Tuesday, February 27, 2024

My father and I just finished All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O'Donoghue

My father and I just finished All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O'Donoghue.

They say the fault is not in our stars but in ourselves, and this book certainly certainly proves it when young Maeve of St. Bernadette’s Catholic school accidentally draws The Housekeeper card from a tarot deck. A card which does not exist from a deck that follows her, a card which grants her impulsive wish for her ex–best friend Lily to vanish. But as the Church's power wanes in Ireland the true evil is revealed to be something far more human, yet still wrapped tightly around olden magics. A puzzle which Maeve, her new friend Fi, and gender-fluid budding boyfriend who also happens to be Lily's brother fortunately have just enough wits and confidence in who they really are to unravel. A sharply contemporary book, this story proves that while one can seldom control the cards life deals you, how you play your hand is up to you.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Max Guild and Cape

Today I accomplished one of those rare decades long goals, that being reaching at least level 99 in every RuneScape Skill and thus earning the right to wear the Max Cape and enter the Max Guild in Prifddinas (city of the elves and the capital city of Tirannwn). I have reached and posted similar goals before – such as when I earned the combat-related Five Capes of Accomplishment – but getting to 99 in all Skills a dream of every Scaper.

I am wearing the red cape, which is naturally the Max Cape,
and am standing in the Max Guild.
A dream we can relive for, truth me told, I first earned Max Cape and Guild entry early last summer. Why did I not post about it then? Because I knew that RuneScape's newest Skill, Necromancy, was about to come out; hence my, and indeed every Maxed Scaper's time as such, was going to end when it did. Which means, as you can see from the images, that today I finally reached level 99 in Necromancy and re-earned by place as a Max Cape wearer and Guild member.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Content Writing Opportunities? Sure, why not.

Point of order, I was again told
not to smile for this photo.
Want to see your own writing published online? I am listening. In short, I have gotten some emails addressed to "the Stars Uncounted team" asking about Content Writing and I respond by saying that the team consists of me, myself, and I, and that all one of us is willing to post your content. The only rule is that such a Guest Post would have to be within the context of the blog – meaning that it must relate to the Fantasy genre or be about self-publishing Fantasy. If you are interested, feel free to send me one for approval. The first such post was the Beginners Guide to Exploring Fantasy Books by StickerYou. 

Just remember that any and all Guest Posts must adhere to the high moral spirit of my mostly humble blog. This does not mean that I have to agree with everything you say; it merely must be well-written and thought-out.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Shelves Unfettered - A place for librarians and young literati

I am in my working life a teacher, a school librarian to be exact, and for my Survey of Literature for Children and Young Adults and Emerging Technologies for Libraries online classes at Salem State University I was tasked to make a blog. Deeming Stars Uncounted not a good fit, since the classes obviously involve more than Fantasy, I created:

Shelves Unfettered - A place for librarians and young literati

Of a more academic nature than Stars Uncounted, its literary focus is, I think, enough to warrant me mentioning it here. What becomes of it following my time at Salem I cannot say but, until that time, it might be worth a look.

Stars Uncounted. Seas Uncharted. Shelves Unfettered. There is almost an echo in here.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

My father and I just finished Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

My father and I just finished Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson.

Though several reviews – and very credible reviewers – compared it to Diana Wynne Jones' works, we did not see it; and we should know having read them all. But the real shock is less the Jones comparison so much as that it was not compared to Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus Sequence. Set in a rich Victorian-based world where old books of magic are no less and arguably much more dangerous than post-Reform sorcerers, apprentice librarian and sorcerer-hater Elisabeth Scrivener unravels a centuries old conspiracy that threatens not only the Austermeer’s Great Libraries but literally everything else as well. With help from one somewhat traumatized and very wry sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn and his unfailingly polite demon servant of course. Nothing against School Library Journal, or Margaret Rogerson herself for that matter, but claiming Sorcery of Thorns makes Rogerson the heir of Jones is a fundamental mischaracterization. Say rather, again and quite accurately, that Sorcery of Thorns is the heir of the Bartimaeus Sequence. I mean come on: Nathaniel, political plots, and summoned demons. Seriously.

Farewell for now Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas. I will be seeing you again in the sequel whether or not Dad agrees with it.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Quote of the month

This quote is one of my favorites, for it inspires much of my writing.

"It is marvelous to see them: the new lands rising from the sea as your boat comes toward them. The farmlands and forests, the cities with their harbors and palaces, the marketplaces where they sell everything in the world." - Ursula K. Le Guin