Book Review: Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
Book Reviews / October 16, 2005

Cimorene is not a “proper” princess. She does not want to be one, either. She doesn’’t care for the things “proper” princesses are supposed to do, such as embroidery and etiquette. She wants to do all the sorts of things “proper” princesses don’t do, such as fencing, learning Latin, cooking, and juggling. Finally, when her parents try to marry her off to a proper prince (a handsome one, who hasn’t a thought in his head about anything except battles and tournaments), Cimorene has been pushed too far. She runs away and volunteers to be a dragon’s princess.

Book Review: Wizard’s Holiday by Diane Duane
Book Reviews / October 15, 2005

The seventh of the ongoing Young Wizards series is this 2003 book featuring teen wizards Nita Callahan and Kit Rodriguez. Nita’s wizardly kid sister Dairine gets into big trouble for trying to sign Nita and herself up for a wizard exchange program during spring break. As a result, Nita and Kit get sent away as exchange wizards, and Dairine and her dad play host to three young wizards from far away. Only we’re not talking about young wizards from France or Japan, but from the far reaches of the galaxy…

Book Review: A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane
Book Reviews / October 15, 2005

The sixth book in the Young Wizards series picks up a few months after The Wizard’s Dilemma, and a month after teen wizard Nita Callahan’s mother died of cancer. While she tries to pick up the pieces of her life, along with her sensitive father and her difficult sister Dairine, a strange and lonely intelligence begins making contact with her through her dreams.

Book Review: A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane
Book Reviews / October 15, 2005

Book 4 of the ongoing Young Wizards series tackles the problem of what new direction to take teen wizards Nita and Kit in. After all, they’ve been to a parallel dimension, they’ve been at the bottom of the sea, and they’ve been to the farthest reaches of the universe. They’ve confronted the ultimate evil, they’ve participated in a redemptive sacrifice, and along with Nita’s kid sister Dairine– a 12-year-old wizard so powerful that she’s scary– they’ve even seen a reenactment of the Temptation in the Garden. Where do you go from there?

Book Review: High Wizardry by Diane Duane
Book Reviews / October 15, 2005

The third novel of seven (so far) in the Young Wizards series sends teen wizards Nita and Kit on a perilous adventure through outer space. This time, they are tracking Nita’s kid sister Dairine, who has just become an incredibly powerful novice wizard armed with a laptop computer and a beta-software version of the wizard’s manual.

Book Review: Deep Wizardry by Diane Duane
Book Reviews / October 15, 2005

This is the 1985 sequel to So You Want to Be a Wizard, and second in the Young Wizards sequence that (to date) runs seven books strong. And wow, what a powerful story! I hardly know where to begin!

Book Review: The Young Wizards Series by Diane Duane
Book Reviews / October 15, 2005

Currently seven books and almost twenty years strong, this series of sci fi-fantasy adventures proves that its author is too good to be wasted on Star Trek novelizations. Fans of Harry Potter, take note. Run, do not walk, to your library or bookstore, and borrow, buy, or order these terrific books! It should be astonishing if this series isn’t nearly as well known as the putative seven-book series by J.K. Rowling, and loved by many of the same people.

Book Review: Farperoo (The Dark Inventions, Vol. 1) by Mark Lamb
Book Reviews / September 18, 2005

I want to plunge right into praises for this book, for several reasons. First, and just to get it out there in public so no one can say I hid the facts from you, I didn’’t have to pay for this book. A kind and enthusiastic bookseller sent it to me all the way from the U.K. (Thanks, Nigel!) for me to review. Not to encourage or discourage any authors or publishers who are thinking of making the same offer, I need to add that I only accept such an offer if it sounds like a book that I want to read—and I will be honest about what I think of it!

Book Review: The Riddle of the Gnome by P.W. Catanese
Book Reviews / September 18, 2005

In the past I have exchanged a few notes with Paul Catanese, author of the “Further Tales” series of exciting sequels to well-known fairy tales. So it was an honor, but not a surprise, to get an “advance reviewer copy” of his latest book, The Riddle of the Gnome. This time, Catanese gives us the further tale of Rumpel-Stiltskin, the villainous yet (if this book is to be believed) tragically misunderstood gnome who demanded a queen’s firstborn son in exchange for helping her spin straw into gold when she was just a poor miller’s daughter – a gnome whose plans were undone when the queen guessed his name. Was this the end of an evil plan? Or was it the ruin of the one good thing Rumpel-Stiltskin had ever tried to do? That will be up to you to decide as you read this interesting twist on the old tale.