BOOK REVIEWS

Below you will find books that I have read recently that I would recommend to others.  Many are Young Adult books, but not exclusively, and certainly not just for Young Adult readers.  They are a mix of new and more seasoned authors.  All are worth a try.  There is no particular order other than the newest ones will be on the top of the list.  - CLICK ON BOOK COVER TO GO TO AUTHORS WEBSITE - 

Tree of  Ages is book 1 in the Tree of ages series.  The first thing that came to mind as I read the book, was "how fun"!  I loved the premise of a young woman awakening from being a tree and finding out about the world around her--a world that somehow she remembers things from. Full of magic, fairies, deceit, and friendship.  The characters in the book were three dimensional and alive and the world that was created around them was as real as the one around us.  A very fun and exciting fantasy adventure!

The Tainted Crown is book 1 in the Books of Caledan series.  From page one this book was full of action and intrigue and kept me reading late into the night. An evil uncle intent on the throne, an heir searching for help, a young noble lady wanting more freedom, and yes...dragons.  What more could you want? The characters were full of life and the descriptions of the scenery, the dragons, and the magic made me feel as if I was there.  A satisfying ending that still left me wanting more.  I'm ready for book 2!

Web of Eyes is the first book in the Buried Goddess Saga series.  A wonderful and exciting fantasy adventure with plenty of fun and humor. Take a soldier loyal to the throne, a thief who only cares about himself, and add in a blood-mage woman with "knife-ears" and you have a great new fantasy series with loads of action from the first page to the last. A new series definitely worth reading!

The Fire Within is the first book in a new series (Elemental Academy Book 1).  Magic, Adventure, fun characters, and a great academy setting make this book a thoroughly enjoyable read!  Tolan, the main character is wonderfully developed.  Without magic of his own, he is thrust into the rigors of a magic school and has to figure out why he is there.  Bully's, friends, and secrets surround him as he pushes through to an exciting conclusion...while still leaving an opening for future books in the series. 

The Fuller's Apprentice (the Chronicles of Tevenar book 1) is  the first book I have read by this author and I was not disappointed.  This book has one of the most unique magic systems I have ever read, as well the wonderful creation of the culture, occupations, and character names makes it an extremely enjoyable read.  Josiah is a young fuller's apprentice with a curious mind and a way of acting before thinking, but when he gets to travel around with a wizard we are taken into an amazing and fun story of adventure and magic. Definitely looking forward to the next book!

The Forsaken Throne (the Kingfountain Series book 6) is perfect conclusion to one of the great new fantasy series.  There is loss and joy, disappointment and redemption.  The world building and character development rival any out there.  Find out what happens to Trynne, Owen, Fallon and all our favorite characters in a fitting and satisfying conclusion! Start at the beginning but don't ever stop! 

Trial of Stone starts off a new series by an exciting author!  The characters are real, the adventure leaves you on the edge of your seat, and the world building is amazing.  Three story-lines working concurrently to one epic ending--while still leaving plenty of room for the story to continue.  Peloquin creates a mesmerizing journey through new cultures, magic, and caste systems that create a complex and wonderful world.  You really shouldn't miss this book!

Voice of Power was such a fun and exciting book to read.  I didn't know quite what to expect at first.  But it has everything that makes a good fantasy novel.  Teens trying to find their place in the world, nobility, struggles to rise to your destiny, and of course magic.  The magic system in this book is one of the most unique I have read.  Words have power and only those who can control that power (mages) are taught to read and write.  But what if you could speak the words and have power? Now that's something no one expected! Don't miss this new series!  It'll grab you and suck you in to a whole new fantastic world!

Magic Factory is a new series by Morgan Rice aimed at a young crowd, but I read it anyway. It's a great middle grade fantasy with a unique story line of magic and time travel.  With some reminiscence of Harry Potter it holds its own and would be a great book for pre-teens/younger teens or to read with your children.  As an amateur inventor, Oliver is misunderstood and feels like an outcast even in his own home, but as strange powers begin to develop he is thrust into an exciting adventure of friendship, time travel, and trying to beat an evil nemesis.  Don't miss Morgan Rice's other fantasy adventures either--always great reads!

The Nibiru Effect is outstanding debut novel full of magic, time travel, and shifting.  I wasn't sure what to expect when I read an advanced copy, but it kept me guessing the entire time. Twists, turns, and surprises jump out at you from every chapter (or memories as they are call in this book). It was a fun story with wonderful characters.  Definitely a thumbs up to this new series!

ARCANE was one of those books that I knew I would immensely enjoy by the time I read the first page.  why haven't I read this series before?! I loved the main characters self discovery of both magical power and who he was inside.  The action never stopped, the magic was abundant, and the story line of Augum and his friends kept me riveted throughout.  The characters are in their early teens but thrust into situations that push them to their limit and made me root for them the entire time. I'll surely be reading more of this author!

Secondborn is the 1st book in the Secondborn series and the first book I have read by this author.  I didn't really know what to expect, but by the first chapter I was hooked, intrigued, and well on my way to enjoying a unique and wonderful new world.  A world in a dystopian future that separates people based on their birth order.  Roselle, however fights fate and destiny as she determines to be in control of her own life.  Great characters and world building!  Loved it!

The Silent Shield (the Kingfountain Series book 5) continues what I think is one of the best fantasy series around.  We are now fully into the next generation as Owen's daughter Trynne must deal with her own growing powers, political intrigue, and personal loss.  It starts us out in the middle of action and with never a dull moment races to the end--with quite a few surprising twists and turns.  The character development and world-building are second to none.  Start at the beginning but don't stop! 

Ruins on Stone Hill is the 1st book in the Heroes of Ravenford series.  Elves, humans, halflings, gnomes, and a myriad of other creatures fill this wonderful fantasy story.  Lots of magic and constant action make this book a very fun read.  The character development was astounding and I soon found myself connecting with each and every one of them.  After a hundred and fifty years of relative peace, dark forces are rising around the little town of Ravenford. Only one thing stands in their way—this band of young misfits. Full of action, magic, and humor, I will definitely keep reading this series.

Windswept is the 2nd book in The Gryphon Riders. I don't know why it took me so long to read the second book, as I thoroughly remembered why I loved the first one.  Lots of authors (including myself) write about dragons, but not many about Gryphon's.  Besides a beautiful cover, this story had plenty of action, great world-building, and a few twists that kept me reading frantically until I finished.  

Soul Shade, is book 2 of the Soul Stones series.  As with the first book, the character development is great.  This book had non-stop action, lots of magic, and great banter between the characters.  The many different story-lines and point of view made it not quite as smooth a read as the first book, but the story was engaging enough to keep me going.  I am ready for book 3 now!

The Witch of Shadowmarsh  is the first book I have read by Sara Roethle. I don't know why it took me so long.  What a fun and exciting book.  The thing that stood out to me the most in the book was the strong and very well defined characters.  By the end of the book you felt you know each one of them and felt their struggles.  Elmerah, Saida, and Alluin have different powers, backgrounds, and abilities, but come together in an exciting story of magic and hope as they struggle against those that would oppress them! 

Oathbreaker by Aaron Hodges was such an exciting book to read.  Filled with adventure, magic-both sanctioned and outlawed, and dragons.  Flawless in his writing, the author created multi-dimensioned characters that you instantly care for.  The world building was so real that it made you forget you weren't actually there.  And to top it off, his covers are amazing! Definitely going to read the rest of the series. 

Songs of Insurrection is the first book I have read by JC Kang and WOW!  If the rest of the books in the series are as good, I think he may be one of my new favorite authors.  The oriental culture he creates is amazing, the character development is first rate, and making music the connection to magic was brilliant.  A young awkward princess is determined to find something in life that gives her purpose - and finds that it is her musical abilities that bring power that could either save their world...or destroy it.  Magic, adventure, great story telling, and romance - this book has it all!

The Hollow Crown (the Kingfountain Series book 4) continues one of the best fantasy series around - and moved now to the next generation.  All the characters that you loved form earlier are still in the book but now the action begins with Tryneowy (Owen's daughter)  trying to deal with an attack that has left her slightly disfigured.  Coming to grips with her power, the nation on the brink of another war, and powerful magic form the background of another great story by Wheeler.  His action is gripping, his characters real, and his magic system unique--all making for a great fantasy series!

Winemaker of the North was the first book in the boxset.  I was enthralled from the very beginning.  Placing an assassin as the main character was unique - but then giving him a conscious and a desire for something different created inner turmoil that drove the book forward.  An epic good vs. evil with exciting twists and turns, magical creatures, and political intrigue.  Definitely going to read the next one! 

On Borrowed luck is the first book I have read by TJ Muir.  I loved the main character Kirrin.  You really feel for him as he just wants to make something of himself, but in doing so sets himself on a dangerous path that he may not be able to return from. Not much magic in this fantasy book, but I really enjoyed the setting that was created and the real-to-life characters in this fast paced  and exciting novel.  

Soul Render is the debut novel by T.L. Branson and is a wonderful beginning to an exciting new series.  It is non-stop action with plenty of surprises.  The character development was great and the imagery of the setting put me, as a reader, right in the middle of things.  Looking forward to book 2.  But in the meantime he has a couple of prequels you can read. 

Duel of Fire was a very fun and enjoyable book to read.  This is the first book I have read by the author and I was a little hesitant about the dueling nature of the book - but i thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to book 2.  The nature of fire magic and the dueling competitions gave the book a unique flavor among current YA fantasy books.  Wonderful character development, plenty of action, and a bit of romance thrown in.  I would recommend this book to anyone.  

Dragon School:  First flight is the first book in a series that is releasing a new book every three weeks. It is shorter than I usually read, but it was a fun book!  I liked that the author has mad the main character someone with a disability, but yet still rises to the occasion and does heroic things.  A fun premise to have a school where dragon riders are tested and trained.  Looks to be a promising new series! 

Ash and Steel is one of a few prequels that the author has written for his upcoming series.  This is the first short I have read and was not disappointed.  The book jumped right in to the action, created a conflict and introduced great characters. I was immediately hooked and now want to read more!

The Warrior mage is the book two in The Loss Prophecy series. The action continues from the first book.  Roelle and Jakob individually try and figure out what their role in the world is and how to stop dangerous threats on all sides.  This book introduces a few new characters also.  The author creates a complicated and believable world with complex characters and non-stop action.  One of the best fantasy authors around. A definite series to read for lovers of great fantasy!

War of the Dragons is book 4 in the Dragon Born Trilogy.  Another fun read in this series.  The stakes keep getting higher as the ability of dragons to shift between their human form becomes limited, evil wizards arise to battle the dragons.  At the center of it all is Rowen and her sister! Looking forward to the next book as it all seems to end a little too quickly in this one.

Dark Territory is the third book in the Benjamin Ashwood series - and it does not disappoint!  By the third book you are totally invested in these characters and will find yourself cheering, crying, and hurting along with them.  The author has created a wonderful world with real-to-life characters.  Ben and Amelie are on the run and their adventure takes them across multiple kingdoms as they meet those out to kill them and others willing to help.  Can't wait to read the next one! (disclaimer:  There is one sex scene)

Windsworn is the first book in The Gryphon Riders. I must say I have never read a book about Gryphon's before.  Being a Gryphon rider sounds amazingly fun...but dangerous also.  I really enjoyed reading this book.  The setting, villains, heroes and all were very well developed.  Eva is a young woman thrust into the world of the The Dragon Riders.  Adventure, danger, magic, and a bit of romance makes this book a great read!

The Threat of Madness is the first book in The Loss Prophecy series. DK Holmberg's characters never disappoint.  He is great at creating characters that you care about.  The main character Jakob is a great reluctant hero who continues to find new magical abilities.  A pure fantasy adventure worthy of reading.  I look forward to the next book. 

The Mere Treaty is book 3 in the Keeper of Dragons series.  This book was a good continuation of the series.  Besides Dragons, Fairies, Elves, and Humans, now we have Mermaids - with their own special kind of power.  This book started out a little slower for me and too much narrative compared to the earlier books, but about 1/2 through it picked up and the rest of the story was full of action, adventure, and suspense.  I look forward to the next book.

Number's Game is a wonderful unique story set in a dystopian future in which everyone is assigned a number on their 16th birthday. This numbers is supposed to represent their accomplishments and their potential for the future - and its plastered right on their forehead for good or bad  But what if it could be manipulated?  Treena gets caught in the middle of a power struggle - one that could determine the future of the society they live in.  With a lot of action, technology, suspense, inner turmoil, and romance, Number's Game is one of the best YA dystopian books I have read in a while.  Can't wait to pick up book number 2.

The King's Traitor (the Kingfountain Series book 3) continues one of the best fantasy series that I have read in a long time.  Owen gets pulled between honoring his commitments to his king or doing what is best for the kingdom.  His struggles with friendship, love, honor, and power make this book another exciting read. The world created by Jeff Wheeler keeps expanding and getting better!

The High Druid's Blade (the Defenders of Shannara Book 1) is the start of a new series from one of my favorite authors, Terry Brooks.  Set in the familiar world of Shannara, Paxon Leah comes to terms with his family's history - a history of magic and defending the world.  With the help of an old, but powerful sword he saves his sister from Evil and becomes befriended by the Druids.  An exciting story with great characters! I have also finished reading the second book, The Darkling Child, which continues the adventure of Paxon along with the magic of the wishsong.

Queen of the Dragons is book 3 in the Dragon Born Trilogy.  The action starts off immediately after book 2.  More secrets are revealed in this book as we see magic, dragons, and humans all coalesce together in battles, love, and prophecies.  A fairly short read that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end!

Legacy of the key is a fun book to read.  The characters are very well developed and relate-able; you will see in them people you know in your own life.  The story takes place in both earth and another dimension. A cross between fantasy and a little sci-fi.  Reece holds the key - one that she doesn't even realize she has - that could save or destroy earth and many other dimensions.  A good stand alone book or read it as the beginning of what I am sure is a great series. 

Configured is the first book in a Dystopian series that is very unique. I loved the technology of the future that the author created for this book - very believable.  The book asks the question, "Does humanity need love for survival?"  Avlyn must choose to ignore dangerous things that are happening or to get involved and do something about it - and along the way she finds love; something that is looked down upon in this futuristic society.  A great first book of the trilogy that I look forward to continuing.  Very fun and hard to put down!

Endless Flight is the second book in the Benjamin Ashwood series.  This is a great book with action from start to finish.  The author paints a picture of an exciting world full of villains, heroes, magic, and dangerous creatures.  The main character Benjamin, a young man from a small town continues to get pushed into situations that define who he is.  Each step of the way he is tested and stretch, becoming the kind of man that heroes are made of. Read Book 1 first to get the full story.  You won't regret a single minute!

Whill of Agora is a book and series that I am reading for the second time (though last time I think there was only four books and now there are more).  Whill a nineteen year old ranger with extensive skills must find out who he really is.  The ease of which the author paints the picture of a new world is amazing.  Men, magic, dragons, elves, dwarves, villains, kings, and heroes - it's all there.  Everything that makes a classic fantasy book are contained in this wonderful series.  If you are looking for one of the best new fantasy series start here!

Magic-Born Dragon is book 2 in the Dragon Born Trilogy.  K.N. Lee has created deep characters that you care about and connect with.  Rowan is chased and hunted and isn't quite sure who she can trust. This non-stop adventure of dragons, mermaids, and magic - both good and bad will take you on a wonderful and thrilling ride. It will make you want to read the next book.

The Thief's Daughter (the Kingfountain Series book 2) does not disappoint as a sequel to book 1.  The main character, Owen is now in his late teens (8 years after the last book).  The character development, twists and turns, adventure, and excitement kept me reading late into the night.  I cried and laughed and cheered.  Jeff Wheeler is quickly becoming one of the premier fantasy authors!

The Elven Alliance is book 2 in the Keeper of Dragons series.  I enjoyed this as much as the first book.  It is witty, entertaining, imaginative, and full of adventure.  I love the dragon world that the author has created and how they can switch between Dragon and Human; that would be a fun trick!  I think Cole's reaction to everything that happens to him is really great - just like a normal teenager would react.  Except for the fact, that Cole is not a normal teenager.  A fun book to read, though I wished it was a bit longer.  It seemed to stop just when the excitement was at its peak.  I will anxiously await the next book. 

The Queen's Poisoner(the Kingfountain Series book 1) is definitely one of the best fantasy books I have read in a long time.  It has magic, complicated characters, twists, revenge, love, friendship, power struggles, politics, and the list goes on. The non-stop action lead me along effortlessly until I found myself so absorbed in the life of the characters that I was done before I hardly realized it.  And the surprising thing is that it all revolved around an eight year old boy - an age that is rarely done in fantasy.  

The Missing Heir of Mandralay was a wonderful new fantasy book for all ages (though a little violent for younger children).  Tallia a young 13 year old finds out who she really is.  In doing so she has to deal with anger, love, power, and revenge.  The system of magic is great and each character comes brilliantly alive on the pages of this fun book.  

Half Blood Dragon is the first book in the Dragon Born Trilogy and the first book I have read by this author.  This was a fast-paced, fun, and imaginative book.  I couldn't put it down and read it so fast that I am eagerly waiting the sequel. It is a story of humans and dragons and humans that are also dragons.  Clever dialogue and likable and realistic characters made this one of the most fun books that I have read in awhile.   A great book about accepting who you are while still trying to be all you can be.  A very fun Young Adult fantasy!

Dragon Soul is the third book in The Dragon Friend Series.  It continues the story of "Lia"set in a wondrous world of dragons and humans who live above and below the clouds.  Marc's descriptive ability is amazing and the world he creates so vivid it will make you feel like you know the characters and their lands.  Being the third book I thought it was a little long and wound around a bit in the middle of the story, making it a little harder to read.  However, I love the growth of the characters and the struggles that they deal with and resolve.  A great series!

The Imitation series (Imitation, Deviation, Generation) was such a great series that I read all three books in about a week.  The second book was read in its entirety flying from Raleigh to Seattle on Christmas day.  It is a great mixture of science fiction, dystopian, action and adventure, paranormal and romance. Ven is created as an imitation to a real person, but is unique and different in so many ways - that she actually seems more real than her authentic original.  I thoroughly enjoyed the setting, the characters, the plot twists, and the entire story-line.  A great read for Teen, Young Adult, and Adults readers alike. 

The Binder's Game is the first book in The Sighted Assassin series. I love DK Holmberg's characters and use of magic throughout the book.  An assassin with morals and magic - what a great combination!  Galen struggles with who to trust and in making sure that he is making his own decisions.  There is never a dull moment in this great sword and sorcery, fantasy adventure.  I am starting to read the next book already!

The Soulstealer's Child is a wonderful new paranormal fantasy from author, Brandon Gray.  His descriptive ability to make you see what is happening and to feel what the character's feel is absolutely amazing.  I must admit, I am not one usual to read something about demon's, but from the first few chapters I was hooked on the story and really needed to see what happened.  Can an angel and a demon break through years of tradition and hate to find true love?  Definitely worth reading for those who like paranormal/fantasy books. 

Slave, Warrior, Queen is another great book by fantasy author Morgan Rice.  Her ability to build strong characters is one of my favorite things about her books.  The non-stop action will keep you on the edge of your seat.  I really felt a part of the characters and their struggles.  Ceres is a 17 year old girl whose father forged weapons for the palace. She gets swept up in the politics of the crown and has to decide who to trust and believe. In the midst of her life and heart being in upheaval, she begins to exhibit unique powers.  A great start to a new series! Will definitely buy book 2.

The Dark Ability is the first book I have read by DK Holmberg, but definitely won't be the last.  The system of magical abilities, the development of characters, and the description of this new and unique world were astounding.  Rsiran struggles with his magical abilities wondering if they are evil, as he has been taught, or not.  Wanting only to have people that understand him and love him he fights for acceptance in a land controlled by the Elvraeth.  I loved the inner struggle of the main character and the description of his abilities.  I am looking forward to reading more! If you are looking for a new, clean, YA fantasy series, this would make a great addition to your library.