Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Movie Review: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)

~ Skander Keynes as Edmund Pevensie ~

~ Georgie Henley as Lucy Pevensie ~

~ Will Poulter as Eustace Scrubb ~

~ Ben Barnes as Caspian X ~

My Review (5 stars):

     It's a little different than the first two... the main thing being that Peter and Susan are in America, not England or Narnia with Edmund and Lucy. Then we meet Eustace Clarence Scrubb, who is hilariously portrayed by Will Poulter. Diving into Narnia, these three board the Dawn Treader and reunite with Caspian and Reepicheep. Aw, how wonderful. :)

     Why does everyone hate on this movie? I loved it! We have the same Edmund and Lucy, who are even more grown up. But that's to be expected and even anticipated; they have new struggles and little different adventures. Lucy is finally old enough to carry her own sword now, J. Plus we have the all-together entertaining Eustace; Will Poulter did SUCH a good job with him. He was perfect. We go back to Narnia... long waited for! And a lot of the tale takes place on a neat Narnian ship. New and fascinating places are explored. Altogether different concepts are brought up. There's a little more of the magic feeling. Peace has come for the people of Narnia, so there are no big battles; yet there's a mysterious evil out to destroy everything… so there's battles, just a little different from the first two movies.

     The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010) explored the whole temptation thing; Enemy whispering lies in your ears that sound like logic; and having to “defeat the darkness inside yourself” to defeat the evil green mist. A pretty cool message overall.

     Loved journeying along with Lucy, Edmund, King Caspian, and Reepicheep, as always. Eustace even became a loveable part, :). Then he had to go turn into a dragon... I could have used more time with him as a boy; but... so goes the story. Speaking of that part, the dragon definitely had a computer-made look; but you get over it pretty quickly, at least I did.

     I would say Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010) wasn't as violent as Prince Caspian (2008), and probably not as intense or gruesome either. Well, we do see a nasty-looking sea serpent near the end. But it probably has more eerie/creepy parts than any of the things above.

     It was good to see Edmund and Lucy doing so well together; you know, they don't have Peter and Susan this time. –But their relationship has really strengthened, and they're such a caring brother and sister pair. It's extremely fun to watch Eustace's story, see his redemption, watch him mature and make friends, all that. And Caspian, it was good to see him again, and watch him overcome certain struggles. He's the king now! Anyway, it’s an adventure from beginning to end, with wit and humor, and action and mystery.

     The end is so bittersweet, even more so than Prince Caspian (2008). Now its Edmund and Lucy's last time in Narnia, and watching Georgie Henley portray Lucy's grief just makes me want to cry! An altogether beautiful ending though, in a sad way. Aslan's talk was touching and amazing. Edmund, Lucy, and Eustace say good-bye... their actress and actors really just did a superb job. I just loved it. Really great. A wonderful movie in and of itself, but Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010) just really leaves you longing to continue the adventure and watch Eustace journey back to Narnia. OH, when is The Silver Chair going to come out??!! :)

Movie Review: Prince Caspian

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)
 [The wonderful cast, *smiles*]
My Review (5 stars):
     The Pevensie children are a little older... some waiting anxiously to go back to Narnia; others, not so much. And in Narnia, it’s been hundreds of years since the Pevensies left, a new young man is introduced. Among the cruel Telmarines, a prince has been learning of the legendary Narnians from his old tutor.
     The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is actually the third book (not counting the prequel) in the Chronicles of Narnia series; but it’s the second Narnia movie, unless they decide to make The Horse and His Boy for this movie series someday.
     I know a lot of people say that Prince Caspian (2008) is way different than the book, and they didn't like it. But I rather loved it. But of course, I actually watched the Narnia movies before ever reading the books. Yeah, crazy, right? But I just wasn't in a circle that loved the Chronicles of Narnia books I guess. Anyway, I've read them now and really enjoyed them, but the movies came first for me, and so I love them! :)
     My few complaints would be these. One, Peter has gotten rather prideful and cranky, which yes, doesn't happen in the books I believe. It's kind of frustrating that they just had to make a conflict between him and Prince Caspian. They're both strong, courageous men—why do they have to compete? However, Peter's attitude did tie in with the whole scenario of him doubting Aslan in this movie, and it really made the ending parts all the more meaningful.
     Complaint number two, the romance between Prince Caspian and Susan. Okay, that definitely didn't happen in the books. Why would it? All these obvious staring moments, some flirtatious teasing, and a bittersweet kiss... all add up to? Nothing really. A relationship just can't work between the Narnian prince and normal-world-bound Susan. And furthermore, Prince Caspian marries Liliandil, the star. So why put in this ultimately-adds-up-to-nothing romance between these two? The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005) didn't have any romances, and it was great, everyone loved it! So was a little romance worth it? It wasn't all that bad; I just don't like to see romantic affection in relationships when it can come to nothing. –When Prince Caspian actually has a future wife out there waiting for him. Anyway, I'll stop ranting now. It doesn't actually bother me all that much; but if I have a complaint about Prince Caspian (2008), it would be that.
     Loving Edmund in this movie. No more fraternizing with evil anymore. He stands up against darkness, even while trying to go along with Prince Caspian and Peter; and it’s great to see! He's a wonderful character, really. Lucy is loyal, sweet, and brave as always. Peters is protective, as before; and aside from his bit of arrogance shown, it was good to see him again too. It was lovely to meet Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes). His accent was neat. I don't remember how he was in the book, but he learns humbleness in this movie, and it really becomes him. It was great to watch his story. Susan was even more beautiful and warrior-woman like in this movie than the first. It was quite epic to watch her, fighting and otherwise; and it might just make me want to don a medieval dress, grab a bow and quiver of arrows, and step into Narnia, ;) She was courageous in battle, yet feminine, and determinedly fighting against evil. I think Anna Popplewell portrays the person of Susan quite well.
     It was weird, yet fascinating how when the Pevensie children come back to Narnia a second time, in this movie, hundreds of years have passed in Narnia. It’s also kind of sad, as Mr. Tumnus, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, and everyone else from Narnia in the first movie are long dead. –Except for Aslan of course. But to try to think of Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy having grown up to their 20s-30s in Narnia, then went back through the wardrobe and became little kids again; and now they’re back in Narnia looking at their adult-size clothes they don’t fit anymore… it’s strange, and sad, and funny all at once.
     Prince Caspian (2008) is definitely more violent than The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005). –Especially the part of Caspian confronting Miraz, holding a sword to his neck. It's all quite intense, and after straining forward against the sword's tip, we see a line of blood trickling down Miraz's throat. And there’s a lengthier scene of a gross vulture creature and nasty werewolf... which was quite creepy, yet an important part of the story.
     All in all, it was a great tale. I love all the new characters introduced, including Prince Caspian, Reepicheep, and Trumpkin. The parts with Aslan were awesome as always. So many meaningful things he says, so many meaningful things implied. The part where Trumpkin finally looks at him is a favorite scene of mine. Oh, and the song in the end... "I'll come back, when you call me, no need to say good-bye..." so bittersweet! It always makes me want to cry. For one, Peter and Susan aren't coming back! *sniff* But that's all part of the Narnia tale. So what's not to love about this movie? It's great!
[Arrival in Narnia]

[The lovely warrior woman, *smiles*]

Movie Review: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)
     Yes, I know I'm a little bit obsessed, but hey, it's a really good movie! I recently watched the three Narnia movies over, so I thought I'd review them. So here goes...
["Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy."]
My Review (5 stars):
     What could be more fascinating than stepping into a wardrobe in the Empty Room of a huge mansion you've been sent away to stay at and finding yourself suddenly in an enchanting, snow-laden forest? Reality slips away and a beautiful, unknown world lies before your eyes. Yet here in a barely-imaginable land, some things become clearer than ever.
     This movie (2005) brings to life the classic fantasy tale by C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Though I haven't read the book in quite a while, I believe the movie pretty closely follows the original storyline.
     I love the cast of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005). I don't mind that they're older than the children actually are in the books; I can relate with them better this way, :). They all play their characters so well; at least in my eyes! It was so fun to watch them interact, both in England and Narnia.
     Peter (William Moseley) is such a protective big brother to his sisters, though not quite as gentle with his younger brother. He's not so sure about being a hero—but is mature enough to do what needs to be done. I love that he's such a big brother; it's so sweet to watch.
     Susan (Anna Popplewell) is very much the “big sister”, always taking care of her siblings, and trying to be sensible and logical. From the beginning, she's a little wary of Narnia, considering her personality. But I think this makes her relatable. Not everyone could step into Narnia ready to take up a sword and fight an army. And this attitude makes her crying at the stone table ever so much more meaningful.
     Edmund (Skander Keynes) is a typical little brother I think. He finds delight in teasing little sister, Lucy; and has an ornery attitude a lot. But he's struggling with a darker side too, which causes him to wreak havoc in Narnia. However I can't help but love him. He messes up, but after redemption, he at last comes to really appreciate his family, and truly love someone other than himself.
     Lucy (Georgie Henley) is the endearing youngest of the family. Her adorable smile and childlike faith... her mischievous comments and braveness... make her forever a beloved character of The Chronicles of Narnia series. The Lucy and Aslan moments on screen are so beautiful, and I love to see them in each movie.
     Another character I would like to mention is Aslan. I just have to mention him, of course; him playing such a monumental part in the story. First of all, I have really liked Liam Neeson as his voice. I don't know anything about Neeson actually, but he makes a good voice for Aslan, I feel. I love the scene where the children first meet Aslan, and he steps out of his tent, so majestic, so powerful, so good. It's a breathtaking moment really. The movie producers did a great job with creating Aslan on screen. This mighty lion captures the essence of who Christ is, and it’s really awesome to watch. This is for sure an epic fantasy with an awesome Christian allegory. The scene of Aslan's sacrifice has made me cry. To watch him walk willingly up the line of disgusting, dark creatures that spit in his face, mock him, disgrace him. His magnificent mane is shorn; and the witch leans down before killing him and whispers, “So much for love”. How agonizing! Yet Aslan endures this all without resistance. It's a pretty amazing, even eye-opening, portrayal of Christ's sacrifice for us.
     That's what makes The Chronicles of Narnia a different kind of fantasy than others. While others make the main characters tough and all on their own, fighting darkness or evil or whatever with their own strength and wit; Narnia has Aslan. He's the real hero; though the children must learn to fight as well.
     The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005) has some pretty epic battles scenes (love the part where Edmund breaks the wand), a few most tender, make-you-cry moments between the siblings, and also some tense parts.
     That would lead me to another thing I wanted to mention. The audience. This movie has some intense scenes: Edmund's meeting the witch, one-on-one fighting with Jadis, among a few other ones. Nothing extreme, but for younger children, I would recommend caution. There are also quite ugly creatures, though they're not shown for long.
     But there are many beautiful moments to make up for this. The coronation for one, :).
     Overall, a magnificent, epic fantasy... one that I will never tire of! It just enchants me.
[The Pevensie children]

Monday, July 28, 2014

Doings of Monday...

"I am the vine; and you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other."

     The words of Jesus from John chapter 15. I read most of this chapter for my devotionals today, and some of the verses just really stuck out to me. We are the friends of God! -And we must remain in Him in order to bear fruit... Stop trying to do it on your own! Let God work through you. In our weakness, His strength is shown! Great stuff! :)

     So, besides editing away at Silver Rose, I've been packing up my stuff for an imminent move, and reading some books.
     Abandoned Memories by Marylu Tyndall... I'm about halfway through. Anyone ever read her Escape to Paradise series? It's interesting to be sure. A mix of post-Civil War days historical and an almost fantasy-like spiritual. I'm not exactly sure what I think of the whole idea yet, but it makes you think anyway. And Marylu Tyndall crafts fascinating tales! :)
Also, I just got Keeping Secrets by Donna Hechler Porter in the mail! It's a lovely-looking book, and I'm excited to get reading it.
     So that's all I have for now. Hopefully my next post will be D for my Silver Rose ABC! :)
     Hope everyone's reading and writing times are going wonderfully, :) :)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Silver Rose ABC: Cover Ideas

     So, editing Silver Rose has been going well. It’s been amazing actually; I’m having a grand time!
     ...And you seasoned authors are like, “Yeah, just wait until you’re on the tenth edit…” ;)
     Well, I’m enjoying it while I can. It has actually been really fun to read my book over from the beginning, which I haven’t done in a very long time. My pages are pretty marked up as I leave them behind though!
     Anyway, to the purpose of this post. C for Cover Ideas. Well… since I’ve written “the end”, my thoughts automatically jump to the future, and of course, the cover! J I’ve been toying with the idea of being the model for the cover of Silver Rose, since I want a blonde-haired girl on the cover, and I’m not sure where else to get that!

     Here’s the results of me and my sister playing around with cover ideas…
     So what do you think? Is my outfit medieval-like fantasy kind of thing enough? J I would prefer to have a sword over a dagger, but we’ll see if I ever come up with one!
     I need to look into photoshop too… figure out the dynamics of making book covers. Good thing I’m reading Molly Evangeline’s Where Do I Start? An Overview of Indie Publishing. If you’re looking into self-publishing or such, you really should check out Molly’s book! It's been very interesting and informational; I've learned a lot already! :)
Well, that's all I have to say for today. Anyone have any book cover-making experiences, tips, or dreams they'd like to share? :) :)


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Silver Rose ABC: Beautiful End

B for Beautiful End.

I'm not actually certain if Silver Rose has a beautiful end (I would like to think so though) ... but the point of this post is, end. Yes, today marks a very important day for this author, for she has finally—after nearly three years and several severe bouts of writer's block—finished her very first full-length novel!! ^_^ ^_^

I've written several short stories, a few children's books (which I very much doubt are even half the length of Silver Rose), and I even have two 100-200 page novels that are currently on hold; but Silver Rose is my first official full-length novel to write “the end” on. Yes, I've finished it!

274 pages ... which could quite possibly make it around 548 pages in average book form. 189,488 words, according to Microsoft Word at least. Thirty-four chapters, plus the prologue and epilogue. Can you tell I'm excited? *smiles*

I'm thrilled, guys. I feel a sense of joy and accomplishment ... Not exactly looking forward to editing, but publishing suddenly seems ever so nearer!

But truly, seeing this story of my heart finally come to a satisfying conclusion is just priceless. It makes my writer's heart burst with happiness. You authors out there know what I'm feeling, right?

Writing a story is an incredible journey; like going on an adventure that you're surprised and delighted over and over again, even though you're the one writing it. Possibilities are endless. And finishing a book is amazing. It's there. It's whole. It's finally all together. Never mind editing. Can't wait to get started on Diamond's Quest! *wink*

Monday, July 21, 2014

Silver Rose ABC: Anastasia

I found this idea (story ABCs) from some other bloggers, and decided to give it a try, because it sounds like fun. *smiles* Okay, so I’ll go from A to Z, naming people, things, places, etc. from my story.

Today is A, and will be about one of my more important secondary characters, Anastasia.

This will entertain me for a while, and give you a better look into what Silver Rose is all about. *smiles* So … here we go.

~Anastasia Ellwen~

Anastasia Ellwen plays a pretty big role in Silver Rose, even though she’s not a main character. She becomes one of Karalee’s best friends, though you won’t meet her until farther on in the story.
     Red hair, sea green eyes, and a pretty smile, Anastasia is rather short and petite, with a self-conscious, shy, and “I’m unworthy” disposition. However, underneath her broken exterior, she is fiery, courageous, and faithful. She just needs the right circumstances, the right people, to bring it out in her.

I love Anastasia. *smiles* She’s a good blend of wild & fiery and gentle & faithful. And she loves the King; has a simple, trusting faith in Him. She’s definitely a priceless friend for Karalee. They both freak out at times, but can be trusted to be loyal to the other.

It was fun writing her story … though I almost wish it could have been much more prominent. Hmm … we’ll see what editing does for her. *winks*

If I had to pick an actress to play Anastasia Ellwen, I would probably choose Georgie Henley.
     Partly because I can see her playing Anastasia well from her acting in Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and partly because I don’t know much about many actors and actresses! Haha. Anyway, she seems to fit pretty well. *smiles*

So, that’s all for today. Tomorrow, or whenever I post next, will be B. I’ll have to decide what I’m doing for that.

Book Review: Snowflake Bride by Jillian Hart

Purchase HERE

Title: Snowflake Bride

Author: Jillian Hart

Series: Buttons and Bobbins #4

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

**4 stars**

Snowflake Bride is the fourth book to Jillian Hart's Buttons and Bobbins series. It was really cute. Almost as soon as I started reading, I sensed that it was going to be a really sweet love story, more the kind that I like. And it was. *smiles*

Ruby Ballard is a young woman determined to get a job at the Davis estate and help provide for her family. Lorenzo is the son on her may-be employers, and has admired Ruby since almost as long as he can remember. He's hoping to court her, but she believes accepting his suit would be betraying her family and friends ...

Just a lovely little story. It was sweet and engaging, full of surprises and with an almost Cinderella theme. I really enjoyed it. The only things that got kind of old was Ruby's seemingly misguided sense of duty to her family and friends. Seventeen or eighteen, I don't feel she has an obligation to provide for her father and older brother instead of getting married to the young man she loves. However, she stayed stubborn to this theory until they were cared for. Also, she felt guilty for falling for Lorenzo because two of her friends had a crush on him. Kindness, selflessness, and sensitivity are important, but Ruby seemed to have the weight of the world on her shoulders, and it was never completely resolved.

So yes, that was a little frustrating. But overall, it was quite a darling story, and a lot of fun.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2

My Review (4 stars):

     As you may know, I loved How to Train Your Dragon (2013). It had just the right amount of humor, sweetness, action, and poignant lessons to make it delightfully fun, and also touching. However, How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) was a little different. Or a lot. It had a much darker theme. There was a tragic incident. A shocking revelation. An army of dragons. A brutal beast. It was definitely a big step up from the first movie, making me caution younger children who may have been fine watching How to Train Your Dragon (2013). The second one has much more violent/scary scenes and happenings.

     Another thing, is the... hmmm, hypnotic stuff that goes on. I was a little bit leery of that. It was just creepy. But since it was dragon to dragon, no people involved, it wasn't too terribly bad. It was hard to watch a sweet dragon go wild though! You'll know what I mean when you watch it, or if you have watched it already.

     Yeah, and one of the twins, the girl, has quite changed. I could have done without her boy-craziness.

     And sad, it was so sad!! Still reeling over the tragic-ness in this tale, *sniff*!!

     On the flip side, I really liked the older Hiccup, and how he was finally a man, and how he was pursuing Astrid, instead of seemingly the other way around. Their relationship was just too cute, :) Not to mention, the other relationship in this movie was so, so sweet. Truly probably the best romance I've seen in an animated movie! :) That's why its so sad... well, never mind.

     So How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) still had its humorous moments, its sweet parts, but overall, it was much darker, and for a bit more mature audience than the first. There was some really good lessons too, a cool storyline. I enjoyed it, but not as much as How to Train Your Dragon (2013).

Movie Review: Tuck Everlasting

My Review (1 star):
     Tuck Everlasting (2002) tells the story of a young girl longing to be free and really live, and a family bearing the name Tuck, who accidentally became immortal.
     My initial thoughts were, "this is kind of strange"... Then, "it's sort of like an interesting fantasy"... and lastly, "it's a terrible story with no point!"
     Well, it did have a point. Which was, as quoted in the movie, “you don't have to live forever; you just have to live.” It may sound poetic and all, but I just wasn't really impressed. Someone maybe got their “happily ever after”, but it really was just a sorrowful tale. Sad; no happy ending that you built up to and watched unfold. I don't see the purpose of devoting all the time and money to make a movie that kind of clumsily brings across the point that living forever wouldn't bring you happiness or satisfaction. We all know immortality on this earth is impossible. However, everlasting life in heaven is going to be pretty superb, I'm guessing!
     So yeah, this movie just left me unsatisfied, a little confused. Some parts were interesting. Sweet. Lovely. And a little spooky. But it was silly all in all for me. ***Spoiler Alert*** The romance of this story was really just an infatuation, because Winnie obviously didn't love the Tuck boy enough to drink the water and wait for him.
     Perhaps you like the kind of movies that end with a heartbroken young man looking at his beloved's grave. I don't prefer them.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Silver Chair??

     Seriously guys.... they're making the fourth film to one of my FAVORITE movie series, and I didn't know about it?? :P :)
     But, for real, is this true?

     I've done a little bit of research, and it seems they are indeed developing The Silver Chair, fourth Narnian film (sixth book in The Chronicles of Narnia book series). http://www.christianpost.com/news/narnia-4-movie-in-development-the-silver-chair-next-in-c-s-lewis-series-105912/ or
     I'm sooo excited!! Though its been a few years since The Voyage of the Dawn Treader came out, Narnia hasn't let go of me yet! :) Fantasy is my favorite... so I'm just thrilled to see this.
     Has anyone else heard anything about this? If so, what do you think? Does Narnia captivate your heart, or do you prefer something like The Hobbit when it comes to fantasy? (I do enjoy The Hobbit films as well, by the way.)
     Anyway, I just wanted to share this, because it makes me smile! I just finished watching The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and I was wishing I could continue the tale on screen, so I looked it up on google, and found the picture above.
     Oh my heart, what would we do without fantasy? Can't wait to watch this! :) :)

Book Review: Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund

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Title: Captured by Love

Author: Jody Hedlund

Series: Michigan Brides #3

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

**2.5 stars**

Captured by Love is the third book to the MICHIGAN BRIDES series, coming after Unending Devotion and A Noble Groom. The latter two mentioned, I enjoyed, but Captured by Love just wasn't really my thing, I guess.

It tells the story of Angelique Mackenzie, who lives with her cruel stepfather, and under the scandalous shadow of her deceased mother. She's sneaking food to a starving friend, even while under the thumb of the British, who have taken over the Mackinac Island during the War of 1812. Engaged to an American soldier, she longs for him to return and marry her before her stepfather thrusts her at the highest bidder.
     Pierre is a voyageur, thriving in the business his father tried so hard to keep him from. Having left his family abruptly five years ago, a changed Pierre finally decides it’s time to go home and ask for forgiveness. But his stepping onto the Michigan island again, brings a wealth of secrets, deception, and danger.

It was interesting, I'll say that. But ... I don't know; I guess there were just some things that I didn't quite agree with. —Some of the morals of the story, they were kind of tricky. Also, I'm finding more and more that I prefer the sweet, gentle romances, that are so obviously put together by God, over love stories, such as the one in Captured by Love, which seem to put so much stock in the physical. These books that have domineering romances that are just all about the physical side, rather than the emotional and spiritual side ... they're just not near as satisfying or beautiful to me.

You may feel differently. Captured by Love is kind of the typical Christian historical romance that most people very much enjoy. —It has the forbidden love, relationship drama, exciting action, deep lessons, and intriguing storyline. But for me, I'd rather read something else. Captured by Love just wasn’t quite my thing.

I received a free copy of Captured by Love from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Favorite Series... Tales of Goldstone Wood

     Today I just want to spotlight one of my favorite series. It's fantasy... of course, :). Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl is a lovely mix of fantasy, adventure, Christian allegories, sweet romances, humor, and deep lessons. Dragons, fair maidens, endearing heroes, and crazy happenings... This series is 7 + books long, but I doubt I'll ever get bored with the strange and fascinating world of Goldstone Wood.
     How about reading some of these amazing tales? :) :)

Heartless (1)
Veiled Rose (2)
Moonblood (3)
Starflower (4)
Dragonwitch (5)
Goddess Tithe (5.5)
Shadow Hand (6)
Golden Daughter (7)
     So far I've rated them all five stars... except for Golden Daughter, which I've not read yet, but am so excited too!! :) Another novella is coming out soon also, called Draven's Light.
     So yeah, this is just an epic fantasy series that I can keep looking forward to reading more of!
     Have any of you read books from Tales of Goldstone Wood? What do you think? (Aren't the covers incredible?!)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Book Review: Hebbros by Nicole Sager

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Title: Hebbros

Author: Nicole Sager

Series: A Companions of Acrea Novel #1

Genre: Fantasy

Audience: Teen

**5 stars**

A magnificent accomplishment. Hebbros is a non-magic fantasy book of amazing depth and incredible writing style. Nicole Sager has definitely delivered a story that will not soon be forgotten by me ... and I am anxious to read more by her!

Hebbros is a city bent on a sin-laden path to destruction. A group called the Faithful strive to live freely there, but are slowly being annihilated by a wicked ruler. Luke and Christopher, twins, are two of the many children who are forced to make a choice when the unexpected happens. Will they stay strong in the ways of the Faithful? Or will they slowly become resigned to their fate in Hebbros? Enter, a so-called indifferent young lord and his selfish sister. The evil twins, Warin and Wulf, who are bent on making Luke's life miserable. A gentle slave girl named Sarah ...  –Among many others. Will the Faithful die out as evil men upon evil men seek their lives? Or is there hope in Exile?

I just ... I just want a sequel! *smiles* There are so many characters I long to continue alongside! This book drew me in, the characters etched themselves on my heart, the storyline pricked my soul. A fantastic, fantastic tale.

There were many “main” characters. In fact, I don't think I can even name them all. At first, this wasn't my favorite aspect of the story. I found myself confused and even a little exhausted at times, jumping from character to character. But once I got to know them all, it was actually quite wonderful to  know in-depth each of their stories. So yeah, I quickly came to like all the main characters. It is pretty amazing how Nicole Sager wove together each one's tale in such complex, fascinating, and mysterious ways. Lord Bradley, Sarah, Luke, Christopher, Lady Rosalynn, Pavia, Ned, Sadie, Elaina, Lord Roland, Warin ... I just fell into their stories! I long to read more of them! *smiles*

Hebbros was quite a deep book. In many ways, it reminded me of Resistance by Jaye L. Knight. The faith aspect is the center of the book, and under persecution in the story. So yes, truly, Hebbros tells an amazing story of faith, courage, trust, and all that. God is glorified! I am just, yeah, astounded by the depth, the insight, of this book. Great job, Nicole Sager! The books I most deeply appreciate are the ones where God is the center. Hebbros certainly makes that list.

Though this book has a more dark, solemn theme, there is still a good amount of humor, which was just such fun! Oh, Lord Bradley! *smiles* Oh, and the part were that mentioned character gives his gift to Sarah is also a personal favorite part of the story! So utterly sweet, and meaningful.

There was no extreme violence, in fact, quite minimal. Romances are to be found, but they are often subtle, and always sweet! So there's not much to caution younger readers about as for this book. I for one, can't wait to get my younger sisters reading it!

Overall, a (huge), incredible book, spanning 14 years actually, with all the right aspects that make up an epic novel. Faith, fantasy, adventure, humor, sweet romances ... It was poignant, stirring, touching, and altogether satisfying.