Keeper of the Lost Cities

Keeper of the Lost Cities is a children’s fantasy book written by Shannon Messenger. The book is aimed at children from 10 years and up, but the children in the book are around 12-14 years old. Keeper of the Lost Cities is the first book in a fantasy series about Sophie Foster.

Sophie Foster is a 12 year old girl who has been a telepath since she was five. She also has a photographic memory, something which has made her excel in school. But these special abilities have always made Sophie feel alone and out of place. She doesn’t really have any friends and she is so different from her sister and parents that she sometimes wonders if she was adopted. So one day, when a boy, a little older than herself, shows up claiming he is an elf, and that so is she, Sophie is surprised, but perhaps not as shocked as she should be. The elvin boy takes her with him home to see his elvin family in a magic country where having special abilities is a very common thing. Sophie feels at home at right away, but when the elves ask her to leave her human family forever and come live with them instead, Sophie is torn. Can she really leave the only family she has ever known? But if she doesn’t, how will she ever go back to being a normal human girl again?

I loved this book to pieces! The characters are wonderful and very endearing, the language flows like a dream, and the writer takes time to describe details and scenarios that spark our imagination and make the story very atmospheric. The plot reminded me again of J.K Rowling; the elvin kids go to a magical academy and much of the story takes place there. Having said that, this was not a new storyline when J.K Rowling wrote it either, so I am definitely not saying this book copies from the Harry Potter books. Rather I would say that this book is perfect for lovers of the Harry Potter series (like me). Sophie’s world is filled with magic, but also with difficult decisions, dilemmas and trials. What is different in this story is that it is more realistic in a way, I mean, the writer talks about some of the issues that we face today, of course in a symbolic way, and how those who often feel like misfits, are the ones who will have to step up and be the heroes.

I will heartily recommend this book to all lovers of the fantasy genre, children and adults alike, but perhaps especially to those who feel different, like many of the children we call “Star children” do.

Of course five beautiful golden stars to this magical book! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time is a children’s fantasy book written by Madeleine L’Engle. It is aimed at children from 10 years and up, but I would say it rather suits children from 12 years and up. In fact, this book is quite an alternative book that I think will be be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of age, who is interested in science, philosophy and spirituality.

Meg, our heroine, is the oldest child in a family of six. She doesn’t feel like she is anything special, except perhaps good in maths. She is not beautiful like her mother or smart like her little brother. Nevertheless, when Meg, her baby brother and their friend, Calvin, set out on a mission to find Meg’s long lost scientist father, it is Meg who has to step up and be the real hero. But can she really defeat the darkness known as IT all by herself? And how in the world is she going to do that when her prodigy brother and brilliant father have already failed?

This book is different, very different. It is full of symbolism, philosophical and scientific references, and quotes from different cultures and respected cultural personalities. The scientific principles explained in the book is not easy to understand, not even for me and I am an adult! The book has been labeled a science fantasy novel, but to me, it feels more like a fable. It is definitely a book with a strong message, and the whole story is built up specifically to convey this message.

In my opinion, this book is perfect for those whom we call Star children (Indigo-, Crystal -, and rainbow children). People who feel they have been born with an insight that nobody else seems to have, or perhaps a very rare and powerful talent that often urges them to be light workers; someone who dedicates their life to show mankind the way onwards.

I would absolutely recommend this book to all star children, light workers, and children and adults alike who have a special interest in science, philosophy and spirituality.
It is a short book, and most definitely worth the read!

P.S I just learnt that this book is being made into a movie, starring Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon, that will be released next year. I will say, it is a much needed story to be told.

Magic Marks the Spot

“Magic marks the spot” is a children’s book written by Caroline Carlson. This is the first book in a series called ” The very nearly honorable league of pirates”. It is aimed at children from 9 years and up, but I think smaller children will also love this book.

Hilary is a young girl who dreams of being a pirate, but with a father who is an admiral in the navy, it is not a career choice her parents particularly support. Instead she is sent to an academy of high society girls where she is supposed to learn how to swoon and waltz and crochet. Naturally Hilary cooks up a plan to escape, and when she sees an advert for “crew wanted” on a pirate ship she seizes her chance.

I absolutely adored this book! It is funny, sweet, clever and creative. I love how it is not gold and diamonds the pirates are after but magic! I love the heroine, Hilary, she is kind, determined, confident, sensitive and fiercely courageous. She is a breath of fresh air in the current literary climate, where female heroines are often rude, defensive, hostile and selfish, all in the pretense of being independent and strong. But being rude is NOT the same as being confident. There is a scene in the book that sums up what I mean: while hunting for treasure Hilary and her crew mate Charlie face a big wall they have to get over. First, Charlie tries to lift Hilary over the wall, when that doesn’t work, Hilary tries lifting Charlie, but she is also unsuccessful, so they start looking for secret passageways through the wall instead.

The language in this book flows so easily, and there is something to entertain you and make you laugh out loud on every page, so you don’t have to race-read to the end to get to the action part, or to find out how it eventually ends. The dialogue is super witty and clever and highly entertaining. I especially love the gargoyle, an enchanted stone figure with the most fabulous personality.

I will very very strongly recommend this book, to girls, boys, and to adults. I think it is a perfect book to read out loud together with a child. Even to very small children. This book is just a wonderful treat, especially to pirate lovers! To me, Hilary represents exactly the kind of pirate I dreamt of being when I was little.

Of course five fat shiny stars to this magical book! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Storybound

Storybound is a children’s fantasy book written by Marissa Burt. It is a part of a duology about Una Fairchild and her adventures in Story. This book is aimed at children 10-13 years old, but I think even younger kids might like it. Even though the heroine of the book is twelve years old.

This is one of those novels where the heroine disappears into a book where she finds a magical land where all the characters she always thought were only fictional prove to be real. Una Fairchild falls into Story in the middle of Peter’s practical examination where he has to fight a dragon in order to save a lady in distress. When he discovers Una in the cave he thinks she might be another maiden in need of a knight so he tries to save her too. But Una is not brought up to be a lady and she is more than ready to try to save herself. Later, Peter and Una become friends and Una joins him in the school where he is training to become a storybook character. But why has Una really come to Story? Will she ever get back to her real world? And who is the mysterious lady in red lurking around talking about Write-Ins?

I loved this story, and the plot, even though it has been told many times before, is original and creative. This book reminded me a lot of Chris Colfer’s “The Land of Stories” series, which has much of the same storyline. This book however, is a richer, but also more demanding read. It took me a long time to get into the story, and much of the plot is revealed through dialogue (there is a lot of eavesdropping) and reading of passages in books. The action part comes at the end of the book, something that can require too much patience for a young child. I found that the language didn’t flow as easily as I would have liked in a children’s book, but having said that, the book is very popular, so it might just be a personal preference thing.

I would definitely recommend this book, but for children who are a little impatient and like more action-driven books I would rather suggest checking out Chris Colfer’s “The Land of Stories” series.

The Iron Trial

The Iron Trial is the first book in a fantasy series called “The Magisterium Series” written by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black. The book is said to be aimed at children between 9 and 12, but I would say it will suit young teenagers more.

The Iron Trial is about 12 year old Call and his two friends Tamara and Aaron who are all apprenticed to the same master in an underground school of magic called the Magisterium. In the Magisterium young mages are taught to control elemental magic and fight against the chaos-ridden. It is a classical plot where good has to stand up against evil, but the evil in this book is the chaos, the blankness, the nothingness, and sometimes good and evil are all mixed up and can be hard to tell apart, and that is when the line between chaos and order becomes blurry.

I can’t not say how much this book reminded me of the Harry Potter series, there is a lot of similar twists to the plot, and sometimes I felt as though I was reading about Ron, Harry and Hermione, but I mean that in a good way. Who wouldn’t want to be compared to the great J.K Rowling!? But this book however, is much more action-driven, and leaves out the little details and the characteristics that make the Harry Potter books so special. Still, I loved the book as a pure thrilling and entertaining read that will definitely catch the attention of young fantasy-loving readers. It is also one of those books you can thoroughly enjoy as an adult too.

The only thing I will say is that I did not feel that the characters were 12 years old, the way they talked and behaved was more like teenagers in my opinion. And some of the magical explanations will definitely go over the heads of 9 year olds.

Having said that, I devoured this book, and did not put it down until it was finished. And I will definitely continue reading the other books in the series.😊👍🏻

So I give this book five out of five stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I highly recommend ” The Iron Trial” to young teenagers and everyone else with a taste for the magical realm!

Author Recommendation: Jeff Wheeler

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One of my most beautiful discoveries this year is the author Jeff Wheeler. I came across one of his books, “The Queen’s Poisioner” by coincidence (Well, I don’t really believe in coincidences, but anyway…) when I was visiting Norway in April, and I was immediately drawn to it. I bought it, and wolfed it down in a day! The very same day I started the follow-up: “The Thief’s Daughter”. Both the books are a part of the “Kingfountain” series and I finished the series in days and started on the next series.

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I am currently reading the “Muirwood” series and I am loving it even more (if that is possible) than the the “Kingfountain” series!

So what is it about Jeff Wheeler’s books that I love so much?
Well, first of all it is Fantasy, but more than that it is extremely well written fantasy! The books are both action driven and character driven. Almost every page is a page-turner and the language flows so easily that it is a dream to read. The plots are intricate and dramatic, but still logical and realistic ( with realistic, I don’t mean they are like reality, I just mean that they make sense and have no irritating holes in them).
The characters are loveable and interesting, they all have their weaknesses and strengths, and the most important part, the real heroes are often girls and women! Here you will find that it is often the strong woman or girl who saves the man! Yet, she never loses her femininity, and become what I personally never like in female heroines, like a man.

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But what I love most about Jeff Wheeler’s books is how very spiritual they are! Especially the “Muirwood” series. The spiritual aspect of the books is not preachy, or depicted as a very fantastical and otherworldly magic. It is described, or used, in a way very similar to non-fictional spiritual books, only it is done in a way that weaves it so beautifully into the tale. There are little pearls of wisdom everywhere, and you learn something new, even if you are experienced in hardcore spirituality yourself.

Many of the tales are set in castles or abbeys, with a wise person, a spiritual teacher, training the hero/heroine in the spiritual aspects. I love seeing these beautiful places in my mind! It is like I am there taking part in the story myself.

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Jeff Wheeler himself recommends starting with the “Kingfountain” series, which is his most recent, but if you want to read the books mostly because of the spiritual aspects, I recommend starting with the “Muirwood” series. The protagonist in this series is a young teenage girl and she is such an amazing character I am in awe of Jeff Wheeler for creating her!

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I am not sure what age group Jeff Wheeler targets, but I did not feel that I was reading Children’s- or young adult books. I think these books really are for all age groups, but some of the content is at times a bit violent, not overly so, but it has short descriptions of battles and many of the villains do get killed, so I think it depends upon the sensitivity of the child, but I would perhaps say that the books are suited for everyone from 12 years and up. And with everyone, I really mean everyone!

If you want to know more about Jeff Wheeler and his books, you can check out his website here: http://www.jeff-wheeler.com

All the above images have been sourced from Jeff Wheeler’s website.

Dealing with Dragons

By Patricia C. Wrede

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Do all princesses who are captured by dragons really want to be rescued by a brave and handsome prince? And do all princes really want to fight dragons and rescue princesses?

The heroine of this book, Cimorene, is one of those princesses who really does not want to be rescued by any knight or prince. In fact, after a couple of days with her boss, the dragon Kazul, she find the Knights to be a bit of a nuisance, and after consulting with a witch, she decides to put up a sign claiming that the road leading to Kazul’s cave is broken and that hikers should choose an alternative route. But will this be enough to fool the Knights? And who is that bothersome wizard poking around Kazul’s cave?

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This book is so delicious I didn’t want it to end! It is utterly hilarious, original and sooo well written! It gives a wonderful message to girls, telling them that they are themselves in charge of their life and destiny, and that their happily-ever-after does not have to include a man. Cimorene is smart, resourceful, funny and clever, in fact much much cleverer than the men who try to rescue her, and it is often she who ends up helping them out of scrapes.

This is the kind of book that can be enjoyed by all! No matter what age! I will especially recommend reading this book to young girls with Cinderella dreams 😄😄.

Obviously, five of five stars! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Happy Reading!

Note: This is the first book in the ” Enchanted Forest ” Chronicles.