Category Archives: Others

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Historical fiction fantasy stories

Historical fiction fantasy is a perfect genre for understanding fantasy from another point of view. These books of fantasy or science fiction have no fictional worlds, but they are set in in the real world. They, of course, incorporate fantastic elements into a realistic world.

This crossover is quite common but interesting in the same way.  Allowing authors to create fantasy deriving or inspiring from real events or periods from history. There are different approaches to this, such as creating an alternate history (as happens for example in The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud). Maybe making magical or mythical creatures coexisting in the mundane world with the majority of people being unaware of it (like the Harry Potter series).

Here are some book suggestions where you can see different approaches of historical fiction fantasy:

H.P Lovecraft novels

From the American writer H.P Lovecraft. We can find a good number of books set in the ’30s and where some imaginary cities alternate with real ones. These imaginary cities are an inspiration of other real cities such as Orleans or New York but even so stories happen in the American continent.  Making his characters travel around the country while trying to stop the attempts of the sectarians to try to awaken creatures from another world. These books are a series of horror stories with a slight touch of mystery.  In these, the presence of grotesque monsters completely alters the atmosphere of our planet.

Fantastic Animals and where to find them

The same goes for J.K. Rowling’s series of books, Fantastic Animals and where to Find Them. This has been brought to the big screen after its success in literature. These books are about magic, in a world that serves as background to Harry Potter’s (which if you liked you will like these book suggestions). These explain how important the magic has been on the earth.  From the foundation of the different schools of magicians to all the trouble caused by the evil use of magic.

In this case, we find ourselves in a parallel world. In this, ordinary people live unaware of all these wanderings of the magicians. So it could be said that there is a world completely different from the one we understand despite the fact that both will share the same destiny.

Northern Lights

This saga, written by Philip Pullman. Northern lights became more famous due to its adaptation to the world of cinema under the name of the Golden Compass. This is a story of a steampunk atmosphere. We find a mixture of magical worlds where animals have a great relevance throughout history.

In this case, once again the problems between various worlds end up joining ours.  The protagonist, Lyra, a girl living in Oxford, ends up wrapped in an adventure of epic magnitudes. The story will make her face all sorts of conflicts among fantastic races and evil witches.

The Ender’s game

Book set in an alternative future. The most intelligent children of the planet are trained to be virtual space pilots to wage a war against other worlds, which will eventually try to invade ours. A work of science fiction that combines passages from our earth with intrepid adventures in a space station. Some of you might know this book was adapted into a movie, I´ll write about this soon.

 

Hope you liked these suggestions,  and keep reading!

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Reading on iphone mobile

Read online free websites and books

You want to read online for free, but you don’t know how to do it? Sometimes we want to read a book online and we don’t know where to. The Internet allows us to read a lot of wonderful stories for free, just at the click of a mouse. In this post, I will suggest you free online book reading websites.

 Why people want to read books online

For a few years now, people use the internet for everything and reading couldn’t be less. Many people prefer to read online or using ebooks to avoid piling up books and books at home. Being on the web, they do not occupy a physical space in our homes after our reading. A respectful approach of course.

Even so, reading books online is still something more situational. Maybe you are waiting for that delayed train and you might want to read something meanwhile? or maybe you have a free reading life philosophy? Or you are just curious about websites to read books for free? Whatever, let me satisfy your curiosity.

Now, don’t get this post wrong, this post is about reading books online legally. It is important to respect the copyright, there is a lot of work in every book, too much effort, hope, and money invested.  This is why I recommend visiting only websites that take into account and respect the writer.

Read online free websites

Below you will find free reading websites which I hope you will find useful:

Project Gutenberg:

This is an American website, here you can find about 60,000 copies completely free, that is a lof of free online books. Its creator was Michael Hart, who also invented eBooks in the 1970s. In this webpage, you can either read the books online or download them (epub, Kindle formats), so it is also a way to get free book downloads.

Project Gutenberg does not charge any fee, without any cost to readers.  You don’t even need a special app, your Website browser will be more than enough. As I stated before every book here is free, the webpage encourages you to make a small donation for their project through Paypal to keep it running, donating or not is of your choice, of course.

Wikisource

Wikisource – The Free Library is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation, an American-non-profit and charitable organization which you may know by its most relevant project: Wikipedia. While Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and therefore, contains articles, Wikisource contains the books themselves.

Right now, this project contains 417,491 texts in English, and their webpage is easy to handle since it’s pretty similar to Wikipedia a web design we are all used to.

This is a project to create a free content library and includes the following (as they state in their webpage)

  1.  Source text previously published by any author
  2. Translations of original texts
  3. Historical documents of national or international interest
  4. Bibliographies of authors whose works are in Wikisource

The best thing about this website is the simplicity to explore the available texts, also always free. Whether by genre, by country of origin, by period… you will find tons of books on each subject. If you’re looking for texts in lesser-known languages, don’t worry, Wikisource is sure to find it.

Another useful thing about this webpage,  if the book you want does not exist in your language, you might be able to find it translated in this website.

Internet Archive

This organization is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form.  Right now their archive contains more than 20 million books and texts. You can either download these books or use their open library website in order to read these books online.

Openlibrary.org has a fine browser while books are categorized by genre. If you are willing to read a book it is as simple as right-clicking the “Read button” and just start enjoying a new book!

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This website is a Spanish platform with a somewhat limited free library. They also offer a premium service for a small monthly fee allowing you to download and read without limits. You only have to sign up (you can log in using Facebook and Google accounts too) in order to create an account and start reading. Right now their catalog contains more than 1 million titles in multiple languages.

As stated before their free library is limited, some titles are free, many others, more than 1 million, do not allow their download if you do not contract the Premium service. The cost is 8.99 euros per month but if you really love reading, it will be a very useful service for you.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed these free reading sites. Let me end encouraging you donating for free book authors, why? If you loved a book, if it made you feel so much, why not make a donation to the author, so he can keep creating such lovable stories? Think about it 😊

 

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coloured face

Racism in literature

 

Let’s talk about racism in literature, surely a delicate topic. I am aware that this subject can generate a lot of controversies. So, first of all, I would like to clarify that in this post any racial reference does not have any negative connotation and this issue will be treated with all the respect it deserves.

Racism has been present one way or another during our existence. As a result, there are manuscripts of different ages that reflect it. Many writers found in their literary art a way to denounce this.

Racism in fiction and medieval fantasy genres

Even in fiction and medieval genre, many authors have included racism in their lore in one way or another. To cite a few examples of more than well-known sagas, in Lord of the Rings, Tolkien included in the lore the contempt that existed between some of the fantastic races of the Middle Earth, who does not remember the contempt that existed between the dwarves and the elves? both races had no problem in showing their mutual contempt. However, Gimli (a dwarf) and Legolas (an elf) would end up being great friends.

Another example in fantasy literature would be Harry Potter (which if you loved, you can check these other suggestions). The aversion that some magicians felt towards Muggles (a person who lacks the magical ability and was not born in a magical family) or mudblood (a foul name for someone who is Muggle-born) would be a different approach to racism. Racism is present in these novels in different ways, and is in fact, partly at least, the plot of the second volume of this saga, The Chamber of Secrets.

There are not a few authors who, in one way or another, introduce racism in their books, as something to deny or fight against. By denouncing it, these books help many people to realize this issue, to create social awareness and to stand up against racial prejudice.

Which novels are about facing racism?

To Kill a Mockingbird

By Harper Lee, 1960.A classic of modern literature, no doubt. This book takes place in the Alabama of the 1930s.  It tells the story of a lawyer, Atticus Finch, who stands up against all the prejudices of a village, deciding to defend an African-American man accused of raping a young white woman. While the rest of the villagers already consider him guilty, not even requiring a trial, Atticus Finch will do his best to prove his innocence earning the disrespect of most of the Maycomb citizens (a fictional city). The story is set in the Alabama of the 1930s. The story speaks of racism as present in society but shows the titanic efforts of those “racial heroes”, such as the courageous lawyer Atticus Finch, to fight against it.

The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas, 2017. The Hate U Give addresses the problem of racism in our time. This novel tells the story of Starr Carter, a girl born in a poor neighborhood of African-American people who attends high school in an elegant neighborhood. Things will get worse when she witnesses how Khalil, a childhood friend, get shot by the police.

Broken Earth Series

By N. K. Jemisin, 2015 (first novel). This series is a prominent example of racism in fiction. In this case, the prejudice goes against the orogenes, people with a mutation that makes them capable of preventing (and also causing) earthquakes.  They are both hated and feared, many of them ending up being murdered due to this.

Thud!

Terry Pratchett, 1997. Thud! is a fantasy novel by British writer Terry Pratchett, it is part of his Discworld series. In Thud! A murder of a dwarf will reveal their contempt for trolls, a different approach to racism. If you want to know about Discworld, you only have to click here to know more.

 

Literature conveys messages through characters, this is why it is so powerful and yet beautiful. It thus becomes a perfect tool for raising awareness and mobilizing society.

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FIGHTER WOMAN

Women in fantasy and fiction

 

The world is changing, and so is writing. Stories where women were limited to those stereotyped roles of a damsel in distress who needs a White Knight to save them have long gone away. And that is absolutely great news, it proves that being brave and fighting for what one feels is fair is no longer a matter of gender but attitude. Women in literature, and of course in fantasy and fiction,  fight on their own ⚔️

Many fantasy authors have been able to reflect this change. It’s no longer a fantasy to read about female main character or relevant sidekicks who are self-sufficient, fighters and capable of acting on their own behalf.

I am sure this is encouraging for a lot of people. So I wanted to show some examples of relevant female characters in some epic novels:

Eowyn

Undoubtedly one of the most important characters in The Lord of the Rings (which if you loved you may like these suggestions) saga since she was the only one capable of defeating the fearsome Witch-king of Angmar (the leader of the Nazgûl or Ringwraiths), the one who could not be defeated by any man. Warrior of Rohan, was continuously protected by both his uncle and his brother, not allowing her to fight. She had to deceive both and disguise as a man in order to go to the battlefield. Not only she fought as bravely as anyone, defeated the leader of the Nazgûl was one the reasons their army took advantage over Mordor’s.

I couldn’t resist to include this quote:

“Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!”

Then Merry heard in all sounds of the hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel.

“But no living man am I! You are looking upon a woman. Eowyn am I, Eomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.”

Epic, isn’t it?

Katniss Everdeen

The Hunger Games did not seem like a suitable place for a young lady, but Katniss was far beyond all that. From survivor to winner of the games defeating all those who looked like favorites. Proving that after her apparent fragility, there was a warrior spirit, capable of imposing on everyone and everything.

Yennefer

The love of Geralt of Rivia (The Witcher series) smelling like lilac and gooseberries. Not only smells good, But Yennefer is also a powerful sorceress who has cleverly and magically camouflaged both her real age and appearance. Aside from her magical abilities, she also played a very important role as King Demawend’s adviser, a position that until then seemed to be reserved only for men.

Funnily, the writer of the series, Andrzej Sapkowski, said the following:

 

When I created Yennefer’s character I wanted Geralt to fully grow, but then I decided to make things complicated. I created a female character who refuses to be a fantasy stereotype to please the reader.

Brienne of Tarth

Brienne of Tarth is a relevant character of A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) and, in my opinion, a really inspiring one. Daughter of the Lord of Tarth, being she his only heiress, she would behave more like a soldier. After a life of rejection due to both her unattractive appearance and her lack of feminine social graces, she will find her path, the path of the knights.

She started as King Renly’s personal bodyguard and ended up becoming a sword sworn by Catelyn Stark in the search for her daughters. She successfully carried out his mission and ended up protecting both Arya and Sansa. Earning the respect of both friends and enemies, as is seen with the treatment she has with Jaime Lannister. Throughout fiction, we see her as a figure capable of defeating any warrior, however fearsome they may be, as is the case with The Hound. In addition, Brienne goes to the battlefield without hesitation and is shown as a mortal and dangerous enemy.

 

So here you had some examples of some popular books for women to be inspired, I hope they are encouraging enough and hope these are cool good reads for you.

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