Tag Archives: heroes

Book Review: Empire of Bones by N. D. Wilson

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Empire of Bones by N. D. Wilson Recommended Ages: 12+ The third and final book of “The Ashtown Burials” features so many characters, doing so many things at once, in so many places, that even quite close to the end I couldn’t believe it was going to conclude the trilogy. I fully expected another cliffhanger, hooking us for a surprise fourth book, à la Brisingr. The good news—if you’ll pardon my relief—it really does end ... Read More »

The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore

Since the beginning of time (and by time, I mean Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone), I’ve always thought of Dumbledore as not only wise beyond his many, many… many… years, but as someone who was in a sense “ethically and morally superior”. He was the Wizard who could do no wrong; he was a role model, in particular to Harry, and as Headmaster of Hogwarts I had assumed a certain level of credibility attached to his name, at least to some degree. But as we continued to read on through the books and as the final pieces of the story fell into their rightful place, I found myself feeling a bit unsure of exactly where Dumbledore stood in my lineup of favorites. I mean, who was Dumbledore, really? Read More »

Welcome to the Restricted Section

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Books have always been a huge focal point in the Harry Potter series, and this is something that I both love and attribute to J.K. Rowling’s love of them herself. Throughout the series, we’re introduced to a number of different types of books and constantly reminded of their importance; from the book that almost ate Neville (think Prisoner of Azkaban, Care of Magical Creatures class) to Tom Riddle’s Diary to Severus’ copy of Advanced Potion-Making (Half-blood Prince) to even the Tale of Three Brothers, we are truly shown the importance of books and the information they hold. That being said, there’s one set of books that I think has been purposefully left a mystery; and that is the Restricted Section. Read More »

What Would Harry Potter Do?

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We’ve all been there. The moment when you realize your day might not be panning out the way you had planned while brushing your teeth that morning. Wherever you are in life, no one is safe from these instances of “Oh… oh no”. And in these moments, many a time I try to think about what Harry Potter would do. Read More »

Book Review: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

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Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta Recommended Ages: 14+ The Australian author of Jellicoe Road has dealt with many issues facing today’s young adults: loneliness, depression, grief, single pregnancy, suicide, racism, family and school problems galore. Then she turned toward writing YA fantasy, and the “Lumatere Chronicles” is the result. In this first book of the trilogy, we are introduced to a gripping, romantic fantasy about sexy young people riding horses, sailing ships, and ... Read More »

Review: Fall of a Kingdom by Hilari Bell

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Fall of a Kingdom by Hilari Bell Recommended Ages: 12+ Inspired by a Persian legend and originally titled Flame, this is the first book of the Farsala Trilogy. The new and improved title, while dramatically distinctive, has the drawback of giving away the ending. But since the story is only getting started, that’s probably all right. The kingdom that falls in this book is called Farsala, a society that has held its own for many ... Read More »

Book Review: The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

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The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen Recommended Ages: 12+ Jaron, alias Sage, proved to be more than as advertised in The False Prince. After convincing an ambitious nobleman he was the best impostor for a long-lost prince, Jaron proved to be the real prince after all—supposedly killed by pirates, but lying low in the guise of a street urchin. Now he has returned to claim his throne, just when his country’s aggressive neighbors are ... Read More »

Book Review: The Drowned Vault by N. D. Wilson

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The Drowned Vault by N. D. Wilson Recommended Ages: 12+ In the second book of the Ashtown Burials, Order of St. Brendan journeymen Cyrus and Antigone Smith have survived the test that determined their right to seek shelter in the Order’s sanctuary at Ashtown, somewhere on the Wisconsin shore of Lake Michigan. But they have also earned the distrust and resentment of many other members of the order, by losing the Dragon’s Tooth. Now the ... Read More »

Book Review: Three Hainish Novels by Ursula K. Le Guin

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Three Hainish Novels by Ursula K. Le Guin Recommended Ages: 14+ This omnibus volume of the first three books of the Hainish Cycle is also available under the title Worlds of Exile and Illusion. I chose to lead with the simpler, more plainly descriptive title, mainly because it happened to be this edition that I borrowed from the public library. To be sure, it’s a bit of a misnomer. The first three installments in Ursula ... Read More »

Movie Review: ‘The Great Gatsby’ Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack

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The Great Gatsby Book by F. Scott Fitzgerald Film by Baz Luhrmann Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey McGuire, Carey Mulligan, & Joel Edgerton Rated: PG-13 English was (almost) always my favorite subject when I was in high school. I truly loved the fact that every other week I was specifically told to transport myself into, to get fully enveloped by, to really experience, a world outside of my own.See, my high school world was that of ... Read More »