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.
For her brother’s happiness, for her family’s future, she must marry… but to him?
Duped by her former fiance, Margaret hates being the subject of gossip in the small English town near both their families’ estates in 1812.
She decides to marry for convenience and quickly so her brother can officially become engaged, but her efforts at a matchmaking party are thwarted by Lord Williams – why can’t he mind his own business?
When Margaret and Daniel return from the expensive week-long party, the young lady finds that her father has made a match for her… Lord Williams!
Not to the Lord’s cousin Mr. Northam, who would let her stay home in the country while he caroused in London. Not to local fop Mr. Lundall, who keeps wooing her despite all her refusals.
A terrible illness, a secret wager, another local family trying to entice Lord Williams to marry their daughter – how many more complications must Margaret endure?
Margaret doesn’t want her heart broken again, but can she guard it as the rest of her family becomes so fond of the young baron?
Readers can enjoy knowing the exact rules that both Margaret and Lord Williams must follow within the strictures of Regency England’s upper class society while cheering on the couple’s oh-so-cautious steps toward happiness with one another.
Could you be happy if the matchmaking was out of your hands? **kmm
Book info: Promised (Proper Romance series) / Leah Garriott. Shadow Mountain, 2020. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Cool down this week with two winter-season tales free from AudioSYNC – Scrooge’s Christmas story gender-flipped and Shakespeare’s “which twin is which” masquerade of Twelfth Night.
Be sure you have the Sora app on your phone or tablet, then download your choice(s) before the stated deadline. As long as you set your Sora shelf as directed, you can listen to these professionally produced audiobooks any time.
Duke Orsino believes that shipwrecked Viola is a boy and sends her to Olivia with messages of adoration.
Of course, Viola falls in love with the Duke, wonders about the fate of her long-lost twin Sebastian, and encounters courtiers staid and silly during holiday celebrations in this full-cast Shakespeare comedy.
What other familiar stories would you like to gender-switch? **kmm
Djinn of order and of chaos battle in the human world that is home to neither in this adventurous tale, while family loyalties are tested, and a young woman receives an unsought gift that can break boundaries if it doesn’t fracture her first.
Through the Name Giver, ifrits can come from their world to help humans defend theirs from the ravaging Shayateen whose dark night of slaughter left only three survivors hidden in an entire city.
But when the Name Giver is compromised in the now-repopulated city of Noor, its ifrit Emir and human maharajah face a greater peril.
How does the Fire of ifrit Ghazala come to human survivor Fatima who never knew her?
Can the Emir help Fatima navigate this unknown convergence?
What lurks in the opulent halls of the reluctant maharajah’s palace?
Each time the muezzin’s call sounds over her beloved city of a thousand nations, Fatima prays for their safety, yet again…
Happy book birthday to this extraordinary tale of magic, relationships, and the importance of being seen.
What’s in your name? **kmm
Book info: The Candle and the Flame / Nafiza Azad. Scholastic Press, 2019. [author interview] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
This is really not what quiet Eric or popular Silvia envisioned when their gifted class graduation trip was announced – and then comes the earthquake!
What’s your ‘worst field trip ever’ story?
Book info: A World Below / Wesley King. Paula Wiseman Books/ Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2018. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My Book Talk: Trapped in Carlsbad Caverns by an earthquake, a group of eighth graders encounters people living its depths as the young teens struggle against obstacles and their own fears to reach the surface.
Routine field trip a few hours from their New Mexico town, bring some water and a snack for the short tour, simple – until the rumbles begin and the kids are separated from their teacher and chaperones!
Silvia tries to keep them together after an icy river carries them far from the Big Room, but these passageways make her claustrophobia flare up.
Quiet Eric finds himself alone in a forest of glowing mushrooms, crossing paths with a giant rat and wondering about the carved M in this “unmapped” part of the Caverns.
Trespassers in the Midnight King’s realm! And not the renegade Worms who have rejected one hundred years of tradition…
Can the classmates find their way to safety?
Why would anyone choose to live deep in the earth?
This unexpected adventure is recounted from the viewpoints of three different young people far below the surface, as well as the rescue personnel and anxious parents above ground.
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.
Her father dead, a new king crowned.
Her destiny unclear, her life in peril!
O, that she could read the stars as her mother does, so far away!
As a royal daughter, Lady Pyppenia (Poppy to her friends) knows she has little control over her future, but she hadn’t imagined falling in love with her protector!
See the first few pages here (thank you, artist preview service) to meet Lady Poppy, her late father, and the Sleepless knight Cyrenic who swore to protect her by staying ever-awake (burning the candle of his own life at both ends). Her adorable long-eared animal friend Bini has an important role in this multicultural story, too.
If healing now would take away time from the end of your life, would you do it?
Book info: Sleepless / Sarah Vaughn, illustrated by Leila Del Duca, with Alissa Sallah and Deron Bennett. Image Comics, 2018. [artist Twitter] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Shadows deepen in Harbeny as assassins target Lady Pyppenia, teen daughter of the late king and Mrebeshi star-reader Amena, under the protection of a magically Sleepless knight.
Each minute that Cyrenic is Sleepless removes time from his life; the strength of his bond to Lady Poppy may weaken his hold on the present as well, just as three attempts are made to kill her!
The new king orders lovely dark Poppy as companion to his pale daughter just arrived from Etland, but can the cousins ever become friends?
Princess Rellen will someday become queen, while Lady Poppy never could – why is Lord Helder wooing them both?
Poppy just wants to leave Harbeny and go back to her mother’s country – what reason does King Surno have for keeping her here?
May the Stars watch over Lady Poppy amid court intrigue, and Time keep her Sleepless knight Cyrenic in the present as his increasing drifts into the past could rob him of full attention to the dangers of now in this richly colored graphic novel collecting volumes 1-6 of the ongoing comic series.
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