Once Upon a Time VIII

Once upon a time viiiIt must be spring! Carl’s annual Once Upon a Time Challenge began yesterdayFriday, March 21st for the eighth year running, ending on June 21.

Carl writes:

‘This is a reading and viewing event that encompasses four broad categories: Fairy Tale, Folklore, Fantasy and Mythology, including the seemingly countless sub-genres and blending of genres that fall within this spectrum. The challenge continues until June 21st and allows for very minor (1 book only) participation as well as more immersion depending on your reading/viewing whims.

While this event retains the word ‘challenge’ from its earliest days, the entire goal is to read good books, watch good television shows and movies, and most importantly, visit old friends and make new ones. There are several ways to participate, and I hope you can find at least one to your liking.’

I think I’ll do The Journey, which is to read at least one book within one of the four categories . Just one book. If you choose to read more, fantastic!

The Journey Once upon a Time

I may just do that, in which case I’d take on Quest the First – to read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time categories. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology€¦or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.

Quest the first

I’ve got quite a lot of books to choose from, including:

  • The Death of King Arthur €“ this is a translation of the 13th century French version of the Camelot legend.
  • The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier €“ about a place between heaven and earth where everyone ends up after they die.
  • The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly – Twelve-year old David takes refuge in myths and fairytales.
  • Helen of Troy by Margaret George €“ the myth narrated from Helen’s point of view.
  • Shadowland by C M Gray –  historical fantasy set in Dark Ages Britain.
  • Dreamwalker (The Ballad of Sir Benfro) by James Oswald €“ fantasy fiction €“ Welsh mythology and folklore.
  • The first four Merrily Watkins books by Phil Rickman –  The Wine of Angels, Midwinter of the Spirit, A Crown of Lights, and The Cure of Souls –  paranormal crime thrillers with supernatural and spiritual causes.
  • The Last Enchantment by Mary Stewart €“ a tale of Merlin and King Arthur and the third book in the Merlin trilogy. I read The Crystal Cave and The Hollow Hills years ago and don’t think I’ve ever read this one.
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain €“ fantasy fiction in which a Yankee engineer is accidentally transported back in time to the court of King Arthur.

9 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time VIII

  1. Some very interesting choices there. I’ve read The Book of Lost Things and thought it was quite good, not as good as his Charlie Parker books, but enjoyable. Merrily Watkins is excellent. I’ve read the first three and need to get back to the series. Good luck with the challenge!


  2. Margaret – What a fascinating challenge. And you really do have lots to choose from for this one. I’ll look forward to your reviews.


  3. You have some lovely choices there, Margaret. I’ve read all the Merrily Watkins series – it’s my favourite of the ‘paranormal’ mysteries, down to earth and a little spooky and very atmospheric. Love it. I hope you enjoy them!

    I liked The Book of Lost Things when I read it for this challenge a few years ago. Very interesting dark fantasy.

    I want to see if I can find that James Oswald series here, I’m interested in anything Welsh, and this looks very intriguing.

    Enjoy the challenge, and I hope you love what you read for it!


  4. What an enticing challenge–if I didn’t already have a full dance card for April I would hop on board too.

    You have a great selection–I read Connecticut Yankee as a teen and never reread it but I remember liking it (I have a bit of love/hate thing going on with Twain, so I should really reread this to see how mature me likes it); Helen of Troy really appeal so me (if well-written, that could be great!); I haven’t gotten to The Last Enchantment yet either but Mary Stewart is alway reliable for a good read.



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