Friday, June 24, 2016

Little Dorrit

Did I love Little Dorrit? Yes, I think I did. Little Dorrit, by Charles Dickens, is very long. It's full of many colourful, interesting, complex characters. Once or twice, I had to use the internet to look up who someone was, since if they hadn't been mentioned for a while, I might have forgotten. Because Little Dorrit was LONG. Like really long. I thought Middlemarch was long (and it was), but Dickens was very generous with words. My one reprieve was that I could take a break. Little Dorrit is split into too "books", Poverty and Riches. So, when Poverty was done, I took a break. I read three other books, I think, in that time. I still wanted to know, longed to know, what would happen to Little Dorrit and Mr. Clennham, but I needed that break.

To stick it out for over 800 pages of Victoria Literature, the characters need to be compelling, and they were. I adored Amy Dorrit. She worked so hard to make her father happy, to give her siblings something, some meaning to their lives. They knew, but chose to pretend not to know, so much about Little Dorrit, the name she preferred for herself. Little Dorrit is just an amazing person, caring for her family and friends, loving, kind. I just rooted for her the whole time. I wanted her to be happy.

I wanted Arthur Clennham to be happy too. He seemed to long to be loved by his mother, but gave that up. He wanted to right some wrong he believed his father had done. He wanted Daniel Doyce to be a success. He wanted Little Dorrit and her family to be free. He spend time, money and emotion to better the life of the people he cared about. He thought he could be happy with Pet, but I'm kind of glad for him that it didn't work out (though not glad for her). When something terrible happened, though not his fault, he took all the consequences on himself. I was so worried about him, worrying that I might end up with sad ending, like Villette.

Because it was the characters that made the book for me, the last few chapters were the best. Dickens took the time to go back over the characters he introduced. We found out what happened to the Meagles, Merdles, Gowans and Casbys. We learn about Doyce and Pancks, and other residents of Bleeding Heart Yard. Dickens takes us on a journey of goodbyes, where he readers don't have to wonder what happened to all these people.

Though Little Dorrit was a lengthy tome, it was worth every minute. Dickens brought these places and people to life. Life at the Marshalsea, inspired by his father, was depressing, but could also have hope. Though the story didn't always take place there, the debtor's prison was the centre of this tale. How easily a man could end up there, how easily his whole family. How does a person ever get out without a stroke of luck? It was interesting how it was its own community, inside of London, how status was still maintained there. The Marshalsea seemed to have its own personality and change a person, as soon as they entered its walls. It really leaves you thinking about how far a person can fall and how far a person can climb back up.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Days Of Blood And Starlight

Days of Blood and Starlight was a perfect second book, middle story in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. It was a war book. It was a tale of sadness, longing, deceit and hope. Days of Blood and Starlight was also about Eretz. Karou's home is given life (and death). We learn about what happened while she was living her human life. We learn more about the Angels and the Chimera. We see brutality, loss, love, innocence and the results of war. There was so much violence and hatred throughout Days of Blood and Starlight, much different than Karou's quiet life and romance with Akiva in Daughter of Smoke and Bone. In this fantasy novel, there was a lot of reality seeping through.

Karou grows throughout the story, she learns about herself and those around her. She learns about trust, of others and of herself. She finds a connection to her old life, that helps her move forward in this one. Everything about Karou's journey was exactly what it needed to be. That goes for Akiva too. He learns more about himself, and his brother and sister. Akiva learns the lengths they will all go for what is right. Even Hazael and Liraz are more than what they appear, as are the Sphinxes. Though, Issa, Niri and Thiago are exactly who I thought they were. Laini Taylor created such wonderfully constructed characters, it doesn't matter what they look like, or if you can even see that, you can tell who they are by feel.

The ending though, a powerful, amazing ending. Such a setup for the final installment in the series. While not a total cliffhanger (which I appreciate), there are so many questions. What will the invasion bring? Will there be civil war? Will chaos break out? Will both worlds survive? Will Karou and Akiva be together in the end? Ziri? I need my feelings to settle down. After The Raven King and now this, I might needs something a little less tense next, just so I stop ignoring my Hubby (he knows I can't hear him when I'm reading). I'm excited to see where Laini Taylor takes Karou, Akiva and all the rest in this fantastical tale.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Raven King

For two days, The Raven King took over my life. I couldn't get any work done, sneaking away to read a page or two. I let the things I wanted to accomplish yesterday slide away. I just had to know what happened. Maggie Stiefvater created such a vivid world, full of characters I connected with. I had to know if Gansey would die, if they would find Glendower, if Blue's kiss could really kill, and what would happen between Adam and Ronan. More than any of the fantastical plots twists, the magic and the trees, it was the characters that had me wrapped up in their world. I loved Blue's mother, Maura, the Gray Man, Artemus, Calla, Declan, Neeve, Piper and the best addition to their world, Henry Cheng. Henry was amazing, curious, wondrous. I loved the way he connected. Because it all seams to be connected.

I also doesn't seem to be over exactly. (Minor Spoilers) With what Henry's mother says to the Gray Man during their encounter, that makes me feel like there is something that should be happening there, a journey. To me, it seems like those who are left in the end, split off onto (at least) three different paths. Another series perhaps? A book that focuses on each of their journeys? They're not done. These characters have other stories to tell.

I appreciated that the story didn't just focus on Gansey and Blue. I loved them, I loved their relationship, watching it develop and grow. However, I am glad we got to see a lot of Adam and Ronan, how they felt, how they were navigating the world and how that world could change.

I had been anticipating The Raven King ever since I finished Blue Lily, Lily Blue (in November 2014!), which I also adored. Now that it's over, lasting only two days, I don't know what to do (besides getting all those things I wanted done, finished). I don't know what to read next. I am toying with the idea of re-reading the whole series. After picking up The Raven Boys on a whim, I didn't anticipate that this would become one of my favourite series. The Raven King and The Raven Cycle was worth every heart-racing minute.