Based in Brisbane, Australia, Bindro's Bookshelf is a blog by Jade. Her posts explore the book lover life through book reviews, discussion posts and taking on too many reading challenges in the year.

The Epic Book Junkie Trials - Quest Challenge TBR for this Humble Bard

The Epic Book Junkie Trials - Quest Challenge TBR for this Humble Bard

The Book Junkie Trials is an amazing month long readathon hosted by Rachel Marie, the Queen. An epic map has been created with a reading prompt at each stop and a personality quiz to see what team you will belong to. I did the quiz and got Team Bard

The amazing bard artwork credit goes to  Magic Missile

The amazing bard artwork credit goes to Magic Missile

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The Bards

Official Bard Definition:

Bards are professional storytellers, verse-makers, music composers, oral historians and genealogists, employed by a patron to commemorate one or more of the patron’s ancestors and to praise the patron’s own activities.

My thoughts:

I thought I would get Scribe to be honest but some part of me loves a good underdog. The Bards are the smallest team in the readathon and one of my favourite books this year: Bloody Rose has a bard as a main character who has problems remaining behind the scenes.

A bard loves history and story telling, which is me, to be honest. Though since my musical ability is sorely lacking, I won’t be singing any ballads anytime soon. I will collect your stories and tell them to everyone who wants to listen though.

Also if I can wear an awesome outfit while I am at it, particularly a nice pair of boots, I am in.

This art piece was already named Jade the BArd, Another SIgn? ArtWork Credit to  Guilherme Batisa

This art piece was already named Jade the BArd, Another SIgn? ArtWork Credit to Guilherme Batisa


The Baroness of the Bards, Riley Marie is our Royal Patron.


The Bards have the power of over words and music. With their voices they can charm their way out of a book. They can count a DNF as a prompt completion.

My thoughts:

I usually don’t DNF books though I am going to try to become Quest Champion so this a handy little ability to keep in my back pocket


These wordsmiths find it impossible to escape the lyrics.One of their books must contain poetry or musical themes.

My thoughts:

I actually love this weakness. One of my personal challenges this year was to read a book of poetry each month so this ‘weakness’ fits my personal challenge perfectly. Maybe a sign that I am a Bard deep down?

ART credit goes to  Ivona denovic

ART credit goes to Ivona denovic

Bard Map

Here is the map of the Bard quest:

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  1. The Elven Guard

    The Elven Guard are surprised by your visit, and are immediately on the offensive: Read a book with War, Military or Political Themes to learn how to help calm the situation

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For my first destination on the map, I picked Once & Future. This is a queer retelling of King Arthur set in space. This also happens to a book club pick I desperately need to read before Friday. There is cruel, oppressive government (wording from the blurb) so this definitely counts for political themes. The cover is also gorgeous!

2. On the Hallow Isle

On the Hallow Isle, lurk incorporeal monsters and the ghosts of your past: Read an atmospheric or horror book to pass this test of nerve.

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I have started Spinning Silver, like a week ago but I have only got like 30 pages in before a massive reading slump took hold. I am going to restart this one from the start. From what I read, I know it’s a very atmospheric book, with a winter that makes you feel cold while reading. The town people are also terrified of these Staryk things that are kept a mystery, at least right at the start so the horror aspect is felt as you read so I think this prompt fits beautifully. This is also a bookclub read so I am hoping to read Once and Future and Spinning Silver one after the other at the start of the week. Nothing like a bit of bookclub motivation to start your readathon off with a bang, am I right?

3. Empty Barrel Inn

Every bard deserves a swig or too, some say it even aids warming up those vocal cords: Enjoy an Indulgent Read.

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I chose this poetry collection as my indulgent read. One, it meets the bard’s weakness of including poetry in one of your reads and two, I have challenged myself to a read a poetry book each month this year and I can fit it in this month with this readathon which is awesome. I love Button Poetry and their poets and I have loved Rachel Wiley reading out some of her poems so I know I am going to enjoy this one. Also it is short, which is fantastic as I have quite a few big ones picked out for this challenge.

4. Giant Squid

Giant Squid, a fearsome fellow: Read a book that intimidates you, and this foe shall be a doddle.

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I know it is a novella and short, but really, big books don’t really intimidate me. So what does intimidate me? Oh only all my bookish friends in certain online group LOVING this series so much. I love reading fantasy and have only recently starting diving into SciFi. I feel like an imposter reading both though as I feel as if I am not real fan, as I haven’t read some of the Fantasy or SciFi greats. Which I know logically is silly, but I still feel it. That is why this book is double intimidation for me, with the super hype, and the SciFi element. I am a big believer in broadening your comfort zone and reading widely as you can, so I am going to jump in. Wish me luck!

5. The Bookie Grail

Here you find a lost manuscript, delivered on this forgotten island by a fallen star. Read the group book: Stardust


I am really happy with the group book. I have only read Neil Gaiman’s middle grade books, Coraline and The Graveyard Book and I did love the creepy vibe of both. I am interested in reading his books for adults but all I have of his adult books is American Gods which I just haven’t had the chance to get to yet, so this challenge is perfect in making me pick up Stardust. There were four holds on the physical copy at my library and only ONE copy so I caved and bought the ebook version on my Kobo Forma (which is still fairly new but I am LOVING!).

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Becoming Quest Champion…

So after completing the Bard Journey, I want to try my hand at the other challenges, and who knows? If I complete them all, I may be able to access special rewards for the Book Junkie Trials next year ;)

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Crimson Peaks

These peaks are about to blow! Re-read a favourite to soothe them into dormancy

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The Lumatere Chronicles is my favourite fantasy series of all time and my bookclub recently read the first book Finnikin of the Rock. I loved reading the world and the characters again so with this prompt, I am excited to dive back into the world with book two, Froi of the Exiles.

Queendom Stone

The stone of our Royal Majesty - what are the royal customs of other lands? Read a book featuring Royalty

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I have picked Children of Blood and Bone for this prompt. It has rogue princess and from what I understand, the ruling royalty took away the magic in the land? If that is wrong, please let me know. This was supposed to have been read for a bookclub ages ago and I just didn’t get to it in time and I feel like enough time has passed for the buzz to die down a little so I can jump in and see what I think without too much pressure.

The Forgotten Forests

All these open series, the forest knows and feels your forgetfulness. It will sing a mournful lament, tormenting you until you read the next in a series.

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So this series suffered from an unfortunate cover change… I need to read The Invasion for the Lodestar Award nominations for the Hugo Awards (voting closes 31 July so I am trying to squeeze in as many Hugo nominated works as I can into this TBR). I read the first book, The Call, ages ago, for you guessed it, book club. It has dark faeries and usually that is right up my alley but the first book was just okay for me. However I recently reread a book and really liked it when previously I had thought it was just okay so I am prepared to give this series the benefit of the doubt. I will include the first book for a prompt further down as I will need to reread the first before picking this one up. Too much time has passed!

The Weeping Falls

To pass through the rapids unscathed, you must give to the Falls. Read a tear-jerker.

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It is really hard to know if a book will be a tear-jerker before hand. Though I do cry fairly easily in books, especially angry tears when I feel characters aren’t being treated right and then I think of the parallels to real life and it makes me keep bawling. In that case, I think this book will be perfect for angry tears, but a very hard book to read. The story takes place on a spaceship set up like the antebellum south which means there are humans being treated horribly. A lot of people I trust have read this one and really liked it and have recommended it so I am happy to finally being getting to it so I can talk more articulately on the story once I have finished.

Dwarf Mount

You spot a fair tavern wench, however the Dwarf Mines, grimey and dusty, didn’t evoke a very romantic feeling. Read a book with a hint of romance to get you in the mood.


I could have picked a bunch of romances that I am keen to get to soon but I really need to read Persuasion for book club on Friday. I had a personal challenge this year (this in conjunction with the poetry one) to read all of Austen’s main novels. My book club, which I have mentioned countless times, reads one classic and two books voted by members each month and they have very kindly chosen all of Austen’s works this year as our set classic pick so I have been able to read them as a group. This is the last one! As soon as I read this one, I can finally say I have read all of Jane Austen. I am looking forward to this one and I am very happy that it is a lot shorter than the other ones, could you imagine if I had to read Emma or Mansfield Park (they are big ones!).

Apothecary Towers

Where the wizards dwell. Tricksters. They have blind-folded you and randomised all your books, choose a book at random from your bookshelf.

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The reason why I was so late posting this blog post today (my Sunday)? I had to add in all my books I have recently acquired to my book cataloging system. Hours of work, so I could push a randomise button and all my books could be considered equally. It took seconds to do. After my hours of work. Sigh… At least my book catalogue is up to date AND my book randomiser chose The Falconer which is not too long. I have a few books over 1000 pages on my bookshelves so I am very pleased. The Falconer has been on my want to read TBR for a long time but I only recently acquired a second hand copy so great timing. Also it fits a theme, I feel like this reading list is heavily fantasy or SciFi and there are already a few books with Fae/Faerie themes which is one of my favourite things to read about so I am in for a good month!

The Great Library

Ahh the great archives, find and read a book that has been on your TBR forever.

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For those who don’t know, TBR stand for To Be Read. I have two TBR lists on Goodreads, one for want to read (that I don’t own) and a TBR ‘books I own’ shelf, so books I own but haven’t read yet. To make sure that I would have the book available, I stuck to my TBR books I own list and just went the oldest book on the list, based on when I had added it to Goodreads (I may have owned it longer - who knows?). The Shadow of the Wind was added to GR by me in 2011. There have been many times where I have tried starting this one and haven’t been in the mood so I am curious to see if I will like it or not. Maybe my Bard strength will come into play here? It is also very fitting that for this prompt for the Great Library, a book about books and a library of sorts comes up!

The Drowning Deep

The Whirlpool… is so… mesmerising. Read a book with rich world-building that will suck you into its own world, instead.

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I switched between a couple of picks here but decided to go with the third book in the Wayfarers series. Becky Chambers has a way of world building, with not just creating a world in space with all these different species and planets with unique living systems but also with creating her characters. Each book so far has pulled me in completely so I think this is book is perfect for this prompt. And I need to finish this series. And it has been nominated for the Hugo awards.

Orc Grove

Some say there is no talking to Orcs, but a good political relationship is needed. Learn some Orc customs by reading a book that is gruesome, gory or gritty.

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I picked the Call for this prompt because I really need to read the Invasion (listed above). Also I remember this book being about really dark faeries who were pretty gory. It was also around Halloween and my bookclub were also reading other creepy reads so I wonder how I much I remember being creepy and gory as actually being so or whether I was influenced by my other reads and the atmospheric time of year…

Ol’ Pirate Cove

Shiver me timbers. You shall be walking the plank if you don’t learn how to sail better. Read a book that takes place, at least in part, on sea.

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This was a really hard prompt because I don’t know before reading the book whether it may take place at sea, at least a little bit and I am trying to squeeze in more of my Hugo reading. This one I currently have out from the library, it is about a Fae world and in order to get to the Fae world, the main character has to trave by boat, so that counts, right? Also check out this cover, I love it so much!


This Isle is alight with gems and crystals, one of the most picturesque spots in the High Queendom. Make sure you fit in with a beautiful or colourful book.


So the third book in the Binti series has been nominated for a Hugo in the Novella section. I happen to own the gorgeous omnibus and I happen to be very partial to purple covers. I think this may be a cover that looks better in person than on the screen but I just think this cover is amazing so I am happy to read all three and a bonus story in this omnibus for one prompt, based on the cover alone. How is that for dedication? I also had to read the first two books in the series anyway so I could read the third so it works out well :)

Draconic Isle

Oh my! This island is swarming with wyverns and dragons. Brush up on your draconic knowledge with a book that features dragons.

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This is a Hugo nominated book so of course I tried to squeeze it in and also it was only the book that I know of that contained dragons. I read Seraphina years ago but never continued on so I am not sure how lost I will be without doing a quick reread/read of the first duology by the author. There is already so much to read but if i can fit in those two before this one, I might try to. This book might be my leave to last one? If anyone has read this one, let me know if it’s necessary to read the first duology please!

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I would love to know if you are participating in the Book Junkie Trials and what team you are on. This readathon is epic and I love how much dedication and work Rachel Marie has put into it.

I am excited to see how many books I can get through - here is a quick snapshot of ALL the books I am planning on reading… oh my goodness… I am going to be a busy bard indeed :)

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