Throughout July I took part in the Medieval-A-Thon created and hosted by Holly Hearts Books, and I had so much fun! The basic premise of the readathon was to read your way up the medieval social ladder – from peasant (1 book) to king/queen (6 books) – and I’m pleased to say I was able to become the queen I’ve always wanted to be.
There were also prompts to build your outfit and achieve weapons, because the Middle Ages were dangerous – no one wants to wander around completely naked with no weapon to defend themselves with! I’m pleased to say I stuck to my TBR and managed to achieve a complete outfit, and I also managed to achieve two weapons, so I completed eight of the ten prompts – not too shabby!
In the order I read them, here’s what I read for the Medieval-A-Thon:
Read a book where a character fights for the throne
The publisher of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s latest novel got in touch with me and sent me a copy of Gods of Jade and Shadow, which I was all too happy to receive. I’m pleased to say I loved it, and I can’t wait for Moreno-Garcia’s next novel!
Read a book with red on the dust jacket/cover
Another review copy sent to me by the publisher, I read Niamh Boyce’s Her Kind next, a piece of historical fiction based around the Kilkenny Witch Trial which, fittingly for this readathon, took place in medieval Ireland. I didn’t love it quite as much as I hoped to, but I’ll be keeping my eye on whatever Boyce releases next.
Read a shiny book
After starting it and then getting distracted by something else last year, I finally read S.A Chakraborty’s The City of Brass and I enjoyed it! Again I didn’t love it quite as much as I thought I would, but I did love Ali’s storyline and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens to him next.
Read a book with a dragon on the cover
A book that’d been waiting for me to read it far longer was Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina, which I really enjoyed! I’m looking forward to picking up Shadow Scale soon – probably in the autumn now as I don’t think I’ll be trying to tackle it for my N.E.W.Ts this month – and I’m so glad I liked this one. Look out for my review next week!
Read a thick paperback
Yet another book that’s been on my TBR for far too long! Naturally, I ended up loving Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora. Having read this, Foundryside, The Brilliant Death and Miranda in Milan this year, 2019 has turned into the year that’s cemented my love for Italian-inspired fantasy. I’d like to continue with this series soon! We’ll see what happens, though, because Red Seas Under Red Skies looks like another ideal read for summer and I’m not sure I’ll be able to read it this month…
Read a book that has yellowed over time
Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns is another book that’s been on my TBR for the longest time, and I’m so pleased I finally read it in July. I loved it, even though it was absolutely heartbreaking, and I’d love to read more of Hosseini’s work in future.
Read a book with assassins
I finished up the Book of the Ancestor trilogy in July, listening to the audiobook of Mark Lawrence’s Holy Sister narrated by the wonderful Helen Duff, and I’m sad to say I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped I would. I’ve always been wary of this series because I only gave Red Sister 2 stars, but Grey Sister was a solid 4 star read for me and I hoped Holy Sister would be the same. Unfortunately, though I agreed with the majority of what happened (apart from one character death that I’m very mad about) I just wasn’t keen on how we got there. It felt a little too rushed and anti-climactic, but I’ll be sharing all of my thoughts in a review very soon!
Bow and arrow
Read a book with elves
On my TBR I mentioned that I might re-read Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor for this prompt, but I was in the mood to read something quick and easy before I jumped into the N.E.W.Ts so I reached for the second book in Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series, A Local Habitation, which I sadly found a bit boring. Technically these creatures are fae, not elves, but they have pointy ears and one of the fae in the book kind of refers to them as elves at one point so screw it – it counts.
So I have finished the Medieval-A-Thon as a fully-clothed queen with some daggers and a bow and arrow – I’m very happy with that!