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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

I am a huge fan of Sarah J. Maas’s books.  I’m really obsessed.  Like, I want to be Sarah J. Maas.  I adore her Throne of Glass series, and I have been dying to start her Court of Thorns and Roses series.  I was at the bookstore the other day to get the first book, but Barnes and Noble didn’t have the first book.  So, weak as I am, I bought A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOMAF), the second book  instead.  This, of course, drove my brother crazy because he doesn’t understand how I can read books out of order.  But, I know all of the spoilers from Pinterest, so I was fine.

(Spoiler alert!  If you haven’t read and you don’t like spoilers, stop now!)

I seriously loved this book.  It’s set in a place called Prythian where there are 7 Fae courts ruled by High Lords.  There are 3 celestial courts (Night, Day, and Dawn) and 4 seasonal courts (Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall).  It’s about a girl, Feyre (Fay-ruh), who was betrothed to the High Lord of the Spring, Tamlin.  However, Tamlin is overbearing and overprotective.  A panic attack at a wedding and being locked in Tamlin’s house make Rhys, the High Lord of the Night Court, come and use the bargain between himself and Feyre to get her out of the Spring Court.  This leads Feyre to the Night Court where she makes friends and starts to heal from things that happened in the first book.

Feyre and Rhys have a budding friendship/relationship that blossoms over the course of the book that I am obsessed with.  I love the romantic relationships that Maas writes; they just warm my heart.  The love and devotion Rhys has for Feyre makes me happy, and I love it. 😀

All in all, 10/10, will read again.  (And will read the first book, too!)

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Henry V

(DISCLAIMER: the post is a bit thick today.  If it’s too much, sorry.  I just really like Henry V 8/ )

In case you haven’t noticed from the particular books and plays I have reviewed, I am a History nerd/dork.  For my Early Shakespeare class this semester, we were charged with reading Henry V; we just finished it a week or two ago.  And, I’m maybe a little obsessed?  I bought myself, for an early birthday present, Jamie Parker’s Henry V, Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V, and the complete Hollow Crown cycle (the first one, not the War of the Roses cycle).  I also rented Laurence Olivier’s version of Henry V.  Again, a little obsessed.

Why am I obsessed with Henry V?  I don’t really know.  There are certain stories and types of stories that just seem to be really enjoyable for me.  If we clump Henry V with Arthurian legend, maybe it will make a bit more sense.  My professor bemoaned that we would not be able to read the whole Henry cycle, Henry IV through Henry V, because you really get  Henry V’s whole story arc.  But, semester’s have only a certain amount of time in them.

Henry V, unlike many of the plays I’ve read, first, has a chorus, and two, starts with the chorus.  The chorus pretty much lies out what the story is going to be about, and then gives a disclaimer, saying ‘we ain’t got that big a budget, y’all, fill in the gaps.  It’s gonna be great.’  More or less.  We then see the Archbishop of Canterbury speaking with another clergyman about how great Henry is, despite the fact that he was a rascal as a youth.  They go in to speak to the king and tell him that he has a legitimate claim to the French throne.  The King decides to pursue this claim on French fields.  We cut to some of the people Henry used to hang out with as a prince.  They are the comic relief.  Some interesting things happen in the context of Henry’s whole arc, but  we won’t go into too much detail here.  Henry punishes some traitors who were once friends of his, and everyone sails to France.  We have the Battle of Harfluer, some intermediary scenes, then the night before the Battle of Agincourt.

Henry walked among his men to raise their spirits, but then he decides to go spend some time alone; “I and my bosom must debate awhile, and then I would no other company (4.1.31-32).”  But that doesn’t last long.  Some characters we have already met enter and have some interaction either with the king or simply before him, giving Henry an insight into what his men really think.  Then, Henry talks with some new characters; Williams, Bates, and Court.  They aren’t happy or excited about going to battle the next day and they don’t want to be there.  They are critical of the King’s war, unbeknownst to themselves, in front of the king.  These characters push Henry to give a refutation, and then to trade gloves with Williams; a promise to fight him later.  After all exit, Henry gives some powerful monologues, and then the Battle of Agincourt begins. (We will skip the Battle of Agincourt, because this post is already turning out longer than I anticipated.)

After the Battle of Agincourt, we skip a year or so to the Treaty de Troyes and the wooing of Katherine, which, when played right (Jamie Parker’s version, specifically), is hysterical.  Katherine and Henry do not speak each others’ language, so have a barrier they must converse through.  In the end, Henry receives Katherine through the Treaty, and Henry and his future issue are made the heirs of France.  But, the chorus reminds the audience that Henry died young, and his son, Henry VI loses the throne of France.

This play is just so good, especially depending on how it is performed.  So. Good.  The rating? 10/10, would read again (and again…. and again…..)

Have you read Henry V?  What person from History are you obsessed with right now?  Share your comments below!  And, until next time, keep reading and be kind, folks!

 

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The Bedford Shakespeare

This copy of a selection of Shakespeare’s plays was required by my Early Shakespeare professor.  It is based on the New Cambridge Shakespeare Edition, and is not complete.  It includes significant portion, though: The Comedy of Errors, Titus Andronicus, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard II, The Merchant of Venice, Henry IV.I, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry IV.II, As You Like It, Henry V, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Othello, Troilus and Cressida, Measure for Measure, King Lear, Macbeth, Coriolanus, Antony and Cleopatra, The Winter’s Tale, and the Tempest.

It is an acceptable version, for sure.  The type is larger than my Dad’s copy and is easily read, there are lots of pictures of performances of the plays and quotes from actors and other people on certain parts of the plays, and the copy includes side bars, asides, and context ‘essays’ for lack of a better term, along with the footnotes.  The footnotes are not as complete as my Dad’s copy, the are not noted in the text it self, and there are certain details, such as scene breaks and lines, that are different between the two.

Specifically, with regard to the footnotes, Shakespeare frequently makes references to ‘rubs,’ which is a reference to the game of bowls that Elizabethans would have been familiar with.  My Dad’s copy points the reader to an appendices that discusses bowls so that the reader has a deeper understanding of what Shakespeare was trying to evoke by using the term.  This copy does not note references to ‘rub’ in such a way.  It is a small instance, but it’s there, none the less.

All in all, I think it is a good copy for studying.  There is a lot more room for note taking, so I give it 9/10.  Not my favorite, but it has different strengths.  So, having both is very helpful.

Is there a book you have were you prefer one copy over another?  Are you nit-picky about footnotes and how they present in a book?  Share your thoughts!  Until next time, keep reading and stay kind!

 

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The Odyssey by Homer

I have read this book twice, now.  I read at about 12 and re-read it for a college class last year.  I find it to be the more interesting of Homer’s epics.  The Odyssey is an engaging story that is easily digested and understood.  I enjoy reading about Odysseus’ and Telemachus’ adventures.

What is also interesting is Penelope and her relationship with Odysseus.  Penelope is Odysseus’ wife, who believes herself a widow.  Instead of remarrying, she tricks her suitors.  She doesn’t feel that she can toss them out of her house, so she keeps them from pressing her for her hand by telling them she will marry someone when she finishes her tapestry.  However, she keeps unraveling the tapestry at night.  She is clever and cunning, a perfect match for Odysseus, the most clever of all the Greek kings.

Penelope and Odysseus also stand out because of their relationship.  They actually seem to like each other.  Odysseus does get with another woman or two, which we find reprehensible, but we can’t judge a culture thousands of years behind us by our standards.  And, besides those two indiscretions, he cried for his wife and wanted to be with her.  And, by all accounts, she wanted to be with him, too.  Most of the Greek heroes and kings in Grecian epics do not feel the same way about their wives.

All and all, 10/10, would read again.

 

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2016 in Books, Classics, Greeks, Library Updates

 

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