Tag Archives: warfare

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: Powers by Ursula K. Le Guin

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Powers by Ursula K. Le Guin Recommended Ages: 13+ In the third book of the “Annals of the Western Shore,” the author of A Wizard of Earthsea completes what appears to be a fantasy trilogy for young adults. I hope that appearances are deceiving in this case. I hope this series will continue beyond this book! In The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, Diana Wynne Jones wrote that a map in the foreleaves is an essential ... Read More »

Book Review: Voices by Ursula K. Le Guin

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Voices by Ursula K. Le Guin Recommended Ages: 13+ In the second book of “Annals of the Western Shore,” gifted maker (poet) Orrec Caspro and his animal-whisperer wife Gry Barre come to the city of Ansul, fabled for its literature and its scholarly culture. But it seems they have come seventeen years too late: for Ansul has been conquered by the Alds, the people of the Asudar desert to the east. Unlike the people of ... Read More »

Book Review: Two YA Baseball Novels

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Choosing Up Sides by John H. Ritter Recommended Ages: 12+ More than five years ago, I reviewed The Boy Who Saved Baseball by this author, who is totally not the actor from Three’s Company. In that review, I said that I planned to read more of his books in the near future. I was true to my word, but only to the extent that I have had this book and another by the same author ... Read More »

Book Review: The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

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The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly Recommended Ages: 13+ The trail of “things to read after Harry Potter” has already led me past many books in which real-world characters get mixed up in the world where fairy tales and children’s stories are real. Off the top of my head, these include the work of authors Chris Colfer, Eoin Colfer, Ian Beck, Frank Beddor, Michael Buckley, Marissa Burt, Michael Ende, Lev Grossman, Tom Holt, ... 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 »

Book Review: Escape from Castle Cant

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Escape from Castle Cant by K. P. Bath Recommended Ages: 11+ After I read this book, but before I started writing the review, I did a little research on the internet. Basically, I was looking for a link to the author’s website (which doesn’t exist). Only then did I learn that Mr. Bath was arrested in 2009 and sentenced in 2010 to six years in prison for possession of child pornography. So right off I ... 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: Interworld by Neil Gaiman & Michael Reaves

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Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves Recommended Ages: 12+ High school sophomore Joey Harker has such a poor sense of direction that he sometimes gets lost in his own house. One day, during a social studies exam in the form of a scavenger hunt around the downtown area, he walks into a patch of fog and comes out in another reality altogether. A world where McDonald’s sports a single, green tartan arch, and where ... Read More »

Review: Dirty Magic by Carol Hughes

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Dirty Magic—buy it by Carol Hughes—about the author Recommended Ages: 12+ Joe Brooks, a boy who likes models and Monster Machine magazine, gets up in the middle of the night and finds that his bathroom door opens into a muddy plain stretching to the horizon all around. Suddenly Joe is in a strange, island world where the sun never shines, the war never ends, and the lost children who regularly appear out of nowhere never ... Read More »