Music Monday: In My Heart


Music Monday 2Welcome to Music Monday – a weekly meme created by The Tattooed Book Geek where we share the songs we love, the bands we like and the music we just can’t get out of our heads.


This week’s Music Monday is ‘In My Heart’ by Moby, an upbeat electronic track featuring The Shining Light Gospel Choir.

In My Heart is taken from Moby’s sixth studio album, ’18’, which reached critical acclaim upon its release in 2002 following the success of ‘Play’. ’18’, which uses more guest vocalists and less samples than its predecesor, remains one of my favourite Moby albums to date and has featured as a backdrop to innumerable sci-fi reads. Favourite tracks include. ‘In This World’, ‘In My Heart’, ‘One of These Mornings’, and the incredibly popular ‘Extreme Ways’ (thanks to The Bourne Identity).

Sit back, listen and enjoy!


| Moby: In My Heart |


| 18 – 2002 |


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Read-Along: Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey – Week Two


Welcome to the Kushiel’s Dart Read-Along, where week by week we read and explore the first in the Kushiel’s Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey. If anyone would like to join in with this Read-Along, just head on over to the Goodreads group page and sign up.



| Week Two |

Welcome to the Week Two in the Kushiel’s Dart Read-Along, where week by week we read and explore the first in the Kushiel’s Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey.

After a somewhat slow start in which a number of issues presented themselves, Chapters 17 to 31 of this Read-Along have really upped the ante and have definitely suckered me into the world of Terre D’Ange. Scroll down for sex, magic, politics and murder as I answer a number of questions prepared by Susan at Dab of Darkness.

Be warned – there will be spoilers!


| The Questions |

| 1. |

We get a few more hints of magic or the supernatural in this section. Phèdre sees Kushiel’s visage after Alcuin is injured; Hyacinthe’s mom & he himself both have things revealed via the dromonde; that moment of deep peace at Elua’s statue. What do you think of magic in this world?

The magic in this world appears subtle and strictly low fantasy. In fact, at this point I hadn’t actually thought of it as magic at all. It appears more like the faith and magic woven into our own history, where powerful and painful experiences create religious fervour and experiences of the unknown weave their own magic when no other explanation is to be had.

Phèdre has grown up in service to Naamah, well before she pledged herself, and her faith and beliefs are an intrinsic part of her character – how could they not be when they themselves are descended of angels – so it seems right that, as she undertakes assignations in Naamah’s name, she feels the spiritual connection much more deeply, resulting in visions in moments of pure pain and ecstasy.

As for the Tsingani, the supernatural premonitions that they experience seem more akin to our own folklore and mysticism. I look forward to seeing how this connection to the dromonde, and the subtleties involved in this type of supernatural magic, develops over the course of the novel.

| 2. |

More politics! For those new to the series, what do you make of Baudoin and his mother, the Lioness of Azzalle? For those rereading, are you noticing details you missed before?

The intrigue and politics of Terre D’Ange really up the ante in this section of the novel as we are thrown head first into conflict between powerful houses. And, for me, this is where things really start to get interesting.

As we are pulled away from Phèdre’s previously youthful and somewhat naive experiences in the Night Court, and as we begin to understand the dangerous and calculating game played by the nobility, we are given a glimpse of the power struggles, manipulations and extent to which people will go to bring land, people and houses under their control. And, for all that Delaunay is secretive with his own motivations, it also becomes clear how deeply rooted both he and Melisande are in this deadly game.

Both Baudoin and the Lioness of Azzalle appear fascinatingly flawed and brilliant characters and, although we are only given brief glimpses of their lives and sins, we can clearly see their desire, their power and their guilt. Where Baudoin is the epitome of spoilt arrogance and entitlement, the Lioness is a skilled and powerful manipulator who I am sorry we didn’t get to see more of at the height of her power. I only wonder who will come to take her place…

| 3. |

What do you think of Alciun’s final assignation? Guy’s death? Would Alcuin have been happier, but perhaps less useful, as something other than Naamah’s servant?

At this point in the novel we really see how much Alcuin despairs of his service to Naamah as he risks everything to gather Delaunay’s secrets and complete his marque, resulting in his pain, guilt and sorrow at the death of Guy.

I really felt for Alcuin at this point and it made me question Delaunay and his single-minded pursuit of powerful secrets, when it was so clearly at the expense of Alcuin’s own feelings and wishes. It also made me wonder why, for all Delaunay’s masterful perception, he had not realised how badly this service suited his charge.

With perhaps the exception of Phèdre, it also reiterates the point that children growing up in this world are groomed into positions they neither want nor enjoy and that it really shouldn’t be a choice a child should have to make. Whether out of loyalty or his love for Delaunay, there are infinite ways Alcuin could have repaid any debt to him. Indeed, Delaunay could have tutored him to gather information and secrets in much the same way he does himself, without having to sell his body in the process. At this point, I truly have no love lost on Delaunay.

| 4. |

Phèdre has a new bodyguard – a Casseline Brother, Joscelin Verreuil. What do you think his life was like before this posting? Are you surprised that Anafiel didn’t dismiss him after the confrontation with Childric d’Essoms?

I find the concept of the Casseline Brotherhood very intriguing and would love to understand more about their background, their training and their beliefs. Joscelin Verreuil seems young, untested and inexperienced, but the contrast he provides to Phèdre’s vibrant, sexual and mischievous character is wonderfully done. I’m looking forward to seeing how both his character and his relationship with Phèdre develop over the course of the novel.

| 5. |

We finally meet Barquiel L’Envers. How dangerous do you think this man is? What do you make of his history with Anafiel?

Oh how I enjoyed watching Delaunay squirm under Barquiel L’Enver’s powerful gaze. I am almost a bit worried that I’m enjoying all the villains of the novel far more than those we are supposed to empathise with…

| 6. |

How did you feel about Phedre granting Childric another assignation? Was she right that she owed him a debt?

As a servant of Naamah, Phèdre used her power over Childric D’Essoms to bargain with him outside an official assignation. Therefore, in her view, she still owed him a debt in return for this favour. Her motivations are also not entirely selfless as she also used this experience to feel pain, pleasure and forget her mounting woes at the time. I also particularly enjoyed the stark contrast between the pain inflicted by D’Essoms and the care he takes to ease Phèdre’s pain afterwards.

| 7. |

Alcuin has completed his marque and displays it to Anafiel. How do you feel about the shift in their relationship? Phedre’s response to it?

I found this latest development somewhat horrifying. Alcuin was rescued and raised by Delaunay from childhood, they display a father and son relationship throughout the entirety of the novel up until this point, and Delaunay still holds considerable power over his charge. Moving from father and son to lovers makes me incredibly uncomfortable and I almost wish Carey had taken the time to develop a love and bond between them which doesn’t revolve around sex, lust and desire. After all, we can all feel love and loyalty to others without the need for lust or romance. This development does not sit well with me.


| The Schedule |

Week One

[ Thursday 03rd September ]

Chapters 1 – 16 – hosted by Imyril at There’s Always Room For One More

Week Two

[ Thursday 10th September ]

Chapters 17 – 31 – hosted by Susan at Dab of Darkness

Week Three

[ Thursday 17th September ]

Chapters 32 – 47 – hosted by Zezee at Zezee with Books

Week Four

[ Thursday 24th September ]

Chapters 48 – 61 – hosted by Mayri at BookForager

Week 5

[Thursday 01st October ]

Chapters 62 – 79 – hosted by Peat Long at Peat Long’s Blog

Week 4

[ Thursday 08th October ]

Chapters 80 – End – hosted by Lisa at Dear Geek Place

If anyone would like to join in with this Read-Along, just head on over to the Goodreads group page and sign up.


Stay tuned for Week Three of this Read Along on 17th September

What are your thoughts on this week’s instalment of Kushiel’s Dart?

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Music Monday: Hell Is Round the Corner


Music Monday 2

Welcome to Music Monday – a weekly meme created by The Tattooed Book Geek where we share the songs we love, the bands we like and the music we just can’t get out of our heads.


This week’s Music Monday is ‘Hell Is Round the Corner’, the incredible trip-hop track from Tricky. Sampling Isaac Hayes’ ‘Ike’s Rap II’, which also featured in Portishead’s ‘Glory Box’, Tricky’s trademark sound features elements of rock, hip hop, soul, ambient electro and reggae with additional vocals from Martina Topley-Bird.

And if the chill-out vibes weren’t already enough, Tricky, along with Massive Attack and Portishead, has also featured as the backdrop to my entire read through of the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch, making it the perfect backdrop to a thrilling urban fantasy.

Sit back, listen and enjoy!


| Tricky: Hell Is Round the Corner |


| Maxinquaye – 1995 |


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Read-Along: Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey – Week One


Welcome to the Kushiel’s Dart Read-Along, where week by week we read and explore the first in the Kushiel’s Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey. If anyone would like to join in with this Read-Along, just head on over to the Goodreads group page and sign up.



| Week One |

Welcome to the first post in the Kushiel’s Dart Read-Along, where week by week we read and explore the first in the Kushiel’s Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey. If anyone would like to join in with this Read-Along, just head on over to the Goodreads group page and sign up.

The first novel in the Kushiel’s Legacy series has got off to a rather slow start but, while I’m not fully invested in Phèdre or the Night Court just yet, I am keen to see how the narrative unfolds in this popular fantasy read. This week Imyril at There’s Always Room For One More has some juicy questions to kick off the Read-Along in which I’ll discuss the elements of the narrative I enjoyed and those that weren’t entirely to my taste.

Be warned – there will be spoilers!


| The Questions |

| 1. |

You know it’s an epic fantasy when it starts with not only a map but a list of Dramatis Personae. How do you feel about this approach to beginning a new story? Do you read the character list or use it for reference along the way?

I am always here for a map, and the more of them the merrier!

I don’t often read through Dramatis Personae, unless I am starting a subsequent book in a series and need a bit of a refresh, but I have no problem with either starting or ending a book with one, especially when there are so many characters with incredibly florid names.


| 2. |

What are your first impressions of Elua and his Companions, and of D’Angeline culture? Are you comfortable with the way in which Jacqueline Carey has re-imagined the world?

This romanticised and dreamlike take on our world is interesting and detailed, if a little too idealised. There is an incredible amount of information to take in at this stage, and the florid language only serves to add another layer of complexity to a world which is already verging on the confusing for this first time reader.

| 3. |

Phèdre’s story begins in the Court of Night-Blooming Flowers. What are your thoughts on the Court, its adepts, the service of Naamah and the earning of marques? What House would you patronise – or belong to?

The Court of Night-Blooming Flowers is one of the most confusing, disturbing and interesting aspects of this novel so far.  The Night Court is described in such a way that it seems as though it is the centre of noble society – a society seemingly made entirely of courtesans. Now I understand this is probably confusion on my part but, apart from the vaguest hints, where are all the other citizens? What do they do when they don’t belong to the Night Court or use its services? I know there’s only so much that can be put into these overlong opening chapters but I found this lack of clarity very confusing.

I also found the aspect that children grow up to serve Namaah and are essentially groomed to join one of thirteen houses of the Night Court incredibly disturbing and off-putting. While the children, Alcuin and Phèdre included, do make their own choice to serve Namaah when they ‘come of age’, and I’m all for sex positivity, it is a choice bred of grooming, psychological manipulation and a lack of worldly knowledge and I’m not entirely comfortable with that. There also seems to be much buying and trading of flesh between houses which amounts to little more than slavery. These aspects of the novel make me incredibly uneasy and I find Phèdre’s obsessive desire at such a young age, and the desire of numerous adults for those who can only be considered children, unbelievably disturbing.

| 4. |

Guy, Alcuin and Phèdre are all devoted to the mysterious Anafiel Delaunay. Do you think he deserves their love? For first time readers, what are your theories about his past – and what do you think he is trying to achieve?

Both Alcuin and Phèdre seem content to blindly follow Delaunay to the ends of the earth, even though his motives are most certainly not clear at this stage. He  treats them well, or as well as you could treat someone you’ve bought with the intention of controlling, but he is not entirely honest and his protégés most definitely hero-worship with little thought to the reasons behind their purchase.

| 5. |

What do you make of Phèdre’s choice of signale?

Phèdre’s choice of signale is both sad and beautiful. To have but one true friend in the world who doesn’t require anything in return for that friendship highlights what a lonely existence children of the Night Court lead. I am all here for Phèdre and Hyacinthe’s honest, beautiful and roguish friendship.

| 6. |

Last but not least, the big week one check-in: now that you have seen a Showing and witnessed Phèdre’s first assignation, are you still in?

While, for me, this was something of a slow start which wades through much of Phèdre’s childhood in excessive, flowery detail, the incredible number of good reviews from so many respected reviewers means I am more than happy to stick with it in hope that the narrative will soon start to kick off. I’m also looking forward to enjoying the story from Phèdre’s adult perspective as I find the childhood sexualisation and servitude somewhat disturbing.


| The Schedule |

Week One

[ Thursday 03rd September ]

Chapters 1 – 16 – hosted by Imyril at There’s Always Room For One More

Week Two

[ Thursday 10th September ]

Chapters 17 – 31 – hosted by Susan at Dab of Darkness

Week Three

[ Thursday 17th September ]

Chapters 32 – 47 – hosted by Zezee at Zezee with Books

Week Four

[ Thursday 24th September ]

Chapters 48 – 61 – hosted by Mayri at BookForager

Week 5

[Thursday 01st October ]

Chapters 62 – 79 – hosted by Peat Long at Peat Long’s Blog

Week 4

[ Thursday 08th October ]

Chapters 80 – End – hosted by Lisa at Dear Geek Place

If anyone would like to join in with this Read-Along, just head on over to the Goodreads group page and sign up.


Stay tuned for Week Two of this Read Along on 10th September

What are your thoughts on this week’s instalment of Kushiel’s Dart?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Music Monday: Gurdy’s Green


Music Monday 2

Welcome to Music Monday – a weekly meme created by The Tattooed Book Geek where we share the songs we love, the bands we like and the music we just can’t get out of our heads.


This week’s Music Monday is Gurdy’s Green, an instrumental track by German musician Patty Gurdy played entirely on a hurdy gurdy. This dark folk pop track found its way into my music library after playing far too much Sea of Thieves, a game which allows players to join in concert with traditional instruments as they battle for dominance on the high seas.

Sit back, listen and enjoy!


| Patty Gurdy: Gurdy’s Green |


| Shapes and Patterns EP – 2018 |


What are you listening to at the moment? 

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Music Monday: Svitjod


Music Monday 2

Welcome to Music Monday – a weekly meme created by The Tattooed Book Geek where we share the songs we love, the bands we like and the music we just can’t get out of our heads.


This week’s Music Monday is Svitjod, an ambient Nordic folk track by Forndom from their dark, beautiful and melodic album Dauðra Dura. This is an evocative, ambient and highly listenable track which could easily form the backdrop to many a fantasy or Norse inspired read. Powerful and atmospheric, Svitjod truly is an awe-inspiring piece of music.

Sit back, listen and enjoy!


| Forndom: Svitjod |


| Dauðra Dura – 2016 |


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Music Monday: Blade Runner 2049


Music Monday 2

Welcome to Music Monday – a weekly meme created by The Tattooed Book Geek where we share the songs we love, the bands we like and the music we just can’t get out of our heads.


This week’s Music Monday is Blade Runner 2049, a synthwave track by Synthwave Goose. As well as being an awesome and addictive piece of music – another I would highly recommend reading space opera to – I absolutely love that single cover featuring Joi and Mariette. Just brilliant!

Sit back, listen and enjoy!


| Synthwave Goose: Blade Runner 2049 |


| Blade Runner 2049 – 2018 |


What are you listening to at the moment? 

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Music Monday: My Only Chance


Music Monday 2

Welcome to Music Monday – a weekly meme created by The Tattooed Book Geek where we share the songs we love, the bands we like and the music we just can’t get out of our heads.


This week’s Music Monday is an electro house track from the soundtrack to Furi, a boss-fight game by independent game studio The Game Bakers. My Only Chance is by The Toxic Avenger – a French DJ, song writer and record producer – and is a perfect accompaniment to many an action-packed sci-fi novel or space opera.

Sit back, listen and enjoy!


| The Toxic Avenger: My Only Chance |

Taken from the album: Furi (Original Game Soundtrack) (2016)


| Furi (Original Game Soundtrack) – 2016 |


What are you listening to at the moment? 

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Music Monday: 0:59


Music Monday 2

Welcome to Music Monday – a weekly meme created by The Tattooed Book Geek where we share the songs we love, the bands we like and the music we just can’t get out of our heads.


I have always loved listening to music whilst reading and finding the perfect musical accompaniment to each book always makes the experience more fulfilling. In fact, it wasn’t very many years ago that I used to write a ‘Bookish Beats‘ post every Sunday to pair an album with a book, and this post certainly puts me in mind of that.

This week’s Music Monday is an electro house chillout track by French electronic musician Danger which hits all my Science Fiction notes. This instrumental track is hypnotic, melodic and incredibly atmospheric and has me hitting repeat every single time.

Listen, watch and enjoy!


| Danger: 0:59 |

Taken from the album: Big Black Delta (2013)


| 太鼓 (Taiko) – 2017 |


What are you listening to at the moment? 

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