A New Dragon Is Summoned…

The Hostess calls forth from The Brood a new hatchling. So without further ado…

Hello, and welcome fellow geeks and others. I shall be known as Saethryx The Daydreamer; The first Lesser Dragon and second content creator for Teatime With Dragons.

“So…”, you wonder, ”why have a second content creator? The first one was doing just fine on their own.” Well… I’m joining as second content creator mainly because the workload for The Hostess meant that she could only get so much content out per month, sometimes even missing months because she gets too invested in one article, so I thought she could use the help.

An important thing to note is that; I’m not a very good writer… but do I really need to be good at writing to talk about my interests with everyone? No, I do not. I feel I’m gonna be bettering my writing as I go anyway. I’ve also got ASD, specifically Asperger’s Syndrome, but that’s not gonna stop me either; in fact it probably makes me more suited for this blog due to my obsessive nature. What most consider a disability I consider a strength

Now you ask, “so what kind of things do you like Saethryx”, well I’m glad you asked. The answer to that question is: A bit of everything really. I generally go by the rule of try anything once before dismissing it, this means that I enjoy a wider range of things than most. I do consider this a bit of an a annoyance though due to not having enough time to enjoy it all but I still wouldn’t have it any other way.

Overall my main passion would be music. For some reason I prefer audio stimulus over other forms of entertainment, plus you can do other activities while listening to music and instruments are really fun to play even if you aren’t very good. I only really got into music around 2016 and only properly got into it when I picked up guitar around 2017. I didn’t pick up guitar because I wanted to become a rockstar or anything, I picked up guitar because a friend of mine loved Metallica and played guitar as a hobby. I picked up guitar because I thought it looked like fun, and I’m glad I did. I didn’t even start off where most people do either, the first song I started learning was Metallica’s One because that’s what my friend was learning to play at the time. Nowadays I look back and think that maybe I’d be able to play better if I hadn’t started with such a difficult track (difficult for a beginner) but at least I had fun which is all that matters. It’s also because of my guitar friend that I got into Metal, of course over time my music taste broadened but I still do love a good bit of Metal. If you asked me now I wouldn’t be able to tell you what my favourite genre is or who my favourite artist is. I mostly like Rock, particularly Prog Rock, and Metal but I do like a lot of other stuff; I even have some Kraftwerk in my CD collection; yes, I do prefer physical formats; also yes, Yes is a great band. Because I only got into music so recently I would say that this hobby of mine is still pretty early in it’s development, but just because it’s my most recent hobby doesn’t mean I can’t be most passionate about it.

Way before I was into music though, I was playing video games. No real backstory for this one, I just like video games. I enjoy most genres of games: from shooters to puzzle games to RPGs, even to some visual novels (if you count those as games). Some favourites would be Doom (1993), Mount And Blade (Warband) and the Touhou series. In my opinion, a good game doesn’t need fancy graphics or a masterpiece of a story; it doesn’t even have to play well, it just needs to be entertaining. If one aspect of the game feels a little lacking but it’s still entertaining then it’s still a great game. This view is represented by the games I listed as my favourites: does Doom have a good story, no but the gameplay is timeless. Does Mount And Blade have amazing graphics, nope. Touhou has some of the worst artwork of any game series ever but the gameplay, soundtrack, characters and world building make it great. You don’t even have to play Touhou to enjoy it and appreciate the world it’s set in; there’s more than enough official and fan content to get fully invested.

I’ve never really been super into live action TV. I’ll watch the occasional show now and then but I’ve never been able to get truly invested in anything. Except Dr. Who, mainly the old stuff. This is mostly because I was brought up on it; I can’t tell you the first time I saw an episode or what the first episode I saw was, all I know is I was hooked right from the start. When I went to boarding school (because of my ASD, not because I’m posh) one of the few things I had to entertain me after the days activities was to sit in my room and rewatch the few DVDs I had. I can’t tell you how many times I rewatched The Daleks or The Tomb of The Cybermen. Even though by today’s standards it looks really cheap and some of the stories are laughably terrible, looking at you Twin Dilemma, it just has this charm to it that makes it so entertaining and keeps me coming back for more. I do like the reboot series but it just doesn’t have the same charm that the old series does and it’s been going downhill for a while now, here’s hoping for some improvement with the next season.

I think I got a bit carried away on that last paragraph there, sorry. I get a bit too carried away sometimes, just one of my quirks. I guess I should probably wrap this up.

My interests do line up with The Hostess’ in many places, but there are also many places where our interests differ. Having different opinions is not a bad thing though, it’ll allow us to give different perspectives on things and cover stuff that the other isn’t very interested in.

I do hope you enjoy my articles. We hope to see slightly more content being uploaded from now on.

Saethryx The Daydreamer

Thought Corner: A Court of Mist and Fury

On an Earth greatly different from our own exists the land of Prythian where humans and Fae dwell, separated by a magical wall. In the north the immortal Faes have split the territory into courts and fights amongst themselves. In the south humans live in fear and hate of the Fae. What happens when these two worlds collide?

Hello and welcome to all you beautiful people and if you haven’t figured it out yet we’re looking at A Court of Mist and Fury. This is quickly becoming one of my favourite series. I’m excited to talk about it. Hopefully you’re excited to read about it. So without further ado let’s get into it.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas is the second instalment in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. First published in 2016 and loved by many since. Thorns and Roses was good but Mist and Fury is on a different level. This is the one that made me realise why this series is so loved. I highly recommend the first two books to any YA Fantasy fans out there.

Spoiler Warning!

It’s been three months since the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses and Feyre isn’t doing so well. Within the first few pages you’re met with one of the major themes and the reason why this book is so good. Feyre and her fight with PTSD. It’s ugly, it’s heartbreaking and it’s rewarding when you see her emerge stronger than before.

While she’s with Tamlin, Feyre becomes a husk of herself. She’s plagued by horrifying nightmares and puking out her guts the rest of the night. She’s told what to do, what to say and where she can go. She stops painting, her passion. When she does do something that she thinks is right Tamlin scolds her for doing it. He just makes her situation worse. No one sees what’s happening to Feyre. Or they do and aren’t doing anything. In fact you can see it’s the latter. Everyone’s too afraid of Tamlin, too scared to go against their High Lord. No one even helps Feyre adjust to her new life as a Fae, let alone teach her how to read and write. Whilst she is in the Spring Court Feyre is kept in a prison that is draining the life out of her. This place that grew to feel like Feyre’s home has become what she thought it was when she first arrived.

Thank goodness for Rhysand. It’s very fitting that his first appearance is him crashing Feyre and Tamlin’s wedding. What a man. Or fae. What an entrance. At this point he’s still seen as a bad guy but Feyre’s health greatly improves while she’s with him in the Night Court. And what happens when she goes back to the Spring Court? Tamlin demands information from her. Then basically puts her on lockdown with guards following her around the clock. Finally Tamlin does something that he probably wanted to do as soon as they returned home; he uses magic to trap her in the house. Not okay. Beyond not okay.

After Feyre explodes with darkness, Alis contacts the Night Court and Mor comes to get her. This is when the story kicks into high gear. Feyre chooses to cross the threshold, allowing so many truths to come to light, more lore to be explored and she meets the Court of Dreams, one of my favourite found families.

Feyre finds her home, her family here. A place of love. A place of freedom. Ultimately a place where she can heal with other hurt people that are committed to healing themselves. They also teach and train her. She learns to read, write and utilise the powers she has. Whilst in the Night Court’s city of Velaris Feyre grows beyond the survivor she once was.

I’m not going to talk about every little detail of the plot, that would take some time. So some of my favourite moments include the Weaver’s cottage, visiting the Summer Court, Starfall, believe it or not but the visit to the Court of Nightmares and pretty much any dinner table scene. I find Sarah J Maas is fantastic at writing dinner table scenes. Both tension filled and fun ones.

The characters are well written and I want more of them. Even Jurian and the King of Hybern have a strong presence for the brief moments you see/ hear from them. Speaking of those two, they did not disappoint. I can tell they’ll be great and fun villains in the next book. I know there is still more to learn about all these characters.

I’ve already talked a lot about Feyre, she is one of my favourite characters. She’s a powerful lead who goes on an important inner journey. I commend Feyre for her sacrifice, it was heartbreaking to read. And to risk going back to the Spring Court. You can’t say she isn’t a strong female character when she sacrifices everything for everyone else. Her sisters, her mate, her family and all the people in the Night Court. A true High Lady. By the end of the story Feyre’s angry. There is so much rage built up inside her but she can’t release it yet. Now she has a game to play. One I look forward to seeing how it plays out.

I never liked Tamlin. He had his moments but ultimately I found him boring. Now you see he’s also a selfish coward. I’ve already touched on some of the things he does at the beginning but that’s all overshadowed by his decision to make a bargain with the King of Hybern. He offers all the humans south of the wall to the King on a silver platter all so he can have Feyre. The whole time he treats her like an object, his property. He even says “She’s mine”. No. Just no. Tamlin can get out.

Lucien can join him. I really liked Lucien and probably will again if he redeems himself. I’m just so disappointed in him. He just sat back and let Feyre waste away. Didn’t fight for her, didn’t defend her He was supposed to be her friend and he did nothing. He just became a lackey for Tamlin. He even lost his cockiness and humour eventually. The things that made Lucien likeable disappeared. If he ever hopes to be a mate worthy of Elain he needs to change. I hope Lucien gets some character development in Wings and Ruin.

Rhysand has always been one of my favourite characters, besides Feyre. I’d perk up whenever he appeared. I never once thought that he was a bad guy, I just felt he had underlying motives. There was more going on beneath the surface. Low and behold that turned out to be the case. He’s been through so much pain, heartache and torture. He’s the most powerful High Lord and yet he only uses his full strength when he has to. He’s also one of the nicest, not on the same level as Tarquin but he’s up there. It’s a shame most of the land doesn’t know that. Rhysand represents everything that Tamlin isn’t. Rhysand wants to move Prythian into the future. To make significant changes. Tamlin just follows tradition. Rhysand also always puts Feyre first and considers her feelings. Probably why he couldn’t make a decision on when to tell her that she was his mate. Knowing how Lucien reacted when he felt that Elain was his mate, Rhys must have a lot of restraint and self control. Already I can’t wait for him and Feyre to reunite.

The Court of Dreams is one of the best found families I’ve read. Did I mention that already? All have gone through their own hardships. Each bear different wounds but they still live to the fullest. They would die for each other. Even Amren. I know Cassian and Nesta get together and I hope the same is true with Azriel and Mor. The looks are too much. Or are they too little?

In conclusion I loved A Court of Mist and Fury so much that I’m giving it a turquoise dragon. That’s right, the top one. There’s romance mixed with fantasy and a good amount of action. The exploration of PTSD and trauma in general is compelling. How important being with the right people can be. Thank you all for taking the time to read this. I’ll see you all in the next post.

-Your Hostess-

Time to Meet the Vampire Lestat: A Book Thought Corner

Hello and welcome to all you beautiful people, today is my first attempt at a book thought corner. It’s not a secret that for a while I’d been reading The Vampire Lestat. Before my heart palpitations, I turned over the last page and quickly moved onto my next adventure. I have one more thing to do, however before I can firmly put The Vampire Lestat on my read pile. So without further ado let’s get into it.

The Vampire Lestat is the second book in The Vampire Chronicles series by Anne Rice. First published in 1985, approximately 9 years after it’s predecessor. Narrated by Lestat, the story is his autobiography, book ended by his present day life in the 1980s. He tells us his tale beginning in rural France, then journing to Paris and even making his way to Egypt. Going forward it’s inevitably that I’ll be comparing this to the first book.

Lestat de Lioncourt - Wikipedia
wikipedia

The best place to start is with our illustrious narrator. Lestat is a romantic searching for meaning, both in life and death. He consistently refers to the Savage garden, a phrase I interpret as a way of describing vampiric life. The twisted version of the garden of Eden. Lestat warns at the beginning of his tale that his speak/writing style might be inconsistent. I didn’t really notice or pick up on that. It would’ve been interesting to see a more 80s style mixed in with the 1700s style. But at this point I don’t think Lestat is that integrated into the time period. Lestat was always an entertaining character and having him as narrator is more interesting. I’d happily trade Louis’ brooding of good, evil and morality for Lestat’s musings and search for a purpose. Honestly I gained a new appreciation for Louis from the way Lestat talks about him. I too would rather gaze at him putting his brain into overdrive then reading the thoughts he’s racing through. I am fascinated to read stories/events from different perspectives because everyone perceives things differently. I know people say there are discrepancies between the first and second books, I didn’t notice them however. And isn’t that what’s important? Enjoying the story rather than getting hung up on the details.

Which brings me to the point this is a reboot for the series, the true beginning of The Vampire Chronicles. If the 9 year gap between the books isn’t enough to make you think that then let me point out some other things. First we have a new narrator, Lestat, who as far as I know remains the protagonist throughout the rest of the series. I at least know that’s true for Queen of the Damned. We get an indepth look at Lestat’s origin story. Through him we meet another prominent character from the first book and witness his origin story. We even have an origin for the Theatre of the Vampires. Lestat is chock full of origin stories, lore and call backs to the first book. All things that lay the brick work for an even larger story, clearly bearing the rules of the world to the reader. There’s important information that the reader needs in order to move onto the next book. So The Vampire Lestat serves three purposes: introduce Lestat as the nex protagonist, establish the rules of the world and setting up Queen of the Damned.

Now for the writing and style. Both times I’ve been enthralled by the storytelling. In the beginning. The detail is incredible and aids the reader in creating a full picture. My problem is that the further into the story I get, the more long winded I find the writing. I want to move onto another story but at the same time I want to finish the book I’m currently reading. It’s just a shame that the fun of reading turns into a chore. I must say it’s wonderful that Rice added parts to The Vampire Lestat. Then split those parts into sections. Makes life so much easier for chapter readers like myself.

Can you skip Interview with the Vampire? A friend asked me that. Storywise I’d technically say yes. From what I’ve read so far all the important information is in The Vampire Lestat but I would encourage people to still read the first one. You miss out on Daniel, Claudia and great Lestat content. Some of my favourite scenes so far were in Interview.

Overall I would give The Vampire Lestat a Peridot dragon. I like the stories and the characters but loosing the desire to continue reading isn’t a good sign. The end really caught my attention however. I plan on reading Queen of the Damned and looking forward to it. Any vampire fans looking for something outside of teen romance should give The Vampire Chronicles a go. If you have a short attention span however this might not be the book series for you.

Peridot - Wikipedia
wikipedia

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I’ll see you all in the next post.

-Your Hostess-

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lestat_de_Lioncourt#/media/File:Tom_Cruise_as_Lestat.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peridot

From Review to Thought Corner

I have a confession. I don’t like reviews. I definitely don’t like writing reviews. I never wanted to write reviews. I never wanted to classify what I write as reviews. Then I started writing blog posts. Reviews seemed like the professional thing to do, if you can call the ones I’ve written so far reviews. No more. I’m going to give my original idea a spin. To some my posts may still read as reviews but I will no longer concern myself with that label.

Why not reviews?

What type of reviews have you read? Probably either helpful or unhelpful ones, right? Of course you have the critics, professionally published online in magazines that don’t really reflect the mind of the average audience. All over the internet you can find bloggers, youtubers and even on some sites that ask for reviews people giving detailed thoughtful insights. Those are the helpful ones, the ones that are interesting to read. Then you get the unhelpful reviews. Mostly negative opinions that don’t give you any insight into their experience or the experience you might have. They just attack the work, creator or both. Negative one word reviews are the most annoying in my opinion.

The thing is all these reviewers have already formed their opinion and what they write only reflects that view they’ve chosen. Positive reviews encourage readers to use or watch something and negative reviews deter the reader. I mean that’s the purpose of reviews. To help someone make an informed decision before buying something. There’s this idea that reviewers, professional ones at least, know what they’re talking about. I’m subconsciously adding that expectation and pressure to myself when I work. I also want to go beyond just helping people make an informed decision. I want to spark discussion. Bring people with similar interests together. Think beyond just my opinion. Imagine ways something could be improved. Looking at story and character elements, how they work. Why the creator chose to direction they took.

I’m no longer going to write reviews. From now on I’m calling them thought corners. A space where I write my thoughts on something, analyse and fantasize what could’ve been done differently. The name change might not seem that different from reviews but it’ll make a world of difference for my mental health. ‘Thought corner’ eases my overthinking and worry of saying or getting something wrong. I am taking something and making it my own.

While I’m writing this I have also settled on how I’m going to rate things, for now. I didn’t want to rate ouf of 10 or use stars. Too basic for me. I thought about it for a while and came up with an idea. Birthstones. I know that means the scale is out of 12 but I can do what I want. Like I’ve said in a past post, I won’t know if my ideas work unless I try them. Here is the order of birthstones for those who don’t know:

1- Garnet

2- Amethyst

3- Aquamarine

4- Diamond

5- Emerald

6- Pearl

7- Ruby

8- Peridot

9- Sapphire

10- Opal

11- Topaz

12- Turquoise

Worst to best is from top to bottom. Sorry if that upsets anyone. I think this will be a fun and unique way to rate things. It’s also a way for me to combine the magic of fictional worlds with the little magic we have in ours. It might be a bit odd that something terrible has a Diamond or Amethyst rating but weirder things have happened.

Thank you for all those reading my ramblings. My first book thought corner will be up soon. I’ll see you all in the next post.

-Your Hostess-

Let’s Have a Cuppa: July 2020

Hello and welcome to all you beautiful people. See, I told you. I said I’d post this on time.

How are you all? Safe and happy I hope. If not, that’s okay. To quote Mor from a Court of Mist and Fury “There are good days and hard days… Don’t let the hard days win.” I’m about halfway through that book now and I love it. A big step up from the first one. What are you reading at the moment? Anything interesting? Would you recommend it?

We are now well into summer, at least in the northern hemisphere. I do not cope well in the heat. I’m a winter baby, I melt in the summer. Funny enough that’s only when I’m inside. Walking under the sun I don’t mind the heat so much. How are all of you coping? Enjoy the sun when you can just make sure you’re also looking out for other people. Just because the weather’s nice doesn’t mean the spreading of disease stops.

The only thing I didn’t talk about in my June post was music. I’ve taken a leaf out of a friend’s book and set up a Spotify playlist for the month. Something I plan to do each month. So songs I listen to on repeat/obsessed with get put in there. I constantly add to it as the month goes on. I’ve really gotten into a style of music dubbed bardcore. Imagine your favourite pop song but with a medieval sound and old english lyrics. That’s bardcore. It’s amazing. My musical obsession for the month has been SIX. I know with Disney adding Hamilton I should be excited about that but my heart yearns for a different historical musical. One frontlined by six powerful wives that are adding the prefix to history.

So aims over the month of July. Uploading At least 2 posts a week would be ideal, even if just overall that’s what the number divides into. That would work out to 8 posts in total over July. Do able. I want to increase the number of followers for my blog to 25. Increase my Twitter followers to 20 and my Instagram followers to 55. I would include likes on my facebook page but I’m not too fussed with facebook. These may seem like small goals but slow and steady wins the race. If I set ridiculously high goals that I’m unlikely to achieve I’m going to feel very good about myself. Defeat will start deeping in. Defeat will lead to self-doubt and I don’t need more of that in my life. Away from my blog I aim to start writing my first book. I will finish my world building, know it inside and out. Then I will start writing with a goal of 5,000 words by the end of July. I see all these goals are very achievable.

July looks to be a very active month. If there is anything you wish to see a post on let me know. A movie, TV show, video game, anime, book and so on just let me know.

Thank you all for reading and being here. I will see you in the next post.

-Your Hostess-

Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/lemon-iced-tea-with-lemon-fruits-792613/ Photographer: Barbara Webb