Skip to main content

Shorter Musings: MG Fantasies

Sometimes I read a book, and I even enjoy it, but I don't have much to say about it. Those are the books that are reviewed quickly on Goodreads and then I move on. Some of those are starting to pile up so I thought I would put them all together in one post.

Here are a few MG fantasies I've read recently and my shorter musings on them.

The Graverobber's Apprentice by Allan Stratton
This is an entertaining medieval type quest fantasy story. It is very typical of the genre and predictable if you are familiar with the tropes. Young readers who are not will have a lot of fun with a story full of adventure, mystery, and just the right amount of creepy. For reasons I can not understand my library shelved this in the Teen section. It is totally going to miss its audience there. There is nothing Teen about this book. Nothing. 

Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway
I really enjoyed the characters. I loved Abby, Fred, and Peter. Abby's family was great too. Each of them were so different and full of life and personality. I also very much liked the concept of the novel, a school for ordinary kids born into a magical world. Yet there were times when the ordinariness of the school was a bit dull. Like the instructions for dish washing. (Do kids really need detailed descriptions of this in their books? Do they want them?)  The biggest problem I had was buying into the world. It was incredibly modern yet had a king and what seemed to be an arcane system of justice. It was a strange melding of contemporary and medieval thinking that just never rang true for me. I also couldn't understand why on earth this society raised children to the age of 12 who couldn't do anything for themselves. They have to be followed around so someone old enough to use magic could open doors, turn on faucets, get them dishes. As a parent this is an utterly ridiculous concept to me. 

The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer
I expected to like this more than I did. I love historical fantasy, particularly with a Norse setting. Yet this book left me cold in many ways. I didn't feel any love for the characters who at times were inconsistent. I also felt like there was more detail than necessary. I did a lot of skimming.  It is, however, an intriguing look at Norse lore and a good Viking tale. For those who enjoy reading long fantasy with some slow sections this a good choice.
The Star Shard by Frederic S. Durbin
The Star Shard is a book with faeries, magic, and a large moving market town known as the Rake. Good stuff. The beginning is a little slow on the action front which may turn off some young readers, but there is plenty of action and excitement in the last half of the book. I enjoyed reading this one and would certainly recommend it to lovers of faerie lore and stories of orphaned children with magic.


Popular posts from this blog

TTT: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by  The Broke and the Bookish  and now hosted at  That Artsy Reader Girl . This Week's Topic: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List From Most Recent to Least: What books have recently caught your eye?

Favorite Kissing Scenes

When thinking of a favorite things post I could do for February I decided it would have to be kissing. I've already done couples and I was feeling in the mood to do something fluffy and Valentine's related. So kisses it is. I read more MG than YA, and the YA I read tends to not focus on romance so this was actually harder than I expected it to be though a few jumped into my head right away. (And one of my choices does actually come from a MG book. One is adult. Gasp!) The actual scene from the book is quoted followed by my thoughts. The king lifted a hand to her cheek and kissed her. It was not a kiss between strangers, not even a kiss between a bride and a groom. It was a kiss between a man and his wife, and when it was over, the king closed his eyes and rested his forehead against the hollow of the queen's shoulder, like a man seeking respite, like a man reaching home at the end of the day . - The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner Turner doesn't write the


Shadowshaper  by Daniel José Older is everywhere. Best of lists. Award buzz. Blogs everywhere. It's one of those books everyone is reading and talking about. I had it on my TBR but decided I definitely needed to read it before the year was out just so I could weigh in on one of the most talked about books of 2015 if asked. It is deserving of every good thing said about it. Every. One. Sierra was looking forward to a relaxing summer break. Her plans involved hanging out with her friends and painting. They did not involve being chased by zombie like creatures and threatened by a magical power connected to her family's heritage she has never heard of. When murals begin fading all over her Brooklyn neighborhood, Sierra is perplexed. When her grandfather, who had a stroke, begins to apologize and starts repeating strange phases and insisting Sierra get the help of a boy she barely knows to help her finish her mural, Sierra is concerned but mostly about her grandfather. Then at a

Serafina and the Black Cloak

Serafina and the Black Cloak  by Robert Beatty is a thrilling tale of mystery and adventure set at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC in 1899. Having lived in Asheville and visited the house several times, there was no way I was going to pass up a chance to read this. (Also it's MG fantasy, always a bonus for me.) Serafina lives in secret in the basement of the Vanderbilt's spacious vacation home. She has lived there most of her life. Her father worked on the house as it was being built and is the mechanic who runs the massive generator and keeps the electricity going. Serafina is the chief rat catcher, slipping through the halls of her massive home secretly and quietly. She is light on her feet, sees well in the dark, and is quick enough to catch the vermin and keep them out. Serafina knows she if different and strange. Her father insists she stay hidden. But all that changes when one night Serafina witnesses a horrible crime. A little girl, a guest in the house, is fleein


On Tuesday I posted my Top Ten Books Read so Far in 2013 and promised to highlight more of this year's favorites and offer them in giveaways. This is the YA giveaway. This is open to anyone who lives where Book Depository ships for free . Book Choices: TO ENTER: Leave a comment below saying which book looks most interesting to you and leave a way I can reach you if you are the winner. (email address or twitter handle-If you are using Twitter it would be helpful if you followed me, @brandymuses , in case I need to DM you.) Entries after Monday, July 1 8:00 PM EST are invalid. The winner will be drawn as close to 8 as possible.  Yes, I still do my giveaways the old fashioned way.