fairy tales

Joint Review: “Tower of Thorns”

22567177Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier
Roc: November 3, 2015
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Review Source: free from publisher.

Last year, Jaclyn read and loved Dreamer’s Pool. Stacey was less enthralled but has always been a big fan of Marillier. When the chance to read the second title in the Blackthorn & Grim series arrived, both jumped on it. For Jaclyn, it was an outstanding and beautiful read. For Stacey…

Read on for our full thoughts on the book!

The Book…

Disillusioned healer Blackthorn and her companion, Grim, have settled in Dalriada to wait out the seven years of Blackthorn’s bond to her fey mentor, hoping to avoid any dire challenges. But trouble has a way of seeking out Blackthorn and Grim.

Lady Geiléis, a noblewoman from the northern border, has asked for the prince of Dalriada’s help in expelling a howling creature from an old tower on her land—one surrounded by an impenetrable hedge of thorns. Casting a blight over the entire district, and impossible to drive out by ordinary means, it threatens both the safety and the sanity of all who live nearby. With no ready solutions to offer, the prince consults Blackthorn and Grim.

As Blackthorn and Grim begin to put the pieces of this puzzle together, it’s apparent that a powerful adversary is working behind the scenes. Their quest is about to become a life and death struggle—a conflict in which even the closest of friends can find themselves on opposite sides. (more…)

Summer Vacation Itinerary: Nine Adventures

I always wish I had more time to read in the summer, but there are so many other attractions! When I get the chance, though, I’ll be reading these:

Strange Chemistry, a YA imprint of Angry Robot Books, has been discontinued. Which is why I finally purchased actual, new, books: The Assassin’s Curse duology by Cassandra Rose Clarke, published by Strange Chemistry. I’ve heard great reviews from Jaclyn and others, so obviously I have to try it. And it wasn’t too hard to rationalize the purchase.

The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse #1)

The Pirate's Wish (The Assassin's Curse #2)

I’ve been thinking about Madeleine E. Robin‘s Sarah Tolerance series for ages, and as I haven’t read the third one, The Sleeping Partner, and I can’t find the first two at the library (another sad lack in libraryland), these are next on my to-buy-list. Sarah Tolerance is a swashbuckling, pants-wearing, crime-solving woman in a slightly altered 19th century. Think Sebastian St. Cyr, but female. With a little fantasy, a little mystery, and some serious fighting, this will make corn fields breeze by on your road trip.

The Sleeping Partner (Sarah Tolerance #3)

Alias Hook, by Lisa Jensen. Peter Pan, from Hook’s perspective. Enough said? Hook is not an evil villain, but a misguided, un-self-reflective, childish adult, who has some growing up to do. I’m reading this one now, and it’s the ultimate summer reading, with the top, adventure-story layer and the deeper, growing-up layer readers can choose to digest.

Alias Hook (more…)

We’re never too old for fairy tales…

Cruel Beauty  Ella Enchanted  Beauty and the Werewolf (Five Hundred Kingdoms, #6)  Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

Yesterday I reviewed Michelle Diener’s The Golden Apple, an adult re-telling of a Norwegian fairy tale and I’m kinda loving the theme at the moment. I recently finished Marissa Meyer’s Cress and Stacey did a review of Cinder, the first book in that futuristic series. So fairy tales are on the brain.

I love what authors are doing with fairy tale re-tellings right now. There are so many inventive tales out there and a few forth coming. Look at Marissa Meyer’s series, she’s got a Cinderella cyborg, a genetically modified wolf hunting down Little Red, and Rapunzel’s tower is a space station. This is amazing and unique. And it is why I love fairy tale re-tellings. Authors can take the bare bones of a story and make something completely new and reach a whole new audience. This is an amazing thing.


‘The Golden Apple,’ a Norwegian Fairy Tale

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00030]The Golden Apple by Michelle Diener
March 24, 2014 (Fantasy Romance)*

My rating: Vacation by the beach (3/5)

The Golden Apple is an adult retelling of the Norwegian fairy tale, The Princess on the Glass Hill. I’ve wanted to try Diener’s work for a while , so I was quite pleased to get a taste of her writing style. I loved the writing style but the “teen” feel of The Golden Apple disappointed me.

Kayla is the princess to Gaynor and her father has essentially put her up for auction for reasons she does not understand. At the open, Kayla is sitting at the top of a glass mountain that mysteriously (and magically) appeared. The knights competing in the task have to somehow get up the mountain and retrieve the golden apple that sits in Kayla’s lap. If they succeed, they will win Kayla’s hand in marriage – and become heir to the kingdom.

Rane is one of the knights competing in the contest, and also happens to be the man that Kayla lost her virginity to, in an attempt to beat her father at this ridiculous game. Kayla helps Rane win, but it soon becomes clear that he has his own purposes for entering the contest and none of them have to do with rescuing her. Before Rane can put his own plans into motion, he learns that both he and Kayla have been enchanted and if they don’t set forth and retrieve a powerful jewel they will both go mad. And into the dark magical forest they go!