Monday, August 17, 2009

Flanagan and some easier reads.

John Flanagan's book are understandably popular in my library. The Icebound Land really got me excited about the further adventures of Will. He and Evanlyn are stuck working as servants in Skandia, where it is really, really cold. Evanlyn settles into the kitchen to plot their escape when it warms up, but Will becomes addicted to warmweed after the rigors of working in the yard. With the help of Erak, who greatly admired Will's spirit when Will was under his charge, the two escape and make their way to a cabin to try to break Will of his addiction. Halt and Horace, on the other hand, are in trouble of their own, but being good fighters and clever men, defeat an evil war lord and better the people in his charge. Oooh. Tonight it's The Battle for Skandia, and the The Sorcerer of the North. Can't wait!

Sharon Draper does fabulous books for older students, so it's good to see her turn her hand to books for younger students. Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs is a mystery series, with four boys who build themselves a clubhouse and have secret passwords, etc. The Buried Bones Mystery is okay; I liked Sassy: Little Sister is Not My Name a little better, but this is fine stuff. I especially liked "School was over and the summer morning stretched ahead like a soft, sweet piece of bubble gum." I got a little confused about the four characters and had trouble telling Rico, Ziggy, Rashawn and Jerome apart, but the story is solid. There are six titles out so far.

I was a bit surprised that I liked R.L. LaFevers' The Forging of the Blade as much as I did, but it was due to the reason I don't care as much for easy reader books-- the characters seem a little flat and I can't get invested in them. Kenric was immediately appealing to me, fully developed, and I was therefore invested in his quest. This is book one of a trilogy, Lowthar's Blade. When Kenric's blacksmith father goes missing, he heads out to find him and becomes embroiled in a dastardly plot of Mordig to reforge a kingly blade with which he can then take over the kingdom. Because he has made friends with a goblin and bested a fey, Kenric has the means he needs to defeat Mordig. A little too neatly wrapped up, but I am ordering the next two books so that I can find out what happens!

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