Tag Archive | Fantasy

10 Thoughts on The Firethorn Crown by Lea Doué

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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.

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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

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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. 😄

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.

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


Thanks for reading, dear Pagelings!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

Book Spotlight: Masters and Beginners by Daley Downing

I’m excited to spotlight a blogging buddy’s debut novel, releasing today! 🙂

Hot off the press (well, figuratively; we don’t want the paper bursting into flame), a picture of the cover of Masters and Beginners

Title: Masters and Beginners (Volume 1 of The Order of the Twelve Tribes)
Author: Daley Downing

Genres: YA, fantasy, contemporary
Pages: 193
Notes: 1st in a series of 6

When Sophie Driscoll’s grandmother dies, her parents take over running the Annex, a warehouse facility that stores magical artifacts and documents proving, and protecting, the existence of faeries. Sophie and her brothers, Flynn and Cal, happily adjust to a new house, new friends, and a new way of living, joining the ranks of generations who have kept the fey and mortal realms separate for centuries. Before the first month of their new life is over, they’ll encounter romance, elves, talking cats, ancient secrets, and potentially lethal danger. What could possibly go wrong…

Excerpts

Sophie: “What about Gwen? Will she be all right?”
Alex: “She’ll be fine. We just need to get out of here. My wings are about to pop.”
Sophie (to herself): Did he just say wings? He said wings.

The Driscolls hadn’t always lived in Rylen, Ohio. Kate had grown up here; but when she was 18, she went to England to study abroad (just as her little sister later would), and there she met a very nice young man called James; the short version was that they got married and started a family, and stayed in southeast Britain for several years.

When Sophie was 9 years old, her family moved from Brighton and Hove, back to Rylen, Ohio. They moved into the newest development in the small town, Mercantile Manor, so called after the butchers and bakers and candlestick makers that used to run their businesses in the former colonial village.

James was a history teacher for the local schools, while Kate worked from home and taught their kids. After a couple of years, though, the Driscoll siblings decided they wanted to go to “regular school,” like the other kids in their ballet/music/art/swimming lessons.

But sticking to that decision was becoming more and more challenging. The fact that they weren’t like other people, that their family was different – even if they didn’t want this to be true – wasn’t going away.

Gramie Sheridan’s passing meant they couldn’t ignore it anymore. Her death had set their destiny into motion.

Note from the author on how to obtain a copy of Masters and Beginners:

  • Contact me: daley.downing@gmail.com.
  • Or: via the blog (https://daleydowning.wordpress.com/), which also has my Twitter handle in the sidebar.
  • Just the book: $15
  • Subscription box (limited quantity): $25 [Each box includes: a signed copy of Volume 1, three free gifts, and a letter from one of the characters. (Just for setting that truly ambient feel…)]

(Note: I am in the process of establishing a Paypal account so that I can accept credit card orders and international payments. That should be going by the end of this month. Anyone living outside of the USA interested in making a purchase can email me for details on that.)

(I am not on Amazon, nor do I have e-book format yet, due to cost restrictions for this first edition. The e-book part I’m hoping to change in the future.)

I will be hosting 2 giveaways in May – one North America only, one international only. So non-USA/Canada readers can try that as well.

Well, I don’t know about you, Pagelings, but I’m loving the sound of this with its flavor of contemporary but secret existence of Faeries and elves and talking cats and all!

Watch for a book review on this one from yours truly in the near-ish future! ^_^

What do you think? Sound intriguing? Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

Fantasy Month Plans/Nightstand Books

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Behold my hoped-for nightstand reads for February is Fantasy Month! (Rolling two different Jenelle-Schmidt-themed things into one since she and DJ Edwardson came up with Nightstand Books? XD)

These are the (visible) fantasy books I hope to try to read this month… mostly fantasy. 😉 Not pictured are a few beta-reads I must read (exciting! But not very photographable! XD). And I’m reading a Jane Austen (Mansfield Park, being the last one I haven’t read) because reasons.

  • King’s Blood — I’m reading this one for review and JUST LOOK AT ITS GORGEOUSNESS. AND ENORMITY. I may be at this one for awhile. 😄 It’s big enough that I’m trying not to be too ambitious for my other reading this month. o.o
  • The Firethorn CrownThe Fellowship of Fantasy is reading this one this month as a book club read and it’s the perfect excuse for me to finally read the gorgeous copy I won last year and didn’t get around to reading. (#fail) But it’s a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses so I’m excited. 😀
  • Howl’s Moving Castle — Speaking of book clubs, the Goodreads Diana Wynne Jones Fans group is reading HMC this month for a Valentine-ish read, and I need no excuse to reread one of my top two favorite books. ❤
  • Mixed Magics — I’m re-reading (aloud) my way through the Chrestomanci series, and this one’s next. Going to be fun. 🙂 This series is even MORE amazing on reread!

Posting Plans for February

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Sometimes I’m entirely planned out and have aaall my posts either ready or at least planned.

And then there are the other times.

This is one of those other times. 😉

But hey, let’s roll with it! I have no concrete plans for the month, but I hope to share a few fantasy book reviews throughout the month (if I can actually get around to writing them… >.>) and I may do a fantasy-ish tag thingamy. I don’t know! But hopefully some fun, regardless. 🙂

Fantasy Etc. Scavenger Hunt (Jill Williamson)

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Also! There’s a fun (and mostly fantasy) scavenger hunt later this month that Jill Williamson and some other authors are holding to celebrate the release of King’s Blood — so you simply must mark your calendars for February 17-19 because it looks like so much fun.

There’s also a super-cool giveaway for a signed copy of King’s Blood on the post about the hunt (this giveaway runs till the 7th I think?) so go enter! 😀

AND THE MAP. Jill made this GORGEOUS map for the scavenger hunt, visiting the worlds of the various books/worlds of the authors on the stops AND IT’S SUCH A BRILLIANT MAP AND I LOVE IT. (I mean, look how the USA and Europe are on there… and the space stations to the sci-fi books appear to be in Florida and Russia(?) like in real life, and Leira (from Orphan’s Song and Songkeeper) is by a desert, and just… it’s brilliant okay and I love it and can’t wait, so I had to mention it. 😄

So! There’s a peek at some of my plans for this month! Do you have any?

Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

February is Fantasy Month! {2017}

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Hello, fellow page-dreamers! This month is an exciting time to blog and just to be alive, because it’s Fantasy Month!

Yes, the wonderful Jenelle Schmidt is once again holding February is Fantasy Month, complete with a linky so everyone can share their fantastical fantasy posts!

I don’t know if I’ll have much posting going on myself but I’d like to post at least a couple things for it, since Fantasy is of course the best genre, as we all know. 😉

So if you love Fantasy, remember that February is Fantasy Month! And maybe take this as an excuse to write blog posts about Fantasy things, Fantasy book reviews, and read Fantasy books!

Don’t forget to drop by Jenelle’s post to join in the fun (she’ll be posting Fantasy posts throughout the month) and do join in if you wish!

All month long, during this short and cold and grey month, let’s escape into those greener fantastical worlds and revel in the amazingness of Fantasy! Huzzah!

*throws fairy dust because neither glitter nor confetti is quite fantastical enough for this occasion*

(Also, yes, this does mean I’m back to blogging after hiatusing in January… 😉 Expect occasional posts both here and on my other blog soonish — stay tuned.)

Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

#FantasyFunMonth Book Tag

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#FantasyFunMonth by @JillWilliamson on Twitter

So… this isn’t exactly a tag, per se, and it’s six months late at that, but I saw this cool Twitter tag thing from Jill Williamson back in March and thought it would be fun to take the questions and instead of doing one every day for a month (which would be exhausting) turning them into a tag on a blog post!

At the time, I had just done a February Fantasy month, and I was busy, so I didn’t get around to this till now. So! Let the fantasy fun begin!

1. Fantasy Currently Reading

King’s Warrior by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt, and enjoying it muchly. 🙂

2. Fave Fantasy Series

The Lord of the Rings, The Prydain Chronicles, The Chronicles of Narnia, etc.

3. Fave Fantasy Quote

“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.”

— Lloyd Alexander

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4. Fave Fantasy Hero(ine)

Oh, so many. There are several I could choose… but I’m going to pick some I’ve been thinking of lately.

For hero, I’m picking Tom Lynn from Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, because he’s a great hero. I said a lot about him in my review.

And for heroine, I’m picking Wilhelmina from The Skin Map and The Bone House by Stephen R. Lawhead (which are the first two books of The Bright Empires 5-book series, which I’m reading, and have read the first two so far and loved). Mina is just… I don’t know. She’s amazing. I want to be her. 🙂

5. Fave Fantasy Book Cover

Five Enchanted Roses. You gotta admit, it’s pretty gorgeous. 😉

6. Fave Fantasy Map

The map of Middle-earth is classic, so I’m going with that one.

7. Fave Fantasy Sidekick

Lockwood from Illusionarium by Heather Dixon. (Hush, it’s totally fantasy; I know it’s mostly steampunk but I’m saying it’s fantasy anyway because I want to answer Lockwood.)

8. Movie Better Than Book

The Princess Bride is one of the only movies I liked better than the book, but it’s simply the best as a movie, so I’m going to go with that one.

9. Epic Fantasy Fave

The Lord of the Rings put the “epic” in Epic Fantasy, so that one. 😉

10. Fave Fantasy Book Title

Kestrel’s Midnight Song by J.R. Parker. I’ve always loved that title. ❤

11. Fave Fantasy Animal/Beastie

Dragons and Griffins are classic… and they can fly, so there’s that!

12. Fave Fantasy Stand-Alone

This one suddenly makes me realize how many books have sequels. O_O Um. No clue. I guess I’ll just put Howl’s Moving Castle here and pretend there weren’t two more books… (They’re sort of about other people, so maybe that counts?)

13. Guess That Fantasy (from quote)

Instead of guessing one or making you guess, I’m just sharing a random fantasy quote that I love saying randomly. ❤

“SOUNDS GROSS,” he said. “SALAZAR PREFERS WOOD. TAPESTRIES ARE ALSO ACCEPTABLE.”

Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal

14. Fave Fantasy Magic System

My mind is horrifyingly blank on this one. I know there must be some, but I can’t remember!

15. Highly Recommended Fantasy

Off the top of my head: The Gammage Cup by Carol Kendall, Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal.

16. Last Fantasy You Bought

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett are recent ones I’m excited to read, since I’ve heard such good things about both. 🙂

17. Book Better Than Movie

How about… ALL OF THEM? 😄

18. Cheezy Fantasy Fave

Hmm. I’m not good with things like “cheesy” because I don’t really like calling things that?

19. YA Fantasy Fave

How about By Darkness Hid, To Darkness Fled, and From Darkness Won by Jill Williamson.

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20. Fave Fantasy Cast

The Lord of the Rings and Howl’s Moving Castle kind of can’t be beat on this one… (I know, I know, I keep answering with those… I can’t help it!) But there are SO MANY fabulous fantasy casts. I just can’t choose.

21. Fastest Fantasy Read

Anything by Diana Wynne Jones. I always buzz through those really quickly.

22. Fave Wizard/Mentor

This reminds me of the Silmarillion Awards we had a couple months back… 😉 Um. I’ll go with Howl and Chrestomanci for favorite wizards (though I think Chrestomanci’s technically an enchanter? I don’t remember) and Cosimo (The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead) and Beana (Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl) for mentors, and Gandalf for both Wizard/Mentor.

23. Fave Childhood Fantasy

The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander. They introduced me to fantasy as a wee thing, and I still love them muchly.

24. Fave Fantasy Romance

So many wonderful characters. Hmmm.. Off the top of my head: Sophie and Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle, Mendanbar and Cimerene from Searching for Dragons, Ginger and Hal from Paper Crowns, and of course Faramir and Eowyn from The Lord of the Rings. THEY’RE ALL SO PRECIOUS.

25. Fantasy Never Finished

I… always finish, so I can’t think of one… I do remember starting The Once and Future King by T. H. White once and not getting around to finishing it at the time because it was so long, but I do fully intend to get back to it at some point.

26. Middle Grade Fantasy Fave

I never know exactly how to know which those are… But I’ll go with The Land of Elyon series by Patrick Carman, since they’re likely for a younger audience but I love them to death.

27. Fave Fantasy Weapon

The sword of King Mendanbar of the Enchanted Forest, from Searching for Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede! It’s just the best and it’s so handy and magical and I love it.

28. Slowest Fantasy Read

It was called Hero’s Song by Edith Pattou and I should have liked it because it was based on Celtic mythology (I think?) but it was so. slow. and it took me MONTHS to read it and I just couldn’t like it which made me sad. -_-

29. Fantasy Read Repeatedly

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. ❤

30. Most Anticipated Fantasy

An Earthly King by Hazel B. West (cover reveal coming Sept. 9 on her blog!!), Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, and King’s Blood by Jill Williamson (which sadly seems to have moved its release date to next year. *wailing*). I WANTS THEM, PRECIOUSSS. ❤

31. Fave Fantasy Author

J. R. R. Tolkien and Diana Wynne Jones, naturally. 😉

How about you? Feeling fantasy-ish now? Agree with any of my picks? (SO hard to choose!) Answer the questions in the comments or steal this tag idea if you want! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

The Rose and the Balloon – Cover Reveal!

Today I’m VERY excited to take part in revealing the cover of a book I’m currently reading, The Rose and the Balloon by Kirsten Fichter, which is a Beauty and the Beast retelling with a steampunk twist! (What is not to love?? Answer: nothing at all, naturally!)

The book is coming out on August 1st, which is sooooon, and I’ll be reviewing it sometime thereafter (so far I’m quite enjoying it!).

Meanwhile!

Cover reveal coming iiiin . . .

3 . . .

2 . . .

1 . . .

*drumroll*

. . . LAUNCH AIR-BALLOON!

(Wait, what? Where did that come from? O_O Go away, Crazy Maeva! *cough*)

Er, that is…

BEHOLD!

ITS!

BEAUTEOUSNESS!

(But not beastness? AHEM.)

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Summary:

Cover5_storyIn a kingdom where fauna and flora are held in higher esteem than breakfast, Dmitri is a prince who yearns for change and plans it in a single daring act that will alter his life forever. However, when his demented mother accidentally causes the destruction of a prized garden of roses, Dmitri is horrified when she proposes his hand in marriage to make up for it. Not only will a wife hamper his glorious plans, he doesn’t even want one.

Janelle has spent her whole life on her father’s rose farm, tending the roses and staying simple. But she really yearns for something greater than the flower beds. But now there’s a wrench thrown in the works – the crazy Queen Maeva wants her to marry the prince, and all for ruining her father’s beloved roses.

This is Beauty and the Beast with a twist like you’ve never seen it before.

Find the book on: Goodreads | Pinterest Board

About the author:

AuthorPic1Kirsten Fichter is a twenty-something Christian writer who is trying to find the balance between being one of six kids, a church pianist, a college student, a movie buff, a disaster in the kitchen, and a writing INFP. If you know what the secret is to balancing all of that, she’d be grateful to hear from you. Otherwise, don’t contact her unless you want to send her homemade gingerbread. Or a new piano book. Or an autographed Charles Dickens novel. In the meantime, she’ll be somewhere under a maple tree – trying very hard to finish the seventeen and half other stories she unwisely started all at once.

Find her here: Blog (Lianne Taimenlore) | Twitter (@KiriLiz) | Goodreads

So! What do you think? Isn’t it GORGEOUS??? *flails around and collapses* (Yes, I posted it in two sizes because I couldn’t decide which one to do. So you got to look at it twice. YOU’RE WELCOME.) I have a thing for roses, myself, as well as for Beauty and the Beast, so I obviously am absolutely swooning over this cover and this book. 😀 I hope it makes you want to read it, because it does me! ❤

Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

Review: Songkeeper by Gillian Bronte Adams

I reviewed SONGKEEPER by Gillian Bronte Adams (sequel to ORPHAN’S SONG) on my other blog, The Road of a Writer. Check it out if you haven’t! 🙂

The Road of a Writer

Orphan's Song--Front Cover 02Today’s the day! Gillian Bronte Adams is an INCREDIBLE author, whose books I devour and leave me hungering for more, so it’s with great excitement that I can happily say: The long-awaited sequel to Orphan’s Song has finally released!

*cue trumpet blast and ecstatic flailing around with confetti fireworks in the background*

As you may remember, I ADORED Orphan’s Song (in fact, it was one of the top-two-favorite books I read in 2014) and I have been anxiously awaiting the continuance of the story after that cliffhanger… The wait is finally over!

Read on for my review, and be sure to drop by the author’s blog throughout the week to see what celebrations/giveaways/fun things are going on!


SONGKEEPER-FRONT-COVER

Songkeeper (The Songkeeper Chronicles, #2)

by Gillian Bronte Adams

Sequel to Orphan’s Song (read my review)

YA Christian Fantasy

Released April 15, 2016

I received an advance reader copy of this book…

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