Saturday, March 26, 2011

Once Upon a Time Challenge - it's back!

Once Upon a Time V
Now I know it's really spring (despite tomorrow's forecast for snow - in Virginia!).  I love the Once Upon a Time Challenge and its celebration of the many forms of fantastical fiction, so of course I'm in again this year.  I urge you, even if you've never done a challenge before, to head over to Carl's site at Stainless Steel Droppings and give it a go.  All you need to commit to is reading a single book, which is a great way to get your feet wet if you aren't too sure about reading fantasy.  Or, if you're feeling more ambitious, you can try one of the other "quests, "  including a short story and a film challenge.  Stop by his blog for more details.  Oh, and isn't the artwork for this year's challenge positively gorgeous? 

There are a few rules,as Carl writes on his challenge post:

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.”

I am planning to do "Quest the First" (five fantasy novels of any sort) along with "Quest the Second," which involves reading four books, each of which fit into one of four fantasy fiction categories: one fantasy, one folklore, one fairy tale, and one mythology.  I have not decided exactly which books I'll be reading, but here are some of the contenders.  If anyone has strong feelings about any of these as far as which ones I should choose, please let me know!  Or, if you have any other suggestions of books you think I'd like, I'd love to hear them.

Challenge possibilities:
  • Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst
  • The Shadows by Jacqueline West
  • A Princess of Roumania by Paul Park
  • The Power of Three by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Clocked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde
  • Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr
  • A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
  • Foretelling by Alice Hoffman (not sure if this is actually fantasy, but thought it might be good for mythology - has anyone read this?)
I urge you to give this challenge a try.  Although beware:  at least half of the books on my embarrassingly long TBR list get there because of reviews posted by other bloggers at the Challenge Review Site.  Come on, you know you want to do it!


  1. *sniffle* This is going to be a sad Once Upon a Time challenge because I was going to read The Homeward Bounders and Fire and Hemlock for it, and now they are going to make me sad because Diana Wynne Jones died. :(:(:(:(

  2. Jenny - Oh, no!!! I did not know that. Wow, it's amazing what a keen sense of loss you can feel for someone you've never actually met. She is one of my favorite authors of all time. What a loss. I think you need to read the books for the challenge anyway, though! They are so good. And I will definitely make one of mine The Power of Three, which for some reason I have never read.

  3. Oh, I love this challenge so much!! After an incredibly long sabbatical, I decided I needed to get back to blogging. Picked the perfect time, didn't i?? Once Upon a Time time!!

    Great list. I have a Melissa Marr book on my list too. It's an ARC for her new book. Can't wait to start. (After I finish studying for my Child Psych Class, write a paper for my Education Class, Start Dracula for my Lit Class, and read some History Chapters, that is!!)

  4. Stephanie - It's great to have you back! I'm glad you're enjoying going back to school so much. And yes, the perfect time to come back to blogging. I just now put the new Melissa Marr (for adults, right?) on hold at my library - it looks really good. I'll be looking forward to your posts - as you have time. I know how hard it is write when you're in school!

  5. You know my feelings on fantasy : )

  6. Oh, Virginia Gal, Virginia Gal. You just don't like the label of fantasy - but who loved the Gardella Chronicles, eh? And Harry Potter? Huh? Huh?

  7. I feel your pain, our weather has returned to winter here for this week. Won't be feeling like spring again until Thursday or Friday. Fun!

    I am happy you are joining in.

    I have the first three books of that Paul Park series on my shelves but have yet to read them. Though I have heard very, very good things.

  8. I have Melissa Marr on my list too. :) I put Diana Wynne Jones on my list too, so turned out to be quite timely... Sad, though. I requested a few other books by her from the library after I heard the news.

  9. Carl - I loved your snowy photos (although yes, it would certainly be better to have that in winter rather than spring, sigh). I got the Paul Park book as a giveaway at a World Fantasy Convention years ago, and it just turned up when I was organizing my book shelves a month or two ago. I'll give it a try and let you know how it goes.

    Kailana - It really is sad. And when I emailed one of my librarian friends so we could commiserate, she mentioned something about what a tough year it's been for children's authors - we've lost Brian Jacques and Dick King-Smith - but she also mentioned Eva Ibbotson. I hadn't known about that! It turned out to be a rather depressing Saturday. :-( But luckily we have Once Upon a Time to cheer us up a bit.

  10. I didn't know Eva Ibbotson passed away EITHER. I haven't read her yet, but I have always meant to.

  11. FOR YOUR (sorry the CAPS was on) mythology category have you though of doing Metamorphoses by Ovid?

    I'm going to join - my books of American Rev, WWII, and the Ancient Near East are dull in comparison to FANTASY! :D

    PS: It snowed last week TWICE for us and hasn't gotten above 40. I CANNOT WAIT FOR A DAY WHERE THE FORECAST IS AT LEAST 50!!! :D

  12. Thanks for introducing me to this challenge! I've joined up as well. So excited!

    My challenge

  13. Clocked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde <-- this sounds like fun! Have you read any other VVV books? I've always liked Dragon's Bait, myself.


  14. I've read The Foretelling, I loved it and it's perfect for mythology :)
    have fun with the challenge!

  15. Kailana - It is sad, isn't it? At least you have a whole host of wonderful books by Ibbotson to look forward to, though.

    Margaret - I think I still have my old college copy of The Metamorphosis on my book shelves! It is a good one - maybe I should revisit it. This snow has got to go! I'm glad you've joined the challenge - it's amazing how appealing regular novels are when you have assigned reading, isn't it? Good luck getting through it all!

    Celesta - Oh, I'm glad you've joined! You're going to have fun. I'll be by soon to see what you will be reading. :-)

    Sharry - I've read a bunch by Vivian Vande Velde, and enjoyed them all. I haven't read Dragon's Bait, though. I'll have to add it to my list. Have you read Heir Apparent? I love that one!

    Valentina - Oh, good to know! I'll definitely be reading that one, then. I find mythology is the trickiest category for me to find books that I really want to read for the challenge.

  16. Yes I have read Heir Apparent and loved it also!! I need to read more VV books!


  17. Sharry - I've nearly finished Cloaked in Red. You wouldn't think it to look at the cover, but the book is hysterical! She has a fun sense of humor.


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