When a dragon storms the castle, what should a (virgin) princess do?
Why, turn to her studies, of course! But nothing practical-minded Princess Andromeda of Acadia finds gives a definitive solution. The only Traditional answer, though, is soothing the marauding dragon by a virgin sacrifice. Things are going fairly smoothly with the lottery--except for the women chosen, of course--until Princess Andromeda herself is picked!
But facing down the dragon doesn't go quite as planned, and now, with the help of her Champion, Sir George, Andromeda searches for the dragon's lair. But even--especially--in the Five Hundred Kingdoms, bucking Tradition isn't easy. It takes the strongest of wills, knowledge, quick wits and a refusal to give up, no matter what happens along the way….
This book is the sequel to The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey, which I read last year. It is part of Lackey's Five Hundred Kingdom series, and is in essence a fairy-tale retelling. To refresh everyone's memory, this series takes fairy tale conventions and messes around with them. In the previous novel, we see Elena, who becomes a fairy godmother, fight what is known as "The Tradition" and become the woman that she wants to be and fall in love with the man that she wants to love in love with. In One Good Knight, she is back, but this time another young lady has taken the center stage as the main character.
Princess Andromeda lives in a very small kingdom, a kingdom that really has no assets and appears to only exist by luck. Her mother does not agree with how Andromeda acts, because Andromeda is not your conventional princess. She is actually quite smart, and while she is beautiful, she wears glasses that make her unattractive to most suitors. Not that Andromeda is really interested in boys anyways. She has a brain, though, and spends the majority of her time with a nose in a book learning what there is to know about the world. Her father is dead, and her mother is more interested in her kingdom than her daughter, so it is mostly Andromeda's guards that raise her.
The way things work is that there always traditional manners in which things occur in fairy tales. So, when something happens that the tradition recognizes as should be going a certain way, it tries to help it along. Sometimes this is what people desire, and other times it is something that everyone fights against. While the tradition plays a role in this novel, it seemed that it was mentioned more in the previous novel. Elena seemed more aware of what was happening, Andromeda and the other characters she meets during the course of the novel just try to do the best they can, but they are also very good at both tricking the Tradition and using it to their advantage.
This is not your typical damsel in distress novel. The third book in the series is either out or will be out soon. I am looking forward to seeing another novel where fairy tales are followed, but the women have brains.
I can hardly contain my excitement when talking about this book so please bear with me if I suddenly run right smack into fangirl territory.
Straight from the official site:
What’s Henry to do when his parent's marriage starts to fall apart? What can he do except get on with his summer job of cleaning out Mr Fogarty’s shed. But there’s something in that shed that will turn Henry’s whole life inside out and take him into a whole different level of reality…
What’s Pyrgus to do when the animals he loves come under threat? What can he do except rescue those he can … and fall foul of those who threaten the entire Faerie Realm? Soon there’s only one thing for it and that’s to leave the realm completely…
When Henry and Pyrgus get together, an entire world hangs in the balance and those they love face nightmare dangers.
Faerie Wars is an extraordinary, page-turning read full of tension, adventure and the kind of detail that ensures you‘ll be holding your breath as the story unfolds.
I have to agree with that last statement 110%. This book was amazing and entertaining from the very first page! I read this a while back but, as usual when I find a very good book, I have no clue just what to say in order for you to know how incredible it was. This book is one rollercoaster ride from page one and you never know just what will happen next. I am very happy to say I didn't find one character that wasn't likable and the villains [and there are many in this story] are some of the best I've read. They are trully evil. Even better is the fact that Mr. Brennan shows you time and again just how cruel and sinister and downright twisted they can be.
To be sure, some of the passages may get a bit too much for those that aren't used to reading anything dark but I found it refreshing. It never felt as if the author was trying to shock the audience. It was done right enought that fit within the context of the book and to make sure you were convinced that the villains were dangerous. I was almost convinced to quote one of my favorite passages but it would give too much of what happens away and it may bother some people.
Nonetheless, don't think this is one gore moment after the other. It is not. Everything is written very well and there is no gratuitous violence. There are only a few passages dealing with the villains that may seem a bit dark for some people but you can skim them if you'd like. I suggest that this doesn't stop you from reading this most wonderful and engaging series.
The next 2 books are already out and, having read the second one, I can only tell you this series just gets better and better!
A solid 5 out of 5!
A NOTE: Although I highly recommend this book I suggest it for anyone over the age of 13 as I don't think some of the subject, and some of the violence although mild for adults, is suitable for younger children. Also, I am an animal lover and am deeply disturbed when animals are harmed in books and/or movies. However, while I was sligthly creeped out by some scenes, I assure other sensitive animal lovers out there that things don't get out of hand despite what you read in the first few pages. I almost put the book down in the first few pages when I found out what was going on but I am glad I sticked with it! If you have any questions regarding this please feel free to ask!
**NOTE: I'm only reviewing the first book in the series as I will get to the other story [the second half of this omnibus], The Lives of Christopher Chant, later. I will update the post then to include that review here.
I have been very interested in trying out this series for a while, as it sounded promising, and I finally decided to start with this omnibus containing the first two books in the Chrestomanci Chronicles: Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant.
I have four words to describe this book from start to finish: tedious, unexciting and completely irritating.
Let’s start with the plot, straight from Amazon:
Cat doesn't mind living in the shadow of his sister, Gwendolen, the most promising witch ever seen on Coven Street. But trouble starts brewing the moment the two orphans are summoned to live in Chrestomanci Castle. Frustrated that the enchanter Chrestomanci refuses to acknowledge her talents, Gwendolen conjures up a scheme that could throw whole worlds out of whack.
After that rather interesting premise you have to wonder what went wrong. From practically the first chapter there is nothing to grab your attention. After we learn of the unfortunate accident that left the Chant children orphans we are simply treated to an almost play-by-play of the everyday monotony that is the children’s lives. One thing we are told over and over is how talented and promising Gwendolyn is at witchcraft. Over and over and over…
Things only get worse when Chrestomanci takes in the siblings. Gwendolyn is the single most obnoxious child to ever walk the entire seven [or was that nine?] universes.
She, in fact, reminds me a little of Artemis Fowl but I have to say she beat him as far as being insufferable is concerned by a long shot. She is so full of herself she wants to be recognized for her power and is extremely put off, to say the least, that the great Chrestomanci pays her no heed. What’s a gal to do? Everyday she comes up with the worse spells she can think of to make the life at the castle miserable and so he will finally acknowledge her.
Let me assure you that I, at various times, wished I HAD magic so I could hop in the book and bitch slap the self obsessed little brat to the next universe. Then there was her brother Cat. Saying he didn’t have a spine is putting it mildly. He was ashamed by the things Gwen did and he would run and hide as if he did something wrong. She was constantly berating him yet he never once thought to stand up to her or get an adult involved even when Gwendolyn was getting way out of hand and was obvious she was close to harming someone. The way he just followed her around without saying anything for fear of, oh I don’t know…everything, was infuriating, annoying and every other –ting you want to think of.
This book was a definite DNF. I merely skimmed half of the book to see how it all ended and, honestly, not because I cared but more because I simply had to see for myself how in the hell the author was going to try and make sense of it all.
I give it a 1.5 out of 5 because at least the world was interesting even if the plot was excruciatingly dull and the characters exasperated you to no end. Let's hope that the next book, with the children out of the way since it takes place 25 years earlier than this one, will be better.
I'm pleased to have found out, via Anne Bishop's website, that this most amazing series is getting a makeover. Much as I adore this trilogy I always cringed at the horrible covers that, IMHO, didn't do justice to the brilliance inside.
Well, apparently someone over at the publishing house figured I wasn't the only one that felt this way and we know have, coming soon, the following beautiful covers for each of the books. So far they've only posted the first two but you know we'll keep you updated so check with us.
Major bonus points for choosing the incredibly talented Larry Rostant, one of my absolute favorite artists. He is amazing!
OK, the guy is hella hot but I don't think this cover goes with the series. I mean the guy? I'd totally do him, but he doesn't scream "Gardella Vampire Chronicles" to me.
Nonetheless I always say hey, it could have been worse. We've could have gotten Fabio.
For an excerpt head on over to Colleen's site.
Let’s just say that, after the debacle that was The Black Tattoo, I was mighty happy to have found this first entry in what it looks to be like a great series.
Straight from Amazon:
Oklahoma orphan teen Leven Thumps has a hidden and powerful talent: he can glimpse, and then manipulate, the future. He is also the only person on the planet who can protect the gateway to Foo, a mythical realm whose existence ensures that human beings in this reality retain the ability to dream, hope and imagine. Sabine, the wicked ruler of Foo, wants to extend his tyranny by ruling this world as well-but if that happens, no one on Earth would ever be able to dream again. As Lev hurries to find the gateway between the two worlds before Sabine does, he encounters several friends to help him: Winter, a bright 13-year-old girl who can instantly freeze things and people just by wishing it; Clover, an adorable, foot-high furry creature from Foo who has been assigned as Lev's companion (and, apparently, as comic relief); and Geth, the wise but displaced king of Foo, who alone knows the full secret of the gateway.
There is honestly not much I can say about this book except to tell you I loved it and can’t wait to read the next in the series. The characters were all very likable and real, as real as characters in a fantasy book can get if you will, the action and the pace of the book was never dull, the villain felt as if he was worthy of the title [one of my pet peeves is a villain who never so much as hurts a fly] and I couldn’t get enough of it all.
If the rest of the books are as good as this one then I will say that this series is better than some of the other current YA fantasy favorites such as Artemis Fowl. Unlike the Fowl series [which is one big cliché after another, another pet peeve of mine] there is nothing cartoonish about this one. I especially liked the main characters of Leven and Winter and how they handled learning about the world of Foo. They didn’t just accept it and had to slowly get used to the idea of demons and other such things being real, Even then they had a hard time coming to terms with what they had to do, unlike some stories where the heroes don’t even blink after finding out all sorts of unimaginable creatures exist.
Leven Thumps may remind some of Harry Potter since he is an orphan stuck with the most unpleasant relatives as his caretakers. He may remind others of Tithe as much of the book takes place in Leven’s hometown, which has a certain “poor side of town” flavor, right down to the local trailer park. Whether you do or don’t like these books makes no difference, I say give this a try and I’m pretty sure you will not be disappointed.
A solid 5 out of 5.
I also recommend visiting the official website which is very entertaining, very eye-catching, and has some rather nice music to boot!
Jack’s best mate, Charlie, has always been effortlessly cool. When Charlie wakes up one day and finds a mysterious, moving black tattoo on his back, it’s a clear sign that he’s even cooler than Jack thought. To top it off, Charlie is suddenly able to fight like a kung-fu master, fly, and control the minds of others. Yes, he’s got super powers.
Or does he?
Jack soon learns the terrifying truth: Charlie’s incredible powers come from an age-old demon called the Scourge, who is using Charlie to bring about its evil master plan. To stop the Scourge, Jack and Charlie join forces with Esme, a girl with super powers of her own, trained from birth to fight the demon. But time is running out, as Charlie falls deeper under the Scourge’s dark spell.
When the Scourge vanishes with Charlie, Jack and Esme follow their friend from the streets of London into Hell itself, where they face horrors that may well cost them their lives. Can they survive to outwit the Scourge, save Charlie, and stop an even greater evil?
Soon as I read the premise for this book I was looking forward to reading it as it sounded very interesting. I am afraid I was disappointed, to say the least. The idea of a demon that tattoos itself on people to get them to do his bidding was not one you see every day and I expected all sorts of "cool" moments with the demon tattoo working his magic. Although the book was off to a good start it quickly went downhill. Everything was pretty much a cliché and felt as if the author had some sort of fantasy [or action movie] checklist, which he used to outline pretty much everything from how the characters talked to how they moved. During some of the action sequences I even felt I was watching some sort of Matrix re-make.
The villain was not scary in the least and was more like a brat that wants everything for himself. He was rather comical at times, especially when he is spouting off recycled action movie villain type dialogue. In some of his scenes telling the heroes how he plans to "take over the world" you can practically hear the "fiendish cackle" right on cue.
Then there were the main characters. The supposedly "uber cool" Charlie is nothing but a selfish idiot, for lack of a better word. All his actions are pretty much dictated by his want of having and exciting life and the certainty that his current one is as bad as it can be. He is also the type to blame everything on everyone and I do believe he is only friends with Jack because the latter does pretty much everything Charlie says. Jack is in awe of Charlie and how incredible he is or, as he puts it, how he is "effortlessly cool”. I never even once got a glimpse of this supposedly fabulous personality. In fact, it was Jack that was the saving grace for some time before everything else in the book was so bad not even his sympathetic and likable character could save it.
Read at your own risk but if and only if you like, or don’t mind, one big movie cliché after another. You may even enjoy the action sequence as the seemingly superhuman Charlie and Esme fight it out Matrix style.
A 2 out of 5. Hey, I did LOVE the cover art and that was one cool tattoo!
I posted my review for this on my own blog, just because it was my very first read of 2007. I had not written a review in a while, so that's where I chose to put it! To read it, because people should read the book, click here.