Friday, March 26, 2010

Once Upon a Time IV Challenge

I found a new reading challenge to join while visiting Sam's Book Blog! It's the Once Upon a Time IV Challenge and is hosted by Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings.

Another challenge? Why yes. And here are my reasons why:

One. Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After. Pretty self explanatory there.

Two. I was instantly struck and drawn to the beautiful, near haunting artwork used for the Once Upon a Time challenge image. The original artwork by Melissa Nucera is titled The Queen. It's beautiful, oui? The host of the challenge sought the permission of the artist and altered the original artwork to include the challenge logo within an ornate frame. It's almost ethereal ... but not quite, because it's a little too melancholy, dramatic, and maybe even too dark to be considered ethereal. I love the depth of emotion that's conveyed in the art. I really get a sense of story from The Queen. It also stirs the senses, I think. I can imagine what the forest smells like, sounds like, and even feels like. I would think we would be able to see the queen's breath mist the air if she were turned toward our direction. I wonder, are her eyes be rimmed red from tears or would they be glittering with anger and frustration? Or perhaps both.

Check out more of Melissa's artwork on her website at January Wish and at her Etsy store, This Years Girl.

Three. When I went link hopping and made my way over to Melissa Nucera's website, low and behold, there was a recebt interview that Melissa conducted with romance author Lori Brighton, whose debut novel, Wild Heart, I read, enjoyed and reviewed in January. It was a sort of serendipitous thing to happen upon.

Four. This reason is very obvious. I love to read fantasy, folklore, fairy tales and mythology. I have several books of these genres already on my bookshelves not to mention several more that I want to get my hands. Of course the stickler for me with this challenge is that this it runs only for the duration of spring in the northern hemisphere, so I'll have to read and review my challenge books between now and June 20th!

Carl has the challenge broken down into different quests based on your reading preferences. I chose to do Quest the First which simply requires the participant to read five books from any one or more of the four genres. I think I can do that. I have so many books to consider for this challenge....

Except the Queen by Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder
Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent
The Queen's Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Fire by Kristin Cashore
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
The Last Mermaid by Shana Abe
Ironside by Holly Black
Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

Beastly by Alex Finn

If you have a favorite fantasy, folklore, fairy tale or mythology novel that you could recommend, I'd love to hear about it!

Edited to Add: June, 20, 2010
Visit the post Once Upon A Time IV Reading Challenge COMPLETE to see the list of books I read to meet this challenge. :)


  1. Of your list, I've read Graceling which was good (4 out of 5). I have Fire in the TBR. :) What I'd recommend is Juliet Marillier's Wildwood Dancing, a YA fantasy. It was a 4.5-star read for me. :)

  2. I like the Maryrose Woods books, they feature celtic mythology but are set in present day and alternate day. *g*

  3. You have good reasons to get challenged and seemed to have covered all angles. You definitely can't go wrong with fantasy filled with happily ever after kind of ending. I'm for sure going to follow with ballad. Graceling I was told by my sister it's good so will also try that.

    Good luck with the challenge and happy reading!

  4. LOL, another challenge? I've been so bad with them this year, it's not even funny!!

    Oh, I want to read your thoughts on The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner!! Hope you review those!

  5. Very good reasons to join a challenge IMO. Have you read Juliet Marillier's Heir to Sevenwaters? It is the only Juliet Marillier book I've read (ATM), but I absolutely loved it!

    I also have the first Megan Whalen Turner book on my TBR list :)

  6. You've really thought this out, haven't you? :)

    Great list of books. I've read and enjoyed My Soul to Save and Graceling. I remember Abby reading the Megan Whalen Turner books and liked those a bunch. She also read the Juliet Marillier that Jace mentioned and another that I think was the sequel. She asked for more Marillier, always a good sign. :)

    Wish I could read as fast as she does. Good luck with the challenge!

  7. This sounds like a fun Challenge. I've never done a challenge before :). And I don't think now is a good time for me to start one either!

    I have tons of fantasy books to recommend, but I don't think they would be what you would like to read. Anne Bishop was one thing, think :).

    Oh and just so you know, you are working out really great as a waitress in my restaurant! So far you haven't been fired! LOL :P Keep up the good work, Christine. Your such a good worker!

  8. Jace, Juliet Marillier is definitely on my must read list of authors. Thanks for reminding me.

    Brandy, I'm not familiar with the Maryrose Woods books, but you've got my attention with the celtic mythology and settings. Sounds interesting! Thanks for the rec.

    Natalie, I am very good at convincing myself why I should sign up for things like this. The problem usually lies with following through.

    nath, I should review The Queen's Thief series... maybe I'l write a review of the series as opposed to review each book.

    orannia, another vote for Juliet Marillier. I think Heir to Sevenwaters is actually the only one of her works that my library has, so I'll probably get to that one for sure.

    Leslie, I wish I could read as fast as my daughters, too. I'm a slow reader compared to most people I know.

    Michelle, join it with me! :)

    Amy, I actually thought of you when I saw this challenge. It would be right up your alley and so easy for you to accomplish. Anne Bishop's fantasy novels are really wonderful ... I know that now thanks to you. I do plan on continuing with her books. :)

    Not being fired is a good thing!!! I didn't even realize I was hired! LOL. I'm scared to look. :P

  9. I absolutely love that artwork. It's just gorgeous! I have to go now and look at more. :)

    Good luck with your challenge.


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