Carl’s Once Upon a Time Challenge for this year ended on 21 June and I exceeded my expectations – well, it wasn’t hard as I aimed very low with The Journey, which was to read at least one book within one of the four categories of Fairy Tale, Folklore, Fantasy and Mythology. So I went on to the First Quest which was to read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within those categories.
- The Last Enchantment by Mary Stewart
- Tantalus by Jane Jazz
- The Wicked Day by Mary Stewart
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
- The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
I initially wanted to read from my own to-be-read books, but as usual I actually read books that appealed to me at the moment of choosing what to read next, but two of them were books I’ve owned for some years – The Last Enchantment, an excellent book and The Book of Lost Things, not such an excellent book in my opinion.
Choosing a favourite out of these books is not easy but by a short head it’s Jane Jazz’s dÃ©but novel Tantalus. There is so much in this book that I loved €“ the characters, the story, the charged emotions and longing, the setting (in Yorkshire and Tuscany), and the art €“ the paintings and the sculpture.
Tantalus is a perfect title for the novel as according to Greek myth Tantalus was famous for eternal punishment by being made to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches, with the fruit ever eluding his grasp, and the water always receding before he could take a drink.
Thanks to Carl for hosting and I’m already looking forward to September and his R.I.P. Challenge.