Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas

Another fly-by find from the library, this book is made great by both the characters and the mode of storytelling. Conn is the first person narrator, but in between each chapter you get a page or two of notes or letters from the wizard Nevery, so the change in perspective helps further along the plot. Loved all the characters. Loved Conn's strong stubbornness and innate trust in himself. Loved his matter-of-fact approach to life. Loved the way the relationships developed. I recommend this book for a quick getaway (sometimes I just want to escape from my life for a little while, don't you?). Highly enjoyable.

I'm utterly useless with pictures tonight. Blame the nasty cold complete with sinus headache. Here's a link.

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

A friend of mine recommended the movie to me, which I was surprised to learn is an anime movie that was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005 (lost to Wallace and Grommet, which I find creepy but my kids love). I have yet to see the movie, but I found the sequel to this book in the library during a fly-by and was thus reminded to check out the book. Sorry, long intro.

The basic premise is that Sophie gets turned into an old woman by a witch and goes out to seek her fortune and try to get her own figure back. Along the way she strikes a bargain with a fire demon and becomes housekeeper to the wizard Howl. It was a pretty good story. Not fantastic, but I did enjoy it. There was a little too much description of the scenery for my taste.

The sequel, written some 22 years later, I found much more compelling. It's called House of Many Ways. It has a different main character and a different setting, but Sophie and Howl and the fire demon get wrapped up in the plot, as well. The author employs a very imaginative use of magic (bending time and space).

Apparently there's another one called Castle in the Air. I think they all stand on their own and are only sequels in that some of the characters overlap.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

The Witch of Blackbird Pond The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If I read this book as a child, I don't remember it. But, that didn't matter at all because I really liked this book. It was a quick read and it had just the right amounts of suspense and love story and happy feelings.

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