Hidden Current

Title: Hidden Current (The Dancing Realms, Book 1)

Author: Sharon Hinck

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Enclave Publishing

Available: Wherever books are sold


About:

The dancers of the Order direct their floating world of Meriel with their movements, but are they steering it toward destruction?

Calara spent her life learning dance patterns and seeking to become the perfect servant to her people. When she discovers the work of the Order is built on lies, she flees with a rough-edged herder, Brantley of Windswell. Pursued by soldiers, her journey through the suffering villages of the rim leads her to a forgotten truth that sends ripples through her world-and through her soul.

Calara seeks clues to her forgotten family and discovers newfound courage in the face of danger, while her quest awakens a growing but forbidden affection for Brantley. Yet even his support can’t fully be trusted, since he’d rather destroy the Order than bring reform.

She is a lone woman facing opposition from rim villages and treachery from the all-powerful Order. Can she restore the dance to its true purpose and bring freedom and hope to her people?


Positive Elements:

The importance of teamwork is shown; friends remain loyal to each other even when it could endanger them.


Negative Elements:

None.


Spiritual Elements:

A tale of how the world began is told; a character prays to the earth; a character hears from the Maker; characters pray; a character asks questions about the Maker; a character meets the Maker; there is a strong redemptive theme.


Violence:

Castoffs are injured; a child bears bruises from punishment; disappearances are mentioned; children are forcibly take from their homes; characters and a creature are harmed and injured; a village is decimated.


Other:

Characters kiss.


Rating:

5 Stars.


Conclusion:

Incredible. That’s the one word I would use to describe this book. Incredible plot, incredible characters, incredible world-building. Filled with faith and action, Hidden Current far exceeded my already-high expectations. This book is a must read.

5 Fantasy Series to Add to Your Summer Reading List

5 fantasy add to reading

While every season is a good time to read, there’s just something about sitting outside in the shade and feeling the summer breeze while you read. Below are five fantasy series to add to your summer reading list.

#1. The Weaver Trilogy by Lindsay A. Franklin

Selling stories is a deadly business

Tanwen doesn’t just tell stories–she weaves them into crystallized sculptures that sell for more than a few bits. But the only way to escape the control of her cruel mentor and claw her way from poverty is to set her sights on something grander: becoming Royal Storyteller to the king.

During her final story peddling tour, a tale of treason spills from her hands, threatening the king himself. Tanwen goes from peddler to prey as the king’s guard hunts her down…and they’re not known for their mercy. As Tanwen flees for her life, she unearths long-buried secrets and discovers she’s not the only outlaw in the empire. There’s a rebel group of weavers…and they’re after her too.


#2. Books of the Infinite by R. J. Larson

Judge (Books of the Infinite Book #2) by [R. J. Larson]The last thing Kien Lantec expects on his first day of military leave is to receive marching orders from his Creator, the Infinite. Orders that don’t involve destroyer-racing or courting the love of his life, Ela. Adding to Kien’s frustration, his Infinite-ordained duties have little to do with his skills as a military judge-in-training. His mission? To warn the people of ToronSea against turning their backs to the Infinite to worship a new goddess.

But why Kien? Isn’t this the role of a true prophet, such as Ela of Parne?

Seeking answers, Kien visits Ela and finds her stricken by a devastating vision of her own. Her birthplace, Parne, has been corrupted by her enemies and will soon suffer judgment. Pulled in separate ways, each must seek to follow the Infinite’s leading and hope He will reunite them again soon.


#3. The Dancing Realm by Sharon Hinck

The dancers of the Order direct their floating world of Meriel with their movements, but are they steering it toward destruction?

Calara spent her life learning dance patterns and seeking to become the perfect servant to her people. When she discovers the work of the Order is built on lies, she flees with a rough-edged herder, Brantley of Windswell. Pursued by soldiers, her journey through the suffering villages of the rim leads her to a forgotten truth that sends ripples through her world-and through her soul.

Calara seeks clues to her forgotten family and discovers newfound courage in the face of danger, while her quest awakens a growing but forbidden affection for Brantley. Yet even his support can’t fully be trusted, since he’d rather destroy the Order than bring reform.

She is a lone woman facing opposition from rim villages and treachery from the all-powerful Order. Can she restore the dance to its true purpose and bring freedom and hope to her people?


#4. The Tethered World Chronicles by Heather L.L. FitzGerald

The Tethered World (The Tethered World Chronicles Book 1) by [Heather L.L. FitzGerald]“Normal” means different things to different people.

For sixteen-year-old Sadie Larcen, family dynamics look a little different than most. Parents with oddball occupations? Normal. Five homeschooled siblings—one with autism? Normal.

Police knocking on the door and parents gone missing? Definitely not normal!

When Sadie uncovers the reasons behind her parents’ disappearance and the truth about her heritage, she despairs of ever feeling normal again. Especially when she learns that her mother’s interest in Bigfoot, Dwarves, and other lore extends beyond her popular blog. Sadie’s family has been entrusted with keeping the secrets of the Tethered World—home to creatures that once roamed the Garden of Eden.

Sadie and her siblings must venture into this land to rescue their parents. Stepping out of reality and into a world she never knew existed is a journey Sadie fears and resents. But she chooses to risk all to save her family.

She’s just not sure she will survive in the process.


#5. Realm Walkers by Donita K. Paul

Cantor D’Ahma waited his whole life for this day. Born with a gift to jump between worlds, the young realm walker is finally ready to leave his elderly mentor and accept his role as protector and defender of the realms.

But mere hours after he steps through his first portal, Cantor discovers that his job will be more dangerous and difficult than he ever imagined. The realms are plagued with crime and cruelty, and even members of the once-noble Realm Walkers Guild can no longer be trusted. To make matters worse, his first assignment—finding a dragon to assist him on his quest—has led him to Bridger, who is clearly inept and won’t leave him alone.

With the help of his new friends Bixby and Dukmee, Cantor must uncover the secrets of the corrupt guild before they become too powerful to be stopped. But his skills aren’t progressing as fast as he would like, and as he finds himself deeper and deeper in the guild’s layers of deceit, Cantor struggles to determine where his true allegiance lies.


What books are on your summer reading list? Aside from rereading these wonderful suggestions, I plan to reread (for probably the seventh time) Samara’s Peril by Jaye L. Knight, Orphan’s Song by Gillian Bronte Adams, and Mark of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse.

Happy summer, and happy reading!

The Genesis Tree

Title: The Genesis Tree (The Tethered World Chronicles, Book Three)

Author: Heather L.L. FitzGerald

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink

Available: Wherever books are sold


About:

She took down the Nephilim queen—but can she and her brother save the kingdom?

Sadie Larcen may have defeated the traitorous Queen Estancia, but she’s quite happy to be home with her family. Unfortunately, their fiendish neighbor, Mr. Marshall, is still up to no good. He’s called a press conference with plans to introduce the world to a living, breathing Bigfoot. As a Sasquatch expert, Sadie’s mother Amy is coerced into lending her expertise to the spectacle. When Sadie and her brother Brady spy nefarious, uninvited guests at the gathering, they know there’s trouble brewing in the Tethered World. The two are driven into separate, dangerous exploits as they are thrust back into the schemes of the forces of darkness. Schemes that include using their autistic brother Brock as leverage to seize control of the Flaming Sword and the Tree of Life. The Gargoyles and Trolls have an ambition that extends beyond dominating these powerful elements. They’ve set their sights on the Topside realm—with or without the help of Mr. Marshall. Deception is rampant, the enemy is subtle, and love dares to tug at Sadie’s heart amid the turmoil below. Once again, she and Brady will cling to God’s faithfulness as they fight for the people and creatures they care for, and against the enemies they fear. Will the cost be more than they can endure?


Positive Elements:

Characters forgive and the importance of forgiveness is realized and discussed; the importance of family is shown.


Negative Elements:

None.


Spiritual Elements:

Characters pray; a Bible character is discussed; Bible verses are recited; a creature refers to himself as a god.


Violence:

Creatures and characters are kidnapped, injured, held hostage, and threatened; a character is shot at; there is character death; secondary characters conspire against others.


Other:

Characters kiss.


Rating:

5 Stars.


Conclusion:

The mark of a talented writer is their ability to evoke emotion in the reader. I rarely get the sniffles or cry whilst reading, but during a particular part in The Genesis Tree, I almost bawled. Dear author, you can’t do that do your readers. You can’t destroy us like that! You can’t take our hearts and shred them in such a cruel, merciless, and ruthless manner! I sat there for minutes while struggling to reconcile what happened.

There. There’s my rant. Now I digress and return to the regular Conclusion. This is a wonderful end to a wonderful series. The romance is sweet and clean and well balanced, and the character arcs are nicely tied-up. This book, along with the rest of the series, is a definite read again.

The Flaming Sword

Title: The Flaming Sword (The Tethered World Chronicles, Book Two)

Author: Heather L.L. FitzGerald

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink

Available: Wherever books are sold


About:

Sadie Larcen and her family are slowly recovering from their life-altering trek to the Tethered World. That is until their aunt arrives clutching a mysterious letter and sporting a black eye. The letter that Aunt Jules shares with the family writhes with sinister implications. A new and menacing enemy has slunk from the shadows and is conspiring to seize the most powerful piece of weaponry in the land: The Flaming Sword of Cherubythe. The sword must—at all costs—be kept from the enemies who lust for its power. The threat extends to Sadie’s autistic brother Brock. As High King in training, he now resides in the Tethered World, within close proximity to the sword. It’s apparent that drastic measures will be required by all in order to protect what’s most important. Can Sadie once again confront her disabling fear, stare evil in the face, and walk away whole—let alone alive? How can one teenage girl and her family save a sword with the potential to start a world war? Will lines be crossed even as Sadie’s faith is tested? Sadie knows it’s going to take a lot more than strength, grit, and courage to survive.


Positive Elements:

Characters sacrifice to save family and friends; a character puts herself in harms way to help save the land.


Negative Elements:

None.


Spiritual Elements:

Characters pray; being called by God is discussed; Biblical occurrences are mentioned; there is a strong faith element.


Violence:

Characters are injured, kidnapped, and tortured; a house is ransacked; characters injure enemies to protect others; injuries from battle are sustained.


Other:

None.


Rating:

5 Stars.


Conclusion:

Even if the first book was excellent, I am usually wary about reading the second, since middle books have the tendency to drag and sag. Not so with The Flaming Sword, which is a whirlwind of danger, excitement, incredible character arcs, faith, and courage. I almost forgot to write down notes for my review as I devoured the book. The action and dangers are wonderful elements, but what I liked best was the faith. It wasn’t false, but deeply realistic. The characters believe, but they still have doubts and fears. They know God is in control, but they still worry. I love an action-packed tale as much as every other person, but what really makes a book or series stand out is the faith aspect, an aspect perfectly captured in The Flaming Sword. This book needs to be on everyone’s TBR list.

The Green Dress

Title: The Green Dress (Part of the True Colors collection)

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Historical Christian Romance and Suspense

Publisher: Barbour

Available: Wherever books are sold


About:

When Harriet Peters came to Boston in 1882, the Robinson family took her in like one of their own, and Harriet became closer to Lizzie Robinson than her own siblings. Now, four years later, Lizzie is deathly sick, failing quickly just like several others in her family have done over the past few years. How can so many in one family die from the same mysterious illness? Harriet doesn’t have answers, but she is determined to help the family, bringing in a new-to-the-neighborhood doctor, Michael Wheaton.

As Harriet and Michael close in on the answer, putting their own lives at risk, can the cause be found before anyone else dies?


Positive Elements:

Characters will do anything to protect others, even at a personal cost.


Negative Elements:

None.


Spiritual Elements:

Characters pray and question God; there is a strong salvation message; a character appears to be demon possessed at times.


Violence:

A child is neglected; a character recounts being abused; characters are harmed.


Other:

None.


Rating:

4 Stars.


Conclusion:

I am either-or on the books in the True Colors series. Some I haven’t been impressed with at all. The Green Dress is not one of those. It is chillingly well-written, intriguing, and does a fantastic job keeping the tension, danger, and suspense until the very end. I loved how protective Hattie is over the children and how loving Micheal is to his mom. If you enjoy reading historical Christian romance and suspense, you need to read The Green Dress.

*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Tethered World

Title: The Tethered World (The Tethered World Chronicles, Book One)

Author: Heather L.L. FitzGerald

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink

Available: Wherever books are sold


About:

tw“Normal” means different things to different people.

For sixteen-year-old Sadie Larcen, family dynamics look a little different than most. Parents with oddball occupations? Normal. Five homeschooled siblings—one with autism? Normal.

Police knocking on the door and parents gone missing? Definitely not normal!

When Sadie uncovers the reasons behind her parents’ disappearance and the truth about her heritage, she despairs of ever feeling normal again. Especially when she learns that her mother’s interest in Bigfoot, Dwarves, and other lore extends beyond her popular blog. Sadie’s family has been entrusted with keeping the secrets of the Tethered World—home to creatures that once roamed the Garden of Eden.

Sadie and her siblings must venture into this land to rescue their parents. Stepping out of reality and into a world she never knew existed is a journey Sadie fears and resents. But she chooses to risk all to save her family.

She’s just not sure she will survive in the process.


Positive Elements:

Characters will do anything to save their friends and family; a character grows in maturity and selflessness; there is a strong faith element.


Negative Elements:

None.


Spiritual Elements:

Characters pray; God is referred to as the “Maker” and “Creator”; Biblical references are made; Bible stories are reflected on.


Violence:

[Nota bene: there is no gore and very little description] Characters are kidnapped, injured in battle, and tortured; battle injuries are recounted; minor characters and enemies are killed; characters injure and kill the enemy to protect their friends and family.


Other:

None.


Rating:

5 Stars.


Conclusion:

The Tethered World is a fun, captivating tale. Not only is it overflowing with humor, sarcasm, and excellent world-building, but it also has a homeschooler and her family as the main characters! As a homeschool graduate, this was a delight to read, and so refreshing to see homeschoolers cast in a positive light. Plus, there are multiple types of odd, wonderful creatures in this book, and the author did a superb job crafting each race and their quirks and society. The Tethered World is a must-read.

The Underground Railroad Brides Collection

Title: The Underground Railroad Brides Collection: 9 Couples Navigate the Road to Freedom Before the Civil War

Authors: Barbara Tifft Blakey, Ramona K. Cecil, Lynn A. Coleman, Cecelia Dowdy, Patty Smith Hall, Terri J. Haynes, Debby Lee, Darlene Panzera, Penny Zeller

Genre: Historical Christian Romance

Trailer:

Length: 448 pages

Publisher: Barbour

Available at: Wherever books are sold


Summary:

underground railroad pictureLove Guides Hearts Along the Road to Freedom

Nine historical couples walk the road to love even as they dare to escape and help others break free from the injustices of slavery between 1849 and 1860. From Southern states of Georgia and South Carolina to above the Mason-Dixon Line in Indiana and Pennsylvania, they work within the network known as the Underground Railroad.

Emma Underground by Barbara Tifft Blakey
Follow the Christmas Star by Ramona K. Cecil
Under the Sails of Love by Lynn A. Coleman
The Bakery Bride by Cecelia Dowdy
Place of Refuge by Patty Smith Hall
Free to Love by Terri J. Haynes
The Winter Quilt by Debby Lee
The Song of Hearts Set Free by Darlene Panzera
Freedom’s Flight by Penny Zeller

There is hope for the future when people come together to fight evil, and when men and women find love in the midst of great challenges. And through it all, faith is the key to victory in these stories from nine inspiring Christian authors.

Emma Underground by Barbara Tifft Blakey
Schenectady, New York—1851
Emma Trebor desires to reconcile with her husband, but he is hiding something from her. How could she know the investigator she hires is secretly a bounty hunter and her husband is his target?

Follow the Christmas Star by Ramona K. Cecil
Madison, Indiana—1850
Deeply involved in the abolitionist movement, Edith Applegate struggles to reconcile her desire to help bring people out of bondage and her growing affection for a former Southern slave owner.

Under the Sails of Love by Lynn A. Coleman
Savannah, Georgia—1860
Charlotte Kimbrel, a Southern Belle, has been smuggling slaves. Captain Zachery Browne’s ship sails slaves to freedom. Hostilities between the states are developing. Will Charlotte successfully travel the Underground Railroad by sea?

The Bakery Bride by Cecelia Dowdy
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—1859
Grieving over her beau’s unjustified death, Ruth—a recently manumitted slave who is illiterate—assists her upper-class boss as an abolitionist. Can she heal from the pain of slavery and learn to love again?

Place of Refuge by Patty Smith Hall
Abbeville, South Carolina—1857
Underground conductor Hudson Wallace is surprised when Jorgine Emerson asks him to transport her slaves to freedom, but is it a trap? Can Jorgine’s deep conviction win Hudson over?

Free to Love by Terri J. Haynes
East Towson, Maryland—1850
Winnie is hiding a secret—Hiram, a fugitive. Their lives cross at an Underground Railroad station. Can they overcome danger and find freedom in love?

The Winter Quilt by Debby Lee
Newport, Indiana—1840
Relocated to an unfamiliar town, Coral Martin yearns for stability. Carpenter Josiah Williamson helps her find meaning working on the Underground Railroad. Will their love survive when forces threaten to tear them apart forever?

The Song of Hearts Set Free by Darlene Panzera
Jersey City, New Jersey—1851
Budding abolitionist, Annie Morrison, discovers the man she’s fallen in love with may be a slave catcher in disguise.

Freedom’s Flight by Penny Zeller
Tennessee—1850s
When she discovers the handsome Reverend Matthias Sorenson assisting runaway slaves, can Annalise Van Houten convince him to allow her to help? Or will mistrust prove fatal for all involved?


Positive Elements:

Characters stand up and fight for those who cannot fight for themselves; the importance of life, forgiveness, and trust is shown. Characters’ faith grows.


Negative Elements:

None.


Spiritual Elements:

God’s love, mercy, and compassion are reflected on; Bible verses are read and quoted; characters pray.


Violence:

Arson is committed; slaves and characters are shot; it is mentioned that slaves are whipped; there’s a rumor that one was skinned alive; slaves are hunted; characters are treated roughly.


Other:

Characters lie to protect others; characters kiss; it is speculated that a character’s fiance has illegitimate children; people steal.


Rating:

An overall 5 Stars.


Epilogue:

I love history, and was thrilled to get my hands on The Underground Railroad Brides Collection. These stories are sweet and heartfelt, and do well in capturing the care, concern, courage, and determination those involved in the Underground Railroad exhibited. This is a wonderful collection, with my second favorite being Follow the Christmas Star by Ramona Cecil, and my favorite being Freedom’s Flight by Penny Zeller. Freedom’s Flight is an action-packed story filled with faith, danger, and the importance of trust. Definitely a must-read!

Free Resources for Writers

25 for writers

Writing can be difficult. There are character arcs  and plots to plan, worlds to build, information to fact-check, and ensuring proper usage of grammar. Below is a list of immensely helpful free resources for writers that will help you on your writing journey.

—– Blogs —–

1. The Steve Laube Agency – The Steve Laube Agency’s blog is filled with invaluable writing advice from authors and agents, like the article, “He Said, She Said” on when -and when not to – use the “said” tag, or “A Critique Partner Checklist” on how to find quality critique partners.

2. Jody Heldlund’s blog – Award-winning author Jody Hedlund has oodles of wonderful writing advice on her blog. Some of these must-read articles include “Advice to a Novice Writer” and “3 Tips to Help Increase Writing Output“.

3. Helping Writers Become Authors [K.M. Weiland] – This site includes some great posts, like “A Writer’s Guide to Understanding People” (a great one for us introverts who absolutely do not understand humans) and “2 Different Types of the Lie Your Character Believes“.

4. DiAnn Mill’s Twitter account – Technically, this isn’t a blog, but bestselling author DiAnn Mills posts the best links to other blogs from her Twitter, like “How to Edit a Novel: The Foolproof 9-Step Book Editing Process” from The Write Place.

5. Writers Helping Writers – This blog contains information and writing tools pertaining to character arcs, setting planner, and backstories.

6. Speculative Faith – Speculative fiction writers, this one is for us. Speculative Faith features an immense amount of posts/writing tips/helps/information ranging from science fiction to fantasy, and everything between. My favorite posts are in the twenty part “Speculative Fiction Writers Guide to War” series.

—– Name Finding —–

7. Nameberry – Probably the most well known name site, Nameberry features thousands of names ranging from fantastical, to Roman, to flowery.

8. Social Security – This site features tons of baby names, including the most popular names for each year. You can also see how a name has dropped (or risen) in popularity.

9. donjon – Speculative fiction writers, these next two are specifically for us. donjon offers a fantasy name generator with doable, pronounceable names. donjon also features name generators for dungeons and inns.

10. RinkWorks – While slightly difficult to figure out, this site does offer some unique fantasy name ideas.

—– Clothing —–

11. Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts: Fashion Through the Ages Exhibit – This slideshow takes a look at some of the types of clothing items worn through the centuries. The oddest? A pair of women’s platform shoes from 1590-1610.

12. My Modern Met: Illustrated Timeline Presents Women’s Fashion Every Year from 1784-1970 – This infographic shows how women’s clothing styles changed during 214 years.

13. Castles and Manor Houses:Medieval Clothing – Not only does this page tell what types of materials were used, it also includes the rules by which people’s choice of wear were selected.

14. The Dreamstress: The Historical Fashion and Textile Encyclopedia – This page is the ultimate of the ultimate, featuring an extensive list of clothing articles and materials.

—– Housing —–

15. Home Beautiful: Homes Through the Ages: Tudor, Gregorian, Victorian, Edwardian – This page takes a look at unique and popular house styles through the decades and includes features special to each type.

16. National Museum of Denmark: What Were Viking Homes Like? – This short article includes the layout of houses during the time of vikings along with interesting facts, like viking dwellings had no windows or chimneys.

17. Homestead: An Illustrated History of Log Cabins – This article takes a look at the history of log cabins, how they were built, and how they have evolved during the years.

18. Castles and Manor Houses – This comprehensive site goes in-depth about the types of castles and manors and castle architecture.

—– Miscellaneous —–

19. Thesaurus – One does not administer elementary prose when superfluous vocabulary is accessible. Plus, this delightful sight is a haven for logophiles (like yours truly) who geek out at the prospect of multitudes of unique and relatively unknown words at their fingertips. Thesaurus even comes with a “Word of the Day”.

20. Calculator – Few writers are mathematical geniuses, and rarely can we use mental math to determine our percentage of the way done. Therefore, what better way to keep track of your progress than a calculator, where the only math you’re doing is punching in the numbers for the formula? This can be a hand-held calculator, a calculator on your phone, or an online calculator.

—– Speculative Fiction Specific —–

21. Mythcreants: Choosing a Weapon for Your Hero – While not completely comprehensive and detailed, this page has a decent list of real weapons, their ranges, and the way they inflict damage.

22. Storm the Castle: A Guide to Medieval Weapons for Fantasy Writers – This article goes into the history of weapon making and contains a list of medieval weapons – some of which we often forget about in the throes of swords and bows.

23. Medieval Warfare: Medieval Weapons and Armour – This is an incredible page, and is probably one of the most comprehensive as far as listing every type of medieval weapon.

24. Battling Blades: Types of Swords – While this is a website for selling swords, they include a great explanation on the different types of common swords.

25. Top Survival Weapons: Types of Bows – A quick guide to the different types of bows from recurve to crossbow.

26. Medieval Archer: A helpful explanation of how different bows were used in war.

 

Diamond Book Review | A Twist of Rapunzel Blog Tour

Welcome to Day Three of A Twist of Rapunzel Blog Tour! Featured is a review of Kirsten Fichter’s Diamond.

Blog Tour Banner

About the Author:

Kirsten Fichter is a twenty-something Christian writer who loves being the wife to her favorite person ever, mommy to two precious blessings, a piano enthusiast, a dragon buff, a serious bookworm, and an INFP synesthete. Fairytales have always fascinated her, and she has made it her goal to rewrite as many as possible and become known as the “Grimm Dickens” (i.e. mixing Grimm fairytales with a Dickens style). Diamond: A Rapunzel Story is her third published fairytale retelling. You can find out more about her on her blog, A Synesthete Writer

Find her online at: Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || Instagram || Amazon


Now, onto the review!


Title: Diamond: A Rapunzel Retelling (Once Upon A Twist Tales, Book 3)

Author: Kirsten Fichter

Genre: Fantasy with a dash of steampunk

Release Date: May 13th

Preorder

Add the book on Goodreads

Find the rest of the series


About:

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 85This time, Rapunzel’s not the one stuck in the tower, but the secrets he brings with him may cost her own life.

Diamond leads a quiet life with the woman she calls Mother. There isn’t much to pass the time save for excursions in the forest and one-sided conversations with her pet rabbit, Hobie. Men are cruel beings who care only for themselves and must be avoided at any cost. After all, Diamond’s own father gambled her away once. What other terrible fates might await her if people knew she existed?

Seth Stendahl is an alchemist with a middling proficiency in the Rohesian tongue. After growing up with and surviving six sisters, there shouldn’t be anything too difficult for him to master – except maybe breaking his leg and being locked in the top of a ruined watchtower.

This is Rapunzel with a twist like you’ve never seen it before.


Positive Elements:

A character grows in courage and trust; characters have strong faith; kindness to a stranger is shown.


Negative Elements:

None.


Spiritual Elements:

Characters pray; a character reflects upon God’s promise to never leave us.


Violence:

A character is accused of murder; a character is pushed off a horse; a character is injured by another.


Other:

A parent gambles his child away; a secondary character has a gambling addiction.


Rating:

4.5 Stars


Conclusion:

This novella is quite the delightful retelling of a popular fairy tale, and is the first book I’ve read by Kirsten Fichter. Now, I’m hooked. The characters are wonderfully written with unique personalities, and the world-building is fantastic. I loved Diamond’s first thoughts and description of Seth, and her inner battle between obeying her “mother” and helping someone in need is perfectly executed. My only wish for this novella is that the ending wasn’t so rushed. In short, this is the perfect novella to pick up if you’re looking for a sweet, Christian fairy tale retelling, pick up Diamond.

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review


For the full blog tour schedule, go here.

Other Day Three posts:

Kirsten Fichter – The Girl Named Diamond 
Interviews:  
Live. Love. Read – Kendra  
Rambling Rose – Misha 
Reviews: 
Light and Shadows – Misfortune

Misfortune Book Review | A Twist of Rapunzel Blog Tour

Welcome to Day One of A Twist of Rapunzel Blog Tour! Featured is a review of Kendra E. Ardnek’s Misfortune.

About the Author:

 

Kendra E. Ardnek is the self-proclaimed Arista of Fairy Tales. She lives in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her dragon babies and massive herd of mini-giraffes, and she is still waiting for one of of her fifty nutcrackers to come to life and marry her. When not writing, you can usually find her sitting in a random box, and she’s frequently known to act before she thinks.  

 

Find her online at: Website || Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || YouTube || Newsletter || Instagram || Amazon


Now, onto the review!


Title: Misfortune (A Twist of Adventure Series, Book 4)

Author: Kendra E. Ardnek

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: May 13, 2020

Preorder

Add the book on Goodreads

Find the rest of the series: Amazon || Goodreads


About:

 

Is the safety of a country worth the sacrifice of one girl – even if she is the daughter of blood and misfortune?

The day she was born, her kingdom fell, and so she was branded the daughter of blood and misfortune and locked away. Now a dragon plagues the land and her curse may be the only thing that stops it.

But is she really cursed?

 

 

 


Positive Elements:

Characters are willing to sacrifice themselves to save others.


Negative Elements:

None.


Spiritual Elements:

The story of Babel is told; people believe in false gods; a minor character receives visions from God; a characters prays.


Violence:

A kingdom is attacked and minor characters are killed (mentioned); a girl is to be sacrificed; a village is attacked by a dragon; a character is badly burned.


Other:

None.


Rating:

5 Stars


Conclusion:

Misfortune is a clever, unexpected retelling of the classic fairy tale, Rapunzel. Despite it’s short length, the characters are incredibly developed with amazing depth. Delshad’s handling of  his desire to obtain his father’s favor while faced with a devastating choice was exceptionally well-written. The fact that I felt for a character in such a short novella attests to the author’s writing ability. My only complaint is that the novella is so short. I would have enjoyed a few hundred pages more of the story.

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review


For the full blog tour schedule, go here.

Other Day One posts:

Kendra E. Ardnek – Five Reasons to Read Misfortune
Kirsten Fichter – Diamond: The First Chapter
Interviews:
Tangled Up in Writing – Seth
Reviews:
Reality Reflected – Diamond