Top Ten Tuesday: Most Compelling Villains

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish wherein each week bloggers list out their Top Ten. This week’s theme is villains – the ones that drive your story/protagonist, or in some cases, the ones who are simply there to cause chaos. Whatever the reason, some of them stick to your mind and these top villains I have found most compelling:

Warning: spoilers may be involved in some cases

Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely, #1)Bananach, Wicked Lovely series

The faery Bananach, in the Wicked Lovely universe, is a personification of chaos (how cool and primeval is that!) , so naturally I would start the list with her. Said to have avian features and a mane of hair that sometimes look like a mass of raven feathers, she is one villain I have not been able to put out of my mind since years. Efforts to draw her have been unsuccessful but I still persist in imagining her.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5)Dolores Umbridge, Harry Potter series

Listen, I know she is not a genocidal maniac but I think we can all agree we equally hate her with a fervour. How can a person who loves cats be so evil, am I right? So, while Voldemort is the main villain, he is mostly a pitiful character, while Dolores is a straight-up evil character with no cause for her cruelty.

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5)Queen Levana Blackburn, The Lunar Chronicles here’s a villain who had a very sad backstory but still made you go

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)The Darkling, The Grisha Trilogy

Speaking of villains with tragic backstories, the Darkling is a charming piece of work you started to love but then went – oh no! He is still a pretty complex character and one of the best written characters in the series.

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Maven Calore, Red Queen

Speaking of characters you started to love:

just why, Maven, why?

The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)Adelina Amouteru, The Young Elites trilogy

Adelina is unique to this list because she is both the protagonist and the villain of the story. She is meant to be a kind girl turned evil by her surroundings. A very tragic series, indeed.

Yes, I know that Teren-whatever dude is the villain of her story but she kind of out-villains him in the second book.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)Colin & Piper Greenmantle, The Raven Cycle

This couple of chaos were the main villains of the third book in the series, but their reach was in nearly three books. Colin is responsible for bring the Grey Man into Henrietta in The Dream Thieves, while Piper is the one to raise the Unmaker in The Raven King. I would like to add that though Joseph Kavinsky and Barrington Whelk also stood in competition here, they could not equal the blind apathy these two characters had for any others. They are the fools who get too much power and misuse it.

The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5)Arobynn Hamel, Throne of Glass series

The Mother Gothel to Celaena, he is, for me, worse than even the King of Adarlan. He is a predatory asshole who should have been put down long ago. Also, how he manipulated events to cause her to lose Sam – ugh, I just can’t hate him enough!

Well, that’s my list! Which villains do you hate/love to hate?

September Wrap-Up

September – my favorite month! It has nothing to do with the fact that my birthday falls in September, though – nothing at all.😉 Now, September has more meaning for me – we are starting to usher in fall, and the fantastic weather that comes along with it. Temperatures were still high throughout most of September here, though, and I kept to the house during the Silver week holidays (reading binge, what else?)! So, while I say goodbye to September, here’s my wrap-up for the month:

First off, Goodreads Reading Challenge:

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Krutula has
read 206 books toward
her goal of
250 books.

15 full-length books and 1 re-read (Cross my Heart and Hope to Spy)

Also, this was a month for read-a-thons, with Read to Bingo in the first week, TGTRAT in the first weekend, and then TackleTBR for half of September. Basically I got plenty of books off my backlist TBR.

[Moreoer, I realized I have already read more books in these 9 months than I did over the last year, so I call it a win so far. Also, guess what? My all-time reading count is now 2000+ books.]

Books I loved

The Female of the Species Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (Untitled, #1) A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2) Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5) Uprooted

The Swan Riders (Prisoners of Peace #2) Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls, #2) The Night Circus

Books I liked

Rose & Thorn (Ash & Bramble, #2) A Place Called Here Frostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1) The Unexpected Everything Gamescape: Overworld (Nova Project, #1)

Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1) Like a River Glorious (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #2)

Books that were good but could have been better

I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl

Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR list

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish wherein each week bloggers list out their Top Ten. Autumn is here, and I am so very happy because something about it calls to mind reading books. And there are SO MANY books I am excited for, but here’s the top ten:

Frost Like Night (Snow Like Ashes, #3) The Midnight Star (Young Elites, #3) A Million Worlds with You (Firebird, #3)

All final books in their respective trilogies, which means I am very nervous and also very excited.

Heartless Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Replica (Replica, #1) Glitter

Heartless is a wonderland retelling about the Queen of Hearts. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy is a collection of short stories (with illustrations by Cassandra Jean) set in the Shadowhunter universe. Replica is a new book by Lauren Oliver – the concept of which intrigues me. Glitter is said to be something like Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette. All these new books by authors I already know!

Timekeeper (Timekeeper, #1) The Women in the Walls

A debut steampunk novel that has me very interested is Timekeeper, while The Women in the Walls is a horror novel by a new-to-me author.


#TackleTBR Read-a-thon – Wrap-Up

Oh, it has been a wonderful 2 weeks reading books! Did I tackle my TBR? Yes, I did. Now I had initially decided on these books to read

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (Untitled, #1) A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2) Lions in the Garden (The Uprising #1) A Forest of Wolves (The Uprising, #2) Gamescape: Overworld (Nova Project #1)

Naming the Stars Necrotech A New Darkness (Starblade Chronicles, #1) The Dark Army (Starblade Chronicles, #2) The Lying Planet

Now, for the first week I was a bit slow – I got only 3 books read in 7 days and was feeling bad about it. But, then I had holidays in the second so I caught up on as much reading as I could. My final tally:

Total Books Read: 9
Total Pages Read: 4042
Finished Books: 8½ [because I was already mid-way in Bright Smoke, Cold Fire when starting with this read-a-thon]

Books read

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (Untitled, #1)  Gamescape: Overworld (Nova Project #1)  A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2) Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5) Uprooted

 The Swan Riders Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1) Like a River Glorious The Night Circus

[Links for reviews can be found on covers]

So, while I did not read all the books I intended to, I still got through some books I really wanted to. Now, excuse me while I go get over this book hangover.

Review: The Night Circus

The Night Circus
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love – a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

What I feel after reading this book is what I imagine the circus-goers in the world of The Night Circus felt after dawn. It was absolutely magical, to say the least; it exceeded any expectations of what the story would be about when I started the book. To explain it would be like how the clock-maker felt after his visit – words would be incomplete, but I’ll try. The story of The Night Circus revolves around this game that two magicians have created – to pit their students against each other in a match of skills and imagination. This particular game is being held on a large scale – as part of the Circus that was created by their machinations. The two players – Celia and Marco – are told to not interfere or bother with their opponent, but instead set up elaborate displays in turns and ultimately a winner would be chosen. But the Circus they have created in tandem has become an entity of its own, dragging along the others tied to it in its path.

The story actually takes place over many years – from when Celia and Marco are kids to the future of the Circus. The chapters sometimes alternate in time, and there it gets a bit tricky remembering the ages of the characters and what previous chapter it connects to. The book is a little like a puzzle, slowly arranging pieces when you aren’t watching and suddenly things fall in place. Told from various character perspectives of the people involved in the circus, the plot places itself squarely across time and distance, as well as the wonder it creates in its audience. Another character a generation down, Bailey starts getting tied in the story, and when those threads come together, you realize how ingeniously the book was designed. The feeling of seeing everything but nothing is something you get used to, because the story plays out in between the lines too, in the small phrases scattered granting more meaning to the plot.

Now, while the romance is one of the driving points of the story, it is also about the wonder and burden of seeing things no one else can. Celia and Marco can perform these great feats, but even with the ones in the know, they can have only adoration and love, not entirely belonging. Not to say that they don’t form meaningful relationships besides each other, but there is also the fact that they have literally been bonded to the game since their childhood. The story in the first half is all mystique and wonder, and starts to get dark in the second half, when it becomes apparent that the longer the Circus goes on, the more the ones associated with it become troubled by it. But then again, it manifested in ways that I didn’t expect and right until the ending I was kept on my toes, a feeling I very much appreciated from this book. I would suggest this for all lovers of fantasy, for those who love to escape.

View all my reviews