TTT: Fictional Cosplayers


For more information on Top Ten Tuesday, click here.

I was going to do another “Top Ten Fictional Characters I’d Dress Up As For Halloween” but I think I did that one already and there aren’t really any new ones I’d be, considering I still haven’t made my way through the previous ones (technically, I only managed to dress up as Azula once, and it wasn’t a full-blown costume…). Well, I suppose I’d totally try to dress up in Kell’s coat, but that’s another story altogether.

So instead, I went another route and decided to twist it by thinking of fictional characters who’d rock cosplaying fairy tale characters. Because I can, and it sounded like a good idea at the time. Um…great, now I totally just remembered Snape in Neville’s grandmother’s dress…

Aww, that just made me slightly sad. I blame myself. Just a bit.

Ten Fictional Characters Who’d Rock At Cosplaying Mythical/Fairy Tale Characters

Alucard from A Gathering of Shadows (V.E. Schwab) as Sinbad the Sailor. I mean…Sinbad isn’t a pirate, but he certainly has that flair. Also, it wouldn’t be a far stretch for Alucard, who’s practically a sailor already. Though honestly, I think Alucard might find Sinbad a bit boring, considering the flair he possesses just dressing up as himself. But hell, I’d love to see Alucard in a Sinbad costume, so does that count?

Cersei from A Game of Thrones (G.R.R. Martin) as The Queen. I mean…not that she isn’t a queen already, but I feel like she’d definitely dress up as any version of the Evil Queen in any of the fairy tale stories that have Evil Queens. I’m particularly thinking of The Queen in the Snow White tales, where she had stopped at nothing just to try to get rid of her pesky, meddlesome step-daughter. I mean, hiring a mercenary to cut out her stepdaughter’s heart? Yeah, that’s such a Cersei thing to do. Just saying.

George from Lioness Rampant (Tamora Pierce) as Reynardine the Fox. Okay, not the romantic bits. I don’t think George is that much of a cad, but he’s certainly a tricky fellow. If he had a patronus, it would most certainly be a fox (oh yes, I’m mixing fandoms here!). As is, he would be the type of person who can manipulate and deceive people. He is, after all, the Shadow Man.

Aerin from The Hero and the Crown (Robin McKinley) as the Paper Bag Princess. Yes, okay, I totally went for a more modern fairy tale story! This was a 1980’s tale that reversed the princess and prince stereotype, especially when it came to fighting dragons. And nothing says dragonslayer better than Aerin. She’d totally rock it in a paper bag, too.

Sazed from Mistborn: The Final Empire (Brandon Sanderson) as Anansi the Spider. I mean…after The Hero of Ages, I doubt Sazed would even be contemplating dressing up as something, but if he chose to, he’d totally rock as an Anansi. This fairy tale creature is a knowledgeable one, often believed to be the holder of stories. Sazed already passes for a storyteller, albeit one who tells stories of religions, but hey, that’s still thousands more stories than most people know, so why not.

Sabriel from Sabriel (Garth Nix) as Orpheus. Yeah, okay, another dude. But I think Sabriel might actually spin this and genderbend the parts. Her Eurydice would more than likely be her father, the previous Abhorsen, and she wouldn’t be interpreting it as a tale of tragic romance. In any case, I bet if Sabriel actually was Orpheus, she’d be more than likely to send the dead back to the Land of Death than to actually drag them back. Oops?

Mercy from Blood Bound (Patricia Briggs) as Gretel. Every time I think of a German fairy tale character, I swear my head goes to Mercy, because of her whole studying German history in university or something like that. Why Gretel? Gretel was the type of fairy tale character who relied on her instincts and smarts to get out of a situation. I found there was a situation in Blood Bound that was kind of similar to the “Hansel and Gretel” tale, where Mercy had to save caged friends from a psychotic witch–erm, vampire. Also, I’m sure one particular Alpha werewolf would enjoy a bit of roleplaying on Mercy’s part. Hem hem.

Katsa from Graceling (Kristin Cashore) as Finn MacCoul. Honestly, I don’t see Katsa emulating any fairy tale princesses, even if maybe a few of them are badasses. She’d totally want to be a cool warrior dude from some Celtic mythology and then-some. Finn comes to mind because he is a cool warrior-dude from Celtic mythology. Katsa would totally be all over Finn’s spear, because it’s pretty darn cool.

Zuzana from Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Laini Taylor) as Okiku. I totally see this happening. First off, because Prague and haunted walks, and Zuzana would totally take the haunted walk and make it her own. She would pull from Eastern tales instead, just to bring freshness into her scare, and what better costume than to be the ghost of a spirit from the well? She’d totally rock the creepy Okiku look, that’s for sure. If nothing else, she’d totally do a marionette show of it, which would be even more awesome.

The Darkling from Shadow and Bone (Leigh Bardugo) as Koschei the Immortal. Not so much because both share similarities in their backgrounds or because Koschei is derived from Russian fairy tales (and so is the world of the Grisha, really), but because of course the Darkling would love to portray a king. He’d pull it off because he’s the effing Darkling. That is all.

Do you see any of your favorite fictional characters cosplaying and rocking fairy tale looks?

A Barrelful of Stormlight || The Way of Kings Review


Initial Thoughts: 

I think Kal expressed my thoughts on this book perfectly well. “Wait. You–that–what just happened?!” Well played once again, Sanderson. Well. Played.


by Brandon Sanderson
Tor Books, August 2010
Epic fantasy
Rated: 4.5 / 5 cookies

wayofkingsI long for the days before the Last Desolation. Before the Heralds abandoned us and the Knights Radiant turned against us. When there was still magic in Roshar and honor in the hearts of men.

In the end, not war but victory proved the greater test. Did our foes see that the harder they fought, the fiercer our resistance? Fire and hammer forge a sword; time and neglect rust it away. So we won the world, yet lost it.

Now there are four whom we watch: the surgeon, forced to forsake healing and fight in the most brutal war of our time; the assassin, who weeps as he kills; the liar, who wears her scholar’s mantle over a thief’s heart; and the prince, whose eyes open to the ancient past as his thirst for battle wanes.

One of them may redeem us. One of them will destroy us.

Trust an epic fantasy to have an epic book jacket description.

The length of this book seems to be the norm in some of the epic fantasies I’ve read so far, and to say that it isn’t daunting at first glance is like saying ice cream isn’t cold. Yes. A thousand-page book is hella daunting. In fact, books over 800 pages tend to have the tendency to make me cringe. It’s particularly a bad idea to read something of this length if you want to make constant updates on book reviews and read with the speed of a turtle like I do. Let’s not even talk about the attention span needed to keep track of this epic a storyline. All in all, I’d say I try not to overdo it with epic fantasies in a given year. The Way of Kings, after all, took me a couple months to finish off, and only because I spent the last two weeks reading ONLY this book during my work commute.

I will say this. Sanderson is a hell of a brilliant worldbuilder. Often I worry about taking long breaks when I’m reading a lengthy story, because it could be weeks, months, or even years before I pick it up again and finish it. I started TWoK last May and then promptly stopped reading about three hundred pages in to pick something else to read. Since then it had been me picking the book up on and off to read a hundred or so pages.

But even with these constant breaks and long time spans, getting back into the swing of the story was not a hard thing to do. Sanderson spun so much rich detail into Roshar that it felt like I’d been traipsing around in a world full of high storms and fabrials, and returning to Kaladin’s bridge crew and Dalinar’s war camp in the Shattered Plains or Shallan’s cozy rooms in Kharbranth was weirdly like coming home. Except, you know, I don’t really want to live in the Shattered Plains. As a woman, I probably wouldn’t be allowed to wield a Shardblade there. Also, Chulls are fucking horrific.

The Way of Kings follows several characters in Roshar, a part of Sanderson’s Cosmere galaxy. (Yes, he’s invented a galaxy sandbox for his adult fantasies…) The main story revolves largely around Kaladin, Shallan, and Dalinar (occasionally Adolin), with several other viewpoints scattered in there, including the Assassin in White, Szeth. For the most part, I loved the different viewpoints given through the three main characters, and often I couldn’t figure out which of them was my favorite, because, you know, they all had different roles to play in the story.

“If we do nothing with the knowledge we gain, then we have wasted our study. Books can store information better than we can–what we do that books cannot is interpret. So if one is not going to draw conclusions, then one might as well just leave the information in the texts.”

I was a little disappointed that Shallan got the lesser limelight in the book, because I thought her plotline was certainly the most illuminating, and it sometimes got a bit scary there…I mean, Shallan’s sketches are all well and lovely, but egads they get creepy, especially when she’s drawing creatures looming over scenes they aren’t supposed to be in. Admittedly, Shallan’s story wasn’t the most exciting, but it’s my understanding she gets more of a focused storyline in Words of Radiance.

Things were the same, yet different. One step, and the world flipped upside down. The villain became the hero, the hero the villain. “I–” Kal said. ” I can’t decide if what you did was incredibly brave or incredibly wrong.”

Lirin sighed. “I know how you feel.”

Ultimately, TWoK’s focus was Kaladin Stormblessed. Kaladin’s journey had been the most traumatic, and on occasion we get a glimpse of his past and why he’s ended up where he is at the beginning of the story. It was easy to root for Kal, and he was ultimately my favorite of the three “main” character viewpoints. Also, having a spren like Syl around is awesome.

Where the book kind of lost me at times was when it petered off into those Interludes scenes. While they did give more insight into the background of the world, the viewpoints and conversations were too brief for me to care about learning who the characters were or why they were doing what they were doing. It might be a big mistake in the long run, because hey-oh, I probably should have been paying attention to people named Nan Balat or something, but I just found myself whining. I mean, honestly, can we get back to my boy Kal already? Yeesh. To be fair, Szeth’s chapters had a certain allure to it. I mean, he’s a freaking assassin, so of course he’s interesting!

“I point out truths when I see them, Brightness Sadeas. Each man has his place. Mine is to make insults. Yours is to be in-sluts.”

Oh, and the Wit. The Wit is hilarious and knows much more than he should. But then again, the Wit is totally a space-traveling storyteller. Yep.

“What is a man’s life worth?” Dalinar asked softly.

“The slavemasters say one is worth about two emerald broams,” Kaladin said, frowning.

“And what do you say?”

“A life is priceless,” he said immediately, quoting his father.

And Dalinar. I like Dalinar. I cheered for Dalinar when he got the girl. Because holy hell, he needed something in his life to go right for once.😄

And, as usual, the best parts of all the Sanderson books I’ve read so far often hits at the last few hundred pages. He’d laid so much of the groundwork in the first two-third of the book that all the tension comes to a head at the last third. I felt just as betrayed and courageous as Dalinar, as curious and excited as Shallan, and as confused and elatedly brimming with Stormlight as Kaladin. And all because I got to know the characters really well.

Does this mean the book is worth reading 900-1000 pages just to get to the splendidly good parts? I suppose that depends on how much you really want to immerse yourself into the Cosmere. I, for one, cannot wait to rip into Words of Radiance. Even though *SOB* it’ll probably take me decades to finish. *end melodrama*

4.5 out of 5 cookies!


Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

[Book Tags] – The Zombie Apocalypse

Lauren @ Always Me has such fun tags, and this was certainly another one that I yoinked from her. It’s such a fitting time to do it, too, considering it’s October and I’m hunkering down preparing for Samhain! Or, well, Shocktober as what many already call it.

The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag


  1. Pick 5 books (favorites or random but know the characters).
  2. Write the name of the books on strips of paper.
  3. Draw one piece randomly for it to be your book/choice.
  4. Open to a random page and use the first name you see to answer question 1.
  5. Use the same book for question 2, but turn to a different page.
  6. Repeat the steps 2-5 till you answered all the questions.

My Books:


In no particular order (and honestly, I just picked favorite books off random shelves and made sure I’d read them previously):

Soulless by Gail Carriger

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Fire by Kristin Cashore

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

Book 1: Fire by Kristin Cashore

1. The first person to die: 

Fire (p. 214) – God. Worst luck ever. Though to be fair, I’m pretty sure the only reason she would die is if she was protecting people she loved. Like Hanna or Brigan. Yeah. This so doesn’t make me feel better.

2. The person you trip to get away from the zombies:

Archer (p. 300) – Lol. I…see this as possibly happening, actually. I was so over Archer by the second half of the book.

Book 2: Cress by Marissa Meyer

3. The first person to turn into a zombie:

Scarlet (p. 96) – I’m sorry, girl! Your uh…zombification will be avenged! (Random note: I notice my redheads don’t make it in this zombie apocalypse. Dammit!)

4. The person that trips you to get away from the zombies:

Kai (p. 297) – I’m not even angry by this. You run, Kai. Run far and fast. I’ll catch up with the group eventually.😄

Book 3: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

5. The idiot of the team:

Dylan/Deryn (p. 280) – Lol, I feel like the roles are switched here, but I suppose she is pretty dense at times. And reckless.

6. The brains of the team:

Alek (p. 168) – All that swordfighting practice might have given him a bit of strategic edge fighting zombies.

Book 4: Soulless by Gail Carriger

7. The team’s medic: 

Professor Lyall (p. 132) – As the Woolsey Pack Beta, this is definitely a possibility. Though…do werewolves actually suffer through zombie-ism when they’re already cursed with lycanthropy?

8. The weapons expert:

Alexia Tarrabotti (p. 338) – I do not doubt this! After all, she does know a thing or two about attacking with parasols!

Book 5: Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

9. The brawler:


Sam Cornick (p. 68) – Hahaha, I totally see this. He’d be an excellent brawler, though.

10. The team captain:

Warren (p. 236) – Yes! I’d totally follow him as my team captain. I mean…if Adam wasn’t available, obvi.

That was definitely fun to do! I’m more or less happy with my team mates, though I am particularly bummed that my redheads suffered an early defeat against the hands of brain-eaters. But c’est la zombie vie, I suppose.

I’m a horrid tagger, but per usual, I tag EVERYBODY! Because I’d love to see your results.😀

TTT: Character Names


For more information on Top Ten Tuesday, click here.

This week’s TTT kind of coincided with a previous TTT, only this time, I’m not talking about video game dogs and villains. Now we’re getting to the heart of my characters. And yes, I often do name characters I create after fictional characters. When I’m not naming them after characters I’ve made up, that is.

Yes, a majority of my characters are female. Chances were if I could play female, I most definitely played female.

Top Ten Fictional Character Names I Use for Video Game Heroines/Heroes

Galadriel (The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien) – Because what else would I name my badass elf queen character? I will admit that it’s been a while that I’ve read any Tolkien (like, maybe over a decade, actually), but some characters do stick with you. Galadriel plays a very small role in the trilogy itself, and it’s probably in The Silmarillion (which I’ve read only half of) where we see Galadriel’s shining moment of having fought a Balrog–and won. So yeah, she’s totally my favorite Tolkien elf, hands down.

Zuzana (Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor) – It’s just such an awesome name! And the character in DoSaB is definitely my favorite human ever. EVER. Well, I suppose that doesn’t say much, considering most of the characters aren’t exactly human, but sigh. Zuzana is just the bees’ knees. My video game Zuzana is a diminutive elf archer, though deep down I’m sure she has every desire to make marionettes for a living. She already has the strings for it!

Sa’Kage (The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks) – This isn’t necessarily a person’s name in Weeks’ Night Angel trilogy. In fact, it was a term used to describe an underground organization, but I liked the sound of it enough to name a female character after it (also, note, the Japanese kage translates to the English shadow, so it’s such a handy name to use!). Can’t remember if my character was a rogue or assassin. That said, rogues and assassins tend to have similar character skills in games anyway, so I couldn’t say.

Kheldar and Javelin (The Belgariad by David Eddings) – Kheldar is the name of my favorite prince in The Belgariad, while Javelin’s the code name for his boss. While I christened one of my male space commanders with the latter name, I totally used the former to name one of my first female elven rogues in Dragon Age: Origins. No regrets. And yes, if you noticed by now, I play elves a lot.

Alanna (The Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce) – There was always, ALWAYS going to be an Alanna video game character. And she will always, ALWAYS be a redhead. Dragon Age Inquisition made this even more possible, because I managed to make Inquisitor Alanna Trevelyan look like the Alanna I’ve always conjured up in my head. That said, since I couldn’t exactly choose both warrior AND mage, video game Alanna was a human mage. So mote it be.

Azula (Avatar: The Last Airbender series by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko) – I know she’s psychotic and for the most part not entirely redeemable in the TV series, but I have to admit that I loved Azula in AtLA. She’s just my kind of chaotic evil crazy, and there’s no denying her badassery in all things firebending. So the minute I realized I could make a qunari female character in Dragon Age: Inquisition, I made Azula. She wasn’t a mage, though, but she definitely knew how to wield a few knives as a rogue.

Cybele (Cybele’s Secret by Juliet Marillier) – The book doesn’t really have a character named Cybele. Well, unless you count the goddess in question that seems to have gathered a cult of crazed worshipers. I just like the name Cybele. I mean…provided I pronounce it “Sih-Bill-Ee” and not “Sigh-Beel”. This particular name went to my rather cantankerous female space commander.

Kelsier (Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson) – Why wouldn’t I name someone Kelsier? It’s a badass name. And it has a nice ring to it! I couldn’t tell you who I named this, though, as it was an older video game character. Probably one of my characters in a Bethesda game (either OblivionSkyrimFallout 3, or Fallout 4). I forget.

Morgiana (One Thousand and One Nights/The Arabian Nights) – This one’s a bit of a cheat, because I have written a character named Morgiana (Gia for short) in one of my short stories. That said, because my story is based on the stories from The Arabian Nights, it would be no surprise that I’d use Morgiana. My video game Morgiana is a mage in her own right and can probably fry the forty thieves with one quick flick of fireball from her wrist, but I rather liked Ali Baba’s Morgiana. She was sassy and smart and sexy to boot.

Do you name video game people after other fictional characters? Who’s on YOUR list?

Food and Fandom: Nyan Cat Cake

So. I don’t know if you know this, but a couple years ago, there was this silly thing that went viral on YouTube, because well, a Pop-Tart cat shitting out rainbows with a synthesized Japanese pop song blaring out in the background. I mean. Is there really anything else to say about it other than the fact that it obviously would become one of those internet memes?

Honestly, I forgot about this video up until I started thinking about my sister’s birthday cake. That’s when I remembered the cupcakes I made her when Nyan Cat exploded onto the interwebs. The cupcakes I’d done back then were vanilla cupcakes with a lemon frosting, topped with a strawberry Pop-Tart, inspired by the same damn cat that popped up during that year.

Exhibit One.

Exhibit One.

Suffice to say that  I wanted to update this inspiration and take it to the next level. Which meant actually making a Nyan Cat cake.

Unlike my rainbow cupcakes, though, I decided NOT to rainbowify the interior of the cake, mostly because it was a time consuming process, and I had already decided I was making most of everything from scratch (including the fondant). All in all, the entire cake process took me three days, two of which were mostly short bursts of prep-time (baking the cake, making the fondant, etc.). The bulk of my actual work started on Monday morning with the decorating.

I’m not the neatest decorator ever, and my sister is probably a gazillion times more of the artist than I am, but I make do with what I’ve got, and at least I could at least make the cake presentable AND taste good at the same time! Hah.


So anyway, the cake itself…

I’ve actually used this marshmallow-based fondant recipe a few times now, and I’ve got to say, it’s not bad. I’m not a big fan of fondant, and I never really eat it, so for me to say that this stuff can actually BE edible is a big deal. That said, I still found myself peeling the fondant away because I’m still not a fan. It is, IMO, much better than store-bought fondant. It is also a much cheaper approach, considering fondant does tend to be on the pricier side of the baking spectrum.


Making fondant, however, is also an extra step and a time-consuming process. So if you’d rather just focus on straight-up decorating the cake without the hassle of making fondant from scratch, I’d say just go for the store-bought stuff.

Matcha Cake with Matcha Frosting

The cake recipe is one I got from Karen @ Honestly Yum, though I didn’t do the white chocolate frosting because I wanted to use the vanilla frosting I already had in store. That said, the frosting got an extra dose of matcha powder in the mix, which gave it that green tea kick I liked for this particular cake. (I didn’t make any alterations on the recipe minus taking out the white chocolate chips and the heavy cream, so click the link to Karen’s for the actual recipe–and her pictures are beautiful, so I do recommend it!)

I do think I could have whisked the egg whites a bit longer than what I did. Or maybe I deflated the mixture somewhat. In any case, the cake was soft, but not as filled with a light moisture I’d expected from a recipe that called for a lot more eggs than usual. That said, it was pretty good!

As for the frosting itself…I used a pre-made white frosting and mixed a tablespoon of matcha powder in it.

Putting things together was the bulk of the work, believe it or not. The baking and fondant process didn’t take long, and most of the baking time was me sitting around playing video games while the cake baked in the oven. Once that was over with, I went and put the cake in the freezer to harden it up a bit so I can cut into it without risking breakage. I also had to refrigerate the fondant overnight, etc. At any rate, working the fondant was a pain in the rear, especially when you’re one person trying NOT to eff up placing it on top of a roughly frosted cake.

I separated a few pieces of fondant and colored them a bit. There’s some marbling effect happening on the rainbow strips, but I actually liked how they turned out, albeit it wasn’t on purpose. Also, gold dust stars. Yeah…

Verdict: We may have ended up dancing to the remixed version of the Nyan Cat video. In the middle of the dining room table. Because that’s what happens when you make a Nyan Cat cake.