Orilium Magical Readathon: Spring Equinox 2023 Wrap-Up

Another Magical Readathon done, this time with the added bonus of me carrying around a sleeping baby while listening to audiobooks. 🙂
I managed to reach my goals again, although it was closer than I had planned. Turns out I’m not that smart, what with reading non-required books before the ones I had to read for my chosen career, but things turned out well in the end and I even discovered a few new favorites.

Career Choice

Last year, I managed to finish the Spring Equinox with two potential careers, but I didn’t finish all the classes for both during the Autumn Equinox (being super pregnant kind of messed with my reading plans). But that’s perfectly fine, because two careers were never really realistic and technically, you are supposed to choose one career per character and I never made a second character. So I’ll just continue doing everything to finish my Scribe career which offers (to me) the perfect balance between challenging and doable when it comes to the prompts and number of books needed to be finished.

For the Spring Equinox 2023, my character Sistani needed to read books for the following classes:

  • Elemental Studies
  • Inscription
  • Spells & Incantations
  • Restoration
  • Lore

During the Autumn Equinox, I will have to read a total of seven books to qualify for this carer but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Classes and Reading Prompts

This year’s syllabus (linked here on Google Drive) had some nicely challening prompts and others that I found a bit disappointing because they were basically freebies. Like “start reading your book with a snack” or “wear something in the color of the cover” – they are cute ideas but they don’t force me to pick a book off my TBR that I otherwise wouldn’t pick up right now because, hey, I can snack to any book I want. But I understand that it’s hard to come up with clever prompts and it’s also nice to have a mix of top-of-the-TBR books and backlist titles.

I finished all my classes and my book choices were pretty great:

ClassBookRating (x/5)
Elemental StudiesHeather Fawcett – Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries5
InscriptionC. S. E. Cooney – The Twice-Drowned Saint4
Spells & IncantationsT.J. Klune – Under the Whispering Door3.5
RestorationStephen King – Fairy Tale4
LoreHannah Kaner – Godkiller2.5

Additionally, I read some books for non-required classes and – of course – I couldn’t stop myself from starting the quest, even though there is no time limit on that one. I only did the first three quest prompts because I picked a “wrong” option early on in this choose your own adventure style quest and had to go back and pick one of the others. With my luck, I’ll end up reading books for every single prompt before I manage to find my way to the end of the quest story. I’m not even mad, I just decided to keep the rest of the quest for after the readathon when the pressure is off.

ClassBookRating (x/5)
Animal StudiesStephen King – On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft5
AstronomyAli Hazelwood – The Love Hypothesis4
AlchemyMarissa Meyer – Gilded3
The Art of IllusionSeanan McGuire – Lost in the Moment and Found4.5
ArtificeryKate DiCamillo – The Tale of Despereaux4
QUESTVeronica Roth – Arch-Conspirator2.75
QUESTMoses Ose Utomi – The Lies of the Ajungo5
QUESTNeil Gaiman – Sandman Vol. 8: World’s End3.5
QUESTAlexandra Rowland – A Taste of Gold and Ironnot finished yet

The Books + Stats

I only stuck to part of my TBR and switched some other books, some of which came as a surprise to myself. I was looking forward to Hell Bent but somehow the mood was never quite right during the month of April. So I swapped it and read my newest C.S.E. Cooney book instead. I actually won a proof copy of The Twice-Drowned Saint on Instagram. Turns out that really happens. 🙂

The second book I changed was the randomly chosen one. As my library decided to randomly approve my hold on Stephen King’s Fairy Tale a full six weeks earlier than expected, I counted that book as random enough. Plus, with its 500+ pages, I felt justified that I wasn’t just making it easier for myself…

As far as ratings go, I was in for a surprise. I had expected to adore Under the Whispering Door, and while I did like it, it was nowhere near as much of a book crush as Klune’s previous book, The House in the Cerulean Sea. Equally, I thought I would very much enjoy Godkiller and I didn’t hate it, at least. But that book has so many problems, first and foremost that it doesn’t really even tell a story, it tells the backstory to something that could be interesting. The characters had so much potential but for long stretches of that not very long book, I was rather bored.

Having finally – after years and years of owning a copy – read Stephen King’s nonfiction On Writing, I can even pinpoint a little bit better why I didn’t like certain books but loved others. This part memoir, part writing advice book was so gripping and eye-opening, I loved every page. I also crushed hard on Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries and cannot wait for the next instalment in that series. Seanan McGuire delivered another Wayward Child hit for me with Lost in the Moment and Found (so I guess the next one will be meh again, as they seem to alternate), Marissa Meyer’s Gilded was okay. A bit of light fun, but she has done better before. Vernoica Roth’s retelling of Antigone, Arch-Conspirator, had some things going for it but, in the end, only worked in part. Kate DiCamillo’s Tale of Despereaux was exactly the kind of adorable quick read I was hoping for. I can’t wait to read it with my sone when he’s old enough.
Moses Ose Utomi’s very short The Lies of the Ajungo, however, was an immediate favorite! Seriously, go out and buy it, that book packs several punches. I’m putting everything by that author on my wishlist right away. My journey through the Sandman comics is also going well. World’s End wasn’t my favorite but it was another good volume. I also started the second act of the Audible adaptation – we’ve been getting spoiled with Sandman content lately.

Oh yes, and I read (listened to) a contemporary romance novel, which doesn’t happen often, if ever. Ali Hazelwood’s The Love Hypothesis was exactly what I expected and wanted and thus got a good rating. Nothing about the book was revelatory but sometimes it feels good to simply get what you want from a story. I’ll be reading her other stuff too.

Books read12
Pages read3455
Guild points gained30 (quest)
50 (semester passed successfully)

My Character

Sistani is passionate about the written word but she also loves solving riddles and being clever. Whether it’s training and managing to run a particularly difficult obstacle course or solving a puzzle, her ambition usually grants her the strength to pursue her goals single-mindedly. She has been called a know-it-all on more than one occasion…

Unsurprising, she was chosen to join the Guild of Archivists who get full access to the amazing underground library of Orilium Academy. Here are the traits I have achieved through participating in readathons so far:

  • Half-Iltirian, Half-Elf
  • Urban from Kerador
  • Archivist
    • bonded to the goddess Ausra
    • conduit is a staff
  • working to get a baby poof-otter this year
  • scribe novice

If Sistani aces all her classes during the Autumn Equinox (and come on, of course she will), she will be a full apprentice Scribe. Go, Sistani! 🙂


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