My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I love, love, LOVE this book! It was so fun to read and there was never a dull moment. At first I thought it was the typical story of a girl whisked off by a wizard to train as an apprentice but no, there were so many elements to this book, you would be surprised.
So the main character of the book was this girl named Agniezka, who never really expected that she will be the one chosen by this mysterious wizard to be his apprentice (they call him the Dragon but his name is actually Sarkan, which means "dragon" LOL :-D ) because her entire village believed that Sarkan will pick Kasia, Agniezka's friend, who was beautiful, elegant, and just the perfect girl. Agniezka was just average looking, not really proficient in anything aside from getting herself dirty, and she was clumsy and all. So everyone was really surprised when Sarkan chose Agniezka instead of Kasia and before she knew it, she was in Sarkan's tower.
Now without getting into so much details, Sarkan grudgingly trained Agniezka in doing spells (cantrips) and it became apparent very soon that despite Agniezka's lackluster appearance, she was a naturally powerful witch. This is just my personal view, but I think she is either a reincarnation of Baba Jaga (an ancient powerful witch) or she was descended from her. In any case, Agniezka was soon making it known that it will be unwise to underestimate her because she HAS POWER and she is not to be messed around with.
Now it is revealed that Sarkan's primary role is to safeguard the people and the land from the evil brought upon by the Wood. The Wood is actually this place where strange and awful creatures roam (twig-like beings who kidnaps people, big ferocious wolves, and large monstrous mantises to name a few) who seemed deadset in spreading misery and pestilence to the people living in the valley. It really made me so interested to read about the Wood, it was fascinating and horrible at the same time. Even if you don't go inside the Wood, it could spread pollens carried by the wind and infect people, usually making them go mad and kill themselves and the people around them.
Anyway, let me just share my thoughts about the characters. I liked Agniezka but I just wish she cared more about her appearance. If I had a spell that will enable me to change my outfit into one fabulous ensemble to another, you can be sure I will probably be changing clothes at least 5 times a day. But I guess that's part of her charm, that she was so unaffected and lacks of artifice. She does make up for it by having a smart and sensible head on her shoulders.
I liked Sarkan with reservations. I do get the moody and aloof exterior he has, but I sort of got exasperated that he continued to keep Agniezka at arms length. I guess he was truly hurt by his past love and that made him jaded about love. Oh boy, by the way, this book is not a young adult novel. This is definitely a New Adult. I was so surprised when Agniezka and Sarkan did the "deed." I mean, when it happened, I was so shocked. Not that I'm a prude or anything (maybe I am), but it was so unexpected and I kind of crossed my fingers that Agniezka would become pregnant and Sarkan would be man enough to ask her to marry him.
I liked Kasia because she was a loyal friend till the end. I was half-expecting her to betray Agniezka, probably because she may resent her friend for being picked instead of her. I am glad that it wasn't the case. I thought that she and Prince Marek would fall in love and that she will be queen but I guess what happened to her was okay as well.
So all in all, this book was great and I wish there was a sequel. This book is kind of dark because of all the people dying and the atrocities, but still it was magical and interesting. Giving this book a definite 5 stars!
View all my reviews
cleaning the toilet, definitely!
i have been to puerto galera where we went snorkeling, i saw a lot of fishes and coral reef
I have used Blogger for quite some time now and I really don't have major complaints, I enjoyed posting and sharing my likes and interests. However, I am very concerned that my followers are not really increasing. Though I realize that MAYBE some people are visiting my blog regularly, they're just not publicly following me, I am still not sure if my stay here is even worthwhile.
So I decided to transfer my blog, at least for the meantime, to TUMBLR. I believe that more people are using Tumblr and I already exported my previous posts there. Lo and behold, I already have SEVEN followers in less than 30 minutes. That tickled me pink and sealed the deal.
I am not closing my doors to Blogger, though. I may still return depending on how my experience will turn out with Tumblr. I hope that I will still be welcome and my followers would still be here.
You can visit my new blog clicking this link http://nevemoon.tumblr.com
Au revoir Blogger! Its been nice staying here. wish me luck on my new home in Tumblr!
A residual haunting, by far the most common type of haunting, is a haunting in which the ghostly energy goes through a cycle of actions – thus repeating itself over and over again. Typically, these ghostly actions play out at specific times / dates, as though they were following a schedule. Oftentimes, the event playing out will be that of a tragedy or horrific scene – such as a death or murder. Residual hauntings have been said to be more like a psychic impression of energy – rather than an actual haunting of a physical presence or being.
An intelligent haunting is described as a haunting in which the spirit / ghost demonstrates an intelligence level at which the entity seems to be aware of its surroundings and/or the present-day situation. These ghosts have been said to actually communicate or interact with the living. Intelligent hauntings often involve objects being moved and/or other physical activity such as the spirits making sounds / noises, writing on walls / mirrors / etc., slamming doors, and other physical traits such as footsteps appearing from nowhere. There have been reports of intelligent hauntings where the entities will move things around or even hide objects from their living counterparts. Distinct smells and/or odors are also commonly reported with intelligent hauntings.
Okay, now that we have the definitions out of the way, on to our list…
10. Moss Beach Distillery – Moss Beach, California
The Moss Beach Distillery in Moss Beach California is well known on the California coast, both for its great food and fantastic views – but also for its ghosts! Moss Beach Distillery originally opened in 1927 as “Frank’s Place” – a highly successful “speakeasy” during the prohibition era. It was a popular hot spot for movie stars, politicians from San Francisco, and well known gangsters. Even rumored to have been a brothel at one point, it was a place where shady deals went down and lots of bad things happened.
The most well known ghost of the distillery is “The Lady in Blue.” Said to be the ghost of Mary Ellen, a beautiful young woman who loved wearing blue dresses, The Lady in Blue met a handsome piano player named John Contina. Already married, Mary Ellen fell for Mr. Contina and the two soon entered into an adulterous affair.
The lovers met frequently for moonlit walks on the beach and encounters at the Marine View Hotel – which was located next to the Distillery overlooking the cliffs. The romance ended tragically on a stormy November night, as Mary Ellen died in a horrific automobile accident on old Bayshore Highway. Ironically, at the same time the piano player was also having an affair with a local woman named Anna Philbrick. Anna discovered John’s deceit and flung herself off the cliffs near the Distillery, drowning in the kelp beds below. Contina later met with a tragic death himself, as his decapitated body was found washed-up ashore near the distillery. It is rumored that a jealous husband decided to take revenge, but Contina’s death is still an unsolved mystery.
Why We Believe This Haunting Is Real:
The Lady in Blue has been witnessed by dozens of people, often in the cliffs surrounding the building warning children and other guests not to play too close to the edge. There are numerous reports of poltergeist activity and other paranormal activity, including: Incessant telephones ringing, with no caller on the other end; Cases of wine repeatedly being moved, with no one accountable; Random objects being tossed around; And doors mysteriously slamming shut.
9. Winchester Mystery House – San Jose, California
Few haunted places are more massive or beautiful than the Winchester Mystery House. Originally begun in 1844 by Sarah Winchester, heiress of the Winchester Rifle fortune, the mansion began as a humble 6-room home. Now, the sprawling structure has more than 160 rooms and is like a labyrinth of intrigue, suspense, and as the house’s name suggests – mystery!
Driven by guilt over the many deaths her husband’s rifle business had caused, Mrs. Winchester was supposedly driven by ghosts to continually build onto the Victorian-style mansion over a period of 40 years.
Legend has it that ghosts inspired Mrs. Winchester to keep building onto this house… the house that never ends. It has even been speculated that Sarah constructed the house in such a manner as to confuse or trap ghosts so they could not disturb her further. In later years of her life, she even slept in a different room every night, hoping to avoid repeated ghostly hauntings.
Today, the mansion is a tourist attraction. Filled with modern amenities, the Winchester Mystery House includes button-operated lighting, almost 50 fireplaces, parquet floors and magnificent chandeliers. Almost every window has 13 panes of glass, most floors contain 13 sections, and all but one staircase has 13 steps. And, did I mention that the house has several oddities like staircases that lead nowhere?
Why We Believe This Haunting Is Real:
Sarah Winchester was one of the wealthiest, most influential women in America during her time. And, as she claimed, she was haunted by the spirts of the hundreds, if not thousands, of souls killed by Winchester rifles. Additionally, there have been numerous ghostly appearances in the house and on the property and visitors often report hearing mysterious voices, footsteps, and doors slamming when no one is in the room. Cold spots and strange lights / orbs are frequently reported as well.
8. Kreischer Mansion – Staten Island, New York
7. Lemp Mansion and Brewery – St. Louis, Missouri
The infamous Lemp Mansion, built in the 1860′s, was home to the Lemps – a prominent St. Louis, Missouri family that owned one of the largest breweries in the world. Well, that is until prohibition started the family’s downfall.
Legend has it that after prohibition took hold in the 1920′s, the Lemp family went into a quick spiral of deceit and treachery – with one family member dying under mysterious circumstances, four others taking their own lives, and another dying of a heart attack – all inside the confines of the mansion itself.
Next door to the mansion is the Old Lemp Brewery. The Brewery is nestled on top of a natural cave system that was used to store beer and, at one point, smuggle slaves to the Mississippi River. Today, the Lemp Mansion and Brewery is a horrific haunted house experience like no other.
Why We Believe This Haunting Is Real:
After the deaths of the Lemp family members and as the brewery business collapsed due to prohibition, the mansion quickly fell into disrepair. Years later, as hired contractors were brought in to restore the mansion – things began to get a little creepy. Workers quickly began getting the chills and a deep overall feeling of “being watched.” Tools began to disappear, objects moved on their own or were thrown about with no one in sight, and workers quit out of sheer terror. Later on, while being used as a restaurant, employees and patrons witnessed objects “floating off the bar,” mysterious sounds with no explanation, the piano playing by itself, and ghostly apparitions appearing and disappearing at will. Then, there’s this… Life Magazine named the site as “one of the most haunted places in America.”
6. Bullock Hotel – Deadwood, South Dakota
#5 – Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4. Alcatraz Island – San Francisco, California
3. Borden House – Fall River, Massachusetts
2. The University Of Alabama – Tuscaloosa, Alabama
1. Waverly Hills Sanitarium – Louisville, Kentucky
10. Camp Scott-
Do Not Enter
In the weeks before the murders, strange events took place around Camp Scott. Personal items began disappearing from the cabins and tents. In one incident, a counselor reported that her doughnuts had been stolen, and inside the empty doughnut box was a disturbing hand-written note. The author vowed to “murder three campers in tent 1.” Because summer camps are rife with ghost stories, the note was treated as a prank and discarded. After the murders, Oklahoma police launched one of the largest manhunts in US history. Detectives ultimately focused their attention on a man named Gene Leroy Hart, who had been free since escaping from the Mayes County Jail four years earlier. He had previously been convicted of raping two pregnant women. Hart was arrested and tried for the crimes, but was ultimately acquitted of the killings in 1979. Later that year he died of a heart attack while in prison.
During the publicized trial, the camp underwent many accusations, stemming from the fact that the girl’s tent was 86-yard (79 m) from any counselors. Other campers reported that they witnessed a man peeking in their tents on the evening of the murders. The day following the incident, Camp Scott was closed forever. To date, the Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders remain unsolved and DNA testing has returned inconclusive results. However, something is said to remain on the grounds of Camp Scott. It has been claimed that when a heavy rain falls, the eerie sound of small girls crying can be heard. Dark shadows are said to lurk and the sensation of someone walking around you has been reported. Only true thrill seekers will stay a night within the walls of the Camp Scott compound. In an interesting twist, the original Friday the 13th film was released in 1980, which is only three years after the violent murders. The movie franchise has helped insert an urban legend in popular culture that summer camps are creepy and dangerous. Camp Scott just might be.
9. Phantom Vehicles
8. Clinton Road
Do Not Enter
People who visit Clinton Road have reported a feeling of uneasiness or mounting dread as they move down the road, sometimes so great that they have to turn back. In 1905, a man named Richard Cross built a castle on the high land peering over the reservoir surrounding Clinton Road. Decades later, the structure fell into ruin when a fire destroyed it. After the incident, the castle became a popular location for teenage parties and reported Satan worshippers and their sacrifices. It is a scary place, and certain people have written to Weird NJ magazine telling of strange occurrences in or near the castle site. This includes people going into seizures and being physically injured. Within certain individuals, the castle is said to produce instant and disturbing visions. Many people have also reported seeing members of the KKK, which is interesting because prior to the US entry into World War II, a German-American Bund maintained camps in the area surrounding Clinton Road. If you are unfamiliar, a Bund member holds a favorable view of Nazi Germany.
It has been rumored that professional killers dispose of bodies in the surrounding woods. In 1983, this claim was substantiated when a bicyclist traveling on Clinton Road noticed a group of vultures feasting at a spot in the nearby woods. This sparked the man’s interest and led him to the discovery of a dead body. An autopsy found that the deceased individual had been murdered by foul play, but something else initially puzzled police. The victim had ice crystals in his blood vessels near the heart. Pathologists concluded that someone had frozen his body after death in an attempt to mislead investigators into believing he died at a later time. Ultimately the information led to the direct arrest of Richard Kuklinski or The Iceman. Kuklinski is a prolific contract killer and mafia assassin. The six foot five inch (196 cm), 300 pound (135 kg) monster claims to have murdered over 250 men over a career that lasted from 1948 till 1986. It is unclear how many bodies he planted in the area surrounding Clinton Road or if his victims still haunt the patch of land today.
7. The Weeping Woman
6. Crybaby Bridges of Ohio
4. The Candy Man
3. Corpse Road
2. Suicide Cliff and Banzai Cliff
1. Edinburgh Vaults
I will get cosmetic surgery.
They gave me BB Cream.
I never gave flowers to anyone, actually.
You are beautiful, no matter what they say. Words wont keep you down.
I would have contact lenses made instead of regular glasses. Contact lenses restored my confidence and I feel a lot better with them on. Regular glasses makes me look old and I feel really sad about that.
|The Brain mushroom (Gyromitra esculenta)|
|The Bleeding Tooth fungus (Hydnellum pecki)|
|The Giant puffball (Calvatia Gigantea)|
|The Devil's Cigar (Chorioactis) – world's rarest fungi|
|Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)|
Trametes versicolor, often called the "turkey tail," has the dubious distinction of being the only member of the forest fungal fowl community not named for the full bird, but a feathery fraction. However, the chicken of the woods and the hen of the woods look nothing at all like chickens or hens, while the turkey tail does look (vaguely) like a turkey's tail. Who started this clucking menagerie of mushroom monikers, anyway?
|Sky Blue mushroom (Entoloma hochstetteri)|
Entoloma hochstetteri is a species of mushroom found in New Zealand and India. The small mushroom is a distinctive all-blue colour, while the gills have a slight reddish tint from the spores. The blue colouring of the fruit body is due to three azulene pigments. Entoloma hochstetteri is not edible, but whether or not it is poisonous is unknown. This species was one of six native fungi featured in a set of fungal stamps issued in New Zealand in 2002. It is also seen on the reverse side of the $50 bank note, issued by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in 1990.
|Bearded Tooth mushroom (Hericium erinaceus)|
|Dog Stinkhorn (Mutinus caninus)|
|Bioluminescent fungi (Mycena chlorophos)|
|Fly Amanita (Amanita muscaria) – world's most famous mushroom|
Also known as the fly Agaric or the fly Amanita, the Amanita muscaria is a poisonous and psychoactive basidiomycete fungi, which is one of many in the genus Amanita. There are several subspecies, and each of them has a different cap color. These include the yellow-range flavivolata guessowii, formosa, the pink persicina, and the brown regalis (although it is now considered a separate species).
Fly Agaric's are one of the most recognizable and widely encountered in popular culture. They have been featured in children's books, films, garden ornaments, greeting cards, and computer games. This toadstool is associated with the famous book turned movie, Alice in Wonderland; the mushroom in Super Mario Bros., and more. It is also known as the mushroom of flies from due to Albertus Magnus' work in De vegetabilibus where he stated, “It is called the mushroom of flies, because crushed in milk it kills flies”.
Sylvia Mythen, a 70-year-old grandmother from Venice, Fl, has discovered what appears to be the world's first orange alligator. She was returning from work when she drove by the gator and promptly had to back up for a double-take. After sending the picture to her local news station she also contacted a biologist who believes the gator is really just half-albino. He says he has never seen or heard of one. But Gary Morse from Florida Fish and Wildlife feels the orange color might be from some environmental element. Regardless, the University of Florida Gators might have a new mascot.
Look at this strange animal! Yes, that is a purple polar bear believe it or not! This usually white polar bear created quite the buzz about the Mendoza City Zoo in Argentina when it unexpectedly turned purple. It seems that the polar bear named Pelusa had a skin condition that the zoo officials were trying to treat, and as a result of the special treatment of this condition the polar bear turned purple. The purple color only lasted for a little while, but it was quite the talk of the town and spread across the world news and internet like wildfire.
The lizard in the photo is not being manipulated (not a photo manipulation). It is now the latest exotic pet craze. Mwanza flat-headed agama's vivid blue-and-red colouring, is a lizard that has a body skin colour similar to Spiderman. Agamas, which are native to Kenya can be good pets, as they become tame and docile if handled regularly.
It can grow up to a foot long, and a balanced diet for them includes locusts, crickets, meal worms and wax worms. They are unable to throw webs, but can change colour – the brightly coloured males will change brown at night or if frightened. They can also run on their hind legs, and can scale vertical walls like spiders.
Take a look at these tattooed pigs. Wim Delvoye has been tattooing them since the 1990s. In the early 21st century a tattooed pigs project was set up in the Art Farm in China, where there are fewer strictures regarding animal welfare than in most parts of the Western world. In 2005, Delvoye's colleague, artist Danny Devos, spent several months at the farm, reorganizing, managing and rebuilding. The tattoos range from traditional flags and lions kind of stuff to Louis Vuitton logo patterns. The skins are not used as formal art objects until the pigs die, at which time, the skins are removed and displayed on walls in various art venues.
The flamingo tongue snail (cyphoma gibbosumn) is a small, colorful sea snail which lives on various species of soft corals in the Caribbean. This creature almost-literally wears its heart (soul and colors) on its sleeve. The pretty color you see in this image is not a snail's shell! Rather, it's in a layer of live mantle tissue, connected to its foot - the snail pushes it out to cover the shell. The mantle tissue also works like a fish's gill. When the snail is attacked, the mantle (and colors) is withdrawn. So you might say, this is the only marine animal that literally turns pale in fright.
The Mandarin Duck, or just Mandarin, is a medium-sized perching duck, closely related to the North American Wood Duck. The adult male is a striking and unmistakable bird. It has a red bill, large white crescent above the eye and reddish face and "whiskers". The breast is purple with two vertical white bars, and the flanks ruddy, with two orange "sails" at the back.
The Atelopus frog is known by many names such as the clown frog or the Costa Rican Variable Harlequin Toad. Whatever you call the frog, it is a neo-tropical toad that was once quite wide spread living throughout Costa Rica and Panama. The species is listed as critically endangered and is thought to be living primarily in Panama today.
The Panda Dog was invented by Kensuke Hirakawa after adopting an abandoned Maltese cross , called Colombo, who was apparently abandoned because of his ugly looks. The unfortunate dog had all its canine teeth removed, a stiff hind leg and tear stained eyes. Having been a beautician and a former pet store owner, Mr Hirakawa decided to beautify his newly found friend. He used puppy safe hair dye to make Colombo look like the cuddly endangered Panda Bear. The result was overwhelming, with a massive and diverse response from the community. Since Colombo was white, the owner simply hair dyed black circles around the eyes, the ears, hind and front legs and strips across the pooch's back. Many scorned the idea as cruel for using chemicals on the animal and for altering its appearance. Others dismissed those perceptions as being over-dramatic. The owner did use a dog-safe non-toxic hair dye. The Panda Dog look turned famous overnight