There is unrest in the kingdom of Paelsia. When an Auranos Noble murders Jonas’ brother, Jonas lashes out. However, instead of exacting his revenge on one man, Jonas decides to use his brother’s death to bring initiated change, change his brother always wanted. Inadvertently, Jonas becomes the leader of a revolution in the hope to end the oppression and impoverished state of the people of Paelsia.
Magnus is the son and heir to the King of Blood. His father is the ruthless king of Limeros, willing to sacrifice anything to get what he wants. Magnus must be very careful and cunning to earn his father’s trust while at the same time, he attempts to protect his sister Lucia.
Princess Cleo has lead a life of privilege and splendor in the kingdom of Auranos. When she witnesses the murder of a poor Paelsian wine seller’s son, she is forced into an engagement to the arrogant drunk, Aron Lagaris, the murderer himself. His actions in Paelsia have caused an uproar among the three kingdoms. Things quickly escalate from bad to worse and sets the kingdom of Auranos on the path to war.
A couple of years ago, I sought to read this series, however, I unwittingly began reading “Rebel Spring,” book two in the series, believing it to be book one. I was completely confused and gave up on the series, until I discovered my error.
This novel follows the lives of four young teenagers in three separate countries after the tragic murder of young Jonas’ older brother. Each of the four main characters have different backgrounds and situations that have fueled their current state of being. Some characters I found to be more relatable and likeable than others but found all four to be realistic, given their different situations.
The plot line is relatively fast paced, with the characters and the countries progressing to an ultimate conflict. The main character changes between the four characters regularly, but I was happy to discover there was not much need for “back-peddling” with each character switch despite the different locations and interactions that each character experiences.
All in all, I did enjoy this novel and am very glad that I read it. I cannot wait to read “Rebel Spring” and have it make sense this time.
I would give this novel four out of five stars and I would recommend it to fans of The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima.
I received my copy of this novel as a gift from my husband and I am currently seeking permission to use an image of the cover artwork above.
Tasty is an amazing popular cooking brand that has accumulated fans all over the world. Their delighting cooking videos have an appeal, but sometimes it is better to have a collection of recipes. This cookbook features over 80 winning recipes loved by fans the world-over.
I found Tasty purely by accident when randomly searching for new recipes that my whole family would enjoy. I first stumbled upon their video for taco pasta. My family loved it and since then I have regularly visited their site in search for new recipes.
So, when I was offered the opportunity to read, try, and review their latest cookbook, I was thrilled. So far, this cookbook has not disappointed. The recipes are easy to understand and follow with a list of ingredients and detailed steps.
The photographs, both on the cover and throughout, are beautiful, clear, and appealing. Some of the recipes are even accompanied by step-by-step photos.
The physicality of the book is simplistic and efficient. There is nothing I dislike more than trying to use a recipe in a ten pound tome of a book that takes up one third of my counter space. This cookbook is thin and light with a hardcover and is slightly smaller than the average notebook. For me this is definitely a plus.
As a young woman, wife, and mother, I enjoy cooking our traditional family recipes and grandma’s top secret recipes, but at the same time, I am searching for our own family favorites and ones my kids can enjoy just as much as I do.
My family and I have enjoyed trying these recipes and are eager to try the ones we have yet to try.
I would give this cookbook five out of five stars and would recommend it to those who enjoy cooking good food at affordable prices.
I received my copy of this cookbook from bloggingforbooks.com for the sole purpose of providing an honest review. I am currently seeking permission from the publishers to use an image of the cover artwork above.
Dally is a young orphan working as a servant in the mayor of Honor’s home. After the fire that claimed the lives of her family, the mayor opened his home to her. Despite being a servant, Dally enjoys spending time with the mayor’s dog and her pups. They have developed a special bond and she worries about the day that she will be parted from them.
Once Dally develops the telepathic ability to communicate with the puppies and Queen Shona, the unofficial queen of realm, she helps Queen Shona and her army arrive and defeat the mysterious creatures living in the forest outside Honor.
Now the realm is suffering from a severe and mysterious illness. Hyam, the hero who defeated the crimson mage during the battle of Emporis, is one of many suffering from this illness, with no known cure. With the realm under attack, Dally may be their only hope because Dally possesses a unique magic that may be the only way to protect the realm.
I have enjoyed this series since the first novel, however, this third installment threw me for a whirl.
Hyam is originally from Honor, the same small town that Dally lives in. Returning to Honor, therefore, was not a very big surprise. Dally is a very unique and intriguing character, even with all of the other characters in this novel. Unlike many of the other characters in this novel, Dally is an enigma, possessing a power unlike any other and with no idea as to where it came from.
I was surprised to find that Hyam was a minor character in this installment while in the other two novels he was a main character. Not only was he a minor character, but he was hardly in the novel at all. Other characters that have held an important role in the previous novels were minor characters now.
The plot line was very interesting, following the sudden adventures of the young Dally and those trying to save the realm. I found the plot line to be scintillating, however, it was almost as though a whole novel was missing between “The Merchant of Alyss” and this novel.
I hope that this is not the final installment in this riveting series because I have many unanswered questions.
I would give this novel three and a half out of five stars and would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the first two novels.
I won my copy of this novel from LibraryThing.com and have been granted permission from the publishers at Revell to use an image of the cover artwork above.
Quin Kincaid has trained all of her life to become a seeker; a defender of justice, a righter of wrongs, another in a long legacy. On the night of her oath however, Quin discovered she had been lied to and the seekers were no longer the honorable heroes they once were; now they were little more than assassins for hire.
Not only was she lied to by her own father, but the boy that she once loved is out for vengeance against her and her family.
Quin and Shinobu, her oldest friend, are searching for answers about the seekers and where it all went wrong. The further back they go the more they uncover and the more danger they find themselves in. Will they uncover where and why the seeker legacy went wrong or will they uncover something much more dangerous and sinister?
I stumbled upon book one in this series, “Seeker,” completely by accident and became enthralled with the unique plot line. This installation was another intriguing read.
This novel’s settings are in our present world, without modern technology, which is somewhat unusual for a fantasy novel, in my experience. I found this to be unique and entertaining.
The tools and weapons used throughout this novel are unique to this series. I have never read about weapons like are present in this novel before.
The characters are well constructed and believable as human beings in our modern day. The character development reveals the flaws, strengths, and ignorance of each character. Their limited knowledge remains consistent with their experiences and unique understanding of the world and the roles of the seekers.
I found the plot line to be invigorating despite the lack of adventure. This novel focuses more on discovery and character progression than actual exciting adventures and fighting. This allows the seeker world to develop a more concrete hold on the reader’s mind. The characters still embark on adventures, but they are adventures of discovery. There are still conflicts with characters and even a couple of fight scenes, however, they are not at the same level as that in the first book.
I would give this second installment in the “Seeker” series three and a half stars out of five.
I would recommend this novel to readers who enjoy their fantasy to take place in the real world.
I bought my copy of this novel from bookoutlet.com and have permission form the publishers to use an image of the cover artwork above.
Hyam lives a life many long for; married to the beautiful and talented Joelle, admired by the citizens of Falmouth, a hero in his own time. Hyam is living the quiet, peaceful life, though it is bittersweet because of the pain and sorrow he feels over losing his magic after the Battle of Emoris.
When Hyam comes into contact with an ancient MIlantian scroll, he feels a magical connection. However, Hyam is the only one who can read the scroll and what he reads could lead to a massive war. In an attempt to prevent the war and find answers about the mysterious scroll, Hyam, Joelle, and a group of loyal friends and allies embark on a journey to the forgotten city of Alyss. While Hyam seeks answers however, something dark and sinister is seeking him.
I found this second instalment in the “Legends of the Realms” series to be another entertaining journey through this fantasy realm.
The characters are well rounded and developed. Each character encountered is developed in such a way that they are believable as actual living beings who avoid mass generalizations. The interactions between the characters help to enunciate personality traits, flaws and strengths. The author also included character interactions with setting and environment which allowed the story to be more realistic and relatable.
The environments and the settings throughout the novel, are rich with detail without being overwhelming. The effects that different environments had upon the characters helped to set this novel above others in its genre. You don’t travel for weeks across an arid desert without working up a sweat.
The plot line is invigorating, bringing the reader directly into the story. A large portion of this novel revolves around discovery; discovery of the scroll, discovery of mysteries, discovery of answers and more questions. Despite this, the adventure and the excitement are still present and as thrilling as in the first novel.
I would give this novel four out of five stars.
I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves unique and exciting fantasy novels.
I borrowed a copy of this novel from my local library and have permission from the publishers at Revell to use the image of the cover artwork featured above.
When Dorothy visited Oz, we met the Wicked Witch of the West, but why was the Witch of the West so Wicked? Gregory Maguire creates a world before Dorothy’s visit that details the life of the Wicked Witch of the West. Discover Elphaba before she became the Wicked Witch, and what her life was like as a child and young adult.
First of all, I did not finish reading this novel. I read roughly 204 pages and decided that it was time to stop. It was hard for me to make this decision because I have wanted to read this novel for quite some time. However, there were a number of times when the book went in a direction that I was uncomfortable with, and therefore, I decided to set this book aside.
This novel begins with Elphaba’s infant and toddler years before progressing into her college years. From there, I am not entirely sure, because I stopped reading around this time.
Personally, having quit reading, I feel incapable to recommend this novel.
I received my copy of this novel from my sister and am unsure if I will attempt to read it again in the future. I am currently seeking permission from the publishers to request permission to use an image of the cover artwork above.
In 1894, Mary Handley has had a successful private investigating career for a few years. After a family friend asks Mary to discover whether or not his wife is having an affair, Mary is also approached by a man who believes that his brother was wrongfully convicted and he wants Mary to prove his innocence. When a prostitute called ‘Old Shakespeare’ was murdered in a similar manner as the Ripper murders, a suspect was instantly found and arrested, but was he the killer? Three years later, as Mary digs into the case, she finds corruption and an astonishing amount of similar cases, covered up by New York’s head detective, Thomas Byrnes.
In order to prove a man’s innocence, Mary must find the actual killer and battle the corruption in the New York Police Department. To do so she is going to need a lot of powerful and influential allies like Teddy Roosevelt, Jacob Riis, and Harper Lloyd. Can Mary and her friends catch the killer before he strikes again?
Mary Handley has come a long way since her first case in “Second Street Station” and has achieved her dream of being a detective. In a time dominated by men, this was not an easy endeavor. Now she has made a name for herself and has made the acquaintance of some very important and influential men.
This case differs from her previous cases because of its link to the infamous Jack the Ripper and his White Chapel murders. Mary is determined to discover the truth behind the murders, but she goes about it unaware if Jack the Ripper himself has made it to Brooklyn, or is this killer simply a copycat. Either way she is in danger and the more digging she does the more danger she is in.
I enjoyed reading about the mystery as it unfolded, and for a long while thought I knew who the murderer was, however, I was proven wrong and was shocked by the revelation.
Considering these murders are similar to those of Jack the Ripper, it is unsurprising that this novel is violent and discusses prostitution on the level that it does. Also, because this novel takes place in 1894, there is racism and inequity throughout.
The author fully answered any questions I had by the end of the novel. Though the ending leaves me wondering whether or not the author will continue this series.
I would give this novel four out of five stars and recommend it to readers who enjoys historical mystery novels.
I received a copy of this novel from bloggingforbooks.com. I also won a copy of this novel on Goodreads Firstreads after requesting a copy from bloggingforbooks.com, having forgotten that I had entered into the Goodreads giveaway. I donated one copy of this novel to a fellow reader, who I believe is reading it now. I plan to also donate a copy to my local library. I received my copy of this novel for the sole purpose of providing an honest review and am currently seeking permission to use an image of the cover artwork above.
Psych's Guide to Crime Fighting for the Totally Unqualified by Shawn Spencer with Burton Guster and Chad Gervich
Shawn Spencer has solved numerous cases for the Santa Barbara Police Department. Accompanied by his friend and sidekick, Burton Guster, he has quickly made a name for himself as a psychic detective. Now the genius of the hit television series “Psych” has developed a guide book to help you become a private detective just like him.
You will learn some of Shawn’s methods, besides his psychic abilities, that will help you become an awesome detective. From how to find a perfectly awesome office space, to dealing with annoying head detectives.
I stumbled upon the “Psych” television show completely by accident back when I was pregnant with my son. I was having difficulty sleeping one night and was flipping through the channels when I found a rerun episode. By the end of the hour I was a fan of the hyper-observant fake psychic and his friend Gus.
Shawn is a goofball whose Dad, a former police detective, has tested his son’s skills of observation his entire life. When Shawn helps the Santa Barbara Police Department with a case by pointing out clues they had missed, they become instantly suspicious of Shawn. In order to explain away how he knows what he knows as quickly and simply as possible, Shawn tells them that he has psychic abilities.
Many years later, Shawn is still helping the detective’s solve cases by pretending to be psychic and he and Gus have made themselves a career out of their success.
This book reads like an instruction manual, written by Shawn Spencer himself. Spencer’s joking behavior and ridiculous suggestions abound in this humorously inaccurate guide on how to become a private detective.
I found this book to be slightly less entertaining than I imagined it would be, though I did enjoy it. I would give this book three and a half stars out of five.
I would recommend this book to fans of the television series, “Psych.”
I bought my copy of this novel on BookOutlet.com and am currently seeking permission from the publishers to use an image of the cover artwork above.
Belle has traded her freedom for the freedom of her father, leaving her a captive in the Beast’s enchanted castle. Belle has grown to care for the many inhabitants of the castle, from Lumiere the candelabrum to Chip the teacup. After the Beast gifts her the castle’s marvelous library, Belle is thrilled; reading can grant her some of her freedom back, in its own way.
When Belle stumbles upon a book titled Nevermore, she is pulled through its pages to a glamorous world she has only ever imagined being a part of. While there, Belle meets charming and intriguing new friends and the opportunity to live out her dreams. Dreams she thought she had given up forever. In the pages of Nevermore, Belle can have the life she has always dreamed of, but is any of it real? Is Nevermore really what it claims to be and can Belle really trust its charming characters? Will Belle choose a life inside Nevermore’s pages over that of the Beast’s castle? Can Belle discover the truth behind Nevermore’s enchantment before it is too late and she becomes trapped in its world forever?
Many girls grow up dreaming of becoming one of Disney’s Princesses. I am no different. Of all of Disney’s Princesses, my favorite has always been Beauty and the Beast. So, of course, when my stepdaughter told me about this book -- surprisingly I hadn’t heard of it -- I knew I had to read it.
Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney Princess movie for many reason’s but one of the most important was that Belle was such a strong female character and she was willing to sacrifice herself for someone she loved. Belle’s strong character is apparent in this novel and Donnelly captured her fierce fighter spirit as well as her love of books perfectly.
The fantastical characters who live in the Beast’s castle are also present in this novel. Chip is the most amazing little teacup in the original movie, with an innocence that effects everyone around him. I was pleased to discover that his character was also maintained, as well as, the characters of Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, and Cogsworth.
The world of Nevermore is rich with detail and extravagant settings. Belle’s appearance is even transformed when she enters its pages. The characters inside Nevermore are interesting with loads of charm and interesting personalities.
I loved this unique side-story to the Beauty and the Beast tale and am so very glad that I was able to read it.
I would recommend this novel to fans of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and to book lovers everywhere.
I received my copy of this novel as a Christmas gift from my husband and three beautiful children. I am currently seeking permission from the publishers at Disney Press to use an image of the cover artwork above.
Nicolas Calva is a slave in the mines outside of Rome. When the miners open a sealed cavern believed to hold Caesar’s treasures, Nic is forced to enter it in order to retrieve a bulla for Major General Radulf. When things go wrong inside the cavern, Nic finds himself with the bulla possessed with the magic of the Gods, a bulla people would kill for.
Determined to gain his freedom, Nic finds himself in the center of a plan to overthrow the emperor and destroy all of Rome. Nic must decide which side of the war he stands on and who he can trust. With the magic of the bulla, can Nic save Rome and gain his freedom against Rome’s most powerful enemy?
This novel originally caught my attention when I spotted book two on a shelf at my local library. Mythology has always interested me, mostly Greek and Norse mythology, so, this novel instantly appealed to me. I enjoyed this novel very much.
The characters in this novel have interesting background stories that lead to powerful personalities. Nic, for instance, is a slave, along with his sister Aurelia, who has lost both of their parents. He has not been a slave all of his life, but he has worked tirelessly as a slave for years and yet his rebellious spirit and attitude has not been abandoned. Aurelia has managed to hang onto an amazing amount of hope regarding her family despite what happened to her and all she has been through.
The settings are very interesting. Rome itself is described in detail. The buildings, the shops, the people, are described in great detail. However, locations such as the mines and a senator’s home were described differently. Their locations and outside exterior and relation to other locations were rather vague, while the inside of the home and mines were described in more detail. I found this tactic to be very interesting.
The plotline is exhilarating. The fast pace and quick rising action pull you in quickly. There are a couple slow moments, however, they help the story in more ways than you originally realize.
I would give this novel four out of five stars. I would recommend this novel to fans of Rick Riordan.
I borrowed a copy of this novel from my local library and am currently seeking permission to use an image of the cover artwork above.
Adult, Young Adult, and Teen Reviews.
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