Review of Kate Danley’s The Woodcutter

517Xb02CIbL

Book Blurb: Deep within the Wood, a young woman lies dead. Not a mark on her body. No trace of her murderer. Only her chipped glass slippers hint at her identity.

The Woodcutter, keeper of the peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of the Faerie, must find the maiden’s killer before others share her fate. Guided by the wind and aided by three charmed axes won from the River God, the Woodcutter begins his hunt, searching for clues in the whispering dominions of the enchanted unknown.

But quickly he finds that one murdered maiden is not the only nefarious mystery afoot: one of Odin’s hellhounds has escaped, a sinister mansion appears where it shouldn’t, a pixie dust drug trade runs rampant, and more young girls go missing. Looming in the shadows is the malevolent, power-hungry queen, and she will stop at nothing to destroy the Twelve Kingdoms and annihilate the Royal Fae…unless the Woodcutter can outmaneuver her and save the gentle souls of the Wood.

Blending magic, heart-pounding suspense, and a dash of folklore, The Woodcutter is an extraordinary retelling of the realm of fairy tales.

Genre: fantasy

Rating: Five Stars – highly recommended

Review: This was a quick read that doesn’t ask much, and that was all I wanted from it. It is a beautifully spun tale weaving together so many fairy tales into one cohesive plot. The prose was minimal, but it added to the general feeling of the Woodcutter’s narrative in a way that is hard to describe.

The main character is the Woodcutter, a sapling that looks like a man but bleeds sap. He maintains the border of the magical woods in which he lives with his human wife. I found the wife character to be a great relief. She is not described as anything but ordinary, and in the life of the Woodcutter her utterly ordinary existence is a treasure. Their love is steady and reliable, and throughout the novel the Woodcutter trusts that love and it gets him through the hard times. I thought that was wonderfully written.

The antagonists are not complicated, and you won’t be wondering about their motivations. The Queen and the Gentleman were despicable and willing to use children to get their way. The magic rules that the Woodcutter is constantly working within were fascinating. I really enjoyed the world that Danley creates for her characters, and it was easy to escape into their story for a while.

This is an unconventional love story that leaves you feeling lighter at the end. I was pleasantly surprised that the turning point of the book became friendship rather than romantic love.

Amazon link: http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B007Y30722

Happy Reading!

Review of H.L. Burke’s Beggar Magic

71N7AnyVlOL._SL1500_

http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00NYSOVLO

 

Book Blurb: In Gelia City, magic is music: a constant ever-changing melody known as the Strains. Hereditary ability to use the Strains divides the city into two classes: the wealthy Highmost, who can access the full potential of the Strains, and the Common tradesmen, who are limited to mundane spells, known as beggar magic.

With the help of the Strains, Common teen Leilani rescues and befriends a gifted Highmost girl, Zebedy. The girls’ friendship opens Leilani’s eyes to the world of the Highmost. She’s intrigued by Zeb’s close relationship with the Strains, and longs to know them as she does. Zeb, in turn, comes to depend on Leilani’s strength and intelligence, making them an inseparable team, ready to take on anything with the Strains at their back.

As their unlikely friendship strengthens and endures, Zeb draws Leilani further into the Highmosts’ intrigues. Beneath the polished, academic facade of the Highmost manors lurks a threat to the Strains. An unknown force consumes their music, leaving only heart-rending silence behind.

Leilani and Zeb will do anything to save their beloved Strains, but as the silence grows, they face danger their previously sheltered lives could never prepare them for. Whoever is behind the death of the Strains is willing to kill to keep their secret safe. To preserve the Strains, the girls may have to sacrifice their friendship, or even their lives.

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: Five Stars – highly recommend

Similar Authors: Sarah J. Maas, Mercedes Lackey

Review: This story started out a little slow, but it was so worth it to keep reading. The backbone of this story is friendship, and the two main characters forge together through all the odds against their sisterhood. Leilani is a very well written seventeen year old with a strong sense of self. She trusts her intuition and isn’t afraid to be herself even in the face of class discrimination. Zeb, on the other hand, is an incredibly sheltered girl with little life experience and a degree of naivety that I had trouble with from page one. Even though Zeb is beyond sheltered, she is also loyal and generous. Together these girls are a formidable team.

The social structure places those with more magic as the higher class and those with lesser magic as the working class. The higher class is able to hear magic’s voice and manipulate it in extraordinary ways while the lower class hears a melody from the magic called the Strains. The magic system built upon the Strains is fascinating. The higher born mages are able to invent and heal with their magic while the lower born are limited to strengthening tapestries and lighting candles.

The YA element definitely comes out in the lack of experience for both the main characters. The more sheltered character has aspirations for both of them to marry brothers and seems fairly obsessed with her mentor while the lower class, street smart, character has aspirations of learning and being useful. These motivations felt authentic for teenage girls. This was such a wonderful coming of age story for both of them.

Anyone looking for a good YA fantasy will be pleasantly surprised with this book!

Amazon link: http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00NYSOVLO

 

Happy Reading!

Bringer of Light Sequel is Under Construction

cropped-419643_banner-for-mailer_L12.jpg

Hello! After a month hiatus to cuddle with my newborn daughter, I’m back to work on the edits to Bringer of Light 2. I’m currently participating in Camp NaNoWriMo to get a bulk of the edits done this month. Here’s hoping!

Kit Foster Design is also working on the cover art for the second book. I will keep you all updated with his progress!

Live Long & Prosper, JR Boles