If you’re like us, book hangovers are the worst! And waiting for the next installment of your favorite series (Cruel Prince, anyone?) is like waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve — BRUTAL. So here’s a list of some awesome hidden gems in the world of fantasy — books that are sure to cure that hangover while you wait for your next favorite book!
I was so excited when I heard the next installment of The Chalam Færytales would be released. This series has definitely earned a spot on my list of favorite series. The Promised One and The Purloined Prophecy were amazing (click on the links to read my reviews). The Parallax released this week and I’m excited to tell you about it.
A big thanks to the author for providing me with an ARC to read and review. She’s amazing, so I really recommend checking these out!
We are so excited to introduce someone to you today. We’re all about indies. Rogues. Entrepreneurs. Creatives who pave the way for something new. Through the wonders of the internet, we stumbled across an exciting project that we think is worth sharing — an independent fantasy short film, A Promise of Light. Chock-full of mythical creatures, wondrous new worlds, and yes, puppetry the likes of Jim Henson, this film promises to be an epic adventure!
So without further ado, let us introduce you to Timothy Moran, the man and the visionary behind the film.
EF: Timothy, we’re so excited to introduce you to our readers! Can you tell us a little more about you? How did you get started and what has inspired you?
Timothy: From an early age I have always gravitated towards fantasy films and stories alike. They captured my fertile imagination and took me from my small Canadian village to distant lands filled with magic, myth and fantastical creatures. Like most kids form the 80’s I was heavily drawn to movies such as Star Wars, The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth just to name a few. In my early teenage years I became interested in filmmaking and after purchasing a small video camera I started making experimental short films in my spare time with my cousins and friends from school. After a period of time in Film School, I went on and made several award winning short films that have played around the world and yet none of them have ever entered into the fantasy genre until the short film that I am making now, A Promise of Light.
EF: Tell us about your journey. What has it been like?
Timothy: It has been my experience in life that no road is ever smooth, especially when it comes to making a film. In knowing this though, you know that a project is worth making when despite all of the obstacles you see ahead, you decide to make the film anyways. One of the creative struggles we faced from the start was knowing that we were going to be needing someone who specializes in practical effects, more specifically, large form puppetry. One of our main characters in the film is a giant alien creature who is inspired by the genius of Jim Henson, and most specifically the creatures that he designed for the film The Dark Crystal. So trying to find the right person to design, build and then puppeteer the character was a big challenge, and yet through persistence and reaching out to people within the puppeteering industry we were led to an amazingly talented artist, (Matt Ficner) who has jumped at the chance to be a part of the project. Our biggest challenge that is currently facing our production is finding the right investors who love both the fantasy genre and the style of film that we are making!
EF: You seem like a highly-creative individual who likes to take risks! Tell us more about some of the projects you have taken on.
Timothy: The producers who I have worked with in the past have always been a little cautious in asking about what idea I want to make next, specifically because they know that my films are uniquely ambitious for their size. From staging battles during the War of 1812 to period horror films there seems to be a pattern which each successive film outdoes the last in terms of vision and scope. One of the things that stands out most in my memory as a highlight from my resume of films was being able to film an adaptation of “The Goblins Who Stole a Sexton” by Charles Dickens. The King Goblin costume was eight-feet tall and seeing him being performed in a graveyard at night, surrounded by fog was a thrill to direct.
EF: So what are you working on now, Timothy?
Timothy: This next year will see our team of filmmakers completing the short film, A Promise of Light. It’s our hope that by early 2020 the film will be ready to send out to festivals where we can start generating interest for a feature film version of the story. Aside from that, there are a few other stories rolling around with various collaborators both here in Canada as well as New Zealand, that will be ready to start filming in the next year as well, so there’s always lots of exciting projects to get behind and help get made.
Follow on Timothy on Social:
Apprentice of Magic
Tragic past. Check. Hates her giftings (magic). Check. Her fate in the hands of the oppressive ruling powers? Check. Gorgeous, mysterious potential hero? Check. Romance and adventure and all the magic? Check. There’s a reason everyone is reading this book.
The Princess Bride
You’ve probably seen the movie, but if you haven’t read the book, YOU NEED TO STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND READ THE PRINCESS BRIDE RIGHT NOW. Yes, we know… there’s already a movie, so why should there be a Disney one? Well let’s face it, Buttercup is delightfully snarky, with the right amount of feminine wiles and doe-eyed innocence. But she’s smart. She’s clever. And she’s fiercely in love with Westley. If that’s not the recipe for a Disney Princess, we’re not quite sure what is.
Shadows of Lela
Let us introduce you to Cora. She’s feisty and tends to rescue princes in distress more often than she needs rescuing. Not to mention her mad archery skills. And her best friend… yeah, it’s a unicorn with whom she communicates telepathically.
The Promised One
Aside from the fact that she has a mysterious, magical winged horse that no one can figure out where it came from, Elizabeth fits the bill of Disney Princess for about a dozen different reasons. Charming prince madly in love with her? Check. Feisty personality and clever quips galore? Check. Able to stand up to a wicked queen without batting an eye? Check. Gonna get the job done with or without help? Check. Did we mention that charming prince of hers?
Disney loves to take nobodies with tragic backstories and give them a heroic reason to become a princess at heart, if not in name. And with that in mind, Fire fits the bill. She’s a little mysterious, a little dark, but mostly fierce and strong. Not to mention her hair. Serious Merida vibes over here. Fire is one of our favorite fantasy MCs for a lot of reasons, and so we nominate her for Disney status, to give her a rightful place among immortalized heroines of the færytale vein…
She’s technically royalty. She follows her heart, no matter how much trouble that might get her into. *ahem* She talks to animals. As far as qualifications for Disney, Alex definitely fits the bill.
We love stories with hidden princesses. It’s just fun to watch a badass chick rise from the ashes and claim what is rightfully hers. Ruby is that heroine. She’s not waiting for anyone’s approval, either. Did we mention she’s battling an evil sorceress? Yeah, that’s a Disney movie waiting to happen.
Throne of Glass
She’s ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, feisty, and fierce. She’s also loyal, strong, brave, and frankly badass. We’d pay money to see THAT kind of Disney Princess, wouldn’t you?
The Orphan Queen
Pants. Leather pants. None of those silly dresses, thank you very much. Wil is NOT your typical bird-befriending, singing princess. In fact, she’s something of a vigilante–by night, anyway. We love Wil for her feisty comebacks and unflinching loyalty not only to her kingdom, but to those she loves. And let’s face it, it’s about time we had a Disney Princess clad in black leather, head to toe.
Angels. With wings. Big, feathery wings. We love this series for a lot of reasons, and Clara is most certainly one of them. She’s just a typical teen–who happens to be the daughter of an archangel. It’s a sweet tale of love and choices, following your heart or following the rules. Hello, Disney!
The Pirate Princess
Forget embroidery and court protocol. Renee picked up her sword and never looked back. That is, until she ended up with a band of pirates. Forced to choose between her life as a swashbuckling pirate, and the life of duty that awaits her back at home, Renee is a delicious combination of fierce heroine and girly girl. She’d make a perfect Disney Princess in our books!
Voice of Power
A girl with power she shouldn’t have is almost ALWAYS a threat to her kingdom. Elena is no exception. Leave it to the trusty prince to help her navigate volatile court waters. She’s feisty, strong, brave, and most of all, willing to risk it all. Elena is a Disney Priness at heart!
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
A Book Dutchesses Review
I have to say that I’m a big fan of romance in a book, but it’s refreshing at times to read a book with a strong friendship. Nothing more, nothing less. This Savage Song is a good example of that type of book. This is a really unique read and I’m mad at myself for taking so long to get to it!
About The Book
This Savage Song is the first book in the Monsters of Verity duology. There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.
I have the UK paperbacks and I love how they look!! So simple yet very beautiful. I think I like them better than the other edition.
“She cracked a smile. “So what’s your poison?”
He sighed dramatically, and let the truth tumble off his tongue. “Life.”
“Ah,” she said ruefully. “That’ll kill you.”
A lot of people say this book is slow, but I have to disagree. The pace is pretty slow to start, but I think we needed it to truly understand this world. It starts off with Kate getting herself kicked out of another boarding school and trying to get to stay home. August, who isn’t human, wants to be as human as possible and gets to go to high school. That is where their worlds combine. Both are interested in the other. August knows who Kate is, because he has to keep an eye on her. Things get tricky when a murder is staged at school. In this world, August and Kate’s family are on opposite sides of the war. They live in a world with actual monsters. Kate’s family runs her side of town. People buy their safety. August is a monster. He is a Suani. He was brought to life by tragedy. If he plays his violin he can take someone’s soul if they have sinned. This is such an unique story. First of all, I love that there wasn’t a romantic aspect in the story. A friendship was a breath of fresh air. Not that I don’t like romance, I read enough of them, but it was a nice change.
Most YA books these days have some sort of romantic element. When they are both set up at school, I love how they have to either learn to trust each other or work against each other. It was nice to see them choose to help the other, even if it may cost them in big ways. The world Schwartz created with their own monsters in a dystopian setting was very unique. There was a lot of action, but also a lot of emotions. Schwab made me care for these characters and wrote in a way that made me not want to put the book down. This story was told from Kate’s and August’s POV and that made the world more real to me. On one side there was a family who cared for each other and Kate’s family, where she was trying her best to be loved and still didn’t get the love she craved. While this book ends without a major cliffhanger, I wanted to pick up the next one immediately. The only thing that would’ve made this book even better is if we got more background on Suani. A monster that rises from tragedy is so interesting. All in all, this is an amazing book that I would highly recommend! This Savage Song was also a book with a few plot twists I did not see coming.
“Even if surviving wasn’t simple, or easy, or fair.
Even if he could never be human.
He wanted the chance to matter.
He wanted to live.”
Kate is a character that has been to many boarding schools and seems to always cause trouble. At first she really annoyed me. I honestly didn’t think I would grow to care for her, but after reading more I understood why she did what she did. All she wanted was to live at home with her father. Her mother is dead and she just wanted more love and security. I felt bad for her. She just wanted to prove to her father she belonged. He just didn’t care. No matter what she did. Kate is a lot stronger than she thinks and in the end she learned she needs to fight for what she believes in. Even though she isn’t sure what that is. Even being close with August is difficult, because she is supposed to see him as a monster and letting anyone in is hard for her. Yet she is able to let herself be vulnerable for him and that was an amazing thing to see.
August is a character that I was curious about from the first pages I read about him. A monster who wishes nothing more than to be human. Who doesn’t want to take a life to be able to feed, even if that person isn’t the nicest one around. August wants to belong to his family. Just existing after tragedy struck is still a hard thing for him to believe. He became even sweeter to me when he took the cat home after feeding. I thought that was so cute. He is very much human in the emotional sense. He does what he needs to do in the end to keep Kate safe and I thought he was very big of him. He sacrificed a lot. Another interesting aspect are the markings he gets after not going dark everyday.
Kate’s Dad and Sloan are characters I didn’t like from the start. There was just something about them. I knew he wasn’t a nice person, but to not even show love to your own daughter is just wrong.
August’s family all seemed sweet except for Leo. There is just something about him that didn’t appeal to me. I guess he embraced being a monster. Ilsa was a character I wish we saw more of. She seemed really interesting. She seemed to live in her own world at times and I am sure she has a darker side we haven’t seen anything about. It seems like she knows more than she lets on.
“Why would you even want to be human? We’re fragile. We die.”
“You also live. You don’t spend every day wondering why you exist, but don’t feel real, why you look human, but can’t be. You don’t do everything you can to be a good person only to have it constantly thrown in your face that you’re not a person at all.”
Why didn’t I start these sooner?!? Have any of you read This Savage Song? What did you think?