Tag Archives: YA fantasy

Book Review: The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

2 Dec

If you ever thought Jane Austen needed more demon hunting, The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman is the book for you.

In Regency London, Lady Helen Wrexhall is preparing for her presentation to the queen. Her parents died under mysterious circumstances no one talks about except to mention the shame Lady Helen’s mother brought to the family. This means that Lady Helen must be a paragon in order to avoid the stain of such an association and marry well.

Which makes it very inconvenient when she starts to manifest unusual abilities. Having grown up being able to read the tiniest signs of emotion in people’s faces, she starts to find herself filled with a restless energy. When one of her family’s housemaids goes missing, Lady Helen sets out to investigate. She finds herself drawn into a shadowy side of the world she never knew existed and to the Earl of Carleston. Through him she learns the truth of her abilities and must choose between her duty to her country and her desire to lead a normal life. Continue reading


Book Review: Buried Heart by Kate Elliott

30 Aug


All good things must come to an end, and with Buried Heart, author Kate Elliott brings to a conclusion the YA Court of Fives trilogy.

Talking about plot developments in the third and final volume of a trilogy is difficult and perhaps foolish to try, so I will instead discuss the essential theme of this volume, one that has been slowly surfacing through Court of Fives and Poisoned Blade, but here gets its full fulminating flowering: Revolution. In Buried Heart, Efea’s oppressed status, something that the author has been delineating from the very first chapter of Court of Fives, comes out in full force. Of course within the potential revolution of Efea against the tyranny that holds it is the struggle of powers around it, and the struggles of the current royal occupants to hold the throne against kin and family. The first two novels, which suggested that Jessamy, the Spider, would be subsumed into that dynamic entirely, prove to have been a false flag. In the third volume, Jess finds herself caught between father and mother, her lover and her land, and must make often difficult choices as the people of Efea struggle to reclaim their freedom. Continue reading

A Book By Its Cover: My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

20 Aug

Picture yourself on a boat or a lakeshore,
with pastel balloons and ominous skies;
Some monster calls you, you answer quite slowly
— the girl with the GLOWING RED EYES!

My Best Friend’s Exorcism, by Grady Hendrix, is a work of art. You can tell just by looking at the cover. There is a LOT going on here! It tells a story all by itself, but go on and read the book, too. I can’t promise you’ll be glad you did, since I don’t know you, Gentle Reader, but I’d be amazed if you’re not interested!
Continue reading

Book Review: Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott

18 Aug


Second in the Court of Fives series, following Court of Fives, Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott continues the epic YA fantasy story of Jessamy, as she struggles to preserve herself and her family. Her expertise and skill at the Fives has put her into the intrigue and machinations of Garon Palace, as factions within the court struggle to influence, if not outright control, the throne. But what can the daughter of a General, struggling to keep herself and her family above water, do against that? She has a game to master, and in the mastery of that game, and protecting her family, young Jessamy is going to be catapulted out of the capital,  and into the countryside. There, away from all she has known, treachery, betrayal, loyalty and the struggle for the future of her country irrevocably change her own quest. Continue reading

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