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The Illustrated Boatman’s Daughter by Tom Durwood (Goodreads Author) 2 out of 5 stars In 1860s Egypt, Salima helps her father with his ferryboat business, but she longs for more education and wants to travel and see the world. Hoping to make some money to pay for school, she applies for a clerk position with a company overseeing the construction of the Suez Canal. She becomes entangled with the corruption and danger surrounding the various European and Egyptian powers struggling for control of the new canal.
The writing style is really excellent, and made me care deeply about the characters. However, it could use a copy editor for little things like punctuation.
The plot was exciting, and the adventure was interesting. However, there were times when I couldn’t understand why the plot took the direction it did in some scenes. It wasn’t clear why the characters chose to do what they did, or how they got to a certain point, or how they gained particular knowledge. It was just some little things that didn’t quite add up, but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the overall story.
Perry is the adopted daughter of Lakti noble parents, but her real parents are Bamarre servants. Her true bloodline is kept a secret, because the Bamarre people are considered inferior and cowardly. The fairy Halina visits Perry and urges her to embrace her true heritage and free the Bamarre people from Lakti tyranny. With the help of a magic tablecloth, seven-league boots, and a perfect disguise, Perry plunges into espionage and rebellion. But can she ever escape her Lakti upbringing and be accepted by the Bamarre?
Maddy was born with a rune mark on her hand, and the people in her village despise her as a possible witch. As she grows up, she discovers that she does have a small amount of magic. Most of the magic in the land died with the old gods hundreds of years before, but there are small traces of it to be found. An old peddler begins to teach Maddy how to use her magic, but he has plans of his own to retrieve a magical artifact from deep within the Underworld.
I loved this imaginative story! It takes elements from old Norse mythology and legends, and weaves them together with the world of faerie and fae. The world has a deep history and I loved discovering the magic along with Maddy. The story starts out in this little country village, but then the scope gradually widens and becomes more and more epic until the fate of the entire universe is hanging in the balance.
Sinda has grown up as a princess, but on her sixteenth birthday she is told that she was only a decoy. She was a commoner baby switched with the royal baby to shield the real princess from a murderous prophecy. Sinda has to leave the only life she has ever known to live in a poor country village with an aunt she has never met.
I loved this book so much! Sinda is a wonderfully complex character, and goes through really intense character development. She is shy and awkward in the beginning, floundering around in fear and anger. But she gradually learns to trust her own strength, and she begins to fight to build a life of her own.
The plot is really interesting with brilliant magic and plot twists.
Two warring nations worship the same horse deity, but their priests differ on how to worship. The warrior prince, Kyrem, is sent as a hostage to peace to be the guest of his enemy. An outcast girl, Seda, must masquerade as a boy, and befriends the prince when she saves his life from brigands on the road.
There were some things about this book that I really loved, and some things that were confusing, and some things that were just weird.
I loved the characters! Their relationships are complex and always changing. They all have secrets and inner turmoil that they have to resolve. I was so engaged in their character development and their emotional reactions. Continue reading →
At last, the wizards are preparing to destroy the evil Two-Faced Ring and all its Darke magic. But first they must kindle the ancient Alchemical Fyre, and only Marcellus knows where the old Alchemy chamber of Fyre is hidden.
I loved this book! The plot is full of action and magic and twists. I adore the characters, and I love how they grow and learn throughout the series. This book was particularly emotional for the Heap family as Princess Jenna prepares to be crowned Queen.
There are so many hilarious details in this book that make it really fun to read. Each character has a unique relationship with the others, and I love the complicated dynamics between them all. Continue reading →
Thomas and his magical friends are determined to stop the evil Arius before he can find a staff of great power and use it to destroy everything they hold dear. A mysterious monster is stalking them, so Thomas’ teacher, Scott, accelerates their training in magic abilities and fighting techniques. Thomas’ mother has been keeping secrets about where Thomas’ father really disappeared, and Thomas will have to decide who he can trust.
I enjoyed this book so much! The magic system is marvelous, the plot is brilliant, and the characters are deep and endearing.
One thing I really loved is how this book continues the world-building from
Hark is a conman and a thief. When his best friend, Jelt, convinces him to try a dangerous diving stunt, Hark finds the ancient heart of a dead god and tries to use it to heal Jelt. But the heart is deceitful and begins to change Jelt into a monster.
I liked the deep characters in this book. They are well-written with interesting personalities. The relationships between the characters are deliciously emotional and complex. I especially loved the character development! Several of the characters change and grow and learn. Their relationships change. Their views and beliefs change. It’s wonderful to see the internal journey that they go on, and how their relationships with each other either help or hinder them on that journey. Continue reading →