Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Changeling by Delia Sherman

A determined heroine, a quest— adventure galore!
Neef is a changeling, a human baby stolen by fairies and replaced with one of their own. She lives in “New York Between,” a Manhattan that exists side by side with our own, home to various creatures of folklore. Neef has always been protected by her fairy godmother—until she breaks a Fairy Law. Now, unless she can meet the challenge of the Green Lady of Central Park, she’ll be sacrificed! Neef is determined to beat the rap—but time is running out . . .

This is a stand alone urban fantasy, actually personally I don't think it quite falls into the urban fantasy category, you may disagree.

Neff is the central character and is a changeling (surprisingly enough!), she was kidnapped in New York as a child and a fairy was put in her place who looked like her. So technically Neff isn't really a changeling at all. Neff is a great character, sometimes with these types of books I find the main cgharacter slightly irritating but, not Neff.

Its difficult for me to say anything without giving anything away and I hate to have a review of spoilers so suffice to say if you like Holly Black or Tamora Pierce you will like this.

This is my first delia Sherman book and hopefully it won't be my last I have read a short story of hers in one of Ellen Datlow's compilations which is what led me to this.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Karavans by Jennifer Roberson

Audrun and her husband Davyd, along with the others of the land of Sancorra, have been left homeless because of the brutal Hecari. Consulting diviners, they learn that their newest child must be born in the peaceful province of Atalanda. They must now travel close to the sinister woodlands of Alisanos, where darkness awaits. Joining a karavan for safety, the family moves ever closer to the dangerous, mystical forest. And, as they are all about to discover, Alisanos is moving ever closer to them.

It's been too long since I read a good fantasy and this is an author who although I own pretty much all her fantasy series' I have never read her before, and also checking out the reviews it seems this is not as good as her other series and strange as it may sound when it comes to authors whose books I have a lot of I prefer to read the ones that are rated not so great.

Anyway, back to the book - overall the book is quite slow to start but, then its introducing you to the characters and JR has a great way of weaving words and though it seems slow to begin with its so descriptive that you really build a great world in your mind, if you have ever read (and loved!) Cecelia Dart-Thornton you will know what I mean.

One of the main characters is Audrun, an expectant mother she has to take risks to give birth to her magical child somewhere much safer. Alisanos is a place where Demons live and if any humans vebture there they are captured.

Davyn is the husband of Audrun and he leaves to talk to Jorda (Jorda is the master of the last Karavan opf the season), Rhuan is a guide for Jorda's Karavan and Rhuan is a from the Shoia people, they are people who can rise from the dead six times.

There are many people to be introduced to and to learn about which is why if your not into descriptive fantasies this is probably not one you would enjoy as there is little in the way of action but, I think this is a pre-cursor for the coming books.

I really enjoyed this I love descriptive fantasies so if this is one of JR's weaker books sounds like the others will be brilliant!

Monday, 23 March 2009

Butterfly Award

This award is awarded to me by Kailana from http://myreadingbooks.blogspot.com/. This was actually awarded to me in January so Kailana forgive me for not acknowledging this sooner I was just browsing your blog and noticed it! Kailana said about me: A lot of the great fantasy series that I have read and enjoyed over the last few years were books that I discovered through Clare!

Thats nice to know and actually I have been neglecting fantasy lately so time to get back into that so not only a lovely award to receive but, a great reminder too :-)).

My last post said the next time I receive an award I will find 10 seeing as that was only 10 minutes ago I'm not sure so forgive me if I don't live up to my promise.

Anyway here are the awards I have given:

Kailana from http://myreadingbooks.blogspot.com/ - Kailana I actually originally knew from a Historical forum and over the time I have known her has recommended some brilliant books most noticeably the OR Melling Faerie Chronicles series so it was nice to know I have recommended some Fantasy series back.

Margo from http://thebookexperience.blogspot.com/ - Margo has recommended some great series too in fact it was because of Margo I finally read the Harry Potter series, I didn't want to get caught up in all that hype but, she was so fanatical about them I had to dip my toe in and was glad I did, not the greatest series of books ever written but, highly entertaining.

Marg from http://readingadventures.blogspot.com/ - same as Kailana I know Marg from a historical books forum and Marg must be one of the fastest readers I know her reviews are great and I often browse her blog if looking for a particular review and she rarely disappoints"!

Daphne from http://shelfandstuff.blogspot.com/ - Daphne writes brilliant Historical reviews and I just the mosaics she does! She has read lots of books I may not have discovered otherwise.

Rhinoa from http://rhinoasramblings.blogspot.com/ - I have known Rhinoa for quite some time and she reads a brilliant selection of stuff one of the best series she has recommended is Anne Bishops Black Jewels series and after her review of the latest book I must catch up on this series it sounds brilliant!!

The Blog Award "Where life hands you lemons"

I was given this award by my good friend Margo of http://margotreehugger.blogspot.com/ thanks hun!

The terms and conditions set out for this award :

1) Put the logo on your blog or post.
2) Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great attitude or gratitude.
3) Link to your nominees within your post.
4) Let the nominees know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5) Share the love and link to the person from who you received your award.

So these are the people whose blogs I think deserve this award:

1: Margo from http://margotreehugger.blogspot.com/
2: Kailana from http://myreadingbooks.blogspot.com/
3: Marg from http://readingadventures.blogspot.com/
4: Daphne from http://shelfandstuff.blogspot.com/
5: C W Gortner from http://historicalboys.blogspot.com/
6: Pandacub from http://pandacubcafe.blogspot.com/
7: Rhinoa from http://rhinoasramblings.blogspot.com/
8: Susan from http://susandhigginbotham.blogspot.com/

I'm still missing 2 and the last time I received an award I said I need to find more so the next time I receive one (ooh that sounds so presumptuous!! Sorry I mean IF I get another one ) I will definitely have more :-))

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Howling At The Moon by Karen Mcinerney

Romance is about to get a little hairy.

Sophie Garou seems to have it all: a great job at a prestigious accounting firm, a closet that rivals a Nordstrom showroom, and a terrific boyfriend who isn’t afraid to use the “M” word. There’s just one little itty-bitty problem: Sophie is a werewolf–and her time of month has a whole new meaning.

Needless to say, life among yummy flesh-and-blood humans is no piece of steak . . . er, cake!, but regular doses of wolfsbane tea and a mother who runs a magic shop have helped Sophie keep her paranormal pedigree under wraps. Still, when a sexy, golden-eyed werewolf prowls into town, Sophie finds herself struggling to keep her animal impulses in check–not to mention trying to keep things on track with her super hot (and super human) lawyer boyfriend. What’s more, someone is threatening to expose Sophie for what she really is. And when her mother is accused of selling a poison-laced potion, Sophie must sniff out a culprit before the fur hits the fan.

I see to read a lot of paranormal romance involving vampires but, there doesn't seem to be a huge amount about werewolves this was a very light and easy to read one just don't go expecting another Elena from Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series!

Definitely as far as Were novels go this leans more towards the chick lit variety and TBH there seems more of that than the Paranormal - Sophie's mother is a witch so it was good to have a lirttle witchiness sprinkled in for good measure.

Sophie is a great sassy like character and as the narrator of the novel its good that she's quite likeable. Its not got the punch of KA's novels or Patricia Briggs but, for a light read in this genre this is good but, if you haven't read the others I would recommend those over this.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier

On a bitter November evening, young Mary Yellan journeys across the rainswept moors to Jamaica Inn in honour of her mother's dying request. When she arrives, the warning of the coachman begins to echo in her memory, for her aunt Patience cowers before hulking Uncle Joss Merlyn. Terrified of the inn's brooding power, Mary gradually finds herself ensnared in the dark schemes being enacted behind its crumbling walls -- and tempted to love a man she dares not trust.

I'm off to Cornwall in October for the first time since I was a child and I like to read fiction associated with the areas I'm going to, am I sad? LOL

Anyway, this is the first book I have read by Daphne Du Maurier and is a real classic by all accounts, a very moody almost depressing novel. Set around the infamous jamaica Inn in Cornwall (which also happens to be haunted, I think Most Haunted done an investigation here some time ago) so this is set near the Bodmin Moor and is set in Victorian times.

Joss Merlyn is quite a not particuarly nice character, the book centres around Mary Yellan who is travelling to Jamaica Inn aon a cold, windy and pretty much nasty night aboard a stagecoach when she arrives its not exactly the most friendliest of welcomes she receives!

This is a pretty much a gothic tale and it flows nicely there aren't too many 'boring bits'. I can't say it was engrossing but, a pretty good read.

Friday, 13 March 2009

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

The Secret Life of Bees is the story of Lily Owens, a girl who has shaped her life around one devastating memory—the afternoon her mother was killed, when Lily was four. Besides her harsh and unyielding father, Lily’s only real companion is Rosaleen, a tender, but fierce-hearted black woman who cooks, cleans and acts as her "stand-in mother."

Set in 1964 in South Carolina, a place and time of seething racial divides, violence explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten. Lily is desperate, not only to save Rosaleen, but to flee from a life she can no longer endure. Calling upon her colorful wits and youthful daring, she breaks Rosaleen out of jail and the two escape, into what quickly becomes Lily’s quest for the truth about her mother’s life.

They are taken in by three black, bee-keeping sisters, May, June, and August, and Lily is consumed by their secret world of bees and honey, and of the Black Madonna who presides over this household of strong, wise women. Lily’s journey is one of painful secrets and shattering betrayals but that ultimately helps her find the thing her heart longs for most.

This book was recommended to me many many moons ago by a very good friend and I did buy it but, unfortunately it sat on my shelf for so long I am always dubious about books that are so highly raved about even though I value my friends opinion - I'm sure she won't mind me saying that! And although we don't always love the same books I have to say this was brilliant!

Lily seems such a sweet girl and I so felt for her at the way her father treated her. She is unloved and has been living with the guilt of accidentally killing her mother when she was four years old. The book begins when Lily turns fourteen.

This book covers a lot of issues most notably racial issues, I'm not sure where this book sits genre-wise, its definitely not a chick lit but, to be honest it doesn't really matter this is a realr tear jerker in every sense of the word.

I'm happy to see this book has been made into a film although films are never as good as books but, nonetheless I will definitely be going to see it.

Unbelievablty this book was the authors first (I believe it was, feel free to correct me if I am wrong) and after reading this, The Mermaid Chair has moved way up on my TBR list.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Ellen

Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter is her favorite season, she’s a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother’s house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night….

Until she finds her closet harboring Della Lee Baker, a local waitress who is one part nemesis—and two parts fairy godmother. With Della Lee’s tough love, Josey’s narrow existence quickly expands. She even bonds with Chloe Finley, a young woman who is hounded by books that inexplicably appear when she needs them—and who has a close connection to Josey’s longtime crush. Soon Josey is living in a world where the color red has startling powers, and passion can make eggs fry in their cartons. And that’s just for starters.

Brimming with warmth, wit, and a sprinkling of magic, here is a spellbinding tale of friendship, love—and the enchanting possibilities of every new day.


Josey is 27 years old but, the people where she lives just remember her as a 9 year old. But, then she opens the closet and Della Lee helps her change her life. In Josey's room she has her favourite things her sweets and her romance novels and Della Lee who is partly her fairy godmother sits among Joseys clothes and helps her untangle her life.

It might sound a bit strange having someone living in your closet and helping you change your life but, just like Garden Spells this is such a magical tale of relationships, love & life but, this really is a delightful read - I do still think think Sarah Eddison Allen's books have echoes of Joanne Harris's books but, if your not a huge fan of JH this does have its own individuality so don't go expecting another Chocolat!

I hope this author writes lots more tales like these - they are so quirky, and different quite a simple read but, quite thought provoking too.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

The Light-Bearer's Daughter by O R Melling

The third book in the series, which Booklist says “shimmers with magic, myth, and romance,” will satisfy fans as well as entice new readers.

Dana has few memories of her mother, who disappeared when she was small. But she has always dreamed, despite her father’s discouragement, that her mother would come back one day. When her dad decides to leave Ireland and take a job across the ocean in Canada, Dana is heartbroken. How can she leave her home and the only chance of seeing her mother again? She runs away, high into the fairy mountains of Ireland. Following ancient paths, with a mysterious wolf companion by her side, Dana encounters a world of tragic enchantment and fairy romance, and discovers a great secret about herself.

Dana lives alone with her father after her mother left and does not want to leave Ireland for Canada. Whilst it was hard when her Mum left she has a great relationship with her Dad.

On a trip to the Glen Dana receives a messages from the Fairy Queen to act as a messenger and so her journey begins. Again this book has connections with the previous book and as I said with the last one you could read this alone if you so choose, I would read all three though as this is such a fantastic series.

I definitely preferred this book to the previous and there is an underlying political message too whether you agree with it or not it should not detract from this book, I thought this was the last one in the series but, I think there is another to come and I hope many more this is a brilliant brilliant series!

Thursday, 5 March 2009

The Summer King by O R Melling

SYNOPSIS The second book in the critically acclaimed Chronicles of Faerie series

In this book, which School Library Journal called “lyrical and mesmerizing,” eighteen-year-old Laurel arrives in Ireland on the anniversary of her sister’s mysterious death, to take up her twin’s failed mission to find the Summer King and save Faerie. As Laurel sets her cynicism aside and becomes caught up in dark secrets and old hatreds, she harbors a desperate dream of her own—to save her sister.

Laurel returns to Ireland a year after the death of her faerie loving sister, she is attending a memorial service for her sister and whilst there she receives a message from faerie. But, Laurel is quite sceptical when it comes to faeries.

This second book in the series was not quite as good as The Hunters Moon but, second books never usually are in my experience, still a wonderful read, it is linked in some ways to The Hunters Moon but, I think this can definitely be read independently of the Hunters Moon but, I like to read books in order.

Again the beautiful descriptions of Ireland are quite magical and the fairies too of which they come in many forms here. The only thing I wasn't so keen on was all the parts written in the Irish language and only because I don't know how to read it, perhaps I should learn!

I am loving this series so a huge thanks to Kailana who posted about this series on her blog otherwise I may not have discovered it!

Monday, 2 March 2009

The Hunter's Moon by O R Melling

Gwen travels to Ireland to visit her cousin Findabhair, expecting a summer of backpacking, late nights, and the usual road trip adventures. But when Findabhair is kidnapped by the King of Faerie, Gwen must race to save her cousin before the rise of the Hunter's Moon, when the fairies need a human sacrifice.

Of all genres (and I read quite a few different genres) fantasy has to be my favourite and of all fantasy those set in the world of faerie rank among my top 3! So this was perfect, this is a young adult series but, I'm a fan of those too!

Gwen is the main character along with her cousin Findabhair(also the name of the authors daughter) however, Findabhair gets kidnapped in Tara so Gwen must go it alone and Gwen has also to rescue her cousin, Finn. Even though Finn doesn't want to be rescued but, needs must!

The descriptions of Ireland were great having never been there it gave me a little sense of adventure! And I did actually read the reviews on this before reading it and it was actually even better than what I was expecting. I noticed some reviews said it was very unrealistic well ummm maybe they should be looking up the word 'fantasy' in the dictionary he he

I really enjoyed this and whether or not you believe in faeries its a great fantasy tale in faerieland!