Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Robin Hobb

I’m going to go out there and say it… Robin Hobb is my favourite author. (Although Lian Hearn, with her fantasy-come-feudal-Japan-themed books, is hard to beat.) I’ve just finished reading my ninth book of Hobb’s, Ship of Destiny – which was the last in the Liveship Traders trilogy and it was, of course, awesome. Pirates and dragons – what’s not to like?

Robin Hobb is a US fantasy writer, best known for her trilogies set in The Realm of the Elderlings. Readers were first introduced to that world with the publication of Assassin’s Apprentice, the first volume of The Farseer Trilogy, in 1995. […] The Farseer Trilogy was followed by The Liveship Traders trilogy, a tale set in the same world, but in Bingtown, a trading city far to the south. Chronologically, these stories occur after the events of The Farseer Trilogy and are influenced by the events Fitz has set in motion. Ship of Magic (1998), Mad Ship (1999) and Ship of Destiny (2000) comprise that trilogy.
Fantasy Book Review

I don’t think I’ve ever been so hooked on a book, series or author as I have been with both this trilogy, and the Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies I’d read prior to this one. Incidentally, it’s only when reading this last book that I realised it was set between the other two trilogies and that I probably should have read it before Tawny Man. Because although each trilogy follows its own characters (with couple appearing in more than one series) and storylines, they all take place in the land of the Elderlings – did I mention these are fantasy books?

This is also one of the only series[es] that I’ve read entirely on Kindle. I bought the first Farseer book when it was a bargain price of £1.99, not long after I’d ventured into the world of ebooks. And I’ve never looked back. It would be nice to own physical copies of the books but the versions I’ve seen don’t have amazing book cover designs. Certainly not as awesome as the covers at the top of this blog post – read about those cover[s] in someone else’s blogpost here.

This is my next series to read. Four books this time!
And when I’m done with that, there’s another Farseer/Fool book and it is brand new!

p.s. Yes, it has been almost a month since I last wrote a blog post. That’s because I’ve been too busy reading to even touch my computer!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The Menzingers & WTFest 6

On Thursday, last week, I left work and headed off to London to meet my boyfriend, Steve, and go to a gig. This is something we do a lot – ‘school night’ or not – but for once we actually had the day off afterwards! Though not simply to sleep in…

The gig was The Menzingers, pretty much my favourite band (not to mention the reason me and Steve met last year), at the Electric Ballroom in Camden and it was damn good. Electric Ballroom is not so small, 1000+ capacity, yet I wandered on over to the barrier at the front and decided that that was where we would stay all night. And stay we did. Throughout the excellent supports, The Holy Mess and The Smith Street Band – big fan of the latter already – and throughout The Menzingers too without getting pulled into any mosh pits.

Snapping a few Instagram-worthy photos:

The Smith Street Band
The Menzingers

I often leave a gig thinking ‘damn, I wish I could do that all over again’. Well, this time we did! The next day, we drove to Southampton for a little three-day (it was actually four, but the first day was Thursday!) punk rock festival called WTFest. I’d seen the poster a couple of months before and was very impressed by the line up – we don’t really get punk festivals in the UK, certainly not like The Fest in Florida! So, I persuaded Steve that we should go (not that it took much, he loves much of the same bands I do).

On Friday evening we saw: Milk Teeth, Bleach Blood, Creeper, Great Cynics, Moose Blood and Apologies, I Have None.

Great Cynics (The highlight. Apologies, I Have None were good too but no photo.)

On Saturday afternoon we saw: Doe, Pale Angels, Bangers and Harker.

Bangers (My favourite band from Cornwall, especially since Crowns broke up.)

On Saturday evening we saw: Dear Everyone, Muncie Girls, Onsind, Caves and Andrew Jackson Jihad.

Muncie Girls (Already a fan. Not a bad performance at all.)
Onsind (Definitely the surprise of the day. Excellent acoustic duo.)
Caves (Bloody awesome. Second time I’ve seen them and can’t wait to do so again.)
Andrew Jackson Jihad (Viewed from the back. Wasn’t a massive fan but pretty good live.)

And on Sunday afternoon, we took some time to explore Southampton (I’ve been a couple of times but not seen much), and then repeated Thursday night with The Holy Mess, The Smith Street Band and The Menzingers but in a much tinier venue. I claimed the same spot – left side of the stage, in front of guitarist/vocalist Greg – as in London but could literally touch the stage in Southampton.

The Holy Mess (Having barely listened prior to seeing them twice in a few days, now a fan.)
The Smith Street Band (It could have been their own show. Everyone loved them, us included.)
And the main event… The Menzingers (I didn’t think it was possible to beat London. They did.)
Steve asked Menzo’s tour manager, Scott, for one of the set lists for me at the end.

I’ve never had a set list from a show before and this is the first time that I have ever seen a band more than once on a single tour. The Menzingers deserve to be that band for me. Now. Sleep…