Fairy tales retellings have always been one of my favorite stories. They evoke a variety of emotions - hope, loFantastic Tales that touch the heart...
Fairy tales retellings have always been one of my favorite stories. They evoke a variety of emotions - hope, love, wonder, sadness - if they're written well.
'From the Stories of Old' is one of the best Fairy Tale anthologies I've read. Each story was fabulously written, touching my heart and leaving a lasting impression.
'The Miller's Daughter' by Katelyn Barbee is one of my favorites in the anthology. Instead of the usual story from the perspective of the girl forced to weave straw into gold, Ms. Barbee narrates the story from the POV of a young soldier in love with her. And believe me, this really changes things and makes an already charming fairy tale into something wonderful.
'The Female Warrior' by Matthew Dewar is another favorite of mine. It's a really well-written retelling of Mulan with a twist. I loved how it ended and the message it conveyed.
Most of my friends know that I'm a fan of lived-happily-forever-after kind of stories. But 'Beneath His Skin' by Ms. Heather Hayden hooked me despite the tragic, yet sweet, ending. Now it's one of the very few tragedies that I actually like.
I also loved Rose and Thorn, a modern take on Sleeping Beauty by Allie May. Especially her explanation on the source of magic and the surprise at the end.
Her Dearest Treasure by BC Marine was a treat to the mind. I loved the riddles offered by the king and the simple, yet profound answers given by the farmer's girl.
The Bear in the Forest by Kelsie Engen had a whimsical tone that really brought the forest and story to life.
All-in-all, I found this to be a very enjoyable read, an anthology where the authors seem to have put a lot of effort into creating fabulous stories and ensuring great quality. ...more
Wow! I just finished reading Winterland and am already itching to read the next book. I loved everything aboA fantastic story with gripping characters
Wow! I just finished reading Winterland and am already itching to read the next book. I loved everything about this novel - the story, the characters, the plot twists and the amazing way Ms. Kooistra has weaved the back-story with the present.
Heart of the Winterland takes us through a magical journey with Princess Cali who wakes up after 200 years with new emotions that bombard her senses as the dampening spell cast upon her weakens. She leaves her home Trabor which is cursed to be a land of eternal winter to go on an adventure to meet other humans outside her borders.
Ms. Kooistra has done a fantastic job of showing us the range of emotions Cali feels as she meets different people on her journey and how she evolves from a child-like, innocent princess to a queen who'll lead Trabor into the future.
Cali and her guardian (the magical orb, Voice) meet various people along the way - the mysterious Angel, Captain Kota, Rose and others who help Cali to become the queen she was meant to be.
But of all the characters, my favorite is Amee, the dark sorceress who took revenge on the royal family of Trabor. Ha ha! You heard me right :) My favorite character is the antagonist of the story. That says a lot about Ms. Kooistra's talent in writing gripping characters. From the first moment I met Amee, I connected to her, felt all her pain and rooted for her.
And that's one of the things that really touched me about Winterland. It shows throughout the story that no one is completely evil. Everyone is shaped to be who they are because of things that happened in the past and, if they're given a second chance, they can come out of the trap of negativity they are in and find their path.
All in all, I really loved reading this novel and would recommend this for all lovers of fairy tale, fantasy adventures and magical worlds. ...more
I've loved all of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton novels. They are cute, witty and very touching at the same time. I was a little disappointed with the previI've loved all of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton novels. They are cute, witty and very touching at the same time. I was a little disappointed with the previous Smythe-Smith series. But with this, Ms. Quinn is back in form. We have a heroine (Billy) who is a snarky tomboy and a sarcastic and considerate hero (George) who hate each other's guts. We get to see this right off the bat in the first scene where Billy is stuck on the roof trying mistakenly to help a cat and George is the only one who is there to help her out. I laughed so much at their verbal sparring... But slowly, over the course of the story we see how they change towards each other. We laugh at their antics, have fun with their family (especially with the Pall Mall game) and hope with them that everything will work out. All in all, it was a fun read!!...more