The Lady of the Lake by Andrzej Sapkowski,  A Review

This story begins with Ciri relating her version of what has come to pass to another legendary character, although not a character from this particular legend. This book highlights the depths of storytelling with legends within legends and myths within myths.

Geralt is currently “wintering” in Toussaint, a land of fairytale beauty. Yennefer, however, is a prisoner in Vilgeforte’s citadel. But although her captor and associates are trying to break her down, she keeps her spirit and stays the strong-willed sorceress I love.

This second to last book has everything. Daring rescues and all out battle, particularly the Battle of Brenna which is the last in the war that has been raging between the Northlands and Nilfgaard.

Although I loved this book, the ending makes me wonder exactly how this story is going to continue when it feels like it practically already has finished.

The Tower of Swallows by Andrzej Sapkowski, A Review

Right now it is the autumnal equinox, Velen, and the people are celebrating and feasting throughout the land. However, as night fell, this did not hold back the nightmares that came to life, galloping across the midnight skies. Perhaps this was a sign, a sign for a specific occurrence linking many individuals and leaving them awake and gasping, wondering about the meaning of these horrific dreams or visions.

Ciri, very luckily, finds herself in the hands of the learned hermit, Vysogota, and in his hidden and out of the way dwelling in the marshlands. As Vysogota heals Ciri, particularly her wounded face, she reveals her story of what brought her to this place at this time. Vysogota matches her embittered spirit with his own, and they find common ground to create a healing friendship and perhaps lose some of the bitterness and gain some inner strength to keep fighting.

I will say, I did figure out what happened to Yennefer… only to finish this book and be in the exact same situation… not having any idea if Yennefer is dead or alive. I have an idea, but I wish it was clearer. The Witcher, Geralt, is still among his friends, however his story seems to stop about midway through this particular book and I really cannot say what state he actually is in at this time. Time, that particularly would be a good thing to be made more clear in this book.

So… I really did love this book. I did immensely enjoy the intriguing politics and the intricate details that may make other readers, well, bored! I can see how some people would feel that way, and, in fact, I talked to a few people with that opinion. However, that doesn’t mean it is how everyone or even the majority of readers feel, just the handful I talked to.

I have already started The Lady of the Lake, which is the fifth installment and second to last in this series. So far, I am very excited and thoroughly enjoying it!

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!

Baptism of Fire by Andrzej Sapkowski, A Review

This, the third book in the Witcher series, begins with Geralt healing in the forest of Brokilon with the help of the dryads while the outside world has erupted in chaos. This is where the reader meets Milva, AKA Maria, whom I did not have a good first impression of, however, that changed throughout the book as I got to know her better.

Milva brings Geralt news of the outside world, accidentally leading him to believe that Ciri has been taken by the enemy, Nilfgaard. This belief sets the Witcher on his journey to rescue Ciri with the help of initially just the bard Dandelion. Geralt’s retinue grows to include a diverse crew of misfits who refuse to leave his side. Much like Ciri and her involvement in the gang, The Rats, Geralt is overcome by unexpected friendships.

The land they travel through is war torn and full of horrific scenes of the aftermath of battle and pillaging. The ghastly leavings of war are not only found in the remains of burned villages, but in the gathering of desperate people. Desperate people that will point fingers and blame anyone weaker than them resulting in pure savagery.

This book eluded to much that was prophesied and did manage to answer some questions. Another thrilling read in The Witcher series, but for all the questions it DID answer, it still left me with more unanswered questions that are driving me crazy!

Next up is the fourth book in the series, The Tower of Swallows! Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!

The Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski,  A Review

Everyone is still under threat of the Scoia-Tael, the Squirrels, a name for the elves that adorn their hats with squirrel tails and attack and ambush mankind. At the same time, Everyone is still in even more danger from Nilfgaard.

This book begins with Dandelion being attacked by a man named Reince. He portals away but not before Yennefer leaves him marked with distinctive facial burns. Geralt is looking for answers to why this man is looking for Ciri. One thing is for certain, a powerful wizard is assisting Reince in his endeavors.

Ciri, or Cirrilla, is in so much danger because she is believed to be the only remaining person in line for the throne of Cintra which is now under Nilfgaard control. Her grandmother was the great Lioness, Calanthe, a very strong monarch who left Ciri to be called the Lion Cub. Ciri is also known as being The Child of the Elder Blood, which this book makes the meaning of more clear.

Ciri is mainly in Yennefer’s care, who is planning on sending her to school where she will be locked away and hopefully safe. However, Ciri not only has her own plans, but those hunting for Ciri have their own plans that make this impossible.

Geralt wants to stay Neutral while the lands are in turmoil. He doesn’t want to choose whose side he is on. This is becoming increasingly difficult for him as Nilfgaard keeps moving in and is now convincing other strong monarchs to join their side. Eventually, for Ciri, for Yennefer, for Dandelion, Geralt of Rivia will have to choose who he not only stands with but who he fights for.

I loved the complex politics and maneuvering that happened in this book. These first 2 books are so different than the prequels. They are so much more serious and intense and I LOVE IT!!!

(Ps…. there are unicorns in this book, so … yeah, its awesome just because of that alone)

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!!

Filling the Emptiness

For myself, so much of depression is feeling a sense of emptiness, as if there is a literal void inside of me. I picture it as a dark space that is so black it sucks in any light that tries to reach inside and turns that light to nothing. Depression isnt always about actually feeling certain emotions, like sadness for example. Sometimes it is lacking the emotions, lacking the ability to care, to give a damn, that is what really becomes a struggle.

I have been working with my therapist on different ideas to cope with depression. One of the main ones is exercise. This isnt a new idea for anyone that is struggling. It is well known that exercise increases endorphins and makes body and mind feel better. However, this kind of backfired for me. I walked almost everyday for 3 weeks for about 30 minutes at a time, but on the end of the third week I broke my ankle! I was dumbfounded, I mean who breaks their ankle by simply walking and tripping over their own feet? Me, this girl. Now its months later and I’m mostly healed, so I’m doing yoga. Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube. I’m enjoying it, but seriously, I’m waiting to see how I’m going to break something else.

I also began doing a gratitude journal. I love journaling and I keep one by me at all times so this isnt a stretch. What I do is when I am feeling down, or bored or lonely, I write down 5 things I’m grateful for. But the rule is that they have to be different things each time. I cant just say the same 5 things over and over. And, surprisingly, this can be hard sometimes. I really have to think about new things and what I appreciate. But, honestly, it works great for getting my head to start thinking in a more positive way, or at least stop the negative thought processes that hound me sometimes.

Today I’m doing pretty well. I’m feeling content with where I’m at right now. At least at this exact moment. Now, an hour from now, I could be feeling completely different. I’m hoping not, though.

One step at a time.

The Sisters Grimm by Menna Van Praag, A Review

This story begins immediately by radiating magic and a sense of enchantment. It even suggests to the reader that they have magic within themselves and yes, I’m already looking for it!

This tale starts with Goldie, who works in a hotel cleaning rooms but steals from the occupants on the side to make extra money for taking care of herself and her little brother Teddy. While working at the front desk she meets Leo, an attractive son of a well to do guest and this is where things start to get complicated.

Goldie is one of several young women who are a Grimm. This means that they can visit the Everwhere, although it is difficult to remember it exactly. Leo, however, is a Soldier and works against the Sisters Grimm. Although, in this case it is unclear how he will handle the situation with the attractive Goldie.

I love the relationship between the Sisters Grimm. It’s an enchanting intertwining of kindred spirits. They have very individual qualities but also aspects that intrinsically link them. As they reach age, (18 years old), their powers slowly emerge but it is yet to be determined if they are good or evil. Just as the Everwhere has both touches of good and evil, the Sisters Grimm can lean either way as well.

I highly recommend this beautiful and magical book. It’s incredibly unique and will pull you in with its gorgeous enchanting details.

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!!

Depression on sunny days

It seems that everyone thinks that the cold winter months and lack of sunshine have a negative effect on emotions… That the season can cause a depression. I know this is true for many people, however, for me, winter is my favorite time of year (by the way, I live in the SE of the United States so it never gets too wintery here).

For me, I don’t like the constant sun. I especially don’t like the heat. Where I live, the heat is heavy and damp with moisture. One step outside and I feel like I’m already bathed in sweat. Its incredibly uncomfortable for me. I also like covering myself up. I do not like wearing shorts and t-shirts. I’m definitely a hoodie and jeans kinda girl. And yet, the very atmosphere I live in during spring, summer and most of fall practically forces me into less covering clothing or else I will be facing the very real possibility of heat stroke.

The sun seems to be trying to convince me to be happy. Like, “Look at these beautiful colors and leaves that glint golden in my light.” Can’t I just have some more storm clouds instead? Maybe some thunder and lightning with cold gusts of wind that create a great indoor environment perfect for reading under a blanket with a steaming cup of tea?

The sun is shining today on January 25, 2020 and its actually kinda warm outside. Why does this make me so depressed? I feel like something is wrong but I just can’t put my finger on what it is. Its like the sky is faking me out trying to convince me to be happy but I can’t fall for it. Maybe my brain just stubbornly wants to hold tight to depression on days like this.

Right now, I just wish it would rain.