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Posts tagged ‘War’

Battle Magic

By: Tamora Pierce

Briar, Rosethorn and Evvy and visiting the mountain kingdom of Gyongxe, a mystical country filled with temples of many religions, the very earth is filled with power. Before there time is up though they are summonsed to visit the Emperor of Yanjing under the pretense of seeing his glorious gardens.
Things are not as peaceful and pleasant as the emperor attempts to make things seem on the surface. The mages sense and see things they do not like, amongst them the treatment of certain individuals, the emperor’s dark cruelty, a huge army and throng magic that underlies it all, keeping it all together. Unwilling to stay they leave and discover the Emperor as about to launch an attack on Gyongxe and he will do anything to stop the visiting mages from joining the other side. This is omething Rosethorn cannot allow as she has vowed to defend the First Temple of the Living Circle and where Rosethorn is bound to go Briar will not be far away, even if they do get separated for a while.
Another wonderful addition to the world first bought to us in the Circle Of Magic series. This is perhaps though, the darkest and bloodiest of the books, dealing as it does with genocide and war. Pierce uses this context to push her characters through emotional arcs that will forever change them. I won’t go too much into what they go through, the individual things they experience, because that would detract too much from the read itself, and it would be too easy to unintentionally leave spoilers. Rosethorn’s steadfastness, Briar’s stubborn loyalty and Evvy’s wonder and enthusiasm are still there shining through the whole time.
A bigger book than the other circle books but just as un-put downable.
Highly recommended.
Publisher: Scholastic
Published: 1st Oct 2013
Format: Paperback, 464 pages
Genre: Fantasy
ISBN: 9781742990170

Book Thief – Book Trailer

Here it is…

Nothing else needs to be said really… except this trailer almost bought tears to my eyes, I’m pretty sure I’ll need tissues when I see the movie.

The Book Thief – Film

Some photos have been released from the set of this book adaption. Of course the casting for this was very exciting and gives great hope for the quality of film we will end up with.







Catching Fire – Movie Trailer

Well here is the official trailer. Hope the movie is good, it looks good, and there is so much potential in the source material.

Days of Blood and Starlight

9781444722680By: Laini Taylor

Sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

Karou is alone in so many ways. She is apart from her friends, she can never be with the man she believed she loved and she is trapped by those who seem to hate her but need her. She has taken over Brimstone’s mantle, she is the Resurrectionist. The Chimera need her for their new type of war. Karou shoulder so much guilt and feels so terribly alone. Then she receives a gift, a friend she thought gone forever is returned to her from the most unexpected source. Zuzanna and Mik also turn up unannounced and totally unexpected bringing some joy and focus into Karou’s existence. Then she discovers just what kind of war she is part of and she knows something needs to change.

Akiva is a broken angel. Convinced he has lost Karou forever he rejoins his brother and sister in their side of the war. He too finds the war is something he does not want to be part of and that things need to change. Akiva finds hope when he thought there was none, when he finds Karou alive, but things between them can never be the same too much has happened. He is determined though, this time to make that first step towards the change to a life the two of them had dreamt about together.

Then he discovers the war isn’t the only problem.

I waited so long to return to this world and Taylor didn’t disappoint. I truly don’t care if it takes as long for the next book to come out. Good things shouldn’t be rushed and this is a good thing. Karou is an awesome character; strong, fragile, determined, flawed. Together these traits paint for us a very real character, she is someone you barack for, someone you are prepared to follow on their journey, someone who’s pain reaches into you. Akiva is just as broken, his vision was pure but has become tainted by his actions. His choices have affected his possibilities. You feel Akiva’s anguish. Yet in no way does he appear weak. Their love story is full of pain, tragedy and you hope there is a future for them but more, you hope there is a future for the characters that surround them. The way Taylor has crafted her characters to fill a very vivid and real world, is amazing. Issa, Zuzana, Mik, Ziri, Hazael and Liraz give our central characters places to feel safe and to bounce off. Zuzana and Mik bring, at times, some light relief that adds welcome texture to the situation. Both the really real and the created worlds are so well detailed, picturing them is no problem, you can feel the heat, taste the desolation. Taylor has crafted a great read. I can’t wait to see where she takes it but I’m okay to wait for that.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

Published: 08 November 2012

Format: Paperback 528 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Angels, Chimera Romance

ISBN 13: 9871444722680 


The Children of the King

I received my copy as an ARC from the publisher.By: Sonya Hartnett

Cecily, Jeremy and their mother have left war time London for the safety of the countryside. Once there they are joined by evacuaa May. Cecily and May are able to play and keep each other entertained even though May isn’t quite what Cecily expected. While exploring the ruins of Snow Castle they meet two strange boys. From that moment on past and present join together and the two girls learn about the mysterious possible history of the old castle.

This is the sort of book that is a little difficult to review simply because I don’t want to give too much away. Suffice to say timelines blend through the device of Uncle Peregrin’s story. Cecily is a kind of selfish girl who’s moods and attitudes allow for May’s character to be a lovely counter to her. Jeremy’s arc is a little different as he is a 14 year old boy who is annoyed at being forced to hide from the war that has driven him from the city. All of the arcs – the girls, Jeremy and the story told by Uncle Peregrin, blend together to create a really interesting piece of historical fiction. It is nicely written, delicately balanced, with snippets of wisdom to be mined should you choose.

Will definitely suit a child with an interest in history or even just a well crafted story. This is the sort of book I want to share with my kids.

Publisher: Penguin Australia

Published: 21st March 2012

Format: Hardcover, 276 pages

Categories: History, War, Family

ISBN: 9780670076130

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

Duty Calls – Dunkirk

By: James Holland

It is May 1940 and 16 year old Johnny Hawke is in the middle of war. He felt compelled to sign up because of his father and his oldest sister’s beau. Johnny signed up because of duty, he just wanted to do what he thought he should. War though, is not like he imagined.

Stukas and Messerschmitts fly overhead, unleashing bombs and bullets. Vehicles and buildings are twisted, crumbled, blackened wrecks. Men and animals lie dead and dying. This is as real as it gets and Johhny and the men he serves with will fight for each moment, wondering how they will survive.

This book is gritty. It is dirty, bloody and violent, everything you expect from a book about WW2. Johnny is young, innocent and idealistic. Caught up in concepts of duty and honour, he finds himself thrust into the mud and guts of war. Sgt Spears is Johnny’s commanding officer and brother-in-law, who has been charged with keeping Johnny safe by the family they share. These two men form the core of this survival story.

There is nothing nice about this military account. it is tightly and realistically told. Holland plunges us into the dirty, dark aspects of battle while never crossing a line that would put this into adult fiction. He walks the line of informative realism and appropriateness for age, well. Men die, the violence is descriptive so in this way it is not a good choice for younger readers, however for a teenager with an interest in history and war, you could do much worse than this.

Publisher: Puffin Books

Published: 02 June 2011

Format: Paperback 352 pages

Categories: Historical, War

ISBN 13: 9780141332192

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

Simpson and his Donkey – Book Trailer

West Australian author Mark Greewood and illustrator Frane Lessac have produced a few informative picture books suitable for younger children, including one on Ned Kelly and this one on war hero Simpson and his donkey.

Lady Knight

By: Tamora Pierce

Protector of the Small series bk 4

Keladry of Mindelan has done it, she survived as a page, a squire and made it through her Ordeal. Now she faces war. Tortall is at war with the Scanrans and her first commission is to oversee the refugee camp. Not a posting she thought to have after all her years of training. Her way of viewing others makes her uniquely suited to this command, even if she is untried. Kel chaffs at the task though because before she sets out for war she has a vision in the Chamber – she was shown the man behind the creation of the horrific battle machines and what he does to animate them. The Chamber told her their paths would cross and it would be up to her to stop him. Kel is torn between her duty to her commander and crown and to the quest she believes will save lives and change the course of the war. (Vague spoiler alert!) Then her command is attacked and she risks everything to do what she knows she has to do.

This is the final book of the Protector of the Small series and as such has a grander scope. Kel faces her own doubts as well as those of others. She struggles between duty and what she believes to be right. She abhors injustice and deals with the challenges her command hands her, in her own unique way. Kel’s way wins people over, she is smart, strong and very determined.

Added to the familiar characters is Tobe, another of Kel’s rescued strays. Tobe is an orphan with a smart mouth and a drive for self preservation, Kel also recognises the horse mage that is hidden under his beaten exterior. Pierce has put together an incredible and varied ensemble cast to surround and support Keladry, they are so well drawn that they appear so clearly in my imagination, part of me wants to follow them through the years. The world of Tortall is well travelled, well developed and this story is narrowly focussed as it sits comfortably in the bigger picture. There are elements of humour in some of the darkest situations adding to the wonderful texture. Tightly written and wonderfully told, Kel comes into her own here as she takes the steps than earn her the title ‘The Protector of the Small’.

Kel is one of my favourite characters of all time and I am so glad there are still stories flowing from the pen of Tamora Pierce.

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

Published: 01 August 2003

Format: Paperback 431 pages

Categories: Fantasy Adventure War Courage

ISBN 13: 9780375814716

Purchase: here or use link to Booktopia on side of page

Hour of Need

I received this book from Random House

Hour of Need

By: Michael Pryor

Laws of Magic series bk 6

(Spoiler Alert if you haven’t finished book 5)

Aubrey Fitzwilliam is considered a renegade and traitor in his own land. instead of seeking to right this problem he chooses to track down his enemy Dr Mordecai Tremaine. To do this he ventures deep into the heart of enemy territory and finally has Tremaine in his crosshairs. Things seldom go smoothly for Aubrey though and what he uncovers at Tremaine’s base leaves him wondering and very worried. He has known for a while that his enemy was seeking immortality and that the path to that is a bloody one, but what Tremaine appears to be doing to attain his goal leaves Aubrey’s blood running cold.

A terrifying combination of electrical science and cutting edge but soul shattering magic seems destined to bring the world far closer to destruction than most people realise. Only Aubrey appears to grasp what is going on and how much is at stake.To stop Tremaine may cost Aubrey the very life he fought so long to save. Fortunately Aubrey isn’t alone.

Wow, what a way to end a series.

I feel I should warn you I may gush a little here but this is the final book in this series so I am going to talk about the things I loved about these books.

Aubrey, for all his ability is a very thoughtful and moral character, though he is in no way perfect. He doesn’t always know the answer but he always tries. He stands for what he believes and does what needs to be done without much thought about personal accolades, he just doesn’t want to let his friends or family down.

George is a wonderful counterpoint to Aubrey, in so many ways. He is in no way considered less by Aubrey because he has no magic, like a true friend Aubrey sees George’s strengths and abilities and he values his friend for them.

Caroline is a wonderful character. She is strong, smart and thoroughly enjoyable to read about, though like her friends she is in no way perfect. It is a real pleasure to find stories where the girls are strong of mind, will and ability. Where they are able to go toe to toe with the boys and in a manner that is indicative of equals. Caroline doesn’t need magic to stand side by side with Aubrey she just needs to be herself. In addition I’d like to mention the suffragette movement in these books. It never seemed preachy to me and I think that is a credit to Pryor and the way he developed and wrote Caroline, Lady Rose and Sophie.

Dr Mordecai Tremaine is all about power and self. He is not a character we ever like or even really understand, but as Aubrey tries to do just that, he comes to know more about himself. This really works on two levels; the character development of Aubrey and in giving texture to the story as a whole.

These were the first steampunk novels I bought and I love them. I found myself totally immersed in the world Pryor created; the depth of character and a story wonderfully balanced with action, espionage, humour and humanity. These books are filled with light and shade. The labyrinthine layers to Tremaine’s plotting may have gotten confusing, clunky or even obvious in another’s hand, but Pryor never allows it to get that way. Cleverly and seemingly effortlessly (though I am sure it wasn’t) he weaves complex pieces together producing a fascinating and addictive read. I think I am going to miss these characters.

Publisher: Random House Australia

Published: 2 May 2011

Format: Paperback 437 pages

Categories: Adventure Crime Fantasy Steampunk

ISBN 13: 9781741663105

Purchase from Booktopia using logo on side of the page

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