Title: Wildthorn
Author: Jane Eagland
Genre: YA, Historical
Source: E-book from Netgalley.com

This book took me completely by surprise. I had requested it without knowing much about it. I loved the corset on the cover and that imagery combined with my penchant for only hearing about paranormal novels lately, helped me to convince myself that this was a steampunk novel of some sort. I was very wrong! In reality, this is a novel about blossoming sexuality and self awareness. This is a story about a girl living in a time when being individual meant you would likely be convicted as insane. This is a story about a family who just doesn't function. While the material is much more serious than paranormals, it was a good read. I was engrossed in the story the entire way!

Christmas Gifts

Merry Christmas!

I hope your holiday was joyous and filled with all the tasty treats and heartfelt gifts you could ever want. Did Santa get you what you asked for?   My stocking was filled with presents for my husband and I to share...mostly video games and movies. This is good! But there was one present that was just for me....from my Book Blogger Holiday Swap friend, Sam from Parenthetical.net

Samantha sent me a package packed with all this fun stuff. There was a card with a cute lil robot envelope, three book plates, a place holder, some chocolate, and a pretty wrapped present (it's hard to see in this picture, but under all the other goodies is the wrapped package).

Here's an up close of the chocolate that she sent me. Her note said that this was made just down the street from her home, which just makes it better in my book. I love locally made things - even if they aren't my local. :) Plus, chocolate!

This is the card. The robot from the envelope was also on the card. So cute! This is quite possibly my favorite card this year.

The present itself contained these two novels. The Good Neighbors is a hard back graphic novel. I'm interested to get into it. I've read other books by Holly Black and have enjoyed them.  Then there is The Knife of Never Letting Go. This book comes with a personal recommendation from Sam, which just makes this novel all the more interesting. These books jumped to the top of my to-be-read pile. I'm so excited about receiving them. 

Samantha, thank you for wonderful presents!

Is it December already?

Oh hi! Bet you thought I had completely forgotten about you. I didn't. I promise. I've been thinking about you quite a lot, but the world has just been too busy for me to find time to blog. But I have been reading and a whole boat load of other things I want to share with you.

First, I posted about this during November, but I have an update. I attempted NaNoWriMo for a second time this year. It was quite scary as I didn't have any real ideas until the weekend before....and even those were just pictures on a poster board. But, it seems that the collage worked.

And I'm still not actually finished. I hit the 50,000 required words, but I"m not at the end of my story. My plan is to pick it back up during Christmas break....see if I can finish it.

Oh! Also, I want to mention the book blogger  holiday swap...

I've already mailed out my gift.....I hope the receiver enjoys it!  And I received my package...It's sitting under the tree, tempting me with it's colorful paper and cards. I really want to give into temptation and open it, but I'm going to be good and restrain myself...Christmas isn't that far away! I'll share pictures with you when I've opened it.

And then reviews.....I have a pile of them to get through, an ebook, a YA novel or two, and a few romances...some are from November...some from Dec. It will be busy on this here blog. :)

How's December looking for you?

No Posts in November

I'm not dead. I swear. I'm participating in NaNoWriMo. Every extra moment I have is spent busily trying to get to my 50,000 word goal. I have been reading as well. Surprisingly, I've managed to get through three books, even with the writing. There will be posts / reviews when the month is over.

How about you? What have you been busy with?

Ink Exchange -Quick 'n Dirty

Title: Ink Exchange
Author: Melissa Marr
Genre: YA, fantasy
Source: Public Library

I am here to admit I made a mistake. I read this series out of order. In fact, I had absolutely no idea that Ink Exchange was part of the Wicked Lovely series. I made assumptions based on title similarities and not much else. I'm a dork.

That being said, upon reading this novel so many things now make sense. When I read and reviewed Fragile Eternity, I enjoyed it, it does stand on its own.....but there were still several things that didn't fit quite right. This novel fixed those. New characters are introduced, old friends are given the chance to shine, and step A actually does lead to step B. Wee! Don't you just love it when things make sense?

Naked Heat

Title: Naked Heat
Author: Richard Castle
Genre: Crime Fiction, Mystery
Source: Public Library

This is the second real world published novel by Richard Castle. If you're a fan of the show, you should have no reason to not enjoy these novels. Each is almost exactly like reading an episode of Castle, the tv show. The almost is changed up with just a couple minor changes....the characters have different names, and the romance is much more heated. What's not to enjoy? Plus, there is always the added bonus of knowing you're reading a fictional novel written by a fictional character.

Devil Bones

Title: Devil Bones
Author: Kathy Reichs
Genre: mystery
Source: public library

Bones! Have you seen the show? I love it. There is just something that works about the combination of characters, forensic science, and cop show / mystery. Knowing this, I'm not sure what took me so long to try out the books......I'm glad I finally did though.

This novel finds Brennen working hard to solve a mystery that involves a literal witch hunt and the possibility of human sacrifices.

The things I find most interesting about this novel are the little differences from the show. Don't get me wrong; I expected there to be differences. These just appeared in ways I wasn't expecting.  The characters and personalities that make the show click, for me, aren't available per se. See, all of these characters are parts of Dr. Brennen's own personality. It took a bit of adjustment....especially the bits were Brennen isn't the socially awkward geek that I love. All the rest is there though. The crime, the forensics, the gory science details (which btw, require you to be very science savvy), the strange quirks....all there. Awesomeness!

Overall: No, they aren't the same as the series, but very close. Yes, if you like the science in the show, these will be great for you. Yes, you can read them out of order - this is her most recent novel, but my first novel.  Yes, I'll definitely be reading more.

Flight of the Night Hawks

Author: Raymond E. Feist
Title: Flight of the Night Hawks ~ Book 1 of the Darkwar Saga
Genre: Fantasy
Source: public library

Don't you just love going into a book store or library and finding out a favorite author has new books out that you've never heard of? It's like Christmas. This is how I discovered the newest series within a series by Mr. Feist. Apparently, the universe was hiding these from me and the library felt it was time to let me know they existed.

I love the worlds that Feist has created.  They fit together so neatly and form several little series within the main series. It's always interesting to see where each new mini-series will take the overarching storyline.

What I liked:
1. While this series is taking place several years after most of the other stories, there are still familiar characters. This is one of the perks of having non-aging characters I suppose. The main ones can continue on and we can get the children / grand-children of other beloved characters to fill in the gaps.

2. The familiar characters above never feel hokey or out-dated. Sometimes characters just get old. Luckily, these characters seem to know their place in time and within the stories.

3. The action is still there. While not a constant thrill ride, there are several small things that occur and a few big things that set everyone on edge. Definitely a fun read!

What I didn't like:
1. Apparently, I'm something like four years behind on reading novels I really enjoy. Feist's novels were some of the first fantasy novels I read and enjoyed. It's weird to me to not know there were new books.

Overall: I'm glad I finally made it into the loop and was able to read this book. For fantasy readers, especially ones who enjoy series, this is definitely a book for you. It is written to stand alone, but it will make much more sense if you read the rest of the sagas first.

Fragile Eternity

Title: Fragile Eternity 
Author: Melissa Marr
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy
Source: public library

This review is a long time coming. I read this book over a month ago. I can't even explain why I've been sitting on it and not actually blogging it. Maybe I'm crazy......or more likely busy, tired, and somewhat lazy when it comes to my free time, lately.

For some reason I didn't know that this was book three. When the cover said sequel, I thought they meant literal this-is-the-next-book sequel. I apparently didn't do enough pre-research and just assumed that this was book three and the other books were a separate series. They do have different types of names and covers.  It doesn't really matter though. In this case assuming worked out well. I enjoyed the book and was only the tiniest bit of lost at the beginning.

What I liked:
1. While this is actually book three, I had no problem following the story line. All the characters I enjoyed getting to know in Wicked Lovely were still central to the plot.

2. I'm surprised to find out that this is book three as the plot hasn't moved forward much. I'd expect to be onto a whole different set of problems, issues, scenarios....but realistically the main difference is the addition of a couple new characters.

3. I still love the way the faerie realm is portrayed within these novels. There is all the drama and hierarchy associated with Fae courts, but mixed in is the dramatics of being a human teenager.

What I didn't like:
1. Not knowing that the book I read wasn't actually the next one. Some of this is my fault, but some lays on the publisher / cover artist. Please find a new word. Sequel means next in my mind. Could you at least number the books?

2. There were characters introduced within this story who were very hard to get to know. Upon reflection I'm sure this is due to my reading the novels out of order. However, it was very off-putting while reading.

Overall:  Fragile Eternity, while it may sound like the name of the newest designer perfume, is actually more enjoyable. I wouldn't recommend skipping book two, but seeing as I have, it's not the end of the world if you do. If you've read Wicked Lovely, I would definitely recommend enjoying the rest of the series too.

Read-a-thon ending

This is it for me folks. 

I really wanted to make it to the 24 hour mark. I'm close. We are in hour 20....so only four hours to go. Unfortunately, I just can't keep my eyes open any long. I was nodding off while reading.....I'm having trouble spelling everything correctly. I'm calling it a day....mid-book.
I'm currently 36 pages into Naked Heat.

Total time spent reading: 14.5 hours
Total books read: 3 and a lil bit
Total pages read: 742

I'm proclaiming this a satisfactory participation day. 

Good luck to those of you who can make it to the end!!!

Read-a-thon update...still going

Book 3 finished! This one was a surprise read. My husband, an author, finished a new novel yesterday. He printed it out for me to read/proofread today. I don't know how much proofing I did, but I definitely read.

Title: Untrue Tales book 4 (ARC)
Author: Teel McClanahan III
Pages: 146
                                        Total pages read so far: 705 !

OMG!!! I can't believe I'm still at this. Part of me wants to go to sleep now....but part of me wants to see this thing out. I. can. do. it. I. can. do. it. We. can.do. it. We. can. do. it.

Read-a-thon update, again

The read-a-thon is in hour 16 and I'm done with book #2!!!!
Title: Devil Bones
Author: Kathy Reichs
Page count: 304          
Total pages read today: 559
Blogs visited: 3    (Fizzy Thoughts, Multigenre Fan, Miss Wisabus)

Mid Read-a-thon challenge

Can you believe it is hour 12 already?  I don't feel like I've been reading for half the day....but then.....distractions of my own making. Oh well!

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?  Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs

2. How many books have you read so far? This is my second book, but I chose to start with a big one.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? The new Richard Castle book. Yes, I read fiction by fictional characters.

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? A few, but mostly just okaying it with my hubby.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? I've created a couple interruptions of my own. They were mostly accidental....such as needing to go shopping for clothes that fit me, today, because of a one-day sale. I'm trying to space the distractions out to mid-book and between books.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How much support from non-reading bloggers there is. It's awesome!

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?  I think it's great and working fine this way.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? I'm going to do it again.....hopefully, next time without the self-made distractions.

9. Are you getting tired yet?  Not tired, but relaxed enough I could take a nap...that's what my weekends are usually for, so I'm having to fight that urge.

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? Ummmm...lemme get back to you on this one.

Read-a-thon update

I'm back from distraction #2.  I'll be starting a new book here in a few seconds and wanted to let you know about it.

Title: Devil Bones
Author: Kathy Reichs
Pages 304 +   (There is a Q&A in the back of the book, but I think I'll skip that for today).
Progress so far: Haven't even read word one.

Happy Read-a-Thon!

Read-a-thon update

Book one down!

Flight of the Night Hawks by Raymond E Feist

Total pages read today: 255!

Also, I feel bad. I want to visit other blogs, encourage the other participants, but I'm finding enough distractions on my own. Eeep!

Hour 2 challenge

 The hour two mini-challenge  is hosted by Miss Wisabus. I love this challenge! She wants to know about my childhood book favorites....that I can do!

1. I am still deeply in love with the Bugg Books by Steven Crosgrove. He's the author that did the Leo the Lop books. Wonderful! I have such fond memories of the Buggs and their world......even though only a few people believe they existed. My own mother doesn't even remember me having them. I found a few recently, but my funding was to low to start my collection. If you see them anywhere, think of me!

2. The Babysitters Club. I had all of them. ALL OF THEM. I think I may have even been a member of their book club. Sadly, sometime around high school, I needed the drawer/shelf space  and I was forced into giving the books away. Now that they are coming back out, I'm interested in seeing them.

3. When I got older, the novel Christie went with me everywhere....for a while. I can't say what it is, but there is just something about Mountain life that interests me. I still have a fascination with blue-grass music, which I give this book inspiration for.

4. I still read YA novels all the time.....just visit about half of my blog posts. They are fun and cover interesting topics. Lately, I've also been using my YA reading habits to stock my "lending" shelf in my classroom. It's awesome!

Dewey's Read-a-Thon

In celebration of surviving another block teaching, I'm going to spend today participating in Dewey's Read-a-Thon. There is still plenty of time to join, if you'd like. This is my first time participating in one of these.....I'm excited!   

If you are interested in participating, all the information you need is here. In case you're daunted by the idea of reading non-stop for 24 hrs....no worries! There are cheerleaders with distractions and encouragement, there are mini-challenges, and you can always take a break and update your blog to let everyone know how you're doing (which will be a challenge within itself, for me).

I missed the hour one challenge, but I'll head over to do the hour two soon!

And before I go:    Book Status Update
Reading: Flight of the Night Hawks: Book 1 
Author: Raymond E. Feist
Page Count: 92 / 347

Short Story Collections

Anthologies conjure thoughts of large collections of short stories by authors you mostly don't know of.  You'll read story after story. Some good some bad.  But I don't really want to talk about those.  I'm curious if there is a name for those short story collections that are usually no longer than a novel in length. They only contain around four stories all usually with the same theme. Understand what I'm talking about? I'm reviewing two below. What would you call these?

Title: Many Bloody Returns
Authors: Various, Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, and Kelley Armstrong highlighted.Genre: Paranormal, romance, short stories
Source: Library

This collection has the over arching theme of birthdays.  Some have a stronger connection to the theme than others. Some of the stories are new, or in worlds that are new to me, while others are happily familar. For example: I'm positive I've read the Charlaine Harris' story before....Eric's excited about Dracula's birthday. It's a fun lil vignette that gives a side to Eric's character that isn't often seen in the novels.  This whole collection is a fun read, but nothing phenomenal.

Title: Love at First Bite
Authors: Sherrilyn Kenyon, LA Banks, Susan Squires, and Ronda Thompson
Genre: Paranomal, romance, short stories
Source: Library

This collection only has the four stories, and they are all in worlds I've yet to set eyes on. This is partly why I chose to read this collection. I've heard good things about each author but for whatever reason haven't picked up their books.  Three of the stories are about vampires and one is werewolfs.  Generally, I really enjoyed this collection. While there was one story that I just had trouble getting through....an odd mix of Hispanic and Native legends smashed with a coming of age vampire hunter story.......I did enjoy the experience on the whole. I've even added Ronda Thompson's Wulf series to my library request list.  This is a great collection to find a new favorite author from.

A few thoughts..

1. BlogFest was awesome! I loved seeing all the comments and gaining new friends/followers.

2. I miss seeing comments on my reviews and other posts.

3. To help remedy the above, I will be venturing out of my own little world to interact and comment more on other blogs.

4. What can I do to facilitate more interactions / blog love here?

5. Anything you really want to see here that I don't already do?

BlogFest 2010 Winner!

I'm proud to announce that the winner of my fantasy reader gift bundle is:
Melissa @ Books R Us

Thank you all, again, for participating! BlogFest 2010 was a huge success!
Melissa, I'll be emailing you.

BlogFest 2010 Ends

BlogFest 2010 has come to a close. Thank you all for participating! 
I had so much fun working through the blogs, visiting some I've never seen before, entering contests. 
I hope you had fun too!

I can't believe how many people turned out to enter my contest! 
Seriously. I didn't expect this much of a response.
And several of you joined my followers! Awesome!

You're probably waiting for a winner announcement....you'll just have to wait. 
This is a filler post. I'll do another post soon with the winner's name. 

BlogFest 2010 is here!

Welcome to stop #204 on the BlogFest tour! 
Glad to see you....hope you stay a while. 

As part of the BlogFest, I'm offering a bundle for fantasy readers.

The bundle includes a hardback edition of The River Kings' Road by Liane Merciel, a Way of Kings backpack, and a some bookmarks. This is an awesome bundle for a fantasy reader! It's just looking for a great home.

Giveaway is open to US residents only. Sorry international folks - I just can't afford it.
To Enter:

1. Leave a comment with your name and email (so I can contact you if you win)
2. Tell me what your favorite fantasy novel is.
3. When you're done here, head on over to Fiction Flurry for the next stop.

Also, Don't forget about the massive BlogFest 2010 grand giveaway!  Head on over to http://ajourneyofbooks.halfzero.net and click on the Tracking Site link ( or go to http://ajourneyofbooks.com/blogfest/ to head to our own exclusive tracking site.  Once there you can register with a valid email address (to be used solely for the purpose of contacting the winner).  This site will allow you to track your progress through BlogFest 2010!  You can log on from anywhere at any time and continue where you left off.  The best part is that every blog that you visit and mark off through this tracking site will give you one entry into the massive giveaway!  We have a great collection of books, goodies and other swag that is looking for a new home!

 Good Luck! Hope you enjoy BlogFest 2010!

The Iron Daughter & Winter's Passage

Title: The Iron Daughter
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA, fantasy, paranormal
Source: ARC from NetGalley

I had no choice. This novel is actually the reason I joined NetGalley. I read, reviewed, and raved about the first novel in this series previously. I couldn't resist the opportunity to read this one. As I expected, I loved it!

Blurb from author's site:   Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron Fey, iron-bound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's alone in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

Ms. Kagawa successfully crafts a world where all the fae you've ever heard about entwine, frolick, and mix with their humans....and their readers. It's easy to get lost in this world.

Title: Winter's Passage
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA, fantasy, paranormal, novella
Source: ARC from NetGalley

This novella actually should be read between The Iron King and The Iron Daughter. It is a bit strange to read it after the first two books....which is what I did. It's like looking back on a memory. This story covers the events that happen between the two. It gives more information about Megan's  and Ash's relationship. If you are one of those choice a team people....this story will help cement your position.

Blurb from author's site:   WINTER'S PASSAGE,a free novella in the Iron Fey series will be available for download June 1st. It takes place between THE IRON KING and THE IRON DAUGHTER and follows Meghan and Ash on their perilous journey deep into the heart of Winter. Check out EnterTheFaeryWorld.com for more details. 

Clockwork Angel

Title: Clockwork Angel ~ Book 1 of The Infernal Devices
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA, steampunk, paranormal, fantasy
Source: I recieved this ARC for free from Simon & Schuster at the SanDiego Comicon.

I have been waiting....and waiting....and watching for this book. I actually squealed and got giddy when the S&S rep handed me a copy! Here's the thing though, I had no idea what I was getting into. I've not read any of Ms. Clare's other novels. I've heard good things about them, but it just hasn't happened yet. I fell in love with the cover of this one the instant it was unveiled. Luckily, the novel inside lived up to its awesome cover.

Quick summary from publisher:
When sixteen-year old orphan Tessa Fell's older brother suddenly vanishes, her search for him leads her into Victorian-era  London's dangerous supernatural underworld, and when she discovers that she herself is a Downworlder, she must learn to trust the demon-killing Shadowhuters if she ever wants to learn to control her powers and find her brother.

What I like:
1. I love the variety of characters.  While the roles are basic, stock, roles - the caregiver, the innocent, the trouble maker, even the bumbling professor - the characters that Clare built to fill these roles are truly one of a kind. They are interesting, some times mysterious, and likable. 

2.  This story seamlessly blends the world of Victorian England with a world where society has sub-levels of paranormal.....and, while brief, steampunk. This is a world where monsters are still monsters and society at large doesn't know/ readily accept. It also isn't a traditional over the top steampunk novel. There are flashes of it, even some characters who are more robot than human, but that is about all. Just enough of both to keep the story interesting and lively.

3. I didn't need to have had read any of the previous series to understand and enjoy this one. I was a bit afraid that this series may somehow tie into the other....but those worries were put aside quickly.

What I dislike:
1. I'm tired of love triangles. I can name a dozen YA books, off the top of my head, that involve the heroine having to decided between to seemingly equal partners. Here is another. I understand that triangles hold a built in conflict maker, but seriously.....isn't there some other form of conflict you can insert besides jealousy?

Overall,  I'm still excited that I was able to read this novel! It gave me everything I was hoping for....and a bit more. I can't wait for the other novels in this series to come out....and I'm quickly adding Ms. Clare's Mortal Instruments series to my TBR list.

These are the fairies of the old tales...

Title: Wicked Lovely
Author: Melissa Marr
Genre: YA, fantasy
Source: e-reader, free through Kindle (a while ago)

Don't get me wrong, I love fairy tales of all types, but it is nice to read a story where the fae are what I grew up expecting. They might be pretty and shiny, but they are also michevious, self-serving, and dangerous to the humans who catch their attention.

I also enjoyed the relationship between Aislinn and Seth. She's trying so hard to protect herself and him. He loves her.  I have high hopes for them in the following books.

My only complaint is that Aislinn seems to be willing to break "the rules" (which are clearly laid out and that she repeats often) too easily. The consquences are too easily dealt with. It's a bit disconcerting to have this danger played up throughout the novel and then so readily dismissed.

Overall:  I'm glad I snagged a copy of this. I've already added the rest of the series to my reading list.

Comicon Shwag!

This is my obligatory, almost too late for it to mean much, SanDiego Comicon post. Did you know that many of our favorite publishers have booths at the con? How about the fact that many of them are giving out ARCs and other book related goodies? I didn't. I was completely clueless! In fact, it took much razzing by my husband to get me to even be willing to ask for the freebies. I know it was expected, but it just felt wrong....maybe selfish ...at first. I soon got over it.....to the tune of five bags filled with books and goodies!

This is my favorite set of goodies. The Penguin Group were giving out these awesom Vlad Todd bags. There was a different color every day and they encouraged attendees to come by and collect them. I became obsessed with them. Just a wee bit. I think at one point I was scheduling the events I wanted to see around when I could get a bag. Yes, I'm a dork....a happy, book bag lovin' dork.

The colors aren't nearly as shockingly bright in the photo as they are in reality. The yellow and orange are nearly blinding. Purple and blue are my favorites.

Piles o' books! I picked up a few every day....and a whole bunch on Sunday. Mostly they are ARCs.

On left: Procession of the Dead by Darren Shan, Shift by Tim Kring, The Electric Church by Jeff Somers, The Search for Wondla by Tony Diterlizzi, Feed by Mira Grant, Blood Prophecy by Stefan Petrucha, and Lucan by Susan Kearney.

On right: Matched by Ally Condie, Hero by Mike Lupica, Pleasure Model by Christopher Rowley, Clockwork Angel  by Cassandra Clare, Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, Dark Days and Wicked Nights - Sampler, Frankenstein's Monster by Susan H. O'Keefe, The Prometheus Project by Douglas E. Richards,  and Star Trek (movie novelization) by Alan Dean Foster.

There were a few allusive books. I really wanted Boneshaker, but had misread the schedule and stood in line on the wrong day. There were a couple others I would have loved to get ahold of like, Unicorns vs. Zombies, but they disappeared before I could even get there.  All in all a great load of books!

And some awesome book marks!

I'm still all excited over this bunch of book goodness! I just had to share.

Historical Fantasy and Good Storytelling

Title: The White Mare (Book 1 of The Dalriada Trilogy)
Author: Jules Watson
Genre: Historical fantasy
Source: I own this book.

Set during the period when Rome was busy trying to take over the world, including the British isles, this novel leads the reader deep into relationships, magic/pre-Christian faiths, and war. Wars of all definitions are occuring. Battles for place / rank in society, battles for love, battles against love, battles of protection and revenge, battles of hatred and jealousy....all are prominent and intermingled in this engaging novel.

Title: The Dawn Stag (Book 2 of The Dalriada Trilogy)
Author: Jules Watson
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: I own this novel.

A continuation of the first novel; some of the battles have been won, some are close to being resolved, while others are just barely coming to a head. This is a very satisfying tale for readers who enjoy their romance mixed with the more gritty side of life...actual war.

Overall: I've enjoyed reading these novels. I've even checked the third out from the library. (I have no idea why I bought one and two but not three) I plan on reading it, but am a bit put off due to the ending of the second book. This is a trilogy, which as far as I know means a continuation of the story. However, the story is completely wrapped up by the end of Dawn Stag. Infact, there is even an epilogue that tells of us how the main characters lived the rest of their lives. That doesn't seem to be leading to another book.....but, we'll see. Ever had a series do something like that to you? How'd it work out?

The Value of Good Storytelling

Many fantasy readers are aware of two main sub-genres, high fantasy and historical fantasy. The similarities are easy to spot and make readers comfortable in both categories, but it's really the differences that count. While both can have (and often do) swords and magics, high fantasy involves worlds and battles much like our own....but different. Different as in on a different planet, travel involving portals, things like that. Historical fantasy is just what it sounds like. An epic tale set in a known-to-us historical time period. The characters and situations may be completely fictional, but these tales are usually grounded in some historical accuracy.

Why am I telling you this? I had to look it up for myself. I'm a fantasy reader from way back, but I was hard pressed to explain why some fantasy novels appealed to me while others didn't. After researching it a bit, I've come up with an answer that is not entirely based on the research, but makes sense to me. In my experience, most high fantasy novels create a distance between the reader and the tale by the language they choose to use. These types of novels seem to be less about the story telling and more about the outlandish fantasy. I don't mind outlandish fantasy, but only if it is paired with great story telling. Historical fantasies tend, imo, to be more concerned with the tale and its details and less about how the language sounds.

And the winner is........

free glitter - http://www.sparklee.com

Out of 38 total entries, Carey was chosen to be the recipient of the $60 gift card from CSN stores......and will also be receiving a surprise romance novel from me! Congratulations, Carey! I will be emailing you soon for your shipping address.
I read books they way other people eat, sleep, or watch movies....voraciously, obsessively, and as often as possible. The reviews, random commentary, and snark in this blog are mine alone. Don't take my word...read the book.
Copyright 2009 She Reads All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates created by Deluxe Templates
Wordpress Theme by EZwpthemes