Posts Tagged With: LGBTQ+

Friday: Diversity // LGBTQ+

I had a chat with one other book blogger recently, where we discussed the lack of diversity in books we’re, so to speak, served. In a sense, unless you look by yourself, for yourself – you might not come around a lot of diversity. So I started digging through my blog, just so I could mark things down: which books had people of color? Were they main characters, or merely sidekicks? What about LGBT people? Different religions? In the end it was fairly hard to find books from different, less popular countries, let alone bigger things, like gender or color.

So we came to a conclusion, or rather, she did, and I stole it, as I do, as should you with good ideas if they’re not copyrighted: maybe we should speak up a little. Education is lacking, points of view are lacking. So let’s help each other out. Let’s find the good things, the diverse things and share them. Let’s educate ourselves, for no one else will!

Schedule will be this, if all goes well: Fridays. Every other Friday we speak of a topic, then next Friday I try to read a book for the previous topic. All suggestions are very welcome.

Today’s topic is LGBTQ+, and the books are V.E. SchwabShades of Magic trilogy [1]; [2]; [3]:

x_shadesofmagic

Shades of Magic is a wonderful fantasy trilogy of three Londons. Grey one is dull, without any magic in it. White one is where magic bites back, eating the very life-force of the world, people. And the Red one is wonderful, full of beautiful, peaceful magic. There’s two main heroes here, Delilah Bard, who comes from Grey London and dreams of adventure. And Kell, who is basically adopted by the royal family, and considers their legitimate son Rhy – his brother. He’s the key to Delilah’s adventure, for she soon finds a way to get him to take her away from the Grey London, into his, Red.

Rhy gets a time to shine in third book, even thou there’s plenty of him in other ones too. He’s a delightful man of tan skin, beautiful eyes, easy flirt, and charming character, with a lot of strong emotions that seemed very true, and honest. And while his bed was warmed by lovers of both genders, his heart secretly belongs to only one: Alucard Emery. Alucard is a captain of a ship Delilah Bard finds herself in while on an adventure to, basically, find more adventures.

While Alucard was beaten by his brothers and thrown out of the home by his father due to where he spent the night (Rhy’s bed), homophobia here is a matter of isolated incidents and oddities of distant lands. Little if any pay attention to Rhy’s orientation, and the worst thing that came out of it was a consequence to Alucard not explaining why he left, for Kell swore to beat him to a pulp for breaking his brother’s heart.

SPOILERS:

Everything solves in the end, and we get a happy ending for everyone, including Rhy and Alucard. Alucard comes back with solid proof of his love, and Rhy, being a smart young man, finds a way to work his love into his life.

SPOILERS END:

These are truly delightful books. No one’s perfect, and yet the logic these characters show is so very refreshing. There’s no love triangles, there’s no abandoning of dreams for love, but rather true, and honest reaching for the stars, not letting go of anything, not compromising. They’re captivating and wonderful, and everyone should read them!

Categories: LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

V.E. Schwab – A Conjuring of Light [3]

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. SchwabMy journey through Londons ends, and I must say, I’m fairly content about it. With “A Conjuring of Light” by V.E. Schwab (Shades of Magic 3; ISBN 0765387468; 624p.; Goodreads) Shades of Magic trilogy ends. Some things were left untold, and it felt natural, for they were the things Red London didn’t speak about. Other things received their dots where dots were needed. And since there’s spoilers further on, my advice is to not read unless you’ve read the previous book. Know that I loved this book.

We’re all familiar with the concept of AI becoming self-aware, and what could that mean to us, to our world. In our “grey” world, if not per se London, this concept is the most interesting among theoretically possible ones, for having no magic means we advanced in other things. Red London, on the other hand, has full-on magic…

Once, due to a mistake, or worship, a spell became self-aware outside the will of the caster. And now this creature, believing self to be a God, for hey, they DID worship it where it’s from, is wrecking havoc on Kell’s home. And, of course, he’s prepared to kill it or die trying.

They say two heads are better than one, so how about four? Kell, Lila, Alucard, and their prisoner, sail out into the ocean, in search of the blackest market of all the black damn markets. If you need it – they have it. If you want it – bargain for it. And they’re nothing if not in need of weapons able to fight a divine power, where revered creatures as Antari don’t stand a chance to compete. Just imagine these four in close ship quarters for a week… Rhy, in the meantime, stays behind to defend London until they return, with a promise to Kell that he won’t get into TOO much trouble until he’s back. But that’s easier said than done, for there’s a monster outside alright, but what about the traitors on the inside?

I love how no one went out for a stroll in Black London, and the myth, more or less, stayed a myth, or at least a forbidden place no one wants to think about, like the ajar closet door at night. I like that prince was so utterly in love with his man, that he listened, and understood, and made things possible, as kings do. I like that Delilah stayed her own woman, with her own agenda, her own mind, even with all the stuff about Kell, and that it was him who got to consider that hey, maybe I’m not actually rooted into one spot after all (I hate those damn stories where girl stays behind, and doesn’t go to some uni, just because her new found love was too dumb to get in anywhere, and had to stay in some miserable hometown of theirs). I love that everything ended so well, and that the end, if firm, is not solid, and if need be – there could be a book 4, but if there never is – reader is content with absolutely everything. It’s a very right, and very good ending to have. So I give it 5 out of 5, something I have never done to an entire series before (I think, I might have done that to Harry Potter, but I can’t recall anymore), and will add it to my favorite list when I’m not too lazy about it.

Categories: 5-5, Books, Books of Supernaturals, Fantasy Books, High Fantasy, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Pirate Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

V.E. Schwab – A Gathering of Shadows [2]

gatheringofshadowsI forgot I didn’t yet tell you about this book until I realized I have barely any left of the third. So do let me tell you how great was the second book in V.E. Schwab trilogy Shades of Magic, “A Gathering of Shadows” (ISBN 0765376474; 512p.; Goodreads), for it was amazing. Mind you, if you haven’t read the first one, you might want to skip this review, and just know that I loved it cover to cover.

As Kell and Rhy are now sharing one life – a lot of things pass between them via that magical link. At first it was seemingly just pain, for if one dies – the other one dies too, only natural you’d feel the deadly prick just as the other party does. But then there’s all the mental stuff too, and before they strangled each other due to constant hum at the back of their heads, Rhy makes up his mind. His brother will have to attend the magical dueling tournament and release some of that built-up magical steam. For unlike your regular mages, this one will gladly slap you if you finish off his already thin patience, or scare him too much by nearly dying if he cared about you, etc. And, of course, since he’s the most powerful magician known, that people revere and fear as a god, he’ll have to enter in disguise…

Delilah Bard turns her ears up when Captain Alucard, after long months at sea and foreign ports, turns the ship around back to London. He intends to attend this magical dueling tournament, and Lila just happens to have discovered she has powers too…

In the mean time, White London, the drained and bleak one, is stirring. A legend came true. On their throne now sits a hero, a king that fairy tales claimed to be able to restore magic in their world.

I can’t stop admiring the characters, how much each one of them is their own person, acting on their own set of mind, and not just there to ask the right questions. I love how Rhy would flirt with a chair, but then is madly in love with one person, and keeping that feeling safe from the world. I love how Kell, at points indeed revered as god due to power is actually a hotheaded spirit, ready to stomp his feet in anger, and yell at you if you chocked and nearly died in his arms, because he got so scared, and you can’t do that! And I just love Delilah Bard, I do believe she is my all time favorite woman ever written. 5 out of 5, deserved every one bit.

Categories: 5-5, Books, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

K.J. Charles – Flight of Magpies [3]

21529170Well, this ended way too soon. I wasn’t prepared for it to end! But at least it did end well. So, the third K.J. Charles book in A Charm of Magpies trilogy “Flight of Magpies” (ISBN 1619224291; 212p.; Goodreads), and the last one so far… (I say “so far”, because there’s a willing answer of “maybe” in author’s page)

Lucian’s nagging to leave for China sounds more and more appealing to Stephan, as his world is slowly but surely trying to choke him. His only able co-worker takes a maternity leave, thus making him the only witch present in the battlefield. Someone steals his Magpie ring. His student is suspended due to suspicions of thieving! And worst of all, he can no longer put up with all the harassment. London is being plagued by gruesome deaths that leave no magical trace for him to follow, and most of the dead people are police officers. Those still alive demand justice to be given to the law, to them, and the only one they can demand this from is Stephan. The pressure is on, and all of it is on him.

Which is getting on Lucian’s nerves. Watching his beloved come in overworked, irritated, and sometimes even bruised, and battered is a torture in itself. Every time he leaves, Lucian is afraid he’ll never see him again due to the danger of justiciars work, doubled by him doing it all alone. On top of it, some nasty truths come to surface, his magical enemies are closing in, still dreaming of Magpie Lord power, and this time they have a superb advantage up their sleeves, a huge weakness in Lucian’s defense: the lonely soldier, Stephan, now so very weakened by the missing ring, and lack of allies…

Truly, a beautiful piece, these stories. Magic in Victorian London, law-forbidden love, refreshingly honest too, detective, and horror elements, yes, all that. To each book I gave fours, since something was missing, and this one would get a four too, if not for me wanting to allow it a high-note end. I give it a 5 out of 5, for all the intriguing ways people got killed in it, all the odd, funny, sarcastic, stubborn, smart-ass, cheeky characters it had, and the awareness they had of themselves.

Categories: 5-5, Books, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Fantasy Books, Gothic Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

K.J. Charles – A Case of Possession [2]

18074870I am the worst, I know. I finished the book probably a week ago, but here I am, only now making up some kind of a review. K.J. Charles book “A Case of Possession” (A Charm of Magpies 2; ASIN B00D89QGW8; 159p.; Goodreads) is the second book in the trilogy, and I must admit, I am more than half way done with the third by now. And not that this book wasn’t as good or anything, it’s just… I get lost in comparisons, I guess.

Peter S. Beagle taught me that there’s no force more dangerous, than a magician who found no peace in death. When giant rats start flooding London, coming from no where, going hell knows where, killing mercilessly – Crane finds himself able to help his magical lover, and point him in the right direction. No matter how modern you are, how deeply you abandoned old beliefs, and how much you don’t care for superstitions, if a Shaman dies in your care, you’d want to make sure they found peace, just as a precaution… For giant rats is a myth told in Shanghai, that is proving to be very real, and very hard to stop back here, in London. And if that didn’t get under the Lord Vaudrey’s skin, the next best thing over fluence is coming when the magic in his blood is noticed by the very worst…

This book was pretty intense, I’d say. Blood and gore is just as present here, as it was in the previous one, but add the unappealing idea of dog-sized rats inflicting the gut-tearing. It’s not too badly detailed, I’d not dare call this a horror story, but author really knows how to dash the dark colors into the lines. I’ll give this one another 4 out of 5, for while better than the previous one, it still fell short… And maybe that’s the problem: it was short.

To those curious, yes, there’s smut here, fairly rough but absolutely consensual sex between two similar age guys with severe size difference (Stephan is short and red-haired, while Crane is tall and blond). Njoy the ride!

 

Categories: 4-5, Books, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Fantasy Books, Historical Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

K.J. Charles – The Magpie Lord [1]

17730586Ah, what a wonderful transition from a fantasy world with realistic history similar to our own, that of Captive Prince, to this. Our very England, filled with warlocks and what not. “The Magpie Lord” by K.J. Charles (ISBN 1619215764; 200p.; Goodreads) was yet another recommendation I took from Bonnie Burton (not personally, but the book club she’s in, and her goodreads are good sources for curious, open minded, and ever searching people), and once again, it did not disappoint.

Lucien Crane Vaudrey was the bad and rotten son in his father’s eyes. Thus, when this became possible, he packed the boy off to Shanghai, informing his servant that there’d be no tears if the lad fell over board during the journey. It says nothing good of Lucien, especially knowing what the rest of his family is like. Folk already learned to avoid the Vaudreys, and expect no justice from them. In fact, they’re realizing they might have to take justice in their own hands, for otherwise innocent blood will continue to flow as the father and son pleased. We could imagine here a mob, pitchforks and torches. But why the bother when there’s a witch at hand?…

After whole Vaudrey family took their own lives due to sudden madness, Lucien has no other choice but to return and take care of all the legal matters one has to take care of when one is the new Earl. He didn’t plan to stay long in the country, and at best – stay in London, up until first nuisance, attempt to arrest him for his orientation (being gay was illegal in those times, and thus the reason he was exiled too), or such, then he’s off, back home, to Shanghai. It’s just that the madness that pushed his father and brother to suicide seems to be lurking in his blood too. Dark spots in his memory, and vision, voices. Getting back to your own mind, with your servant trying to take away the knife that you didn’t use all that delicately in attempt to carve your life out of yourself. This can’t continue. Either he’ll go mad, or… Merrick, with his lord’s blessing, went out to the darkest places of London in hopes to find help that would’ve been at hand in an open-minded Shanghai. He needs a Shaman. After all, all England cannot hate Vaudreys, can they?

I love how they used magic, how magicians a.k.a. practitioners are like vampires here: they need energy, and can very well take it from a person, even if it means taking their life in the process. I loved how Merrick reminded me lightly of Sebastian Michaelis (Kuroshitsuji), allowing little slips in courtesy towards his master now and then. And I loved how it all reminded me of the intense adventures I had with Bartimaeus, where walls shook from the power of those entities summoned. Oh, and not to forget, I loved how “prince charming” was a tiny, thin, redheaded man with crooked teeth. 5 out of 5, no less.

Categories: Books, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Historical Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

C.S. Pacat – Captive Prince: Kings Rising [3]

17158532As much as I tried to read C.S. Pacat Captive Prince trilogy, I still reach its end. I have finished “Kings Rising” (ISBN 174348495X; 385p.; Goodreads) last night, at exactly 4am, and spent a good hour thinking of this review I’ll do, what I need to point out, mention, and whether I should make a separate post on the whole trilogy, as a verdict. Then I also wondered what exactly does word “verdict” mean too. (it’s an opinion or judgement, basically) Be warned, there might be spoilers, so if you want to skip reading, know this trilogy became my top most fav of all times.

Prince of Vere, slandered and kicked out of the line to the throne by his uncle Regent, who pronounced himself King of Vere in Laurent’s stead, is now making his way into the depths of Akielos. Led there by no other than the very king of Akielos, Damianos, the prince-killer, his brother’s killer. Despite their differences, and possible hate on Laurent’s part, they have a bigger problem now, and the only way to solve it is to unite their meager forces into something greater. Both their thrones are usurped. And now, it seems, they’re taken not by two, but one and the same man Laurent fought all his life, alone.

They both had reasons to mistrust one another, and yet they both worked to keep the alliance afloat. Kyroi of Akielos had to be convinced to help their legitimate king, which would have been far easier, if Damen wasn’t rumored to be Laurent’s lover. And then there’s Laurent himself, cold, calculated mind of his might not be easy to adjust to, and whether he was willing to adjust to Akielos traditions was a great question too. So who would kyroi hate more? The usurper who brought Veretian King into the heart of their country, the same one who sent out his true-born brother as a bed slave to Vere? Or this young man, who seems to be scheming at all times, who kept their King captive, flayed him, and made use of him?

Even Damen realizes, that Laurent has an agenda he keeps secret in this whole. Why else would he try, lie, and manipulate, risking his own life doing so, just to get Damen’s kyroi on the side of this cause? And yet, if it all came down, and Laurent’s plans turned out to be the worst kind, if Damen had to choose: a kingdom, or this… He is no longer sure of his own answer.

Truly, loved these books a lot, and this one especially. The political battle in the previous one was amazing, but this one showed more of what Akielos is like, and what a great change the prince-killer has brought for it. I liked the simple and true evidence author used to unravel the final bit. I liked how seemingly insignificant bits turned out to be great final leverages, how puzzle pieces connected, and how twists happened without hinting to them beforehand. I loved the price Laurent took in exchange for all the guard he kept on his very being at all times. I think this was a beautiful exchange of two powerful beings who gambled it all, and sacrificed nothing essential of their beings for victory, which is a common case when love enters book pages. Somebody always loses something great to be with who they wish to be with, and I appreciate the fact it wasn’t the case. So here’s 5 out of 5, and I think I will make another post for all three books, a verdict for those who are not yet convinced.

 

Categories: 5-5, Books, High Fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Transition, Move, Save Home

I’ve three goals in my life:

Saving family home, the only home we have, from mortgage debt kicking us out. My parents are sickly, and they do all they can, but it’s not enough even with all I have. Mother just recently dug herself out of the grasp of cancer, and my father is diabetic, obese, and just plain ol old. They’re good people, but that’s why banks are so hard on their backs.

Moving out, preferably out of the country, and gaining a citizenship of some place else. In my language baggage I have English and German, and Scotland is very welcoming, so that’s my first option. The reason for this is also a third reason for this fundraiser.

I need, and I cannot stress it more than I NEED to start transitioning before I went mad. I have severe case of manic depression, and it slowly kills me. On top of it, I’m a transgender. The first I ever realized I’m not insane and this is a thing was late in my teenage years. Truly late. I really thought I should just be in mental institution, and tried often and hard to… End it. When I actually realized this is a thing, that there are such people, and that my brain is in tact – I felt nothing less from bliss. And even now in the darkest spells of depression, this is one of the very rare things that can help me get back on track: one day I might be whole.

So now that you got through short versions, here’s the long versions and a bonus:

Saving Home / Transition / Art Commissions, anyone?

P.S. Apologies for lack of pictures. It’s internet, and if there’s ever “before and after” of me on it, I wish it to be on my own terms, and not some malicious individual.

https://gogetfunding.com/transition-move-save-home/

Categories: About Msg2TheMing, Creations, Little Joys, My Work, The Afterlife, Treasures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.