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A Slytherin Saturday

Severus Snape

He may have been Head of house Slytherin. He may have seemed like the epitome of evil, hell bent on thwarting Dumbledore and Harry, but we know Severus Snape was so much more than that. A complicated man who, despite everything and, in the end, did what was asked of him by Dumbledore and, in doing so, gave the ultimate sacrifice: his life.

In dying the way he did, Snape showed us what it is to be a different kind of hero—an unseen hero. A tarnished man with a conflicted soul who harboured a deep hurt that, quite possibly, shaped who he became throughout the whole series. Intentional by Rowling? Undoubtedly! I mean, what better kind of hero can you have than Severus Snape?

Snape’s Patronus: Silver Doe

Bitter, yes, twisted, maybe. But in his love for Harry’s mother, Lily, Snape dug deep and found something deep inside himself, and did the right thing when it mattered.

I think, for me at least, when I learned that his patronus was a doe, as silver doe at that, I knew he wasn’t all bad. Especially when he used his patronus to lead Harry to the sword of Gryffindor, which Ron then used to destroy the locket Horcrux.

And for every bad thing he appeared to do, he also did a lot of good things. He tries to save Harry from Quirrell’s broom jinx. Makes Wolfsbane potion for Lupin every full moon, and saves Draco Malfoy when Harry uses the spell, Sectumsempra, on him. And then, even as he is dying, he gives Harry his memories by way of explaining his past, and more importantly for us to know, reasons for his behaviour—like the fact that Harry’s father, James, bullied him.

He was far from perfect, but for me, at least, her was the perfect example of a flawed hero.

Long live the Silver Doe!

 

#Fantastical Fridays

Everyone seems to have their favourite pet tag at the moment. So, I decided to have my own, and Fridays will now have a fantastical feel to them. But, of course, before I delve into what I will be including in my #Fantastical Fridays, maybe I should set out the scope of Speculative Fiction that for me, personally, encompasses science fiction, fantasy and horror!

Listed below are as many of the sub-genres as I can think of, at the moment, off the top of my head. If I’ve missed any, let me know.

SCIENCE FICTION:
• AI
• Alien Invasion
• Colonization
• Cyber
• Dying Earth
• Dystopian
• First Contact
• Futuristic
• Galactic Empire
• Generation Ship
• Hard SF
• Immortality
• Military SF
• Mutants
• Nano-tech
• Near Future
• Parallel/Alternative Universe
• Post Apocalyptic
• Pulp
• Robots/Androids
• Slipstream
• Space Exploration
• Space Opera
• Time Travel
• Utopia
• Virtual Reality

FANTASY:
• Alternative History
• Contemporary [urban]
• Dark Fantasy
• Epic [classical]
• Fairy Tales
• Heroic Fantasy
• High Fantasy
• Historical
• Magic Realism
• Mythic
• Steampunk
• Sword & Sorcery
• Urban Fantasy
• Witches

HORROR:
• Classic
• Demonic
• Ghost
• Gothic
• Monster
• Occult
• Psychic
• Supernatural
• Paranormal
• Vampiric
• Werewolf
• Zombies

Join me on a Friday with a #Fantastical Fridays — and share three books that fall into one or other of the above genre, that you’ve either read, have in your TBR, or have heard about and want to read.

The Bookshelf Book Tag

Following on from Shanah over at the Bionic Book Worm (another great name for a blog btw!) who was tagged by Jillian, the Bookish Butterfly—I’m doing the Bookshelf Tag. So, for those of you interested to know, here are my answers:

HOW MANY BOOKSHELVES DO YOU HAVE?

I have nine, of varying sizes. Some tall, some small.

HOW MANY BOOKS ARE ON YOUR SHELVES?

I think I have just over 500, at the moment.

HOW DO YOU ORGANIZE YOUR BOOKS?

This might sound odd, compared to many who go alphabetically, or by genre, or even by colour, I do mine by size. Biggest books go at the bottom of any bookshelf that’s currently in use: i.e. being filled. Because, once you’ve had a large bookcase topple over on you because you had too many big heavy books at the top, you’ll understand why!

WHAT IS THE OLDEST BOOK ON YOUR SHELVES?

Glory Road by Robert A. Heinlein. It’s from 1963! I use to have a ton of older books till I moved continents and had to downsize.

WHAT’S THE NEWEST BOOK ON YOUR SHELVES?

Force of Nature by Jane Harper, the follow-up to THE DRY, which I absolutely loved!

WHAT IS THE LONGEST BOOK ON YOUR SHELVES?

That has to be Blood Royal by Vanora Bennett coming in at a whopping 580 pages! And no, I haven’t read it yet, since I bought it in 2012!

WHAT IS THE SHORTEST BOOK ON YOUR SHELVES?

The Secret Lives of Princesses by Philippe Lechermeier and Rebecca Dautremer, at only 92 pages. And yes, it’s a kids book about princesses you’ve never heard of, and I adore it!

WHAT IS THE PREDOMINANT GENRE?

Hmm Hard one, without going back to do a recount, I think it’s probably an even mix of crime fiction (murder/mystery/suspense) and SF.

HAVE YOU DONE A BOOKSHELF TOUR?

Eh, the easy answer to that one is, no!

CHOOSE A BOOK AT RANDOM AND TELL US ABOUT IT.

Okay, so the book that I came up with is: Digital Fortress, a thriller by Dan Brown—Yes, *that* Dan Brown of Da Vinci fame. This was his very first publication, long before the hype was to consume us, the reading public. And before his writing became too formulaic. This book is a quick easy read centred, yes, around codes and code breaking, and possibly the blueprint to all that came later. Who knows. All I know is enjoyed the read for what it was.

DO YOU HAVE FAN MERC OR ANY OTHER DECORATION ON YOUR BOOKSHELVES?

Eh, nope!

NOW, SHOW US YOUR BOOKSHELVES!

[Imaginary photos of bookshelves]