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.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

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.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

The Magician’s Nephew

Title: The Magician’s Nephew
Author: C.S. Lewis
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia, 1/7
Genre: Adventure, Allegorical, Classics, Fantasy, Middle Grade, YA
Publisher: Harper Collins 
Release Date: May 2nd, 1955

If you are new to this series, I would recommend reading the books in this order (which is also the order in which I will review the series):
1. The Magician’s Nephew
2. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
3. The Horse and His Boy
4. Prince Caspian
5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
6. The Silver Chair
7. The Last Battle

For the next 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.

During a London day of indoor exploration, Digory and Polly stumble upon a magician’s workshop. Digory is shocked to learn that his own Uncle Andrew is that magician. While he has the two children there with him, Uncle Andrew persuades Polly to try on ring – a magic ring of course. Immediately after trying on the ring, Polly vanishes. (This is the one of those times you can tell that C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were good friends.) Digory, having no other option but to try to save his friend, puts on a ring of his own and follows Polly into the unknown. They arrive in the Wood Between the Worlds.

With small pools as their keys to other worlds, they cross into another world. There, the unthinkable happens – they awaken Jadis, a powerful, cruel Empress who follows them back to London. Jadis wreaks havoc on this unfamiliar world, and it is clear to Digory and Polly that she cannot stay there. Using the rings once again, they travel back to the Wood Between the Worlds, and into a seemingly empty world. Empty, that is, until Aslan the lion begins to bring it to life, creating the world of Narnia.

The Magician’s Nephew might just be my favorite book of the series. (You are probably going to hear me say that more than once as I review these books.) Not only does the idea of magic-ring traveling appeal to me, but I love the character Jadis. She appears in the next book as the White Witch, but we get to know her so much better in this book. I also enjoy seeing the creation of Narnia before all of the adventures in it take place. The Magician’s Nephew is hands down the book to begin with.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

 

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. You know, stolen from her family as a baby, locked in a tower (albeit only a brief section of the story), magical hair, young man who climbs said hair to visit her… can’t believe I didn’t catch it right away!

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.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the other in its series:

War Storm

Title: War Storm
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen, 4/4
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance, YA
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: May 15th, 2018

Note: This post reviews the fourth and final book of the Red Queen series. You may like to read the first three books in the series, Red Queen, Glass Sword, and King’s Cage, before reading this review. 

Ok Red Queen fans, here it is. The finale we have all been waiting for… War Storm.

The ending of the third book of the series, King’s Cage, left us just as brokenhearted as Mare Barrow. (Unless, maybe, you happen to be a Maven fan, in which case, leave.) When Cal ultimately chooses his crown over the girl he loves, Mare (and the Scarlet Guard) must continue to fight for what they have all been working toward – taking Maven down. And the only way to take down the prince who nearly broke her is to side with the prince who just broke her heart.

But this rebellion is bigger than just a messed up triangle, and always has been. The future of Norta, and the kingdoms surrounding it, is at stake. Will the Reds rise together as the dawn and defeat the Silver oppression once and for all, or will they be so defeated that they will never rise again?

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay

 
Title: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay
Author: J.K. Rowling 
Genre: Fantasy, Screenplay, YA
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Release Date: November 18th, 2016

Note: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them can be read as a stand-alone book, as it takes place long before the events of Harry Potter with a completely different cast. However, you may enjoy it more if you have the groundwork laid by the Harry Potter series first. 

Like most Harry Potter fans, I was sad to see the series come to an end, both on page and on screen. I remember being so excited when this and Rowling’s other screenplay, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, were first released back in 2016. I liked seeing the classic series continue, in one way or another. The mistake I made was seeing the movie first, I think. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the movie – but I think I would have enjoyed reading the screenplay first, before seeing it brought to life on the big screen.

Newt Scamander is a British Magizoologist – a person who studies magical creatures –who has just arrived in New York City for work. What happens when his magical briefcase that holds a world of fantastic beasts is misplaced, and some of its contents are released? How does Newt keep his magical friends safe in such an unmagical place as New York City? And where does the muggle-hating Grindelwald fit in with all of it? Find out in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

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A Court of Frost and Starlight

Title: A Court of Frost and Starlight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses series, a novella
Genre: Fantasy, NA, Romance, YA
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: May 1st, 2018

Note: This post reviews a novella of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. You may like to read the first three books in the series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, and A Court of Wings and Ruin before reading this review. 

Additional Note: I would like to emphasize that this series is written more toward the New Adult genre than the Young Adult genre. Because the NA genre focuses on protagonists in the 18-30 age range, the content, especially the sexual content and the language, is much more mature than the average YA novel. 

Let me begin by saying that I really do like this series. I especially loved the third book, A Court of Wings and Ruin. The characterization was rich, the writing was better than the first and second books (for the most part), and the finalé was pretty powerful. When I reached the end of book 3, I realized that Maas planned to continue the series – when it would have made a perfect trilogy! There is such a thing as dragging out a series too long, and I’m worried about this happening with an already good series. Is this going to become another Throne of Glass series for Maas, where we are now waiting for the eighth book in the series to be released?

Once I accepted the fact that the series was TBC, I eventually looked forward to the release of ACOFAS. I had my reading calendar (nerd) marked for the books’s release in May, as some of you might recall from an earlier post. I hadn’t known that, unlike the other three books in the series, it was in fact a novella. But the length of the book wasn’t what bothered me.

What bothered me about A Court of Frost and Starlight was the utter lack of plot.

I’m serious, guys. Nothing. Happened. I gave myself a few days in between reading the book and writing this review to have a clear head, but when I think back to the book, I remember the characters planning a party, shopping for gifts, exchanging gifts, having conversations, and – oh yeah, it’s Maas – having sex. I’m sorry if this is an unpopular opinion, but I do not think this makes for a good book, not even a good novella. There was no tension, no suspense, no plot.

The one thing this book had going for it was – the best part of this series! – the characters. I love Feyre, Rhys, Cassian, Nesta, and the rest – but… having great characters who simply interact with each other on the page, no matter how much we love them, is not enough. They have to do something – and they need to do more than plan parties and shop for gifts.

Having said this, if you plan to continue with the series, you should probably not skip this novella. It does set the reader up – barely – for what is to come, mostly concerning Nesta. The last ten pages of the book – the sneak peak of what is to come – offered more to the reader than the 250-page novella.

After all that, I just have to add… isn’t that cover a stunner?!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series: