Sunday, March 31, 2013

Broken Glass - original poem

This is a poem I think I wrote in 2009, I have troubles remembering why I wrote it. Knowing myself I was probably going through one of my depressed periods. They come and go all the time. In any case I still kind of like it, it has a ring of truth to it I think.

Broken Glass

I tread on pieces of broken dreams
They cut me like pieces of broken glass
Every cut leaves a mark
in my soul and in my heart

Through all the cuts and bruises
at least you stuck around
Now help me put together all the shattered pieces
I have found

I used to have more faith in me
but faith seems to be in short supply these days
will you have faith in me,

and see what I no longer see.

by: Anita K. Olsen Stoebakk

Cheers Mateys,
Anita, the literary pirate.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Liebster award 2013

So apparently I have received a nomination for the Liebster award for this very blog. Color me surprised! I received it from Erren Grey Wolf, so thank you very much to you for the nomination!

So according to the rules I have to answer 11 questions given to me by the blogger that nominated me and then I have to nominate 11 other bloggers for this award and give them some new questions to answer. So far so good.

Below are my answers to the 11 questions I received from Erren.

1. What is your favourite book?
Oh wow, such a hard question, It's like asking a mother to pick her favorite child. I think that if I had to choose it would be Magician Apprentice by Raymond E. Feist just because it was one of the first fantasy books I ever read and it really made me fall in love with the Fantasy genre.

2. What can you do to change the world?
I recycle my trash and I don't drive a car and I like to think I do my bit for the environment. Most importantly of all though I try to be kind and considerate and treat everybody around me with respect.

3. What was the last kind thing that you did?
I offered to help a lady in a wheel chair up a steep and icy hill.

4. Why did you decide to create a blog?
I decided to create a blog because I love writing and reading and I wanted to share that passion with the world. It also gave me a great excuse to draw cute pirate girls ;)

5. What is your favourite character in any book?
This is a tough one too, there are so many characters that I love. I think maybe Arya Stark and Daenerys Targaryen from A Game of Thrones are tied for that title.

6. If you had a superpower, which would it be?
I can never decide which super power I want most, but being able to manipulate fire would be really cool, either that or being able to teleport.

7. What is your favourite genre?
Hands down, it's Fantasy!

8. What is your favourite place to visit?
My old hometown, because that's where my mopther lives.

9. Have you written a book and, if so, what is the title?
I've never actually finished a book, but I'm currently working on one and the title is a secret! ;)

10. Do you like tea? If so, which is your favourite?Earl Grey with lots of sugar and milk (I love tea).

11. Describe a perfect day for you.
My perfect day includes sleeping in, reading a good book, going to the movies or seeing a show,
eating a great dinner and a couple of hours of tabletop rpg before cuddling up with my husband on the sofa

And here are my 11 nominations for the Liebster blog award!

5. HippieFreak Beads
6. Barbra Briggs Designs
7. colourmecupcake

Puh, that took a while, but now I'm finished :p

Cheers Mateys!
Anita, the literary pirate.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin - Book Review

Two out of five is not bad considering it's only March, I'm currently working my way through A Storm of Swords, but that is a tale for a later post. The tale at hand is of course A Clash of Kings, the second book in the "Song of Ice and Fire" series. Be ye warned, this post might be a little spoilery if you haven't seen the tv show or read the books!

A Clash of Kings mainly revolves around the feud of the five newly risen kings of Westeros. Stannis Baratheon, Renly Baratheon, and Joffrey Baratheon all want to rule from Kings Landing. Robb Stark is declared King in the North and demands that the north be subject to the southern king no longer. Balon Greyjoy declares himself king of  the Iron Islands and sends his son Theon and his daughter Asha to pillage and conquer along the coast in the north. While all this war and turmoil is raging we follow characters through their very own big and small losses and victories.

As in the first book everything that happens is told and seen through the eyes of POV characters. In this book we follow:

Prologue: Maester Cressen, maester at Dragonstone.

Tyrion Lannister - Acts as hand, and tries to secure Kings Landing's defenses before they are attacked by either Stannis or Renly

Lady Catelyn Stark - Follows the army of her son Robb and struggles to come to terms with the loss of her husband and the fact that her daughters are being held captive at Kings Landing.

Ser Davos Seaworth - A former smuggler now sworn to Stannis Baratheon struggles with his faith and his allegiance as he sees the red pristess Melisandre work her terryfying shadow magic to further Stannis Baratheons claim to the Iron Throne.

Sansa Stark - She spends every day in fear of Joffrey and rejoices when she thinks she will be allowed to leave the castle when Joffrey takes a new bride in Margaery Tyrell. She also continues to develop her strange relationship to the hound.

Arya Stark - Arya hides herself under many names trying to avoid detection from her fathers enemies. She meets a mysterious man called Jaqen H'ghar who promises to kill three people in her name as a service for having saved his life and the lives of two other criminals.

Bran Stark - Bran finds new friends in Jojen and Meera and they help him discover the source of his wolf dreams.

Jon Snow - Jon and the rest of the night's watch have travelled far into the northern wilds in search of Benjen Stark and the other missing brothers of the watch.

Theon Greyjoy - In desperate need of approval from his father Theon turns his back on Robb and storms Winterfell with only 30 men, taking Bran and Rickon as his prisoners.

 Daenerys Targaryen - Daenerys leads what is left of her Khalasar through the red waste to Qarth, a large trading city where she and her dragons become the talk of the town. She thinks she has found an ally in one of the merchants of Qarth, but that alliance fails her and she ventures to the house of the undying in search of aid.

Now let's get down to my opinions shall we? I of course loved loved loved the first book in the series and the second installment doesn't disappoint either. It is just as detailed, just as gritty and just as believable as "A Game of Thrones". The biggest difference is that the pace has slowed down somewhat in this book. Things slowly reach a boiling point in Kings Landing as Stannis attacks but is beaten back by Tyrions well thought out defensive tactics. Daenerys finally finds a ship that will take her away from Qarth, Arya makes her first kill and Jon Snow is brought face to face with the wildlings of the north and his own sense of honor. It doesn't really bother me that things develop slowly because I'm honestly more interested in the characters than in the greater political schemes.

By now I have a clear opinion of who my favorite characters are and I feel excited every time I get to read about Arya, Sansa, Tyrion and Daenerys. They are the characters I feel connected to and if one of them dies I think I might actually get a little heartsick.

I have also developed quite an amount of hatred for some of the characters as well. I can't stand Cersei and Joffrey because they are, well evil. Theons betrayal of Robb and his egotistical and cowardly actions thereafter really turned me of. And to be completely honest, Rickon Stark is a spoiled and horrible little shit. I know he's only a small confused child, but I can't stand him.

I usually measure the greatness of a book by how much it makes me feel one way or the other, and I have to say that this series makes me feel a whole lot of everything. Happiness, sadness, anger, hatred, disappointment, excitement and wonder. That alone is enough to make it great in my opinion, but the way the books are written, the language itself and the amount of world building that has gone into it all is just tremendous and makes it work on every level.

(c) Anita K. Olsen Støbakk

I just can't wait to learn what happens next!

Cheers Mateys!
Anita, the literary pirate.

Monday, March 25, 2013

New anthology in the works - a publishing opportunity!

If you are a budding writer like myself then an anthology might be a good place to start your writing career. Well, at least thats my current theory. Honestly I have no clue as to what might be the best way to get into the publishing business, but I figure one has to start somewhere and why not with an anthology.

That's why I decided to enter a short story I recently wrote into the Sword and Laser anthology! If you haven't heard of it before it's because it's a brand new anthology hosted by the Sword and Laser community. The Sword and Laser is a Podcast and a web show about Fantasy and Sicence fiction literature that is part of the Geek and Sundry channel on Youtube. They also have a book club on with a bustling community forum.

The very first Sword and Laser anthology is basically going to be a collection of original Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories. You can write about anything as long as it is within the bounds of Fantasy or Sci-Fi, entry is free and if your story is selected they will not only publish your story but you will also receive 200$. Best of all it is still open to submission and you can submit more than one story in total.

If you have a short story you think might be suitable for the anthology and you think you might be interested in participating then you can learn all about the submission process and the rules and regulations right here:

The Sword and Laser Anthology!

Hopefully this will inspire my readers to participate and begin their journey towards realizing their dreams as it has most definitely inspired me.

Cheers Mateys!
Anita, the literary pirate.

In bed with a higlander by Maya Banks - Book review

Last year I joined the Vaginal Fantasy Book club, which is a book club hosted by Felicia Day, Veronica Belmont, Bonnie Burton and Kiala Kazebee. It is a book club that focuses on reading fantasy and Sci-Fi books with smutty bits in them like sex and romance. I joined it because I felt like I needed to broaden my horizon and by Davy Jones' Locker I have.

So if you were wondering, yes, "In bed with a higlander" is what I like to call housewife's porn. It is a book with loads of sex and glistening muscles and throbbing get my drift. Usually this isn't my cup of tea or bottle of rum for that matter, though I do like a little romance mixed in with my fantasy now and then and some sex, yes sex too. The thing is I don't like it when sex and romance becomes the main plot. It's not interesting to me, I crave more content than that.

There were a lot of "smutty" bits in this book, which is one of the reasons why I started reading it
The sex was quite detailed, but not to the point where I felt it was too much information. The main character Mairin was entertaining at first, but quickly became an element of irritation. I couldn't relate to her as a real person. She had an annoying habit of speaking her thoughts out loud without even noticing it. I kept wondering if she was constantly drunk or something, since the only people I have ever met who are able to speak their thoughts without realizing it have been drunk to some extent.
She didn't seem to be properly traumatized by any of the horrible things going on around her either, and apparently if you kiss her she loses all notion of personal principles and control which is not consistent with someone who has been brought u in a frickin' convent!
The overall story was really easy to predict and I felt like parts of the book were very lack-luster. I wanted more detailing of the era, the environment and the characters populating it. Beyond the main characters I wasn't able to form much of an opinion about any of the other characters.

Towards the end of the story there is a build up of tension, Mairin is stolen away from her husband by the main bad guy and something heroic needs to be done. I kept waiting for things to properly explode, for some real excitement, but it just got glossed over like the author was in a hurry or had to keep a word count or something (one more chapter wouldn't have killed me). The whole thing just ended up feeling anticlimactic, like I got riled up over nothing.

Oh yes on a final note, be prepared to read the word "lass" a lot..That word really pissed me of by the end of this book.

I personally prefer a nice blend of a well made plot and a bit of smut, and this book just didn't have that. I wouldn't really recommend the book, but if you like historical fantasy and romance and you aren't looking for something serious or historically correct maybe you would like this..

If I had a beard I would be tearing it out by now...

(c) Anita K. Olsen Støbakk

Cheers Mateys!
Anita, the literary pirate.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin - Book review

The song of Ice and Fire series has long been on my reading list. I actually read "A Game of Thrones" for the first time when I was about 15. It's like...10 years ago!.. I feel old now... I never got past the first book on my first attempt because the library never had the the rest of the series available (Three of the books had been published at that point I think)and so I gave it up. After HBO started sending the TV-show I got motivated to start reading it again though, and my goal is to finish all five books this year.

If you don't have a relationship with A song of Ice and Fire you can check out what wikipedia has to say about it, it's like a small crash course into the worlds of George R. R. Martin.

Heres a link!

Moving on to the book review itself!

A game of Thrones is a spectacular book full of intrigue, politics, violence and sex. I love it!
It's gritty and every single character feels real and interesting to me whether I like them or not. They have personalities with flaws, agendas, a strong sense of honor and duty or a complete lack of it. There is little in the ways of magic, but I think that's good because not every fantasy book needs to be "High Fantasy". I would rather term this book, and series for that matter as "Epic Fantasy" just because it is such a grand tale spanning over so many continents and points of view.

Something I quite enjoy is the fact that Martin actually writes female characters really well. There are plenty of them and they all have different personalities and motivations. Sansa is a romantic dreamer who believes in true love and valiant knights, but who comes face to face with the realization that the real world is not at all like the legends of old. Arya is a true tomboy who refuses to consent to becoming a noble lords wife and spend her life raising children. She wants to fight like a man and be free to make her own way in the world. Cersei is a calculating bitch who has no issues with plotting against, hurting or even killing anyone if it will get her what she wants.She might have been a very different person had Robert Baratheon treated her better and not been lost in the loss of his one true love (Eddard Starks dead sister).  Her one redeeming quality is her love for her children, but even that will not give her my sympathy. Daenerys starts out as a meek child who does what she is told to do by her brother Viserys and ends up being a fierce Khaleesi and mother of dragons at the end of the book as the troubles she meets makes her grow stronger.These are just a few of the female characters that inhabit Martin's world but they are all memorable and strong in their own ways. Few writers has such a good grasp on writing female characters in my opinion.

This, for your enjoyment is a picture I drew of Arya Stark earlier this year. This at least is how I envision her when she is not covered in dirt and sweat or blood.
(c) Anita Olsen Støbakk

I am however not a "I'm gonna burn my bra feminist" and have not forgotten the brilliant male characters of Westeros. They are as varied and as kind and cruel as the female characters. Among my favorites you will Find Eddard Stark, Tyrion Lannister, The Hound, The Spider and Ser Jorah the Andal. All of them very different but likable in their own way. (at least they are likable in my opinion).
I think I actually cried the first time I read about the execution of Eddard Stark, and I still felt a little heartbroken when reading about it this time around even though I knew it would happen. I feel a warmth in my heart when I read about Ser Jorah's loyalty and dedication to Daenerys, and I think a little part of me wants The Hound to rescue Sansa from Kings Landing. I love Tyrions brain and his sense of humor. And the spider, well he is the spider. I don't know where I have him, but I think I see some good in him.

(c) Anita Olsen Støbakk

Over all I can't recommend this book enough. Sure it's a big book and if you are not a fast or experienced reader you might have some trouble with it. That however should not stop you from reading it!

Read it! It's an order from the pirate captain!

Cheers Mateys!
Anita, the literary pirate.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien - Book Review

I read this book in January this year, well actually I re-read it. I read it for the first time about 10 or 12 years ago I think. It was during my obsession with Lord of the Rings and anything Tolkien. The reason why I chose to read it again is as follows:

I went to see the Hobbit at one of my local cinemas a week or two after it's opening date with my husband. (I don't like pushy crowds, so I rarely attend premieres unless I'm dying to see a movie). Point and case being that I didn't quite agree with it. I had some trouble remembering a lot of the details from the story so it was difficult to judge the contents of the movie, but I remembered enough to feel almost a little offended at all the extra stuff they had jammed into the the movie (Radagast and his ridiculous bunny sleigh being one of those things). It made me feel like I had to read the book again to make sure that I wasn't getting worked up over nothing.

The Sword and Laser Book Club that I am a member of was also having the Hobbit as their book pick for January 2013 so I figured I might as well read it and satisfy my own curiosity while fulfilling my pledge to read 30 books or more this year. So I did, and this is my verdict!

It's the hobbit...It's a classic, badmouthing it feels a bit like swearing in church (if I went to church that is).
I have to admit that The Hobbit is not the most riveting book I have ever read, I find it to be quite charming at times but it was harder to get through it than it was to get through the Lord of The Rings even though The Hobbit is a tiny book.

Tolkien always brings forth nostalgia in me, his books remind me of my childhood and magic and discovery.
I remember really liking the Hobbit when I read it the first time, but now I feel like the descriptions are a bit vague, and I fail to become emotionally invested with the characters (usually that is not a problem for me). Gandalf is portrayed as quite the jerk, and the elves seem silly to me. It might be because this was meant to be a children's book or maybe I have just outgrown it. Still there is something else nagging at me. It just does not seem to fit with the rest of his universe that is represented in Silmarillion or LotR. However I won't linger over my own feelings of slight disappointment, and get down to the story itself.

The story of the Hobbit is widely known so I won't have to tell most of you what it is all about. The dwarves need a master burglar to help them on their journey to the Lonely Mountain to take back their home from Smaug the dragon. Gandalf convinces them that Bilbo is the Hobbit for the job even though Bilbo himself does not want to be part of this adventure at all. In the end he joins them and they travel to Rivendell to see the elves, they encounter Goblins and Hobgoblins and eagles and trolls and a shape shifting man called Beorn before they even get to lonely mountain. When they finally reach Lonely mountain they have no idea of how to deal with Smaug, but as he leaves the mountain one day the problem is solved for them as Smaug is killed by a man from a nearby village he chose to attack. Fter that a great battle is fought at the Lonely mountain as the villagers blame the dwarves for having driven Smaug from the mountain. They are also joined by elves from Fangorn forest if memory serves me right. Let's just say that drama and bloodshed ensues.

The story itself is interesting and a lot happens over the span of few pages which gives the book a good pace. It keeps you entertained and keeps you reading on. In a sense it is a truly epic story about an unlikely hero, which is one of the things I really love about the book. Being an underdog myself I have always cheered for the unlikely hero or the anti-hero. Bilbo was also the only character I even remotely liked this time around.

Sometimes I felt like the story was a bit rushed and that Tolkien could have taken more time to describe events or people more specifically. I just kept feeling like something was missing, I can't really put my finger on it. Maybe my view of the book has been muddled by the movie. There were just so many things I disliked about the movie that I kept analyzing the differences and looking for flaws in the two storylines. Maybe this book is meant to be read in a less aggressive and more laid back manner?

All in all the judgment is that the Literary Pirate is slightly torn, confused and stumped. I like the book, and I don't like it. I have fond memories smudged by present resentment.....hmmm tough one...Any opinions from you scallywags out there?

(c) Anita Olsen Støbakk

Cheers Mateys,
Anita, the literary pirate

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Confidante by Hélène Grémillon

This was one of the first books I read this year, I ventured outside my Fantasy bubble in the hopes that I would stumble upon something good. My aunt had gotten some freebies from a friend and gave one of those books to me. That book was "The Confidante". It was not a big book, and seemed easy enough to get through so I gave it a shot. The beginning was intriguing so I kept reading and it was all downhill from there for me...There are no spoilers in this review btw, so it should be very safe to read!

I just could not bring myself to like this book.

Yes, the way the author had handled the different points of view were decent

Yes, the historical events were quite accurate.

Yes, the plot seemed interesting.

Here is where it all fell apart:
The language was messy, and whenever there was a change of POV it was often unclear to me which of the characters were actually narrating. It might be that the translated Norwegian version of the book was poor and had a hand in messing up the language, but I can't say for sure. It ruined the flow of the story for me at least. Grammatical errors or poorly built text is one of my major pet peeves. I hate it and if there is too much of it in a book I loose interest fairly quickly (although I can never bring myself to abandon a book, leaving it unfinished, or "Lemming it" as I fancy saying).

Worst however was the infinite stupidity of the characters in the book. There was such a total lack of communication and honesty between all of them on every possible level that I kept wanting to scream at them and toss the book away. Maybe there are people who are so dysfunctional out there that they are unable to properly communicate with anybody, but for all of the characters in the entire book to lack that exact same ability seems idiotic to me.
No one seems capable of telling the truth until after they are dead or before it's too late.

It simply annoyed me to no end.

Basically I can't recommend reading this book as it was awful. This of course is simply my opinion and I am not an oracle and do not claim to be an all knowing book goddess so you are free to make up your own mind.

The book pirate has made this book walk the plank and has banished it to Davy Jones' Book locker of watery doom!

(c) Anita Olsen Støbakk

Cheers Matey!
Anita, the literary book pirate.

Welcome to The Literary Pirate!

So yeah welcome to the literary pirate. I'm the pirate, Anita is my name. I usually write about illustration and stuff related to it, but one of my passions is also reading and writing.

Therefore I decided to start my own blog about books and reading and writing in general. I might also post some novels and poems that I've written myself. We shall have to see. I don't like deciding everything at the get go.

What is certain is that I am looking forward to venturing into this new blog, and who knows maybe some of you guys out there would like to join me!

Btw, if you want to know more about me, look at my artwork or be my freind on you can follow one of these here links:

Illustration blog:

My official portfolio:

My Goodreads profile:

Anita, the literary pirate!