This fantasy novel by Janet Lee Carey was really a unique read. Seventeen year old Tess dreams of a different world, where she can run in freedom with fairies in Dragonswood and not beaten by her father, the blacksmith. Still, she tries to take his drunken blows meant for her mother, who has buried infant after infant. When the witch hunter comes, Tess is accused of being a witch for she is drawn to Dragonswood and its safe haven from the beatings. In being tortured by the witch hunter, Tess gives away the names of her friends who will be tortured and killed along with her. Tess and her two friends, Meg and Poppy, escape, but they and their land are in considerably more danger. The dead king’s eldest son is away in the Crusades, the regent is a tyrant, the crown treasure is lost, and Dragonswood’s existence is mortally threatened. Tess does not know that she has a large part to play in the future of her land, but with the wild magic that is dragons, fey, and love, the journey you expect is not always the one you find.
This book is one of the few that is fairly close to the same fantastical quality that my inner novelist longs to pen. Albeit, my tale does not solely revolve around dragons and fey. This book would definitely be one I would want to add to my shelf. At first, I thought the writing and voice was stilted and strange (especially the odd use of verb tense in the first few pages), but as I kept reading, I grew to really like Tess and her burden for protecting others, especially those who were hurt because of her. She grew within the pages from a person who was unable to do anything for herself to a person who was willing to do everything to save the man she loved, an act both selfish and selfless. Teenagers might identify with Tess because she is searching for the truth about herself, one that isn’t as obvious as she once thought. Readers who love fairy tales (like those of Robin McKinley and the “Once Upon A Time” books) or fantasy romances/adventures with dragons (Jane Yolen, Mercedes Lackey, Patricia C. Wrede, maybe Eon & Eona…) will enjoy this story. While browsing on Amazon, I noticed she has many other previous books, that I simply must read sometime!
Rating: Good read! Like/Love? Yes. Buy? Perhaps.
This next series I devoured in a day and a half. I simply could not put them down, and when I was through, I wanted more!
Hex Hall (Book 1)
Sophie Mercer thought she was just a regular teenager with just a little bit of extra oomph…magic. She thought she was a witch. She didn’t have many friends because she and her mother, Grace, moved around a lot. Her British father was off in England working and avoiding his daughter and divorced wife. Sophie tries to help a lonely girl with a crush and ends up sentenced to Hecate (Hex) Hall, a boarding school for delinquent witches, fairies, and shifters, for a spell gone hugely wrong. At Hecate, her best friend is a vampire accused of murder, her crush is dating the ringleader of a coven who happens to act evil, and something terribly sinister seems to be happening around the school. Add that Sophie is unpopular, finds out some unpleasant things about herself and her family, and, oh yeah, her powers are impossible hard to master makes this school not one full of rainbows and puppy dog tails, but slobbery werewolves and creepy hidden secrets.
After her turbulent last semester at Hex Hall, Sophie has to spend the summer with her father at the Council’s British manor, Thorne Hall. BFF Jenna and Cal, Hecate Hall’s groundskeeper, accompany her too. Sophie is still dealing with the fact that she is part demon instead of a witch, and her father is the Head of the Council and half demon also. She is still traumatized about using her magic and finding out that her crush possibly wanted to kill her, but there are other shady and terrible things occurring. Two teenage part-demons are there also, and they don’t seem quite right. Plus, her frenemy from last semester is still hanging around her as a ghost, Cal is actually her betrothed, and someone or someones are definitely out to kill her and other Prodigium. This was not her idea of a vacation or how she wanted to get to know her father and her heritage…
Spell Bound (Book 3)
Although she survived the attack on Thorne Hall,Sophie’s been off the grid for three weeks. She doesn’t have useable powers anymore, just a witchy possessive ghost. She’s living with the Brannicks, who she thought wanted her dead and were working with the eye. Turns out, she is more a part of their fight than she ever could have suspected, but her father, best friend, love, and betrothed are all still missing with some seriously evil people after them. The Casnoffs are making an army out of children turned into bloodthirsty demon-slaves, and Sophie has to be the one to stop it. Will she figure out a way to save her family, friends, and the entire world of Prodigium and humans from the demons and their power-crazed handlers?
Seriously, if you loved Harry Potter, this is a series for you. I cannot find the words to say about how much I enjoyed these books! I thought they were written well, and the story just flowed effortlessly. It was humorous and had sparkle with some serious buttkicking and romance. Readers of Kiersten White’s Paranormalcy series will also like this story!
I needed to note that I had a hard time choosing between Cal and Archer.
Apparently, I love a mixture of good/nice boy and bad boy.
Rating: Great Read! Possible buy especially if another comes out in the series.