Review of The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher

The Seventh Bride
By T. Kingfisher

Star Rating: 

Genre: YA Fantasy

Number of Pages: 237

Date Started: March 13, 2016
Date Finished: March 15, 2016 (early in the morning)

Synopsis:(From Amazon)seventh
Young Rhea is a miller’s daughter of low birth, so she is understandably surprised when a mysterious nobleman, Lord Crevan, shows up on her doorstep and proposes marriage. Since commoners don’t turn down lords—no matter how sinister they may seem—Rhea is forced to agree to the engagement.

Lord Crevan demands that Rhea visit his remote manor before their wedding. Upon arrival, she discovers that not only was her betrothed married six times before, but his previous wives are all imprisoned in his enchanted castle. Determined not to share their same fate, Rhea asserts her desire for freedom. In answer, Lord Crevan gives Rhea a series of magical tasks to complete, with the threat “Come back before dawn, or else I’ll marry you.”

With time running out and each task more dangerous and bizarre than the last, Rhea must use her resourcefulness, compassion, and bravery to rally the other wives and defeat the sorcerer before he binds her to him forever.

Review:
This story is an unbelievably cute fairy tale in its own right.  Not only does the protagonist have spunk and pizzazz but she also isn’t fooled into thinking she’s in a magical perfect situation after being randomly proposed to by a lord.  Although she cannot refuse, she shows the fear that most fairy tale females lack, and because of that, she uses caution which is generally overlooked by not only the Brothers’ Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson characters, but also by Disney princesses.

From the beginning I saw glimpses of fairy tales.  There was mention of fantasy creatures doing mischievous things, and with a miller’s daughter, it would be hard not to expect Rumpelstiltskin to jump out.  Though there were several fairy tale and fantasy story connections from Rumpelstiltskin to Alice and Wonderland mixed with The Wizard of Oz, this book is a completely novel piece– innovative, imaginative, down to earth and impossible to resist the charm of.  Five stars.

Author Bio: (From Amazon)
T. Kingfisher is the vaguely absurd pen-name of Ursula Vernon, an author from North Carolina. In another life, she writes children’s books and weird comics. She has been nominated for the World Fantasy and the Eisner, and has won the Hugo, Sequoyah, Nebula, Alfie, WSFA, Coyotl and Ursa Major awards, as well as a half-dozen Junior Library Guild selections.

This is the name she uses when writing things for grown-ups. Her work includes multiple fairy-tale retellings and odd little stories about elves and goblins.When she is not writing, she is probably out in the garden, trying to make eye contact with butterflies.

www.tkingfisher.com

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Review of Marry Your Billionaire: A Modern Cinderella by C. J. Anaya

Star Rating: 

Genre: Romance

Number of Pages: 413

Date Started: March 11, 2016
Date Finished: March 13, 2016

Synopsis:(From Amazon)Marry-Your-Billionaire-2
Six years ago, Midge Knightly walked away from her trust fund, her Hollywood producer father, and the expectation that she would join the family business. Avoiding handsome playboys with hidden agendas was just an added bonus. Now one semester shy of graduation, she is shocked to discover her scholarship has lost its funding.

Her estranged father is having problems of his own. A contestant on his latest reality TV series has cancelled a week before shooting.

His solution?

Midge gets her trust fund back if she stands in as a potential marriage candidate for the dating series Marry Your Billionaire. Twenty women competing for one arrogant guy. Not Midge’s cup of tea. Agreeing to this proposition sucks her back into the world she happily broke ties from, but no trust fund equals no college degree.

Brody Prescott, CEO and owner of an online dating company, has recently been pegged a heartless playboy–among other things–by a disgruntled female after a disappointing date. In order to save his company and his reputation as an honest businessman, the billionaire must prove to everyone that he isn’t the naughty, bad boy they believe him to be.

His solution?

Become the first bachelor on Marry Your Billionaire and hope that one of the contestants holds some potential. So what is he supposed to do when the woman who intrigues him the most wants to be eliminated?

Review:
It’s easy to become embroiled in the lives of Madelyn and Brody, but there were several things that tend to pull you from the general story.  Some of these things are legitimately annoying, and others might just be ones that bothered me, personally.  Madelyn doesn’t swear, which I understand, but choosing to exclaim “Good gravy!” and “Cheese and crackers!” became jarring, as I’ve never known anyone to ever exclaim these things.

It is constantly mentioned that Madelyn is working hard to become a romance novelist, yet her schooling only ever mentions her studying English.  There is a vast different between the requirements and skill sets of a degree in English and a degree in Creative Writing, which is also a major option in both undergraduate and graduate levels of education.

There were obvious faux pas in the realm of how a reality show would work and how the contestants would function, although they can mostly be forgiven, for the main story’s sake.  What isn’t forgivable is the obvious lack of knowledge that the producer/director seemed to have of the characters, as a large part of their work would involve needing intimate knowledge of each contestant.  Though there were also multiple grammar snafus, which while a bit irritating, did not take over from the overall enjoyment of the book.

That being said, this is a unique and very cute clean romance, that I’d definitely recommend.  It becomes hard to put down as we see both Madelyn and Brody putting themselves out there, and trying to figure out if the other one is sincere.  There are many twists and turns along the way, and at some point you wonder whether or not there will be a happily ever after or a happily never after.

CJAuthor Bio: (From Amazon)
I began writing short stories for family and friends when I was thirteen years old. My vivid imagination and love of mysteries and romances eventually led me to following my own dreams of becoming a published author. I’m a huge fan of The Mindy Project, Hugh Jackman, and binge eating any and all things chocolate. Who isn’t, am I right?

As a mother of four awesome kids I’m usually playing beauty salon with my daughters (my four-year-old shaved my arm one time while I was helping another daughter with her homework. Yep. That happened) getting my fanny kicked in Mario Kart by my snarky little son, and making out with my deliciously handsome looking Latin lover, aka, my hubby.

Come visit me on my website where you can grab two romances for free. http://authorcjanaya.com

Favourites Friday: Fantasy

Cheers for finding more books in the genre you love.  Here for our first featured Favourites Friday we’ll have a lot of Fantasy picks (talk about alliteration.)  Some of these are my suggestions, some my husband’s, and many from various family members, friends, and acquaintances across the world.

My personal recommendations:

  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
  • Witch for Hire (A Witch’s Path book series) by N. E. Conneely
  • The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
  • The Selkie Spell — though this could be considered folklore/fairy tale retelling (Seal Island trilogy) by Sophie Moss
  • The Paper Magician (series) by Charlie N. Holmberg
  • The Dresden Files (series) by Jim Butcher
  • Codex Alera (series) by Jim Butcher
  • The Dark Tower (series) by Stephen King
  • Neil Gaiman– he has so many books and they are all so wonderful!  My top three adult fantasy recommendations from him would likely be as follows.
    • Neverwhere
    • American Gods
    • The Ocean at the End of the Lane

My husband’s recommendations:

  • The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings (trilogy) by J. R. R. Tolkein
  • The Essential Conan
  • The Icewind Dale Trilogy, The Dark Elf Trilogy, the Legacy of the Drow series, the Paths of Darkness series, The Hunter’s Blades Trilogy, the Transitions series, and the Neverwinter Saga
  • Monster Hunter International (series) by Larry Correia
  • Son of the Black Sword (Saga of the Forgotten Warrior series) by Larry Correia
  • Hard Magic (The Grimnoir Chronicles) by Larry Correia
  • Witch World (Witch World Chronicles) by Andre Norton
  • The Chronicles of Amber series by Roger Zelazny
  • The Aeronauts Windlass (series) by Jim Butcher

 

These suggestions are from various people at a website that I frequent.

Alex recommends:

  • The Blade Itself trilogy by Abercrombie
  • The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb
  • Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne (series) Brian Staveley
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Ken recommends:

  • Black Company (Chronicles of the Black Company series) by Glen Cook
  • The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski
  • The Stone and the Flute by Hans Bemmann

Cael recommends:

  • The Last Necromancer (series) by C. J. Archer
  • Kingkiller Chronicles (series) by Patrick Rothfuss
  • Powder Mage trilogy by Brian McClellan
  • Age of Iron (series) by Angus Watson
  • Traitor’s Blade/The Greatcoats series by Sebastien de Castell

Wolf, seconded by numerous others, recommend:

  • Discworld series by Terry Pratchett– I am told that this is more of a satire of fantasy, so be aware of that before starting.

Dixon recommends:

  • The Belgaraid series by David Eddings

Brin recommends:

  • Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind
  • Xanth series by Piers Anthony
  • Runelords series by David Farland
  • The Sword of Shanara trilogy by Terry Brooks

Cederic recommends:

  • The Wayfarer Redemption (two trilogies released as a single six book series, and has a follow up sequence) by Sara Douglas

Paul recommends:

  • Dragonlance series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

 

Other various friends and family have weighed in for these additional recommendations.

Oran T Kelly recommends:

  • The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan
  • The Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Once and Future King by T. H. White
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard series) by Scott Lynch
  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy) by N. K. Jemisin
  • A Natural History of Dragons (series) by Marie Brennan
  • The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
  • Mistborn series by Sanderson
  • Malazan Empire (Malazan Book of the Fallen series) by Erickson
  • The Lightbringer (series) by Brent Weeks

N & C recommend:

  • The Iron Druid series by Kevin Hearne

Kostis recommends:

  • Coldfire Trilogy by C. S. Friedman

Maria Picone recommends:
(Remember Maria recommended I read Furies of Calderon, and you can contact her here)

  • Alex Verus (series) by Benedict Jacka

Shelby recommends:

  • Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter — Shelby says she would definitely recommend this to any readers who like vampires, sex, love, mystery and death!
  • Iron Chronicles by Elizabeth Hunter
  • The Darkness Series by K. F. Breene

Cory recommends:

  • Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

 

There were more people who gave feedback, and many gave the same answers, so I attributed books generally to the first person who mentioned them.  Thank you so much for being a part of this giant list, and to those of you here looking for something amazing to read, I do hope that these 65 book recommendations featuring 54 book series help you find something fun to read in the Fantasy genre! 🙂

Next month’s genre will be Young Adult Fantasy!

 

 

If you read one of these books thanks to this list, please let me know in the comments below.
Do you like Favourites Friday or this list?  Please like this post.

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Name Change and Favourites Friday

As you can see my name has changed over on this website as well as my Facebook author page, quite exciting!  Visually not much has changed, though there are a few little things that transitioned when the name did (kudos if you spotted them!)

An exciting new feature prospect that I am looking forward to sharing with you is Favourites Friday!  On the first Friday of every month I intend to post recommendations for a particular genre.  Worried that I haven’t read enough that might interest you?  Fear not!  Not only do I have a multitude of reading friends and family members, but they are also willing to share their top picks with me (and subsequently you).  I look forward to starting off this showcase with the genre I find myself most asked for recommendations: Fantasy.

Review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
By Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Star Rating: 

Genre: Literature, Mashup, Fiction, Parody

Number of Pages: 320

Date Started: January 8, 2016
Date Finished: January 11, 2016

Synopsis:(From Amazon)51fE3vjLWKL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.

Review:
One of my absolute favourite parts of this novel was how close to the original Pride and Prejudice it stayed.  There were some parts that really pulled me out and jostled my notions about what the Austen characters were like.  In adding zombies there was far more violence added, though that did not detract from the story.  Elizabeth, having previously been known as a rather quick to anger character, showcased that anger in a new take– in thinking of ways to destroy her enemies, and the people that bothered her.  I rather enjoyed that weaker characters did not have any knowledge of the dark arts, and instead of simply questioning their integrity based on their apparent inability to think/act for themselves, Elizabeth could judge them based on their uselessness in an emergency zombie situation.There was one part of the novel that completely irritated me every time I saw it (and it happens in any Pride and Prejudice related writing I read): calling Elizabeth Eliza.  While in the original novel Catherine was always Kitty, Elizabeth was referred to as Lizzy only a few times, and only by her family and close friends.  The only time Elizabeth was called Eliza was by Caroline Bingley, and it was clearly meant to bother/insult.

I absolutely adored what certain characters received in regards to their nasty/horrible nature.  I was sad about Charlotte’s ailment, in particular because I would rather have had it happen to Mr. Collins.  Mr. Wickham got what he deserved, but I almost wish that Lydia would have grown more from her experiences and the knowledge she would have gained from her adventures.

This novel was well written in the same tone that Austen’s novel was in.  While Pride and Prejudice has had a top spot in my heart since I was 9, I will say that this book is also quite high on my list of good/favourite books.  I absolutely recommend this book.  It’s a phenomenal read and you will not be disappointed!  Well… unless you don’t like Jane Austen, or zombies, or both… in which case, this probably isn’t the review for you.

Author Bio: (From Amazon)
Seth Grahame-Smith is the “New York Times” bestselling author of “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” and “Unholy Night.” In addition to adapting the screenplay for “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” Seth also wrote Tim Burton’s film “Dark Shadows.” He lives in Los Angeles.

 

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