I grew up watching the movie based on this book, never really knowing that it was a book until I was in high school and saw a copy in the paperback raI grew up watching the movie based on this book, never really knowing that it was a book until I was in high school and saw a copy in the paperback rack of the school library. This is an incredible fantasy that manages to be true to classic fantasy while still being tongue-in-cheek. In that way, it reminds me of The Princess Bride.
This is the story of a unicorn that hears rumors that she is the last of her kind and decides to find the other unicorns. On the way, she is assisted by a bumbling magician named Schmendrick (who is, as is noted in every account, beardless, and yet, on this cover, he has a beard! Boo!), a middle-aged, tough-as-nails woman named Molly Grue, and a prince that has too much time on his hands. The concept of being unable to recognize a myth (i.e. unicorns, a wizard, or a harpy) even when we have proof in front of us is a popular theme in the book.
This is absolutely one of my all-time favorite fantasies. It has just the right mix of traditional fantasy stories (of perhaps the more girlish variety) with comedy, and memorable characters....more
This is one of my favorite fantasy series ever. The Old Kingdom setting is amazing, Sabriel is a wonderful, strong heroine, and Touchstone and MoggetThis is one of my favorite fantasy series ever. The Old Kingdom setting is amazing, Sabriel is a wonderful, strong heroine, and Touchstone and Mogget are some of my favorite side characters. Add in Tim Curry's narration on the audiobook and I'm in heaven! That sounds so lame... but it's true! I can't recommend this series strongly enough....more
This is, without a doubt, my favorite book in the Abhorsen series. It may have something to do with being a librarian, but I think it has much more toThis is, without a doubt, my favorite book in the Abhorsen series. It may have something to do with being a librarian, but I think it has much more to do with Lirael and her insecurities, strengths, and maybe even her dog. I mean, the Disreputable Dog may be the best talking dog EVER. The only time I found myself slowing down with this book is during Sam's parts. I wish I liked Sam more, but he tends to irk me with his whining and avoiding of problems. I'm not sure why I'm cool with Lirael's depression and not Sam's, but there you go. The only thing that makes this book better is listening to Tim Curry read it. This is a great mix of fantasy, a little horror, magic, and some issues that every teen (and older) deals with....more
This was an awesome ending to the trilogy! Lirael and Sam both play important roles, though maybe not what they expected as the story began. We get soThis was an awesome ending to the trilogy! Lirael and Sam both play important roles, though maybe not what they expected as the story began. We get some long-awaited answers about the Old Kingdom's magic, the Dog, and Mogget. Yay! And, even better, we learn a little history about the Abhorsen family that paves the way for more stories! I think this was a very powerful ending (yeah, I cried) and I loved the way that Nix tied his characters' stories together. I can't wait for the prequel!!!...more
So this book gets mixed reviews, obviously. I'm a Sandman nut, and I really enjoyed it. Yes, it doesn't jive with most of the traditional volumes - buSo this book gets mixed reviews, obviously. I'm a Sandman nut, and I really enjoyed it. Yes, it doesn't jive with most of the traditional volumes - but it's also just as important to the storyline as any of the other books. So if you want to get the full impact of the Sandman storyline, read this book! It's considerably dark, like a fair amount of Sandman, and has some of that fun horror of the earlier volumes mixed in. Also, if you want to enjoy and understand the characters that show up in the Death spin offs, you gotta read A Game of You. I think it's an often misunderstood book - give it a chance....more
When the Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone, are chased out of Boneville and into the desert, they think they’re done for. Even worWhen the Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone, are chased out of Boneville and into the desert, they think they’re done for. Even worse, a storm of locust separates the cousins, leaving them to wander alone through a strange valley. When winter falls (quite literally), Fone Bone meets up with Thorn, a beautiful young woman, and her grandmother, Rose. Only Gran’ma Rose suspects what the arrival of the Bone cousins means for her granddaughter. Fone Bone is guarded by a mysterious red dragon who has a history with Rose, and Phoney Bone is being hunted by a hooded figure that has the power to invade dreams. This epic fantasy, a mix of Tolkein and Looney Tunes-style characters, takes readers from the lush forests of the valley to the thrilling Great Cow Race between Gran’ma and The Mystery Cow to the echoing depths of Tanen Gard. Thirteen years worth of writing and drawing make up the compilation of Jeff Smith’s incredible work.
This edition of Bone compiles the nine books that make up the story arc. Without meaning to, readers will go from one book to another, long after they’ve promised themselves to turn the lights out and go to sleep. The artwork and story blend together perfectly, despite the mix of outrageously cartoonish characters such as the Bone cousins, and the realistic, if not sometimes caricatured people of the valley. The story often relies on humor, but there are touching, serious moments and tense storylines that keep you on the edge of your seat. The single volume will allow readers to see the scope of Smith’s story, from beginning to end. Don’t be discouraged by the heft of the book!...more
**spoiler alert** When Alexi spares the life of a mysterious horse, he is rewarded for his kindness. The Golden Mare promises to help the young man be**spoiler alert** When Alexi spares the life of a mysterious horse, he is rewarded for his kindness. The Golden Mare promises to help the young man become a huntsman for the Tsar. But the greedy ruler wants more than Alexi’s services; he wants the Golden Mare. The Tsar demands that Alexi capture the elusive Firebird, bring Yelena the Fair to his palace, and find her ring so that she will marry. Each time the Golden Mare saves Alexi, until the young man and Yelena trick the Tsar into jumping into a cauldron of boiling water. He changes from an old man to a baby, and is adopted by the new Tsar, Alexi, and his queen, Yelena.
Both Sanderson’s story and artwork are rich and detailed. The illustrations are oil on canvas on double-page spreads. The feathers of the firebird glow, the czar’s jewels sparkle, and the waters of the Lake of the Sun reflect back the beauty of Sanderson’s landscapes. The text is unobtrusive and often decorated with intricate borders. Readers may find the story somewhat long – according to the author’s note, this book is a retelling of four different Russian fairy tales – but will be encouraged by the illustrations and exciting plot. As with most fairy tales, the characters are somewhat two-dimensional, though Alexi ponders issues of freedom and captivity. ...more
Taran, assistant pig keeper, wants nothing more than to leave the dull life of Caer Dallben and pursue the life of a hero. When the wicked Horned KingTaran, assistant pig keeper, wants nothing more than to leave the dull life of Caer Dallben and pursue the life of a hero. When the wicked Horned King and his troops enter the forest surrounding Caer Dallben, HenWen, an oracular pig, flees from her pen. Taran chases after her and is thrown into the life of adventure he always dreamed of. During his travels, he meets the headstrong princess Eilonwy, the bard Fflewddur Fflam and his magic harp, and the loyal Gurgi. The small band of characters must journey to Caer Dathyl to warn against the impending attack by the Horned King. This is the first book in the Prydain series.
Lloyd Alexander’s first installment in the Prydain series is a fast-paced adventure that is set in Welsh mythology. While readers who are not familiar with these myths may feel that the setting is passing by in something of a blur, the characters will ground them in the story. Taran is almost immediately thrust into the adventure he dreams of and he tries his best to act the hero. However, Alexander’s humor makes Taran much more realistic; he bumbles through much of the journey, often waxing poetic until Eilonwy brings him back to reality with her sharp wit. The language is both beautiful, such as when Alexander describes the valley of Medywn, and comical, such as when Fflewddur Fflam brags of his bravery and adventure. Readers will be eager to continue the series after finishing this book. ...more
**spoiler alert** Dante is a kitchen boy in Tarnagar, an island asylum where his mother, an inmate, died. Bea is the daughter of one of the asylum's d**spoiler alert** Dante is a kitchen boy in Tarnagar, an island asylum where his mother, an inmate, died. Bea is the daughter of one of the asylum's doctors, and she is on the verge of her coming-of-age ceremony, where she will first take Ichor (a government-created chemical that reduces violence in people). When a mysterious and dangerous patient is brought to Tarnagar, Dante and Bea's paths cross, leading them to a dangerous escape and a movement fighting against the enigmatic Dr. Sigmundus, leader of their country.
I could not get into this book. It reminded me of The Giver mixed with The Matrix - and perhaps with a dash of Star Wars? However, none of the characters in this book feel nearly as developed as Jonas or Neo. The plot is fast-paced for the most part, though I thought that Bea's narrative moments really dragged. The menace of the society Dr. Sigmundus has created just isn't there... not enough weight is given to things like the taboo of discussing dreams or the changes that take place when you begin taking Ichor. It's so much more difficult to appreciate that Bea and Dante are different or the danger they face once they escape with Ezekiel. I would've liked to have seen more time dedicated to their stay in the ruined city and their training. Dante hardly seems to struggle with his epic destiny, his ability to manipulate his dreams, or the fact that his parents were so important to the rebellion... okay, wait, I've crossed over, haven't I? Perhaps it was all that "Odyllic Force" talk.
The ending is incredibly abrupt. Dante is suddenly brought face-to-face with Dr. Sigmundus, only to quickly escape. So if you're loving this, there's a sequel to rush out and pick up. ...more
"The Cracked Mirror" picks up where "The Hollow People" left off, with teenager Dante Cazabon, recently escaped from the asylum island where he and hi"The Cracked Mirror" picks up where "The Hollow People" left off, with teenager Dante Cazabon, recently escaped from the asylum island where he and his friend Bea grew up, realizing his potential to tap into the Odyllic Force, a power to act outside of time and dreams. The country is controlled by the possessed Dr. Sigmundus, who rules citizens through drug-induced mind-control. The story opens with Dante searching for Bea and trying to reunite with the Puca, a group of freedom fighters. The narrative switches between Dante, Bea (who has been brainwashed and is now working at a museum dedicated to Sigmundus), and new character Nyro. Along the way, Dante discovers new powers and learns that he has a guardian angel and a long-lost twin brother, the evil Gallowglass.
The first book in the series, which seemed to borrow from "The Matrix" and Lois Lowry’s "The Giver," showed some promise. However, this sequel is sloppy and has little appeal. This book is a classic case of being told, not shown, through below-average dialog and convenient plot devices. Characters are quickly introduced and go out of their way to assist Dante and Bea without any cause. It’s almost impossible to become emotionally invested in Dante because he is such a flat character. The chapters focused on Bea, Nyro, and Gallowglass have a bit more drive, but not enough to justify continuing this series. There’s another cliff-hanger ending, which might throw readers, but will most likely not encourage them to read the next book. ...more