Bookish Merch, For the home, Products I love!!

Top Bookstagram Props

Kiss of Deception The Remnant Chronicles ReviewShopping for props and putting together photos for Instagram (Bookstagram) is so much fun. But sometimes finding just the right prop can be a challenge so I have created a list of some of my favorites! Almost all of the items below I have personally ordered and used and I will continue to add more as I find new and wonderful products.

Crowns:

I use the crowns ALL the time in my Bookstagram photos! I love the sparkle that they add to pictures, but can still be used in darker themes.

Click on the below photos to shop for these crowns and more!

Backgrounds:

I change out my background every few months. I have tried several different options but have found its worth spending a few extra dollars for a nice matte backdrop. I tried a few stick on options or cheaper plastic options and they either did not last of caused terrible lighting glares that made editing a nightmare.

This is the current background that I am using in my photos, I highly recommend it and will be purchasing in a darker color for fall/winter here soon!

Swords/Daggers:

Swords and daggers make such a fun throw in for photos, especially for someone like me who reads a ton of fantasy where main characters are often warriors or assassins. They can also be used to add an extra edge to creepy photo styles.

Flowers:

Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan Book ReviewFlowers are a wonderful way to fill up blank place in photo set ups and they tend to add such a great touch! I usually pick up flowers from my local hobby store for a few dollars a stem.

You can use flowers or foliage to enhance any theme set up, it does not have to be a “fluffy” set up to include them. I like to use muted or darker colored flowers to accent my darker aesthetic photos and then use bright white flowers for my lighter themes. I have also seen some folks do amazing rainbow themes with their flowers.

Scarves:

I use scarves in the background of TONS of my photos to break up the wood color and add another layer to the photo. I personally have a ton of scarves that I wear throughout the year so I really enjoy being able to leverage my collection for photos as well.

Fun Accessories:

I am always on the hunt for unique accessories to fill spaces in my photos, I personally can not stand having a lot of open space. I have included links to a few of my favorite items that I have picked up (just click on the pics below).

You can also add layers to your photos using folded old books, book pages, or rolled pages. I have picked up a couple of old dingy books from the dollar or resale shops to re-purpose.

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab Book Review

Overall: ****

I have heard so so so much about Schwab and this series in particular so I have just been itching to give it a try. When this booked popped up on my Scribd suggestions I knew I had to check it out.

A Darker Shade of Magic Book Review

I am really glad that I kicked this series off with an audiobook due to the amount of world building that occurs, what with the multiple Londons and their different dynamics. I think I might have struggled to get into the book so much if I was trying to read through all of those details versus having them read to me. Once I was in though I was sucked in. I actually ended up finding a gorgeous collectors edition of the book at Barnes and Noble, bought it and finished reading the physical book instead of listening. One thing I will caution to those of you who choose to pursue the audiobook, the narrator was a bit of a challenge. I felt a little bit like I was being read to by Alfred the butler from Batman, and it was hard not to giggle at some of the voice impressions he did. Especially Lilah who happens to be one of the main characters and talks A LOT!

The ideas of the different London’s was very unique, I liked taking the idea of alternate realties and playing it with magic and a “back in time” feel instead of it being sci-fi. Strangely I was satisfied with the way the book ended but also with so many more questions!

I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 just because of the slower start… I have a feeling that the series will be 5 stars overall. I can’t wait to dive into the sequel A Conjuring of Shadows! The collectors edition of this book releases in March!! I also have a book box from Enchanted book box that is based on the V.E. Schwab world… I was a replacement for a prior box I purchased that had to be canceled and I was a bit nervous since I had not read any of her work yet but now I am super excited!!!

Official Synopsis:

Kell is one of the last Antarimagicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in ArnesRed Londonand officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

More to come as I complete the series!

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

Truthwitch Book Review

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Overall ***

Reading Rate: ****

Romance: ***

Pages: 432

This is the first book in the Witchlands series and I have seen a ton of hype around the third book in this series releasing so I wanted to check it out… and of course determine if I wanted to order and of the special editions 🙂 This being the first book in the series there was a lot of world building to be done. High level it is a world where everyone has a form of “witchery” and there many different kinds. The world was once vibrant and had great magic thanks to the “Origin Wells” which have all but died over the course of time. While there is a lot of world building being done you are not given too much information up front, you have to keep reading to find out what things really mean. The story is centered around Iseult and Safi, but there are numerous other characters that are key to the story and are slowing building the back stories as well.

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard Book Review

Because there was some lack of understanding and meaning to some of the elements this book was a little challenging for me to really take a hold of in the beginning. I would say about half way through I was starting to understand the character and world dynamics it really started to pick up.

Once problem I had in the writing was the action scenes. I tend to read quickly and sometimes I have to go back and reread a section to get the details. I just feel in some scenes the details were lacking. I was having a hard time picturing how they were moving together or fighting. A few times I caught myself internally thinking “How did they end up like that?”.

There was so much that was left shrouded in mystery in this book. Most of the characters are really still in a morally grey area, and you aren’t even sure who the “big bad” guy is. I gave the overall score for this book 3 out of 5 stars for its slow start and lack of information. Understanding that this is taking this book as a standalone and that once complete with the overall series I might have a very different opinion.

That being said even though this first book was only 3 stars I will continue to read the series. I think the author has a lot of great concepts started and I would really like to find out what she does with them… and who ends up being what in the story line.

Official Synopsis:

“In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.”

On another fun note I did read that it was announced in September that the series was optioned by Jim Henson Company for a TV series!!  Link to article

BloodWitch the official 3rd book in the series (there is a 2.5 Novella) Releases on February 12th 2019.  I will have to see how the sequel Windwitch goes before I decide if I want to pre-order or grab any special edition boxes.