Orilium – Magical Readathon Novice Path September 2021 – Update

Orilium by Lizzart

This September and the first week of October were a real mess for me. While I did manage to get some nice reading squeezed in and have read most of the books I planed to read, I am behind on making posts and updates in general. To illustrate the gravity of the situation let me just point out that while I did read the books out of order and finished reading six books out of seven I’ve chosen I completely forgot that I was supposed to record them in trough the form provided. Thankfully the form is still open and I was able do do that later on even though my books were not counted towards the statistics for September.

One thing I feel I must mention is that I did not exactly follow the path but instead I visited the locations in my own order and pace – I read the books in a different order than they were presented by the prompts! I will contribute this to my future Orilium character weird personality in which I tend to stray from the usual path and the way of doing things. From all my experience in role playing games I have a tendency to play characters that are of the chaotic alignment.

Hare are the books and prompts for the Novice Path I have read in September:

Site: Novice Path Entrance

Prompt: Book with a map

Book: Half the World (Shattered Sea #2) by Joe Abercrombie ★★★★

It was a strange choice for me to pick a second book in the Shattered Sea trilogy as the first book to start on my Novice path. Choosing the book with a map as was the requirement was harder than I anticipated and I went trough some other options I wanted more than this book but could not just find the right one. I read the first book last year and liked it very much but was apprehensive since my boyfriend did not like it because it follows some new characters other than those in the first book. I went fearfully into this book.

The map in the book is an expended version of the map in the first books and on it it was interesting to follow the adventurous path of the characters. I kept returning to the map and referring to the locations on it while I was reading. Just like the first book of the series it is a book that describes a great journey – both geographical as well as mental and personal for the characters. It was not the first book I read in September but in the end I was happy with it and enjoyed it much more than I expected. I even enjoyed myself so much I am still on the lookout for the third book in hardcover edition.

Site: Ashtorn Tree

Prompt: A book that keeps tempting you or a book on top of your TBR

Book: The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch ★★★★

This is one of the books on my list for book club suggestions. It has been years since it was translated into Croatian and I was intrigued since the time I was working in a bookstore. It is not a type of a book I normally go for which only speaks so much more for about the attention it garnered from me. I expected an emotional rollercoaster of a book and tried to prepare myself for the slightly morbid topic of a man who knows he is about to die and is sharing his views and values trough a story and ultimately a lecture at a university. I am not ashamed to admit that I cried on some parts of the book and some parts I considered to be thoughtful and inspiring – especially the parts where he talks about his dreams and life goals and aspirations for his own children. I will continue to advocate for this book to my book club group because I would really like to hear what they think and share my thoughts about this unusually inspiring book.

Site: The Mist of Solitude

Prompt: Standalone book

Book: Les Hirondelles de Kaboul by Yasmina Khadra ★★★

From all the books I’ve chosen for this reading challenge this one was the one I was the least looking forward to. I used to for the standalone prompt because it fit another reading challenge I was doing in September as well. It was for Becca’s Bookoplathon and you can read more about it HERE. I think I prepared myself for the harshness of this book so well that when I read the parts I was worried about, it went much easier than I anticipated. The story portrays human and practical characters in a brutal setting that we sometimes forget is very real in the parts of the world we live in. I managed to disconnect myself from the story because otherwise I would not be able to wrestle with my daily chores. I prefer to use books as a balm and inspiration.

Site: Ruin of the Skye

Prompt: Book with ghosts/haunted house or other supernatural elements

Book: The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #2) by Anne Rice

This is one of the last books I started reading in September and I did not finish yet. My chosen supernatural element were vampires. I got a full shelf of Anne Rice’s books and out of all of them I read only one!

I often get sidetracked in my quests and I will count this one as a part of the scenic rout taken on my adventuring path in Orilium. I plan to finish it soon and as you will see from some other stats below I have reasons not to be very upset about not finishing this book in September

Site: Obsidian Falls

Prompt: Thriller or a mystery book

Book: Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked #1)by Kerri Maniscalco

Thriller or a mystery book prompt did not inspire confidence. I was happy when I was checking my TBR on Goodreads and in the tags found a few options that I actually liked. I decided to go with the latest Kindle edition of a book that is popular at the moment. I had high hopes of liking it too. I don’t know what did I expect from this book but I was more frustrated by it then I enjoyed it. Plot and the characters seemed weak and predictable and the explanations and plot twists seemed convenient. Some things just did not hold up for me. The vague timeline and open world that was reduced to a small Italian island felt too small and constricting while giving a respectable medieval vibe which in turn was slightly off from the open worldview of the townsfolk and their general behaviour. The book could have used a glossary of Italian words the author used. The cooking bit did not impress me as much it should have. All that being said – I liked the witch story twist and demonology theme even though I felt it to be unclear in some things. I am debating on giving the next book a try because I think it might have more potential and most of my issues with the book setting might be resolved.

Site: Tower of Rumination

Prompt: Five star prediction

Book: Exit Strategy (The Murderbot Diaries #4) by Martha Wells ★★★★★

From the first book in Murderbot Diaries series I was enamored with this science fiction stories. I loved all three previous books and I loved this one as well. I am still surprised at how much easy to read these little books are especially since space theme science fiction is still not a genre I consider a favorite. But these books are definitely my favorite and I am getting the other books related to Murderbot Diaries by the end of the year as well.

In fact I loved it so much that I am even looking out for the new fantasy book by the same author named Witch King and set to hit the bookstores in the fall next year!

Site: Orilium Academy Arc

Prompt: Book with a school setting

Book: The Culling Trials (Shadowspell Academy #1) by K.F. Breene and Shannon Mayer ★★★★★

I really thought that it would be easier to find a book with a school setting on my own shelves that was not a part of the Harry Potter book series! at one point I even thought I was going to reread one of those. Instead I accidentally stumbled on a new Croatian edition and translation of the author one of my bookish friends really loves – K.F. Breene. While I never before read anything from this author I have found some of her other books on Kindle sales and collected them for some new reading opportunity and some new reading challenge. This book is fairly new and I was waiting for weeks to get it from the library. I almost did not read it in time because of it! The book actually offered a sort of prequel to some really interesting and brutal school setting and because it ended on a cliffhanger I am rethinking of reading it in English because I might not be able to wait forever for Croatian translation!

Character background prompts and book choices:

Even though I technically have time by April 2022. to finish up reading the books for my character background choices I read two out of three right away in September!

Background: Urban

Prompt: Book set in a city or town

Book: Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning ★★★

As one of the books that has been on my TBR for almost a decade I expected a lot more from it. I did not want to believe the ugly cover to be a true indicator of how good the book in general is. I had issues with this book. It has been quite some time since I’ve read an urban fantasy book with the main character as unlikable and annoying as this one. I tried liking her and as soon as I could come to terms with one annoying thing two new popped up! What I did have a healthy respect for was that the story was not set on the romance and that the sole purpose of the main character was not to fall for the dark mysterious brooding guy – Jericho Barrons. What killed this book for me and made me not want to continue reading the rest of the series was the last chapter where nothing made sense in lieu of what the characters did.
Getting a manicure from the person she got the manicure from seemed like something that should have happened in a chaotic dream and not the cliffhanger plot it turned out to be… I’m glad I gave it a try and I would have tried giving this book series another try with the sequel but I just could not digest that last chapter. Maybe I would have liked it more if I had read it first at the time when I added it to my TBR.

Province: Kerador

Prompt: Book from an ongoing series

Book: The Crystal of the Wood Elves (Elfes #7) by Nicolas Jarry, Gianluca Maconi, Christina Cox-De Ravel ★★★★

The Elfes fantasy graphic novel series has around 30 volumes and there are supposed to be other related graphic novels with other races as the main topic. For me this is going to be an ongoing series for a long time because I am using the casual approach and I’m adding a volume TBR each month or a chance I get to include it in some future reading challenge. Volumes are relatively short – each is around 50 pages long but the artwork is stunning and I enjoy the fantasy setting. I might have rushed this volume in order to read it in time but the short episode format is starting to bug me.

In addition to the options and choices above I got an update to my guild choice and have finally chosen a name for myself. So let me introduce myself for now:

My name is Petaniqua and I am a of skaimorn descent. I come from a city in the province of Kerador and belong to The Archivists guild. The ancient art of book keeping is one of our specialties.

I am looking forward to new content and details that come with each guild, quest and lore. From the prompts I have left to complete until April I have only one more left and I will probably start on it at the in December if not somewhere in early 2022.

Heritage: Skaimorn

Prompt: Oldest book I own or have on TBR

Book: Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

This reading challenge feels more like an adventure game and I hope I will continue to enjoy it. How do you like my journey so far and what do you think about participating in this type of a reading challenge? For more details on the Orilium challenge check out the video announcement HERE and give Book Roast some love and support.

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