The Power of Words

The Bird and the Sword, by Amy Harmon 4 Stars

This is a fantasy story about a young girl whose words can become real. In 41ifwVwC9fL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_her world, those with gifts like healing or shifting or telling, are being hunted. It is against the law to have magical gifts. Lark sees her mother killed in front of her for something Lark did. So she doesn’t speak. Her words are only in her head, but still, they have magic. Tiras, the son of the King who killed Lark’s mother is secretly gifted as well.

There is evil about in the land. Strange flying creatures are killing people everywhere and Tiras, fully grown and now  king after is father’s death,  has come for Lark and he needs her and her words to combat the new evil.

So this is the story of their fight for good over evil and along the way they fall in love. But love has its dangers too.

The writing is excellent and is a nice read. I fully enjoyed it and recommend it. I think YA readers will really enjoy this novel.

 

 

 

 

Wondrous and Brillant

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The Lie Tree, by Frances Hardinge

The Writing is simply brilliant and incredibly imaginative.

Faith Sunderly is a young girl coming of age during the late Victorian era, so this is not your average coming of age novel. This is a time when photography itself is coming of age as is the new branch of the investigative sciences of anthropology and archeology . Darwin’s, On the Origin of the Species  has shocked the ideological realm of religion. It is a new world threatening the long held belief that man inherited the world from God with all his fingers and toes place.

Faith’s father, the Right Reverend Sunderly is not only a man of God, but also dabs in the science of the Natural World. His goal is to disprove Darwin’s theory. Unknown to his daughter, Faith and family, he found a  dark and mysterious Tree that is said to hold the truth of everything; it puts forth the fruit of knowledge, but only if it hears lies and the liar must present the world with this lie. The lie must be of enormous consequence. He does this by fostering a great archeological fake onto society, and as he is a man of impeccable  reputation, it is taken on faith by other famous archeologists.  However, the fake is soon discovered and his reputation is sullied and a great scandal ensues.

He and his family are force to flee the scandal, and they are given refuge on an island where they are not well received because of the scandal. Yet, on the island there are others who want the tree and will do anything to get it, including murder. When Faith’s father dies under mysterious circumstance, she is sure it is murder. She is not your average prim and proper young lady of the times. She is clever, and smart and incurably curious, but she must pretend to be simple minded, as all women of the time were thought to be or risk being scorned by society or worse, by being placed in a sanatorium for the mentally unstable which was quite common back then. But she is determined and uses her wiles and her guiles to ferret out the murderer at great risk to herself.

Frances Hardinge has crafted a thrilling and page turning mystery that gets the heart thumping and the pages turning. The writing is gorgeous and the reader is easily transported into the era.  I highly recommend this wondrous novel for any age group, but especially to girls coming of age and to those who want a better understanding of the injustices women endured for centuries.

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Young and Tragic Love

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Jennifer Niven has crafted a gut wrenching story of young love. Funny and tragic by turns, it is the story of Violet and Finch, two high school seniors who meet on a roof top, both ready to give up on living. Violet blames herself for her sister’s accidental death . Finch, brilliant and enigmatic, has a love-hate relationship with his abusive father. Violet had become reclusive, a shadow of her former self. Finch, the boy who is determined to end his life,  eventually teaches Violet how to be alive again, though he fails to save himself. Niven’s writing is crystal and brilliant. I loved this novel and highly recommend it.  It is a must read.

Award Winning Coming of Age Novel

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Printz Award-winning author Meg Rosoff’s coming of age novel is an unforgettable page turner about a very unusual girl. It is also about the relationship between her parents, love and loss and ultimately, betrayal.

The one person you trust the most to tell you the truth has kept a secret, one that would shed a light not only on their past, but would call into question everything you thought you knew about them.

Mila, our young protagonist, has an exceptionally strange talent. She has the ability to ferret out secrets and clues most other people overlook. She can read a room, body language and people’s emotions as she pieces together the mystery surrounding her father and his missing friend. Equally funny and irreverent, Picture Me Gone is a delightful read that pulls at your heartstrings.

 

 

John Green’s Paper Towns

PaperTowns I’ve read all of John’s novels, most notably the Fault in our Stars and Looking for Alaska, but Paper Towns was unexpectedly good. I had no idea that there are actually paper towns on maps. These towns are just sort of place holders; not really towns at all. Quentin Jacobsen has been enthralled with Margo since forever. She’s an enigma and when she mysteriously disappears,  he’s left with a convoluted set of clues that seem to lead him everywhere and nowhere. Paper towns are the easiest to find. Paper Towns is a rumpus of a novel, both funny and heartbreaking as many coming of age renditions are.

Delphi Altair, Strange Beginnings

Delphi_Altair_Second_Edition_10-2014__4_Sample  Praise for this epic new fantasy by K.D. Dowdall, a delight for the young and the young at heart.

This mysterious, magical and thrilling debut novel is an epic fantasy adventure, one that will capture the imagination with its vivid, compelling characters and K.D. Dowdall’s exceptional storytelling skills.

It begins with an ancient, mysterious journal and with a girl, Megan, who is grief struck over the loss of her mother. The journal weaves a story that enthralls Megan and soon she is whisked away on a journey that is just as thrilling as it is dangerous. Megan and her friend, Donovan embark on a treacherous journey into the unknown along with Delphi and her protector, Nikkos, a strange alien being from afar.  Little does Megan know that her life is about to change in a way she could never have imagined.