The Two Princesses of Bamarre


Title: The Two Princesses of Bamarre
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Romance, YA
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: March 1st, 2004

Addie has never been the brave one who dreams of heroic adventures – that would be her sister, Meryl. Quiet and shy, Addie is scared of almost everything. Her biggest fear is losing Meryl to her adventures; but she doesn’t expect to lose Meryl in the safety of their own castle in Bamarre.

When Meryl falls dangerously ill with the Gray Death, Addie realizes that it is up to her to find a cure and save her beloved sister. She must face her fears and venture into the unknown if Meryl even stands a chance. Even though this is a quest she must do alone, she is sent with gifts from her friends – including their sorcerer, Rhys – to help her in times of need. Addie battles specters, gryphons, and a dragon – but will her valiant efforts be enough to save the person she loves most?

As with Ella Enchanted, I fell in love with this book as soon as I read it. Gail Carson Levine is a mater of her craft, with her characters, plots, and voice. If you also love these kinds of stories, you need to add this to your bookshelf!

Click on the link below to get your copy of this book:

Ella Enchanted

Title: Ella Enchanted
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Romance, YA
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: 1997

🌹 🌹 🌹 🌹 🌹

Happy 20th anniversary to Ella Enchanted

When she was a baby, Ella received the “gift” of obedience from a fairy. Now, she must obey any command given, great or small. More of a curse than a blessing, this gift controls her, and no matter how much she struggles against it, Ella always obeys in the end. Though many give Ella commands unknowingly, there are some who manipulate her deliberately – namely, her two stepsisters.

Ella suffers countless miseries in addition to the curse: the death of her beloved mother, neglect from her selfish father, abuse from her stepsisters, an insufferable finishing school. But through it all, Ella remains kind, vivacious, and brave, with the help of her friends – her fairy godmother, and the prince, Char. As Ella’s childhood friendship with Char gradually turns into something more, she realizes that her curse could be used not only to harm herself, but Char. Will Ella find a way to undo her curse, or will she be forced to sacrifice her happy ending to ensure the safety of the one she loves?

I read this book for the first time over a decade ago, and it remains one of my favorites to this day. Gail Carson Levine has influenced my writing in a huge way. Her fairytales are one of the reasons that made me want to write in the first place. Re-reading this book reminded me of what I’m looking for in fiction, and what I want to write. If you haven’t read it, read it.

Click on the link below to get your copy of this book:

The Assassin’s Blade

Title: The Assassin’s Blade
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass series, a collection
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: March 4th, 2014

Note: This post reviews a companion of the Throne of Glass series. As it is a collection of novellas that take place before Throne of Glass, it is okay to read this book in any order of the series. I recommend reading it after Heir of Fire, as it introduces some of the characters in the following books. 

Celaena Sardothien, Adarlan’s Assassin and protégé of the King of the Assassins, is the best of the best – and oh does she know it. As arrogant as ever, Celaena carries out whatever orders her master, Arobynn, gives her. But when she and Sam, a rival assassin, are sent to deal with the Pirate Lord in Skull’s Bay, Celaena must decide whether to follow her master, or follow her conscience. In The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, we see just how far she will go to fight slavery.

We see yet another side to the notorious assassin in The Assassin and the Healer. Celaena is on her way to the Red Desert as a punishment for her actions in Skull’s Bay, when she meets a young woman, trapped in an unwanted life. She assists the woman, giving her the push she needs to make a better life for herself.

Celaena continues on to the Red Desert and reaches the Mute Master in The Assassin and the Desert. She is to spend one month with this group of assassins, and to learn from their master. During this time, Celaena forms an unlikely friendship with Ansel, another assassin.

The Assassin and the Underworld shows Celaena, back in Rifthold yet again. She is assigned to another job involving slavery, and this time, she believes she is doing what is right. With Sam – no longer a rival, but a friend – at her side, she begins to see more clearly who she can trust, and who she cannot.

In the last novella, The Assassin and the Empire, Celaena and Sam know that their place is with each other – and not Arobynn. But as they make plans of their own to start a new life together built on their love, they realize that their master, the King of the Assassins, will not let them off so easily.

I really enjoyed this prequel to the Throne of Glass series! Maas did an excellent job of taking us back in time and showing us Celaena’s life before she is rescued from Endovier. We get to see more between her and Arobynn, Lysandra, and of course, SAM. It was really well done. The reason I gave it a 4 out of 5 is because I have grown to love the person Aelin is so much, and it was hard to go back to the person she used to be as Celaena. Aelin > Celaena.

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

Empire of Storms

Title: Empire of Storms
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass series, book 5
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: September 6th, 2016

Note: This post reviews the fifth book of the Throne of Glass series. You may like to read the first four books in the series, Throne of Glass, Crown of MidnightHeir of Fire, and Queen of Shadows before reading this review.

Additional Note: Though this series is considered to be Young Adult, I consider the sexual content in Empire of Storms to be more New Adult than Young Adult. 

Aelin Galathynius, the lost heir of Terrasen, is back and will stop at nothing to save her kingdom, and all of Erilea, from the ancient darkness that threatens to consume them all. With loyal friends and the Fae Prince Rowan at her side, Aelin must use her powerful magic, her skills as an assassin, and her birthright as Queen of Terrasen if she is to even stand against the evil that is waging war against her world. As kingdoms are being torn apart, she risks everything in an attempt to put it back together.

But Maeve, the Queen of the Fae and Aelin’s aunt, uses her power and forces to make sure that Aelin, and everyone she loves, is destroyed, one step at a time. Aelin begins to see that the price of peace for the rest of Erilea demands sacrifices – sacrifices she herself is willing to make for the ones she loves.

I liked this fifth installment of the Throne of Glass series best so far. However, I’m disappointed that Maas has yet to wrap up this saga. The next installment in the series, Tower of Dawn, will be released September 5th, 2017 – which would be good news for fans if it was going to follow Aelin in the final stand against her enemies. It’s not. Instead, it is about Choal and his journey after Queen of Shadows. Which means we have to wait till 2018 (at least) to get back to Aelin’s finale? Not cool.

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

Queen of Shadows

Title: Queen of Shadows
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass series, book 4
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: September 1st, 2015

Note: This post reviews the fourth book of the Throne of Glass series. You may like to read the first three books in the series, Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire before reading this review.

Celaena Sardothien has returned to Adarlan – and she is ready to do what needs to be done, no matter the cost. With both Prince Dorian and Aedion Ashryver, her long-lost beloved cousin, imprisoned by the King of Adarlan, Celaena must risk everything to save the people she cares about.

But that is only the beginning. The King of Adarlan must be brought down, his tyranny and corruption brought to an end. With the help of her friends, and the Fae Prince Rowan faithfully at her side, Celaena must embrace the truth of who and what she is if she is to save Dorian’s people, her people, and the rest of Erilea from the impending darkness ahead.

This fourth book of the Throne of Glass series was the best so far. Not only was it an action-packed page turner, but it was rich with character development. Maas definitely upped her game with this one, and I am ready to jump right into the next one, Empire of Storms. 

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

Heir of Fire

Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass series, book 3
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014

Note: This post reviews the third book of the Throne of Glass series. You may like to read the first two books in the series, Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, before reading this review.

Celaena Sardothien, the King’s Champion, has been sent on an errand to the distant continent of Wendlyn. But instead of doing the King of Adarlan’s bidding, she finds herself on a mission of her own: to find the powerful Queen of the Fae, Maeve, and learn more about the ancient weapons the King of Adarlan has come to possess.

But she has more to learn than this – so much more. Celaena has been running from the truth of who and what she is for ten years now; her past, too terrible to confront, her power, unimaginable. She trains with Rowan, a prince of the Fae, and is easily outmatched by him, despite her skill as an assassin. Rowan does not let her off easy, but instead pushes her, challenges her, and ultimately breaks her. It is at this time that she must make a decision: to crumble into worthless nothingness, or to rise up and become the person she was destined to be.

I enjoyed this third installment of the Throne of Glass series… after the first two hundred or so pages. It took me a long time to get into, but once I was into it, I didn’t want to put it down. I’m hoping the next book, Queen of Shadows, picks up with the same pace this book ended with.

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

Friday Favorites: August

I’m still in denial that it is actually August! Summer always seems to go by way too quickly.

For my Friday post this month, I wanted to share with you some books that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND for any fellow writers. I am getting ready to go to a conference next month, (Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold), and present some work there. (fingers crossed) There are two books that I have found incredibly helpful during this writing process, and I want to share them with you!

Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly, by Gail Carson Levine. For the low price of $3.03 on Amazon. (Seriously, this is a steal!)

Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink, by Gail Carson Levine. Also for the low price of $3.03 on Amazon.


I recommend starting with Writing Magic, as it’s the first one she wrote. These are books I consider to be musts, especially for writers of young adult, middle grade, and children’s fiction. They are amazing!

Have you read either of these books? Tell me what you thought of them!