Trilogy Review: The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings
by J.R.R. Tolkien

5 out of 5 stars

Frodo learns that a magic ring that was left to him by his Uncle Bilbo is incredibly dangerous. The wizard Gandalf warns Frodo that the Dark Lord is searching for the ring, and Frodo must leave his home in the Shire. A few of his loyal friends accompany him through the wilderness, hoping to discover a way to destroy the evil ring.

Every time I reread this trilogy, my heart soars and I get inspired! I just love the deep spiritual themes about friendship, grief, duty, honor, love, and courage. There have been many times in my life when I have faced a difficult circumstance and I found courage and hope in the examples of these characters. There is so much meaning behind every scene. There is always another layer to unpack and explore. I especially find encouragement in the Christian themes and imagery. Tolkien’s writings are saturated with faith.

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Book Review: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3)
by C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

Lucy and Edmund are back in Narnia, this time accompanied by their annoying cousin, Eustace. The siblings join King Caspian again, this time on a quest to the Eastern edge of the world. They sail through rough seas, encounter sea monsters, chart magical islands, and fight battles. But the greatest adventure of all is what they find at the edge of the world.

This one is my favorite of all the Narnia books! It appeals to something deep inside me on many levels. The magical adventures, the spiritual themes, poor sad Eustace and his character development, the beautiful imagery, and the imaginative settings all resonate with me in special ways. There are so many sweet little moments that tug at your heart!

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Book Review: Prince Caspian

Prince Caspian (The Chronicles of Narnia, #2)
by C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are back in Narnia a year after their previous adventures. They find that Narnia has changed a great deal, and now the evil Telmarines are in power. The siblings go to war to help Prince Caspian reclaim his throne and restore the Old Narnian dwarves, fauns, and tree-people.

I love the themes of obedience and faith in this second book of the series. The siblings try to rely on their own wisdom and ignore Aslan’s instructions and they get into huge trouble. It is only when they follow Aslan and obey with faith that things start to go right again.

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Book Review: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1)
by C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars

Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy finds themselves stumbling through a magical wardrobe into the land of Narnia, where animals can talk and the White Witch uses her magic to make it always winter and never Christmas. The siblings must travel to find the Great Lion, Aslan, who is the only one with the power to defeat the White Witch.

This book is so near to my heart, not only because of the nostalgia since I read and reread it again and again as a child, but also for the deep spiritual themes of sacrifice and redemption that mirror Christ’s salvation of this poor sinner. I find myself relating closely with each of the siblings as they interact with Aslan and as their spiritual journeys with Him begin.

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Book Review: The Blue Dragon’s War

The Blue Dragon's War by Sean Newton

The Blue Dragon’s War (The Chronicles of Calibran, #0.5)
by Sean Newton (Author), Alberto Bieri, Tommaso De Benetti (Editor)

2.5 stars
Belrog the Minotaur tells the younger minotaurs the tale of Grom, a legendary minotaur warrior who fought the Blue Dragon in a great war. Grom was once a simple soldier, apprenticed to learn from one of the fighting Masters. General Kelkak leads them to war when a dragon and his army of orcs threaten their peaceful city. The dragon has orcs and evil elves on his side, but the Minotaurs have their own magicians and a secret company of berserk minotaurs who will fight to the death.

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Book Review: The Book of Night with Moon

The Book of Night with Moon by Diane Duane

The Book of Night with Moon (Cats of Grand Central, #1)
by Diane Duane (Goodreads Author)

2 out of 5 stars

In this spin-off from the Young Wizards series, we follow a group of cat wizards in the same world, meeting some of the same characters from So You Want to Be a Wizard. This book includes spoilers for Book 4 of the Young Wizards series, High Wizardry.

This book has much more adult content than the Young Wizards series. There were a lot of mentions about cats being in heat and tomcats competing for sexual favor. The cats overhear mice in the walls having sex, and at one point the cats stop outside a window like disgusting proverbial peeping toms and watch humans having sex.
There is also a lot more graphic violence in this book than in the Young Wizards series. There were disembowelments, drownings, and guts and blood and cannibalism. All very descriptively described.

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Book Review- Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good

Loki by Louie Stowell

Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good
by Louie Stowell

4 out of 5 stars

Loki has been banished from Asgard. Odin has given Loki the form of an 11-year-old human, and sent Thor, Heimdall, and Hyrrokkin (also in the form of humans) to keep an eye on him. Loki must learn to be good within a month’s time, or he will be punished for all eternity. Thor and Loki go to school together and must dodge the sneaky Frost Giants, while Loki tries all the wrong ways to be good.

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Book Review: The Nasties of Nastgant Swamp

The Nasties of Nastgant Swamp by Laura DiNovis Berry

The Nasties of Nastgant Swamp: A Story of Antyfas
by Laura DiNovis Berry (Goodreads Author)

4 out of 5 stars

In this second story from the world of Antyfas, we follow Cristiano’s little brother, Tino. He is waiting for his brother to come home from visiting Dusbar College. They are planning a belated birthday party, and Tino is very excited for his favorite dessert, peach pie. Just as the guests are arriving, Tino receives a party invitation from a gnome, and decides that he would rather go to a bigger party with the gnomes. But Tino gets more than he bargained for with the gnomes, and it’s up to Cristiano to save his brother!

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Book Review: The Ordinary Princess

The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye

The Ordinary Princess
by M.M. Kaye

5 out of 5 stars

At Princess Amy’s christening, one of the fairies grants her the gift of ordinariness. Compared to her beautiful royal sisters, Amy is plain and ordinary. All her sisters have long blonde hair and perfect complexions. Amy has short mousey brown hair and freckles on her nose. As Amy grows up the royal family is distressed, because no prince wants to marry an ordinary princess with freckles. Princess Amy must take her destiny into her own hands, and prove that you don’t have to be beautiful and perfect to find happiness.

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Book Review: Witchlings

Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega

Witchlings (Witchlings, #1)
by Claribel A. Ortega (Goodreads Author)

4.5 out of 5 stars

Seven is worried that when she is sorted into her witches coven she might not be in the same coven with her best friend. However, she never imagined that she would be a Spare, a witch without a coven at all. Seven and the other two Spares are set an impossible task to defeat a horrific Nightbeast. They must complete the task, or they will lose their magic forever, or worse, be turned into toads!

This book has everything I was looking for! There’s a great magic system and interesting world-building. I really liked that the witches’ world has a distant past that must be reckoned with. You really get a sense of the depth of the history behind their laws and the way their everyday lives are ordered.

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