Book Review: Be the Dragon

Be the Dragon by Catherine J. Manning

Be the Dragon: 9 Keys to Unlocking Your Inner Magic: Roar with Confidence and Slay Your Fears with Quizzes, Quests, and More!
by Catherine J. Manning
5 out of 5 stars

Go on a journey of discovery to find out what kind of dragon you are! This book has short stories about dragons who demonstrate some character trait of bravery, kindness, patience, or friendship to teach the reader how to be a real dragon in your own life.

There are several quizzes throughout the book so that you can find out what type of dragon you are, what type of roar you have, what dragon power is your biggest strength, and what problem-solving style you use best. You can do activities and crafts to complete a quest and build your creativity.

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Book Review: Winterset Hollow

Winterset Hollow by Jonathan Edward Durham

Winterset Hollow
by Jonathan Edward Durham

2.5 stars
Eamon and his friends visit the abandoned home of their favorite author, Addington, who wrote stories about animals who celebrate Barley Day with a massive feast. Those stories inspired and comforted Eamon for years after he was abandoned by his father. But now, when Eamon and other fans of the author visit the setting for those stories, they find that the truth behind the book is stranger and far more frightening than they could ever imagine. Because there is another Barley Day tradition besides just the feast… the Barley Day hunt.

I really liked Eamon’s character. He is a broken person, an orphan who finds it hard to connect with others. But he is trying to be emotionally healthy and have a good life. I was inspired by his growth and how he recognized his personal problems and tried to overcome them. I loved his jovial and teasing dynamic with his friends.

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Book Review: Shadows

Shadows by Robin McKinley

Shadows
by Robin McKinley
Kailey (Luminous Libro)‘s reviewOct 28, 2021  ·  edit
really liked itbookshelves: owned-booksbooks-read-in-2021

Maggie lives in an urban society that has outlawed the use of magic. When the fabric of the dimensions begins to collapse, and holes in reality start to appear, the government tries to use science to deal with the problem.
When Maggie meets her new stepfather for the first time, she knows he is involved in some kind of powerful magic, because he is surrounded by wisps of shadow that loom in the darkness. The shadows seem to move about on their own, wiggling and changing with every mood.

I loved the magical urban setting in this book! It’s very modern, with cars and cellphones, but the history of the world includes magic, passed down by genetics through certain families. The world-building has such great depth, and it was so interesting learning all about the magic system.

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Book Review: Mermaids Rock The Coral Kingdom

The Coral Kingdom by Linda Chapman

The Coral Kingdom
by Linda ChapmanMirelle Ortega (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars

Marina and her father have just moved to a new underwater neighborhood, and Marina makes some new friends at school while her father researches rare fish in the area. Marina has to put up with a snobby girl at school, but she happily joins the Save the Sea Creatures club with her friends. However, Marina and her friends are frightened by a strange creature that is evidently destroying the local coral reef caves. They find some weird clues, but no one has sighted the creature. Can they solve the mystery before the damage gets worse?

I loved this cute book! The mermaid culture is wonderfully imaginative, and I thought it was so fun to learn about Marina and her friends. We also get some real life facts about interesting fish and conservation in the ocean. The mystery had me in complete suspense! I was puzzling and wondering, What is this big sea monster creature that is destroying the coral?

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Graphic Novel Review: Inkblot

Inkblot, Vol. 1 by Emma Kubert

Inkblot, Vol. 1
by Emma KubertRusty Gladd
4 out of 5 stars

A librarian sorceress knocks over some bottles of ink and accidentally creates a powerful cat that has magical properties. Like all cats, this inky feline does whatever it wants whenever it wants, and it seems unbound by the laws of time and space. The sorceress begins to realize that the cat could cause the unravelling of the universe, or could save her family and bring the realms together.

The plot is excellent, full of adventure and magic! I really loved the mixture of action and funny scenes. The writing is so clever and hilarious, but also touches on some more somber and serious subjects.

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Book Review: Bilbo’s Last Song

Bilbo's Last Song by J.R.R. Tolkien

Bilbo’s Last Song
by J.R.R. TolkienPauline Baynes (Illustrator)
4 out of 5 stars

As Bilbo sets off on his last journey from Rivendell to the shores of the sea, he sings this last poem as his farewell to MiddleEarth before boarding a ship that will take him to Valinor with Gandalf, Frodo, and Elrond. The poem itself is not very long, with one stanza on each page.

This book is beautifully illustrated with gorgeous settings that show Bilbo on his way to Valinor. The illustrations begin with Bilbo at Rivendell. He talks with Elrond about making the last trip, and they make plans for travelling. Bilbo and the company of Elves pass through the Shire, where Frodo and Sam join them. They reach the harbor where Cirdan the shipwright is waiting to greet them. They say goodbye to Sam, Merry, and Pippin. The final illustration shows Bilbo reaching the shores of Valinor.

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Book Review: Eulalia!

Eulalia! by Brian Jacques

Eulalia! (Redwall, #19)
by Brian JacquesDavid Elliot (Illustrator)
5 out of 5 stars

Gorath the badger is captured by evil pirates, his farm and home burned to the ground and all his kin slain. Maudie the hare maid has been sent from Salamandastron on a dangerous mission to find Gorath and bring him safely back to the Lord of the Badgers. Orkwil is a mischievous young hedgehog who has been cast out of Redwall for stealing. These three unlikely heroes team up to battle off a vermin horde and save Redwall Abbey!

I just adore all the Redwall books! What an absolute delight! This book has everything that I love about Redwall books. Ravenous hares, wise old badgers, adorable moles, fierce shrews, and of course brave warriors ready to defend all good beasts.

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Fantasy Book Review: Summers at Castle Auburn

Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn

Summers at Castle Auburn
by Sharon Shinn
5 out of 5 stars

Corie is the illegitimate daughter of a nobleman, who visits the royal court every summer to be groomed and trained for life among the nobility. The rest of the year she lives with her peasant grandmother in a small village learning to be an herbalist healer. As Corie grows into a young woman, she begins to realize the depth of the court intrigue that surrounds her half-sister, Elisandra. She determines to do everything she can to help her sister. She soon discovers that there are others who need her help too; the magical elven people who are held as slaves in the castle.

I loved everything about this book! The magic, the world-building, the exciting plot, the writing style, the complex characters: everything is golden!

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Book Review: War of Kings and Monsters

War of Kings and Monsters by Christopher Keene

War of Kings and Monsters
by Christopher Keene (Goodreads Author)
3 out of 5 stars

Nathan has no idea who he is. He is an apprentice Caller in the king’s home and best friends with Prince Michael, but he has no memory of his family and assumes he is an orphan. He studies under the Master Callers to summon Melkai monsters from another world. Some of the monsters are massive, and others are miniscule, like Nathan’s own little Melkai, a small lizard. The barrier between the world of humans and the world of the Melkai is weakening. Nathan is sent on a quest to find the other half of the magical key that can seal the barriers between worlds before the destructive Melkai are unleashed to roam freely across the land.

I enjoyed the plot of this book, because there are some clever twists and turns. There are several times when some particular character or object or connection is revealed and it was just so satisfying. The plot is full of fantasy tropes, but I didn’t really mind that because I like tropes. Some of the plot devices were obvious, but again, I don’t mind that as long as it is set up in an interesting way.

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