Tag Archive | The Last Motley

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

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

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

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

But firstly, look at that stunning cover…

Title: The Last Motley
Author: DJ Edwardson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is quality fantasy, right here.

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

(A Few) Favorite Quotes

from The Last Motley by DJ Edwardson

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

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

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

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

***

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

“And where would that be?” Kendall asked.

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

~ ~ ~

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

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

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

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Nightstand Books: January 2018

It’s time for Nightstand Books!

(Meme created by DJ Edwardson and Jenelle Schmidt; sharing the books on our “nightstand” the first Wednesday of the month.)

I can never be sure how much I’ll end up reading in a month, but here are some things I’d like to read in January, or soon, at any rate. 😉 (All titles link to the books on Goodreads, if you’re curious to check them out!)

(All the books in this stack except for Mind Writer were my Christmas presents! I also got a gorgeous copy of Halayda which makes me happy. ^_^)

  • The Heroes of Tolkien by David Day — A gorgeous book I got for Christmas from a very dear friend! ❤ I’m so looking forward to reading this, and looking at all the pretty pictures. 😉
  • A Matter of Magic by Patricia C. Wrede — Technically, I’ve read the second half of this. …Say what now? That is, it’s a collection containing Mairelon the Magician and Magicians’ Ward, the latter of which I read (and reviewed) at the beginning of LAST year and was one of my top favorites of the year. ❤ So I’m hoping to read the first book finally, and maybe re-read the second while I’m at it. XD Because Regency Fantasy and humor and Mairelon!
  • Mind Writer by Mike Lynch and Lisa Godfrees — I KNOW, I’ve been saying I’ll read this for ages; but I will! It’s just very outside of my reading comfort zone and the size keeps daunting me and I have no idea why… But it’s on my read-soon list.
  • (Not pictured: I just re-read (aloud) The Stroke of Eleven by Kyle Robert Shultz to my younger siblings. Yes, I did read it last month already; your point? XD Now that they know the spoilers — aaahh! — we’re currently reading Christmas in Talesend together too, and it’s so fun. :D)

Those are the ones I really want to read this month.

The other three on there are Christmas presents which I would so like to read soon, but we’ll see if they happen this month or if review-reading takes priority and these end up moving to February.

They are:

  • The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Izzo Hunter — This is also Regency Fantasy and I know absolutely nothing about it besides the genre, so we’ll see if I like it. XD
  • The Diamond Thief by Sharon Gosling — This is a YA novel set in the Victorian era (and may be slightly steampunk? I’m not sure.) about a jewel thief girl and a detective. That’s all I know about it but I’m really excited to try it out. 🙂
  • The Icarus Hunt by Timothy Zahn — Again, this may be in danger of not-getting-around-to-reading-it-for-awhile-due-to-genre. Because I don’t actually love Sci-Fi all that much and have to be in the mood for it because 99% of the time I’d rather just read fantasy?? BUT it’s Timothy Zahn (I liked his Star Wars trilogy I read years ago; much better than the new depressing movies, which are fun but dark) and Jenelle speaks highly of this book, so. I’d been wanting to get it from my library for ages but it’s now labeled MISSING in their system so I gave up and got it for myself for Christmas because I want to read this!

Le E-Nightstand

My current to-reads in e-book form… (Which is why I suspect I won’t get to all of those physical ones this month. XD)

  • Disowned by Sarah Addison-Fox — The lone review book I didn’t get to before November hit, and thus has rolled over through NaNo and Christmas season and now awaits me in the new year. I’m quite excited for it! 🙂 (Especially since the genre it falls under has recently been named. Because I’m weird like that and love being organized and categorized. XD)
  • The Last Motley by DJ Edwardson — I’m in the middle of this one right now and it’s excellent so far! The writing is fabulous and I’m sooo intrigued by this fantasy story! o.o I’m reading it for review, so expect to hear all about it on this blog sometime in the coming weeks!
  • Presumption and Partiality by Rebekah Jones — So excited to read the final Vintage Jane Austen book! I’ve loved all the books in that series by different authors thus far, so I’m really looking forward to this one! Plus, it’s a Pride and Prejudice retelling. Has to be a fact in its favor, there. 😉
  • The Lord of Dreams by C. J. Brightley — This is the Fellowship of Fantasy book of the month for January, and I’m excited to try it out! It sounds intriguing! ^_^ (I’m always up for Faeries!)

And since I didn’t do a post like this in December… here: have a belated couple of pics of my December nightstand! 🙂

  • I finally read On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness! *is so proud* Now I know about Peet the Sockman (EEP!) and HAS ANYONE ELSE SEEN THE ADORABLE SHORT FILM THEY JUST RELEASED?? It’s so so cute and I loved watching it and NEED MORE and also that singing bit absolutely SLEW me. SO GORGEOUS. ❤
  • The Stroke of Eleven was mindblowing, of course, as I mentioned in my review. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF, HALP.
  • Rulers and Mages was a very interesting read, which I hope to review soon. I’m torn about a certain ship though… *shifty eyes* And a couple things. But otherwise it was mostly really good, and faeriiiiie things! 🙂
  • And a couple of random fantasy Christmas-esque stories, Hogfather by Terry Pratchett, and a collection of dragon Christmas stories called We Three Dragons. All of which I enjoyed.

I don’t always share all the short stories I read, but these were so cute together! Links: Nyssa Glass prequel (Christmassy!), Dreamings and Muses, Ceaseless, Distorted Glass, Christmas in Talesend. I enjoyed them all. ^_^ (Yay, more Christmassy things!)

What’s on your reading list for this month?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

2018 Upcoming Book Releases

Here are some books coming out this year, hopefully!

I have no illusions that I’ll be READING them all this year (there’s ONLY, like, 25 of them… >.> *cough*) but for some reason I keep tabs on books that are releasing soon, so I thought I’d share them with you!

Details and release dates are, of course, subject to change, and this is just the information I’ve gathered, to the best of my knowledge. (Not to mention there are probably a billion other titles releasing this year that just haven’t been announced yet! *collapses under flood of awesome new releases*)

All of the titles below link to somewhere you can find out more about the book, if I could find links. 🙂

In roughly chronological order…


Beneath the Haunting Sea

by Joanna Ruth Meyer

January 9

This is by a Twitter friend of mine, who I met through a mutual love for Diana Wynne Jones novels, so I’m curious about her book — it looks really interesting!

The Lost Plot (The Invisible Library, #4)

by Genevieve Cogman

January 9?

(Not sure on the date, as books that release first in the UK always confuse me…) I have only read the first book in the series, so I need to get to the library (haha) and read the next two. BUT this fourth one sounds fascinating because alternate magical Chicago gangsters from the 1920s and other fun stuff. *nod*

The Thirteenth Knight (Blackfire, #1)

by Kyle Robert Shultz

January?

The dragon Malcolm Blackfire from the Beaumont and Beasley series is getting his own spinoff! Featuring magical artifacts and an interesting jewel thief lady. This is Regency Fantasy and has (I hear) Excalibur, and I COULD NOT BE MORE EXCITED.

Horseman (Crocket & Crane, #1)

by Kyle Robert Shultz

January?

I technically already read this on Wattpad (and you can too!) but I’m so excited for it to be released for real! It’s a magical alternate Wild West with Legend of Sleepy Hollow dashes and is so fun and I love it. XD

The Last Motley

by DJ Edwardson

February 6

The paperback is already out but the kindle version is releasing in February. Look for my review around then! I’ve been wanting to read a fantasy novel from this author for AGES because I love his blog, so I’m excited. 😀

Minstrel’s Call

by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

Spring 2018?

I’m BEYOND EXCITED for this wrapping up of The Minstrel’s Song series. I read King’s Warrior and Second Son last year, and re-read Yorien’s Hand (SO MUCH LOVE) and I’m on the edge of my seat to get to read more about these beloved characters! ❤

Sage

by Jamie Foley

March 10

So excited and so nervous for this one! But mostly excited. XD I love Jet SO MUCH and can’t wait to see what all these characters get up to in the conclusion to a trilogy I read most of last year and loved.

The Thirty-Nine Thieves (Beaumont & Beasley, #4)

by Kyle Robert Shultz

January (Maybe)

Nick and Cordelia and Crispin and co. tackle an Aladdin retelling and I’M SO EXCITED! After that explosion of a book which was The Stroke of Eleven, I need more to find out what happens to my precious characters. o.o

King’s War

by Jill Williamson

April 17? June 19?

There are conflicting dates for this one but I THINK one is the hardcover and one the paperback release. I was mildly (read: hugely) devastated by the second book, BUT I’m still looking forward to seeing how this trilogy completes! (So pretty, too…) And then I’ll want to re-read the Blood of Kings trilogy… 😉

In the Region of the Summer Stars

by Stephen R. Lawhead

May 15

Mr. Lawhead’s newest novel after the Bright Empires series (which I loved!) — I don’t know much about this other than it being Celtic, and fantasy, both of which intrigue me highly…

The Penderwicks at Last

by Jeanne Birdsall

May 15

The final Penderwick book… I don’t know how I feel about this. o.o Or about what might happen in it! But it’s Penderwicks, so naturally it’s going on my library wishlist!

Song of Leira

by Gillian Bronte Adams

June 5

This is wrapping up the fantasy series which began with Orphan’s Song and Songkeeper and I’m on pins and needles to know what happens. o.o (THAT COVER, THOUGH!)

A Thousand Perfect Notes

by C. G. Drews

June 7

This is by Cait @ Paper Fury, who finally has a book coming out! It’s a modern story and doesn’t sound like quiiite the sort of thing I read very often, but I’m excited for her and might end up reading it at some point. 🙂

The Orphan’s Wish

by Melanie Dickerson

June 26

Another Hagenheim book, this one is also an Aladdin one (so many of those!) and I always enjoy this author, so we’ll see how it is. 🙂

Fawkes

by Nadine Brandes

July 10

I’ve never read this author before because I can’t stand dystopian, so when I heard she’s branching into a new genre, I became curious to see how this book will turn out! Alternate history/fantasy/gunpowder plot? Definitely sounds fascinating!

RUMORED

Please keep in mind that these are things that may or may not release this year or at all, so. They’re just notes I’ve made of rumored books, because I’m weird like that. XD

Lightporter by C.B. Cook

Superheroes and fun and Blaze and Anvil! Want. 😀

 

(Cover not final)

Bitter Winter (and No Chance Meeting?) by Jaye L. Knight

I’m not caught up on the Ilyon Chronicles by any means, but I do keep up with the releases; I’m curious about Jaye’s modern story too.

The Wolf Prince by Claire Banschbach

Book 2 of the Faeries of Myrnius, this sounds super fun. 🙂

The City Beyond the Glass by Suzannah Rowntree

A Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling set in Renaissance Italy. I definitely want in on this!

The Profile Match by Jill Williamson

I hear Jill is hoping to finish up the Spencer series, which I’m behind on, but I love keeping up with what she’s releasing anyway. 🙂

Untitled: another Legends of Light novella by Hope Ann

Continuing the series I started reading in Burning Rose, this is a Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling, so obviously I NEED IT.

Volume 3 of The Order of the Twelve Tribes by Daley Downing

And of course I need more of the modern/faerie goodness of this series which started with Masters and Beginners & Rulers and Mages. 🙂

More books by Kyle Shultz

Of course I’m excited about these, whatever they’ll be, because I’m obsessed with the Afterverse BECAUSE RETELLINGS AND HUMOR AND BELOVED CHARACTERS. (Don’t get me started on how nervous I am about all the MEEPery though. XD)


And there you are! Are you excited about any of these? Are there any I’m missing that you have on your upcoming-releases-I-need radar? Let’s chat about book excitement!!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll