Monday, February 22, 2021

"Black Heart of the Dragon God"
by Jean Rabe and Craig Maerelle

Goranth the Mighty returns to the city of Barbertown at the request of an old companion, Rif the Barber. Rif promised him a fortune to help him capture a dragon. He planned to earn them all fortunes beyond imagination by raising, breeding, training, and selling dragons to other towns. After all, who wouldn't pay quite well to have a dragon to protect them?

However, the idea of catching dragons is very different from the reality of it, and far more dangerous. Can they actually manage it without getting themselves killed? And what other problems will arise when others learn what they are up to? 

I really enjoyed reading this book. Not only was it very well written, but it had me remembering some of the old Dragonlance books that I read back when I was in high school. This was sword and sorcery at it's best, written in a style that I haven't had the pleasure of reading in a long while. I look forward to reading more stories about Goranth the Mighty in the future. 

I believe that anyone who enjoys adventure stories, sword & sorcery tales, as well as reading about heroes who don't always set out to simply be a hero or who are even just trying to do the right thing, regardless of what it might wind up costing them\ will enjoy this book. I definitely recommend giving this one a try. I know I enjoyed it.

Monday, February 15, 2021

"Rise of the Fairy Queen" by Gemma Perfect

On Elsie's 16th birthday, she is finally released from her captivity at the castle. She is being sent for a political marriage overseas to a prince she has never met. She has not been allowed outside of her room for years, and the only person she has in her life is her handmaid, Meg, who was locked up with her.

But on her way to meet her future husband, Elsie learns the truth about what has been happening within the kingdom at the hands of her step parents, and she realizes that her homeland & people need saving from the atrocities being enacted upon them. And so she returns to her homeland, determined to find a way to help free her people.

I enjoyed reading this book. It was very different from the other tales of fairies that I have read. At times, the main character seems a little too trusting of the new people she meets, but then I have to remember that she is still young herself, and very naive with regard to other people's motives and their selfish desires.  Without having had any sort of life experience, how is she supposed to react to people who appear to only want to help & keep telling her that she can trust them? Naturally she is going to want to trust the people who appear to be helping her.

I enjoyed the chance to see this innocent young girl find her way in the world, learning to defend herself, and growing into the queen she wants to become. I think this is a story that will be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys reading twisted fairy tales and other young adult fantasy stories.

Monday, February 8, 2021

"The Blizzard Brides" by Christine Sterling

With many folks in the town of Last Chance, Nebraska running short of meat to see them through the long winter ahead of them, most of the town's men head out on a hunt for buffalo. They intended to be gone for about a week before returning with enough meat for everyone. 

Heather's husband was the tracker leading the hunt, with his wife taking care of the smokehouse when he was gone as well as acting as midwife to the town's women. While on her rounds one morning, the temperature begins to drop dramatically & a snowstorm rapidly blows in, trapping most everyone wherever they happen to be that can offer even slight shelter from the blizzard.

Based on the book's title, it should be no surprise that this book is about how anyone who found shelter survived the storm, though their husbands who were still out on their hunt were killed in the blizzard that caught everyone by surprise, and their decision to advertise in the Matrimonial Times for husbands to move to the town and help everyone survive.

I enjoyed this prequel story that leads into the following books in this series. It was well written, and though it does not have the happy ending that most mail order bride books have, it perfectly sets the stage for what each of the women whose husbands were lost in the blizzard must now face.

I will be continuing on with the series, as I am curious as to what will happen next, as well as to whether or not these women, who must remarry if they are to survive, will once again manage to find a happy ending to their stories, or if they will merely be able to survive what they have lost.

Monday, February 1, 2021

"Pancakes and Corpses" by Agatha Frost

Julia is a baker and the owner of a cafe in the small town of Peridale. It has always seemed like a quiet little town, but suddenly nefarious things are starting to happen. First, all the baked goods in Julia's cafe have begun disappearing overnight. Then one of Julia's regulars, Gertude, turns up murdered, with Julia being the one to find her body.

Though she is not a detective nor a member of law enforcement, Julia soon finds herself on the trail of a killer, determined to solve the mystery of who had killed Gertrude. Can she actually manage to figure out who did it?

I enjoyed reading this cozy mystery. It was an interesting little tale with some entertaining twists along the way. I will be continuing on with reading more books in the series in the future as I do enjoy reading lighthearted mysteries now & then.

I think anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries, especially those that are centered around baking or food, will enjoy this book.

Firefax by A. M. Vergara

During the Revolutionary War, there are rumors of a city of gold that is hidden on an island whose location is known only to the Firefax fam...