Book Review: Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

So when you have a spirited toddler, it can be challenging to sit down and read. This is why Audible is my friend. Yay for audiobooks, which I can listen to in the car!

I’ve always been a huge fantasy fan. My favourite book when I was 12 was Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce.  Here’s a list of some of my fantasy favourites, in no particular order:

  • Margaret Atwood – The Blind Assassin, The Handmaid’s Tale, MaddAdam
  • Ursula Le Guin – Tales of Earthsea
  • N.K. Jemisin – Stone Sky trilogy
  • J.RR. Tolkien – Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • Phillip Pullman – His Dark Materials trilogy

The one annoying thing though, is the lack of diversity in all of the fantasy books I know and love. Except for Le Guin’s, of course. So! This is why it’s been wonderful reading more local Malaysian work – plenty of diversity to spice things up.

I really enjoyed the audiobook version of Sorcerer to the Crown. It’s a refreshingly different fantasy story by a talented Malaysian author, Zen Cho. The two main protagonists are people of colour, which is already a big plus. She weaves a hilarious tale of magical hijinks set in England, against a backdrop of racism, sexism, and all the fun things I love to see deconstructed. Lots of witty banter!

It does take some time to build up to the action, so you’ll need to be patient. Totally worth it though, so hang in there and enjoy the story. Here’s more info on the book from Zen Cho’s website.

Next book review – N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth series.

 

@SalaamReads offers diversity, peace and hope

Salaam Reads, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, welcomes manuscripts about Muslim children and young adults. Folks, start writing!

Check out their upcoming publications: Amina’s Voice and Yo Soy Muslim!

@SalaamReads, thank you for giving a voice to the many, many Muslim stories out there, just waiting to be heard ❤

I’m so excited about the diversity, peace and hope that these books offer. I grew up with Enid Blyton and other books that had characters who looked nothing like me. Now that I have a daughter, I see the importance of her reading books with more relatable characters and themes.

Speaking of which, my daughter loves “My Father’s Farm” and “My Mother’s Kitchen” – gorgeous Malaysian picturebooks filled with native joy, written by Emila Yusof. It’s so cool to see beautifully illustrated Malaysian flora and fauna.

When I point to Dina, the main character in the storybooks, and ask my daughter who that is, she grins, points to herself and says, “Taskeen!” ❤

My book launch in Singapore tomorrow! @wardahbooks

Tomorrow’s the day! My Singapore book launch is at The Malay Heritage Centre, under the banner “Author Sessions at Hari Raya Open House”. Thank you, Wardah Books! Please come down for my book reading and signing, and bring your friends and family. See you there in less than 24 hours 🙂

Admission is free but registration is required – just email ibrahim@wardahbooks.com to register.

Here are the details:

Session 1: Raidah Shah Idil, author of ‘Finding Jamilah & The Story of Yusuf’

Venue: 10:15am to 11am,
Anjung, Level 2,
Museum at the Malay Heritage Centre

Singapore-born Raidah Shah Idil is a writer, poet, storyteller, creative instructor and a Digging Deep, Facing Self (DDFS) alum based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her debut double-featured novel, “Finding Jamilah and the Story of Yusuf” was published in early 2014. Her writing has been published in The Feminist Wire, SISTERS magazine, Daily Life, Lip Mag and Venture Beat. Raidah’s poetry was recently published in the ‘Armed With Only Our Souls’ online DDFS chapbook by NY poet, Caits Meissner.

As an instructor at Axiom Learning, Raidah teaches children and teens about creative writing, public speaking, and the power of poetry. Raidah has recently taken to the stage and is now a budding spoken-word artist. You can find her turning compost in her garden, hunting for herbs and collecting good stories.

Programme:

Book-reading
Book-signing

My book launch in Singapore, on August 23rd! @wardahbooks

My Singapore book launch will be held at The Malay Heritage Centre, under the banner “Author Sessions at Hari Raya Open House”. Thank you, Wardah Books! Please come down for my book reading and signing, and bring your friends and family. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Admission is free but registration is required – just email ibrahim@wardahbooks.com to register.

Here are the details:

Session 1: Raidah Shah Idil, author of ‘Finding Jamilah & The Story of Yusuf’

Venue: 10:15am to 11am,
Anjung, Level 2,
Museum at the Malay Heritage Centre

Singapore-born Raidah Shah Idil is a writer, poet, storyteller, creative instructor and a Digging Deep, Facing Self (DDFS) alum based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her debut double-featured novel, “Finding Jamilah and the Story of Yusuf” was published in early 2014. Her writing has been published in The Feminist Wire, SISTERS magazine, Daily Life, Lip Mag and Venture Beat. Raidah’s poetry was recently published in the ‘Armed With Only Our Souls’ online DDFS chapbook by NY poet, Caits Meissner.

As an instructor at Axiom Learning, Raidah teaches children and teens about creative writing, public speaking, and the power of poetry. Raidah has recently taken to the stage and is now a budding spoken-word artist. You can find her turning compost in her garden, hunting for herbs and collecting good stories.

Programme:

Book-reading
Book-signing

My Book Launch – Monday, March 31st, 7:30 pm @ LMA Library, Level 3

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I have exciting news! I’ve been invited to be part of the “Write On The World Tour”, hosted by the LMA. I’m thrilled to be part of a tour spearheaded by Mark Gonzales, of #wagebeauty fame. Sara Saleh and May Fahmi are also wonderful artists in their own right.

On the 31st of March, I’ll be one of the panelists on the “Word’s Worth Forum”, which will be followed by my book launch. My book will be available for sale and book signing on the night, and I’ll also be performing a 30 minute book reading.

I’ll see you there!

(Tickets are $10. Please register at events@lma.org.au)

My novel: Finding Jamilah & The Story of Yusuf

my bookHere it is, ladies and gentlemen! In the flesh! I’m so thrilled to see my book in my Sydney family home. So exciting!

It’s been one incredible journey, and I’d like to thank everyone who’s supported me through it: my amazing family, my awesome friends, near and far, and my publisher, MyLegacy Publications, for bringing my story into print. Alhamdulilah, it’s wonderful to see my dream of being a published author come true. Truly, Allah is Most Generous.

The number one question I’ve been hearing is: “How do I buy your book?” Good question. For now, I’m planning to sell copies of my book at my book launch in Sydney. I’m currently in KL, Malaysia, and plan to be in Sydney between March 23-April 6.

Stay tuned for updates on my Sydney book launch, and I hope to see you there!