Category: Folklore

A #WyrdAndWonder Anthology Review | “EQUUS” (Rhonda Parrish’s Magical Menageries, Collection 5) edited by Rhonda Parrish

Posted Sunday, 29 May, 2022 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review Year 5 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I never had the chance to finish reading this particular anthology series which I fell in love with by the Indie publisher World Weaver Press. Sadly, after I purchased “Sirens” and “Equus” I learned the sad news this publisher was only going to release one new anthology which debuted during Wyrd And Wonder (ie. “Mothers of Enchantment”) but there will be no new releases moving forward. I was thankful I have a few years at least to gather copies of the rest of their anthologies I would like to read (especially as they have an impressive collection of Solarpunk!) whilst sorting which other titles aside from “Mothers of Enchantment” I would also like to purchase before they close their doors forever without a way of acquiring their titles. I highly recommend you back-read through my reviews for this publisher and see which titles you’d like to gather yourself, too.

On a happier note, I purchased “Sirens” and “Equus” to continue my journey into the vision Ms Parrish had for her Magical Menageries series of anthologies – as I began this adventure within the pages of “Fae” (see also Review), then “Corvidae” (see also Review) and “Scarecrow” (see also Review). It has been such an incredible and thrilling ride!! Especially as I have found such depth of centre within the stories I’ve blogged about as I made my way through each anthology – those writers captured me truly by the ways in which short fiction can truly transcend the shortness of its tales.

I was not obligated to post a review on its behalf. I am sharing my thoughts on behalf of this anthology for my own edification and a continued journey of sharing my readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Note: I received the Press Materials from the publisher World Weaver Press after requesting to use them for Wyrd And Wonder whilst I shared my reviews for both Sirens and Equus which would complete my journey with this anthology series edited by Rhonda Parrish.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

It has been about six years since I was caught inside the JOY of reading this anthology series which had bewitched my imagination and endeared me to the artfulness of how anthologists put together their anthologies! Yet, it was with a heavier heart I realised after contacting this publisher about the press materials, I would have to seek out titles I had planned to purchase within a shorter time-frame lest they go out of print before I have the chance to read them. Whilst at the same time, I’ve been a book cheerleader for the publisher ever since (2015) when I first read FAE. The anthology which started my journey into the Magical Menagaries series.

A week ago I was able to traverse through the stories set against the fable and lore behind SIRENS – whilst a few writers also entertained me with their variations on the classical stories of mermaids which I felt befit the collection as much as Ms Parrish! Let me share a glimpse into my final takeaways of reading SIRENS before I proceed to share my reflections on behalf of EQUUS.

I was thrilled to be able to peer into stories which thoughtfully played off the Classical and Modern spins of thought about sirens. There was emotional strife, comedic relief and thought-provoking tales which gave you more fodder to chew on than you first realised possible! I enjoyed being in different settings as well – from deep Space to a cruise ship to being seaside whilst a siren goes through her process of dating and finding herself forevermore disappointed by her choices. Yet, even when you feel you’ve reached your emotional limits – you find yourself in a war drama set against the foils of the Gods themselves!

The lovely imagery and imaginative eye of the writers who are inclusive of this anthology truly enthralled me with their ability to capture the vision of their story but also, giving me such fantastical glimpses into mermaids, sirens, and the Gods or Goddesses of Greek Mythos. There was a beautiful synergy of interest throughout the stories I read which parlay themselves into new fables to be told and listened too. Which was the beauty of it of course, because most Mythological stories are fables full of lessons of life or cautionary tales of one variety or another. I appreciated the diversity of the stories as much as the voices within them, too.

It is hard to believe I’ve almost concluded my time within the Magical Menageries series as I only have Equus left to read! Blessedly, there will be other collections and anthologies by Ms Parrish to chase after next and for that, I am grateful I first found her editorial work through World Weaver Press. As much as I hope some of the writers, I’ve found through their anthologies I can read again – either in new anthologies by other publishers and press or in their longer format stories. They each have a lovely style of etching out the fantastical and for that, I am a grateful reader!

-quoted from my review of SIRENS

It is with a heavier heart I am reading EQUUS, knowing that this is one of the final anthologies I’ll be able to read via World Weaver Press. They still have quite a few anthologies I’d like to purchase before the publishing house disappears into the ethos and only is a fragment of memory which was such a keenly joyous part of my readerly life these years I’ve been a book blogger. It will take time to find another publisher who is publishing the kind of anthologies I enjoy reading but thankfully Ms Parrish has a lovely variety of ones to collect which will keep me ruminatively satisfied!

If you’re as keenly interested in short stylised fiction as much as I am, I hope you’ll consider SIRENS, EQUUS or any of the other lovely editions of the Magical Menagaries series to be your #nextread! And, remember – there is a limited time frame in which to collect them before they go out of print.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

A #WyrdAndWonder Anthology Review | “EQUUS” (Rhonda Parrish’s Magical Menageries, Collection 5) edited by Rhonda ParrishEquus
by (Editor) Ms Rhonda Parrish
Source: Purchased | Personal Library

There’s always something magical about horses, isn’t there? Whether winged or at home in the water, mechanical or mythological, the equines that gallop through these pages span the fantasy spectrum. In one story a woman knits her way up to the stars and in another Loki's descendant grapples with bizarre transformations while fighting for their life. A woman races on a unique horse to save herself from servitude, while a man rides a chariot through the stars to reclaim his self-worth. From steampunk-inspired stories and tales that brush up against horror to straight-up fantasy, one theme connects them all: freedom.

Featuring nineteen fantastic stories of equines both real and imagined by J.G. Formato, Diana Hurlburt, Tamsin Showbrook, M.L.D Curelas, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, V.F. LeSann, Dan Koboldt, J.J. Roth, Susan MacGregor, Pat Flewwelling, Angela Rega, Michael Leonberger, Sandra Wickham, Stephanie A. Cain, Cat McDonald, Andrew Bourelle, Chadwick Ginther, K.T. Ivanrest, and Jane Yolen.

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Short Story or Novella, Equestrian Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Mythological Fantasy



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0998702209

Published by World Weaver Press

on 18th July, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 263

Published By: World Weaver Press (@WorldWeaver_wwp)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Collection No.1 in this series is FAE | Info on Editor’s Blog | Info on Pub

Collection No. 2 in this series is Corvidae | Info on Pub

Collection No.3 in this series is Scarecrow | Info on Editor’s Blog | Info on Pub

Collection No. 4 in this series is SIRENS | Info on Pub

Collection No. 5 in this series is EQUUS | Info on Pub

Converse via: #DiverseSFF, #SFF, #SciFi, #Fantasy & #Anthology

+ #MagicalMenageries (the series tag!)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook

Genre(s): Fantasy | Mythology | Short Stories
(Inspired by) Horse Mythology (ie. Pegasus, Unicorn) | Anthology

About (Editor) Ms Rhonda Parrish

Rhonda Parrish

Like a magpie, Rhonda Parrish is constantly distracted by shiny things. She’s the editor of many anthologies and author of plenty of books, stories and poems. She lives with her husband and three cats in Edmonton, Alberta, and she can often be found there playing Dungeons and Dragons, bingeing crime dramas or cheering on the Oilers. To stay in touch her website is updated regularly and her Patreon is updated even more regularly.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Sunday, 29 May, 2022 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, After the Canon, Anthology Collection of Stories, Classical Literature, Content Note, Excessive Violence in Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Novellas or Short Stories, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Vulgarity in Literature

A Wyrd And Wonder #RomanceTuesdays | “Heart of Sherwood” (A gender bent story of Robin Hood) by Edale Lane

Posted Tuesday, 24 May, 2022 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#RomanceTuesdays banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I never had the chance to read the first novel by Edale Lane – which I knew was a re-telling of Robin Hood with an f/f romance which is a continuous thread in all her novels. I had it in mind to read this story at different intervals over the time I’ve spent reading her initial trilogy of the Night Flyer series. When I went to sort out which books, I wanted to purchase to read during #WyrdAndWonder – “Heart of Sherwood” was at the top of the list. If you’ve visited our #bookstagram feeds recently, you now that I included all the books I’ve purchased by this author when I was celebrating ‘Best Laid Plans’ which was the first prompt of our Wyrd And Wonder Challenge. I’ll be expounding on this during my next #TopFiveSaturday post which runs this Saturday, the 7th of May.

I decided to concentrate on Fantasy Romances on Tuesdays throughout May whilst ‘taking over’ my #RomanceTuesdays featured selection of stories which are generally limited to Harlequin Heartwarming and Love Inspired (either Contemporary or Suspense) as I wanted a dedicated day to celebrating those authors, stories and series. Wherein generally speaking other Romances & Women’s Fiction stories are read and shared on Saturdays during my #SaturdaysAreBookish featured showcases. This year, as I’m participating in “The Summer Tree” RAL (readalong) whilst posting my ruminative thoughts on Saturdays and hosting @SatBookChat all four Saturdays during #WyrdAndWonder – I decided I ought to takeover my own feature on Tuesdays instead of running these on Saturday.

I was not obligated to post a review on its behalf. I am sharing my thoughts on behalf of this novel for my own edification and a continued journey of sharing my readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Note: I received the Press Materials from the author Edale Lane – of whom I have previously hosted during blog tours and have had her as a guest author several times on my blog. She is one of my @SatBookChat #WyrdAndWonder guest authors this year – on the 28th of May.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

As fate would have it – I began my readings of Edale Lane with her Night Flyer series although I was fully aware of this novel “Heart of Sherwood” being it was her first release. It remained a curiosity to me over the past few years since I first read “Merchants of Milan” (see also Review) which of course I followed up with a hearty interview (see also Vlog Interview) as well as a guest post! The two stories I read next of course were the sequel (see also Review) and third installment (see also Review) of the series – as previously I thought it was only going to be a trilogy. I even followed all of this up with a phone interview wherein we discussed the series further.

It has only been two years since I started my journey into her worlds – wherein I also had the pleasure of meeting her in person at one point. We’ve remained in touch as I wanted to keep tabs on her new releases as well as stay in the know about the Night Flyer series. Fast forward to now – for Wyrd And Wonder’s Year 5 I decided to go BIG whilst endeavouring to read the rest of her canon of stories: “Missing In Milan” (Book 4), “Shadows Over Milan” (Book 5), “Viking Quest”, “Walks with Spirits” (her latest release!) and “Daring Duplicity” which is a Historical Victorian Suspense which I will be featuring during #CrimeFicFridays in June ahead of the sequel “Perilious Passages” releasing that same month.

And, yet — as an appreciator of Gender Bent stories – as noted through some of my readerly choices over the last nine years I’ve been blogging my readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story, I never had the chance to delve into her spin on Robin Hood. Wherein she switched genders and turnt ‘Robin’ into ‘Robyn’ a feminine heroine of the people rather than the tale of old in which we are all quite familiar as it has become modern lore due to how oft its origins and story have been explored through literature, television and film.

As a Romance reader, I’ve appreciated her gently told romances with an uplifting centre of focus within their relationships – whilst it is her historical lens of representing History through different portals of entrance which has fascinated me with each story I’ve read of hers. Her romances are f/f romances which is why I was not surprised she had plans to see if romance might percolate between Robyn and Marian in this variant of the story.

Her novels were what inspired me of turning my #RomanceTuesdays into a curated showcasing of Fantasy Romance. Be sure to return on Tuesdays to see which #FantasyRomance I am exploring next and which author or story you might become tempted to read yourself in the process of reading over my ruminations. Whilst you have to admit – during the year we’re celebrating #ForestFantasy is there a better forest to explore than Sherwood!?

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

A Wyrd And Wonder #RomanceTuesdays | “Heart of Sherwood” (A gender bent story of Robin Hood) by Edale LaneHeart of Sherwood
by Ms Edale Lane
Source: Purchased | Personal Library

What if there had been a real Robin Hood, but instead of being a "he" the heroic outlaw was a "she"?

When Robyn's father and brother are killed in the Third Crusade, she is banished from her manor home and branded a traitor by the Sheriff of Nottingham. Disguised as a boy, she joins Little John and the rest of the gang in Sherwood Forest and soon finds herself their leader.

Queen Eleanor suspects Prince John is up to no good, and colluding with Sir Guy and the Sheriff of Nottingham. To learn more, she engages Maid Marian as a spy, reuniting Marian with her childhood friend, Robyn. Together, the women defy the evil sheriff, help the queen free King Richard, and perhaps fall in love along the way.

Winner of Rainbow Awards Best Historical Lesbian Romance, 2018-2019
Relive the classic tale told from a new perspective in Heart of Sherwood!

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Historical-Fantasy, LGBTQIA Fiction, Fantasy Romance



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1087282046

Also by this author: Chaos in Milan

Published by Past & Prologue Press

on 19th October, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 312

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published by: 1st edition published by Less than Three Press

2nd edition published by Past and Prologue Press

Converse via: #FairytaleRomance, #FantasyRomance & #WyrdAndWonder
#RobinHood Retelling and Gender Bent Fairytale

About Ms Edale Lane

Edale Lane

Edale Lane is the author of an award winning 2019 debut novel, Heart of Sherwood. She is the alter-ego of author Melodie Romeo, (Vlad a Novel, Terror in Time, and others) who founded Past and Prologue Press. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication in regard to research. She is a successful author who also currently drives a tractor-trailer across the United States. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Edale (or Melodie as the case may be) is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Tuesday, 24 May, 2022 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, 12th Century, After the Canon, Book Review (non-blog tour), Classical Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, Historical Fantasy, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Re-Told Tales, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

A #WyrdAndWonder Anthology Review | “SIRENS” (Rhonda Parrish’s Magical Menageries, Collection 4) edited by Rhonda Parrish

Posted Sunday, 22 May, 2022 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review Year 5 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I never had the chance to finish reading this particular anthology series which I fell in love with by the Indie publisher World Weaver Press. Sadly, after I purchased “Sirens” and “Equus” I learned the sad news this publisher was only going to release one new anthology which debuted during Wyrd And Wonder (ie. “Mothers of Enchantment”) but there will be no new releases moving forward. I was thankful I have a few years at least to gather copies of the rest of their anthologies I would like to read (especially as they have an impressive collection of Solarpunk!) whilst sorting which other titles aside from “Mothers of Enchantment” I would also like to purchase before they close their doors forever without a way of acquiring their titles. I highly recommend you back-read through my reviews for this publisher and see which titles you’d like to gather yourself, too.

On a happier note, I purchased “Sirens” and “Equus” to continue my journey into the vision Ms Parrish had for her Magical Menageries series of anthologies – as I began this adventure within the pages of “Fae” (see also Review), then “Corvidae” (see also Review) and “Scarecrow” (see also Review). It has been such an incredible and thrilling ride!! Especially as I have found such depth of centre within the stories I’ve blogged about as I made my way through each anthology – those writers captured me truly by the ways in which short fiction can truly transcend the shortness of its tales.

I was not obligated to post a review on its behalf. I am sharing my thoughts on behalf of this anthology for my own edification and a continued journey of sharing my readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Note: I received the Press Materials from the publisher World Weaver Press after requesting to use them for Wyrd And Wonder whilst I shared my reviews for both Sirens and Equus which would complete my journey with this anthology series edited by Rhonda Parrish.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

It has been about six years since I was caught inside the JOY of reading this anthology series which had bewitched my imagination and endeared me to the artfulness of how anthologists put together their anthologies! Yet, it was with a heavier heart I realised after contacting this publisher about the press materials, I would have to seek out titles I had planned to purchase within a shorter time-frame lest they go out of print before I have the chance to read them. Whilst at the same time, I’ve been a book cheerleader for the publisher ever since (2015) when I first read FAE. The anthology which started my journey into the Magical Menagaries series.

This fifth year of #WyrdAndWonder marks my final year reading the series but also marks the end of the publisher’s presence in our lives with exciting new releases which never fail to captivate our hearts, invigorate our joy of reading Fantasy, Cosy Horror or Science Fiction and give us new writers to appreciate discovering along the way. Of the three Indie publishers I read anthologies by regularly (ie. Seventh Star Press, World Weaver Press and Xchyler Publishing) World Weaver Press has had the consistency and choice of thematic to explore which I have appreciated the most. I know now I have to start to seek out new small press and Indie publishers to journey after in search of what I thought was going to be a longer lasting presence in Speculative Fiction by this publisher and that was the hardest part to reconcile this May. 

Blessedly, the anthologist herself (Rhonda Parrish) has heaps of new lovelies (ie. anthologies) for me chase after next and quite a few of them are released into print which is good news for me! Several of hers are strictly Digital First from what I can gather online but I am just thankful after I conclude my readings of both SIRENS and EQUUS there will be other collections out there by her I will be able to read and enjoy. She has become a favourite anthologist of mine and knew I wanted to continue to follow her publishing career post-Wyrd And Wonder this year.

One interesting bit to disclose is that I never used to be as curious about reading Mythological Fantasy or Mythologically influenced stories as I have been these last years since Louise @foxesfairytale introduced me to the JOY of this pursuit with her own event @Mythothon which I have had to unfortunately step out of participating in whilst the cycles have been live and ongoing. I hope one day to resume my readings rooted in those cycles and take a journey into the heart of which theme she had selected as I pursue my own journey of story and adventure therein. For now, it is her inspiration and influence of suggesting a new path of entry into this side of SpecFic which has made all the difference in me as a reader. Without that first year of #Mythothon, I am not sure if I would have been as keenly invested into this sub-niche of Fantasy as much as I am and for that, I am forever grateful.

I broach this because SIRENS plays off what we know about sirens and what we haven’t yet learnt – they were the beguiling creatures in Greek Mythos which had the reputation of luring men to their death and of making seafaring life a bit more arduous to undertake if they were within range of being heard. Although I knew about sirens, this was the first time I was interested in reading more about them and in effect learning more about the Mythos behind their original stories. As that is one grace of reading these kinds of curated anthologies – you get to learn more about the original subject of interest as much as viewing the vision the new writers of today have given the legends, lore and fables within that scope of exploration.

If you’re as keenly interested in short stylised fiction as much as I am, I hope you’ll consider SIRENS, EQUUS or any of the other lovely editions of the Magical Menagaries series to be your #nextread!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

A #WyrdAndWonder Anthology Review | “SIRENS” (Rhonda Parrish’s Magical Menageries, Collection 4) edited by Rhonda ParrishSirens
by (Editor) Ms Rhonda Parrish
Source: Purchased | Personal Library

Sirens are beautiful, dangerous, and musical, whether they come from the sea or the sky. Greek sirens were described as part-bird, part-woman, and Roman sirens more like mermaids, but both had a voice that could captivate and destroy the strongest man. The pages of this book contain the stories of the Sirens of old, but also allow for modern re-imaginings, plucking the sirens out of their natural elements and placing them at a high school football game, or in wartime London, or even into outer space.

Featuring stories by Kelly Sandoval, Amanda Kespohl, L.S. Johnson, Pat Flewwelling, Gabriel F. Cuellar, Randall G. Arnold, Michael Leonberger, V. F. LeSann, Tamsin Showbrook, Simon Kewin, Cat McDonald, Sandra Wickham, K.T. Ivanrest, Adam L. Bealby, Eliza Chan, and Tabitha Lord, these siren songs will both exemplify and defy your expectations.

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Short Story or Novella, Fantasy Fiction, Mythological Fantasy, Greek Mythos | Legacies, LGBTQIA Fiction



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0692687208

Published by World Weaver Press

on 12th July, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 263

Published By: World Weaver Press (@WorldWeaver_wwp)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Collection No.1 in this series is FAE | Info on Editor’s Blog | Info on Pub

Collection No. 2 in this series is Corvidae | Info on Pub

Collection No.3 in this series is Scarecrow | Info on Editor’s Blog | Info on Pub

Collection No. 4 in this series is SIRENS | Info on Pub

Collection No. 5 in this series is EQUUS | Info on Pub

Converse via: #DiverseSFF, #SFF, #SciFi, #Fantasy & #Anthology

+ #MagicalMenageries (the series tag!)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook

Genre(s): Fantasy | Sirens | Mythology | Short Stories
(Inspired by) The Odyssey | LGBTQ+ | Anthology

About (Editor) Ms Rhonda Parrish

Rhonda Parrish

Like a magpie, Rhonda Parrish is constantly distracted by shiny things. She’s the editor of many anthologies and author of plenty of books, stories and poems. She lives with her husband and three cats in Edmonton, Alberta, and she can often be found there playing Dungeons and Dragons, bingeing crime dramas or cheering on the Oilers. To stay in touch her website is updated regularly and her Patreon is updated even more regularly.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
Divider

Posted Sunday, 22 May, 2022 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, After the Canon, Anthology Collection of Stories, Classical Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Novellas or Short Stories, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

A #SpooktasticReads audiobook review | “Jorvik Calling” (Soul Riders: Book One) by Helena Dahlgren, narrated by Jennifer Jill Araya; courtesy of #NetGalley

Posted Monday, 19 October, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , 0 Comments

#SpooktasticReads Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Earlier this year, in late Winter (February) I joined NetGalley for the first time as they finally announced they were going to be offering full-length audiobooks for reviewers. I was never able to join NetGalley due to having chronic migraines and being unable to read ebooks. I started requesting audiobooks to review as soon as they opened their audiobook catalogue in July, 2020. I am an eclectic reader and thereby, you will see all genres in Fiction explored from both markets of interest: mainstream and INSPY as well as from Major Trade, Indie Publishers & Press and other routes of publication, too. There might be the occasional Non-Fiction title appearing in my NetGalley queue of reviews as well. This marks a new adventure for me seeking stories for review consideration and I look forward to seeing where the stories lead me to venture.

I received a complimentary digital and temporary audiobook copy of “Soul Riders” direct from the publisher Andrews McMeel Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All audiobooks via NetGalley are able to be heard via the NetGalley Shelf which is why I was thankful to be gifted an android tablet by my parents to celebrate my 7th Blog Birthday on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: As a new reviewer on NetGalley, I’m sorting out how to get the Press Materials for each of the audiobooks I’m reviewing when I share them on my blog Jorie Loves A Story. When I contacted NetGalley Support they informed me that if a separate Press Kit is not included on the audiobook’s book page we’re allowed as reviewers to use the book cover and synopsis provided when we go to share our review of that audiobook on our blogs; as long as we give attribution as I have done at the bottom of this review in “Sources”. Those materials are provided with permission of the publishers to be used by reviewers via NetGalley.

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Why I wanted to read &/or listen to “Soul Riders”:

I was attracted to a few elements about this story when I first found it on NetGalley – the horses, the sisterhood friendships of the girls’ and the fact this is all set in a fantastical world. I originally thought this was a story that was ‘set elsewhere’ without any tangible connection to our own living reality however as I shifted into the audiobook itself, I realised this is an Urban Fantasy wherein there are elements of modern life (our world) within the sphere of the series but there are elements of the fantastical in the background running concurrent to the girls’ school and life experiences.

I have a personal attachment to horse dramas & Westerns – whenever I can find one or the other which suits my interests, I love to soak inside the stories! Having had a close connection to horses when I was a child I believe plays a strong part in why I continue to seek out stories which features horses and/or the world of horses – from Contemporary &/or Historical Westerns to Contemporary Western Romances or Cowboy Romances (such as my Harlequin Heartwarming readings).

Finding a story set in a blended Middle Grade & Young Adult world for Fantasy which brings into focus my love of horses with the added advantage of hidden talents and special gifts given to the girls who ride star horses – honestly, what could be a better bookish find!?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A #SpooktasticReads audiobook review | “Jorvik Calling” (Soul Riders: Book One) by Helena Dahlgren, narrated by Jennifer Jill Araya; courtesy of #NetGalleyJorvik Calling
Subtitle: Soul Riders (series), Video Game Tie-In (Star Stable)
by Helena Dahlgren
Source: Audiobook Direct from Publisher via NetGalley

Step into the universe of the massively popular adventure game Star Stable, and follow four friends who discover their magic powers and learn that every girl can be a hero in this fantasy trilogy.

Soul Riders tells the heroic tale of four young girls who have been chosen by destiny to save the world from the ancient demon: Garnok and his band of dangerous Dark Riders. Lisa is a teenage girl who is still coming to terms with the tragic loss of her mother in a riding accident and has sworn never to go near a horse again until she met Starshine, a mysterious blue-maned steed who comes to her in dreams. New on the island of Jorvik, Lisa befriends Alex, Linda, and Anne. Under the guidance of mystical druids, they discover they each have a special bond to their horses that gives them magical powers. While trying to balance school, family, and friendships they have to figure out what it means to be a Soul Rider. They are attacked by the Dark Riders and the mysterious Mr. Sands discover that their horses are in danger. Instead of relying on their combined strength, they decide to split up on their quest to find answers and learn to fight back against their enemies. However, will it be too late before they realize their mistake?

Jorvik Calling is the first installment in the epic, fantasy trilogy, Soul Riders, about magic, friendship, and horses bound to thrill all young equestrian fans.

Genres: Dark Fantasy, Equestrian Fiction, Horse Drama, Upper YA Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Video Game Tie-In Series, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal Suspense, YA Urban Fantasy



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781524855338

ASIN: B087D8F3SW

Published by Andrews McMeel Audio, Andrews McMeel Publishing

Format: Audiobook | Digital Review Copy (NetGalley)

Length: 5 hours and 40 minutes (unabridged)

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Published By: Andrews McMeel Audio
an imprint of Andrews McMeel Publishing (@AndrewsMcMeel)

NOTE: When I first started listening to this title I thought for sure it would be considered Middle Grade Fantasy – however, as it progressed forward, I started to see it leans into YA Fantasy. It might be on the fence of merging Upper YA into Adult Fantasy within an Urban Fantasy world-building and setting. Ergo, if your considering this for younger readers rather than adult, know that this has the innocence of a Middle Grade Fantasy intermixed with the darker villains of an Upper YA/Adult Fantasy wherein if you are seeking lighter readers for Middle Grade readers I would advise against this one.

Converse via: #UrbanFantasy as well as #DarkFantasy and Upper #YAFantasy
+ #SoulRiders, #audiobook or #audioreads as well as #JorikRising and #StarStable

Available Formats: Trade paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 19 October, 2020 by jorielov in Book Review (non-blog tour), Bullies and the Bullied, Childhood Friendship, Coming-Of Age, Dark Arts (Dark Magic), Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, NetGalley, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Upper YA Fiction, Urban Fantasy, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction