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Book Review: William Bradshaw, King of the Goblins (by Arthur Daigle)

Just a quick review today of William Bradshaw, King of the Goblins by Arthur Daigle. If you need a laugh, try this series. It’s a hoot and a half. XD

This review is for book one, and I’m currently reading the second book and highly entertained!

The author also wrote the Dana Illwind books (or, as I call them, the Jayden and Dana books) which are top favorites of mine! (Book 1 review.) (Book 2 review.)

Title: William Bradshaw, King of the Goblins

Author: Arthur Daigle

Series: William Bradshaw, #1

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This book is utterly hilarious. Entirely delightful. Deliciously entertaining. A blast. Sheer fun. However you say it, it’s a great book if you need a laugh or twenty. I loved it so much!

William Bradshaw, who’s from our world, gets tricked into becoming the king of the goblins in a fantasy world. The goblins are hilarious, chaotic, destructive (but in a funny, mostly-harmless way), can warp space with their craziness, and are a blast to read.

Will is not a fan of being king of a run-down kingdom but his contract is pretty inescapable. Doesn’t mean he’s not going to try…

Throw in some twists on fantasy tropes, an amusing writing style that had me in stitches at nearly every sentence, and an unexpected war from another king who manages to be as incompetent as the goblins, and you have a tale of hilarious shenanigans sure to brighten anyone’s day!

Except Will’s. His day is by no means brightened. XD

I can’t wait to read the rest of the books!

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300 posts/7 years! “You may tell a tale . . .” (A Quote)

youmaytellatale

I found this quote post in my blog drafts from . . . 2015. Yep. I never posted it so I made up a graphic and am posting it now. ^_^

Aaaalso . . . it’s January 1st, which, as well as being a new year, means . . .

Happy 7-year blogiversary to The Page Dreamer!

And I also noticed that I’ve posted 300 posts! (301, now!)

*flings confetti and virtual cupcakes for aaaall the celebratory reasons*

Thank you, all you amazing readers, for coming along, whichever part of the journey you joined at. ^_^

Here’s a quote for all the storytellers out there who need this reminder today.

“It is important,” the man in the grey suit interrupts. “Someone needs to tell those tales. […] You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift. Your sister may be able to see the future, but you yourself can shape it, boy. Do not forget that. […] There are many kinds of magic, after all.

— The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

5

Silverblood by Jamie Foley (Review)

Today’s treat is a review for a book that is definitely going to be on my top-favorite reads of the year list! (Also, fun fact, it won the 2022 Realm Award for Fantasy!) It’s just soooo good!

Some info first, and then I’m going to dive in. (Beware: there may be far too much fangirling shrieking!)

Title: Silverblood

Author: Jamie Foley

Series: The Katrosi Revolution, #2 (Book 1: Emberhawk. Read my review.)

Fantasy • YA • 2021 • 335 pages (paperback)

Read May 11, 2022 • 5 stars • Favorite character: LYSANDER FOREVER (I’m also partial to Felix) • Source: preordered from the author’s website (psst, it comes with goodies!)

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Silverblood is definitely a book for the top-favorites-of-the-year list! AAAHHH! I loved it so much and I have such a book hangover after finishing it. I need book three yesterday! *flails around* *hugs all the characters*

Okay, I’ll attempt to corral my thoughts into a smidge more order. (But really, all I want to do is fangirl incoherently!) I know I can’t do it justice in a review, but better something than nothing, I suppose!

I loved being back in this series/world SO MUCH! Silverblood is the second book in the Katrosi Revolution series, after Emberhawk, which I also loved. But I think I loved book two even better! It’s just sooo good!

Jamie Foley’s writing is delicious, as always. The perfect blend of heartpounding action and suspense, a dash of gorgeousness, and plentiful helpings of witty, snappy dialogue and banter. It’s hilarious, really, at times, and I am HERE for it! I just love how much of a blast it is. The sheer enjoyment level is high, for sure!

LYSANDER AND BROOKE. They’re my absolute favorite part of this book! I’ve been waiiiiting for Lysander and Brooke to have a story, ever since reading book one, and I finally read it and it’s everything I wanted and LYSANDER AND BROOKE FOREVERRR! I’m having an emotion.

Seriously, though, Lysander is a fabulous character and I loved reading about his adventures, struggles, and overcomings. (That should be a word, hush.) Ex-assassin, finally no longer controlled and striking out on his own, trying not to be torn down by bitterness and darkness, using his amazing herbalist skills alongside his epic fighting abilities (I want all the tea he makes!), and his sign language and aether powers . . . I just love everything about this guy! I basically just want him to be happy. *cries* LYSANDER’S THE BEST AND HE’S MINE. *wraps him in bubble-wrap to protect him*

I loved getting deeper into Brooke’s life as she tries to navigate being a leader and make the best choices for her people and for the amazing treetop city of Jadenvive—and, you know, not fall for a certain ex-assassin. 😉

Ryon and Kira! I loved continuing their story from the first book. They’re adorable and hilarious at turns and just yessss! It’s hard to talk about Ryon especially without spoilers, but I’m here for all the characters I adore!

AND THEN WE HAVE FELIX. This shape-shifting fox guy is THE GREATEST and his snark and unexpectedness gives me life! I’ve adored him since reading the Sentinel Trilogy, so I’m SO PLEASED he’s also in this prequel series set hundreds of years before the other series. (In fact, something about this book felt more connected to Sentinel in several ways which makes me happy.) Felix is fabulous and all his lines are so quotable!

Okay, but everything is quotable in this book. I mentioned it with the writing already but it deserves repeating: The snark and bantering dialogue is all SHEER GOLD and often hilarious. And don’t even get me started on certain amazing and unexpected proposal scenes. XD I CANNOT EVEN. ABSOLUTE GOLD. XD

Princess Vylia is growing on me more than in the first book and Sousuke is AMAZING of course, so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where their story goes in the next book! I’m kind of internally screaming waiting to find out what happens about Certain Not-Wrapped-Up Plot Points leaving me hanging! O_O

The plot is super exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Court intrigue and peril and a super-satisfying way for certain things to work out and I just loved all of the thingssss! It’s simply an EXCELLENT book in so many ways and it felt like it checked off all the boxes on a list for One of Deborah’s New Favorites.

The setting is also so absolutely vivid and delicious and I just love everything about it. I felt so THERE and the colors and sensations and cool places just made my day! Just love this world so much.

ALSO, I NEED A GRYPHON, THANKS, THAT IS ALL.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book! It’s a new favorite and I want to hug it forever. Check out Emberhawk first, and if you already have, you must read this ASAP! It’s an absolute delight. (Also, I need book three in my life!) Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll just be over here having a book hangover after reading this fabulous book. *all the hearts*

Aaaand that’s a wrap! With this, I’ve finally caught up on review posts I planned this year!

Time to take a break for Christmas and see what the new year looks like for this blog now that I’m FINALLY caught up on ARCs and books I 100% planned to review. (It. Feels. Great! I definitely need to take a little reviewing breather, but don’t worry, the blog isn’t going anywhere and there will still be bookish things.)

Have a great rest of the year, and thanks so much for reading my li’l (and sometimes not-so-little… XD) reviews!

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A Most Irregular Prophecy by Ness Kingsley (Review)

I haven’t a clue how to properly talk about this fabulous book so . . . basically, expect some pterodactyl shrieking in this review!

Title: A Most Irregular Prophecy

Author: Ness Kingsley

Planetary Fantasy • YA, ish? • Published 2021 • 322 pages (paperback)

Read May 12, 2022 • 5 stars • Fave character: Mr Sorrow • I received a no-pressure free e-book ARC of this book from the author and voluntarily wrote a review; all opinions are my own.

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WHAT DID I JUST READ? I haven’t the faintest notion, to be honest, but I do know that it was GLORIOUS and a smashing good time! And yes, I do intend to talk in a faintly posh manner this entire review — blame it on the book, why don’t you! (You should. The book is entirely at fault. Fabulously so.)

At any rate, here are my discombobulated flailings and/or pterodactyl shrieks about exactly WHY you should find a copy of this book somewhere and devour it post-haste!

Firstly, we must discuss the genre. Genre? WHAT IS GENRE, I ASK! *unhinged laughter* (Ahem. This is . . . I suppose . . . fantasy, on a foreign planet, with a Victorian-era heroine and a character from modern day too. Essentially planetary fantasy with dashes of portal fantasy, but throughout time?? What does genre matter when it’s this delightful is all I’d like to know.)

Secondly, as to the matter of my favorite character: What a ridiculous question. Who’s asking these questions, anyway? (Oh, wait, that would be me.) Oh, all right, my favorite is MR SORROW, naturally (he and his — well, green eyes but with, like, the spirit of a grey-eyed Heyer hero, are superb), but Vi and Rugby are also fabulous.

Now that these important questions have been addressed, I find myself QUITE AT A LOSS as to how to discuss this wondrous and unusual tale. This is a sort of Georgette-Heyer-meets-Enchanted-Forest-Chronicles-on-a-fantasy-planet-with-a-dash-of-Diana-Wynne-Jones book, and it’s just as delightful as that makes it sound.

From our heroine, Vi, who narrates the book in a deliciously dry and amusing fashion (I tell you, Ness Kingsley’s writing is SHEER BRILLIANCE and every sentence is a JOY to read), to the Thrawk characters (which are sort of Pegasus-type creatures with telepathy and Rugby especially is my favorite, but also THEY HAVE GREAT NAMES like Tennis), to Mr Sorrow who is a surprising sort of scholar and somewhat drily amused and scathing in the best possible way . . . these pages are inhabited by stupendous characters whose witty banter absolutely makes my day.

Throw in an almost dystopic sci-fi-fantasy society which one loves to hate, a prophecy that goes haywire, some screaming rain, several mishaps gallivanting all over the place, numerous ridiculous characters who are alarming with their ineptitude and simultaneous ability to make things Truly Horrendous for our heroes, as well as some depressed unicorn-pegasus creatures, a dash of monsters such as the Natterdash *ominous music*, and did I mention the screaming rain? Also TWISTS GALORE. You may gasp. Several times. I know I did.

The plot is at turns whimsical, hilarious, intense, and surprisingly dark later on, in fact, and yet I was glued to the page for the entire tale! (Not literally glued. That would be rather inconvenient for turning pages.) It is at times not for the faint of heart due to some truly horrendous characters, as noted, but it’s absolutely worth it and I was Supremely Attached to these heroic characters such as Vi and Mr Sorrow and Rugby. (Supremely Attached as opposed to glued-not-literally. There we are.)

My ability to express the sheer enjoyment level of this bafflingly strange and yet hilarious and brilliant book is simply not adequate. I can only say that I ABSOLUTELY ADORED IT and hope that gets across somewhat my love for this book and how unexpected and unique it is. And so funny, too! I ADORE books that make me laugh, and this one absolutely did. The lovable characters and genre-bending suspense are the icing on the cake. But you really must discover it for yourself!

It must be confessed that I committed the nearly-unforgivable bookish atrocity of dogearing several of this book’s pages to mark my favorite hilarious bits. And by “several” I here mean “approximately half of the total pages in the book.” (YOU THINK I’M JOKING? Ha. Far from it. It’s simply SO QUOTABLE and had me rolling with laughter or at the very least internal chuckles for most of the book.)

To save me the trouble (and the questionable legality) of sharing approximately half of the book here in quote form, the reader is recommended to immediately acquire a copy of A Most Irregular Prophecy and to experience the zany delight of this book at once.

I received a free e-book ARC of this book from the author (with, let it be noted, ZERO PRESSURE to review it, positively or otherwise). (I also, it must be admitted, later snagged a paperback off Amazon and actually mostly read that copy, but DETAILS.) At any rate, all opinions are my own, so there.

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Songflight by Michelle M. Bruhn (Review)

Another review today, this one for a fascinating Celtic-esque dragon-y fantasy novel!

Title: Songflight

Author: Michelle M. Bruhn

Series: The Dragon Singer Chronicles, #1

Fantasy • YA • 2020 • 444 pages (Kindle)

Read October 28, 2021 • 4 stars • Favorite character: Falier

I started this as an ebook and finished it as an audiobook on the audiobook subscription site, Scribd. (If you’re new to Scribd and would like to try two free months, you can use my link — I’d get a free month too. ^_^)

I received a free e-ARC of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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Songflight has a wonderful Celtic fantasy feel in a very cool world that I enjoyed getting pulled into. Filled with chiefs and dragons, mountains and forests, a chieftain’s daughter and several scheming plots, it was an epic read! It’s kind of like Brave meets How to Train Your Dragon and I’m here for it. grinning

Alisa’s song magic was sooo cool! I loved it, and I loved that the songs were IN the book. They were delightful. The worldbuilding was neat, too, and I loved the sense of past and history that the book was steeped in, while still feeling present. It almost had a historical fantasy feel despite being in a fantasy world!

Dragonssss! Okay, obviously the best part of this book is that there are dragons in it. Sooo many dragons, and I loved how there were lots of different kinds of characters among them. And there were also . . . TINY DRAGONS! Called Dreki, the tiny dragons were the absolute greatest, and I loved that they existed as well as the big, ridable kind. The Dreki make me so happy!

Alisa’s a relatable heroine and following her on her journey was so cool, especially continuing against all odds, and as she meets others on her quest. There’s a great cast of characters, like the different dragons, such as Graydonn who is epic and loyal and I would like to ride him, yes please; and Sesina, young and playful and energetic; and Chri, one of the precious but wise Dreki! And, yes, even humans, like Falier—he’s the best! I wanted more of Falier. XD They and others are all such loyal friends for Alisa and—I’m having a feeling. Loved these characters!

This book lost a star from me because of a character death which was Not Okay. AHEM. That may be just me, though. (But it’s like killing the dog, okay! T_T Ahem. XD) But otherwise, this was an immersive Celtic fantasy with DRAGONS and song magic, and I really enjoyed it! I’d recommend it and I’m looking forward to reading more in this world!

Special audiobook note: I had started this in ebook form, but later switched to the audiobook version, and it’s delightful! It’s read by the author, and she SINGS the song parts! I always listen to audiobooks around 2x speed, but I slowed it down every time singing came up. Loved it! Just saying it’s worth checking out the audio (if you’re an audiobook person). I also enjoyed the short story prequel which is also on audio.

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Watson and Holmes by E. B. Dawson (Review)

Today I’m excited to share the most unique Sherlock Holmes retelling I’ve run into yet! And just a fun story! (Also the lastest in E. B. Dawson Continues To Make a Sci-Fi Reader Out of Deborah O’Carroll news… XD)

Title: Watson and Holmes

Author: E. B. Dawson

Sci-fi / Cyberpunk / Retelling • YA • 2020 • 249 pages (paperback)

Read February 18, 2022 • 5 stars • Fave character: Sharlotte Holmes • Listened to the Audible version

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Imagine a Sherlock Holmes retelling. Now imagine it’s set . . . in space . . . on the city planet of Linden (instead of London). Then picture that there are several alien cultures (I loved them all and how distinctive they were!). And Holmes and Watson are young women. I know! I adore the original Holmes stories, so I was worried some of this would bug me, but it all worked perfectly and was SO much fun!

Dr. Jenny Watson (who has a past) and Sharlotte Holmes (who is brilliant) are such great characters and I really enjoyed following both of them through this cyberpunk setting and delightful story. It’s just great sci-fi! I rarely read this genre, but every time I pick up an E.B. Dawson science fiction story, I know it’s going to blow me out of the water, and this one did, in the best way. I love E.B. Dawson’s writing and worlds SO much. Although, for some reason, I don’t think I expected this one to be so FUN, but it was and I loved that!

I love how there are mysteries and sci-fi plots of Shifters and a sinister organization called Moriarty (and the suspense at the end—aaahh!), but that it’s also filled with adventure and friend moments like apartment squabbles and going for noodles together—and oh, yes, Terrence the potted-plant robot was hilarious. XD It’s a perfect mix of cozy fun, character moments, and mystery/suspense.

The plot kept me guessing the whole way, so it’s very much its own story, but I also loved all the nods to the original Holmes stories. Lestrade can’t stand Sharlotte, which is always hilarious. XD Mrs. Hudson’s an anxious but gentle alien lady who’s slightly eccentric (but not nearly as much as Sharlotte). And there are great moments like this note Sharlotte sends Jenny: “221 B Baker Street, Doyle District. 900 square feet. You’ll have to sign the lease because my credit is rubbish. Landlady keeps giving me the shifty eye. I don’t think she really believes you’re a doctor. Come as soon as you can?-Holmes”

I loved getting to know both Jenny and Sharlotte. Their dialogue is zippy and the absolute best—I kept laughing or wanting to quote it. (I would quote the ENTIRE FIRST FOUR PAGES OF CHAPTER FOUR here to make a point if I could because that was one of the BEST conversations and entirely typical of Sharlotte especially. XD) They make a fun pair, especially with their banter, and they’re just fabulous as best friends—even when Sharlotte does stuff that gets on Jenny’s nerves, in the best Holmes-vs.-Watson way. XD They remind me of the originals in some ways, but I’ve also never met characters quite like these, and it’s the best.

In short, this is an unexpected and completely delightful book, filled with memorable characters, suspenseful moments, lots of humor, a unique sci-fi setting, and references to one of the greatest detective series of all time. What is not to love? I highly recommend checking this one out! (The audiobook is also fabulous!)

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