Review: The Spy Princess by Sherwood Smith

The Spy Princess

I found this in the Elementary Readers section of the library, which is interesting, but I think a good fit. Crown Duel is often found in YA section and the main character didn’t really interest me. For those who don’t know the Crown Duel and Wren series are both in the same world as this book, but each stand so independent I don’t think it really matters–except that the Wren series is really good and the Crown Duel series is ok.

Lilah, though is back to Smith’s spunky women. A princess who wants to know what is going on in the kingdom disguises herself and through it gets to know her father, her uncle, her brother and herself much better.

I think Smith writes better characters when they aren’t concerned with love–both Wren and Lilah declare they are “too young to worry about love.” This has stuck with me: intrigue is definitely a strength of Smith’s writing, and I especially like how she handles the topics of revolution and war.

All in all not quite as good as Wren, but definitely better than Crown Duel for me.

Review “A Wrinkle in Time: the Graphic Novel” Adapted & Illustrated by Hope Larson (and written by Madeline L’Engle)

I am a total fangirl of Madeline L’Engle, she is most likely my favorite self-named Christian Fantasy author (as opposed to Lewis or Tolkien or the like)…so A Wrinkle in Time I bought with my oft hoarded holiday gift cards.

so when my 4 and a 1/2 year old son saw The Invention of Hugo Cabret on the floor and was fascinated by the fact that grownup books can have pictures. Immediately I t

600 × 230 – hardcoversandheroines.com

old him some adult books are entirely pictures, they are called graphic novels, and I showed him A Wrinkle in Time. He then asked if we could read it.

1600 × 902 – yafictionbookreviews.blogspot.com
499 × 329 – stoppingoffplace.blogspot.com

I’m a “Why not?” parent, and said “well we can try…” uncertain of its quality, his interest and our schedule (reading a chapter a night is a big commitment)

Bulletpoints of A Wrinkle in Time

1. The pictures were totally used to “fill in” the story. I have an ongoing theory that all remakes of classics (Oz, Narnia, Lord of the Rings) tend to be better if they were done by children who grew up with the tale, because reading things as adults–we just don’t connect the same way, and we tend to put our own values and systems on instead of exploring the world that is presented (Harry Potter comes to mind, the first movie the director said re: Dumbledore’s Office “what was fun was we could do whatever we wanted, and create it from scratch…um…excuse me isn’t there a perfectly perfect BOOK to refer to argh, a guess that’s another post for another day.) Hope Larson definitely got the world, genre, passion and feel for L’engle’s tale

2. This is what I always pictured a “graphic novel” to be, its a real novel, told in graphics (comic books are great, but they always sound shorter to me). At 383 pages and multiple panels a page (1-10panels) the story is given the breadth, width and depth to be a deep telling of the truth that is in the books

3. She gets stars: Stars are a L’Engle thing, Larson, totally uses it, bonus points galore.

4. My four and a half year old was entranced, wondering when they would finally get to rescue first Meg’s father and then Charles Wallace…He was very disciplined about the one chapter thing, telling me it was “so exciting” to wait til the next day (like me he’s a sick person who enjoys delayed gratification–this makes us really great readers, we will willingly believe whatever you tell us because we like not knowing the real answer)

5. When we finished the book, Franklin (my son) wanted to know if we could pa-lease-read-it-starting-at-the-beginning-tomorrow-night-RIGHT? (needless to say we went a reserved the graphic novel of The Hobbit at the library ASAP)

Katy’s Review 4 out of 4 stars

Franklin’s Review 60 out of 4 stars

PS: The story of love’s triumph over nothingness is amazing, and I can only pray that Hope Larson has been engaged for A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and not someone else–because, hey, I trust her….She was able to show me Aunt Beast, Mrs. Which, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Whatsit without messing with their alien/mysterious natures!!!

Other pictorial interpretations of Wrinkle in time

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718 × 1023 – ebay.com

762 × 1048 – nastasiarocks.deviantart.com

400 × 279 – bookiewoogie.blogspot.com

356 × 500 – thisrecording.wordpress.com

180 × 229 – wanderingeducators.com
158 × 224 – sfpl.org

Review “The Cadet of Tildor” by Alex Liddell

The Cadet of Tildor

Synopsis: In contrast to some heroines who’s self-assurance manifests primarily as  vanity (cough, cough Throne of Glass), this heroine Renee is self-determined, independent and likable. She fights the cause of a Cadet (kind of a musketeer for the King) because she believes in fighting evil, and she strives to figure out whether the cadets are the way to do that….

Review: The mysterious rogue of a teacher (Savoy) is not as fascinating to me as I’d like, but overall the plot was well put together, the characters interacted well, and there was some growth in the main character (HOORAY). I think the sequel is fairly promising, and the main character def. makes this novel worth the read–esp. as a strong female character….

http://www.amazon.com/The-Cadet-Tildor-Alex-Lidell/dp/0803736819/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360620478&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=Review+%22The+Cadet+of+Tildor%22+by+Alex+Liddell

Books that are not as well known(ish) but loved by me

Like Tamora Pierce, Kristen Cashore, Robin McKinley, Patricia C. Wrede, J. K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Peter S. Beagle, George McDonald, The Ordinary Princess, The Princess Bride, The Hobbit, Neverending Story, Serephina, Eona, etc. (for my traditional list see my ultimate fairy tale list)

Susan B. Dexter: Warhorse of Esdragon and Winter King’s Wars
Warhorse of Esdragon: heroes who find a magic horse that empowers them to be better! Winter King’s Wars: Reluctant Hero, falls in love, saves the world

Of Two Minds (Point Fantasy)Of Two Minds & More Minds by Carol Matas and Perry Nodelman: Prince who only lives in his mind, Princess who can make her imagination real, an arranged marriage, what’s not to love!

The Great Good Thing by Roderick Townley: Sylvia is stuck in her story, and wants it to change. (SuperWhy for adults??)

Nobody’s Son by Sean Stewart: Young Man follows a fairy tale to marry a princess and discover how love defines you

Dave Duncan: A Tale of King’s Blades (The Gilded Chain, Lord of the Fire Lands, Sky of Swords, Paragon Lost, Impossible Odds, The Jaguar Knights): Parallel Worlds, Alternative Endings, all in a world of Three Musketeer + Magic…

The Seer and the SwordThe Seer & the Sword & The Healer’s Keep by Victoria Hanley: Landen is defeated by his enemy and vows revenge, but the princess is nice + secretly she’s a seer….

Claidi Journals (quartet) by Tanith Lee: Claidi finds a journal and starts an adventure outside her protected world

Wren (quartet): Sherwood Smith: Her best character, this magic girl saves the entire kingdom with her magic

To read about how I read fantasy theologically look at my post on the popular fantasy or my analysis of the best fairy tale ever Beauty and the Beast