Inkspell: A Delicious Romp

Inkspell is a young adult fantasy by Cornelia Funke. It is set both in our world and in Inkheart, a land of fiction created by author Fenoglio. In Funke’s previous book, Inkheart, Meggie and her father discovered that they had powers which allowed them to read people into and out of the book. Inkspell begins with Dustfinger, who is from the land of Inkheart, being read back into the book. He is a fire eater and is training an apprentice named Farid in the art of controlling fire. Farid, who was read from another book, is still very loyal to Dustfinger. When his mentor leaves him in our world, Farid seeks help from Meggie to find him. Looking for a adventure herself, she decides to accompany him and immediately regrets it.

Meanwhile, back in our world, her family is taken captive by some people from Inkheart who wish her father harm. Meggie must find Fenoglio (also caught in Inkheart) in order to return home, help Dustfinger battle an evil prince, and figure out how to help her father

Across two worlds, Meggie and her family battle Inkheart’s worst, some who wish harm for her and her friends and family, and others who merely want to take control of Inkheart. This is a delicious romp. I love Funke’s writing style and complicated plots. If you haven’t read Inkheart, don’t worry. There are plenty of references to the previous book, and even without them, Inkspell works well as a stand-alone book. You should pick it up today.

Court of Fives: A Win

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott is the story of Jessamy (Jes for short), a girl who lives in a society in which the Patrons rule and the Commoners are seen as inferior. Her father is a Patron, a well-respected military officer, and her mother is a Commoner. She lives with them and her three sisters raised as Patrons, although her parents could never marry.

Though raised as a Patron, Jes longs to take part in a game known as the Fives, which she does behind her father’s back. She meets a Kalliarkos, a Patron boy, in the competition, and they become unlikely friends. When her family is torn apart by Kaliarkos’ evil uncle, Jes sets herself on a mission to save the Commoners from their oppression and to uncover secrets of the Patrons and of the Fives.

Adventure, mysticism, and a growing love between Jes and Kalliarkos mark this book as a must-read young adult fantasy.

Book Release: Time Changes Everything

My young adult novel Time Changes Everthing was released on November 15, 2018. It is available in paperback on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles websites. A discounted print version as well as a downloadable pdf are available through my author page on the Outskirts Press website. A Kindle version has been ordered and should be out in a couple of weeks.

I expect to be doing some readings and signing in the New Year and will let you know the dates once they are scheduled.

Subway Love: Not Just For Teens

Subway Love by Nora Raleigh Baskin is the story of two teens who reach out to each other across time. Laura is living in the 1970’s, daughter of a Manhattanite father and a divorced hippie mother. She lives in suburbia with her mother and her mom’s unstable boyfriend and has regular visits with her father. Jonas, who lives in the 21st century in New York City, also has estranged parents but rarely sees his father.

On one of Laura’s regular visits to Manhattan, she makes eye contact with Jonas across a subway platform. They both feel an instant connection and do whatever it takes to see each other again. A subway car covered with graffiti and an old camera seem to be elements in this remarkable event, though I choose to believe it is the power of love.

Subway Love is a delightful tale of impossible teenage love. This book is touching, sad, and spooky, but at all times engaging. I would recommend this to both teens and adults. Pick it up and enjoy!

Young Adult Books: Throne of Glass Series, Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is the story of Celaena Sardothien, an 18-year-old assassin imprisoned in the salt mines of Ardolan. She is released in order to compete for the position of King’s Champion. If she wins and serves the king for four years, she will be granted her freedom. Twenty-three men stand between her and the prize, but two men are there to help her: Prince Dorian, her sponsor, and Chaol, the Captain of the Guard, who acts as both her trainer and guard.

Though under constant guard, Celaena manages to make a friend, Princess Nehemia, from a land recently conquered by Ardalan. But she also has many enemies, not just the other candidates and their sponsors but also a jealous woman who doesn’t like the way the prince looks at Celaena.

Training is hard, but Celaena manages to pass test after test, while forming an unlikely relationship with the Captain. The problem arises when competitors begin to be slaughtered in a grotesque and unnatural manner. With the help of her friends and a long-dead monarch, Celaena discovers secrets in the castle. Through these discoveries, some questions are answered but even more are raised.

Throne of Glass is a very engaging book, told through Maas’ excellent writing style. The training and competition remind me of both Divergent and The Hunger Games, but Throne of Glass brings us more. There is treachery all around Celaena, and she is unsure at times who she can really trust. She also must deal with the two men in her life, while learning about political maneuverings and forbidden magic. All these elements lead to a build-up of tension which keeps the reader involved and is resolved at just the right time.

An excellent book, which leaves me anxious to read the next in the series: Crown of Midnight.