Fiction Review: Jill Williamson’s “King’s War”

To put it simply – this is a darn good book.

I received this book for review, but it turned into a read of pure enjoyment. Getting to finish the adventure we started with Trevn, Hinck, Grayson and everyone else two books ago was a high point of my reading list this summer. 

This book is hefty, I had to read it several times to catch everything. But this is one of those works you WANT to re-read and re-read, and will get satisfaction from every time. Great stories are like that. And Ms. Williamson does an excellent job of keeping the reader engaged moment by moment. She does not overly telegraph what will come next, and even when you have an inkling, she delivers in ways you don’t see coming. 

I love books with an allegorical bent to them, and the allegories Ms. Williamson weaves were rich, layered, and well-written. In all, this book is an excellent read and I can’t wait to experience more from this author!

I received a review copy of this work from the publisher through NetGalley

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2018 – Third Quarter Roundup

Looking for something new to read? Here’s what I finished over the past 3 months:

The Chronicles of St. Mary’s Series
Christmas Present by Jodi Taylor What Could Possibly Go Wrong? by Jodi Taylor Ships and Stings and Wedding Rings by Jodi Taylor Lies, Damned Lies, and History by Jodi Taylor The Great St Mary's Day Out by Jodi Taylor My Name is Markham by Jodi Taylor

Mandie Series
Mandie and the Ghost Bandits by Lois Gladys Leppard Mandie and the Forbidden Attic by Lois Gladys Leppard Mandie and the Trunk's Secret by Lois Gladys Leppard

Lady Sherlock Series
A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas

A Wicked Thing Series
A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas

IQ Series
Righteous by Joe Ide

Lady Janies Series
My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand

Dragon Born Trilogy
Half-Blood Dragon by K.N. Lee

Ellie Haskell Mysteries
The Thin Woman by Dorothy Cannell

Kendra Donovan Series
Caught in Time by Julie McElwain

Barnabas Tew Series
Barnabas Tew and The Case of The Nine Worlds by Columbkill Noonan
Check out my review here!

Red Queen Series
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Legends of the Realm Series
The Golden Vial by Thomas Locke
Check out my review here!

Stand Alone Works:
Searching the Scriptures by Charles R. Swindoll
Check out my review here!

War Psalms of the Prince of Peace by James E. Adams
Check out my review here!

Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

What are you currently reading? Comment below!

Fiction Review: Thomas Locke’s “The Golden Vial”

Legends of the Realm is a series I have enjoyed immensely and even purchased as gifts for others. When this, the third installment was published earlier this year, I was counting down the days until I could get my own copy. And all I can say is I want more, more!

I love Locke’s writing style. His depth of scene pulls the reader headlong into the book, allowing them to experience the story right next to the characters. His pacing when it comes to dialogue is also very well done, allowing for more natural-feeling conversation than I usually find in other works.

Mysteries and riddles that were introduced in the first two books are explored more in “The Golden Vial”, but there are still answers to be had, and a final victory to be won. I look forward to the next installment, whenever and however it comes!

I received a review copy of this work from the publisher through NetGalley

Fiction Review: Columbkill Noonan’s “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine Worlds”

….in which a Victorian detective goes around yelling at Asgardians.

As much as that quick elevator pitch makes me smile, it doesn’t do this book justice. While this is a fun, jaunty read, the reader is immersed in a depth of setting and plot that proves the author has definitely done her research. Think of it like a fine painting or great photograph. While the focus is on the subject in the foreground, without the fullness of the background scene, it would just be a flat, one dimensional moment. Authors will do reams of research, and it is tempting to dump all of that on top of one’s plot in the excitement of writing – “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine Worlds” is a great example of how to highlight your story with the best bits, enhancing overall.

The story was fun to puzzle out, and there were many moments that made me laugh aloud, or stop and re-read a particularly witty moment to whomever was near, to share the fun. I enjoyed getting to know Barnabas and Wilfred, and look forward to going back and reading their first adventure, and will eagerly await all those to come!

This post is a stop on the promotional blog tour hosted by

There is a rafflecopter giveaway as well, which you can enter here.

I received a review copy of this work from the author.

Non-Fiction Review: James Adams’ “War Psalms of the Prince of Peace: Lessons from the Imprecatory Psalms”

War Psalms of the Prince of Peace: Lessons from the Imprecatory Psalms

I read and re-read the “blurb” about this book several times before getting it. The description enticed me, made me curious, and also a little unsure of delving into such a weighty book.

Would I understand it? Would I be able to pass it on to others?

Yes, whole-heartedly, to both. 

I am so very glad I got to read “War Psalms.” The edition I read is the ‘expanded and revised’ 25th anniversary copy. Dr. Adams’s writing is engaging, accessible, and completely on point. The truths he illuminates were well supported, as he meticulously built each facet of his lessons. Studying the Psalms can always be a little tricky, but “War Psalms” does a great job of tying the book of Psalms to the rest of the Bible and allowing us to see new threads in the weave of the master Story throughout.

This book would be incredible to go through with a Bible study group. It is powerful, and would shake up any church group who chose to read it – a stirring call to action. I highly recommend!

I received a review copy of this work from the publisher through NetGalley

 

Non-Fiction Review: Charles Swindoll’s “Searching the Scriptures”

Searching the Scriptures: Find the Nourishment Your Soul Needs

I grew up listening to Pastor Swindoll’s messages on Insight for Living, and then had the pleasure of attending Stonebriar Church for several months, hearing his sermons in person. All of his messages are bed-rock solid, and have impacted me throughout my life. In “Searching the Scriptures” Pastor Swindoll lays out his method for crafting those messages, and how to apply that to our own Bible Study.

He correlates the process of planning, preparing, and cooking a meal to the steps of Bible study. I enjoyed this allegory, as it was easy to follow and put into practice. There are certain starting foundations and patterns to follow to get the most out of what you’re consuming – whether the food be physical, or spiritual.

You will need to allow time and mental space to work through this book – there’s a lot to absorb in each chapter, and they just build upon themselves. The study questions help to facilitate that well. The author’s writing style is very conversational, which also helps the reader in understanding what is being said.

In all it was a very enjoyable, and quite instructive, read. I greatly recommend!

I received a review copy of this work from the publisher through NetGalley

2018 – Second Quarter Roundup

I’ve already surpassed my reading goal for the year, and am still steaming ahead! Over the past 3 months I caught up on, or completed, several different series, in addition to other works.
I’ve enjoyed these, and I hope you will too! 

The Chronicles of St. Mary’s Series
SymphonyEchoes WhenChildBorn SecondChance RomanHoliday TrailTime NoTimeLikePast

The Last Dragonslayer Series
LastDragonslayer Quarkbeast EyeZoltar

Nursery Crime Series
BigOverEasy FourthBear LockedRoomMystery

Shades of Grey Series
ShadesGrey

Stoker and Holmes Series
ClockworkScarab Spiritglass ChessQueen

The Grisha Trilogy
ShadowBone SiegeStorm RuinRising

Slated Trilogy
Slated Fractured Shattered

Mandie Series
MandieOne MandieTwo

Talon Series
Talon Rogue

DC Icons Series
WWWarbringer.jpg BMNightwalker

Eli Marks Mystery Series
InvisAssistant

Ruined Series
Ruined

The Others Series
LakeSilence

The Invisible Library Series
LostPlot

Ivy Malone Mysteries
GoIvyGo

Dahlia Moss Mysteries
QuestionableDahliaMoss.jpg

Otherselves Trilogy
AmidWindStone

Eric Beckman Series
YesterdaysThief

Skip Trilogy
Skip

Stand Alone Works:
Harbinger.jpg

MaidFairbourne

What are you currently reading? Comment below!