The Novice

“The Novice” by Matharu Taran published by  Macmillian Children’s Publishing Group is a fantasy novel set in a world of magic, fear, and war where one commoner discovers, by accident his ability to ”summon” demons, a rare and valued power in his world. The cover of the book is intriguing and has the illustration of a teenage warrior. The warrior has a sword strapped to his back and his face is half hidden by the hood of his heavy brown coat. ‘The Novice’ is the first book in the thrilling series called ‘The Summoner’. The series revolves around the adventures and deeds of  Fletcher and the plot is like an incarnate spider web, weaved together extremely smoothly and yet filled with jarring plot twists. The cover shows our heroine standing tall with swords at her back and death in her eyes which goes well with her new status as King’s Champion.

The series revolves around the adventures and deeds of  Fletcher and the plot is like an incarnate spider web, weaved together extremely smoothly and yet filled with jarring plot twists.It starts with Fletcher in his small village called “Pelt” where we are introduced to his arch-enemy, a spoilt rich kid named Didric. The enmity leads to a fight when an old soldier refuses to sell Dedric a book about the ‘battlemages’ and is then seen talking to Fletcher. However, Fletcher and his friend win and as a token of gratitude, Fletcher is given demon but due to his enmity with Dedric he has to leave Pelt, as a fugitive with only the gifts his adopted father has been able to give him and a little money. He makes it to the city and after an attack by some unsavory characters, he is rescued by one who teaches “summoners” how to control their powers, so that maybe able to gain the status of battlemages and join the war against “orcs”. Then he befriends a dwarf, along with the other commoners and after a bit of initial strife, Fletcher also becomes a friend to the lone elf in the academy. Then the friends train hard for the end of the year tournament but a rivalry with the nobles, an accident, plots against dwarves and elves and much more keeps getting in their way. The book is a series of twists and reveals one after the other.

Othello and Sylva develop as characters just as Fletcher does as they the three face obstacles and plots together along with their other friends. Fletcher turns from a lowly blacksmith’s adopted son to a determined person who always tried to help his friends and uses his intelligence to get himself places. Arcturus is another character who plays a major role, a teacher who always looks out for Fletcher and thinks of him as family. Other characters include the nobles who usually look down on everything and others teachers like Captain Lovett who always helps her students and Rook, a biased man who favors nobility and tried to pull commoners, dwarves, and elves down.

The side characters too are extremely well developed in most cases and the writing style simply flows. The scenes are vivid and realistic, especially the fighting scenes in the tournament which are vividly described and you can almost feel, taste and smell the same things the characters do. You do not only see things through Fletcher’s eyes, you even feel the way he does. It is almost like walking around in his skin.

Emotionally the book is a roller coaster. The history of this fictional world is extremely well developed and helps charcter development.

Interesting incidents tend to include Fletcher’s fight with Didric when he leaves the Pelt and how his demon responded to him and the memory which his demon Ignatius, named so for his power of breathing fire, shows Fletcher. Captain Lovett’s huge part in the story despite her being unconscious almost the entire time and Fletcher’s mysterious origins never fail to interest the reader.

At a glance the book might not hold any message but on a deeper level it talks about determination and friendship. It talks about mistakes and manipulations and how progress and change are hindered by those who look only for their own gain. It is a tale that teaches one to move on from their mistakes, and help makes the world a better place. It has a message which is vital in the modern world, it says stand up for what is right and it shows how we all have to pay for our follies, despite how far we run and how much we change.

Apart from being an extremely interesting read, the book is an example of exemplary writing and the raw emotions it holds makes it a page turner which will never cease to shock and jar the reader and one of those books which keep you thinking long after you have turned the last page. It is a book that will appeal to anyone who likes to read about mysterious worlds, wars and interesting heroes who start the same as any normal human being and make grievous and sometimes even murderous mistakes but in the end manage to become a better person and help their friends and reach great heights.

No title?

She was air-born,

Flying above the stars,

With her hair trailing out,

Her tears bleed over wars.

She saw them cut and slash and maim.

She saw them trade insults from inside cars.

She saw them rejoice in pain,

Set in their ways harsh.

She wept for them,

She cried over their blood wars,

Yet alone she could do but nothing.

As they brought together the end of all hours.

 

Nostalgia

Oh! The wheel of time,

How you run.

Seventeen years gone,

A whirlwind of fun.

The memories precious,

Recall? The days you wanted to grow up?

When you stood by the door,

Patience waning,

To scare someone for.

Recall? The  days you wanted to grow up?

When Hi!

Changed to Sup?

Oh! The days we could not wait to grow up.

Slowly Doraemon was replaced by TVD,

And ABCs with equations and chemistry.

Those were the days,

The  days you couldn’t wait to grow up.

The days when suddenly just clothes weren’t enough,

The new need for make-up and hair all puffed up?

When the old teddy bear,

Was replaced by Whatsapp and Truth or Dare.

Those were the days,

The  days you couldn’t wait to grow up.

Days that somehow turned to weeks, months and now years.

And all you are left with memories of moments full of dears.

Hear now, oh wheel of time, do hear,

Can in your fabric I make a little tear?

Go back for a moment,

And live once again,

The days you couldn’t wait to grow up.

Days that have turned into seventeen years.

Crown of Midnight

Crown of Midnight

 “Crown of Midnight” by Sarah J. Maas published by  Bloomsbury Publications is a fantasy novel set in a world of magic, fear and tyranny where one assassin is trying to save both her conscience and her loved ones. Crown of Midnight is the second in the thrilling series about Calaena Sardothien and the plot is like an incarnate spider web, weaved together extremely smoothly and yet filled with jarring plot twists. The cover shows our heroine standing tall with swords at her back and death in her eyes which goes well with her new status as King’s Champion.

However, not all is well with the best assassin in the country. The King’s threats, a dead queen’s promises and plots and rebellions have made her already turbulent blow into a storm which reaches its peak when she finally realizes what lies in the future and the past after seeing how secrets can destroy lives, sometimes even literally. The romantic elements in the book serve to make it even better and heart wrenching. The book is a Pandora’s Box full of answers which just result in more questions and secrets.

Dorian and Chaol develop as characters as does Nehemia, “the foreign princess with a rebel heart.” Dorian learns things that shake him to the core and finally stands up for what is right while Chaol remains as he was in the previous books an amazing person who is loyal and honourable to a fault, something that become extremely prominent as the book progresses. Nehemia’s bravery is taken to another level as is determination to do what is right, no matter what the costs. Archer is another character who plays a major role, an old friend turned rebel and then there is Elena- the first queen and the mysteries she brings along with Mort the doorknob that speaks.

The side characters too are extremely well developed in most cases and the writing style simply flows. The scenes are vivid and realistic, especially the fighting scenes which seem to come alive in you, making you feel one with the King’s Champion as she scouts and kills and saves in a deadly calm. You can feel the air and taste the blood.

Emotionally the book is a roller coaster and is filled with interesting events that seem to either make shivers run down or spine or tears gather in your eyes. The history of this fictional world is extremely well developed and plot holes are almost non-existent.

At a glance the book might not hold any message but on a deeper level it talks of sacrifice and love and friendship and the lengths one would go to, to protect or to save someone they cared about or a cause worthy enough. It talks about mistakes and manipulations and friendship. It is a tale of sorry, loss and death and how sometimes it changes you more than life can. It talks about promises and last conversations and how deep wounds can be. It talks about loyalty and thing you would do in the memory of someone you loved. It talks about Calaena Sardothein.

Apart from being an extremely interesting read the book is an example of exemplary writing and the raw emotions it hold, the urgency and the happiness which at a moment’s notice can turn to sorrow, the guilt and the deadly calm are sharp and promote the reader to think in more than one perspective. It is a page turner which will never cease to shock and jar the reader and one of those books which keep you thinking long after you have turned the last page.

My Many Boyfriends

This is an extract from the latest book I am working on with my good friend Kaushiki.

Summary-

“To be fond of writing was a certain step towards falling in love.”
Asphodel Black grew up reading and dreaming about falling in love like her favorite story book characters, like Lily and James, Tobias and Tris, Will and Tessa, Percy and Annabeth, Kili and Tauriel, Mia and Michael, Edward and Bella and so many more but all she found was mistakes and heart breaks, until the day she decided to pen down her pain and in that found true love.
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“Hey! Saw you haven’t updated any new work in a while, all good?”

My phone pinned when I stepped out of class, the journal I was writing my book in clutched under one arm.

“Yeah! Taking our suggestion actually, I am trying to write a real book, so my updates are a lot more spaced out than usual. Sorry?”

Cringing I sent the reply, usually I don’t let people know about what I am working on before it’s finished.

“Cool! So what’s it about?”

“Umm… I am still working on it, so I will tell you when it’s done, please?”

“Sure. So you the type who’s shy about their work huh?”

“Yeah, actually…”

“Cool! I would love to read it. I am sure it will be awesome.”

“That makes one of us.”

“Oh come on, Lils, you are an amazing writer, and all you need to verify that is check the list of favorites your fanfictions have!”

“Yeah, right liar! And those are fanfictions, people like for the fandom, the writing, well, is secondary there? And honestly Lils?”

“Would you prefer Miss Hades? Or maybe Miss Regrets to Your Grave? Perhaps Miss Snape after the first question Sev asks Harry? And writing is never secondary you airhead!”

“It’s Miss Black to you!”

“Wait, is your dad’s name Sirius?”

“Shut up! Eugene huh? What’s your surname Fitzherbert?”

“Yeah actually, how did you ever guess?”

“Shut up you fib!”

“Why you hurt me with your mean words, my love.”

“Love? What does he mean?” I think before I laugh. He’s just a friend, if that, I am overreacting, I realize and type an answer.

Forward the hospital bills, darling. :-P”

“I can’t believe I wrote that!” I think but before I can even start typing a response, I get another message.

“Got to go Rapunzel, teacher’s in.”

“Who are talking to so intently Irene?” Elena asks coming suddenly to flank my side as I reach the door of the French room. Lily is there flanking the other side, as they both take my arms and skip us into the classroom.

“Just a friend El,” I reply and sit down at my seat, not missing their eye rolls or waggled eyebrows. Those girls, I tell you!

 

Fanfiction Recommendation 1

A/N- So I have started doing fanfiction recommendation because that’s what I do most of the time, read fanfiction  and I would love to share the amazing stories I have read/ am reading/will be reading with everyone who loves fanfiction like I do.

A Hobbit’s Rescue by Lady Laran

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11175269/1/A-Hobbit-s-Rescue

Lady Laran‘s A Hobbit’s rescue  is a Hobbit fanfiction that tells us the tale of an AU society  where Hobbit women are treated as inferior. This is a female Bilbo story where the protagonist Adamanta Baggins is saved from this cruel social strata by the Grey wizard and an exiled dwarf king who along with a company of twelve others dwarfs, including the two mischievous nephews of the said King, are on a quest to take back their mountain home from the chiefest calamity of the age, Smaug.

The characters are extremely well developed, especially Adamanta Baggins  who never leaves behind the innocent Shire lass who did not know what courting was but also became a Princess respected and loved by her people, her babies, family, friends, allies and her One. and the two Vala Mahal and his lady wife Yavanah who frequently help the characters. Adamanta with the help of the company and friends made along the way emerges as a person and grows on to become more than anyone in the Shire thought women could ever be- the voice of common sense in Erebor and is given a deed name, like Throin’s Okaenshield, for her actions in the Battle of Five Armies and the way she fought for her family.

The story is filled with many simple lessons and shows that everyone has a right to reach their full potential and how friendship and true love can defeat even the most powerful foe within us, that sometimes we have to turn back from what we were taught what is right and open our eyes to see the world and decide for ourselves what it is that we want and what is correct.  The dialogues and plot are well developed and quite unique while keeping the lovely Hobbit touch. The realistic characters and obstacles as well as the solutions make the fanfiction a worthy read.The style of writing is simple and enjoyable. Oh and it’s a BOFA fixit, which mean loads of love from the extremely handsome Line of Durin!

Summary-

Gandalf keeps a promise he made to a dear friend, Belladonna Took, and in doing so, a lass is saved from a society that scorns women. While she is rescued, the others find that their lives are changed for the better. (AU version of the movie with female Bilbo – BOFA fix it!)

 

 

 

A warrior

A warrior

A warrior she was,

Not of her aim true,

Nor of hardships lived through,

No a warrior she was,

A warrior for her sister,

Protection from the world sinister,

A warrior for the young dove,

A warrior for love,

A warrior she was,

For she fought for family and home,

For all those who under cruelty roam.

She was their Mockingjay,

Of defiance she was a ray.

The girl named after the flower,

Could never stop the songs from her tower,

Sharp as arrows,

Songs sweet as sparrows,

Dark hair and stormy eyes,

With burning ties.

Fire had caught,

No shelter she sought.

If we burn, you burn with us

Was her cry.

A warrior she was,

With her head held forever high. all

A/N- To my favorite heroine- Katniss Everdeen Mellark- a sister who would go to any lengths to save her little duck, a woman who stood strong in the face of fears and most of all a girl who does not fight for herself but for those who need her help, a girl who fights to protect those who can not protect themselves. Hospital scene in Mockingjay? District Eight? Gale’s Whipping? Running off to get the cure for Peeta? Happy Birthday Katniss.

Circe

Circe

From the shadows of the past,

A maiden has ensnared by heart.

Her hair red like a flame,

Flickering down her back,

Burns the hearts of all around her,

Her eyes are emeralds,

Set in the most beautiful stone,

And the coldness of it grips me in its arms.

My eyes follow her,

A willing slave,

I dance before my lady.

Her magic snares have me trapped.

Her voice is that of waves running,

To the ears of a man dying with thirst,

That kills him with longing yet he stays un-quenched.

Her sharp words bleed from eyes,

Yet blood and all I offer,

A willing slave,

To her tune I dance.

She is Circe,

The cold queen of my heart,

I know with her lies death,

I know her beauty is a trap,

A broken heart is all l will get in end,

Yet a willing guinea pig,

I am,

To all she does,

A willing slave,

To my beautiful stone lady,

A moth,

Ready to burn in her flame,

A man,

Ensnared to the core,

For her and her alone.

2015- The best and the worst of it

Another year gone and yeah that’s about it. 2015. It’s crazy how fast it went by and how little I did in it except enjoy and read and read and then read some more. I guess wrote too and studied when I had too but the thing I did best is read. Not much different from any other year yet all the more alive in my memory.

20015 was a crazy year, the year my imagination ran wild in the corridors of Hogwarts and the year I git to finally visit the HP studios. Yay! I guess it wasn’t a bad year (how could it be with so much HP in it?) but it was not the best year also. I had few of the top ten moments of my life yes, but don’t we all have that every year? It was a year. A normal, perfectly average and balanced year with some things I would rather not go through ever again and somethings I would want to spend the rest of my life doing.

I made friends, lost none, changed schools, write, read, sang and much more, I started some things I always wanted to do and finished some. I grew up and became more of a child than ever before. It was a year of firsts and lasts, but the most I will remember this year for, is the readings, the school trip, the first days, the troubles, the LOTR X-Mas gift, the knowledge, the smiles and the visit to London, story book sights, HP studios and my final English Language paper. And Angela (a character I made and fell in love with as well as her bff Kevin.)

The paper was a life turning moment which is weird because it was just a paper right? An examination? What’s the big deal, you have them like four times a year and they are a headache and a heart ache. They are toil and worse than quests and tear you from books and cause fights and are like prophecies, they are pure evil but way too necessary and no matter what you can’t avoid them. So what’s so special? Did something dramatic happen? No. Did an earthquake come in the middle of it? No.

So then what? Maybe your comprehension passage was from your own book? I wish. Maybe it something that you knew very well? I hope.

But no, it was much much more than that. It was me. I learnt something new about myself, something that changed me, not much but it was a significant change, a change I can’t stop thinking about and no it wasn’t falling in love.  It was in that paper, I discovered something that is huge part of me, that makes me me, at least a tiny bit of it.  To others what I learnt might be simple, un-moving, mundane or something they always knew. To me it was a discovery. A discovery like Harry yer a wizard or a discovery like Frodo your ring can destroy us all. Okay, maybe not that dramatic but still it was huge. To me.

So what was it? What was more important than walking the halls of Hogwarts, living my dream? What was more important than the pure peace of reading or the uncontrollable joy of  seeing the HP studios, something that made me cry and smile and lifted my heart? More important than the stories which we truly love and those that stay with us forever? What was it?

So here’s how it goes. I was there, sitting, writing my exam, in a silent hall, smiling and then I come to the essay. A short story on A Promise, that was what I choose out of the many (six) choices. Nothing big right?

So I knew an amazing story that I had written before (not bragging) which would fir this title and would get me amazing marks despite being a little different ( I can’t ever manage to write something exactly same twice) and I decided to go ahead with it. Good marks are amazing right? And then it happened.  There was no bang or o wizards running in or lightning and thunder, nothing dramatic at all, it wasn’t even like anything had changed but for me a lot it. No everything but still.

When I started to write, something was missing. It was a feeling that was missing and I couldn’t help but feel empty without it, it was the shaking of my hands, and the nervousness and the beating if my heart and the desire to keep the story hidden in me and yet scream it at the world, that was missing. I was missing the pure joy of creating something. The that sense of exhilaration, that sense when your pen runs away with you, that un- explainable sense of of of something that I can’t even name. The joy of writing. It took me a moment to pin it down and I ignored and continued to write but it didn’t feel like me writing anymore. It felt different, strange and wrong, since when did I write for marks but not for the joy of it? The strange feeling of when a plot twist comes that you didn’t know you were going to write, the  adrenaline of the story writing itself, the joy of choosing between two scenes and the confusion and the pure essence of writing?

The want to stop writing and the determination to continue and much more and then I let it go, I let my pen flow and twist and the familiar story turned into something new and that feeling that I had missed was back full force and the story turned in ways I couldn’t even imagine before I did and a lot happened in those few seconds, the story maybe became better or maybe not but to me it became more important than anything else and I grew shy of sharing it and yet not. I can’t describe but the joy of writing, the pride of it that came with every good story that I loved and had written came back and trust me it was the best feeling in the world. It was the feeling of having made something that hopefully would make someone smile like it made me and the story did take a lot of turns and it somehow remained attached to me and HP  because HP is a huge part of me and it was still a lot more. A tale of shadows turned into a tale of fights and betrayals and love and courage and then into friendship which was totally unexpected yet expected. I loved it. I wish I could the feeling but it’s like seeing Lorien the land of the elves, you have to see it for yourself and I hope all of you feel that joy once in your life. It’s worth it. It was amazing. It taught me who I am and why I love words so much. Because these words make me Anjali and without I would be someone else entirely, the same person with the fire that lights her eyes and the smile that shines on her face, a shadow of who she could be. I learnt why I love writing almost as much as reading and I learnt me. It was something I would not give for all the wards in the world. Hopefully!

So that was 2015 for me. What was it for you? Oh! Happy New Year people, may Hagrid come in your lives like he did in Harry’s, may you get everything and more, may you all meet your true fellowship, may you learn about yourselves like Katniss, Clary, Percy and many more did, with hopefully less troubles but more adventures! Happy New Year.

Love,

Anjali!

P.S. Thanks for reading and make my day with a comment? I love hearing your thoughts, even if they maybe shouts directed  at me for boring you to death. Keep the flames to a minimum maybe? Happy 2016! Also HBD to everyone whose birthday it is!

Book Review: Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins ‘s Hunger Games by Scholastic Cooperation is a scientific fiction book that tells us the tale of a future society in the country of Panem, that rose from the ashes of  North America after a war and was divided into thirteen districts, which after another civil war became twelve districts terrorized by the annual Hunger Games, a television event where twenty four children are sent to an arena to fight till only one remains, to be showered with riches. The Victor. . In this world is set the journey of Katniss Everdeen as she fights for her life and the lives of those she loves, unwittingly becoming the means to end but the “odds are definitely not in her favor.”

The characters are extremely well developed, especially Katniss, Gale and Peeta. Gale is Katniss’s best friend and his character reflects the hardships of poverty while Peeta, Katniss’s district partner and the baker’s boys shows us that being a “Merchant” is not as good as the “Seam” members make it look like and not all rich people are monsters.

The book has many interesting aspects but is more of an action thriller than anything else, with the Hunger Games being described like a battlefield with blood baths, human  hunts and much more. Love, friendship, deceit and trickery make up a huge part of the power ploy that is the Hunger Games.. The dialogues are well developed and the plot twists keep thickening at every turn, making it a real page turner.The style of writing is simple and the darker aspects of the “lighter” characters will keep one awake at night, long after the book is over and done with.