Book Review: Nordic Animal Tales

An Illustrated Collection of Nordic Animal Tales by Pirkko-Liisa Surojegin

An Illustrated Collection of Nordic Animal Tales
by Pirkko-Liisa Surojegin, Jill Timbers (Translator)

4 out of 5 stars

This collection of folk tales follows Bear, Fox, and Wolf as they attempt to sow a field of wheat by clearing a space in the forest. Fox is always trying to get out of doing his share of the work, and he tricks his friends and neighbors. The Rooster at the nearby farm has a terrible premonition that the end of the world is coming, and he spreads a panic among the animals. The Hare is terrified at some strange monster creature in the woods, but no animal is brave enough to get close enough to find out what kind of creature it is. In each tale, Fox is a prominent character, always sly and clever.

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Book Review: The Sable Quean

The Sable Quean by Brian Jacques

The Sable Quean (Redwall, #21)
by Brian Jacques, Sean Rubin (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars

Two warrior hares of Salamandastron set out on a journey to Redwall looking for adventure. When they find out that little animal babes and toddlers are being kidnapped from all around Redwall, they vow to help the Redwall creatures to find their missing children. The evil ‘Quean’ is hatching a horrible plot against all the good animals at Redwall, and her vermin army is closing in.

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Book Review: Doomwyte

Doomwyte by Brian Jacques

Doomwyte (Redwall, #20)
by Brian Jacques

3 out of 5 stars

The good creatures of Redwall discover a riddle that could lead to the lost treasure of Gonff, the Prince of Mousethieves. Hundreds of generations ago, Gonff stole four beautiful jewels from the Doomwyte caves, and hid them somewhere in Redwall Abbey. Now a new generation of young creatures are following the clues to find the priceless jewels.

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Mermaids Rock Series Review

The Floating Forest by Linda Chapman

The Floating Forest (Mermaids Rock #2)
by Linda Chapman, Mirelle Ortega (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars

Coralie and her friends are playing at the magic whirlpool, transporting to different oceans around the world to explore. Coralie travels to a kelp forest and discovers a map that seems to point to a treasure. The friends plan a treasure-hunting expedition, but the nosy Glenda is spying their plans. The mermaids are also worried about encountering dangerous animals like orcas or sharks in the kelp forest, and they try to make a plan to stay safe. But you never know what might happen out in the ocean!

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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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