Three Things Thursday: Friday Is the New Thursday
I’m late to the party this week because, well, life and stuff. Let’s jump on in.
A Conjuring of Light
Here’s a partial list of things I yelled while reading A Conjuring of Light, the final entry in V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy:
- Lila Bard is the BEST
- Poor baby Rhy
- THIS IS A VERY BAD IDEA
- Yay, ship!*
- NOBODY ON THIS SHIP IS ALLOWED TO DIE
- Yay, Ned Tuttle!
- WHY WON’T SOMEONE GIVE HOLLAND A HUG??
- But why book over now?
*I always, always mean the actual seagoing vessel. Sorry, ‘shippers.
Anyway, the point is, I love the Shades of Magic series. Even leaving the fun worldbuilding aside, I think what works the most for me is the way Schwab sketches clear character dynamics. Kell, Lila, Rhy, and Alucard all have distinct relationships with one another. Kell mistrusts Alucard because he broke Rhy’s heart, for example, which bleeds into his frustration that Lila trusts Alucard because he was her captain while at sea. If you like the characters, then, the (many) scenes in which Schwab throws them in a room together and just lets them interact are more than enough to carry the book on their own.
But the book has plenty of other strengths to offer: seeds planted in the first novel come to fruition in delightful ways, the violence that threads through the world has consequences, and also Lila Bard remains (as my above yelling would indicate) the actual best.
So yeah. I love this series, and am already eager to see if, how, and when Schwab returns to the world(s) she has created.
Planet Earth 2
I also did a lot of yelling while watching the debut of Planet Earth 2, if I’m honest, though most of that was either A) incoherent sounds of anxiety on behalf of the prey animals or B) me shouting “I want to hug it!” whenever I saw a cute animal.
I had forgotten, until I watched a few episodes of the first series over the weekend, how incredibly engaging and impressive the first Planet Earth was. It holds up, too—while the new episode had higher quality footage, perhaps, the original was satisfying because of its narrative as well as its technology.
So the sequel series has a high bar to clear—and so far, at least, it’s doing so with ease. They used the above snakes versus lizards sequence to promote the series, I believe, and it makes sense because it’s tense and exciting throughout. But the producers manage plenty of other narrative feats, too: telling an oddly heartbreaking story about a sloth who crosses a river in search of a potential mate, showing a little bird whose fate made me furious at a tree, of all things, and tracing an incredibly perilous penguin journey.*
*Also, we need to discuss the fact that David Attenborough pronounces “sloth” with a long o sound and how very weird that is to hear.
Plus the komodo dragons are intense, y’all.
The Wish Granter
Rumpelstiltskin is creepy af. I don't like him.
That is all.
Bonus Round: What I Read This Week (And Last Week, Too)
Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
Rise of Fire by Sophie Jordan
Starfall by Melissa Landers
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
The Wish Granter by CJ Redwine
A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab