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10 Thoughts on “Courage and Corruption” by Sarah Holman

Title: Courage and Corruption
Author: Sarah Holman

Date read: June 16, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Christian / Adventure / Historical Fiction (in fictional country, medieval times)
Age: YA
Year pub: 2016
Pages: 161 (Kindle)
Series: Tales of Taelis, #3
Fave character: Uncle Edwin and King John
Source: Amazon
Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Website

Ten Thoughts on Courage and Corruption

1. Still enjoying this series. 🙂 I think this one was the most well-written in the series yet, and it’s awesome to see this author’s writing improving more and more over time!

2. It’s about a twin brother and sister (Christopher and Catherine) who don’t… erm… get along. 😛 They have to learn to become better people etc. There are a lot of strong Christian messages/themes along this line throughout the book. 🙂

3. I didn’t enjoy the first half of the story as much because it was hard reading about these characters being so angry and argumentative, so I… kind of didn’t like them very much then because they had so much to learn. Likely just one of my reading quirks. 😛 So for that reason, it wasn’t my personal favorite of the series, even though it’s the most well-written and would likely be a favorite with most readers. 🙂

4. In the second half of the book, I warmed to the story much more, and I found myself quite enjoying the intrigue and excitement, once most of the character-building parts had been dealt with. 🙂

5. I LOVED the plot that emerged in this one, linking back to a certain event in Adventures and Adversities, and featuring descendants of the little prince from that one! :O I was so hoping that plot would come back and it DID. 😀 That was one of my favorite things about the story. ^_^

6. My other main favorite thing was all the little stories Uncle Edwin told. 🙂 That was so fun, like lots of mini tales within this one; my favorite was the one about the Shepherd King and the one about Princess Brianna and John in the garden. 😀 Lovely little follow-up to Brothers and Betrayal! AWK. Such cute. ^_^

7. It’s been great reading more of these books set in the medieval country of Taelis! I especially loved seeing familiar places like Coraway Castle and Delmore Castle (both of which are super super cool… I’d love to live in Coraway Castle! I hope to see more of it in future books too. :)).

8. There are also lots of references to characters and events from the first two books, which I loved. ^_^ (Some of that’s inevitably a little sad though, of course, with multiple generations. 😦 But oh well. Otherwise I liked the references.)

9. Oh, and along that line, it was neat to see the main characters from Brothers and Betrayal in this one a little, much older but still lurking around being great. 🙂 Bryon, John, and Brianna all make appearances. 🙂

10. Overall, while some of it didn’t click for me personally, I think most people would really enjoy this! If you like Christian fiction with strong themes and families and adventure and medieval times, you will probably like this one; and like I said, it’s probably the most well-written yet. 🙂 Can also stand alone. I’m definitely curious to continue reading this series in this lovely land of Taelis. ^_^

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In the series so far (will update with links to my posts as I review them):

~ ~ ~

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

10 Thoughts on Brothers and Betrayal by Sarah Holman

Title: Brothers and Betrayal
Author: Sarah Holman

Date read: June 5, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Christian / Adventure / Historical Fiction (fictional country in medieval times)
Age: YA? Suitable for younger as well
Year pub: 2015
Pages: 237 pages (ebook)
Series: Tales of Taelis, #2
Fave character: John/The Archer
Source: Amazon
Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Website

Ten Thoughts on Brothers and Betrayal

1. This one was even better than the first one! I quite enjoyed it. 🙂 I liked the first, but this one’s even more exciting, and more well-written, too! I just really enjoyed this. ^_^ It’s also a fairly short novel, so I was able to read it in an evening, which was nice. 🙂

2. It’s more-or-less a Robin Hood story! I’m not sure if I would QUITE call it a “retelling,” since it’s very different, but there are certainly references that felt very Robin-Hood-ish, which totally made my day. XD A lot of it twisted the old Robin Hood stories in a very classic turn-it-on-its-head retelling way, so it was fun to pick those things out. 😀 (Like Lord Notly—like Nottingham, mayhap?—and the mention of an archery contest, etc. :P) But I LOVE retellings, and haven’t seen a lot about Robin Hood, so I really, really enjoyed this book. 😀

3. I loved seeing a lot of the same places/names as the first one. The connections and references were fun. 🙂 It’s very handy to have a medieval story in a fictional country, and I’m quite attached to Taelis by now! ^_^

4. There was one thing I was sad about—inevitable with multi-generational stories, but I thought I’d be able to handle it but I wasn’t and it was super devastating; at least we didn’t SEE it… So that’s my main downside to the book; just a me-thing and I know it’s unavoidable but still. *cough*

5. I also… um… I’m afraid I didn’t really like the main character, Bryon, for a lot of the story. >.> I suspect I was supposed to like him, but he and I just didn’t get along very well. *cough* It may be partially because I’m a lot older (he’s like twelve) and I wanted to see more of John? Not sure. He was alright, just not my favorite.

6. It’s mostly set in a castle (the same castle as in book one, Delmore, but nearly finished being built now) and in a forest, which are like my favorite settings, so that was awesome. 😀 LOVED that. And the secret stairs and stuff. 😀

7. I can just see myself having positively adored this book when I was a little younger. I still enjoyed it but I think younger teens etc. might enjoy it even more, although I think anyone might enjoy it like I did—and it’s appropriate for any kind of age-range, which I appreciated. 🙂

8. It has a strong Christian message of forgiveness as opposed to revenge. The typical conversion scene was… well… typical and not necessarily fitting for the time period, but oh well. 😉 I did appreciate the forgiveness theme, because it’s a tough one.

9. The Archer/John was my favorite! 😀 I quite liked him, and would have liked to have seen more of him. ^_^ I love how he’s very Robin-Hood-ish, and I loved his lines—he has a sort of dry wit and quiet wisdom—and I also loved how he’s JOHN (and rather taller than most of them; hmm… ;)) but also the Robin-Hood leader of sorts, so it’s almost like it’s about Little John, who’s actually Robin. XD Anyways, he was great. I liked Princess Brianna too, and how they’re both sort of under-cover, even to each other. 😀 That was awesome!

10. Overall, I quite enjoyed it, and am looking forward to continuing the series! Definitely give this book a try if you like medieval stories and adventure, castles, and Robin Hood. 😀 (And it’s totally able to stand on its own, and doesn’t need to be a book 2 at all; so you can even start here if you want!)

FAVORITE QUOTES

[When the soldiers are chasing the young hero and his little sisters:]

“Stand aside! We are about the king’s business.”

“I can see that,” a casual voice said off to one side. Bryon glanced around until his gaze landed on a man atop a boulder, leaning on his bow. His golden hair was held back by a bit of string, and in one hand he twirled an arrow between his fingers. “I see you are after some hardened criminals, Lord Notly.”

The leader sneered. “They are no doubt members of your renegades, Archer.”

Bryon drew in a sharp breath. Was this The Archer?

“No doubt,” The Archer said, examining his arrow. “You really ought to give up chasing people around in the woods; you know how it displeases me.” He gave a cocky smile as he nocked the arrow in his bow.

***

“Then we shall see you make it safely to the edge of the forest. There are many desperate men who live in these woods.”

A giggle rose in Brianna’s throat. “Such as yourself?”

For the first time, a wide grin appeared on the young man’s face. “The maid has wit.”

***

“Or maybe they think you are just a bad shot,” Nathaniel teased.

“If they thought I was a bad shot, they would not fear me,” John countered, turning to his cousin.

Nathaniel shrugged. “Not necessarily. If you can’t hit what you are aiming at, and point an arrow at the person next to them, they might end up being the person dead.”

John rolled his eyes.

***

“Now tell me who it is or I will…” Notly could not seem to come up with the proper threat.

“Kill me? As you already plan to do so, threats of that nature do not seem to be of much use, do they?”

[Can you see why I like John’s lines? XD]

~ ~ ~

In the series so far (will update with links to my posts as I review them):

~ ~ ~

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

Adventures and Adversities by Sarah Holman

Title: Adventures and Adversities
Author: Sarah Holman

Date read: May 27, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Christian / Adventure / Historical Fiction / Medieval (in fictional country in Europe)
Age: YA
Year pub: 2013
Pages: 314 (paperback)
Series: Tales of Taelis, #1
Fave character: William
Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Website

I was a little uncertain if I would like this at first, but I was pulled into this story and ended up quickly absorbed, and enjoyed it very much! 🙂

I really grew to like these characters!

  • Alditha, our heroine, who tries to find the good in the midst of hardship.
  • Her sweet little friend Eleanor, such a bubbly and feisty thing. 🙂
  • But mostly William, Eleanor’s brother, who may have a thing for Alditha… 😉 He was brave and good and kind and heroic, and I really liked his character!
  • I also, unexpectedly, really liked Captain Harold, a guard. He was so nice! He might have been my second favorite. 🙂
  • There are other memorable characters, both good and bad, which populate this story, and it was interesting to meet each of them—I quite liked the kind hermit priest as well. 🙂

It’s set in medieval times, in a fictional country in Europe called Taelis. This made the book feel like a historical fiction novel, but without me wondering if all the details were real, which made it more fun. XD

From the point of view of peasants and servants, it was a different look at the higher classes. These heroes and heroines are good hardworking people, simple folks who are kind and good and do their best in the face of adventures and adversities.

There was love and loss, friendship and hardship, laughter and tears, and through it all the characters strove to find God’s plan in their lives and trust in Him.

It seemed at first like it was going to be one of those quieter books without much adventure, but it turned out to have plenty of excitement after all! Most of it was about the day-to-day struggles—physical, emotional, and spiritual—of the heroine, but there are other things going on as well. There are dangers and adventures, plots and fights, storms at sea and riding through stormy nights on land as well. It kept me absorbed and interested!

Most of all, I was caught up in reading about William and Alditha, so long separated, as they struggled through their separate lives, and waiting to see if they would finally be able to see each other again. 🙂

There were a few things that seemed inconsistent or didn’t make sense to me, and some slightly distracting typos (I have an older paperback version of this book, so I don’t know if there is a newer version or not), but on the whole I don’t have many specific complaints. 🙂

Overall, I enjoyed the book a lot and fell in love with this medieval world and these characters, and this nice simple tale of love and faith. It drew me in and was a sweet story. ^_^ I’m definitely looking forward to reading more in the Tales of Taelis series! 🙂

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In the series so far (will update with links as I review them):

~ ~ ~

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

Sentinel + Viper by Jamie Foley (Double Review)

Time for reviews of a novel and novella by Jamie Foley!

Title: Sentinel
Author:
Jamie Foley

Date read: April 26, 2017
Rating:
5 stars
Genre:
I… really don’t know what to call it. Fantasy / Contemporary (other world) / Apocalyptic / Suspense
Age:
YA
Year pub:
2016
Pages:
281 (Kindle)
Series:
Book 1 of the Sentinel Trilogy (Followed by 2: Arbiter, just released, and 3: Sage, coming soon. Prequel novella: Viper.)
Fave character:
Jet Valinor!
Source:
Amazon
Links:
GoodreadsAmazonSigned Paperbacks • Author’s Website

WHAT DID I JUST READ? I have no idea, but I know I had an absolute blast and loved it so much! 😀

Picture a fantasy world with (surprise!) modern times (not here, but similar to our time-period), and some fantasy elements like mind superpowers; then add an apocalypse, secret military agents out to wreak havoc, lovable characters (including an awesome sarcastic ex-sniper), snarky conversations, and loads of humor, all wrapped up in a layer of suspense, with a dash of Christian-allegory undertones—and you have a unique, well-written, good-clean-fun novel called Sentinel, which reads almost like an action-movie (but funner)! Definitely outside of my normal reading, and I’ve never read anything like it, but I so enjoyed it!

Reasons why this book is awesome:

  • Jet! First I have to mention Jet Valinor, who is a new favorite character and definitely a top reason for liking this. He’s my favorite kind of dark, growly, snarky, mysterious, dangerous, but awesome, with a heart of gold, type character. He’s got mind-power skills and military skills and generally you want him on your side when there’s covert military ops attacks, apocalypses, or general problems of any kind. He’s also got excellent snarky lines. What is not to love about Jet? Even without all the other awesomeness (of which there was lots), Jet just totally made the book for me. 😀
  • Buddies-who-aren’t. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE stories about two characters who are thrown together and REALLY don’t get along but have to work together. And when one of them is a rather flippant teenage boy (our hero, Darien), and the other is dark, no-nonsense Jet who is not going to put up with stupidity… you know it’s going to be awesome. They kind of hate each other but are the best and have such excellent interactions AND I JUST LOVE IT SO MUCH.
  • Banter/humor. Coming right up on that last one, there is SO much awesomeness in the form of Darien and Jet bickering, and general snark and humor, plus some of the writing is humorous too.
  • Right there, you have four of my favorite things, all rolled up in this book: an awesome favorite character, a buddy-story (where they aren’t… yet. ;)), humor, and hilarious snarky banter. SO MUCH YES. But oh, you want more reasons?
  • Fantasy! Fantasy makes everything better.
  • Mind-powers etc. which are called Aether, and the different kinds people can be include Arbiter (mind-things like telepathy or memories), Sentinel (use it like striking force), Valnah (emotions), Vanguard (making walls of force), and rare ones like Healer, or Sage (seeing the future).
  • Road-trip! Okay, so it wasn’t a huge part of the story, but I SO enjoyed Jet and Darien stuck in a car together with only Sorvashti to act as peace-maker. So much gold. 😀
  • So original and unique—this world and everything is just new and I loved it.
  • It’s well-written and gripping.
  • The other characters are great too and the different cultures etc. and mysteries and hints are really interesting.
  • Everything else—just read it already!

Reasons why I thought I wouldn’t like this book (but actually loved it):

  • It’s modern, which isn’t my favorite — but it’s modern in another world and somehow isn’t the usual blech of many modern books.
  • It’s apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic (which is a close relation to dystopian, which is a no-no for me, and in general I’m not the biggest fan of the world ending?) — but again, being in another world… I don’t… actually… mind? Plus we didn’t actually see the end of the world happening, since it was kind of off-screen (“Looks like the apocalypse started without us.” — one of my fave quotes in the book) and I’ve heard it’s just going to move more toward general fantasy-world kinds of things with less technology in later books. And because it’s not OUR world, I don’t actually mind, somehow!
  • It is definitely SUPER intense and suspenseful, which might have gotten too much for me, but the humor keeps rolling in to keep it a little more light-hearted.

Warnings:

It’s kind of violent/intense/scary, but that’s it. Basically a great YA novel! It certainly kept me breathless on the edge of my seat! O_O (I’m not sure if I remembered to breathe in the last third of the book. Whew. *collapses*)

Overall:

I loved this book and can’t wait to read the next one! (Largely because WHAT EVEN JUST HAPPENED AT THE END? I need Arbiter right now.) I’m quite hooked by this world and in love with these characters, and I can’t wait to find out where the rest of the series is headed. 😀 All in all, an excellent (if different) book. ^_^ *hugs it*

Favorite quotes:

“Easy for you to say. You already know what your power is.”

“They’re called ‘gifts’,” Tera murmured, “and I’m pretty sure yours is impatience.”

***

Levi yelled something about volleyballs being expensive.

***

Darien racked his brain for the smallest reason he could have been summoned by something as scary-sounding as ‘the Grand Master council’.

***

He squinted and found a fresh crack snaking from the right windshield wiper to a small spider web in the center. “Speaking of bad news, you owe me a thousand credits.”

It’s the end of the world:

“Cool. So, the world is ending, but who cares, right?”

***

“So it’s the apocalypse and special forces are after us. Awesome. We’re all gonna die.”

Darien and Jet:

“That’s enough,” Jet said.

Darien froze. “What?”

“Jet! Would it kill you to be nice?” Aleah shot Jet a disapproving look, then gave Darien a sheepish grin. “I’m sorry. He’s just… introverted.”

Jet snorted and looked back out the window.

And a psycho. Darien forced a laugh. “No problem.”

***

Is ‘Thracian’ his dad? Why does he call his dad by his name and not ‘Dad’?

Jet barely contained a growl. He could call Darien out on it—again—but this time it’d be just as awkward for himself. Note to self: get him to build mental shields. Immediately.

***

Darien’s thoughts ran over Jet’s like a freight engine.

***

“Why not?”

“Because it’s dangerous, you idiot! And untested and stupid.”

Darien grinned. “Did you just call yourself stupid?”

Jet sighed. “I should have left you in Katrosi.”

***

(I love them so much. ^_^)

~ ~ ~

Title: Viper
Author: Jamie Foley

Date read: April 12, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Military Thriller / Contemporary Fantasy (in another world)
Age: YA
Year pub: 2016
Pages: 118 (paperback)
Series: Prequel to the Sentinel Trilogy (Sentinel, Arbiter, Sage)
Fave character: Jet Valinor
Source: From the author (thank you, Jamie!)
Links:
GoodreadsAmazonSigned Paperbacks • Author’s Website

A little different than the main series books of the Sentinel Trilogy, Viper is set years before Sentinel, and therefore pre-apocalypse… which means society hasn’t collapsed yet, and it reads very much like a contemporary thriller, with a dash of fantasy powers and military strike team and hostage situations. Just… y’know… in another world. 😉

It was VERY thrilling and intense and suspenseful! Not what I usually read, but I was definitely super absorbed and worried. 😛 As a novella, it was also a quick read. There were a few typos, I had trouble keeping Copperhead and Moccasin (two of Jet’s Viper strike team) straight, plus it’s short, and generally not entirely my usual reading cup of tea, hence 4 stars; but I did really enjoy it and it was engaging, well-written, and super intense!

Also Jet is awesome. I found him to be even more awesome in the next book, meeting him from an outside perspective, so I didn’t realize when I read this just how cool he was… so in a way I didn’t appreciate that, but now I do. 😛 Now that I’ve read Sentinel, I actually want to read this again as backstory-on-my-favorite-character. XD

Jet and Sorvashti are great together, especially with her way of speaking since she doesn’t know his language well, and he doesn’t know hers—loved that! Language-barrier things are so fun. It was hilarious and adorable. ^_^ It’s told in their alternating POVs, which was really interesting. I enjoyed both of their perspectives.

Like I said, it’s a prequel, and I read it first, instead of starting with book 1. This was an interesting introduction to the world/cultures/characters of the series, so I enjoyed having some background on everything. But it would also be awesome to read as backstory once already familiar with the way things are introduced in Sentinel. So… I can’t decide which is better. 😛 Probably don’t do it like I do, and instead start with Sentinel. (But you can read either first.)

Definitely an overall enjoyable, quick read which got me hooked on the series and world and characters, and left me eager to read more! 🙂

(I was given a copy of this novella by the author; I was not required to write a review; these opinions are my own.)

~ ~ ~

(Look, it’s Jet with a spear! This cover means SO MUCH MORE now that I’ve read Sentinel…)

Arbiter (book 2) just released!

Check out the Arbiter Blog Tour and giveway! My post for the blog tour will be going up on my other blog Wednesday morning — tomorrow! — so watch for that!)

I’m going to be reading Arbiter soon; I can’t wait! 😀 I’ll be reviewing it here once I’ve read it, so stay tuned. 🙂

What about you, my Pagelings? Have you read any of these? Do they intrigue you? Let me know in the comments!

~ ~ ~

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

10 Thoughts on The Firethorn Crown by Lea Doué

firethorncrown

I’m going to share 10 thoughts on The Firethorn Crown today.

I mean, maybe I should do 12, since it’s about 12 dancing princesses?

But I’m doing 10 because it’s nice and round and I want to.

Ten is a great number!

People love ten!

So that’s what I’m going to do.

Anyway… A little about the book and then my Ten Thoughts.

factoids

Title: The Firethorn Crown

Author: Lea Doué

  • Date read: February 11, 2017
  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Genre: Fantasy (Fairytale retelling: The Twelve Dancing Princesses)
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2015
  • Pages: 289 paperback
  • Series? Book 1 (Yesss, there will be more books about different princesses! *cheering*)
  • Fave character: Eben!
  • Source: Won a paperback from the author in a giveaway from Clean Indie Reads; but I also bought the ebook version.
  • Notes: Read for Fellowship of Fantasy‘s bookclub February 2017 read, which was sooo fun.

review

4starrating

Ten Thoughts:

1. THE COVER. It is awesome. Excuse me while I stare at it forever.

2. TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES! I’m totally here for a retelling of my favorite fairytale. (Which may mean I was pickier about how I wanted the book to be than I should have been, but oh well.) It was so fun to read this retelling and I greatly enjoyed seeing how it was done. 🙂

3. Eben the guard was awesome and my favorite. 😀 I wish we’d gotten more of him and/or some of his POV. He was epic! That is all.

4. The princesses, as usual, were a little hard to sort at first, but I did get used to which were which eventually. My favorite was Neylan (with her mini dragons!). And the princes (some of them pairing off with princesses) WERE SO FUN. Orin the goose prince, Holic the red-head prince… So funny, loyal, and helpful. 😀

5. DRAGONS. I might have liked more details about them and to see more of them, but it was really neat that there were all different kinds/sizes, as natural wildlife. The butterwings (kind of like butterfly dragons, mini ones who hang around in the flowers) were my favorites. I wish they’d been outright stated and described instead of implied, though, because sometimes it took me awhile to figure out that honeysucklers, woolies, etc. were kinds of dragons. But dragons! Looking forward to seeing more of them in the later books!

6. It took a break from other retellings in which the princesses’ king dad is a grumpy semi-antagonist for some of the story; instead, he’s away most of the book, so their mom fills in that role. XD

7. I don’t know how I feel about the villain. There seems to be a longstanding twelve-dancing-princesses-retelling tradition in which we have a mysterious character that we don’t know if he’s good or not but I kind of WANT him to be good, but… he’s not. Or is he? Eh. I have complex feels about this character and don’t know what I think. I DON’T KNOW. MUCH CONFUSING FEELS.

8. I really enjoyed this book—a lot—but I didn’t love it for some reason, and I can’t put my finger on why. Maybe because of how attached I am to the fairytale it’s retelling, so I’m pickier? Maybe the way it constantly hinted at things but never stated stuff, as if the writing was shy of the forbidden “telling” versus showing? (But taking it too far?) Maybe I was conflicted over a certain character? Maybe there were a lot of things I wished had happened that didn’t? Anyways, there was something a little bit off which prevented it becoming an absolute favorite, BUT I did enjoy it a lot and it was overall a quite good book. 🙂

9. I quite liked the world—it was colorful and interesting. I look forward to seeing more of it! (Especially the dragons. Ahem.)

10. Overall, it was great fun reading this retelling and I can’t wait to continue the series! There are characters I’m excited to see more of, and mysteries left vaguely hanging (like True the goose. WHAT is the deal with True the goose??). If you enjoy good clean fun books and fairytale retellings, I recommend giving this one a try. 🙂

(Note: I won a copy of this book from the author in a giveaway. This in no way influenced my opinions, which are entirely my own.)

summary

From Goodreads:

firthornPrincess Lily, the eldest of twelve sisters and heir to a mighty kingdom, desperately seeks a break from her mother’s matchmaking. Tradition forbids marriage with the man Lily loves, so she would rather rule alone than marry someone who only wants the crown.

Fleeing an overzealous suitor, Lily stumbles into a secret underground kingdom where she and her sisters encounter a mysterious sorcerer-prince and become entangled in a curse that threatens the safety of her family and her people. Lily can free them, but the price for freedom may be more than she’s willing to pay.

The Firethorn Crown, a re-imagining of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” is the first in the Firethorn Chronicles, a series of stand-alone novels inspired by fairy tales and other stories. Follow the sisters on their adventures in a land where sorcery is feared, women can rule, and dragons fly.

findbook

{Goodreads} • {Amazon} • {Author Website}


Thanks for reading, dear Pagelings!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

10 Thoughts on Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

3.5 stars? (Rounding to 4)

Title: Mansfield Park

Author: Jane Austen

  • Date read: March 10, 2017
  • Rating: 3.5 stars, rounding up to 4-ish?
  • Genre: Classic / Historical Fiction (Regency)
  • Age: Adult
  • Year pub: 1815
  • Pages: (I read it in a collection with tiiiny type, so not sure it counts… Some edition is listed on Goodreads as 560 pages so I’m going with that)
  • Illustrator: Hugh Thomson (does two illustrations count?)
  • Fave character: Fanny, Edmund (sometimes)
  • Source: (Collection) from library sale
  • Notes: In collection Jane Austen: Her Complete Novels

[Mansfield Park on Goodreads — see my review on Goodreads here]

10 Thoughts About Mansfield Park

(in the form of things I liked and disliked)

LIKES

1. Fanny, poor thing, and how she stuck firm to right even though she was a timid introverted soul who was so Cinderella-ed (a word which here means trodden upon by jerkish relatives/acquaintances/“friends”, and basically treated like dirt. [Oh, joy.]) that it was painful to read. She was nice. 🙂

2. Edmund (sometimes; when he was being sweet and not A BLIND FOOL). He was an excellent character at times—so sweet and thoughtful and kind. 🙂 Especially in contrast to every other character in the book… Anyways, at times he was great! (We won’t talk about the other times, which is why they’re in parentheses.)

3. I had enormous fun connecting Cinderella parallels whether they were intended to be there or not. (I needed to make something fun in this…)

4. How everyone pretty much got their due at the end… more or less. It made it almost worth it.

5. On that note, it’s hard to explain exactly, but I did like the outlook on things. Putting value on being moral and standing up for your beliefs and a quiet life in the country, versus a life of vice and doing what everyone else does and city life; and doing all of it through the story and dialog, too. ’Twas well-done. (It does make me think that Jane Austen would hate living in our modern era. Just sayin’.)

Bonus like: a quote that I loved (the speakers are Edmund, then Mary Crawford, then Edmund again)

You are speaking of London, I am speaking of the nation at large.”

“The metropolis, I imagine, is a pretty fair sample of the rest.”

“Not, I should hope, of the proportion of virtue to vice throughout the kingdom. We do not look in great cities for our best morality.”

DISLIKES

1. Every character in the entire book, except Fanny, and her brother William, and occasionally Edmund, are all HORRIBLE HORRIBLE BEINGS. It’s exhausting to read a book about this. (Okay, maybe I’m being sliiightly unfair. There were occasional moments of almost-human decency scattered through the cast. BUT IT WAS RARE.)

2. Mrs. Norris. I LOATHED MRS. NORRIS. The stingy aunt of Fanny, she’s basically a cross between an evil-stepmother and the type of miser that Scrooge was trying to be all his life and never quite made it to, with a dash of thorough mean-spiritedness. SHE WAS HORRIBLE, OKAY. UGH. -_- One of the worst characters in the history of EVER. Excuse me a moment, I need to go scrub my memory with bleach to get rid of my memories of her…

3. Mary Crawford. Can I get another UGH in, please? Because UGH. She’s this frilly little light-hearted soul who blinds Edmund in a really stupid kind of love (I can’t see WHY) and pretends to be BFFs with Fanny, but is actually self-centered and has not a bit of good deep down, really, and is thick as thieves with her awful brother and thinks he’s amusing and the best. Blech. -_- Speaking of…

4. Henry Crawford. He’s awful. I didn’t loathe him as much as Mrs. Norris and Mary through most of the book, but he’s awful. He’s a worse person than they are, definitely. I mean, deciding to purposefully try to make a girl fall in love with him, just to break her heart? SERIOUSLY WHO DOES THAT? *is disgusted*

5. Basically, it was way too long to spend reading a 150,000+ word novel about horrible characters being horrible to a poor put-upon heroine, and all the characters being paired with the wrong characters through almost the entire book until like the last two pages (I’m not even exaggerating), in which all that happens is awful things to the heroine. IT WAS HARD TO HANDLE, OKAY. I don’t usually say books are too long, but I would have been okay with this being a third of the length instead of suffering through that. many. pages. Don’t get me wrong—it was well-written and I did enjoy things about it (see above) but the subject matter was just so unpleasant that I, personally, had a hard time reading it.

Conclusion

Overall, not my favorite, but regardless, Jane Austen’s still a fairly excellent author, and I’m very pleased to have finally read her 6 novels. 🙂

Have you read Mansfield Park, or any Jane Austens? Let me know what you think of them!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages…

~ The Page Dreamer

An Exchange of Gifts by Anne McCaffrey

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Title: An Exchange of Gifts

Author: Anne McCaffrey

review

A random small review for a small book. 🙂

I’ve never read anything by McCaffrey before — I’m mostly aware of her as being the author of a number of Adult Sci-fi/Fantasy books which I haven’t read. But when I saw this little book at a library sale, it looked so darling I couldn’t resist picking it up, and I’m glad I did. 🙂

An Exchange of Gifts is a bite-sized fantasy novella (complete with illustrations) which I quite enjoyed. 🙂

It reminded me a little of The Princess and the Goblin, and The Ordinary Princess, though less fairy-tale-ish, and more realistic/older. (Like YA instead of Children’s?) But it did have an intriguing fantasy element which I liked — the way their Gifts were woven in was really neat. The mysterious sort of twist to it was interesting as well.

Meanne (the heroine) was quite well written (although I kind of thought she was a younger teen, and then found out near the end she must be older, since her eighteenth birthday was mentioned), and Wisp (the hero) I really liked! He was awesome and I liked his twists too. 😀

I liked how it wrapped up — though part of me wonders about a few things, since there wasn’t time to explore them… but at the same time it just WORKED really well to just have this little glimpse into this story and world.

Anyhow, not a “must-read” exactly, but I liked it muchly all the same. It just… kinda made me happy. *shrug* A very small fantasy tale which I really enjoyed reading. ^_^ (I think I miss reading fantasy! O_O This must be remedied…)

summary

From Goodreads:

anexchangeofgiftsWhen Meanne, a princess of the realm, runs away from her father’s castle and an unwanted suitor, little does she realize the hardships and difficulties that lie ahead of her. Loneliness is the worst part — until she finds a fellow refugee, a boy named Wisp. Together they must make new lives for themselves. Yet they both have secrets — hidden pasts and magical powers that can tear them apart!

factoids

Illustrated: Pat Morrissey

Genre/Category: Fantasy Novella

Age Group: YA

Published: 1995

Pages: 92

When Read: September 6, 2016

Favorite Character: Wisp! 🙂

Source: Library sale.

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{Goodreads} • {Amazon}


Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer