Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Fantasy’ Category

If you read Just Ella by Haddix, then you will most likely enjoy this book, I know I did!  This book is full of palace deception, scandal, and one big secret!  Although a little unbelievable at the beginning, you get used to the whole idea that Cecilia is a princess who has been hidden away for her own protection, under the care of a knightly guardian, Sir Stephen, and old Nanny Gratine.  When she turns 14, though, Cecilia decides that it is simple not enough for her to sit about when she could be doing so much more for her country, so she and her best friend Harper set off for the capital city to confront Cecilia’s decoy, the commoner, Desmia, and take up her rightful position as leader of the country.  When they arrive, they face quite a few bumps in the road that test Cecilia’s character and morale.  I have to say that, at the point when Cecilia and Harper were locked up, she was so very whiny and weepy, all she seemed to care about was that her crown was lost and that Desmia was a horrid girl!  Very annoying!  She does rectify her actions later on in the book, multiple times.  In the end, the book takes a very surprising turn (although, when you think about it, you could kind of see it coming the entire time)  and the ending has a refreshing twist!  If you are thinking about reading this book but have not yet read Just Ella, I recommend that you read that first to become familiar with what is going on politically in the world that these girls live in and to meet a character that makes a cameo appearance in this book.  I loved Cecilia’s character, she was everything that I could want in a heroine; caring, witty, strong, courageous, with a touch of imperfection that makes her real!  I truly enjoyed this book and any fantasy buff will love this book too!  I urge you to give this book a try!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookmarks!

Reviewed by: Austen A.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I was very excited to read this book, and I was enjoying it as I started reading, but the farther I got into the book, the more disappointed I became with how the plot was unraveling.  Pearl was found in the sea as a child and grew up to be extraordinarily unusual appearance wise.  Her skin was virtually transparent, her hair silvery.  She suffered as an outcast from the village, the only thing that kept her sane were her weekly meetings with her best friend, a boy she had met on the beach, the prince, James.  Now, I had guessed that this was a retelling of the Little Mermaid, but the angle that the author took was completely unappealing to me.  You can tell that James was going to propose to Pearl, but then come along a mermaid and her brother and they ruin the whole thing.  The mermaid falls in love with James and the merman has been in love with Pearl forever, and all of a sudden, the four of them are tangled up in a plot to James’s father, the king.  Towards the end the whole story became very silly and I was very much sick of it!  Throughout the entire book, I had been hoping that James and Pearl would end up together, but it ended up that Pearl and the merman end up together, whereas the mermaid gets James!  I was very upset!  But don’t let this deter you from reading this book if the plot sounds interesting to you.  If you like what you hear, then I urge you to read this book, if not, then don’t read it.  My opinion, in general, is that this book was silly and took a very wrong turn and ended up as a train wreck.  But that’s just me.

I give this book 3 out of 5 bookmarks!

Reviewed by: Austen A.

Read Full Post »

The Night Dance by Suzanne Weyn was, in my opinion, a good book!  As you might have noticed by reading some of my other reviews, I am  a fan of Suzanne Weyn’s work!  This is another of those “Once upon a time…” books, this one being a twist on one of my favorite fairy tales, the Twelve Dancing Princesses.  Now, just a few books before reading this, I had read another rendition of this same tale, titled Princess of the Midnight Ball, so it was interesting to compare and contrast.  This is the story of lively Rowena, the youngest of twelve sisters.  The girls’ father, Sir Ethan, has locked his daughters in their manor, forbidding them to ever leave, afraid he might loose them as he did their mother.  Rowena, though, manages to slip out and eventually convinces her sisters to sneak out and go dancing each night with her.  The other main character is part of Arthurian legend, the knight named Bedivere.  While searching for the Lady of the Lake, trying to return Excalibur, he meets Rowena and they are instantly smitten with each other.  Bedivere accepts Sire Ethan’s challenge to find out where the girls go at night and to win Rowena’s hand in marriage.  I enjoyed this book.  I don’t know that I would say it’s one of my favorites, but I didn’t dislike it.  I loved the Arthurian legends mixed in and I liked Bedivere and Rowena.  Rowena, although somewhat clever, and a tad brave, was a little too damsel-in-distress-like for me.  She needed too much saving!  I mean, I like a female heroine with a bit of a vulnerable side, but she can’t be in need of a guy to constantly come in and save her.  She was a bit annoying.  I have to say that even though I really did like this book. Between the two that I’ve read based on this tale, I liked Princess of the Midnight Ball much better, but then again, that’s just my opinion.  If you think this one sounds more interesting, don’t read the other instead, just because of what I’ve said!

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookmarks!

Reviewed by: Austen A.

Read Full Post »

This book, Sunlight and Shadow, was a book that I do not want to read again.  Based on Mozart’s opera, The Magic Flute, this book started out well.  The character interaction was interesting, the story line was moving at a good pace, and the whole idea seemed truly interesting!  Mina is the daughter of Sarastro, Mage of the Day and Pamina, Queen of the Night.  mina was born on the longest night of the darkest month of the year.  Mina grew up with her mother, never aloud to be seen by her father until he stole her away at age sixteen to choose her suitor.  Her mother was furious and lured in a prince and convinced him to rescue Mina in return for her hand in marriage.  After reading about all of the characters’ histories for more than one third of the book and then finally getting to the actual plot, I was not so sure about how this book would turn out anymore.  Sure, it made many valiant attempt to redeem itself, but it failed.  Horribly.  The end of the book was definitely not what I had hoped for!  The climax of the book was very cheesy, sappy and rushed.  The back of the book describes a great quest that Mina and her prince embark on, but the book spends less than one fifth of the book on this fantastic adventure. I don’t really recommend this book to anyone who has something else to read.

I give this book 3 out of 5 bookmarks!

Reviewed by: Austen A.

Read Full Post »

I truly enjoyed Princess of the Midnight Ball!  This is a totally new twist on an age old classic, The Twelve Dancing Princesses.  If you are a fairy tale junkie, this is definitely a book you should look into, and even if you aren’t a big fan of fantasy, there’s still a good dose of adventure, family troubles and true love.  Either way, I think you should give this book a go!  What I loved about this book is the strong resolve of the hero, Galen.  Nothing can stop him from saving the Princesses, even when he was denied access to the castle and various resources, he worked it out.  In this version of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, the girls are forced to dance each night, bound by a contract that their mother made before her death, to dance for 24 years in return for 12 daughters and the end of their war.  Another difference is that the many princes who tried and failed to discover the cause of the princesses’ worn out slippers, all died tragic deaths, and because of their deaths, the princesses are then tried for witchcraft.  My favorite character in the book would have to be Lily, she is the oldest after Rose, because she can be motherly and sweet one moment and then the next moment, she’s throwing knives and firing a pistol at their pursuers!  I loved the fact that she was not a push over like many of her sisters, although she didn’t have the cunning that Rose had, she was definitely NOT defenseless!  Overall, this book is filled with quirky and fun characters, and with 12 girls of various ages and personalities, there’s bound to be someone that the reader will be able to connect with.  I think that this is an eloquently written book full of things for everyone!  So if you need a distraction this summer, pick up Princess of the Midnight Ball, and I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookmarks!

Reviewed by: Austen A.

Read Full Post »

I loved the book Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock!  A fantastical book about a girl locked away in a tower after being orphaned by her evil aunt, Queen Sophia.  Princess Benevolence or Princess Ben is starving and miserable up in her tiny closet of a room.  But during her confinement, she stumbles upon a secret room and gains magical powers!  Her lessons consist of walking through walls, learning to fly and duplicating herself!  All while trying to act, dance, and speak like a princess and attend royal balls and banquets!  And she might even manage to save her country from not only war, but chaos from a classic beast!  This is a fun filled story with lots of surprising twists and turns!  If you have read any of my other reviews, you can tell that this is definitely right up my alley!  Magic, adventure, evil queens, unlikely love and an amazing main character!  Ben is a great female main character, I think, because she is definitely not perfect and embraces that fact, she is witty and sarcastic, and has talent that, when unleashed, is amazing!  I would recommend this book to all fantasy-loving readers, boys and girls, and even to those who tend to shy away from fantasy might enjoy this book!  What are Ben’s magical powers?  Will Ben save her country?  What kind of beast might she best?  Read Princess Ben to find out and I think you will definitely be satisfied with what you read!  I know I was!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookmarks!

Reviewed by: Austen A.

Read Full Post »

I really enjoyed the book Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.  As you know, the movie has recently come out, I have yet to see it, but I can only hope that it does this terrific book justice!  Inkheart is a book about a book called Inkheart.  Twelve year old Meggie and her father Mo are crazy about books, their house is filled to the brim!  But Mo never reads aloud because of his magical gift to bring stories to life.  One night he reads aloud from Inkheart and he accidently lures the evil ruler, Capricorn, his superstitious henchman, Basta and the lowly fire eater, Dustfinger, out of their story and into his own, but in reading them out of the book, Mo reads his wife into it.  The characters disappear for years, until one day, Dustfinger shows up at the door and Mo, Meggie and Meggie’s great aunt Elinor are swept up into an adventure full of danger, bloodthirsty villians, fairies, eccentric writers, betrayal and a brave, young heroine who saves the day.  At the beginning, this story is fun and easy to read, but at about a fourth of the way in, I personally think that the story gets a little dry.  I was ready to put the book down for good, but my mom, who had already read the book, told me that I should read a few more chapters, give one last chance.  So, I did, and I am glad that I listened.  After a few more chapters, the story really picked up again.  So, if you get a little stuck, just keep pushing forward and hopefully, the story will pick up for you as well.  I ended up loving this book, and I recommend this book to everyone, this is a great story about life, imagination, books, and good always trumping evil.  Will Mo and Meggie be able to harness the evil magic that brought the characters to life?  What other sort of fun, eccentric or dangerous characters will Mo and Meggie meet along the way?  Read Inkheart to find out, but be warned, I wouldn’t dare read it aloud!

 

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookmarks!

 

Reviewed by: Austen A.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »