Rumpelstiltskin’s Daughter by Diane Stanley | Children’s Book Review

September 15, 2017 Children's Book Review, Inner Child 0 ★★★★

Rumpelstiltskin’s Daughter by Diane Stanley | Children’s Book ReviewRumpelstiltskin's Daughter by Diane Stanley
Published by HarperCollins on May 28, 2002
Genres: Fairy Tale, Retelling
Pages: 32
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed from Library
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4 Stars
Once upon a time a miller's daughter was given an impossible task by a cruel and greedy king. She had to spin straw into gold. And who should show up to help her but an odd little man named Rumpelstiltskin.

According to tradition, the gold-bedazzled king and the miller's daughter are wed. But wait just a minute! This king is definitely not husband material, and there's someone else who is -- a hardworking guy who's supportive and nice looking, and who really comes through in a pinch.

Why not marry Rumpelstiltskin?

In Diane Stanley's merry rethinking of the traditional tale, Rumpelstiltskin and the miller's daughter are wed...and then sixteen years later their only daughter is stuck in the same dilemma: She's been locked in a room full of straw to spin for a greedy king! She could call for help from her father, but this fairy-tale heroine has some canny plans of her own.

How Rumpelstiltskin's daughter sets things to rights in the troubled kingdom, while achieving a unique place for herself, makes for a wise and witty tale of kindness and cleverness rewarded. Diane Stanley's wickedly funny text and zesty illustrations put a delightful new spin on a classic fairy tale.

Rumpelstiltskin's daughter may not be able to spin straw into gold, but she is more than a match for a monarch whose greed has blighted an entire kingdom.

We learn that Rumpelstiltskin’s daughter’s name is Hope, which is such a fitting name for her because of what she does for the kingdom. She brings them hope in the form of golden coins so that they can make their own living. When Hope is kidnapped by the king and forced to turn straw into gold in her mother’s old tower, she decides to be smart instead. She knows the kingdom is poor and struggling, so she tricks the king into hiring the townspeople to “grow” or “knit” gold for him. The fields fill up with wheat and the townspeople end up bundled up in golden clothing. These people end up loving the king so much that he discovers that is better than gold. He tears down the protective wall around the castle and builds houses for the poor. All of a sudden, the kingdom is prospering. The king is so happy that he decides to make Hope his wife. She suggests the alternative of becoming Prime Minister instead, so that she can keep an eye on everyone. A feminist fairytale, indeed.

The illustrations are very fun, and sometimes even funny. I really enjoyed read this story, and love the unique spin that was placed on it. I’ve never been much of a fan of the traditional tale of Rumpelstiltskin, but I did find this fractured version to be fresh and fun, with teachable moments and good messages. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys a fresh spin on an old classic.

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Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis | Book Review

September 14, 2017 Book Review, Young Adult 9 ★★★★★

Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis | Book ReviewPersephone by Kaitlin Bevis
Series: Daughters of Zeus #1
Published by Musa Publishing on July 6, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Retelling
Pages: 237
Format: eBook
Source: From the author
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5 Stars
There are worse things than death, worse people too

The “talk” was bad enough, but how many teens get told that they’re a goddess? When her mom tells her, Persephone is sure her mother has lost her mind. It isn’t until Boreas, the god of winter, tries to abduct her that she realizes her mother was telling the truth. Hades rescues her, and in order to safely bring Persephone to the Underworld he marks her as his bride. But Boreas will stop at nothing to get Persephone. Despite her growing feelings for Hades, Persephone wants to return to the living realm. Persephone must find a way to defeat Boreas and reclaim her life.

I love the Greek myth of Persephone, and I really enjoyed this book. If you’re curious about the myth, I explain it right here. Anyway, my main points are bolded. :)

1. This story is so unique! Katilin Bevis really made it her own. Persephone ends up in the Underworld for a completely different reason, in a completely different way, and under different conditions. The story stays true to many aspects of the original myth, but I loved the spin Kaitlin put on her version.

2. I really liked Persephone. She’s a fun character who is reasonably blindsided when she finds out she’s a goddess, and her best friend is actually her priestess. And then when Boreas comes after her and she ends up hiding out in the Underworld with Hades and all the souls, she adapts pretty well! She’s pretty headstrong and spunky, and I liked that about her. I enjoyed watching her learn and change as she came into her own powers at the goddess of spring.

3. Hades is swoony! And honestly, I never thought I’d say that. He’s dark and sensitive, and he loves his library. My kind of guy. He is in charge of helping the souls transition from life to death, and his concern for them is so sweet. I also loved his concern for Persephone. She ended up there with him because he saved her, not because he kidnapped her like the original story goes. This gave the author a lot more to work with, and enabled her to write Hades as a good person. I was pleasantly surprised.

4. The Underworld is amazing. It’s light and beautiful, full of flowers and trees and rivers. The suburbs have cute little colorful houses, they have balls and parties, and people work because they love what they do and not because they have to. If you want a cute outfit, you imagine it and it’s yours. I loved reading about how Persephone decorated her room in the palace there. All she had to do was think about what she wanted, and it was so. She even chose the scenery outside her window. It’s a magical place, and I’d love to see it!

5. One of my favorite twists to the story is the fact that Gods can’t lie. They just can’t. If they say they won’t tell someone something, they are physically incapable of doing so. That created a lot of fun and crazy story lines.

6. Persephone and Hades are very cute together, despite the age difference. At times I saw him as a mentor, and at times I saw him as a love interest. I loved watching their friendship grow.

7. The story is written very well, and there’s a lot going on. I enjoyed Kaitlin’s writing style and her descriptions of the world and the powers these gods possess.

8. That ending. Holy moly! It was amazing! I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book!

Persephone might just be my new favorite version of Persephone. Haha. (I wish the title were a little more creative, though! Talking about this book is tricky because you have to differentiate between the myth, the book, and the character.) It’s fresh, it’s unique, it’s suspenseful, and a lot of unexpected and exciting things happen that will leave you craving the next book.

This review was originally posted on September 12, 2013 and is being re-featured.

 

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Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale | Graphic Novel Review

September 13, 2017 Book Review, Graphic Novel 0 ★★★

Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale | Graphic Novel ReviewRapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale
Published by Bloomsbury Children's on August 5, 2008
Genres: Retelling
Pages: 144
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed from Library
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3 Stars
Once upon a time, in a land you only think you know, lived a little girl and her mother . . . or the woman she thought was her mother.

Every day, when the little girl played in her pretty garden, she grew more curious about what lay on the other side of the garden wall . . . a rather enormous garden wall.

And every year, as she grew older, things seemed weirder and weirder, until the day she finally climbed to the top of the wall and looked over into the mines and desert beyond.

Newbery Honor-winning author Shannon Hale teams up with husband Dean Hale and brilliant artist Nathan Hale (no relation) to bring readers a swashbuckling and hilarious twist on the classic story as you've never seen it before. Watch as Rapunzel and her amazing hair team up with Jack (of beanstalk fame) to gallop around the wild and western landscape, changing lives, righting wrongs, and bringing joy to every soul they encounter.

Here we have a wild western retelling of the classic Rapunzel. Rapunzel lives in a walled-up city with her mother, Gothel, before climbing the wall and realizing how horrible things are on the outside. She also discovers that Gothel is not her real mother and goes on an adventure with a man named Jack to try and free the people of Gothel’s evil magic.

This story has a lot of elements that are the same as the original Rapunzel. Rapunzel was taken from her parents because the stole Gothel’s lettuce, Rapunzel has very long hair that she uses to her benefit, there is a handsome man along for the ride, and she is thrown into an isolated tower. In this version, though, her mother his been imprisoned, and the story takes place in the Wild West. Rapunzel is very feisty and brave, whereas most renditions depict her as a helpless, naïve girl who can’t take care of herself and does not understand the concept of evil. She goes up against gun carrying vigilantes, thieves, monsters, and scary situations. This time the man sits in the back seat and has to be saved. I loved seeing a fairytale heroine with a brain, who can hold her own and get things done. The illustrations are very well done and are infused with color, perspective, and a ton of detail. Children who enjoyed the original story of Rapunzel or Disney’s Tangled will enjoy this fractured version of the tale.

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Q&A with Author Konstanz Silverbow (+ Giveaway)

September 13, 2017 Author Interview, Giveaway 3

 

Magic, Myth, & Mischief, hosted by me and Bonnie, is a month-long event that celebrates fairy tales and mythological retellings, as well as retellings of favorite classic novels and books featuring mythical beasts such as mermaids, dragons, and fae! Find the schedule of events and other information here.


I’d like to welcome Konstanz Silverbow to the blog today to answer some questions about herself and her books. Konstanz has written a series of fairytale retellings called Finding Gold which she is talking about over on Bonnie’s blog this month.

Q&A with Konstanz Silverbow

Tell us about your fairytale/classic/myth retelling or any mythical creatures that appear in your story.
I am a sucker for everything fairytale related and all mythical creatures, but especially dragons! Every single one of my books features at least one dragon in some form.

If you could be any mythical creature, which one would you be and why?
That’s easy … dragon! Definitely a dragon! As for why … they are strong, majestic, beautiful creatures that can breathe fire on anyone who annoys them. … Kidding, kidding!

If you could live in any fairytale or mythical world, which one would you choose to live in and why?
My dream is to live in Middle Earth. I love the world J.R.R. Tolkien created and it’s the place I escaped to whenever life got hard. It’s my second home. It also sparked my love of fantasy and reading!

What lesson do you want your readers to learn from your retellings?
I think Samwise Gamgee said it best in The Two Towers: “There’s good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.” That’s the kind of inspiring message I try to make clear in each story. From Missing Royal, where Shanice learns that you never have to fight alone, The Enchanted Rose which teaches true love will always find a way, to Once Upon an Assassin where you’re reminded to never let your situation define you, and Beauty’s Thief, where looks aren’t everything, but a kind heart is.

If you found yourself trapped in a fairy tale, which would you want it to be?
Beauty and the Beast. Helloooooooo library!

Dragons or unicorns?
Dragons. Definitely dragons!

Mermaids or fae?
Hmmm … right now I have to say Fae. But that might change after I write my mermaid story!

Hans Christian Andersen, Grimms Brothers, or Disney?
Confession: All of the above! I love the original fairytales but I also love retellings!


About Konstanz Silverbow

Konstanz Silverbow has always been a dreamer . . . but not a writer. Being an author was something she was dragged into. But since that day, she hasn’t stopped. It has become more than a hobby, it is a passion.

During the day Konstanz works, making jewelry, playing the violin, collecting dragons, and learning all she can about medieval weapons. But at night she creates made up worlds and places where those dragons come to life and the weapons are used in battle.”

Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, with a dash of romance author, Konstanz Silverbow; Proud Creator of magical worlds, fictional creatures, ideal super heroes and sarcasm since 2007!

Author Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Missing Royal by Konstanz Silverbow
Series: Finding Gold #1
Self Published on March 20, 2014
Amazon • Add to Goodreads

One princess destroyed the world. One princess must save it.

When she was little she wished to be a princess. Now as a teenager she just wishes she fit in. But Shanice doesn’t feel like she belongs, she never has.

When her parents tell her she is the last known princess from another world, it all makes sense. A world full of magic in place of technology. One where she is more than just royalty, she is their last chance to stop the one who is bent on destroying it. Mendina.

But she can’t do it alone, first she must find the other missing royals. In her quest, Shanice will be forced to choose between the course prophecy set for her, and the one that leads to the man her heart belongs to.

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Top Ten Retellings of Classic Works I Want To Read

September 12, 2017 Top Ten Tuesday 7

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

Today we’ve got a throwback Top Ten Tuesday topic, so I chose to list some classic retellings I’d love to read in honor of mine and Bonnie’s Magic, Myth, and Mischief event this month! I love reading fairytale retellings, but I’m not as well-read as many of my friends.

 

Flame In the Mist by Reneé Ahdieh (Mulan)
A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston (One Thousand and One Nights)
Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis (The Wild Swans)
Royally Romanov by Terri Wilson (Anastasia)
Suspicion by Alexandra Monir (Rebecca)
Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine (Romeo and Juliet)
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund (Persuasion)
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen (Robin Hood)
Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon (The Little Mermaid)
Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale (Maid Mallen)

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Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows | Blog Tour Book Review

September 11, 2017 Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway, Young Adult 2

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows | Blog Tour Book Review

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows | Blog Tour Book ReviewBefore She Ignites by Jodi Meadows
Series: Fallen Isles Trilogy #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on September 12, 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Amazon Amazon UK Barnes & Noble Book Depository Add to Goodreads
Before

Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.

But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.

After

Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.

I’m so excited to be a part of this blog tour for Jodi’s newest book, Before She Ignites! I’ve loved Jodi since her debut, Incarnate, which was one of the first ARCs I was sent after I started blogging! When I first read the synopsis for Before She Ignites and saw all the dragon goodness, I knew I was going to love this book as much as I love all of her others. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I really like our heroine, Mira Minkoba. She’s been under the thumb of her parents and the Luminary Council since she was a young girl, but now they have imprisoned her for having her own voice and her own thoughts. The bulk of the story takes place in the Pit, which is the most miserable prison in the land. All of a sudden, she’s fending for herself… cleaning, living on very little food (that’s all rotten and spoiled anyway), aligning with people she can trust, and coping with her crippling anxiety disorder without the comfort of her normal life and her beloved friends. I liked watching her grow stronger and learn how to calm herself down in times of stress. 

2. I liked Mina’s cellblock mates, even though some of them were kind of weird and/or a complete mystery. My favorite was Aaru, who comes from the isle of silence. He communicates by voice very little, and instead has a tapping language that he teaches Min so they can communicate between their cells without being heard. He’s one of the mysterious ones I was talking about before, and I hope we learn more about him in the sequel. He’s loyal, powerful, and very sweet.

3. Mina’s best friend, Ilina, is the best friend everyone wishes they had. She stands beside Mina at all times. Her protector, Hiroto, is also a wonderful ally. I love that Mina has so many strong relationships, and I hope those get more fleshed out in the sequel as well.

4. DRAGONS. Minia has a cute little dragon named LaLa that I picture as a cuddly little kitten, regardless of the sharp scales that could cut you. She’s adorable! But then there’s all the dragon lore, which was super interesting. We get to meet some bigger, fiercer dragons and that was exciting. More dragons, please! My biggest complaint was that there was not enough dragons!

5. Jodi’s writing is still flawless! There were some very beautiful passages about light and stars, especially toward the end, that I want to go back and re-read just because they were so calming and pretty.

6. Give. Me. The. Sequel. What an ending! Super climactic and actiony and intense. I can’t want to see where things go next.

All in all, Jodi Meadows is not going out of style. I loved the small pieces of diversity included. I’ve never come across a character with anxiety in a fantasy novel before, and it really meant a lot to me. I saw pieces of myself in Mina. Definitely pick up this beautiful story as soon as you can! Or maybe wait until the sequel is closer to releasing. Tough choice.


About Jodi Meadows

Jodi Meadows wants to be a ferret when she grows up and she has no self-control when it comes to yarn, ink, or outer space. Still, she manages to write books. She is the author of the INCARNATE Trilogy, the ORPHAN QUEEN Duology, and the FALLEN ISLES Trilogy (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen), and a coauthor of MY LADY JANE (HarperTeen). Visit her at Website: www.jodimeadows.com

Twitter  Goodreads Website


Take a loot at the amazing book trailer for Before She Ignites, created by the lovely Sarah from The YA Book Traveler! I think she did a beautiful job!


As a thank you for stopping by the blog, we have a giveaway! Jodi Meadows has generously donated 2 finished copies of Before She Ignites for 2 lucky winners!!!

For more chances to win this amazing giveaway, make sure you visit each tour stop, which will be full of interviews, creative posts, reviews and an excerpt!

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Tour Stops

Monday 9/4 TheLifeofABookNerdAddict – Guest Post
Monday 9/4 TalesofTheRavenousreader– Creative Post
Tuesday 9/5 BooksAndPrejudice – Review
Wednesday 9/6 EaterofBooks – Interview
Thursday 9/7 ForTheSakeofReading – Review
Friday 9/8 ABackwardsStory– Guest Post
Monday 9/11 Knoxdiver – Guest Post
Monday 9/11ThatArtsyReaderGirl – Review
Tuesday 9/12 TheYABookTraveler -Review
Wednesday 9/13 AThousandWordsAMillionBooks – Interview
Thursday 9/14 BookCrush– Creative Post
Friday 9/15 TheReaderAndTheChef– Review
Monday 9/18 YAandWine – Review
Tuesday 9/19 TakeMeAwayToAGreatRead – Creative Post
Wednesday 9/20 AphonicSarah – Interview
Thursday 9/21 TheKindredReader – Review
Friday 9/22 ReadWriteLove28 – Excerpt
Friday 9/22 LoveIsNotATriangle – Guest Post

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Everneath by Brodi Ashton | Book Review

September 8, 2017 Book Review, Young Adult 10 ★★★★

Everneath by Brodi Ashton | Book ReviewEverneath by Brodi Ashton
Series: Everneath #1
Published by Balzer + Bray on January 24, 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Retelling, Romance
Pages: 370
Format: ARC
Source: From the publisher through Netgalley
Amazon Add to Goodreads
4 Stars
Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen.

When I saw the description of this story on Netgalley, followed by the buzz and excitement around the blogosphere, I knew I had to read it. Ever since I was very young, I’ve always had an intense curiosity for Greek mythology. Then, when I minored in art history in college and studied Greek art, I learned a lot more about the ancient myths from the art that illustrated them. This book is centered around the story of Persephone’s abduction by Hades, God of the Underworld. Persephone was beautiful, and sought after by many—namely Hades. One day when she was out picking flowers on the plain of Enna, Hades emerged from the ground and abducted her. Her mother, Demeter (the goddess of harvest), wandered the surface of the Earth searching for her lost daughter. When she found out what happened, she was livid (as any mother would be!). Her extreme sorrow caused her to withdraw, and the earth became infertile. Zeus knew that this could not go on forever. He sent his son Hermes down to the Underworld to get Hades to release Persephone. Hades reluctantly let her go, but gave her a pomegranate seed before she left. Once she ate it, she was bound to the Underworld forever and had to spend 1/3rd of the year there. Whenever she was with Hades, her mother would not let anything grow, thus the season of winter was born. Pretty cool story, huh? I swear, I love mythology!

In the book, the Everneath is explained as being the space between the world we live in and the Underworld, where the Everlivings have found the secret to eternal life. But they must feed off of the energy of a human every 100 years or they will die. Enter Nikki/Becks. Cole convinced her, in a moment of weakness, to go with him to the Everneath so he could feed off of her for 100 years (which is only 6 months time on the earth). When the Feed is over (which is when this book begins), Nikki is allowed to Return to Earth for 6 months before she is to be sucked into the Tunnels to serve as a battery to power Hell. Or… she can go back to the Everneath with Cole and become an Everliving, and have eternal life at the cost of the lives of human beings. She hates both of her choices. This book is all about Nikki’s quest to find a way to beat Mother Nature and stay with her family and friends.

I really enjoyed the story. I loved the unique subject matter, and how the author was able to tie in so many elements of the Greek myth, while still adding in unique aspects that made it her own. The story itself is actually pretty beautiful. It’s all about love, loss, and courage. The easy way out for Nikki would be to go back with Cole and have eternal life. She’d even have a shot at being the next Persephone and claiming the crown, becoming queen of the Underworld. That sounds a whole lot better than eternal suffering in the dark, dirty depths of Hell. She can’t fathom the idea of draining the life out of others to save herself, though, so she has chosen the Tunnels. Actually, she could have gone straight there and not return to see her family. It would have been far less painful for her to never see them, and the results of their grief while she was gone. She decides to go back to make amends and say goodbye the right way, before disappearing again. Every decision she makes in this book is for other people. I admire that about her.

Cole’s kind of a slimy character, but I always find myself rooting for the bad-boy (at least for part of the story). In the beginning he seems so wonderful (and I wanted Nikki to choose him), but once we learn what he did to her we quickly root for the sweet childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend character, Jack, instead. I loved Jack. He ached for Nikki the entire time she was gone, and upon her return he is very understanding and supportive. He gives her the space she needs to recover, and lets her come to him rather than pouncing on her and demanding answers. That a really mature way to handle a situation like this, especially from a high school boy. He was just a really good guy.

The writing was enthralling, although a few phrases were used too many times. Everything in the story was delayed for “a few moments” or “a long moment”. Like, a character would say something and the other character would respond “after a long moment”. Or two people would hug for “a long moment”. That’s really my only complaint, about the writing, though. I’ve always been the type to not like hearing or reading the same phrases. It’s a quirk of mine. I enjoyed Ashton’s descriptive passages, allowing me to picture the Tunnels, the Everneath, and especially different peoples’ emotions. I also loved that this book takes place in Utah! I live here! I go to the setting of this novel, Park City, all the time! I loved being able to picture the streets they walked down… the Sundance Film Festival, the Utah Jazz, the Weber River… the Timpanogos Caves… So fun! The characters were also great, with lots of dynamic traits. We’re told very specific things about each character, so that by the end of the story you understand their body language without needing the author to explain it. I loved that. It’s like I was watching a movie in my head as I read the book.

I can see this book having a very wide appeal. It’s not mushy gushy, so I think the guys would enjoy it (if they can handle reading a book with that cover, that is! Buy it on Kindle, boys.). It’s not juvenile, so I think it could appeal to the adult fiction lovers out there. Greek mythology enthusiasts will eat this one up. Fans of paranormal romance (YA or adult) will love it. It’s a bit of a mystery that you need to figure out, which is always a plus. Music plays a big role in it, which pretty much nobody can complain about. The book is attacked from so many different angles, that it’s very versatile. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would! I’m very intrigued by the cliffhanger ending, and can’t wait to see what the currently untitled next book has in store for us.

*This is a repost from January 14, 2012*

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F.M. Boughan Guest Post | Cinderella, Necromancer Blog Tour

September 7, 2017 Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post 1

F.M. Boughan Guest Post | Cinderella, Necromancer Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop along the blog tour for F.M. Boughan’s Cinderella, Necromancer, hosted by Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours! I’m happy to welcome author Faith to the blog today! She’s here to answer a few questions about her book during mine and Bonnie’s special month-long event, Magic, Myth, & Mischief!


1. Tell us more about the real medieval grimoire your story was inspired by! What made you choose to put a Cinderella spin on it?

There’s been very little published regarding this 15th-century grimoire, and I owe a massive debt of gratitude to Richard Kieckhefer, a professor at Northwestern University, for publishing his book Forbidden Rites in which he translates the grimoire and discusses its historical value in detail. There are drawings and recitations and plenty of graphic descriptions about what the conjuring rites are supposed to do, and it’s both disturbing and fascinating. The “magic” is all based on Catholic liturgy, literal perversions of sacred scripture and prayers, which is why the clergymen who practiced necromantic magic during this period of history had to do it in secret. It was highly illegal, forbidden—anathema—and any tome that was discovered would have been immediately destroyed. It’s a wonder that this particular manuscript survived the centuries!

I think the “Cinderella spin” simply came from my brain mashing the two things together—dark magic and girls from fairy tales finally getting the chance to fight back—and I just ran with it. I certainly didn’t sit down with intention to write a necromancy book, it was more of a case of inspiration striking after reading a few history texts and thinking about stories in general.

2. Which elements from the traditional Cinderella fairytale did you draw inspiration from for your book? How did you make it your own?

I tried to pay special tribute to the well-known German and French versions of the story, the ones that are typically thought of as the “classic” Cinderella fairy tale. There’s a lengthy historical note in the back of the book that goes into detail on exactly which elements I pulled from, but in a broader sense, I wanted to follow the same structure of the Cinderella story so that readers could clearly identify that it’s a fairy tale retelling, not a brand new imagining.

With that framework in place, I drew on more surface-level details—two step-sisters, a cruel stepmother, Cinderella being worked to the bone once her father is out of the picture—and then mined the stories for smaller pieces like a name, a scent, bits of imagery. Anyone very familiar with the original stories will hopefully notice those things, but even someone who’s just a fan of the Disney animated classic will find touchstones. Mind you, there are no talking mice—sorry, spoilers!—but there is a mouse, for example. Hey, I love GusGus too!

3. Tell us about how magic and plays a part in your book.

The magic that Ellison uses in the book is directly inspired by the spells from Forbidden Rites, and I tried to keep it as “realistic” (so to speak, hah!) as possible in the sense that I didn’t want to take grand liberties with the material inside the grimoire. Naturally, I had to invent some things—this is fiction, after all!—but the magic is personal, specific, and has consequences.

What those consequences are, I can’t say, because… spoilers! But that said, I hope you enjoy the discovery along the way. Happy reading!


Cinderella, Necromancer by F.M. Boughan
Published by Month9Books on September 5, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
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Darkness can only be controlled by those with the darkest of hearts.

Ellison lost her mother at an early age. Now, sixteen, her father has found love again. He’s happy and doesn’t quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her vicious daughters.

When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father’s mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her eventual freedom.

Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother’s and stepsisters’ every whim and fancy.

Stumbling into a chance meeting with Prince William during a secret visit to her mother’s grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival where she might see him once more.

But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince again? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she’s ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother? And what if she actually liked watching her stepmother suffer?

As Ellison’s power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, it becomes harder to tell whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster.

CINDERELLA NECROMANCER is CINDER meets ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD and was inspired by a real medieval grimoire of necromancy from 15th-century Germany


About F.M. Boughan

F.M. Boughan is a bibliophile, a writer, and an unabashed parrot enthusiast. She can often be found writing in local coffee shops, namely because it’s hard to concentrate with a cat lying on the keyboard and a small, colorful parrot screaming into her ear. Her work is somewhat dark, somewhat violent, somewhat hopeful, and always contains a hint of magic.

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Heather Fawcett Guest Post | Even the Darkest Stars Blog Tour

September 6, 2017 Blog Tour, Debut Author Challenge, Giveaway, Guest Post 4

Heather Fawcett Guest Post | Even the Darkest Stars Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop along the blog tour for Heather Fawcett’s Even the Darkest Stars, hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club! I’m delighted to have Heather here today to talk about her debut novel as part of September’s Magic, Myth, & Mischief event going on here and on Bonnie’s blog!

For Heather’s guest post today she’s provided short answers to three questions I asked her about Even the Darkest Stars! If her answers don’t make you want to run out and get a copy, then nothing will!


1. EVEN THE DARKEST STARS has many magical and mystical elements. Can you tell us a little about them and how they enrich your story?
The main magical system in Even the Darkest Stars involves shamans, who cast spells using incantations and talismans of different materials. In this world, anyone can do magic, but some have more natural talent than others. There are also various magical creatures—among the most important to the story are familiars, which are animals that attach themselves to certain people, particularly heroes. These are very rare. Kamzin, the main character of Even the Darkest Stars, has a fox familiar. Her sister has two ravens.

2. EVEN THE DARKEST STARS has a creature called a fiangul, which is super unique and not like anything I’ve heard of before. Can you tell us about it? What inspired its creation? How did you decide what it was going to look like?
There are lots of stories about monsters who lurk in the darkness, and I thought it would be interesting to develop a creature that lurks in storms. The fiangul are completely invented and aren’t based on any existing folklore or myths that I’m aware of, though the basic concept of them may have been at least partly inspired by the antagonists of one of my favourite TV shows, Firefly (for those who are into sci-fi!). I always find monsters more interesting (and frightening) when they have some element of humanity. The fiangul attack travellers who become lost in storms, and transform them into evil, winged creatures like them. That adds an extra layer of scariness, I think, because it means that they can do more than kill you—they can take away who you are.

3. In EVEN THE DARKEST STARS, people keep dragons as pets. What do these dragons look like? What do they add to the lives of their owners?
The dragons are small, perhaps a little larger than a house cat, with a sinuous, almost serpentine body. They have lights (commonly blue or green) in their bellies, making them bioluminescent, like fireflies—thus they’re domesticated for use as travelling light sources. Dragons are expensive and not everyone can afford them—Kamzin, as the daughter of the village Elder, grew up with several in her household. They’re viewed more as working animals than pets, sort of like farm cats.


Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett
Series: Even the Darkest Stars #1
Published by Balzer+Bray on September 5, 2017
Genres: Fantasy
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Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the Emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.

But everything changes when the mysterious and eccentric River Shara, the greatest explorer ever known, arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove herself—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means climbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer who is determined to best River, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.

The challenges of climbing Raksha are unlike anything Kamzin expected—or prepared for—with avalanches, ice chasms, ghosts, and even worse at every turn. And as dark secrets are revealed, Kamzin must unravel the truth of their mission and of her companions—while surviving the deadliest climb she has ever faced.


About Heather Fawcett

I was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, where I enjoy wandering around in the wilderness and only occasionally getting lost. I’ve also spent extended periods of time in Italy, where I learned very little Italian but ate quite a lot of pizza, and Ireland, where I searched half-successfully for puffins and selkies.

Before becoming a writer I worked, among other things, as an archaeologist, a technical writer, and a backstage assistant for a Shakespearean theatre company (which I could write several novels about). I have a Master’s degree in English Literature and briefly considered becoming a professor, before I realized it involved more than reading books, drinking excessive amounts of tea, and wearing colourful elbow patches.

I’m represented by the amazing Brianne Johnson at Writers House. EVEN THE DARKEST STARS, my first novel, was purchased by HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray at auction in a six-figure, two-book deal.

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Tour Schedule

9/5

Pink Polka Dot Books – Welcome Post

9/6

That Artsy Reader Girl – Guest Post
The Reading Life – Promo
Will Read Anything – Review

9/7

Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf – Review
Musings of a YA Reader – Review

9/8

Hardcover Haven – Review
Book Munchies – Review & Favorite Quotes
Kariny’s Book Frenzy – Review

9/9

Here’s to Happy Endings – Q&A
The Clever Reader – Review & Favorite Quotes

9/10

Library of a Book Witch – Review
Queen of Books – Review

9/11

Bibliobibuli YA – Q&A
When Curiosity Killed the Cat – Review
Maddie. TV – Review

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The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill | Graphic Novel Review

September 5, 2017 Book Review, Graphic Novel 1 ★★★★★

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill | Graphic Novel ReviewThe Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill
Published by Oni Press on October 31, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 72
Format: eARC
Source: From the publisher through Netgalley
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5 Stars
From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever Aftercomes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.

This was such a cute, magical little graphic novel! I really loved it. Tea dragons are little dragons whose horns store the memories of their time together with their owners, whom they love very much. Those horns grow tea leaves, which can be cut off and brewed into very high quality tea. When a person drinks this tea, they receive a vision of a memory of that tea dragon’s owner. Greta is a blacksmith and finds a lost tea dragon wandering through the market. When she returns this tea dragon to its owner she is offered the opportunity to learn the art of raising tea dragons and brewing their tea. She makes three new friends and they form a loving bond as their raise their tea dragons together. When Greta drinks some of the tea we get to see how the group formed and learn more about the pasts of these characters.

The story is divided up into four chapters: one for each season of the year. It’s is simple, but very sweet and great for all ages. It felt like a warm blanket. And the illustrations are to die for. The colors are beautiful, and everything is so cute! I’ve clipped a few of my favorite illustrations so you can see what I mean. The dragons are particularly adorable, and they are all named after common teas: Jasmine, Chamomile, Roobios, etc.

This image is one of the visions/memories that comes from drinking some tea.

All in all, I don’t have one complaint! This graphic novel was a joy to read. I loved the magical storytelling, unique story elements, the sweet characters, the adorable little tea dragons, and the moral of the story, which is to surround yourself with people you love and to cultivate the talents you’re passionate about. I would most definitely recommend this to readers of all ages who are looking for beautiful illustrations and a timeless, sweet, and light feel-good story.

 

 

 

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