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Ms. S. Hogan (Newcastle upon Tyne)
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Ashford Knitters Loom Stand 20"
Ashford Knitters Loom Stand 20"
Offered by Once A Sheep
Price: £90.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good, works best with a low chair, 16 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ashford Knitters Loom Stand 20"
Really useful stand, and genuinely looks nice as a piece of furniture once set up with the loom on it. My one caution is that you will need a relatively low chair to make best use of it, as the height is not adjustable (although the angle is).


Scarf / Wrap - Blue / Pink - 100% Fair Trade Yak Cotton Shawl
Scarf / Wrap - Blue / Pink - 100% Fair Trade Yak Cotton Shawl
Offered by The Blue Bear
Price: £18.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars lovely colour and feel, 23 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this in the pink/blue (which has a purple appearance altogether), and the colour is lovely. Although the fabric isn't very thick, the weave (and the yak's wool?) make it feel warm as well as reasonably soft. The shawl is quite large / broad, so it might be a little too chunky for most people to wear scarf-style knotted around the neck, although it would be wonderfully warm if you did choose to wear it that way! With a brooch keeping it in place, it could be worn as a scarf. Otherwise, it is an admirable wrap. Very pleased with this.


Wintersmith (Discworld Novels)
Wintersmith (Discworld Novels)
by Sir Terry Pratchett
Edition: Hardcover

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very Pratchett..., 29 Sept. 2006
Tiffany Aching, the young witch from "the chalk" is back for her third adventure, a continuing delight. After entering uninvited into the steps of the Dark Morris Dance, which marks the end of summer and beginning of winter, Tiffany starts becoming confusable with the Summer Lady herself. Side-effects of this include becoming the object of the puzzled affections of the Wintersmith, being showered with snowflakes made in her image, being afflicted with a serious case of "fertile feet", becoming the proud owner of a cornucopia determined to overflow, and being responsible for the fact that summer, quite possibly, will never come again.

This book is a nice development of the Tiffany Aching series, which continues to be fresh and funny. Some more minor characters (such as Annagramma, one of the other young witches with whom Tiffany comes into contact) and young Roland (the baron's son) get a fuller treatment here, whilst "the secret of Boffo" is well worth discovering. The Wee Free Men are still round and about, and very funny too, in the company of a semi-sentient blue cheese capable of running, hiding and trying to sing. The slight young-teen embarrasment of Tiffany about both her friendship with Roland and the attentions of the Wintersmith is realistically portrayed, and not overdone, and certainly shouldn't be a barrier to the enjoyment of the book for intelligent pre-teens.

Tiffany herself is still caring and selfless enough to be admirable, whilst also just a little too intelligent and analytical to be simply "nice". This is certainly a good thing, since neither selfish nor "nice" is going to save the day when she needs to prevent the infatuated spirit of winter from spending his life with her... and, incidentally, creating a world in which the seasons no longer change...

Exciting and funny enough for kids, with a clear enough plot and big enough print for adults; very enjoyable.


Beauty (FANTASY MASTERWORKS)
Beauty (FANTASY MASTERWORKS)
by Sheri S. Tepper
Edition: Paperback

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars compelling, but thoughtless and didactic, 27 Nov. 2005
First of all, it is worth noting that this book is EXTREMELY well-written (at least in my opinion) and I genuinely enjoyed both its opening and its conclusion.
The middle sections of the book, however, were profoundly disappointing, not to say unsettling. This was not so much because of the journeying through time, although I thought that a poorly-incoporated plot-device, but the nature of the challenges the protaganist encounters. Whilst I think that very disturbing themes can successfully and sensitively be encorporated into fairy-tale fantasy fiction (and Robin McKinley's wonderful "Deerskin" is a great example of this) I felt that in Tepper's "Beauty", these themes were presented almost as arguments to prove various "points". This is not to say I'm not in favour of novels which address issues of gender equality or exploitation, or of man's relation to the environment, it is just that I felt that these points felt laboured within "Beauty". This laboured approach is perhaps most tellingly demonstrated in the account of the heroine's visit to hell, which was rather medieval in its almost smug descriptions of the physical discomfiture of those who had transgressed, particularly against women. There should be better, stronger and higher arguments against rape than that the perpetrator will suffer for it. (I also felt that a book which took such a strong moral position in relation to some issues ought not to have contained some of the disturbing assumptions it did: that, for example, the heroine's daughter can be evil and tainted from birth.)
The overall tone of the book, then, feels didactic, with many characters seeming reduced to cyphers or stereotypes so that individuals fail to disrupt the "pattern" of the very flawed world Tepper presents her reader with. For my personal tastes, too, the conclusion had a rather weak spirituality, whilst the proposal that the "flawed" world should be allowed to self-destruct, only to allow a new one to spring from the seed of the sleeping Beauty, seemed to destroy the significance of all the novel's (under-developed) characters apart from the protagonist.
All this said, I read the novel quite a number of years ago, and it has clearly made a very strong impression on me! I was tempted to give this work only 2 stars, but I realised that my deepest criticisms of at are rather personal: others may find Tepper's concentration on issues rather than characters refreshing, and her style enthralling.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 21, 2011 4:02 PM GMT


The Rose Daughter
The Rose Daughter
by Robin McKinley
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £6.65

44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't understand what there is to criticise!, 9 April 2002
I was utterly absorbed and enchanted by this novel, and greatly preferred it to the author's earlier work, Beauty (which is also a retelling of the Beaty and the Beast legend). Whilst several of the other reviewers seem to have felt that it lacked charm of the earlier work, I personally found Rose Daughter to be intelligent, magical and above all, excellently written. Whilst the herione of this novel is certainly not as tom-boyish as that of the earlier work, I feel that her quality of gentleness makes her a refreshing character. In the past, I'll admit, it was usual for female protagonists to be dull and lady-like, but nowadays the "spunky" herione is just as much of a cliche. The herione of this work is a full character, not a stereotype, and so has a MIXTURE of "old-fashioned" and "modern" character traits.
I also found the ending to "Rose Daughter" supremely satisfying, since I had often wished that the story had an end which justified the moral of the story better. Robin McKinley's writing is always good, but this is my favourite of her books, apart perhaps from "Deerskin".
Perhaps the essential difference between "Rose Daughter" and "Beauty" is that "Rose Daughter" has a more mature tone, which is closer to that of "Deerskin", and whilst it may disappoint those who read "Beauty" many years ago, and who hoped unreasonably that "Rose Daughter" would be an extension or enlargement the earlier story, I found the overal effect enchanting.
The dream-like quality of the writing gives it a sense of half-hidden purposes and meanings, whilst the diffence in timings between outside and inside the beast's territory only adds to beauty and intensity of the developing love between the girl and the beast.
Frankly, I am at a loss to understand the criticism this book has recieved from other reviewers, and I would highly recommend this book to almost any reader.


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