Book Review – A Storm of Swords

I am BACK with the review for the third book of A Song of Ice and Fire, A Storm of Swords. I must say, this is my favourite up to now. I think that the action finally starts to take place and gear us towards the endgame, even if we are still at the beginning. There are obviously going to be spoilers in this post, my apologies.

The game of thrones becomes more and more cruel, bringing divinities out to play (and I am talking about R’hllor) as well as wights and Others. I did not think I would be glad reading so much of the land beyond the wall, but I was pleasantly surprised. Jon has slowly become my favourite character and I think he is the ultimate hero, the ultimate good man. I am sorry to say that Ygritte is not a character I liked and I was not impressed by her death nor her personality.

The most infuriating event was of course the Red Wedding. There is nothing that justifies it and the law of hospitality did nothing to save King Robb, whom I actually liked. I think that narrating that scene from Catelyn’s perspective was genius, and as you read you can feel her going mad with pain, which left a bitter taste in my mouth, a lthough nothing infuriated me as much as Grey Wind’s death. If there is one thing I cannot stomach that is the death of animals.

Arya’s travel with the Hound is…interesting, I suppose. I do think that she has grown and matured and maybe even lost a bit of humanity while with him, but I do not think that it changed her more than the previous events in her life. Her journey in Braavos will be far more challenging.

As you may guess, my absolute and uttermost favourite moment of this whole grand book was Joffrey’s death. Never have I read about a more despicable and downright mean character in my whole life and I laughed when he found his rightful end. Of course, Tyrion’s trial was not what I would have wanted and certainly Prince Oberyn’s death was unfair and stupid on his part (and even made me sad with his love for his dead sister Elia), but it shows how good and honest does not always win. Besides, Tyrion’s vengeance with his father and his brief encounter with Jaime is what I craved and finally got, despite actually liking Tywin’s character, flawed and all.

Now, my absolute favourite new feature of this book was Jaime’s point of view. I cannot tell you how much I love this character and how I think he is the best developed one in the whole story. His slow realisation that his sister may not be a goddess sent by the Seven is something I have waited for a long time. Him taking charge of the Kingsguard and writing his own page in history, with victories and defeats, makes him a great man, and it shows that he was not just his sword hand.

Sansa. I always dreaded when I had to start reading one of her chapters, but they always turn out to be better than expected, mostly thanks to the other characters. I was pleasantly surprised by the chapter in which Littlefinger gives her advice to fight her way through the world and I must say that some of that advice is applicable today. RIP Lisa Arryn, you crazy and jealous woman whom I never could stand.

Davos is also a favourite character of mine, especially thanks to the way he played Melisandre right before the end. Stannis is, in my opinion, still a good man at heart and could take the right path if only he listened to his Hand more than to the Red Priestess.

And finally, Daenerys. She has conquered and also lost quite a lot in this book, but I still do not like her. Call me hateful, but I think that with the ways she chooses to enforce authority in Meereen, she is becoming mad as her father. This may be just a feeling I have, but I hope Ser Barristan Selmy will somehow keep her on the right track.

I cannot wait to read the next two books. Maybe when I will be done with those our beloved George RR Martin will come out with the sixth one, but maybe that is false hope.

Thank you for reading.

xx

 

 

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WYCON Nude Collection Liquid Lipsticks – Review

Liquid lipsticks are a passion of mine, I must say, and these Wycon ones are pretty good.

For those who might not know the brand, Wycon is relatively new on the market. It is very similar in its modus operandi to KIKO, from their main products to their frequent limited edition collections.

One product I think is better than most, at this price range, are the liquid lipstick. They have a massive array of shades and they recently came out with the Nude Collection, which is not as “nude” as I hoped it would be.

Regardless, I bought two shades:

78 – Terra

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This is the nudest beigey nude I could find. It has a slight cool brown/grey tint to it, and I love it. It is slightly darker than what would be considered a classic nude for my skin tone, which means it would look amazing on darker ones. The lasting power is as good as you can get with a liquid lipstick. The plus about these lip products is that they do not go patchy with wear, they just fade, which I prefer. I wear them all day, from 7am to when I get home at 3pm and I still have them on.

81 – The Real

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This shade is slightly peachier, but still with a cool background. All praise applies fo this shade as well. Actually, it might be more wearable than its predecessor.

I love these lipsticks and besides the ones mentioned I have two more, from their permanent collection.
The only down side is probably that some shades could be slightly sheer when you apply them, so I suggest using a liner.

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Score: 7.5/10

Thank you for reading.

Xx

Book Review – The World of Ice and Fire

Now, you guys have probably understood that I have become a true Game of Thrones fan. And as a fan, I wanted to have all the fictional historical facts I could find. Therefore, as a birthday gift, I got this amazing and quite extensive book which tells the story of Westeros and Essos.

At the beggining, I could not put it down. The facts about how the Seven Kingdoms started were too amazing to read later, but after a while you get confused with all of the various Targaryen kings and start losing track of who did what. That is why I advise you to read it casually and then reach for it (at least for the first, historical, part of the book) once you encounter the names in the actual books.

After that part, you get into the actual Seven Kingdoms and their respective history and description, one by one. My favourite is Dorne, as it reflects the social and political values I would like to find in the world of today. Equality between sons and daughters, true born children and bastards, wives or paramours, that is why Dorne is so ahead of its sister kingdoms. A sentimental favourite I would find in the North, where true values seem to never have shifted through the centuries. As much as I love the Lannisters, I did not fall in love with the Westerlands.

Now, the third and last part of this book is dedicated to Essos, and since it is the lesser known territory, it was destined to be my favourite.
I am fascinated with all of the tiny islands that we still do not know enough about and with the three guardian cities (Kayakayanaya, Samyriana, and Bayasabhad) that divide the Vaes Dothrak from the Bones.

Above all, I thirst to know more about Asshai by the Shadow, which only has 2 pages in this book. It is so mysterious and unexplored that I was really dissapointed it did not have more space here. Maybe we will find out later, if George RR Martin feels like delighting us.

All in all, this felt like reading a very entertaining history book, extremely realistic (besides the dragons) and believable.
Score: 9/10

Thank you for reading
Xx

Book Review – Girl Code

While I was waiting for my train to arrive in Termini Station in Rome, I decided to take a look at motivational books written in English in the bookstore inside said station. I did not have much cash on me and so picked out an average-priced women-centred piece of work: “Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur“, written by Cara Alwill Leyba.

You can find the book on Amazon, right here. Now, if you, like me, had no idea who the writer is, let me tell you a couple of things about her: she is a badass. Pink hair, strong mottos like “Woman first, boss second” and a website called “The Champagne Diet”. She is an extremely motivating and positive person and that is clear from the first page of the book.

She has made it her life mission to motivate and empower women so that they can become the boss they always wanted to be and that is what she is doing with this book. It is a quick read which took me less than a week, only reading half an hour a day. It explores various themes, all introduced by quotes of famous women. The themes I most enjoyed were failing, connecting with other women, and trusting oneself’s potential, along with her original concept of “limitless luxe”.

If you want quick motivation on how to better your attitude towards other women, how to find sanity, and then imagine whatever it is that you want to accomplish in this life, you will enjoy this book. Of course, plenty of books like this have come out in recent years, with the new feminist wave, and that I love, despite taking away from the originality of the concept; regardless, the more girl power there is, the better.

Score: 7/10

You can also find Cara on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Thank you once again for reading.

xx

Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink – Review

I have finally gotten around to writing this review, despite taking the photos weeks ago. I have not written a beauty review in a very, very long time and figured it is high time for that.

As you can read from the title, this is a liquid lipstick review of a relatively new product, at least on the Italian market, aka where I shop and live. I decided to buy this lipstick because I needed a pinky nude shade and this was perfect, not too nude, not too pink and not too light either, for my skin tone.

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The colour I bought it in is called 05 Loyalist and I remember paying about €12 in store, despite it retailing $9,49 on the Maybelline website and $7,12 on Amazon. The design of the packaging is very pleasing and simplistic, with a matte texture.

The product itself is, in all honesty, mediocre. The colour itself is gorgeous and apparently it should be so on deeper skin tones as well, according to the images on their website. The smell is very sweet and candy-like. The applicator is teardrop-shaped, according to them making the application effortless, even though I would have preferred a basic dome shaped wand.

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As soon as you put it on your lips it tends to look streaky, but when it dries out it gets homogenous, although you have to be very careful with the contours of your lips, as the colour is very light; I would recommend using a lip liner.

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Despite it being called “Matte Ink”, this product does not dry down completely matte, which did not bother me that much, until I saw it go into the lines of my lips. If you see my lips with no product on, they do not appear wrinkly at all, but with this lipstick on they look almost fake and not really attractive, maintaining a latex-like texture. Also, as soon as I drank or ate anything that was not water, the inside of my lips started peeling off and looking even more latex-like. Do not even think about applying a balm or gloss on top, since the product will start sliding off and in my opinion, trying to make this product shiny goes against the initial purpose.

In conclusion, if you have to get out of the house for a maximum of 3 hours, this lip is okay, but I do not recommend it on a night out or even for school or work.

Score: 4/10

Thank you for reading.

xx

Book Review – A Clash of Kings

Here I am, back with the review of the second book of A Song of Ice and Fire. I must say that I probably enjoyed this book more, simply because the tv show, despite following most of the events, did not feel as a carbon copy of the book, therefore making the reading of the book more enjoyable.

Trying not to divulge too much of the plot for those who have not read it yet is impossible and I am sorry. So if you have not reached this part yet, I recommend you click out since I will now make a list of my favourite events:

  • Renly’s death: this was probably the moment where we, as readers, realised that magic is indeed real in this book, under the form of Renly’s killer and that Melisandre might not be as crazy as we all thought;
  • Brienne’s introduction: Brienne is one of my favourite characters and I could not wait for her to be revealed. Her loyalty is probably her most interesting feature and I cannot wait to see how it develops in the later books;
  • Jaqen H’ghar: I just love everything that has to do with Essos and he is no exception. His demeanour and mystery make me love him even more, especially seeing his relationship with Arya evolve;
  • Battle of Blackwater Bay: probably one of the few times I actually appreciated Sansa’s point of view (POV). I loved the back and forth between her POV and Tyrion’s and how the battle was lived inside and outside of the Red Keep. Of course, I cannot forget to mention Tyrion’s brilliance;
  • Jon Snow killing Qhorin Halfhand: again, in this moment I understood how great and meant for greatness Jon really is. He is one of my favourite characters and him being loyal to the Watch through and through left me speechless;
  • House of the Undying: all the prophecies there are so amazing and I cannot wait for all of them to happen. Anything regarding Rhaegar I love, so him saying that his son is the prince who was promised and that his is the song of ice and fire just makes me hope.

Regarding my favourite POVs, Tyrion takes the gold, while Davos is in second place. They are also my favourite characters throughout; I do also enjoy Jon’s, although I am not a fan of the whole behind the wall narrative. The POVs I do not really enjoy are Theon’s and Bran’s (besides when he has visions of the past).

All in all, I loved this book and I see how it sets the foundation and stepping stones for the rest. I am reading A Storm of Swords as of right now and I will keep you updated.

Score: 9/10

Thank you for reading.

xx

Book Review – A Game of Thrones

I finally gave in to the Game of Thrones craze and decided to ask as a gift the first book of the series, A Game of Thrones, and the special companion book, The World of Ice & Fire. I read the first one quite quickly and I am halfway through the companion book, but since it is full of “historical” events, I get bored easily and I prefer to only read a bit at a time.

Let me start this review by saying that if you have watched the first season of the HBO series, you already know what happens in the first book. It is 99% the same thing.

In case you do not know anything about this series, it follows the life and adventures of various characters, from various points of view, living in Westeros, a fictional land. I would say, if we were to collocate it chronologically, that it would be set in fictional medieval times.

The whole plot is based on games of power and the fight between various houses, especially Lannister and Stark, with a side of Targaryen. Telling you about the characters would ruin everything for first time readers, so I cannot reveal too much. I can only say that my favourite house is House Lannister and that my favourite character is Tyrion Lannister, a very intelligent, overall good, and witty man.

There are no bad things that I can say about this book, to be completely honest. Okay, it is very long, but it is extremely worth it. The length is proportional to how much information is contained and how many dialogues George R.R. Martin had the fantasy to conjure.

I have already gotten the next two books of the series and I promise I will review them as soon as possible.

Score: 10/10

Thank you for reading.

xx