Mini-Reviews: The Summer 2020 Edition // Part 2

Hello again.

I can’t believe that summer has already passed and fall is on its way. School has started back up and time is in ever shorter supply. ( It remains to be seen how I will blog this school year, I am still thinking about it.) With the thought that summer has recently ended, I wanted to share these books that I read with you. I did a small amount of reading by my standards this summer. Although I must admit to being rather disappointed in myself for the fact that I had to cut my reading goal for the year in half, I have learned some valuable lessons about the art of marking a book with the dreaded DNF and valuing quality over quantity. (Perhaps one day you will be treated to more of my thoughts on these topics.)

And now..without further procrastinating, let’s get started.

*Note to my younger readers, all books marked with ❤ are books I would not recommend for you, due to a variety of content. If you have questions, ask away in the comments.

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Title: The Magnolia Sword

Author: Sherry Thomas

Publication Year: 2019

Personal Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts:

I read The Magnolia Sword directly after reading another Mulan re-telling that shall remain un-named, but was beautifully written in a way that very few YA novels are. In many ways this choice was an unfair one to The Magnolia Sword, but ultimately this story won me over.

The Magnolia Sword is rather slow in its opening pages, but gradually picks up. At some point in the story you will find yourself eagerly anticipating the next words, pages and chapters. It is an interesting take on the classic story of Mulan. We are presented with a character who has been forced to publicly take the identity of her late brother, but who does not lose sight of the fact she is a woman. Mulan is in every way her “princeling’s” equal. The Magnolia Sword is a story of old family rivalries, beautiful swords and strong characters.

Title: The Land Beneath Us

Author: Sarah Sundin

Publication Year: 2020

Personal Rating: ★★★★

My Thoughts:

Sarah Sundin once again delivered a solid, enjoyable WWII romance in The Land Beneath Us. She expertly used the marriage-of-convenience and falling-in-love-through-letters tropes, while injecting new life into them.

The character growth in many of the characters, particularly Leah, was remarkable. We first meet Leah as a (strangely) naive girl and when we finish her story she has become a woman, passionate in her love of stories, a loving and devoted mother and wife to the man she loves. Although it may initially seem that Clay is the one who does the saving in their relationship, you come to see that Leah played just as large of a part in rescuing Clay as he did in rescuing her. Clay, with the help of God and Leah, is able to stop the bitterness that was slowly killing him from the inside out.

I am sad that this trilogy is complete, but satisfied with its ending. So much redemption and healing happens, making it a hopeful ending.

Title: SuperNova

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publication Year: 2019

Personal Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts:

SuperNova is an engaging final installment of the Renegades trilogy. I found it to be far more enjoyable than book 2 and can profess myself to be a fan of this trilogy after reading SuperNova. It was full of action and twists and turns, the revealing of secret identities and discoveries of the truth of past events. Although I cannot say I was shocked by the revelations I never the less found then enjoyable.

Title: Strands of Truth

Author: Colleen Coble

Publication Year: 2019

Personal Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts:

I had high hopes for this book after hearing good things about Colleen Coble’s romantic suspense, unfortunately I was disappointed. Although Strands of Truth did not live up to my expectations the story line was intriguing and enjoyable.

Title: Flight Risk

Author: Cara Putman

Publication Year: 2020

Personal Rating: ★★★★

My Thoughts:

This book was a pleasant surprise. After reading Strands of Truth I expected to be disappointed in Flight Risk. Instead I was quickly absorbed in a fast-paced and interesting story. It was rather refreshing to read the entire book and upon reflection realize that I had noticed no cringeworthy internal or external dialogue. The writing felt direct, clean and easily understandable.

Savannah and Jett were both interesting characters to get to know. I enjoyed the fact that although their romance was a thread of Flight Risk‘s overall story, it remained just that.

Title: Isaiah’s Legacy

Author: Mesu Andrews

Publication Year: 2020

Personal Rating: ★★★★★

My Thoughts:

Mesu Andrews did not disappoint in any way in Isaiah’s Legacy. It was captivating, heartbreaking and beautiful. As always Andrews’ depiction of darkness and evil as well as light and the goodness of God were incredibly moving. Isaiah’s Legacy demonstrates how biblical fiction can actually be enjoyable and educational. Once again in a genre that I generally consider a lost cause Andrews’ has proven me wrong.

In Isaiah’s Legacy we get to revisit characters we already know and meet characters who have very real and relatable struggles. The theme of redemption runs thickly through this story. Characters who have done seemingly unforgivable things are forgiven and God’s power and love shines bright.

Title: Collateral Damage

Author: Lynette Eason

Publication Year: 2020

Personal Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts:

Although I would not count Collateral Damage amount my favorites of Lynette Eason’s books, it was an engaging and interesting read. The topics dealt with were heavy, as is typical of Eason’s writing, but handled well. Collateral Damage was wonderfully suspenseful. Definitely a must read for all fans of Eason’s writing.

Beyond Justice

Title: Beyond Justice

Author: Cara Putman

Publication Year: 2017

Personal Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts:

After reading Flight Risk I eagerly anticipated reading Beyond Justice. Sadly I felt rather let down as I read it. Although it contains many of the elements I found compelling in Flight Risk, such as the focus on the law and absence of ridiculous inner dialogue, it lacked the engaging and suspenseful feelings of Flight Risk. That said, in the end I enjoyed this story and I am excited to read more of Cara Putman’s writing.

Have you read any of these books? Are there any books you are excited about reading that were (or are being) published this month? (Hint: A Portrait of Loyalty!!!!!) What are you reading right now?

Cry of the Raven by Moran L. Busse // A Book Review

Cry of the Raven - LifeWay

Title: Cry Of The Raven

Author: Morgan L. Busse

Publication Year: 2020

Personal Rating: ★★★★

Genre: Christian Fiction, YA, Fantasy

My Thoughts:

Cry Of The Raven was a wonderful conclusion to an engaging trilogy. Although I have enjoyed all three books of this trilogy, my favorite is definitely Cry Of The Raven. Seeing Selene and Damien discover the full scope of their gifts was inspiring and beautiful. This book was a satisfying and interesting read.

One of my favorite things about the Ravenwood trilogy is the character names. As I know I have mentioned before, I find unique character names incredibly refreshing. A unique name helps to set a character apart from the hundreds of other characters hanging out in my brain. Selene, Damien, Amara, Opheliana and so many of the other names in this book are beautifully unusual.

I love Selene as a main character. Although her story arc is not particularly rare, a trained assassin who comes to the “good side”, she manages to feel unique. Selene is far from perfect and is fully human in her struggles surrounding how to use her gift. As tensions build and a war with the empire becomes inevitable, knowing that she could essentially win the war in a night, before it has even begun, is a heavy and tempting burden, but with the Light she is strong enough to stand firm.

Selene’s growth as a person is a main theme of the trilogy. When you first meet Selene, she is cold-hearted and unfeeling. As the story develops, Selene learns to open her heart and to shoulder the pain that comes with letting yourself feel and love.

All of the characters were strong, human and interesting. I am sad that we will not be getting to know any of them better. The stories of the young gifted leaders were inspiring in a way as they learned how to lead and protect their people.

Cry Of The Raven is a book I would recommend to fans of the Weaver Trilogy and those who enjoy clean YA fantasy.

“Does the sun disappear when clouds come? Or is the sun still there? Just as clouds cannot quench the sun, the darkness cannot quench the Light.” – Morgan L. Busse

What are you reading right now? Any interesting books on your summer tbr? Have you read any of the Ravenwood Saga books?

Ivy Introspective by Kellyn Roth // A Book Review

Ivy Introspective by Kellyn Roth

Title: Ivy Introspective

Author: Kellyn Roth

Publication Date: 2020

Personal Rating: ★★★

Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction

My Thoughts: 

Wow, what a pleasant surprise this book was! Unlike The Dressmaker’s Secret, I really enjoyed this story. That said, there were some issues for me.

First, let’s talk about the characters. Unlike Alice, who I personally felt was rather wooden at times, Ivy is a beautiful and relatable character. Her struggles with anxiety and other mental difficulties felt very human and real. My only complaint about Ivy is that at times she was slightly too sweet. Violet, do I even have to explain why I love her? After all, she is a moody bookworm who loves music! I can’t forget Jody, because what’s not to like about a sweet and smiley guy with an amazing accent!?

I loved the setting, in the wild Scottish moors. The descriptions of the gardens and brooks surrounding McClare House was beautiful and I could easily imagine it all. Although the historical aspect seemed lacking in depth, the setting made up for it.

Now for the issues, I can’t ignore them forever. Starting with Nora, I found her to be a weak character. I understand that she was discovering what it meant to be out from under the fist of a cruel man, but she just was watery in an unexplainable way.

My second major issue was how marriage was viewed and discussed. As you may or may not know, I firmly believe that men and women are equals in every way and I believe that a marriage should be an equal partnership. If you believe differently that aspect of this story obviously won’t bother you, but for me it is a problem that leads to another problem that is discussed among readers of Christian historical fiction. Is it historically inaccurate to have female MCs who have feminist mindsets before the term feminist even existed? I’ll let you think about that while I finish this review.

All that to say, I really enjoyed reading Ivy Introspective and I am looking forward to reading book three of The Chronicles of Alice And Ivy.

“They ignored her, caught up in their grown-up world, caught up in their moving lives that rushed past Ivy with fearless abandon. Far above her, far away from her.” – Kellyn Roth

Have you read Ivy Introspective? I would love to hear your thoughts!

The Dressmaker’s Secret by Kelly Roth & Start With Me by Kara Isaac // Book Reviews

The Dressmaker's Secret (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, #1)

Title: The Dressmaker’s Secret

Author: Kellyn Roth

Year Published: 2020

Personal Rating: ★★★

Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction

My Thoughts:

This was a tough book for me to review, for several reasons. Over the past couple years, I have heard quite a few wonderful things about The Dressmaker’s Secret. Therefore when I realized that I was able to read it using my Kindle Unlimited subscription, I was thrilled. Until I started reading it, that is. (Yes, this is a largely negative review and yes, up to this point I have mostly posted positive reviews. I realized that I really should be sharing both the books I have mixed feelings about and the books that I enjoyed. So here you have it, my first not particularly positive review.)

To begin with, let’s talk about the positive aspects of The Dressmaker’s Secret. The storyline was interesting and fast-paced. Several of the characters were enjoyable to read about, Nettie in particular. The Dressmaker’s Secret manages to deal with some difficult subject matter in a mostly PG-rated way. This book is one that I could hand to my younger siblings without really having to worry about the content. 

Several things annoyed and surprised me about The Dressmaker’s Secret. Number one being, where was the history!? There was absolutely no focus on the historical aspect of the story beyond the necessary notes about horses and carriages. I found this surprising due to the fact that Roth writes about her love and knowledge of history on her blog often. Another thing that frustrated me was the fact that I found the characters difficult to relate to. The thought processes of Alice often seemed far too mature for an eight year old and I would have to remind myself of her age when she did do something that made her seem childish. Last, but not least, the suspenseful piece of the story was not exactly suspenseful or unpredictable. 

All that said, I did not strongly dislike The Dressmaker’s Secret, I simply could not get myself to fully enjoy it. 

Start With Me

Title: Start With Me ❤

Author: Kara Isaac

Year of Publication: 2020

Personal Rating: ★★★★

Genre: Christian Romance, Contemporary Fiction 

My Thoughts:

I know that I haven’t really mentioned Kara Isaac’s books before and I am long overdue to do so. I am absolutely in love with her stories and her beautiful characters. Isaac writes some of the best contemporary clean/Christian novels out there. The characters are always interesting and engaging, real and relatable. Isaac’s story-lines are always well thought out and edited just about perfectly. They pull you in and don’t let go until the last page without being fast-paced. All of Isaac’s books connect through overlapping characters, making reading her books enjoyable on yet another level. 

Starts With Me follows Lacey O’Connor and Victor Carlisle’s story. They are easily my favorite of Isaac’s characters. The two of them come from completely different backgrounds, Lacey’s family are struggling Americans from Minnesota and Victor is the heir of a British Viscount, who just happens to be his father. 

One of the major themes of Start With Me is restoration. Specifically restoration of family and sibling relationships. Lacey and Victor both have sadly strained relationships with their siblings, although for very different reasons. It was satisfying to watch Victor fight to prove that he has changed and to see Lacey called out by her sister. Both Victor and Lacey grew as characters and were able to move forward with their lives, stronger and together.

Start With Me is a satisfying and enjoyable read. One I would absolutely recommend to my slightly older readers who enjoy clean contemporary fiction and relatable characters. 

Have you read either of these books? Which would you be more likely to read? What is one common story trope that drives you crazy

Who seen has Hamilton? Thoughts? (I may be slightly obsessed. 😀)

Mini-Reviews: The Summer 2020 Edition

Hey Everyone.

I’m back and ready to share yet another list of mini-reviews, admittedly it is shorter than normal and mostly made up of books that have been sitting on my shelf for weeks if not months, but there are a couple good ones. It feels really good to be sharing these with all of you, I have missed putting bookish content together. 😀

Without a further intro (I am quite terrible at writing them, as I am sure you are all aware), let’s get started.

*Note: Reviews marked with ❤️ are books I would recommend to older readers and contain some form of slightly more mature content.

The Weaver's Daughter

Title: The Weaver’s Daughter

Author: Sarah E. Ladd

Published: 2018

Rating: ★★★★

My Thoughts:

The Weaver’s Daughter is a slow-paced, historically interesting story with a wintery and cozy feel. Not exactly the type of book anyone is looking for right now, but definitely worth adding to your winter tbr list.

Family and loyalty are the main themes of The Weaver’s Daughter. The story follows two people as they try to determine how to keep their parents’ and grandparents’ legacies alive while being true to themselves.

A Touch of Gold (A Touch of Gold, #1)

Title: A Touch of Gold

Author: Annie Sullivan

Published: 2018

Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts:

I have mixed feelings about A Touch of Gold. On one hand it is an interesting and unique retelling of the story of King Midas, on the other it just felt like it was lacking something. Maybe depth, maybe the author wasn’t particularly passionate about it or maybe it was just me.

From the first time Kora met a certain character, his words rang extremely hollow to me. Finding out that he was actually a villian, not the hero, did not come as a shock. What was frustrating was that as soon as he is out of the picture, Kora begins falling for a man who previously drove her crazy. Another issue for me was the logic behind Kora’s powers, in fact there was none.

All that said, A Touch of Gold is overall an enjoyable story, if you can ignore it’s issues.

Between Shades of Gray

Title: Between Shades of Gray ❤️

Author: Ruta Sepetys

Published: 2011

Rating: ★★★★

My Thoughts:

As you all know, I adore Ruta Sepetys’ writing. Despite the fact that Between Shades of Gray is not my favorite of her beautiful stories (I’m looking at you FOTS), it did not disappoint. Although the writing format and style is slightly more simple than FOTS and Salt To The Sea, it in no way lacks depth.

Between Shades of Gray is about a piece of WWII that is not covered by many (or any) historical fiction writers. We meet Lina as a fifteen year old and follow the next years of her life as she is exiled to Siberia with her family. Between Shades of Gray is filled with sadness and a strong thread of hope.

Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1)

Title: Spin the Dawn ❤️

Author: Elizabeth Lim

Published: 2019

Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts:

Spin the Dawn is an interesting and entertaining story with a definite Mulan feel. It is unique and the ending came as a complete surprise. I am definitely looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of the next book in the series.

Spin the Dawn has it’s fair share of issues though. Starting with the fact that it could have used some more editing and that at times things just didn’t quite make sense. I could ignore those issues if it weren’t for the fact that the author couldn’t seem to decide whether Spin the Dawn was a middle-grade or YA book. The writing level felt absolutely middle-grade for much of the book and then at chapter 27, all of the sudden, you have YA content thrown at you. Sure it is subtle, but it is very much there. That said, overall I enjoyed this story.

In Too Deep (Dive Team Investigations, #2)

Title: In Too Deep ❤️

Author: Lynn H. Blackburn

Published: 2018

Rating: ★★★★

My Thoughts:

Lynn Blackburn’s books have found a place on my close-to-favorites mental list. They have a very similar feel to Lynette Eason’s books, which is a positive thing in my opinion. In Too Deep was enjoyable and interesting, with wonderful characters. It also is giving me small amount of hope for the future of the “Christian fiction” genre, but that’s a post for another time.

Have you read any of these books? Who else has seen the cover for Shannon Messenger’s Unlocked!? What are you currently reading?

The Story Raiders: A Book Review

The Story Raider (The Weaver Trilogy, #2)

Title: The Story Raider ❤️

Author: Lindsay A. Franklin

Published: 2019

Genre:  Fantasy, Christian, Young Adult

Rating: ★★★★★

My Thoughts:

I fell in love with The Story Peddler from it’s first paragraphs. Lindsay Franklin’s story was interesting, her world building detailed and believable and her characters absolutely wonderful. I received The Story Raider for Christmas and just read it about a month ago. It is a wonderful sequel to The Story Peddler, every bit as enjoyable and interesting.

The Story Raider follows Tanwen as she travels with Mor, her father and the other Corsyth weavers. The purpose of their journey is to find the cure to the weaver’s curse and to save Gryfelle’s life. They travel by boat to several island countries in search of story strands. The story strands were hidden by the Master weavers of old and when put together form the cure to the weaver’s curse.

Mor and Tanwen’s relationship is strained throughout most of the story. They are both tied to others, but they care for each other. Tanwen and mor are also each struggling with things unrelated to each other. Mor is filled with grief over the state of Gryfelle’s health and quickly approaching death. Tawen is scared to realize that she also is suffering from the same sickness that is killing Gryfelle. At times they are able to connect and rekindle their friendship, but each time their journey manages to build walls between them.

Throughout the journey, Tanwen’s story strands’ abilities grow and begin to develop. She is starting to discover what her strands are capable of with and without her direction. Tanwen is beginning to learn about the full scope of the powers of weavers and how knowledge of these powers is largely lost to time.

Back in Tir, Braith is trying to establish herself as queen. There are many who are against her and she struggles to fully establish herself as the leader of the Tirian Kingdom. Meanwhile, Naith Bo-Offraid, the High Priest, is working on a plan with his mysterious and evil Master to overthrow Braith.

The Story Raider is a story of friendship, adventure and determination. It is a beautiful story of sacrifice, endings and second chances with family. You do not want to miss the second book of The Weaver Trilogy.

Have you read The Story Peddler? Have you read The Story Raider? I am I the only one who can’t wait for the release of The Story Hunter!? What have you been reading?

Of Fire and Lions: A Book Review Of Fire and Lions: A Novel (9780735291867): Mesu ...

Title: Of Fire and Lions ❤️

Author: Mesu Andrews

Published: 2019

Genre:  Historical Fiction, Biblical Fiction

Rating: ★★★★★

My Thoughts:

Biblical Fiction as a whole is not known for being that great, in terms of actual story lines and writing quality. So many of the books that fall into this genre are uninteresting and not very enjoyable reads. The storylines often all feel like you have read them before and just don’t pull the reader into the story. Many authors simply seem to have trouble breathing new life into their characters from the time period.

There are a few exceptions though. Mesu Andrews is one such exception. I have thoroughly enjoyed each of Mesu andrews books that I have read. Each book has had wonderful characters and an interesting story line that doesn’t move so slowly that you fall asleep while reading it. In fact the stories have pulled me on from the first pages and kept me reading until the last pages. Of Fire and Lions was every bit as enjoyable as Mesu Andrews’ other books.

Of Fire and Lions is about Belili, the fictional wife of Daniel. The books begins when daniel and Belili are in their mid eighties and goes on to tell Belili’s life story. Belili was a young Hebrew girl when she was taken to Babylon with Daniel and many other Hebrew people. Belili and Daniel became friends on the long journey and when they arrived in Babylon, after a short period of time Belili became his maid. After an attempt on Belili’s life, she was sent away from the palace. This is when Belili’s life dramatically and sadly changes course for some time.

Quite a few years later, Belili and Daniel meet again. After each losing their first spouses and growing close to each other through sickness, Belili and Daniel get married. This is in many ways still only the beginning of their story. Of Fire and Lions then goes to tell the story of the time that Daniel spent in the lions’ den from Belili’s perspective.

Of Fire and Lions is a moving story, a beautiful story of love between a couple who has been married for many years and a story of faith and redemption. Belili’s faith and relationship with God grows and develops throughout the story and over the years. Belili finds forgiveness from her sins and peace from her heartache.

I highly recommend this book to older christian historical and biblical fiction fans. It is definitely worth the time spent reading all 400 pages of the story. That said, I would not recommend this book to younger teens and tweens.

How do you feel about Biblical Fiction? Have you read any of Mesu Andrews’ books? What have you been reading lately?

KOTLC Collab// Kaelyn @Kaelyn’s Life

Hey Everyone.

As you may or may not be aware I love the Keeper Of The Lost Cities series. They are a wonderful series for readers of all ages who enjoy clean, fun and suspenseful fantasy. The reading level might be middle-grade, but don’t let that discourage you from reading the series! Kaelyn also is a big KOTLC fan and so we decided to ask each other some questions about our thoughts about the series. It was really fun to put it together and to spend a bit of time with some of my favorite characters again. 😀

*There may be some spoilers mixed in with the questions and answers, so if you haven’t read the whole series and really don’t want anything spoiled, you might want to skip this post. 😀

*My questions are italicized and Kaelyn’s answers are not.

Keeper of the Lost Cities

Do you like Flashback or was it too slow paced for you? 

I did not think it to slow paced but there was a lot of detail and dialogue but I really enjoyed Flashback.

Stina in Legacy, love her, hate her?

At first, I was  like Stina. whyy?!!! But Stina has slowly grown on me but she can be kind of a bother sometimes. 

Which KOTLC book is your favorite? which is your least favorite?

My favorite book is probably Legacy, Neverseen, or Nightfall. Least favorite maybe Everblaze? I love them all though!! It is hard to pick a least fav! 🙂 

Do you have a favorite KOTLC book cover?

My favorite cover is probably Exile and my second favorite is Nightfall. 🙂 

Keeper of the Lost Cities The New York Times Bestselling Series

How do you feel about Legacy? Did it frustrate you that suddenly half of Sophie’s friends and team were left out?

I loved Legacy!! Some parts I just could not stop reading!!!! Well, it sort of frustrated me but I see why the council did what they did and it gives us a chance to get to know some of the other characters better. 

If you were an elf, what abilities would you want to have?

I would want two powers, to be a telepath and a froster.

Which of Sophie’s friends are your favorite (if you can pick)?

I love Keefe, Linh, Tam, and Biana, and Wylie. 

Were you on Team Keefe or Team Fitz before Legacy?

I was Team Fitz for almost all of the books except at the end of Flashback and into Legacy I was totally Team Keefe!! #teamkeefe4life 


Does it annoy you that for the first half of Legacy, while Sophie and Fitz were “dating”, Fitz was a bit of a jerk?

Yeah, it did kind of annoy me. I would have been happy but Fitz was a bit of a jerk and I am totally Team Keefe all of the way now!! Sorry Fitz!!

If you could live at one of the mansions in KOTLC, where would you live?

I love the Vackers mansion and Edalane and Grady’s mansion. Although, I would love to have a design like the Songs house or Keefe’s dad’s house. I would not want to live with them but would maybe want a similar design. 🙂 

Were you surprised or disappointed that Oralie is Sophie’s mom?

YYYEEEESSSS!!  But at the same time, it kind of makes sense!! At least she is sweet and is not like evil or something  but I don’t know, it was really  hard on Sophie. But I was more surprised than disappointed.


*All of the pictures are KOTLC book covers!

Have you read the Keeper of The Lost Cities books? What do you think of the series? What are some books on your tbr right now?

I hope that you are all staying healthy and are able to enjoy some fresh spring air at least through your windows!

Mini-Reviews: Winter Edition// Part 2

Hey Everyone.

I am excited to being sharing part two of my winter mini-reviews. I sadly have not had much time to read lately, with all of the schoolwork I have had and still have, but I read these books semi recently. It is so hard to see my large stack of books not getting any smaller and several books that I am really excited about reading remaining unread. I was only able to read two books last week! A very small and sad number for me. 😀

Well, I guess we might as well jump in. Hopefully these books will be some you are interested in reading. Nothing is better than a good and interesting book when your life, or the whole country, is messy and crazy.

*Just a reminder, books marked with a ❤️ are not books I would recommend to tweens and younger teens.

Let the Wind Rise (Sky Fall, #3)

Title: Let The Wind Rise ❤️

Author: Shannon Messenger

Published: 2016

Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts:

Let the Wind Rise is the conclusion of Audra and Vane’s story and the third book in the Sky Fall trilogy. I enjoyed the whole Sky Fall trilogy. It sadly did not have the same quality of writing and world-building details as KOTLC but it was enjoyable. Some of the ideas in KOTLC seem to be more sophisticated and developed versions of some of the ideas in this trilogy. Overall, I am glad that Shannon Messenger mostly write middle-grade, that is where she excells.

The Pharaoh's Daughter (Treasures of the Nile, #1)

Title: The Pharaoh’s Daughter ❤️

Author: Mesu Andrews

Published: 2015

Rating: ★★★★

My Thoughts:

Wow, what a beautiful historical fiction book! The Pharaoh’s Daughter follows the life of Annipe, an Egyptian princess, from when she was five years old to when she is in her thirties. Annipe is five when she watches her mother, one of the pharaoh’s wives, die in childbirth. This event terrifies Annipe and she decides that she will never bear her own children. Through many events over the next ten years, Annipe ends up married to one of Egypt’s highest military officials. Before long Annipe’s new husband leaves to go to war, leaving her to run their linen business and estate. Right after this Annipe finds a baby in a basket floating on the river, Moses. She adopts the baby and eventually raises him as her son. Annipe’s story is still far from over, but that is all I am spoiling. 😀

This book is fascinating and really beautifully written, my favorite biblical/historical fiction book that I have read.

The Piper's Pursuit (Hagenheim, #10)

Title: Piper’s Pursuit

Author: Melanie Dickerson

Published: 2019

Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts:

This was a sadly disappointing read. I have enjoyed most of Melanie Dickerson’s books, but this one just didn’t do it for me. I had high expectations for this book after reading Warrior Maiden, but…I just could not get interested in the story. That said, the characters were great and enjoyable!

Vow of Justice (Blue Justice, #4)

Title: Vow of Justice ❤️

Author: Lynette Eason

Published: 2019

Rating: ★★★★

My Thoughts:

This was my favorite Blue Justice book. I love Linc and Allison! Their story was so interesting and fast-paced. I felt that the mole was a bit obvious, since I guessed the person’s identity about half way through the book. How it all played out was not predictable, though. Allison’s story was very unexpected and heartbreaking.

One thing that I appreciate about Lynnette Eason’s books, or at least those of them that I have read, is that although there is a romance thread in the story it does not overpower the rest of the story.

The Bridge to Belle Island

Title: The Bridge to Belle Island

Author: Julie Klassen

Published: 2019

Rating: ★★★★

My Thoughts:

This is a wonderful and very original feeling story. In many ways it is my favorite of Julie Klassen’s books. The Bridge To Belle Island is set on a tiny and beautiful island. The characters are interesting and rather complex. The mystery is not easily solved or expected. This is a book I am looking forward to re-reading.

Sons of Blackbird Mountain (Blackbird Mountain, #1)

Title: Sons of Blackbird Mountain

Author: Joanne Bischof

Published: 2018

Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts:

This book is really unique and interesting. Both of the MCs are strong, but very human feeling characters. Thor, the male MC is deaf and mute, he is massive and kind, but dependent on alcohol to dull the emotional and mental pain of being unable to speak or hear. Thor and Aven’s story is beautiful and inspiring. It is different and something that more authors should be doing. Characters who have mental and physical limitations that they have to overcome are characters that readers can relate to.

Are any of these books on your tbr or read list? What book are you currently reading or just finished?

Sherwood: A Book Review

Image result for sherwood meagan spooner

Title: Sherwood

Author: Meagan Spooner

Published: 2019

Genre: YA, Fairytale Retellings, Christian

Rating: ★★★★

My Thoughts:

I have read quite a few versions of the Robin Hood legend. In some of them Robin is a young woman and in another the MC is Robin’s daughter. Sherwood is yet another spin on the original legend. Our MC is Lady Marian, a strong, courageous young woman who is an exceptional archer and swordswoman.

Lady Marian loves Robin and Robin loves Lady Marian. Then war comes and Robin leaves to go and fight for his king, a loyal soldier if not a talented one. Marian waits for Robin, but all she receives is the ring that she sent with him, from the hand of Guy of Gisborne. Marian is distraught, an absolute wreck for weeks, mourning the loss of her best friend.

Surprisingly enough, this is only the beginning of the story. Robin returns, or does he? When Marian rides like the wind to the rescue of Will Scarlet, her maid and friend’s brother, she begins her adventures in a way. After Marian is able to overcome her grief she grows increasingly anger over the state of the lands and people in the villages of her father and Robin. This is the inspiration for Marian and “Robin”‘s following adventures.

Throughout Sherwood, Marian matures and grows as a young woman and character. From the beginning of the book, Marian is self-confident and strong, perhaps too self confident. She learns to depend on, trust and care for others and even falls in love.

This story is interesting, although it has a slow start. It is original, but sadly almost predictably unpredictable. The ending is both satisfying and slightly disappointing to every reader who wishes that that the characters did not have to fall in love in the end. Sherwood is an worthwhile and fun read, worth getting through the slow first few chapters and the far too fast moving relationship between Marian and her mystery love interest.

Have you read Sherwood or anything else by Meagan Spooner? What are you currently reading?