Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Fantasy Round-Up

Hello Lovelies!!

Since I fell so behind in my reviews over the last month and a half or so, I decided to group some reviews up by genre. Here's the books I've read with a fantasy twist.

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
Published: Sept 27, 2011
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Received: Borrowed a copy from the library!

In this retelling of The Snow Queen, Hazel and Jack have been next-door neighbors and best friends forever. But after an accident on the playground, Jack changes. He doesn't want to hang out with Hazel anymore. But Hazel knows that this is the normal growth her mom keeps saying it is. So when Jack goes missing, Hazel goes into the forest to find him.

I loved that this retelling keeps the characters young (like my other favorite retelling of The Snow Queen by Mary Engelbreit) and the relationship platonic. The thing I love about The Snow Queen is that Gerda loves Kay because they're friends. It isn't about romance. It's about friendship. Ursu keeps that heart, and I was so so glad. Ursu also mixes in a couple different stories to the core which I found really interesting. 

I would definitely recommend this book to people who enjoy fantasy narratives about friendship.

Fire by Kristin Cashore
Published: Oct. 5, 2009
Publisher: Dial Books
Received: Borrowed a copy from the library!

Fire's bright red hair marks her as other, as a monster. It also draws other non-human monsters to her. She's the daughter of an evil man, and she wants to atone for her actions. Her monstrousness gives her power over others. But she doesn't want to use it. Until Prince Brigan comes to take her to the royal city and his brother, King Nash. Fire might have to compromise her morals in order to save her kingdom. 

Fire starts out tough. Graceling eases readers into the tale. Fire drops you in: a reading trial by fire. Fire is a lot more intense of a read than Graceling. It considers the monster side of human nature and the human side of monsters. I  would recommend Fire to fans of the first book, fans of fantasy novels, and fans of character driven narratives.

Jackaby by William Ritter
Published: Sept. 16, 2014
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Received: Borrowed a copy from the library!

Abigail Rook just moved to the continent from England. And in her search for a place to stay and a job, she meets R. F. Jackaby. Basically Ritter's take on Doctor Who + Sherlock, Jackaby is a detective who can see all the things others can't, including fairies and trolls and banshees. 

I was so disappointed in Jackaby. It reads exactly like Ritter is a fan of Doctor Who and Sherlock and thought, oh what if I just smushed them? Abigail is also supposed to be a "strong female character" who sets off on her own in 1892. However, besides how unrealistic that set-up is, Abigail frequently seems at a loss as to how to even be a 3-dimensional character. Ritter seems to have wanted to write about Jackaby without actually making him the main character. However neither Jackaby nor Abigail are fully developed. In fact, the whole thing was completely predictable. The only enjoyable part was a third character who showed up every so often. 

Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
Published: Mar. 13, 2012
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Received: Borrowed 

Froi has spent the last three years building a home in Lumatere. He's been trained by the guard and the High Priest, and he's created a family for himself. When Queen Isaboe asks him to go to Charyn to find the king and kill him, Froi agrees. But when he goes to Charyn, he finds himself in a situation he never expected.

This series just gets better. Every book adds more layers to the characters and creates a bigger entanglement of the plot. Froi's a morally grey character, but he grows and he learns. I would highly recommend this series to fantasy lovers.

Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
Published: Apr. 23, 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Received: Borrowed

This is everything a final book should be. It's got its own plot and its own heartbreak. It wraps up story lines, but it also lets the world exist on its own. I couldn't wait to finish it, but I wanted to read and feel each moment. 

I love how everything works out. It's not perfect in the traditional sense, but it makes sense for the universe and the characters. Stellar finale. 

Have you read any of these? Any books you think I should read based on these? Let me know in the comments!!

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