Tomorrow is her 17th birthday – old enough to inherit her father’s kingdom, but her evil stepmother has other ideas…
Outwardly, Sophie is haughty and brave, as any princess of Konigsburg must be, but she has a merciful heart like the late much-beloved king and shows mercy to scared hunting dog Zara.
The queen’s mirror whispers secrets and plots – Sophie must have a strong husband to help her rule, but if the princess were attacked by Darkwood beasts, then no need to risk alliance with another country…
The Huntsman brings back only Sophie’s heart from their ride through the Darkwood, but her body is saved by seven short men who heal her with kindness and a clockwork heart.
Rumors of the queen’s war declarations reach even into the woods, and Sophie knows she must get to the prince who courted her so they can stop her land from becoming a bloody battlefield.
As they travel the backroads, Sophie, Zara, and clever young man Will hear how her people have been taxed to death for the Queen’s luxuries and spied on by her Crows.
Can Sophie save the kingdom before her heart winds down? Will the Queen’s guard find them first? Who is speaking through the mirror?
This retelling of classic fairy tale Snow White asks readers to reclaim the power of their inner voice.
What future are you running toward? **kmm
Book info: Poisoned / Jennifer Donnelly. Scholastic Press, 2020. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy & cover image courtesy of the publisher.
His family stole it, her ancestor cursed it, a ruby’s home controls their destinies…
As eldest, Jaya does what’s best for her royal family – moving from south India to the US her senior year to keep her younger sister safe, agreeing to a politically arranged marriage soon. Their new exclusive school in the Colorado mountains is a fitting place to wait out the scandal that young Lord Emerson embroiled Isha in from afar.
Banished by his father after Grey’s mother died when he was a baby, the young British lord tries not to care – about this exclusive school, about his classmates, about anyone – since the Emerson family is cursed to die out when he reaches 18.
Finding Lord Emerson at St. Rosetta’s, Jaya won’t pass up the chance to break his heart in retaliation for his great-great’s refusal to return the stolen ruby to her family!
First, she must make him fall in love with her. After she gets him to actually talk to her, that is. Her new friends help her, treat her like a real person instead of a political pawn.
How odd that Jaya and Grey can even stand to be in the same place, in light of their families’ generations-long feud.
How quickly time is ticking toward the announcement of Jaya’s engagement, toward Grey’s 18th birthday…toward the end of their beginning together?
Not unusual that Kiran knows people at her school (the world of the ultra-rich is rather small), but is her future fiance spying on Jaya through ice-queen Caterina?
How strange that small rubies keep falling from Jaya’s rose pendant…
This retelling of Beauty and the Beast in two voices echoes across the hidden spaces of their hearts and the vast halls of their school in the first book of the St. Rosetta’s Academy series. From the author of When Dimple Met Rishi (recommended here), From Twinkle With Love (here), and There’s Something About Sweetie (here).
When is it worth fighting against fate? **kmm
Book info: Of Curses and Kisses (St. Rosetta’s Academy, book 1) / Sandhya Menon. Simon Pulse, 2020. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Gold calls to her,
like the Sirens call sailors on her ship,
like a friendly voice finally calls her from the castle…
Dangerous waters ahead for the golden-hued daughter of King Midas, restored from entrapment as a living gold statue to human form by a sacrifice that ages her father and keeps her locked away.
Only she can retrieve his stolen treasure trove and save his life – but at what cost to herself and superstitious companions?
This retelling of the King Midas story sails the seas, bringing Kora closer and closer to the stolen gold which could trap her once again.
What have you wished for and ultimately were glad not to get?
Book info: A Touch of Gold / Annie Sullivan. BlinkYA, 2018. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Locked away for years after sacrifice saved her from being a statue forever, golden-skinned Kora must travel foreign seas to save her father Midas’s kingdom.
Her uncle will gladly marry Kora off in an alliance to bolster the kingdom, if anyone is brave enough to see if she’s inherited her father’s Touch.
King Midas is slipping deeper into madness after his Touch-made treasures are stolen – can Kora bring them back before it’s too late?
The gold hoard’s call to her is as alluring as the Sirens’ song is to sailors – can she resist keeping it for herself?
Every person hides secrets – are any as dangerous as Kora’s glittering abilities?
As long as her gloves keep gold from touching her skin,
as long as Duke Royce can help her find her father’s treasures,
as long as her best friend and cousin Hettie believes in her…
perhaps the Touch won’t consume Kora after all.
Peter Pan retold through steampunk goggles in an alternate history where only children survived a plague after the London Blitz where a ruthless German commandant hunts them as possible source for a cure.
From Thursday morning (June 1) through Wednesday night (June 7), you can click on the link for each title, download the free professionally produced audiobook onto your electronic device, and listen to it whenever you wish – it’s yours to keep, as long as the downloaded file is kept on that device!
As princess, she will be a sacrifice for her city. As beast, he must risk death to save his people. Imprisoned by destiny and a prisoner through daring – can they change the future of their world, together?
What other retellings of classic fairy tales and legends can you recommend?
Fairies flee, can never die. Gnomes stay underground, crave fairy flesh.
Outsiders start the war, but why?
These aren’t flittery fairies with wings, here in Ferrum where gnomes toiled for the up-top fairies and then rebelled when the Tightropers swung into town for war.
“Friends are the family you choose for yourself” was never more true than for Beckan, Scrap, Josha, and Cricket, as the last four ungnawed-upon fairies stay behind in Ferrum where Tightropers and gnomes battle.
Enter the city of Ferrum with Beckan and Scrap when you read the first chapters here, courtesy of the publisher (scroll down to the Scribd box).
How much of yourself would you sacrifice for your friends?
Book info: A History of Glitter and Blood / Hannah Moskowitz. Chronicle Books, 2015. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Staying alive any way they can, Beckan and her friends (the last fairies left unmaimed by gnomes) search for any bits of Cricket, ignore the Tightropers who came to the fairy city of Ferrum and started the war, try to stay whole while consorting with gnomes (anything to put food on the table), and wonder why their own (sentient) glitter can be so much trouble.
Josha’s boyfriend Cricket was messily devoured, so the three are searching for any bits left; no fairy can be completely destroyed.
Gnomes ate all of Beckan’s dad except the bits she carries in a jar; he’s still aware, just no mouth to talk with.
Scrap killed the gnome’s king in a rage; Crate’s son isn’t king yet, and the gnomes are getting more agitated.
Why do fairies always flee their cities instead of fighting back against the gnomes?
Why did the Tightropers fling their lines across Ferrum’s rooftops and declare ‘fairy liberation’ unasked?
Why can’t fairy females bear their own children?
As the teens resort to more desperate means to avoid starvation, one gets caught, and the others must devise the ultimate rescue caper.
Voting is open until October 2015 and is limited to teens ages 12-18, so head to http://www.ala.org/yalsa/reads4teens/ when you’ve made your final selections. You can also see individual book trailers for each title on that YALSA page; plot summaries are here.
Here’s a video introducing all 24 nominees, so you can choose more great books to read before voting:
Read, share, discuss, vote – it’s your turn to choose!
So her family won’t starve,
so the land of her new prison will live,
so an impossible love can grow…
So that her ungrateful family will live, Feyre goes with the beast to Fae, even though entering that magical land will kill her – and does not die.
The beast shapeshifts into a handsome fae prince who grows to appreciate the young human woman. As passion blooms between Tamlin and Feyre, dark forces are plotting to enslave both worlds.
Published on May 5th, this first blockbuster in the series of the same name should be readily found at your local library or independent bookstore – get on the waiting list, if you need to!
How much could you sacrifice for your family’s well-being, for love?
Book info: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, book 1) / Sarah J. Maas. Bl0omsbury, 2015. [author site] [publisher site] [author video] Review copy from book fan and author Claire Caterer; cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Centuries’ old truce broken by her uncanny aim, Feyre willingly becomes sacrifice to protect her family, little realizing that she will arrive in Fae not to die, but to live, love, and save her enemies’ magical land.
Desperate to keep her feckless father and spoiled sisters alive, she shoots a wolf going after the same deer in the winter woods. But it’s one of the shapeshifter fae who rule the North, and the human girl must pay for his life with her own.
Given the option to leave humanity behind and live forever beyond The Wall dividing the two realms, Feyre is taken to Fae by shapeshifter Tamlin, the wolf’s best friend and a prince in his own right. Contrary to all she’s been told, the young woman isn’t made a slave, doesn’t die of magic poisoning,and is encouraged by Tamlin to draw and paint – after all, she’ll live in Fae forever.
Whispers of dark Fae magic that seeks to conquer all beings reach Tamlin, and what Feyre overhears spurs her into action.
How can her tracking skills help uncover the traitor?
How can she resist the passion building between her and Tamlin?
Why should she even try?
First in a new fantasy series by the author of The Throne of Glass series, the fate of all realms hangs in the balance as evil warps time and minds to suit its purpose.
Is that statue breathing?
Mother said that Godfather would always protect her,
but did she know that his fighting lessons might save them all?
The sugarplum fairy in this retelling of The Nutcracker tale uses her sweetness to conquer humankind, addicting them to her voice, stealing a kingdom and poisoning the land – and a mere human girl could be her undoing? Ha!
From iron mechanical bugs which constantly rebuild the city based on Anise’s dreams to the wizards who’ve barricaded themselves in an impassible forest rather than take any risks, Clare has many challenges as she fights with once-statue-imprisoned Nicholas to free the people of Cane and regain his kingdom.
Fairy tale retellings – which is your favorite?
Book info: Winterspell / Claire Legrand. Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2014. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Desperate to save her kidnapped father, sixteen year old Clara rushes through a door between worlds, right into a war between iron-wielding fairies and the land’s magical nature – and she could be the deciding factor!
Since her mother’s mysterious death, Clara’s father has allowed organized crime to run the city. The young woman finds safety in Godfather’s workshop of wonders, whispering her worries to the statue there, as she always has.
When the mayor’s home is attacked by supernatural beings, the statue comes to life and Godfather’s inventions fight back, but cannot prevent the kidnapping of Clara’s father.
Clara, Godfather and former statue Nicholas leap into the kingdom of Cane, where time passes more quickly than in New York – and where the evil fairy Anise has enslaved the human population.
If Clara can get Father home in one week, the Concordia will spare her little sister…
If Nicholas can lead the humans against Anise, he can regain his kingdom…
Difficult choices, long-deferred dreams – this steampunk retelling of “The Nutcracker” examines the lure of power and the power of love. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
2. I successfully completed all 26 days of the AtoZ April Blog Challenge (as entry #785). I didn’t have time to visit many AtoZ bloggers, didn’t get many comments or new followers (all the reasons we usually do blog challenges), but I did post on-time every day according to the alphabet and recommended 25 books, which is why I forced myself to do AtoZ during such a busy time for me.
3. For the TBR2014 Challenge (I’m #30 on list), I’m now up to 30 titles toward my goal of recommending 50+ books with 2013 (or older) copyright dates during this year!
Here are April’s 20 additions to my TBR2013 list – just click on the title to get my no-spoiler review in a new window:
A Wounded Name: A Tragedy – Hamlet at boarding school, from Ophelia’s perspective
If a blog challenge sounds like fun to you, join me in the WordCount Blogathon in June – a very supportive community of bloggers, lots of suggestions for posts, connections to find/become a guest blogger, and a chance to “build up your blogging muscles” by posting all 30 days of June. Registration opens in mid-May.
Taking a breather from daily postings in May, but still planning to recommend a few books every week,
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