Tag Archives: royalty

Court of Snakes: This Desert Cage by Tycho Dwelis (Book Review)

Content Rating:  PG + M: Some allusion to domestic abuse, fantasy violence, adults drinking alcohol
 
 
In the city of Segeno, it’s eat or be eaten. Someone has to rule the masses. A boy has lost his birthright. His parents killed. Dead and gone. A girl has lost her father. She means nothing to him now.

The city of Segeno stands tall after a great war, the only city left of its kind. Terran has lost both of his parents and is now on the run from a tyrant eager to kill him and cut off the royal bloodline. Parisa struggles with her own identity as even her father rejects her for the color of her skin as he claws for the throne. Along their journeys, they meet unexpected allies and encounter unprecedented magick, but, most importantly, they learn what it is to stand up for themselves and take back their city from corruption.

 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 
Court of Snakes: This Desert Cage by Tycho Dwelis began with a mammoth squashing a pickpocketer and The King batting more than one guard. I knew from the start that this book would be excellent, and as I finished the last line, I was correct. 


Teens and young adults will love how swiftly Terran, The King, and other characters navigated the districts. The movements reminded me of parkour. 


The King also taught Terran the real power of tarot cards. They don’t just see a person’s future; they allow chosen ones to harness the deck’s power. You don’t choose which card works in a particular situation. Instead, the cards seem to know what the bearer needs. The cards are judge, jury, and (at times) executioner. 


Many powers were displayed, but I liked when The King’s six swords came out. The written battle scenes were amazing, and I can only imagine how epic they would be if the movie industry could bring them to life. I would watch that movie in a heartbeat! 


With the build-up to the show-down, I expected it to be grander – longer. It was over too soon. That said, many unexpected moments happened when the war began- some shocking and rather sad. 


This story did conclude on a happy note, which is always lovely. 


While the cover is nice, I don’t think it lives up to the story’s contents. I think the colorful promo banner (shared on my site, Amazon, and Ireads Book Tour) would’ve been a better fit. It’s vibrant, eye-catching, and draws the eye. Well done to whoever created it. 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Tycho Dwelis

I’m Tycho (I also use the pen name Cassidy), and I love storytelling! I’m incredibly passionate about writing, art, and anything that allows me to create my own worlds. My goal is to write dreamy fiction for all ages that is unique, inspiring, and imaginative. I like to write about themes that include coming of age, magic realism, identity, relationships, and bullying. My books are intended for readers ages eight to twenty-five, and are meant to connect the world of the fantastical to everyday life.

I currently live in Colorado and have an MA in Publishing.

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The Clever Toad: The Race by Danny Wilson (Book Review)


Thomas Find, a toad, has known Princess Tina, a frog, his whole life. The two grew up together and fell in love. But Tina’s father, the King, does not approve of Tina marrying a toad, even if he is a well-respected, hard-working toad like Thomas. So the King chooses two frog suitors for his daughter. Thomas refuses to give up his true love though, so he seeks a way to win her hand. When he comes across an old marriage law, he thinks he just may have a chance, but it will take careful planning and a bit of creativity. Thomas is willing to try anything and so the king agrees to a race for his daughter’s hand in marriage, and the race is on.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

The Clever Toad: The Race by Danny Wilson is labeled for baby – 12 years on Amazon. Some story components should work for each birth year within that wide age bracket. For example, babies and toddlers will enjoy the fun, colorful frogs and toads. The text, however, is more suitable for pre-k and up.

“The Clever Toad: The Race” contains a great deal of text, so please keep that in mind if you are reading to a young child with a limited attention span.

If your child is just starting to read, the overall text used might prove difficult except for common words such as “and,” “the,” “make,” “ran,” “day,” “to,” and “out” etc. However, I think children (3-6) will love listening to the story being read to them. The frog race to win the princess’ hand in marriage was a cute theme. Bread will flies baked in it—not so much. However, I did eat cricket salsa once, and it was good. Oh, and cookies with bugs baked into them. Also good. FYI: I was at an insectarium where samples were served for the brave visitors. It’s not like I’m always collecting and eating bug-infused food.

Older children should be able to read all the text with no problem, especially 10-12-year-olds. They might think the images are too kiddish for them, though.

If you’re an elementary teacher and decide to share “The Clever Toad: The Race” with your class, there are plenty of challenging words that you can use for spelling or a glossary test. You might also consider having relay races outside. Maybe set up an obstacle course.

“The Clever Toad: The Race” by Danny Wilson is a book you can read for many years, which I liked. Many books are for a certain age, and then there are just collecting dust on a shelf. I think this book will be read time and time again. No dusting needed. 🙂

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤

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Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After: The Hidden Messages in Fairy Tales by Anne E. Beall (Book Review)

 

Did Cinderella live happily ever after? You might think so until you look more closely at the hidden messages in beloved fairy tales. In this book, fairy tales are analyzed in terms of the underlying messages about marriage, agency, power, suffering, and good versus evil, with a focus on how male and female characters differ in each of these areas. The analysis is a data-driven approach that provides clear evidence for the hidden messages in these beloved tales. The end conclusion is not whether fairy tales are good or bad but rather what messages they deliver about life, even if unintentionally.

 

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

Finally, someone has written a book shining a light on how twisted some fairy tales really are. Okay, there might be others on the market, but this is my first read of one, and I was impressed with the author’s insight. Anne E. Beall did her research when giving you the facts. She has multiple tables where she breaks down various categories such as who is Marrying Up more often, who is Suffering more, who is Vanquishing Evil the most, and the list and tables go on. 

I’ve had many talks with my daughter about how disturbing fairy tales are. We discussed if we’d ever kiss a random talking frog or dine with a beast (no matter if he kidnapped our dad or not). We also talked about there’s death in every Disney movie, probably in most fairy tales. Some deaths are more graphic than others. Case in point, if you have seen Tarzan then you might recall the shadowy image of Clayton’s hung body in the jungle’s vines. Anyone who complains about the content on non-animated shows should stop and think about what kids see from our famous animated studios. 

The author is correct when she spotlighted the frightening tale of Hansel and Gretel. This isn’t a fairy tale, more like a scary story you’d tell around a campfire. 

When you think of it, most fairy tales involve teens or younger children. These teen girls are (often) held against their will and saved by their princes. I should note these girls are married before they would legally be allowed to drink or vote in the real world. Oh, and let’s not forget they send the wrong image of how a girl should look, dress, and act to attract a rich man. Sheesh! 

Fairy tales are unrealistic. That’s why people of all ages love them. But, if you take off the rose-colored glasses, like Anne E. Beall, you can see these tales for what they are— unrealistic, superficial, unsettling tales that hook you with their catchy tunes. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

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Meet the Author:

Author Anne E. Beall

​A leader in the field of market research and one of the few female CEOs in the industry, Anne E. Beall is the author of 10 books in business, gender studies, and mindfulness, including Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After: The Hidden Messages in Fairy Tales and The Psychology of Gender. Her book Heartfelt Connections was named one of the top 100 Notable Indie books in 2016 by Shelf Unbound, and she has published nearly a dozen business articles in noted journals. Her books have been featured in People Magazine, Toronto Sun, Hers Magazine, and Ms. Career Girl, and she has been interviewed by NBC, NPR, and WGN. Having received her PhD in social psychology from Yale University, Anne resides in Evanston, Illinois and is the founder of the market consultancy company Beall Research.


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The Elegant Emu (Adventures in Harmony) by Karen Bobos (Book Review)

The magical sisters are enrolled in an etiquette class when their manners are not fit for the king and queen of the enchanted land of Harmony. Can Elizabeth the Emu help the royal sisters?

In the beautiful and peaceful land of Harmony, three magical sisters and royal daughters of the land, uproot the kingdom’s tranquility with some not-so-polite actions —nose-picking, belching, and other noisy…expulsions. Their parents, the King and Queen, enroll the sisters in the elegant Elizabeth the Emu’s etiquette class where they learn manners and other ways to self-improve like being on time, politeness, and proper personal hygiene.

Elizabeth the Emu explains to Angel Scarlet, Princess Daphne, and Fairy Cora that having proper etiquette is more than good manners, it’s about being kind and courteous. And for the sisters? Well, let’s just say that they will be needing more than one lesson from Elizabeth the Emu’s etiquette class.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 


Amazon has The Elegant Emu (Adventures in Harmony) by Karen Bobos for children 3 – 11 years. Children on the younger side will enjoy humorous moments such as burping and farting princesses. Oh, and let’s not forget Scarlett, digging for gold. Kids will crack up because those three things are always funny to a kid – big or small. 

Etiquette classes are not so common here in the states, but I imagine they are over in the UK, where royalty is a prominent fixture. When you read The Elegant Emu (Adventures in Harmony, it’s wise to ask your child(ren) or student(s) if they understand what etiquette means. Depending on the age of your reader/listener, several other words might need explaining: epitome, tranquility, drear, doting, and insight. 

I do believe some table manners are essential in any home. For instance, chew with your mouth closed and don’t talk with food in your mouth. I also think it’s unsafe to stab a piece of food with a knife and eat off of it. That’s an easy way to cut yourself! Hand washing should be encouraged, not just at meal times and not just for two seconds! My family already knew the happy birthday trick (singing it twice) regarding hand washing, but others may not, so this was a nice addition to the story. 

The final moments in the story made me smile. The poor Emu had a tough day at work, and it was sweet to see her hubby was waiting for her and drew her a bath. What a sweetheart! 

Special shout-out to Emily Hercock for your lovely illustrations. We loved them all, but Patrick the Peacock was our favorite drawing. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

Meet the Author:

AUTHOR KAREN BOBOS

 
Bobos began writing poetry and stories at the early age of ten. She is a life-long Chicagoan who now raises her family in the downtown area. During the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic, Chicago also became a city of unrest. Trying to keep her three young daughters in a world of magic during such scary times, the Bobos Babes Adventures were born. Her goal was to create a world of Harmony for her family and hopefully for others to escape, even if only for a moment. The first book of the series, The Case of the Giggles, was published in December 2020. The Missing Egg launched in March 2021. The The Lion’s Secret was published in June 2021, a tribute to her mother and late father’s incredible love story.  The Lovey that Came to Life and The Bobcat Birthday party will be releasing in the upcoming months.​
 
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Kingdomless (The Evamore Series, Book 1) by Michelle Garyfalakis (Book Spotlight)

KINGDOMLESS by Michelle GaryFalakis

 
The remnants of the United Kingdom of Garth, once ruled by the legendary Dynasty of Evamores are in the throes of conflict. Ten years ago, King Wren of the West discovered Raelle washed up on the shores of the Balour Sea, with no memory of the first nine years of her life. She was brought back to the castle and dutifully cared for and cherished by the king and his three older sons. On her nineteenth birthday, the Western Kingdom’s adoptive princess is secretly sent away by her stepmother to marry King Veras as a token of peace between the kingdoms. But, the Northern King has other plans.

As Raelle’s amnesia melts away with the help of a northern storyteller, she discovers more about the Kingdom of Garth, magic, the lovetie connection of the Evamores, and her role in the grand scheme of things. She is confused, angry, and curiously comfortable in the North.

A dark shadow overcasts all of the kingdoms, and the threatening influence of the fallen god Kellar seems to spread among the people, inciting disorder and violence. While the fate of the kingdoms may rest on Raelle’s shoulders, she can’t help but feel kingdomless. Betrayal is everywhere, from her own adoptive family to her newfound friends. Fearless, observant, witty, and determined, she is town between her attraction to King Veras’ good nature and the unexplained pull to the Tracker Calak. The challenge that she faces is not simple. As the old gods, laws and magic awaken, so does her own sense of self. There is a choice to be made, step into the role expected of her, or dive into the unknown and make her own destiny.

This YA fantasy novel asks the readers important coming of age questions, captures the attention with witty dialogue, relatable characters, and a world that is reawakening its forgotten magic. The readers will be entranced and hungry for more (and perhaps a piece of chocolate cake).

 

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Meet the Author:
Author Michelle Garyfalakis

 
MICHELLE GARYFALAKIS was born and raised throughout Ontario, Canada. She currently lives just outside of Hamilton, Ontario with her husband, four kids and Snowy (their friendly Samoyed-Border Collie). When she isn’t obsessively typing out new stories on her computer, you can find her drinking coffee with a friend, snacking on some guacamole or binge watching Outlander (again). Michelle loves finding creative ways to communicate with people, and her passion for storytelling is the newest addition to that list. 

 
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