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Welcome to my Inner World. I am a French self-taught artist, and these past seventeen years I have made Norway my home. Moving to the Lofoten islands was the greatest present I ever made to myself and the Arctic landscapes are indeed a true treat for any artist’s eyes. I live with my British soulmate,… Continue Reading

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Category Archives: Favourite Books

The Sight by David Clement-Davies

 

From Publishers Weekly
As in his Fire Bringer, Clement-Davies’s new fantasy novel features talking animals (Vargs, or wolves, instead of deer), a militant pack with a power-hungry leader, a prophecy involving a newborn that proves gifted (a white wolf who has the Sight, which can be used to see the future, heal and even control others) and the author creates imaginative mythologies (here drawing on everything from Christianity to Little Red Riding Hood). Also, both prophecies speak of a marked one (this time it turns out to be a stolen human child) and the revelation of a secret. But readers may find the creative plotting here even more compelling than in the author’s first novel and the cryptic prophecy’s meaning will keep them guessing. Larka, a white wolf, and her family are hunted, initially by Morgra, who strives to become the powerful Man Varg (also foretold in the prophecy); a rebel pack also hunts them (Slavka, its leader, seeks to destroy all that claim to have the Sight). After Larka loses members of her pack, she embarks on a solo journey and finds teachers who help her master the Sight, using it to heal the “human cub” and to prepare to face Morgra. Despite sophisticated language and some complex concepts, such as the origins of evil, the author’s clever plot twists (such as which wolf eventually claims to be Wolfbane) make the thick novel well worth the commitment. Strong female characters also provide a refreshing change to the often male-dominated science-fiction/fantasy field.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

 

Amazon.com
At birth, Ella is inadvertently cursed by an imprudent fairy named Lucinda, who bestows on her the “gift” of obedience. Anything anyone tells her to do, Ella must obey. Another girl might have been cowed by this affliction, but not feisty Ella: “Instead of making me docile, Lucinda’s curse made a rebel of me. Or perhaps I was that way naturally.” When her beloved mother dies, leaving her in the care of a mostly absent and avaricious father, and later, a loathsome stepmother and two treacherous stepsisters, Ella’s life and well-being seem in grave peril. But her intelligence and saucy nature keep her in good stead as she sets out on a quest for freedom and self-discovery, trying to track down Lucinda to undo the curse, fending off ogres, befriending elves, and falling in love with a prince along the way. Yes, there is a pumpkin coach, a glass slipper, and a happily ever after, but this is the most remarkable, delightful, and profound version of Cinderella you’ve ever read.

Gail Carson Levine’s examination of traditional female roles in fairy tales takes some satisfying twists and deviations from the original. Ella is bound by obedience against her will, and takes matters in her own hands with ambition and verve. Her relationship with the prince is balanced and based on humor and mutual respect; in fact, it is she who ultimately rescues him.

The Merchant of Marvels and the Peddler of Dreams by Frederic Clement and Emma Cole

 

Book Description
What to give the person who has everything? This is the dilemma of Frederick Knick-Knack, who surely must have, somewhere in his bags and boxes, his chests and cases, his collection of collections, the ideal gift for his friend Alice. Published in France to considerable acclaim in 1997, and translated into English with more than 30,000 copies sold, The Merchant of Marvels is now available in a new format for readers to rediscover this world of wonders. How will Frederick convey his most perfect love with just one gift? A ticket for a thousand and one flights on a thousand and one nights? Perhaps a marble made by Merlin the Enchanter? Somehow, somewhere he will find the gift like no other, the perfect present. The Merchant of Marvels is an exuberant marriage of word and illustration, its pages rich with finely crafted objets d’art, line drawings, and breathtaking watercolors. Imbued with magic, mystery, and enchant ment, this emerging classic is the quintessential gift book a wonderful story filled with unimaginably beautiful allegory, and a true expression of love and friendship.

The Griffin & Sabine Trilogy Boxed Set: Griffin & Sabine/Sabine’s Notebook/The Golden Mean by Nick Bantock

 

Amazon.com
Few books are more romantic than this trilogy, nor more surreal. Griffin Moss is a rather doleful, lonesome, gaunt, and haunted postcard designer in London. Sabine Strohem is an illustrator of stamps living on an island in the South Pacific. One day Griffin gets an extraordinary letter from Sabine revealing that she knows all kinds of things about his life and work–somehow, she can share his soul from afar. They start exchanging love letters, yet it remains an open question whether Griffin and Sabine are two hearts that mystically beat as one, or simply illusory. “You’re a figment of my imagination,” Griffin accuses Sabine. “You cannot turn me into a phantom because you are frightened,” Sabine replies. Phantom or soul mate, Sabine is pursued across the globe by Griffin in an increasingly impassioned fashion, and the mysteries deepen.

The legendarily popular trilogy of books containing the Griffin-Sabine correspondence literally contains the correspondence: postcards, front and back, and letters in envelopes pasted into the book, which the reader must open and read–a temptation few can resist. Nick Bantock’s story was way ahead of the computer game Myst, with which it shares a moody allure. Bantock designed hundreds of book covers (for Philip Roth, John Updike, and others) before he fled London for a lovely island off the west coast of Canada with his rather Sabine-like artist wife and became improbably famous by dreaming up this trilogy. His artwork is gorgeous, and countless romances have been intensified by exposure to that of Griffin and Sabine.