Tag: Fantasy

Worldbuilding Wednesday 6/12/24: Narnian Cat Names (Narnia LI)

Cats get short shrift in The Chronicles of Narnia. Oh, sure, Aslan is a lion, and leopards and panthers are also mentioned. But domestic cats, unlike dogs, do not get to be heroes. In fact, a domestic cat is one of the notable villains of the series, the creatively named Ginger of The Last Battle. …

Continue reading

The White Witch Returns, Part 1

It’s time for some more depictions of Narnia’s White Witch, like this spooky one of a dark-complected, Drow-like (the black-skinned, white-haired chaotic evil elves of AD&D fame) Jadis riding sidesaddle on a white wolf. An anime White Witch with a night sky of storms and snowflakes in her hair. The pale blue and black combination …

Continue reading

The Little Prince (1974) [Review]

If you were an elementary school student in the 1970s, your school library probably contained a copy of The Little Prince. Written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a French nobleman, pilot, and adventurer, and published in 1943, it has since become an oddball but revered children’s classic, standing beside The Phantom Tollbooth, Willie Wonka and the …

Continue reading

Nettle & Bone
[Reading Challenge 2024]

Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher Tor Books, 2022 This is another of those books I got from the Little Free Library down the street. I was surprised to find it there, because it’s so recent, so niche, and was so acclaimed in its niche. The book was labeled as “This isn’t the kind of …

Continue reading

Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/14/24: Love Magic

Since it’s Valentine’s day, I thought I’d do a list of spells and magical items related to love, or its lack. Caution, a few of these are NSFW! The fellow above is from Starry AI’s “pinup” art filter. The prompt was a variation of “bearded wizard with arms raised, a cloud of valentine candy hearts, …

Continue reading

Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/6/23: Magic Spells of Ancient Greece

Curse tablets were a cottage industry in ancient Greece. Spells embodying the caster’s desires were written on plaques of stone, clay, papyrus, wax, even thin sheets of gold. Then, to reach the gods, they were thrown into wells or buried with the dead (often without permission from the dead one’s next of kin.) It’s likely …

Continue reading

Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/29/23: Magic Items of Ancient Greece

Greek myths were chock-full of magic items, most of them made by the gods; and with a few exceptions, most of the humans who meddled with them came to a bad end. Take the tale of Jason and the Golden Fleece. It’s a very long and involved one, but the gist goes like this. Disinherited …

Continue reading

American Born Chinese [Review]

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang First Second Books, 2006 American Born Chinese is a graphic novel about the experience of Asian Americans trying to come to terms with their heritage in mainstream American society. It was published in 2006, so it’s a few years short of its much-deserved twentieth anniversary –- it’s still …

Continue reading

A Tale of Two Castles [Review]

A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine Harper Collins, 2011 The past year has seen a resurgence in cozy fantasy. In this subgenre the characters are genial, the stakes low. It’s slice-of-life, not slice-of-death, and centers on community and friendship. It’s been led by the runaway success of the self-published Legends & Lattes …

Continue reading

Worldbuilding Wednesday 4/12/23: Dark Acadamia (Secret Societies)

 Now let’s get down to what makes a Dark Acadamia setting truly dark: the secret societies! There are for students, and in the Ivy League schools, for the elitist of the elite. Dartmouth has its Sphinx Society, Princeton its 21 Club, and Yale, the most notorious one of all: The Skull and Bones, thrust into …

Continue reading