Tag Archives: Children’s Fantasy Books

Review: Pureheart by Cassandra Golds

9780143204275Gal and Deirdre have forgotten something.  something really, really important.

When her grandmother dies, Deirdre is left alone in a crumbling block of flats. Looking out the window one misty night, she sees a boy who seems familiar.  Together, he and Deirde must discover the secret of the old building, before it collapses and the secret is lost forever . . .

 

Deirdre and Gal have been friends for a lifetime. Brought together when they were five, they instantly developed a bond, a friendship that is tested sorely over the course of their tale, a bond broken and battered and reforged, like a magical sword from a medieval tale. When Gal finds Deirdre in the crumbling ruins of the once-grand Corbenic, he has gone to claim her. But perhaps it is Corbenic that will claim them both.

Harry Through the Ages : Seven New Covers for Harry Potter

harry-potter-sorcerersEarlier this year, Scholastic announced that they would be releasing a boxed set of Harry Potter books featuring new covers designed by critically acclaimed artist Kazu Kibuishi, author of the graphic novel series Amulet . The books will be released in September 2013 to coincide with the 15th anniversary of the U.S publication of the first book.

“The Harry Potter covers by Mary GrandPré are so fantastic and iconic,” said Kibuishi. “When I was asked to submit samples, I initially hesitated because I didn’t want to see them reinterpreted! When illustrating the covers, I tried to think of classic perennial paperback editions of famous novels and how those illustrations tend to feel. In a way, the project became a tribute to both Harry Potter and the literary classics.”

I Can’t Believe You’ve Never Read…

little_womenI have long since lost count of how many times I have heard this. Last year I remember deciding to read Little Women, to the shock of several people I know who all said the same thing “I can’t believe you haven’t read it” Well I hadn’t, never seen the movie either, so I read the book. I also spent most of the book waiting for Beth to die, because at least three people told me “Beth is so sad” Well, she didn’t die, she got sick, and recovered.  I won’t say I felt cheated though. Only a bit baffled. I haven’t read on yet.

His Dark Materials and The Golden Compass (es)

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This is an excellent addition to my dragon’s-hoard of books, which I was very pleased to find today. Considering I have just finished re-reading His Dark Materials it was nice timing. This is the first omnibus edition of the trilogy from 2001. It has my favourite cover art featuring the Alethiometer.

Tales from The Perilous Realm – and Perilous and Not-So-Perilous Dragons

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I love getting side-tracked. I’ve been keeping up with my Tolkien reading this month, but after discovering my friend Travis hadn’t read His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman after he asked me if I had seen the Golden Compass movie, I’ve re-read the whole trilogy again. He’s finished book two but I cheated (couldn’t help myself) and finished book three a couple of days ago. I’ve got the short stories Lyra’s Oxford and Once Upon a Time in the North to read, which I haven’t read before. But is there anything better than seeing someone else discover books that you love for the first time? It’s only the third time I have read them, and each time I read them they amaze me.

2013 Reading List – The Return of the King

The-Fall-of-Arthur

 

I am still suffering some severe Hobbit-fever.

history-middle-earthOf course January usually begins with Tolkien for me, and I’ve finished my yearly read of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. This year for the first time I’ve gone straight into further reading, and a few days ago I finished reading The Silmarillion for the first time in many, many years (and seemingly no less difficult than the first time I read it). Last year I painstakingly collected the massive 12-part-plus-index History of Middle Earth, plus the two-part History of the Hobbit to add to my collection. After checking out an article from the Tolkien Library on Recommended Reading Order I’ve decided to continue on with Unfinished Tales and The Book of Lost Tales part One and Two for this month.

2012 The Year in Reading and Other Bookish Things

THE-HOBBIT-DWARVES

 “I am in fact, a hobbit in all but size” J.R.R Tolkien

I have been enjoying a rather Hobbity holiday. This is usually the time of the year I start reading Lord of the Rings, and watching the movies (my new Blu Ray boxed set this year) but I don’t always read The Hobbit before I start LOTR, in fact I will usually read it later. Having read it directly before I started Fellowship of the Ring I was able to enjoy it more as a prequel, more than usual in any case. I sometimes forget the references to Dale and the Mountain during Bilbo’s birthday party, the last chapter in The Lord of the Rings in which we are still allowed to be children.

Creature Comforts

It has been a terribly long time between blogs, and it is rather too late to blame Spring (as it is now Summer), which always appears very suddenly in Melbourne, and is always followed by a mad dash attending to everyone who has woken up from their Winter sleep, demanding food, water and new digs. While I’ve been taking a much-needed break from history books, I found the last two historical fiction books I read pretty uninspiring and reverted back to some of my favourite things, children’s books of course.

Book Review: A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix

Taken from his parents as a child and equipped with biological and technological improvements, Khemri is now an enhanced human being, trained and prepared for the glory of becoming a Prince of the Empire. Not to mention the ultimate glory: should he die, and be deemed worthy, he will be reborn…Which is just as well, because no sooner has Prince Khemri graduated to full Princehood than he learns the terrible truth behind the Empire: there are ten million princes, and all of them want each other dead.

Changeling by Philippa Gregory

Italy, 1453. Seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil and danger in its many forms, and strange occurrences across Europe, in this year—the end of days.     

Isolde is a seventeen-year-old girl shut up in a nunnery so she can’t inherit any of her father’s estate. As the nuns walk in their sleep and see strange visions, Isolde is accused of witchcraft—and Luca is sent to investigate her, but finds himself plotting her escape.    

Books(s) of the Week – Nurse Matilda by Christianna Brand


We found these little treasures on a book hunting trip today. Actually, Craig found them, the scoundrel. I was clutching a rather large haul of children’s books and feeling pleased with myself when Craig appeared with these two tiny books.

They were well hidden. These books measure a pocket-sized 10×16 cm, and have beautiful gilt-embossed covers, decorated by one of my favourite illustrators Edward Ardizzone. I have never seen the original format before, only later paperbacks and re-issues so I was very excited to have finally found one (or two)

The Attack of the Cloaks…

Fantasy cover art has seen a lot of changes over the last few years. I noticed Voyager had been doing a lot of re-issues with clean, simple covers with less colour and a ‘symbol’ rather than the sometimes elaborate artwork of old. I’m not going to say I like either style better. I love the new covers on the Raymond E. Feist books and the Robin Hobb books, but I used to really enjoy examining the artwork on the Robin Hobb books by John Howe. Pre-release Harry Potter covers would have me in a somewhat fanatical state, peering intently into the laptop screen and trying to uncover any clues of what might happen in the next book.