This YA fantasy takes place in the Middle Ages, and Sylvie is terrified that an Inquisitor from the Holy Catholic Church could denounce her as a witch. She has a special ability to heal which she believes is from God, but being a good Christian won’t save her from being killed as a witch if the wrong people find out about what she can do. Sylvie tries to heal her mother, but when it goes terribly wrong, Sylvie leaves her quiet French village searching for someone who might be able to teach her how to control her powers. Her little friend, Martin, tags along eager to travel and see the wide world.
Octavia has lived all her life within the walls of her city, the last refuge for humanity in a world that has been destroyed by war and plague. The only living things outside the walls were monsters. There was no human life left anywhere except in Octavia’s city…. or so she believed. Octavia meets a mysterious girl who claims to be from another city. Together they could destroy everything the town believes and bring healing to a society drowning in lies.
I loved this book so much! The adventure, the magic, the world building, the character growth; this book has it all! I got emotionally attached to the characters very quickly, and it was so wonderful to see how Octavia grows and heals and changes as the story progresses. There are so many big revelations and plot twists as Octavia learns just how deep the lies really go. Every time she discovers something new in her world, the reader discovers it along with her.
Thomas and Emily are the children of a knight and lady. They live in a castle, take archery lessons, and learn courtly manners and knightly conduct. They meet Meg, a scribe, who used to know their mother when she was a child. Meg tells them stories about the dragon who used to live in the castle and how their mother became involved in a terrifying adventure. But is Meg telling the truth? Or is she just weaving a tall tale?
Sai pretends to be from a wealthy family in order to get an apprenticeship with a mapmaker. She hides that her father is a criminal, and uses her skills as a forger to help the mapmaker copy maps and documents. When the mapmaker goes on a sea voyage to explore new regions of the world, Sai is eager to leave her past behind and start a new life. There are tales of dragons and dangerous seas in the South, but the riches and rewards could be immense.
I loved this story! It’s so exciting as they travel further and further from Sai’s home, and the people on board the ship begin to divide into groups with very different goals. Both the adventure and the emotional journey have a lot of tension and suspense. There are so many great twists in the plot!
Each short story in this collection features dragons; some benevolent, some dangerous, and all of them mysterious and magical. There are dragons with mystical powers. Some dragons will bargain with humans, exchanging magic for goods. Baby dragons just out of the egg need protection. Dragons in captivity will exact their revenge. And there are some dragons who are looking for their soulmate.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.