What makes a leader? Is it the decisions they make? The opinions of others? The way they can take control of any situation? There are political leaders, business leaders, group leaders, and so many other types of leaders that the list seems never-ending. What if there was a book that told you everything you needed to know about leadership, or at least someone's subjective view on it? Well, there is. However, it is quite infamous for it's radical ideas and many people are torn by the advice that is given.
Of course, I am writing about The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli. It is a text that was written in the 16th century to advise Lorenzo de Medici on how to rule over his people in an attempt to get out of prison. Machiavelli was a politician and a diplomat during the renaissance, and during his time in this position he communicated and advised a lot of officials. He was regarded to have a strong knowledge on politics and leadership. However, in a bid to be with the stronger family of the time, he started to work for the Borgia's. It was a bad decision since the de Medici's regained their position a few years later and Machiavelli was imprisoned and tortured. With all of his knowledge and years in politics, he wrote this text to get back into the good books of the de Medici's and to advise Lorenzo on his leadership.
'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others'
This famous quotation comes from this popular novella. The combination of the genres fable, satire and allegory make it a powerful text filled with lessons to do with revolutions, the naivety of the working-class, societies inclination towards having a hierarchal class system, and corruption through the misuse of power. It is popular amongst high schools and universities to teach how stories can have a major influence over how a person feels or thinks, particularly in regards to historical events. It is also used as an example of political or social commentary, being a text referenced by many people in speeches or essays to persuade and educate their audience. However, take away the layers of literary techniques that forge the allusions to historical events and people and the story is quite a simple one about a group of animals that bear the consequences of revolution in search of a better life on their farm.
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead is a six-book young adult, paranormal romance series set in the United States. It intervenes the classic vampire story, categorising them as three different species/hybrids: Moroi (good vampires), Dhampir (good vampire protectors) and Strigoi (bad vampires). The six books in the series are Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, and Last Sacrifice.
It follows the story of Dhampir and Guardian in training, Rosemarie (Rose) Hathaway, and her best friend and Royal Moroi, Vasilisa (Lissa) Dragomir, a duo with very different personalities but are joined together with a strange connection. The story is mainly located at the fictional St Vladimir's Academy, which is where young Moroi and Dhampir's study and live during the school year. Other characters include Dimitri Belikov (guardian and Rose's love interest), Christian Ozera (shunned royal Moroi and Lissa's love interest), Sonya Karp ('crazy' ex-teacher Moroi turned Strigoi), Adrian Ivashkov (bad-boy addict and another Rose love interest), and Victor Dashkov ('uncle' to Lissa).
We've made it to the end of the Vampire Academy series, where Rose is stuck in a jail cell feeling claustrophobic while thinking about how she is going to get out and find out who framed her and she uses her shadow-kissed abilities to keep an eye on Lissa and what is happening around court. However, during the funeral procession for Queen Tatiana, Lissa and co unleash their plan to get Rose out by letting off explosions all over the courtyard. Rose then escapes with Dimitri and they drive for hours to finally reach Sydney (yes, she's back) who gets them into a motel to sit around and wait for Lissa and co to find the real murderer at court.
Rose, being Rose, attempts to escape her rescuers, having not told them about the letter written to her from the Queen about Lissa having a relative, which could then lead to Lissa having a vote. After a lengthy tussle with Dimitri, she concedes and tells him and Sydney about the secret relative. They agree to help find this unknown person and Sydney takes them to an odd place filled with a group of people who call themselves 'The Keepers', who are a group of Moroi, Dhampir and humans living together in very old fashioned ways. Rose is met by Adrian in her dreams, and later Victor Dashkov and his brother, Robert, as well, and the mystery behind the Queen's death continues to grow.
Charlotte is a reading and writing lover who has completed a creative writing intensive course at the University of Oxford and is a current university student studying a double degree in journalism and creative writing. If you are curious to learn more, check out the 'About' page.