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Emily Hughes

The Witcher Witnesses a Terrible Death in “Dear Friend…” and “Voleth Meir”

We’re almost there, friends. As we approach the season’s climax, the pieces are starting to come together. In “Dear Friend,” we watch everyone start to connect the dots about Ciri, realizing who and what she is, or at least what she can do for them, and in “Voleth Meir,” the dominoes the writers have painstakingly set up over the previous six episodes start to fall. Vibes-wise, our central trio finally gets together, if all too briefly, and the found family energy radiates off them in waves. We also get the immaculate reunion of Geralt and Jaskier, some deeply chaotic dwarves, and one truly wrenching death.

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The Witcher Serves Up Politics and a Good Old-Fashioned Hazing in “Kaer Morhen” and “What is Lost”

While “A Grain of Truth” was a fun, splashy reentry into the world of the Continent, the next two episodes do a lot of legwork to set up what will be the main story arcs for the season: Cirilla’s mysterious power, new and worrisome monster behavior, Yennefer’s lost magic, the uneasy alliance between the elves and Nilfgaard, and Istredd being a little shit (some things never change). We also get a nice long look at witcher history both on a macro and micro scale, and a good bit of time with the softer, gentler side of Geralt, both with his father figure and his adopted daughter.

Neither of these episodes are a fun romp, exactly, but showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich and her team have an awful lot of plot to get through, and only eight episodes to do it, and the show’s moving at a good clip so far this season.

[Please note that comments will be temporarily closed over the weekend, but will be open for discussion on Monday morning.]

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The Witcher Dispenses With the Prologue in “A Grain of Truth”

It’s been two extremely eventful, exhausting years in the real world since we last saw our grim, grimy pals on the Continent, but it’s been a matter of hours for them. Season two’s premiere “A Grain of Truth” picks up immediately after the events of the season one finale, and folks? It’s a Baroque Angela Carter fever dream banger of an episode.

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Toss a Coin to Your Rewatcher: A Witcher Season One Speed Run

Two quick things: first, this is not a recap of season one of The Witcher. If you’re in need of a refresher before Friday’s season two premiere, Netflix made you a very helpful video that gets the job done in a cool 6.5 minutes. Second: I have not read the books, nor have I played the game, nor do I plan on doing either of those two things. For the purpose of my coverage of this show, I am simply a beautiful idiot with no preconceptions about these characters or this story.

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5 Questions About Netflix’s Redwall Adaptation

On the morning of February 10th, Netflix casually tweeted an announcement that caused an entire generation’s inner child to levitate out of bed and cry “Eulalia!” with one voice: the streaming platform had acquired the rights to the entirety of Brian Jacques’ beloved Redwall series. Plans were announced for a feature film and an “event series” to start, with no information yet on casting, timeline, or other details.

Jacques’ medieval fantasy adventure series, a proto-cottagecore masterpiece with a colorful cast of anthropomorphic wildlife, was written for the age range we now refer to as middle grade and spanned 22 books, from the 1986 publication of Redwall to the publication of The Rogue Crew in 2011, several months after the author’s death. The books have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, and given that the series’ fans are largely well into adulthood by now, the nostalgia is ripe for the picking.

But, of course, we have some questions.

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Sweltering Southern Gothic Horror Novels for the Heat of Summer

There’s an element of tension in so much Southern Gothic that stems from America’s fraught history of slavery, violence, injustice, and class inequality. It hangs over the genre like the humidity before a storm. The ingredients are all there—disillusionment, ennui, macabre details—they’re often inherently horrifying, and you really don’t have to tinker with them all that much before you’ve tipped over into full-blown horror.

All of these books dwell in the space where youth and history intersect (there’s that tension again, the full weight of the past pitched against young lives, full of promise), and many grapple with issues of race, slavery, sex, and poverty. And since horror often works best when it’s tempered with realism, that grounding makes these books that much scarier.

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Horror Recommendations for Every Tolerance Level

As an avid horror reader who’s quick to recommend books to anyone who stays still long enough, I’ve gotten very used to fielding follow-up questions like “But how scary is it really?” and “I can’t watch horror movies at all—should I still read this?” Obviously fear is highly subjective—what slaps my “turn all the lights on, you’re not sleeping tonight” buttons may be entirely snooze-worthy for you—but I’ve come to have a pretty accurate understanding of how people are going to respond to a given book.

While the name of the genre tends to imply a uniformly high scare density, horror is a very broad genre, and there really is something for everybody—whether you’re a horror pro who likes the gore and tension dialed up to 11 or a gentle soul who can’t deal with even a light dismembering.

[Read more]

Horror Recommendations for All Tolerance Levels

As an avid horror reader who’s quick to recommend books to anyone who stays still long enough, I’ve gotten very used to fielding follow-up questions like “But how scary is it really?” and “I can’t watch horror movies at all—should I still read this?” Obviously fear is highly subjective—what slaps my “turn all the lights on, you’re not sleeping tonight” buttons may be entirely snooze-worthy for you—but I’ve come to have a pretty accurate understanding of how people are going to respond to a given book.

While the name of the genre tends to imply a uniformly high scare density, horror is a very broad genre, and there really is something for everybody—whether you’re a horror pro who likes the gore and tension dialed up to 11 or a gentle soul who can’t deal with even a light dismembering.

[Read more]

5 Sweltering Southern Gothic Horror Novels for the Heat of Summer

There’s an element of tension in so much Southern Gothic that stems from America’s fraught history of slavery, violence, injustice, and class inequality. It hangs over the genre like the humidity before a storm. The ingredients are all there—disillusionment, ennui, macabre details—they’re often inherently horrifying, and you really don’t have to tinker with them all that much before you’ve tipped over into full-blown horror.

All of these books dwell in the space where youth and history intersect (there’s that tension again, the full weight of the past pitched against young lives, full of promise), and many grapple with issues of race, slavery, sex, and poverty. And since horror often works best when it’s tempered with realism, that grounding makes these books that much scarier.

Read on for five deliciously creepy Southern Gothic horror books.

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Series: Five Books About…

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