Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Author: J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter, 2/7
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, MG, YA
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Release Date: June 2nd, 1999

Note: This post reviews the second book of the Harry Potter series. You may like to read the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, before reading this review.

Harry Potter is preparing to enter his second year at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But before the term begins, he is approached by Dobby, a strange house-elf, warning him not to go back to Hogwarts because it is no longer safe. Though he returns to the school, Harry soon sees that Dobby was right – danger has returned to Hogwarts.

Muggle students are being mysteriously petrified left and right, and no one knows who the culprit is. Harry learns in the midst of these events that he can speak Parseltongue – the language of snakes – which makes him a prime suspect as Slytherin, a known muggle hater, was also a Parselmouth. After yet another incident, a threatening message is left on the walls, informing the school that the chamber of secrets has been opened. Harry begins to realize who is really behind the attacks, and must enter the dreaded chamber of secrets to confront an unexpected enemy.

I love this book, particularly because of the way we are introduced to Tom Riddle. It gives more depth and insight to the villain of the series.

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Author: J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter, 1/7
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, MG, YA
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Release Date: June 26th, 1997

For the next seven weeks, I will be reviewing the Harry Potter series! I am so excited to review these classics of our time. If you have not yet read them, I highly encourage you to jump into this beloved series of friendship, adventure, and (of course) magic.

Harry Potter has lived with his horrible relatives ever since the death of his parents when he was a baby. Forced to sleep in a closet under the stairs, his life looks pretty bleak – that is, until a stranger arrives with the news that he is a wizard. He rescues Harry and delivers him to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he will learn how to be a wizard.

Harry quickly learns that he is special, and even famous in the wizarding world. He learns the truth of what happened to his parents, Lily and James Potter, and why he is known as “the boy who lived.” In the midst of school and exams, there is danger at Hogwarts. The Sorcerer’s Stone, a magical artifact that contains the power to extend life, is hidden somewhere within the school’s walls. Harry, with the help of his new friends Ron and Hermione, races against an unimaginable evil to find the stone before it’s too late.

Join Harry and his friends on this, the first adventure of many, as they use their developing magical skills to fight their greatest enemy ever, “he who must not be named.” You won’t be disappointed!

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Red Queen: a series review

 


Series: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Books: Red Queen, Glass Sword, King’s Cage, War Storm
Novellas: Queen Song, Steel Scars
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance, YA
Publisher: Harper Teen
Overall series rating:

For a review of each of these books, follow these links:

Red Queen
Glass Sword
King’s Cage
War Storm
Cruel Crown

WARNING: mild spoilers. 

When I first started this series back in 2015, I thought I had found a new favorite. I LOVED the first book, and I had high hopes for the rest of the series. Unfortunately, the first book was the only one to get my 5-rose rating.

So what happened to cause a rating of 5 to drop to a rating of 3 for the other three books and two novellas?

Not much. That’s what happened.

The second book had so much of the same thing: the finding, recruiting, and training of newbloods.

Book three had so much of the same thing: Mare and Maven and their twisted relationship.

Book four had so much of the same thing: everyone talking about taking Maven down.

Other things happened, definitely. And there were some good parts that I really enjoyed. But this series dragged on and on and on. The story probably could have been told in half as many words, and been better for it. I had such a hard time remembering what was happening, who some people even were, and why I liked the series to begin with.

Believe me when I say that I wanted to love this series – instead, I lost all interest in it after the first book.

What do you think? Have you read the Red Queen series? I’d love to know what you thought of it!

Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

The Last Battle

Title: The Last Battle
Author: C.S. Lewis
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia, 7/7
Genre: Adventure, Allegorical, Classics, Fantasy, Middle Grade, YA
Publisher: Harper Collins 
Release Date: September 4th, 1956

Note: This post reviews the seventh and final book of The Chronicles of Narnia series. You may like to read the first six books in the series, The Magician’s Nephew, The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeThe Horse and His Boy, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and The Silver Chair before reading this review. 

For seven weeks, I will be reviewing The Chronicles of Narnia, a classic in my opinion. I’ve lost track of how many times I have read these books. Hopefully my reviews will give you a glimpse of why I love these books so much, and maybe even convince you to read them if you haven’t already.

In this final book, Eustace and Jill return to Narnia in yet another time of great need. When a false Aslan deceives the people of Narnia for selfish gain, the king of Narnia is denounced and exiled by his own people. Eustace and Jill do whatever they can to expose this charade for what it actually is – not Aslan the lion, but a misguided donkey dressed up as a lion.

In The Last Battle, we join these characters on the final adventure of all, as they face a great war and ultimately say goodbye to the old Narnia and enter into the new Narnia – a better version in every way. This is a beautiful, yet melancholy, ending to this fantastic series, and one of my favorites!

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

   

Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

The Silver Chair

Title: The Silver Chair
Author: C.S. Lewis
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia, 6/7
Genre: Adventure, Allegorical, Classics, Fantasy, Middle Grade, YA
Publisher: Harper Collins 
Release Date: January 1st, 1953

Note: This post reviews the sixth book of The Chronicles of Narnia series. You may like to read the first five books in the series, The Magician’s Nephew, The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeThe Horse and His Boy, Prince Caspian, and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader before reading this review. 

For seven weeks, I will be reviewing The Chronicles of Narnia, a classic in my opinion. I’ve lost track of how many times I have read these books. Hopefully my reviews will give you a glimpse of why I love these books so much, and maybe even convince you to read them if you haven’t already.

Eustace returns to Narnia for a second time in The Silver Chair, bringing his friend Jill with him. When they arrive, they are charged by Aslan himself with an important quest: to rescue the rightful prince of Narnia. Eustace and Jill are given instructions from Aslan that will lead them to the prince – but their quest proves much more difficult than they could have imagined.

With the help of Puddleglum, a marsh wiggle, they set off on the adventure of a lifetime, facing human-eating giants, an evil enchantress, a mad prince, and an underworld kingdom of darkness. The future of Narnia, and its true prince, depends on our three, unprepared heroes.

Part of what makes this book so fun is the time spent underground. Not only are you in the fantasy world of Narnia, but you go even deeper (literally) by experiencing the underworld!

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

   

Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Title: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Author: C.S. Lewis
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia, 5/7
Genre: Adventure, Allegorical, Classics, Fantasy, Middle Grade, YA
Publisher: Harper Collins 
Release Date: September 15th, 1952

Note: This post reviews the fifth book of The Chronicles of Narnia series. You may like to read the first four books in the series, The Magician’s Nephew, The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeThe Horse and His Boy, and Prince Caspian before reading this review. 

For seven weeks, I will be reviewing The Chronicles of Narnia, a classic in my opinion. I’ve lost track of how many times I have read these books. Hopefully my reviews will give you a glimpse of why I love these books so much, and maybe even convince you to read them if you haven’t already.

The two youngest Pevensies, Edmund and Lucy, return to Narnia for one final adventure – and their miserable cousin, Eustace, accidentally tags along. Edmund and Lucy are reunited with their friend, Caspian, who is several years older by now. This tale is different from the rest of the series because it primarily takes place on a ship, The Dawn Treader.

Edmund, Lucy, and Caspian encounter one adventure after another – but self-centered Eustace has the most life-altering adventure of all. After undergoing both physical and emotional changes, Eustace becomes an entirely different person. During their adventures, they gain new friends, and lose others forever.

This is a fun summer read that invites you to join these characters as they journey to the ends of the earth and beyond!

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

   
Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Prince Caspian


Title: Prince Caspian
Author: C.S. Lewis
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia, 4/7
Genre: Adventure, Allegorical, Classics, Fantasy, Middle Grade, YA
Publisher: Harper Collins 
Release Date: October 15th, 1951

Note: This post reviews the fourth book of The Chronicles of Narnia series. You may like to read the first three books in the series, The Magician’s Nephew, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and The Horse and His Boy before reading this review. 

For seven weeks, I will be reviewing The Chronicles of Narnia, a classic in my opinion. I’ve lost track of how many times I have read these books. Hopefully my reviews will give you a glimpse of why I love these books so much, and maybe even convince you to read them if you haven’t already.

Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy – the children from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe who became kings and queens of Narnia – are suddenly summoned back to Narnia in a time of great need.

Prince Caspian – the rightful king of Narnia – must flee for his life when his uncle, the usurper, has a child of his own. It is up to the four Pevensie siblings to help the young prince take back his throne and restore Narnia to its former glory. But Caspian’s uncle will not give up the throne without a fight to the death.

I love getting to return to Narnia in this book, only to find that it has changed over hundreds of years since The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. There are new elements mixed in with the old.

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

   
Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

The Horse and His Boy


Title: The Horse and His Boy

Author: C.S. Lewis
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia, 3/7
Genre: Adventure, Allegorical, Classics, Fantasy, Middle Grade, YA
Publisher: Harper Collins 
Release Date: September 6th, 1954

Note: This post reviews the third book of The Chronicles of Narnia series. You may like to read the first two books in the series, The Magician’s Nephew and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, before reading this review. 

For seven weeks, I will be reviewing The Chronicles of Narnia, a classic in my opinion. I’ve lost track of how many times I have read these books. Hopefully my reviews will give you a glimpse of why I love these books so much, and maybe even convince you to read them if you haven’t already.

The Horse and His Boy is a special book in the series because it is the only one that takes place in Narnia only, without any children traveling from our world. Separated from his family as a child, Shasta grows up as little more than a slave. His world turns upside down one day when he meets a talking horse – a Narnian horse. They escape together, in hopes of making a better life for themselves.

It is not long before they team up with another talking horse and rider, Aravis. The four of them embark on a great adventure together, encountering their fair share of struggles along the way. By the time they make it to Narnia, none of them are the same – especially Shasta, who finally learns the truth of who he really is.

I love this book, and how it doesn’t involve children from our world. It’s all about Narnia, Archenland, and Calormen. The worldbuilding is fantastic!

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

   
Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe


Title: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Author: C.S. Lewis
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia, 2/7
Genre: Adventure, Allegorical, Classics, Fantasy, Middle Grade, YA
Publisher: Harper Collins 
Release Date: October 16th, 1950

Note: This post reviews the second book of The Chronicles of Narnia series. You may like to read the first book in the series, The Magician’s Nephew, before reading this review. 

For seven weeks, I will be reviewing The Chronicles of Narnia, a classic in my opinion. I’ve lost track of how many times I have read these books. Hopefully my reviews will give you a glimpse of why I love these books so much, and maybe even convince you to read them if you haven’t already.

A normal game of hide-and-seek becomes so much more when Lucy Pevensie takes refuge in a wardrobe and finds herself in another world… Narnia. Here, it is eternal winter, a curse of the White Witch, who is none other than the Empress Jadis. When Lucy returns to England and tells her three siblings – Peter, Susan, and Edmund – what happened, they do not believe her. It isn’t until the four of them later enter the wardrobe as a last resort that they realize Lucy was right – and all four of them enter Narnia together.

They quickly learn that this world is not safe for them. Because of an ancient prophecy, the White Witch has been waiting for four children who are destined to become kings and queens of Narnia. But she will never let that happen. She manages to deceive Edmund, poisoning him with her words and magic, leading him to betray his brother and sisters. There is only one who is powerful enough to undo the damage Edmund has done – Aslan. And the price is greater than anyone could have ever imagined.

This book is highly allegorical. I recommend this book for anyone, but particularly for those who practice Christianity as it will likely resonate with their faith.

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

   

Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.