Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pennyroyal Academy--M.A. Larson

Title: Pennyroyal Academy
Author: M.A. Larson
Publisher: G.P. Putnam, 2014.
Pages: 320 p.
Source: VOYA
Compensation: None

The first novel in a planned series, Pennyroyal Academy, opens with a young girl lost in a dark magical forest who stumbles on a deserted cottage. Hoping for shelter, she enters and quickly realizes she has made a huge mistake. The cottage belongs to a witch who returns with a captured boy. But this is no ordinary boy and girl. The two of them are able to escape the evil witch and begin a journey to Pennyroyal Academy, a school for knights and princesses who learn how to battle evil witches. While at the Academy the girl with no name discovers she is the victim of a curse and slowly discovers her true identity.

The traditional idea of princesses as kind generous girls remains true, but M.A. Larson has given them other qualities as well: strength and witch fighting abilities. Pennyroyal Academy is a boot camp for girls to train to join the Princess Army and help rid the world of the evil dangerous witches.  Readers will love the references to well-known Grimm's fairy tales as well as the idea of princesses who are not damsels in distress and can do their own saving. Younger readers who are closer to the princess-loving age may enjoy the novel more, but older readers will also appreciate the girl-power update to the fairy tale world of their youth.


That's my official VOYA review. I just finished reading Pennyroyal Academy to my 7 year old and she decided to do her own review as well:

M.A. Larson, Author
Pennyroyal Academy, Title

I liked Pennyroyal Academy because it is fiction and Evie learns about her family and I liked that it was different because the princesses were fighting witches instead of laying around.

I think that people should read it.

Edited 1/6/15 to include this tweet from Larson. How cool is he?

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Monday, December 01, 2014

Bane Chronicles--Cassandra Clare

Title: The Bane Chronicles
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry, 2014.
Pages: 528 p.
Source: VOYA
Compensation: none

Known to fans of Cassandra Clare's series The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, Magnus Bane is an immortal warlock straddling the line between good and evil. The son of a powerful demon, Bane often finds himself coming to the aid of helpless mundanes (regular humans) as well as other Downworlders (Werewolves, Vampires, Fairies) and even the haughty protectors of the world, Shadowhunters. A supporting player in Clare's series, Bane gets the center stage in The Bane Chronicles, a collection of short stories about his past and present. As with most short story collections with more than one author, the writing is a little uneven and some of the stories are less interesting than others but Bane's charismatic over-the-top character is enough to keep one reading. While just a companion to the two series and not a prequel or sequel, knowledge of the series definitely enhances the enjoyment of the book. The stories are mostly in chronological order starting with Bane's friendship with fellow warlocks Ragnor Fell and Catarina Loss in 1791 and following his exploits in mundane affairs (the French Revolution and the Stock Market crash in 1929). Fans will be most interested in the stories concerning Bane's connections with the Shadowhunters and his relationship with Alec Lightwood of The Mortal Instruments series.

I'm an Amazon Associate now. If you click on the Amazon links and buy anything I might make a tiny bit of money.

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