Book Thoughts

The Wrath and the Dawn & The Rose and the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

This is a re-imagined tale of Shahrzad, (teller of the Thousand and One Nights), how she fell in love with the king who executed so many women before her (Book 1), and how she defied fate/magic for love while saving save her country (Book 2).

It takes a lot of skill to make a love story that you can root for. Not only do you have to care for the characters, you have to make your readers believe that they are perfect for one another (AND make them perfect for one another). I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can’t even figure out why people are together in real life, much less in fiction. But Ahdieh makes it work.

Sharhzad / Shazi is defiant and strong willed, adept with a bow. She is no mild princess. What she wants, when she volunteers to marry Khalid, knowing that he will have her executed in the morning, is not love, but to kill him in revenge for the murder of her best friend.

We also get Khalid’s point of view, which adds tension to the story, and acts as a much needed foil to Shazi’s impetuous nature. He’s cool, and controlled, and yet matches Shazi for the intensity of his passion and feelings towards everything.

The whole story is so lushly told, I could almost smell, and taste everything in it. My mouth kept watering with its descriptions of food. That is OK BY ME (Seriously, I was craving lamb for days). It had a richness/realness I like in a semi-historical setting (Persia in this case), that balanced nicely with the fantasy elements of the story.

The prose itself sometimes felt simple (it was smooth as butter), but going back over it (I took copious notes) it was clear the feeling was deceptive. There are things I could learn about inserting dialog into action, and minimizing dialog tags, and how to give enough space for events to have emotional impact.

Boy my emotions were up and down, with the characters, but I was completely invested in Shazi and Khalid as a couple.

Honestly, I felt the second book wasn’t long enough. It got straight to the action and the ending with the swift effectiveness that YA fiction is good for. I’m almost feel it needed a third book in between, but this might be because I’ve read more trilogies than duologies, or that threes resonate in a narrative sense. It’s probably just me. I did appreciate that there were no saggy parts to the story . I guess the only fault was that I wanted more – which is no fault at all.

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SF/F Genre Glossary

shoe bazaar photo
Photo by Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho  (CC)

I’ve been looking for a writer’s reference on clothing items, but haven’t had much success, so I’ve put together this list. It’s incomplete,  more modern than not, more western-centered than not, but it’s a start.

Without further ado:


Pants / Bottoms
slacks
trousers
breeches
britches
legging
shorts
dungarees
cullotes
jodhpurs
khakis
sirwal trousers
hakama

Skirts
kilt
sarong
wrap
pareo
malong

Dresses
ball gown
sheathe
dirndl
evening gown
frock
kimono
mumu
sari
shift
wrap
pouf
qi pao
shirtdress
halter
lehenga
hanbok

Tops
shirt
blouse
tunic
button down
caftan
cardiagan
cossak
dashiki
dinner acket
Blazer
shalwar kameez/ qamis
overshirt
pullover
sweater
woolens
smock
happi

Coats
anorak
blazer
housecoat
parka
overcoat
peacoat
poncho
raincoat
robe
waistcoat
duffle
trench
bolero
aba

Undergarments
nightgown
corset
lingere
long johns
long underwear
nightshirt
camisole
petticoat
shift
shamla
bloomers
knickers
bra / brassiere
bustier
panties

Footwear
boot
shoe
galoshes
sandals
slippers
moccasins
gaiter
zori
ghille
espadrille
wing tip
loafer
tabi

Head Gear
headscarf
helm
porkpie hat
sombrero
stetson
top hat
trilby

Accessories
apron
scarf
ascot tie
bandanna
cape
bonnet
bow tie
cravat
cuff links
gloves
handkerchief
mittens
pinafore
mantle
shrug
stockings
veil
stole
suspenders
turban
sash
earrings
ear cuff
earring
obi
belt
hood

Other
applique
epaulets
filigree
jouy print
knife pleat
lettuce hem
mandarin collar
ombre
paperbag waist
seersucker
houndstooth
yoke
welt pockets
A-line
empire waist
high waist
drop waist
blouson
tent
strapless
slit
flounce
godet
pleated
trumpet
paillettes
linen
cotton
wool
silk
satin
velvet
draping
embroidery
damask
paisley
brocade
shibori


Also! A link with images. This is more modern fashion/sewing terms: Enerie Fashion and Lifestyle.

Please help me add to this list 🙂

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Journal

How about let’s turn this upside down? Thoughts first. Stats later.

The reading list feels like a cheat this month. It looks okay at a glance, but there’s a novella, a graphic novel, two YA novels and a MG one. Word wise, it wasn’t high volume reading month and it came in mad dashes rather than slow and steady. On the other hand, a lack of time forced changes to my usual reading diet, but variety is a healthy thing. My goal is to add a little non-fiction to my reading list from time to time, but I write manuals for a living, so any non-fiction has to be very well written to keep my interest. Do you have recommendations?

On the writing side, things are chugging away though the ‘cold of doom’ hit me at the end of the month and slowed me down a crawl. I’m on track to have this first draft done by the end May, but while that writing pace is great, this novel is making its own peculiar way into the world. The last one came out a chunk at a time, fully formed, but not in order. The one before was a skeleton that needed multiple passes to add meat to its bones. This time, it feels like I’m figuring out the world and the characters on the page, and I suspect I’ll have to trim down the exposition instead of adding it. Maybe it’s because this one is science fiction instead of fantasy? I guess, some things about writing will always be mysteries. The muse always seems to have its own agenda.

Writing Days: 17
Word Count:
20817

Books Read: 

  • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Fables Vol 1 – Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham (Graphic Novel)
  • Ash by Malinda Lo
  • The Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda

OH lastly! Creative Ink Fest is happening March 31 – April 4. This is my local writing con and I’ll be on several panels. See you there?

Panels: 

  • How to Swim Through a Sea of Rejections – Friday 1pm
  • Author etiquette in a world of social media – Friday 3pm (Moderator)
  • Writing Workshops – Friday 6pm
  • Real World Politics in Fiction – Saturday 7pm (Moderator)

If there are any topics you think are important to address about social media, or politics, let me know even if you won’t be attending. I’m making up a nice juicy list of items to discuss.

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