Tag Archive | Rising Shadows

Reading Roundup #3: March 2016

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Muchly belated, here are the many things I read in March! So much awesome reading. ❤

Here are some mini-reviews for a bunch of them and/or links to my reviews for the ones I reviewed in full… (Covers from Goodreads and all titles link to their pages on Goodreads as wel.) Enjoy! 🙂

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1. Blood Ties – Hazel B. West

Reviewed this on my other blog. Friendships and battles and Faerie and modern/medieval Ireland, huzzah!

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2. A Spy’s Devotion – Melanie Dickerson

Reviewed this. Lovely Regency romance! Melanie’s amazing at this time period, just like I thought she’d be! 🙂

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3. Comet in Moominland – Tove Jansson

Well, strike me pink, that was a rollicking delight of fun and charming oddness! (Especially reading it aloud with British accents, because it did seem to call for it, despite the fact it’s originally Swedish.) I believe it’s quite possible that I’m now thoroughly addicted to the world of the Moomins!

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4. Moominsummer Madness – Tove Jansson

Ack, I love it! *huggles book* Snufkin is my FAVORITE EVER! ❤ He’s so awesome and just the best! And what he did about the signs . . . and his twenty-four little woodies — GAAHH SO CUUUUTE!!! ❤ I about died from the adorableness and awesomeness of this. Also, I love Little My. She’s hilarious. XD All in all, great little book! ❤

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5. The Exploits of Moominpappa – Tove Jansson

Yet another fun one! I loved getting to read Moominpappa’s memoirs — such escapades, such oddness, such fun! 🙂 Moominpappa has quite a “feel” to his storytelling. It’s great. Also the Joxter was fun — nice to know where Snufkin’s slightly lawless ways originated. 😉 So much fun! And I especially loved how the memoirs would pause occasionally as Moominpappa is interrupted in his reading by Moomintroll, Sniff, and Snufkin, as they ask questions about the story and their various daddies’ adventures. Loved that! And the way that it all came together at the end was marvelous. 😀 The Moomin books are just loads of bizarre whimsical fun.

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6. Deep Secret – Diana Wynne Jones

Read this for March Magics. Wow, what a book. o.o It was more adult than any DWJ I’d read before, but still so so good. It takes place almost entirely at a Sci-fi/Fantasy convention which was super fun. XD Also world-hopping and centaurs and just yes. I do mean to write a review, I just haven’t yet…

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7. The Beautiful Pretender – Melanie Dickerson

Reviewed this on my other blog. It was AWESOME! But then, it’s a medieval fairy tale romance story mixing Beauty and the Beast and The Princess and the Pea and it’s by Melanie Dickerson, sooo… of course it’s awesome. 😉 Possibly my favorite from her yet!

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8. Moominland Midwinter – Tove Jansson

A good wintry tale, another fun Moomin story. 🙂 Little My is the best. XD

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9. Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen

I FINALLY read this one! This was for Amber Stoke’s read-along over at Seasons of Humility. Really enjoyed the book on the whole! I could have wished for less of Isabella (UGH I hated her) and more of Henry Tilney, but still. 😉 Maybe I’ll post a more complete review at some point…

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10. Dreams and Wishes: Essays on Writing For Children – Susan Cooper

I don’t read a lot of nonfiction but I was excited to read these nonfiction essays by Susan Cooper about writing. While some of them may be on writing “for” children, this collection wasn’t really… It was a bit of a mixed bag for me. I didn’t like/agree with everything, but she did have a lot of good things to say about fantasy and such, so that was fun! Definitely glad I read it.

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11. Playing with Fire (Skulduggery Pleasant, #2) – Derek Landy

Another scary, action-packed fantasy tale in modern Dublin with Skulduggery Pleasant the skeleton detective! But most importantly, containing numerous witty lines (by Skulduggery himself, naturally) and lots of humorous banter between him and Valkyrie, because THAT’S what I really read these books for! 😉 I don’t think I liked it quite as much as the first one, but it was gripping and I find myself rather glad that it’s a book instead of a movie because with a book, it’s just the words and imagination; whereas if it was actually on a screen, it would probably be far too scary for me. 😉 And just think of all the dialog I’d miss in that case! o.o Skulduggery continues to be hilarious and awesome, the real reason I’m reading these things. I hope to have more awesome Skulduggery lines in the future… HE’S SO QUOTABLE AND FUNNY AND EPIC. Skulduggery’s the best. ❤

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12. Moominvalley in November – Tove Jansson

I was nervous that I wouldn’t like this one at first… but it turned out okay, so I was glad. 🙂 I’m not sure I liked the translator of this one as much? And it starts out rather melancholy and I wasn’t sure if I liked the characters much, but of course they grew on me. I thought it would be sad but it wasn’t. Yay! And of course I love Snufkin! 😉 It was awesome how everyone kept coming to his tent. XD And I really liked Toft too, he’s adorbz. Some of it was a little vague and hard to sort of grasp in your head if you know what I mean? And it definitely feels different than the other ones, probably mostly because the Moomins aren’t there… And kind of more shadowy and melancholy. But I ended up enjoying it more than I thought, and Snufkin in particular (and Toft) make it better of course! 🙂

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13. Rising Shadows – Ashley Townsend

Aaaand reviewed this one. So much enjoyable! Will… ❤ Really fun little book.

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I kind of read a lot in March! It was a good reading month.

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

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Stands of Night {April 2016}

First Wednesday of the month means it’s time for Nightstand Books, a monthly meme of what-we’re-reading, hosted by Jenelle Schmidt and D.J. Edwardson. (Jenelle called her post today “Stands of Night,” which I honestly didn’t understand for a second, and then I decided to steal it because I LOVE that. XD)

So without further ado, my nightstand this month…

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  • Tales from Moominvalley by Tove Jansson – I actually just finished this one, the last of the Moomin books I currently own. This one was a collection of short stories (read aloud, of course!) and oh! Such a delight! ^_^ My favorite was called The Last Dragon in the World and featured one of my favorite friendships i.e. Snufkin and Moomintroll. THEY ARE SO AWESOME AND ADORBZ. Snufkin is like my favorite character ever and he was MAGNIFICENT in this one! ❤ I love him so much. LINK: {on Goodreads}
  • Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett – Leftover from March Magics, I’m determined to get this read before it returns to the library! I started it last night, made the belated discovery that there are no chapters, and promptly stayed up till 2 a.m. before I had the willpower to put it down… (Which is bad, given that I have a cold and should have been asleep! Ahem.) But so far it’s HILARIOUS and doesn’t take itself seriously and has FOOTNOTES (and one of the footnotes had footnotes! *flails*) and it subverts so many fantasy tropes… Anyways I’m having fun with it. 🙂 LINK: {on Goodreads}
  • King’s Folly by Jill Williamson – I’m going to start this monster of a book shortly… I’m very excited! ISN’T IT PRETTY?? I got this for review from Bethany House so I was SO ecstatic when it showed up in the mail a few days ago! Also, the book actually released yesterday! Check out Jill’s post on it and enter the giveaway for a signed copy! ^_^ I’m slightly nervous to read it because it’s technically for adults and people say it’s dark, but I’m also extremely excited because Jill is an incredible writer and I’ve missed her writing fantasy so it’s awesome that this one’s out now! Anyways I’ll hopefully have it read and reviewed within the month. *fingers crossed because I actually have a review deadline and this book is so enormous and I may die. Ahem* (BUT IT’S SO PRETTYYYYY!) LINKS: {on Goodreads} {Amazon} {Barnes & Noble}

And then my “virtual” nightstand because sadly ebooks do not pile prettily…

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  • Songkeeper by Gillian Bronte Adams – Currently reading this sequel to Orphan’s Song! *squeals* I just started it so I’m not too far in, but it’s already quite enjoyable and exciting and I love the writing, especially the humorous tilt to it when we’re in Amos’ point of view! XD This book is releasing on April 15th, and I’ll have a review for it up by that date! (Fingers crossed that I get it read and reviewed on time…) LINKS: {on Goodreads} {Amazon pre-order}
  • Defying Shadows by Ashley Townsend – I’m excited to beta-read this third installment of the Rising Shadows Trilogy! It’s going to be LONG but it’s going to be worth it. XD That will be releasing sometime soonish. And I’m excited about it because timey-wimey/Robin-Hood-ish/and I need to know what happens with Will and co! LINK: {on Goodreads}

So that’s what I’m going to be (very) busy reading this month! I just hope I will manage to get them all read (on time)! Funny how that likes to happen where you sign up for things and then suddenly they pile up and happen at the same time! 😉 But I can’t really complain because these are all going to be awesome. I just know it! 😀

Do any of these look intriguing or have you read them? What’s on your stand of the night? 😉

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

Rising Shadows by Ashley Townsend

4starratingTitle: Rising Shadows

Author: Ashley Townsend

review

*happy sigh* What an enjoyable tale! A shorter book, RISING SHADOWS is a fairly quick read. It’s the first in the Rising Shadows trilogy, and I had actually read book 2, CHASING SHADOWS, before reading this one — so this was kind of like a prequel backstory sort of thing for me, which was actually a fun way to read it. I think it’s a great introduction to the series, though, if you actually read it first (like one probably should… but since the story deals with time travel, I don’t feel TOO bad about reading out of order. ;)).

Things I loved:

+ For one thing, anything involving time travel is a lot of fun — I really enjoyed the setting of a medieval place called Serimone (sort of an alternate dimension type of thing?). Since I read the second book first, this was like getting to go back, and I was so happy to be in Serimone again! It just feels familiar and I like it. 🙂 Besides which, castles and forests are my favorite settings, so…
+ The characters. Sarah is an unexpectedly nice heroine; I love Karen, she really grows on you; and Seth too.
+ Will gets his own point on this list. 😉 He’s an extremely awesome fellow, one of my favorites, a slightly mysterious and dark but also reassuring and capable person. He’s probably the main reason I liked this book so much. 🙂
+ The hints at a growing romance was so adorable! Will and Sarah are so SWEET together! ❤ Gaah. And their dialog back and forth is the best — some really fun banter lines!
+ I absolutely ADORE masked-man-type stories, so The Shadow was super awesome and another favorite aspect of the story! He’s kind of Robin-Hood-ish too, with some serious archery skills. Anyone who goes around through forests and creeping into castles in a green cloak and hood being an undercover hero is awesome. I’m a major fan of this guy. 😉
+ Though perhaps a simpler, more straightforward plot, the story was exciting and kept me flipping pages.
+ The Christian aspect was lovely and I quite enjoyed the thread of faith winding through the story. 🙂
+ It’s quite clean.
+ I quite LOVED the ball and dancing! That was great! ^_^
+ And… I don’t know, I just enjoyed it a lot. 🙂 Sometimes a shorter, simple read with some loveable characters and adventure and a dash of sweet romance is just what you feel like, you know?

Things I didn’t love:

As for complaints, I don’t have many and they’re fairly minor.
+ Many books featuring a contemporary main character who is suddenly swept away into another world or time can suffer from a slightly awkward beginning/transition, so this one is not alone in that; but once it gets underway it doesn’t really matter. 😉
+ The sister, Lilly, seemed hardly there, like an afterthought? It’s not really important, but she was kind of vague.
+ Occasional typos or a few minor details that seemed off to me were pretty much the only downsides other than that.

Conclusion:

Overall a very fun read!

The book has a slight cliffhanger lead-up at the end, which transitions smoothly to the next book — which made me glad I had already read CHASING SHADOWS! 🙂 You can tell that it’s very much part of a series in the way many things are left with loose ends, so I’m looking forward to book 3, DEFYING SHADOWS, to see where it all goes!

If you like YA Christian adventure/romance with time travel and a hint of Robin Hood, you should definitely give this one a try!

(I received a free copy of this book from the author. I was in no way required to give a positive review. These opinions are my own.)

{Read my review of book 2, Chasing Shadows, on my other blog}

summary

From Goodreads:

Sarah Matthews is nearing the end of another eventless summer in the small town of Bethany, Oklahoma, bringing her closer to the start of her freshman year of college. Disheartened over the reality that yet another unexciting season is coming to an end, Sarah wishes for an unforgettable adventure. When mysterious circumstances transport Sarah and her younger sister back in time, she gets more of an adventure than she could have ever imagined.

The two sisters find themselves trapped in the twelfth century in a place shrouded with mystery and deception. Assassination plots, kidnappings, and tumultuous adventures force Sarah to rely on the Shadow, a masked hero who comes to her aid numerous times.

In order to uncover a conspiracy and save those closest to her, Sarah requests help from the Shadow and also from Will, the handsome and equally intriguing blacksmith she befriends. Sarah is strangely drawn to the excitement that seems to follow the town hero and begins to look forward to their secret encounters. She also finds herself caught in a romance with Will, despite the fact that their equally fiery personalities have a tendency to clash as they attempt to work together.

But Will’s past is filled with secrets and pains, and Sarah finds it difficult to break through the walls he has built around him. Can the faith and love of God that Sarah exhibits in her own life cause his hardened facade to fall away as he discovers that forgiveness and mercy are never too far from reach?

factoids

Genre/Category: Historical Fiction / Christian / Time Travel / Romance / Contemporary / Robin Hood

Age Group: YA

Published: 2012

Pages: 177 (Kindle)

Series?: Book 1 in the Rising Shadows Trilogy (followed by Chasing Shadows (book 2; read my review) and book 3: Defying Shadows, releasing soon!)

When Read: March 25 – 30, 2016

Favorite Character: Will, of course! (And the Shadow…)

Source: An e-copy from the author

Other Notes: Visit Ashley Townsend’s website, www.Ashley-Townsend.com, for more info about the series and fun stuff like character interviews! 🙂

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{Goodreads} • {Amazon}


Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

 

Fantasy Love February Nightstand Books

Today’s post is a mix of… well, of three different things, all scrumptiously rolled together into one.

Firstly: Nightstand Books, which is a fun bookish monthly meme, the first Wednesday of every month, held by Jenelle and D.J.

Secondly: Jenelle is also doing a Fantasy month thing for February… Check out her post here!

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In case you don’t know, fantasy is my FAVORITE.

Thirdly: Grace @ Fictionally is holding a Fantasy Love February Reading Challenge which I am — tentatively? — joining in on. (That is, I hope to be able to read a bunch of fantasy, but my reading goals always tend to do whatever they want instead of what I want, soo… we’ll see.)

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So! Because Nightstand Books is about what we’re reading this month, and since the first part of the first mini-challenge within the Fantasy Love February Reading Challenge is to post the book/books you plan/hope to read for the challenge… and since this all relates to fantasy… it’s all coming together in this post!

Apparently February is a lovely (see what I did there?) time to celebrate fantasy. Huzzah! It’s the perfect excuse for me to read some fantasy books I’ve been meaning to read.

Here’s my nightstand currently… (Not all of it’s fantasy… but that’s why this is the Nightstand Books part…)

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I’m working on going through all the Holmes stories, so right now I’m working through The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which contains three collections of short stories (one of which I read last month) as well as The Hound of the Baskervilles. I’m currently in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes; then it’s on to Hound and Return. I’m loving reading these, especially since short stories can be read fairly quickly, and I simply adore the original illustrations by Sidney Paget! They’re the essence of the Holmes tales, right there. ❤

Also started The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (edited by Humphrey Carpenter and Christopher Tolkien). I read most of this book quite some time ago, but never actually got all the way to the end, and it’s been a long time so I don’t really remember them… Hence, I’m restarting and hoping to go through the whole thing this time. It’s fascinating and I love being in the mind of my favorite author.

Similar story to above: The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones is a book I’ve read bits of but never sat down to read all the way through. Set up as an A-Z “guidebook” to Fantasyland, it’s tongue-in-cheek, making fun of cliches and just having a rollick, and it’s quite hilarious.

So those are what I’m currently in. (I’d also kind of like to read a few of the books I didn’t get to in January, like Rising Shadows and The Poisoned Cure… but we’ll see.)

But! Then I’d also like to read some fantasy for said reading challenge. So these are (tentatively) what I’m hoping to read in February.

Aaand I may end up suddenly having a bunch of other books to review, or going to the library and getting a bunch of random things, or having no time to read because I’m busy and/or writing, so this may not happen, but I’m hoping to, anyway!

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So… Nightstand round #2 (yes, Tough Guide to Fantasyland is in both. 😀 )

What’s on your nightstand? Anything fantasy-ish? 😉

Dream away in those pages…

~The Page Dreamer

Nightstand Books {Jan 2016}

Nightstand Books is a monthly meme created by Jenelle Schmidt and D.J. Edwardson, focused on taking a look at your nightstand of books, i.e. what you’re reading or plan to read this month. Join in if you like! It’s usually the first Wednesday of every month… sooo I’m a week late. 😛

Also, I tend to go a little overboard with my posts, because I always plan a bit over-ambitiously what I want to read and it doesn’t always pan out so well… Ahem.

Still, on we go!

Physical Nightstand

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Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones: I got this for Christmas and read it on New Year’s Day (all 400+ pages of it, and actually stayed up till 3:30 a.m. to do so, so yes, it was good) and really enjoyed it. Maybe I’ll write a review? 5 stars.

I’ve started reading a handful of books with daily readings, for the new year. I usually mean to and don’t usually succeed, but this year I’m trying! Most notably A Year With C. S. Lewis. It reminds me that I really need to read through several of his nonfiction works. I’ll obviously likely be in this all year, so I’ll just mention it this time. 😉

I don’t know about the following, as I would like to read them soon, preferably this month, but I don’t know how soon it will happen.

  • The Night Dance by Suzane Weyn: Got this for Christmas and looks like a delightful little read (Arthurian/Twelve Dancing Princesses!).
  • Out of Darkness Rising by Gillian Bronte Adams
  • Half-Blood by Jaye L. Knight
  • Goddess Tithe by Anne Elisabeth Stengl: These three are small novellas which I would love to just sit down and devour but haven’t found a moment for yet.

Virtual Nightstand

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The Sunken Realm by Serena Chase: Currently reading and excited for it. Pirates and Captain Cazien. YES. ❤

Yorien’s Hand by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt: I read this and loved it. I reviewed it on my other blog, as I had gotten it for review; but I may also post the review here sometime. 5 stars.

Rising Shadows by Ashley Townsend: This is next on my list to read. Looking forward to reading it, as I already love the characters (one in particular…).

Prince of Demargen by E. Kaiser Writes: If I can finish the books I’m supposed to read for review, I hope to read this one and review it by the 22nd, so we’ll see. It sounds cool!

The Poisoned Cure by Deborah Dunlevy: Can’t. Wait. Dying to read.

Again, not sure how many I’ll get to…

I also have a handful of books I’d love to reread soon (Holmes short stories, The Blood of Kings Trilogy, Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, Rick Brant…), and having just finished Yorien’s Hand I have upped King’s Warrior and Second Son on my read-soon list, and there are countless other books on my shelves waiting patiently for me to read them… But books for review come first, and I would like to read some of my smaller things, plus I’m not made of time, so we’ll see how much happens in the rest of January…

Basically I want to read ALL OF THE THINGS! (RIGHT NOW! *flails*)

What’s on your nightstand? 🙂