Required Reading

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Friday, December 27, 2019

The Godmother by Elizabeth Scarborough



This is a fantasy explaining the basis for fairy tales as directed by a fairy godmother.

The premise is that many fairy tales as example those of the brothers Grimm, were truly grim and often contained timeless warnings.

The book was sad with some of the things that we do to each other and humorous with some of the fairy godmothers’ manipulations.

I enjoyed it. 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Superdreadnought 1 by CH Gideon

This is a space opera.  An AI built into a superdreadnought of the spaceship variety is sent on a quest to track down villainous Kurtherians.  The AI is lonely and seeks to find a career before carrying out it’s quest.

The premise is okay.  The allusion to far too many inside jokes referring to current or reasonably current television shows, songs and humor was overdone.   I find it hard to believe that TV shows of today would be remembered centuries in the future, let alone other pop culture references.

I thought the characterizations could have been better.   They seemed superficial although Ka’nak was not as clueless a behemoth as initially portrayed. 


The book was entertaining and obviously the first in a series. 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Breaking Silence by Mercedes Lackey and Cody Martin

This is a young adult book.  A group of teenagers find themselves facing creatures from their nightmares.  This is a book in the Serrated Edge Series.   

Staci, a blossoming mage, and her mentor Tim gather a Selkie and two mundanes to face a mysterious darkness that surrounds the mansion of a former foe.   The authors provide barely enough back story that you don’t feel completely lost. 

“Good Elves” move into town and hint that there is a darkness coming.   The authors provide the teenage protagonists with more than enough annoying teenage angst.  Alas the angst may be representative of teens but that is far in my past.

I enjoyed the book and the creative way that Staci finally uses her wits. 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Penric's Progress by Lois McMaster Bujold



Penric is a young man more interested in scholarly pursuits than most second sons of a borderline impoverished Barons.   He acquires a demon accidentally and has to learn what this means and how it will change his life.

I’m an admitted fan of Bujold so this review may be a trifle biased.  Her development of Penric as a character was admirably done.   You got a feeling of knowing the young man.   His adjustment to his situation was complex and the plots were entertaining.

This is a compilation of  Penric’s Demon, Penric and the Shaman and Penric’s Fox.

All three novellas were entertaining and I recommend them.





This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Blue Eye by Ausma Zehanat Khan


The third book in a possible four book series, The Blue Eye, again features Arian a strong female protagonist who is facing implacable misogynist foes.   Arian’s  has a manipulative vocal power she uses to escape a series of problems.  

Arian seems to find herself on one quest after another.   The Silver Mage finds himself betrayed by the Black Khan. 

As I said upon reading the second book, the problem with reading series one book at a time is continuity.  The first fifty pages of this book were taxing my memory as to who these people were and what were they trying to do.   There are a lot of characters and subplots.   After I got into the book, I was able to sort them out but with some difficulty.  

The book was interesting but not captivating.  Some of the deprivations and behavior could have been pulled from headlines regarding religious zealots across the world.  That sadly provided some gritty reality to the story.

The book never grabbed me and I found it a struggle to read it. 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Magic of the Gargoyles by Rebecca Chastain


Delightful!  A budding elemental whose medium is primarily quartz discovers unseen talents in herself.

Mika is struggling and trying to make ends meet.   She, however, has a big heart and when a gargoyle hatchling appeals to her for help she has no choice but to help.

The author created a lovable character in Mika and her pal, Kylie, is the kind of friend we all hope to have.

This was a short but delicious read!


I recommend, probably for young adult but I am way, way, way beyond that age and I loved it. 

Can't say that I loved the cover, it leads one to believe it is a romance novel. 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.