Good Books and the Random Movie

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25 April 2009

The Riddle (Pellinor #2)

The Riddle is the second book in Alison Croggon's Pellinor series.

Maerad and Cadvan are on a quest to find the answers to the riddle - what is the Treesong? What little reference they can find tells them to go north to the icy land of the Winterking.

The battle between Light and Dark begins again and according to the foretelling, Maerad is the one who will help the Light triumph. But their journey will not be easy, nor do they have a clear vision of where to go. They must gather clues along the way.

Maerad is one of the strongest mages to live. She has the magic of the Bards and their Speech and she has the magic of the Elementals or Eldihu. In order to use her tremendous power justly she must first learn to control it. Her temper must never get the better of her or she is likely to destroy everyone around her.

Croggon obviously had a plan for the series before she began writing. The plot and depth of character development, along with whole new languages, puts this series in league with the Lord of the Rings. Anyone who like fantasy will devour this series.

Croggon, Alison. (2007). The Riddle. Cambridge: Candlewick Press.

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22 April 2009

Seeing Redd (Looking Glass Wars #2)

Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor is the second book in the Looking Glass Wars series - the real story that Lewis Carroll trivialized in his books.

Now that Alyss is on the thrown Wonderlanders are trying to get their lives back in order. There is much work to be done to fix what her evil aunt Redd destroyed.

Homberg Molly is Alyss's personal guard and Dodge is the head of the palace guard. They are all getting ready to have a sort of grand opening of the newly rebuilt palace when it seems that forces of Redd's army thought to be destroyed attack Wondertropolis.

Alyss must use all of her great imagination, in combination with the skills of Molly, Dodge, General Doppleganger, and Hatter Mattigan to secure the queendom once again from an enemy. But can the enemy really be Redd after she was defeated in the last battle?

Beddor, Frank. (2007). Seeing Redd. New York: Speak.

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19 April 2009

The Privilege of the Sword (Swords of Riverside)

The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner is the second book that takes place in Riverside. This book is listed as fantasy but reads more like historical fiction - it is set in a made-up city similar to old London.

Katherine Talbert has heard stories of her uncle the Mad Duke Tremontaine but has never met him. Now, at fifteen, she is summoned to his home in the city. If she agrees to go, her family's debt will be forgiven and their wealth restored.

But the Duke is not bringing her to the city for her coming out season - he means to train her as a swordsman. She will be forced to wear pants and train daily until she has the skills to defend the Duke's honor.

As strange as it sounds to Katherine when she leaves home to join the Duke, nothing could prepare her for the strange and queer happenings at his many homes in the city. Every notion she has about society and morality will be put to the test by the Mad Duke.

This is a swashbuckling novel with a twist. I cannot wait for the next volume featuring the dashing and dangerous Katherine Talbert.

Kushner, Ellen. (2006). The Privilege of the Sword. New York: Bantam.

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Terminal Freeze

Terminal Freeze is the latest thriller by Lincoln Child.

A team of scientists is above the Arctic circle studying a melting glacier. They are being funded by a media conglomerate that has final say if they discover anything interesting. But so far, the melting ice, though interesting to the scientists studying it, is not documentary film material.

That all changes as a large piece of ice calves off of the face of the glacier and a cave is revealed. While exploring the cave the scientists discover the body of an animal frozen under the ice. By the eyes and what little can be seen without excavation it appears to be a sabre tooth tiger.

Now a whole film crew is on its way to capture the excitement of science at work. The plan is to defrost the beast and reveal it live on national television.

Before the beast can be melted the scientists start to believe that it is too big to be a sabre tooth tiger. It looks to be an undiscovered predator that, according to some theories of evolution, was created solely to kill - likely to thin a population of other creature that was too plentiful. And based on the type of ice and the speed with which it froze, there is possibility that the creature could be in a suspended state and not really dead...

Child, Lincoln. (2009). Terminal Freeze. New York: Doubleday Publishing.

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12 April 2009

The Naming (Pellinor #1)

The Naming by Alison Croggon is the first book of her Pellinor series.

Mearad is a slave. She barely remembers the time before she and her mother were brought to the rough place she now lives. Since her mother's death she has been alone. She wishes to escape but cannot see a safe way to get out.

While she is milking cows one morning she sees a strange man stumble into the barn. He is surprised she can see him because only those with the gift can see through his spell of invisibility. The man, Cadvan, helps Maerad escape.

Though they will have a difficult journey, Cadvan is taking Maerad to a school for those with the gift, or Bards as they are called. It is the right of anyone with the gift to be educated in one of the seven schools.

This first book in the series tells of a world where evil is rising and there is corruption in some of the Bards' schools. Maerad's life will be better than it was as a slave, but she may have to work just as hard to survive.

Croggon, Alison. (2002). The Naming. Cambridge: Candlewick Press.

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10 April 2009

Josephine Wants to Dance

Josephine Wants to Dance by the team of Jackie French and Bruce Whatley yet another of their excellent picture books about Australian animals.

Josephine loves to dance. She dances all day. Her brother, Joey, reminds her that kangaroos jump. She doesn't jump - she dances.

When the ballet comes to town she watches every rehearsal until she knows the parts. And she is ready to step in when the prima ballerina hurts her ankle.

By the end of the book everyone is dancing - including the Wombat.

French, Jackie and Bruce Whatley. (2007). Josephine Wants to Dance. New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers.

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06 April 2009

White Jenna (Great Alta Saga #2)

White Jenna by Jane Yolen is the second book in the Great Alta Saga.

Jenna has almost accepted her destiny to become the Anna - the woman who the prophesy says will bring the end and a new beginning. She is out to warn the other Hames that an army is coming, but so far she and her friends have been too late.

The king who is raiding the Hames of the women of Alta stole the thrown from the rightful heirs. Now the heirs are fighting back and need Jeanna and the other women of Alta's help.

The destiny of the rightful king and that of the Anna are meant to merge into a new era. Jenna is to be the queen.

Yolen, Jane. (1989). White Jenna. New York: Tor.

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04 April 2009

Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs #3)

Pardonable Lies is the third book featuring Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear.

Maisie has already proven herself as a detective who can find out what others fail to prove and she always does in ways that her clients can live with. She makes sure that her reports have as little negative impact as possible.
Now along with her role as a detective, she is helping out Scotland Yard with a case about a young girl who may have killed her uncle. Maise sees herself in the young girl and is determined that the girl will not spend the rest of life behind bars.

Her current detective case is to find out what happened to a pilot killed in the war (WWI). She has not been back to France since she was wounded during an attack on her medical center. Her trip is sure to drag up the past - a past she has tried to forget.

Winspear, Jacqueline. (2005). Pardonable Lies. New York: Henry Holt and Co.

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