Tagged: Magic

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Book Review

About the book:

 “‘There is a plot, Harry Potter. A plot to make most terrible things happen at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this year.'” 

Harry Potter’s summer has included the worst birthday ever, doomy warnings from a house-elf called Dobby, and rescue from the Dursleys by his friend Ron Weasley in a magical flying car! Back at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his second year, Harry hears strange whispers echo through empty corridors – and then the attacks start. Students are found as though turned to stone… Dobby’s sinister predictions seem to be coming true.

Sam’s Review:

Hello again. Today in Sam’s Teen Reads Corner, we’ll be talking about, wait for it,  J.K Rowling’s second book in the Harry Potter series: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Harry and his friends go back for their second year at Hogwarts, once again, they find themselves in the middle of a battle between dark magic and good magic. And once again, Harry is the only one who can defeat Voldemort, only, this time, he won’t be fighting Voldemort himself, but a memory, the young Tom Riddle, the young self of the dark lord. But can he defeat the young Voldemort, or will he fail? And how, just how, does one fight a memory? Read it to answer these questions, and to take your magical journey to the next stop. This fantasy tale will captivate the minds of young adults everywhere from the first page, and is filled with twists and turns. It gets 5 stars, and two thumbs up. Please don’t forget to check out the link, and subscribe. Like and enable notifications and I’ll be seeing you next week, so hang in there. Bye!

Buy the book:

 You can buy this book on Amazon in Kindle, paperback, hardcover, audiobook or mass market paperback edition here. [affiliate link]

Jaguar Stones: MiddleWorld – Book Review

About the book:

Fourteen-year-old Max Murphy is looking forward to a family vacation. But his parents, both archaeologists and Maya experts, announce a change in plan. They must leave immediately for a dig in the tiny Central American country of San Xavier. Max will go to summer camp. Max is furious. When he’s mysteriously summoned to San Xavier, he thinks they’ve had a change of heart.

Upon his arrival, Max’s wild adventure in the tropical rainforests of San Xavier begins. During his journey, he will unlock ancient secrets and meet strangers who are connected to him in ways he could never have imagined. For fate has delivered a challenge of epic proportions to this pampered teenager.

Can Max rescue his parents from the Maya Underworld and save the world from the Lords of Death, who now control the power of the Jaguar Stones in their villainous hands? The scene is set for a roller-coaster ride of suspense and terror, as the good guys and the bad guys face off against a background of haunted temples, zombie armies, and even human sacrifice!

Sam’s Review:

Hello and welcome to another video, and today we will be talking about the book Middleworld by J & P Voelkel. Taking place in modern day Central America, the son of famous archaeologists, Max, learns that the Mayans never really disappeared, but live in the present. When his parents disappeared into the Mayan underworld, he teams up with Lola, also known as Ix Sak Lol, or Lady White Flower, in Mayan. Together, they learn that the only way to save Max’s parents from an undesirable fate, will be to journey to the black pyramid, the home of Ah Puku, the god of sudden and unnatural death. But can they reach it in time to find out? Well, don’t look at me for the answers. You can find out for yourself by reading the book, with all of its lovable characters and tense moments, and secrets galore.

The book is available at Amazon in Kindle, paperback, hardback, Audible and CD format here. [Affiliate Link]

Worthy of Song and Story – Book Review

Sam’s Teen Reads Corner is live with a new video. This time, it is for her review of Worthy of Song and Story by Neal Chase. Special thanks to Fiery Seas Publishing for a review copy of this book on Kindle. (This blog post contains an Amazon Affiliate link. When you make a purchase through this link, TRB receives a small percentage of your total purchase. This helps cover our expenses, and keeps www.thricereadbooks.com ad-free. Thank you in advance for your support.)

Worthy of Song and Story by Neal Chase takes places in the time of vikings. The moments of suspense and mischief fit the main character, Stian, son of the trickster god Loki. Though what Stian plans to do is against the will of the gods, this narcissistic character will stop at nothing to free Loki from his bonds and have a real family once and for all. This wonderful tale of courage and family has its moments of hopelessness, joy, suspicion, and heart-pounding adventure, complete with moments of betrayal. If you wish to know what is to come of Stian, read Worthy of Song and Story. Though it was a wonderful read, Neal had several typos that are difficult to overlook. But if you are a historical fantasy fiction lover, and a young adult who loves fiction, then this is the book for you.

Worthy of Song and Story is available in Kindle and paperback formats from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Kinglet – Book Review

About the book:

Kristan Gemeta has lost everything:  his crown, his kingdom, his courage – even his name.

In the vast wilderness of the Exilwald, he’s known to the other outcasts as Kinglet.  As long as Kristan stays hidden, he can elude the bounty hunters, brutal soldiers and terrifying spells of Daazna, the Wichelord who killed his father and destroyed his life.

But when a new band of pursuers comes looking for him, Kristan’s wariness gives way to intrigue. For bounty hunters they’re oddly inept, and a young woman in their company is leaving enigmatic drawings wherever they go.  As they plunge deeper into the Exilwald, Kristan follows. He discovers the drawings symbolize the Gemeta Stone, an ancient family talisman seized by Daazna but now in the little band’s possession. 

With the Stone’s protection, Kristan might stand a chance against Daazna.  He could regain his birthright and his honor.  But to obtain the Stone, he must reveal his true identity and risk the one thing he has left…his life.

Jenn’s Book Review:

Back to the fantasy genre with Book One of the Gemeta Stone series, Kinglet. I read the first two of these books backwards, and though I reviewed Fiskur first, I highly recommend starting with Kinglet (go figure… read a series in order – What a novel concept!).

Ms. Migliaccio’s debut novel for this series lays the foundation of a beautifully developed fantasy world filled with magic, mystery, bitterness and revenge slowly played out. We meet Fandrall’s heir-apparent, Kristan Gemeta as a shy, kind prince, doing his best to live up to his dying mother’s request. While Kristan isn’t as big and brawny, or as outspoken, as his father might like, he is cunning and quick.

Kristan’s father is betrayed by a former ally who’s sold his soul (and his morals) for want of an heir, setting in motion the events of the Gemeta Stone series. In nearby Hogia, Gemeta’s betrayer finds himself without heir or kingdom, and Daazna, the “devil” who’s usurped his throne, has a bitter grudge against Kristan’s family line, and cares little for the power he has in Hogia, leaving the kingdom in dispair and ruin.

Hogia still has hope in the form of a small band of rebels that find themselves fleeing for their lives, bound straight for their destined encounter with the exiled Kristan.

Lest I give away spoilers, I’ll leave you hanging there…

Ms. Migliaccio weaves a beautifully crafted fantasy tale of revenge and enemies, old allies and new-found friends, hate and burgeoning love in this series’ first book. Deep, well-developed characters, magic and myth, and cultures both familiar and new come to life in the pages of this novel.

Again, I wouldn’t recommend this book for younger teens or those that tend towards squeamish about violence. Kinglet does have a number of battle scenes, and while Ms. Migliaccio is concise about her descriptions in Kinglet, I found that they were slightly longer in book 1 than they were in Fiskur, and more detailed. (Though, I feel it’s also fair to note that they are not unnecessarily long or overly graphic – they are what I would consider to be believable in nature.)

Book three is due out in February, 2018, and you can be certain that I’ll be on the blogtour once it’s released. In the meantime, catch up on Kinglet and Fiskur, and get ready for book three, Stoneking.

Buy the Book:

This book is available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon here

Other Books in the Series:

Fiskur (book 2)

Stoneking (book 3)

Ragis (Book 4)

This blog post contains Amazon Affiliate links. This means that TRB receives a small percentage of your final order total, at no extra cost to you. The revenue generated from affiliate links helps us cover our costs, and keeps Thrice Read Books ad-free. Thank you for your support!

Hawksmaid – Book Review

Sam’s Teen Reads Corner is live with another video book review, this time of the book Hawksmaid by Catherine Lasky.

The author of the book Hawksmaid is Kathryn Lasky. When Matty, AKA Maid Marian, discovers her talents for taming and training hawks, she learns that it may take every bit of her talent, and bonds to her hawks to save England from ruin and tyranny. No book that has been written in the fantasy fiction genre, so far, could ever match to the storyline’s magical airs. It is an amazing read, and I recommend it for Junior High level reading and up. It gets 5 of 5 stars, for an amazing and magical tale of love and freedom. The moments of tension and bliss help you fall in love with the mischievous at heart characters.

 You can buy a copy of Hawksmaid from Thrice Read Books here.

This book is also available from Amazon in Kindle, hardcover and paperback editions here. [affiliate link]

Hard to Handle – Book Review

Admittedly, I’ve only read two of the books in this series (Book 2 and Book 5 – this one being book 5), but I am in absolute love with Ms. Warren’s storytelling once more in Hard to Handle, A Beauty and Beast, Gargoyles novel. [Note: This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon.com. When you purchase something after clicking on this link, I receive a small percentage of the total purchase as commission from Amazon, at no additional cost to you, the buyer. I thank you in advance for supporting us in this way.] 

When the world is coming to a Dark and nasty end, Guardians are summoned to hold back the evil that threatens to end life as we know it. It seems, though, that this time, things are not going according to plan or tradition, and as Guardians (hidden away around the world in the form of the ghastly gargoyles a la Notre Dame) awaken to stop this most recent threat brought on by the Noctorni and the Demons they serve, the Guardians discover a world much changed.

Not only have a few hundred years passed, but the Guild that supports and serves the Guardians has been effectively wiped out by the Noctorni. To confuse matters further, each of the awakened gargoyles to this point are male, and must overcome both a lack of information and a change in tradition as they find themselves partnered, one by one, to women of power (those with paranormal abilities) rather than to the men of the Guild they are used to working with.

Ash is brought into sudden waking by recent events, but her very existence shakes the foundations of all that the Guardians have ever been. Never has a Guardian been summoned without a Guild member, and never has a Guardian been… female. Ash has no idea what the implications are for herself, let alone the world she was summoned to protect, but time is short as the Noctorni gain in strength and advantage. 

Her only option is to partner up with a decidedly reluctant and stubborn Michael “Drum” Drummond and his youngest sister Maeve. Drum is content being a Dublin publican, and has no interest in getting caught up in the struggle or the politics of the Light’s battle against Darkness, yet he finds himself thrust into the very heart of it as events unfold and he and Ash discover that he is her Warden – a magic user assigned to a Guardian should one need to be summoned. 

His younger sister, Maeve, manages to track down another Guardian/Warden pair in America, but when Kylie and Dag arrive, things take a decided turn for the worst as Maeve is abducted to be used as a human sacrifice to summon one of the seven Demons that will bring human life as we know it to a brutal end.

Can Drum and Ash overcome the unusual nature of their relationship to work with other Guardians and Wardens, to hold back the Darkness and free Ash from her lonely existence?

Christine Warren tackles this story with her signature style of wit and creative storytelling, and for fans of paranormal romance, this is a tale not to be missed. As mentioned, I have only read 2 of the books in the series, and unlike some series, this one might be better experienced in order. 

This book can be purchased in either mass market paperback or Kindle format from Amazon here.

Happy Reading!

Homemade Magick – Book Review

I have not had the privilege of reading any of Mr. DuQuette’s other works, however I picked up Homemade Magick: The Musings and Mischief of a Do-It-Yourself Magus while doing some research for a novel I’m working on, and I was not disappointed. (This post contains an affiliate link)

Through witty anecdotes and references to much larger bodies of work by renowned experts in the field of mysticism and magick, Lon Milo DuQuette relates his own journey with magick, mysticism and spirituality, much of which is relate-able to a vast array of readers. From the beginning of the book, Mr. Duquette relates such things as initiation rites, how to work with the Tarot (there are far more uses for these cards than just delving into the psyche, apparently!), and how to approach learning to practice your own magick craft.

The author also relates how magick can and should be approached when there are little ones about (If you feel there is nothing to hide, then why hide it from your children? His own son was raised as part and parcel of as much of the goings-on as any member of the DuQuettes’ social circle) and how magick has intertwined with his 47 year marriage to another magician.

Included as well, are a variety of elemental prayers and a full script for one of the rites that the DuQuette’s regularly host every year. (Shakespeare with a kick)

My one complaint in this (and it is a very minor complaint), is that Mr. DuQuette refers to those who practice paganism and Magick as “magicians”, which carries an entirely different meaning for me; this seems to confuse spiritual practice with the art of illusion practiced for the entertainment of others. While Mr. DuQuette and his wife do put on rites that are both spiritual and entertaining at the same time, I harbor the belief that calling himself (and other practitioners of the old ways) a magician diminishes the spiritual side of what he is actually offering discourse on. On one hand, this seems to be a petty complaint, however, in the interest of full disclosure as a book reviewer, I feel it’s only honest to point this out. 

This is not a book on performing illusory magic. It is a rather compact yet thorough manual on finding the spiritual magick in the everyday world. 

You can purchase the book on Amazon in Kindle or paperback format here.

The Art of the Pendulum – Book Review

*Contains Affiliate Links*

When it comes to things mystical and magical, Cassandra Eason’s body of work is a great place for beginners to start.

In this particular volume, Ms. Eason explains what a pendulum is, how to choose or make one, and how they can be used (from decision making to finding oil and your way home). Her writing is simple, straightforward and uncomplicated.

I’ve done a little pendulum work in some of Elle North‘s intuition courses, but wanted some more in-depth information to fiddle with on my own. I found this book to be an amazing resource.

You can check out your local library’s stacks for this book, or find it here on Amazon.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – Book Review

About the Book: 

What did Harry Potter know about magic? He was stuck living with the decidedly un-magical Dursleys, who hated him. He slept in a closet and ate their leftovers. But an owl messenger changes all that, with an invitation to attend the Hogwarts School for Wizards and Witches, where it turns out Harry is already famous… (From Amazon.com product listing.)

Brian’s Review: 

The Sorcerer’s Stone, is a brilliant start to a brilliant story. Rowling’s first book is geared towards the age of maybe 10 or 11, which happens be to the very age of Harry Potter himself at the start of this.  Her later books in this series though grow up with the characters.  Masterfully written, and have lead to the love of reading for countless children world wide. If you have a child, around the age, this is a great book.  I do give a fair warning though.  If you attempt to read this book before your child, you too will be hooked. So if you aren’t looking to start a series you won’t put down until the end of book 7 do not attempt to enjoy this book with your child.  You will fall in love with the characters. If you have seen the movies, I suggest you read the books, you won’t be disappointed.

Sam’s Review:

Hey, and I am back just as I promised, and today  we are doing the first Harry Potter book, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. For those of you who haven’t seen the other two Harry Potter reviews, it’s best that you start here, since I’ve been doing them backwards, I guess. If you have seen one or both of the other Harry Potter reviews, and are a little confused, that’s okay. Now, let’s get on with the review. Harry is the boy who survived Lord Voldemort’s killing spree, removing so much of the dark lord’s magic that Voldemort was forced into hiding. Harry, his parents dead, was given to his aunt and uncle, who were determined to take away Harry’s magic, if only they could. Now eleven years old, he gets the invitation for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and learns that he is the boy who lived. While at his new school, he makes two new friends, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger. Together, they learn that Voldemort is somewhere in the castle, and that if he isn’t stopped in time, Hogwarts might be no more. No pressure on them or anything, right? Wrong. Since they are the only ones that know about it, they take it upon themselves to stop the dark lord. Can they do it? Read the book to find out. I hope that you have a great weekend, and please don’t forget to check out the store link, subscribe, like, and enable notifications. See you next Friday. Bye!

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has a paperback edition of this book for sale here.

You can also purchase this book from Amazon in illustrated form in Kindle, paperback, hardcover, audiobook or mass market paperback here. [affiliate link]

Canticle – Book Review

About the Book:

Canticle by R.A. Salvatore (Contains Affiliate Link)

A classic adventure from the creator of Drizzt!

“High in the Snowflake Mountains sits the Edificant Library, a place of scholarly study for priests, bards, and others. Now from the hidden vaults beneath the library a devastating curse is unleashed, and a young cleric must battle the terrifying creatures set loose by a malevolent, consuming essence that’s been released, before his own brethren turn against him. Cadderly must put his studies to the test and enter the catacombs far below to save his brothers and himself.” (From Amazon.com Listing)

Brian’s Review:

This book flow nicely, and you meet some of the more fun characters in Salvatore’s earlier books.  You can easily start this book without any knowledge of Salvatore’s other books, even though some characters are the same.  This is Book of the Cleric Quintet series and not linked to the Drizzt books.

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has a copy of this book for sale here.

You may also buy this title at Amazon in Kindle, paperback, library binding, audiobook or mass market paperback here. [affiliate link]