Currently Reading: Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers

Remember how much I liked Grave Mercy? It was years ago, and I never wrote reviews for the other two books in Robin LaFever’s excellent His Fair Assassin trilogy, but the stories of Ismae, Sybella, and Annith have stuck with me for ages and have, quite honestly, made other historical fantasies pale in comparison. SoContinue reading “Currently Reading: Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers”

Book Review: The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

Star Ratings: Characters: **** (4 stars) Character Development: ***** (5 stars) Plot: *** (3 stars) Writing: **** (4 stars) Overall: **** (4 out of 5 stars) I recommend The Game of Love and Death for readers age 14 and up, though there’s nothing particularly terrifying or overtly sexual, so strong younger readers could give itContinue reading “Book Review: The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough”

Book Review: The Revelation of Louisa May by Michaela MacColl

Star Ratings: Characters: **** (4 stars) Character development: **** (4 stars) Plot: *** (3 stars) Writing: **** (4 stars) Overall: **** (4 stars) Age range recommendation: 11 and up (murder and strife but not much gore or sex.) The Alcott home is weathering some rough times. There’s not enough money to support a family ofContinue reading “Book Review: The Revelation of Louisa May by Michaela MacColl”

Book Review: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Star Ratings: Characters: **** (4 stars) Character Development: ***** (5 stars) Plot: **** (4 stars) Writing: ***** (5 stars) Overall: ****1/2 (4 1/2 stars) Be it known that I read an advanced galley of The Buried Giant and some details may change before publication.  The book will come out on March 3, 2015, from AlfredContinue reading “Book Review: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro”

Book Review: Jackaby by William Ritter

Star Ratings: Characters: **** (4 stars) Character Development: *** (3 stars) Plot: **** (4 stars) Writing: **** (4 stars) Overall: ***1/2 (3 1/2 stars) Age range recommendation: 13 + (some scares, but nothing wildly inappropriate) A tenacious young Brit takes on a job as assistant to an awkward-but-brilliant private detective in 19th century New England.Continue reading “Book Review: Jackaby by William Ritter”

Book Review: Daughter Of The Forest by Juliette Marillier

Star Ratings: Characters: **** (4 stars) Character Development: ***** (5 stars) Plot: **** (4 stars) Writing: ***** (5 stars) Overall: ****1/2 (4 1/2 stars) Age Range Recommendation: 15 and up. (The main character might be quite young, but there’s torture and sexual violence.) I had no idea that such a spellbinding, heartbreaking re-telling of “TheContinue reading “Book Review: Daughter Of The Forest by Juliette Marillier”

Book Review: What Is Left The Daughter by Howard Norman

Another realistic, grown-up book set on the Atlantic coast? I guess it was that kind of week.  What Is Left The Daughter is the final book I read while on vacation.  It was a lovely, bittersweet conclusion to several days of reading and writing by the crashing waves. Star Ratings: Characters: ***** (4 stars) Character Development:Continue reading “Book Review: What Is Left The Daughter by Howard Norman”

Book Review: Conversion by Katherine Howe

Star Ratings for Conversion: Characters: **** (4 stars) Character Development: **** (4 stars) Plot: **** (4 stars) Writing: ***** (5 stars) Overall: **** (4 stars) Age range recommendation: 12 and up This YA novel by Catherine Howe (author of The Physick Book Of Deliverance Dane) is about quite a few subjects I like. Catholic school! TeenageContinue reading “Book Review: Conversion by Katherine Howe”

Book Review: Chime by Franny Billingsley

Star Ratings Characters: **** (4 stars) Character Development: **** (4 stars) Plot: ***** (5 stars) Writing : ***** (5 stars) Overall: ****1/2 (4 1/2 stars) Age range recommendation: 13 + Nancy Werlin recommended Chime to me way back in the fall when I met her at the Boston Teen Author Festival. I was one ofContinue reading “Book Review: Chime by Franny Billingsley”

Reading vs. Research: Pirate Edition (and a reading list)

This is yer Captain speaking.  We’ll be taking a quick break from the folklore and fairy tales for this very important compendium of pirate and nautical literature I compiled a while ago.  I’ve attempted to make clear the distinction between books I read for fun and books which are research, but those lines keep crossingContinue reading “Reading vs. Research: Pirate Edition (and a reading list)”