Feast of Souls by CS Friedman (The Magister Trilogy)

Synopsis: In a world where the price of magic is human life, one woman dares transgress against the prevailing power structures even as an ancient enemy threatens humankind. Review: Man, I hate synopsizing epic fantasy. The premises always end up sounding so silly. That’s a shame, because Feast of Souls actually really intrigued me with its central idea. Basically, there can be no magic without a human life force as fuel. Women who can control the life force become witches, but every act of magic…

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Interview with The Warded Man Author Peter V. Brett

I loved The Warded Man and was thrilled that author Peter V. Brett agreed to answer some questions for me by email. Were you thinking “superhero” when you came up with the character of the Warded Man? If so, how did that trope shape your writing? I grew up reading superhero comics, so I guess that sort of thing was always at the back of my head, but I wanted one key difference. In comics, the superheroes almost always come by their special abilities by…

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Win a Special Edition of Revolutionary Road!

The good folks at Paramount Vantage will send one of my lucky readers a copy of Richard Yates’s Revolutionary Road and all you have to do is leave a comment on this post!! One lucky winner will be chosen at random. You have until 11:59 EST on January 31st to win. The movie opens wide this weekend. Here’s a clip from the film: Open to the US only, sorry my international friends! Share on Facebook

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Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

Synopsis: Orphaned Kira is tapped to continue her mother’s work as a weaver with mystical powers, but her glimpses into the world lead her to question everything she’s ever known. Review: Gathering Blue is Lois Lowry’s follow-up to The Giver, her dystopian look at a world without pain. Gathering Blue is a much lighter work, and feels like a bridge to the next book in the trilogy, Messenger. I wasn’t really blown away by this book so I’m not going to say much, other than…

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The Magician’s Book: A Skeptic’s Adventures in Narnia by Laura Miller

Synopsis: A literary critic recalls her childhood love affair with CS Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, and her subsequent disappointment at learning that he was a Christian apologist. Review: I confess that I was hesitant to read The Magician’s Book for reasons that Laura Miller herself would understand. Narnia is mine, I tell you, mine! I had a Voyage of the Dawn Treader cake for my sixth birthday–and I still have my coverless copy. I have read and re-read this series more times than I can…

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Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

Synopsis: A collection of short stories featuring Indian American protagonists. Review: Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel The Namesake was one of my favorite books I read the year I was pregnant with Superfast Toddler, and I was so happy to get Unaccustomed Earth for Christmas this year. What I love about Lahiri’s stories is that I never feel shortchanged by them. No matter how good a short story is, for the most part I always wish I were reading a novel instead. Short stories are too brief,…

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Shelter Me by Alex McAulay

Synopsis: Sent to a convent on the Welsh Coast during the Blitz, a teenage girl finds herself on the run and afraid for her life–from the scarred, terrifying Mother Superior. Review: I am hoping that Alex McAulay is planning a follow-up to Shelter Me, because while he wrapped up the plot quite well, I certainly did not feel I was done with Maggie’s story. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say that where she winds up at the end is just as…

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Be Strong and Curvaceous (All About Us) by Shelley Adina

Synopsis: Scholarship student Carly bonds with her titled new roommate when Lady Lindsay starts receiving emails from a stalker. Review: Be Strong and Curvaceous didn’t really do it for me. I have read a lot of series Christian YA and this didn’t do anything new. It’s not bad, I just need more from my reading these days. Share on Facebook

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Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card

Synopsis: An account of the years between child admiral Ender Wiggins’ defeat of the formics and his career as Speaker for the Dead. Review: I have only read Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind–and honestly only the first two stuck with me–so I was largely unfamiliar with the backstory featuring Bean and Petra Arkanian that figures largely in Ender in Exile. Still, it was a welcome pleasure to re-immerse myself in the world of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, who was…

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