Top 10 Tuesday: Beautiful Book Covers I Own

Good morning dear readers, and welcome to another Top 10 Tuesday.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme brought to you by That Artsy Reader Girl and was previously hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is a Book Cover Freebie, so I decided I would show you some of the beautiful book covers that I own. These are in no particular order.

Oathbringer
This is actually the inside cover that I find to be absolutely stunning. I feel it’s like something out of an old medieval book.

Norse Mythology
A beautiful and well detailed cover with a beautiful colour background.

Firefight
I love the colour in this cover, it just pops so nicely.

The Art of War
Simple, beautiful, and the material is nice to touch. Plus I love the binding.

Sword of Destiny
I love the shading and the colours in this cover.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Simple but effective. Great covers that carry a lot of impact for anyone who reads them.

Wheel of Time Series
I love the detail and the story that is put into the covers.

IT
Simple, sinister, and scary. A perfect cover for IT.

History’s Worst Inventions
Another simple cover, but I love the simplicity and the colour.

Priory of the Orange Tree
Orange is an underused colour, and it is used beautifully in this cover.

What are some of your most beautiful book covers? Let’s talk about it in the comments!
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Book Review: Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin

Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire and Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.

What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why did it become so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What is the origin of Daenerys’s three dragon eggs? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel and featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Readers have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire, but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.

Rating:★★★★★ (MY FIRST 5 STAR REVIEW!!!)

Author: George R.R. Martin

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We all know who the Targaryen’s are. Whether you’re a fan of the show or the books we all know that the Targaryen’s are the masters of dragons.

Who came before Daenerys? We know she had a brother, and obviously parents, but turn the sands of time back far enough, and we start to wonder where the Targaryens first came from.

In The Song of Ice & Fire we know that Dragons have been extinct for almost three hundred years, until Daenerys brought Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion over from Essos and began her wars against Cersei and The Night King.

While I was reading the book, there were a lot of moments that were very similar to things Daenerys had done in her adventures, and the phrase “Those who are ignorant of History are doomed to repeat it”  coming to mind.

But, that’s enough of Daenerys, though I’m sure we all enjoyed her in last night’s episode, the season premiere of Season 8!!!

From what I took away from Fire & Blood, the Targaryen’s are this near “godly” offshoot of humans that people seemed more than okay accepting as their rulers.

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Now this could be because of their unnaturally light coloured hair, their violet eyes, or the fact that if you didn’t think that there was a pretty good chance you could be burnt alive by a two ton flying lizard at the drop of a hat.

Fire & Blood was an interesting look into the rule of the Targaryen kings and queens (along with a few other family members) that ruled over Westeros until Robert’s Rebellion.

I was a bit disappointed that it only covered the first half of the Targaryen rulers, but after finishing it up, I’m glad it did. I think if George R.R. Martin had tried to put the entire history of the Targaryens into just one book, it wouldn’t be the same, which ties into my next point.

As a history book, I never thought I would be fascinated with the inner workings of a kingdom more than people fighting each other with their dragons in the Dance of Dragons.

I mean the war was pretty cool, and there were some brutal moments during it that I was excited to read about, but I was more excited to read about Jaehaerys and his wife Alysanne, or Aegon and his sisters Rhaenys and Visenya.

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The political aspects of the book had me sitting on the edge of my seat more than the aspects of war, which takes some great writing to be able to do that.

Fire & Blood takes a look at all of the Targaryen rulers from Aegon I ‘The Conqueror’ all the way until the start of Aegon III ‘The Dragonsbane’ and something really surprised me.

Multiple times in the book there is mention that Targaryen’s don’t suffer from normal illnesses, or live normal lives. They see themselves as this family that sits on a higher pedestal than the rest of the world, and as the world progresses, the people begin to see that too.

But that really isn’t the case. After reading the book you realize that there are a vast majority of Targaryens that are some pretty shitty people.

Incest aside, many of them are terrible rulers, kill innocent people, take multiple wives, kill babies, family members, friends, and countless other issues.

Some fly  off to the pleasure houses of Lys, some are so uninterested in all aspects of life they don’t have a place in society, and some even devote themselves religiously.

When it comes down to it, they are just like any other family. They have some shining stars, like Jaehaerys, and they have some real duds like Viserys.

In my opinion there were two good rulers. Two rulers who actually benefitted the realm and had an era of prosperity that benefited commoners and lords alike. Aegon I and Jaehaerys. Some of the others were okay, but they didn’t tip the scales. More of a figurehead than an actual benefit to the realm.

Some rulers were bad, killing innocents or screwing up the realm.

Targaryens weren’t this godly family that could do no wrong. Maybe it was due to the generations of incest, but many of them were very flawed in some way. There were always a few diamonds in the rough, but no matter if they were a good or bad ruler, one thing made them better than the rest.

Dragons.

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Dragons played two roles in the Targaryen’s history.

Weapon and Symbol.

On one hand dragons were used for exactly what people imagined them to be. They were weapons, flying over the battlefields burning their foes to ash. When they weren’t burning their enemies alive, their enemies were kneeling. Surrendering to that powerful beast and the man or woman on its back.

We see this in the Dance of Dragons, we see it with Aegon I, we see it through the entire history of the Targaryen’s until they finally died out during Aegon III’s rule.

This idea of dragons being a weapon was what made the Targaryen’s the rulers of Westeros after the kingdoms were united. I mean how could you stand up to such raw power. In an instant thousands of your men could be burnt alive, and you were powerless to stop it.

As the kingdoms were united, and warfare between the kingdoms died out, the dragons lost their role as a weapon, and became a symbol. A symbol of peace to be exact.

It wasn’t until Jaehaerys I that the dragons truly became a symbol of peace. I might be wrong but I don’t think he ever used his dragon in a battle. His dragon was used for efficiency. He would fly it around the seven kingdoms and meet with lords and ladies, commoners and royalty alike to learn from them.

He wanted to create a better kingdom, and learning from its people was the best way to do that, but horses were too slow. His dragon could get him across the world in a few days.

This efficiency, and his own nature made Jaehaerys the best Targaryen king in my opinion.

Now back to the dragon as a symbol of peace. Under his rule, Jaehaerys basically stopped all wars. There were some battles that took place during his time, but they were minor skirmishes for the most part, and it was in part to do with his dragons.

Imagine being a villager, living in a village you hadn’t been away from for more than a day, and a dragon flies overhead, landing in the next town. As cool awe-inspiring as that would be, it would be terrifying. This beast could kill you in an instant, and that’s how everyone saw it.

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Jaehaerys wouldn’t have done that. He would have found a peaceful solution to solve an issue, but the idea was there. Nobody wanted to fight against these dragons, so they became peaceful. They accepted peace, and didn’t look for war when there was no cause to.

I think Daenerys’ dragons are the opposite. Her dragons are weapons through and through, and come the end of the series I don’t think there will be a place for them.

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I don’t think the Westeros we have now, the one Danny wants to create has a need for dragons, and I hope she realizes that.

I could get in to how they are her children and maybe she can’t have human kids while they are alive, but I think that Danny might have to kill her dragons in order to get the world she wants.

She wants to break the wheel, and having dragons might help her do that, but it won’t help her make the new world that she wants to make.

What do you think the role of dragons will be for the end of Game of Thrones? Will they stay around? Will they survive the battle of Winterfell? 

And what do you think of the Targaryens as a family? This role as rulers has been put on their heads for nundreds of years, but maybe they arent as worthy as people think? Or maybe they are? let me know in the comments. 

Book Review: The World of Ice & Fire

This is a little known book in the world of Westeros, and I figured I would give it its moment of fame this week before Season 8 of Game of Thrones comes out this weekend. 

Rating: ★★★★☆

Author: George R.R. Martin

I’m a big fan of history, as you probably know by now, and I’m an even bigger fan of fantasy book series, which you should know by now and if you don’t then you do now.

The World of Ice & Fire was a perfect combination of both worlds because it’s an annotated history of the Game of Thrones world that I’ve fallen in love with since reading the books and watching the shows.

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That’s one great thing that Martin has done with his Song of Ice & Fire world. He has built it up so well and so perfectly that you could probably make stories for years to come, just based on information that has already been written.

He’s created the history of these kingdoms and their stories that The World of Ice & Fire can feel like you’re reading a real history book sometimes.

If you want to pick this one up, don’t expect much of a “story”. It reads a lot like a history book. Each of the major houses in Westeros are written about, showing their history since their founding basically, with a few major events highlited for each.

Most of the names in the book one will be one’s you’ve heard before, but only the more dedicated fans will know how everything connects together. Just watching the shows and then reading this might make you a bit confused, but you can definitely do it.

Probably about half of the books gives a brief overview of what each of the Targaryen kings during their reigns. Since there has been so many it sort of glances over each of them and their more notable events, with the more important ones getting more pages than the less important ones.

The other half of the book is about the major houses’ histories, and the history of some of the other cities and countries in the world that you may have heard of at some point.

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It talks about white walkers, the first people in Westeros, some major battles, Old Valyria, Robert’s Rebellion, and everything in between. It’s a nice little book to read if you’re big into trying to predict theories for upcoming books or episodes.

What I really love about the book, and what really made me enjoy the experience of reading it is the beautiful artwork inside. Almost every page has some illustration on it, and some pages there’s nothing but.

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It almost feels like what I imagine the history books of Westeros to look like, which is a little added bonus I really enjoy. It’s really a piece of art, and if you want to consider yourself a Game of Thrones nerd you definitely need to give it a read.

I don’t really know what else to say. It’s a history book of the entire world, so there’s not even moments I’d want to point out that really stood out to me because that’s not the type of book it is, and I don’t think that was the intent of it.

The intent wasn’t to tell a story, the intent of the book was to help create the story that was already being told. I think that’s the case with all of the supplemental Game of Thrones materials.

They aren’t made to tell their own stories, they’re ment to tell the complete story of A Song of Ice and Fire, which they are all only an aspect of.

Next week I’m going to be taking a look at another Game of Thrones related book, but I’m not going to spoil it just yet. 

I would love to hear what you guys are most excited for in the upcoming season though. Let me know in the comments!

My Top 5 Instagram Artists

The word artistic is one word that is never associated to me. I am far from artsy, and should steer clear of making art, for fear of ruining what the word means.

What I can do though, is appreciate some really wonderful artists that I enjoy, so I’ve made a Top 5 list of my favourite Instagram artists.

Before I start I will apologize now for all of the butchering of any and all artistic terms that will be found somewhere in this post, and if you have any suggestions for artists to take a look at, please let me know! I’m always looking for new accounts to explore. 

NUMBER 5: @albin_smaili97

Albin does some really amazing work creating anime themed art, and has a focus of doing different mashups for each piece. Another thing Albin likes to do is create the same picture, but in three different styles and each one of them looks distinct and cool in its own way.

He has a big focus on Naruto themed sketches, but does include some other anime and uses the same style. If you’re an anime fan I definitely recommend taking a look at Albin’s nice, what looks like pen, drawings. It’s a sort of ‘messy’ look, but when it’s all done it looks really cool.

Check out some of the awesome mashup art here.

 

 

NUMBER 4: @lulusketches

So as I found out, Laura (lulusketches) is an artist that works for Disney (dream job for many I assume) and creates some really spectacular pieces. Some scenery art, some character design, Laura creates some beautiful pieces of art you should definitely check out.

I don’t know the term for her type of art style, but its cartoonish and her use of colours truly mimic the real life they are eminating.

Explore her other wonderful creations here.

View this post on Instagram

another background I painted for #tangledtheseries!

A post shared by Laura Price (@lulusketches) on

 

NUMBER 3: @jasricart

Jasric loves her her superheroes, and does a hell of a good job drawing them. Don’t get me wrong though, her superheroes are spectacular, but she does other pieces as well.

Whether it’s anime, comic book, or fantasy inspired, Jasric’s Instagram is a perfect platform to showcase her talent.

I don’t know what her art style would be called, but whatever it is, you can see her progression of some of her drawings, and she has gone from great to somehow even better

Check out her Instagram profile for some beautiful artwork.

 

 

NUMBER 2: @danielkordek

Daniel has got his subjects figured out on his Instagram page, and does a great job capturing them in his work.  There are some really gorgeous pieces, whether they are based on his own imagination or using a cartoon to base his drawing off of.

He has a lot of simplistic art pieces that are truly amazing to look at, and his pieces are a lot more tasteful than some other artists who have a similar style. There are some wonderful cartoon style drawing you should definitely check out.

Check out his wonderful art here. 

 

NUMBER 1: @megancrisp2424

I don’t know what this art style would be called, but I have always loved it, and Megan’s Instagram account is filled with it! The pieces are usually pretty simple, but it is in the simplicity that the beauty is found. Her art tends to have one main focus, taking up most of the picture, but the one subject is all you need to look at.

Megan has cute and adorable pieces and even some more serious ones. When I was looking at most of her pieces I could imagine it being from a cartoon or animated short film.

Check out Megan’s Instagram page here.

 

This isn’t an extensive list of the whole art community on Instagram, but just my favourite artists that I know about. I hope you enjoyed the list!

Wednesday News: January 16

Every few years there is a new book genre that becomes the hit genre.

Hunger Games started the dystopian craze, Harry Potter started the YA magical books.

There seems to be a new genre starting to take hold of the market currently.

To find out more about it, read this article.

Channel Update

Alright so I originally started this blog as a school assignment but I really started to like it and spent some free time during the term figuring out whether or not I should take the blog full time, and how I would be able to do that.

Well good news is I figured out how I can do both of those. I’ve got new ideas for the blog and plan on updating it every day, but I’m not guarenteeing anything with school going on.

So here is the updated schedule of what the posts will look like:

Monday: Book Review

Tuesday: Type it Out Tuesdays (post different writing prompts for people     interested in writing themselves)

Wednesday: Book related news (books being adapted to movies/tv shows, new books coming out, etc.)

Thursday: Thursday Thoughts (different thoughts I have on book related things ex. My Top 10s, Book related life stories, seasonal book topics, writing challenges etc.)

Friday: Quote of the Day (from the book I reviewed that week)

Saturday/Sunday: Taking a break to relax

I also have some channel updates coming out too. I want to update the books I’ve read/want to read  and throw in alphabetical shortcuts so it’s easier to find the author.

I’m also gonna make a Facebook group book club so theres an easier platform for more people to chat about a book. The book club will be one book a month to start instead of every week.

I’m also going to update some pictures and minor pages on the blog itself.

I hope everyone is as excited as I am for this update.

Book Review: A Game of Thrones Graphic Novel 1-3

These three books were the first ever Graphic Novels I had ever read and honestly I was pleasently surprised by the whole experience.

I’ve read some manga in the past so I guess I had some experience with reading narration and speech bubbles, but I really enjoyed seeing a book and TV series I love come to life by an artist and writer’s imagination.

AND…The three graphic novels were definitely a nice break from reading the 1000+ page novels I’m so used to.

On a different note, I may be alone in thinking this but I believe that some characters from a book just can’t be portrayed on a TV or movie screen properly.

Personally I enjoy this look to Robert Baratheon much more than the one we got on the show. This look appears a bit more natural and a good mix of king and drunk fat man. The Robert we got in the show never was much more than the latter.

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After looking at those panels I know what you’re thinking. WOW this artwork is really good!

Well you’re right, I’d dare to say its fantastic. Every little inch of each panel has so much detail to it. It is so beautifully made. Like look at Danaerys’ dress. It’s so perfectly drawn.

The art is done by a guy named Tommy Patterson and I really think you should look him up. He does a hell of a job.

Here’s a few more of his creations in the Graphic Novels

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Look at all of the individual swords that make uo the Iron Throne. You can’t imagine that, and you sure as hell can’t show that on TV. This was one of the best moments that won me over in the books.

This quality of art and the depiction of the book series into pictures has definitely turned me on to looking at more graphic novels in the future.

Another thing about Graphic Novels that I thought of while reading these 3 is that graphic novels are the perfect middle ground for people who don’t read much, but want to read a book series of their favourite television shows.

They’re not text heavy. They can actually be read in probably a few hours only. Plus they offer really beautiful visuals that might surpass even your imagination of what things really looked like.

I know that was the case for me. Looking at the Graphic Novels actually made me imagine a few characters to be different than when I originally imagined them.

Verdict: Worth the read, especially if you’re not a regular reader but want to better understand Game of Thrones as a whole or if you want to see the beautiful depictions of the characters and the story.

Let me know in the comics what graphic novels you’re reading. I’m new to the genre, but so far I’m hooked so I’d love to start exploring some more.

Next week I’m gonna take a look at a book I read back in high school. Theres a guy named Matthew, and he has some sort of effect on people. Stay tuned 🙂

p.s. news coming on an updated schedule in the next few weeks.