Monday, September 12, 2011

Light of the Oracle

The Light of the Oracle
By Victoria Hanley

Bryn grows up as a simple girl, daughter to a stone cutter, in a tiny village. Her mother thinks she is useless and a dreamer since she spends time wandering, following thistledown as it floats through the air.  One day, the Master Priest finds her, and tells everyone she is to become a seer, a priestess at a temple far away.  Her life is turned upside down as she journeys with another acolyte, Clea, to the temple to learn how to harness her visions.

Once at the temple, Bryn is taken in by Dawn, another priestess is training, and starts chores in the stables with Kiran, a priest in training.  Her new friends stay with her even when the popular girls taunt her, she gets months of extra chores, and becomes a rare wind-chosen seer.  But when Clea curses her, how will she save a princess, an outcast seer, Kiran, and herself?

This book is a companion to Hanley's other books The Seer and the Sword and The Healer's Keep.  I read it because I read the others and loved them, and this one did not disappoint!  The plot is interesting and has lots of turns, but not so many that the reader gets lost.  I loved the characters, and easily believed they could feel what they did in their situations.  Overall, this was one I had a hard time putting down!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Wide-Awake Princess

The Wide-Awake Princess
by E.D. Baker

Princess Gwen has every fairy in the kingdom invited to her christening, and ended up gifted with many magical benefits, but also cursed to prick her finger on a spinning wheel.  When Princess Annie was born, her parents had only one fairy give a gift- the gift that no other magic would be able to touch her.  While Gwen grows up beautiful, talented, a loved by all, Annie is more like a normal girl than a princess.

After Gwen predictably pricks her finger on her the spinning wheel, it is up to Annie, resistant to the sleep spell on everyone else in the castle, to save the day.  Together with a castle guard, Annie must venture further from the castle than she ever had before, win contests, sleep on beds piled high with mattresses, and so much more!  Can she save her kingdom, save herself and find her own true love?

I really enjoyed this book.  I hadn't read anything from E. D. Baker yet, but really found myself enjoying this.  Totally appropriate for any age, this is one you want to read!  It mixes several fairy tale elements together, but also is very original.  This book also reminded me of Ella Enchanted by Levine, so if you liked that, this would be a great one!.