Once Upon a Time IX

It’s Spring! Carl’s Once Upon A Time IX reading challenge starts today, for the ninth year running, ending on June 21. This 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.

(Art by Kimberly Kincaid. Used with Permission)

As always this challenge has a few fun and very flexible rules:

Rule #1: Have fun.

Rule #2: HAVE FUN.

Rule #3: Don’t keep the fun to yourself, share it with us, please!

Rule #4: Do not be put off by the word ‘challenge’.

While this event retains the word ‘challenge’from its earliest days, the entire goal is to read good books, watch engaging television shows and films, play immersive games and most importantly, visit old friends and make new ones.

There are several ways to participate, starting with


This is really as simple as the name implies. It means you are participating, but not committing yourself to any specific number of books. By signing up for The Journey you are agreeing to read at least one book within one of the four categories during March 21st to June 21st period. Just one book. If you choose to read more, fantastic!

So, in my year of relaxed reading I’m sure I can manage to read one book! And if I read more I’ll carry on to Quest the First:


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.

I have several books to choose from:

  • Helen of Sparta by Amalia Carosella’“A new take on an ancient myth, the story of one woman determined to decide her own fate.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife by Sam Savage ‘“ the tale of a literary rat who develops the ability to read.
  • The Children of Hurin by J R R Tolkien ‘“ tales of Middle-earth  from times before The Lord of the Rings, set in the country that lay beyond the Grey Havens in the West.
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum – I’ve seen the film, but never read the book.

These books are all books I own and so they would all count for my Mount TBR Challenge, which is good, and some fit into the Historical Fiction as that includes historical fantasy.

7 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time IX

  1. You always find such interesting and different titles for this challenge. Helen of Sparta and Shadowland appeal to me so I’ll be interested to hear about those if you read them. The Mark Twain is one of his I haven’t read but always meant to. And I shall go and look up the Sam Savage book as that really does sound intriguing. Have fun!


  2. These books sound fascinating, Margaret (especially A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain!) and they are tempting me to set aside the groaning tbr pile and jump into this year’s challenge. I love your banner by the way!


  3. I love this challenge! You’ve got some nice choices there. I’ve been thinking about reading the Twain, so I’ll be interested in how you like it. Looking forward to all your posts!


  4. That’s an interesting list of books. I haven’t read any of them apart from The Wizard of Oz, but I love the sound of Shadowland and Helen of Sparta. I’ve signed up for this challenge for the first time and can’t wait to get started!


  5. I must say, Margaret, I do like how flexible this challenge is. The whole point of these things I think should be to enjoy oneself, so I’m glad that’s the focus of this one. I look forward to your reviews.


  6. I hope you enjoy this event again this year, I am also taking part again. I’ve read two books off your ‘possibles’ list. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a sweet tale and The Children of Hurin is good once you get used to all the details. Happy reading 🙂


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