• Anna Madden

The Bees Are Back

Updated: Mar 28

The bees are back in my garden, hunting out my lavender and salvia blooms. Seeing their little wings buzzing along is a nice reminder that not everything has come to a stop because of the corona virus. Nature continues to go through its motions despite this less than stellar predicament we're all facing together. For me, gardening and watching the bees helps offset the current day worries, but I've also been diving into the age-old escape: reading.

The Rains of Imarcia by Marie Croke. A writer that commands the page. I loved this book, and I finished it in a day and a half, reading well passed my bedtime. It's got such a fresh and unique world, with great characters, and just the right dose of tension and pacing. If you're looking for a new fantasy read, and you like worlds that surprise you, this is the perfect escape.

I reopened my copy of Pride and Prejudice and then followed it with Sense and Sensibility (both by Jane Austen, if you didn't already know). I've read these about five times each now. There is some great dialogue and character development. I feel like Jane must have been quite a people watcher in her day. Sometimes, I do wish the little scenes or the secondary characters were more fleshed out in Sense and Sensibility. Edward Ferrars, for example, could have fuller interactions with the Dashwood family. But, this is a small gripe, and I do love both of these stories.

Following the trend of rereading, I went to two all-time favorites which complete the Damar series by Robin McKinley. Their titles are: The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown. I first read these when I was a teenager at the recommendation of my older sister, and they've been staples on my bookshelf ever since. I love the world building, the horse culture, and the magic, and also (it's a thing with me) the strong female protagonists.

When I heard Jane Lindskold was continuing her Firekeeper Saga with Wolf's Search, I made plans to reread the entire series (there are six books ahead of this one). This wasn't a bad thing, because I do want to reread them all again, BUT it turns out this novel was written with the intent of being able to jump right into the story whether you've read the previous books or not. Reading this was nostalgic, and I went through its pages like fire. Luckily, there is another in the works called Wolf's Soul.

River of Diamonds by S. M Issac. A novella that's post-apocalyptic with a hope-driven plot. It leaves you feeling more optimistic about the world, even after disaster. I think that's something we could all use right now. Time after time, Rosa chooses optimism in face of adversity. I can well see why Greg is drawn to her, and their adventure, along with their struggles, reinforces Rosa's ideology: don't despair, but instead find beauty in the everyday.

On short fiction, I'm halfway through Issue 2 of Hybrid Fiction. They're a new magazine that focuses on short stories that blend two genres. Such a neat idea, and I love the illustrations. I also just received my copy of Issue 5 from DreamForge Magazine in the mail. Their fiction carries hopeful themes.

A Tale of Honey and Wine by Alexa Piper is a novel on my immediate to-read list. It's uploaded onto my kindle and ready to go!

(Picture taken from my phone, in my garden)

#bees #fiction #reading


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