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Princess of Wands (Special Circumstances #1)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  1,443 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Special: distinguished by some unusual quality . . .

Circumstances: a piece of evidence that indicates the probability or improbability of an event . . .

Barbara Everette, homemaker living in a small town in Mississippi, had the perfect life. Perfect husband, perfect children, perfect house, perfect Christian Faith. She cooked and cleaned perfectly and managed all of the c

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Baen
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28th out of 186 books — 70 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,161)
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Aspen Junge
Aug 16, 2012 Aspen Junge rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Nobody ever
I want to give this minus a million stars

The complete and utter clueless f***wittery that Ringo comes up with while trying to write a female viewpoint character [0] was something I was willing to put up with because it was so fun to mock [1], but when he flat out states that the practice of Islam is evil [2], I quit.

[0] Barb, the main character, is a female, gun-packing, martial-arts-teaching, PTA president, stay-at-home-mom, traditional-values, husband-is-the-master-of-the-household, Republican
Doug Roberts
I'm happy to report that I have just read my last novel by John Ringo.

"Princess of Wands" has all the things I love and hate about Mr. Ringo's writing. I had hoped that the things I hated were restricted to his other series but unfortunately they are not. On the good side, Mr. Ringo writes a good action scene and his style doesn't challenge me too much as I read his books during the commute.

Unfortunately, Mr. Ringo insists on sidetracking his characters literally in the middle of a life and deat
A fun light fantasy novel about a soccer mom who saves the world, or at least a fair number of people, on several occasions. The main character is a fervent Christian, but she is accepting of other beliefs and actually works with a Wiccan and several followers of the ancient Norse gods over the course of the stories. Also, the portion that takes place at a sci-fi/fantasy convention is really funny. Basically, a well-written, funny light fantasy read with an atypical heroine. Who will be polite w ...more
May 07, 2008 Mercurybard rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nobody
Repeat after me: "Oh, John Ringo, NO!"

You'll be saying it a lot while reading this. If this is what Christian urban fantasy looks like, I'll pass. Clunky chunks of preachy exposition, gratuitous sexual violence, and a Mary Sue heroine.
I'm not the biggest John Ringo fan in the world, and often times I think he's better at just typing and stereotyping than writing and creating, but there are times (truth be told, after a hard day at work that translates to too much of the time) where I just want entertainment and don't want to put much thought into what I'm reading. His Posleen books were like that, and I took them for what they were worth.

I liked the idea behind Princess of Wands; a badass Christian mom takes on sinister badd
Tamora Pierce
It's actually the second time I've read this. I'm not a John Ringo fan, and neither is the LA librarian who gave it to me, but we both like this book. It's the story of a devout, NOT preachy, soccer mom, daughter of a military man who trained her to shoot and encouraged her interest in martial arts. At the age when her husband is discovering his love for his Barcalounger and her oldest daughter is of an age to help run the house, Barb discovers she is called to represent her God in the ages-long ...more
Beth Cato
I think one of the reviews on Amazon summarizes this best: June Cleaver as a ninja warrior of God.[return][return]Barbara Everette is a Mississippi soccer mom and devoted Christian. She's also trained in multiple disciplines of martial arts and an excellent markswoman. Little does she know that a weekend getaway will land her in a huge mess of a Cajun cult trying to summon a rather nasty demon, and thus introduce her to a new line of work in the government's secretive Special Circumstances divis ...more
This was a very nice change of pace from what I had been reading. It is 3 short stories in one book, all following the same characters and in chronological order, so definitely not your typical short stories. The concept is an old one made fresh and the characters are well done. I *never* would have thought that I could really actually like a strongly Christian soccer mom, but here we are. Even the fact that she is a total badass, enough so that Buffy would be hard pressed to keep up with her, i ...more
Lisa Hunt
Jan 05, 2011 Lisa Hunt rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like action supernatural fantasy or RPG
Princess of Wands is a one-off which I desperately wish Ringo would follow up on. Not so much for the action, although there is plenty of that - but I have never before read a book where the protagonist is a fundamentalist Christian, draws her strength from that, and expresses her beliefs in a strong way that also powers a good story. It's not a preachier 'better than thou' attitude, it brings in other religions, it just handles the base power of 'drawing on the Lord' in a much different way tha ...more
I really wanted to like this one. What a hook! Nice, Christian soccer-mom of three discovers her true calling: kicking serious demon butt! Finally, a protagonist just like me! (OK, except for the whole armed and unarmed combat expert with a +10 body thing!)

Unfortunately, it rather fails in the execution. Not that I haven't read far worse. The dialog and character descriptions were never jarring in that whole "tell-not-show" way that bugs me so much. But especially in part 2, he takes Forever ge
From Publishers Weekly

Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans will appreciate Barbara Everett, a Mississippi soccer mom who discovers in Ringo's latest, which is less a novel than three linked episodes, that there are things undreamed of in the PTA handbook. In part one, Barbara's ability to take care of an alien infestation straight out of H.P. Lovecraft's "Shadow over Innsmouth" brings her to the attention of a shadowy group that assists the FBI in supernatural cases. They recruit her for a spiritual

This really can't be classed as Urban Fantasy, its really a just a script that allows the author to vent his political, cultural and religious views in your face, spittle and all. Sure, there are demons and whatnot to be killed and he moves location to push the somewhat thin staggered plot along before another tirade begins, but it is really secondary to is dislike of (what it seems) anyone who holds any belief or option that is not his.

I am mystified by this book. I'm not familiar with John Ringo and read this book based on a Goodreads recommendation. The first 50 pages of so were very satisfying. There was a lot of action and good character development all propelled by a very satisfying story. And then it was over...with an epilogue.

Then it started up again, sort of, but without the action or fun. It felt like two different people writing the book. I started skimming and skimming, whole chapters went by with absolutely nothi
Don't recall when I first read this, but a year or two ago, I think. I love the main character of the stories in this book, Barbara Everette. She is a stay-at-home mother whose father was in the armed forces (Air Force, if I recall correctly) and who moved all over while growing up. She learned various martial arts during those moves and is very good at self-defense, if not an expert in form. She is also a sharp-shooter. In these books, she battles various demons, her strength coming from her st ...more
"Princess of Wands" by John Ringo is book 1 of a two book series. It is religious and violent... a sort of fight against the followers of a pagan god trying to build up enough energy to break into the world. (I am reminded of Ghostbusters but this is not funny at all.)

The Story: Barbara Everette is a good homemaker who feels a duty to her lazy husband but is getting a little bored so she decides to take the weekend off and just veg-out. She drives toward New Orleans but she is a little worried a
If you're looking for a strong female protagonist, a complex or sophisticated plot, or some good ole fashioned supernatural enemies then... well... look somewhere else. This book has none of that. Well, that's not fair, it does have supernatural enemies, but they're kind of hokey in that "I'm all powerful and indestructible if not for that one tiny weakness!" sort of way.

But wait, there's more!

(1) Women should be trained in martial arts and pack heat to avoid rape
(2) Islam is evil
(3) Your pro-li
Princess of Wands reads like a collection of two novellas and a short story about the same character, homemaker-slash-martial arts expert Barbara Everette, who is called to be a paladin-style warrior for the Christian God. The first novella-like part is the best of the three. An FBI affiliated Special Circumstances team investigates demonic involvement in a set of serial rapes and murders, and Babara's involvement turns out to be crucial in solving the case. In the second, cosmic battles of good ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wildrose VuVu Magoo
I loved this book! Most of John Ringo's work is too heavy on the combat for me. Alas, I'm a stereotypical girl who doesn't read heavy sci-fi. :) The first part was just like Call of Chthulu, the video game, except the heroin was far more sensible than the main character in the game. (Who deserves to die. Not that I'm bitter or anything.) Right... so anyway, I loved this book. The only real complaint I had was at the fantasy/sci-fi con where Barb brought up abortion. The author made the point ear ...more
An ordinary Southern homemaker, Barbara “Barb” Everette has three kids and a full life. She is the epitome of the churchgoing soccer mom, with the only slight quirk her prowess at martial arts. But on a weekend off, she ends up foiling the attempt of a demon to take over a village in the Louisiana bayou. And then things get even weirder as she is recruited into a super secret organization that battles supernatural beings as they manifest on Earth.

Once again Ringo has managed to write a page turn
Apr 18, 2008 Roberta rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: John Ringo fans, paranormal fans
Recommended to Roberta by: my husband
Shelves: paranormal, favorites
I read this book expecting it to be kind of stupid, and I was pleasantly surprised. It is hard to believe the same guy that wrote Ghost wrote this book. That by the way is a compliment to John Ringo and not anything else.

In this book, our heroine is a Christian woman who isn't preachy or judgmental, but rather strongly devout in her faith. She witnesses by simply being a good person although she does tell people politely not to curse in front of her. But inside her soccer mom exterior is a warr
Ann aka Iftcan
I had this book sitting on my tbr pile for a VERY long time. Finally I was doing a reading challenge where we were supposed to read a book that had been there for a lloonnnngggg time. So I picked this. When I finished it all I could think was "Why the HECK didn't I read this earlier?"

The heroine of the book--which is set up as 3 "books" altho they seem to be more the lenght of novellas than short stories (hey, it is 408 pps long)--is a housewife from a Southern small town--sort of. What she actu
I quite enjoyed this story of a dedicated religious soccer mom who is drawn by fate or a higher power into the fight against supernatural evil. Lots of horrific terrors, gun fights, magic and general butt kicking. The book is broken into two separate stories. While hardly comedy, the the second story in particular does contain a lot of in jokes about, fringe culture, geeks, science fiction fandom and certain authors which a casual reader might not "get".
Beth Anne
This is a very unusual fantasy, and I found the largely positive portrayal of Christianity refreshing, although I didn't always agree with the way it was presented--particularly in the areas of the main character's marriage and the very modern "all religions are equal" premise (not held by the main character, but nonetheless very clearly part of the underlying assumptions of the book).

Given the author, it's not surprising that the book is also fairly violent, and I expected that. I could have do
Suzie Q
A story about a devout Christian housewife who faces a Demon--litterally, and finds herself in a world of spirituality beyond any she'd ever imagined.
It was an okay book. The job of an author is to make the unbelievable believable, which John Ringo really did not do in this book. It wasn't the spiritual aspect, that part actually goes along with many things I believe in myself. It was the "everyone's packing major heat" thing. Being ex-military as the only reason just didn't cut it for me; I com
Paul Kemner
This was an enjoyable book, though it did get a bit too expository (or preachy?) at times.

It's interesting to think about who this book is "for". While many born-again Christians might like the main character- a super-soccer-mom ninja with an unshakable faith and strong powers, they probably won't like the fact that there are also Pagans, Hindus, etc who also get powers from their gods and are also working for good. Unitarian fantasy readers? Must be.

Princess would make the start of a smashing
Sharon Michael
If anyone would have told me I would absolutely adore a fundamental Bible Belt Christian yuppie/soccer mom character as a demon fighter, I'd have bet serious money against it ... and lost.

Ringo makes it work, for me anyway. I got the feeling this might have been as much fun for him to write as it was for me to read. I suspect he wrote some of it just because he wanted to and some definitely tongue in cheek, but as far as I'm concerned it is a win/win situation all around.

I'm an 'on and off' Rin
Megan Wixon
This was a really disappointing venture into the Fantasy genre. The character development was inadequate and there were no explicit or implicit motivations behind the behavior of the characters. At the end I found myself saying, "that's it?"
Interesting concept. Nice to see a fantasy lit series that treats faith like a positive without being anvilicious about it. Love the characters. It's not deep. Not 'issue' oriented. But it's Ringo doing fantasy, which is an interesting change. Perhaps not his A game. But not bad either. And much better than most of the 'message fic' that gets promoted.
Practical Mike
Decent enough read.

Ringo has a gift for adding detail and insight that in lesser authors would weigh heavy on pacing.

Ringo makes no excuses for what he writes and I won't either. He tells a good story.
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John Ringo is a prolific author who has written in a wide variety of genres. His early life included a great deal of travel. He visited 23 foreign countries, and attended fourteen different schools. After graduation Ringo enlisted in the US military for four years, after which he studied marine biology.

In 1999 he wrote and published his first novel "A Hymn Before Battle", which proved successful.
More about John Ringo...

Other Books in the Series

Special Circumstances (2 books)
  • Queen of Wands (Special Circumstances, #2)
A Hymn Before Battle (Posleen War, #1) Gust Front (Posleen War, #2) Live Free or Die (Troy Rising, #1) Citadel (Troy Rising, #2) When the Devil Dances (Posleen War, #3)

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