I received this book in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.
The final chapter of The Kinsman Chronicles finds Armania onI received this book in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.
The final chapter of The Kinsman Chronicles finds Armania on the brink of war and Trevn trying to prepare for it as best he can, all while adjusting to his new role as King. A role he never wanted. I loved this as a reader because part of what attracted me, and I think many readers, to Trevn was the fact that he did not want to rule. Readers who loved Trevn the Renegade in the first two books will love him even more as he rises to this new challenge of ruling.
One of the things I love about this series is that the supporting characters get their own story arc. In King’s War we learn a little bit more about Oli’s background and watch him grow as a character. I really enjoyed his storyline.
There were themes of waiting on God’s timing and the consequences of taking the easy route, accepting forgiveness and redemption, loving someone even when they are a terrible person, and unselfishly choosing to love someone because of how it benefits them.
While I would have liked a bit more of an epilogue, the ending was completely appropriate. It tied up important storylines, and left others open, paving the way for The Blood of Kings series. I look forward to revisiting that series next!
Thank you again for another epic read, Jill Williamson! ...more
I received this book in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.
This book far exceeded my expectations. I knew Tricia was a tI received this book in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.
This book far exceeded my expectations. I knew Tricia was a talented writer, having followed her from the first book in The Blades of Acktar series. She has improved with every single book, and this is definitely the best thing she has written yet.
Expanding on her trademark, America-meets-Middle-Ages, and expanding on it, the setting is a mixture of Native America, mountain pioneers, and European Feudal system. It is a strange combination, but somehow it works. Her descriptions of the settings were so beautiful and poetic, I could almost hear the mountain nature sounds and the river streams.
This story comes with a whole new cast of fantastically deep and intricate characters, and involves two separate timeline. There is Daemyn, the mysterious warrior sent to lead the prophesied princess to wake the High Prince Alexander. He is gentle, yet also fierce when he needs to be, and he keeps everyone at arm’s length.
Rosanna, the prophesied princess, loves the outdoors and the mountains and the river. She does her fair share of the work, and does not allow others to wait on her hand and foot.
Then there is Alex, the High Prince who fell asleep one hundred years ago. He’s a tad bit spoiled. Gifted with the gift of intelligence, he is a little TOO smart for his own good, as are many intelligent people. Some of the funniest moments were reading his inner dialogue as his logical side wrestled with his sense of entitlement. In spite of his superior intelligence, he starts out with a very limited worldview that undergoes a LOT of stretching throughout the story. I really enjoyed his character development, and I would love to see more of him in coming books.
This story has a unique setting, a FABULOUS plot, deep intricate characters, and an exciting twist that was superbly crafted. This book absolutely took my breath away with how well it was written. The story starts off a bit slow, but hang in there! It is well worth your time! ...more
I received an advanced copy of this book. What follows is my honest review:
I had so much fun reading The Story Peddler! Tanwen is a Storyteller, gifteI received an advanced copy of this book. What follows is my honest review:
I had so much fun reading The Story Peddler! Tanwen is a Storyteller, gifted with the ability to weave beautiful glass ornaments from the stories she tells. She dreams of two things: the family she does not remember, and the fame and fortune she one day hopes to obtain through her storytelling. She is a hoot! I enjoyed reading her quirky observations of the people and world around her. She's a bit awkward, sometimes painfully so, but she knows that about herself and doesn't seem to worry about it too much. She is a very honest person, both with others and with herself. Though her goals in life are a bit misguided at first, she knows who she is, what she wants, and what her failings are. She recognizes her feelings even when she acknowledges they are unfair. I think my favorite part was being able to experience her transformation as a character through her eyes.
Braithe is the daughter of a corrupt king, desperately trying to use her position to save as many subjects as possible from the wrath of her father. She is strong and holds fast to her convictions even when it means putting herself at risk to stand up to the king. I really look forward to watching her develop more in the coming books.
Speaking of honesty, I love how the author portrayed the truth, almost as its own character. "Art has a way of revealing the truth," one character says, and sometimes in spite of the intentions of the artist. For instance, Tanwen finds herself at odds with the king when one of her stories begins to tell a different tale than she had intended and reveals truths he would rather stay hidden. Later, one of her tales speaks the truth about the one who they call The Creator, another being the king would like everyone to forget. There is a strong message that truth will always come out no matter what, which reminded me of two passages of scripture:
"As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” Luke 19:37-40
"For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light." Luke 8:17
If you enjoy quirky fantasies, with creative magic, fun characters, and thought-provoking dilemmas, this is the book for you!...more
Collin’s city is dying. Most people do not live to meet their thirtieth birthday. They either succumb to the Sickness, or are killed by the frequent aCollin’s city is dying. Most people do not live to meet their thirtieth birthday. They either succumb to the Sickness, or are killed by the frequent attacks from their war-mongering neighbor tribe, the Saetos. Day after day, he digs the graves of his friends and fellow townsfolk, wondering if, somewhere, there are others living happily far away.
Felicia quietly teaches the students in her charge, and attempts to keep her young adopted son’s powers a secret. As she watches her city crumble, she questions her faith in the Creator, wondering what His purpose is for their people, and whether or not He cares about their plight.
Bliss fights a battle with anger every day as a result of the physical and emotional scars inflicted upon her by the Saetos. She has lost her faith in humanity and the Creator and only wants to exact revenge upon the ones who ruined her life.
The city is defended by an army of knights, but when one of their best is taken by the Saetos, the people’s confidence begins to crumble. Collin, Felicia, and Bliss must all reach deep inside themselves to help save their people, but their strength and determination may not be enough.
Positives: This was a different read for me. I do not usually read post-apocalyptic/dystopian genres, but the concept of a post-apocalyptic society that included knights intrigued me. It was interesting to watch how the author combined the medieval elements of the knights with a more democratic society where the people are allowed to vote for their leader. It was well-set up and I truly enjoyed that aspect of the book.
The post-apocalyptic settings I have seen in the past take place in a recent post-apocalyptic world. In this setting, people have been living this way for hundreds of years. Some are completely barbarian and many have turned to various levels of belief in pagan deities. It was interesting to consider how these people had come to be this way over several hundreds of years.
The characters were beautifully well-written. I especially loved the character development that took place in Collin and Felicia. Collin is a mild-mannered person who wants to keep a low profile, but when his inner-protector comes out there are some truly beautiful moments in his character growth. Likewise, Felicia begins the book without a lot of confidence, but I loved watching her become a leader as the book progressed.
Ty was one of my favorite supporting characters. He is solid through and through with his never-dying bravery, and a positive take-charge attitude. I look forward to seeing how the author will continue to develop all of these characters in the upcoming books.
The bad guys were truly EEEEVIL. Great job, Charles Franklin!
Constructive Criticism (hopefully): I am always hesitant to say anything negative about a book I am reviewing because I know the author has put his or her heart and soul into the story. That said, I also know it is important for readers to be prepared, and for authors to receive constructive criticism. I hope what is included below will discourage neither the reader nor the author in their pursuit of the story.
First, while I came to love the characters and genuinely care about what happened to them, the story moved VEEEEERRRY slowly. Even when action scenes were taking place, I felt that they took a long time to arrive anywhere. I felt for the characters and all the abuse they endured during those long fighting scenes.
Some of the relationships were confusing and I would like to have seen more them more explicitly developed. Felicia is stated to have feelings for one man, but there was more development between her and his friend. His friend, while he spends all his time with Felicia, may or may not have feelings for another person, who may or may not have feelings for him. It was unclear which relationship I was supposed to be rooting for, or IF I was supposed to be rooting for a relationship. Naturally, I had my OWN preference, but it unclear to me whether that was what the author was trying to communicate or not.
**POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT** I liked the idea of Collin and Autumn and I loved watching the protector in him come out as he took care of her. That said, there were a some of aspects of their relationship, particularly a scene at the end, that seemed rushed and not at all realistic given what was heavily implied happens to her. I hope to see more development of both characters and their friendship in the following books.
Final Thoughts: Overall, it was an interesting story with well-crafted, many-layered characters that were easy to fall in love with. A message of hope in the midst of adversity, and in times when we think God is silent, was beautifully illustrated in powerful character-developing scenes scattered throughout the story. This made any difficulties I had with the reading completely worth the while. The setting was interesting, and the society was creative and well designed. I look forward to learning more about these strong characters as they continue to pursue hope for their people....more
If you are a child at heart who loves Halloween but are not into the over-the-top creepy aspect of it, or if you are looking for a book to share withIf you are a child at heart who loves Halloween but are not into the over-the-top creepy aspect of it, or if you are looking for a book to share with an important child in your life, this is the book for you. It is an adorable story of a skeleton who longs to walk around in the outside world, but cannot because he has no ghost. Along comes a ghost looking for his family and so begins a beautiful relationship!
The story is sweet and the writing is enchanting. The illustrations are gorgeous creations by the author himself! This is the perfect book for you to share with your child, little sibling, niece, nephew, or friend.
My must-have in any story is multi-dimensional characters that undergo serious character development throughout the events of the story. This story diMy must-have in any story is multi-dimensional characters that undergo serious character development throughout the events of the story. This story did not disappoint. A Song Unheard was full of all the classic elements of a Roseanna White book: deep characters, beautiful descriptive language, humor, drama, and relationships that earn their happy ending. Willa and Lukas both start out as flawed and hurt characters. Willa, who was abandoned by both of her parents as a child, does not trust anyone outside of her adopted family of thieves. Lukas, by contrast, comes from a loving family who has always been there for him but has not fully appreciated their influence before. He struggles with guilt, Willa struggles with trust. Both of them find refuge in music and it was interesting to see the way it played into their personal journeys of faith. This book had a great cast of supporting characters as well. I enjoyed getting to read more about Barclay, the leader of Willa’s family band of thieves. He wore the roles of Big Brother and Protector very well. I look forward to reading more of his story in Book 3! I hope to see more of Margot in future books as well. I absolutely LOVED her character. Some of the most hilarious and profound quotes in the book came from her. I hope she gets her own book someday. I appreciated the way the author illustrated the way God speaks to us in ways which are uniquely meaningful to us. In the case of the main characters, it was through music. I am not what many would call a “musical person” in the sense that it is not something I live and breathe like many musicians. Even so, I was able to appreciate the parallels she drew between the creation of music and a Creator God who cares about His people. The writing contains beautiful storytelling, intriguing characters, and a profound message of God’s love. Thank you, Roseanna White, for another great read!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone....more