Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Seven Year Dress by Paulette Mahurin

https://www.amazon.com/Seven-Year-Dress-Paulette-Mahurin-ebook/dp/B01FEAX7AU?ie=UTF8&ref_=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top
 
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Click on the Sparc Banner above or here to enter a raffle to Paulette's newest book.  Raffle
 
About the book;
One of the darkest times in human history was the insane design and execution to rid the world of Jews and “undesirables.” At the hands of the powerful evil madman Adolf Hitler, families were ripped apart and millions were slaughtered. Persecution, torture, devastation, and enduring the unthinkable remained for those who lived. This is the story of one woman who lived to tell her story. This is a narrative of how a young beautiful teenager, Helen Stein, and her family were torn asunder, ultimately bringing her to Auschwitz. It was there she suffered heinous indignity at the hands of the SS. It was also there, in that death camp, she encountered compassion, selfless acts of kindness, and friendship. Written by the award-winning, best-selling author of His Name Was Ben, comes a story of the resilience of the human spirit that will leave you thinking about Helen Stein and The Seven Year Dress for years to come after the last page is shut.
 
My take on the book;
I am a huge fan of this autor but none of her books I have read thus far, got me to invest quite as much as this book.
To start with. I love the young girls attitude at the start. Another old woman, another sad story. It was so human and so true to life that instead of judging her, I was taking internal bets on how long she will last against this old woman, and this old story. I won, not long.
The characters pop in this book. I have always admired the fact that this author writes exclusively for charity of no kill shelters and even SPCA's funding relocating of pets to forever homes. She also always uses her writing to shed light on issues of tolerance and in showcasing narrowmindedness as the evil it is. Usually she does this by making one of the main characters gay. This time she again shed light on the plight of Gay men and woman internationally but she made the main character a non practising Jewish woman / child. One that grows into her own sexuality as she grows into the WWII in Berlin and interesting take on how nothing surpasses our own natural instincts.

But these characters have so much to them. So many levels to be explored, to learn to know and all of them is always firstly human, secondly what ever else will help the plot along. By the end of the book, when it is reitterated that this is a book of hope, not dispair I was picking at a tear for truly, this characters spirit is such that nothing would get her down for long. And yes, the book is about hope because in the telling of the story we get to see the worst and best of humanity and we see how the best wins out by sheer will. And a promise made not to live, but to live well. Ok, so yes, I love this book? Can you tell?
About the author;
Paulette Mahurin lives with her husband Terry and three dogs, Max, Bella, and Lady Luck in Ventura County, California. She grew up in West Los Angeles and attended UCLA, where she received a Master's Degree in Science.

While in college, she won awards and was published for her short-story writing. One of these stories, Something Wonderful, was based on the couple presented in His Name Was Ben, which she expanded into the fictionalized novel in 2014. The first week out, His Name Was Ben, made it to top ten books sold in the Amazon Kindle store (topic: health/wellness/cancer). Her first novel, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, made it to Amazon bestseller lists and won awards, including best historical fiction of the year 2012 in Turning the Pages Magazine.

Semi-retired, she continues to work part-time as a Nurse Practitioner in Ventura County. When she's not writing, she does pro-bono consultation work with women with cancer, works in the Westminister Free Clinic as a volunteer provider, volunteers as a mediator in the Ventura County Courthouse for small claims cases, and involves herself, along with her husband, in dog rescue.

Profits from her books go to help rescue dogs.

Book Review of Phoenix Rising: A novel of Anne Boleyn by Hunter S. Jones @HunterSJones101



Book Title: Phoenix Rising: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 106
Author: Hunter S. Jones


Date Published: 19 May 2015

Synopsis:

The last hour of Anne Boleyn's life...

Court intrigue, revenge and all the secrets of the last hour are revealed as one queen falls and another rises to take her place on destiny's stage.

A young Anne Boleyn arrives at the court of King Henry VIII. She is to be presented at the Shrovetide pageant, le Ch√Ęteau Vert. The young and ambitious Anne has no idea that a chance encounter before the pageant will lead to her capturing the heart of the king. What begins as a distraction becomes his obsession and leads to her destruction.

Love, hate, loyalty and betrayal come together in a single dramatic moment... the execution of a queen. The history of England will be changed for ever.

Review:


Phoenix Rising: A novel of Anne BoleynPhoenix Rising: A novel of Anne Boleyn by Hunter S. Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an intriguing look into the last hours of Anne Boleyn's life. A friend of mine recommended this book to me. I am not really a huge reader of historical fiction, but who hasn't heard about these royals and the tragic circumstances leading up to Anne Boleyn's beheading? So, being curious, I decided to give this book a try.

First off, I would like to say that the cover is very striking. It definitely catches the eye and has many elements in it that are relevant to the story within the cover.

This book is told in first person by various characters, from Anne Boleyn herself to King Henry VIII and the executioner amongst others. The author has taken real facts but added her own fictional twist to the tale. Unfortunately, I found this story, although a page turner, to be a little too dry for my taste. I felt that there could have been more meat added to the fictional sections to make it more scandalous. I don't know if Henry really loved Anne or not, or whether the accusations he levied against her were true or not either. Henry must have found himself under extreme pressure to father a male heir for him to annul his marriage and order Anne's death, then set his sights on Lady Jane Seymour. Or he was an utter womanizer and it was his infidelity he was hiding by accusing his wife of it instead when she failed to give him the son he desired. We can only guess at his thoughts, though his actions on the day of the execution was rather telling in my opinion.

What I did discover about Anne Boleyn from this book was that she was strong willed and had many enemies that wished her ill. I am not sure if she would have gone to her death without a fight. Whether she was drugged/sedated up until her beheading to keep her quiet one will never know. However, what I do know is that she was a formidable woman who faced death with grace.

Hunter S. Jones has written an intriguing fictional tale of real events. Her descriptive writing brought the past to life and her fast paced writing style kept me turning the pages. However, by having each chapter told through the various characters, I found the flow a little choppy and slightly disconnected from each other. But, having said that, I would consider reading more of this author's books in the future.

Although there are no scenes of a sensuous nature, there is mention of execution and beheading. Therefore, I do not recommend this book to younger readers (under 12) or those with a nervous disposition. However, if you love historical fiction and you're interested in the Tudor's, this is the book for you. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews


              

About The Author:




I live in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. I write books and stories. There is nothing you will ever know or learn about me as interesting as the art form I create.

However, since you ask, I have lived in Tennessee and Georgia my entire life, except for one “lost summer” spent in Los Angeles. I was always a complex kid and learned at an early age that life will never be dull. My undergrad degrees are from a private university in Nashville, where I studied History and Literature. My first published stories were for a local underground rock publication, also in Nashville.
Since then, I have published articles on music, fashion, art, travel and history. Now, I write books and blog when the urge strikes.
I am a member of the The Society of Authors, Historical Writers’ Association, Historical Novel Society, English Historical Fiction Authors, Atlanta Writers Club, Atlanta Writers Conference, Romance Writers of America (PAN Member), and the Rivendell Writers Colony.

Author Links:

Monday, May 23, 2016

Book Review of The iron Knight (The Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa



Book Title: The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey #4)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 400
Author: Julie Kagawa
Date Published: 25 October 2011

Synopsis:

My name—my True Name—is Ashallayn'darkmyr Tallyn. I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her. My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…

To cold faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl—smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the unwelcome company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end—a quest to find a way to honor his vow to stand by Meghan's side.

To survive in the Iron Realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. And along the way Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Review:


The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey, #4)The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the fourth book in the Iron Fey series. I absolutely loved it!

Ash is a fantastic character. I didn't like him when he was first introduced into the Iron Fey series, as he, being the third son of the Unseelie Queen and prince of the Winter Court, was the enemy of Meghan. However, as the series progressed, I fell for this complex being. By the end of The Iron Queen, he had my heart. Now that Meghan is the Iron Queen, Ash faces a difficult choice. Live without her forever, or find a way for them to be together at great cost to his fey life by becoming mortal. Ash's decision to find a way to be with Meghan in the Iron Realm will have huge consequences if he should fail. But, in order to keep his oath to be her Knight, he will have to find a way to earn a soul.

After reading the first three stories through the view point of Meghan, I found myself intrigued with this tale as it's told through Ash's eyes. He usually hides his emotions under an icy exterior. This is due to his upbringing where showing emotion is seen as weak in the Winter Court, so getting to see the world through his eyes was an eye-opener for me.

I loved meeting Puck and Grimalkin again, as well as a few other characters from the previous books. The story is again full of danger and adventure. In this story, the reader gets to see what happened to cause the feud between Ash and Puck. It was a tragic accident, but their friendship had become irrevocably strained by a vow made in anger and sorrow. Even though they are bound by this vow, there is a respect and deep friendship hidden amongst the heartbreak.

As the story unfolded, I found myself on a roller coaster ride of emotion. I had tears streaming down my face even when there was no logical reason for them. Call me a soppy romantic if you will. However, the danger that Ash, Grimalkin, The Big Bad Wolf and Puck faces had me sitting on the edge of my seat. I love the witty dialogue between Ash and Puck, and Grimalkin is his usual secretive self. Due to the vivid descriptive writing, I could picture everything perfectly in my mind's eye. I had shivers running up and down my spine when the group of characters ended up in a town where the fey who have been forgotten congregate. It was incredibly creepy. Just thinking about it has just sent another shiver down my spine! Although the trials Ash faces to gain his mortality are dangerous at times, it was the courage of another character that impressed me; there is a surprising twist involving them that I didn't see coming.

I reached the end of the book feeling a little wrung out. Ash's quest to be with his love touched me deeply. This story (and series) has to be one of the most emotional reads I've read for years. As I said in my review of The Iron Queen, I must be a masochist because I am looking forward to reading The Lost Prince, which follows Meghan's brother, Ethan, as soon as I can.

Julie Kagawa has written a fantastic Young Adult series. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and exciting. The flow was also wonderful, as each scene moved effortlessly into the next. She has found a firm fan in me and I will definitely be reading more of her books in the future.

There are scenes that have some violence or are a little gory, therefore, I do not recommend this to readers under 15. However, I highly recommend this book if you love YA fantasy or paranormal romances. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews


          

About The Author:



Julie Kagawa, the New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Fey and Blood of Eden series was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn't getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.
When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time (okay, at least the illustrations did), but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a
real job.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full time.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, an obnoxious cat, an Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and a hyper-active Papillion.

Author Links:

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Colorado Kid by Stephen King


 
No purchase links, I am forcing you to go to your library.
The Colorado Kid

By Stephen King

184 pages published on October 4, 2005

Published by Hard Case Crime

Adaptation - Haven (2010)

Audio, approximately 3 and a half hours

Genre; mystery and crime fiction.

 

At the end of this very short novel, really it reads like a novella at best a short story at worst Stephen King tells the reader that this is one of those books which will be either loved or hated.

Turns out I loved it and I absolutely hate it when an author leaves it up to me to discover what really happens at the end of a book so my love for this story lies in exactly that fact, the fact that as a reader I need to do the following;

1 – Accept that life is messy and if art resembles life then we need to fact the fact that everything will not always be presented to us with a nice little bow on it.

2 – That I use my imagination the entire time while I am reading and asking me to use it a bit more is not a cop out, it is a challenge.

3 – That as a reader, a book comes to resemble life the moment I can place myself in a set setting, feeling the fog, smelling the tea for the Tiller man. 

4 – That as a reader I can use the available facts, remove them from the assumptions made by others about them and create a reality all my own.

Ok, so I loved this book, it tells you from the get go that YOU are not going to get a story from this.  In its stead King acts exactly like Teague, he guides you, wait for you to ask the correct question and then tells you only enough to mentally move onto the next question. 

This is no story it is a lesson. 

Book Review of Catch Me If You Can by Miss Mae



Book Title: Catch Me If You Can
Genre: Murder Mystery
Pages: 314
Author: Miss Mae
Date Published: 12 May 2016 (Paperback)


Synopsis:

On an island bordering the coast of South Carolina, a convention is planned for "Catch Me" game enthusiasts. The game, designed by Stuart Harrington, wealthy businessman, is the genius behind the hottest game craze. But only ten guests are able to arrive before Brian, a category four hurricane, makes landfall. Lois Steinberg washes ashore on the beach. Amongst strangers, she has no idea who to trust and when Paul, the cook, is found murdered, events happen too eerily reminiscent of any "Catch Me" game that Stuart Harrington could ever conceive.

Review:


Catch Me If You CanCatch Me If You Can by Miss Mae
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a complimentary copy from the author in return for an honest review.

This is a wonderful murder mystery. I really enjoyed it!

Lois Steinberg is a wonderful character. I really liked her. Washed ashore on Hanibel Island, off the coast of South Carolina during a storm, she finds herself in danger; a convention for a "Catch Me" game turns deadly. As the intensity of the storm increases, the danger increases too. Trapped and afraid, she will have to keep her wits about her to survive. Not sure whom to trust, she finds herself fighting her attraction to Victor, a man with his own secrets.

This is a fantastic murder mystery. The intensity of the tale is kept all the way through. Ten strangers (or are they?) are trapped in Wycliff House Resort during a category four hurricane. When one of their number is murdered, everyone becomes suspect.

I found myself hooked by the story and it kept me turning the pages. I enjoyed meeting Victor Helm and his dog, Mite, though I felt that Victor's character could have had a little more depth. All of the other characters have their own quirks and secrets. Jenna Milford is the owner/manager of Wycliff House. Paul is her cook. Jared Steele is one of the guests, as is Tia, B.J., Cookie, Rajah Singh, Bob and Pete.

I must admit that I had no idea who the murderer was even up until the end. There are red herrings, twists and surprises in store. When I found out who the murderer was, I was completely taken aback. I never expected that. I am normally pretty good at ferreting out the culprit, but not this time. This made the ending exciting. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't work out who the murderer was, but it wouldn't be a good murder mystery if I had (I think).

Miss Mae has written a wonderful murder mystery. I love her fast paced writing style and the flow was wonderful. I am a huge fan of mystery novels, and one of my favourite authors in this genre is Agatha Christie. However, Miss Mae is an author that I will be keeping an eye on in the future.

I highly recommend this book to readers who love murder mysteries and suspense or classic who-dun-its and are looking for a highly entertaining read. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews



About The Author:



Miss Mae is an award winning, best selling author. "Said the Spider to the Fly" has consistently rated outstanding reviews and has won the esteemed title of Best Book of the Week for The Long and the Short of It Reviews and from The Romance Studio. It can be purchased both in digital format and in print. "When the Bough Breaks", a young adult coming-of-age story won the 2009 P & E Readers' Poll in the YA category.

Her first book, "See No Evil, My Pretty Lady" had previously only been available as a digital book. Now it can be purchased in print from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and CreateSpace. Visit her website (http://www.themissmaesite.com) for the links.

The highly acclaimed "It's Elementary, My Dear Winifred" won a 2009 Top Ten Read at MyShelf.com. Out of print for a couple of years, this fast-paced, action filled 'who-dun-it' is now back with a brand new cover! It's in print at Amazon and in digital format at various online estores.

Miss Mae also enjoys writing humor and non-fiction articles. Some of her publications can be found in The Front Porch Magazine, Good Old Days, and WritersWeekly.

Her alter ego, M.M., penned a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek fantasy tale titled "Ahoy Gum Drop!" where her bumbling, fumbling reporter, I.B. Nosey, is introduced to the world wide web of cyberspace. Check him out at Feeling Nosey? (http://feelingnosey.blogspot.com)

Author Links:

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Book Review of The Iron Queen (Iron Fey #3) by Julie Kagawa



Book Title: The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey #3)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 368
Author: Julie Kagawa
Date Published: 25 January 2011

Synopsis:

In less than twenty-four hours I’ll be seventeen. Although, technically, I won’t actually be turning seventeen. I’ve been in the Nevernever too long.

When you’re in Faery, you don’t age. So while a year has passed in the real world, agewise I’m probably only a few days older than when I went in. In real life, I’ve changed so much I don’t even recognize myself. MY NAME IS MEGHAN CHASE. I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who’s sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I’m not sure anyone can survive it.

THIS TIME, THERE WILL BE NO TURNING BACK.

Review:


The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3)The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the third book in the Iron Fey series. I absolutely loved it!

Meghan Chase is a wonderful character. I really liked her and her character growth throughout the series. She has faced many difficulties and several challenges in her time in Faery. She has fought against The Iron King (and won), travelled through treacherous landscapes and had her heart broken by a Winter Prince. However, her greatest challenge is still yet to come. She must brave the Iron Fey's lands once more to confront the new Iron King and stop his march to conquer the other courts, as well as making the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect the ones she loves.

I had been in a reading slump before picking up the first book in the series. Once again, I was pulled into the story and found myself completely entranced with the world of Faery. I loved meeting Robin Goodfellow aka Puck again, as well as the Cait Sith, Grimalkin and Ash, the Winter Prince.

I started reading this story as soon as I had finished with The Iron Daughter, as I wanted to find out what happened next. The descriptions of the faery world and creatures living within it are vivid and felt real. As I sat reading, I could picture every scene in my mind's eye with ease. I would love to see this made into a movie or TV serial, though it would probably rely a lot on CGI for the various creatures living within it.

Meghan is a lot stronger than I gave her credit for. This is a coming of age story that left me breathless. In this story she finds out a secret that has been kept from her for ten years and it reunites her with someone she never thought she would see again. On the other hand, she finds herself being torn between her human family and her destiny in Faery. Her relationship with Ash deepens amidst danger and she struggles to reconcile her feelings for him and her duty. Her ability to control iron glamour is finally explained, even though I had made the connection with it to her battle with Machina in the first book. And I had a sneaking suspicion that things would not be easy for her and Ash as the story progressed. However, when I reached the end of the book, it was with mixed feelings; I wanted the story to continue, but I also didn't as I didn't think my heart could take any more battering. Once I had finished it though, I sat with tears streaming down my face and thought, "Wow!" and my respect for Meghan increased. I wasn't a pretty sight; I was an emotional wreck. It is not often that this happens to me, but I must be a masochist because I am now looking forward to reading Ash's story, The Iron Knight, as soon as possible.

Julie Kagawa has written a fantastic Young Adult series. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and exciting. The flow was also wonderful, as each scene moved effortlessly into the next. She has found a firm fan in me and I will definitely be reading more of her books in the future.

Although there is a scene of a sensual nature, it is not explict and fades out. However, there are scenes that have some violence or are a little gory. Therefore, I do not recommend this to readers under 15. However, I highly recommend this book if you love YA fantasy or paranormal romances. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews


           

About The Author:



Julie Kagawa, the New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Fey and Blood of Eden series was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn't getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.
When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time (okay, at least the illustrations did), but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a
real job.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full time.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, an obnoxious cat, an Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and a hyper-active Papillion.

Author Links:

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Book Review of The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey, Book 2) by Julie Kagawa



Book Title: The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey #2)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 304
Author: Julie Kagawa
Date Published: 20 July 2010

Synopsis:

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

Review:


The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey, #2)The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the Iron Fey series. I absolutely loved it!

Meghan Chase is a wonderful character. I really liked her. She's now seventeen years old, though still full of angst and a bit of a tom boy. Having saved her brother Ethan from the grip of The Iron King, Meghan finds herself stuck in the Winter Court. Unable to use her Summer power, she struggles to survive in the Unseelie court. When a traitor steals an important object out from under the Winter court's care, Meghan finds herself thrown into another deadly adventure. Can she retrieve the object and stop the war between the Summer and Winter courts? Or will she lose everything she has been fighting for?

I had been in a reading slump before picking up the first book in the series. Now I can't get enough of it! Once I finished The Iron King, I picked this one up and began reading it straight away.

Once again, I was pulled into the story and found myself completely entranced with the world of Faery. I loved meeting Robin Goodfellow aka Puck again, as well as the Cait Sith, Grimalkin and Ash, the Winter Prince.

This story is just as intense and emotional as the first one; full of action, adventure and danger, as well as romance. I love the interaction between the characters. Puck and Ash still have a love/hate/respect relationship. Their ability to set aside their feud in order to work together to keep Meghan safe impressed me though. Grimalkin is still mysterious and seems to know a lot more than he shares, this can be a bit annoying for the characters, but he also acts as a voice of reason when they get a bit hotheaded. There are also some new characters introduced: Leanansidhe, the Exile Queen, who rules over the exiled and half-breed fae that have been banished from Faery and lives in the Between (the veil separating the human and fae worlds). I'm not sure I liked her. She has a vindictive streak that made me shudder. However, she is much nicer than most fae, which is saying a lot. I still wouldn't trust her though.
Ironhorse was introduced to the reader in the first book, but only had a small role. In this book, he takes it upon himself to be Meghan's guardian, since she defeated The Iron King. Meghan herself has changed since her battle with Machina. She has grown as a character, and I have enjoyed watching her mature and handle responsibilities that would break normal beings. However, her woe is me attitude at the beginning of the book made me want to throttle her. But, as the story progressed, I forgot my irritation with her. Her ability to use iron glamour seems to be a direct result from the death of Machina at her hand, but I found it odd that she didn't make the connection herself.

The descriptions of the faery world and creatures living within it are vivid and felt real. As I sat reading, I could picture every scene in my mind's eye with ease. I would love to see this made into a movie or TV serial, though it would probably rely a lot on CGI for the various creatures living within it. I reached the end of the book with mixed feelings. I wanted the story to continue, but I also didn't. This is one of the most emotional roller coaster rides I have been on in a long time. I didn't even have this reaction with the Twilight Saga, and that just about ripped my heart out at times. However, I am looking forward to continuing this amazing adventure by reading The Iron Queen next.

Julie Kagawa has written a fantastic Young Adult series. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and exciting. The flow was also wonderful, as each scene moved effortlessly into the next. She has found a firm fan in me and I will definitely be reading more of her books in the future.

Although there are no scenes of a sensual nature, there are scenes that are violent or a little gory. Therefore, I do not recommend this to readers under 15. However, I highly recommend this book if you love YA fantasy or paranormal romances. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews


        

About The Author:



Julie Kagawa, the New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Fey and Blood of Eden series was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn't getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.
When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time (okay, at least the illustrations did), but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a
real job.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full time.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, an obnoxious cat, an Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and a hyper-active Papillion.

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