Category Archives: Tween Fiction

Brotherband Chronicles (#1-5) – John Flanagan

 

Remember how much I LOVED the Ranger’s Apprentice books? (Here is the link to my review of the first of that series) All 12 of them?

I was so psyched when I picked up the Brotherband Chronicles and I am very happy to report that I love them just as much! Continue reading

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The Rangers Apprentice Books 4 – 12 by John Flanagan

OKAY, I admit defeat.  I can barely find time to make it to the computer let alone to post about what I’ve read, so I’m going to do a mass post on the rest of the Ranger’s Apprentice Series.   I loved them ALL and I can’t wait to share this series with my son when he gets old enough!  The characters just get better and better, and the stories remain interesting and fresh. Love love love!

Instead of reviewing them all, I’m going to list the rest of the series with brief comments!  You can see my posts on Books #1, #2, and #3 here, here and here respectively!

So here we go… Continue reading

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The Icebound Land (The Ranger’s Apprentice Book #3)

 Rangers3_redesignjkt.indd

Continuing on with the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan…

Book 3: The Icebound Land

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The Burning Bridge (The Ranger’s Apprentice #2)

The burning bridge

Still loving the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan!

Book 2: The Burning Bridge

Will and Horace find themselves in neighbouring Celtica, where they meet up with a mysterious girl named Evanlyn and discover that Morgarath continues to plan against Araluen.  It’s up to these three to change the tide of the battle to come and thwart Morgarath’s plans for an ambush of the Araluen army.

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The Ruins of Gorlan (The Ranger’s Apprentice #1)

The Rangers Apprentice 1

I stumbled upon this series as I was looking for something to read that I could rent right away from the library.  What a lucky find!  I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the series – I’m currently on book 10 and realized I haven’t posted about any of the books yet.   Suffice it to say that I am TOTALLY HOOKED on the series! I keep having to wait for the books to come off hold on the library (the first was free but since then I’ve had to wait for others) but it’s fully worth it!

Book 1: The Ruins of Gorlan

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The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1)

The Iron Trial

I seem to be on a bit of a middle grade fiction kick, and here’s another in that genre.

Callum Hunt (Call) has been warned away from magic from his father.  A former Magician, Call’s father turned away from Magic after the death of Call’s mother.  Then Call is called in for the Iron Trial – and fails at failing.  He is admitted into the Magisterium in order to learn magic and control.  It’s a sometimes sinister, sometimes surprising place, and there he will forge friendships and discover truths about his past which may impact his future. Continue reading

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Frostborn (Thrones & Bones #1)

Thrones and bones

Frostborn, the first of the Thrones & Bones series by Lou Anders, is a middle-grade fantasy adventure.  Trolls! Dragons! Wyverns! Frost Giants! Undead Draug! Board Games! The best! Continue reading

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The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making

Finally!!! I have had The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making  by Catherynne M. Valante on my to-read list for so long – for a while they had the audiobook available through the library but not the ebook. I just discovered that they did get the ebook after all – and I devoured it!

With a narrator who swoops in and out with comments on the story, this book is the tale of an intrepid little girl and her adventures in fairyland.

September is twelve years old.  She lives in Omaha, Nebraska, and lives a dull, ordinary life.  Her father is off at war and her mother works as a machinist fixing engines. While September washes teacups (yet again) by the window in her kitchen, the Green Wind invites her on an adventure.  September jumps so quickly at the chance she leaves one of her shoes behind!

The Green Wind takes September to Fairyland, where September discovers there is much adventure but also many who need her help.  Before long, she encounters the Marquess, the fickle and cruel ruler of Fairyland.  September is coerced into retrieving a valuable item in order to save her new-found friends, a literary Wyvern and a mysterious blue boy named Saturday.

This was a charming read, with enough magic and adventure to satisfy.  The characters are delightful, especially A-through-L, the Wvyern.  The story suits and adventure, but dips into heartache, loss, and growth.  It’s whimsical and fancy, with lots of delicious vocabulary (e.g. widdershins).

I thought it was a delightful story and I am so glad there are more to follow!

4/5

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The Mark of the Dragonfly

The Mark Of The Dragonfly

The Mark of the Dragonfly  by Jaleigh Johnson was a random read for me – I was browsing the “available now” section of the library’s ebook collection under “young adult + fantasy” and I liked the look of the cover.

Piper is a scrapper – eking out her living by salvaging the remnants left over from the mysterious Meteor showers (that rain both meteors and strange goods). She supplements this meager living with her skills as a Machinist – she has learned to fix mechanics and her skills with machines put food on her table.

Piper’s life changes with one meteor shower.  Among the wreckage of a caravan, Piper finds a girl, Anna.  Anna can’t remember anything about her life but she wears the intricate Mark of the Dragonfly – a special tattoo that means that she is both from the Dragonfly Territories and under the protection of it’s king.

Piper decides to help this strange girl – even if it means leaving her home and everything (and everyone) she knows.

She and Anna must catch the 401 – a massive old train that weaves its way south, to the Dragonfly Territories.  Getting on (without a ticket) is just the first hurdle – and the start of a magical, dangerous, and life-changing adventure.

Piper is a great character.  She shows just enough change and growth, and just enough flaws to be realistic.  She’s stubborn (VERY stubborn), quick to anger, but a fierce protector of her friends and family.  She may be young but she’s a pretty strong character.

Anna is a mystery – a naive but brilliant girl whose memory seems to be returning in odd snatches.  She’s bubbly and friendly and super chatty – it’s no mystery why Piper feels so protective about her.

The three main characters from the train (Gee, Trimble and Jeyne) also add flavour and depth to the story.  I love the similarities between Gee and Piper – both so prickly on the outside but fiercely loyal and protective once they’ve claimed something as their own.  I would love to read more about the whole crew – I hope that more books are forthcoming.

This is probably more of a middle-grade / tween book than a teen / young adult book, but for it’s genre I thought it was a fantastic mix of steampunk, magic, and science fiction all rolled into one.  It’s a fast read and pretty light – but still enjoyable.  It moves fast but there’s enough background that it doesn’t just skip from action scene to action scene with no plot or glue to hold it together.

I’ll give it a 4/5 – quite a pleasant book to pick up and just what I was looking for!

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Filed under Fantasy, Science Fiction, Steampunk, Tween Fiction, Young Adult Books

Book of A thousand Days

Book of a thousand days

I seem to be reading books based only on their covers or authors and before actually reading their descriptions.  This was one of those books.  I loved the Books of Bayern series (see Goose Girl etc. etc. etc.) and I was intrigued by the title, thinking that it might be an Arabian-nights type of tale (I was mistaken, it is not).  It was a great read, however!

Loosely based on a Grimm tale that I haven’t read myself (the tale of Maid Maleen), this is a story about loyalty and love.

Dashti is a Mucker, and comes from the steppes where she and her family lived off the land and their animals.  This book is a record of her tale, written as a journal. Dashti becomes a lady’s maid, and pledges her loyalty to Lady Saren.  Saren, as her father’s youngest daughter, has been pledged in betrothal to a man she does not love.  With her refusal, Lady Saren and Dashti are locked in a tower, to be kept for seven years in exile.

Imprisoned in the tower with her limpid, weepy and clearly depressed mistress, Dashti struggles to look on the bright side.

When she and Saren finally escape, they discover that the outside world is much changed.  These two girls are bound together by loyalty, lies, and life.  Together, they can weather the storm.

The characters:

  • Dashti is a fantastic character.  Optimistic (for the most part), strong-willed, caring, and loyal she remains true to herself and her believes and I admire her for it.  I also admire her patience, particularly with Saren.
  • Saren grew on me – slowly.  Initially I had little use for her simpering and silliness, but gradually I was less annoyed by her displays and more sympathetic.  I love how Saren finds her own feet to stand on at the end, yet remains true to her character.
  • Khan Tegus is the love interest in this story (since there obviously needs to be a love interest).  I like that he seems like a real person.
  • Lord Khasar is the antagonist – a loud, terrifying, evil man. Bad to the bone, one might say.

The story:

  • Moved along at a good pace, despite the years it spans.
  • Slotted little bits of magic and folklore in, weaving it pretty well and giving you subtle hints of the flashier bits to come.
  • Is clearly intended for a middle-ages / young adult audience, so is not super sophisticated. It’s sweet but still deals with some nice themes (like loyalty, friendship, and courage).

I would definitely recommend giving this one a try!  4/5

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Filed under Fairy Tales, Tween Fiction, Young Adult Books