book reviews, Comics, spoiler free

NPC Tea Issues 6&7

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NPC Tea – Issues Six and Seven written and illustrated by Sarah Milman

Rating: XXXXX

Published: 2018 and 2019 by Sarah Milman

“I don’t want to be calm. I want to be angry. I want to be furious.”

A world identical to our own – identical that is, apart from all the orcs, elves and magic… A love letter to Final Fantasy and Lord of the Rings, NPC Tea is about Cardiff’s least popular tea shop, Y Ddraig, run by a perfectionist elf and a laid-back fire summon.

NPC Tea follows an ex-fire summon, an elf and a magicless human as they attempt to save a failing tea shop in modern-day Cardiff. Soon they find out that a lack of customers and caddies upon caddies of rotting tea are the least of their worries when a type of banned magic rears it’s ugly head and threatens to destroy the entire city. Bryn, Oz and Hannah must unite if they are to save their business – and ultimately the city itself.

An 8 issue series, NPC Tea escalates from a slice of life comedy into an epic fantasy, twisting typical RPG and fantasy stereotypes into a modern-day setting. It’s about what happens when there are no more dungeons to crawl when magic needs to be organized, and when orcs, elves and men try to live peacefully side by side – a balance that’s harshly tested when an entire city is threatened with destruction…

Some of you might remember that back in December 2018 I posted a review for issues 1 through 5 of NPC Tea, a beautiful, fun comic by writer and illustrator Sarah Milman. I had initially thought to review issues 6 through 8 together after issue eight releases later this year but with the events of issues 6 and 7 as well as the Kickstarter campaign for issue 8 going live I thought it would be a good time to review these two together and urge you to get on board with the series ready for the final issue! I’ll keep this spoiler-free for the entire series as much as possible for those of you who may have not have read the others yet! You can order issues 1-7 via Sarah’s Etsy store here right now if you want to catch up asap or if you back the Kickstarter you can choose to receive all of the single issues (with an exclusive slipcase to keep them all together neatly) OR a hardback bindup of all of them! Not forgetting Sarah also has a Patreon where at the $1 tier you can read up to issue 6 digitally right away!

I stumbled upon Sarah and at MCM Comic-Con in London a few years ago and was absolutely hooked on the art and the plot!  I’ve always loved worlds where high fantasy and contemporary can mix with a nice dollop of magic stirred in and NPC Tea is all that and more! These books capture that perfect balance where this is still fantasy but set in a modern world. I have remained hooked on this series ever since and I’m super nervous and excited about the final (possibly for good) issue coming very soon!

Issue Six
I think this might be my favourite issue so far. There are just so many great moments, of which two are ‘romance’ related and they just fit in so seamlessly, they up the stakes and work so well with the main plot-line. At this point in the story, it’s starting to feel like the beginning of the end in that we begin to find out more about what’s really going on and the final plans are being carried out as the endgame nears. We get more background on the summons and the interactions between them were fantastic. The writing and illustrations have been consistently brilliant throughout the series but the use of colour felt a lot more prominent in this issue and was absolutely gorgeous, I will never get over how much I love the style Sarah has chosen to use for this series. The dialogue too has been ramped up a notch (although the banter in the past few issues has been on point) this mixed with perfectly timed scene cuts made all served to build a brilliant amount of tension throughout the issue, with separate scenes binding together in such a satisfying way that meant it all just came together perfectly. Cait definitely wins MVP for this issue, I loved every scene she was in and her trick with her sword was bad-ass.

Issue Seven 
The penultimate issue! When this issue arrived I was SO hesitant to read it purely because I wasn’t ready for it. I’ve loved this series these past few years and the thought that we were coming to the end was terrifying! I lasted two days before I gave in and then read it three times in one sitting just to make sure I had taken it all in. The same praise issue six received applies here although there are, understandably less ‘romantic’ moments. This is a heavy issue filled with a startling reveal and we get down to lore down. As mentioned about issue six, Sarah once again uses the same fantastic technique of linking separate scenes meaning we get that lore from both sides but without having to repeat it. I did get confused when a certain character popped up as it took me a while to place them which prompted me to reread the entire series thus far (like I needed any more of an excuse) and it seemed I had just forgotten about them but read all together it made much more sense so this is my own fault. If Hannah wasn’t already my favourite character she absolutely would have been after this issue, I love her spirit and she definitely wins MVP for issue seven.

I am in no way emotionally ready for issue eight.

If you enjoyed this or are intrigued by the series then keep your eyes peeled for an interview with creator herself, Sarah Milman coming this Thursday!

 

 

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Witch-y Books

Six for Sunday

Okay so I’m pretty sure October only started last week but apparently, this is now the last Sunday of the month! I’m off to London MCM Comic-Con today and really rather excited about it! (Report and hopefully Vlog coming next week). First though, it’s time for Six for Sunday with the prompt for this week (from Steph at A Little but A Lot) “Witch-y Books” and I’ve read a fair few witch-y books in my time so this shouldn’t be too difficult.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
The clue is in the title I guess? I read the first book in the All Souls series last year and I’ve been desperate to get back to the next one! I really loved this book and I like that we have not only witches but also Daemons and Vampires. You can find my spoiler-free review here.

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Andersen
One of my favourite reads from last year, I received an advance copy at YALC and instantly fell in love with this very Halloween-y feeling book. Mila is awesome and the twist in this really threw me. You can find my spoiler-free review here. 

Sanctuary by V.V James
Defintley in my top three reads this year and certainly my favourite new release. This witch-y murder-y book was fantastic. It was also very stressful and full of twists and turns. I adored it. You can find my spoiler-free review here.

A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne Harris
Although not witchy in the exact same sense of most of the other books on the list I defintley think our nameless wild girl from A Pocketful of Crows is someone who would be classed as a witch. Not just because the villagers of the town name her so in an unkind or spiteful way but because of her connection to nature and the ritual of the magic she uses. Guess what? You can find my spoiler-free review here!

The Near Witch by V.E Schwab
Again, this one is a little different to most of the ones on the list as the main character isn’t a magic-user at all but is instead in search of one but this has a witch-y feel to it nether the less as she befriends a witch and goes to another group of witches for help. I loved the spooky, chilly vibes throughout this book. You know the drill, spoiler-free review here.

Finding Home Vol. Two: The Healer by Hari Conner
So this isn’t technically a book that would probably be regarded as a witch-y book BUT it does feature a witch annnd Chepi uses magic? I’m basically obsessed with this book right now and can’t stop going on about it so makes the list okay? Just check out my spoiler-free review for the funny pic of Janek.

So I guess that’s it for October. I’m kicking myself that I never got around to reading Hex-Life (yet) as it’s literally an anthology of witchy stories but things have been SO hectic. I honestly don’t know where all the time went? Anyway, hopefully I’ll see you back here tomorrow for my turn on the Angel Mage Blog Tour! (Part four of my Inktober posts will be Tuesday instead next week!)

 

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Classes I would love to take

It has been an absolute week and I’m pretty glad to see the back of it (one of my favourite sessions of D&D to date and seeing Muse this evening notwithstanding) so it’s time to crack on with this weeks Six for Sunday post! This weeks theme from Steph at A Little but A Lot is “Schools you’d love to go to” and if you caught my post last week (this one) which was “Books set in schools” you’d probably realise pretty quickly that the list would be almost identical this week. SO instead for this week, I decided I would try “Classes I would love to take” (at bookish schools).

Weapons Training 
This is a basic class for most of the badass assassin or mystical defenders schools and would probably be my favourite by far. I’ve always been fascinated by different kinds of weapons and techniques and who doesn’t love a good bit of sparring?

Care of Magical Creatures
Another favourite class would defintley be Care of Magical Creatures, I actually qualifications in animal care and worked training animals for a while so this would be an absolute must.

Charms 
Memorising wand techniques and magical words actually sounds like my kind of thing. I’m not smart but I’ve always been a “book nerd” and I feel like all that studying would help me with charms. Plus I always thought it looked fun in Harry Potter tbh.

Enhanced History Lessons 
One of my favourite subjects at school was History and I love the idea in a few books that I’ve read where they have enhanced lessons, for example being able to walk through a hyper-realistic hologram of a historical monument or even better an interactive simulation? That would be AMAZING.

Glass Blowing 
A strange one right? In the later Study books by Maria Snyder, some students take up glass blowing lessons after the council finds out it’s possible to store magic in glass objects. I’ve always been fascinated by the process so this would be another class I would love to take.

Herbology
Seeing as I took floristry at college I think this would probably be another good shout. It’s been years and I’ve almost certainly forgotten a lot and would love to do a class that focuses more on the herb lore than just pretty bouquets and displays although you can bet I would do that too!

What classes would you take? Would you be joining me in any of the classes I picked already? Have a great Sunday and I’ll be back on Tuesday with a new release review!

 

booktube, Tags

Harry Potter Spell Tag – Video

I finally managed to find the time to get this tag video edited! I recorded it maybe a month or so ago so my answers are a tiny bit out of date, watching it back there are definitely some I would probably change now but these were my answers when I was tagged.

Feel free to do this tag yourself but if you do I’d be grateful if you could link back to this video and to the original itself. I hope you enjoy me attempting to pronounce spell names and a lot of useless wand waving!

Rachels Rambling reviews can be found here
Kimberley Faye Reads (The Original) can be found here.