Friday, September 13, 2013
Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
- Received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Susanna is the typical young lady to be found in the Americas just before the Revolutionary War. The daughter of a clergyman, she seeks to do good as the Lord desires, treating the downtrodden with compassion, but still maintaining loyalty to England. That is, she is loyal until young lawyer Benjamin Ross begins planting thoughts in her head, thoughts she would rather not have, of liberty from the oppressive British soldiers. It isn't until Susanna finds herself in the situation of helping a runaway indentured serving girl that she realizes some rules must be broken because God's laws are higher than man's. And perhaps she'll be fortunate enough to find love along the way.
This book is amazing, from start to finish. I could barely put it down. Susanna is the ideal heroine because you see her make decisions and not just believe everything thrown at her. She has to see proof before she changes her mind and the fact that she isn't easily swayed is appealing to me. She is not so stubborn as to be irritating, rather she is a darling young woman with a genuine compassion for those less fortunate than herself. Throwing Benjamin Ross into the mix was pure genius. He is vocal where Susanna might be quiet, passionate where she is calm. They are the ideal mix and the passion within their relationship is breathtaking.
So, I loved it. Jody Hedlund paints a clear picture of life in the colonies before the Revolution. And what's more she adds mystery and intrigue in the most frightening of ways. The one thing I would have changed is the background history of the villain. It just does not jive with his behavior. No one could possibly fall so far into evil just because an evil blow was dealt him. So, in that regard, I didn't entirely buy the motives of the villain, but the hero and heroine far make up for that flaw.
My next goal is to devour as many of Ms. Hedlund's books as possible because she is a marvel!
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Thursday, September 5, 2013
Reckless by Cornelia Funke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A part of me wishes that I could hold my hand over my reflection in a mirror and vanish to another world. Cornelia Funke works her magic once again with this new fairy tale series about Jacob Reckless, treasure hunter extraordinaire, who lives in our world, but vanishes for months, even years, at a time behind the mirror. The Mirrorworld's inhabitants are made up of elves, living stone men, a race of Bluebeards, child-eating witches who are despised by their healing sisters, and, of course, humans. To say nothing of unicorns, man-swans, lorelei, and other mystical and fabulous creatures of fairy tales and myth.
I won't bother to give a synopsis of the plot. I feel it might ruin some of the magic if I were to attempt an explanation. All I can say is that Jacob Reckless is one of Ms. Funke's finest literary creations. He is not Dustfinger or Mo from the Inkworld trilogy. No, he certainly is not, but he is complex in his own right. Just as Dustfinger attracted me with his cowardice, Jacob attracts me with his selfishness. Ms. Funke makes her characters so very human. They are imperfect, like antique cracked china, but that makes them real. You can see where they have been, and what created their flaws.
I'm not sure what other readers were expecting from this series. Perhaps another Inkworld. But the Mirrorworld is far darker, more brooding, and contains many more flaws than her gentler Inkworld. Jacob is a grown man with a man's desires. He has delighted in the presence of women because he has no moral code telling him otherwise. The scenes aren't witnessed, but they are alluded to, and so no, this series is not for children. I'm not sure it's for teenagers and not even for half of the population of adults who read fantasy. Only a small percentage of readers will appreciate this book and its sequel. I just happen to be fortunate enough to fall into that percentage. Now if I could only find a mirror that would accept my handprint on the glass, I would be a truly happy woman.
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