Tag Archive | Jenelle Schmidt

King’s Warrior + Second Son by Jenelle Schmidt

Double-review today, for two awesome fantasy novels by Jenelle Schmidt, in the Minstrel’s Song series! 🙂

Title: King’s Warrior
Author: Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

  • Date read: January 29, 2017
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2011
  • Pages: 411 (paperback)
  • Series: The Minstrel’s Song, #1
  • Fave character: Brant and Kiernan Kane
  • Source: Won in a giveaway from author — thanks! (I mean, I also bought an e-copy, but still. XD)
  • Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Website

What an enjoyable fantasy adventure novel! I really, really liked this book. 😀 There’s a lot of the classic quest-and-journey stuff going on, but in new ways too, and I loved the world and characters, and just overall had a great time reading it! 🙂

I confess that I actually read a sequel to this book, Yorien’s Hand, before reading this one (which is book one in the series), so that was interesting. XD That meant it read more like a prequel for me, and I already knew how a lot of it would turn out. But this in no way reduced my enjoyment of the story—not at all! And I was impressed and pleased that there were a couple of things that were still surprise twists! 😀

There may have been a few times (especially nearer the beginning of the book) when the early-days-of-this-author might have shown, or when there were plot holes or typos and what-have-you, or when the classic fantasy things which some might consider cliche or something popped up, but I elected to ignore those points in favor of simply enjoying the book as what it is: an extremely enjoyable fantasy novel, with a great adventure, an intriguing world, and a cast of lovable characters. 🙂 So good! ^_^

Speaking of characters—I loved them! So many great ones. Brant, the warrior, who’s my favorite—he’s just epic. ^_^ Kiernan Kane, the amusing minstrel (but with more to him than he seems), who actually shares top-spot for favorite. 😉 They are both so awesome!! ❤ Then Princess Kamarie is a good heroine, Oraeyn the squire is a FABULOUS hero, and other characters like young Yole, who was great, and various people they meet along the way such as the daughters of the Wizard Scelwhyn. I really liked Dylanna, for instance. 😀 And oodles of great side-characters too, who are sometimes a little hard to keep straight (might be my fault for reading the whole series out of order… *cough*), but still fabulous. And dragons, of course. 😀 It’s a well-populated fantasy world, and I loved the characters. ^_^

I loved this fantasy world, as well! It was just so neat to wander through it with these friends of mine, and I’m very attached to it. 🙂 I liked the dragons and other myth-folk, and the forests and mountains and bay and castle and cliffs, and all the different fascinating characters and happenings.

There’s a tragic scenario in the first few chapters where a man’s young family was killed, so that might be a little dark/rough emotionally, and of course there’s some action/battles throughout, but otherwise it was delightful and family-friendly, and I can imagine it being a fun book to read aloud, or for readers of all ages. 🙂 There’s something for everyone in it. 😀

The book had me laughing hysterically a few times, like when Leila and Kiernan Kane were up to their antics (especially when he came knocking. XD) and when Oraeyn talked with the tree sprite person (I absolutely loved that bit. XD) and surely several times when Kiernan was doing his silly minstrel things. 😀

In a sense, I ended up liking Second Son more than this one, just for its originality and Brant-ness and writing quality, but this one is definitely more fun overall, and I especially loved Brant’s mysterious self in this and the companions on their quest together, and just the classic feel of it, so… I can’t decided which of the three book out so far in the series is my favorite. I just love them all! ^_^ *hugs King’s Warrior and my favorite characters*

Overall, I just loved this book and this series and can’t wait to finish reading it! ^_^ Definitely recommend for fantasy lovers! ❤

~ ~ ~

Title: Second Son
Author: Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

  • Date read: April 17, 2017
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Epic Fantasy
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2013
  • Pages: 445 (paperback)
  • Series: Book 2 in The Minstrel’s Song (though chronologically a prequel to Book 1: King’s Warrior)
  • Fave character: Brant and Kiernan Kane
  • Source: Won in a giveaway from author — thank you! (And had also bought an e-copy on Amazon, but paperbacks are the best, so. ;))
  • Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Website

I loved this book! *hugs it*

It’s somehow a very unique fantasy novel! I mean, it’s like a classic fantasy quest type of thing, and there’s dragons and other wonders and so on, but something about it felt… new. And different. And there’s not one particular quest, it’s more following Brant through his life and a series of quests and adventures, which gave it an interesting and unique overall arc to the story. And it’s quite well written, too! I was super impressed with how the author’s writing improved from book one (which I also enjoyed immensely! But the writing in this one is noticeably better, in the best way. :D) and just very easy to read. 🙂

Brant himself is my favorite for the most part—he’s just a great hero! 🙂 I love the interesting things that come of comparing his home country and training with other places, and adding to his mysterious and generally epic air. 😀 He was a wonderful character in King’s Warrior and Yorien’s Hand, and just… I love getting his story! ^_^ I so enjoyed reading about his childhood up to being the King’s Warrior. Fabulous.

Plus, in the second half, Brant and Arnaud being friends when they were younger IS THE ABSOLUTE BEST! ^_^ I also loved getting to see things about the past of some of the other King’s Warrior characters, like how Princess Kamarie’s mother and father met! SO GREAT! 😀 And, of course, the minstrel Kiernan Kane makes a fabulous cameo! Love that minstrel fellow! ^_^

This is kind of like if Aragorn had a prequel about his youth, or if we saw Gwydion (from Prydain) out learning things when he was young. And I absolutely love that! 😀 Getting to see Brant wander across all of the various lands in this delightful fantasy world, learning things and meeting friends old and new, and generally becoming the wise, epic warrior we know from King’s Warrior. He’s one of my favorite characters of all time, and I just loved seeing his backstory! ^_^

Oh, oh! And when Brant talks with the Forest! I loved that part! 😀 One of my faves! ^_^

I find it amusing how I actually read these in reverse chronological order. XD I started with Yorien’s Hand, which takes place after King’s Warrior; then I read King’s Warrior; then I read Second Son, which is chronologically before King’s Warrior. XD …Now I kind of want to read the other two again! :O

A funny thing about prequels… I can never decide if they’re best read before or after the main Book One… because both ways are so enjoyable! I’m definitely glad that I read King’s Warrior before this, since a lot of the sad things in Second Son I wasn’t AS sad about as I would have been if I hadn’t already known how certain things end up in Brant’s life. Somehow, a lot of the sadness in this book is okay, simply because it IS a prequel and I know that a lot of the characters in it aren’t in later ones and therefore are probably dead later so I try not to get TOO attached to them… And so on. And something about it being the sad backstory of a hero, makes it easier to bear because it’s PAST and not currently happening. (Kind of like the older myths of The Silmarillion are easier to bear because they’re not NOW in the time of LOTR and The Hobbit.) If that makes any sense at all to anyone other than me. XD Some of it WAS sad, by its nature, but I didn’t actually mind. (The most heartbreaking thing of all, of course, was Brant and his brother. Which of course I knew about due to King’s Warrior, but… yeah, I’ll just go over here and cry for a bit. Ahem.)

There’s joy and heartbreak, humor and epic quests, and just everything a fantasy novel needs! 🙂 Overall, I just really, really, really enjoyed this book! ^_^ I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves epic fantasy or just a good adventure, because it’s fabulous. 😀

(I love the backs of these covers. So epic and gorgeous. ❤ )

Have you read either of these? You should, because they’re awesome! 😀 Have you read any good epic fantasies lately that you can recommend? I’m always on the lookout for those!

Also, the author is giving away a paperback of King’s Warrior on her blog this week, during fun Silmarillion Awards things going on currently, so be sure to check it out and enter!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

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Nightstand Books: April {2017}

Just a quick post today! 🙂

Being the first Wednesday of the month, it’s Nightstand Books day! (A meme to share our currently-reading stack every month, created by Jenelle Schmidt and DJ Edwardson.)

Here’s what’s on my nightstand for this month.

  • King’s Blood by Jill Williamson — This one is taking me far longer than I anticipated! (Review books shouldn’t take this long to read. *cough* In my defense, it’s enormous and I’ve been busy? 😛 But I’m steadily working through.) It’s still dark, like the first book, and very long, but I’m enjoying it somewhat for all that.
  • Second Son by Jenelle Schmidt — Yep, finally reading this one! I’m really excited. I’m reading a chapter a day on the side of my busyness, so I’m hoping in that way to get it read this month even though I don’t have a lot of time. Really enjoying it so far. 🙂
  • Viper by Jamie Foley — This is a prequel to the Sentinel trilogy, and I haven’t started it yet, but as this is a novella, I’m hoping to zip through it in a day here pretty soon. Looks like it’s going to be different than what I usually read, but that can be fun too.
  • Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones — I haven’t started this yet, but I know it’s dangerous to do so until I have a good long time available to read it in, so I’m holding off for now. XD But I can’t wait to devour this DWJ book I haven’t read! New DWJ books are always exciting. 🙂

I’m also still working through a couple of beta-reading books and hoping to finish them at long last! I’ve been making steady progress on my backlog of betas this year, so that’s exciting too. 🙂

Also not pictured above (because ebook), like Jenelle mentioned in her post, Beggar’s Magic by H.L. Burke is the Fellowship of Fantasy Bookclub book for April. I haven’t started it yet but I hope to soon. 🙂 (Maybe that chapter-a-day trick I’m using on Second Son will help?)

As usual, I have no idea if I’ll  make it through all of these this April, but they’re what I’ve started or am focusing on at the moment!

What’s on your “nightstand” that you’re reading this month? 🙂

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. XD 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. XD

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}

February-Fantasy-Month-Banner

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

FYI: Reading Randomosities (Giveaway, Cover, Chant)

FYI (For Your Information Ishness), here are some Reading Randomosities of a couple of random things that don’t make posts on their own but I wanted to say, so I’m tossing them together! 🙂

#1 — Awesome Giveaway from Jenelle Schmidt!

stormcave-prize-bundle

Look at that! Jenelle is giving away a Christmas Givaway Ultimate Prize Bundle from Stormcave, including her three books (King’s Warrior, Second Son, and Yorien’s Hand) and other good stuff (CDs and another book), and it’s open for most of the rest of December, so go enter!! ^_^

#2 — Illusionarium Audiobook Cover

Okay, so this is TOTALLY random (which is kind of the point of this post?) but I noticed the other day while I was glancing over Goodreads that there was an Audiobook done of Illusionarium AND IT HAS A DIFFERENT COVER AND I LOVE IT. LOOK. BEHOLD ITS AWESOMENESS. (No, I don’t, in fact, know what you’re supposed to do with this information. Unless it’s to just stare at it. You’re welcome.)

illusionariumaudiocover

#3 — I’m spontaneously rereading Chrestomanci

Yes, this is a thing. I should be doing all sorts of things like getting ready for Christmas and getting through other things I need to read… but I somehow got it into my head that it would be a blast to (finally!!) re-read Diana Wynne Jones’ Chrestomanci series… aloud… because voices… and because I needed something to semi-reward myself with/relax after the insanity that was NaNoWriMo.

So I just reread Charmed Life and alskdjflskdjlfj SO MUCH LOVE. ❤ (Fun fact: I read it for the first time almost exactly two years ago, in early December 2014. I read it the 11th then, and finished it the 9th this month. History does repeat itself.) I’m now on The Lives of Christopher Chant, which is a prequel about Chrestomanci’s childhood and it’s AWESOME.

I love these books even MORE on the second-reading, if possible. o.o DWJ books are like that.

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(These are kind of strange covers but at least they match and aren’t AWFUL like some other ones… I actually have both these books in a double-book collection so I don’t have covers for them… *coughcough*) *dies of laughter at “follow your dreams” on the second cover* XD

That’s it for today! Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages! ❤

— The Page Dreamer

Fantasy Fan-Art

FantasyLoveFebruaryReadingChallenge

I’m a bit late to the party, but I’m linking up with this week’s Mini Challenge for the Fantasy Love February (hosted by Grace @ Fictionally) which is to share some Fantastic Art! 🙂

(See the challenge post with the other linkers here — even join in the linkup if you like, with some fantasy art or photography or poetry or whatever! 🙂 — and read about the Fantasy Love February Reading Challenge here.)

I have no claims that these bits of fan-art are fantastic in any way other than that they are a) fan-art and, b) from fantasy books I love… but here you go. I am very rarely artistic with anything other than words, hence writing is my art of choice instead of drawing… But I do occasionally draw things, if I have inspiration. (Which is rare.) I’m also a perfectionist so I rarely consider something “finished” but oh well.

Here are a couple of fan art pieces that I drew once upon a time. (Once Upon A Time. Get it? 😀 Like… fairytales and fantasy and… Ahem. Nevermind… :P) (Also I hope it’s not cheating to not actually draw/make something this week? I really wanted to but had no inspiration and no time. *sadface*)

AchanChamFanart
Achan Cham from The Blood of Kings Trilogy (By Darkness Hid, To Darkness Fled, From Darkness Won) by Jill Williamson

As you can see, I sketched this from the cover of the third book, From Darkness Won, just as a sketching exercise, and didn’t spend too much effort on it. (Which is why there seems to be something wrong with his nose, in particular…? Also my scanner seemed to decide it would be a great time to act up and not scan properly… 😛 My apologies.)

Achan is the hero of the Blood of Kings trilogy and just for the record he’s one of my favoritest heroes EVER.

Like… ordinarily my favorite character in a book tends to be some side character who doesn’t get much screen time page time. But I think I can honestly say that Achan is my favorite character in the trilogy. He’s just great and has this dry sense of humor and makes mistakes but keeps trying and you just gotta love him. Best main character ever! (Or one of, at least.)

I seriously need to reread those books… They’re really fabulous Medieval Fantasy! And if you haven’t read them, they’re definitely worth a read. 🙂

RakketyTamFanArt

Rakkety Tam MacBurl (from Rakkety Tam by Brian Jacques in the Redwall series)

Slightly cartoonish, but I had a lot of fun with this one — not to mention it’s an oddity in that it’s one of my few drawings that actually has color!

For those who don’t know (you’re missing out!) Rakkety Tam is an awesome squirrel warrior in one of the Redwall books, and he (obviously) wears a kilt and has a Scottish accent and is basically one of my favorite Redwall characters and one of my favorite Redwall books. Though I admit I haven’t actually READ it… in that I listened to the audiobook (several times) because of the fabulous full cast and all their glorious accents. Seriously. So much awesome. Anyways he’s a fabulous warrior hero, and he’s Scottish, and he’s a squirrel, and basically what is not to love? ❤ (For those who are curious, my top favorite Redwall books are Mossflower, Taggerung, and Rakkety Tam. And they are all overdue for a reread… or perhaps a relisten?)

So there is my foray into some fantasy fan-art.

Make sure to check out the Fantasy Love February Reading Challenge (I’ve read 2 on my list so far…), and also remember that February is Fantasy Month! Jenelle Schmidt is still having some fantastic (in more ways than one) posts on her site as well. Join the fun! 🙂

*happily twirls in all of the fantasy-ness*

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Reading Roundup #1

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It’s been a month since I started this blog! Hurray! More importantly, we’re a month into this new year of 2016, and I read several lovely books in January, so I’m here to start a monthly trend on The Page Dreamer: a Reading Roundup to record what I read each month!

I started out the month by reading some books I’ve been meaning to read for review and hadn’t gotten around to yet, interspersed with a couple random books… As I finished a book on the 22nd, I looked back and went “Wait a minute. I’ve read six books in three weeks.” Six books is what I generally average in a month when I’m neither super busy nor reading a lot. But I felt like all I’d been doing the last three weeks was read–how was it I hadn’t read more?? That was when I realized… “Oh… they’re all enormous books.”

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I keep a spreadsheet of books I read every year. Because it’s so fun. And yes, that’s 2222 pages total right there…

So then, having gotten the large ones of a pressing nature out of the way, I ate some smaller bite-sized books which were a nice change. ^_^

I also… um… seem to be having a problem with being too generous with my star ratings? I do this at the beginning of every year because I have nothing to compare with and am generally feeling magnanimous. So… all the five stars! (Except for two.) Oops?

And I read three books in a row (not counting the nonfiction) which featured enormous sea monster serpent things. (The Sunken Realm, Goddess Tithe, Out of Darkness Rising.) Go me. 😀

Books I read in January 2016

{My Review}

5starrating1. Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones — I really loved this! Of course, it’s by one of my top-two favorite authors, sooo… that’s not surprising. 😉 And it’s about books and writing and it’s a retelling and a lovely friendship/romance and has Tom Lynn. All-round win on this one!

{My review on The Road of a Writer}

5starrating2. Yorien’s Hand by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt (The Minstrel’s Song, #3) — So enjoyed this, and am really looking forward to going back to read the first two books in the series! I loved the world, adventure, dragons, and characters (especially Brant & Kiernan Kane!). Fabulous Epic Fantasy. ❤

{My Review}

3starrating3. The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke — I loved most of this one, but was slightly disappointed by the ending… Still, I’m glad I read it and it’s definitely worth reading for those less picky about their endings than I! 😉 Venice and brothers and the mysterious boy Scipio and detective Victor who has pet tortoises.

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{My Review}

5starrating4. Prince of Demargen by E. Kaiser Writes (Thaw, #3) — This was a very interesting sequel to a Frozen-like story (The Snow Queen retelling) and I’m very much looking forward to reading the first two in the series. But it’s quite rich and I love Hess a ton and it’s brilliantly written.

5starrating5. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes #3) — I haven’t reviewed this one… It’s actually a reread, ish… I think I’ve read them all before? But I don’t really remember them so I’m working on going through all the Holmes stories — yay! This is the first collection of short stories (after the first two novels), and has twelve stories in all. My favorites I think are The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet, and The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle. Anyways I’m loving reading through Holmes — so awesome, and I love him and Watson: they’re a great pair! 🙂

{My review on The Road of a Writer}

5starrating6. The Sunken Realm by Serena Chase (Eyes of E’veria #4) — Pirates, time-travel, a Twelve Dancing Princesses twist, romance, Christian themes and fabulous fantasy, not to mention Cazien. ❤ I can’t 100% recommend it due to some mature content and general scariness, but otherwise fabulous.

5starrating7. Goddess Tithe by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (Tales of Goldstone Wood, #2.5) — Haven’t reviewed this either, but oh my goodness, I adored it! *huggles little book* Set in the midst of Veiled Rose (book 2) which is the last Goldstone Wood book I read, it’s just a perfect little tale at sea, with mystery and fantasy and an elegant perfectness to the writing. I loved Munny and he and Leo’s relationship was so fun — they don’t even speak the same language, which made it hilarious! XD Anyways it has a bit of everything and was kinda bittersweet and perfect. ^_^ ❤

{My Review}

4starrating8. Impactivity: How to Set the World on Fire Without Burning Out, by Tracy Higley — Interesting non-fiction of a self-help, time-management, inspirational sort of thing. I hope to put some of its ideas to use… Hopefully I’ll read it again. Very well put together.

5starrating9. Out of Darkness Rising by Gillian Bronte Adams — Also didn’t review. But it was so so beautiful. A little novella, I read it in a sitting, and it’s a gorgeous allegory. It was incredibly well written — I love this author’s style! — and just… gaah. Words fail me. It was such an amazing allegorical story! ❤ It was so immersive and detailed, I really felt pulled in, and the timeless tale of love and salvation was so beautifully woven. It made me really love the Prince and his Father and look to the allegory beneath, pointing upward. Just an awesome story. (Not to mention one of my favorite covers!)

5starrating10. Half-Blood by Jaye L. Knight (Ilyon Chronicles, #0.5) — Everyone and their cousin seems to be after me to read this series, so I finally sat down and read the prequel novella in an attempt to get me hooked enough to not be too daunted by the length of the later books… It’s kinda dark and likely not everyone’s cup of tea, but I didn’t mind it so much since I’ve read similar tales before. Jace is awesome (naturally) and I love Rayad too, and I’m looking forward to continuing the series. 🙂 (Ya know, once I get over the length… >.> *cough* I’m sorry, long books tend to get postponed by this skittish reader…)

Have you read any of these?

What have you been reading?

Dream away in those pages…

~The Page Dreamer