BOOK REVIEW: Bright Burns the Night, by Sara B. Larson

Title: Bright Burns the Night
Author: Sara B. Larson
Series: Dark Breaks the Dawn duology, 2/2
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: May 29th, 2018

A Swan Lake retelling.

Note: This post reviews the second book of the Dark Breaks the Dawn duology. You may like to read the first book review in the series, Dark Breaks the Dawnbefore reading this review.

It has been ten years since King Lorcan of Dorjhalon trapped Queen Evelayn of Eadrolan in her swan form. Year after year, Lorcan shifts Evelayn back into her human form and offers her the chance to stay human if she will marry him, and year after year she refuses. But with the unbalance of power between the Dark Kingdom and the Light, Evelayn must put aside her prejudices and partner with the man who seemingly destroyed her life.

As Evelayn and Lorcan fight to restore the balance of power to Lachalonia, she learns truths about the past that change her views on almost everything. She finds friendship, love even, in the enemy she used to hate, while seeing others she trusted explicitly for who they really are. But can Evelayn and Lorcan remain on the same side long enough to save both kingdoms from an ancient threat?

I enjoyed this second book of the duology even more than the first! It’s rare that a series gets better, especially with the second book, but Sara B. Larson succeeded in Bright Burns the Night.

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BOOK REVIEW: Dark Breaks the Dawn, by Sara B. Larson

Title: Dark Breaks the Dawn
Author: Sara B. Larson
Series: Dark Breaks the Dawn duology, 1/2
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: May 30th, 2017

A Swan Lake origin story.

Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, has come into her full powers after turning eighteen. The timing could not be better, as her kingdom is at war with the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon. With her mother fighting the war at the front lines, Evelayn trains daily and learns how to use her new power. Lord Tanvir helps her train, earning her trust, and eventually her affection.

King Bain of Dorjhalon schemes to take control over both kingdoms, Light and Dark. Responsibility falls on Evelayn to fight the dark king and his sons, Lorcan and Lothar. The fate of her kingdom rests on her shoulders. With the help and support of trusted friends, she faces the dark kingdom. But not everything – or everyone – is as it seems, and Evelayn must face the consequences of her decisions, affecting not only her kingdom, but her very humanity.

It’s not very often that I come across a YA fantasy written as a duology (which just so happens to be my WIP). In addition to that connection, I have not only performed in the ballet Swan Lake, but have assisted in Swan Lake choreography at the Colorado Ballet Society. I’ve read Sara B. Larson’s trilogy Defy and loved it! I enjoyed her duology, but not quite as much as her trilogy.

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BOOK REVIEW: Ogre Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine

Ogre Enchanted (Ella Enchanted, #0.5)


Title: Ogre Enchanted

Author: Gail Carson Levine
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Romance
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: October 16th, 2018

Ogre Enchanted is a prequel to Ella Enchanted, written two decades later. Lucinda the fairy, in her terrible judgement (as always), turns Evie, a young healer, into an ogre after turning down a marriage proposal from her best friend, Wormy. Evie only has 62 days to accept a marriage proposal and undo Lucinda’s curse – but will someone fall in love with her in ogre form?

Join Evie as she embarks on a quest to save herself from a terrible fate, experiencing friendship, heartache, and self-discovery along the way. Journey back into this beloved world created by Gail Carson Levine that has all the magic and charm of Ella Enchanted.

I enjoyed this new book by Gail Carson Levine, though I found the beginning to be a little on the slow side. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the rest of her books!

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The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre

Title: The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Genre: Adventure, Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, YA
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: May 2nd, 2017

Note: This book is written as a stand-alone prequel to The Two Princesses of Bamarre. If you are new to the world of Bamarre, I suggest beginning with The Two Princesses of Bamarre, since it introduces us to some of the characters in this book. 

The Two Princesses of Bamarre was the second book I read by Gail Carson Levine, and it became an instant favorite. I was pretty excited when she wrote this prequel over a decade later. I had high hopes for this book – and it did not disappoint. It is also worth mentioning that this is a subtle (so subtle that I almost missed it) Rapunzel retelling.

Peregrine is born a Bamarre, the people hated and oppressed by the Lakti. Taken from her family as a baby, Perry is raised as an ideal Lakti: she runs the fastest, fights skillfully, and says it like she sees it – a trait noticed and admired by her best friend, Willem. Raised to see the Bamarre that live among the Lakti as inferior, she never gave them much thought. Until, of course, she learns that she herself is one of them.

Thrown amongst a people she does not know, Perry sees that the Bamarre are not weak and cowardly as she was taught to believe, but kind and brave. With the help of her newly discovered people, her family (including my favorite: little brother Drualt!), and her love, Willem, Peregrine becomes the reluctant hero who must deliver the Bamarre from the oppression of the Lakti before their entire civilization is slowly wiped out and forgotten.

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Blog Tour for Happily!

Blog Tour Banner - Recommended for _Featured Image_

I’m very excited to share this week’s post with you! It’s not one of my usual book reviews. Instead, I will be participating in a blog tour for Happily, a book by one of my writing friends, Chauncey Rogers. Some of you might remember seeing my review of Happily back in February. In case you missed it, you can read it here.

I have the honor of wrapping up the blog tour today! In the blurb below, Chauncey talks about a fun song he would pick for an “Ending Credits Song,” for when the book will be adapted into a movie (as we all hope it will!). I hadn’t actually heard this song before now, but I love it. It’s a perfect fit, even if the shoe isn’t!

Happily Book Cover - Recommended
Thank you, Rosie, for letting me end my blog tour on your lovely blog!

I suspect that most people who write stories dream of the day that their story might be turned into a movie. I don’t know about other authors, but I particularly enjoy daydreaming about what song might be used for the “Ending Credits Song.” I’m not sure why that is. It might just be because some of my favorite songs have been used as ending credits songs, or because some of my favorite movies also have wonderful ending credits songs.

Whatever it is, it’s something I enjoy thinking about, whether or not the day ever comes.


As this is the end of the blog tour, I thought it might be appropriate to share an “Ending Credits Song” here, as well as to thank everyone who has participated.
Thank you, each and every one. This has been a great experience for me, and I hope it has been equally wonderful for the rest of you.

Now, as for the ending credits song, I will admit that I didn’t choose this song out personally. Instead, my mother happened to hear it being played while she was out shopping. She’d recently finished reading Happily, and felt that this song would make a wonderful ending credits song.

So, without further ado, I give you “I Believe in You” by Michael Bublé:

Thank you! And until next time, I wish you only the very best.

Chauncey Rogers

Chauncey Rogers - Optional


Happily
on GoodReads
Purchase Happily on Amazon!

Day 13 of 13 of Happily’s Release Blog Tour. See the full blog tour schedule here.

Blog Tour Schedule - Optional

R&R Button - MUST USE

Belle’s Library

 

Title: Belle’s Library
Author: Brittany Rubiano
Genre: a collections of quotes and musings
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: January 31st, 2017

A collection of literary quotes and inspirational musings

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you will notice that I have a thing for retellings – particularly those of Beauty and the Beast. In addition to last week’s review of As Old As Time, I have also reviewed The Beast WithinCruel BeautyThe Merchant’s Daughter, and A Court of Thorns and Roses. You might say I’m a little obsessed. I mean, a girl who loves her books and craves adventure? I’m there.

So imagine my delight when Disney Press released this book last year, a couple months before the release of the breathtaking remake starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. I simply had to have it. Belle’s Library is a beautiful collection of “inspiring quotes from some of Belle’s favorite books, as well as her insightful notes and coloring drawings” (from back of book). It is the kind of book you could easily peruse in a single sitting, on a lazy afternoon with a cup of tea. I love having it as a part of my own library!

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As Old As Time

Title: As Old As Time: A Twisted Tale
Author: Liz Braswell
Series: Twisted Tales, 3
Genre: Disney, Fairytale, Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: September 6th, 2016

What if Belle’s mother cursed the Beast?

Similar to the Villains series I reviewed earlier this year, this series takes beloved stories from classic Disney movies and twists them into something new and unexpected. This book tells the story of Beauty and the Beast. As the tagline suggests, the twist of this tale is that Belle’s mother is the enchantress who curses the Beast in the beginning of the story.

As Old As Time follows the storyline of Beauty and the Beast pretty closely – up till Belle finds the enchanted rose in the West Wing. Upon finding this rose, Belle touches it and immediately learns the truth – the truth of who her mother was, and what happened to the Beast and his cursed household. Belle and the Beast must work together if they are to uncover the mystery surrounding the castle and break the enchantress’ curse.

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