Review: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

Title: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

Author: Andrew Peterson

Summary

Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby have the secret of the lost legend and jewels of King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera. The wicked Fangs of Dang have crossed the Dark Sea of Darkness and taken over Anniera, and the children, along with their dog Nugget, must escape their pursuit and brave horned hounds, the Black Carriage, Glipwood Forest, Peet the Sock Man, and the terrible toothy cows.

Review

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness tells a well-paced story full of character and courage. It has enough character uniqueness and development to satisfy those who love character-driven stories, and an intriguing and fast-paced plot to satisfy those who read a book for the plot.

This story is filled with outlandish names, an unusual world, and funny footnotes that serve to both entertain and explain Anniera and its customs.  We are thrown right into the world of Anniera, which can be disorienting, but the quirky writing style and well-used description make the world feel real and important.

I appreciated that despite the light tone and fast-paced plot, the characters’ struggles feel important and real. Janner, Tink, and Leeli all have unique personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Their grandfather is a wise and quirky ex-pirate. Their mother is a loving, strong, and hard-working woman.

I also particularly liked the rich and authentic family relationships in this book. Often in teen and middle grade fiction, families are dysfunctional, not present, or treated as trivial and annoying. In On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, we see how even through their struggles and perils, the Igibys love each other and lean on each other.

This story has many layers. The fear and suffering of the people in Anniera. The struggle of good versus evil. The realization that you can’t judge a person by how they look.  The struggle to fight for what is right when most prefer to turn a blind eye on the injustice.

If You Like

If you liked the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, the Eragon series by Christopher Paolini, the Narnia series by C. S. Lewis, the Hobbit series by J. R. R. Tolkien, or the Green Ember series by S. D. Smith, you will probably enjoy this book.

Let’s Chat!

Have you read On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness? What did you think? Have you noticed that lack of healthy family relationships in teen and middle grade fiction?

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Top Ten Book Covers of All Time: Collab with Lilian from Green Tea with Books

I’m so excited to post this collab with Lilian from Green Tea with Books. We each found our ten favorite book covers, which was really fun, and we’re sharing them on each other’s sites. Lilian is a wonderful blogger, and I’m so happy to have her here today.

Once you finish admiring her Top 10 Favorite Covers of All Time (and they are beautiful), be sure to hop on over to her site to see my top ten favorite covers.

Hi, I’m Lilian! I’m a teenager who can be found immersed in a book. I write reviews of clean, Christian books and other book-related posts frequently on my main blog as well as design-related posts on my design blog. I also started a website with my friend Maddy to support indie authors, if you want to check that out. I really don’t do anything else besides that.
Okay, no, I’m just kidding. What do I do besides book-related things? I love gymnastics, snowboarding, skiing, unicycling, Ultimate Frisbee, painting, designing websites and blogs, and playing instruments, to give you a roundup of my favorite hobbies. I would definitely encourage you to come over to my blog, check out some posts, and chat with me! Hope to see you there. 

Eagle Eyes: Descendants of White Wolf

Eagle Eyes by Tammy Lash
I had the honor of reading this book for review a couple of weeks ago. It’s such a beautiful heart-wrenching story of a boy who is going blind, and I loved it so much. ❤ AND. THE COVER. heart eyes I have my fair share of favorite covers, but this one (especially the back cover) beats all others. This book is a must-have, even if you’re buying it just for the cover.

London In The Dark (Light of London #1)

London in the Dark by Victoria Lynn
I’m not sure what London in the Dark is about since I haven’t read the blurb yet, but I do have a physical copy of it and it’s so pretty! Julia Erickson, the cover designer, did such a fantastic job. I’ve heard so much about the book itself from my reading circles, and I can’t wait to read it!

A Time to Die (Out of Time, #1)

The Out of Time trilogy by Nadine Brandes
All of these books have stunning covers (I mean, they are designed by Kirk DouPonce himself). They fit the feel of the book so. well. and I highly recommend you read them- they taught me so much about faith when I was reading them.

The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
I can hear y’all groaning now, right? I mean, I never fail to mention The Mysterious Benedict Society in my cover-related posts. ;D For those who have been around my blog for awhile, you’ll know the obsession I have with these books. They have so much humor integrated into them, and it’s always fun seeing how the children in the books solve puzzles. Stewart’s a genius and will always be on my auto-buy list.

Live Without You

Live Without You by Sarah Grace Gryzbowski
This extraordinary cover is designed by Miss Sarah Grace herself. She’s sister to author Victoria Lynn (mentioned above). I had the privilege of beta-reading Live Without You a couple of weeks ago, and it. was. A M A Z I N G. It comes out in a few days (January 22nd, 2019), and I absolutely can’t wait to grab a copy when it does!

At Her Fingertips (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, #3)

At Her Fingertips by Kellyn Roth
I absolutely adore this cover! I love how well it fits the theme of the book, which, might I mention, I LOVED SO MUCH. Kellyn’s also now on my list of auto-buy authors, and her covers (designed by Willowy Whisper) are to die for.

Flight of the Raven (Ravenwood Sage, #2)

Flight of the Raven (Ravenwood Saga #2) by Morgan L. Busse
I love the look of this cover so much! It really fits my personal color scheme and it was also designed by Kirk DouPonce, so, um, of course I love it. I read Mark of the Raven (Ravenwood Saga #1) and really enjoyed it, so I can’t wait to read this new release (April 30th, 2019)!

Dead Drop

Dead Drop by Perry Elisabeth Kirkpatrick
okay I don’t know why this cover honestly creeps me out a bit (I think it’s a children’s book so I honestly have no idea why it’d creep me out) bUT IT’S SO PRETTYYYYYY. I don’t own this book myself, but I’ve heard amazing things about it!

Reintegration (Reintegration #1)

Reintegration by Ashley Bogner
*flails**FLAILS* I CAN’T. This cover is seriously one of the prettiest I’ve seen. ever. You see that water droplet? It looks so interesting and it makes me want to read the book immediately. Which I haven’t gotten the chance to do yet, but each time I look at the cover I want to so badly.

Martin Hospitality (Martin Generations, #1)

Martin Hospitality by Abigayle Claire
I have a huge penchant for watercolor (my friends will all tell you I’m kinda obsessed with it), and guess what? This cover was painted in watercolor. And it’s so amazing. I love the different shades of blue in the sky and the calm + peaceful wheat field- I love that it embodies the story itself so well.

Bitter Winter (Ilyon Chronicles, #5)

Honorable Mention. Bitter Winter + all the rest of the Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight
Okay, I don’t know who designed Miss Knight’s covers, but they’re incredibly staggering. When I first came across these books on Goodreads, I stared at the covers for solid minutes on end. I’ve heard the best things about this series and I’m so excited to start reading the first one (Resistance).

I haven’t read many of these books, so now I have a few to add to my TBR. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed this post, and don’t forget to visit Lilian and say hi!

Let’s Chat!

Aren’t all those covers gorgeous? What are your favorite book covers?

ARC Review: Papergirl by Melinda McCracken

Title: Papergirl

Author: Melinda McCracken

Publisher: Fernwood Publishing

Release date: April 1, 2019

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Summary

Cassie lives with her family in war- and- Influenza ravaged Winnipeg. The city’s workers are angry with the rising prices and low wages. When they being a general strike, Cassie decides she wants to help. She begins volunteering as a papergirl selling the strike bulletin, and as she sells papers every day and struggles with bullies, hunger, and the violence that the strike entails.

Review

Papergirl will interest readers who enjoy character-driven books that address issues and historical settings. It would be a wonderful classroom read, as it incorporates history into the story and tactfully yet honestly addresses the issues that lead to the strike and the impacts of the strike.

Cassie reminded me of Nisha from The Night Diary. She is a young girl without much firsthand knowledge of how harsh the world can be, with a sense of justice. As she watches the strike go on, she learns more about the world, the people in it, and how to fight injustice.

This book has an old-fashioned tone that is sometimes dry and is less engaging and conversational than many YA books are.  It has descriptions of the food, the setting, and the characters, that while it does enrich the book, may not suit those searching for a fast-paced adventure. It is character-driven and spends a lot of time exploring the characters, how they react to hardship, how they interact with their world, and how they are changed by the events of the book.

Papergirl is being marketed as young adult fiction. However, I think this book would appeal much more to a middle grade audience. Cassie, the main character, is ten years old, and does sound and think like a young person.  The violence is minimal and shown through Cassie’s sense of right and justice, and the book is written in a fairly simple way.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Fernwood Publishing through Netgalley. This did not impact my review in any way, and all opinions expressed are my own.

If You Like

If you liked Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani, Soldier Boy by Keely Hutton, you might enjoy Papergirl, which releases April 1, 2019.

Let’s Chat!

Do you like historical fiction? Are you going to read Papergirl? Have you ever read a book that was sold as young adult but really should have been middle grade?

ARC Review: Cogheart by Peter Bunzl

Cogheart by Peter Bunzl
Publisher: North Star Editions
Rating: 4/5 stars
Release date: February 12, 2019

Summary

In Cogheart, Lily is pulled out of school when her father goes missing, and the clockwork fox Malkin brings the news that her father was working on a priceless invention that could change the world. With the help of Robert, a clockmaker’s son, she embarks on an adventure to discover her father’s secrets. Full of robotic servants, dirigibles, plenty of clicks and clacks, and villainous mirror-eyed men that seem to be following Lily, this book is a delightful adventure for children.

Review

The first third of this book starts out fairly slowly. It introduces the Victorian steampunk world and sets up the story, but for young readers, it might take a little bit of encouragement to push through the first few chapters until they reach the action. After those first few chapters, this is a fast paced and action-filled story that will certainly appeal to young readers.

It’s so much fun to read about Lily and Robert working together. They go through a lot throughout the story, yet stay loyal to each other and come out the better for it.

However, while the world is new and exciting, the characters and their relationships are, while fun for a light read, nothing new. A girl is in a boarding school, her dad goes missing, and she and her sidekicks have to fight off bad guys and solve a mystery. It works well for a middle grade adventure story, but there isn’t much depth to the characters or their relationships, and it’s been done before.

And then there is Malkin. Malkin was my very favorite part of this book. I want a cute and courageous clockwork fox now. He’s crucial to the plot, and adds a touch of charm to the story.

Other than Malkin, the steampunk world is what makes this adventure story something particularly worthwhile worthwhile and different. Cogheart is set in a Victorian England where everything that moves is clockwork and steam. There are mechanical servants, air-balloons, and mechanimals. Like Malkin.

I received a complimentary copy of Cogheart for review from North Star Editions through Netgalley. This did not impact my review in any way and all opinions expressed are my own.

If You Like

Overall, Cogheart was a fun children’s adventure story that picks up to a fast pace and includes unusual villains, a spunky heroine, and a magnificent mechanical fox.  It will appeal to fans of Escape from Mr. Lenoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau, and Fablehaven by Brandon Mull.

Let’s Chat!

Are you going to read Cogheart? Do you like steampunk stories?

The Twenty Questions Book Tag

I have a lot of opinions about books. I like writing my opinions about books. Therefore, I was delighted to be tagged by Beth at Reading Every Night to do the Twenty Questions Book Tag. Here are twenty of my opinions on everything from love triangles to cover type.

How many books are too many books in a book series?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Some stories have expansive worlds, a gigantic, multi-faceted storyline, and many characters. Fantasies such as The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien and Eragon by Christopher Paolini seem like they are made to be a series.

And then there are authors who just need to learn that sometimes there can be too much of a good thing.

In general, I think two to four books is a good amount for a series, with just a few exceptions.

How do you feel about cliffhangers?

It’s sort of a love-hate relationship. I like it when I can go read the next book in the series right away. I love it in serial stories. I really don’t like it in a series when the next book isn’t going to be published for a long time. I abhor it in a standalone. Why would anyone put a cliffhanger in a standalone?  

Hardback or paperback?

Hardbacks are usually beautiful and durable, but paperbacks are easier to read, and not as expensive. I always buy paperbacks if it’s a book I haven’t read before, and I’ll sometimes get hardcovers of old favorites or books I want to keep for a long time or intend to lend to other people.

Favourite book?

Image result for you bring the distant near

Short answer: You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins.

Long Anser: One? Did you mean to ask what my favorite books are? Here’s my top 27: here and here’s my top 5: here.  

Least favourite book?

I don’t really have a least favorite book. I would have to vehemently disagree with something the book praises and really dislike the writing to call a book my “least favorite.” As for now, we’ll just say I don’t have one.

Love triangles, yes or no?

My thoughts on love triangles, in a triangle for maximum effect: 

no

NoNoNoNoNo

NONONONONONONONONONO

I don’t like love triangles. Unless they are necessary element in the character arc, they seem to detract from overall character development and provide unnecessary complication and drama to a book that otherwise might have potential. 

The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?

I don’t remember. I’m a pretty fast reader, so even if I’m not completely immersed in the story, it isn’t too much of an investment to finish it. If I think I don’t like it, I just skim ahead.

A book you’re currently reading?

Ooh. This book is fascinating. It’s called The End of Epidemics and it’s about how epidemics start, spread explosively, and what we can do to stop them. It’s not so scientific as to bog a reader down, and it’s actually quite interesting.

Last book you recommended to someone?

Romanov by Nadine Brandes. This book was amazing, and I think it will appeal to a lot of different readers because of the historical elements and the fantasy elements.

Oldest book you’ve read?

The oldest fiction I’ve read was maybe the Odyssey by Homer? People don’t agree on exactly when it was written. Some say it was passed down for a long time as a spoken story as it was written. The general consensus seems to be that it was probably written somewhere between the 8th and 10th century BC.

Newest book you’ve read?

Romanov by Nadine Brandes is coming out on May 7, 2019. I’m so excited to see what people think of it! I liked it even better than Fawkes, and the Russian revolution is a fascinating time period, to start with.

Favourite author?

Hmm… I’ll refer you to my list under ‘favorite books’ again and then just say Mitali Perkins, author of You Bring the Distant Near, and Andrew Peterson, author of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.

Buying books or borrowing books?

I get most of my books from the library. You can actually get a new book from the library quite quickly if you get on the hold list fast enough, in my experience. If I’ve read a book and really like it, I’ll buy it to have and reread. Or if there is a really good sale on books, sometimes I’ll buy one.

A book you dislike that everyone else seems to love?

Image result for the selection

I didn’t like The Selection by Kiera Cass. I know that’s an unpopular opinion (that’s why it’s in this section), but I felt like the story was too predictable and cheesy, and I didn’t really like Kiera Cass’s writing style. It just felt cliché and overly dramatic. Also, there was a love triangle, and you probably remember my feelings on love triangles.

Bookmarks or dog-ears?

Bookmarks, all the way.  I get most of my books from the library, as I said before, and I don’t want to ruin my own books.

A book you can always re-read?

Image result for on the edge of the dark sea of darkness

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is a great book to reread, as is You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins and On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson, as well as Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys.

Can you read while hearing music?

I can. It’s easier if it’s music I’ve heard before, but even if it’s new, I can usually do both.

I’ve actually listened to an audiobook while reading before on several occasions. I don’t know how, but I remember most of both stories.

One POV or multiple POVs?

It really depends on the book. Some authors need the whole book to develop their story and their character, and one point of view works well for that. Some authors do a really good job at making their characters feel real even when they have a lot of characters.

I like multiple POVs when the author can distinguish and develop all her characters and especially when they all have unique voices. It’s also interesting to realize that every character can have their own unique story, whether or not it’s the one being told.

I like single POVs when the book already has a lot of details or characters to keep straight (no multiple POV fantasies for me, thank you very much) or when one character should really be the main focus.

Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

It depends on the length. Most books I read in one sitting. I remember the book better that way, and the events make more sense and feel more timely. If it’s a long, detailed, or weighty book, or a book in verse, I’ll often read that over multiple sittings.

So, that was fun. Thanks, Beth, for tagging me!

I tag:

Also, I tag anyone who wants to do it! Just link back to whoever tagged you, answer the questions, and tag a few more bloggers.

ARC Review: The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

The Warrior Maiden (Hagenheim, #9)

Title: The Warrior Maiden
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Rating: 4/5 star

The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson is a retelling of the story of Mulan, a girl who disguised herself as a man to fight in the place of her father.

Summary

Mulan is an Asian girl who grew up in a Lithuanian town. When her father dies, she decides to take his place as a soldier so that the army does not confiscate her mother’s house. She changes her name to Mikolai, and joins in the fight against the Teutonic Knights.

Wolfgang is the son of the Duke of Hagenheim, and greatly desires to be a knight, but knows he will never reach that goal in Hagenheim. He joins the fight against the Teutonic Knights, expecting his brother Steffan will fight alongside him, but then learns his brother has joined the Teutonics and will be fighting against him.

My Review

This is an action-packed story with a traveling war setting. I thought it was an interesting shift from the rest of the Hagenheim series, which was mostly set in castles and towns. This series has tended to follow fairly similar storylines, but The Warrior Maiden had an interesting and fast-paced plot with some more unusual elements and a good sense of time and place.

Mulan was a very interesting character. Some YA books make it seem like a girl can’t be strong and feminine, but Melanie Dickerson does a very good job showing that Mulan is strong, and she is a woman. When I saw the cover, I thought this book might be set in Asia, but other than the main character’s race, the Asian influences in this book are minimal.  Mulan is of Mongolian descent and was adopted by Lithuanian characters, and the story is set in Europe.

Wolfgang, on the other hand, wasn’t much different from the male leads in the rest of the series. He realized Mulan wasn’t who he thought she was, came to terms with it, saved her life, and fell in love with her. He could have been with any of the other male characters from the Hagenheim series and I don’t think the book would have been much different. Other than some struggles with his brother that started to develop him uniquely as a character, I didn’t feel like there was much to Wolfgang.

Overall, this was an enjoyable fairy tale retelling, with Mulan as a wonderful and interesting main character and a fast-paced plot. The dialogue was somewhat stilted at times, and once or twice I was confused as to who said what, and Wolfgang was a rather bland character. However, getting to know Mulan as a character and enjoying the unique setting more than make up for those negatives. The Warrior Maiden is now my favorite book in the Hagenheim series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

If You Like

If you like any of Melanie Dickerson’s other books, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, or the Alanna series by Tamora Pierce, you will enjoy The Warrior Maiden, which releases February 5, 2019.

Let’s Chat!

Have you read any of Melanie Dickerson’s books? Are you going to read this book? What do you think about retellings?

Most Anticipated Releases of 2019

Happy belated new year! I hope you’re all having a wonderful 2019 so far. This year some very promising books are being released. I’m more excited for some of these than I have been about a new release in a long time! These are six books releasing in 2019 that I can’t wait to read.

Forward Me Back to You by Mitali Perkins releases April 2, 2019
Image result for forward me back to you

Mitali Perkins wrote one of my very favorite books, You Bring the Distant Near.  For that reason alone I would be excited for this book, but the premise is very interesting. Katina King, a teen jujitsu champion, and Robin Thornton, born in India, meet on a summer service trip to Kolkata and discover how to find justice, healing, and hope.

No Place Like Here by Christina June releases May 21, 2019
Image result for no place like here christina june

Christina June is the author of It Started With Goodbye and Everywhere You Want to Be. Her covers are gorgeous, and her stories are wonderful. This book is going to be about Ashlyn Zanotti’s journey to find courage and hope when her life is turned upside-down.

The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe by Ally Condie releases January 15, 2019
The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe by Ally Condie

Poe Blythe is the captain of Outpost’s last mining ship and has vowed to annihilate the river raiders who ruined her life. The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe is the story of how she learns to move past her anger and fear. I skipped the Matched series by the same author because I was wary of it for its popularity and I thought the covers were creepy. However, this book sounds really good, and quite honestly, the name of the protagonist intrigues me.

Romanov by Nadine Brandes releases May 7, 2019

Nadine Brandes, the author of Fawkes, has written a magical retelling of the life and plight of Anastasia Romanov.  I’m hoping this book is just as good, if not better, than Fawkes. Historical fantasy is an unusal and interesting genre, and Nadine Brandes seems to write it well.

Someday We Will Fly by Rachel DeWoskin releases January 22, 2019

I haven’t read anything by this author before, but this book sounds very promising. Lillia and her sister flee to Shanghai, a place that accepts Jews without visas, and she and her family fight to survive the war. I’m really excited to read this book, because I have never seen or read a book set during WWII anyplace other than the US, Europe, or Russia

Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill releases March 15, 2019
Image result for within these lines

Stephanie Morrill contributes to the blog Go Teen Writers, which has helped me greatly in my writing journey and is a lot of fun to read. I really liked her previous book, The Lost Girl of Astor Street, and this one sounds even better. Within These Lines is the story of how Evalina Cassano falls in love with Taichi Hamasaki during World War II, and how she fights against the concentration camps for Japanese Americans and tries to find a way to help Taichi.

Let’s Chat!

Have you heard about these books? What books are you looking forward to this year? Do you usually read books right away when they release or do you wait a while?

Review: Romanov by Nadine Brandes

Romanov by Nadine Brandes

Published by Thomas Nelson

Release date: May 7, 2019

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

From the author of Fawkes comes a magical take on the story of Anastasia Romanov. 

Summary

Anastasia Romanov has a mission. She must smuggle a spell into her suitcase on her way to Siberia. The leader of the Bolshevik army is hunting the Romanovs, and Anastasia has two options to save her family: release the spell or get Zash, the handsome and unusual Bolshevik, to help them.

Anatasia is frightened of magic, but even more frightened that she is beginning to like Zash. She thinks the feeling might be mutual. That is, until she’s on one side of the firing squad and he’s on the other.

Romanov is a story of love and a story of loss, a journey through a terrible and frightening time, full of hope and despair, anticipation and fear. The history of the Romanov family is fascinating, and this retelling of the story is fast-paced and magical.

Review

Fairy tale retellings are common in young adult fiction. However, well-done and appealing retellings of historical events are much rarer. Nadine Brandes uses plentiful imagination, wonderful pacing, a touch of suspense, loveable characters, and well-spun atmosphere to make the story of the Romanovs come alive in a fresh, new way.

Romanov is a historical fantasy. It has magical elements, but it is set in a historical time period and represents customs and events from that time. It is not factually going to represent the Russian Revolution, and the world is more familiar and real than the new worlds from other fantasies.

The characters in Romanov are layered and complex. The bad aren’t always fully bad, and the good aren’t fully good. Anastasia has decisions that will shape her future and the future of her family and nation on her shoulders. Zash often seems torn between a desire to help and a desire to stay loyal to the Bolshevik army. The members of the Romanov family, although they don’t always get along perfectly, care about each other and support each other.

I don’t usually comment on the structure of a book. However, Nadine Brandes masterfully builds her story with realistic dialogue, well-placed description, a sense of time and place, and sentences and paragraphs that build on each other well. It is clear that the author has much talent for writing and storytelling.

I liked Romanov very much.  It was a well-built and touching story, with complex characters and a fresh and magical plot. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

If You Like

 If you liked books such as Cinder by Marissa Meyer, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, Fawkes by Nadine Brandes, or Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, you will probably enjoy Romanov.

Let’s Chat!

Have you read any of Nadine Brandes’s books? Are you excited to read Romanov? Have you read many historical fantasies?

“Most” Books of 2018

These are some of the most outstanding, unique, anticipated, and in some cases disappointing books that I read in 2018. Not all of them were published this year.

Most Anticipated Prequel

Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: When the fairy Lucinda turns Evora, a young healer, into an ogre after she rejects her apprentice’s proposal of marriage, she has 62 days to accept another proposal or forever be an ogre. I found this book rather disappointing in the pacing and character development.  

Most Amusing Fantasy

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson: The three Igiby siblings evade the evil Fangs of Dang while they discover family secrets and search for a hidden treasure. This story is full of character, and is a funny and engaging story with an intriguing world.

Most Remarkable Historical Setting

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani: Nisha receives a diary on her 12th birthday and turns to writing to make sense of her world during the Partition of India in 1947.

Most Genres Mashed into a Historical-Fantasy-Regency-Spy-Mystery

Murder, Magic and What We Wore by Kelly Jones: Annis Whitworth can sew magical garments and uses her talent to leave her privileged lifestyle and open a dressmaking shop as a cover while she investigates her father’s suspicious death.

Most Potential

A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan: Kora must use her ability to sense gold to track down a thief who stole from the kingdom’s treasury in this tale full of pirates, thieves, danger, and gold. This book had a lot of potential, but was lacking in world-building and a good sense of time and place.

Most Powerful Voice

Audacity by Melanie Crowder: Clara Lemlich flees from Russia and begins working in a sweatshop where she is shocked by the horrific working conditions and leads other women in the fight against injustice. This book is written in verse, with powerful voice and a touching story.

Most Realistic Characters

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins: This book follows three generations of Indian-American women and their struggles with culture, friendship, family, love, race, and identity.

Let’s Chat!

Have you read any of these books? What were some of your favorite (or least favorite) books this year?

If You Like…

If You Like… fairy tale retellings or books like Cinder and Ella Enchanted , you’ll probably like these books.

Spinning Starlight by R. C. Lewis: In this retelling of “The Wild Swans,” the Jantzen Technology Innovations heiress Liddi Jantzen must save her brothers when they are kidnapped by an evil employee.

Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: In this reversed retelling of “Beauty and the Beast”, a young healer is turned into an ogre when she rejects a suitor’s proposal and has a short amount of time to accept another proposal or stay an ogre forever.

Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel by Megan Morrison: The witch tells Rapunzel she is the luckiest girl in Tyme, but when Jack climbs into her tower and implies that the witch may be lying, Rapunzel leaves her tower for the first time.

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu: In this retelling of “The Snow Queen,” Hazel and Jack are best friends until a magic mirror and its owner sweep Jack off and leaves Hazel to try to save his life.

The Cottage in the Woods by Katherine Coville: A retelling “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”from the perspective of a governess who came to work for the bear family and meets a golden-haired girl who is a beloved member of the family until anti-bear activists try to take the girl away.

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale: In this retelling of “The Goose Girl,” Princess Anidori is betrayed by her servant and must become a goose girl until she can reveal her identity and marry the prince her servant is courting.

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George: In this retelling of“The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” Galen is a gardener who works at the palace and learns of the mystery surrounding the twelve princesses. He falls in love with the oldest princess and is determined to save her and her sisters.

The Healer’s Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson: In this retelling of “Sleeping Beauty,”Rose falls in love with Lord Hamlin, who is trying to save his betrothed from the evil sorcerer Moncore.

Let’s Chat!

Have you read any of the books on this list? Do you like fairy-tale retellings?