Liebster Award!

Sarah sort-of tagged me back for the Liebster award, after I tagged her, except she didn’t tag me, but you could say she technically did. (Yes I’m confusing.) Her questions were great! I wanted to answer them. That is all.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun with this, and that’s what matters.

The Rules

Acknowledge the blogger(s) who nominated you. (Thank you, Sarah!)

Answer the 11 questions you’ve been asked. (That’s why I’m here, after all)

Give 11 random facts about yourself. (…Fine.)

Nominate 11 bloggers and notify them that they’ve been nominated. (I’m not tagging anyone this time!)

Give your nominees 11 questions to answer. (Again, nope!)

1. What is your dearest possession?

I–

I guess I could answer something like my books, maybe my computer (or my dolls that I still kind of love despite the fact that I’m like a thousand years old or something heh heh), but I don’t know. I feel like I don’t…I don’t need them? I love them, but all I need to keep myself happy is myself. I’m not a minimalist at all, though, and will absolutely buy some random stupid thing if I feel like it just because it looks cute. I guess I have a complicated relationship with my possessions.

2. What is a book (that you’ve read all the way through) that you consider simply Not Worth Reading?

Now this one is easier to answer! I wrote two excessively long reviews on both The Cruel Prince and Muse of Nightmares, precisely with this sentiment. But I’m going to go on about them a little more!

Jude and Cardan’s relationship is basically just fetishized abuse. I, personally? I do not find it cute. At all. I’ve liked some glorified abusive relationships (IN FICTION) before, but there was something about Jude and Cardan that was just…joyless. It’s not really that they love each other and are incapable of showing it in healthy ways, they just hate each other but also find each other hot. There’s a big difference between the two for me, but unfortunately, YA tends to go for the second one a lot.

Then Muse of Nightmares was just a mess. There were a lot of problems I had that I went into in my review, but let me just say this now. I swear to God, if someone ever saw the nightmares I have because of anxiety and decided there was some kind of darkness in me based off of that, I would–I don’t know. Yell at them. Curse their name. Turn them into a swan and enchant them to wander the earth until they learn the value of empathy.

Actually, I wouldn’t do any of that. I would just swear a vow of undying hatred that they would never know about and then I would complain loudly to my family as soon as they were gone. Because #ConflictManagement! (I’m terrible.)

Also, the gay characters just felt kind of…fetishized, I guess?

Anyway, this got longer than I expected it too. I like talking about things I hate.

3. What is a book you adore that you also realize is Not For Most?

Ooh, I love this question! It’s a little hard to say, because a lot of books have at least something in them that isn’t for everybody. So, while the real answer is probably some Problematic ™ Classic that I can’t think of right now, I’m going to answer The Hollow Kingdom. The horror elements in that book are SO good, and the characters are incredibly well-developed. I love the book. I grew up reading it. But it also features a captor/captive romance (like Beauty and the Beast or Persephone and Hades), and while a lot of people do like that kind of thing or at least don’t mind it, a lot of people also hate it. So maybe it’s not that it ‘isn’t for most,’ but I do realize it isn’t for everybody.

4. Would you prefer the earth to be flat?

No. Even though C.S. Lewis did a nice job of selling it aesthetically, spheres are much more pleasing. I just love circular things, okay? They’re just. So beautiful.

Now, there are historical theories that I do wish were true. Aether! Alchemy! Especially alchemy. Alchemy is incredibly cool.

5. Do you prefer pencil or pen for writing?

If you asked me to write a story with a pen, I would LITERALLY DIE. Have you seen my typos?

I’m fine with writing notes with a pen, though.

6. What’s an out-of-your-comfort-zone book that you unexpectedly loved?

I guess Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation was my first time reading an Adult book that wasn’t over fifty years old, so I’ll count that. It was also my first time reading BL, so it was definitely a new genre for me and I didn’t really know what to expect.

I love this book so much! The characterization is really something else, and the relationship between the two heroes is so sweet. 😭 They really love each other so much. And I actually relate to Wei Wuxian a ton. Also, Wuxian and Lan Zhan just have so MUCH chemistry?? I swear they have to be one of the best romantic couples I’ve ever read.

7. If you could live in any time period in any country (by which I do mean you’d be stuck there), which?

Hmm, this is a hard one. They all have their drawbacks. I love the Joseon dynasty (a pretty broad time period, I know), because the clothes and art are so beautiful (and possibly because I have watched way too many dramas, lol). I also like 1920s England and America. And also the Regency period, because even though I’m not sure if I’d fit into the society, I still love the aesthetics!

8. What historical character do you want to see in a novel, that you haven’t?

Ooh, I really like this. I assume this is asking about retellings of historical figures, and not my dream Historical Fiction novel?

I’d love a novel about Wu Zetian. She was an empress during the Tang dynasty, and the first empress to rule the empire in her own right! She is kind of a controversial figure because she was accused of certain stuff that she…probably didn’t do? I don’t know a whole lot about her, I’ve only read a couple articles and her Wikipedia page, but she sounds REALLY cool and I’d love a historical retelling!

Uh…and also Boudicca. The Celts were (are) very cool and Boudicca is a wonderful woman who fought against a corrupt imperial force that was in the process of subjugating the local people. My only fear is that someone would make it tacky. Sometimes ancient Celtic cultures get portrayed as this angelic, pure, and wonderful matriarchal culture that got wiped out by an evuuul patriarchal society, or else they get portrayed as uncivilised and brutish. Or both at the same time, for extra annoyance! Also, the Romans were horrible a lot of times and conquering did not bring out the best in them, so maybe don’t glorify them so much. Rome did a lot of good things, to be sure, but they also did a lot of bad. (Random Mists of Avalon hate coming through, but fun fact! The druids in England were wiped out by the Roman pagans, not Christians! There is legitimate religious persecution Christians took part in, but that was not it and maybe creating historical conflict that didn’t exist low-key annoys me!) But anyway, getting off of that tangent, I think you could tell a really interesting story about Boudicca.

Also, you may have guessed this from my smol rant, but I personally am very…ambivalent on Rome. I love the Byzantine Empire, though. It definitely had MAJOR flaws, but I find it amazing anyway.

And, on that note, Empress Theodora!! She’s so amazing, you guys. She started out as a (15 year-old! 🤢) prostitute, and then she married the future emperor, and the rest was history! Literally. Look her up!

(Also, some historian from her time period wrote some absolutely perverted account about her that was–probably, from what I know?–very biased, and then my history book just put an excerpt from that down and portrayed it as probably true. Gah I hate sexism in history books that doesn’t come from the actual people from the time period. Leave sexism in the 500s, guys! Anyway, /rant)

9. WWI or WWII?

OH GOD WORLD WAR ONE PLEASE BUT BOTH WERE TERRIBLE AND SCREWED EVERYONE UP SO BAD. World War II was basically everyone competing to dig themselves so deep they’d be tens of thousands of miles below the Mariana Trench by the time it was over.

Anyway, I don’t want to share a time period with Nazis (*sobs in 2020*).

Also, on a much lighter note, Edwardian dresses are just…beautiful? I love the silhouettes and the colors and everything!

10. If you were a pirate captain, what would you name your ship?

Easy. The USS Enterprise. I’ve never felt more of a closet nerd than this moment, I’m sorry, I grew up on Star Trek okay

11. What’s the first fictional character you remember relating to as a child?

Hmm. It’s honestly a little hard to say. It’s probably one of the characters in the media I consume when I was eleven to twelve. It might have been Loki (I’m sorry). It might have been over-dramatic and very loud Tamaki–or it possibly could have been Haruhi? Or it might have been Gu Yong-Ha. I know Gu Yong-Ha was the first kind of life-changing character I came across. He taught me that you can be feminine and love fashion and still be super cool and wily and fun. Which is good, because I had just entered into my ~not like other girls~ phase, and thank God he kept me from becoming that insufferable person.

So, uh…Does anyone want eleven random facts about myself?!

  1. ‘Historically accurate’ Arthuriana bugs me. I’m used to the story in a High Medieval setting, and the retellings are never actually historically accurate anyway, because the stories they adapt it from are completely ahistorical (and also because there is a LOT people Just Don’t Know about the time period, including whether or not Arthur actually existed). It’s not like there’s anything wrong with ‘historically accurate’ retellings, but they aren’t usually my cup of tea (I say, as if I regularly read Arthurian retellings in the first place).
  2. We have four baby geese! Their names are Nimue, Emu, Zebu, and Minnow. Emu keeps biting her friends.
  3. Hans from Frozen deserved better. Also, that twist made no sense. Yes, I’m still complaining about it years later.
  4. I don’t tend to read a lot of retellings anymore, and that makes me sad.
  5. I have been trying to find history books and articles and something, anything about medieval Egypt, and I just…cannot find anything. I hate it when this happens to me. Wikipedia always fails me in my darkest hour
  6. I also would love to learn more about medieval Scotland, but I don’t know where to start. (rec me your favorite documentaries and history books, if you want!)
  7. I am extremely pretentious, but I’m sure you’ve never noticed
  8. I never know anything about grammar or what you’re supposed to do with English. Sometimes I read my mangled documents I wrote late at night and marvel.
  9. I just finished The Untamed and now I’m on a show hangover. IT WAS SO GOOD YOU GUYS (and yes, that was the screen adaptation of Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation, in case you didn’t know). I’m currently trying to write a review, but getting my thoughts in order is hard.
  10. I tend to think of a lot of things as overrated, and yes, I am exactly as horrid as I sound
  11. Mulan is my favorite Disney movie.

I wrote all this at around five in the morning. I’m sure you couldn’t tell 💀 I have a feeling there are typos, but I didn’t look too hard. This was incredibly fun, though, and I enjoyed ranting about stuff I know nothing about (isn’t that what this whole blog is for?). Tell me your favorite historical period in the comments!

11 thoughts on “Liebster Award!

  1. This was really fun to read and it had a lot of interesting questions!!!
    Wu Zetian definitely sounds like an amazing person to read about and I really do need that book!!
    I just saw a fiction book about Boudicca at my online library and I was very interested to see what it is like but I totally get your concerns but maybe one day I will read it and see!!
    Empress Theodora sounds interesting, I will have to look her up.
    And you are so right about how historians or translators always make a choice and often the male ones can be really sexist. *sigh* like here https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/805229608357109947/
    4 baby geese is very unique but cute. I hope they are all well.
    I do think they could have been more to Hans like his brother sounds horrible !!
    yes Mulan is amazing !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I loved the questions as well
      I need that book too! Zetian definitely was interesting.
      Oh, cool!! What’s the book called?
      I know, sexist historians are annoying >.< I heard about that translator of the Odyssey! That was really interesting. She's definitely doing an important job.
      The geese are adorable! I love them.
      I thought there was just…so much they could have done with Hans that they didn't do. Mulan is the literal BEST, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yess!!!
        It was called dreaming the eagle by Mandy Scott, I hadn’t heard of it before so I don’t know too much about it though !!
        Yes definitely, women do great jobs !!!!
        So cute !!!
        Yeah I would be interested in that !!
        She is an icon !! 😍

        Liked by 1 person

  2. i just took muse of nightmares off my goodreads tbr after realizing how little i care about it or strange the dreamer, so it feels validating to hear you say it’s not worth reading haha!! and i have only heard of wu zetian recently with the announcement of xiran jay zhao’s book announcements, but i’m super excited to read that book and also do some research to find out more about her. great post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, those books…weren’t that good imo. The prose was beautiful, but I low-key hated the actual story. I’m pretty sure I only read the Muse of Nightmares because I forgot how much I hated the first one XD (I’m not even sure if I read all the way through Strange the Dreamer, I’m pretty sure I got bored and started skimming, but…yeah I forgot)
      OH, that book looks interesting! I’m not normally too into sci-fi, but it sounds cool nonetheless! Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I wish alchemy was true too! And I’m now curious, if the earth was flat, would it…would be a circle? Or a square? Or??

    Edwardian fashion IS so cool! I feel like it’s overlooked. I even overlook it. But it’s so pretty. The men’s and the women’s. I’m also…really in love with forties fashion too, though? I also pay exactly zero mind to fashion in my actual life, though, so who knows if I would even WEAR all the cool outfits if I lived back then….
    I think I’ve read too much Georgette Heyer, because even though I think I’d be pretty good at fitting in in Regency society, I’d also absolutely hate it. I mean, I know hypocrisy and the STUPID ARBITRARY RULES SOCIETY SETS FOR PEOPLE TO FOLLOW aren’t confined to one time period, but…could you imagine all the restrictions? I’D GO CRAZY. Unless of course I was not in the upper class, which of course I wouldn’t be…but then I wouldn’t get to wear the pretty dresses???

    Boudicca and Empress Theodora were some of my FAVORITE historical figures that I learned about when I was, like, really little. Man, I want books about both of them! That would be so cool!
    I would be wary of a Boudicca story, though, that’s true. That sort of half-worship of Celtic culture is ANNOYING, as is making them near relatives of cavemen. Celtic culture is basically bad historical fiction’s version of bad fantasy’s elvish culture, I always feel like…
    Do people glorify Rome? I always thought of Rome as…you know, cruel and terrible. And The Eagle of the Ninth surprised me by not utterly villainizing the Romans, which is possibly why I liked it so much when I was a kid. The Romans WEREN’T the villains for once. They were ALL just PEOPLE.
    Also, I’m curious what would be your dream Historical Novel?

    The USS Enterprise as a pirate ship is…perfection and I have no words. I have never been more proud to know someone. *shakes hand solemnly*

    I love your geese’s names.

    Also. Why does the Internet not have information on, like, whole time periods? It’s annoying. How am I supposed to write a story set in medieval Genoa if NOBODY APPARENTLY KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT MEDIEVAL GENOA? I wish I could help you with medieval Egypt and Scotland. I wish there weren’t whole swaths of history we knew very little about. It’s kind of awful to realise. I mean, it’s silly. It doesn’t matter. But it’s still awful because I WANT TO KNOW.

    A lot of things ARE overrated, so you’re not wrong, and Mulan is an amazing movie, and your answers are great and I very much hope I have not given myself carpal tunnel writing this comment. I can write short comments. I really can. I just…don’t. (Help me.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I KNOW it’s not fair. Alchemy SHOULD be real. Huh. That’s a good question. I’m not sure. People always talk about corners of the earth, so…? On the other hand, I feel like actual flat-earthers (goodness) tend to talk about it like it’s a circle, from what I know? (I wish I didn’t know. I’ve tried to stay away from flat-earthers.)

      Okay, same. I love forties’ fashion too. But I feel like Edwardian fashion has just a slight edge? I like the hats better. But like you, I’m not sure if I would even wear the pretty clothes in real life.
      SAME. I love the Regency era, but I’m not sure I’d fare too well if I lived in it. I feel like I’d get a reputation as kind of a rogue. XD

      Oh, that’s cool! I love Theodora and Boudicca so much. I wish there were more books about them, too!
      ‘Celtic culture is basically bad historical fiction’s version of bad fantasy’s elvish culture’ THAT IS SO TRUE I’M DYING. I hate it so much. People need to stop.
      It’s true I haven’t read a lot of historical fiction about Rome, so I don’t really know the tropes, but I was talking more about what I’d seen irl? (Or at least, on the internet.) It’s true I don’t know how common it is, though. I do love Rome, though! I think Rome is super cool, but I also think they…had their low points, to say the least.
      Oh, completely villainizing the Romans IS annoying. They weren’t all bad! They’re complex!
      My dream historical novel would be a blog post in itself, honestly. Maybe something with Oscar Wilde vibes? Something pretentious, beautiful, and hilarious. But also throw in a little bit of Georgette Heyer and have romance and happy endings! And how about some healthy relationships? (I like unhealthy relationships sometimes, but at the moment I’m feeling in the mood for something unproblematic XD )

      Aww, thank you *blushes* You’re too nice. (And I love Star Trek a lot)

      My little sister and her friend named the geese. XD I love the names as well

      I KNOW. ALL OF WHAT YOU SAID. I WANT TO KNOW EVERYTHING. It isn’t fair

      Okay, true. A lot of things are overrated. BUT NOT MULAN, MULAN IS AMAZING I AGREE. XD I hope your wrists are okay, I love your comment so much

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Okay, I totally read ‘Grandmaster’ as ‘Grandmother’ the first time.
    Anyway…
    There are so many fascinating historical events/periods that would make excellent historical fiction! Especially when it actually shows how complicated everything is instead of demonizing one group of people and acting like the other group can do no wrong. That’s just not how life works?
    YOUR BABY GEESE. I love their names.
    That plot twist in Frozen makes very little sense, and it is one of my biggest complaints about the movie. It didn’t lead up to it at all. Very unsatisfactory.
    Mulan is wonderful. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lmao! Now we need a story about a grandma who is also a necromancer XD
      I know! I love history and I don’t read nearly enough historical fiction! Yes, while obviously there were times in history where there was a clear-cut bad guy, there were also a LOT of really complex situations, and those are always really interesting to explore in fiction.
      Thanks! The geese are adorable. 🙂
      It didn’t help that I liked Hans. But yeah, the twist was kind of bad writing. I don’t think the story needed a villain, it had enough conflict between just the sympathetic characters. It was a cool story, though!
      I love Mulan so much.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oooooh, don’t get me started on the Villain Hans thing…!

        (Too late)

        What gets me so mad is that, story-wise, it is perfectly obvious that Hans was NOT a bad guy until the Kristanna-‘shipping rock trolls pulled one of their magical stunts on his brain — (they literally confess to it in the lyrics of “Fixer-Upper”, for ice sake!) — and yet the “Frozen” writers insist on doubling down on Villain Hans and treating the rock trolls like Arendelle’s allies.

        Reality check: The rock trolls are essentially faerie folk. Faerie folk live outside any human sense of morality. Ware ye any so-called alliance with their ilk.

        /End rant

        On a completely different, I feel like I remember enjoying “Strange the Dreamer” and looking forward to the sequel, but when I finally found it at the library, I didn’t make it through many pages before losing all interest. I think that kiss gone wrong early in the book was so intensely disturbing, I couldn’t find the motivation to carry on. It’s a comfort to know you don’t think I missed out on much.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You are absolutely right. There was NO buildup to that twist? Your theory does make sense. I never liked the trolls, anyway. But yeah, I love fairies, but there are…maybe not very many of them I would go to for relationship advice, and it feels a little weird the movie never acknowledged the potential that they were tricksters. I probably would have liked them more if they had 😐

          I kind of enjoyed Strange the Dreamer and also kind of hated it lmao (I remember posting something of a rant review after finishing it and promptly forgetting about the review, probably because it was my first review and AWFUL). But yeah, the sequel took the enjoyable things about the first book and chucked them out the window, imo. There were so many things in the book I just found QUESTIONABLE.

          Liked by 1 person

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