spoiler free, WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – September 25th 2019

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My reading has been stagnant for a few weeks now while I’ve been reading Darkdawn but I’ve finally finished it now and so I can move on! I was excited to get a lot more reading done but it turns out I’ve got a horrid cold my husband brought home last week and so I’ve just been moping around feeling sorry for myself while occasionally playing animal crossing to cheer me up in between looking after Nate who has also caught it! I’m still making progress though and so I invite you to check out my fortnightly WWW Wednesday post and hear about what I’ve been reading and what I plan to read next.

If you want to join in with WWW don’t forget to send over a big thank you to Sam at Taking on a World of Words for keeping WWW alive and kicking.

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading The Deathless Girls by Kiran Milgrave Harwood. I’m only about 20% of the way through at the moment and I’ve enjoyed the writing style but nothing hugely interesting has happened yet although there have been little hints here and there of what’s to come possibly. In case you haven’t heard of The Deathless Girls before it’s a tagged as a feminist retelling of the story of the Bridges of Dracula.

What did you recently finish reading?

Obviously Darkdawn but since then I’ve also finished NPC Tea – Vol Six by Sarah Milman (Issues one – six available here). “NPC Tea is about Cardiff’s least popular tea shop, Y Ddraig, run by a perfectionist elf and a disgruntled fire summon. When a magicless human discovers Y Ddraig’s secret and a type of banned magic rears its ugly head, caddies upon caddies of rotting tea become the least of their worries as the entire city of Cardiff is threatened with destruction!” I think volume six may have been my absolute favourite issue so far! There were some lovely sweet moments, much blushing and a nice healthy dose of danger too! Things are really hotting up with the penultimate issue seven out imminently, ahh I don’t want it to end!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Unless NPC Volume seven turns up before I finish The Deathless Girls then it’ll almost certainly be Angel Mage by Garth Nix. I’m really excited to read this new dive into adult fantasy AND it’s a standalone novel which I’m so here for right now. I’ve seen some describe the book as a cross of The Three Muskateers and Joan of Arc which sounds very much up my streets (I was obsessed with The Man in the Iron Mask and The Messenger: Joan of Arc when I was a teenager) so I can’t wait to get stuck in, plus I’m taking part in the blog tour towards the end of the month!

Have you read any of the books featured today? What are you reading at the moment? What have you read recently? Let me know and I’ll reply from my sickbed as much as I can. Keep an eye out for a new book tag coming tomorrow!

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Favourite Illustrators

Another Sunday, another Six for Sunday Prompt! As with last weeks prompt calling for six points about one favourite author I am also unable to choose one favourite illustrator so this week I want to show you six of my favourite artists instead! I’m not going to go into huge detail like I would usually either, instead providing name, with a link to their Twitter, a little about what they’ve done and a glimpse of their work/style becasue my words just wouldn’t do justice to these amazing creators and I’d much rather their work spoke for them. I love each of these for loads of different reasons, some have created their own comics, online and self published, some have illustrated for huge companies, some have gone on to write and work on TV shows, all have differering art styles and I love every single one of them.

Noelle StevensonCreator of Nimona, Co-creator of Lumberjanes, also creator, showrunner and executive producer for She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.

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Sarah MilmanCreator of NPC Tea and The Heart of Time

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Tess FowlerIllustrator of various Marvel comics, Rat Queens, and Dungeons and Dragons – Darkened Wish (Coming soon!)

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Faye SimmsCreator of The Foldings

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Emma VieceliIllustrator for many, many comics including Jem and the Holograms and Paul McGann Doctor Who comic series, co-creator of Breaks and currently writing the Life is Strange comic by Titan Comics.

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Hari ConerCreator of Finding Home, Nyx, Into the Dungeon (and loads more)

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book reviews, spoiler free

NPC Tea Issues 1-5 Spoiler Free Review

NPC_Tea-236x360NPC Tea (Issues 1-5) Written and illustrated by Sarah Milman

Rating: XXXXX

Published: 2016 onwards (Still ongoing)

“Oh, is it a secret?”
“A badly kept one, but still: if you breathe one word about this to anybody –”
“You’ll what? Kill me?”
“With my bare hands”

NPC Tea is about Cardiff’s least popular tea shop, Y Ddraig, run by a perfectionist elf and a disgruntled fire summon. When a magicless human discovers Y Ddraig’s secret and a type of banned magic rears its ugly head, caddies upon caddies of rotting tea become the least of their worries as the entire city of Cardiff is threatened with destruction!

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I’m STILL reading/listening to A Queen of Air and Darkness and I needed a break, I hadn’t been feeling well recently so I gathered up all my indie/self-published comics I’ve been trying to get around to reading or rereading and I’ve spent the past week catching up. It has been GLORIOUS and over the next couple of weeks, I’m planning on reviewing my favourites and a couple of new ones that are on their way thanks to some amazing Kickstarters I backed earlier in the year.

First up is a comic that kind of sucked me back into this style of book and that is NPC Tea by Sarah Milman. The premise alone pitched to me by Sarah back at MCM Expo a few years back had me intrigued! 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 which just gets me far too excited when thinking about all the Dungeons and Dragons stories I’d love to see in this world!

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Other than the synopsis one of the first things that drew me to these was the art style and I apologise to anyone who is even remotely artistically inclined for my ineloquence here but not only do I love the style in which these comics are drawn but the use of colours throughout the pages absolutely enthrals me, they are a pure joy to look at and not only do they help establish to whom and when events are happening they convey SO much more and honestly I’m so here for it. Not to mention the illustrations themselves are fantastic and Sarah’s work has this brilliant comedic timing where the written words and the illustrations join in such a way as to really enhance each other.

Even with the art aside the story moves along nicely and we get a bit of info, to begin with, to set us up and then as the characters learn and uncover more we, the reader do as well which I find especially satisfying. The characters of NPC Tea are beautifully diverse, they all have their own individual look, style and feel established very early on and the staff at Y Ddraig are honestly my favourite little dysfunctional family. As the issues move along we get closer looks at a good few of them and learn more about how they became the people they are without taking away from the main story too much. Personally Hannah the human is my favourite character and I love to see how she reacts to all the different situations cropping up around her, she’s kind but sassy and firey too!

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Overall I’ve found this series an absolute delight and the wait for the next issues are slowly eating away at me. Originally slated for eight issues I’m also really hoping we get more, perhaps a second story arc? I can’t imagine letting them go!

The first issue was released in 2016 with the second following in 2017 and issues three, four and five successfully kickstarted in 2017 and 2018 with rumours of six and seven not being too far off in the distance now! You can check out Sarah’s shop here where you can buy issues one to five now!