Posts Tagged ‘magic’

Seventh Son

December 5, 2012

Seventh Son

Author: Orson Scott Card

Title: Seventh Son

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: July 1987

Number of Pages: 241 pgs.

Geographical Setting: Northwestern American Territory

Time Period: Late 18th to early 19th century

Series (If applicable): Tales of Alvin Maker Series; Book One

Plot Summary: Alvin Junior is the seventh son of a seventh son. Such a birth brings to one great powers, even those of a Maker. Evil forces however, are set on killing the child before he can reach adulthood and realize his true potential as a seventh son of a seventh son. This evil force, known as the Unmaker, uses those around Alvin in attempts to kill the child, including his father and Reverend Thrower. There is hope for young Alvin though, a young girl has been acting as a guardian angel, watching over him. She is known as a torch and can see the heartfires in everyone around her. This young girl, along with the help of Taleswapper and Alvin’s family, will help Alvin learn how to best use his powers and relinquish the forces of evil.

Subject Headings: Magic; Healing; Good and evil; Frontier and pioneer life; Maker, Alvin; Guardian angels; Nineteenth century

Appeal: Brothers and Sisters, Historical Figures, Good Vs. Evil, Alternative American Frontier, Religion, Builds in Intensity, Folklore, Fantasy, Hexes, Magic, Guardian Angels, Late 18th to early 19th century

Three appeal terms that best describe this book: Magic, Good vs. Evil, Alternate American Frontier

Three Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1. Storytelling : An Encyclopedia Of Mythology And Folklore edited by Josepha Sherman  (2008)

If you liked reading about different types of myths and Folklore found in Seventh Son, then you may want to check out his book. It’s a compilation of different Myths and Folklore stories told throughout the world. In these stories you will hear about both good and evil creatures that live among us (so to speak).

2. Children of the West: family life on the frontier by Cathy Luchetti (Apr 2001)

Like in Seventh Son, this book shows you what life was like, for families, back in the early 19th century. Alvin and his siblings worked hard each day to put food on the table even with the help of their special knacks. Read about the daily life and activities of real people who grew up during this time.

3. The arrow and the cross: a history of the American Indian and the missionaries by John Upton Terrell. (1979)

This book recounts how missionaries form the Protestant and Catholic church set out to convert the Native Americans to their own religion and the resistance they received from them. In Seven Sons, Alvin is visited by a Native American Indian who wishes to show him the ways of good. Reverend Thrower wants to fulfill his duty and see to it that a church is build and those in down renounce their beliefs in magic. This book will also give you a good insight on what can be expected in the second book of the Alvin Maker series, Red Prophet.

Three Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

1. Armageddon’s Children by Terry Brooks (Aug 2006)
If you liked reading a story about a young boy who possess powers to save the world from evil you may want to check out this book. Set in a futurist United States, where evil forces enslave survivors of the ruined country, one man sets out to find a child that could save them all.

2. The Briar King by Gregory J. Keyes (Dec 2002)
An evil force of death is reawakening. A monk realizes that the text he is translating contains ancient curses meant to awaken this evil. Only a special lineage can prevent the evil’s take over. Those who have the power to stop this evil fight for their lives. If you like reading a story about good vs evil, a small few banding together to save the world, and folklore, than this book is for you.

3. New Spring by Robert Jordan (Jan 2004)
If you liked reading about the fate of the world resting in the hands of newborn boy, then this book is sure to please. After hearing that a boy born of prophecy, and destined to lead the world against the dark Shadow forces, two men set out to find and protect the infant known as the Dragon Reborn.

Name: Madison Gailus

Last Rituals

October 3, 2012

Author: Sigurdardottir, Yrsa

Title: Last Rituals: a Novel of Suspense

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date: 2007

Number of Pages: 314

Geographical Setting: Reykjavik, Iceland

Time Period: 2000’s

Series: A Soul To Take: a Novel of Iceland- second novel after Last Rituals about the lawyer Thora Gudmundsdottir who becomes a private investigator.

Plot Summary: The author was named by the English Telegraph: “Iceland’s answer to Stieg Larsson,” and it is undeniably one of the best books about witchcraft and crime set in 21st century. Harold is a wealthy German exchange student living in Iceland. Obsessed with witch hunting, torture, Medieval and Renaissance spells and exorcisms, he is brutally murdered while working on his master’s thesis. The macabre scenes and occultism of circumstances of the murder are the reason for a deeper private investigation. The main character Thora, the young, divorced mother of two, struggling with financial crisis, decides to take over the case encouraged by the money proposed by the German student’s family. The intelligent, witty, and very sympathetic woman takes an offer determined to uncover the murder behind shadowy Icelandic history, together with her new, handsome and sophisticated German colleague, sent by the family of dead student. The romance, in spite of the story plot – the humor, reality of modern Iceland, sufficiently researched and shocking history of sorcery and inquisition in the Nordic country- makes it an intriguing read you don’t want to end.

Subject Headings: Murder Investigation, Occultism, Witchcraft, Women Lawyers, Scandinavia, Nordic Noir, Reykyavik, Iceland.

Appeal: atmospheric and provoking; Iceland’s dark medieval past; spells; brutality; sorcery; shocking action-oriented storyline; modern murder history; compelling; realistic characters; multilayered plot; contemporary Iceland; perfectly paced narrative.

Three Terms for Book: sharp and penetrating suspense novel, evocative and compelling Icelandic past, and chilling page-turner.

Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

  1. Indridason,      Arnaldur, Jar City – The Reykjavik detective      uncovers the unsolved mystery from forty years ago with modern techniques      in criminology and genetics. Suspenseful, intelligent, compelling, and      well paced mystery fiction. The 2002 Nordic Crime Novel Award.
  2. Lackberg,      Camilla, The Ice Princess – This      chilly and character driven mystery fiction from Sweden is the first of two      volumes about solving the serial crimes by Erica, who is a writer and her      future husband, Swedish policeman. Dark, psychological portrays and      descriptive insights of the characters. Another great translation after      Stieg Larsson novels by Henning Mankell.
  3. Larsson,      Asa, – Until the Wrath Be Past – Fast      paced, Suspenseful, Swedish Fiction. Remarkable story about the human      desires and its consequences. Two women, the inspector and the prosecutor      are going back in time to the small Swedish village during the WWII to      unsolved complex mystery. Super natural elements are in consequence      original and engrossing.

Relevant Nonfiction Works and Authors:

  1. Brown,      Nancy Marie, The Far Traveler:      Voyages of a Viking WomanAdventure      and History Nonfiction piece of writing about the Viking saga heroine.      With the support of technological innovations in modern archeological      world, the author discovers truths from the past worthy of a historical      novel award.
  2. Gaskill,      Malcolm, Witchcraft – a Very Short      Introduction – The history of witch hunting, paganism, and Goddess      religion are only further encouragement to discover this surprisingly and      striking piece of the past, which still nowadays is a world-wide      phenomenon.
  3.   Holm,      Bill, The Windows of Brimnes-an      American in Iceland – author and the American essayist, explores the      Icelandic ancestors in his hometown in Minnesota, later on to travel and      live in little cottage in northern Iceland. Descriptive, sharp and      provocative essays about life in America      and Iceland.



That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis

August 17, 2011

Author: C.S. Lewis

Title: That Hideous Strength

Genre: Inspirational, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Publication Date: 1945

Number of Pages: 380

Geographical Setting: Fictional towns of Edgetow and surrounding areas, England

Time Period: A few years post World War II (1940’s)

Series: The Space Trilogy

Plot Summary: That Hideous Strength was written as a “a modern fairy tale for grown-ups” and follows the previous books in the series (Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandria) while still standing on its own. The story follows two narratives, following Jane and Mark Studdock respectively. Feeling despondent after a difficult marriage, Jane begins to find herself plagued by strange and prophetic dreams. Her husband, Mark, is drawn into a strange cabal of academics called the NICE. The NICE is a collection of academics who seem bent on subjugating the town of Edgetow, England and the world. As Jane comes to her friends regarding her strange dreams she finds herself taken in with the opposite force, a collection of people led by an enigmatic man who has traveled among the stars. Supernatural forces clash against the hard power of science as good and evil battle for control of the world. This story seamlessly blends the mystery of science fiction, the mysticism of fantasy as well as the underlying spiritual message. In a more “mature” take on Lewis’ Narnia series, That Hideous Strength is a thoroughly unique story.

Subject Headings: Dystopian future, mad science, angels, demons, King Arthur, Merlin, magic, aliens, Christian fiction, supernatural

Appeal: genre-defying, in-depth, deliberate pace, dual-narrative, political intrigue, mysterious, evolving

3 terms that best describe this book: mysterious, supernatural, genre-defying

3 Relevant Non Fiction Works and Authors

1.)The Mammoth Book of King Arthur: Reality and Legend, the Beginning and the End–The Most Complete Arthurian Sourcebook Ever by Michael Ashley- Lewis’ book draws very heavily upon the Arthurian mythos and uses many direct references to specific stories.

2.) Planet Narnia by Michael Ward- This is an in-depth discussion of both the mythology of the space trilogy as well as the Narnia series.

3.) Science and Faith: Friends or Foes? by C. John Collins- One of the emergent themes in That Hideous Strength is the clash of science and faith. This book takes a spiritual and philosophical discussion on the dichotomy between the two.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1.) All Hallow’s Eve by Charles Williams- Lewis was good friends with Williams and much of the similar themes of newer fantasy and spiritualism can be found in this story.

2.) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle- Follows suit with similar melding of science fiction, fantasy and subtle inspirational motifs.

3.) The Shape of Things to Come by H.G. Wells- That Hideous Strength was actually partially written as a reaction of Lewis to this story and uses some of its dominant themes as a counterpoint.

You Slay Me

April 1, 2009

Author: Katie MacAlister
Title: You Slay Me
Genre: Romance/ Supernatural Romance
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 334
Geographic Setting: Paris, France
Time Period: Modern; Early 21st century
Series: Aisling Grey, Guardian #1

Plot Summary:
Couring a priceless golden dragon to Paris seemed like an easy job for Aisling Grey. But, she was not expecting her client ending up murdered and the sexy and mysterious Drake Vireo to sashay onto the crime scene and steal the precious aquamantile. Now Aisling was trapped in Paris and accused of murder, what is works is that Drake is not human at all; he is a wyvern dragon who will stop at nothing to claim Aisling as his mate. When prominent people of the underworld end up dead, Aisling and her demon Newfoundland dog Jim are on the case. Now she must embrace her Guardian powers and find the murdered while avoiding Drake’s seductive, masculine charms.

Subject Headings: Dragons; Murder investigation; missing persons investigation; women murder victims; supernatural romances; quests; magical arts; Paris, France; fantasy fiction

Appeal Terms: supernatural romance, series characters, first person narrative, humorous, dragons, romance, witty, magic, urban, sexual situations, man/women relationships, friendship, dramatic

Read Alikes

Witchling by Yasmine Galenorn: “The D’Artgo sisters are half-human, half-faerie sexy operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency who track down enemies, but their mixed-blood heritage causes them all kinds of problems at all the wrong times.” (Supernatural romance, other worlds, magic)

Dragon Actually by G.A Aiken: “While battling against her greatest enemies, a warrior princess is torn between her fierce desire for an arrogant knight and her feelings for a powerful dragon.” (Supernatural romance, humanized dragon)

Derik’s Baine by Mary Janice Davidson: “Werewolf Derik Gardner heads to California to destroy the reincarnation of the powerful sorceress Morgan Le Fay, only to find himself falling for Morgan’s modern-day persona, the beautiful and ditsy Dr. Sara Gunn.” (Supernatural romance, humorous)

Dragons: Heroes and Legendary Beasts in Poems, Prose and Paintings by Steve Dobell: An anthology of the legends and myths of dragons from around the world.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft by Denise Zimmermann: An easy way to learn about Wicca and how to practice its mysterious art.

Complete Guide to Faeries and Magical Beings by Cassandra Eason: “A Complete Guide to Faeries and Magical Beings is a wonderful companion for those who wish to tour an enchanted world. Cassandra Eason begins with the myths, legends, and real evidence surrounding the origins and existence of fairies and then takes us on a journey throughout the world to introduce us to the many different varieties of these mysterious beings.”

Name: Michelle