The Letter for the King (De brief voor de koning #1) by Tonke Dragt (Author) & Laura Watkinson (Translator)
My Rating: 5 Stars
A beautiful novel that radiates pureness and sweetness through and through. A powerful message that unlocks powerful emotions and thoughts.
This is the story of Tiuri, a squire that finds the hard way that his destiny is very different than the one he had planned. On the eve of becoming a knight, Tiuri makes the choice of answering a call for help at the cost of everything he once knew. He must deliver a secret letter to the King who lives across the Great Mountains, a letter that will change the fate of an entire kingdom. Along his journey, Tiuri makes discoveries and new friends but he also realises that enemies lurk in the shadows ready to put an end to his quest and his life.
This old-school type of novel was a breath of fresh air; it brings up memories of childhood and the curiosity of reading books about knights and their adventures. The plot is simple and predictable but it doesn’t take any beauty from it at all. Colours and sounds come out of the pages and so do the characters and their journeys. You won’t be able to stop reading it.
The style of writing makes the book come alive as well as its characters. It’s the sort of story that leaves a strange feeling behind, nostalgia mixed with hopefulness and peacefulness. The vocabulary used is simple and easy to understand. The author takes the message across easily and makes you remember it without you even realising it. There are phrases that just get imprinted in your brain and messages that contain valuable life lessons. Moral of the story: the most important thing about a journey isn’t the end, it’s what happens in between the start and the finish line.
Most of the characters are male in this novel and all more a less the same age. Tiuri is a wonderful main character, the type you root for from the beginning. He is genuinely a pure soul with a kind heart that puts the needs of others before his own. He takes on this journey with an open heart and ends up being rewarded for it. In the end, Tiuri learns that the most precious of treasures aren’t things, but people and the moments he got to spend with them. An inspiring character in one the most moving books I’ve read so far.
An inspiring, beautiful book that will bring a smile to readers faces no matter the age. I highly recommend it!
Thank you NetGalley, Pushkin Children's and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
A great sequel to The Carver! A gripping adventure that gets better and better with each installment.
Enzo, Zack, and Rosana continue their exhaustive search for their family members. As they end up in Wonderland, their journey takes a turn to the crazy and the unpredictable. In a place where nothing is what it seems, friendships and trust will be put to the test. On the other side, the lost relatives are stuck in the Old World with no way of getting out. King Bellamy declares no one can leave. They have to join forces with old allies and enemies to escape imprisonment, find their children and defeat Queen Avoria. The queen fled from Wonderland and left the power to the King of Heart. His mission: to break Enzo and his friends. As she grows in power, the threat of war between kings too. Is there still hope of stopping her before it’s too late? Can the war be stopped? At what cost?
The Unseen takes a deeper dive into the story of Enzo, Rosana, and Zack. The reader gets to know them better and the character development is incredible. Each of them has come to accept their identity and the truth about their parents’ lives and their identities. With the past behind them, they now have to take a leap of faith in their own destinies and take a journey that will test their friendship and their courage.
The plot is very engaging and very well developed, much like the first one. The adventure is exciting, filled with humorous moments and dangerous tasks. It keeps the reader on their toes. Devlin is a master of connecting worlds and not losing track of the characters and the plot itself. Each individual mission comes together beautifully to complete a bigger picture. It’s exciting to see how they all fit: everything is connected and in the end, there aren’t loose ends. A dynamic and amusing story while enough twists to leave the reader running through the pages. The story is addictive!
The author is a great storyteller: the way he builds this fairytale world is fresh and it pulls the reader into the plot without much effort. The references he uses gives richness to the story. Characters are given depth, a consciousness and a character that will change the view of how fairytale characters are seen.
His style of writing flows perfectly and raw emotion jumps off the words. The setting is a place that readers are familiar with but Devlin’s re-imagines them but at the same time, the feeling of going to that world is the same. Keeping track of the different storylines comes naturally and no extra effort is needed to understand or follow them.
I highly recommend the reading of the previous novel of the Order of the Bell series and its sequel! I can’t wait for the next adventure of Enzo and his friends.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Blaze Publishing and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
A great sequel to the memorable first novel The Red Pyramid.
Ever since the gods of Ancient Egypt got released into the world, the lives of Sadie and Carter Kane has been turned upside down. Now responsible for the House of Life in Brooklyn, the siblings train others with pharaohs’ blood, trying to get ready for the dangerous mission ahead. The most feared enemy of Ancient times is awakening and with it bringing destruction to the world and drown it in Chaos: Apophis, the serpent of Chaos. To stop it, they must do the impossible: find the god of the sun, Ra and re-establish him as the King of the Gods. Easier said than done, however, no one knows where the god retired to exile and no one has seen him in decades. So, the world is about to end and they have no idea where to start. Just another normal day in the lives of the Kane family.
This adventure keeps getting better and better! Just as the first volume, Sadie and Carter narrate the tale of their impossible missions in a witty and entertaining way and this time their adventures will them to a trip around the world.
The story-line is great, consistent and leaves nothing to chance. Every detail the reader learned in the first book is explored and easily understood throughout the story, going deeper into the characters and the plot itself that starts to become more complex than the reader would have expected. Action, funny interactions, dangerous encounters are only a few of the moments that make this story so addictive.
The writing style is typical of the great writer that Rick Riordan is known for and it keeps the reader glued to the pages from beginning to end.
The settings in this instalment change just as quickly as everything else: from Brooklyn to Egypt and Russia where the characters explore the extended influence of the Egyptian culture across the world and how powerful symbols can be.
Rick Riordan presents a new group of characters that complement the story perfectly. Bes, the god of dwarves that has the power to scare people away with his ugliness, the handsome Walt that makes Sadie’s life a bit more complicated and true Zia that makes Carter’s life a lot more difficult. Carter and Sadie grow so much in this novel that it’s Impossible not to grow attached to them. Their relationship changes as time pass and it’s a nice change to see that even though they get along better actually able to have a normal conversation, they still have their snarky comebacks and rocky brother-sister conversations.
This series keeps getting more and more interesting and I’m sad that there’s only one volume left.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Another brilliant series by the renowned author Rick Riordan, and this time with Egyptian mythology.
The Kane siblings have two very different lives ever since their mother died. Carter, raised in the US, the oldest, travels the world with his father, being home-schooled and used to the fact he never stayed in one place long enough to make friends; and Sadie, taken under their grandparents wing in the UK, goes to school, has friends, but only has the chance to see her father and brother no more than a few times a year. Their lives change forever when an accident unleashes the gods of Egypt into the world, the good and the bad ones. They soon discover that the gods are unable to stay on their plain unless they take a human host, one strong enough to sustain them. Thrown into a world that was hidden from them, Carter and Sadie find themselves on a race against time to save the most important person to them and stop Set, God of Chaos, from destroying the world.
Rick Riordan did it again: a mind-blowing and involving middle-grade novel that all ages can enjoy. In this novel, he takes on one of the most complex religions and manages to make it very simple to the eye of his readers.
The story-line is very solid and the reader is taken on an adventure of a lifetime with the Kane siblings. All the mythological myths, legends, and godly characters are very well represented and their story is presented in a way that will keep even the younger readers engaged in the story and the characters. The novel is fast-paced, filled with action and unexpected twists that will leave the reader second-guessing throughout the story. There are two perspectives in the novel, both from Sadie and Carter which allows the reader to get to know them simultaneously and have a better understanding of the story.
The characters are amazing. For the first time, the main characters of this novel are brother and sister and with such dynamics that is both refreshing and very entertaining. I think readers with siblings will be able to identify to some of their thoughts about each other and their reactions. At the same time, I think the author did a great job in developing their relationship since they were raised apart. In the end, they don’t know each other that well and struggle to understand one another. Furthermore, Carter and Sadie are very different: Carter is humble, methodical, logical and with a vast knowledge of Egyptian culture; and Sadie is sassy, rebellious and usually acts before thinking. Both characters are very well-developed as well as the secondary characters, which become more important throughout the story.
I really enjoyed this book and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s an action-packed adventure that will impress all ages.
My Rating. 5 Stars
This a great change compared to the other collections Rick Riordan created. A hilarious breath of fresh air!
Handsome sun god all-mighty Apollo is banished from Olympus after the great battle with Ghea. He is now in the body of a teenage boy with acne and not even the shadow of his 8-pack; and, because things had to be worse, he doesn't have his powers either. With the help of the demigod Page, Apollo gets to Camp Half-Blood only to find that his oracles have gone silent and demigods have gone missing. When the ex-god is given a quest, can he make it out alive?
This new series continues after The Heroes of Olympus and it makes the start of a great new adventure with a very unlikely main character.
The story-line of this novel is refreshing and creates a solid base for the future instalments. There isn't time to grow bored with this novel, the action starts right from the beginning and the style of writing and the humour keeps the reader engaged until the very last page. Plus, since the story is told through the perspective of Apollo himself, the reader gets to know in depth this character that has as much arrogance as he has regrets.
The settings where the novel takes place are already familiar to the reader which gives a feeling of familiarity but at the same remember the danger of specific places.
It was great to see old characters that the reader got so used too in the previous collections and new recruits that add spice and colour to the story. Page, the main female protagonist, is q mystery and very difficult to get to know since she's very quiet and keeps to herself. On the other hand, to see her interactions with Apollo and how their friendship grows was a treat and a hilarious journey. Apollo is not your regular main character: he is narcissistic, selfish, completely oblivious to the feelings of others and a complete drama king. Even though he has his flaws (which he doesn't see as such), he has his heart in the right place and he actually grows as a character throughout the novel. The reader will be taken on a ride of emotions with Apollo aka Lester, living through hilarious, witty comments to heart-stopping action scenes and heart-felt moments. It was very refreshing to read a book of Rick Riordan where the main character is so different from all the others he created so far.
A very enjoyable and easy read that I highly recommend to the fans of Rick Riordan, his amazing writing style and his memorable characters. I you think you've seen it all, you should definitely try this one!
My Rating: 5 Stars
Another amazingly written short-story crossover between the Egyptian and the Greek mythologies and this time around with the ladies! The perfect continuation for the Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicles Crossover collection!
In this adventure, Annabeth's life is about to take a huge turn and she doesn't realise how much when she follows a two-headed monster on the subway. She ends up coming face to face with a young blond-girl that reminds her of herself. Confronted with a different world so different from their own, Annabeth teams up with Sadie Kane to take on an ancient foe that was raised into the Mortal world by someone Sadie is, unfortunately, very familiar with.
The most exciting thing about this story is, of course, the two blondes with an attitude taking on a common enemy. On the contrary of Percy and Carter in the first story, Annabeth and Sadie are immediately taken by one another and a friendship blooms in the midst of battle. I could feel from the beginning that they would become great friends based on their temperaments and snarky sense of humour.
What I found hilarious was the whole situation and the correspondent reactions of these two compared to their boyfriend and brother. Whoever said girls were more suspicious than boys? Complete nonsense. Furthermore, the ladies adventure was, in my opinion, a lot more complex and a lot more life-threatening. This story is full of action and it was great to read how Annabeth and Sadie work together and how they complement their abilities so nicely.
The second instalment of the Greek - Egyptian crossover that I highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 Stars
I suffered from the syndrome of "Rick Riordan fan" when I read this crossover! I loved every minute of it and I will re-read several times over I'm sure.
A mysterious creature is terrorising the locals in Local Island. When Carter Kane sets on to investigate it he not only meets the monster but also a strange boy called Percy Jackson that doesn't seem to be Egyptian or a magician for that matter. Who the hell is this guy and how the hell can he see this monster?
A brilliant short story that brings together two very different characters: Percy Jackson and Carter Kane, the one that narrates the story. Two worlds collide as the two boys, a demi-god and a godling/magician apprentice, start out on the wrong foot... I mean fist.
I really enjoyed reading their interactions with each other and how they manage to solve a very big problem before it gets too out of hand. Percy is an amazing character, that didn't change and his sense of humour and witty comments made me want to read the Olympians series all over again.
I just finished reading The Red Pyramid for the second time and this short story got me really motivated to start the second instalment of the Kane Chronicles.
A must-read for all the fans of Percy Jackson and of Mr Riordan!
My Rating: 5 Stars
I can’t get enough of the Land of Stories and the adventures of Alex and Connor Bailey!
After the battle, the Masked Man is on the loose. Driven by her need to find and discover the identity and plans of the villain, Alex ends up being thrown off the Fairy Council since no one believes they’re in danger. Together, Connor and Alex discover that the Masked Man is in possession of a potion turns books into portals and that he’s recruiting an army of villains to conquer the Land of Stories. In a race beyond the kingdoms and between worlds, can the twins catch up to the Masked Man and stop him before his plans complete?
In the fourth instalment of The Land of Stories series, emotions run high. The plot is very compelling and engaging, turning and twisting which is great. It’s also very easy to follow and, together with the amazing writing style, I fell in love with new characters and their respective worlds. On the contrary of the other novels, this one starts off with a really bad beginning. Everything goes wrong: Alex is kicked out of the Fairy Council and even her own twin doesn’t believe there is a reason to fear; and the Masked Man reaches out to other classic villains like the Wicked Witch, Captain Hook and the Queen of Hearts. But even so, they manage to hold on to hope and, with a little help of Mother Goose, their motivation.
The characters keep growing in this book and it’s amazing to see, especially with Alex. She goes from child to teenager trying to deal with her growing powers and her unstable emotions while trying to protect the people she cares about. Everyone has moments where they think the world is against them and Alex struggles to both fit into the magical world and still be herself. I was pleasantly surprised to see her chemistry with Arthur; He was able to show Alex that she isn’t the only one that feels the way she does and actually offers advice that comes from the heart and from experience itself. In the end, it was his help that gave Alex the push she needed. Connor is still funny but I have more problems observing his growth as a character. Mother Goose also grew in as a character; she admitted her mistakes and finally has the courage to follow her heart and not the rules of the fairies.
Another great novel by Chris Colfer!
My Rating: 5 Stars
This collection is definitely one of my favourites so I finally decided to sit down and write the reviews for the books I’ve so far. The sequel to The Wishing Spell is just as good as the first.
A year after their first adventure in the Land of Stories, the life of Alex and Connor Bailey is as normal as it can possibly get. But peace or boredom isn’t meant to last forever and their world takes a turn for the worse when their mother is kidnapped. Knowing the twins well enough, their grandmother sets a tight security around them to protect them and to avoid their interference. Of course, that doesn’t stop Alex and Connor from finding a way into the Land of Stories and from starting a journey to put an end to the reign of terror of the evil Enchantress.
The style of writing is amazing and very engaging. I could read a certain maturity, it’s like the author grows with the twins. I appreciate the evolution and how the conversations between characters are more mature but at the same time, there is no loss of humour and wittiness.
The setting of the novel is just as colourful and captivating as before and I was glad to explore it in more detail together with the heroes and villains. I took my time to appreciate the villains, their personalities and background stories since they are an essential part of this world and how the plot develops. I’m not sure I should call them villains though because one of the lesson’s Colfer teaches the reader in this sequel is that everyone is both good and evil and no one is evil without a reason. Like in our world, good and evil are part of life and one can’t be without the other much like without fear there would be no courage. Furthermore, I admire the way the author mixes all the fairytales and ends up with the perfect cocktail of magic and storyline.
The storyline follows the same line as the first novel but, for me, it wasn’t predictable what would happen next. I think that in this instalment, the journey is more about relationships and growth than the collection of magical artefacts. Don’t get me wrong, they are important, but I think Colfer wanted to show that in the end, just magic doesn’t cut it, it’s about friendship and trust.
There is a greater character development in this novel. Colfer reimagines the characters that all fairytale lovers know and gave them a unique voice and personality. I particularly like Goldilocks, a complete badass and Red, for her hilarious personality and responses to Goldilocks. Who knew that Little Red Ride Hood could hold such a grudge? Nevertheless, it’s impossible not to like all the characters and really feel for the Enchantress.
A great sequel to a great collection that I can’t recommend highly enough for children and adults alike!
My Rating: 5 Stars
I’m fully aware that I’m reading this collection backwards, but I honestly say that it doesn’t make a difference to me. These tiny books are a treasure and it’s a true pleasure to read them no matter in which order I receive them. Beauty Within is just as good as Poor Unfortunately Souls and I would give it more stars if I could.
You think you know the story of the selfish, arrogant and proud prince that got cursed to live as a beast until he found true love and has loved in return? Think again. In this novel, you will have a glimpse at the past of a prince that is the fruit of privilege, richness but also loneliness and superficiality.
I fell completely in love with this perspective of the story of the Beast. The story-line is very well-developed and the style of writing is as beautiful as always. I really felt like I got to know Beast a bit better and to understand him in a level that the Disney version didn’t allow me to. It’s different, powerful and a bit scary. I couldn’t imagine that Miss Valentino could come up with such a version of the punishment that Prince Adam goes through before the curse is complete. I will not give any spoilers, but I can tell you the punishment is slow, painful and has a psychological side to it that is both perfect and a bit cruel. Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s very efficient.
Like I wrote on my previous review of “Poor Unfortunate Souls”, villains aren’t born evil; there are circumstances outside their control, the environment they spend their childhoods in that shape who they become in the future. In the real world, we do bad choices and chose wrong paths but in the end we learn from our mistakes and just like the Beast, the thing we fear the most is unjust and cruel judgement.
A great book that I highly recommend to all the fairytale-fans out there!
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.