Book Review: The Rat Prince

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The Rat Prince is a delightful version of Cinderella told, in great part, from the point of view of the rats that lived with her. The prince of the rats, Prince Char, had taken get interest in Cinderella ever since her stepmother and stepsisters moved in. He did everything he could to make life easier for her, and in exchange, she befriended them and tried to get rid of the rat poison the mean cook set out for them.

When news of the ball came to the rats, Prince Char and some of his rat warriors went to the castle to check out the prince. If Cinderella married him, not only would her life improve, but she could get rid of the wicked stepmother who tried to kill Prince Char’s subjects, and their rat lives would improve as well.

Things take a dreadful turn for the worse when Prince Char and his warriors sneak into the castle and discover horrible news. Then to make matters worse, Cinderella’s “fairy godmother” chooses Prince Char and two of his loyal subjects to be coachmen. Prince Char must deal with his new human body and find a way to save all of them from the tragedy that looms. They have until midnight before the spell ends. Will they have enough time?

Bridget Hodder takes an idea that seems quite unbelievable, albeit terribly amusing, and turns it into a story that feels not only logical but completely possible (in a fairy tale world). Definitely a fun read.

4 Stars

Book Review: Rowan and the Keeper of the Crystal

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Rowan is a regular boy living a regular life in a regular village until a message comes one day. He and his mother have to leave the village immediately to travel to Maris. The Keeper of the Crystal, who lives there, is dying, and it’s up to Rowan’s mother, as the Chooser, to pick the next keeper. If a new Keeper is not chosen before the old one dies, Maris will not have the protection it has depended on for so long. They will be vulnerable to attack from their vicious neighbors who stand by eagerly watching how events unfold.

Tragically, when they arrive, Rowan’s mother is poisoned, and the task of choosing is passed down to him as the next in line. He will take on this awesome responsibility but only after he finds the mysterious and almost impossible to obtain ingredients for the antidote to save his mother.

With the three candidates for Keeper assisting, he sets out on this dangerous mission. Time is running out for both his mother and Maris.

Rodda paints an enchanting image of the world of Rin and gives the story exciting moments of danger and daring as well as suspenseful and emotional moments that will have you on the edge of your seat.

4 stars

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Book Review: 100 Cupboards

100 Cupboards: Book 1 of the 100 Cupboards by [Wilson, N. D.]

Twelve-year-old Henry York wakes up in the middle of the night to discover that the plaster is falling off the walls in his room to reveal a hidden cupboard, so what does he do? He stays up all night scraping more plaster off to reveal more cupboards. These aren’t just ordinary cupboards, though. Most of them are locked, but the ones he can open lead to strange places that they couldn’t possibly lead to. The mystery deepens when two letters come to him through the doors. But that’s not all that makes it through. Evil finds a way out as well.

Henry discovers secrets that his family has been keeping for years and finds out that he’s not who he thinks he is. Only by working together can he and his family and friends survive.

Wilson does a great job of describing the typical family life. The adventure starts off a little slowly, but we have a rich account of Henry’s experiences as he gets settled in to his new life in Kansas. Suspense begins to build once the cupboard doors are opened and Henry gets a glimpse of what’s waiting inside.

4 Stars

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Book Review: Blade of the Sea: A Children’s Survival Unofficial Minecraft Book

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Trish is a simple villager from a small Minecraft village. She enjoys crafting, but longs to go on an adventure. When some villains break into the village’s sealed mine, Trish follows them to find out why. She discovers that they are looking for a map to a device that they believe will allow them to take over the world. Trish is determined to stop them.  When no one else in the village is willing to go with her, she sets out alone. She makes friends along the way, solves puzzles, fights zombies and spiders, and gains new courage.

This is a light, fun, easy read for anyone who loves adventure and Minecraft. Nethermind weaves an exciting adventure full of danger, friendship, and self-discovery.

5 Stars

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Book Review: An Uncertain Choice

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Seventeen-year-old Lady Rosemarie Montfort is struggling to maintain control over Ashby while trying to come to grips with the promise her parents made to the church when she was a child, the promise that Lady Rosemarie would become a nun on her eighteenth birthday. Rosemarie only learned of this promise when her parents died, and she had finally begun to accept it when her godfather, the Duke of Rivenshire, arrived to tell her there was a loophole. If she can marry before midnight on her eighteenth birthday, the contract will be broken. With her eighteenth birthday only a month away, Rosemarie agrees to let the three knights that her godfather brought with him compete to win her affection.

Even with romance in the air, life must go on. The sheriff of Ashby resents having to take orders from a woman, especially one as young as Rosemarie, and it’s not easy keeping him in line. Added to that is the conflict between Rosemarie’s long-time advisor, Abbot Francis Michael, and her godfather. And to make matters worse, treachery breaks out among her suitors, and the evidence seems to point to the one man she wants the most to be innocent.

This is an exciting, clean romance with a fairy tale feel, complete with ruthless villains and brave heroes.

4 Stars

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Book Review: Little Red Riding Hood: Werewolf Slayer

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This retelling of Little Red Riding Hood opens up a wonderful new world of danger and romance. The history of the hood and its power is revealed as is the true nature of the wolf. Nothing is as innocuous as it seems, and our hero isn’t the helpless little girl we read about in other versions. This story is a little dark in places, but it will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. I highly recommend it.

5 Stars

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Book Review: Spinner

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Spinner is a wonderfully creative retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin story. The novella turns the familiar old tale into a new story of love and magic.

I may have given this novella 5 stars instead of 4 if it hadn’t been for the fact that the story is written in first person present tense. Unfortunately, that makes the writing seem choppy and quite jarring in places, especially when the main character is telling of something she remembered from the past. In those scenes, the verb tense shifts from present to past to present. It would have been much better if the story had been written in third person past tense. Even first person past tense would have been an improvement. There were also several typos and grammatical errors that briefly brought me back into the real world when I was enjoying the tale. The book could benefit from another editing session.

However, overall, I really enjoyed the story. I look forward to seeing what other work this author creates.

4 Stars

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