So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90.12

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Book Review - Starflower

Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
(fantasy genre)

Three very different characters' stories intertwine in this fantasy novel.  Hri Sora the dragon woman seeks revenge on the one who had enslaved her.  Starflower/Imraldera, a mortal girl, flees from her terrible and turbulent past.  Eanrin (who regularly shape-shifts into an orange cat), chief poet to King Iubdan and Queen Bebo of Rudiobus,  hopes to rescue the Lady Gleamdren who has been kidnapped.  All these characters are  searching for something - will they be successful in their pursuit?

I found Part One of this book to be very confusing with the different stories all going on at the same time.  There was very little explanation given for why things were happening, but perhaps I would have understood better if I had read all the previous books in the series (this is #4 in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series).  Part Two did clear up the confusion of the first part.  Everything fell in place and made sense to me, eventually.

I enjoyed the story moderately.  The confusion of all the different stories running at the same time diminished my enjoyment of the book considerably.  There is quite a bit of violence (not graphic for the most part but certainly implied) that readers should be aware of before beginning this book.  Also, the contrast between good and evil wasn't as strong as it could have been, but it is a fantasy story with moral principles.

Having previously read Heartless (by the same author), which I enjoyed immensely, I had high expectations for this book.  Unfortunately, it fell short of my anticipations.

My Rating : 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Please note : I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing Group) in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Book Review - A Home in Drayton Valley

A Home in Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer
(historical Christian fiction)

Tarsie Raines and her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher need to escape the terrible conditions of living in the tenements of New York City circa 1880. Tarsie dreams of heading west by wagon train and convinces her friends to join her in search of a better life in Kansas.  Tragedy strikes along the way and difficult decisions have to be made.  Hard lessons are learned about life, family, and faith.

I liked this book and appreciated the way the author dealt with the issue of racism.  I found the plot a little thin at times and slightly unbelievable, but overall the story was good.  It was a clean and enjoyable read.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Please note: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing Group) in exchange for my honest review.