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Princess of Wands (Special Circumstances #1)

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  1,660 Ratings  ·  96 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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The Rise of Nazil by Aaron-Michael HallRise of Empire by Michael J. SullivanThe Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel KayShadow Spinner by Susan FletcherThe Darkest Road by Guy Gavriel Kay
Good Fantasy You May Never Have Heard Of
33rd out of 200 books — 95 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Aspen Junge
Aug 16, 2012 Aspen Junge rated it did not like it
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
Sep 17, 2016 Doug Roberts rated it did not like it
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
May 07, 2008 Mercurybard rated it did not like it
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.
Jan 30, 2015 Kelsey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
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
Dec 08, 2012 Rich rated it it was ok
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
Aug 24, 2009 Tamora Pierce rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, adult
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
Apr 10, 2012 Beth Cato rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in, fantasy, 2008
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 really liked it
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
Jessica Traverson
Nov 23, 2015 Jessica Traverson rated it liked it
I really wanted to enjoy this book. My friends have recommended John Ringo to me, and I'm surprised to be disappointed.

Reading the back, it sounds like everything I could want. But the writing is very disjointed and confused. Sometimes he spends pages and pages building up a character, only to casually mention that they're dead. Awesome characters should not have half a sentence mentioning that they died.

I like the main character, but she doesn't really seem like a woman at times. The author doe
Mar 04, 2014 Annette rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
Mar 02, 2014 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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

Despite my annoyance at all the religious talk, it worked out much better.

The protagonist is strong, not in her physical abilities aspect but in her mentality and personality. She is a housewife and believes that her husband is the man of the house yet she still holds and retains her own self. She is not your smartest know everything type of protagonist. But she is also not your dimwit that pushes the plot forward through "fucking up" (pardon my language) and being stupid. She's definitely brigh
Rachel Holtzclaw
Aug 15, 2016 Rachel Holtzclaw rated it did not like it

let me start this off by saying that i spent $1 on this book so i wasn't expecting much but what i got was sexist, racist, and probably offense in some way to anyone who isn't a straight white male (and even then, that may be questionable). i technically only made it through book one, covering 116 pages, but BOY WAS THAT ENOUGH. the main character, good ol' barb, is presented as
Sep 30, 2012 John rated it did not like it
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.

Apr 10, 2014 Wdmoor rated it did not like it
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
May 08, 2015 Christine rated it it was amazing
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
I have truly enjoyed both books in this series. The characters are delightful. What a great concept for a series. One thing, if you and Barbara are going somewhere, its best that you do the driving!
Jan 24, 2016 Child960801 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
So. It's not really a novel. It's three short stories, though one is really short and one is really long and one is somewhere in between. I didn't realize that at first, so I was reading the first story and thinking to myself, "This plot is just about wrapped up but there are still lots of pages left, is something terrible going to happen?" I liked the idea and the stories. The kill count is really high, however. Like, Shakespearian high. I'll probably read the second book. I like John Ringo and ...more
Dec 25, 2014 Alex rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
"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
May 28, 2015 Danial rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
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
Jun 28, 2011 Janet rated it it was ok
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
Apr 19, 2012 Greymalkin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wildrose VuVu Magoo
Aug 23, 2011 Wildrose VuVu Magoo rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 04, 2011 Andreas rated it liked it
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 it was amazing  ·  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
Jan 01, 2016 Matt rated it liked it
The character here is basically grown up Buffy who has found religion. It's not one story but several short ones with the same character. The overt religious overtones and the attitude of the character made me think of the film Serial mom where the perfect house wife suburban mom is also a vicious killer. In this case she's killing demons but there are similarities there.

it was fairly fun the stories were short so there wasn't much depth.
Sep 14, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it
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
Oct 09, 2013 Beth Anne rated it liked it
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
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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)

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