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Tag / Females in Fantasy

QBD Reviews: Oryx And Crake by Margaret Atwood

Oryx And Crake is unlike anything I have ever read. I'm honestly at a loss for words on how to even begin blogging about this title, but here goes:

Imagine our world in about 50-100 years time, if no-one cared enough to fight for it. Dozens upon dozens of extinct species, fresh food is almost just a memory, and genetic engineering has reached horrifying new heights (or should that be 'lows'?).

Now imagine this same world, but one generation older again. The world is empty of people, except for Snowman (known as Jimmy before the plague) and the innocent, perfectly-designed new humans known as The Children of Crake.

What on earth happened in those 30 years?

oryx-and-crakeThis is the story of Snowman, last surviving human, living his days in the wilderness amongst the now-feral genetically engineered animals and too-perfect Children of Crake. This is also the story of Jimmy, his childhood raised by a distant mother and scientist father, his obsessive love with the mysteriously enticing Oryx, and his continuous friendship with the brilliant and enigmatic Crake.

Atwood is able to flick between these two storylines with ease, and teases the reader with glimpses of the answers they're searching for, without revealing too much until the final, breathtaking chapters. How did Snowman survive? What happened to Oryx? And what on earth did Crake do??

This book is terrifyingly plausible, and immerses the reader in a world which could very well be waiting for us, but without attempting to preach environmentalism or morality. Oryx and Crake is gripping, horrifying, surprising, and quite frankly the most original story I have read in years. This is definitely one I will be thinking about for a long time to come!

Fantastic Females in Fantasy- Pt. 2

There are so many awesome women in fantasy that we could not contain it to just one post!

While you are probably already familiar with Hermione, Katniss, Tris and Arya, we thought we'd gather together some more of our favourite fantasy ladies who you may not have met yet- with a YA twist.

9780552566001Seraphina from Seraphina by Rachel Hartman: In the Kingdom of Goredd dragons and humans live side by side, but it is an uneasy peace with neither side truly trusting the other. When a member of the royal family is murdered and a dragon is the suspected culprit, young Seraphina Dombegh is thrust into the middle of the investigation. But Seraphina has a secret. One that could cost her very life if anyone found out.
Books in the series: Seraphina, Shadow Scale

Tiffany Aching from the Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett: When young Tiffany Aching sets out to become a witch, she faces ominous foes and gains unexpected allies. As she confronts the Queen of Fairies and battles an ancient, bodiless evil, she is aided (and most ably abetted) by the six-inch-high, fightin', stealin', drinkin' Wee Free Men.
Books in the series: The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith

Celaena Sardothien from the Throne of Glass series by Sara J Maas: In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves,
and warriors in a competition, 9781406307627she will be released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien and she will win.
Books in the series: Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire

Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare: Born into a world where demons hide in the shadows, hunted by her father and kept under a spell by her mother Clarissa Fray is a normal teenage girl - until the spell her mother has been keeping her under wears off, she gets involved with 'shadow hunters', and her mother is kidnapped. To save her mother and her new friends Clary must learn to harness her gifts, fight off vampires and kick some demon butt.
Books in the series: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, City of Heavenly Fire

Think we've left someone off? Let us know in the comments!

Fantastic Females in Fantasy – Pt. 1


Let's face it – the fantasy genre has long had a bit of a reputation for being a boys club. Many fantasy worlds have a basis in history, most obviously Medieval Europe, and as such women can be relegated to background characters who keep the home fires burning while the men all go off adventuring.
Or, at least, that's what a lot of people think. But women have been kicking butt in fantasy for years! Fighters, adventurers, witches, assassins – the women of fantasy are a force to be reckoned with. While you are probably already familiar with Hermione, Katniss, Eowyn, and Daenerys and Arya, we thought we'd gather together our favourite fantasy ladies who you may not have met yet. Here are our favourites!

9780575085305Katsa from The Seven Kingdoms trilogy by Kristin Cashore:
Born as a Graceling, a person with an extreme skill, Katsa is graced with the power of killing. After spending years working as a hired thug for the King (her uncle), she creates an underground Council tasked with combating the destructive reigns of the Kings of the Seven Kingdoms. What follows is an unforgettable tale, with equal parts adventure, investigation, romance, and danger.

Favourite Quote:
“I'm not going to wear a red dress," she said.
"It would look stunning, My Lady," she called.
She spoke to the bubbles gathered on the surface of the water. "If there's anyone I wish to stun at dinner, I'll hit him in the face.”

9780575089914Vin from The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson:
Imagine the world of the Lord of the Rings if Sauron had won. In a world where the Lord Ruler has reigned for 1,000 years, ensuring that there are no heroes left to rise against him, it is left to the villains to plan an attack. Reluctantly joining this mission is Vin, a strong yet vulnerable street urchin, who learns that she was born with the power of the Mistborn, the ability to harness the magic of different metals.

Favourite Quote:
“No, not me. I’m not a good person or a bad person. I’m just here to kill things.”

9781743316580Sabriel from The Old Kingdom Chronicles by Garth Nix:
Living as a student outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, Sabriel has led a safe and sheltered life. However, upon learning that her father has been trapped in the world of the dead, she must journey to the heart of this dark and dangerous realm in order to save him. Taking up his mantle as Abhorsen, a necromancer tasked with ensuring the dead stay dead, Sabriel proves herself to be an intelligent, strong woman in a terrifyingly dark and complex world.

Favourite Quote: "Here, she could feel magic potential brewing, lurking in the atmosphere like charged air before a thunderstorm"

9780007349159Mara from The Empire Series by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts:
After her father and brother are killed in a battle against a rival family, 17-year-old Mara suddenly finds herself Ruling Lady of the Acoma. Thrust into a world filled with political intrigue, backstabbing, assassinations and underhanded trickery, Mara must quickly learn to use her intelligence and courage if she wants to emerge victorious. Picture Game of Thrones set in ancient Japan, but far less dense and frustrating.

Favourite Quote: "Mara had made vows to the spirits of her father and brother, and she would not rest until vengeance was complete."