Prince Richard of Schwarzberg is a cursed man. Having initially accepted willing guardianship of the magic mirror that has been in his family for genePrince Richard of Schwarzberg is a cursed man. Having initially accepted willing guardianship of the magic mirror that has been in his family for generations, Richard soon finds himself enslaved to both the mirror and to the whims of the cunning enchantress queen of Weissland. Twice a day for almost a decade - whenever the Lady Sybelle calls upon the spirit of the mirror - Richard is compelled to answer her three questions truthfully. Determined to discover a way to free himself from the Lady Sybelle's thrall - and desperate to protect other innocents from her evil sorcery - Richard leaves his father's realm and soon becomes 'The Lost Prince of Schwarzberg'.
All her life Gretchen has been teased for being small. Although she has learned to ignore the various cruelties of the townspeople - the taunts and comments, the pointing and outright stares - she secretly wishes that she could find a place to call her own. When she hears a minstrel's tale of a hidden farm populated by little people such as herself, Gretchen is cautiously optimistic. Could there possibly be a place out in the world where she would be seen as a person and not just as an oddity?
Determined to find this wonderful place, Gretchen sets out on her journey - and is eventually welcomed into their home by the mostly male inhabitants. The Klein family: Frau Marta, her husband Herr Dieter, and their sixteen-year-old son; and their four farmhands: Gunther, Klaus, Rudolph and Lars all act most appropriately towards Gretchen and are happy to meet her. Lars in particular woos her with his gentle and kindhearted nature and his quiet strength.
Delighted to have finally found acceptance among people who look like her, Gretchen soon settles into a peaceful routine at the farm. However, danger looms on the horizon when Gretchen meets a troubled young woman one morning, while on her way to market. After hearing the young lady's desperate story, she offers the runaway princess - Angelika of Weissland - shelter at the Little Farm.
Although Ange is safe for a few weeks, she soon feels compelled to return to her stepmother's castle. Determined to protect her late father's subjects from Lady Sybelle's cruelty, she resolves to provide as much assistance as she can in secret - in the guise of 'The Tattered Princess'. Wandering somewhere nearby, Richard initially finds himself admiring Ange's forthright manner and compassionate nature. However, as his feelings grow stronger, Richard soon finds himself falling in love with the beautiful princess.
When he is eventually compelled to tell the queen that she is no longer the fairest one of the realm, she is enraged by Richard's revelation. She vows to find Princess Angelika and destroy her, as well as anyone who might try to help the young woman. It soon becomes apparent that if either Gretchen or Richard are to have their own happily ever afters, they must team up to break the mirror's spell before the queen kills them all...
I have always enjoyed reading fairytale retellings, and this one was just as entertaining. I was intrigued by the plot of this story and avidly wanted to know how it would develop. I would give this novella a definite A! and look forward to reading more from this author in the future....more
Nardine has been a slave ever since her mother sold her at the age of eleven. Her master runs a school for gladiators in ancient Rome known as a ludusNardine has been a slave ever since her mother sold her at the age of eleven. Her master runs a school for gladiators in ancient Rome known as a ludus. Although she occasionally serves the master and his family whenever they travel to gladiatorial events; Nardine primarily divides her duties between the kitchens and the infirmary as both a cook and a physician's assistant.
She had always counseled her friend Celeste to be extremely careful about falling in love with a gladiator, as that sort of relationship could only lead to heartbreak in the future. Nardine knows this feeling from personal experience as she has lost her heart exactly twice in her lifetime - first to a gladiator named Matthias, then to another one called Gaius - and she has inevitably lost both men to the horrors of the arena. While losing Matthias was certainly heart-wrenching, Nardine is utterly devastated by the sudden death of Gaius.
Nardine privately believes that she has long been unlucky in love, so she truly cannot fault her mistress Cornelia for believing that she is actually cursed. However, despite suffering through such tremendous grief, Nardine also begins to believe that she has ultimately been blessed as well: she is finally pregnant. Yet a life of bondage is definitely no future for a child, so Nardine resolves that escape is the only viable option, no matter what the punishment will be if she fails.
Fleeing from his sorrowful past, Abedi has long wanted to be a gladiator. Now he is living his dream, and at one of the most prestigious schools in all of Rome. Yet despite relying on his strength, bravery and quickness while fighting in the arena, Abedi also cannot deny that there is always the possibility that he will be injured or worse.
Ultimately, Abedi will be tested to the very limits of his abilities and endurance. However, after meeting the beautiful Nardine working in the infirmary - the answer to his prayers - he will find the challenges that he has faced in the arena are only the beginning. Indeed, it is the promise of finally having a family of his own, an enduring love, and the prospect of freedom that will sustain Abedi throughout his time in the arena.
Actually, this book is quite a bit longer than the first book in the series. Although having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story as well. As I have said before, I usually enjoy reading anything having to do with ancient Greece and Rome, and it was intriguing to read more stories based in this particular historical period. In my opinion, this was a fast-paced and well-developed story despite its relatively short length and I would certainly give this novella an A!...more
Like the populations of so many other small towns across the country, the residents of Sweet Lake, Ohio, pride themselves on knowing everything aboutLike the populations of so many other small towns across the country, the residents of Sweet Lake, Ohio, pride themselves on knowing everything about their neighbors' business. Sometimes they even know more about their neighbors business than their neighbors do. However, the town of Sweet Lake certainly lives up to its name - it's a close-knit, caring community that takes care of its own. Such is the case with Melinda Wayfair.
The most prominent family in Sweet Lake is the Wayfair family; who have been the sole proprietors of the Wayfair Inn for generations. While the inn has been passed down from father to son for as long as there have been Wayfairs living in Sweet Lake, the Wayfair Inn has recently fallen on hard times. After her father suffers a serious medical crisis and is forced to retire, her scoundrel of a brother suddenly decides to run off and make movies in California. Linnie Wayfair is absolutely livid.
Freddie may believe that he's only fulfilling a lifelong dream and not harming anyone else, but Linnie would respectfully disagree. In her opinion, not only did Freddie leave when he was needed most - essentially deserting the family business to go do his own thing - he left without telling his family anything about where he was going. Linnie is also horrified to discover that Freddie has left all his responsibilities to the Wayfair Inn behind him - and squarely on her shoulders.
She knows that there are so many people depending on her, but realizing that the entire population of Sweet Lake is expecting her to become the savior of the Wayfair Inn is truly daunting. Everyone in Sweet Lake is looking to Linnie to employ all of her business acumen - mustering every ounce of her good business sense to restore the Wayfair Inn to its former glory. Her parents hope that she will find it in her heart to forgive her prodigal brother and reconcile the family. The eccentric Sweet Lake Sirens want Linnie to open the inn - and her heart - to new possibilities.
Meanwhile, her lifelong friends Jada and Cat continue dropping not-so-subtle hints for her to ignite something with Daniel Kettering, the sexy attorney who has been pining for her for years. Her friends might not be able to wait to see Linnie in a romantic relationship, but she feels that she just has way too much on her plate at the moment. Now, a shocking turn of events will open old wounds and flip Linnie's world totally upside down; threatening everything that she has worked so hard to make her own. She finds herself having to make alterations to her plans for the future - and to make those changes quickly - and the results, while not quite what she might have expected, just might be exactly what she has needed and has been yearning for all along.
I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Ms. Nolfi creates such loveable and funny characters - characters that I found myself really connecting with and caring about in a fundamental way. In my opinion, this was a beautiful start to a wonderful new series, and I'm avidly waiting to see where the story will go from here. I give this book a definite A+!...more
The Battle For Darracia Saga continues as a majority of the key characters find themselves at a soul-defining crossroads for themselves and their entiThe Battle For Darracia Saga continues as a majority of the key characters find themselves at a soul-defining crossroads for themselves and their entire planet. The tensions between the social classes on the planet of Darracia have now reached their respective boiling points. Peace talks between the Darracians and their nearest neighbors the Quyroo people have essentially collapsed with the assassination of the Quyroo ambassador. Crown Prince V'sair's villainous uncle Staf Nuen has also attempted to stage a coup to seize his brother's throne, but although King Drakko was assassinated and Staf Nuen escaped, his conspirators were captured and brought to justice.
As Darracia is being rocked by the waves of violence and societal turmoil, certain members of the royal family find themselves separated from each other and spread throughout the galaxy searching for a meaning to the death of a much beloved and benevolent monarch. Shaken by his father's assassination - and unsure how capable he will be in ruling a kingdom that he views as still belonging to the late king - Prince V'sair struggles to hold the fractured kingdom together. Despite being surrounded by many of his father's most trusted advisers, V'sair still feels extraordinarily isolated and alone without so many of his loved ones by his side.
V'sair's mother, Queen Reminda's own faith in the elusive Elements that have guided Darracians for centuries has been shaken to its very foundations. Although she grieves the loss of her husband, she remains steadfast in her support of her son as he contemplates his upcoming coronation. V'sair's stepbrother Zayden has spent much of the past year since his father's death searching for his uncle's whereabouts. He is on a self-imposed mission of vengeance - ranging from one side of the solar system to the other - determined to bring Staf Nuen back to Darracia to face justice; or die trying.
Reminda's handmaiden Tulani is trying to navigate both of her worlds, attempting to find the best way to bring them together. While she essentially grew up in service to the Darracian royal family - Tulani is still a Quyroo - and her family lineage requires that she leaves service to the Darracians to begin training among her own people. Tulani's grandmother Bobbien is in fact the High Priestess of her tribe, and she wants her granddaughter to succeed her. Tulani loves her grandmother very much and feels obligated to fulfill Bobbien's wishes; but she is also devastated to be leaving behind Reminda and V'sair - the only family she has ever really known.
The villainous Staf Nuen has gone into hiding after orchestrating the initial coup. Having lost his wife, only son, and youngest daughter in the coup, Staf Nuen realizes that his own life is essentially forfeit if Zayden ever finds him. Although that coup wasn't entirely successful - and his cohorts were dealt with appropriately - Staf Nuen is still determined to form other nefarious alliances with certain diabolical new allies elsewhere in the galaxy.
However, like the vibrant comet zipping across the horizon, all the various factions of Darracian society are heading into a direct collision course. They are heading along a path that will test the power of their belief in themselves, their planet, and ultimately, in the power of the Elements that have guided them for centuries. This is a battle that will test the boundaries of their faith and challenge the balance of power.
I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. While the plot definitely reminded me of Star Wars, the story was intriguing and highly original. I avidly wanted to know what happened next. I look forward to reading the conclusion to this trilogy; and give this book a definite A+!...more
From all four books from The Eternity Series, here are several short stories featuring some of the minor characters who have inspired a certain amountFrom all four books from The Eternity Series, here are several short stories featuring some of the minor characters who have inspired a certain amount of curiosity about their own stories. From James Stuart's cousin Bart and a particularly overconfident sea captain named Marek in I, Walter; to Crofter Shipping crew member Jose Corazon and Crofter family banker Michael Farnsworth in I, James; to the first female sea captain Mary Crofter Farquharson's four sons Keith, Kyle, Ian and Fergus in I, Mary; and Margret and Aileen - the adopted daughters of Reverend Angus Mackenzie in I, Angus - each of these characters have their own stories to tell beyond the books of The Eternity Series. And here are just a few of them: a baker's dozen of such background stories.
I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book; it was refreshing to delve back into the world of The Eternity Series. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future and I give this book an A!...more
The Meyer family had gone through its fair share of difficulties - yet even as it struggled to make ends meet - the Meyer children always felt surrounThe Meyer family had gone through its fair share of difficulties - yet even as it struggled to make ends meet - the Meyer children always felt surrounded by the love and admiration of their parents, their grandparents, and their siblings. Although money was tight, the Meyers had never experienced any sort of deprivation or neediness during their childhood. Now Kathryn Meyer Griffith, a prolific author for over forty years, reminisces about one of her most cherished childhood memories.
Christmas had always been a special time for the whole Meyer household. However, it would be the Christmas Season of 1959 that would perhaps provide many of the sweetest memories for the Meyer children. Perhaps no family member felt the Christmas spirit more than nine-year-old Katie Meyer. She loved absolutely everything about the holiday, but that Christmas Season of 1959 seemed even more magical to her because Katie had recently survived a life-threatening medical emergency.
This story is about one of Ms. Griffith's most cherished childhood Christmases; a very special Christmas Eve spent with her brother Jimmy, their other siblings, their mother, father and grandparents. It is a story of family, tradition, and everlasting love. With the recent passing of Ms. Griffith's brother Jim in 2015, she felt compelled to write this short story as a tribute to his memory as well as in honor of her family. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this little vignette, and give it a solid A!...more
Fourteen-year-old Angus Mackenzie had never really had any great ambition for his life. Growing up during a time when Scotland is being torn apart byFourteen-year-old Angus Mackenzie had never really had any great ambition for his life. Growing up during a time when Scotland is being torn apart by dissension and civil strife, Angus is content to live his life quietly - taking care of himself and his family, and protecting them to the best of his ability. However, as war rages around him and he loses those he loves most, Angus grows increasingly more disillusioned by the state of his country.
As a man of peace Angus has seen his share of death, and he is certain that the North has lost more men to the violence of war than it ever did to the ravages of Nature. Although he wants no part of such violence, it seems as if a peaceful existence and a loving family may not be a part the Grand Plan for Angus. Because the North needs a leader; someone who is able to build communities.
However, Angus Mackenzie must first undergo his own trials by fire. He must be tested, shaped and molded by his adversity. The person who emerges from this particular crucible will ultimately be a much stronger and much wiser man; someone who is held in the highest esteem and much beloved by those who know him. Angus Mackenzie will hit both highs and lows as he travels across the lands of England, Scotland and France, all before he meets the challenge of a new land.
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I wasn't quite sure where the story would go from the previous book, as Angus Mackenzie wasn't actually a relative of Mary Crofter. However, I found that this book worked perfectly within the series; the plot was just as intriguing as the previous books and advanced the story along very well. I would give this book an A! ...more
Having spent the past three and a half years in the Navy, Lieutenant Robert Wideman was looking forward to returning to America after completing his tHaving spent the past three and a half years in the Navy, Lieutenant Robert Wideman was looking forward to returning to America after completing his tour of duty during the Vietnam War. The recent newlywed had big plans and dreams for his future, and was determined to put them into practice as soon as he came back home. With only twenty-seven days left in his tour of duty - on what should have been just another routine bombing run for him - Lieutenant Robert Wideman's plane is shot down and he crashes in a secluded village somewhere in North Vietnam. The date is May 6th, 1967.
His deepest fear is realized when he is captured and held as a Prisoner of War for the next six years. Although Robert endured the sort of treatment that makes people question humanity, physical torture was never his biggest problem. During his six years spent in captivity, Robert experienced first hand the pain that is orchestrated by other people: shocking instances of 'Man's inhumanity to Man', as well as the truthfulness behind Jean-Paul Sartre's words: 'Hell is other people.'
Unexpected Prisoner by Robert Wideman and Cara Lopez Lee chronicles a POW's struggle with both enemies and comrades alike; his mistreatment by Vietnamese interrogators and his various dealings with American commanders. Robert Wideman's poignant and heartbreaking memoir further chronicles his personal struggle to maintain a firm hold on his dreams for the future in the face of such prolonged trauma. Ultimately, Robert must find a way to survive and to maintain a solid hold on the memories of his past life, his faltering dreams of the future, as well as his own personal sense of himself as a person.
I must admit that while I learned quite a lot about the Vietnam War in school, I was slightly surprised to learn just how much more of a vicious reputation the South Vietnamese soldiers had than the North Vietnamese. I realize that the Viet Cong - as the South Vietnamese allies of the North - had rightfully earned such a horrific reputation for brutality; but while the North Vietnamese soldiers were considered the enemy, they also seemed slightly less brutal in their treatment of prisoners of war.
In my opinion, this was a thoroughly thoughtful memoir and I truly felt for Mr. Wideman and everything he went through during his captivity. I also understand how hard it must have been for him to come back home and have to adjust to civilian life. To be perfectly honest, I found the story to be extraordinarily poignant and thought-provoking. Although I spent more time reading this book than I probably would have preferred, I would definitely give this book a solid A!...more
Young Alice Ashbey was born into the Tinker family of Berkshire, England in 1615. As a distant cousin to the Tinkers, Alice soon came to see her cousiYoung Alice Ashbey was born into the Tinker family of Berkshire, England in 1615. As a distant cousin to the Tinkers, Alice soon came to see her cousins more as adopted brothers and sisters. Orphaned at the age of ten, she also soon discovers that she has inherited her mother's talent for intuitive insights. With the deaths of the patriarch of the Tinker family - as well as of the eldest son and namesake, Robert - within a few weeks of each other, the Tinkers find themselves at a heartrending crossroads.
Deciding to leave England for the promise of the New World, first one and then more members of the Tinker family begin to make plans to settle in America. Alice - now a lovely young woman of twenty - hopes to stay with the only family she has ever known and everyone that she dearly loves. Yet sadly, her wish is not to be, as she stubbornly remains unmarried and seemingly indifferent to all potential suitors. The frustrated matriarch of the Tinker family, Mary, subsequently secures a position for Alice as a housemaid and nanny with an affluent family who is also sailing to America.
So it was that in 1635, Alice Ashbey reluctantly set sail from her home in England for the colony of strict religious dissenters in the Massachusetts Bay. She had made such a treacherous journey filled with the hope that she would be reunited with the Tinker family again, after the family had resettled themselves. Despite her initial misgivings, Alice is astonished by her first sight of the rich American wilderness and its inhabitants. She subsequently begins to appreciate the beauty of her new home.
However, Alice's first impressions of the New England colonies are not all good. Eventually settling in Windsor, Connecticut, Alice soon learns to use her own healing abilities and strong intuition to help those around her. She even learns to open her heart to the possibilities of a love of her own. However, she also encounters the suspicions and blinding fears of Puritan leaders which inevitably collide and set the stage for America's very first witch hanging - her own - on May 26th, 1647.
Although it was this horrendous event as well as Alice's strong ties to her beloved family which eventually influenced Connecticut's Governor John Winthrop, Jr. to put a halt to any further witchcraft hangings in the New England settlement; such horror could never be truly eradicated even in much later years.
Paradoxically, forty-five after Alice's death - her strong familial bonds were again used to further enflame witchcraft hysteria. This time, the influential Puritan minister and prolific author Cotton Mather, used his knowledge of Alice's tragic story as the secret impetus behind the writing of his dangerous and destructive commentary in support of the Salem witch trials of 1692. Alice's strong family ties - as much as the painful memories of the tragedies which resulted in the accusation of witchcraft being leveled against her - served only as a cautionary tale for the righteous to always remain vigilant in their neverending battle against the minions of evil.
In my opinion, Alice Young was such an extraordinary young woman and her story was remarkably poignant. Actually, while I knew all about the Salem witch trials in 1692, I had never actually heard of any previous trials before that time. To be perfectly honest, I didn't really realize that there were any other outbreaks of witchcraft hysteria before 1692, although I knew that the hysteria spread elsewhere around New England after that time.
Actually, I enjoyed this story very much. In my opinion, the time period was well-researched and the characters and story were sympathetically written. I was drawn into Ms. Caruso's writing from the first few pages and would certainly give this book an A+!...more
Living in the town of Southampton, New York, Lyle Hall had acquired a reputation for being a notoriously tough real estate lawyer. It was a reputationLiving in the town of Southampton, New York, Lyle Hall had acquired a reputation for being a notoriously tough real estate lawyer. It was a reputation that was certainly well-deserved, as he was known to be a difficult person to deal with - both in and out of the courtroom. He was definitely not the type of person who has ever allowed feelings of sentimentality to get in the way of him doing whatever was in his client's best interest. And if it just so happened that Lyle Hall's own best interests were also met during his career, then so much the better.
However, ever since his catastrophic car accident a year ago, Lyle has undergone a Scrooge-like transformation. The accident was indeed life-changing; it took the life of an elderly woman, and has left Lyle paralyzed from the waist down. After having a near-death experience himself and spending two months in a coma, Lyle Hall has awakened to find that he developed a strange and disturbing new 'talent': he has somehow become empathetic to other people's pain. This recent development in his personality is disturbing for Lyle, because while he certainly understands why the residents of Southampton are grieving, angry, and even hostile towards him; he is nevertheless powerless to make them understand that their assumptions about the accident are completely wrong.
Late one October night - while being driven back home - Lyle passes by a dilapidated Victorian mansion that has recently been slated for demolition. Known around town as "Old Vic" - the ramshackle house has apparently had quite a colorful history as a former brothel. Lyle cannot honestly describe how he feels just driving by Old Vic - but he intrinsically understands that if he mentions the disembodied pleas for help that he hears - nobody will believe him. Returning alone to the property two days later, Lyle sees an apparition standing on the porch of the house.
The vision of the mysterious young woman identifies herself as Jewel, and she looks to be about twelve years old. But she's been dead for at least a century. Jewel has been chosen to make a desperate appeal to Lyle for his help. In return, she shows him an appalling vision - his only daughter Georgia's epitaph - which, if it is to be believed, means that she will die in four days!
Whether or not Jewel is using this terrifying vision in order to force Lyle's assistance - he has no idea - yet the nightmarish vision serves as the catalyst that shocks Lyle out of his complacent convalescence and back into the real world. However, Lyle's court injunction to save the crumbling Old Vic backfires on him. When Lyle's former courthouse nemesis - a newspaper columnist with a hidden agenda - publishes a sensational story designed to embarrass Lyle, the resulting rumors of a possibly haunted house brings with it a flurry of national media attention. Soon a horde of paranormal-obsessed demonstrators - paranormal investigators and ghost-hunting paranormal enthusiasts alike - descend on the town of Southampton.
Rapidly swept up in the national media frenzy, Lyle finds himself trapped between the proverbial rock and a hard place when he meets the extraordinary Miranda Silkwood. Silk, as she is known to her fans, is a gorgeous yet highly devious television reporter. While his new nemesis may only be scheming to make her big break into the legitimate news business - biding her time working with an online media conglomerate dedicated to all things paranormal - Lyle nevertheless finds himself being seduced by Silk's offer of an exclusive media contract. Faced with an impossible situation - to either sit down with Miranda Silkwood for an exclusive interview; or continuing to try and protect his Georgie's wellbeing without her knowledge - Lyle initially stumbles badly.
I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I appreciated just how much Lyle Hall may have changed personally because of his accident, but also understood that he faced an extraordinary dilemma: proving to his neighbors that he is now an entirely different person. I would certainly say that this story is a lot like A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - however, Ghost Hampton: A Novel focuses more on what happens after Lyle Hall undergoes his Scrooge-like transformation. I would certainly give this book an A! and am curious to see how this story will develop in future books....more
According to Egyptian history, in 1323 BC, Egypt's youngest pharaoh died at the age of nineteen after ruling his country for a decade. You may think yAccording to Egyptian history, in 1323 BC, Egypt's youngest pharaoh died at the age of nineteen after ruling his country for a decade. You may think you know the true story of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun and of ancient Egypt, but what if the actual story didn't end quite the way you had always believed? Suffused with love; permeated with conspiracy; and immersed in treason - Tutankhamun's spectacular story unfolds in a myriad of surprising ways; ways that you can't even begin to imagine. As a matter of fact, what if Tutankhamun's story never ended at all?
After the Pharaoh Akhenaton is murdered, his nine-year-old son Tutankhamun succeeds him to become the new pharaoh. Right from the beginning of his reign, the boy king faces many enemies and struggles to prove himself even to his own councilors. Although he eventually becomes capable enough to vanquish the numerous enemies who threaten his kingdom, Tutankhamun may never actually defeat the enemy that resides within his own palace.
When the pharaoh falls in love for the first time in his life, the woman who captures his heart wields an awesome power indeed. Yet Tutankhamun has always had to make difficult decisions and to sacrifice his own personal happiness in order to protect Egypt. He realizes fairly quickly that when matters of the heart and the duties of the pharaoh are in conflict - his duties toward Egypt must always take precedence over his emotions.
When the cruel Pharaoh Khufu is resurrected, and becomes a vessel for the god of Chaos, Tutankhamun faces an impossible situation. He must fight this usurper of his throne - the embodiment of true Chaos - but does he have the strength and wisdom to fight against such fantastical deities and unimaginable odds? He must call upon the powers of the gods Horus, Thoth, Ra and Anhur to aid him in the impending battle, and in order to save the woman he loves and the people of his kingdom.
I have always enjoyed reading historical fantasy as long as the chosen historical era is accurately portrayed. I also enjoy reading anything about King Tutankhamun and his reign. In my opinion, Tut Reborn by Cyci Cade is a fascinating glimpse into the culture of ancient Egypt. I was also just as intrigued to see how Egyptian mythology could be woven into this story as a plausible yet equally fantastic element of the plot. I would certainly give this book an A!...more
When Nicole Cassidy and her family first moved to the small town of Kinsley, Massachusetts from sunny Georgia, she initially thought that the most unuWhen Nicole Cassidy and her family first moved to the small town of Kinsley, Massachusetts from sunny Georgia, she initially thought that the most unusual thing that she would have to deal with would probably be the sudden change in the weather. Well that, and the close proximity of Kinsley to the town of Salem. Of course, all that superstitious nonsense about witches and witchcraft just isn't real - no matter what the townspeople may believe. However, right from the first day at her new school, Nicole is in for a terrible shock - and is soon swept up into a secret world that she never knew existed.
Nicole believes that she is nothing more than a typical teenager. She has absolutely no special powers whatsoever - she's just an ordinary, average girl who has recently moved to Kinsley with her mom, dad and younger sister, Becca. However, according to her new teacher - who insists that she call him Darius - Kinsley is a town of many secrets...full of magic and extremely dangerous mythical monsters. As a matter of fact, Darius' own home room is a clever cover for a secret coven of witches.
Apparently, in the town of Kinsley, witches are absolutely real. They are actually superior beings who use their powers to shield themselves from ordinary humans and to protect humanity from danger. What Nicole doesn't realize about herself is that she actually does have some pretty extraordinary powers - powers given to her directly from the Greek gods themselves. Although she is doing her best to adjust to her newfound heritage, Nicole has no idea of how much that heritage will soon be tested.
During an evening magical practice session - cunningly disguised as a teacher-guided astronomy study session at Darius' house - the Olympian Comet shoots across the night sky. Darius' students are the only witnesses to a cosmic event that has been foretold through the words of an ancient prophecy. While the majority of the students under Darius' tutelage don't necessarily experience anything out of the ordinary, for Nicole and four other students: Chris, Kate, Blake and Danielle - their powers become subtly enhanced to include mastery over the five elements - Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Aether.
While the five new friends struggle to control their newly-awakened powers, they can't even begin to realize that the words of the prophecy are being fulfilled in other ways as well. With the arrival of the comet, the walls of a multitude of different dimensions have been stretched to their very limits. In fact, the portal to a dimension that has kept the mythological creatures known as the Titans imprisoned for centuries, has been severely weakened. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake; it falls to them and the others within their circle to decipher the ancient prophecy and to follow the cryptic clues that are revealed in order to save their town...and possibly the entire world.
I must say that I have always enjoyed reading stories based on Greek mythology. Actually, The Prophecy of Shadows by Michelle Madow was just the sort of story that I frequently enjoy reading. I found that this story was intriguing, exciting and well-developed. It captured my attention right away, and I avidly wanted to know what would happen next to the characters. I look forward to reading more in this series in the very near future, and I would certainly give this book a definite A+!...more