September 30, 2013

Beneath the Thirteen Moons

Beneath the Thirteen Moons is one of my very favorite books, written by one of my favorite authors.

This was the book that started my obsession with fantasy romance. I never had dared pick up a romance book before I read this for the first time eight years ago. I cannot say how many times since then I have read it; suffice to say, I have read it a fair few.

When I was graduating from high school I wanted to buy this book to bring with me to college. Since I was going as a Creative Writing major I wanted to bring the books that had inspired me to write. But I didn't own Beneath the Thirteen Moons. It was selling for $113 on ebay, but 'I learned from Kathryne Kennedy's website that it was coming out in a second edition. The book would soon be available for $15 at every major book store in America. I was ecstatic and wrote a letter to Kennedy telling her how much I loved her books, and how excited I was for my favorite to be republished. She. Sent. Me. A. First. Edition! With a lovely note wishing me well in my future as a writer. I almost died of happiness. End of sidetracked story :)

I wanted to reread this book because I love it so much and wanted to write a review to share with all of you. If you like fantasy romance Kennedy is a MUST read, so go quickly and buy one of her books. Any of them! I have read all of her books, they all are wonderful. Her writing is wonderful, her characters are well developed, believable, and likeable, and her magic systems well constructed.

This book is a five star, absolutely. I loved every second of it, even reading it for the umpteenth time. Kennedy does steamy moments like no one's business. The business inside the flower? Yeah. Read it, and you will understand what I mean ;)

September 29, 2013

Debt of Bones

I absolutely adore the Sword of Truth series. Goodkind is a fantastic author. His huge novels are filled with the perfect balance of magic, suspense, action, and romance. Debt of Bones is a short story that takes place in the same world as the Sword of Truth series, but takes place many years before the main protagonist, Richard Rahl, is born. I have putting off reading the remainder of this series because I don't want it to end...but after Silver's Lure I needed a good book.

The only thing I didn't like about this book was how short it was. The book was only 160 pages, which is tiny when compared to Goodkind's 800 paged other novels in the series.

If you have not read this series, I highly suggest reading it. The whole series is five star material, and this book is no exception. It is one of my very favorite series. And there is a tv series based off of it. So after you love the books, you should watch the series :)

Have a suggestion for me to read? Leave a comment! And don't forget to check out the contest for October, entries close October 1st at 11:59 pm.

September 28, 2013

Silver's Lure

This book was awful. It was hard to finish. I picked it up because it was by the publisher: Luna. They usually publish good romances, and the summary sounded very fantasy and fun. But 60 pages in, I knew it was not going to get any better. It was confusing, the world was not well constructed, and the writer kept jumping from character to character without fully introducing us to them. For the rest of the novel I kept thumbing through not caring a whit about what I was reading. Course, I may have cared if I could actually understand what I was reading…

It was also rather poorly written. It was so full of typos, and a plot that made no sense. But the worst part? There was no good romance to keep the story going. It’s Luna for goodness sake! If I pick up a Luna book that says I automatically expect it to be a romance.

I give this book zero stars because I hated reading it. And if I had not needed to read a book a day, I would not have finished reading it.

September 27, 2013

Blood Witch

Number three was actually better! Lots less whining from Morgan, thank goodness, and she really is starting to use her powers!

I have known since book one that Cal and his mother were using Morgan for some nefarious purpose. It irritates me that Morgan observes all these huge clues, but doesn't use her brain to figure out what is actually going on. She sees things and then just forgets to tell people about it, or think about it. But yeah, yeah, love is blind and all that... What confuses me is that the two lovely witches in the shop are a part of Cal's mother;s coven. Why? They seem to see and know a lot. I can't imagine they would be hoodwinked as easily as Morgan.

I don't know if I'll finish the series as I only picked up books 1-3 and there are 15 in the series...I may stop just because number 3 didn't end with a dang cliff hanger, so I'm no dying to know more...for which I am very grateful. Because I enjoyed this book more than the rest, it deserves 3 stars. It still wasn't fabulous writing, but I liked Morgan a bit more now that she isn't whining and crying and throwing fits every ten seconds.

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September 26, 2013

The Coven

The Coven was about as good as Book of Shadows. Simplistic, not very well written, but I still am planning on reading book three.

One good thing (I guess) about these books is the way they end. If they didn’t conclude with crazy cliff hangers I wouldn’t even bother picking up the next book. So while I put down the book cursing its cliff ending for making e turn to the next book, I’m reading the next book, so their ploy is working. *Shoots daggers at author*

I’m not enjoying the books though. They are ‘fair’ at best. Plot lines are sloppy, characters are undeveloped and transparent. These are great if you are ten and like witch books. But I’m 22, and prefer well written books with characters I care about. I really don’t understand how this is considered YA. Joseph Delaney’s Middle School books: The Last Apprentice Series, are far better material than this slop. Maybe it’s the love nonsense…*rolls eyes* Hot, powerful, bad boy meets plain, virginal, doesn’t know she is powerful yet girl. It reeks of cliché SO bad.

Book two gets two stars because I don’t like the writing or the characters. Morgan can go jump off a cliff for all I care. And yet…I continue to read. If it weren’t for those stupid cliff hangers… *shakes fist in anger*

Don't forget to check out the October Giveaway! It's free to enter, just a Facebook like and a comment on the blog (or FB) with the title of your favorite book. Entry ends October 1st at 11:59 pm!

September 25, 2013

Book of Shadows

I really am unsure how I feel about this book. On one hand, I love witches and stories which break down stereotypes and the demonization of Wicca. On the other hand, I didn’t think the story was very well constructed.

Book of Shadows was short, only 175ish pages. That would not bother me if a complete story had been constructed. Sanderson proved that 175 pages is sufficient to craft a fantastic story, but this isn’t so for Tiernan. The story stops before any real climax happens, and worse, the book ends with a random kiss.

The book felt like a cross between The Secret Circle Series and The Craft. Bloodwitch finds out she has powers when she starts practicing with a circle? Straight out of The Craft. And the amount of similarities between The Secret Circle are too numerous to mention. Then I found out that Tiernan edited The Secret Circle Series (in her biography on Shelfari). I cannot believe that L.J. Smith hasn’t sued Tiernan into the ground…

There were also some lines that made me want to punch the editor for negligence:

The beginning:The beginning is so Twilight-esque I wanted to throw up. Basically it was “My life started when I saw Cal. He was so hot.” Warning strobe lights going off in my head…never a good way to start a story if you want to be taken seriously.

First interaction with hot guy: As he walks away from their first conversation she comments that she can still feel the warmth of his touch. I re-read that section three times…he never touched her.

Horrendous line: “Just looking at the books’ spines, I felt that my mind was blooming like a flower.” First of all…cliché simile alert!!! And second, it is so poorly phrased I can’t even… I read it, snorted, and then promptly wondered why the heck I was reading this nonsense.

But I am intrigued. Because there was no real climax, I want to keep reading to find out what will happen. Specifically I want to know more about Cal. He causes so much trouble between best friends, Bree and Morgan, I cannot imagine he is good. Why would anyone with half a brain sleep with Bree while trying to get Morgan’s attention? Either he is stupid or malicious, and I intend to find out which it is.

I give Book of Shadows two and a half stars. The faint stench of plagiarism ruins any exciting story material, and the editorial mistakes dock it further.

Don't forget to check out the October Giveaway! It's free to enter, just a Facebook like and a comment on the blog (or FB) with the title of your favorite book. Entry ends October 1st at 11:59 pm!

September 24, 2013

Children of Hurin

Children of Hurin is a tragedy, make no mistake by expecting a happy ending. So if desiring to read of this epic Tolkien tome, grab a box of tissues, a mug of ale, and a hobbit sized supper.

Seriously, the ale and supper is important! I absolutely adore Tolkien’s work, and have read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, but his stories are work to get through. So many complex names, and such intricate histories. But if you can get past that, he is a fantastic story teller and linguist. So as a huge fan of the world of Middle Earth, I knew I had to read this book. I enjoyed it, but it is a completely different kind of enjoyment than most of the books I review here. Reading this book is more like reading a Norwegian epic. Historical, dense, and (as the name suggests) epic!

If you are a Tolkien/LOTR/Hobbit/Middle Earth nerd then you should absolutely read this book. I give it a four out of five just because I dislike how long it takes me to read Tolkien. Because the names are so numerous and the material so thick, I often have to re-read paragraphs to remind myself who we are talking about and what is happening.

September 23, 2013

Wisdom's Kiss

Wisdom’s Kiss was horrible. Absolutely unreadable. If I hadn’t been forced to finish it for this blog, I would have put the book down after chapter two.

There were so many points of view, and there was no good character development or world building before leaping to the next POV. The only character I mildly liked reading about was Trudy. She was interesting with her gift of seeing the future. That does not, however, mean that I liked Trudy; she was quite annoying. Someone would come in to town who would trigger her gift and all she could do was scream. Not warn people or do anything useful.

Besides the parts that Trudy narrated, the rest of the book was scattered, unorganized, and boring. This was a surprise because I relatively enjoyed Murdock’s book Princess Ben, which I would probably categorize as a 3 star book. Wisdom’s Kiss, on the other hand, earns no stars. I would not recommend reading it at all.

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September 22, 2013


Today I read Malavita by Tonino Benacquista which has been made into the movie The Family. It is not my usual genre, and I never would have picked it up if it had not been for a group I belong to who reads books which are made into movies. We go together to watch the movie and discuss the book and movie.

****Slight Spoilers Ahead****

I had heard that Malavita was a French comedy about an American mob family. Perhaps it was the fact that the story was translated, or perhaps because I am not French and so do not have the same humor expectations, but I did not think the story was funny at all. Unrealistic, stereotyped characterizations, and exaggerated situations, but not funny. The only part that gave me a slight chuckle was when the father Giovanni/Fred ponders the inexplicable purpose of a semicolon. I love them (being semicolons), but I know they do throw some people for a loop. Especially people like Giovanni who neither read nor write very extensively.

One of the first things I learned as a Creative Writing major in college was how to keep the story moving. How to weed out unnecessary parts that slow down the story, or don’t provide some necessary meaning. This story was not as fine combed as I would have liked. There were several instances that I felt kept the story from moving forward. One of these pointless parts was when Giovanni/Fred’s nephew comes to visit. Ben really serves no purpose in the story. His arrival causes some irritation, but other than that, there is no reason or relation to the rest of the story.

There was also a great deal of sexual randomness. For example: Giovanni/Fred breaks a plumber's arms with a hammer. The narrator takes us home with the plumber (another unnecessary part that could have been weeded out). The plumber tells us about how he has this awful rash that he often has to bathe several times a day to make it stop itching. We get this incredibly awkward moment where his *clears throat* itches, and since he cannot scratch himself, he has his wife do it. Because of this, he is aroused and it rekindles their love life. WHAT?! So random, first of all. Second, what was the necessary information that drives the story forward? Oh right…none. And third, how would that possibly rekindle their love life?

I give this book a two out of five. While I definitely did not hate the book, I did not like it either. I often found myself skimming because I couldn’t take the unnecessary parts any more. I would, however, recommend reading it if you want to see the movie. They only changed a few details in the movie, and I think it accompanies the book very well.

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September 21, 2013

Throne of Glass

I really enjoyed…most of this book. In some ways it was better than I expected, in some ways it was worse. I mean…a story about Cinderella that has her being an assassin? How could I NOT love it?!

****Spoilers Ahead****

First, the good:
I liked Maas’ writing. I thought it was engaging and true to her audience. Neither too young, nor too lofty. I honestly was expecting fanfiction writing, which can often been good, but is not often AWESOME. This was much better than I expected, which is probably why it was pulled off fanfiction to be published!
Celaena! She was smart mouthed, and flirty. Two things I love in a heroine. Of course she does have character flaws, like thinking she is all that and a bag of cookies, when she really isn’t, but character flaws are okay. But I wanted her to be more…assassin like. But I’ll save that for the Bad section.
I read the back cover and groaned at the first line, “Two men love her.” Well daisies and buttercups, I freaking love triangle. If you have read some of my other reviews, you’ll know how much I hate unnecessary, bad love triangles. This one, actually I did not mind. I loved her relationship with Chaol. I thought it was well developed, unlike the relationship between Dorian and Celaena. And…I found Chaol to be a much more interesting character. Dorian was all aloof, cool, and arrogant prince-like and then became a puppy when sparks started flying. Ugh. Not a fan. And as that is more of a bad…we shall move on!

The not so wonderful:
A friend commented that Celaena is a Mary Sue character, and while I don’t totally agree, there were obvious signs. Celaena gawks at how hot she is all the time in the mirror and goes on and on how gorgeous she is and how men look at her appreciatively. No one cares! You are an assassin, so kill someone!
I also don’t buy that she is a famous assassin. She is supposedly this famous, feared assassin by 17…only I can’t see how. She is much too soft. She lets her emotions rule the way she fights. And she sleeps far too well. Come on! How has she not been bested before this? She would make a terrible real assassin. Well trained girl with anger management problems? Yes. Assassin? No.
The villains were far too obvious, much to my chagrin. How did Celaena ever think Nehemia was bad? Come on…the whole matching black evil rings that the King and Duke have? And the fact that Cain kept getting bigger and stronger. Pah. Unless he is using some magical roids…that dude is up to no good.
I also didn’t enjoy the magic in this story. *GASP* I know…the fantasy dork didn’t like the magic…crazy. But honestly, I thought Maas had a really solid plot with the slightly fantasy feel of the kingdom and the assassin contest. I think the magic, fae, and Wyrd just muddied it up and deviated from the plot I was interested in.
Last, but not least, I HATE the cover. Nothing about her soft face and pretty eyes says, “I’ll carve off your flesh without a knife.” Not even that dinky little knife strapped to her arm. This edition though?
Oh HECK YES. Let the blood be spilt! I wish I had picked up that edition instead.

I did really enjoy this book, although I really didn’t like the inclusion of magic or her relationship with Dorian, so I give it a 4 out of 5. I will likely read the next book just because I want Chaol and Celaen to be together…pathetic reason to read a book…but I’m a sucker :)

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September 20, 2013

Mister Monday

When books are written by Garth Nix…they should be devoured quickly, with love, and no small amount of geeking…

****Slight Spoilers Ahead****

I picked this series because I adore Garth Nix’s writing. I held off reading it because I was really worried I would hate it. But I was hooked after the prologue. So good.

My only disappointment about Mister Monday is the age group it was focused on. The Abhorsen Trilogy is one of my very favorites, Lirael being one of my top ten favorite books of all time. The Keys to the Kingdom series, however, is written for a much younger audience. Ordinarily this wouldn’t bother me as when I pick up a book meant for younger audience I keep that in mind, but I was expecting the writing to be more along the lines of the Abhorsen Trilogy and it wasn’t.

Arthur is an interesting character. He is smart, courageous, and kind, but, again, I have to compare him to Nix’s other characters. I didn’t feel that Arthur ‘popped’ for me like Sabriel or Lirael did. He was a cool kid and I enjoyed him, but there was something missing for me, like he wasn’t fully developed.

Then there's Suzy Turquoise Blue, what a fun name! She was pretty awesome, a more full character than Arthur. She has on layers and layers of clothing, and is quite dirty. She also has this infectious happiness about her. I picture her with short, frizzing red hair, a smattering of freckles, and a broad smile on her young face. What I like best about her, I think, is that she isn’t an immediate love interest. Arthur is in the seventh grade, so about the age when girls stop having cooties, but the thought of Suzy like that doesn’t cross his mind. He focuses on the tasks at hand, and he and Suzy become allies, and I think friends. I may want to ship them in later novels, but I’m relieved Nix left them alone for now.

Look at Suzy!! Isn't she cute!? theintrovert over at Deviantart made this fabulous picture of Suzy and Arthur, and has kindly allowed me to use the artwork here. Go over and check out more of theintrovert's artwork: click here!

And there is the Will. At first I really liked the Will in its froggy form with the comic relief of his deep voice coming out of Suzy, but then at the end he got creepily controlling…so now I have some misgivings about whether releasing the Will is the right thing to do…guess I’ll have to read the rest of the series to find out!

The House in which a large part of the book takes place is very Nix. It reminded me of Death in the Abhorsen series. Nix is very good at building places with lots of backdoors and levels and all sorts of crazy things you cannot imagine!

I give this book a four out of five, because while I liked the book I did not love it as much as I had hoped I would. Perhaps if I had not read the Abhorsen Trilogy I wouldn’t have this problem…but it’s just so brilliant and fantastic…I may have to re-read it so I can review it here.

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September 19, 2013


I was so sorely disappointed in this book it borders on hate. As such, this blog post will be a rather long rant on the idiocies, irritating unanswered questions, and terrible characters that plague this book.

****Heavy Spoilers Ahead!****

WARNING: Reading this series may result in wanting to scream at the author, bash her over the head with the book to knock some sense (and hopefully better writing) into her, and order her to re-write the last two books. Read at your peril.

I was left with so many questions, questions that I’m beginning to suspect that Lauren Destefano doesn’t have answers for. The readers, as a result, know almost nothing about this world which makes it really hard for us to understand and imagine it. Here are some questions I wish had been answered:

We get half answers in infodumps. Hawaii was introduced in this book as a society untouched by the ‘virus’. Why? No idea. We are never told. Why introduce Hawaii if some clue or key wasn’t hidden there? I see no real point to having this revelation about Hawaii.

Destefano also explains why there is limited technology in this world by saying that all phones and the internet were basically switched off and the decision was only met with mild opposition. No. Way. Not for a second do I believe that. And why, once they figured out that cell phones and the internet were not the cause, did they not turn it back on?! Oh. So you could have a futuristic, apocalyptic type world? That isn’t a good enough reason.

They are flaunted throughout the series as this big, mysterious experiment Rhine’s mother and father were a part of, and oh yeah, the series is NAMED AFTER THEM!! But then it is not explained or explored at all.

What is the purpose of the procedure where needles are put through Rhine and Rowan’s eyes? I’m no genetic scientist, but I’m pretty sure that sticking needles in people’s eyes won’t cure their strange genetic mutation. So why does Destefano do it? Because she was too lazy to research what a real doctor would do and instead chose what she thought would be most scary. Vaughn also goes on and on about how special Rhine and Rowan are. But what about them (besides their mismatched eyes) is special? Nothing that we know! So completely frustrating that Destefano brings out all these interesting tidbits to dangle and then brushes them under the rug.

Rhine pretty much does nothing this entire book. She keeps whining about how she needs to find her brother, but then sits and does nothing for at least half the book. Your 20 years are fast running out, your brother is blowing things up, and you sit and organize stuff?! Do something!

She just gives up all the time! She spends two and a half books running away from Vaughn and then just joins him, no struggle, when she sees that her brother trusts him. She doesn’t even try to tell her brother about the awful things Vaughn has done; she just asks him why he believes everything Vaughn says. His brilliant answer is something like, “Just wait. I’ve seen things.” Because that’s reassuring! You should totally climb aboard an aircraft with a crazy lunatic who put needles in your eyes and kills people so he can cut them up and experiment on them, and your slightly less crazy brother who blows up labs.

Rhine decides at the end of the book not to search for those awful things she was in Vaughn’s lab. Seriously? One, the reader wants to know. Two, I believe that any sane person who cared about the people, like Jenna and Diedre, who were frozen and trapped down there would want to put them to rest. It is just lazy writing not to delve into that.

Destefano carefully constructs the obligatory YA love triangle in Whither only to pretend that it isn’t there in Sever.

A. Linden and Rhine spend the entire book wanting, but not wanting, each other. She seems to be backpedalling from her decision not to be with Linden like, Linden obviously is such a wonderful guy, I shouldn’t have betrayed him. Oh no, we aren’t married, I think I care for him still! Seriously?! He bought you and allowed you and your other sister-wives to be used like guinea pigs.

B. How are readers supposed to want Linden to be with any of the girls? Especially Cecily, who is 14 and pregnant for the second time. We get all these disgustingly ‘cute’ family moments between Cecily and Linden. You are not fooling anyone Destefano. Linden didn’t really like her before, he certainly doesn’t love her just because she had his child. Examine human behavior before you slap crap on a page.

C. Gabriel is boring, but a convenient helper when Rhine needs to escape. She has to be given drugs to make out with him, and we see her yearning for more kisses from Linden, but it seems that she ends up with Gabriel in the end. Boring.

The secondary characters are seriously the only thing that keep this book afloat, which is simply pathetic. If there were not characters like Cecily and Reed I would rate this book as a negative star.

We get to see more of Rowan in this book, but I wish she had just left him out. He is not smart, and his motivation is all sorts of crazy. He is blowing up labs for Vaughn because he thinks Rhine was killed in one, but then he lets Vaughn experiment on him?? How does that makes sense at all? It doesn’t.

Cecily turned out to be a much more enjoyable character in this book. She is less whiney and jealous, finally starts using her brain where Vaughn is involved, and grows a spine. She fiercely protects those she loves, and although Rhine compares herself to a mother for Cecily, it is Cecily who is more the mother to Rhine, and Rhine the troublesome child.

Cecily, Rhine, and Linden drive from Florida towards New York. Without a map. It’s not like there is a single highway you can just get on, often you have to change freeways two or three times during long road trips. You would most definitely need a map. This is all assuming that the highways are not in a RIDICULOUS state of disrepair after all those years of no one using them and no one fixing them…

I thought Linden dying was so unnecessary and random. I’m relatively sure Destefano only did it so she could kill Vaughn. On that note, Vaughn’s death was so anticlimactic. I knew Cecily was going to kill him from the moment Reed taught her to use a gun for NO REASON AT ALL. Way to shout to your readers, Clue! Clue! Cecily’s going to use a gun later, who do ya think she’ll shoot?! The entire basis of the books is never completely answered. The world isn’t made right, and we don’t know if they solved the early death thing. So what was the point of this series? It wasn’t teenage love in the face of horrible circumstances. It wasn’t to solve the question of why this happened to the world so they can fix it. And it wasn’t to cure themselves, because we don’t even know if that happened for sure or what the cure is.

This book gets one star only because I loved the first book. But I hated this book, and since the entire series served no POINT, I really don’t recommend starting this series. Book one is fabulous, but it’s not worth it. At all.

Have you read this book? Let me know what you thought!!

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September 18, 2013

The Sleeping Beauty

****Slight Spoilers****

Series Synopsis:

In this series, a force of magic called the Tradition forces people into the stereotypes of famous stories. Sometimes things work out well, the sleeping spell that was put on a princess is broken by a prince, the girl with the mean stepmother who forces her to be a slave is rescued by true love, and so on. But often the Tradition doesn’t get things right. Princes are too old or too young, and sometimes they don’t desire princesses at all… It is the Fairy Godmother’s job to sort things out, protect her kingdom, and ensure that everyone lives Happily Ever After.

Mercedes Lackey’s The Sleeping Beauty is an easy adult read. The plots are simplistic and highly predictable, the obvious reason being the Tradition. Most everyone who reads these stories likely knows all the tales the Tradition would draw from, making the sequence of plots easy to detect. Good and evil characters are also easy to determine. I don’t have a fault with the predictability of these books; it’s hard for them not to be predictable when they are pulling from such familiar material.

What I do have a problem with are two plot points I did not think were explored enough. The first is the relationship between Sigmund and Rose. The buildup to falling in love was really well done, but there is no declaration of love…ever! They each realize that they love each other separately. There is never a declaration to each other, or a proposal of marriage…just at the end we learn that they have married and are now King and Queen. This is a LUNA book. It is a fantasy ROMANCE. And we don’t get but one good kiss and separate realizations of love before they are married?! We do see a mention that they are enjoying each other’s…company…at the end, but that is it.

The other plot point that irritated me was that the evil prince’s motivation was unclear. He obviously wanted to rule the kingdom, but why? That why was unclear. What is his backstory? What drove him to decide to take over this kingdom? How did he get to be an evil sorcerer? What exactly is his connection to the Huntsman? None of these questions are answered.

What makes this book worth the read if it is predictable? The characters. The women in this series are strong, clever, and passionate. The men who win their hearts are strong, compassionate, and love fiercely. They are fabulous blend of love, adventure, and magic. In this book especially, I loved Princess Rosemund. She uses her head in tough situations, and is practical and clever.

Although I did really enjoy this book, (as I have all the rest in the series) those two unfinished plot points cost the score one star. So this book gets 4 stars. I would recommend this series to anyone who likes simplistic fantasy romance. I would, however, start with book one which is The Fairy Godmother. It is a five star novel and the perfect introduction to the world of the Five Hundred Kingdoms.

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