All tagged fantasy

Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

I wanted this reading experience to be a solid five stars. I had such high hopes. After all, Red Queen did win the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award for Debut Goodreads Author and was nominated in the Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction category as well.

The story centers around Mare Barrow, a member of the servant class with red blood. Her prospects in this world ruled by those with silver blood and mystical X-Men powers are grim. As a Red, Mare has developed no expertise in a trade, so she is conscripted into the royal Silver's military. Her country of Norta has been engaged in an ongoing war with neighboring countries for generations. Conscription is a death sentence.

Of course, through a chance encounter, Mare is spared conscription. Instead, she finds herself in the royal Silver court discovering that she possesses special mystical powers herself. She's whisked away to hide the fact that she's a Red and the political intrigue begins.

Book Review: The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

I knew that the movie version of The Wizard of Oz took liberties with the story. The concept that each character from Kansas was transported symbolically into Oz was entirely Hollywood’s creation. And Dorothy’s ruby slippers were not really red.

But I never read or studied this book. After reading and disliking Wicked, taking an adventure in the Land of Oz was not something I longed for.

However, this book resonates with many people. I’ve had friends who own various Wizard of Oz dolls and decorations that they are quite attached to! I have fond childhood memories of watching the movie every year and being delighted at the transformation from black and white to color cinema. Even as a teacher, I can usually refer to characters from the The Wizard of Oz and the majority of my students know who the various players are.

Book Review: The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

A fellow English teacher recommended Jasper Fforde as an author I should read a few years back. She suspected that I would enjoy his dry humor. She was right.

I decided to start with his YA series The Chronicles of Kazam because I wanted to find another series to recommend to my students who are Harry Potter fans. Not only can I recommend this first book in the series to my students, but also to any of my friends who enjoyed Harry Potter.

The story is this fantastic social commentary about greed, commercialism, entitlement, deception, and more, but it's perfectly balanced by imaginative world building. Even if younger readers don't always pick up on Fforde's underlying messages, they'll enjoy every whimsical detail, right down to the Quarkbeast.