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Messages - Victoria Hooper

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I'll second:

Lies of Locke Lamora
Copper Promise
Retribution Falls
Going Postal
Under Heaven

A lot of the books recommended so far are a similar kind of secondary world fantasy, so I'll also nominate something a bit different: The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Tiffany Aching series (Discworld)
« on: August 17, 2016, 05:18:59 PM »
You really captured the reasons these stories are so great.

Thanks!  ;D

I've just bought The Wee Free Men because of this (well, the original thread, hehe) ;D

Hooray! Hope you enjoy it!

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Tiffany Aching series (Discworld)
« on: August 17, 2016, 09:30:46 AM »
The post is up on the site now.  :) Thanks again everyone!

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Tiffany Aching series (Discworld)
« on: August 03, 2016, 09:55:50 AM »
Some great thoughts here, thanks everyone! Xiagan, you're so right about the books covering the big themes, which is interesting considering that out of all his books these are the ones that most deal with small communities and ordinary people trying to live their lives. Mind if I quote you in the review?  :)

Somewhere there is an interview with Sir pTerry where he talks about how proud he is of being made an honorary Brownie (younger girl scout) for writing Tiff as a sensible heroine. in the same interview he talks about a signing in  a shopping centre when a Morris troupe turned up and danced a dark morris silently then left without a word.
I have looked and can't find the article.

If these two things are not true they should be.


Thanks for the link! I hadn't heard the brownie story before, that's brilliant!  ;D

Oh, I'm pretty sure I remember reading about the troupe that performed the dark Morris for him, I'll have to see if I can find the interview. Thanks for reminding me about that!

Asking as someone who only read the first few TP books, what are the titles of the books on this series?
I now want to read them :D

Yeeesss! You should. I think you'd really like Tiffany  :)

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Tiffany Aching series (Discworld)
« on: August 02, 2016, 03:40:06 PM »
Hey everyone!

I'd like to put together a review for Fantasy Faction of the Tiffany Aching series as a whole and wondered what other people's reactions to the series have been. It'd be great to get a bunch of the community's thoughts into the article!

For me, it's one of my favourites in the Discworld series. I love the characters and Tiffany is such a great protagonist. She listens to advice but also isn't afraid to follow her own head and sets her own path even in the face of some very strong people like Granny Weatherwax. I love the mixture of humour with some very deep stuff, which is pretty common to all Discworld books but the Tiffany ones often feel more reflective than some others. And there are fantastic supporting characters!

What are other people's thoughts on the series? Do you think it's a good place to introduce people to the Discworld? Also, let me know if you'd be ok with me including your thoughts in the review, or if you have any mini one or two sentence reviews/personal reactions to the series that you'd like to add to the article.  :)

[JUN 2016] The Stone Road / Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 9
« on: June 21, 2016, 11:10:46 AM »
Some stuff came up this month so I'm a bit behind with my reading, but when I did manage to start this I found myself going through pretty quickly, so that's a good sign  :)

I'm enjoying this so far. Like others, the prologue didn't really work for me. I don't have anything against the presence of a prologue itself, but they are very hard to get right. But after that I got into the book quite quickly. I had a bit of a different reaction from others here because I actually found Zhou more relatable than Huang - he feels a bit more human to me, and I quite like it when there is a character who isn't 100% likeable but at the same time isn't a full on antihero or anything (though of course that might change!). I do like the choice to tell things from two POVs, one from each side of the conflict.

I also really like that the plot hasn't dived straight into an epic war story or save the empire story. It's taking time first to build up the setting and characters and to set up an interesting situation that seems sure to lead to trickery (as others have mentioned, it definitely feels like a Trojan Horse situation). Starting with a diplomatic mission to forge a peace treaty feels unique and interesting to me, and I haven't seen anything like the cattle before either. I'm still not sure what kind of story this will ultimately turn out to be, and I'm very intrigued by that.

I'm looking forward to finding out more about our main characters, particularly Huang, as I still don't feel that I know him very well yet - eg, what drives him and what his own personal feelings on current events might be.

Present, sir!

Who nominated an entire race/culture of people? :P
Is it something from Ketty Jay?
Yes. The Imperators, the Awakeners, etc.

Not really. Neither the Imperators nor the Awakeners are an entire race/culture of people. You may be getting them mixed up with the Sammies or the Manes from the same books? Nominating the Awakeners would be a bit like nominating the Catholic Church (the organised leadership rather than the religion itself) in a story where its leaders have been deliberately manipulating events to take control, but the leaders themselves are not really big characters. I think people would refer to the Church as the antagonist in a story like that. But as I said in my post, I'm not sure if we're counting stuff like that.

Nominating the Imperators is a bit like nominating the Praetorian Guard, or the Inquisitors from the Mistborn series. They are a group of elite enforcers for the bad guys and I always got the impression there weren't very many of them. In a series that lacks one Big Bad, they stick out to me.

But if you want to keep antagonists  strictly to one person rather than a small group of people or an organisation of bad guys, I can totally understand that.  :) In that case, nominating the auditors from Discworld might be a bit of a stretch too, though I guess they are more like a kind of hivemind, so perhaps they can still count?

I'm having trouble thinking of these actually. I'm finding it hard to remember antagonists from a lot of books, or else there isn't really a specific antagonist. Or the really memorable bad guys aren't actually the Big Bad itself. For example, can I nominate the Imperators from the Ketty Jay series? They really made an impression on me and they're very effective bad guys that pop up in every book in the series. But I suppose the actual main antagonist for that series is the religious order, the Awakeners? I'm gonna nominate both for now and see what others think.

The Imperators, from Tales of the Ketty Jay, Chris Wooding
The Awakeners, from Tales of the Ketty Jay, Chris Wooding
The Auditors, from Discworld, Terry Pratchett
The Lord Ruler, from Mistborn, Brandon Sanderson
Prince Humperdinck, from The Princess Bride, William Goldman
Voldemort, from Harry Potter, JK Rowling
Bellatrix, from Harry Potter, JK Rowling
The Witch of the Waste, from Howl's Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones
Cersei, from A Song of Ice and Fire, George RR Martin

I'll probably add more when I think of some. :)

Aww thanks guys!  ;D

Where did you get the dress, is it a theatre shop?

I actually had a lot of trouble finding a dress, then I found someone who could make one for me for a really good price, so I had it made! (Community Wardrobe in Nottingham - they are amazing, so if anyone who lives nearby is ever looking for a costume, defo go see them!). The skirt bit is separate from the, er, overdress bit(?) so I'm planning to use the overdress with leggings and big boots for a pirate costume for Halloween etc.

Was it well attended? was it worth the trouble and cost? Is this going to be a regular event?

Yeah it was pretty well attended - all the tickets sold out!  :) I think it was definitely worth the cost, though of course you could do it relatively cheaply or VERY expensive, depending on budget. We managed to cut costs quite a bit by DIYing some costume stuff (John's hat in the pic above is a cheap floppy hat from the high street, pinned up and with fluffy trim sewn on, and most of the rest of his costume came from Primark (black leggings, girls white socks, girls frilly shirt etc). I know a lot of people made their costumes (such amazing skills on show at the ball, seriously!). We got a fun day, afternoon tea, the masked ball and the LARP itself and a trip to Bath out of it, and I've always wanted to visit Bath too so that was great.

You could be as involved or laid back at the ball as you liked, and there were some brilliant staged moments to add to all the little stories that were going on around you. Also some appearances by the Fae and characters from the books, who were amazing in their roles! I was genuinely a bit scared of Lord Poppy.

I thought Emma and Katie did such a great job of inter-weaving all the storylines too, which worked well. This was my first ever LARP, so I was super nervous, but I think I could take on a bigger role at a future one. The whole day from start to finish felt quite hectic to me, and I think I would have preferred a bit more time between day and evening events to sort out hair (I'm terrible at anything to do with hair, so I need plenty of time to mess up several times before I get it right) and get into the costume (all those laces at the back of those dresses are insane!). But yeah, good time and a really unique experience, and met some lovely lovely people.

I'm not sure if this will be a regular event, but loads of people have been saying that they'd like to do another event in the future, so perhaps if we ask Emma enough times there might be another opportunity to play around in her world.  :)

Ooh, I've only just seen this. What a great idea for the book club! I'll be joining in too. Just bought the book  :D

This was indeed a lot of fun!  ;D

I won't post any of the group photos here, just in case people don't want their picture posting here, but I can post some of mine:

(Photo by Beth Dooner)

(Photo by Tom Garnett)

I can't really post about what happened on the night, as there are quite a few spoilers for later books involved. But I can say that I CAN'T WAIT for book 4!  ;)

Wow that was a hard choice. Went back and forth for a bit, but had to go for Granny in the end. This is a close one!

Look, I don't know this Granny from my granny or your granny.   All I know is that Locke will have a plan which she would foil only for Locke to go "LOL Nope!" and send Granny back to whatever old witches do when they're put in their places.

And then Locke would successfully escape the city and reach his secret safe house, feeling very smug with himself but slightly disturbed by that one crow that followed him the whole way staring at him with its beady eyes.

I'm also going a little over my 20. Sorry!  :P

FitzChivalry (Farseer, Robin Hobb)
Sparrowhawk / Ged (Earthsea, Ursula le Guin)
Tiffany Aching (Discworld, Terry Pratchett)
Vimes (Discworld, Terry Pratchett)
Moist Von Lipwig (Discworld, Terry Pratchett)
Death (Discworld, Terry Pratchett)
Locke Lamora (Gentlemen Bastards, Scott Lynch)
Sophie (Howl’s Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones)
Jez (Ketty Jay, Chris Wooding)
Crake (Ketty Jay, Chris Wooding)
Frey (Ketty Jay, Chris Wooding)
Basso (The Folding Knife, KJ Parker)
Cathy (Split Worlds, Emma Newman)
Wydrin (Copper Promise, Jen Williams)
Tyrion (Song of Ice and Fire, George RR Martin)
Brienne (Song of Ice and Fire, George RR Martin)
Daenerys (Song of Ice and Fire, George RR Martin)
Sansa (Song of Ice and Fire, George RR Martin)
Harry Potter (Harry Potter, JK Rowling)
Bartimaeus (Bartimaeus series, Jonathan Stroud)
Lyra (His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman)
Westley (Princess Bride, William Goldman)
Sonea (Black Magician series, Trudi Canavan)
Vin (Mistborn, Brandon Sanderson)

I agree that Hermione seems more like a support character than a protagonist in the Harry Potter series, simply because this series so obviously has ONE main protag. With others, I'm not so sure. I think anyone with a POV is arguably a protag in ASoIaF. I would definitely argue that Jez is a protag in the Ketty Jay books. It feels to me that there are 3 main protags in that (Frey, Crake, Jez) and the support chars are Malvery, Silo, Harkins, Pinn and Slag (the cat). But perhaps this is just too subjective - I think if the person nominating thinks their nominee is a protagonist then we should probably count them?  :)

Oh, I might be able to come to this one!  :) I can't select multiple dates, so I'll say that April and May would probably be better for me. A room deal for a local hotel would be great.

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