Pillage is a fun, quick read. The writing is simple and the plot not that well thought out, a little weak in places. But I still found it a fun book.Pillage is a fun, quick read. The writing is simple and the plot not that well thought out, a little weak in places. But I still found it a fun book. I like the idea and the characters. When I first read it, I was surprised to find out who Milo was. I like Beck with his humor and daring nature, though he is stupid and cocky, and the dragons are pretty cool. Even though it's a simple, not extremely well written book, I still reread it, and I'll still read it in the future. It's just a fun little book to pass the time....more
For some reason, I liked Redeeming the Lost a lot more than the first two. There was a lot more action in this one, and I got into it more. The endingFor some reason, I liked Redeeming the Lost a lot more than the first two. There was a lot more action in this one, and I got into it more. The ending was brilliant. I would have been so mad if it hadn't ended the way it did, but it ended perfect. Three of my sisters have read this series and they all love it. I can't share their enthusiasm. The first two books just didn't catch my attention, then I read this book, and I perked up; in my opinion it was the best of the three, but still, not amazing....more
Alright, I loved it :) It’s not a brilliant, epic fantasy novel. But it is beautiful, with a more quiet enchantment, that won’t latch onto everyone whAlright, I loved it :) It’s not a brilliant, epic fantasy novel. But it is beautiful, with a more quiet enchantment, that won’t latch onto everyone who reads it, but it did me, just not in an earth shattering way. I read this a year ago as an arc, and I really liked it then, but I could tell it needed another revision, sharpen up the writing a little, connect the scenes better perhaps. I don’t know how much changed from that early draft I read, I don’t think a whole lot, but for some reason I liked it better this second time around, even if it still has some flaws, that I’m sure more nitpicky people could find and explain better than I could.
Una, princess of Parumvir, is of age, and suitors come to seek after her hand. One she fancies herself in love with, though not handsome, a prince of high standing and well known and sought after, who ends up not being all that he seems. One who she does fall in love with, a prince in disguise, who she promises herself to, but does not end how she was expecting. And then one, who loves Una with his whole heart, that will never fade, but Una, in her stubborn, petulant way, refuses him, can’t even believe the gall he has of loving her, and caring about her. Later, the Parumvir kingdom is set upon and destroyed by a dragon who wishes to claim Una, and make her become like him. During this ordeal, Una loses herself, believing that no one loves her. Yet Prince Aethelbald never gives up. He goes out to save her, and he does. He saves her life, and her heart, and Una finds herself through his love.
Aethelbald was an endearing character. He reminded me a little of Anluan in Heart's Blood, with his quiet disposition, and his quiet, yet resounding love for Una. Una, well she isn’t what you'd call strong. She’s dependent, and perhaps a bit too brash and ignorant. She doesn’t want anything to do with Aethelbald, and clearly makes it known, despite how it may hurt him. But she changed in the end, she became more understanding and realized who she truly loves. The ending was perfect, melted my heart a bit.
I loved Leonard (view spoiler)[before he reveled himself to be Lionheart that is (hide spoiler)], the jester. His antics amused me as they did Una. But then he changed, urghh, and lost my respect, but it helped Una realize where her heart truly lies, pun intended.
In the end, I really enjoyed reading heartless. The writing was beautiful, the story was intriguing, and while not everyone will like it, I still found it an enchanting fantasy story with a sweet romance. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Firelight is an intriguing, breathless romantic novel about starcrossed lovers. Jacinda is a Draki, and Will is a Dragon hunter. Will first sees JacinFirelight is an intriguing, breathless romantic novel about starcrossed lovers. Jacinda is a Draki, and Will is a Dragon hunter. Will first sees Jacinda in Draki form, when he’s on a hunt with his family. But he saves her. He doesn’t tell his family where she is. Jacinda is a rare fire breather in her clan, and is expected to mate with the next alpha, and produce little fire breathers. Her mother angrily will not let her daughter to be treated that way. So she takes her twin daughters (Jacinda’s twin, Tamra, never manifested into Draki form, so she’s always felt like a misfit in human form amongst all these Draki) into the desert, desperate to hide from their clan, and kill Jacinda’s Draki inside her. Jacinda is furious, and tries to hang onto her Draki as long as she can, even plotting to leave her mother and sister in hopes of finding a clan to live with.
But then she has a reason to stay. Will. She can sense him before she sees him. Whenever they touch, and especially when they kiss, she finally feels her Draki come to life in this dry barren land. He knows nothing about who she really is, hunters don’t even know Draki can shift into human form. But Jacinda knows what Will is, and she fights with herself, telling herself time and time again that she should stay far away from him, while wanting him desperately at the same moment.
I really enjoyed reading Firelight. I loved the concept of Dragons (Draki here) being hunted by humans, and two unsuspecting individuals from these two warring groups falling in love against all odds. There were times when it felt a little cliché-ish, but the story was so intriguing that I didn’t mind it. (There was the expected boy-coming-into-girls-room-through-window scene, which is a must in any worthwhile YA novel, right? To tell you the truth, I’m tired of this way of entrance.)
And the romance, it was sizzling hot! Seriously, you can just feel the heat pouring off of these two when they kiss. There were some pretty good kissing scenes in this book ;) You can tell Sophie Jordan is a romance novelist with the way her romance reads, she just toned it done to fit the YA genre. Which is perfect for me. I’m all for clean romances with nothing more than a heated kiss.
One thing I didn‘t like so much was Tamra. She felt like a whinny brat to me. I get that she feels left out, and goes unnoticed while her far superior fire breathing Draki sister gets all the attention. That would be hard, especially considering they’re twins. So I can understand some of her bitterness. But she was always complaining that Jacinda gets everything, and she wants to have something for a chance, and Jacinda had better not mess this up for her even though it must be extremely hard for Jacinda to just forget who she is, and fit in. I especially didn’t like when Jacinda was beat up by the jealous cheerleader Brooklyn and her friends, and Tamra felt like it was Jacinda’s fault she got hurt, and she didn’t show any sympathy or concern for her. I guess I just wanted more sisterly love shown.
Overall, I loved this book, and I’m excited to read the sequel.
The Floating Islands is a beautiful, intriguing novel. It swept me away with its magic. This book is lyrical and delicious, soaring with the many layeThe Floating Islands is a beautiful, intriguing novel. It swept me away with its magic. This book is lyrical and delicious, soaring with the many layered, tangible winds, and garnished with the flavors of magic, all interwoven into a tale of war, acceptance, finding your destiny, and friendship.
Trei has just lost his home and his family in a tragic volcanic eruption, destroying everything’s he’s known. Rejected by his Tolounn relatives, he sets out to the Floating Islands in hopes that his mother’s family there will take him in. In the open sea, on a ship far below the islands, he sees the kajurai, men who fly above the islands on majestic wings and have crystal eyes, and knows no greater wish of his. He yearns to join them, to fly in the open air with complete abandon. His relatives do take him in, and love him despite where he came from. Trei finds he has a cousin, a girl named Araené, who has a dream of her own. She wishes to become a chef, but because she is a girl, she is not allowed the option to follow her dream. But she doesn’t give up. Neither does Trei.
These two cousins, with their ill-suited dreams urging them forward, fight for what they believe in, and soon find themselves integral parts of the war that is coming to their islands. Trei’s dream soon comes true. Araené, on the other hand, finds a greater calling for her than becoming a chef. She discovers that she is a mage, and it is with her chef skills, her passion in it that allows her to know scents so well and taste them through anything, that makes her magic meaningful. She tastes magic, and that is what made this story delicious to me. Flavors and spices were described through Araené as she began to feel her magic and learn to use it.
I loved the concept of this story, floating islands and men who fly, and two kids with fiery dreams. And the dragons. Yep, dragons. You wouldn’t know by the cover or synopsis that this story has dragons in it, but it does. It’s because of their magic that lets the islands stay adrift in the sky and help the kajurai to fly.
I just fell in love with this book. The characters were strong, the plot well executed. It was enchanting and engrossing. And the writing was so beautiful. Flowing smoothly and brilliantly crafted. The kind of writing that just seeps into me, luring me in with the beautiful cadence of words spun poetically together. Writing that makes me read slower, so as to savor each delicate word and delight in it. I would kind of like to see a sequel. I’m not sure where Rachel would go with it, (except play out that little romance at the end of the book, which would be just perfect with me ;) but it doesn’t need a sequel, it stands perfectly on its own. ...more
Gail Carson Levine, I must say, is one of my favorite authors (at least when I need a cute, light fairytale type read). Her books are sweet, and enchaGail Carson Levine, I must say, is one of my favorite authors (at least when I need a cute, light fairytale type read). Her books are sweet, and enchanting, and just purely fun little fairytales. A Tale of Two Castles was no exception. It had that special magical quality that Levine’s other books all possess, simple in its light fairytale esque feeling, yet beautiful with its engaging writing and endearing characters, complete with an intriguing plot, at first perhaps simple, but at the end, quite brilliantly played out and executed.
Elodie is a 12 year old girl, traveling to the kingdom of Lepai in hopes of becoming apprenticed as a mansioner, an actress. After arriving at Two Castles, with an excess of cats roaming the streets, she is unable to acquire an apprenticeship, and is instead employed to the dragon, Mastress Meenore, the Great, the Unfathomable, master of inducing and deducing, able to find any lost object, solve any riddle. When his Lordship’s, the ogre, dog goes missing, Elodie assists IT (the dragon, which is called IT as only ITself knows ITs gender) in finding the dog. And thus ensues the mystery of finding who stole the dog, who poisoned the king and set the cats on the ogre, who mauled the ox, with a rather surprising ending to keep you on your toes.
Elodie is a strong young girl, who starts out attempting to fulfill her dream of mansioning, but finds her true calling in inducing and deducing, which she acquires by interacting and being with IT, and hearing IT’s own deducing of mysteries. For a 12 year old, she is quite astute and determined.
The world Levine created was delightful and enchanting. The writing will strike some people as too simple, but I love it for its simplicity and the magic found within. And it’s just Levine’s style of writing, with stories geared toward younger teenagers and children, and not older teenagers or adults looking for epic stories with a lot of depth and stark, passionate emotion with though provoking messages. This book isn’t for everyone, but fans of Levine will surely love it, and those looking for light fairytales. ...more
Seraphina was a beauty. And not just because of the beautiful writing, or the characters I came to love, but also because of the emotion suffused intoSeraphina was a beauty. And not just because of the beautiful writing, or the characters I came to love, but also because of the emotion suffused into the story. There is so much heart in this novel, in the characters, that it took my breath away, and I was literally swept away into this fantastic world of dragons and humans striving to coexist, yet harboring ill feelings toward the other because it is their nature. And defying this nature is a seemingly impossible feat.
Here enters the heroine of the story, Seraphina, who is harboring her own secret that could threaten to destroy her if anyone found out. Her mother was a dragon, her father a human, making her a very rare person, as dragons and humans do not mix. The very thought is unheard of, and disgusting to both dragons and humans. Yet the unthinkable happened when Linn fell in love with Claude, and Seraphina was born. But knowing that she is different, doesn’t keep her from excelling. She rises above this horrid secret, always striving to do her best, and trying to unite the two diverse groups.
There are moments when her secret becomes too hard a burden, from lying to the people she cares about, to trying to understand dragons better, while still wishing that she wasn’t one. There was one part where Seraphina realizes something, and her hatred of her dragon half is more than she can bear. She tries to cut her scales, and then, with great difficulty and pain, she pries one scale off. Even thinking back about it, it makes me squirm. Hartman, through that scene, was able to make me hate the dragon part of Seraphina, and I saw the revulsion and hatred that Seraphina has for herself, which prevents her from truly accepting who and what she is. I sympathized for her, and I wished that she could find someone, a friend, who could love her even despite her dragon half, and accept her, scales and all. And that moment did come about. One of my favorite parts of the novel was the end, when (view spoiler)[Lucian gently takes Seraphina’s wrist and kisses it. (hide spoiler)] That was a beautiful scene, showing that if someone can love her despite her scales, then so can she.
I loved how music was incorporated into the story. I have a thing for music in novels. It brings a special beauty and wonder to the story. I find myself being drawn in deeper with its musical tones, and lilting songs. Even though it’s only presented to me in prose, I can feel the music, and how it affects the characters. Seraphina especially, as this is her specialty. She tutors Princess Glisselda in music, and is assistant to the choir director. And when she plays her instruments, it fills her soul with vivacity and love. I would love to hear her play. It would be an unforgettable experience.
Princess Glisselda is one character I enjoyed immensely. She’s energetic, and seemingly naïve, but when placed in positions when she must fall into her role as heir to the throne, you can see the majestic queen she will become. She’s determined to do what is morally right, while being diplomatic, while keeping a measure of her innocence within. Her engagement to Lucian was created for political advancement, and while they are fond of each other, and perhaps love each other, I never felt that there was any romantic love. I felt that Lucian understood Seraphina better. What they have is something that is blooming into love, and it was beautiful, and executed well. But of course there are complications, seeing as he is engaged to the princess. But, I feel that Glisselda would be understanding, and maybe even support them.
Emotion is a big player in the novel. Dragons are emotionless. They don’t understand human emotion; they think it’s beneath them and their intellectual minds. But through a few dragons human eyes, we see them discover emotion, not understanding it, but not being able to turn away, because they are feeling something, and it’s broadening their understanding of humans and the world. As a reader, being given this fresh view of emotion made me connect with the novel more, because I was feeling those emotions. Then there are the human’s feelings (Seraphina, Lucian, Glisselda) about the dragons, and the evolution of those feelings as they’re given new insight about them.
The world-building was spectacular. The base of the story really did read like a classic fairytale with knights in shining armor, damsels in distress, and dragons. In a very loose, light way. The world Hartman created takes this storyline and turns it upside down, mixing everything up, while still retaining a ring of truth to the classic tales. We have the knight in shining armor, Lucian Kiggs, captain of the Queens Guard, who protects the royal family, and in a way, Seraphina. Then there’s the damsel in distress, Seraphina, who is distressed with her secret, and hideous dragon parts. And then, of course, dragons. But then it has political intrigue, and religion, and a murder mystery, and words of wisdom from past literary scholars in their world; all of which was handled with tact and skill. Not being too complex with the politics, or being overbearing with the religion. There was one line Lucian quoted from a scholar that I particularly liked. “Let the one who seeks justice, be just.” That could be applied to everything. If you want to be treated kindly, you must be kind to others, if you want to be loved, you must love, etc. Basic law of reciprocity. If you look closely, there are deeper meanings to be found in Seraphina.
I am just, in awe of this book. It was incredible, executed with finesse, created with love. I enjoyed every second of it. With beautiful prose, Hartman spun a tale reminiscent of fairytales, darkened with dragons, and hatred, lightened with music, and love, infused with breathless wonder, underlined with excitement. This book deserves so much praise, and I’m glad to be one singing my love of it. I would reccommend this book to fantasy lovers, dragon lovers, and people who like mysteries and mind puzzles, kind of like Bitterblue. I hope that you endeavor to step into this wonderful book, and I hope that you come out of it completely enthralled. So, bravo Rachel Hartman, you’ve won me over, and I cannot wait for Dracomachia["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Bloodmaiden was nice little fantasy story. Short as it is, it still managed to carry a wonderful tale of dragons and sprites that kept my interest thrBloodmaiden was nice little fantasy story. Short as it is, it still managed to carry a wonderful tale of dragons and sprites that kept my interest through to the end. In the land of Sulaimon, dragons and the people whom the dragons have sworn to protect, live in harmony. Except for one of the four dynasties in the land, where the dragons have betrayed the people, commanding each year, a sacrifice of a young woman, whom they name Quelda, and her newlywed husband to be put to death. Crislin, made Quelda at the beginning of the book, and her childhood friend now her husband, escape this treacherous place in hopes of stopping the dragons lust for blood.
I loved the beginning, and how the setup for the marriage was done. It makes you wonder what is going on, what is the Quelda, why is Crislin being forced to marry, and why she is sentenced to die. It immediately caught my interest and I was so eager to know what was going to happen. The world was described in detail from the very beginning, and it helped with the setting, and giving me a better picture of the land and the people and dragons in it. The writing helped in doing this. It was very nice, beautiful even.
The land itself was very interesting, very colorful and magical that breathed with life and music. The characters are searching for an aria, that will help them defeat the dragons who kill the Queldas. I really appreciate books that have music interwoven with the story. It gives the book a sense of beauty and majestic quality that enchants me. And here it was displayed beautifully.
One thing that I feel could have been better was the characters. I did like them, they were portrayed nicely and I did feel emotion from them at times. But Crislin and her husband, Chalom felt a little flat at times. I think they could have used more description and more time to develop for me to understand them better. But this wasn’t enough to detract me from the story. In the end, I found I really did like the book. I would recommend this to readers who don’t mind a short, light fantasy story. ...more