Tag Archives: Ravenswood Publishers

Review: Mirain

By Jacob Reifsteck
Pages: 592
Date Finished: April 15, 2017

Book Reviews- It Was OkayIt Was Okay

Synopsis:

Princess Sofia, just recently turned old enough to have her own personal guards. The guards, Hector, an unproven, yet ambitious young knight and his sarcastic squire, Mark, sees this as an opportunity of a lifetime to guard the noble lady from the safety of her castle…but the lady has other plans. Her home, the land of Mirain, has prospered under years of peace, but the princess becomes alarmed at the news of possibly superstitious events at the outskirts of the kingdom. Even more alarming is that few knights bother to acknowledge them, preferring to instead compete in tournaments for personal glory and recognition. The princess drags her unwilling guards to investigate the reports of monsters in the far off corners of the realm. Soon, they discovers a much bigger problem than anyone anticipated.

Review:

I keep putting off writing this review, because I want to like this book, I really do. It just has too many problems. It felt like an unfinished or unedited book. But the promise of the book was there, in many little glimpses especially toward the latter half of the book.

The story is basically a coming of age tale for 3 characters Sophia, the crown princess, Hector he personal guard and Mark his squire. From naive young teens ready to take on the world to war weary veterans just desperate to help their friends survive the next onslaught.

The first problem is that the characters are too modern, especially Princess Sofia. The way she talked just ground a nerve, it didn’t fit with the rest of the story or setting. Especially when the characters use the phrase, “Just saying.” That being said her voice matured though out the book and by the end (finally) the dialogue fit the story.

Secondly, the mistakes! Several times characters were called by the wrong name. Once even a sentence was in the wrong place, which completely took me out of the story. The word knew was used instead of new, and there were other mistakes that really should have been caught by an editor.

Soap-Box-Rant: Also you can’t just steal the Uruk-hai from Tolkien. I’m pretty sure that’s copy right infringement or plagiarism or something. It’s one thing to make allusion to another work, or homage to it, but to just straight up take a part of his world and use it as your own that’s not good. They are not commonly used fantasy characters like elves, dwarves and what not they are characters made up by Tolkien for use in his world.

Bottom Line:

Please someone edit this book and put out a second edition! There is a good epic fantasy story hiding in this book, and I hope it will get the rewrite it deserves.

More info about Mirain from Ravenswood Publishers.

October – November 2016 Book Pick-Ups

Oct/ Nov Book Pick Ups
The Deliberate ReaderWhat a crazy couple of months… Beside our move out to the farm being ongoing, my grandfather passed away on October 21st.

It was also a banner time for picking up books; from the Sci-fi and Fantasy Giveaway Party, to my birthday, to some thrift store finds, to discovering a site for free books. In fact, the book picks ups will continue when little bug’s school book fair begins on Monday, but I’m going to leave those books for the next pick up blog.

For Kindle:

Venom and Vanilla
Why I got it: It was my Kindle First selection in October. Normally I don’t like urban fantasy, but this one was tongue in cheek enough and mixed in Greek mythology so I went for it.
Everything, Everything
Why I got it: Pretty much every single book blogger I follow has raved about this book, so when it went on sale for $1.99 I picked it up.
Bitterwood (Dragon Age series Book 1)
Why I got it: BookBub, it’s dangerous… I try not to look over every email they send, but well I just can’t bring myself to unsubscribe. Also this book is about a world where human’s are enslaved to dragons, sounds right up my fantasy alley.
A Pirate’s Charm (Lore Book 1)
Why I got it: Ravenswood Publishers is having a holiday sale and all their e-books are $.99. Since they’ve been so good to me I decided to return the favor and buy a book from them. #TreatYourShelf.
So Wide the Sky (The Women’s West, Book 1)
Why I got it: I found out about Instafreebie when I did the Sci-fi and Fantasy party, and found a few other gems through it.
The Call of Agon (The Children of Telm, Book 1)
Why I got it: The cover got me, and the description is about dead gods, and their offspring with mortal women and seems full of mythological themes. #Instafreebie
The Forgotten Wizard
Why I got it: Another #Instafreebie that sounds like a good fantasy adventure story.

eARCs:

The Breedling and the City in the Garden See my review
Why I got it: It sounded like a good fantasy story, ended up being more historical fiction with a sprinkle of fantasy, but I enjoyed it.
The Last Treasure of Ancient England – Review coming Dec 7th
Why I got it: The author contacted me through my blog’s comment feature and asked me to review their novel. This is the first time anyone’s done that!

Sci-fi and Fantasy Party:

Why I got them: I participated in the genreCRAVE Science Fiction and Fantasy $1200 Giveaway. One of the ways to enter the giveaway was to sign up for a bunch of author’s email lists. As thank-you’s many of the authors sent out free copies of their books.

Immurement: The Undergrounders Series Book One
Feral – Many Lives Book 1
Rose Boy
Coal: Book of the Everleaf Series
Courtlight Series Boxed Set (Books 1, 2 & 3)
Gates of Heaven

Coloring Books:

A finished coloring page.
A finished page from Everything Beautiful.

Life in a Medieval Castle and Village Coloring Book (Dover History Coloring Book)
Why I got it: It was a birthday present from my husband.
Everything Beautiful: A Coloring Book for Reflection and Inspiration
Why I got it: It was a birthday present from my mother-in-law.
The Chronicles of Narnia Official Coloring Book
Why I got it: It was a birthday present from my mom… see any trend here. 😀

Misc:

The Puppet MastersThe door into summerDouble Star6 x H: Six Shocking Penetrations into the Unknown – Robert A Heinlein
Why I got it: $.99 Early Heinlien books. A pretty good thrift store haul.
Wee Sing Nursery Rhymes & Lullabies
Why I got it: Every Wee Sing book I find at a thrift store becomes mine. Multiple copies are okay, because then when you have a sing-a-long each person can have a copy. At least that’s my personal fantasy.
A Fairy Tale (Disney Fairies, Step Into Reading)
Why I got it: We have read the Great Fairy Race about 200 times, so another Step Into Reading book about the Pixie Hollow fairies sounds about right.
A Tale of Two Sisters (Disney Frozen) (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: Who has a six year old girl that doesn’t love Frozen? Since we have one at our house and this book was $.50 at the thrift store it made sense to buy it.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things (The Kingkiller Chronicle)
Why I got it: It’s been on my wishlist forever, so I used some of my birthday cash to purchase it.

That’s it! What have you picked up recently?

Review: Rags and Ruins

by Bob Dixon
Pages: 292
Date Finished: Sept 9, 2016

LoBook Reviews - Loved Itved It

 

Synopsis:

Rags leads an idyllic life for a goblin child—he spends his days playing in the landfill with his gargoyle friend Ladin, going fishing with his father Hargo in the river, and developing his love of music. His parents love him intensely, and his mother Calin is fiercely protective of him. How could he ask for anything more as he lives an enchanted life on the reservation on the outskirts of the “civilized” world, surrounded by mystical creatures and magic? Little does Rags realize that he is not a goblin but instead a human who was abandoned shortly after his birth and left in the landfill to be raised by the goblins as a way to fulfill an ancient prophecy of good and evil, twin brothers separated at birth and reunited in the thirteenth year of their life, one to unleash an ancient evil, the other the only hope to stop it from happening. A powerful tale of magic, music, and danger, Rags and Ruins is sure to thrill readers of all ages with its mix of adventure, intrigue, and humor—and if it doesn’t, they’ll have to answer to a furious goblin mother.

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Review:

Rags and Ruins is a fantasy story that takes so much of what we think we know about fantasy tropes and turns them on their heads, in the best way possible.

Hargo, is a good-hearted, hard working goblin. Calin is a loving, protective mother goblin. Ladin is a fun loving, adventurous gargoyle. With the Man in the House to keep watch on him and the landfill where they and other “creatures of darkness” live. Rags is really lucky to have them all in his life. A boy never had it so good from so many “bad characters.”

The main story line is about a prophecy that Rags and a twin brother are destined to fulfill one day. Of course, as happens with most fantasy stories there is a magical council working behind the scenes to make sure that the “child of darkness” has as little training as possible and that the “child of light” as much as possible. Their plan is to stack the odds so that come the day of fulfillment evil will be easily overcome. But they are wrong… wrong about Rags, wrong about his brother, wrong about the true meaning of darkness and light, and wrong about themselves. (Telling you this is not a spoiler, you’ll see this coming from a mile away.)

Luckily Hargo and Calin have seen the truth of things and Rags’ love of music is no accident.

This isn’t rooting for the bad guys the way some dark fantasy and urban books have you rooting for the vampire with a soul, or the brooding bad guy. Rags and Ruins has a deep message about stereotypes but brings it out with a light touch.

Bob Dixon can weave a tale. Rags and Ruins is a masterpiece, a must read for fantasy fans.

Bottom Line:

I loved it! From the first page to the last, I thought this book was adorable and the characters truly likable. It’s hard for me to imagine that in 2016 I will like another book more than I liked Rags and Ruins. I think I have found my book of the year.

Purchase:
Amazon