Book Review: Dragon Stone Trilogy by Kristian Alva

This is a tale of the prophesied boy, Elias, with magical powers from a small village. He discovers a dragon stone and is hunted by an evil emperor. The story has elements that have been seen before: dragon, elf, dwarf however it is mixed with new and interesting creations like the necromancers. The backdrop of a simple village where Elias is living in a dark time, being poverty stricken was well depicted. His grandma was his one and only family. She was his guide but she hid her true magical powers. The story would have benefited if both the characters were developed substantially more. This is a simple story but it is fast paced and keeps you turning pages to find what happened next. Book 1: Dragon Stones is however, pretty short.

The end of book one offers some nice surprises which also kept me going on to Book 2: Return of the Dragon Riders. While we have yet to meet the evil emperor Vosper, more about Elias’s parentage is revealed to the readers. Thorin, Elias’s halfling friend from Book 1, is still around providing advice, support, and the occasional comedic relief. There’s plenty of action in this novel and it is well-paced. I like that the point of view shifts around and we get to spend time away from Elias. Elias is a well-meaning teen who wants to think the best of nearly everyone. Many of the other characters are not so trusting. In fact, there is a hidden traitor among them, which adds suspense to the story.

Book 3: Vosper’s Revenge, is an excellent ending to this saga! There is more action, mystery and magic. The evil Emperor Vosper and his forces are stronger and more wicked than ever and their opposition to the Riders and the land of Durn comes to an action packed conclusion. I really enjoyed the strengthening bond between Elias and his dragon, Nydiered. Their story is sweet and warms the heart. The end of the book seemed rushed. The battle between Vosper and Elias seemed almost anticlimactic. I would have also enjoyed a more detailed account of the after effect of the war, as well as what happened to the characters. However, the book was still a decent conclusion to the series.

Overall, I give the entire series four stars.

Book Review – Leandra’s Enchanted Flute by Katy Huth Jones

Sometimes the magic lies within.

This is a fantasy tale filled with talking birds an enchanted flute and a world that is dying. The main character Lee Ann (Leandra) has just survived chemo and her cancer is in remission when she gets called into this world. This is an easy story to follow for the young readers. What I like about the book is how it compares cancer to things tweens or teenagers could relate to. The story itself is absorbing and the characters are interesting. I like that Lee Ann although physically weak is portrayed as a strong character capable of defending a world.

I would give this book four stars and caution the readers of the content. I think it is appropriate for tweens/ teenagers and particularly if someone is dealing with cancer on any level. Another subtle message of the book is how our world is connected. There is evil in many forms but if we are strong then we have a way of fighting it. The author is a cancer survivor and the reader can definitely see some of what she went through in her own personal journey.

The story did leave me with an incomplete feeling. Even if a book is part of a series I like to see some closure. This book does have an ending but perhaps its not the ending I was looking for! I sure hope Katy continues Leandra’s journey so that eventually I get my ending!

Book Review: A Father’s Wish – Christine Corretti

King Big Bear is about the animals in Germany set several hundred years ago. The kind and benevolent king of that kingdom is Big Bear. Despite having all the wealth and devotion of the animals, Big Bear isn’t happy. He discovers that having a baby animal would help him be happy and he adopts a young wolf cub. The adventure that follows is filled with a magical wizard and lots of forest animals.

Here’s what I like about the book: it has two very important messages. The first is about adoption and this is from a parent’s perspective. It portrays all the love that a parent has for the adopted child. The second is about cruelty to animals and how it is not okay in any form. I think both points are well conveyed in this classic fairy tale-esque format.

I would recommend this book for children 7-8 years of age and older since there is some death and killing involved. I would also make the same age recommendation since this does talk about the parent’s perspective towards adoption and the loneliness one can feel without a child/ cub. Overall, I would give it four stars out of five. It is a great starter book when trying to introduce adoption or animal rights to a child.