Fletcher lives in a small village where he works as a blacksmith’s apprentice. When he accidentally discovers that he has a rare ability to summon demons from the ether, his whole world turns upside down. After fleeing his village for a crime he did not commit, he finds his way to the school for young summoners where he hopes to learn the art of summoning.
The king and the school are becoming more desperate for battlemages. This desperation has led to the school allowing first years to participate in the tournament that allows them to demonstrate their skills in order to obtain a favorable position in the king’s army. With his fellow students, both commoners and nobles, Fletcher endures grueling lessons that help to prepare them for the tournament. But prejudices and rivalries will test his new friendships and his limits. Will Fletcher survive the tournament or will the sinister forces working against him prevail?
A compelling read where Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings to create a whole new hero. I have read both good and bad reviews of this novel and was unsure what my own opinion would be.
The character of Fletcher is a happy combination of poor, skilled country boy and quick, inquisitive, natural learner. His survival skills, learned from growing up in a small village near the wilderness, enable him to see and learn things differently than the other students. However, at the same time, they are not obtrusive when it comes to his ability to form friends. In fact, they help.
The plot line is somewhat slow, with little action and more character interactions and building. That said, there are moments of action, some intense. As I stated in my synopsis summary, a large portion of this novel has the main character in school. Therefore, this was not unexpected.
I would give this book four out of five stars and would recommend this novel to fans of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Lord of the Rings.
I bought my copy of this novel from bookoutlet.com and am currently seeking permission from the publishers to use an image of the cover artwork above.
Fifteen-year-old Emma just moved to a new city with her mother and her little brother. Their apartment building is still under construction, so regular power outages are not uncommon. When the power goes out just as they are leaving for a weekend camping trip, they don’t think much of it. That is until their car won’t start and their cell phones die. Not to mention all of the cars that are no longer working, parked on the road outside their building.
Since they are already packed for their trip, Emma’s ex-marine mother decides they will take their gear and canoe to a small, uninhabited island. As the outage continues, people become desperate and suddenly things are far from safe as the threat of violence increases.
What would happen if suddenly the things that you use and count on everyday suddenly quit working? Would you know how to get food and water? How to build a fire?
Personally, I am not the biggest fan of post-apocalyptic fiction. They’re so realistic. This novel, however, I found to be a great read that helped highlight our dependence on modern technology and convenience. When the power mysteriously quits working, the citizens in Emma’s new city home don’t handle it well because very few of them have the knowledge that allows them to survive without it. The longer the power remains out, the more desperate everyone becomes, bringing out the strengths and the weaknesses of each individual, as well as, bringing out the worst in them.
The setting allowed me, as the reader, to envision this happening nearly anywhere. Usually being able to imagine this sort of scenario in my own backyard would be one of the reasons I would not have enjoyed this novel but for some reason that was not the case here.
Reading this novel made me extremely thankful to family and friends who taught me how to grow food, build fires and shelters, and purify water throughout the years.
This book is listed, on Goodreads, as the fourth book in The Power of Three series by Eric Walters. However, since the main character shifts for this installment, I was able to read it without any difficulty or confusion. The author himself has informed me that the fourth book can be read without reading the first three.
I was happily surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel and would give it four out of five stars.
I would recommend this novel to fans of post-apocalyptic fiction such as The Road.
I won my copy of this novel on LibraryThing.com for the sole purpose of providing an honest review.
The Order of St. George has been hunting dragons for centuries, nearly to the point of extinction. They are dragon slayers, legends of old, with a mission to protect the human race from the mighty, fire-breathing beasts.
Dragons have prevailed, however, hiding among us, blending into our society in their human forms. Talon, a powerful dragon organization, has managed to slowly grow their numbers, becoming stronger and more cunning with each passing year. They have positioned themselves across the globe, ready to take over the world, with the humans none the wiser.
Ember Hill wants to experience her one summer of freedom before being assigned her official place in Talon. With her brother, Dante, they are the only sister and brother known to dragon kind and they have a mission; to spend the summer learning how to assimilate themselves into human society. When Ember encounters a rogue dragon, however, she will begin to question all that Talon has taught her, all the while being hunted by the Order of St. George.
Garret Xavier Sebastian is a soldier for the Order of St. George. He has been trained to seek out and destroy dragons. Since the older the dragon the harder to kill, Talon’s youngest recruits are the perfect targets, easier to kill with less experience. Garret cannot kill without absolute proof that his target is a dragon. When Garret and his partner are sent to flush out a new hatchling, all evidence points to Ember and her brother Dante. Ember is confident and brave and has a zeal for life that makes Garret question everything St. George has taught him about dragons.
This novel has been on my “want-to-read” list since it was released in 2014. With the dragon-slaying Order of St. George and the Talon organization, I had a somewhat medieval fantasy realm in my mind just waiting to be revealed. I was wrong.
This novel is not set in a fantastical medieval realm but rather in modern day California, where we first meet the young dragons, Ember and Dante. They go surfing and hang out at the local smoothie shop. They are in many ways, average American teenagers.
Ember’s character is developed in a way that, at certain instances, you can almost forget that she is actually a fire-breathing dragon.
It is not uncommon in young adult novels to find that the characters, despite their young ages, have their lives figured out. They also often appear older than they are. These reasons, along with others, can sometimes be a deterrent to readers. I found Ember to defy the norms. She is confused, she doesn’t know what she wants, she doesn’t know what to think and she comes across as a teenager. Dante is the exact opposite, but he is surprisingly a minor character in the grand scheme of the story.
At the beginning of this novel, Garret is the perfect soldier; he doesn’t need to know anything besides how to do his job. Until he is sent to discover whether or not Ember is a dragon in disguise. The more time he spends with Ember and her friends, the more he begins to come across as a teenager.
The plot line follows their experiences over the summer. Ultimately that means that the level of intense action is subdued, but not necessarily in a bad way. Instead we see both Ember and Garret trying to learn how to behave like teenagers and learn that there are aspects to life they love that they have never been able to experience before.
I would give this novel 4.5 stars out of five and would recommend it to readers who enjoy clean romance and dragon fantasy novels.
I received my copy of this novel from my husband for Valentine’s Day.
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.
Adult, Young Adult, and Teen Reviews.
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