An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund
Jody Hedlund does not disappoint! Her dedication for her craft shines through in her flawless writing. Her stories are equally captivating and sweet. The romantic 'feels' grow in An Uncertain Choice until the climax is just a delicious bucket load of em. :) I'm happy to hear that it's the first in a series!
The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, and A Conspiracy of Kings, by Megan Whalen Turner
This series was SO good! I read them because they were said to be similar to the Ascendance trilogy, and they were so much so that they are now my second fav series to the infamous Ascendance trilogy (if anybody knows me they know that that's a huge compliment). One of the most fascinating aspects to this whole series (for me as a writer as well) was the fact that the climaxes and battles are not that big or astounding. Rather, the plots ride on great characters and lots of twists and turns and simply, excellent writing. Megan Whalen Turner, I envy your abilities!
The Beyonders by Brandon Mull
This series was very original. The land, language and characters were different enough from the typical Narnia and Lord of the Rings type of 'other world' that it was refreshing and interesting. The main characters were always struggling against impossible odds, which was compelling. Unfortunately the characters themselves were a bit bland. I never really knew them, even after three books, so at the climax I wasn't yearning for their victory so much as mildly interested in how it would all pan out.
Story Thieves by James Riley
The kids were so excited for the release of James Riley's new book that we had to pre-order it. True to his nature, the book was laugh aloud funny and very whacky original. I didn't think it was as good as his Half Upon a Time series, but to my amazement, my six year old sister came away from her dolls to listen in and was quickly sticking the book under my nose and nagging me to read every waking moment of the day. This was THE first book to ever captivate her enough to draw her away from her own factitious world of playing dolls and captivate her inside Mr. Riley's factious world, where story book characters come alive and dragons roam our streets. The six year old also insisted that we write Mr. Riley straight away and she dictated me a letter telling him how good his book was. He humorously and promptly responded, much to her delight, which was also a big plus.
The Wide-Awake Princess, Unlocking the Spell, The Bravest Princess by E. D. Baker
After having her attention sponged up in the Story Thieves, my six year old sister wanted more books read aloud to her. This series was the PERFECT find for that! We're still reading the second one, but the first was just darling and the second is proving equally as wonderful. The books aren't written down for children, their plots twist around but not too complicatedly, and the characters are still flushed out well. I was interested enough to put up with going hoarse reading a few hours a day! I'm also not too mature to admit that I'm looking forward to reading the rest, as well the 4th which releases March 2015! :)
Mark of the Thief by (the one and only amazing!!) Jennifer A. Nielsen
While we're on the subject of new releases, I'm VERY much anticipating this book, out Feb 24th 2015, by the same author that did my precious Ascendance Trilogy. :) I'll let you know what I think of it then!