Book Review: The Runaway King

This is the 2nd book in the Ascendancy Series.

In the first “A False Prince” the Duke takes 3 orphans to try to train one up to take the throne.

In the second, the King runs away to

I don’t want to spoil the plot, but this first person narrative is character driven, giving the author a personalized view of the politicking and shennanigans of the court. I am overtly impressed with the smart plot, ongoing character development (YAY character development) and interesting relationships that are not only about romantic interests.

Here is the thing, the politics are tricky…the “best” course of action is not the safest (or safe at all), so it has to do not only with self-sacrifice but the realities of the intricacies of political intrigue…..All of which means that the hero has to be pretty tricksy to get around all of that!

Huge plus, the main character is wry, making the book itself wry!

Genre Matches: I have my own unique way of looking at genre. A lot of it has to do with the TONE of a book, as well as the broad categories i.e. Fantasy.

Can’t wait for the third book!

so much so, I’m actually re-reading it now.

This book’s TONE and Genre was very reminincance of Mehan Whalen Turner’s “Queen’s Thief” series. Again, I think these are NOT copycat series, just two very well written series that show different versions of genre, tone and characterization.

Another good series for wryness (with first character voice narrative) is Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Series, a little less disguise/court-intrigue oriented, so its not a genre match, but I would say that if you like the tone of The Runaway King I would definitely check out Wrede and Turner

Thanks!

I have reached 250 posts and 100 followers about the same time! Then today (midafternoon) I’m already up to 51 views! The blog has seen amazing growth in the last month, and sustains a VARIED audience (wahoo!!)

Thanks for all the reads, likes and comments!

I think we’ve m…

I think we’ve made a mistake,” he says softly. “We’ve all started to put down the virtues of the other factions in the process of bolstering our own. I don’t want to do that. I want to brave, and selfless, and smart, and kind, and honest.” p. 405

p. 405 Divergent by Veronica Roth

My family, when its hard to do something, says “If I’m wise and brave and kind..I will” I think the Hedges-Goettl translation for this is If I’m able to be heroic

Heroes are a weird breed, ones who are able to balance a great number of traits and ACT on what they think is right, even after they have made mistakes.

Puts the whole “being Christian” thing in a new perspective…what if “Being Christian” meant being a hero…that tend to be my interpretation 🙂

la nOzma of Oz, Eon/Eona, Song of the Lionness and coming out of the closet

In honor of the Supreme Court Ruling, I am reblogging my Christian/Fantasy article!

katyandtheword

Spoiler alert: if you haven’t read “The Wonderful Land of Oz,” I’m about to ruin it for you….

I think “The Wonderful Land of Oz” is the first cross gendered story I ever read..True I had read other tales of girls dressing as boys to escape whatever…but Ozma is the only “truly” transgendered character I can think of….She simply changes from a boy to a girl–turns out she’s been a girl all along. Kind of like the book “Boy Meets Boy” its almost too blase about the acceptance…but hey,  I like to think this is how it will be in a perfect world!

PS its the total feminine empowerment story, every power-player is female!

The 14 'canonical' Oz books, by L. Frank Baum

“Eon/Eona” does the girl disguise thing plus a legit transgendered character who is lovely, as does “Song of the Lioness”, Robin McKinley’s Spindle’s End hints at other kinds of love, even though sexuality isn’t really the…

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Ozma of Oz, Eon/Eona, Song of the Lionness and coming out of the closet

Spoiler alert: if you haven’t read “The Wonderful Land of Oz,” I’m about to ruin it for you….

I think “The Wonderful Land of Oz” is the first cross gendered story I ever read..True I had read other tales of girls dressing as boys to escape whatever…but Ozma is the only “truly” transgendered character I can think of….She simply changes from a boy to a girl–turns out she’s been a girl all along. Kind of like the book “Boy Meets Boy” its almost too blase about the acceptance…but hey,  I like to think this is how it will be in a perfect world!

PS its the total feminine empowerment story, every power-player is female!

The 14 'canonical' Oz books, by L. Frank Baum

“Eon/Eona” does the girl disguise thing plus a legit transgendered character who is lovely, as does “Song of the Lioness”, Robin McKinley’s Spindle’s End hints at other kinds of love, even though sexuality isn’t really the point. of course Malinda Lo does a great (no-cross-dressing needed) out and out lesbian fairy tale. (PS want a great history of sexuality? Check out “Coming Out Under Fire” an amazing history of gay and lesbian sexuality)

All this makes me think about all those transgendered people are under enchantment, they don’t look like who they are supposed to be….

on the other hand, most fantasy is about that (I’m part fairy, I’m dating a vampire, I have superpowers, I’m really a girl in disguise, I’m a prince/princess turned into a frog)

Being a fantasy nerd, I often feel frustrated with who I present to the world and who I really am

Its difficult on so many levels..

I’m a pastor, fantasy-loving, mother. I am not right-wing, or conservative, but I’m not an atheist either. I had children young and am a professional career woman. I am creative, cheerful, optimistic and yet strong, a leader and am super-responsible.

I’m hard to stereotype.

So I read fantasy, I read it because I know that I am not limited to what other think Christianity is (THANK GOD), but at the same time I think that my Christianity defines my entire being. I read fantasy, put my family first and dress the way  I want to because I am Christian. Being Christian isn’t a guideline for me, it is the very fiber of my being and I continue to find more and more ways to live fully into it…..

If I’m in disguise, and I think all of this is a part of being Christian, what parts of Christianity are being unexplored when we are exclusive. What do gay men and lesbian women experience in Christianity that I miss out on? How about single parents, immigrants and the transgendered?

Fantasy is not about escapism, for me its about the facts of life

1. the world is full of a multitude of unique and interesting beings

2. we have to learn to get along

3. there is a battle between hatred/greed/powerseekers and love–good and evil do both exist…..

4. Even when humanity is failing, hope exists, heroes emerge, and love wins

5. Everyone has a call: a unique part to play in this ongoing quest for hope and love, and it doesn’t matter who we are, because the call is perfect for each and every one of us (only fantasy literature seems to do a good job of defining call!)

Living into this is hard, but this is my reality, and for me fantasy is another way to understand real life and the Bible….

Gotta love the irony of that…I’m sure God gave me an appreciation of wry humor so I can straddle all of that..

So some day fully believe I’ll come out of the closet…….and find Narnia

HA!

Book Review: “Dead Ever After” by Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse Series)

In honor of this being the last book in the series, I did what I always do with good series, I reread the entire series before starting on the final book…(I’m a rereader)

(Note, trying to avoid spoilers)

The ending is good–there is still a lot of mystery-type-plot…a lot of loose ends are tied up and there is a definite progression of characters (esp. Sookie Stackhouse). Here is the deal though, I don’t think of books individually (esp if they are about the same character)…they are just HUGE chapters to the ongoing story.

As my husband says, the ending is key…because it reflects on the WHOLE (not because it is an important piece)..see I do book reviews like I do my theology (w)holistically,

ps wholistically should totally have a w on it, it helps the meaning…

Anyway…Here is what I think what makes the Sookie Stackhouse series so good.

1. It explains why so many deaths happen in a dinky little town…my mom says she likes mysteries but after a while its hard to buy that so many murders are happening in the middle of nowhere, vampires, werewolves and shapshifters help

2. It struggles with the questions of humanity (what does it mean to be human? Why am I here?) through the contrast and comparison with the supernatural

3. It deals with Bigotry–big time… it deals with real and perceived differences, prejudices and how even other groups can be bigots (homophobic shapeshifters anyone?)

4. It shows growth…again I know I said this, but the only way you can sustain an ongoing series is to have the characters grow–now Sookie Stackhouse sleeps around a little too much for my taste, but I think that she is sleeping around because she is searching for some self-definition, and in the end, she has learned a lot, not just about guys but relationships, friendships and herself. There is a little bit of obsessing about looks, manners, appearances etc. but I think that is the reality of Sookie’s life (some of it being the culture of a small town, etc)…and she doesn’t frustrate me too much with these hang ups….

I recommend as a fantasy and mystery fan and as a feminist

Series List

Better Off Dead, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, Dead to the World, Dead as a Doornail, Definitely Dead, All Together Dead, From Dead to Worse, Dead and one, Dead in the Family, Dead Reckoning, Deadlocked, Dead Ever After

Another Vampire Review Here

Theology of Vampire Here

(PS I did watch the first couple of seasons of True Blood, but it was a little too drug obsessed for my taste, not to say that it wasn’t good the focus just seemed to be different…………..)

Ode to Cimorene

One of my favorit-ist series EVER

Disrupting Dinner Parties

***NOTE: this post will be a little bit of a spoiler for the book Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede. The post will discuss the first two chapters. SO if you do not mind a very little spoilage, read on! ****

Throughout most of my youth and young adulthood, I was a reading fanatic. Any fantasy, sci-fi or fiction book I could get my hands on were devoured by my need to escape into another world and for a little bit of time, become a character on a space ship or a detective on the streets of London. My favorite books had female protagonists and authors such as Tamara Pierce, Robin McKinley, Diane Duane, Phillip Pullman, Holly Black, and many others, were the ones who introduced me to the basis of my feminist belief that women are as kickass, powerful, and moving as men. One particular book whose character…

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