Tag: Novella

Mini Book Review: Prince of the South by Ava Richardson

Mini Book Review: Prince of the South by Ava Richardson

Being a Prince, J’ahalid is no stranger to the fact that his kingdom requires protecting. When he Sees the Dragon Riders of Torvald, he knows that dragons are the answer to his problems. Prince Of The South Author: Ava Richardson Publication Date: July 2017 Publisher: […]

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Mini Book Review: Identity by Ted Dekker

Mini Book Review: Identity by Ted Dekker

My name is Christy Snow. I’m seventeen and I’m about to die.  Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. Identity Series: Eyes Wide Open #1Author: Ted DekkerPublication Date: December 26, 2012Publisher: Outlaw StudiosPage Count: 66Format: ebookGenre: Young Adult, Christian Fiction, Mystery, ThrillerMy Rating: ★★★½ “Christy was familiar […]

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Mini Book Review: The Oracle Queen by Kendare Blake

Mini Book Review: The Oracle Queen by Kendare Blake

Release Day April 3, 2018!

Triplet queens born on the island of Fennbirn can be many things: Elementals. Poisoners. Naturalists. If an oracle queen is born, however, one with the gift of sight, she’s immediately drowned, extinguishing her chance at ever taking the throne. But that’s not how it always was. This cautionary practice started long ago, with Queen Elsabet—the legendary, and last, oracle queen—whose reign was tinged with blood and horror.

Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.

The Oracle Queen

Series: Three Dark Crowns #0.1
Author: Kendare Blake
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 120
Format: ebook
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Novella
Cover Artist: ---
My Rating: ★★★

The three queens of Fennbirn, Mirabella, Arsinoe, and Katharine, had grown up on the tales of the previous queens. One tale in particular always stood out–the last Oracle Queen Elsabet. Known for her madness and ultimately bloody reign, the truth behind her tale is more devious and tragic that one can imagine. 

The Oracle Queen (Three Dark Crowns Novella)The Oracle Queen by Kendare Blake
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Was it not also me who warned you that a queen is only as good as her advisers?” “Yes.” She crooked her mouth at him. “But you were wrong. That may be true of other queens, but an oracle queen is only as good as her gift.”

I’ve been anticipating this novella for quite. The Oracle Queen, mentioned several times throughout the Three Dark Crowns series, has remained an aloof point of intrigue. So, I dove into this story, devouring each page, and looking for…something more than I found.

Politics have always played a big role in this series–and the politics are often muddied with deceit and corruption. 500 years earlier…nothing has changed. While there are five abilities represented instead of the three prominent abilities between Mirabella, Arsinoe, and Katherine, there is all-the-more treachery at work between the groups. While I expected this aspect to play a role in this story as well, I was also hoping for more of a fantasy element to be at work as well. Honestly, I felt a bit let down with the way everything panned out, and the truth is revealed behind Queen Elsabet’s story.

Despite that fact, the interworkings between the different groups were interesting to see. There was a lot more openness between the groups in terms of friendships and working together. Elsabet, a Sight-gifted queen was close friends with the War-gifted Rosemund. Whereas, 500 years later, friendships between people of different gifts was taboo.

Handsome, they called her. She was a queen of presence, they said. She hoped it was true. With such a homely face, it was all she could aspire to.

Queen Elsabet wasn’t what I was expecting. Although, I’m not really sure what I was expecting. While she was a queen, and a young one at that, she was constantly worried about her vanity–to the point of paranoia. This was her weakest quality that guided her to not always make the best decisions.

While this was a decent short story, I was just hoping for it to have more to it. The way everything happened was much more predictable than I had expected.

Vulgarity: None.
Sexual content: There are references, but nothing in detail.
Violence: Minimal.

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Mini Book Review: Chronicles of Steele: Raven Episode 4 by Pauline Creeden

Mini Book Review: Chronicles of Steele: Raven Episode 4 by Pauline Creeden

Peace and safety…a promise often made but seldom kept. Can Raven trust that anyone will be able to protect the young baron as she has? Synopsis provided by Goodreads. Book: Raven Episode 4 Series: Chronicles of Steele Author: Pauline Creeden Publication Date: October 4, 2014 […]

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Mini Book Review: Chronicles of Steel: Raven Episode 3 by Pauline Creeden

Mini Book Review: Chronicles of Steel: Raven Episode 3 by Pauline Creeden

Episode 3 of a 4 part Steampunk Fantasy set in an alternate universe. A tenuous alliance and the hunt for a kidnapper. Can sworn enemies become allies? Synopsis provided by Goodreads. Book: Raven Episode 3 Series: Chronicles of Steele Author: Pauline Creeden Publication Date: September […]

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Mini Book Review: Chronicles of Steel: Raven Episode 2 by Pauline Creeden

Mini Book Review: Chronicles of Steel: Raven Episode 2 by Pauline Creeden

Episode 2 of a 4 part Steampunk Fantasy set in an alternate universe. For Captain Jack Grant, the hunt has just begun. Can he capture the elusive Raven Steele, or will she slip through his grasp? As both sides take on new alliances, they will find that one will be an honest partner, one will fall, and one will betray them all.

Synopsis provided by Goodreads.

Book: Raven Episode: 2

Series: Chronicles of Steele

Author: Pauline Creeden

Publication Date: September 6, 2014

Publisher: AltWit Press

Page Count: 79

Format: ebook

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Novella

Cover Artist: Alchemy Book Covers

My Review: ★★★★

Raven Episode 2 (Chronicles of Steele #1.2)Raven Episode 2 by Pauline Creeden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review of book 1 in series: Raven Episode 1 (4 stars)

 

The hairs on Raven’s arms stood upright as understanding fell upon her. The Wood Witch. They’d reached her early.

This installment in the series is even more intense and fast-paced than the first book Chronicles of Steele: Raven 1: Episode 1! There is no pause for breath as the story jumps right in from where it left off. Raven is on the run with the young Baron, trying to reach the Wood Witch while being pursued by a group of men with ill-intent. However, what was a long journey turns up short when they come across a woman who offers to help them but also has her own agenda to abide by.

We get to know the character’s backstories a lot more, as the story is told through present and past-tenses. Backflashes into Raven’s earlier years help to paint a picture of how she became a reaper, and how the relationship with her father was.

I’m still waiting for more description of the characters themselves (although, there were more here than in Episode 1.) I’d just like a better visual to the characters themselves. Again, this episode was very enjoyable, fast-paced, and clean all-around.

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“Be as gentle as a dove but as cunning as a viper. Preserve one’s self with intellect, and know when it is time to be either the dove or the viper.”

“In battle, be aware when things are out of order. If the opponent has a limp or weakness, find the difference in his gait or movements. His strengths will be found in the same way. Keep one’s eyes open.”

“Vanity walked hand in hand with greed.”

“Neither underestimate nor overestimate one’s opponent or his abilities. Do not work on assumptions. They are often wrong.”

Mini Book Review: Chronicles of Steel: Raven Episode 1 by Pauline Creeden

Mini Book Review: Chronicles of Steel: Raven Episode 1 by Pauline Creeden

Raven has lived by this first tenet since she was trained by her father to become a reaper. But since his death, she’s been spending years redeeming the lives she’s taken. By her count, she’s even and it’s time for that life to end. If […]

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Mini Book Review: A Gathering Tempest by Catherine Jones Payne

Mini Book Review: A Gathering Tempest by Catherine Jones Payne

Book: A Gathering Tempest Series: Broken Tides Author: Catherine Jones Payne Publication Date: November 19, 2017 Publisher: Fathom Ink Press Page Count: 50 Format: ebook Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy A Gathering Tempest by Catherine Jones Payne My rating: 3 of 5 stars A prequel novella […]

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Mini Book Review: The Young Queens by Kendare Blake

Mini Book Review: The Young Queens by Kendare Blake

Release Day December 26, 2017

They used to be together. Just three sisters. Alone in a glen. This is the story of the three queens—after they were born, before they were separated, during the time when they all lived together, loved each other, and protected each other. It’s also the story of the day they were torn apart, and the several years that follow.

Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. 

The Young Queens

Series: Three Dark Crowns #0.2
Author: Kendare Blake
Publication Date: December 26, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 93
Format: ebook
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Novella
Cover Artist: ---
My Rating: ★★★★

The three queens are always brought up in the Black Cottage, secluded from the rest of the world. While their lives are unique, they are still children and siblings who enjoy each other’s company. 

They aren’t born hating one another–that hate is instilled in them. This devastating short story tells about the relationship between Mirabella, Arsinoe, and Katharine before politics tears them apart. 

The Young Queens (Three Dark Crowns #0.5)The Young Queens by Kendare Blake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Out today!

This prequel to the Three Dark Crowns series serves mainly as a detail-gap filler. While there are some moments of enlightenment as we peek into the past, there isn’t really any big reveal

Despite that fact, I simply enjoyed being back on the island of Fennbirn whilst waiting for The Oracle Queen and the third book in the series to come out in 2018. 

I loved how the point-of-view followed the same rhythm of the other books in this series. It switches between multiple (different) characters’ perspectives, to give an even further glimpse into the events that took place when the queens were young. I really liked this tactic 


“I am doing it.” Camille lay her hand on her Midwife’s shoulder. “I know that I took my crown off and threw it at you. But I am still the queen.

If there is one thing that would be considered the big reveal, is that we find out how Arsinoe and Katharine are switched. The story opens in Queen Camille’s perspective, telling about the birth of the three young queens Maribella, Arsinoe and Katherine, and her leaving them at the black cottage. While it’s a sad part of the tale, the reader starts to see some of the injustices of the poisoner group being in power for such a long time. 


Three dark queens are born in a glen. But only one will rule. Jules knows the thyme by heart. But in her young mind it is only a rhyme.

Jules is no stranger to the spotlight in this series. You could say it’s a must that her story is told as well. The reader meets Jules at a young age and sees how she and Arsinoe become acquainted, as well as when she discovered her familiar Camden.


“Have this, your last day as sweet girls,” she whispers. “For when you next meet, you will remember none of it.”

I’ve always wondered about the woman that raised the three queens until the time they left the black cottage and what she thought about their future doom. Willa’s story brings to light that several people recognize the injustice the girls must face. 

There’s more, but I don’t want to reveal too much. Overall, I enjoyed this short read. It wasn’t anything ground-shaking, however, it helped to clear up some details that I had questions about. It’s worth taking the time to read if you are a fan of this series!

Vulgarity: None.
Sexual content: A brief and non-descriptive scene between Jules’ aunt and her love interest.
Violence: Naturally, this series features some violence between the sisters and different groups – especially when it comes to the poisoners. 

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