Ancient word of the day: Athene Noctua or Athena's Owl

Ancient word of the day: Athene Noctua or Athena’s Owl

The Greek goddess Athena had as her sacred animal familiar the owl, also known as the Athene Noctua in Latin. The Romans, fond as they were of stealing from the Greek pantheon, renamed Athena to Minerva. Athena and her owl are considered to be symbols of wisdom, in both cultures. Silver tetradrachm coin at the…

Beautiful maps & beautiful Welsh tales: The Mabinogion

Beautiful maps & beautiful Welsh tales: The Mabinogion

The Mabinogion is a magical and mythical Celtic classic from the  thirteenth century or earlier. It's thoroughly Welsh and is considered a masterpiece of medieval literature. Although written down during the middle ages, experts think these stories may date from the dawn of Celtic civilisation in Britain. The Mabinogion has given rise to all of…

he Act of Love by Howard Jacobson

Book Review: The Act of Love by Howard Jacobson

Written in a highly addictive confessional style, The Act of Love by Howard Jacobson traces the inner life of London antiquarian bookseller and closet sexual pervert Felix Quinn. In this intense novel, Felix takes the reader to the edge of sexual adventure. This is a strange romp in the mind of a guy who cannot…

Book Review: Fools Assassin (Part 1 of the Fitz & the Fool Trilogy) by Robin Hobb

Book Review: Fools Assassin (Part 1 of the Fitz & the Fool Trilogy) by Robin Hobb

A bit of background: I came very late to the party when it comes to fantasy fiction. A devoted fan of Game of Thrones on TV, I nonetheless found this far too violent, ruthless and bloody to become fully enveloped into the fandom and to read George R.R Martin. So it was a massive surprise…