The first book in a new series for teens by well-respected fantasy author Julie Marillier. After the loss of her father, sixteen-year-old Neryn travels alone in the land of Alban. The people of Alban live in fear of their tyrannical King who wants anyone with magical ability captured and carries out regular 'cull's where homes and village's are destroyed and people killed. Hiding her ability to communicate with the Good Folk, Neryn sets out for the legendary Shadowfell, home of the rebels working to overthrow the evil King Keldec. Along the way she is rescued from certain death by the shadowy figure of Flint, who may not be what he seems. Living in fear for much of her life has left Neryn unable to trust anyone. An excellent start to what promises to be a fantastic teen series.
The fifth of the seven planned titles in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. On the Wall, Jon Snow has been elected the 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch; the dwarf Tyrion Lannister is smuggled to Pentos after killing his father; in the far east, Daenerys Targaryen has conquered the city of Meereen, but struggles to maintain peace within the city and prevent the spread of plague and control her dragons who are killing livestock and people. Cersei Lannister is imprisoned and confessing to the lesser charges against her, such as adultery by sleeping with her cousin.I've got to admit to just flipping through the pages to get to the characters that interest me. Really, this book is full of tiresome dialogue that adds nothing. I would have like to see the editor cut it by two thirds to make a really exciting readable book.
Being Maeve Binchy's last book before her death, I had to take the time to read this. What a lovely offering, full of stories about people and how they came to be spending a week at Stone House in Ireland.
It's the early 1500s in wintery Transylvania, and five sisters are left on their own as their father leaves for the coast for the sake of his health. Second eldest sister Jena is managing the estate and business just fine until their Uncle Nicolae dies. Their cousin Cezar take the opportunity to seize control of their assets and takes over their castle Piscul Draculi. Every full moon, the sisters journey to the Other Kingdom through a portal to dance with various magical creatures. Cezar suspects that they are involved in the Other Kingdom which he blames for the death of his older brother Costi ten years before. Jena tries to warn the magical people's and also stop Tati from seeing Sorrow who lives in the Other Kingdom and whom, Jena suspects, is one of the Night People. Jena's treasured constant companion is a most unusual frog.I like how this book is loosely related to the fairy tales, The Frog Prince and The Twelve Dancing Princesses, as well as cleverly incorporating Transylvanian vampire lore. A good fantasy read.
The first in the Conquror series about Genghis Khan: Temujin and his family are abandoned to harsh winter conditions after the death of his father Yesugei, khan of the Mongolian Wolf tribe. Against all odds, they manage to survive and end up trading with other wanderers. Temujin grows strong under these conditions, and this strength saves him from the terrible events that unfold. He soon learns to strategise in order to face brutal enemies who attack without warning and plans to unite the wandering tribes into one. As his legend grows he soon sees through the manipulative and destructive influence of the Chinese ambassador in the tribe's midst. His vision and ability to lead and inspire loyalty in his people are still legend today and his early years make fascinating reading. I was also impressed with the maps on the inside covers and by the afterword at the end of the book pointing out where the author had strayed from historical accuracy. This rounded out the story nicely and I look forward to reading more by this author.
The second book in the Wildwood series. Eighteen-year-old scholar Paula, is travelling with her merchant father. From their home in Transylvania, they are on their way to bid for an ancient pagan artifact rumoured to be in Istanbul and sacred to the goddess Cybele. On arrival they discover that her father's advisor has been murdered - probably over the artifact; and there are others who will stop at nothing to acquire it for themselves. Paula keep's catching glimpses of her sister, who several years ago vanished into the Other Kingdom. Why are the folk of the other world using her sister to guide her? Who can Paula trust? Her newly hired bodyguard, a women who has created a safe place for female scholars, or the handsome pirate who seems to be pursuing the artifact too? A good fantasy read in a completely different setting from Marillier's other books. Being reminded that Paula is highly intelligent is slightly irritating, as are her sometimes foolish actions!
This book contain the first two books in 'The Fallen' series. Eighteen year old Aaron starts hearing strange voices and is convinced he is on the brink of insanity when he can suddenly speak and understand multiple languages. When he brings his dog, Gabriel, back to life the dog is changed an Aaron can now understand and speak to him too. A mysterious man begins following Aaron; one who knows about his past and his the changes taking place. Eventually he convinces Aaron that he is a Nephilim; the son of a mortal woman and an angel. As well as that, Aaron has been chosen for a special task: to redeem the Fallen. To achieve this he must battle the group of angels known as the Powers led by vengeful angel Verchiel, along with otherworldly creatures.This book had the elements of a good book, but just didn't really pull it off for me.
The second book in this newly released classic series from James Herriot. Now living in Darrowby and recently married to Helen, this book continues his exploits on the Yorkshire Dales as he deals with the sometimes hilarious incidents he stumbles into during his entertaining veternary career. Absolutely loving the fantastic new covers!
A wonderful first novel from Shirley Hughes. Paolo and his sister Constanza are living in Italy during World War II's occupation by the Germans. Their father is away from home fighting with the resistance and their English mother is terrified most of the time. Paolo longs to help, but has only his ancient bicycle, and how much help can that be! A nicely told story.