Friday Five: Can’t Get Out of Bed Edition

Whee! It’s been a week since I last did this column. And, more than that, it’s been a week with a lot of links stored up. Let’s get started. Hopefully there’ll be something for everyone in this lot.

1. One thing I’ve decided to do is to start showcasing a blog of the week. It doesn’t mean much but I figured it would be nice to shine a light on some of the people I’m promoting here – a little you’re appreciated moment – and also encourage me to keep looking for new blogs so this feature doesn’t end after seven weeks or so. First blog is Calmgrove, ran by C.J. Lovegrove. I know very little about C.J. other than writing very good posts (which I discovered thanks to the magic that is Wyrd & Wonder) and being a pleasure to interact with in the comments. The blog post that attracted my attention was this one on Crossing places in Lord of the Rings, which influenced my own recent review of Fellowship of the Ring, but I’ve since been digging into the archives, particularly on Pratchett, and there’s a lot of very thoughtful reviews there. Well worth a gander.

2. Time to wish some happy birthdays of various sorts. Peter McLean’s Priest of Gallows, the continuation of the War for the Rose Throne series, is now out. So too is Anna by Sammy HK Smith, a harrowing sounding dystopian Sci-Fi. Also Rob Hayes is celebrating his actual birthday by giving away his first trilogy for free here (UK link, I’d imagine the US store also has them).

3. Writing advice. It’s been a long time since I linked to one of Melissa Caruso’s tweets, but I saw a good intriguing one that I’ve bookmarked for later, and here it is for the rest of you:

Melissa Caruso on Twitter: “I’m at a point in this draft where I’m pivoting from one concluded thing to another thing, and it’s always tricky knowing what to show. Transitions are one of the places where “show don’t tell” is usually terrible advice, come to think of it!” / Twitter

I also found this a very good writing article: the title speaks for itself. How to Write A Book When You Can’t Write A Book – KJ Charles (

4. Onto the blog posts! Uhm, I might have gone overboard saving links this week… *pause* no, no I didn’t.

The Wood Bee Queen by Edward Cox – The Book Nook – I mainly know of this title thanks to the swarm of terrible puns inflicted on twitter by Edward Cox talking about this book, but Azucchi’s review here has really sold me on keeping my eyes open for when it drops.

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri – A Cup of Cyanide – This is one where I wasn’t sure but wanted to wait for the hype to die down. I think A Cup of Cyanide just convinced me to put it on the list properly. And I am very intrigued by her point on the characters’ morality and gender, and am curious if anyone else has thoughts on it.

Going Back to Fairy Oak – Acquadimore Books – I’m probably not reading this book based on the review, but I’m a big fan of how Acqua dissects books and her own reading experiences; this review is worth reading in its own right.

From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic – Witty and Sarcastic Bookclub – Witty and Sarcastic Bookclub’s weekly showcases are quickly becoming one of my favourite things in the blogosphere, and this one is no exception as the way magic is handled is so central to how fantasy stories evolve. Linked to this article but looking forwards to catching up with all the others later.

Book Review: Blue Angel by Phil Williams – Way Too Fantasy – This one popped up on my twitter feed as an author response to a review from ages ago, and I clicked, and now I’m very much taken in by the description of Ordshaw and have a kindle sample of the series’ first book.

TTT – Jewish American Heritage Month – Leah’s Books – I love a good book list, and I don’t see many touching on Jewish identity. I only know of The City Beautiful (which I’ve recced to a friend) and The Wolf and the Woodsman (Much hype around) on this list, and I think a lot of it trends more YA than my tastes, but still worth looking at anyway – taking a sample of Rebel Daughter.

Tough Travelling: Wyrd and Wonder | The Fantasy Hive – I do love a good roundtable, and The Hive clearly loves them even more than me. Found this romp through the W&W prompts a very enjoyable read.

REVIEW: Blackheart Knights by Laure Eve | Grimdark Magazine – There are many things that make for good book comps; food, drink, and metal bands. Fab agrees on the latter, which makes me happy. More than that though, this review intrigued me very quickly, despite being a giant grump on Arthurian interpretations.

New Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels to Read This Summer – The New York Times – I nearly forgot about this article by Amal El-Mohtar – worth a look for people looking for new material (because we’re all running short, aren’t we).

5. Finally, Rebecca at Velvet Opus is doing a giveaway on the twitter to promote the launch of her bookshop, so if people like free books, click the link below.

Rebecca | Velvet Opus ✨ on Twitter: “✨ GIVEAWAY ✨ To celebrate the launch of my @depop bookshop at, I’m giving you the chance to win a book (of your choice!) from my shop! To enter: ✨ RT this! ✨ Tell me which book you’d like to win ✨ Tag 3 friends Extra entries on Instagram. T&C’s 👇” / Twitter

Edit: Bonus ball – another giveaway – this time YA – May YA Book Giveaway (

That’s all, have a good weekend all.

8 thoughts on “Friday Five: Can’t Get Out of Bed Edition

  1. A belated comment as I’ve just finished The Jasmine Throne: I think Katie is bang on with her comments about reversing expectations in choice of protagonists (with the sidebar that this didn’t feel reversed for me, but I think that’s more about how little trad fantasy I read these days), but for me Malini and Bhumika can only be considered morally grey (Priya less so – I agree with Katie that’s she’s actually pretty good through and through). A strand throughout the narrative focuses on what it means to be or to be willing to become “monstrous” – and the characters have their takes on that, but the reader is also invited to bring their moral framework to the table, I think. For me, Bhumika and Malini are ruthlessly pragmatic in a way I can admire, but I can’t remotely call good …aaaaaand that’s as far as I think I can go without explicit spoilers, so tag me if you read it and disagree 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. An excess of enthusiasm. It happens on book blogs. Sometimes even this one!

        And my TBR is getting seriously out of control, I really don’t need more books being interesting right now.


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