Book Review: Elizabeth Of York by Alison Weir

Back in November, I celebrated my birthday with a trip to one of my favorite places: Barnes & Noble. I hadn’t been there since 2012, so it had been a long time coming and even though I had a list of books that weren’t necessarily for pleasure, I still managed to find two books that I found interesting, one was The Kings and Queens of England by Ian Crofton and the other was Elizabeth Of York by Alison Weir.

If you remember, 2016 was the year where I watched a lot of documentaries and discovered the On-Demand button apparently! I watched The Tudors in the month of February and made a review and that June I watched The White Queen which is the story of Edward IV and his commoner wife Elizabeth Woodville and the lives of George, Duke Of Clarence, King Richard III, (brothers of Edward) Margaret Beaufort, Margaret Of Anjou, Henry V, Thomas Neville, “The Kingmaker” (cousin to Edward, George, and Richard) and his wife and daughters Isabella (later wife to George) and Anne (later wife and queen consort to King Richard III). I also reviewed the show on here after finishing the series.

I bought this book before I ever found out that they were continuing the TV series of Philippa Gregory’s books, what both shows were based off of, not Alison’s effort. I will say once I found out there was to be a show telling the reign of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, it did fuel my inspiration to finally read it. I started on it either before or on February 28, sometimes I read a lot in one sitting, but I am not sure when I actually started on it. On Goodreads, it states that the book is over 500+ pages long but the real last part of her story ends on 457! The rest of it explains references mentioned inside and Alison also gives you a list of some of her ladies-in-waiting, maid-of-honours, and gentlewomen.

If you were to read some of the reviews of this book on Goodreads, they might discourage you from ever purchasing it. Elizabeth of York wasn’t the type of queen who ruled the country through her husband, she wasn’t that type of person so most people think she was weak and maintained this goody-too-shoes attitude to her husband and the rest of the court, but I don’t think this is a bad thing! She was taught from a very young age what was expected of her as Queen of England and mother to her children. Despite the fact that she was a well-liked queen, some thought deserved to rule the kingdom than anybody else, but at the time no female had done that until her granddaughters Mary I, Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots.

So here are some sections you will learn inside the book!

Elizabeth Of York is the oldest daughter of King Edward IV and his Queen, Elizabeth Woodville. Her mother was originally a widow of soldier who fought with the House of Lancaster, her husband Sir Thomas Grey died on the battlefield. She already had two young boys, Thomas and Richard Grey. When the young King Edward met with them it was only to ask for her husband’s land back after they were confiscated when Sir Thomas died. They met under an oak tree and Edward was obviously very taken with her that he fought against his “Kingmaker” Thomas Neville and family’s wishes to not marry into royal blood.

Elizabeth was born in 1466, at that time they, of course, didn’t have ways to know whether or not the baby was going to be a male and heir to the throne. So when she was born, instead of her father being furious with her and his wife, he accepted her and hoped for heirs in the future. King Edward and Queen Elizabeth ended up having 10 children in all, but two of them died. There were three places that she and the royal family and court lived during her early childhood: Sheen, Greenwich and Westminster Castle. Her father had betrothed Elizabeth about five times, the first being to the Dauphin of France after he and his brothers were to go to war to fight back their lands against King Louis XI.

After the death of her father in 1483, her uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester was named guardian of her younger brother Edward V and he was taken by force to The Tower; later he would be joined by their younger brother Richard where the rumors would fly for many decades about what really happened to them as “The Princess In The Tower”. Also at this time, Richard got Parliament to accept that Edward’s marriage to Elizabeth’s mother was invalid and that the children were bastards thus the Duke of Gloucester became King Richard III.

I’ve chosen to leave quite a bit out of this review for a reason–it would ruin the entire thing if I told you more! The book itself is a little intimidating because of the amount of pages it has, but there’s always a thrill of learning about a person’s life, especially if they’ve been dead for centuries! I am generally a fan of biographies, so I knew I’d enjoy it!

I will say I did have some favorite chapters! Chapter 5: “Her Only Joy and Maker” which talks about what would be expected of not only Elizabeth of York when she’s married but her sisters, what their roles of both wife and mother if their husband was of royal blood, Chapter 9: “Offspring Of The Race Of Kings” you will see the birth of King Henry VII and Elizabeth’s first child Prince Arthur! Chapter 11: “Bright Elizabeth” tells you about her coronation as Queen of England in great detail and Chapter 15: “The Spanish Infanta” is about when the Princess Katherine of Aragon finally married Prince Arthur of Wales and some unfortunate events happen afterwards!

I gave the book on Goodreads four stars I think! It would have been five stars, if I hadn’t ruined a bit for myself between watching The White Queen last year and scooping out little pieces of information on the internet… That’s how I knew what year she had died and how many kids she and her husband had together! Also, if you are wondering whether or not to read the book, do not look through the reviews! Keep yourself away from the spoilers and let yourself be open to the story of the forgotten Plantagenet-Tudor queen!

Have you read Elizabeth of York: A Tudor Queen and Her World yet? Are you watching The White Princess on STARZ? 

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REVIEW | Disgraced

Last time I reviewed a basketball themed documentary because it was still March Madness, well on the 31st, I watched another one that was similar, but instead of a happy ending this one wasn’t…

Showtime premiered Disgraced and it was about an incident that happened at Baylor University in 2003 involving the entire basketball team. A college student and basketball player Patrick Dennehy, was shot and killed by another team member who was supposedly was his best friend. Patrick and the one who shot him, Carlton Dotson were again supposedly paranoid about another teammate Harvey Thomas and his friend and cousin, Larry Johnson after having them over. The story goes that both Harvey and Larry had guns on them and were using them to scare the boys from accusing them for any wrong doing.

Later, after feeling extra paranoid of their situation, they in turn buy their own set of guns and told their other roommates that if Harvey or anybody else came looking for them to not let them in. So clearly, this raises some flags I would say! I guess though, they went to their coaches and asked if they should go to the police, their main coach Dave Bliss, said to keep things “in house” meaning don’t tell anyone as I imagined. This is where things began to get very strange because within a few days later Patrick Dennehy ends up missing and it’s within these days that people are now looking into the team and the coaches of Baylor University.

I was very much amazed by the amount of things discussed or in some cases, not talked about it within the mystery of how Patrick is dead and how Carlton, who was like a brother to him, would kill him. I mean, if they were as paranoid as they said to be, the mental statuses of Carlton kind of makes sense. You’ll learn more about what I mean when you watch the film. My thing was what the coaches did though, assistant coach Abar Rouse recorded the head coach, Dave Bliss as they began to create a cover up for the rest of their team on how much they knew about the situation of their players. Now a lot of people would think this was wrong and that he should have went to the coach and told him about his feelings about it, but like everybody said he was literally backed into a corner and Bliss even told him “I can hire and fire assistant coaches at will” now would you want to tell him after hearing that? I wouldn’t, I’d probably record him too honestly!

The film was very interesting and like my dad told me too, they’re not the first ones to have this type of scandal and sadly, I don’t think they’ll be the last either.

So did you watch Disgraced yet? What were your thoughts on the documentary?

Nana’s Birthday Fun!

Hi 🙂

It’s been a while since I’ve actually done a big family weekend post! I’ve been wanting to keep some things private, since my papaw’s passing I’ve been really cherishing the time with them and usually we’re not even taking pictures of what we’ve been doing, so that’s the other reason why you haven’t seen a lot lately!

My cousin Taylor and his mom, my Aunt Laurie have spring break the last week of March, where it goes into April. This has always been such a blessing because my nana’s birthday is during the first few days of the month so they get to come down without having to worry about going back to work two days later! They came down without Mike, because he still had to work and that part sucked! They also brought their dog Mila, she’s a lab/German Shepard mix if I haven’t said that yet! I don’t think I have though! She’s such a sweetie and since my aunt and uncle are deaf, she has to be very alert to know what they are saying, and yes she does know sign language. It’s so cute!

They came down on Saturday afternoon, they enjoyed their alone time with my nana. Poor Laurie and Taylor were put to work after a bit after they got there I think. The last time they came down, everybody brought down like 10 drawers from upstairs and throughout both February and March, my nana and I have been slowly getting through them. For the most part, we cleared out I think five big drawers and a smaller one. I moved them into papaw’s room as she finished each one so we had more room to move around in the living room. Thankfully, I had physical therapy in the last two months so my strength was back in full force and I could lift these without having back and neck problems!

I had them folded on their sides and stacked on top of each other in my papaw’s room! I had never left more like Supergirl until I did this! They were heavy, but not as we expected them to be! So when Laurie arrived, she had Taylor carry them back upstairs and now we only have two left and that is mostly DAR and genealogy stuff! Other than that, the living room is as good as new!

On Sunday, my nana had some extra guests come over. She basically had everybody in her family come down, as Rick and Linda were down on Saturday for lunch! David, Katt, my cousin Kristi came down as a surprise, they’re really good at that! Kristi came bearing her almost three-month old “baby” boy Joseph! My nana has been dying to meet this little guy, along the rest of us too! I didn’t know she had come down with them until I was in the car with Blondie, Brandon and Chipper in the McDonald’s drive thru! Unfortunately I can’t hold babies, it really sucks but since he was like under 20 pounds, my thighs are okay with it!

I have asked Kristi if I could share a picture of him, and she said yes, so you guys get to meet the little ham!

We didn’t stay very long as my mom had to work that weekend so when she finally came over, she was very tired and I think only stayed over less than an hour! It was okay since we came back the next day, but David, Katt, Kristi and little Joe went home that afternoon!

On Monday, it was somewhat of a blur, especially in my mind! That’s the one bad thing about family gatherings, is that sometimes my conscience goes in and out, so I tend to forget things that went on if it’s longer than two days! I do remember taking lots of pictures, I will have two DIY projects coming soon! One is a combination of Easter/spring, but the other was somewhat of a surprise. It was more of my nana’s idea, she originally wanted video of it but I figured it would be more than a minute so we compromised and I will blog it instead! I think you guys will like it!

The whole weekend we were expected to get some bad storms, but they kept going to the next day and the next. Our weather is very bipolar here in the Midwest! Since we never got the storms, we went outside a couple of times. I tried to take pictures but it was very bright and I don’t do enough roaming around on the sidewalk that I didn’t feel safe moving a lot plus the bottom of my foot didn’t like the feel of the concrete, so I only managed to get one picture before heading back inside! My mom and Aunt Laurie put up her new bird feeder that Uncle Mike made for her! It’s very cool, unfortunately I do not have a tutorial for that, sorry!

And then finally on Tuesday, we did something that we don’t normally do! In our hometown, there’s a new restaurant called Cakes & Coffee Cafe and they always have their specials of the day hanging outside the building and so whenever my mom and I drive by we always look at their specials! It’s become our thing now! We finally went there to eat and check it out and I was very happy!

The building was a bank for decades before it laid empty for most of my childhood. We moved into the area when I was like six years old and we’ve also driven past it and it looks so modern up against these older buildings, that have been there since the town was established in the early 1800s! It was now owned by a family friend Randy. I always thought it would be smaller once inside, because it just sort of gives you that illusion that it would have a small interior.

Once you walk in, the amount of space grabs you and then you look around at all of the back and white pictures of how the town used to look like was intoxicating! It was like a mini museum and I couldn’t get enough! We have a well-known celebrity that was born and raised here and it is baseball legend Gil Hodges; there were pictures and a huge plaster head of him hanging above a doorway, but the main attraction is the vault. They still have that little room and the giant door! The space and walls have become a place where you can write your name on! So before we all left, we signed it and my nana had a ball! We even got our pictures done in the actual vault!

This was what I got, just your normal biscuits and gravy with a little cup of fresh fruit! I made the mistake of not asking for a kid’s cup for my drink beforehand because when it arrived to our table, we all looked at like “uh oh!” but surprisingly I could reach it but next time, we’ll be asking for a small cup!

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My nana aka “the birthday girl” got the special of the day which was Turkey Manhattan. She let me have a bite of it and it was good! My mom and Aunt Laurie got a chicken salad on a croissant, like a real croissant! They ordered German potato salad as their side! Taylor went in the same route as I did and got breakfast too. He got pancakes and managed to finish his before any of us! That’s a growing boy for you!

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After we got back to the house, it was time for cake and my Aunt Laurie made a chocolate cake with rainbow sprinkles! Everybody had a small slice of cake and I obviously was too full from my meal because I didn’t eat very much of my piece. I didn’t even have any ice cream!

One of the last things we did was play a couple of rounds of UNO. I have owed my cousin Taylor two rounds of it since November and I managed to win twice but when Laurie joined, she won the next one and then my nana played the last game and Laurie won again! My poor nana still doesn’t know the symbols on the cards, and can barely figure out the colors so she made it kind of interesting and hilarious for all of us! I’m still shocked that I won at all! I literally never win at UNO! I think Taylor was probably surprised too!

I think it was a good weekend with my family! Apparently so good that Tuesday night I crashed so hard that I laid on one side of my bed for six hours straight! And then when my mom woke me up before she went to work the next morning, she gave me another muscle relaxer and I crashed again, waking up at 12:35pm, but I didn’t care!

I apologize for the pictures below, my mom’s camera has been making them kind of grainy in a strange way! 

How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun and exciting?!

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Album Review: “Things I’ve Never Said” by Frances

frances.pngHello! I am back with another album review! April might have a couple of these bad boys because honestly March had some great music releases! And here I’ve been saying I wouldn’t find a solution to my no new good music attitude in March, I think it’s fair say that came back to bite me in the butt! Oh well, I’m honestly happier being proved wrong any day!

Everybody knows (or should know) by now that I am a metalhead, but I do love my indie music too! I am more into pop indie records and women singers in this genre, I don’t know if it’s because they have more power to make the music feel like a dream or what, but I am addicted to it. Frances is a British singer who makes this kind of indie music. It’s easy going and if you’re having a rough time like I’ve been having lately, it’ll sooth the pain away than using my normal rock bands–which don’t get me wrong, they do the trick, but if I want to chill out and float away in my head, I’d rather use Frances and other artists like her such as Banks, Daughter and Zella Day as my medicine!

Frances debut album was released on March 17, 2017 which was a good day for new music releases you had Zara Larsson, Pitbull and Rick Ross. On Spotify, it has just the deluxe edition but like with my other reviews I only talk about the standard editions, so unfortunately I will not talk about the last five tracks of the album. Sorry!

Okay, let’s get started! First track is “Don’t Worry About Me” and I’m not going to lie, I love how this is how you start off the album. Frances has a beautiful voice and I love a capella beginning but they’re not used in the intro of the albums very much! I also love only having the piano behind her too! It’s such a heartwarming type of song and in the first time I heard it, I realized it had made the decision to be discussed for me! It is that good! The next track is  “Love Me Again” and this one has a more cheery vibe in the way she’s singing it, the whole atmosphere has changed from the first one where that one has more of a somber way about it. Two songs in and you get a very caring feel in the songs as she’s singing them! Another difference in this is the addition of the drums and guitars as it continues through, I just love it!

Third is a song called “Drifting” and I like the uppity sound of the piano in the start, it has a sort of calming but playful vibe in the entire thing. It’s so fun and almost coming of age story within too! Oh, this is my favorite so far! “Cloud 9” is after and it’s so easy-going and absolutely beautiful! I wish I could get my sister to use this at her wedding this summer! Hell, the entire album would be great! I think I’ve heard of this next song “Let It Out” recently, my brain instantly went to some of my shows; I don’t know where it was played on, but I’ll try to find out! It’s a very pretty song though! I think this one sounds more pop-y than the last few songs, maybe it’s because of how the sound and tempo changes at the choruses, but that’s what I thought during the first real listen of the track.

If I thought the last one had a pop-y sound, I apparently don’t listen to a lot of pop music anymore, because “No Matter” has an even bigger pop sound than that one! I suck! Anyways, I really like it though! It has a dance worthy beat, which is a plus with me! Maybe somebody will use it on Dancing With The Stars this season! The next song “Under Our Feet” brings us back to the relaxing feeling that Frances is good at giving to her listeners! I really love her soft but amazing vocals! I am definitely in love with her high notes in this song, she doesn’t push herself and they’re lovely! I also like how it just trails off and you have these little “ohs” and that just sort of fade off into the sunset. I apologize for that metaphor!

The eighth track is “Grow” and this is a very beautiful song! It’s so simple and great that I’m a little bit speechless right now! This will be used on my bad days for sure! Next is “Say It Again” and this has a pop-y vibe but it’s not as much as the others.  I am really loving these “lovey-dovey” songs when my own views of love is a bit blurred at the moment, but hey anything that helps is brilliant in my book! We’re almost finished, “Sublime” is very good, however I don’t like it as much as I thought I would. It’s a bit boring to me and I don’t know why at the moment. I might change my mind later, but right now just not feeling it which sucks! The last song is called, “The Last Word” which I found odd but interesting at the same time! I like how albums sometimes start in one direction and finish in the same way, whether it’s the music or subject of the song. This is a very soft and beautiful ballad.

I am very surprised with this album! It’s an awesome way to start off hopefully long music career for Frances! If I ever get a new stereo, I would definitely purchase this album because I think it’s one of those albums that it’s worth buying the whole thing and not like four singles! I’d rate it nine out of ten, mostly because of my thoughts on “Sublime” but like I said, that could change later on, so it is a good ten!

Have you listened to Frances’ album “Things I’ve Never Said” yet? Which songs do you like so far?

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Song Review: “Home” by Tara Macri

Hi 🙂

I’m here to talk about a pop singer-songwriter by the name of Tara Macri, I’ve been asked twice now to review her singles. I don’t necessarily remember why I didn’t do it the first time, it could have been because I was really busy at that moment! Luckily, April is a month where I’m not so busy… yet.

Tara has a very sweet, loving voice! The first time I heard her voice, I swore she was a country singer or could go into that genre very easily! Her newest song is called, “Home” that came out in January. This song is actually very pretty! It is of piano and cello, which is one of my favorite combinations of course! So it has this sweet and mellow atmosphere but it also has a somber, almost dramatic vibe going on when using the strings in it too. They’re not overpowering against her voice, everything is a good balance! I love it!

I don’t usually do single (one track) reviews anymore. It is mostly because you either give a bad or good review. When you have multiple songs on an album, it’s easier to see how worthy it is as a whole, but when it’s just one song, as a reviewer you tend to feel kind of sad if the ending result doesn’t end well. This is the one drawback for reviewing anything when you give out 100% of your own thoughts on a post.

At least we can say, this has a happy ending!

Have you heard of Tara Marci’s new single “Home” yet? What are your thoughts about it?

8 Best Moments On The Vampire Diaries!

WARNING:
If you haven’t made it past season three or four of the Vampire Diaries, I urge you NOT to read this post! It contains a lot of spoilers!

Tonight is the night we’ve been dreading since the day this show premiered on The CW back in 2009. Fans have created friendships with one another and fought over who should be who, will be an everlasting problem. We all had our favorites live and die, and then die again. By the second time, you knew they were definitely “killed” off the show completely. However, when several of our most beloved characters would make their appearance here and there we’d have all sorts of emotions running through our bodies.

The Vampire Diaries will forever be a favorite of mine. I still can’t believe that after watching the very first episode on September 10, that I would still be so addicted! At that time, I wasn’t into the dark and blood-y types of shows. I tend to give it a lot of credit over the years because now I can actually watch gory stuff like the Underworld series, but I also watched the first season of Hannibal on ABC a few years ago. I would have never watched these types of shows without the help of The Vampire Diaries.

I decided that since our journey was ending tonight that I would do my last post about the show in general. A previous post I had published in 2015 called 11 Hottest Characters On Vampire Diaries and The Originals has became a very popular post among fans and I figured I would try to make all the fans happy once again by talking about some of our favorite moments of the last eight seasons. They might be good memories and there will a few that I remember happening that were not so happy and we cried until our eyes were red and burning like hell! So let’s start this off where we first met our favorite people in Mystic Falls, Virginia!

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S1: They Meet:

Elena and Jeremy lost their parents and were living with Aunt Jenna. Anybody crying at the thought of Aunt Jenna? Jeremy was a troubled kid in the beginning. He was a boy trying to find ways to numb the pain. He couldn’t write out his feelings in a diary like Elena. He was infatuated with Vicki Donovan, who was the older sister of Matt Donovan, or “Matty Blue Eyes” as we fans have grown to call him over the years. He previously dated Elena before the accident.Vicki was a flirty, troubled girl herself, but she already had a boyfriend: quarterback Tyler Lockwood.

Elena was also friends with newly witch Bonnie Bennett and Sheriff Liz Forbes’ daughter Caroline. The snobby, blonde that almost everybody loved to hate (including me) but there was a new student at school: Stefan Salvatore.

Stefan was a vampire that was turned in 1864, he wanted to know the girl who liked to hang out in cemeteries. He was not into human blood, he fed on little critters in the woods and lived in the old Salvatore manor with his only living relative still located in Mystic Falls. However, we do see him change into the “Ripper” towards the end of the season at the episode of the Miss Mystic Falls pageant. Stefan was supposed to walk and dance with Elena, but he was having issues with controlling his thirst so his “evil” and sexy brother, Damon filled in, which made all of the Delena fans happy. I’m still reeling from this one!

In a way, I should have started this with the scene where Bonnie shows Elena that she’s a witch and makes the feathers of the pillow float up in the air, but let’s face it, Stefan going into the school and meeting Elena Gilbert for the first time is probably the main reason why many of us started watching it in the first place! These main characters become part of our weekly habit. Every Thursday, we watched their lives unfold and we fell in love with them, one by one. Even in death, our love for the characters was as strong as the next. It will never die.

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S2: We Finally Meet Katherine Pierce and Caroline Turns Into A Vampire

I have to say, season two was a very chaotic season. There is a lot of information that happens in this one, it was also very, very bloody compared to the first I think!

During the first episode, we realize that “Elena” isn’t exactly herself. She and Uncle John are talking amongst themselves and then “Elena” cuts off John’s fingers with the kitchen knife. Later we realize that this is Katherine and she runs away from the Gilbert household, where she finds Miss Caroline Forbes in a hospital bed. She was fed vampire blood just before and Katherine decides it’s time for some fun. So she kills Caroline, thus becoming a vampire looking to make Damon’s life a living hell after compelling her throughout the first season.

However, while trying to hide from the boys, she gets captured and is put into a crypt by Damon, but curious Elena, wanting to know more about why she looks so much like Katherine. She meets and coaxes her with plastic cups of blood to tell the story of her life as both a human and how she became a vampire. This episode is my favorite and it is called “Katerina” which is Katherine’s real name: Katerina Petrova

I had been looking forward to Miss Katherine Pierce since Stefan took out that picture of her in the attic in season one. I loved the fact that she wanted to reek havoc on the citizens of Mystic Falls, plus the two boys she managed to not only seduce but also turn into vampires so many years ago.

Let’s talk about these werewolves though. They were sort of a late addition. We meet Tyler Lockwood’s young uncle Mason at his father’s funeral. You didn’t think Ian’s blue eyes had competition until this dude walked into the Lockwood manor! Anyways, he turned out to be Katherine’s henchman and like so many others, when Damon found out his true purpose for coming into town, he got drunk, tied him up with wolfsbane soaked rope and ripped out his heart when they wouldn’t cooperate. Oh, and then Tyler, under the guidance of Katherine’s compulsion, killed a fellow schoolmate which triggered his family werewolf curse and during the full moons, he would shed his clothes and break all of his bones to become a scary ass wolf!

In one such episode, Caroline and Tyler hide out in Uncle Mason’s werewolf dungeon, stocked full of chains to use to keep him down inside, instead of wrecking havoc on his friends and newly vampire girlfriend, Caroline. Yes, for Forwood! However, instead of running when the full moon was at its peak, she stayed and watched him transform… I was eating supper during this episode. I had a full plate and could only eat a fraction of it because I was so glued to my TV. I was also bawling my eyes out and didn’t want to get choked, because that would have been an interesting tale to explain to my parents. After that episode, my mom made it a rule that I would eat supper before TVD came on!

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S3: We Discover The Origins Of The Mikaelson Family!

So this season is generally about the hybrid (werewolf/vampire) Klaus wanting to create more hybrids, because he thinks the curse has been broken and the fact that he has Elena’s blood. Well, turns out the whole thing was a damn hoax made up by his own mother!

We learned a lot about the Mikaelson clan though. Why Klaus and Elijah were running from their father Mikael. In my favorite episode of this season, “Ordinary People” tells the story of the Original vampire family. Mikael was a viking, he and his wife Esther, who was the “Original” witch, and their children Finn, Elijah, Rebekah and Kol where they were forced to become vampires in an act to claim territory of the land over the werewolves nearby. However, Esther had a secret, their son Niklaus was not Mikael’s but a werewolf that Esther ended sleeping with one night. In order to keep his werewolf tendencies at hand, she created a “curse” to stop him from changing during the full moon. She still managed to make all of her children vampires, but he became the first hybrid of his kind.

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S4: Elena Turns Into A Vampire

I think the big difference between both The Vampire Diaries and Twilight series was the fact that Elena did NOT want to become a vampire by Stefan or anybody else and yet, she did and I remember a lot of people were very torn with this direction of the character. The biggest reason was the fact that we knew from past experiences with Caroline and Stefan being vampires that it’s not easy to keep yourself in check.

As a vampire, it was better to have your humanity turned off and since Katherine Pierce was still around, seeing Elena Gilbert as “evil” was a totally new thing to the fans. I don’t remember how I felt about it, I think I was curious on how she would deal with it all. However, she breaking up with Stefan in this season about killed me.

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S5: We Meet Katherine’s Daughter Nadia

One of the first new faces we meet in the first episode is while Rebekah and Matt are away, she apparently had “compelled” another girl to join them in bed. This woman would sort of stay with us throughout the season, as we find out about the future of Katherine’s child before she had turned into a vampire. The child was a daughter and her name is Nadia, she is also a traveler, another witch-y/supernatural thing that Katherine’s family was originally apart of before she was kicked out of the family by her father. Klaus had killed her entire family as part of the sacrifice of turning into a vampire.

After taking the cure, (forcefully) by Elena, after she injected into her bloodstream trying to get it from her. She tries to redo it, by turning again but it doesn’t work. All it does is help reverse the age processes and she realizes she is dying, but in an act to win back an inch of a relationship with her birth mother, Nadia tries to talk her into becoming a traveler and put her spirit into somebody’s body, but she doesn’t want to. So as she is “dying” at the Salvatore house, she tries to make amends, starting with the Salvatore brothers. As this goes on Matt, Tyler and Jeremy create a drinking game, and since Bonnie is the anchor to the other side, she and Jeremy (who started seeing ghosts during the end of season two!) begin to see some old faces like Vicki and Alaric. And everytime I watch this scene, I can’t stop the tears. I always cry because it was such a bittersweet moment to see our favorites again…

Ultimately Katherine does use Elena as a passenger, after Elena tries to forgive her, but three episodes later, she dies for real. I cried at this scene too, I’m not going to lie! Despite the fact that getting through season five was a total bitch, it ended pretty good!

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S6: Bamon Die and Gemini Coven

Technically, Bamon (Bonnie and Damon) die at the end of season five after the other side officially collapses, as do most of our favorites like Lexi, Vicki, but Alaric is one that makes it back to the living! Damon and Bonnie unfortunately do not and instead of going to heaven or hell (that comes later) they are sent to a mysterious place. It’s still Mystic Falls, in all its glory but the only people who are there are them. The year is 1994 and Bamon like to make pancakes together!

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S7: Mother Salvatore and Her Family Of Heretics

This was the season I had been looking forward to since the first season! Of course, we find out about the truth of Lily Salvatore during the end of season six, when Damon brings her back from the prison world to help Stefan turn his humanity back on, but even though she does help with this task, she wants Bonnie’s help to bring back her family of fellow heretics, as they were left behind and are more family to her since she became a vampire. Yeah! Freaked out a lot of us too!

So the new season starts off with a big fire as Valerie gets run over by a truck and she and fellow heretics Nora and Mary Louise decide to have a little fun in the town of Mystic Falls. While the police academy has their ceremony, the girls set the entire thing on fire. I thought this scene could rival with what Elena did to the Gilbert house, but that’s my personal opinion.

S8: See You In Hell

As much as I thought both season three and seven were my favorites, I think this one is a close third, but I think I might be a little bias. I found it interesting that since we started the show about Stefan’s history that we would find out how his story ends – that is if it actually does end with his death, considering how this season has went, he’s managed to cheat death a total of three times!

I know there are other characters but if it wasn’t Stefan coming back to Mystic Falls in the beginning, we wouldn’t know anything about Elena Gilbert, because Damon would be too scared to come around her like that, I mean, remember the first time they met? He compelled her to forget it all! And of course, Stefan is forcefully injected with the cure by Bonnie. Technically, I thought it was a smart move, but again, very interesting move on Julie Plec for going in that direction for the character.

I think the mythology as a whole, also went full circle when Cade and the sirens, Sybil and Seline were introduced. I’ve heard of stories about sirens before, but nothing like this. I also thought Sybil is more extreme and “scarier” than both Cade and Seline. And then the last two episodes!! OMG! Who could have dreamed to see you-know-who ruling over hell?!?! I mean, I thought that was amazing!

I know I didn’t exactly list “eight” moments, I just went with what I remembered the most in each season so I went by the seasons and listed whatever I wanted to! If you are a Twitter user, I will try to live tweet my reactions throughout the final episode! I will only do this during the East Coast broadcast though, so I will be online before 8pm! You can follow me and chat with me during the commercial breaks! We will cry and laugh together! My link in down below!

What was your favorite season(s) and character(s) on the show?

snowflake

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Album Review: “Theater Of Dimensions” by Xandria

15578479_10154323610840889_4576199446702677479_nToday’s album review is from a band called Xandria. I’ve been a fan of theirs since the end of 2011 I believe, so I’ve seen a lot of people come and go and heard a lot of amazing music for the last six years!

Xandria is a German symphonic metal band and they are made up of five members: Marco Heubaum and Philip Resemeier on guitars, Steven Wussow is on bass, Gerit Lamm plays the drums and Dianne van Giersbergen is the main vocalist. They released their new album called “Theater Of Dimensions” on January 27th, that day was a just good day of releases. I had a total of four albums and this won the chance to be review!

I’m basing my review off what it is Spotify, and they have both the Deluxe and Standard editions, but I’m only discussing the standard issue. Now let’s finally get into this, shall we?

If you’ve never heard a symphonic metal album, most of the bands will create a story within the actual album, so each song will contain a different section of the plot. I don’t think this is a concept album, but there is some kind of story telling throughout the record that I am still searching to figure out. The language that seems to be used in this album is what I’d call Old English, almost Shakespearean, hence the title of the album in general perhaps?

The first track has a soft introduction, the song is actually very beautiful! It is called “Where The Heart Is Home” and when I hear it, I think it has a good balance of soft and dramatic  notes. I think Dianne’s voice just sounds angelic in this song! I can always get behind a song that is about seven minutes long! I think it’s a great, fairly tame start to the album.

Next is “Death To The Holy” and this was the song that reassured me that this album would be heavier than the last two albums. I’m not saying I didn’t like them, I do! I love them wholeheartedly, but I also love a heavier metal track too! I love the drum intro! I love the whimsical vibe you get throughout the song! It’s easy to stay on the beat as they arranged it, very catchy too! Dianne even sounds almost playful. I think that’s sort of unique to her because she has such a strong, powerful voice! The choirs sound amazing as always! I’m a sucker for choirs I really am! I am usually drawn to these types of songs for some odd reason! They just remind me of sailors, I know that probably sounds weird, but once you’ve heard multiple symphonic metal albums, you’ll understand why I say that!

I love the introduction of “Forsaken Love” it starts out with the villean pipes, which really bring out my interest in it. I love to hear anything with pipes, flutes, fiddles, and violins. Anyways, it’s a beautiful ballad. The next track is “Call Of Destiny” and when this was released at the beginning of January, I was secretly attached to it. I couldn’t get enough of it. Despite this, I find it a tad bit tame compared to their first single, “We Are Murders (We All)” when I heard this, I felt bummed, but now I like it and so much so that I included it into my Vikings Playlist on Spotify! I thought it fits in parts of the verses! There is a featured singer in that song, it is a Swedish singer Björn Strid of Soilwork.

The sixth track is “Dark Night For The Soul” and I really love the piano of this one. I think with someone like Dianne, been classically trained, this is where she really shines. Sometimes going simple can be a glorious thing, especially as a metal band in general. We’re so used to our heavy bangers and normal ballads, that some of us can’t appreciate softer ballads such as this one. It does have a guitar solo in it, but thankfully it isn’t obnoxious! I don’t normally care for guitar solos myself, but I think this one was very good! Marco and Philip have created some very gorgeous solos in the past I will say, so I do make exceptions every once in a while!

And then we have “When The Walls Come Down (Heartache Was Born)” and this one is a heavy track, the introduction has this ominous feel and then you suddenly hear the choirs and it’s very good! The next is “Ship Of Doom” and it has another soft beginning, but it very good. It’s another fantasy-like song, would probably be good on my Vikings playlist too, but I have like four of their tracks about sailing, so I’m going to hold out including it for now! Ninth is an instrumental called “Ceilí” and I was a bit shocked to see this, because they are not known to put this kind of track on an album mostly because they do not have a touring keyboardist. If they ever play it live, it would mostly likely turn up during intermission. It is a whimsical tune, very playful but also heavy in the guitars, so it’s a good mix.

The last four of the standard edition are next. We have “Song For Sorrow and Woe” and it is another slow start, but once the tempo increases you can kind of hear the horns, which can be sort of hard to decipher, but not here. Unfortunately I don’t really care for it, and even I’m surprised! It has everything that I usually look for, but it is an interesting song! Next we have “Burn Me” and this also features another singer, it is Zaher Zorgati of Myrath and this is another very tame song. I do like the duet between Dianne and Zaher, I think it is interesting dynamic since she’s so high and he seems to be more of a baritone.

I have a thing for unique introductions, I have a weakness for an acoustic guitar I think every person does, they just don’t want to admit it out loud. “Queen Of Hearts Reborn” has a quiet, but epic beginning and then it just erupts of sounds between the drums and guitars, they cut into Dianne’s high notes and she almost sounds evil in parts. I swear, I mean that in a good way! It brings out a new character for her. I could see this one becoming a favorite of mine! Lastly, we have the title track “A Theater Of Dimensions” and they are known for their final songs to be the longest of all the rest; this one does not disappoint, it is 14 minutes and 22 seconds long! The only bad part about it is the fact that it is really slow! Thankfully, it does gradually get better and becomes more intense as it goes on. It’s pretty good!

I love Xandria, I really do! I always look forward to their albums but I have to say, I just sort of felt let down in a way. I think it might’ve been the ballads or the way of speaking, sometimes that can be an issue with me. I do think it’s interesting and different, so I definitely can’t say I hate it, but rating wise I would give it a eight out of 10. I think the album is great, but not as amazing as “Sacrificium” but you can’t like everything.

Have you listened to Xandria’s “Theater Of Dimensions” yet? What did you think?

snowflake

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