This blog post includes a video and a downloadable cheat sheet. You're welcome!
A number of my friends have admitted to me that they do not feel comfortable writing book reviews. “I never know what to say…”
Well, fear no more, friends! I have written an outline for the perfect book review in just 5 easy steps. This review will be valuable to other readers, who might enjoy a book that you have just enjoyed, and it will also be valuable to writers like me, who want to know what is and is not working for readers.
So, here you go:
Everything changed the day that Sir Gavin offered to train Achan, a lowly stray, as a squire. Achan begins to hear voices in his head, calling out to him, asking his name. Among these is the Voice, which tells him things he cannot yet understand.
Vrell is a runaway, disguised as a boy in order to avoid marriage to self-centered Prince Gidon. One day, two knights arrive to claim Vrell as a new apprentice to their master, who has sensed in Vrell the ancient gift of bloodvoicing.
The journeys of Achan and Vrell lead them to the very doorstep of the Evenwall, which separates the sunlit lands from the lands trapped in a veil of Darkness. It is there that a deep and treacherous secret is revealed, and Achan must choose: Will he retain the safety of a stray, or will he leave that past forever for unknown dangers, and go where the Voice leads him?
Every two hundred fifty years, the OnOff star relights. During its period of warmth, the Spiders who live on the planet below emerge from their Deepnesses and rebuild their world for the few decades before the OnOff star falls back into the darkness of its dormancy. This Lighting, however, is different. Two star-faring human races—the trade-loving Qeng Ho and the crafty Emergents—await the event, each hoping to be the first to contact the Spiders at the appropriate time. But before long, treachery threatens their very existence, and a web of deceit and plots tangle toward a final confrontation in which the Spiders themselves play a major role in the fate of all.
I said I would periodically review books of note within the speculative fiction category, so here's the latest: my Goodreads review on Writers of the Future, Volume 29. Since it's an anthology, I did mini-reviews on each of the following stories:
Many years ago, I discovered the Writers of the Future contest, a quarterly competition for today’s new sci-fi and fantasy authors. I’ve entered every quarter for the last four quarters, and, although I have not placed in the competition yet, I have enjoyed getting to know the Writers of the Future atmosphere through the anthologies of the twelve winning stories of each year. The stories are short, so you can read each one in about a half-hour to an hour. They also vary in tone, talent, and content, which (for me) is half the fun.
AUTHOR: Megan Whalen Turner
AUDIENCE: Young adult
NOTE: Because this is Book 2 in a series, if you haven’t read the first book, THE THIEF, then this review will likely spoil some of THE THIEF’s surprises for you. You’ve been warned.
(Click here to read my review of THE THIEF.)
An act of mercy returns to haunt Theo. Should he have saved the life of Cabbarus, the man who tried to steal the throne once before to suit his own evil gains? Was it mercy—or foolishness?
Theo has little time to wonder before Westmark is plunged into war. This time, Cabbarus has an army behind him, and when the capital city of Marinstat falls to Cabbarus’ new directorate, Theo and his friends scramble to organize a resistance.
But some in the resistance have ideas of their own. Florian asks Theo to do what Theo has sworn never to do again.
For Theo, the adventure begins when he gets shot. Fortunately for him, he attracts not only assassins but friends, and, after the latter rescues Theo from the former, the young Prince Consort sets out to discover who would want him dead. Trouble is brewing, and Theo can smell it—trouble not only for himself, but also for the entire kingdom. Mickle, the Beggar Queen, senses the trouble as well, and when she determines to seek it out, she finds herself right in the middle of it. Surprised by an attack from the neighboring country of Regia, and undermined by a treacherous plot from inside Westmark itself, the nation of Westmark scrambles to defend its borders.
I write YA/adult fantasy & sci-fi that burns through the darkest realities with truth and redemption.
Learn more here!