Travel Experience: Mt. Buntis

Mt. Buntis is related to the historical site in Cavite where the house of the “Father of the Revolution” lies and where the old church of Maragondon was located that has been declared as National Heritage. Going to Mt. Buntis will take at least 2 hours from Manila via Bus and Jeep going to NAIC and Maragondon. From there, it is an easy trike going to the jump-off of Mt. Buntis. You will know that you are already there when you see the hanging bridge that offers soothing, radiant green water below the bridge that you will cross once you started the hiking.

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Book Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

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Children of Blood and Bone introduces a lot of dynamic, relatable, and courageous characters that dwell on the mischief of the current ruler, who fights the maji and eliminate them in order to eliminate magic in their world.

The explanation of the magic in Zel’s world is amazing – beautifully weaved and it will keep you reading because you want to see how their magic will work in different situations. Also, there are a lot of maji clans with a different variety of magic that will keep the interest of the readers. There are elemental magic, life magic, healing magic and many more to look forward to in the sequel.

I couldn’t say anything in the world building since I thought the pacing is too fast in everything – their adventure, the advances, the acceptance, their struggles, and the sacrifices in between. However, I enjoyed the fast-paced writing style that offers four points of view in between chapters that we could get to see what were the characters thinking, where is the hatred coming from, how they became like that, and what ignited the fear they’ve been hiding.

The good point from this book is that it justifies how the king decided to eliminate the magic – which offers another perspective with our protagonist – how unacceptable for a conqueror to remove magic by killing them. The practice is unethical and inhumane but at some point in the book, you will definitely understand where both sides are coming from and yet, still I don’t agree on killing which holds a greater bias to our main character and talks about how she doesn’t want to kill.

Adeyemi crafted the thoughts of the characters in the book beautifully – it discusses facing their demons and accepting people – but it was a huge downfall that I had a hard time figuring out whose voice I was reading. It felt like I’m reading one voice from all four characters in every chapter of the book. I felt that the book is too overhype as well and the plot is a bit predictable. I’m kind of disappointed but overall, I enjoyed the book.

What matters here is the voice and the lesson that the author wants to deliver to her readers. That your voice matters. That killing is unjustifiable. That learn to stand up on your own. That you matter.

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Book Review: Coldmaker by Daniel Cohen

28675617“This is disgusting.”, that’s what I thought about the hierarchy in Daniel Cohen’s Coldmaker’s World. There are a lot more people who think they are above anyone and there are taskmakers and Jadanmasters who treat Jadans, the race that you could think of as a slave in this world, ungrateful and immoral. As I was reading the book – I felt outraged, humiliated and terrified. I’m not a fan of these kinds of treatment and I feel the anger rising inside my chest – that’s how effective Cohen as a writer.

At first, I had a difficult time digesting the novel. There are terminologies that are new in the book that I am not yet familiar with. The main character’s personality is slowly building up its profile to its audience but as long as you don’t give up on the book – you will get to know what is the status of their world and what could happen next. There are also some variables in the novel that you need to be attentive to fully grasp the condition of the World Cried. It is both fascinating and interesting, it will make you question a lot of things like how did their world became like this or how did they ended up being slave or maybe why the hell would she kill the kid? My heart mourns for that death.

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10 Travel Tips for Visiting the World Crie

28675617Eight hundred years ago, the Jadans angered the Crier. In punishment, the Crier took their Cold away, condemning them to a life of enslavement in a world bathed in heat.

Or so the tale goes.

During the day, as the Sun blazes over his head, Micah leads the life of any Jadan slave, running errands through the city of Paphos at the mercy of the petty Nobles and ruthless taskmasters.

But after the evening bells have tolled and all other Jadans sleep, Micah escapes into the night in search of scraps and broken objects, which once back inside his barracks he tinkers into treasures.

However, when a mysterious masked Jadan publicly threatens Noble authority, a wave of rebellion ripples through the city.

With Paphos plunged into turmoil, Micah’s secret is at risk of being exposed. And another, which has been waiting hundreds of years to be found, is also on the verge of discovery…

The secret of Cold.


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Discover Coldmaker with Daniel Cohen

28675617Eight hundred years ago, the Jadans angered the Crier. In punishment, the Crier took their Cold away, condemning them to a life of enslavement in a world bathed in heat.

Or so the tale goes.

During the day, as the Sun blazes over his head, Micah leads the life of any Jadan slave, running errands through the city of Paphos at the mercy of the petty Nobles and ruthless taskmasters.

But after the evening bells have tolled and all other Jadans sleep, Micah escapes into the night in search of scraps and broken objects, which once back inside his barracks he tinkers into treasures.

However, when a mysterious masked Jadan publicly threatens Noble authority, a wave of rebellion ripples through the city.

With Paphos plunged into turmoil, Micah’s secret is at risk of being exposed. And another, which has been waiting hundreds of years to be found, is also on the verge of discovery…

The secret of Cold.


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Book Review: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

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I’ve never felt so betrayed in a book. This was the first time that I felt so many emotions that I couldn’t define in a book through its ending. May it be revelations, betrayal, or love – I’m confused. I don’t know whose side I should be, I don’t know who are the characters that I should believe in and I don’t know what is right and wrong anymore for Theodosia.

There are some glimpses of sadness at the beginning – living in your own country ruled by The Kaiserin who conquered your country for a decade and making you suffer whenever he wants? That’s insane. I started reading Ash Princess with so many expectations and it left me in pain. From the Guardian to the cruel choices that Theodosia has to make, there’s a punch on the gut – there’s a pinch of pain that will hurt you in the heart. It was hopeful and yet suffocating, it was terrifying but exciting, and it is romantic but deceitful.

With the Ash Princess, Theodosia, trying to venture out her escape plan. She never knew that after years, she will see the true color of Lady Cress. And for a decade, someone had her heart but couldn’t be with. It felt like I am reading a retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with more twist than I expected.

I think the best asset of this novel, it doesn’t cross the line. Laura Sebastian knows how to tease her readers with few magic scenes that can look forward to the next book. There are more elements that we can be anticipated on the sequel. I would like to know what will happen next after Theodosia met the Dragonsbane household, what would happen to Theodosia and Soren. Deep inside, I really want them to be together but the factors, situations, and variables couldn’t let them be. How could a Queen trade the life of someone – could be dear to her – to the thousand Astrean? Would the magic system will be emphasized in the next book? Will there be more world building and characters?

I have a lot of answers and I’m expecting more in the next installment. I hope, I won’t be disappointed as Ash Princess is the book that gets rid of my book slump.

Ash Princess is truly a magical, and brilliant book that will betray, play and give you twist on your feelings. It gave me so many emotions that I don’t know whom to trust in this book. It was remarkable on its own that will keep you enticed. I hope Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian will stand out as it should be.

MY RATINGS: 4 STARS!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


15945524I write YA books and I’m also entrusted with taking care of other people’s children. I write books about girls who are strong in all different ways, usually with a healthy dollop of magic and a few dragons.

I live in NYC with my extraordinarily fluffy dog, Neville.

Travel Experience: Taal Volcano

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One of my spontaneous adventures with my sister was in Taal Volcano. I was eager to see this place and try to hike to the top of the crater. One thing that I didn’t know was the trail to the top. Taal Volcano offers magnificent and beautiful scenery with an outstanding history. Taal is now called, “An island within a lake in a volcano in a lake on an island.”

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Going to Talisay, Batangas for the registration on DENR and fetching our boat, the tranquil environment soothes my well-being. I could feel my adrenaline rush inside me despite lacking of sleep.

Taal is not just the ‘Taal’ or the volcano, alone. It was called Mount Taal – The World’s Smallest Active Volcano! Who would know that I would see the terrifying danger but the same time the exotic beauty of it?!

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Also, I would like to point out that even the Taal Volcano is considered 2/9 in difficulty – don’t underestimate it. The Trail is pretty difficult. The trail from the bottom to the top requires more energy and strength than regular mountains because of the sandy or the beach-like, sand texture of the trail. There are few rocks at the top but all the way from the bottom, it was sandy. It was also advised to bring your own face mask to prevent inhaling a lot of dust from the trail. Another thing to note for is: Bring more water. A lot of water. Especially summer season in the Philippines because aside from the heat of the sun while hiking, the surrounding is too hot. There are some sulfuric rocks that emitting heat from the stone itself! Taal Volcano is an active volcano for a reason.

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Sulfuric Rocks emitting hot smokes.

The locals in Taal said that they could hike Taal within 25 – 45 minutes. It must be from their experience and daily living but we made it 1 hour and 30 minutes! Regardless of how hard the trail is and how hot the environment is. It wouldn’t beat the beauty and the satisfaction when we reached the top. I was so speechless and I couldn’t get hold of how nature could unfold its stunning beauty in front of my eyes.

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Now, feast on the marvelous and cinematic scenery of Taal Volcano!

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Would you like me to continue this travel segment on my blog? If you do, please tell me what to visit next in the Philippines! It would be fun if you can name some provinces from Luzon first as it would be more accessible!

Until again. Travel More. Wander in Wonders!

Polar Bear