Important Update: Please Read!

Important Update: Please Read!

What to expect on Shes Going Book Crazy for the next few months.

Recent Posts

Blog Tour & Author Interview: Beyond the Moon by R.J. Wood

Blog Tour & Author Interview: Beyond the Moon by R.J. Wood

Beyond the Moon The Voyages of Jake Flynn #2 By R.J. Wood This is my stop during the blog tour for Beyond the Moon by R.J. Wood. This tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 11 till 24 June. See […]

Guest Post by PoetryBooksYA: Book Events’ Diversity and FOMO Issues

Guest Post by PoetryBooksYA: Book Events’ Diversity and FOMO Issues

Hello, everyone! Today I have Danielle from PoetryBooksYA on my blog discussing her thoughts on diversity at book events. I’ll let her take it from here! Speaking only from my experience, I wanted to discuss my thoughts on how I feel about seeing so much […]

eARC Review: The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer

eARC Review: The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer

In the ancient moors of Scotland, the king of Calidon lies on his deathbed, cursed by a ring that cannot be removed from his finger. When a mysterious fey stranger appears to save the king, he also carries a secret that could tear the royal family apart. The kingdom’s only hope will lie with two young men raised worlds apart. Aric is the beloved heir to the throne of Calidon; Albaric is clearly of noble origin yet strangely out of place.

Synopsis provided by Goodreads.

The Oddling Prince

Author: Nancy Springer
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Page Count: 288
Format: eARC
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Cover Artist:
My Rating: ★★★★½

Out hunting one day with his son, a mysterious ring appears on the finger of the King of Calidon. Over the next month, his health fails and he nearly dies. A mysterious stranger in white appears and removes the ring from the king’s finger, saving his life. The youth asks the king if he recognizes him, but he does not.

Perplexed by the youth’s insistence on knowing his father, Aric discovers that the stranger’s name is Albaric, and he too, is the son of King Baldric. Confused by this revelation, a fantastic tale about the queen of the fey, the king of Calidon, and an enchanted ring is uncovered. 

Learning that he has another son, the king spirals downward into a fog of shame and suspicion. It’s up to Aric and his oddling half-brother Albaric to bring the king back to his senses. 

The Oddling PrinceThe Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer My rating: 5 of 5 stars All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication. description
“What is a friend? Troth without end. A light in the eyes, A touch of the hand– I would follow you even To death’s cold strand.”
I want to jump right in and say that I think this book has been (and will be) widely misunderstood. I’ve seen a lot of reviews already that are very misleading and don’t represent this book well at all. While it has been placed into the Young Adult fantasy genre, it doesn’t really fit in well with other current titles and trends. The Oddling Prince reads exactly like an old-time fairy tale, i.e. The Lily of Life: A Fairy Tale, and reflects little upon the mantras of the genre it has been categorized under. For these reasons, I would highly suggest going into this read with an open mind. There are some very valuable topics being explored, which could completely become overshadowed by preconceived notions. With that being said, I’m so glad that I picked up this book! If you are a fan of original fairy tales, this will be a read that you will want to give a shot at.

World Building

“My father says ‘White King’ is only a mistake for ‘Viking,’ making a fairy tale of how our ancestors in longboats came to Calidon.”
Set in ancient Scotland, Calidon is the realm in which the plot is set. Only hints of the world are discussed, creating an atmosphere not as astounding as I’d hoped for. It doesn’t matter much, however, as the plot is driven by the interactions and relationships between the characters. Majority of the setting is at or surrounding Dun Caltor, the place where the royal family resides. Politics exist mainly between the station of King Baldaric and his competitors (almost exclusively Lord Brock Domberk.) Any form of religion is not discussed, as the fantastical overtake this area via the existence and presence of faeries and a faerie realm.

Pacing & Readability

The first half of this story is the main area that really pulls the reader in. While the second half is consistent, most of the content that makes this book so great is revealed earlier on. The pacing remains rather consistent, with a few lulls in plot movement and intrigue. Because it reads like a fairy tale, sometimes its length feels forced. It could have been shorter.

Point-Of-View & Characters

Before I say anything, there are three characters in this book with names that are very similar and can be the cause of some confusion. I’m not sure why these characters’ names are so similar, other than assuming it has something to do with passing down a family name. I personally didn’t have any issues with keeping these characters straight, but some might find it tricky.

“A prince I was, yes, but in looks no more than passable–no comelier or taller than most men–and in prowess, no better with sword or lance or horses or–or anything. I had quested nowhere, had wooed no true love, I was–I felt myself nothing compared to my father. I loved him.”
Aric serves as the main character and protagonist in the story. The point-of-view is directed from his perspective. A 17-year-old prince and heir to the throne of Calidon, Aric doesn’t yearn for power. A rather unusual boy, Aric’s innocence and genuineness immediately make him likable to the reader. His likeability only grows when confronted with the revelation that he has a half and immortal brother. Instead of allowing jealousy to overtake him, he eagerly embraces Albaric after (and even before) hearing his tale of woe. Not only that, he holds nothing against his father no matter how he treats him. Aric’s character possesses qualities which are truly a breath of fresh air. Selflessness, humbleness, faithfulness, honesty, innocence, loyalty are the attributes that make him so appealing. With that, Aric goes through some very real, and difficult experiences as well.
“Once I regained my strength and got up out of the bed, it would be Father and Albaric again, Albaric and Father, and the heartache and constant fear. I did not want to die, but neither did I want to live.”
The most refreshing part was how he maintained his character through tough trials. He doesn’t allow bitterness and resentment to take place in his heart, even when everyone around him was telling him otherwise. His character reminded me slightly of Job from the Bible and how he refused to listen to the bad suggestions from his friends and family.
“‘My father,’ I burst out, ‘when he set foot on the ground, his horse turned to air. When he took the ring off you, his fire went out. His light is gone. He cannot return whence he came. He has thrown in his lot with mortals now, and he will someday die, and he has made this sacrifice to save you.’”
Albaric’s character was also very intriguing to me. When he first arrived on the scene, it was hard to tell his intentions. However, it is quickly revealed that this immortal has a soft heart. Actually, Albaric experiences some very difficult feelings such as abandonment, unacceptance, and even prejudice from others to the point of where he contemplates taking his own life. While King Baldaric completely denies that he is Albaric’s father, Aric comes alongside him and develops a beautiful kinship with his half-brother. Albaric is described as “otherworldy” in a sense that his beauty is too much for the world of men. While it is the truth, he doesn’t allow his appearance to dictate his character and brings a refreshing view on beauty in general. Albaric certainly faces difficult trials. Realizing that his father doesn’t even recognize him, and becomes suspicious of him breaks him apart. Later on, the stress of his situation and being stuck in the mortal world leads Albaric to give in to his hurting. He gives spiteful advice to Aric on how to react towards their father and their failing relationship. King Baldaric, the father of both Aric and Albaric, starts out as a loving and doting father and king. He clearly loves his son Aric, but his character is deeply challenged (understandably so) when he discovers that he has another son, Albaric, with the fairy queen and has no recollection of it ever happening. This discovery is the start of a chain of events which sends the once good king into a downward spiral.
“But a king must think like a king. An oddling comes and claims to be my son. What can I think but that he schemes to take the throne?”
He becomes so bad that he even believes his once beloved son Aric wants to overthrow him and take his throne. Despite his beliefs, Aric works tirelessly to contradict his father’s beliefs. The metaphor of darkness and light are often used to depict this waging battle of Baldaric’s feelings and again, reinstill the “fairy tale” feel of the book. Queen Evalin, King Baldaric’s wife, and Aric’s mother serves as a realistic mediator. When chaos ensues, she often is the voice of reason. The main antagonist comes in the form of the ring but also shares the title with Lord Brock Domberk, (a vassal of King Baldaric’s), as well as King Baldaric himself. While the ring takes the center stage, it causes others to do things and become people they aren’t. The ring itself is an ancient thing and has the ability to enchant those who wear it. The ring, however, obeys no one and often has alternative repercussions when used for personal gain.

Major Themes

⇒ Light vs. Darkness
“I saw the invisible drawing of swords between him and Albaric; I felt the tension in the close air of the bedchamber. Dark, it was too dark in there because of the shadow of death. Father wore black.”
The theme of light vs. darkness is equivalent to good vs. evil. It is utilized regularly in context as well as metaphor. When Albaric first arrives, he’s riding a horse and they are both stark-white. As he turns out to be King Baldaric’s redeemer, it makes sense that he’s depicted in white. Darkness is equally referred to, indicating illness, death, and malice. ⇒ Kinship Kinship plays a massive role in this story. Mostly depicted by Aric and his half-brother Albaric, their relationship is one of pure love for kin. Despite the odd situation with their father, and how Albaric even came into being, Aric and Albaric immediately put the fact they are brothers at the forefront of the matter. While Aric accepts Albaric, Baldaric denies that Albaric is his son, which causes an obvious issue within the family’s dynamics. ⇒ Trust Mainly exhibited in Baldaric’s character, his lack of trust almost costs him his relationship with his son Aric. Knowing the truth of what happened to him in Elfland, Aric tries effortlessly to reassure his father of his intentions. Baldaric’s judgement becomes too clouded in his humiliation that he begins to lose trust in everyone dear to him, leading him to make some bad decisions later on. ⇒ Shame/Self-Doubt
“Yet his face reddened, and now I recognized what I saw there: shame, with which he struggled clumsily, unaccustomed to guilt, to error. Never in my memory had such self-doubt afflicted him before.”
Another theme exemplified by Baldaric, and combated by Aric, shame and self-doubt are forces that heavily impact the events of this story. Baldaric, a king, was tricked by the elf queen into staying with her and having a child with her. Granted, he didn’t know what he was doing because he was enchanted, but deep down he never loved the elf queen, and loved only his wife. When he learned of these events when Albaric appeared, he becomes so distraught by the fact that he had been bested by the elf queen that it changes him drastically. It shows how impactful one’s perspective of themselves can be on so many lives outside of their own.

Overall Feelings

Things that I liked: ⇒ The different style in which this book was written (aka writing style). It is not the typical modern YA fantasy! ⇒ The themes discussed. ⇒ The way the fantastical was woven into the story. ⇒ The lessons to be learned. Things that I didn’t like: ⇒ The world building was lacking for me, as I’d hoped to see more historical influence of ancient Scotland and the people there. ⇒ The story overall felt somewhat drawn out and could have been shorter and have been just as effective. Overall, I loved this story. I think there is something here for everyone to take away. That’s what I love most about the fairy-tale style in which it is written–it allows the story to be told in a way that is perhaps, more tangible for the reader to grasp, yet allows for a few elements to not be entirely explained. It allows for the magical element that fairy-tales possess to remain aloof. This doesn’t affect my view of the book at all, but this quote from the author was included in the acknowledgments, and I thought it was worth sharing because it is so beautiful.
“Writing fiction has always, for me, been an alchemy of turning pain into poetry, ugliness into beauty. It has been a kind of redemption.”

Vulgarity: Only 5 words were counted.
Sexual content: Minimal. There was some discussion between Aric and Albaric about the human desire for sexual relations.
Violence: Minimal to moderate.

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Down The TBR Hole #5

Down The TBR Hole #5

Wow, a week has already come and gone. Time to take another look at my looming TBR. This challenge/meme was started by Lost In A Story back in 2016. Here are the rules, in case you are interested in participating too! Rules: Go to your goodreads to-read […]

eARC Review: The Bone Roses by Kathryn Lee Martin

eARC Review: The Bone Roses by Kathryn Lee Martin

Sixteen-year-old Rags is the most feared Rustler in the world, and for good reason. When she’s not raiding the post-Yellowstone Kingdom’s established settlements for supplies to keep her frontier, Rondo, alive another day, she’s fending off witch hunt-happy villagers who want her rare blue eyes […]

Down The TBR Hole #4

Down The TBR Hole #4

Hi everybody!

I always think of this guy when I say that phrase 😛

It’s already time to go through my TBR again!

This Down The TBR Hole challenge/meme was started by Lost In A Story back in 2016. Here are the rules, in case you are interested in participating too!

Rules:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I’ll be going through 5 books each week.

The Books

The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery

I may kick myself for this later, because this book has amazing reviews. However, I'm just not feeling the typical historical fiction romance lately. Right now, it's a GO.

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

While I have really enjoyed this author's Three Dark Crowns series, this one sounds like an average YA series. All of the mythology-based books I've read lately have been rather disappointing, and have turned me off from the genre at the moment. GO.

Inferno by Dante Aligheri

I've seriously been wanting to read this for a majority of my life. It's a definite KEEP.

The Portrait Of A Lady by Henry James

I have the hardest time justifying passing up on classics. This book has been known to be one of the greatest American classics, which I still intend to read. KEEP.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Taken from the Goodreads synopsis: "Lev Grossman creates an utterly original world in which good and evil aren’t black and white, love and sex aren’t simple or innocent, and power comes at a terrible price."

Another YA fantasy filled sex? No thanks. This one is a GO.

yes! This is my best week yet! I've managed to get 3/5 books off my TBR, and I feel great!
What do you think of my choices?
Would you keep/GO any of these books?

Personal Update & April Wrap-Up

Personal Update & April Wrap-Up

I wanted to give a bit of a personal update on what to expect in the next few months on this blog. I’ve mentioned here and there that I am expecting a baby (now in two weeks–which is crazy). Because of prepping for his arrival, […]

May ARCs

May ARCs

I feel like my ARC pile gets bigger each month instead of smaller… It’s funny how the opposite tends to happen of what my intentions are. I keep pledging that I’ll request NO MORE ARCs for a while, yet, I keep receiving them. Anyways, May […]

eARC Review: No Less Days by Amanda G. Stevens

eARC Review: No Less Days by Amanda G. Stevens

David Galloway can’t die.

Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.

No Less Days

Author: Amanda G. Stevens
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press
Page Count: 320
Format: eARC
Genre: Christian Fiction, Speculative Fiction
Cover Artist: ---
My Rating: ★★★

What happens to a person when they can’t die? Is immortality really such a wonderful thing? For David Galloway, it’s a curse. 

Although he may appear to be thirty-five, he’s much older. Living through several lifetimes, David has grown accustom to loss, illness, and death. Knowing he can’t have a life as others, he recedes into himself and hides behind books. It isn’t until he meets some unique persons that he realizes maintaining relationships with other is a critical element to having a quality life—even if fear accompanies it.  

When David hears about a dare-devil named Zachary Wilson who falls into the Grand Canyon while attempting a stunt and survives, he decides that he must go and meet this man. There is more to Zachary Wilson than meets the eye—just like himself. 

His trip to Arizona opens David’s eyes, and the horizon looks a little lighter. Knowing that he’s not the only one on earth cursed with immortality and agelessness, David begins to open up and even trust again. But when a terrifying secret surfaces within the close-knit group, David must reevaluate his faith in God, and how his relationship with God plays into the situation. 

No Less DaysNo Less Days by Amanda G. Stevens
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.

description

“He was one hundred sixty-seven years old. And he would always be thirty-five.”

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Christian Fiction. Young Adult continues to become staler, so I welcomed the change in genre.

My desire to like this book ended up outweighing how much I actually liked it. While the writing style, premise, and character development were great, I felt that the plot tended to be disjointed and without direction. Rather, the plot happened, and the characters had to catch up to it. Instead of the characters actively moving forward, events kept happening to prevent them from doing so. These were drastic events, that often took me by surprise—but not necessarily in a good way.

World Building

Set in a small town in Northern Michigan, the plot also moves around to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and a few other places along the way. In general, there isn’t much world building to speak of, because the setting already exists in real life. The characters’ lives are the center focus and don’t rely much on the location or world-building to function as such.

Pacing & Readability

As stated before, I thoroughly enjoyed the first quarter of this book immensely. It hooked me in, and wouldn’t let me go even when the going became rough. That’s probably the most disappointing thing with a book that has such a fantastic start and a mediocre climax—I’ll read through the back cover, looking for more to happen, because the given ending doesn’t suffice.

With saying that, the pacing remained rather consistent throughout, except for a few areas where it was caught up in some certain events for too long.

The further on the plot moves, the less “readable” it becomes. The content discussed nothing close to light-hearted, as major topics related to dealing out justice are visited in very real, and very unsettling ways.

Point-Of-View & Characters

The point-of-view follows the main character, David Galloway. A thirty-five-year-old by appearance, David has lived many more years than that. Because of his unique experience with life, David’s character is more complex than most. His longevity has challenged him in every possible way, especially his faith. Immortality is a major factor that separates humans from God. What happens when that veil is torn away?

“The death of the body is a mercy of God, Tiana. The soul can’t bear endless years in this realm. In this evil.”

David faces a dilemma far more tragic than most. He’s lived, loved, and mourned, as the ones he’s loved have come and gone—as they were meant to. David, stuck in an everlasting state of the present, tries to find meaning in his life. Still a God-fearing man, he deeply struggles with why God would allow him to live on, while everyone else around him fades away.

David doesn’t necessarily blame God, but deeply questions the reasons behind his own existence and purpose. It isn’t until David comes across Zachary Wilson that he starts to learn more about his condition.

Tiana, a coworker and female counterpart with David, serves as a definite mediator for him. She’s sassy and smart, but not overbearingly so. (view spoiler) the immediate attraction between David and Tiana isn’t intrusive. I appreciated that their relationship had time to develop, as well as being realistic and not over the top.

The remaining characters Zac, Colm, Moira, and Simon, all serve a definite purpose in the plot. They each have their own personalities, and some play pivotal roles. I didn’t find myself as drawn to their stories, however, even when David discovered that Zac had survived an eight-thousand-foot drop into the Grand Canyon. I found myself caring mostly about David and wanting to see what would happen to him directly.

Major Themes

⇒ Death

“Dear Lord, I pray don’t make me bear agelessness forever. Is Thy grace sufficient for me? Or is Thy grace withheld, therefore I linger.”

This may be an obvious theme, seeing how David cannot die. However, I can’t say that I’ve ever deeply considered the implications immortality would hold for a Christian. Considering how our faith points us towards the future—the moment when we are reunited with God in heaven is what we aim for. What do we do when that is taken away?

“The death of the body is a mercy of God, Tiana. The soul can’t bear endless years in this realm. In this evil.”

The entire point of believing that Jesus Christ died for our sins is to enter heaven to be with him and escape the evil that sin brought upon the earth. Initially, humans were created to dwell with God on earth. But when sin was introduced, and everything tainted, it made that coexistence impossible. It truly is a relief knowing that this life is short-lived when compared to eternity. It is also a relief that we must deal with sin for a short period of time because it truly is a terrible thing. What does one do when that reprieve is taken away?

⇒ Isolation vs. Friendship

“Lord, these people—are they gifts? Did You bring them? Dare I hold on to them?”

An interesting theme that I didn’t think about before heading into this topic was how many way immortality would affect a person. Perhaps it’s obvious to most—for myself, I honed in on the promise that immortality would take away from a believer. I didn’t think about not being able to make connections with others, simply because they’d think you crazy, cursed, or even evil.

“You think God doesn’t care that you’ve isolated yourself from His church? I promise you He does.”

David’s story includes a strong message about how isolation from the church and Christian community can literally devastate a person. We are created as social creatures—isolation is the opposite of the human intention.

⇒ Purpose

Personally, I find it easy to think about how meaningless life would be if I simply existed. The fact that David remained a Christian after all of his time on earth (was fantastic) showed how steadfast his character is. In this scenario, he’s compared and deeply contrasted to Colm, who took a very different approach to immortal life. Having the gift of immortality can ruin a person in many ways. Both David and Colm experienced this in similar and also very different ways by the choices they made.

⇒ Justice

This portion may include some spoilers!

“And all the while, watching (view spoiler) in the mirror, he tried to see a true killer. And failed.”

This is by far the hardest and most sensitive themes presented in No Less Days. What does one do with a person who is a killer, and happens to be immortal? Stevens did not spare the reader from facing harsh scenarios. I can’t say that I’m happy with what the conclusion that this question led to, however, I can see how it’s justifiable. If a person thinks themselves a “god” of some sort due to their immortality, and above “mortals,” what would motivate them to stop ritual killings? Not only that, what do you do with a person who can live forever and is a murderer?

“The sin I’ve learned about tonight, it’s not mine. But the man who’s done this—he’s not so different from me. He’s felt the same things. The years, the…the losses, they twisted his soul as I’ve felt mine twist at times, and who can say I won’t become…?”

This topic really made me search myself. I’d like to think that I’d be more gracious, and allow the person another chance. But when the guilty openly admits that he won’t stop what he’s doing…then what?

“‘Don’t make me bear it forever.’ David’s breath scraped his lungs. Such familiar words. From him, a prayer. Almost a psalm.”

Colm clearly has some deep-seeded issues. Allowing his “gift” to manifest into something twisted, it really pushes the reader to consider how one would handle a situation such as this. His desperation shows just how corrupt he’s become by his station. When everyone discovers the secrets he’s been hiding for years, it becomes a situation that simply cannot be ignored and cast aside. Addressing his crimes head-on is by far the most difficult element in this plot.

Overall Feelings

Things that I liked:

⇒ The writing style.
⇒ I can’t say that I’ve encountered Speculative Fiction often. However, this book has convinced me that it’s a genre I should be looking out more for.
⇒ Several of the major themes discussed in this book, and the creative way they were pulled into the plot.
⇒ The setting (because I’m from Michigan and I can!)

Things that I didn’t like:

⇒ The way Colm’s situation is handled. Is someone truly deserving of his fate according to Biblical teachings? Would have grace and mercy been sufficient and turned him around? I feel as though it should have been explored and entertained much more.
⇒ Events in the plot felt random and sometimes forced.
⇒ Certain events were drawn out too long and pulled the reader’s focus away from the entire picture being portrayed.

Overall, I really enjoyed this read. However, I felt that some of the content was drawn out and not always addressed in the correct way. Also, while the story is clearly plot-driven, it felt forced at times and events just happened to keep the reader engaged. I would have liked to learn more about David, his past experiences/lives, and so much more! I think that this is a solid piece of work but needed more character focus in order to be great.

Vulgarity: None.
Sexual content: None.
Violence: Unrelated stabbing and shooting scenes, along with some details of fatal injuries.

View all my reviews

Down the TBR Hole #3

Down the TBR Hole #3

Let’s see if I can knock a few more off the Good Ole TBR… This challenge/meme was started by Lost In A Story back in 2016. Here are the rules, in case you are interested in participating too! Rules: Go to your goodreads to-read shelf. Order on […]

State of the ARC: April

State of the ARC: April

Wow, May is already here. Does anyone else feel like 2018 is absolutely flying? Maybe it’s because I’m counting down to June. Either way, I really can’t believe it’s already May! Before I get into this, let’s recap what State of the ARC is all […]

Down The TBR Hole #2

Down The TBR Hole #2

Even though I was able to get some books off of my TBR this past week by reading them, I'm looking forward to see if I can keep dropping that massive 600+ need-to-reads!

Hey, guys! It’s time sit down and look at the next five reads listed on my Goodreads TBR! I’m hoping I’ll be able to knock a few of these ones off this segment. Every little bit helps takes an ounce of anxiety off. It’s amazing how much a number can influence you. Books, you may drive me into needing therapy. 

This was started by Lost In A Story back in 2016. Here are the rules, in case you are interested in participating too!

Rules:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I’ll be going through 5 books each week.

The Books

Red Rising

This series has been absolutely raved about in the YA world. While I don't always believe the hype, it hasn't deterred me enough to take this off my TBR. This one is a KEEP.

The Veritas Conflict

This is a Christian Fiction/Thriller stand alone. Discussing the battle between good and evil, it focuses on Harvard's Christian origins. It sounds similar to some of Frank Peretti's work, and I'd like to give it a shot. So, this is a KEEP.

THe princess And The Goblin

I'm so torn over this one! I must admit that I mainly want to read this because this author has been said to have influenced C.S. Lewis' and J.R.R. Tolkien's writing styles. However, I find myself more intrigued with that bit of fact than the actual story. For now, this one will GO. It may show up again later...I'm not sure...

Agnes Grey

I will say right away that this one is a KEEP because it's part of a reading challenge I'm taking a part in this year for the Bronte sisters. See you shortly, Aggie.

The Thief

Ugh. This one is a definite KEEP for me as well. I've wanted to read this book (and perhaps the series) for a long time. So, it shall continue to grace my TBR until I can get around to it.

1/5 - Well, one less is still progress, I guess. (That rhymed far too much.)
So, what are your thoughts? Are there any of these books that you'd say yay or nay to?

eARC Mini Review: Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope

eARC Mini Review: Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope

Release Day, May 1, 2018! In the beginning, there was silence. Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. Song of Blood & Stone Series: Earthsinger Chronicles #1Author: L. PenelopePublication Date: May 1, 2018Publisher: St. Martin’s PressPage Count: 384Format: eARCGenre: Young Adult, Fantasy, RomanceCover Artist: —My Rating: Since […]

Blog Tour and Author Interview: Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope

Blog Tour and Author Interview: Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope

Song of Blood & Stone Earthsinger Chronicles: Book One By L. Penelope Synopsis From the very first pages of her debut, L. Penelope delivers as a new force in the fantasy genre. The first book in the historical fantasy Earthsinger series was originally self-published, earning […]

Fairy Tale Friday #6: The Glass Dog by L. Frank Baum

Fairy Tale Friday #6: The Glass Dog by L. Frank Baum

The Glass Dog

By L. Frank Baum

Lyman Frank Baum is not an unfamiliar name to many Americans. Best known for his very famous children’s book, The Wizard of Oz, Baum also wrote several other fairy tales, short stories, poems, and scripts throughout his lifetime. 

The Glass Dog is a short fairy tale that was included in American Fairy Tales published in 1901 in the United States. This book is a compilation of twelve stories, that doesn’t necessarily have clear morals attached to them, as you will soon discover. 

This tale has been paraphrased in my own words.

There once was a wizard who loved nothing more than his studies. Naturally, he was annoyed with the multitude of people who came to knock on his door, seeking his advice about their troubles. He never saw them, but even in sending them away, he lost his train of thought and ruined his work. Becoming angry with the interruptions, he decided he must have a dog to keep people away. 

Next door lived a glass blower, which he went to and asked where he could get a dog. The wizard requested that he blow him a glass dog, which he could make bark with his magic. Not having any money, he paid the glass blower with a cure for his rheumatism. 

The next day, the glass blower brought the wizard his pink glass dog. In exchange, he gave him a bottle with one drop of liquid in it that would cure his ailment. The one drop could cure any ailment in the world, It was a marvelous recipe, but the wizard had forgotten how to make it. The wizard cast a spell on the dog to make it come to life. He set it outside his door to bark at anyone who would come to knock. The glass blower, returning to his room, decided to save the drop of medicine for a day that his rheumatism was very bad. 

The next day, the glass blower read in the newspaper that the young Miss Midas was deathly ill. Remembering the medicine, he decided to take it to the beautiful Miss Midas. He cleaned himself and went to her mansion. The glass blower told the lady’s maid that if he were to give his cure to the Mistress, then she would have to promise to marry him in return. She consented, desperate to live. Taking the medication, she was well within a minute. Returning home, the glass blower smashed all of his glass blowing tools, and thought about how he would spend his future wife’s fortune. 

The next day, he called upon her. She asked where he obtained the magic potion that cured her. He told her about the wizard, and how he had gotten it as payment for making him a glass dog. Miss Midas expressed her wishes for a glass dog that could bark. The wizard cared nothing for money, so he couldn’t buy it from him. Miss Midas insisted that he steal the dog from the wizard, as she would never be happy without it. Wanting to please his future wife, he purchased a sack, and threw it over the dog to capture it when it rushed out to bark at him outside the wizard’s door, then delivered it to her home.

The next day, he returned to her house, but was greeted by the glass dog. He told the butler to call the dog off, only to find out that the Lady ordered the dog to bark whenever he came by. He went by the drug store and called Miss Midas from the phone there. The glass blower asked why she treated him so poorly, and she said that she doesn’t like how he looks. She said that if he were better looking, she’d marry him, but because he wasn’t, she wouldn’t marry him and the dog would make sure of that. 

So distraught, the glass blower went home and began with preparations to hang himself. Just then, the wizard came in, and explained how he had lost his dog. He asked the glass blower to make him another, but the glass blower was unable as all of his tools were thrown away. He suggested that if the wizard were to offer a reward for the finding of the dog, The wizard said that the only thing he could spare was a beauty powder. 

Immediately changing his mind, the glass blower pretended to go out and look for the dog. He came back and told the wizard that it was at Miss Midas’ house. The two went there and the wizard got the dog back by putting a spell over it so it wouldn’t attack them. The wizard gave the glass blower the beauty powder, which he took, and became the most beautiful man in the world. 

The glass blower went back to Miss Midas’ house. When she saw him, she immediately fell in love with his good looks. She gave him an allowance of four dollars a day. Thinking of the noose in his room, he consented. They were married, and he lived a dog’s life, but the bride was very jealous of his beauty. In return, the glass blower got in debt and made her equally miserable.  

The glass dog was returned to its original post, and probably still resides there, guarding the door of the wizard’s shop. 

The Glass DogThe Glass Dog by L. Frank Baum
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


The Glass Dog is an odd little fairy tale with an obscured purpose. While many fairy tales have a moral or morals that they try to portray to the reader population (typically children) this story simply doesn’t have that characteristic.

A tale of a grumpy wizard, a money-seeking glass blower, and a snobby wealthy lady, the story intertwines its characters in strange and unusual circumstances. While there definitely are elements of fantasy throughout, it’s not very comparable to the high-fantasy depicted in a majority of fairy tales.

While the wizard seems to be the main character at the beginning, this position transitions over to the glass blower who fashions the glass dog for the wizard. It is quickly revealed that the glass blower, although well into his years, is not necessarily a man of good character, as he seeks to marry the wealthy Miss Midas in order to squander her riches. With some difficulty, he eventually coerces her into marrying him. However, the union is a miserable one ending in squalor for both parties.

So, what is the lesson to be taken away? I’m not really sure. The glass blower nearly kills himself when he doesn’t get his way. Then, when he does, he only desires to use Miss Midas for her money. Selfishness, greed, and shallow beauty are the traits represented here, and they lead to inevitable unhappiness for the characters.

And the wizard? Well, he just continues existing, held up in his home studying away, with the pink glass dog stopping anyone from disturbing him. The last few lines in the tale read:

“As for the glass dog, the wizard set him barking again by means of his wizardness and put him outside his door. I suppose he is there yet, and am rather sorry, for I should like to consult the wizard about the moral to this story.”


description
I believe so. Anyways, if you are one for quirky fairy tales, this author may be one for your taste.

My Rating: ★★

View all my reviews

What are your thoughts on this fairy tale?
Did you find it to be as utterly pointless as I did?
Was there anything you liked about it?


Upcoming Reads

May ARCs

May ARCs

I feel like my ARC pile gets bigger each month instead of smaller...

It’s funny how the opposite tends to happen of what my intentions are. I keep pledging that I’ll request NO MORE ARCs for a while, yet, I keep receiving them. Anyways, May seems to be the month of western fantasies! I have a few to get through and I’m looking forward to the change in scenery in the fantasy genre. 

Song Of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive--an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart.

Jack's mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagamiri is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and it's people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda's Earthsong to do it. They escape their ruthless captors and together they embark on a perilous journey to save Elsira and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps.

Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation.

The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.

No Less Days by Amanda G. Stevens

David Galloway can’t die.

How many lifetimes can God expect one man to live? Over a century old, David Galloway isolates himself from the mortal humans who die or desert him by making a quiet life as a used bookstore owner in Northern Michigan. But then he spots a news article about a man who, like him, should be dead.

Daredevil celebrity Zachary Wilson walked away unscathed from what should have been a deadly fall. David tracks the man down, needing answers. Soon David discovers a close-knit group of individuals as old as he is who offer the sort of kinship and community he hasn’t experienced for decades—but at what cost?

David finds himself keeping secrets other than his own. . .protecting more than himself alone. He’ll have to decide what’s worth the most to him—security or community. When crimes come to light that are older than any mortal, he fears the pressure is more than he can stand. What does God require of him, and is David strong enough to see it through?

Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

In her childhood, Rose Franklin accidentally discovered a giant metal hand buried beneath the ground outside Deadwood, South Dakota. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin led the team that uncovered the rest of the body parts which together form Themis: a powerful robot of mysterious alien origin. She, along with linguist Vincent, pilot Kara, and the unnamed Interviewer, protected the Earth from geopolitical conflict and alien invasion alike. Now, after nearly ten years on another world, Rose returns to find her old alliances forfeit and the planet in shambles. And she must pick up the pieces of the Earth Defense Corps as her own friends turn against each other.

The Bone Roses by Kathryn Lee Martin

Sixteen-year-old Rags is the most feared Rustler in the world, and for good reason. When she’s not raiding the post-Yellowstone Kingdom’s established settlements for supplies to keep her frontier, Rondo, alive another day, she’s fending off witch hunt-happy villagers who want her rare blue eyes in an unmarked grave.

But when the Kingdom strikes back, kills Rags’s best friend, and sends its second-in-command to destroy Rondo in four days, Rags must make a choice: seek revenge, or save her loved ones who are trapped in a town bound for slaughter broadcast Kingdom-wide. With little more than a stolen dream to guide her, and a growing attraction to a sly Kingdom informant, Rags is about to give the Kingdom four days it’ll never forget—if the bounty on her head doesn’t get her killed first.

The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer

In the ancient moors of Scotland, the king of Calidon lies on his deathbed, cursed by a ring that cannot be removed from his finger. When a mysterious fey stranger appears to save the king, he also carries a secret that could tear the royal family apart.

The kingdom’s only hope will lie with two young men raised worlds apart. Aric is the beloved heir to the throne of Calidon; Albaric is clearly of noble origin yet strangely out of place.

The Oddling Prince is a tale of brothers whose love and loyalty to each other is such that it defies impending warfare, sundering seas, fated hatred, and the very course of time itself. In her long-awaited new fantasy novel, Nancy Springer (the Books of Isle series) explores the darkness of the human heart as well as its unceasing capacity for love.

Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett

They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.

The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.

With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.

Ride On by Gwen Cole

The law can't help her. But one outlaw can.

In the near post-apocalyptic future, the skies are always gray and people are constantly searching for the sun. For teenage outlaw Seph, it’s the only world he’s ever known. With his horse, his favorite pistol, and his knowledge for survival passed down from his dead father, Seph knows it’s safer to be alone. But after a run-in with a local gang that call themselves the Lawmen, and having been wrongly accused of murder, Seph teams up with Avery—a determined girl whose twin brother has been taken by the same gang.

After living in a small, rundown town her whole life, Avery knows nothing of the Wild—the lands controlled by nobody where travel is risky. With Seph’s help, they track down her brother but quickly find the tables have turned and they are now the ones being hunted. With rumors of mysterious dangers to the south and a safe sanctuary to the west, they’ve only got one option, but getting there won’t be easy with the Lawmen on their trail. The only thing that matters in the Wild is how fast your trigger hand is, but Seph doesn’t know if his will be fast enough to save them all.

Bright Burns The Night by Sara B. Larson

Ten years ago, King Lorcan of the Dark Kingdom Dorjhalon defeated Queen Evelayn and cut her conduit stone from her. Since then, he has kept her trapped in her swan form. With the loss of balance between Dark and Light, winter has descended and the Draíolon of Éadrolan lose more power every day. But once a year, Lorcan transforms her back to her Draíolon form and offers a truce. And every year Evelayn refuses -- for he requires her to Bind herself to him for life.But now, with an Ancient power bearing down upon them, everything may change. Evelayn will learn that the truths she once believed have shattered, and that she may need her enemies even more than her allies. Lorcan and Evelayn become partners in a desperate quest to return the balance of power to Lachalonia. How far will this partnership go? Can friendship -- perhaps even love -- bloom where hatred has taken root?

What ARCs are you reading this month?
Which one are you looking most forward to?
Have you found any new favorites coming out in May?


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