I love fairy tale retellings and this was a delightful collection of five versions of Cinderella. Last year author Anne Elisabeth Stengl hosted a writ...moreI love fairy tale retellings and this was a delightful collection of five versions of Cinderella. Last year author Anne Elisabeth Stengl hosted a writing contest and the result was this book. Just this week the fairy tale for the next Rogglewood Press writing contest was announced. And if the quality of the Cinderella stories is anything to go by Five Enchanted Roses will be a fabulous collection as well.
What Eyes Can See by Elisabeth Brown My Reaction: How fun! I do like the twist that the stepsisters and mother are nice. Though I wish we could have heard more of Arella’s thoughts. My Review: Elisabeth Brown does a great job giving us the classic story, but with a twist. Arella is painfully shy and does not want to marry the prince. I could almost imagine the story taking place in the settings of Disney’s movie but with a master editor rewinding and speculating ‘what if…’
Broken Glass by Emma Clifton My Reaction: Loved the ending! Especially the epilogue. This quote stuck out: “It does take more than one dance to find your soul-mate.” I really like that this story and the previous one both emphasize that fact. My Review: Emma Clifton mixed magic and steampunk together and came up with a story that has some of the harshness of the original Grimm fairy tales but also the characters to love and admire. I hope Emma continues writing stories set the land she created as I’m quite curious as to what happened to Ophelia and of course the epilogue is a perfect teaser for another fairy tale retelling.
The Windy Side of Care by Rachel Heffington My Reaction:What a light hearted piece of fun and political intrigue! And a great “fairy” godfather! My Review:Rachel Heffington did a great job completely reimagining Cinderella has a charming political schemer who is actually a disinherited princess. The dialogue was witty and very well written.
A Cinder's Tale byStephanie Ricker My Reaction:Delightful. Nice to have a change from romance being the focus (though I’m sure a sequel would have plenty). Great riveting action and danger. My Review:Stephanie Ricker put Cinderella in a space suit in a far corner of the universe and crafted a very exciting tale. I especially liked that she used the names Jac, Gus and Bruno for Elsa’s friends. Though I did keep picturing the dog when I read Bruno. His is a story I would love to read more of. The clones with their unique outfits were a great way to tie in the traditionally ill-dressed stepsisters.
The Moon Master's Ball by Clara Diane Thompson My Reaction:Thrilling. Spooky. I do wish the word limit had been a bit longer since while the story is excellently told, the climax felt very rushed. My Review:Clara Diane Thompson painted an eerie scene and kept the mystery front and center. The sudden appearance and disappearance of the Circus reminded me of the Twelve-Year Market from the Tales of Goldstone Wood. Much has been written about the impracticality of glass slippers – and whether they were mistranslated and should be fur slippers, but in this story they finally had a purpose and a point.
I just finished reading the first novella from The Tales of Goldstone Wood. It was quite good but now I really want to know if we’ll find out more abo...moreI just finished reading the first novella from The Tales of Goldstone Wood. It was quite good but now I really want to know if we’ll find out more about Munny. What is his real name? Who is his mother? Who was his father? And the captain. What’s his story? He wasn’t afraid of Risafeth. Why?Who is the lady in the portrait?
And yet for all the questions this book raises, it does answer some questions. All of which concern Leonard the Jester. It’s been a long time since I’ve read Veiled Rose which is the book during which this novella takes place. But I think this story shows us more about his character and some of the things he learns on his journey to Lunthea Maly.
Just like in Anne Elisabeth’s other books there are universal themes woven in that make it much richer and deeper than a mere adventure on the high seas story. In this book honor, loyalty and self-sacrifice are deftly portrayed.
In hind sight Goddess Tithe reminds me of C. S. Lewis’ Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The glassy sea, the fierce storm, the creatures below the water (though they were friendlier in Narnia’s ocean at the end of the world), and of course the sea serpent.
Since this is a novella there are fewer descriptions, but I could still picture the scenes and Anne Elisabeth’s illustrations are informative as well. If it were a full length novel I can imagine more details about life aboard the ship, a sub-plot involving other crew members and perhaps more hints about the captain’s past as well, and longer descriptions of the sea and Risafeth. But I’m not complaining. I love the idea of a Goldstone Wood novella and am thrilled Anne Elisabeth will most likely be writing some more.
I thoroughly enjoyed this quick trip to the world of Goldstone Wood and the voyage of the Kulap Kanya. Any fan of Anne Elisabeth’s and anyone looking for an exciting ocean adventure involving a vengeful sea monster will enjoy this novella.
I read this aloud to 2nd grade, they enjoyed it. The first grade teacher also read this book and the others in the series to her kids and they also re...moreI read this aloud to 2nd grade, they enjoyed it. The first grade teacher also read this book and the others in the series to her kids and they also really enjoyed them.(less)
This was a fun read and intriguing. I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on in the land and with Magnus but that’s ok because it adds to the suspe...moreThis was a fun read and intriguing. I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on in the land and with Magnus but that’s ok because it adds to the suspense and certainly makes me want to keep reading the series.
The characters were slowly revealed to the reader and in some cases we still don’t exactly know who a person is completely or how they are connected but that just makes you want to keep reading. They have distinct personalities and their own quirks, also they fit the time period of the early 1300s in Arthurian England. Sometimes characters seem "modern" even though the story is set in the past, I didn't get that impression with this tale. The knight was chivalrous but also gruff, the kids and teens were properly immature and mischievous, and the girls weren't overly independent in a 'I-don't-need-men' sort of way.
I read this as an ebook and at one point had to put it down and when I got back I discovered I only had a chapter left. There is so much more to this story! I do wish it had been a bit longer but I also understand that the author is prepared to write a series and is setting the stage and only gave us the first stage of Thomas’ adventures.
This was another very fun book. The back cover gives you the idea it is more about Cimorene, when it’s really about Mendanbar and his quest to find ou...moreThis was another very fun book. The back cover gives you the idea it is more about Cimorene, when it’s really about Mendanbar and his quest to find out why there are large bare, almost burnt out patches of nothing in his forest. He is sent by a squirrel to see Morwen who tells him to visit Kazul. Only problem is Kazul is missing.
Thus Cimorene and Mendanbar set off together to find the Dragon King. Along the way they meet the usual giants, dwarfs, magicians and royalty. Except none of them are actually “usual” as you may suspect if you’ve read book one.
For example, the giant is fed up because “every three months, regular as clockwork, one of those boys shows up and there’s never been a Tom, Dick or Harry among ‘em. Just Jacks. The English have no imagination.” (p.101-102)
Similar to the first, this book has a dash of romance but in this tale it’s mainly friendship and mutual interests that then blossoms into love at the very end. There is also plenty of adventure, mystery and lots to chuckle about.
In Dragonwitch we finally get to hear the full story of the brothers Akilun and Etanun. We find out what happened to Starflower’s land after she left...moreIn Dragonwitch we finally get to hear the full story of the brothers Akilun and Etanun. We find out what happened to Starflower’s land after she left it. We also learn more about the goblin kingdom. And it’s the very fascinating tale of a scribe, a scrubber, a betrothed girl and the heir-apparent. But there’s more to them than meets the eye.
The ageless themes of beauty, loneliness, love, family-ties, loyalty and forgiveness are all expertly woven into this tale.
If you love adventure, fantasy, clean fiction, an epic fight that stretches over centuries, a dash of romance and everyone’s favorite cat Eanrin, then this is a book for you.
I loved this book! I enjoyed it so much I made myself savor it and not rush through it in one sitting. It is a wonderful continuation of the adventure...moreI loved this book! I enjoyed it so much I made myself savor it and not rush through it in one sitting. It is a wonderful continuation of the adventure of Lionheart and Rose Red and Felix. This is book three in the series and they must be read in order. The first is Heartless and the second is Veiled Rose. If you haven't read Veiled Rose then there are a couple spoilers in this review.
The people and land of Southlands is slowly recovering from the dragon’s prolonged stay. Prince Lionheart was the only one who did not experience those five years in the country and no one quite knows what he did. But they do know that the prince acts strange and they blame it on that mysterious veiled girl who isn’t quite a girl. Rose Red.
When Lionheart reluctantly banishes Rose Red she disappears. Unbeknownst to him he just condemned her to capture by the evil goblin King Vahe who rules the hidden realm of Arpiar and who is also Rose Red’s father. King Vahe has spent centuries waiting, plotting and planning for the Night of Moonblood when he will gain the power to rule the whole world – both the Far and the Near World.
Lionheart is miserable and vows to redeem himself by finding Rose Red. Little does he know what awaits him when he follows Monster (Yes! Felix and Una’s cat returns!) into the mysterious Goldstone Wood. Legends come to life, tigers turn into men, a beautiful but terrifying unicorn searches for him. Can Lionheart renounce his pride and arrogance, can he accept forgiveness, can he face his worst nightmare?
I loved learning more about the history of Goldstone Wood (and surrounding – connected? areas). It still amazes me how Anne Elisabeth has woven such a complex tale. This book really ties the first two books together and shows just how epic of a series The Tales of Goldstone Wood can become.
It was so cool to discover who Monster actually is. After all, a blind cat who talks can't just be a cat; he’s got to be Somebody! And what a history he has! After Aslan, I think Monster is my favorite literary cat…who isn’t just a cat.
Lionheart’s struggle is an all too human struggle. Admitting our mistakes and bowing our knee to God. I absolutely loved the many forgiveness and redemption stories found in this novel.
This definitely gets 5 out of 5 roses. If you enjoy fantasy, adventure, grand tales, or stories about finding oneself then you should definitely read this book.