Dragon of Ash and Stars

This was a Bookbub title I picked up for free, but it was worth so much  more than the nonexistent price I paid.  This is one of only a couple of ebook titles I’ve read that I may try to obtain in actual paper (the others are Audacity and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay).

Dragon of Ash and Stars is a beautifully written coming of age story, with a unique voice (the narrator is a dragon).  The world building is rich, the details exquisite, and the story reminiscent of Black Beauty.  The main character is complex, realistically flawed, and extraordinarily sympathetic despite (or perhaps as a result of) feeling distinctly not-human.

If you’re into fantasy, I’d strongly recommend this book.

The Mage and the Magpie

A nice little fantasy with interesting characters and some great description.  I thoroughly enjoyed it up until close to the end.  Then I got a bit weirded out by the bizarre religious rituals and the suggestion that thirteen is old enough to be a mother–of any kind.

Still, a fun read, that traditional fantasy lovers would probably like.



I enjoyed this story about a young woman with a serious medical problem and the young man who befriends her at her new school even though it could have used a better copy edit.  It also leaned a bit too heavily on Twilight for my taste.

Still, a fun read with some interesting characters.

The Mind Readers

I enjoyed this dip into the life of a young woman who can tell what everyone around her is thinking.  I did find myself wondering why her grandma didn’t prepare her better for the world she was getting into, and why she was so quick to trust a pretty face–though that was explained (but not entirely to my satisfaction) later.

Still, it’s a fun, almost light–if any dystopian novel could be called light–read.  I may try to pick up the sequel if I get past my frustration with an ending that’s a blatant ad for the next book.

Sticks and Stones

Mandy, the heroine in this book, manages to work through an overwhelming burden of grief and guilt without that burden overwhelming the reader–or becoming trivialized. Granted, she’s got magical help, but still, it’s an impressive feat.

I’ll definitely be picking up more of Shawn Mcguire’s books in the future.

Trickster’s Girl

Another gift from the RMFW conference. This was well written and engaging. I enjoyed Ms. Bell’s Goblin War piece more, but I suspect that has less to do with the books themselves and more to do with my own preference for straight up fantasy than for Native-American-religion-tinged urban stuff. I also tend to get turned off by preachiness of any variety, and the environmental message here bordered on that a few times–not enough to make me dislike the book, but enough that I noticed it. Still, well worth the reading.

The Goblin War

As I’ve probably mentioned before, one of the great things about RMFW conferences is the number of books we get in the swag bag. I love, love, love going home with enough to keep me busy–for a bit anyway.

The Goblin War is one of these.  I certainly never would have picked up only book three of a series if I’d been choosing the book myself.

All the same, I wasn’t too lost when I got dropped into the middle of a story that follows trio of young people and their goblin friends as they tramp through a couple of connected worlds, restoring balance and justice. In fact, I was interested enough that I’ll probably try to track down the first couple of books, so I can get a better idea of the whole picture.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I thoroughly enjoyed this, though I must admit I found it less satisfying than the original seven. The story line is great; it’s lovely to get to know some of these characters as adults, and I’m interested all the way through. However, I miss the inimitable style (and punny humor) of the originals, to say nothing of the rich descriptions. I dare say that like most scripts, it’s better seen than read. Even as it stands, however, the book is well worth the fairly short time it takes to read.