Tag Archive | Book Review

Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

Have another belated review from a couple of March Magics ago. XD



Title: Guards! Guards!

Author: Terry Pratchett


This is less of a review, and more of a things-and-thoughts-about-the-book sort of affair.

I read this one a bit belatedly for March Magics—my first Pratchett novel. People say his books are reminiscent of DWJ, and there is a reason, namely: hilarious fantasy. (I still prefer hers, but he can be fun.)

It’s hilarious and a mess and doesn’t take itself seriously, and is basically a fun rollick. XD It takes SO MANY fantasy tropes and turns them on their heads. It has footnotes. (And one of its footnotes had footnotes.) Any book that has as detailed a thing about libraries on page three as this one has is bound to be great. (Also, the librarian is an orangutan. Because it can.)

The blurb (at least the one I read) seems to act like the book is about Carrot, but it’s really about Vimes. Captain Vimes is the LAST person you’d think of as a hero or even as Main Character material. He’s the most unlikely hero imaginable. But I surprised myself by realizing by the end that I absolutely loved him! XD He’s great.

Anyway, it follows the Night Watch of the city of Ankh-Morpork, a few down-on their luck, scrapings-of-the-gutter fellows. Captain Vimes, Sergeant Colon, Nobby, and Carrot. There’s also Lady Ramkin, who is interesting; the Patrician, who is creepy; and the little dragon named Errol!! (My favorite quote about Errol: “He’d eaten most of the table, the grate, the coal scuttle, several lamps and the squeaky rubber hippo.”)

You can’t really describe the PLOT, as such… there’s just a lot of stuff going on. There’s the Watch, and shenanigans, and it’s fun. 😀

Also, silly names like the Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night. And helmet plumes. Also: dragons! And there’s a dash of timey-wimey to spice things up. The thing about the lost heirs!! (I kind of wish it might have turned out a little different about that character… but I don’t know if he’d have wanted that anyway, so I dunno.) There’s a bit of language/rude jokes, but still. I loved the thing about “a million to one chance but it just might work” and how people never say “it’s a certainty but it just might work”. XD There were also some brilliant things about dungeons (never build one you can’t escape from). And, of course, how people in books tend to yell “Guards! Guards!” — because they really do.

There are no chapters, just scene breaks, so it feels like a movie. This also makes it impossible to stop reading, which is awkward for those of us who need to remember to go sleep sometime.

Anyway, I enjoyed it a good deal, and this and “Mort” are probably still my favorite Pratchett books. 😀 I’ll have to try some more with the Night Watch sometime…

Some Favorite Quotes

“set a deep hole with spring-loaded sides, tripwires, whirling knife blades driven by water power, broken glass and scorpions, to catch a thief”


There is an art in throwing knives and, even then, you need the right kind of knife. Otherwise it does just what this one did, which is miss completely.


It was said that, since vast amounts of magic can seriously distort the mundane world, the Library did not obey the normal rules of space and time. It was said that it went on /forever/. It was said that you could wander for days among the distant shelves, that there were lost tribes of research students somewhere in there, that strange things lurked in forgotten alcoves and were preyed on by other things that were even stranger.*

Wise students in search of more distant volumes took care to leave chalk marks on the shelves as they roamed deeper into the fusty darkness, and told friends to come looking for them if they weren’t back by supper.

*All this was untrue. The truth is that even big collections of ordinary books distort space, as can readily be proved by anyone who has been around a really old-fashioned secondhand bookshop, one of those that look as though they were designed by M. Escher on a bad day and has more staircases than storeys and those rows of shelves which end in little doors that are surely too small for a full-sized human to enter. The relevant equation is: Knowledge = power = energy = matter = mass; a good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.


A couple of guards grabbed Vimes tentatively by the shoulders.

“You’re not going to do anything heroic, are you?” whispered one of them.

“Wouldn’t know where to start,” he said.


“Do you think picking someone up by their ankles and bouncing their head on the floor comes under the heading of Striking a Superior Officer?”


What would Captain Vimes do now? Well, he’d have a drink. But if he didn’t have a drink, what would he do?

“What we need,” he said slowly, “is a Plan.”

That sounded good. That sentence alone sounded worth the pay. If you had a Plan, you were halfway there.


“Oook,” the Librarian pointed out, patiently.

“What? Oh. Sorry.” Vimes lowered the ape, who wisely didn’t make an issue of it because a man angry enough to lift 300lbs of orangutan without noticing is a man with too much on his mind.


Fortunately, the chances of anyone surviving the ensuing explosion were exactly a million-to-one.


Genre/Category: Epic Fantasy

Age Group: Adult

Published: 1989

Pages: 288 pages (hardcover)

Series?: Part of the Discworld series, which frankly confuses me because there’s so many and they’re… yeah, confusing. But also book one in the Night Watch / Ankh-Morpork City Watch sub-series.

When Read: April 5 – 6, 2016

Favorite Character: Captain Vimes

Source: Library

Other Notes: Read it (a week late) for the March Magics a couple years ago, celebrating Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett, hosted by Kate @ We Be Reading.

Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer



Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones

Here, have a review from a couple of March Magics ago, which I never got around to posting. 😛 (This is making me want to get it out of the library again and re-read it!)


5starratingTitle: Deep Secret

Author: Diana Wynne Jones


I’ve discovered that I’m downright horrendous at writing reviews for books by Diana Wynne Jones. I plan to write one, then I put it off, and put it off, because I know that it’s far too complex to do justice to in a review — and how even do I wrap my head around it all, exactly?? So once again, as I did with Fire and Hemlock, I’m going to need to just start typing and hope something semi-coherent and possibly slightly resembling a review will come out of it…

This story is a mix of fantasy/sci-fi/modern, with some other worlds thrown in for good measure. Most of it takes place at a sci-fi/fantasy convention of all places. Talk about an original setting! It’s in first person but you totally forget this fact as the story draws you in.

I found this one in the adult section of the library (I usually frequent the YA room… sorry-not-sorry, but all the good stuff’s there!). I suppose it’s a bit more Adult than most of DWJ’s books (more language/dark/gruesome/disturbing/implied stuff) so be aware of that. I don’t really recommend it to teens because it’s kinda dark… But it’s so absorbing!

I LOVED the multiple-worlds stuff. Absolutely fascinating.

There are centaurs! YES.

I also loved the idea of “deep secrets” which Magids (the magic users) thread into the world through stories and art and such. Absolutely brilliant.

There were also a few things about writing and I think some jibes at publishers, etc., which I found hilarious. XD


The DWJ library book visiting some of its cousins who live on my shelf

I think it’s possible DWJ put herself in it. There was a lecture on A Sense of Humour in Fantasy. “Some woman beside him wrote funny stuff too” and said that in her own writing, sometimes her jokes made her laugh. (And I remember in some interview or essay or somewhere, DWJ said that about herself.) So I think she put herself into this book and I LOVE IT.

She definitely put in a fan of her book “Archer’s Goon”, as somebody at the convention wore a badge that said “All power corrupts, but we need electricity.” I was just sitting there grinning absurdly as I read that. XD

There are other references too, which made me happy, like to LOTR (somebody had a T-shirt that he said read: “I am a Hobbit.” In Elvish. I think she was making fun of these people, but it was funny. XD), and The Princess Bride. And at one point there was something about being rather like “a magical Bertie Wooster with an invisible butler”. I totally lost it there. It was the BEST.

As usual with DWJ books, there’s a fabulous cast of characters that I love. There’s Maree and Rupert (who tell the story in turns) and they’re so… well… THEM. It’s hard to explain. But I love ’em! Then there are other characters like Will (he’s great!) and Rob the centaur (!!). And one of my absolute favorites is Maree’s cousin Nick—who is, I hear, based on a teenaged Neil Gaiman, who Diana Wynne Jones knew. She based Nick off him, and he’s so incoherent in the morning before he’s eaten breakfast and IT MADE MY DAY. So very hilarious. And one can’t forget neighbor Andrew, the “fabulous Nordic type”! But no more, lest there be spoilers. (Oh! And the quacks! A sort of otherworldly duck. 😀 Loved them!)

I’m absurdly proud of myself for only staying up until 2-something a.m. and having the willpower to go to bed without finishing the last 70 pages. I got to the part where it said: “And, I see in retrospect, that was the last moment when events were in any way within my control.” And I thought: “Welp, I’d better go to bed before things get worse.” 😛

Anyway, DWJ is brilliant and I love her books so much, and this one was no exception! It was longer than many of them. I get addicted to her longer books and LIVE in them, and then have a tendency to accidentally go around in a haze for the next few days, vaguely living in the story again in the back of my mind after spending 414 pages in it…


“Where is the road to Babylon? / Right beside your door.”

The road I’m looking for is the road to the library to get the sequel, thank you very much.

The story doesn’t need it, but I do.


From Goodreads:

deepsecretAll over the multiverse the Magids, powerful magicians, are at work to maintain the balance between positive and negative magic, for the good of all.

Rupert Venables is the junior Magid assigned to Earth and to the troublesome planets of the Koyrfonic Empire. When the Emperor dies without a known heir, Rupert is called into service to help prevent the descent of the Empire into chaos. At the same time, the senior Magid on Earth dies, making Rupert a new senior desperately in need of a junior. Rupert thinks his problems are partially solved when he discovers he can meet all five of the potential Magids on Earth by attending one SF convention in England. However, the convention hotel sits on a node, a nexus of the universes. Rupert soon finds that other forces, some of them completely out of control, are there too…


Genre/Category: Contemporary Fantasy / Sci-fi / Inter-world Fantasy / ??? / DIANA WYNNE JONES (which is a category of its own, or should be, because it’s really hard to fit her books into pigeonholes…)

Age Group: Adult

Published: 1997

Pages: 414

Series?: Book 1 of Magids; followed by The Merlin Conspiracy

When Read: March 22 – 23, 2016

Favorite Character: Oh my GOODNESS, don’t ask me this! O_O (Er… I know I’m asking myself; shush.) Rupert or Rob or Nick or Will or Andrew or somebody. Probably most of the cast because you just get so attached to DWJ characters…

Source: Library

Other Notes: Read for March Magics, hosted by Kristen @ We Be Reading

Have you read this one? I feel this NEED to talk to people who have. XD (And I also want to re-read it either before or after Realm Makers, because Sci-fi/Fantasy Conference…)

Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

Minstrel’s Call by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt: Blog Tour + Giveaway + Review!

Hello, my dear Page Dreamers!

I’m absurdly pleased to be a part of the Minstrel’s Call release blog tour. It just came out last week, and I’m here today to share my review for this book, which is the fourth and final (!!) book in Jenelle Leanne Schmidt‘s family-friendly, epic fantasy series, The Minstrel’s Song. (Hint: I ADORE THIS SERIES. ❤ )

Be sure to scroll to the end of the post for the fabulous giveaway Jenelle is hosting, and to check out the other stops on the tour!

So. My review. 😀

SALE NOTE FOR THE PREVIOUS BOOKS (LAST DAY): King’s Warrior and Second Son are on sale for 99 cents each, and Yorien’s Hand is on sale for $1.99, from Feb. 27 – March 6.

Title: Minstrel’s Call
Author: Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

  • Date read: March 5, 2018
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Epic Fantasy / Christian
  • Age: Any
  • Year pub: 2018
  • Pages: 552 (ebook)
  • Series: The Minstrel’s Song, #4 (previous books: King’s Warrior, Second Son (prequel), Yorien’s Hand)
  • Fave character: Kiernan Kane and Brant! ❤
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I received a free e-ARC from the author and these opinions are entirely my own.


I will be calm, I will, but… just… I have no words, okay? I’m trying to, but all my thoughts are just swirling around in my head in a kaleidescope of sweeping-fantasy-epic and happiness and character love. MY FEELS.

When I finished reading it, I made a lot of incoherent noises of happiness, and hugged my cat and my sister, and danced around, pretty much in the clouds. ^_^ And then I just wanted to curl up and hug the book (which is awkward when it’s on my laptop… *cough*), and feel HAPPY BOOKISH THOUGHTS and think about everything that happened in it, and basically be ABSURDLY PLEASED WITH LIFE. But instead I’m going to write my review so that I can tell you all how much I liked this book, and why you have to read it too! 😀

I love this series so, so much and this book was absolutely the PERFECT conclusion to it. I’ve just grown so fond and attached to this series and these characters and all of it! ❤

Firstly, excuse me while I talk about SOME OF MY FAVORITE CHARACTERS of all time, namely Brant and KIERNAN KANE. Just—words do not suffice to talk about these awesome characters! I LOVE THEM SO. I’ve loved following their stories through this series and—this final book!! O_O SO much goes down in this volume. SO. MUCH. Reveals and twists and hardships and epicness… And I love them all the more for it. ❤ These two characters ALONE are well worth reading this series in order to meet. 😀 As much as I love each of them on their own, their friendship-that’s-kinda-not IS MY FAVORITE THING. But Brant is the best warrior/king type of character, and Kiernan Kane is the bestest Minstrel ever and is so much more than he seems, and I can’t talk about him but JUST GO MEET HIM, OKAY.

The story itself is epic. EPIC, I TELL YOU. I was wondering, since it’s the last in a series and all, how it was going to pull this off. But I need not have worried, because it totally fulfilled my expectations. It’s a glorious sweeping epic and it was quite the adventure. I was absorbed in it, even in the slower parts, and by the end I was absolutely on the edge of my seat and SO EXTREMELY WORRIED about my precious friends and quite emotionally invested. Like. Just. THE TENSION. *collapses* This is final-book-wowness on a grand scale. Meep.

SO many things happen in this book, I don’t even know where to start! And also there are so many spoilers. O_O So… I probably can’t even say very much, because I don’t want to spoil them! (I mean, even things that are spoilers from previous books which are so much a part of this story… Reviewing the last book in a series is hard, guys. XD)

Suffice it to say that there is catastrophe and eucatastrophe, laughter and tears and soul-stirring calls to battle, cataclysmic fights and epic quests, music and light and darkness and hope and triumph. And it’s all so BEAUTIFUL. *sniffs* *hugs book* It can be fun and epic in turns (I know I keep using that word but I’m NOT EVEN SORRY), and just—words fail. It’s just the kind of fantasy I like, I suppose. ^_^ There’s even a thread of Christian allegory, in the best way possible. So well done!

I love this world, and the unique fantasy elements, like the dreamworld things and the portal prison and just EVERYTHING. So intriguing. Twissssts caught me off my guard, were fascinating, or I bounced up and down because I suspected them and YES. The quest to an arctic-like place (sooo cool!). I loved the ship!! 😀 (See gorgeous cover for details.) And oh, the prophecy THINGS! O_O Wow, wow, wow. Such reveals going on! And the Corridor, and just EVERYTHING HAPPENED. And the dragonssss, and other fantastical creatures! (The wind!) Absolutely brilliant and delightful.

Oh, and a random thing, but I LOVE the little almost-Arthurian dashes of mythology thrown around here and there in the series. 😀 And I also really enjoyed the snatches of quotes etc. at the beginning of the chapters (new in this book). They were fascinating, and showed such a depth to the history of the world of Tellurae Aquaous, like a rich tapestry we catch glimpses of. It really gave me a feel for that, and made me long to know more about all the stories hinted at!

All my character friends! I love them all and they’ve come so far and just— *HUGS THEM* They go through SO much in this book, but I loved standing with them and watching them come through it all. Kitry is an adorable new heroine, and I love continuing to follow the adventures of Kamarie and Oraeyn, Brant and Dylanna, Yole, Leila, Kiernan Kane, Jemson, Devrin, and the rest. ❤ I could talk about each at length but this is getting long and also there would be so many spoilers. XD BUT I LOVE THEM. MY HEART.

Each book in The Minstrel’s Song series is more amazing than the last. I keep thinking “the next one can’t be better than this.” But they ARE. And the writing, too, is getting even better in each new installment! Yorien’s Hand was my favorite (it was also the first one I read, since I read them out of order… Oops.) and I re-read it and loved it all over again. And as I was reading Minstrel’s Call, I was like “Eh… it probably can’t be better than Yorien’s Hand.” BUT THEN SO MANY THINGS HAPPENED AND JUST. Every book builds on the previous one and becomes so much more epic and fantastic and it’s basically a climbing stair of awesome and I LOVE IT.

I love that this book and series are family-friendly fantasy, while still being epic and thrilling, and I fully intend to read these aloud to my siblings. (And also to get a shiny paperback of this one someday because I neeeed it on my shelf.)

It’s an enormous book, but I’m glad I got to spend a little more time with these beloved characters in this beautiful and perilous world. (BUT BRANT. AND KIERNAN. KIIIIERNAN!)

It’s practically perfect and I love it, and it was intense but made me absurdly happy, and just go read this series now. (And then come tell me so that we can flail about the spoilers in this book and how amazing Minstrel’s Call was. :D)

About Minstrel’s Call

War threatens. The game board is set. But the Minstrel is missing…

Advancing his growing power, the Dread Prince breaks free of his prison and brings a faction of dragons under his control, stirring unrest and hatred in the newly united kingdoms of Tellurae Aquaous.

When the dragon wards of Kallayohm are targeted in a ruthless attack, the High King travels there to administer justice. But the trial results in a crippling blow that leaves him reeling.

On the heels of defeat, an unexpected message from the erstwhile Minstrel arrives, pleading with his friends for rescue. Together, the High King and his companions must follow the fragile trail, braving peril and darkness that will test the measure of them all…


Rafflecopter Giveaway From Jenelle:

I am giving away 1 Dragon Sword, 1 252-piece puzzle of the artwork for Minstrel’s Call, and 1 signed paperback copy of Minstrel’s Call. (Due to standard-postal shipping restrictions of blades outside the continental USA, and the lack of reliable dragons these days, I cannot offer the sword to winners outside the U.S. However, if someone outside the U.S. wins that particular item, I will send them a $35 Amazon Gift Card instead).

Enter the giveaway HERE!

Visit Jenelle Online at:

Website/Blog • Facebook • Twitter • Amazon Author Page • Goodreads

Tour Schedule

Monday, February 26

Tuesday, February 27

Wednesday, February 28

Thursday, March 1

Friday, March 2

Monday, March 5

Tuesday, March 6

Wednesday, March 7

Thursday, March 8

Friday, March 9

Have you checked out this series yet? I love it so much! ❤

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

Related Reviews

5ERcover   Yoriens Hand - Cover Reveal Medium

Ten Thoughts on Dissemble by Sarah Addison-Fox (Allegiance Series, #2)

Title: Dissemble
Author: Sarah Addison-Fox

  • Date read: February 20, 2018
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Christian / Kingdom Adventure
  • Age: YA/NA
  • Year pub: 2018
  • Pages: 305 (ebook)
  • Series: The Allegiance Series, #2
  • Fave character: Torrance (and Mick)
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I received a free e-ARC of this book from the author (thanks!) and voluntarily reviewed it. These opinions are my own.
  • Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Website

Ten Thoughts on Dissemble

1. Well, well! That was intense! O_O I enjoyed book one (Disowned), but this sequel takes things to a totally new level. While the first one was a bit more of a quiet adventure (though still with its spots of action/peril) and I really liked that, book two has a whole other feel to it, with stakes raised, and gets more serious with lots of stuff going on. Meep! I was flipping pages there, let me tell you…

2. Dissemble is much grittier, and deals with tougher subjects. We’re also now in the thick of things, behind enemy lines in Kyraenea, with spying and intelligence agencies and double-crossing, and all that exciting stuff. XD Much action and suspense, with a thriller-like dash of agents, etc. Also, while it’s “Kingdom Adventure” in a made-up world (with no fantasy elements), it’s getting a more modern “feel” due to some more sophisticated weapons etc. because of the war, so that made an interesting upgrade.

3. CHARACTERS! I’m almost annoyed at Torrance for stealing top-favorite spot from Mick. Because I still love Mick! They’re both great (and especially fun when they interact. *grin, grin*). But Torrance, yes, is kind of fabulous eventually. *cough* I still like Celeste—she goes through a lot in this book, poor thing! (I was really surprised by liking Amaya too!) I really, really like our main characters, and I’m so attached to them and their journeys! I can’t wait to read more. I especially loved when they all interact—some great dynamics there, which were the best-written parts, in my opinion, and really leapt off the page. 🙂 BUT MICK AND TORRANCE AND EVERYBODY. MY PRECIOUS FRIENDS. *hugs them*

4. There are two EXTREMELY ADORABLE romances in this book. No names, but let’s just say that the continuing one from book one is so sweet (but just talk to each other, already, you two!), and the unexpected other one is UTTERLY PRECIOUS. Awk. There is so much cuteness going on in between the action and peril. XD

5. There were Twists. *evil cackle* Two in particular, which I sort of saw coming but really liked. And I was just really surprised at some of the characters and how they turned out, and I love it! It kept me guessing, but also turned out way better than I thought, especially one or two things I was very much on the edge of my seat about. I was nearly cheering “YESSSS!” near the end a couple times. 😀 I’m just sitting here feeling happy. ^_^ (I do need the next book though. AHEM.) Basically, the plot is exciting and keeps you on your toes!

6. Not sure how realistic it was or not, but some of the characters who’ve spent all their lives being suspicious of other people, when confronted with the Haynes family, realize “Oh, these are good people!” with such surprise, and it’s kind of precious. XD It was neat getting scenes about them and other characters back home in Etraea, while Celeste and co. were off having adventures.

7. I was so sucked in to the setting/world. It was incredibly vivid, and I saw everything so clearly as I read. What a talent! Oh, and I loved the scene on the beach! So beautiful and sweet! 🙂 (How about that AWESOME, GORGEOUS cover? I love it! ^_^) And for some reason I really loved the bits at the safe-house place hidden in the trees. 🙂


9. Content: While this is a Young Adult, Christian book, some readers might like to be aware that if it was a movie it would probably be rated PG-13 for a little mild language/drinking, some inappropriate implications, and action-thriller-type violence. Despite this, and dealing with some other darker themes, the book did have an overall uplifting sort of feel to it, and there was goodness to counteract the villains, as well as the last chapter ending on a quite hopeful note.

10. Overall, mostly, I loved it! I’ve really enjoyed both books in these series so far, and I’ve gotten incredibly fond/attached to CERTAIN PEOPLE, and just give me book three already, please and thank you. *grabby hands*

~ ~ ~

You can read my review for book one: Dissemble by clicking the cover below…

What do you think? Have you checked out this series yet?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

10 Things I Love About “The Last Motley” by DJ Edwardson

Hello, dear page dreamers! Oh boy, do I have a treat for you today!

DJ Edwardson’s fantasy novel, The Last Motley, is releasing in digital form today (paperback available too), and I’m here to tell you ALL about how you must drop everything and go read this amazing fantasy tale at once!

(And stay tuned at the end of this post for a link to the blogtour and giveaway currently going on to celebrate the release!)

But firstly, look at that stunning cover…

Title: The Last Motley
Author: DJ Edwardson

  • Date read: January 16, 2018
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Epic Fantasy / Christian
  • Age: Any
  • Year pub: 2018
  • Pages: 424 (ebook)
  • Fave character: I can’t decide; I love them all!
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I received a free e-copy of this book from the author (thank you!). These opinions are entirely my own.
  • Links: Amazon • Goodreads • Author’s Website

Well, here’s one for the favorite books list! Absolutely delightful fantasy, one of the best I’ve read! I loved it so much! ^_^

Here are 10 (ish) things I love about The Last Motley.

1. It’s familiar and new all at once. It feels like a classic sort of fantasy tale, while at the same time being quite unique and not at all what you’d think! There are a few plot twists near the end which kept me on my toes (one of them I’m not sure about, but I sort of saw it coming and I THINK I’m okay with it) and otherwise I have no complaints at all—I loved everything about this book!

2. It reminds me a bit of Lloyd Alexander or Tolkien—high praise from me. 😉 Not in a repetitive sort of way, but in an it’s-just-that-good kind of way, with some similar flavors, such as colorful characters like Lloyd Alexander, and the real sort of “feel” of the world, like Tolkien.

3. A lot of the story and characters are not at all what you’d expect! I won’t say much about the story, lest I spoil it, other than to say that there’s a quest (huzzah!) and much adventure and excitement. 🙂 It’s a wonderful journey/quest going on, and somehow manages to feel familiar but surprising at once, like the best fantasy tales. There’s a lingering mystery to it all too, which was fascinating, and the conclusion is very exciting! O_O

4. As for the characters—well, my favorites! Roderick is a surprising hero—he’s only a simple tailor (as he’s fond of reminding people), and all he really wants is to stay with his lovely wife and little daughter, but he finds himself off on a quest… and more than he bargained for! He’s a little like Bilbo or Sam Gamgee in that way (though unique from them, of course), goodhearted and rather out of place in the wide world, just wanting his quiet home, and family—but that of course makes him the BEST of heroes, in his own simple way. I LOVED Roderick! 😀 Also, I thought it was brilliant how he noticed things about people by their clothes; he’s a TAILOR, so naturally he’s an expert on this, and it was incredible how that worked into the story in subtle ways. (And I love how he says “Oh, buttons.” I think I may adopt this. XD)

5. Then we have other characters, which I will briefly mention but try not to give too much away—because you must go meet them in the book yourself! There’s the wise old men Jareth and Kendall, an independent young woman named Portia, and of course Nagan! Not much to say about Nagan other than that he’s absolutely HILARIOUS, and his lines are some of my favorites in the book, which also makes him one of my favorites to read about! He has SO much personality. XD Then, last but not least, we have the titular Motley, Jacob, a young boy who… well… SPOILERS… but he’s absolutely the most ADORABLE thing and I love him so much! I love ALL the characters, particularly all together. GAAH. *hugs them all*

6. There was a depth and strength to the story, with themes of faith and especially of family woven throughout. Roderick has a strong faith, which was wonderful to see evident throughout the book in his simple trust and prayers. LOVED those parts. Some of the elements were rich with truth and felt deep and rather like George MacDonald or C.S. Lewis. And some of the conclusions might take you by surprise, in the best way! I loved the subtle messages and themes I got out of it! 🙂 And the last couple of paragraphs were great.

7. One of the strongest things I got out of it was the focus on family. I LOVED that. You don’t get a lot of fantasy books (or, well, books in general) focusing on family this much. Roderick and his wife, Bethany, and their little daughter, are lovely, and I love how he’s so protective of little Jacob. Their relationship is simply the best! The way Roderick thinks of Bethany all the time and what she’d do or think or say, and just wants to go home to his family, warmed my heart and made me so happy. ^_^ It’s a family book and we need more of those. ❤ And talking of family: the book is suitable reading for the entire family, which pleases me muchly. There are a few rather scary fantasy-shadow parts with the villains, so very young children might find it a little scary, but otherwise it’s totally family friendly. 🙂

8. The fantasy world of Arinn was fascinating, and I felt instantly at home there. I want to see more of it! It was a joy traveling through it with the characters—I felt so much a part of its hills and forests and rivers etc. It felt so colorful (appropriately so) and alive and just—I don’t know! It’s very homey (despite the inevitable dangers of such worlds. ;)) and I love it! Also, it made me hungry; sooo much food. I need to eat some fruit now! XD

9. The writing is another one of my favorite things about this book. It’s clever and funny by turns, and the little comparisons or twists of phrase lent it an air of whimsical, wry humor, which I absolutely adored. I often enjoy the writing in books, but this one had an extra something special. 😀 I had to pause here and there to savor some brilliant turn of phrase. I felt like I was eating a rich cake, or something!

10. Did I mention it’s funny? Because it’s funny! Not always in a laugh-out-loud way, but between some of the writing, and certain of the characters—particularly Nagan—it sparkled with humor here and there and made it that much more pleasant to read. I always particularly value books that make me laugh—and this one brought tears to my eyes too at a couple of particularly beautiful, heartfilling parts near the end! ❤ (Speaking of the end—in the last chapter there was a reference, or possibly two, which absolutely MADE MY DAY. I don’t know if others will catch them but it had me grinning insanely. XD Inside jokes are the. best.)

To conclude, I loved everything about it! This is an absolutely delightful book, in every way possible—from the story, the writing, the CHARACTERS, the humor and emotion, to the family and faith element, the world, and just an extra level of rich SOMETHING which I can’t put my finger on but characterizes this as one of my new favorite books! ^_^

This is quality fantasy, right here.

I’m eagerly awaiting more from this author, and I HIGHLY recommend The Last Motley to anybody who loves a good fantasy tale—because this certainly is one, and more.

(A Few) Favorite Quotes

from The Last Motley by DJ Edwardson

“Is it time to go already?” Jacob rubbed the sleep from his eyes with the backs of his two little fists. “What’s that sound?”

“Wolves,” Roderick said. “Now up, up, it’s time for a quick bite and we’re off.”

“We’re having wolves for breakfast?” Jacob asked.

Roderick ruffled the top of Jacob’s head. “No, sleepy, that’s wolves howling off in the distance.”


“Regrettably, I must take my leave. I swear I shall never forget you gentle folk— or your smell— but my feet are calling me home.”

“And where would that be?” Kendall asked.

Nagan hesitated, scanning the horizon in several directions as if attempting to get his bearings. “That’s an interesting question,” he said finally.


“Afraid of trees, eh? I might just have to chop one down and wear it around my neck, then,” Nagan said.


“Of course it won’t be safe. But nothing is ever truly safe. Some things are just more dangerous than others.”


“And you’ll know peace, and joy, and the shadows will never come again.”


“Wonderful!” Nagan said. “How do you spell that?”

A pair of flashing red eyes blinked into existence at the far side of the ruins, weaving in and out amongst the crumbled stone.

“I have no idea,” Roderick said. “I can’t read.”

“And I can’t spell to save my life,” Nagan said. “Which, unfortunately, is more than just a figure of speech at the moment.”

~ ~ ~

What do you think? Aaah, this book! Does it intrigue you? Because it’s SO GOOD. ❤

There’s a blog tour for The Last Motley to celebrate its release, running from today through February 17, and there’s a sale and a giveaway and other fun things! So be sure to check it out! 😀

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

Rulers and Mages (by Daley Downing) – The Order of the Twelve Tribes: Volume 2

Title: Rulers and Mages
Author: Daley Downing

  • Date read: December 26, 2017
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2017
  • Pages: 204 (paperback)
  • Series: The Order of the Twelve Tribes: Volume 2
  • Fave character: Alex, Avery
  • Source: Barnes & Noble
  • Notes: I beta-read an early version of this book, then bought a paperback of the final version which I read before writing this review.
  • Links: GoodreadsBarnes & NobleAuthor’s Blog

Another lovely tale of modern fantasy from author Daley Downing! This book was great fun. ^_^

Masters and Beginners, the first book, introduced us to protagonists Sophie and Flynn Driscoll, and their family and friends, part of the Order of the Twelve Tribes which deals with the existence of Fey and other magical beings in our modern world—protecting the knowledge. I loved getting to step into that world in the first book and meet the characters, and this second book takes us one step further into their lives and adventures.

Once again, the mixture of modern everyday life with the secrets of Fey and artifacts and shapeshifting cats and so on, was fascinating, and so was the element of Nephilim and Biblical mythology which was gone into a bit more. Occasionally a bit odd, but interesting. XD I LOVED seeing more of Faerie and the Fey, just a bit, and some of the new characters were fabulous! But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I enjoyed getting to spend more time with the characters I’ve grown very fond of from the first book, such as Sophie and Flynn, and their parents James and Kate, and the half-fey neighbors including Alex, who’s my favorite! (I do want more of him!) Emma was… interesting. She was a little hard to like through part of it, having gained an attitude; I liked her more in the first book, though I DO appreciate that she’s having a hard time and stuff in this one, which of course can do things to people! And twists… And I still love Jules the cat sith and other characters. Some newer ones, like Prince Crispin (very brief, but he was so cool!) and Avery, were fantastic! Avery’s another favorite—she has such spark to her, and she’s basically a really cool aunt. 😉 I’m excited to see more of her in her new role! (No spoilers. :P)

There’s also a lot of character growth going on, and I really appreciated how the book dealt with the aftermath of the memory charm from the end of the first book! You don’t often get that, seeing what happens after a bunch of people forget everything… That was fascinating and well done. 🙂 I love the Archives, too! And I continue to love the film and book references, and the little snatches of articles and things after chapters, which add depth to the world.

It’s a little hard to talk about most of the things in the book because spoilers! Sooo many spoilers. And villain MEEPery. O_O But the story was definitely interesting! (One tricky thing for me was that I kept having phantom memories of different or alternate scenes because I read an early beta-version first, but that’s my own problem. XD) There’s adventure and secrets and discovery and betrayal, and joy and heartbreak and tears and love. I have a complicated relationship with a few of the twists, especially near the end, because on the one hand I’m not sure about them, but on the other hand, there ARE two more books in the series! 😉 And notoriously, one of my main issues with Volume 1 was resolved in this one… So I will look forward to seeing how some of that turns out.

There are definitely threads hanging and little hints that leave me going “WHAT??? IS THAT WHAT I THINK IT IS?? TELL ME MORE. O_O” so I’m definitely awaiting more books rather anxiously! Overall, this book is on a slightly larger scale than the first one, with more going on and more things for me to be not sure about but also more for me to go “AWESOME!” over. 😀 The first one was such a fun romp and a delightful introduction to this world/characters, while this one is going deeper and giving me feels and… yes. Anyway.

All of that to say, I may be on the fence (for now) about a couple of things, but on the whole I really enjoyed this book! It’s unique and fantastical and really well done. I definitely recommend giving the first book a try if you haven’t, and if you love fairy things and modern stories mixed (like I do!). Now I’ll be putting this lovely book on my shelf to look pretty next to the first volume and await more. 🙂 I’m rather addicted to this series and this world, and I love most of the characters, and I’m just basically FOND. ❤

~ ~ ~

Well. Do YOU like faerie things? BECAUSE YAY! And what do you think of the lovely cover Kyle Robert Shultz made for it? Does this series intrigue you? (Book 1 made my list of Top 15 Favorites of 2017! :))

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

Disowned (by Sarah Addison-Fox) – Allegiance Series, #1

Title: Disowned
Author: Sarah Addison-Fox

  • Date read: January 9, 2018
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Christian / Kingdom Adventure
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2017
  • Pages: 334
  • Series: The Allegiance Series, #1
  • Fave character: Mick!
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I received a free e-copy of this book from the author (many thanks!). These opinions are my own.
  • Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Website

What a unique, enjoyable book!

The story kept me absorbed and guessing, and it’s a nice mix of action/thrilling, and life sequences with character moments. There’s a dash of romance which was alternately cute and frustrating—just say what you mean, already, characters! (The usual. ;)) It could be raw and real and emotional and deal with war and things, but also be lighthearted and fun at other times. Quite balanced and well-written. 🙂 Anyway, I liked the story and I can’t wait to see where it goes next!

On to characters!

Mick was my favorite; I loved him! The soldier type, he has a temper and a gruff exterior at times, but he’s goodhearted and loyal, and has a wry sense of humor. His dialog was the best. 😀 It was also neat picking out his relationships with everyone around him, like his family and Celeste and Asher.

Celeste was a good heroine and I liked how the author did a great job with her outlook on things clearly showing how foreign the more “normal” world of Mick and his family was to her, since Celeste is from the country with which his homeland is at war. I loved Mick and Celeste figuring each other out after being at odds.

Mick’s family, the Haynes, were so nice. ^_^ Having an entire family as central characters was a sweet and refreshing element! I liked how they were just good people, and a tight-knit little group. We have Maggie and Ethan, the parents (who share POV switching back and forth with Mick and Celeste), who were both such homely, good people; Maggie’s so sweet and motherly, and Ethan’s a solid, strong sort of father-figure. Then there’s Joe and Sadie, the little siblings of Mick; they’re fun, though I was occasionally unsure what age they’re supposed to be. A lot of the lightheartedness comes from them. 🙂

Other characters were intriguing, particularly Mick’s friend Asher (I’d like to find out more about him), and the monks who we saw a few times, though not as much as I thought at first. Everyone was very individual and came to life on the page! 🙂

The setting was very interesting! Some might call it non-magical fantasy, but there’s nothing fantastical about it—it’s merely non-historical countries in another land. Hence the newly-named genre Kingdom Adventure, which this book definitely belongs to. 🙂 I thought it might be medieval-esque, but while it does have dashes of that (with a monastery and things), it ended up feeling almost more like a frontier western type of era, 1800s perhaps, with a smidge of more modern feel too. There are guns, horses, potbellied stoves, and a little town with shops, as well as an organized military and intelligence which felt more modern with a lot of the wording, and electricity is a new thing so there’s lightbulbs… But apparently there’s a queen and there are many references to the Crown, so the western feel doesn’t totally fit. I guess it’s like non-magical fantasy meets western meets kingdom meets almost-modern. 🙂 Anyway, the point is that it felt very unique! A few times some of the elements didn’t mesh totally for me, but on the whole it felt like its own individual land that I’ve now become familiar with. ^_^ That’s one of the fun things about Fantasy and Kingdom Adventure—the feel of the world and getting to know it. I hope to go back to this land of Etraea sometime!

Content-wise, for those who wish to know, it’s a little bit gritty at times, so I’d recommend it to slightly older teens. There’s a little bit of gruesomeness due to war, and some other references/things which might make it more PG-13, but fairly mild. And there’s a faith element which was nicely integrated, since there’s an allegorical God and so forth. I liked how faith-filled the Haynes family was. 🙂

That ending! It didn’t cliff-hanger, exactly, but it sort of… stopped rather suddenly, and there are quite a few questions left hanging, including some big changes. I keep wondering what happens next (I want the next scene!) and I’m extremely curious to find out what will happen in later books! I want to know what happens with Mick and Celeste and their stories!

Overall, I enjoyed it very much indeed! ^_^ It was just… really good, and I loved the characters! ❤ (And and and — book 2, where are you?!) I recommend it to anyone who likes a good adventure story, and I’ll be watching for more books by this author! 😀

Favorite Quote

“You picked a bad time to get shot.”

Mick raised an eyebrow. “Is there a good time to get shot?”

~ ~ ~

What do you think? Sound intriguing? Don’t you just LOVE that cover? ^_^

[NOTE: Although I’m not part of it, there’s a month-long January blog tour going on for this book! You can find the links in this post.]

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll