Books Worth Reading – April

Fantasy Books of the Month

A writer must read. There’s no question about it. What you want to write, you read. Reading not only sparks creative thoughts, but it also sharpens a your skills as you see how one writer could have done something better, or study how another writer expertly manipulated your emotions.

Of course, the downsides to being a writer is you can’t enjoy as many books as before because you’re consistently picking out poor writing. At least I do. But that just makes the well written books that much better. And, for the month of April (I realize this is a little late, but better late than never) I read several great fantasy books. *rubs hands with impish grin*

Firstly, Songkeeper by Gillian Adams. I’ve already written a whole review post on this second book in the Songkeeper Chronicles, so I’ll keep this brief.

Writing: 5 out of 5; great pace, great settings. Perfect amount of description and action.

Characters: 5 out of 5; Fresh, human, love them.

Dialogue: 5 out of 5; Fresh, funny, rings true.

Theme: 5 out of 5; Subtle, but strong.

Recommendation: 5 out of 5; one of my favorite middle books of a trilogy; keeps the story going while building up to the next book.

Then there is Dreamlander by K.M. Weiland. *sniffles* I had to spend the rest of the evening recovering after finishing this book. It was…it was good. Wonderful. And I felt so bad for the main character. As the one person in his generation who is able to cross from our ‘real’ world to the ‘dream’ world, he’s always awake in one or the other; either fighting for his life or trying to save the world. No long restful sleepy mornings. I don’t envy him his role, but I do highly recommend this book. It’s long, but it’s worth it.

Writing: 4.5 out of 5; there were a few sections with some telling instead of showing, but they were always brief enough I hardly cared. Dreamlander has great pace which kept building up. You know those books which you like, and then it gets better, and then it gets even better? This was one of those books

Characters: 5 out of 5; Fresh, both human and nonhuman; you can see the reasoning behind various character’s actions, even when they are wrong. They draw you into the story, emotionally investing you in the outcome.

Dialogue: 5 out of 5; Fresh, strong.

Theme: 5 out of 5; Well woven throughout the story

Recommendation: 5 out of 5; highly recommend this book. And, one of the best things about it is that it’s a single book. Don’t get me wrong, I love series. But everything seems part of a series now days. I love finding great single books I can read without having to worry about how many more books I need to buy or when the next one comes out.

Next, there is Knife and Rebel by Christian author R. J. Anderson. The third book, Arrow, just came out and I’ve not got it yet though I fully intend to. The series title, No Ordinary Fairy Tale, says it all. In a world where fairies are real, they’re far from innocent glittering pixies. If you like reading about fairies, then this is a version of their life you will very much enjoy.

Writing: 4 out of 5; A little slow to start, but they’re still interesting and quickly get exciting.

Characters: 4.5 out of 5; fairy and human are both excellently done, though compared to some of the other books I’ve read this month, they don’t have as many distinct quirks as they could. But still, well done.

Dialogue: 4.5 out of 5; sound, solid.

Theme: 5 out of 5; Subtly woven into the first book. Stronger, but without being preachy, in the second book

Recommendation: 4.5 out of 5; This trilogy keeps the story moving well. Each book is a separate story with one overall arc through all three. I’m looking forward to reading the last book…you’ll probably be hearing about it next month.

And finally, I finished the Two Towers in my journey though reading Lord of the Rings for the third time. And there’s no need to parse out this book. Tolkien is an excellent writer and all fantasy writers should read his works. No, they must read Lord of the Rings. It is the fantasy trilogy of the century. *Glares down any challenge*

So, what about you? Have you read any of these books? What have you been reading lately? Any wonderful fantasy to recommend to me?

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

Posted by Hope Ann

9 comments

Fereleth, Carrier of Light

Hehehehee, yes, I’ve read Songkeeper and LotR, but that’s it.
I also had this really cool allegorical fantasy I read a while back… oh, what was it? *taps chin, squints innocently at ceiling* Oh yeah! Song of the Sword, by Hope Ann? You may have heard of her… she’s not as well known yet as I’m thinking she’s going to be in the future.

Hmm, Hope Ann? I’ll have to look into that. 😉

Corissa, Maiden of Praise

Well, I’m far behind on fantasy reading, seeing as I just recently started truly enjoying them. I’ve read LOTR but that’s it from this list. 😉
Yes… Hope Ann has also written an excellent book called “Rose of Prophecy.” I can’t wait for her next book! 😀
I just finished the “Wingfeather Saga,” which was excellent… heart-breaking… AND WHY ON EARTH DID HE HAVE TO END IT WITH A CLIFFHANGER? Sorry. I’ve been inwardly seething about that since I finished it on Monday. As the reader, my imagination is going to fill in the best-case scenario as the ending, BUT IS THAT REALLY HOW IT ENDS??? Okay. My little rant is finished. *takes deep breath and grins sheepishly*
I also greatly enjoy Chuck Black’s “The Knights of Arrethtrae” series and the “Kingdom” series. Other than that, I haven’t really read any fantasy… I’ll have to see what I can do about that. 😉

I love the Wingfeather Saga! Though I wish there had been one last scene at the end. It was just cruel.
I’ve read the Knights of Arrethtrae and the Kingdom series. I love the stories, though I don’t really care for the writing.

I’ve only read LOTR on this list, but let me second what you said about it being the fantasy trilogy of the century! The LOTR series are some of my favorite books of all time. 🙂
Ooo, the other books you listed look really good. I might read them this summer. I’m a fantasy-lover, as well, so I’m always looking for good fantasy books to read (especially since there are a lot of not-so-good fantasy books out there :/ ).

I know; it can be hard. I mainly just browse the inspirational section at the library because the fantasy section is (for the most part) so dark.

Chessi Gunter

This was a good post. That was a complement and therefore untrue 🙂

Anna S. Brie

I recently read R. J. Andersen’s books. My library had the UK editions, that have been around a library. She’s certainly great at manipulating emotions, making me like characters that I probably shouldn’t trust. Especially in Arrow and her companion series, the Swift books. I’m halfway through the last one of those.

Dreamlander is great. It’s so unique. K. M. Weiland is actually working a sequel for it, Dreambreaker. But that doesn’t change the fact that it was written as a standalone.

I recently read Dare by Tricia Mingerink and I plan to read Deny soon. I’d heard good thing about them for a long time.

I just got Arrow…my brothers are reading it first since I’m currently reading Deny. I’ve not read the Swift books…I should check those out. 😉

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