**spoiler alert** I enjoyed the Safe Keeper's Secret but then again, I enjoy all of Sharon Shinn's books.
It has a very "young adult" sensibility to i...more**spoiler alert** I enjoyed the Safe Keeper's Secret but then again, I enjoy all of Sharon Shinn's books.
It has a very "young adult" sensibility to it... which usually doesn't bother me. Some of my favorite books can be considered "young adult" books (Robin McKinley's Beauty, Madeline L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time Series, and pretty much anything by Lucy Maud Montgomery) and when the writing is done right, I tend to forget that I am reading something intended for a younger reader. That didn't happen here. I never really got so into the book that I forgot the genre.
There were a couple of things that bothered me. It bothered me that most of the characters could know about abusive situations and other than sharing the burden of knowing the secret would do nothing about the situation. (Although to be fair, it also bothered the main character who takes a more active hand in helping people when she is entrusted with secrets). It also bothered me that the two main characters, raised as brother and sister 9although always aware that they were not related by blood), would have a weird romantic vibe towards the end. It seemed weird and tacked on, especially since the author doesn't resolve that plot point before the end of the book.
Having said all this, The Safe-Keeper's Secret was a pleasant read and did manage to catch my by suprise by the big twist at the end. I am not sorry I picked it up but I probably won't re-read it anytime soon. (less)
A collection of classic L.M. Montgomery short stories with all the fancy, humor and incredible characters that the author is particularly known for. A...moreA collection of classic L.M. Montgomery short stories with all the fancy, humor and incredible characters that the author is particularly known for. Although an earlier incarnation of Miss Cornelia, from the later parts of the Anne series, appears in one the stories, this anthology contains a lot more "new" material than Along the Shore which I enjoyed very much.
I will say that this collection suffers a bit by being grouped by theme. The happily-ever-after, marriage theme lent itself to stories that were invariably light hearted. Whereas other Montgomery short story collections (most notably Chronicles of Avonlea and Further Chronicles of Avonlea) included a variety of stories with different tones, moods and depths, At the Altar didn't have much to balance it and as a result was a little bit more saccharine than it should/could have been.
But even with that mild flaw, I enjoyed At the Altar as one more reason why L.M. Montgomery is one of my favorite authors of all time. (less)
I was mildly disappointed in this collection of stories. Don't get me wrong, the stories were good. Its just that that the author recycled characters...moreI was mildly disappointed in this collection of stories. Don't get me wrong, the stories were good. Its just that that the author recycled characters and plots from her earlier short stories for her books. So as I read these stories, I was reading (in some cases word for word) excerpts from books I had already read and I was hoping for something new. Captain Jim from Anne's House of Dreams, Paul Irving from Anne of Avonlea, even shades of Barney Snaith from the Blue Castle.... they are all in here. It gets a little redundent for a true (obsessive) L.M. Montgomery fan. It would probably be better as an introduction to L.M. Montgomery but then again, for a true novice, I would be more likely to recommend reading one of the novels (Anne, Emily, Jane, etc.) or, if they were looking for short stories, Chronicles of Avonlea.(less)
Robin McKinley's Spindle's End was a fairly good and interesting re-telling on the classic Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. While I thought that certain pa...moreRobin McKinley's Spindle's End was a fairly good and interesting re-telling on the classic Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. While I thought that certain parts dragged (just a bit), I liked the twists that the author put in the story, especially the animals' involvement in the tale and the fact that Rosie has such a large hand in saving herself.(less)
Sometimes it seems as if every fantasy, historic fiction and young adult novelist feels the need to write at least one Robin Hood story over the cours...moreSometimes it seems as if every fantasy, historic fiction and young adult novelist feels the need to write at least one Robin Hood story over the course of their career which, unfortunately, floods library shelves with tons of books that are forgettable or downright awful. It’s particularly hard on readers like me who love tales of Robin Hood, Maid Marian, Little John, Will Scarlett and the rest of the “merry men” because we have to sift though all the not-so-great offerings to find the books that are worth reading and that treat our favorite characters with love and respect.
Having said that, The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley is one of the shining examples of a Robin Hood book done right. In fact, I have never found another Robin Hood book that even comes close to it. The author does an incredible job of fleshing out the characters and of balancing a realistic portrayal of the story with the growing myth that it became. (less)