapping herself in a different dimension.

I love being able to create characters -my own and NPCs – and worlds, weaving together backstories and our own chaotic choices. I get to make maps, throw in character cameos – we had Gimli and Legolas running a tavern- and for four hours a week, I get to live in a fantasy. In fact, I love DnD and the material that exists around it so much that I currently have two projects on the go, a LitRPG-esque story, and another ‘secret’ project, which is my escape when I need an escape from more serious projects. As a result, I am hoarding DnD characters alongside my dice. And going back to Goblins – one of the characters for the second writing project is Kelp, a Goblin Paladin out in the world trying to do good.

I’m caught up with Campaign 2 of Critical Role, and I am now working my way through Campaign one – Vax may have stolen my heart – and I am eagerly awaiting the animated series. Each time I watch and rewatch episodes, I learn something new about DnD and storytelling, and every time I come away inspired to create stories that make me feel like Critical Role makes me feel.

Rowena

Proud Dice Goblin

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Fantasy, Review, Traditionally-Published, Writing

Blog Tour (Book Review): The Heron Kings – Eric Lewis

The Heron Kings banner

Hello!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Heron Kings’ by Eric Lewis, organised by Random Things Tours.  I was delighted to have participate in this tour, and I hope that you will check out both the author and the book.

*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.’*

The Heron Kings Cover

Book Summary:

After a warlord slaughters her patients, Sister Alessia quits the cloister and
strikes out on her own to heal the victims of a brutal dynastic conflict. H er
roaming forest camp unwittingly becomes the center of a vengeful peasant
insurgency, raiding the forces of both sides to survive. Alessia struggles to
temper their fury as well as tend wounds, consenting to ever greater violence
to keep her new charges safe. When they uncover proof of a foreign
conspiracy prolonging the bloodshed, Alessia risks the very lives she’s saved
to expose the truth and bring the war to an end.

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Paranormal, Review, Thriller, Writing

Blog Tour (Book Review) – Trembleath – Ruth Shedwick

Trembleath banner
Hello!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘Trembleath’ by Ruth Shedwick, organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. I was delighted to participate in this tour, and I hope that you will check out both the author and the book.

*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*

TREMBLEATH Cover

Book Summary:

Amelia Scott is re-building her life in Southern England following a disastrous relationship. It was going to be an adventure, but when she hears news of a young girl found dead and another goes missing, she quickly begins to learn there is more to Creek Bay than she could ever imagine.

A village hiding a dark secret, two families at war, Amelia Scott gets caught up in a murder investigation with dire consequences.

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Fantasy, Review, Traditionally-Published, Writing, YA

Review: To Kill a Kingdom – Alexandra Christo

Hello!

Illness lay me low last week, so I am still reading ‘Into the Crooked Place’ by Alexandra Christo, and I’ve decided to split my reviews for that and ‘To Kill a Kingdom’ which I finished over the weekend. In addition, I also read ‘Where I Left My Soul’ by Jérôme Ferrari (4*), which was ‘beautifully written, and incredibly powerful. The entire book was incredibly thought-provoking, and some parts will stay with me for a long time. This was a book I’d picked up on a whim, and I am delighted that I did. I’ve also just purchased ‘The Eye of the World’ by Robert Jordan, so I will be giving the Wheel of Time a try for the first time after having it recommended to me several times.

In other book news, there are two announcements that I was excited about over the past week. First was the cover revealand opening of pre-orders for Sarah’s Chorn’s second novel ‘Of Honey and Wildfires’ – it looks beautiful, and I am love with her writing so I pre-ordered immediately and I am now counting the days until it is released. ‘Seraphina’s Lament’, her first novel, remains firmly at the top of my favourites list, and I can’t recommend it highly enough, and while this new book is in a different world, I am just as excited for it. This week also saw the announcement of a new trilogy from Anna Stephens, who is the author of the Godblind Trilogy, which is wonderfully dark and one of my favourite series of all time. Again, this is a new world, and I am excited to see what it will bring.

As a ‘valentine’s’ gift to myself, I have been to the bookshop to pre-order a bunch of books this week, all some of my most anticipated reads for this year: ‘The Empire of Gold’ by S.A. Chakraborty, ‘The Black Song’ by Anthony Ryan, ‘The Burning God’ by R.F.Kuang, ‘The Stone Knife’ by Anna Stephens, ‘The Court of Miracles’ by Kester Grant.

In other more personal news, I am aiming for releasing my first novella at the end of May – so there will be some more news and sneak peeks about that over the next few months, so stay tuned (I am both excited and terrified, and it is the most wonderful, nauseating feeling… and I still hate editing).

So, on to the review:

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Rowena Rambles, Writing

January Wrap-Up

Hello!

We’re in February already, when did that happen? We have Valentines’ hearts in the window at work, and Easter Eggs on the shelves and this year seems to already be passing quickly. It’s been a rather eventful week since my last post – Brexit happened (joy), I started a Patreon for some of my writing projects, had a run-in with a reposter who turned out to be nothing more than (I hope) a teenager looking for a fight who didn’t have a leg to stand on, and finally got through a scene in my novella that has been giving me no end of grief. I also spent a good ten minutes tangling with the word ‘them’ which I had written as ‘theb’ (got to love dyslexia and muddling letters), wherein I kept deleting the ‘b’ and then promptly typing it back in again – brain, why?

As such reading took a little bit of a back seat, plus I was still processing ‘The Wolf of Oren-Yaro’ by K.S. Villoso (Review here). I did, however, read ‘West’ by Carys Davies and ‘The Honjin Murders’ by Seishi Yokomizo – both of which I gave *** (3-stars) on Goodreads because while they were enjoyable enough reads and quick ones, they didn’t grasp me as fully as I would like. I also started ‘To Kill a Kingdom’ by Alexandra Christo, while I have decided for the time being to set aside ‘The Final Empire’ by Brandon Sanderson. I’m hoping that if I come back to it when I am in the right mindset, I will enjoy it more than I am at the moment, as it is one that has been highly recommended to me by several friends, and I have seen it on all the big ‘lists’, and I at least want to finish book one. But, not right now.

I also did some book therapy, I got these ones from work, hoping to expand a bit more beyond my fantasy reading (although I will always come back there)

 

Jan

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