Fantasy

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The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

Three miles up the river Thames from the centre of Oxford, some distance from where the great colleges of Jordan, Gabriel, Balliol, and two dozen others contended for mastery in the boat races, out where the city was only a collection of towers and spires in the distance over the misty levels of Port Meadow, there stood the priory of Godstow, where the gentle nuns went about their only business; and on the opposite bank from the priory there was an inn called the Trout. – Opening sentence When Philip Pullman announced that he was releasing The Book of Dust, I was beyond excited. I first read the original His Dark Materials trilogy during my teenage years and, like many others, immediately fell in love. It is one of the few series that I regularly go back to, and each time I discover something new that I either missed or mistook. Such is my love for His…

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

The monster showed up just after midnight. – Opening sentence WARNING: This book will make you cry, and it will never fully leave you. Reminiscent of a fai rytale, yet as dark and enthralling as a horror,  A Monster Calls is something special. A tale a about love, sorrow, guilt and grief, A Monster Calls evoked an emotional response in me that most books fail to even slightly stir, and it will be a book that I hold dear for a long time to come. From an original idea by Siobhan Dowd. Siobhan Dowd was a British writer and activist, who died in 2007 from breast cancer. Dowd wrote a number of children’s novels, and undertook another one before her death. Unfortunately, she didn’t get the chance to finish it. She had the characters, a premise, and a beginning. What she didn’t have, unfortunately, was time. Patrick Ness, in the…

The Little White Bird by J. M. Barrie

Sometimes the little boy who calls me father brings an invitation from his mother: ‘I shall be so pleased if you will come and see me,’ and I always reply in some such words as these: ‘Dear madam, I decline.’ – Opening sentence This book was a gift from my boyfriend, who, knowing how much I love the story of Peter Pan, discovered that The Little White Bird held the very first mention of the character. Originally published in 1902, The Little White Bird is the story of an old bachelor, Captain W, in Victorian London, and a young boy called David who is born to a middle-class family in the same area. As Captain W lunches at his members’ club, he watches each day as a young nurse meets with her lover at the post office, and is bemused by the clockwork way in which the same scene plays out every day.…

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