Friday, March 23, 2012

Once Upon A Time VI

Artist: Melissa Nucera
Once Upon A Time is an annual reading challenge event hosted by Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings that is held starting on the vernal equinox [March 20] through the end of June every year. This year marks the 6th anniversary of this challenge and the 3rd year that I'll be participating. There are various levels of participation from which readers can chose, but the overall goal of the challenge is the same and that is to encourage readers to read more fantasy, folklore, mythology and fairy tales, share their journey with each other and have fun!

The first year in which I participated in this challenge, I did the first level quest, which was to read at least five books from any the four categories and I succeeded. The second year [just last year], I chose to do the third level quest which was to read a book from each category as well as a June reading or viewing of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. I failed. I blame my failure partly because I signed up for the challenge late [in May] and therefore didn't have enough time to finish two of the books, but also partly because I procrastinated reading Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. So I'll repeat this the challenge at this level again in hopes of meeting the challenge this time.

Below is a list of the books I'm considering for this year:

Fantasy:       The Bell at Sealey Head by Patricia A. McKillip [fantasy]
Fairy Tale:   Cat's Tale: A Fairy Tale Retold by Bettie Sharpe [Puss in Boots retelling]
Folklore:      If I Die by Rachel Vincent [banshees and reapers]
Mythology:  The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller  [Greek mythology]
Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream

Artist: Melissa Nucera

Artist: Melissa Nucera
Be sure to visit the once upon a time review site for links to reviews from participants. It's also a great place to visit for some reading inspiration!

The stunning artwork for this year's event is by artist Melissa Nucera, whose artwork was also used for the Once Upon A Time IV in 2010, which I absolutely adored. Be sure to check out Melissa's beautiful artwork at her Etsy store, This Years Girl.

Are you in? 

What are some of your favorite fantasy novels? 


  1. Ooh, this sounds tempting. I have not joined a challenge before and this one falls right in with the genres I love to read. And it is doable! Hm, I may need to consider this one.

  2. I don't do challenged because I never know how my weekly reading will go from one week to the next. (I tend to bounce around genres a lot.) Some of my favorite fantasy authors are Tanya Huff (especially the Enchanted Emporium and The Summoner books), and Nina Kiriki Hoffman, oh and Mercedes Lackey and Anne McCaffery. *g* The artwork for this challenge is gorgeous! I'll have to look at the links you've provided for her.

  3. The artwork for this challenge is amazing isn't it! I really struggled to pick which one to use!

  4. I am looking forward to switching through the different pictures over the course of the challenge.

  5. This challenge seems to be awesome! And I hope you read Cat's Tale soon because I've heard is very good but I'm still on the fence about it :D

    good luck with this challenge

  6. @ Shannon ... Oh sign up! It would be great to have one of my "regular buddies" doing this one with me. We can keep each other on track. Maybe read Midsummer Night's Dream together. That would stop me from cheating and reading the graphic novel of said masterpiece. Woops. lol!

    @ Brandy ... I know what you mean. I read from all over the place, too, but I do really enjoy fantasy and it's only five books in three months so fairly doable. Hmm.. I haven't read anything by any of those fantasy authors you name, although I a have at least heard of three of them! That's a start!

    @ Marg ... So glad you're doing this challenge too! Yay! As you can see, I couldn't help but use a version of all of Melissa's artwork used for this one. ;)

    @ Kailana ... The artwork sure is stunning, isn't it?
    I just clicked over to your blog. How is it that I've never visited you?! And I LOVE your blog header!!

    @ Alex ... I'll let you know my impressions of Cat's Tale when I read it. I'm actually not familiar with the Puss in Boots tale so will do a little background research first, aka read about it on Wiki. ha!

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    Our budget is around $15 for the post. Is this something you'd be open to?

    Also we might be interested in a small banner ad if the price is right.
    Our budget is $40/year - something like this:

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    Also if you have some other sites just send them over and we might be interested in doing a sponsored post on there as well!



  8. All the best with the challenge! Favourite fantasy novels? Hmmm. Where to start? *grin* Sarah Monette's Doctrine of Labyrinths. Michelle Sagara's Cast series. Janny Wurts - she's written some amazing books, but my favourite is To Ride Hell's Chasm. To name but a few *grin*

    We are a car dealership and thought we might be a good fit for your readers/visitors on

    Huh? Because cars and romance just go together and water :)

    1. Forgot one fnatasy series - Carol Berg's Lighthouse duology.

  9. It really is fatal to pop in to see what other people are reading for this challenge. :-) I love the sound of The Bell at Sealey Head and am now going to order it. I keep hearing about Patricia McKillip so I think it's time I read something by her!

  10. I don't read a lot of fantasy, so I'm not a good one to ask.

  11. LOL, it's like those games where you have to repeat the level until you succeed! :) Good luck Christine! :)

  12. Oh yay! You're reading Cat's Tale! Let me know how you like it!! I have it on my Kindle but haven't read it yet. Did you read Ember?!

    Also have Song of Achilles, if I have the time I'll read it this weekend ;-)

    Good luck!!

  13. @ Phil ... Thanks, but no thanks. This is a personal space and I don't feel strongly enough about your product to advertise for you here. Good luck.

    @ orannia ... I'm not familiar with any of those fantasy authors and novels you mention! I think I have some homework to do!

    Yeah, I don't know what Phil was thinking!

    @ Cath ... I know what you mean! I only visited a small handful of participants in this challenge and my list of books to read expanded! Let me know if you do end up reading Patricia McKillip's The Bell at Sealey Head so we can compare notes! My copy was given to me by a dear friend who reads a lot of fantasy.. knowing I have an affection for books with a touch of romance in them.

    @ bermudaonion ... Fantasy isn't my go-to genre either, but every time I DO pick one up, I always seem to love it and think, "why don't I read more books like this?"

    @ nath ... This is exactly like those games where you have to repeat the level until you succeed! I hope this time is it! I feel like Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream has been hanging over my head for over a year now! ;)

    @ Brie ... I haven't read Ember yet, but remembered it's been on my list for FOREVER [or at least 3-4 years?] when I read your review. I'll let you know when I give Cat's Tale a whirl! Hopefully soon. :)

    I'll probably get to Song of Achilles later. I have some new releases I want to get to first.

  14. I can't wait to join in on this challenge as well! I always enjoy participating...I just need to come up with my pool of books to choose from. Good luck and have fun :)


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