Tag Archive | Fantasy

5 Thoughts on Armor of Aletheia by Ralene Burke

Title: Armor of Aletheia

Author: Ralene Burke

  • Date read: October 31, 2018
  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Genre: Fantasy / Christian Fantasy
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2018
  • Pages: 268 (ebook)
  • Series: Sacred Armor Trilogy, #1
  • Fave character: Tristan (eventually. ;))
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I received a free e-ARC of this book from the author. I was not required to write a review, and all opinions are my own.
  • Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Website

Such an enjoyable book! It seems like it’s been awhile since I’ve read a really classic-feeling Epic Fantasy quest novel, so this one hit the spot nicely! I love how it felt classic, but also had some new twists that I didn’t see coming. I particularly loved the world in this one! There are elves and dragons and shapeshifters and a griffin and a talking (ish) horse, and scary wolf-like things called lupens. I also loved the wintry feel and the different places, both gorgeous and scary, that the characters visited.

Karina, our heroine, could be a little frustrating at times, but on the whole she was great—and I loved Dom the horse! 😉 I also loved a certain shapeshifter elf (so feisty and cool!), and a guard captain who was awesome. But my favorite—eventually—was Tristan! At first I wasn’t sure about this bounty hunter, but as I suspected, he quickly became pretty awesome. 😉 I won’t give anything away but I’m all here for the character-arcs is all I’m saying. The banter between Tristan and Karina is MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. 😀 I love them so much. ^_^ Tristan particularly is rather quotable, and I always love that. (Also, how cool are their names!)

Sometimes it seemed a little rushed or confusing (to me), some of the wording felt a little odd (maybe just me?), and it could maybe have used an extra edit (though I did read an Advance Reader Copy, so I don’t know if it was the final version). But those things didn’t detract from the story too much. 🙂 It took me a little while to get really into it, but by about a quarter through I was loving it. 😀

It was neat reading about this world of three kingdoms (including Aletheia) and following Karina’s quest! Like I said, there were some twists, and even though it had a classic fantasy quest feel, it still felt fresh—and suspenseful! Also, the parts where the Creator guided them and where Karina met basically an angel were cool, and the element from the title—the armor of the Creator, including the belt of Truth and the shield of Faith—is a really neat concept to explore in a fantasy world, and I’m looking forward to where it goes.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable read and I’m so glad I picked it up! Perfect for fans of Christian fantasy. I’m already looking forward very much to the sequel and seeing where Karina and Tristan and their companions end up next! 🙂

~ ~ ~

What do you think? And what’s the latest great fantasy you’ve read?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

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Blood in the Snow by Sarah Pennington: Review/Blog Tour!

Hey, my pagelings!

I’m SO excited today to be taking part in the blog tour for the Seven Magic Mirrors co-release of seven Snow White novellas by six different authors, all releasing this week!

Specifically, I’m reviewing Blood in the Snow by Sarah Pennington, and guys, I’m just SO SO EXCITED. I’ve known Sarah for years and she’s a delightful friend, blogger, and — now I know for absolute sure — a stupendous author! I’ve been waiting for her to have a book out for me to read and review and (hopefully) fangirl over for years and IT IS THIS DAY. I’m absurdly pleased about this. 😀

Also, make sure you drop by here to see all the stops on the blog tour and to enter a fantabulous giveaway for five paperbacks from this collection!

Now, my review . . .


Title: Blood in the Snow

Author: Sarah Pennington

  • Date read: October 24, 2018
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Fantasy / Retelling / Snow White / The Goose Girl / Novella / Asian-Inspired Fantasy
  • Age: YA/any
  • Year pub: 2018
  • Pages: 137 (ebook)
  • Fave character: Gan! But also Nianzu, Xiang, Baili, and Chouko.
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I received a free e-ARC of this book as part of the blog tour. All opinions are my own.

BLOOD IN THE SNOW is a stunning debut from Sarah Pennington, an author I’ve long been watching. I was so excited to read it, and I’m absurdly pleased with the result. This first novella from her did not disappoint! The writing is lyrical yet unobtrusive, pulling one entirely into the story. Every facet of this tale is skillfully crafted together—the writing, the intricate plot, the characters, the themes, and the vibrant setting.

I loved this utterly enchanting retelling of Snow White and The Goose Girl! I never would have thought of the two fairytales together, but they work so incredibly well with each other in this book, I almost feel like this must be their natural state. I don’t want to share spoilers, but all the plot points were spot-on and yet felt organic and original, and a few of them surprising. The many complex threads were woven seamlessly together. Fairytale retellings are my favorite and this one was so well done, which made this reader very happy! ^_^

As much as I loved the retelling part, even the best retelling can fall flat if the characters don’t take off—but these absolutely came to life, and brought the story to life with them!

Baili was a good heroine and I enjoyed seeing her grow through the story and find herself. ^_^ I also really liked the prince character, Xiang! He was great, especially his willingness to help people. 🙂 I absolutely loved the scenes where they interacted. Other favorites were definitely two or three of the “seven dwarves” characters—who were not dwarves at all in this, but animal keepers. I loved meeting them and hearing about their different peoples and backgrounds, and the banter and dialog was so much fun. 😀

Gan was probably my absolute favorite character in the book! He was fantastic, and I also loved his exchanges with fiery goose girl Chouko, another of the seven. Their dynamic was the best. 😀 I wasn’t sure if I’d like Chouko at first, but I really grew to, which surprised me and was awesome! And the quieter, mysterious Nianzu. I’d almost love to read a whole other book about him and Gan and maybe Chouko—they’re that cool. 🙂 The characters were an absolute hit with me!

The worldbuilding was incredible—I could hardly believe so much was packed into this little novella! A whole broad-reaching world of many peoples, cultures, histories, and some surprising deeper themes. The magical bits were interesting too, with the bloodgift element and the Dragonglass, and I particularly loved the use of air and water; now THAT was neat. 🙂 But you’ll have to read it to see what I mean. 😉

I feel like this is a good moment for me to mention that I was reminded of Lloyd Alexander, one of my top three favorite authors, so that’s… well… that’s high praise. This tale just felt GOOD and made me feel at home and I want to hug it. ^_^

Sometimes it was a little difficult for me to keep track of the names (my own fault, I’m sure), and as with most novellas, I wished that it could have been longer (because I want MORE!), yet it made remarkable use of the space there was, so that it didn’t seem rushed, but felt like a complete story. And I always have a hard time reading Goose Girl retellings because ugh, people are so mean to the heroine! It makes me mad (at said characters… which is probably the correct feeling for the reader anyway. :P). But those are small personal things and as close to issues with the story as I can get—it was really fantastic and I loved it!

This novella was a Special Unicorn honorable mention in the final Rooglewood Press fairytale retelling contest, receiving a perfect score, and now that I’ve read it, I can see that there was absolutely a reason for that!

It left me spellbound and with a happy smile as I finished. The story is every bit as gorgeous inside as the breathtaking cover on the outside. I will eagerly await more tales from this author’s pen, and I highly recommend checking this one out!


About Blood in the Snow

Her destiny is decided — but betrayal breaks even the best-laid plans.

Baili, the princess of the Kingdom of Seven Rivers, has always known what her future holds. Declared the fairest of all by the fabled Dragonglass, she is destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy and unite her homeland with its long-time enemy, the Kingdom of Three Peaks. And in doing so, she may save her country from death and ruin.

In order to fulfill her destiny, Baili must travel to the Kingdom of Three Peaks and marry its prince, Liu Xiang. But all Baili’s plans and expectations are turned upside-down when her servants and soldiers, acting on her stepmother’s orders, turn against her on the road. Baili narrowly escapes with her life, but she’s left alone and adrift among strangers.

Fortunately, Baili finds refuge in the home of seven animal keepers: servants and slaves to the emperor of Three Peaks. Yet time is running out. Her servants’ rebellion was only a small part of a much larger plot. Within weeks, her stepmother plans to unite the two kingdoms, not by contract, but by conquest. Baili must reclaim her rightful place and unite not just two kingdoms but many peoples in order to stop the plan. And if she fails, two kingdoms will be plunged into ruin.

Sure to delight lovers of fantasy and fairy tales, this rich and magical Asian-inspired adventure combines Snow White and The Goose Girl in a way you’ve never seen before.


Links


About the Author

Sarah Pennington has been writing stories since before she actually knew how to write, and she has no intention of stopping anytime soon. She is perpetually in the middle of writing at least one or two novels, most of which are in the fantasy and fairy tale retelling genres. Sarah’s first published work, Blood in the Snow, received a perfect score and Special Unicorn status in Rooglewood Press’s Five Poisoned Apples contest. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys knitting, photography, and trying to conquer her massive to-be-read list.

Find her online at: Website || Blog || Second Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Amazon


Seven Magic Mirrors

What are the Magic Mirrors?

The Magic Mirrors are seven retellings of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by six different authors, each unique in tone, setting, and moral. From the light hearted and twisted to dark reimagining to futuristic mashups to non-magical historical fiction, this collection has something in it for every reader.

Again, be sure to drop by to see the whole blog tour, check out the other posts, and enter the giveaway!


Well, what do you think?

Sound like a tale you need in on? Because it is! And how about that INCREDIBLE cover by Anne Elisabeth Stengl? *collapses because it’s so gorgeous* I hope you’ll check out Sarah Pennington’s stunning debut, and that you’re looking forward to the other Magic Mirrors books as much as I am! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

October Bookish News & Afterverse Relaunch!

Greetings, fellow page dreamers!

I’ve gone kind of radio silent because I was on vacation… but it’s time for another edition of what’s up In Bookish News, in October this time.

This month we’ve got the relaunch of the Afterverse, the release of SEVEN Snow White novellas, a batch of other new book releases, some hashtag and bookclub fun, and a giveaway, so there’s lots to cover!

Afterverse Relaunch!

Firstly, Kyle Robert Shultz is doing a Soft Relaunch on October 31 of his Afterverse series!

Essentially, this means that they’re coming to Kindle Unlimited, that there will be new short stories for his newsletter subscribers (go sign up on the side of his blog!), and that there has been some cover-tweaking and some story polishing.

Now, before you freak out, don’t worry — the changes are minor. The covers are just shined up a little, and the first three books (The Beast of Talesend, The Tomb of the Sea Witch, and The Stroke of Eleven) have undergone an extra round of edits to comb out typos and inconsistencies, and to clarify a few things, so there may be a few additional details.

But the stories as you know and love them (if you’ve read them already) are still essentially the same, so you don’t need to read the new versions! (Unless you want to.) And this is just a chance for you to celebrate the awesomeness that is Beaumont and Beasley, and new free short stories, yay!

And if you haven’t read the books yet, now is the absolute perfect time to jump on the Afterverse reading bandwagon with these shiny new editions!

(Small disclaimer: I’m Kyle’s editor. So I… er… may have been the editor involved with polishing the new editions. It was an absolute delight to shine up these hilarious and brilliant stories. ❤ I should put it on my invisible Badge of Credentials: Editor of the Afterverse.)

You can read all the details on Kyle’s site! Or, specifically, in two posts so far, HERE and HERE. And all of these updates should go into effect October 31st. 🙂

If you’re a little confused about the order of the books… here, allow me to make you a list. (And yes, this may be an excuse to throw around the shiny covers for a whole bunch of stories I love. I have no regrets.)

Beaumont and Beasley Books

  1. The Beast of Talesend
  2. The Tomb of the Sea Witch
  3. The Stroke of Eleven
  4. The Return of Beaumont and Beasley (containing novellas The Janus Elixir [about Malcolm Blackfire!] and The Hound of Duville [about Nick and Crispin] which were previously published separately)

Beaumont and Beasley Short Stories

  1. The Last Days of Lady Cordelia (deals with some events from Book 1, The Beast of Talesend) — Amazon
  2. Christmas in Talesend (takes place after Book 3, The Stroke of Eleven) — Amazon
  3. A Spoonful of Aether (Beaumont and Beasley) — Newsletter freebie

Blackfire

Blackfire hasn’t officially launched with a novel yet. This is a Regency Fantasy setting of the Afterverse, featuring dragon/archaeologist Malcolm Blackfire and reformed jewel-thief Melody Nightingale. There aren’t any full-length books out about them yet. (Malcolm appears in many of the Beaumont and Beasley tales, and he and Melody feature together in The Stroke of Eleven.)

The tales that are exclusively about Malcolm and Melody so far are:

  1. The Haunted Hoard (short story) — Newsletter freebie
  2. The Janus Elixir (novella) — One of the two novellas collected in The Return of Beaumont and Beasley (Book 4), on Amazon

Crockett and Crane

Spinoff in magical wild west. Can stand alone. (Book 2 was released on Wattpad originally but will be published sometime on Amazon.)

Novels

  1. Horseman

Crockett and Crane Short Stories

  1. The Centaur Express (Crockett and Crane) — Newsletter freebie
  2. Ravenous (Crockett and Crane) — a free short story as an intro to Kyle’s Patreon page

OKAY. Moving on from the Afterverse, to . . . Snow White!

Seven Magic Mirrors

The Seven Magic Mirrors co-release is happening THIS WEEK and next! Seven Snow White retellings by six different authors are publishing the last several days of the month, run by Kendra E. Ardnek. I’ll be reviewing one by our very own Sarah Pennington — I’m SO excited! *flails around* Anyway, they’re all gorgeous and sound AMAZING so check them out!

Other Book Releases

(The first couple were actually the end of September, but who’s counting. :P)

  • Punctuation 101 – Jill Williamson — This is SUCH a handy, adorable little book for writers! I highly recommend it! I had the chance to volunteer as a proofreader for it and I love it so much. (Why yes, I am the kind of person who proofreads punctuation books for fun… *cough* This is probably why I’m an editor.)
  • Fallow (Green Princess, #2) – H.L. Burke — Look who’s doing it again — releasing books way too fast! XD I’m so excited to read the FIRST book so I can get to this one someday… 😀
  • Paws, Claws, and Magic Tales – Fellowship of Fantasy authors — Eep, another FoF anthology! It’s FREE so you should definitely pick up a copy of these magical cat tales. I can’t wait to read it. ^_^
  • Ogre Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine — It’s a prequel to Ella Enchanted! :O Excited for this one!
  • The Profile Match – Jill Williamson — The final Spencer (Mission League) book is out and I’m so excited for Jill finishing this six-book series! 😀 I’m kinda behind on it but am looking forward to catching up. ^_^
  • Mardan’s Heir – Kathrese McKee — This is the sequel to Mardan’s Heir, and they’re both on my TBR. It looks so cool!
  • A Wind from the Wilderness – Suzannah Rowntree (Oct 29) — This prolific author is always coming out with new tales and this one looks gorgeous!
  • Ewan Pendle and the Castle of Nightmares – Shaun Hume (Oct 31) — Some may remember my review of the first book, a charming British fantasy adventure with fantastical creatures. I’m really excited for this one! 🙂

Other Events

A little late in the month for some of these, but there’s always time to jump on board!

Drachtober / Spooky Story Challenge

Jenelle Schmidt is running #Drachtober and the Spooky Story Challenge again (I posted one of my own!), so drop by and check those out!

Bookclub News

The Fellowship of Fantasy bookclub is reading Masque, a funny Beauty and the Beast story I ADORED — and we’re meeting the author, W. R. Gingell, at the bookclub’s Facebook party this week on Oct 26!

Also, speaking of bookclubs, Jill Williamson and Gillian Bronte Adams have started an awesome new bookclub called @fantasyreadalong on Instagram (and elsewhere? I think they said it moves around) and the first readalong will be in NOVEMBER, for Mark of the Raven by Morgan Busse — I’m so excited!

Giveaway

You can also drop by my other blog to enter a giveaway for No Plot, No Problem by Chris Baty, running through October 28! 😉


I think that’s all I have for you. I do have some books I should review soonish, and we’re coming up on NaNoWriMo so I’ll probably have a mix of posts and too-busy-writing-to-blog, so we’ll see!

Whew! So much happening this month! What book(s) are you most excited about? Thanks for reading! 🙂

In Bookish News: September 2018

Hi everyone!

It’s time for bookish news, including fantasy-character-book-awards happening right now, September book releases, and bookishness I’ve been up to (a.k.a. what I’ve been reading and August’s book haul and possibly a nightstand).

SEPTEMBER RELEASES

There were a lot of books in August, but fewer this month. (…Most likely because most of them are coming out in October. O_O) But here are a few I’m excited about! 🙂

  • Armor of Aletheia by Ralene Burke (technically this was the end of August, but hey) — This sounds like an awesome fantasy story — and by a fellow Realmie, too! I’m always up for an outcast princess and a bounty hunter hero sent after her… 😀 I’m excited to read it. 🙂 And I love the purple!
  • Kate’s Conundrum by Sarah Holman (September 1) — Wait, didn’t a Kate book just come out a few months ago, you ask? Yes it did, but there’s another one already, I’m SO STOKED about this story! I love the Kate’s Case Files books. 😀 (Plus, the cover makes me happy.)
  • Magnolia Summer by Melanie Dickerson (September 5) — This just came out yesterday and it’s a Zorro-esque historical romance set in Alabama! I’m so curious about it and it’s GORGEOUS! (Plus, it’s Melanie’s first self-published book, and the very first book she wrote, so that’s cool.)
  • I also hear a rumor of the second book in the Green Princess trilogy by H.L. Burke possibly releasing this month… Because she’s a writing machine. 😉 Which reminds me that I’m excited to read the FIRST book in that series… ahem. 😛

The Silmaril Awards

The Silmaril Awards are back!

You can learn more about them here at the shiny new official website, but basically it’s a fan-voted just-for-fun award to choose the best characters from fantasy literature, in different categories.

Nominations are happening right now! so you can check out the list of categories to nominate HERE! And you can drop by my own post, where I’m hosting the Wisest Counselor (a.k.a. best mentor-type characters) award — and leave a comment nominating your favorite wise fantasy characters! 🙂

Nominations are only open a couple more days (September 7 is the last day) before moving on to the voting round, so make sure you get in your nominees and second those already nominated!


August Book Haul

I wasn’t going to get many books after my Realm Makers book escapades, but a Bryan Davis sale happened, and I won a couple books (the top two — thanks to the author), and I last-minute suddenly went to a library sale (because absurdly-cheap-books — yay!) sooo I got a few. *nervous laughter*


August Reads

As always, you can find links to these HERE on Goodreads.

This was The Month of the Re-Read, apparently. I re-read many things.

Re-reads

  • Cart and Cwidder + Drowned Ammet by Diana Wynne Jones — It was so much fun re-reading these. 🙂 Which reminds me, I need to pop over to the DWJ Goodreads group and squeal about these, since the Dalemark Quartet is our summer bookclub read… Can’t wait to read the next two!
  • Magician’s Ward – Patricia C. Wrede — I finally read the first in the series, so of course I had to re-read this one, and Mairelon is still AWESOME. I love Regency Fantasy. 😀
  • Right Ho, Jeeves – P. G. Wodehouse — I’ve been audiobooking this one for awhile, listening in snatches while on walks or doing mindless chores like laundry, because my new phone means I can LISTEN TO THINGS and I’m so happy. Anyway, this was delightful and hilarious as always, and Jeeves and Bertie are CLASSIC. 😀

New Small Reads

  • Windswept – Sarah Delenah White — SO MUCH ADORBZ. AND FEELZ. And I loved it. (It’s by the author of Halayda. Of course I loved it.)
  • Initiation – Grace Bridges — I read this in a handy pamphlet given to me by the author when I had a mentor appointment with her at Realm Makers. It was an intriguing short story and made me curious about her Earthcore series, featuring New Zealand superheroes. 🙂
  • East of the Sun and West of the Moon — This was a random picture book I read. Because I’ve been meaning to brush up on this fairytale. It mayyy or may not be squeezing its way into one of my WIPs? We shall see.

New Reads

  • Mairelon the Magician – Patricia C. Wrede — I finally read this one (which takes place before Magician’s Ward) and while I didn’t love it as much as its sequel, it was still delightful! And I finally got to learn how Kim and Mairelon met. 🙂 🙂 Regency fantasy is (still) awesome!
  • Fly Away – Patricia MacLachlan — I hardly ever read contemporary, but I LOVE this author. This book was adorable and sweet and just precious and let me hug it.
  • The Worth of a King – Kendra E. Ardnek — Really enjoyed this new fantasy release! You can check out my review if you missed it, but basically Prince Delaney is MY FAVORITE and I need a winged horse and a cream cake ASAP.

September Nightstand

I’m currently in the middle of reading:

  • Fawkes – Nadine Brandes (review book)
  • Cinder – Marissa Meyer (for fun)

Hoping to read soon:

  • Spice Bringer – H.L. Burke (Fellowship of Fantasy Bookclub book of the month for September)
  • The Orphan’s Wish – Melanie Dickerson (review book)

I’m also have two or three re-reads, I a couple of books to edit and one to beta-read, and there’s also a couple of ebook review books… All of which adds up to about a dozen books. So I’m definitely going to stay busy this month. XD (Even if it wasn’t looking like it was already going to be a crazy month… *wilts slightly*)

I also just finished re-reading The Beast of Talesend (glorious as ever) and listening to Worldbuilding From the Inside Out by Janeen Ippolito (thanks to the author for the free audiobook code!) and enjoyed it. Mini review on Goodreads here. I told you I’ve been enjoying audiobooks suddenly. 😉


Bookish giveaway coming soon

Oh! And I’ll be having a blogiversary on my other blog (5 years since I started blogging! :O) next week, and I’m going to be giving away booooks! So… watch for that. 😉


That’s what I have for you today. Let me know what you’re currently reading or any bookish things you’re excited for! Thanks for reading! 🙂

The Worth of a King Review/Blog Tour

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for the latest book of an author friend, Kendra E. Ardnek! I’ll be sharing my review of this delightful book — and there’s also a giveaway, so keep reading! 😉


Title: The Worth of a King

Author: Kendra E. Ardnek

  • Date read: August 30, 2018
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Christian Fantasy
  • Age: YA-ish
  • Year pub: 2018
  • Pages: 358 (Kindle)
  • Series: The Fall of a Star, #1
  • Fave character: Delaney! ❤
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I received a free Advance Reader Copy ebook from the author. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

SQUEE! This was a really enjoyable book. 😀

Things I loved:

+ Delaney! Of course he had to be at the top of this list. I LOVE THIS BOY. He’s fantastic. I don’t want to give away any of the plot, but the way he does all the awesomeness, and is also sweet, and stands firm on the right things when everything is conspiring against him—basically, I’m a fan. 😀

+ Winged Horses! Okay, I really want one of these. They were awesome.

+ The world, the “feel,” and just… I can’t quite explain it, but I really enjoyed being here in this setting. ^_^ The cultures were interesting (like the masked Zovordians!) and I just… I don’t know. It felt homey. 🙂 And fresh. And honestly it gave me Goldstone-Wood-series vibes which is always a good thing!

+ The plot was unique and intriguing, and once I got used to the weird politics and laws, those made it even more fascinating. 😀 Some of it wasn’t as exciting as I thought it might be—it’s sometimes more of a character story, which was awesome—but there were also plenty of high stakes and it kept me guessing.

+ Cream cake. Because I neeeed one! (Or possibly several.)

+ I’m also pleased that I was able to enjoy this book without having read the Rizkaland books. I believe this is the first book in a sort of prequel series to that, so I was wondering… but it stood on its own quite well. (Just a few things about the world I didn’t quite get a feel for… maybe if I’d read those it would have helped? But nothing serious.) It WAS a little weird reading this because of my experience not having read the Rizkaland books and YET also knowing things about… well… STUFF, due to things I’ve heard said about the series. So… I kind of knew things… which kind of colored some of my perspectives… and makes me wonder how I’d feel about things if I didn’t know certain THINGS. But that’s just me. XD On the whole, if you’ve never picked up a book by this author before, this is a good one to start with. 🙂

+ Humor is also one of my favorite things, and there was some of that scattered throughout to make me smile. 🙂

+ Sweet romance(s) which I WILL SAY NO MORE ON but so adorbz! 😀 I really liked the main one, but I also loved that there were a few other ones scattered along the side of the story. Keeps one on one’s toes and adds to the adorbz factor.

+ Twins. Because twin stories are fun, and I enjoyed Adrian and Obsidia (who, yes, I did like quite a bit when she wasn’t being… odd). ADRIAN IS PRECIOUS. He needs a hug. He could get hard to deal with at times too, but I liked his quietness and surprising strengths. And the whole twin thing was great.

+ The rest of the characters were quite intriguing and I don’t have time to mention them all here, but they fleshed it out nicely, and I came to care about so many of them. 🙂 And certain have me curious about thiiings. O_o

+ Granite—oh my word, I loved Granite!! He’s such a fun guy but also kinda mysterious because “Immortal King” and all that. I loved when he was around in any scene and I don’t even know how to describe it. Magnetism and humor, I guess. He was fabulous.

+ Oh, and Delaney. DELANEYYY. I did mention him, right? *cough*

Less favorite things:

Okay, so I have a couple of things I didn’t love… Once I got about halfway through, I confess that I started screaming every time a character “admitted” something, and some of the wording was a smidge modern-feeling. (OH. But I did read an ARC of this book, so it’s possible some of these things were smoothed out; I wouldn’t know. :P) Obsidia occasionally annoyed/puzzled me, especially how she reacted (or rather, failed to react) to a certain big thing (also so much blushing; help), and Nadilynn wasn’t my favorite (but I’m never big on the exuberant, chatty best friend character, so that’s just me. :P). (Oh, and I’m not sure an 18 year old boy would be thinking of a certain girl as just his “best friend”?? It made him feel young sometimes.) And I honestly don’t know how I feel about some of the things at the end or about everything involving the queen.

BUT ANYWAY, those are simply personal opinions, and small complaints, and didn’t detract much from my overall enjoyment of this delightful novel. 🙂

On the whole, I had a blast reading it, and I definitely recommend it to fans of fantasy with a Christian tilt to it. If you haven’t yet, check it out and dive into a whole new unique world with winged horses, shady dragons behind the scenes, and touching stories of beloved characters as they navigate the complexities of political intrigue, different cultures, matters of the heart, and of family lost and re-found. It made me happy and was an enjoyable fantasy read! ^_^


About The Worth of a King

Princess Obsidia’s father was killed the night she was born. Since there was no male heir, the crown went to the man who killed him, by Dialcian law. This never bothered her, growing up, and when it comes time for Obsidia to choose her husband, she chooses Prince Delaney, the son of that man, with little hesitation. Only then does her life start crumbling around her.

Adrian expected to live a normal life, taking his father’s place at the print shop when his father retired. But, on his eighteenth birthday, when the princess’ engagement is announced, his world is ripped out from under him when he learns that his life was a ruse, and he is the twin brother to the princess – and expected to take back his father’s throne.

Delaney knows that his country is hovering on the brink of war – and that his father may harbor murderous intentions towards his intended bride due to her Zovordian blood. He wants nothing more than to protect Obsidia and his people, but as merely prince, he has little power against his father.

The ancient war between the Dragons and the Immortal King and Queen is nearing its climax, and the three are already caught in it.


Links


About the Author

Kendra E. Ardnek loves fairytales and twisting them in new and exciting ways. She’s been or acting them on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years. “Finish your story, Kendra,” is frequently heard at family gatherings. Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children’s tales that glorify God and His Word.

Find her online at:

Website || Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || Amazon


Schedule

Here are the posts on the blog tour for today. Check out the full tour schedule HERE!

Thursday, August 30th

Reviews:

Interviews:


Giveaway

Kendra is giving away a paperback copy of The Worth of a King and a 15ml bottle of Peppermint oil (US only). You can find the info on her blog.

She also has a special prize for whoever leaves the most comments across the blog tour! (International)


Talk to me! Does the story intrigue you? HOW ABOUT THAT GORGEOUS COVER?? Thanks for reading! 🙂

I’m Back! + Realm Makers Bookhaul + Bookish News! {August 2018}

Hello my page-dreamers!

It’s time to share ALL the bookishness that’s been up in my life while I’ve been… er… not blogging, and other bookish news!

Realm Makers & New Books

I’m finally back after being away from home and my blog for most of July, due to life and going to the Realm Makers conference, which was AMAZING. (I’ll hopefully put together a recap post on my other blog soon…ish.)

On the bookish front, I met SO many delightful authors and friends there, got a whole stack of books signed, and brought home way too many new books! (I jest. There is no such thing.)

July Book Haul

I got sooo many books at Realm Makers! (There are even 2 more not pictured in this photo; see below. XD)

I’m not going to list them aaall, but the ones I’ve read are Magicians’ Rivalry (I had to get the new cover, so I traded a pineapple for it… yes, that was a thing), and The Janus Elixir and The Hound of Duville (both of which I edited, so I may be biased, but they’re hilarious and awesome), and Healers and Warriors and Windswept, which I just finished! (All the books on the bottom row were given to me, save for the pineapple trade and Launch.) I’m SO excited to read all the new reads! ❤ It’ll just take me a gazillion years, is all. XD

Forgive the graininess of photo; hotel room lighting is not conducive to good pics. XD Flower by H.L. Burke (The Green Princess book 1), which I’m excited to read! And The Electrical Menagerie by Mollie E. Reeder, which I ADORED (as I may have mentioned. *cough*). Loved it so much I had to buy a paperback at Realm Makers, and I was so excited to meet the awesome author, who is so sweet! ❤ (These are separate from the rest of my Realm Makers bookhaul, because I’m lending them to one of my roomies so don’t have them home with me yet. :D)

And then my not-at-Realm-Makers book acquisitions of July. Blue and white covers with masks! TWINS! 😀 I LOVED Lightporter, which was a gift from the author (thanks, C.B.!) and Fawkes was a review book from Booklook Bloggers which I’m excited to read! 😀


Instagram!

Also, I’m now on Instagram! *gasp* You can check out my account where I’m mostly sharing Bookstagram posts… because books. 😉


July Reading

I… read a total of one book in July. I was just so busy! *collapses*

But I really enjoyed it, so that’s always good. 😉 I’m addicted to this series featuring modern times/fae/biblical stuff/fun characters — it’s one of my happy places. 🙂


August Nightstand

I hesitate to do a monthly nightstand these days because there’s never enough time to read the ones I want to, so what I’m planning to read always changes on a regular basis. XD But here are some books I’m excited to read… and if I get two or three of them read in August, I’ll be happy! 😛

Rereading King’s Warrior (aloud), and rereading The Dalemark Quartet, if I can find time! (Actually, I just read the first two in the series, so now I just have the second pair…) The rest are new reads (Renegade Skyfarer, The Wildcat of Braeton, Dagger’s Sleep, Divine Summons, Windswept — the one without a thick enough spine to see, but I just read it! — Dissociate, Orphan’s Wish, Fawkes) and I’m sooo excited for them all. 😀 Plus ebooks. But we won’t go there. 😉

(Also notice my cute owl bullet journal which was my constant companion for my Realm Makers trip.)


AUGUST RELEASES

Aren’t they so pretty?? I love the purpley-blue-green colors this month. XD (Links to their pages on Goodreads can be found here at least for now, if you’d like to investigate them further.)

  • The Wolf Prince by Claire M. Banschbach — I’ve been reading snippets of this on the author’s blog for ages now and I love her stories, so I’m ecstatic for it to release!
  • The Worth of a King by Kendra E. Ardnek — I’m on the blogtour for this one, so you’ll likely see a review from me near the end of the month. I’m excited to check it out!
  • The Fall of Gondolin by J.R.R. Tolkien & Christopher Tolkien — This one’s like the Beren and Luthien book from last year, a collection of the various drafts etc. of one particular story, from various stages of Tolkien’s writing, but I’m still really excited. And illustrations by Alan Lee. 😀
  • Fairest Son by H.S.J. Williams — A retelling of Snow White where the Snow White character is a Fae prince. I’m ABSURDLY excited for this novella! It looks delightful! 😀
  • Discerned by Sarah Addison-Fox — The 4th and final book in the Allegiance series — I can’t wait to read this conclusion! (Of course, I should probably read Dissociate, book 3, first. *cough*)
  • Tales of Ever After by the Fellowship of Fantasy authors — You probably already know about this one, since I was on the blog tour. XD But fairytale retellings! I’ve only read the three of the stories which I reviewed, but I’m looking forward to reading the rest.
  • Dancing and Doughnuts by Rachel Kovaciny — All I know about this one is that it’s a western retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, so basically I need it. XD
  • Spice Bringer by H.L. Burke — I’m addicted to this author (who writes way too fast, apparently, because I never seem to catch up on reading all her fun books!) and the cover is gorgeous and I need to meet the snarky fire salamander, Alk, who’s inhabiting the cover. So yeah. I’m excited for this shiny. 😀

Bookish Events in August

To celebrate Escape and Endurance releasing, Sarah Holman is doing an awesome Journey Through Taelis thing this month, with freebies, discounts, giveaways, and fun — so check it out! 🙂

It’s the last month for the Fellowship of Fantasy’s Summer Reading Quest for kids (here’s the link for older readers) and… I’ve hardly read anything for it because life, but hey. XD

The Last Motley by DJ Edwards (my review) is the book of the month for the Fellowship of Fantasy bookclub, so if you’re looking for a good read this August and if you do the Facebook thing, head on over there and check it out! 🙂


Whew! Okay, that’s the roundup of bookish things. I’m so happy to be back to blogging! What are you reading these days? And are you excited for any of the new releases I mentioned? Have you read any of the books in my bookhaul? (So excited!) Chat with me! Thanks for reading! 🙂

At the Corner of Elm and Main by H.L. Burke (Mini Review)

Hallo, my page-dreamers!

I’m back for one last mini review on the Tales of Ever After blog tour! (Scroll to end for giveaways, which are ending TONIGHT, so hasten!)


At the Corner of Elm and Main

by H. L. Burke

 

What an utterly charming and perfect story! ❤

GAH. *clutches heart* *clutches this story and hugs it* At the Corner of Elm and Main is SO ADORABLE. I love it so much! ❤ I’m having a hard time explaining it, but how cool is the idea of a sentient lamppost? It makes me think of a Pixar short or something. Which of course is perfect. 🙂

I love the setting and “feel” of this one, feeling somewhat shadowy and cold with (probably) cobblestone streets and rain and a lamplighter going around lighting lamps, including our hero, Abner.

Abner the lamppost is MY FAVORITE THING. He’s wonderful. I loved reading the story from his perspective. And I loved the mysterious old woman who sits on the bench, too.

This is a positively delightful original fairytale type story, with SO much heart and charm. It’s a joy to read, but also has depth to it, and unexpected feels. Everything was so vivid and the delightful writing drew me right into it. It’s going to sound weird but I really related to the lamppost character. ^_^

I’m definitely going to be reading this one again sometime. It lit a light in my heart and made me smile. 🙂

I can’t say anything else without spoiling it, but basically, you need this adorable story in your life ASAP! Go forth and read it and have your heart melted like mine was! ❤


If you missed them, you can read my review for two other short story in this collection, Believing Fairytales (by Arthur Daigle) and Cinders (by Kendra E. Ardnek).

Check out the rest of the stories in this anthology! It’s free on all ebook platforms! (See links below.)

Tales of Ever After

Rescue a princess, meet a mermaid, win your reward.

The authors of the Fellowship of Fantasy tackle fairy tales from once upon a time to happily ever after. Explore twists on old tales and brand new magical stories. Meet feisty mermaids, friendly lampposts, and heroes who just might be monsters themselves.

This fourth anthology from the Fellowship of Fantasy will lead you on a quest for entertainment and storm the castle of your imagination. So make a wish and enter the deep dark woods to find stories that will make you laugh, shiver, and maybe even fall in love.

LINKS

Amazon • Books2Read Universal Link • Goodreads


Tour Schedule

Check out the blog tour schedule HERE.


GIVEAWAY!

And now it’s time to enter a delightful giveaway the Fellowship of Fantasy authors are hosting — there are 3 giveaways! (Rafflecopter hates me so you’ll just have to click the links. XD)

U.S. Only Giveaway:

(All books are paperback, and possibly signed)

***LINK***

International Giveaway:

(All books are ebooks of the winner’s file format of choice)

***LINK***

Comment Giveaway:

The person who leaves the most comments across the blog tour will receive the chance to read special sneak peaks from several of the authors’ upcoming works!


Do you like stories featuring inanimate objects who are more than they seem? I love them — they’re so adorable! Are you going to check this one out? 😉 Thanks for reading! 🙂