Tag Archives: magic

Page by Tamora Pierce

This is the second book in the Protector of the Small series. Miss Adventure has been bugging me to read more in the series. I was reading a collection of stories and fit this book in between some chapters.

Published: 2000

Genre: middle grade fantasy

Length: 245 pages of story, 257 pages total

Setting: Corus, the capital of Tortall, 453-6, months after First Test

Summary: Short version: Kel’s second-fourth years as a page Continue reading

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Queen of Darkness by Anne Bishop

This is the third and final book in the Black Jewels trilogy.

Published: 2000

Genre: fantasy

Length: 430 pages

Setting: mostly Kaeleer, after the events of Heir to the Shadows

Summary: Short version: The final confrontation between Jaenelle and Dorothea Continue reading

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The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington by Phenderson Djèlí Clark

Illustration by Odera Igbokwe. Follow the link to the story at Fireside Magazine

I recently saw a post about the nominees for the 2019 Locus Award. One of the Locus Awards is given for short stories. I checked and can access all of the nominees, so I thought I’d read and review them all. Since they’re awarded in June, I might even get them all reviewed before I find out who the winner is. Maybe. Anyways, here’s my first review of a nominee for the 2019 Short Story Locus Award.

Published: February, 2018 in Fireside Magazine

Genre: urban historical fiction

Setting: a United States with mythological creatures and magic, around the Revolutionary War time (late 1700s)

Summary: Short version: The person’s story behind each tooth George Washington acquires Continue reading

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Sticks and Stones by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins

It’s the second book in the Upside-Down Magic series. It was in the house for Miss Adventure to read. Since the books only take an hour or so to read, I decided to read it.

Published: 2016

Genre: middle grade fantasy

Length: 193 pages

Setting: mostly around Dunwiddle Magic School, soon after the events of Upside-Down Magic

Summary: Short version: Lacey starts a petition to get the Upside-Down Magic kids kicked out Continue reading

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Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins

I saw the book discussed on a GeekDad (maybe?) post and thought it sounded perfect for Miss Adventure. She raved about it so much, I decided to read it.

Published: 2015

Genre: middle grade fantasy

Length: 196 pages

Setting: it felt British, present day

Summary: Short version: Nory has to learn how to control her shape-shifting magic Continue reading

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Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine

This is the fourth book in the Great Library series. We borrowed it from a friend because the library only has the first three books.

Published: 2018

Genre: YA alternate history/fantasy

Length: 448 pages

Setting: Alexandria, immediately after the events of Ash and Quill

Summary: Short version: Jess and his friends make their move to remove the Archivist

Long version: Jess and Dario have put into play a scheme to get them back to Alexandria. They put it into lace without telling anyone else but Morgan, since she’s critical to its success. Morgan is sent back to the Black Tower where she makes contact with Eskander, a powerful Obscurist. Wolfe is sent back to prison and he works hard to not allow the setting to break him. Jess is impersonating Brendan, his twin, in order to have some freedoms in Alexandria. The others are prisoners on a ship, being taken back to Alexandria by Anit. They hijack the ship and get support from the King of Spain. In Alexandria, the goal is to minimize bloodshed and encourage Scholars to support a regime change. The Archivist has planned a Feast of Greater Burning and developed a dragon automaton to hold onto power. Jess and his allies disrupt those plans, although the Archivist escapes.

Final thoughts: Delightful, if not quite as compelling as the first few. I certainly devoured the book since I needed to know what happened next. The book is chock full of peril. It’s a constant driving to a final confrontation. Perhaps that’s why I felt a little let down at the end. There was so much build up that the conclusion felt anticlimactic. It didn’t help that the Archivist escaped. That felt like a cheat to require one more book. Also, I didn’t appreciate Brendan’s death at the end. I felt like the author knew someone important had to die, but it couldn’t be than main characters. Therefore, Brendan is elected to be the sacrificial lamb.

This book was told from everyone’s point of view. That differed from the previous books but was necessary because the characters were split up. I enjoyed Morgan and Khalila’s chapters best. Morgan continued to rail against the restrictions placed on Obscurists. She does learn there are limits to even her great powers. I was happy Eskander was able to fix her so she was no longer an energy vampire. Khalila’s arc went the other way. She kept moving into leadership roles without actively seeking them out. I fully expect her to become the next Archivist. I still wonder what Jess’s role in the Library hierarchy will be. Everyone else is wonderful at their field (perhaps excessively so – I get annoyed when all the wonderful people come together. Where are the average people?), but Jess doesn’t really have a specialty.

Title comes from: It follows the naming convention of the series. Otherwise, I’m not really sure.

Reading challenges fulfilled: book #29 for 2019

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First Test by Tamora Pierce

This is the first book in the Protector of the Small series. Miss Adventure has been encouraging me to the read the series and I finally got around to starting it.

Published: 1999

Genre: middle grade fantasy

Length: 240 pages

Setting: Corus, the capital of Tortall, after the conclusion of the War of the Immortals in Pierce’s Immortals series.

Summary: Short version: Keledry experiences sexism after becoming the first girl to openly start page training Continue reading

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