Review for The Book of Names

The book of Names by D. Barkley Briggs

Genre – Fantasy, Young Adult, Christian fiction

Series – Book one

Rating – PG – Peril and fantasy violence

Synopsis –

This is the tale of four brothers who recently moved after their mom passed away. Hadyn, the oldest, is struggling to return to normal. All he wants to do is to return to the good old days. One day Hadyn and his brother Ewan find scrolls that suddenly appear in their briar patch. This leads them on a journey of self-discovery.

My Thoughts –

This book was a nice surprise! In my quest to find new books, I sometimes forgot what is on my list as the list is made up of sticky notes. So, when I started reading, it was a nice surprise that the setting starts off in modern times. I really liked this section of the book as it made me think of Stephan Lawhead’s books. Don’t get me wrong, the fantasy world Briggs created was had its own merits, but I almost wanted just a story set in modern times.

Alright, let’s talk characters. There were two characters that stood out to me. First, Hadyn. I connected with him on several levels because we are both the oldest sibling, and have similar characteristics. Anyway several characters have a decent character arc which was great. I liked Sorge and his mysterious past. He was a good mentor for the brothers by providing them with history and wisdom. I wanted more of Flogg! We did not learn about him except that he is a gnome. I am hoping that in future books, we will get more of him. Maybe a visit to his homeland? A few twists surprised me, but the whole evil witch who works for the evil Devourer felt flat.

The book was written to the author’s sons after their mother died which gave it a feeling of authenticity, but towards the end, it got a wee bit repetitive. I am hoping that the next book will come delve deeper. The ending was a wee bit predictable, but there was some great themes throughout the book about family, self-discovery, and love. There was a Jesus like character called Aion and a Satan like character called the Devourer. We see there are followers of Aion in three branches each doing a different task. There are certain gifts that given from Aion and these can be a variety of things.

Violence –

Honestly, there was not much violence. There were a few times where the characters were in peril and then the final battle at the end. The evil witch would sit in her tower and throw mice into a pot of blood. She controls a bunch of teens by her power. She also uses magic spells and incantations, but it is shown to be evil.

In the final battle, there is some fighting, but mostly characters only get cuts bruises. Nemasia releases these evil flying spirits called Watchers and they can terrorize people. The evil witch falls into a crack in the earth and vanishes.

Language – A few uses of the word hel, but used as a fictional location

Innuendo – None

Conclusion –

This was a great start to a fantasy series and had a good mix of humor, theology, and action. Personally, I would say that this book is aimed at a younger audience maybe teen and young adult. There were some good take aways like considering what role we play in fighting evil, not giving up hope, and overcoming grief. I think as the series progresses it will develop sea legs and become an epic fantasy saga.

Note – I read the second book in the series, and it starts to really develop our characters.

Cannot wait to hear from you all!

Anna

Review for The Oath

The Oath by Frank Peretti

Genre – Thriller, dragons, Christian fiction

Standalone

Rating – PG-13 for violence

Synopsis – I am just going to quote the book as I won’t do it justice.

“Something sinister is at work in Hyde River, an isolated mining town in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Something evil. Under the Cover of darkness, a predator strikes without warning- taking life in the most chilling and savage fashion. The community of Hyde River watches in terror as residents suddenly vanish. Yet the more locals are pressed for information, the more they close ranks, sworn to secrecy by their forefathers’ hidden sins.” (Peretti, Backcover).

My thoughts –

Hmm where to start?? This book has a lot going for it. The plot was an intriguing one. Basically it asks the question of what would happen if sin manifested itself as a dragon. As with Peretti’s other books, the action scenes are sprinkled into the enfolding drama. Not necessarily a slow start, but it took me a while to really connect with this book. I liked the characters in Peretti’s book Monster better and read it in about two days! Part of this book’s slower pace is that Peretti lays the foundation in the beginning and takes time to set the stage. It pays off hugely in the end.

Ok, lets talk about the characters. Honestly, it took me a while to warm up to the characters. At first I did not like Steve, the main character, until well over half way into the book. For some reason he just rubbed me the wrong way. As time went on, I did grow to understand where Steve was coming from. I did like Levi, the town’s crazy mechanic who spoke words of wisdom to those who needed to hear it. I was not a fan of Tracy, but I did want her to change and help Steve solve the mystery.

If you have ever read a book where the character makes a bad choice that is cringe worthy, take that and multiple it by ten. Much of the book is the characters making poor choices. It showcases how sin can be quit the master of our lives. It was sad seeing some of these characters trade their live away for a few pleasant moments on earth. This is definitely a heavier book that will leave you thoughts to ponder. I sort of stumbled upon this book by accident after finishing Monster. This is a book I will probably need to reread in a couple years.

There was one scene that brought tears to my eyes. A character eventually realized how sin has affected him and the only way to stop the dragon was submitting to Jesus. He does this as chaos erupts around him and then defends his conversion as another character tries to prevent him doing it. It was a touching scene and was well written.

Violence –

Because this book deals with sin, it does not hold back when it comes to violence and gross descriptions. Many people die/vanish throughout this tale. At the beginning of the book, half of a person is found at a camping site. Several characters just simple disappear and are assumed dead. Many characters are described as having black fluid that oozes from a sore near their heart. The dragon eats several characters. A character shoots another character during a fight. One character begins a mob that evicts people from their homes and then sets the houses on fire. The dragon tries to hurt a character by breathing fire. You kind of get the picture.

Language –

One unfinished name calling someone son of a -. No language actually used.

Innuendo –

We learn that several affairs have occurred – most happen before book started so we just hear that it happened. A character watches as a woman swims in a lake and watches her grab clothes. There is a brief mention that two characters spend the night together when they are not married. We find out after the fact.

Conclusion –

I really enjoyed this book, more then I thought I would. It has given me thoughts to ponder like how sin can start of very little, but as we give in to it, it can become quite the dragon in our life. The only way we can conquer sin, is by submitting to Jesus. Now, I would recommend this for adults not sure about teens. There are some difficult themes, and that would make this a great discussion book. As a Christian thriller, this was quite good. So, go grab a copy!

Have you read this book? Do you like it or hate it? Cannot wait to hear from you guys!

Anna

Review for The Tale of Hill Top Farm

The Tale of Hill Top Farm by Susan Wittig Albert

Genre – Cozy British Mystery

Age Range – Anyone

Series – 1st book in The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter

Synopsis –

The story starts with a death in the small community of Sawrey. This causes a crisis for the villagers as the woman who died was going to host the newcomer, Ms. Potter, to the village. Ms. Potter has just bought the land of Hill Top Farm, and she is hoping to get some inspiration for her books. As the villagers try to figure out where to put Ms. Potter, things start disappearing from several local establishments. Ms. Potter must eventually decide whether she will become involved in the small village or go back home to her parents?

My Thoughts –

This book has all the charm of the British countryside. The plot is a bit slower as it takes time to introduce all the characters, but it is well worth it. Not so much a mystery as a fictional account of what it might have been like for Beatrix Potter to move away from her family. The author ensures that we know who the real people are in the story, and at the back of the book gives a chronological account of Beatrix Potter’s life at Hill Top Farm.

The author did something unique by having not only people in the story, but animals as well. The animals can talk among themselves and not to people. Several of the animals are real pets that Beatrix Potter had. The animals actually are quite the investigators of the story. It gives the book a touch of fantasy which really fits.

Another thing I liked was the characters. I know I say that about almost every book, but I truly mean it here. All the characters have a role to play in this tiny community. Whether it be the vicar, the constable, or the head teacher. The author lets us hear from a variety of perspectives, although the main voice belongs to Ms. Potter. There is a vary poignant moment between the vicar and an ill character which shows how much he cares for everyone.

Negative content –

  • Violence – One character dies of natural causes (off the page) and a character stumbles and breaks her leg
  • Language – None
  • Innuendo – None

Conclusion –

I am eager to read the rest of this series as it was amazing. It is the perfect fall book. If you are interested in more character development and less mystery, then this might be the book for you. It truly brought the world of Beatrix Potter to life and makes me want to go back and read her children’s stories.

I cannot wait to hear your thoughts!!

Anna

Review for Murder on the Flying Scotsman

Murder on the Flying Scotsman by Carola Dunn

Genre – Mystery, 1930’s England

Rating – I would say in between a PG and PG-13. For mild language and intense moments

Series – Fourth in the Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries

Summery –

Daisty Dalrymple is on her way to visit another home for her Town and Country articles. She is on a train when she finds the Chief Inspector’s daughter, Belinda, who ran away from home. Daisy invites Belinda to join her until can call the child’s grandmother. Meanwhile, a large family has also boarded the train, and they bicker and argue most of the trip. What will Daisy do when Belinda becomes a witness to a crime?

My Thoughts –

Goodness, this was an exciting read!! So far, this was the best of the Daisy Dalrymple series. The plot flowed nicely, and kept moving. Instead of taking place at a mansion, this one takes place on a train. Yes, it is a little reminiscent of Murder on the Orient Express, but also completely unique. It honestly took me a while to figure out who the suspect was which was a nice change.

The thing that stood out to me was the characters. We knew several of the characters from the previous three books. I loved the interaction between Daisy and Belinda as they finally got to have some bonding time. It was also fun to see another side of Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher. I loved how he wanted to keep his daughter safe, but also solve the murder. Daisy and Alec together is also kinda cute. Their relationship is a slow one, which is nice compared to so many books/movies.

Negative Content

Violence – Only a little violence in this book which was a nice relief. A couple characters stumble upon a dead victim. The murder happens off the page so that you know it happened, but do not actually see if happen. A character stumbles into some bushes and gets scratched. Several characters get scratched. Also mentions of suffocation

Language – Not much, an occasional word mostly just words you would find in a PG movie

Innuendo – Two kisses both brief. One scene where Daisy is grateful a child is there or she would have done something that she would have regretted.

Conclusion –

This is nice cozy that you could read on a rainy day. There is a great cast of characters from the mysterious Indian doctor to the lovable Belinda. I loved having it set on a train which set the stage for whole book. So far, this is my favorite in this particular series. It was a nice, light read. Age range would probably be teen on up.

Have you read this book or the series? What are your thoughts?

Anna

Review for Greenglass House

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

Genre – Middle-grade mystery/fantasy

Rating -PG – mild peril and a few choice words

Summary –

It is Christmas time, and all Milo wants to do is relax with his parents, but unexpectedly guests start arriving at the inn. Then items start disappearing from the guest’s rooms. Who is the thief, and is it connected to the guests sudden appearance?

My thoughts –

This is a tough book to write up as I have mixed feeling about it. It combines fantasy with a mystery, yet in a very down to earth way. First, there are many things that I liked about this book. The main character Milo is an upstanding hero who loves his parents, but struggles with being adopted. He and another character work together well as they try to figure out the puzzle. I thought the mystery part was well written, and did not know who the thief was until the reveal.

The author did something unique for middle grade fiction by making most of the characters adults. At the start of the book, I struggled keeping track of who everybody was as they arrived all at once, but later on you get to know the characters. The two kids are respect the adults and Milo will ask his parents for help when he needs it.

Another part of the plot revolves around Milo pretending to be a character in a campaign game which assists him in the investigation. Their campaign is based entirely on the events that have occurred at the inn. I think the game is somewhat similar Dungeons and Dragons in that there are a variety of characters to pick from, and they each have special abilities (I have not played D &D just heard of it). This also helps him imagine what his real parents might have been like.

Also, I should mention that part of the story involves thieves and stealing items. Milo’s parents own a inn where smugglers frequently visit. Some characters tell stories about a famous smuggler who supposedly hide his treasure.

Language – Milo’s parents and other guests say Oh my G a couple times. Five or six uses of the H word mostly used in a common phrase. Still I was surprised to see it in a middle grade book

Violence – A character pulls out a gun and waves it around. He tries to shoot someone, but nobody gets hurt.

Innuendo – None

Other –

Now, we come to the final odd bit of the book. I am going to try to be as spoiler free as possible, but it gives the surprise away. So, if you want to be surprised skip this next paragraph. Ok, to start a couple characters talk about having seen a ghost and tell the story. Later, we come to realize that one character is a ghost. Honestly, I was not expecting this. It came towards the end. It knocked the book down a couple notches for me. I think it could have been a perfectly fine book without sticking ghosts in it.

Conclusion –

I am still on the fence with this book. There are many good things that I enjoyed about this book. I loved the characters which were all quirky. The plot never dragged. I read it within a couple days. Despite other thing mentioned, I enjoyed this one. It reminded me a bit of the Mysterious Benedict Society. Age wise not sure. I think it would depend on the child, but middle school on up. Adults can enjoy it as well.

Have you read this book and or the sequel? What did you like/dislike?

Anna

My Current Top 5 TV Shows

I love books, but I also love movies and shows that bring characters to life. I had been mauling this post over in mind for a while now and I think I will give a brief synopsis of the show and what I liked/disliked. Alright, so onward we go!!

#1 Psych

Synopsis –

So, basically two best friends help consult the Santa Barbara police department solve cases by pretending to be psychic detectives. Most of the time they stumble across clues due to Shawn’s observations. Shawn’s dad used to be a policeman on the force, and they have a rocky relationship. Gus is his best friend and works as a pharmaceutical salesman when not working on cases.

My thoughts –

First, I should admit that I did not discover this show until last fall, long after it finished airing, but this is a show that will get you hooked from start to finish. It has a good mix of comedy and drama. They are almost always cracking jokes even when working the cases, and can seem a little immature, but as you go along there are moments where we get to see the real Shawn and Gus. I love all the characters and their gradual development over the eight seasons.

Plus, if you have not seen the show, now is a good time to start as a new tv movie will be airing this holiday season.

Dislikes – Language. The first several season keep the language down, but around season 6 or 7 they say a bit more. A couple kissing scenes that overdo it.

Rating – PG – Some mild innuendo throughout the show, and a bit of language. Great for teens on up.

#2 Leverage

Leverage:first season in 2019 | TV series | Leverage tv show ...

Synopsis –

Nate Ford’s son dies due to his insurance company refused to pay for his treatment. So to get even Nate joins a group of thieves to take from the powerful and give to those in need. It is like a modern Robin Hood with a touch of White Collar.

My Thoughts

This has been quite an entertaining show to watch. This ragtag band of misfits come together and find a sort of family. Despite the fact that they are committing crime, they are trying to right wrongs and I like that. All the characters have their own niche that they are good at, but put them together and they can do great things. My favorite characters are Eliot and Parker. They are quirky and both of their pasts are a little darker/sadder then some of the other characters.

Dislikes – Language, there is some infrequent mild language throughout the series. Two brief scenes where one character takes a shirt off, but you only see her from behind. A hint that two characters slept together. Maybe two times where you see women in bikinis. The violence is not to bad. Only a little blood is shown.

Overall – We have been able to watch this as a family and enjoy the characters develop. I love the more complex heists which throw a couple curve-balls at you.

Rating TV14 – for violence and language

#3 BBC Robin Hood

Robin Hood (TV Series 2006–2009) - IMDb

Synopsis –

Robin of Locksley returns after the crusades to find that his village has been overtaken by the sheriff and his men. Becoming an outlaw, he gathers together a group of outcasts and tries to protect his people and those he loves.

My Thoughts –

This is another recent find and I have enjoyed this series immensely. Yes, it is a little cheesy, and yes, the fight scenes are corny, but it is the acting and characters that makes this good. The BBC knows how to put together a good drama. I love Robin and Marian together. They are the cutest couple, and they have to go through so many obstacles. The sheriff is truly evil and I root for Robin and his gang. They also give Robin flaws which is nice.

If you have seen The Hobbit, Guy of Gisborne is Thorin Oakenshield.

Dislikes –

Honestly, so far it has been a pretty clean show. The violence is super cheesy and light. They do show a hanging or two, but Robin mostly saves the people from getting hurt. Language is almost nonexistent, maybe a choice word here or there. So far (I am currently in the middle of season 2) only like three scenes with innuendo. Some of Marian’s dresses are a little low.

Overall – So far I have really enjoyed it and look forward to finishing it. Update – I finished it!! Interesting ending. I actually kinda liked it.

Rating – PG

#4 BBC Sherlock

I can't not recommend this... While I love RDJs action-packed ...

Synopsis –

This is a modern remake of the story of Sherlock. Sherlock is a consulting detective for Scotland yard. He meets a injured army doctor returning from war and they end up working together to solve crime. But how far will Sherlock go to keep his friends safe?

My Thoughts –

The first time I watched it, I thought hmm, this is kinda good. Then as we ended season one I thought, how cruel!!! You can not end it like that! They got me hook, line and sinker. 🙂 Anyway, the acting is supurb, and the mysteries are intense! Most of the episodes come from a story in the original books. I am the type of person who will overlook plot holes, if the show/book has really good characters. Sherlock’s character development over the four seasons is absolutely amazing! I love how he grows as a character from being quit the jerk to saving his friend’s life. My favorite episode is probably The Sign of Four. So many good moments in there.

Dislikes –

There are a couple content issues as sometimes it can be a little dark. The language is not too bad, mostly mild language with some British cuss words thrown in occasionally. The violence includes someone falling off a building, a couple time where someone is shot, a scary dog hallucination, and bombs. For the innuendo, there is one episode we skipped which is the first episode in season 2 and there is some stuff in the last episode of season 3 where Sherlock gets a girlfriend, but just for a case. There are some sad scenes with Watson in season 4, but they way it is resolved is quit good. Very tearful.

Rating – TV14

Overall –

Due to what I mentioned earlier, I would say teen on up with this show. I do love it! There is some amazing acting, sets are great, as are costumes!

#5 Doc Martin

Doc Martin (TV Series) (2004) - FilmAffinity

Synopsis –

A brain surgeon suddenly develops a blood phobia and moves from London to the town of Port Wenn where he becomes there local GP. He is a crusty curmudgeon who has no bedside manner. Yet, he meets a local school teacher who finds a place in his heart.

My Thoughts –

This another British drama that is excellent. I like that this drama show regular people as they are with their issues and quirks. Normal people with problems. Marin has a really good character arc as he discovers things about himself. Louisa is another character who is great! There is a will they won’t they that goes on for quit a while. A little annoying as they go back and forth for a long time. Lastly, the scenery is absolutely beautiful!! It is set in Port Issac which they rename Port Wenn for the show.

Dislikes –

The doc sometimes likes to use colorful language now and then. He has a statue of Buddha, and definitely not a believer. The violence is minimal as the most you see if a little blood. In a later season someone get cut from glass which they do show. We only skipped maybe two episodes in season 2 or 3 . A couple references to character not being faithful. Two characters slept together outside of marriage once.

Overall –

The show feels light and despite the doc’s surliness, you do see that he cares about the people in the town. Then one is probably teen on up. Younger kids might get bored.

Rating – TV14

So have you seen any of these shows? Did you like/dislike them? Any shows that you would suggest?

Anna

Review for The Forsaken Continent

The Forsaken Continent by Wayne Thomas Batson

Genre –  Fantasy, Christian fiction

Age – Young adult – adult

Rating – PG-13 – handful of choice words and action violence

Synopsis –

This is the third book in the Myridian Constellation series.  Currently there are only three books in the series, but there will be more.  Anyway, the story takes place a couple months after the Errant King. 

King Lochlan is fleeing for his life after Morlan has overtaken the throne and is willing to kill anyone who will get in his way.  Meanwhile Abbagael is looking for her presumed dead husband, Alastair, who she believes is alive. 

My Thoughts –

Whew! After ten years, I finally got to find out what happened. This book took me on quiet the ride and I enjoyed every minute of it. There were so many good themes throughout this book. Self-sacrifice, being faithful, patience, and perseverance. What I loved was that the word building. The author does a great job of creating a world and yet not being overly descriptive.

There was definitely more of an allegorical tone in this book. More so then the previous two, which I loved. Telwyn was sort of like a Jesus character. He was the son of the First One and he had a wisdom that comes from the First One. We see him perform miracles and a handful of people following him know who is. One of my favorite lines was when Telwyn told a character, “Flander Craggit, you need not fear Woefire ever again, for my Father has written your name on the Scrooll of Life. No one can expunge the blessed ink of His pen.” (Batson, p. 278).

I loved Abbagael and the journey that she embarked on as of all the characters Alastair Coldhollow was my favorite. In the previous books, we saw his steadfastness to the First One and his endeavor to right the wrongs that he had committed. I am trying not to give spoilers so you will just have to go read it for yourself. 🙂

Now content wise only a few concerns. With Morlan’s return, he brought back countless evil creatures with him. For the most part, the author did not go into detail about these vile creatures , but they are evil and perform evil deeds. Also, it should be noted that Morlan served Sabryne who was basically Satan in the books. So there are a couple times where it was a little dark. That is why I would say this is more aimed at adults then teens. Do not worry there is a clear distinction between who is good versus who is evil.

Violence –

Violence was a given as Morlan is trying to conquer all of Myriad but was not gratuitous. Throughout the book there are skirmishes between the good characters and the bad. The good characters get cuts, scrapes, a couple characters get minor injures from daggers. There are several wolf like creature who attack a main character. In one of the skirmishes a character is presumed to be dead, but Telwyn reveals that he was just sleeping.

There are several mentions of blood. A couple character bled. A character goes into labor. (not much detail and rather quick). Later on in the book there is a mantis like creature who resides in a lake of blood. She attempts to kill a character.

Innuendo –

Two of the main characters kiss twice and contemplate marriage.

Language – Ba- —d is uttered seven times.

Conclusion –

After such a long wait, this book answered some much needed questions. Compared to the first two books, I feel like this one had more depth. It iover 500 pages long! We know these characters and we get to see their personal development for good and bad as some characters make some poor choices. This could be read as a stand alone, but I would highly recommend reading this series in order.

Cannot wait to hear what you have to say! Have you read this series? Did you enjoy how this book played out?

Anna

Review for Raven’s Ladder

Raven’s Ladder by Jeffery Overstreet – Part of The Auralia Thread series

Rating: PG-13 for action and violence

Synopsis:

This is the third book in the Auralia Thread series. Most of the book is told from Cal-raven’s perspective. Cal-raven goes on a quest to find a new home for House Abascar. The refugees eventually arrive in House Bel Amica where things are not as good as they seem.

My Thoughts-

I am still pondering my thoughts on this book, but I’m going to try to lay it out for you. This one seemed to fall a little short after Cyndere’s Midnight which I really enjoyed. I think we had so many threads to follow that it got bogged down and did not flow as easily as the first two books did. It was still good and I liked it, but not a favorite of mine. Also a couple content issues with it that I’ll discuss later.

In this particular installment we get to see a little bit more from the mysterious Keeper, but in an odd sort of way. King Cal-Raven actually gets to see it, but it behaves differently then how he anticipated. I’m trying not to give spoilers but basically it shakes everything that Cal-Raven thought was true and I can honestly say now that I finished that last book, The Ale Boy’s Feast, that the author does not explain this particular aspect. Their belief in the Keeper is a little odd.

I should also mention that one of the pagan religions is in moon spirits and Seers. Throughout the book it is shown to be flawed and the Seers are shown to be evil.

Violence –

In this third installment we meet a new enemy which is the ground. It is this vine like thing is thorny and hurt a variety of characters. It tents to take people away never to be seen again. So throughout the book several minor characters vanish or or injured from the Feelers.

There is a new character introduced and he is an archer. Throughout the book he shoots several bad characters with arrows. A little later on a character witnesses a hand being chopped off. A character becomes a captive for a while.

At the end there is a drawn out underground battle as the prisoners try to escape. Several individuals die in their attempt. One character falls down a chasm.

Language – None

Innuendo –

Early on two characters contemplate marriage. One or two kisses between different characters.

One of the main characters visits an old flame who is married. They talk and she does drug him. (The main character recognized that this was not a wise choice). I did not care for this and thankfully nothing else happens.

Conclusion –

Overall I enjoyed how the characters embarked on a journey to find a new home. The characters had flaws and were relatable. It reminded me a bit of the Lord of the Rings in that we had many characters and got to see their trials. While there was some violence, it was toned back from the previous book. There was a little bit of innuendo that I wished could have been done differently. So while not perfect, I liked it. The series as a whole I would say is aimed at adults.

Conclusion –

Review for Clyndere’s Midight

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Cyndere’s Midnight by Jeffery Overstreet – Part of the Auralia Thread series

Age range – Young adult or adult audience

Rating: PG13 for violence

Summary-

This is the second book in the Auralia Thread series. It picks up close to where the Auralia’s Colors left off maybe a couple months later. We get to hear from characters we know and love like the ale boy and king Cal-raven, but we also are introduced to new characters like Cyndere and Jordam. Jordam’s story takes center stage here.

After Cyndere’s husband is dead, she tries to continue their dream by befriending a Beastman. This Beastman had seen Auralia’s colors and is now conflicted.

My Thoughts –

First off I have to say that I have really enjoyed how the author weaves his story together. It almost seems lyrical and poetic. The characters were realistic and each have their own personal battles they went through. One of the main themes throughout this book was grief and how to continue on after the world came crashing down. All the characters are affected by House Abascar’s downfall.

I cruised through it quicker then the first book . For some books the author will switch between character’s perspectives and it makes the book divided. The way the author switched between the characters worked well and I did not mind it at all. I grew to like these characters as well if not better then Auralia and her story. I cannot wait to see how it will continue.

Violence –

There is a little more violence compared to Auralia’s Colors. The author introduces us to the fallen House of Cent Regus which are called Beastman. They kill all they come in contact with, expect for one named Jordam. Within the first couple of chapter one of the characters die. We find out later that Mordafey severed his hand. Jordam kills a wild animal and it mentions blood.

Mordafey performs various evil deeds throughout the book. He does team up with a Seer, more on that later. He orders his brothers to attack a wagon and kill the three people in it. Jordam does kill one of the men, but he questions what he is doing. He gathers an army to go fight the House Abascar.

Also, the Beastman required Essence. There are scenes where the brothers went down to the pit where it is located. One of the brothers injured several people while he was down in the pit. It is a little disturbing, but not too gratuitous. It helps show how much Jordam changes compared to his brothers.

Lastly, there is a scuffle between Abascar and the Beastman. None of the humans die, but several Beastman are injured/killed.

Language- None

Innuendo – One of the minor character flirted with a married woman, but she did not appreciate it. It was only mentioned a handful of times, used to show how flawed and evil a character was. The author depicted it as something that was wrong.

Other –

The House of Bel Amica followed Seers. Throughout the book we saw how they influenced people. One in particular is quite nefarious, but it is clearly shown that they are corrupt and not to be trusted. The Seers try to get the people to follow moon spirits, but the main character realizes that this is a false belief system.

Conclusion –

I really have enjoyed the first two books in this series. The characters felt alive. Although this book was a little darker then the first, I loved how we get to see redemption and forgiveness. Jordam was my favorite character and I loved how we get to see how his character developed. I would say this was probably more of an adult fantasy. The author was not overly descriptive with the violence, but it is there.

Review for Quest

Quest by Aaron Becker

Wordless picture book

Age range- 2-5

Book Rating – G

Summary –

It is a tale of two kids who go on an adventure to help a king save his kingdom from destruction. Their goal is to find the missing crayons before the guards catch them.

My Thoughts –

So, I stumbled upon this book in the wordless section at my library. I looked through it first and decided to show the kids at work. It was hands down a winner!!! They loved it, and I love narrating what the characters are doing. 🙂

First, the illustrations are amazing. They really draw the reader into the story. I get more out of the story the more I read it. Lots of little details hiding in the pictures. What is even cooler, is that the kids in the story draw some of the illustrations. Think of the movie Bedtime Stories and that is kinda of what happens here.

Secondly, the plot is quite creative. The story spans all three books and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The author does a great job inspiring kids to use their imagination. Certain characters develop more then other characters. It is a neat twist on fantasy for young children.

Just a side note, but this is the second book in a wordless trilogy. I did not know that when I first read it to the kids. They kept asking for more “king books” and I found out there are two more. We have read them as well and the kids adore all of them.

Language – None

Violence –

There are some guards with spears chasing the kids throughout the book , but nothing happens.

Innuendo – None

Conclusion

If you know a young child, run over to your nearest library and find this book! I enjoyed so much and the kids at work beg me to read it. The illustrations are bold and colorful. Plus, it depicts different types of geography.

Until next time,

Anna