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THE ABC BOOK CHALLENGE – F

Fantasy rules in this batch of books.

FAVORITES

THE FIRE ROSE (Elemental Masters #0), Mercedes Lackey. Another one of my favorite fantasy authors, Lackey spins an engrossing version of Beauty and the Beast set in 1905 San Francisco. After her father dies and leave her penniless, Rosalind Hawkins, a medieval scholar, goes to work for Jason Cameron, a reclusive rail baron. The strange books she translates for him lead her to suspect he’s hiding a secret, which, of course, he is—a spell gone wrong that has left him half-wolf, half-man.

IN THE FORESTS OF SERRE, Patricia A. McKillip. Loosely based on a Russian fairytale, The Firebird, this is a wonderful story of love lost and found. Prince Ronan, mourning the death of his wife and child, flees into the wilderness, where he antagonizes the witch Brume and ends up cursed and bewitched. Princess Sidonie is escorted by a wizard to wed Ronan to avoid war. Sounds familiar, but McKillip’s fabulous, lyrical prose lifts it above the norm.

THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD, Patricia A. McKillip. Sybil is the wizard woman of Eld mountain, where she magically communes with animals. She’s content in her isolation until a man called Coren arrives, seeking protection for a baby. Years later, Coren returns and takes Sybil and the child away, pitching her into a world where her powers are exploited for political gain.  Winner of the World Fantasy Award. Another McKillip gem.

THE FOURTH ELEMENT trilogy. Kat Ross. Immerse yourself in the story of Nazafareen, who lives in a fantastic Middle Eastern world where she’s bonded—physically and spiritually, by means of a magic cuff—to Darius, a creature called a daeva. They set off to kill Druj, undead creatures, but their relationship takes many twists and turns. Compelling, original, thought-provoking. The tale continues with The Fourth Talisman series.

WANT TO READ

Can’t think of anything offhand. Recommendations?

 

THE ABC BOOK CHALLENGE – E

Eerie, enticing, and easy to enjoy.

FAVORITES

EIDOLON, Grace Draven. Book #2 of The Wraith Kings duology. Draven continues the story of Ildiko and Brishen, a human wedded to a Kai prince who sleeps by day and lives at night. He’s not a vampire, just part of a race with strange opalescent eyes that can’t bear sunlight. In this sequel, the lovers battle a force of demons unleashed by his mother. Fast-paced adventure laced with adult romance.

ENDER’S GAME, Orson Scott Card. Terrific sci-fiction. The plot: Earth is threatened by an alien species determined to destroy the human race with superior technology. The defense: A military program that trains gifted children in search of a commander who can’t be broken. They think they’re playing a video game, but it’s so much more. A wonderful classic.

WANT TO READ

THE EGYPTOLOGIST, Arthur Phillips. Billed as a “darkly comic labyrinth of a story.” Follows an archaeologist who discovers King Tut, an Oxford professor who has a rare scrap of hieroglyphic porn, and an Australian detective. Could be fun.

 

THE EYRE AFFAIR, Jasper Fforde. Imagine time travel as a norm, and literary portals that allow you to enter books and ensure the characters are acting as the author intended–or change what happens. Clever premise. Reviews at Goodreads are all over the place, so I might wait.

 

 

THE ABC BOOK CHALLENGE – D

Deadly and delightful–a good description for this round of books.

FAVORITES

DARK TRIUMPH, Robin LaFevers. Book 2 in LaFevers’s trilogy about nun assassins in 15th-century France. When Sybella arrives at a convent half-mad, she’s taken in and trained to use her skills at seduction and murder on behalf of St. Morain, the Lord of Death. But when she’s forced to return home, she encounters more brutality, along with unexpected love. Fast-paced, exciting. LaFevers grabs you from the first page.

DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, Laini Taylor. I loved this first book, the story of art student Karou, a demon who falls in love with an angel. Original, filled with Taylor’s trademark lyrical writing. A terrific example of great story-telling.

THE DA VINCI CODE, Dan Brown. Yes, I know it’s old, and a bit on the cheesy, formulaic side, but it’s a fun read, with intrigue and deceit and a secret society. Forget the movie, it was awful. Read the book instead and you’ll understand why it was a mega-seller.

WANT TO READ

THE DIVINERS, Libba Bray. A girl with a supernatural power in 1926 New York City. Speakeasies, magic, the occult, a bit of horror. Sounds like a good choice for Halloween.

 

DOROTHY MUST DIE, Danielle Paige. I’m a bit hesitant to read this, as I love The Wizard of Oz and it’s got reviews all over the place on Goodreads–seems like you either love it or hate it. But I’m curious to see what Paige has done with a classic story.

Any you’d recommend?