Health Update Jan/Feb 2018

21 Feb

If you follow me on Instagram, you know a little bit of what this update is going to say since I shared some of this last week. I’ll admit that I kept putting off writing this post. I’ve found it hard to want to share – which feels a little strange but there’s something scary about saying “I’m feeling some better!” I feel the weight of expectation landing squarely on my shoulders. Expectation that I won’t have any more set backs. Expectation that I’ll soon be back to full health. Expectation…expectation… Perhaps it’s just all in my mind, but they have held me back. So, I’m facing them and finally writing this post because I NEED to. I need to document this. fightinglymemigraines

 

Overall Health: One word: improvement. Do you know how scary that word is to type?  I’m noticing I’m able to do things that I wouldn’t have months ago. Fatigue is still a big struggle. Focusing on one task has been tricky.

 

January 16-23 – all symptoms started easing. Needing naps occasionally- cut back on dosage of dmsa which helped with fatigue a lot. Only mild flaring in evenings now, including the restless fibropain. Still struggles with mood after increasing xcht to 3/day. Started h2plx on the 20th. Am avoiding fruit in the am, since the 20th to see if I have any changes in how I feel. Increased B2 to 2/day on the 23rd.
25th – woke up tired and decent fatigue but wasn’t couch bound. Migraine didn’t kick in till around 130pm. 
1-26 felt good today. Did a bunch of cleaning and took Abby to the park. One? Two? Clonidine. Increased horse chestnut to 2/day till day 28.
1-27 upset stomach all day but felt good despite that, took one clonidine late afternoon. Took Abby to the park. Quick grocery store trip ( used a basket instead of a cart!), Worked on book. 
1-28 feel good but so tired- couldn’t nap so took Abby on a walk.  
1-29 felt good again, took Abby to the park. Migraine in afternoon, mostly kept down with clonidine. Some minor brain fog. Increased h2plx to 2/day
1-30 IV. Cycle started. Fatigue but still feel decent. Took Abby on a walk in am. 
2-7 been feeling pretty well the past week. Been able to do quite a bit. Think I overdid it today though – with a lack of veggies, causing some cramping and my left calf is very tight. Brain fog has been increasing. Not feeling able to handle decisions/lots of stuff going on around me. This is my last week of chelation!! 
2-9 fatigue has followed me all week – thanks in part to the chelation. Hip has been hurting the last two nights. Some minor fibropain in my left hand and left calf. Still avoiding fruit in the am as I’ve noticed that I am not as hungry throughout the day. Have even not been hungry for some meals this past few weeks.
2-15 have been doing well this past week. A bit of migraine and fibromyalgia flare up, but it wasn’t bad. Sleeping better and sometimes longer.  Energy. More mental clarity. Hip has been hurting lately. Jaw pops/hurts a lot

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Migraines: These have decreased – yay! There have been a few days that I haven’t taken any clonidine – and several where I just needed one.

Sleep: This has stayed the same – with maybe some slight improvement? –  where I’m getting 7 hours a night (almost to the minute). I wake up about 2 times a night. I’m not needing as many naps during the day – but often even when I do, I can’t fall asleep.

Memory/Disassociation: I’m starting to think I can take the disassociation aspect off of this list! Memory has improved slightly (?)

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“and then, one day, you see a spark of your old self again.”

Vision: No visual auras at all this month. My eyes have been more blurry than normal when I’m tired lately.

Fibromyalgia: I can’t believe how much this has eased. My left calf still is tense most days. I’ve been able to crochet/ write just about as much as I want. When it does increase, it’s more in my joints – wrists, elbows, knees and ankles.

TMJ: It’s been popping a lot along with my teeth aching the past few weeks. I’ve had to push out my bodywork appointment almost two weeks and I am sure that’s a big part of this.

Fatigue: This eased dramatically once I cut back (and then finished) my chelation dosage. It’s still strong though, to where it is the main symptom I have day to day.

Weight Loss: I’ve lost almost all that I had gained in Nov/Dec. I have been able to get out and walk Abby a lot more these past few weeks.

Mood: Yay for mood consistency again!

Bladder: This has eased a bit I think. It’s at least to the point of my normal (which still isn’t where it needs to be)

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All in all, I can’t quite believe the progress I’ve seen this past month. I’m finding myself saying ‘ I couldn’t have done ________ a few months ago’, quite a bit! I am still, of course, ill – fatigue holds me back daily, mental clarity is still something I lack often, etc. I just read through January 2017‘s update and can’t believe how far I’ve come in a year.

 

~Laura

Series Review – Chronicles of Narnia

9 Feb

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Originally published between 1950 and 1956, this children’s classic series has become the author’s best-known work. It has sold over 100 million copies in 47 languages (thanks wikipedia for these fun facts). This was only my second time reading them – although as a home-schooler, I feel like I should have grown up reading them. Ha. But! I’m so glad I’ve been introduced to them now as an adult.

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There are seven in all, and while there is some disagreement on how they should be read – chronologically or the order in which Lewis wrote them, I’m not sure it matters too much. I think it comes down to personal preference. But, let me give you an overview of this series.

Each book chronicles adventures in the land of Narnia. Aslan’s country. Each time that the country faces real threat, children from our world are called to help. It takes courage and faith for these children to succeed at their tasks. They meet many friends, and many foes, along their journeys. From The Magician’s Nephew, we see the creation of Narnia and follow its entire history until it’s destruction in The Last Battle.

I love the little lessons that are learned along the way in each adventure – and the worlds they come upon. In reading reviews, a common feeling is that The Last Battle (#7) is the strangest of them all and in some ways I have to agree but I did still enjoy it. They all are a few hundred pages each so they are pretty quick reads. (I mainly read them while taking detox baths!)

I highly recommend these books, for any age. The lessons within are great for when reading aloud to kids, or even as reminders for adults.  If you haven’t read this series, I suggest you give it a try.

~Laura

*fun fact, the series we have is the set that my hubby grew up reading.*

January Recap and February Goals

6 Feb

January was a rough start to this new year, so I’m really hoping that February is a bit more gentle and kind.

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Recap of Monthly Goals:

Watch/Read a documentary/biography : I started reading Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the amazing campaign to end slavery by Eric Metaxas. I am enjoying it so far!

Try a new recipe: Once again I made a few recipes from the Eating Clean cookbook (pickled pears and apples and the pancakes). I also sort of followed the lamb meatballs recipe in Against All Grain cookbook. I followed the spicing and marinating of the ground lamb. But, ended up using it as spaghetti meat instead of turning it into meatballs. It had such good flavor.

Write one letter a month

Read theology/marriage/bible study book: I am still reading The Supernatural Ways of Royalty by Kris Vallotton (mixed feelings on it so far).

Edit ‘Amelia’ : I finished my read-through on the 20th!

Eat healthier/lose weight : I have been able to clean up my eating a lot and have gotten back to the weight I was at the beginning of the month

Post Regularly – I’m starting to think that I need to change my posting goals. As much as I want to focus on posting two times a week, I want to focus on editing my book and often I’ll find myself posting instead of doing that. So… an adjustment of goals just might be in order.

 

Jan. Goals

Couch and Box Springs to the dump – augh. I feel like these are never going to leave.

Clean oven

Redecorate TV table

Dust entire house – I did get half of this done.

Workout 2 days a week  I’ve  been able to walk Abby a few times each week!

1 thing I didn’t think I could do:  I did 3 quick trips to the grocery store with a BASKET rather than a cart. I haven’t been able to heft a basket around a store in about a year.

I also just got back from a quick trip to Bend – and I did really well with a super busy 2 days that I couldn’t have done months ago. Woot!

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And now, for February’s Goals:

Couch and box springs to the dump

Clean Oven

Finish dusting house

Workout 2 days a week

Finish crochet Camper

Index Cards for ‘Amelia’

 

~Laura

 

 

 

 

Book Review – For Women Only and For Men Only

26 Jan

It has taken me so long to get this review up but they are definitely worth the wait. My brain has just not been able to function well enough to properly write synopsis’ and reviews.  I think I’m going to reward myself for finally writing this with a big mug of tea and some crocheting this afternoon.

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For Women Only – Discover the truths that he wants you to know, only doesn’t know how to tell you and some he might not be aware of himself – what he’s really thinking when he ‘checks out’, why respect is so very important and much more.

For Men Only – this book will open your eyes to the truth that women really can be understood. And that you, as her protector, lover and friend, can radically improve your relationship with the woman you love with some  simple acts.

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These books really should be mandatory reading for any to- be marrieds, or newly-weds. This was my second time reading them and I got so much out of them again. I took notes while I read them and learned so much about myself in the process.

Your wife is the person who knows you better than anyone, and if she doesn’t respect you, how can you expect another man to?” 

If a man’s wife believes in him, he can conquer the world – or at least his little corner of it.”

Most of us want our men to be able to relax and truly open up to us. But in many ways, it is up to us to create the intimate, safe environment that makes that possible.”

“In reality, for most men the drive to provide is so deeply rooted that almost nothing can relieve them of their sense of duty.. . the knowledge of their responsibility is always there, pressing down on them.”

One of their greatest emotional needs is to feel competent and successful at what they do, especially in front of others. . . .but feel that they are one mess up away from being found out as an imposter.”

How we take care of ourselves shows our guys how much we care for them.”

 

Her ‘I do’ will always mean ‘do you’?  – the subconscious question women have ‘Would he choose me all over again?”

“Men’s memory circuitry -> visual. Women’s memory circuitry -> language and emotions”

“The things men say to us are in mental tape archives and are as real today as they were the moment they were spoken.”

“She can’t just ‘not think about it’ ” 

“Good reasons exist for her actions that men can discover and act on those reasons.”

Just being able to share what’s going on actually fixes something for a woman.”

Women still silently ask the little girl question, ‘Do you think I’m beautiful?'” 

 

I wrote so many ‘WHOA’s ‘ in my notes! Light bulb moments. Moments where I realized that, as is common I’m sure, my OH and I have traded places in many of these revelations. (He tends to be the more emotional thinker while I’m the more logical/cut and dry thinker , for one example).

Suffice it to say, READ THESE BOOKS! And if you can, read them together. You won’t regret it and you’ll come away with more understanding of the confusing opposite sex.

~Laura

Have you read these? Do you have any marriage books that you re-read and recommend? Do share!

 

 

 

My Month in Photos – Jan 2018

23 Jan

I want to try something new, and we’ll see how I (we) like it! I want to pick my favorite photos of the month -whether they make me happy, seeing them, or whether I feel like they accurately portray just what my pain has been like. So. In other words, I want to share both the good and the bad.

~Starting/working on my crochet camper (which I’ve become slightly obsessed with), finally getting my new glasses, regularly editing my novel and the varied cuteness of Abby Pond.

~One of the many trips to the dog park, the necessity of the IV and what chronic pain looks like (so deceptive but so real).

All in all, it’s been a good month. I am hoping that February brings me closer to health a and finishing my book and crochet camper.

Health Update Dec 2017/Jan 2018

18 Jan

And here we go again! This was a very rough four weeks for me in so many ways. I am praying that these next four are easier to get through.

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Overall Health: I don’t feel like there’s been improvement this month, what with taking the DMSA (chelation). But my doctor is going to have me start H2PLX,  to see if  it will help with my chronic fatigue. I did learn that I’ve got Epstein- Barr Virus and my doctor and I have discussed my adrenal fatigue more these past few visits.

Dec 22- felt good today. Some fatigue. Migraine hit in evening. Front of neck hurt too. A bit of mood struggles. Fibropain flaring in yet and hands. Left calf tense all day
Dec 25/26 – fibropain flaring, especially in hands. Migraine that’s hard to get rid of. Mood struggles the 25th. Felt good till early afternoon on 26th. Restless achy pain in evenings. 
-Took dmsa the 26th, to avoid taking it on Christmas day. –
12-27 fatigue. migraine in evening. fibromyalgia flared in afternoon/evening. Hurt to open my hand all the way. Calves cramped most of the night as well. Woke up on the 28th, elbows hurt. Hands swollen. Calves still tight.
12-28 started coq10, 10ml 
12-29 have noticed that crossing my ankles left over right causes spasms/cramps in left foot/calf. 
12-30 pretty good all day till early evening. Severe migraine to a 9. Fibropain flaring. Day 26/27
1-2 started monthly. Felt some better than the day before but major fatigue. In evening, fibromyalgia flared bad. Migraine. Front of neck. Jaw. 
1-3 fatigue. Mental struggles- stressed thinking about errands/leaving the house. 
—have had a hard time getting my brain to focus for writing/editing lately— napping a lot more than normal this past week–

Migraines: These increased again – I had several debilitating nights in a row, where I couldn’t get the pain down. There have been half-days where I only had a level 4.

Sleep:  Most nights, I’m still sleeping about 7 hours (with an average of 2 wake-ups) each night, without any melatonin or theanine. I am still getting the strange/weird/scary dreams but they aren’t quite as strange/weird/scary without the sleep aids.

Memory/Disassociation:  I had a few mild cases of anxiety. I haven’t noticed any changes in my memory. No disassociation.

Vision: I think I only had vision loss once this past month. I did have the sparkles in my vision a few separate times though.

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“I can feel the emotional effects of so many nights of severe flare ups/crashes. Either tears or anger are imminent”

 

Fibromyalgia: One of my biggest struggles this time around. My left calf is consistently tight/cramping. As long as I don’t do too much with my hands (!!), they have been good overall. But the overall, moving fibropain has been intense.

TMJ:  This is still a pretty constant pain. The left side tends to hover around a 4/10, while the right side stays around a 7 or 8/10. The front of my neck hurts/tight at least a few days a week. My teeth ache and often I can feel the nerves pulsing from my jaw up to my temples.

Fatigue: Like I already said, this was (and is) bad. I’ll have days where I feel pretty good, except the fatigue is weighing me down.

Weight Loss: I have only weighed a few times. But I haven’t been strict on my diet as well as not being able to get up and moving much lately. I am really hoping that changes soon.

Mood: This has been all over the place wonky. I am going to increase xiao chai hu tang this week, as it seems to help even this problem out.

Bladder: This has, again, been a struggle this month.  Frequent trips – suddenly urgent trips. ugh.

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snuggle time

 

What I’m currently taking:

Vitamins/Supplements: A, Ashwagandha, B2, B complex, Berberine, Butterbur, Calcium/Magnesium, Chaste Tree Berry, Ceanothus, Coq10,  Complete Mineral Complex, DMSA, D3, E, Feverfew, Fibronol, Horse Chestnut, Iron, Iberogast, Noni Fruit, St. John’s Wort, Xiao Chai Hu Tang. and Soon – H2PLX

tinctures : Pulsatilla, Belladonna

essential oils – peppermint, lavender, frankincense, Doterra blends – Motivate, Peace, and a tension one that I can’t remember the name of

Clonidine – prescription pain pill

~Laura

December Recap and January Goals

11 Jan

I’ll admit to wondering about continuing these monthly goals posts but I have enjoyed how they keep me focused on what I want to cultivate in my life. Writing. Learning. Health.

I have read a lot about choosing a word for the year and I’ve mulled it over a little bit. I’m hoping to pick one out by the end of this month and then I’ll share it with you next month!

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Recap of Monthly Goals:

Edit ‘Amelia’ – 

Post Regularly –  I feel like I did pretty good on this.

Lose weight/work toward health –   I didn’t lose any weight but am making tiny steps toward being healthier- check out my health update for more info.

Read more books on Jewish living –  Once again, they aren’t books on Jewish living. But, I finished For Men Only (a review is coming this month!) and have started The Supernatural Ways of Royalty by Kris Vallotton (mixed feelings on it so far)

Write a letter to one person a month  

Try a new recipe – I made a few from the Eating Clean by Amie Valpone cookbook.

Watch/Read a documentary/biography – I so want to see the new movie about Vincent Van Gogh’s life! Maybe this month..?

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Finally getting to the dog park!

Dec Goals:

blood draw for CMP 

eye doctor appointment

Go through Guest Closet

Donate stuff to thrift store

Totally busted out all my December goals in the first few weeks of the month, well except for donating the stuff to the thrift store, that one took me a while longer. But, I was so proud of myself. But now onto my goals for January!

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Jan Goals:

Couch and Box Springs to the dump

Clean oven

Redecorate TV table

Dust entire house

Workout 2 days a week

 

~Laura

Dec 2017 Book Reviews

5 Jan

It’s a blustery day here in Oregon, leaving the landscape looking slightly barren and depressing. There’s no snow, no sign of a cold, beautiful winter. Just windy, cloudy and rainy. But, that’s why there are such wonderful things as books to get lost in. I cannot believe I read 70 books in 2017 . I’ve decided to set this year’s reading goal to 60 books. I have always been an avid reader but I’m hoping to tone down my amount of reading just a smidgen and increase my amount of writing a lot! I enjoy keeping track of what I’ve read on Goodreads, it’s so much easier than writing them all down like I used to do.  (please tell me I’m not the only one who did that).

If you  missed it, I shared a post of my Top Reads of 2017 just last week, check it out!

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Photo by Alice Hampson on Unsplash

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson – Two princesses’ lives are thrown into turmoil. While both scramble to learn the ways of their new environments, political upheaval is on the horizon.

~As good as this story was, I admit to being a little disappointed with how much sexual content there was. While I realize that it was mild, it was still more than I like. Because of that, I don’t think I’ll read this book again – which makes me sad because I really liked Siri and Lightsong, and the different twists and turns and character development that happened throughout.

The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis – Shasta and Bree – a young slave and a talking horse – are running away from cruel masters. Their destination is Narnia.  But when they discover a plot to overthrow Narnia, their journey becomes a race to warn the people of the impending attack.

~Series review coming next month!

Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman – A compelling love story between a young Irish girl, Katherine Mary O’Fallon, new to the Canadian wild, and Sergeant Mike Flannigan of the Canadian Mounted police.

~This is a yearly – winter read for me. The wilderness and those occupying it – the animals, peoples and nature itself – are described so vividly, it’s a delight. The heartbreak that occurs will tear your heart out just as surely as you’ll rejoice when good things happen. If this book isn’t considered a classic, I’m not sure why. Read it, you’ll be glad you did. 

Cowboy Christmas by Mary Connealy – When singer Annette Talbot shows up, with trouble following close on her heels, Elijah Walker has to decide if she’s telling the truth or lying. Like his ex- fiancee. Despite himself, he’s drawn to her – and just when he decides to trust her, he finds out she’s a wanted woman. Will he find out the truth before he loses Annie forever?

~ This was my second time reading this sweet romantic mystery. I liked how Connealy dealt with Elijah’s struggle to forgive himself and Annette’s mis-guided belief in ‘bearing her cross’. Faith is central to this novel, and it’s done very well. It’s a great Christmas-time western read.

For Men Only by Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn

~A full review along with its companion book, For Women Only, will be up this month!

An Amish Christmas : December in Lancaster County by Beth Wiseman – Forgiveness is on the horizon – or is it? – for several people in Lancaster County. Facing some of their deepest fears at Christmastime has the potential to change their lives.

~I forgot how sweet these stories were. I enjoyed all 3 of them – I am seeing on Goodreads that it says there’s four novellas, my copy doesn’t have “Christmas Cradles”. A good way to describe these are Hallmark movies set in an Amish community – and that’s not a bad thing. They deal with different struggles, but all 3 stories tie in with each other. They may be a bit cliched but sometimes that’s what you want. It only took me a few days to read all of them, they are quick, fun reads for anyone. 

 

Currently Reading: 

Adrenal Fatigue by Dr. Wilson

Samantha Among the Brethren by Marietta Holley

The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

The Supernatural Ways of Royalty by Kris Vallotton

 

 

To Read:

A Yellow Journalist by Miriam Michelson

The Writer’s Journey by Vogler (finish!)

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

 

What are you reading?

 

While covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers.

~Laura

My Top Reads of 2017

29 Dec

I decided to do something a little bit fun – share a list of my favorite books of this year. We all love lists, don’t we?! We do.

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These aren’t in any particular order – just my Top 5 in each catergory:

New Reads:

~ Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

~ Failure is Impossible (Susan B. Anthony ) by Lynn Sherr

~Timber Ridge Reflections by Tamera Alexander

~Mermaid in the Basement by Gilbert Morris

~Guardians of Childhood by William Joyce

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Classics: 

~Captain’s Courageous by Rudyard Kipling

~Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore

~ Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott

~ Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott

~Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte’

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About Writing: 

~ Revision and Self- editing for Publication by James Scott Bell

~ The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler

~ The New Book of Etiquette by Lillian Eicher

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Fantasy :  (note: remember I am still new to this genre. . . .)

~ Beauty by Robin Mckinley

~ Spindle’s End by Robin Mckinley

~ Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

~ Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

~ The Hero and the Crown by Robin Mckinley

and a bonus one :

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

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Marriage/Faith: 

Jewish Roots by Dan Juster

When God Doesn’t Fix It by Laura Story

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

Messianic Jewish Manifesto by David H. Stern

For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn

 

 

What’s your favorite read from this year? Do you love some of my top reads as well? I’d love to hear about it! 

~Laura

Series Review – Mistborn part 2

22 Dec

So, Brandon Sanderson has a spin-off series from the Mistborn series! I had no idea! I requested these three from the library as soon as I found out. I believe that this is the end of the series though although I feel like I read that he’s currently working on another one. (insert happy dance).

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* I will point out that on Goodreads, it says Mistborn – Alloy Era #1 – as well as #4 for the Mistborn series…. * 

These three books – Alloy of Law, Shadows of Self and The Bands of Mourning – take place centuries after the Mistborn trilogy.

Alloy of Law – Feruchemist and Allomancer, Waxillium Ladrian, doesn’t fit in out in the Roughs but neither does he fit in the middle of a ballroom. Returning to the city, Elendel wasn’t his choice. Now that he’s back though, he sees corruption everywhere. His plan of defending the city becomes more complicated as his friend Wayne arrives with bad news and a young woman with grand dreams insists on helping as well.

Shadows of Self – As terrorists stir up workers anger and religious conflict, Wax, Wayne and Marasi must figure out who is behind the conspiracy to stop the country’s progress. But when technology and magic mix, there’s no telling just what is really going on – or just who you can trust.

Bands of Mourning – When rumors that the location of the bands of mourning have been found, Wax is recruited to investigate. He’s not sure if they are even real – they have been a mythical story for so long, how can they be real? They are said to be the Lord Ruler’s own metalminds and that whoever wears them will have the same power. As he travels, he finds clues to what the shady organization known as The Set, is up to.

 

I really enjoyed this series : the mix of technology – a society that’s still trying to find its feet – and magic. Waxilliam was a great character, a bit of detective, a bit of wild west, a bit of rogue. I enjoyed the development of the characters, not just Wax, but the side characters as well. I loved the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) references to some of the people we met in the first Mistborn series.

There was more….disturbing content in these. I’m really not sure if disturbing is the right word, honestly. Let’s see if I can say it another way. There were some things in these three books – mainly dealing with the kandra, I believe, that if these were my first sci-fi fantasy books, I probably wouldn’t have been able to get past them. Squeamish much? Yes. Yes, I am. But remember, I am still pretty new to this genre – but I can also say that it’s also mild because Sanderson could have made it more graphic. Shudder to even think about that. I don’t say this to turn you from them, because these books are so enjoyable and he does state things as … nicely as possible.

 

 

While covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers.

~Laura

Have you any sci-fi fantasy books that you love? Or what’s a new genre you’ve tried recently?

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