Ode to Cimorene

One of my favorit-ist series EVER

Disrupting Dinner Parties

***NOTE: this post will be a little bit of a spoiler for the book Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede. The post will discuss the first two chapters. SO if you do not mind a very little spoilage, read on! ****

Throughout most of my youth and young adulthood, I was a reading fanatic. Any fantasy, sci-fi or fiction book I could get my hands on were devoured by my need to escape into another world and for a little bit of time, become a character on a space ship or a detective on the streets of London. My favorite books had female protagonists and authors such as Tamara Pierce, Robin McKinley, Diane Duane, Phillip Pullman, Holly Black, and many others, were the ones who introduced me to the basis of my feminist belief that women are as kickass, powerful, and moving as men. One particular book whose character…

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Favorite Romances

Romances that are Awesome!

Book Review: “The Prince of Ill Luck” by Susan Dexter

Summary: The first in a series about Valadan a magic horse who finds the must interesting people to journey with. Today it is Leith (Lay-eth) the self-styled Prince of Ill-Luck wins the ring/princess/duchy, but he doesn’t want them! Instead he wants to get rid of his curse, and The Prince of Ill Luck (Warhorse of Esdragon, #1)the princess wants to find her mother the sorceress. So the story begins where most fairy tales ends following their adventure.

Reviews: I love this story, there’s something about the strong heroine and the ill luck prince which is fascinating. The story is told through both the characters eyes, and the reader gets a good idea of who they are, what they are doing, and how they grow. This book has been on my shelf for many year, read at many times, and its well worth the reread I just had. If you like The Hero and the Crown, The Enchanted Forest Series and The Seer and the Sword.

Book Review: Written in Red by Anne Bishop

If you like stories about fragile females, who actually end up being not so fragile, with willing males to simulatenously take care of them even as they serve them, then Anne Bishop is your feminist.

The plotline is basically the same as her other 3 series (Black Jewels<–first and favorite, Belladonna and Bridge of Dreams<–not really a fan of this one).

Despite the plotline and characters getting to be (more than) predictable, Anne Bishop creates awesome worlds where magic is both feared and utilized in unexpected ways.

I like the plotline, so I don’t mind it being that repetitive, however I think that in her most developed world (Black Jewels) the books about side characters start to get away from the tired plotline, so its still my favorite. Plus this is not a common plotline elsewhere, so although its the same tune from Bishop over and over again I do recommend reading one of her series to get a taste of her style.

Be warned: Anne Bishop not only does explicit sex (which no one seems to worry about) but touches on real issues of abuse (self and other-inflicted), and the vulnerability of humanity to abuse and be abused–in fact a lot of the power dynamic within her books are about how powerful characters remain good. I think the fact that she deals so well with these issues are part of what makes her a good writer, but don’t expect a happy, squishy fantasy world…

I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in cool worlds, strong females and powerful issues…..

The 25 Books Every Kid Should Have on Their Bookshelf

Um 23 out of 25 is not bad–good thing I’m not grown up then, there’s still time to get the last two ūüėČ

Flavorwire

This month marks the 70th anniversary of one of our favorite children’s books of all time, the beautiful, contemplative novella The Little Prince. To celebrate the book’s legacy (and to encourage any parents currently dragging their feet to get it for their little ones), we’ve put together a list of 25 essential books that every kid should have on his or her bookshelf growing up. Add your own suggestions to the list (it has potential to be infinite) in the comments.

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Currently I’m i…

Currently I’m in the middle of The Mary Russell Series, Wrinkle in Time Quartet and Strangers in Paradise–all of these are re-reads, all of them are theologically relevant, and all of them balance into the complex person that I am ūüôā Cheers!

Review: The Spy Princess by Sherwood Smith

The Spy Princess

I found this in the Elementary Readers section of the library, which is interesting, but I think a good fit. Crown Duel is often found in YA section and the main character didn’t really interest me. For those who don’t know the Crown Duel and Wren series are both in the same world as this book, but each stand so independent I don’t think it really matters–except that the Wren series is really good and the Crown Duel series is ok.

Lilah, though is back to Smith’s spunky women. A princess who wants to know what is going on in the kingdom disguises herself and through it gets to know her father, her uncle, her brother and herself much better.

I think Smith writes better characters when they aren’t concerned with love–both Wren and Lilah declare they are “too young to worry about love.” This has stuck with me: intrigue is definitely a strength of Smith’s writing, and I especially like how she handles the topics of revolution and war.

All in all not quite as good as Wren, but definitely better than Crown Duel for me.

Fairy Tale Addendum

Books with Good Movie Adaptations

The Princess Bride by William Goldman: Comic Fairy Tale (same tone as the movie, with more plot) same writer as the movie. (actually thought S. Morgenstern wrote this growing up)

Stardust by Neil Gaiman: A star fell to earth, a man vows to retrieve her to win his bride. Stars, Lovers, Quests. Read it in story or comic form (another good movie adaptation)–oh and it has been filed as a kids, young adult, fantasy and adult book, hows that for the power of a fairy tale!!

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien: Way more a fairy tale than Lord of the Rings, yay quests!

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle: The Last unicorn goes on an adventure to try to find her kind and save the world

Children’s Fairy Stories (which are even better when you are an adult)

The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame and Earnest H. Shepard (Illustrator): Dragons and Knights don’t quite fight, and its awesome (and the cartoon is fun if you skip the live action stuff)

The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye Princess Amy is gifted with ordinariness–and finds her own way to special happiness

(totally think Enchanted Forest series is a brilliant combo of The Reluctant Dragon & Ordinary Princess)

The Little White Horse: by Elizabeth Goudge and Walter Hodges (Illustrator) Maria Merryweather comes as a orphan and finds the Moon Princess, and a way to help the entire Valley (an inspirational story for most fantasy writers today)

The Light Princess & Other Fairy Stories and The Golden Key and Other Stories by George MacDonald: a favorite of C. S. Lewis. Longer than Grimm’s fairy tales the characters are SO engaging and very traditional fairy tales!

Various Book Reviews or My Hero(ine)

Note the riveting chart of young adult heroines below–what do they have in common (getting over the fact that Hermione was NEVER part of a love triangle)–they are all young fighting women white (sad-day), virgins (probably) with low self-esteem (except Julie from Warm Bodies) and are shy/quiet. Most of them have brown hair, protectors (male of course).

First I need to note the GROSS (and probably sexist) oversight, that Intelligence or smartness was not a factor–whereas I bet if it was about males it would have been!!!!!

That’s it next novel I write (i.e. if I ever get around to writing) it should have a nonwhite (although I am white, maybe I could do a Korean-American girl…I have some cultural experience there), assertive (not quite, even if she likes books…I’m bookish and I am SO not quite), with no Protector (LIKE CIMORENE), who is SMART, has good Self-Esteem, No love Triangle (ugh), don’t know about the virginity thing–I think young heroines tend to be virgins on principle (unless abuse is involved), with black hair (which the Korean thing would totally take care of). Hmmm….Who’s up for cooler Heroines…I think my favorites of the list below are Katniss and Hermione, I have even cooler ones following the chart. YAHeroineInfographic-650dpiWidth4

original article here

Cool Heroines not included here are Robin McKinley’s heroines (yes all of the them-I’m not going to list them), All of Tamora Pierce and Kristen Cashore (DITTO)¬† Patricia C. Wrede’s Cimorene, Dave Duncan’s Inos, Harry Potter Hermione (who is not a title character, but deserves a better rep then what we have here), Scott Westerfield’s Tally Youngblood, Madeline L”Engle (who was so ahead of the time her feminist characters sound forward thinking even today 30years later), Anne of Green Gables, etc. for more see my fairy tale lists–my classic and my alternative (not well-known) list.

The 10 Most Badass Cartoon Heroines of the √ʬĬė80s

Review “A Wrinkle in Time: the Graphic Novel” Adapted & Illustrated by Hope Larson (and written by Madeline L’Engle)

I am a total fangirl of Madeline L’Engle, she is most likely my favorite self-named Christian Fantasy author (as opposed to Lewis or Tolkien or the like)…so A Wrinkle in Time I bought with my oft hoarded holiday gift cards.

so when my 4 and a 1/2 year old son saw The Invention of Hugo Cabret on the floor and was fascinated by the fact that grownup books can have pictures. Immediately I t

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old him some adult books are entirely pictures, they are called graphic novels, and I showed him A Wrinkle in Time. He then asked if we could read it.

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I’m a “Why not?” parent, and said “well we can try…” uncertain of its quality, his interest and our schedule (reading a chapter a night is a big commitment)

Bulletpoints of A Wrinkle in Time

1. The pictures were totally used to “fill in” the story. I have an ongoing theory that all remakes of classics (Oz, Narnia, Lord of the Rings) tend to be better if they were done by children who grew up with the tale, because reading things as adults–we just don’t connect the same way, and we tend to put our own values and systems on instead of exploring the world that is presented (Harry Potter comes to mind, the first movie the director said re: Dumbledore’s Office “what was fun was we could do whatever we wanted, and create it from scratch…um…excuse me isn’t there a perfectly perfect BOOK to refer to argh, a guess that’s another post for another day.) Hope Larson definitely got the world, genre, passion and feel for L’engle’s tale

2. This is what I always pictured a “graphic novel” to be, its a real novel, told in graphics (comic books are great, but they always sound shorter to me). At 383 pages and multiple panels a page (1-10panels) the story is given the breadth, width and depth to be a deep telling of the truth that is in the books

3. She gets stars: Stars are a L’Engle thing, Larson, totally uses it, bonus points galore.

4. My four and a half year old was entranced, wondering when they would finally get to rescue first Meg’s father and then Charles Wallace…He was very disciplined about the one chapter thing, telling me it was “so exciting” to wait til the next day (like me he’s a sick person who enjoys delayed gratification–this makes us really great readers, we will willingly believe whatever you tell us because we like not knowing the real answer)

5. When we finished the book, Franklin (my son) wanted to know if we could pa-lease-read-it-starting-at-the-beginning-tomorrow-night-RIGHT? (needless to say we went a reserved the graphic novel of The Hobbit at the library ASAP)

Katy’s Review 4 out of 4 stars

Franklin’s Review 60 out of 4 stars

PS: The story of love’s triumph over nothingness is amazing, and I can only pray that Hope Larson has been engaged for A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and not someone else–because, hey, I trust her….She was able to show me Aunt Beast, Mrs. Which, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Whatsit without messing with their alien/mysterious natures!!!

Other pictorial interpretations of Wrinkle in time

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