Book Series Review: Warren the 13th Trilogy

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Warren the 13th Trilogy

by Tania del Rio (Author),  Will Staehle (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars

I loved this trilogy! The design is elaborate and the plot is mysterious. I loved the characters and the writing style. I flew right through the pages, and enjoyed the action in every chapter.

Warren is such a likable and interesting character! I really appreciated his curiosity, his resilience, and his love for the hotel. He feels connected to his parents and to his ancestors through their shared history in the hotel, and it gave the story a lot of depth to have that heritage. He finds clues that his father left behind for him, and that gives him the courage to face difficult circumstances.

There are so many great supporting characters, all unique and quirky and memorable.

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Graphic Novel Review: This Was Our Pact

This Was Our Pact by Ryan  Andrews
This Was Our Pact
by Ryan Andrews (Goodreads Author)

5 out of 5 stars


Ben and his friends are determined to follow the river on the night of their Autumn Festival. Every year thousands of lanterns are floated down the river, and legend says that the lanterns float up to join the stars. Ben makes a pact with his friends to find out the truth about where the lanterns go, and they hop on their bikes to follow the lanterns. But the weird kid, Nathaniel, follows them, and when everyone else turns back, Nathaniel and Ben discover the true magic that surrounds the lanterns.

This book is so beautiful and whimsical! I was enchanted from the very beginning. The lovely artwork, the imaginative plot, the emotional characters, and the engaging dialogue kept me entranced through every page. Continue reading

Book Review: Septimus Heap: Darke

Septimus Heap: Darke (#6)By Angie Sage

4 out of 5 stars

That stinking Merrin Meredith is back, threatening the Castle with the power of the Darke. Only Septimus, his dragon Spitfyre, and Princess Jenna can stop Merrin from covering the entire city in Darkeness.

I loved this book! The plot is full of action and magic and twists. I adore the characters, and I love how they grow and learn throughout the series. This book was particularly emotional for the Heap family as prodigal son, Simon, strives to win back his family’s love and trust.

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Book Review: The Ravenous Gown

The Ravenous Gown by Steffani Raff
The Ravenous Gown: And 14 More Tales about Real Beauty
by Steffani Raff (Goodreads Author)

5 out of 5 stars


These fairy tales focus on daring young men and women who want to be appreciated for their personality, virtues, and inner qualities rather than outward beauty. They battle dragons, fight wars, defeat evil sorcerers, and unravel magic in order to find their true identity and inspire their kingdom.

I loved that these fairy tales use all the old tropes about dragons and knights and fair maidens, and then turn everything upside down and surprise you with the plot twists when the maiden saves herself.
Each fairy tale is short but powerful with meaningful messages of hope and acceptance. Continue reading

Book and Puzzle Set Review: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Book and Puzzle Box Set by Rebecca Sorge
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Book and Puzzle Box Set
by Rebecca Sorge (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars


This boxed set of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz book and puzzle makes a beautiful gift set! The paperback book has a beautiful cover just as shown on the front of the box, however there are no illustrations inside the book which was a little disappointing. I was hoping for more gorgeous artwork like the cover!

The puzzle is a 500 piece puzzle included inside its own separate box inside the gift set. The puzzle picture is the same as the cover. I just love that artwork and the bright colors and all the details in the background, which makes it perfect for a puzzle!

The box itself is a delight, with a magnetic clasp and lovely endpapers. You could use it like a treasure box if you didn’t want to keep the puzzle inside it. Continue reading

Book Review: The Skull of Truth

The Skull of Truth by Bruce Coville
The Skull of Truth
by Bruce Coville, Gary A. Lippincott (Illustrator)

3 out of 5 stars

Charlie is a liar. He meets the Skull of Truth and is cursed to always tell the truth, and his life changes in unexpected ways. Telling the truth gets him into a lot of trouble, and the curse begins to affect other people around him.

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as some of the others in the Magic Shop series. I thought some of the plot points didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the story. There were some radical leftist political ideas that I didn’t agree with. I was surprised to find them in a children’s book.

I was pleased to find that the skull himself is not scary at all. He’s a humorous and silly character, and there’s nothing frightening or creepy about him other than the fact that he’s a skull. Continue reading

Book Review: Tales from Earthsea

Tales from Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
Tales from Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #5)
by Ursula K. Le Guin

3 out of 5 stars

These short stories add to the folklore and stories of Earthsea. They range from ancient tales of how the Wizarding School of Roke was first founded to more recent tales that fit in with the timeline of the rest of the Earthsea books. Some are parallel stories to the main books in the series that tell of other characters with similar magic and how their experiences dovetail with the main character’s stories although the characters may never meet.

The writing is excellent and the stories draw the reader into the world of Earthsea. Some of the stories are very sad and full of violence, but others are bittersweet and beautiful. The author does a wonderful job of describing a setting and a new character in a few well-chosen words that immediately connect the reader to the story.

I enjoyed these stories, and they are a wonderful addition to the Earthsea books!