Friday, August 13, 2010
By Jenny Moss
Rating: 3 3/4 stars
Shadow cannot remember a life before the queen. Shadow lives her life glued to Queen Audrey's side for it was prophesied that she would die before her 16th birthday and perhaps Shadow will receive the killing shot or blow or whatever it may be instead. Shadow is well aware of her role and she hates it. Audrey is not kind to her shadow, and neither are the queen's ladies. The only happiness Shadow ever has is when she is outside for brief moments, or when she shares a joke with Piers, the servant of the queen's regent. Shadow also likes to look at Sir Kenway, who loves the queen. All Shadow can think of is escaping this limited life. But then the unthinkable happens--the queen dies, and before Shadow knows it, Sir Kenway is whisking her away, out of the castle, on orders by one of the advisors to keep Shadow safe. Safe from what? From whom? As Shadow and Kenway make their way across the countryside, slowly secrets start to come to light. Who IS Shadow really? Can she really forge a connection with Sir Kenway? Why are they being pursued? And what can Shadow do to help save her country? Readers will be swept along in the story and fantasy fans will particularly enjoy it.
Monday, August 2, 2010
By Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson
Rating: 4 stars
Fantasy writers, collaborators and spouses, McKinley and Dickinson churn out 5 short stories that have their base in the creatures of fire. Whether you want to be reading about a world like today or one that is completely a fantasy, readers will find something to like in these tales of dragons, hellhounds, phoenix and spirit walkers. Each story has a somewhat different flavor, but all are extremely enjoyable and readers may wish they continued into full novels. Fans may also want to try out this couple's other compilation, Water.