Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What? More fantasy?

Prineas, Sarah. Found. (Book 3 of The Magic Thief)
Nominated for the Cybils by Madigan

While Nevery's house is being rebuilt, Conn must live in Twilight because no one trusts his magic after the explosion and fire. He is trying to fight the rising evil magic, Arhionvar (which once was a city) which is trying to ruin Wellmet. This fight takes Conn and his friend, the princess Rowan, to a dragon lair in the far away mountains and puts them in constant danger of being arrested by the Wellmet guards, who don't seem to understand what they are trying to do.

Strenghths: Like the first and second books, this has good characters, a breezy plot, and a fair amount of action. The books have circulated well in my library, and several students are waiting eagerly for this volume.

Weaknesses: The plots are somewhat difficult to follow, and there is little fresh about the setting or events. Sage's Magyk and even Rodda's Deltora Quest books are all too similar.

Rutkoski, Marie. The Celestial Globe.
Nominated for the Cybils by Jessalynn Pinsonault

Since Petra ruined the Prince of Bohemia's Plans in The Cabinet of Wonders, his first act in this sequel is to have his Gray Men attack her. The spy John Dee (whose daughters can bend time and travel through it) takes her to London to keep her safe, and doesn't allow her to return home. Instead he compels her to stay and train while her friends Neel and Tomik search for her with the help of sea bound Gypsies who are looking for the Celestial Globe, a time travel device also wanted by the Prince of Bohemia.

Strengths: This has a steam-punk feel to it (the cover is indicative of that), and a lot of good magical/mechanical gizmos, like Petra's tin spide Astrophil. The rollicking adventure keeps the story going.

Weaknesses: Petra is not very likable, and the different directions in which the story goes can be hard to follow. Something about the quest for the globe seemed inconsequential.

Lairamore, Dawn. Ivy's Ever After.
Nominated for the Cybils by Linda Joy Singleton

Ivy is a standard nonstandard princess-- she runs around and gets brown, doesn't do what she's told, and uses all these skills when she is needed to save the kingdom. In Ivy's case, she escapes from a tower where she is being held until a prince can rescue her and help her take over the kingdom (it's a family tradition) with the help of Elridge, a small dragon. The two try to find Ivy's fairy godmother to help them defeat the evil prince and regain control of the kingdom.

Strengths: Decent enough medieval quest with dragons, and the strong female character of the Modern princess.

Weaknesses: Pales in comparison to stronger stories with fresher empancipated princesses like Alanna: The First Adventure and Wrede's Dealing With Dragons. Have we reached the age of the Post-Modern Princess?


Jennifer said...

and Jessica Day George's Dragon series and Kate Coombs' Runaway Princess duo...I wanted to like Ivy, but she didn't measure up to these two.

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