Tuesday, July 22, 2014

COYER Book Reviews: The Stone in the Sword, and Summer Storm

Two more short reviews as I plow my way through the depths of my Kindle during the Clean Out Your eReader Summer Vacation challenge:
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The Stone in the Sword, by N.A. Roy

In this fantasy adventure, sixteen-year-old Charlie is on vacation to visit relatives in Scotland when his life takes a strange turn - he discovers the true nature of the power of Excalibur, has to rescue his brother who has been kidnapped by dark beings, and learns of his own unexpected powers and heritage.

It was hard for me to decide how to review this book; it's written for a considerably younger audience than the books I prefer to read, but in objective terms, I think middle grade and young teen readers will enjoy exploring the ancient, mysterious Scotland where Charlie's relatives live and the Sidhe world Charlie finds himself in. The book is fast-paced and not very long, with themes of brotherly love and self-sacrifice, a touch of Arthurian legend, and a thrilling magical battle.

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Summer Storm, by Elizabeth Baxter

In Summer Storm, Falen is a princess who wants to be a scientist, much to the displeasure of her father the King. While working on the project she hopes will get her admitted to the academy of engineering, she meets an old man who might have the solution to her problem - or plunge her life into nightmare.

I liked this. I enjoyed the use of science in a fantasy world, and the sense of dark things to come. I had a little trouble with Falen; it was hard to tell how old she is. Sometimes she acts like a petulant young teenager because her life has demands and responsibilities she doesn't like, but in one scene her father tells her it's well past time she was married. So that's my one problem with the story.

Otherwise, Summer Storm is well-written and entertaining. It's a novella-length prequel to the author's Wrath of the Northmen series, which I look forward to checking out.

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