Throwback Thursday: The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 1 by Kairi Yura and Sai Yukino

Saiunkoku Monogatari

Saiunkoku Monogatari

The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 1 by Kairi Yura and Sai Yukino

Shurei Hong, destitute but of noble birth, has always dreamed of working as a civil servant in the imperial court of Saiunkoku, but women are barred from holding office. The emperor Ryuki, however, refuses to take command, leaving everything to his advisors. Shurei is asked to become a consort to the emperor to persuade the ne’er-do-well ruler to govern.

Shurei enters the palace as Ryuki’s consort, but he has yet to seek her out. It is rumored that men, not women, share the emperor’s bedchamber. Shurei must think of a way to stop the emperor from shirking his responsibilities, but she has to find him first!

My Review

My Rating: ★★★★★

Saiunkoku Monogatari

Saiunkoku Monogatari

Some three years ago, my friend Adrian gave me Saiunkoku Monogatari books as pasalubong. He knew how much I loved the anime so he gave me copies of the manga when he went home for vacation from his doctoral studies in Japan.

So I still don’t know how to read the manga (it’s in Nihongo). But I love it so much! The story is so complicated and beautiful and funny and amusing and at the same time, heartbreaking. I love Shurei Hong – the protagonist – she’s so strong and wise for her age. I love her love interests too – Ryuki and Seiran.

It’s not the usual shoujo story. The story is so beautifully-written and the characters are really lovable and fun. I can say the same for the  setting as well. Most of all, who would not love the art? It’s gorgeous! 😀

I don’t want to spoil the story for you so that’s all I’m going to say.

I recommend this series to everyone. You won’t regret it if you read it. 🙂

Happy reading! 🙂

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Book Review: In Excess by Quinn Anderson

About In Excess

Forced to transfer to a privileged Catholic school – the Academy of Holy Names – street-smart Nikolas would prefer to be anywhere else in the world. A new face in an old place, he almost immediately draws the attention of the bored, spoiled, and ruthless Seth, the “king” of the Academy.

Though he should know better, Nikolas quickly finds himself caught up in a game of rivalry and seduction, with himself as the prize …

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My Review

In Excess by Quinn Anderson

In Excess by Quinn Anderson

In Excess by Quinn Anderson

My Rating: ★★★★★

Publisher: Less than Three Press

What I love about “In Excess” is that it is a feel-good book. It has just the right amount of angst in it but not so much that it would leave me reeling and heavy-hearted for days.

In Excess is an adorable love story between the brash and sexy but “underprivileged” Nikolas “Nik” Steele and the equally sexy, bored, clueless, and overconfident, spoiled brat “king” of the Academy of Holy Names—the one and only Seth Prinsen.

Being new to a school for the privileged made Nik an object of everyone’s scrutiny, most especially since he was a scholar and is therefore considered, “different.”

As in every romance novel that I’ve read, there were predictable moments, but these were outweighed by the tension that the game of seduction brought about. I also liked the role played by Theo and Dante—Seth’s friends. In the end, it got me thinking who was really manipulating who. My only regret is that it ended a bit too soon for my liking and I really wanted to read more. Lol. ^_^

Lastly, let me extend my warmest congratulations to Miss Quinn Anderson for her beautiful and marvelous debut novel, looking forward to reading more of your works. ^_^

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About Quinn Anderson

Quinn Anderson is a University of Florida alumna with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She spent the majority of her college years reading fan fiction instead of textbooks and hanging out with her best friend, Vodka; not much has changed since graduation. Her hobbies include reading, writing, juggling, underwater basket weaving, going commando, big pimping, ne’er-do-welling, and screwing the rules. She describes herself as an incredibly tall, incredibly red-headed, incredibly camp, incredibly loud, incredibly nerdy, incredibly incredible person. A jokester and teller of sometimes-tall tales, Anderson emphasizes witty banter and sordid schemes in both what she writes and what she reads. She will soon earn a Master’s degree from the University of Dublin in Ireland.

Book Excerpt and Giveaway: Connor by Dormaine G.

There’s a giveaway of Connor – a young adult fantasy novel –  that will run from January 21st to Jan 31st. It will be hosted by Tome Tender.

Click on the link below in order to join:

Connor giveaway and spotlight

Good Luck! 🙂

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About the Book

Connor by Dormaine G.

Connor by Dormaine G.

I, Connor, thought I was the average sarcastic teenager, living a normal life like everyone else with a crazy, annoying family. Wrong. I recently discovered that I have certain abilities. Abilities that link me to others like me, and others, unlike me, who want to cause me harm.

I found out this world is not what I thought, as well as the strange creatures in it, and that frightens me. I had to grow up fast and find the strength to defend myself from those beings who don’t want me here or who will take my strengths by any means necessary.

Throughout this craziness, I met a wonderful guy named Tony, who has abilities too. With him and several others like us we discover who we are and how we came to be.

Then there is Ronin, a being who is young, smart, and cunning. He is set on taking his revenge out on me yet I have no idea why.

About Dormaine G

After years of playing adult, I realized I will never grow up. So last year,I took some time off to live the dream of writing. My first book, Connor, was published this October which is book 1 of the series. I will continue to write fiction book while working on my other dream which is to fly a spaceship.

Blog: http://dormainegblog.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dormaineG?ref=hl
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/375457
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dormaineg
Book Blogs: http://bookblogs.ning.com/profile/DormaineG

Another Christmas Card!

I received another Christmas card! It came all the way from Canada this time. It was from one of my favorite fanfiction writers in the Naruto fandom.

Thank you so much, Sarge! 🙂

I get so happy (like a kid – smiling ear-to-ear which is actually so unlike me) every time I receive something from the mail. (Yes, because once upon a time, when there was no Internet yet, I was one of those who would write to friends diligently. And yes, they write back, thank God).  Anyway, I miss receiving mails that way so I get all giddy every time I get one.

This card, however, made me extra happy because my favorite writer was thanking me for my support. I was really teary-eyed when I read that part. I mean, I was the one who should thank her. Her works were the first foreign fandom works I’ve read (the very first one I’ve read was Kasumi Hayashibara – a Filipina – I loved Kasumi’s works so much I explored for more and that was when I stumbled upon Sarge’s works). And Sarge was actually the one who got me hooked to the fandom. LOL.  🙂

Sarge, thank you for writing all those stories. You brighten up my day every time you write.  I hope that you’ll publish your own book soon. ❤

Here’s to another year. Cheers! 🙂

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Book Review: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

My Review:

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

My Rating: ★★★★★

I initially didn’t think that I would enjoy this book but the moment I read about Mr. Steven’s dilemma [that is, he had given himself too much to do], I was hooked.

What I like the most about this book are the things that it doesn’t say but are there in the surface. We are shown with a butler—Mr. Stevens—who is very much a hardworking person. He takes his job professionally, seriously, and with great dignity—values that are very much lacking in so many in this generation. But this book also shows us that while we are ‘working people’ trying to do ‘great things,’ we must also not forget that we also have lives outside of our work.

And then we are also shown with a strong woman—Miss Kenton—who is equally loyal and is as hardworking as Mr. Stevens. She showed us that being loyal didn’t mean just going with the flow and not question your employer’s decisions [Although she didn’t directly take her concerns up to her employer, she taught us that it is fine to speak up and question unreasonable decisions].

And of course there’s also the young Mr. Cardinal who had taught us that it always pay to do research, that sometimes good intentions like Lord Darlington’s aren’t enough: one must also be well-informed. That you can’t make decisions based on feelings and what you think is right alone—there has to be facts—and to always remember that one’s reality is not the only reality in this life.

This book also taught us that it is wrong to literally give our ‘everything’ to our jobs: as I said, we also have lives outside of our career. We are sons and daughters, we are parents as well, grandparents, a friend, we are citizens too, etc. To just ride everything in your life into a single something or goal to the point that you forget the other things that also matter—even if this something is for the idea of a greater good—is plain wrong.

But that lastly, even when everything had crumbled already—everything that we stood for, everything that we believed in has been destroyed—that all is not lost. It will only be lost when one has lost his hope.

The Remains of the Day is a book about love, regrets, professionalism, and dignity… topics that everyone will be able to easily relate to. ^_^

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Summary:

In 1956, Stevens, a long-serving butler at Darlington Hall, decides to take a motoring trip through the West Country. The six-day excursion becomes a journey into the past of Stevens and England, a past that takes in fascism, two world wars and an unrealised love between the butler and his housekeeper. Ishiguro’s dazzling novel is a sad and humorous love story, a meditation on the condition of modern man, and an elegy for England at a time of acute change.

Kazuo Ishiguro - both the picture and the author profile were taken from his Goodreads page.

Kazuo Ishiguro – both the picture and the author profile were taken from his Goodreads page as well as the book’s summary

About this author

Kazuo Ishiguro (カズオ・イシグロ or 石黒 一雄) is a British novelist of a Japanese origin. His family moved to England in 1960. Ishiguro obtained his Bachelor’s degree from University of Kent in 1978 and his Master’s from the University of East Anglia’s creative writing course in 1980. He became a British citizen in 1982. He now lives in London.

Ishiguro received the 1989 Man Booker prize for his third novel The Remains of the Day.