Tag Archives: heroes

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 »

Book Review: First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher

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First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher Recommended Ages: 14+ Five books ago, Tavi of Calderon was an active, resourceful, good-naturedly trouble-prone farm boy whose prospects in life were dimmed by the fact that, unlike everyone else in Alera, he had absolutely no fury-craft—that is, no control over the spirits of air, water, wood, metal, earth, and fire. While others had these powers to a greater or lesser degree—and those with the most fury-craft tended to ... Read More »

Review: Tom Trueheart and the Land of Dark Stories by Ian Beck

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Tom Trueheart and the Land of Dark Stories by Ian Beck Recommended Ages: 10+ In the sequel to The Secret History of Tom Trueheart, the youngest of seven brothers in the last surviving family of storybook heroes must, once again, set out to save the older six. Not only that, but he must rescue five princesses who were spirited away on their wedding day before the helpless, horrified eyes of their wedding guests. Also, he ... Read More »

Book Review: Storybound by Marissa Burt

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Storybound by Marissa Burt Recommended Ages: 11+ Lately a lot of writers have been sending us dispatches from the Land of Stories. According to sometime Glee star Chris Colfer, it’s a cluster of magical kingdoms where a pair of children from our world, transported through a family heirloom storybook, discover the true history behind many of your favorite fairy tales. In another account by Ian Beck, the Land of Stories is a country where designated ... Read More »

Review: Cold Days by Jim Butcher

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Cold Days—buy it by Jim Butcher—his website Recommended Ages: 14+ Book 14 of “The Dresden Files” follows up on Chicago-based wizard/detective Harry Dresden’s apparent death in Changes and post-death experiences in Ghost Story. If you haven’t read those books yet, I’ve already spoiled that much; to say anything about this book, I’ll have to spoil a lot more. It’s too late to pull out now, so here goes: Dresden lives! Can I avoid spoilers by ... Read More »

Review: Flora’s Dare by Ysabeau S. Wilce

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Flora’s Dare—buy it by Ysabeau Wilce—her website Recommended Ages: 12+ In the sequel to Flora Segunda, Flora Fyrdraaca ov Fyrdraaca, fourteen-year-old heroine of an alternate-history version of San Francisco called Califa, finds out what her true name is. And while I’m mentioning it, I might add that the full title of this book is Flora’s Dare: How a Girl of Spirit Gambles All to Expand Her Vocabulary, Confront a Bouncing Boy Terror, and Try to ... Read More »

Review: The Well Between the Worlds by Sam Llewellyn

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The Well Between the Worlds—buy it by Sam Llewellyn—his website Recommended Ages: 12+ I was so overwhelmed by the strangeness and originality of this book’s fantasy conceits that, in spite of several clues, I got halfway through it before I realized that it is a retelling of the Arthurian legend. Color me embarrassed! It mentions a round table. It features a sword in a stone, which only the rightful king can pull loose. It has ... Read More »

Review: The Secret History of Tom Trueheart by Ian Beck

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The Secret History of Tom Trueheart—buy it by Ian Beck—his website Recommended Ages: 10+ Young Tom comes from a line of storybook heroes. And by that I mean the actual heroes of such stories as “Jack the Giant Killer” and “The Frog Prince.” Whether a clever tailor or a charming prince, the hero in each of your favorite fairy tales was most likely a member of the Trueheart clan, acting on instructions from the staff ... Read More »