On Thursday Cymera Festival kicked off their 2021 festival which celebrates all things science-fiction and fantasy. Like last year, everything is digital and is hosted via Zoom, for their paid events, and YouTube for their free events. I was grateful to accept a press pass and immediately booked as many events as I could possibly attend so that I could share the experience with you.
If you want to know more about the events, you can still attend some of the events today, so do check out their website to see what is going on.
Fighting the Good Fight with C.L Clark and R.F. Kuang
I am ashamed to have to admit to you all that I own two R. F. Kuang books, and have yet to read them. I will pause so that you may boo me if you wish.
I don’t know about you but whenever I attend bookish events they always instil within me an urgent need to read the book. For once I have the book ready to read, so you will be seeing The Poppy War on a TBR or in a wrap-up soon. I was also one click away from buying C.L. Clark’s The Unbroken when it was first released, and I very much regret that now as I sit here minus one book. Considering I did not know these authors before the event, and hadn’t read the books this was such a great event. Kuang began by reading for her unreleased newest book, Babel, which is super exciting because I know there’s already a lot of hype around it. From the sound of the piece that she read I have a very good feeling about it. The authors discussed how they went about writing outside of their own experiences in order to explore the ramifications of the trauma that they put their characters through. Both authors used multiple characters in order to try an offer a look at a variety of responses to trauma, because there is never one prescribed reaction. There was also some discussion about gods and mortals, along with the relationships in the book. Clark specifically discussed my favourite trope, enemies to lovers, and how when you throw colonisation into the mix it becomes a lot darker and more difficult. I really enjoyed this panel, and hope to pick up these books soon.
To Make and Break and Empire with Tasha Suri and Andrea Stewart
Is it just me or have you heard nothing but great things about Andrea Stewart’s debut The Bone Shard Daughter? I recently read an older book by Tasha Suri, and while I did not love it I do like the sound of her latest book, The Jasmine Throne. I actually went into Waterstones with the intention of buying it before realising that it hadn’t released yet. I did read her older novel, Empire of the Sand, recently, and while I did not love it I would like to try her upcoming release, especially after hearing her describe her characters as morally grey disaster lesbians. What I really took from this session was that the empires need to be almost at a tipping point, that a strong empire doesn’t offer flexibility for a plot. In both of these books the cracks are just starting to show, and that is what enables the character to tip it one way or another.
And so ends my second day of Cymera 2021 fun. Don’t forget that you can still book upcoming events as of right now, and there will also be some free events on Cymera’s YouTube channel that are worth checking out.
If you want to check out any of the books mentioned then I have put together this handy list (affiliate link), or they will be available to purchase from the usual places. Don’t forget to use your local independent bookshops where possible or your local library.
Coming Soon… Sunday @ Cymera 2021