The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Sometimes you read just the right book (or books) at just the right time and you will love them beyond reason.

Would I recommend them? Yes! They are close enough to a typical fantasy story line to be a bit fluffy and easy to read but just different and gritty enough to be page turning and wonderful. Now I just need someone to read them so we can talk about them together. But beware, I read these at just the right time when they were just what I needed and I love them beyond reason!

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The Magician’s Workshop, Volume One by Christopher Hansen and J. R. Fehr

Having loved fantasy for many years I’m often startled by people who complain about books that dump them into a new world without explaining things. Personally, jumping headfirst into a new mysterious world is one of my favorite ways to start a book.  But the authors of The Magician’s Workshop understand that not everyone (particularly young readers) may enjoy such a thing.  So they start with a bit of a disclaimer as the preface, likening trying a new book to starting summer camp. It might seem scary and uncertain, and you might not know if you’ll like it but you should try it because chances are good you will love it!

Sadly, no doubt because Mom suggested she read it, it didn’t sway my daughter.

Which is too bad because, for a young girl who likes reading books with magic in them, I still think she’d like this one.

The Magician’s Workshop dumps you straight into a pile of characters living in their crazy island world where everyone can work magic. And as the characters go about life projecting magic images, flavors and smells, the authors slowly start to introduce some of the difficulties that come in such a fantastical world. What do you think? Would you bother eating real fruit if you could eat something that tasted like fruit instead?

Would I recommend it? For a magic loving pre-teen/teen audience these books could be just the ticket. And, although I have no credentials to back it up, (remember me? I’m a woman with three daughters) I think that boys would really like these books too.  Fair warning, as it says in the beginning, this is the first of a series of books that is more like a television series. Which is true, at the end there is no real conclusion or even a cliff hanger, just a fade out until you start the next book (which is okay because volume two is available on Amazon already!).

Rosie's Book Review team 1

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

 

Solstice Blessed by Crystin Goodwin

Now, don’t get all run around the house in your undies screaming excited, this isn’t a new novel. But, by all means, get a little bit jumpy up and down excited because this is two short stories about a few favorite characters during their holiday season. 

The stories are cute, fun and holiday themed, just what the book doctor ordered for December reading.

Would I recommend it? If you are a fan of the Blessings of Myrillia Series you should certainly read these too! And if you are any kind of young adult fantasy book lover and haven’t yet been exposed to Myrillia I recommend putting Unblessed on your Christmas wish list straight away!

Book Doctors should be a thing. “Ahh Mrs. Pumpernickel, You’ve sprained your ankle, ice and elevate until you’ve read all of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and you should be as good as new.” or “It’s alright little Patsy Pipsqueak, you just have the flu. Drink lots of fluids and read Yesterday’s Doll by Cora Taylor, and you’ll be just fine.” And then doctors’ offices and pharmacy’s would have libraries and books stores attached to them and life would be so much better. Yes, I’ve convinced myself, book doctors should totally be a thing. 

The Prince’s Son by Deborah Jay

The Prince’s Son is, of course, the sequel to The Prince’s Man.

I read The Prince’s Man last year and found it to be a solid book:

“This newly created world is firm, there are no gaps or jumps of reasoning. One creature, idea, magic or bit of history flows right into the next. Characters that appear substantial at the beginning of the book do nothing but grow and evolve as their backstory unfolds behind them.

This is solidly written fantasy tale.” -myself on The Prince’s Man last year

This sequel, built as it was on such a solid foundation, continued to impress me.

The first book was very much a web of spies and lies and political maneuvering that really had me hooked. In this book what struck me was the character growth.  I loved the way the characters from the previous book grew between books and how the whiny lady at the beginning (that I could barely stand reading about) turned into the character than I’m most excited to read about in the next book. While there is a precedent in fantasy for the original whinging characters to turn into fantastic heroes by the end, it’s a trend that can feel forced enough to be questionable. Not in this book. When you build your characters with a backstory and foundation as solid as Deborah Jay has, their growth and change isn’t something to wonder over but something to enjoy!

Would I recommend it? The Prince’s Son can be read as a stand alone, you don’t have to read The Prince’s Man first, but I think you should. What would happen to order in the universe if everyone just started reading books all willy nilly and out of sequence? Chaos I tell you, chaos! Either way, if you choose to be an agent for chaos or read the books in a sensible order like proper purveyor of peace, if you are a fan of fantasy I recommend this/these books!

 

I was given a copy of this book from the author in exchange for Beta reading it, which was basically the best nerdy book lover experience ever! After reading the final copy I also agreed to post my own honest review. Thank you Deborah Jay for letting me be a part of the experience! 

The Sorcerer’s Garden by D. Wallace Peach

I have a new belief.

The word “entrails” should not be used more often than necessary, possibly never and certainly not more than once a book.

I’m not sure how often “entrails” was mentioned in The Sorcerer’s Garden but it was, per my new belief, too many times.

I am well aware that not everyone has the same beliefs as me (My own husband, for instance, can not seem to grasp the fact that sheets should never be tucked into the bottom of the bed when you go to sleep or your feet will suffocate in the confined space). To each his own. If you are of the type that does like such things, I have a book here for you that is chock full of amazingly detailed, exciting, graphic fight scenes, complete with gushing blood, rolling heads and… entrails.

If you have a similar belief system as I do, I have a book here that is hard to put down. There is a story within the story and when the main character starts showing up in the story within the story, well even a bit of entrails couldn’t stop me finding out what happened next.  And if that sentence confused you a little bit, I understand, it was a little bit confusing, but in a good muddled-for-a-purpose sort of way.

Would I recommend it? Here’s the thing, entrails aside, I didn’t love the wrapping up of the plot. Not the actual ending, that was great, but the part that would have been the Clue master proclaiming “It was Mr Green in the conservatory with the lead pipe!”  Which was sad because the rest of the book was engaging with likable characters and sprinkled with humor. But who knows, maybe it was just me. I always was more of a Colonel Mustard type, perhaps you’ll like it, just watch out for those entrails!

Rosie's Book Review team 1

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

Hey did you know that not only do I love books but I love sharing books too!?! November’s Book at the Door giveaway is open- come and enter I’d love to send you a book too!!!

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

This series starts with a young woman who was clearly caught up in all sorts of craziness. She has no family, blue hair, wicked fighting skills and delivers teeth to a bunch of chimeras on the other side of a magical door. Yet for some maddening reason knows nothing about anything.

I rolled my eyes.

Clueless protagonist, classic fantasy tale set up. Fine, it works, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

And then she meets the guy…He is of course super tall, super gorgeous, super mean looking, and, oh yes, an angel who’s in the process of trying to kill her. Of course he doesn’t because a thread of warm, fuzzy feeling pierces his cold, rotten heart once he gets a good look at her.

*cue eye rolling*

But…

Perhaps it was that I am always a sucker for a fantasy/romance/young adult or perhaps it was that the clueless protagonist and the otherworldly gorgeous man thing just works.

Or perhaps it was that once we got into the story and the main character got clued in (Not how I expected either!) and we learn more of the back story, everything was just different enough from the norm that I was willing to leave my eye rolls behind and fall headlong into the tale.

Would I recommend it? I actually ran across this series on a list of YA books for people who don’t think they like YA. And I have to say, for a young adult book it’s not heavy on the young part. The main characters are more college age and … errr …. up (Nobody really counts how old when you are talking angels…or .. resurrected souls in chimera bodies, right?).  Angel ages aside, I would agree, young adult fandom is not required for this one.  There is even a pleasing and almost surprising amount of depth for a young adult, fantasy/romance read. You probably should like fantasy though, what with the multi-world thing and the angels and the resurrected chimera (which come in all sorts of animal/human configurations) and the magic and the wishing and all that. Give it a try, even if the first few chapters make you roll your eyes and scoff, give it a chance, it gets better.

Much better!

Hey did you know that not only do I love books but I love sharing books too!?! November’s Book at the Door giveaway is open- come and enter I’d love to send you a book too!!!

The Gunslinger by Stephen King and Book at the Door Winner

The May winner of the Book at the Door giveaway is…I won a Book at the Door with Behind the Willows

Crystin Goodwin!  (Who, I might add, has released the latest in her Blessings of Myrillia series recently and while I’ll shamefully admit I haven’t yet read Ice Blessed I’m certainly going to because UnBlessed and Fire Blessed were oh so very good!)

Crystin will get both a copy of Stephen Kings, The Gunslinger and A. Mouse’s first line art mailed to her door! Thanks for playing Crystin and thanks again to the talented Mouse for her artwork!

"The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed." -Stephen King

“The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.” -Stephen King

As for The Gunslinger I know the name Stephen King brings horror to mind and that puts a large number of people off. I certainly can’t tell you there isn’t an aspect of horror to this book. But I, who hardly ever reads horror, at least on purpose, still recommend it.

The Gunslinger is the first of seven books in The Dark Tower series. ( I did mention epic fantasy in the first post right?) And I know those words, “epic fantasy” put another slew of people off, but this isn’t epic fantasy like I’ve ever encountered before. There is world building, and then there is what King did. He created a story that wove a tapestry around most of his stories, and people.  And since the guy has written a lot of books – it’s mind blowing. But, you don’t need to have extensive knowledge of his books in order to enjoy this one. In fact I would say it’s hard to appreciate the world building as you read through the series, because his (horrifically) good writing makes it too easy to get swept away in the drama, the cadence of a slightly different way of speech and the unfolding adventure. It’s not until later ,when the book is set down, that you can roll it all over in your mind and marvel at the scope of it all.

Would I recommend it? Yes. Even if you think it’s not your thing, give it a try, you might be surprised.

 

 


Book at the Door winner was chosen using a random number generator from http://www.random.org 

Artists of all kinds (Yes, you photographers and you who says you can’t draw and you who just wants to practice hand lettering and you who is selling paintings online and…all of you!) if you are interested in providing a small piece of work that includes a first sentence I would love to hear from you!  

Authors, have I read your book and tagged it as a recommended read? Would you like to donate a hard copy? Let me know!