Genre: Children's Literature

A #WyrdAndWonder #MGFantasy Book Review | “The Princess and the Pirate” (Rahana Trilogy: Book Two) by Felicity Banks

Posted Wednesday, 26 May, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Gifted Book By: This novel “The Princess and the Pirate” was part of a gifted #bookhaul of mine from my Mum and Dad for #WyrdAndWonder, Year 4! They happily surprised me with a lovely bundle of books I featured last Wyrd And Wonder celebrating the Indie Publisher Odyssey Books! This kicks-off my readings of those novels as I was overjoyed I can read all the lovely stories I had either showcased and/or featured but wasn’t able to read during our Year 3 Wyrd And Wonder.

Thereby, I was gifted a copy of “The Princess and the Pirate” by my parents and I was not obligated to post an honest 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 last year from the publisher and had asked if I could re-use them if and when I was able to read and/or review the stories I was featuring during Wyrd And Wonder Year 3 (2020); and thankfully was given permission to do so which is why I am using them during my readings this 4th Year of Wyrd And Wonder.

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Why I am in love with this series & couldn’t wait to read the next story:

I immediately took an interest in Dance – she was a brave young girl who understood the history of her island but also the growing tension of why her father worried about her safety and the safety of their community here. Even in the opening paragraphs there is a bit of urgency in the tone of how Banks started her story – where Dance can sense the heightened fear in the caller’s voice – the person intending to speak with her father and the voice which was drawing her to catch her breath.

I loved how art was introduced straight-away – a small bit of insight into the heart of her people – of how on this island (Luar) art was as sacred as the trees. And, trees apparently were quite revered because you can sense this yourself as Dance speaks about the art which comes from the raw materials of the trees. Trees for me have held such a high impression on my person since I first started staring after trees along highways and byways; whilst pausing whenever I was close to them in person and happily feeling museful about their lives. Especially the cycle of how other species laid claim to their boughs and branches; how connected they were to our source of life (ie. oxygen) and how throughout the ages of time, trees are resolute, proud and awe-inspiring just to be nearby. I could then imagine – any bit of art carved from a tree has a life spirit of its own etched out of the raw wood and drawing a new energy from the carver’s tools, hands and vision for what the art being created would represent.

Dance lives on an island tucked away from the world – what makes this one dearly unique in my eyes as I haven’t come across a lot of snowbound or ice encased worlds, is the fact this particular island would be right at home in the Arctic Circle! It is beyond cold here – where the frozen ice hides their greatest enemy (ie. Heest monsters) and where if you were brave enough, you wouldn’t consider what their presence unde the ice was foretelling about your own fate and the fate of your community. Banks goes into a bit of detail about how this island was fashioned together – from materials they could repurpose and from purchases they had made long ago giving them a bit of bolster of privacy from prying eyes on the outside. It was their sincere hope to remain hidden which inspired how they lived and how they choose to thrive in one of the coldest locations I’ve had a chance to visit.

I positively LOVE finding illustrative art inside novels – The Monster Apprentice is delightfully inclusive of renderings of the scenes you’re reading about as you walk beside Dance! The very first illustration was featuring the ‘sky cows’ – having spent time on a ranch with breeding stock, I know how stubborn cows can be and how particular they are once they’ve settled on a place they want to roost. Cows are gentle giants and have kind hearts but there are moments where like most animals, they simply want to be left alone and left to their own devices. The imagery provided in this illustration and the depictions of the cows and Dance’s interaction with them in the text was quite a heap of hilarity! It was interesting to see how Dance chooses to interact with her world and how she constantly likes to bend the rules in order to do what she is tasked to accomplish!

Banks does a wonderful job of keeping this first installment beautifully connected on her characters and on the priming of our introduction to their ice and sea world. Things are not quite as you expect them to be here – there are hints of magic, of intrigue and of binding bargains which may in the end be worse than their initial acceptance. Each person here – young or old alike has to find their own individual truth and path; similar to life, everyone is working through their own headspace and has to find the courage to be a bit braver than they feel.

One of my favourite features of this novel are the Heest – mostly because Banks keeps us in the dark for most of the novel about their truer nature and how they operate as a species. There is far more to the Heest than what is presumed and that is the true beauty of their kind for me. I’d love t see how this trilogy continues to develop – especially if we can entreat more into the magical perimeters of the world and the concepts of how those magical extras operate within a place that is a rather harsh physical environment of both ice and sea.

As this first novel is setting up the foundation of the trilogy – we were treated only to a hinting of the magic in this world. The curators of the magic are known as quickensmiths and this was broached at the time when Dance had to face the pirates because of how the ship itself was moving through the water. I found it interesting how the dynamics of the world and of the magic within it were not completely disclosed because this was a very character-centred introduction. You get a few hints towards what is coming in future installments but not overly enough to lose your curiosity because this novel does lend itself to being curious about what will become disclosed!

-quoted from my review of The Monster Apprentice

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The Princess and the Pirate collage created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: jorielovesastory.com

The Princess and the Pirate
by Felicity Banks
Source: Gifted

Genres: Children's Literature, Middle Grade, Fantasy Fiction, Middle Grade Fantasy, Mythological Fantasy, Pirate Fiction



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1925652680

Also by this author: The Monster Apprentice

Published by Odyssey Books

on 1st June, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 126

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The Rahana Trilogy:

Felicity Banks invented the fantasy world of Rahana while living in Indonesia. She grew up reading stories set in Narnia and Middle Earth, and she wanted to invent a fantasy world that was just as beautiful but didn’t feel British, or white, or male.

In Rahana the weather is tropical and the people are visually similar to Indonesians. Magic is common, and makes physical strength irrelevant. There are millions of islands both small and large, and sailing technology is more advanced that the other sciences. Rahana is a thriving tropical world where people are born with a love of the high seas.

Naturally, the world is full of pirates.

The Monster Apprentice (book one)

The Princess & the Pirate (book two)

Waking Dead Mountain (book three)

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Published by: Odyssey Books (@OdysseyBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #ThePrincessAndThePirate, #MGLit, #MGFantasy
as well as #pirates and #MiddleGrade; #IndieAuthor, #IndieFantasy

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About Felicity Banks

Felicity Banks

Felicity Banks is a Canberra author specialising in fantasy and interactive fiction, including her Antipodean Queen fantasy steampunk series, which is also published by Odyssey Books. All her interactive fiction is listed under “Felicity Banks” (visit site) and most of her interactive fiction can be read via an app.

She writes about all her various pirates tales (some appropriate for children, some definitely not) on her Facebook page as well as sharing stories and images that appeal to the not-so-secret pirate within all of us.

She met her husband at a pirate ball, and has two little pirates at home.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Wednesday, 26 May, 2021 by jorielov in #Unboxing BookMail, #WyrdAndWonder, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Book Review (non-blog tour), Childhood Friendship, Children's Literature, Coming-Of Age, Death of a Sibling, Fantasy Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Juvenile Fiction, Life Shift, Middle Grade Novel, Mother-Daughter Relationships, School Life & Situations, Siblings, Twin Siblings

A #WyrdAndWonder Audiobook Review | “The One Great Gnome” by Jeff Dinardo, narrated by Simone Stevens, courtesy of #NetGalley

Posted Monday, 10 May, 2021 by jorielov , , , , , 2 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: In late Winter (February, 2020) 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 “The One Great Gnome” direct from the publisher One Elm Books (an imprint of Red Chair Press) 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.

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

Why I was intrigued to listen to “The One Great Gnome”:

It all started when I was a young girl fascinated by the tv series (animated) called David the Gnome – which was about David’s wife and their family and their community of gnomes. It was quite an interesting series and I never understood why it didn’t gain more traction on dvd (or perhaps it had and I never knew it?). I’d love to find a collection of it on dvd one day – but until then, I had Gnomeo and Juliet to occupy that space of interest for me! The cheekiness of the plot, the characters themselves and of course, the absurdity of the whole affair is what had me rollicking in laughter since the film started! The fact they made a sequel delighted me to new heights of hilarity!

And, yet, there was a lot of heart in those films, too! I just have always felt a certain fascination about gnomes but I didn’t actively pursue finding more stories or films about them. They just sort of wander into my life every so many years – such as this particular audiobook caught my attention just before Wyrd And Wonder began our 4th Year this May, 2021. And, coincidently enough – right around the same time I found this lovely I also found another which is on an audiobook blog tour!

On the 27th of May – I’ll be talking about another story about gnomes “Magical Neighbours” by Mary Ellen Spencer – be sure to return!

Gnomes are simply interesting characters – they have such distinct personalities – they sometimes remind of me of the seven dwarves in that respect because some are friendly and good-natured whilst others are quite a bit grumpier! You just never know!! I was delighted to see how the author of this story would approach the gnomes and how the story would unfold with having a human girl inclusive of the story as well. So far, I generally read about gnomes where there are no humans engaging with them so this was an unexpected surprise to explore during Wyrd And Wonder!

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

Notation on Cover Art Design: 

There is something cute and whimsical about the cover art for this audiobook. I liked how it showcased Sarah and her innocent curiosity about gnomes which I felt translated well throughout the story. It would be a delight to see this artwork up close and personal – and I would imagine the hardback copy would have more illustrations to go in-step with the storyline, too.

A #WyrdAndWonder Audiobook Review | “The One Great Gnome” by Jeff Dinardo, narrated by Simone Stevens, courtesy of #NetGalleyThe One Great Gnome
by Jeff Dinardo
Source: Audiobook Direct from Publisher via NetGalley
Narrator: Simone Stevens

In the spirit of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, this story introduces listeners to the magical and mysterious hidden world of gnomes, elves, and trolls....

Eleven-year-old Sarah moves with her family from New York City to rural Hadley, Connecticut. She's eager to explore her new home and meet new friends, but she never expected to befriend an old garden gnome. Join Sarah as she is drawn into a secret world beneath our feet. Sarah uses her instincts to calm old rivalries and help the underworld elves, gnomes, and more live in peace.

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Children's Literature, Middle Grade, Fantasy Fiction, Epic Fantasy, Middle Grade Fantasy, Juvenile Fiction



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on NetGalley

ISBN: 9781947159594

ASIN: B08T5WMWLZ

on 17th January, 2021

Format: Audiobook | Digital Review Copy (NetGalley)

Length: 2 hours and 48 minutes (unabridged)

Published By: One Elm Books

an imprint of Red Chair Press (@redchairpress)

Formats Available: Hardback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #MGLit, #MiddleGrade, #MiddleGradeLit or #MGFantasy

as well as #TheOneGreatGnome + #NetGalley and esp #WyrdAndWonder !!

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

✍📖 Follow the author: Site 

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 Monday, 10 May, 2021 by jorielov in Book Review (non-blog tour), Elves & the Elven, Faeries & the Fey, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Indie Author, Mythological Societies, Self-Published Author, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction

A #WyrdAndWonder Audiobook Review | “The Marvelwood Magicians” by Diane Zahler, narrated by Sarah Zimmerman; courtesy of #NetGalley

Posted Sunday, 2 May, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: In late Winter 2020, (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 “The Marvelwood Magicians” direct from the publisher Live Oak Media 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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I wanted to read &/or listen to “The .Marvelwood Magicians”:

I have had a certain attachment to circuses ever since I was a young girl who attend the Ringing Brothers circuses. This was during the age of Gunther Gebel-Williams. Beyond the excitement of the shows under the big top and the ways in which the circus can ignite the imaginations of anyone who attends them, part of me was concerned about the conditions of the animals and the treatment of them before and after the shows themselves. In time, I came to appreciate zoos more than the circus but only the ones who had the best interest of the animals at the heart of their mission, not the bottom-line when it came to selling tickets and/or earning profit.

Through the years, you might have noticed I RT and support The Australian Zoo – which is one of the zoos and wildlife outreach organisations I’ve come to appreciate as I spent years watching Steve Irwin and his family through their docuseries long before tragedy struck his family.

However, when it comes to ‘fantasy’ side of the ledger in literature – there is just something interesting about how writers are taking our love & excitement for performance art and close encounters with animals to a new heightened level of interest!! You might have first seen this coming across in my readings of the first bits of the Magical Midway series – and it continues this year, as I was unexpected surprised to find my copy of “The Marvelwood Magicians” was still on my NetGalley shelf waiting for me!

It was the best surprise – as it helped me move past the health woes of April (which let’s face it were adversely difficult) and re-settle myself into listening to audiobooks (its been terribly long since I could last listen to a story in full!) as well as finding my JOY again as a book blogger which is something I’ve struggled with since January, 2021. (you might have seen the reduction in posts every month!? the archives tell tales!) This became my segue novel – as much it became the novel my bookish heart wanted to HUG outright for the HAPPINESS it gave me as a reader!

Every night this week, I’ve been pulled into the throes of the Marvelwood’s — bit by bit and eagerly hopeful I might get ‘further’ into the story. Some nights I could barely keep my attention focused past a half hour but on our first day of #WyrdAndWonder *before!* midnight marked the second day, guess what?! I learnt how it ENDS. It was bittersweet for me, too, as I didn’t want to ‘let go’ of the Marvelwood’s!! Who would!? I felt such a kinship with this family!! Now, I can look forward to gathering this on audio & print and adding both to my personal library. Not sure when I can do that — but when I can, you can bet I’ll be tweeting my glee about bring this family HOME!!

The key reasons I wanted to listen to this lovely were due to the setting (ie. circus & travelling performers!) AND the fact this was a story set in a Fantasy world but dearly focused on family & community. Two of my favourite themes across the genres I regularly read. I wish I had a preteen to give this audiobook too – to see if they delight in the joys I had hearing it myself and to talk about it afterwards.

Read my review and see if this might fit into your #WyrdAndWonder plans – for this year or next – or any month betwixt and between! I appreciate you visiting with me as I’m just getting started – I’ve planned a whole literary holiday for myself where everyday I’ll be reading and/or listening to Fantasy stories and taking everyone on my readerly journey! Come back and see what I’ve discovered each week. For now,.. let the Marvelwood’s entice you into their world and find the JOY of the circus anew,.. .

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A #WyrdAndWonder Audiobook Review | “The Marvelwood Magicians” by Diane Zahler, narrated by Sarah Zimmerman; courtesy of #NetGalleyThe Marvelwood Magicians
by Diane Zahler
Source: Audiobook Direct from Publisher via NetGalley
Narrator: Sarah Zimmerman

Eleven-year-old Mattie Marvelwood comes from a family of traveling performers. Her dad is an illusionist; her mom is a fortune-teller; her brother has a vanishing act; and she herself is a mind-reader. But the Marvelwoods have a deep secret.

The acts they perform at carnivals, fairs, and circuses are not just acts. Their powers are real. In all their wanderings, the Marvelwoods have never met another performer with gifts like theirs—until they join Master Morogh’s Circus of Wonders! But it turns out that Master Morogh’s true talent is stealing the gifts of others. When he steals Mattie’s brother’s vanishing ability, the family has a big decision to make. Do they run, leaving Bell’s gift behind to save the rest of them, or risk exposure by trying to beat the duplicitous ringmaster at his own game?

Genres: Children's Literature, Middle Grade, Middle Grade Fantasy, Urban Fantasy



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781629797243

ASIN: B0815B761C

on 1st October, 2019

Format: Audiobook | Digital Review Copy (NetGalley)

Length: 5 hours and 19 minutes (unabridged)

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Published By: Live Oak Media (@MediaLiveOak)

Converse via: #KidsLit, #MGLit or #MiddleGrade, #Fantasy and #Magicians OR #Magic
and  #audiobook or #audioreads as well as #TheMarvelwoodMagicians
and especially #WyrdAndWonder !!

Available Formats: Trade paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

📖✍ Follow the author: @dianezahler

🎧📖 Visit the narrator: Sarah Zimmerman

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Sunday, 2 May, 2021 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, #WyrdAndWonder, Audiobook, Book Review (non-blog tour), Brothers and Sisters, Bullies and the Bullied, Children's Literature, Clever Turns of Phrase, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Conservation, Content Note, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, Folklore and Mythology, Good vs. Evil, Indie Author, Invisibility, Juvenile Fiction, Middle Grade Novel, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, NetGalley, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Preservation, Siblings, Small Towne USA, Speculative Fiction, Supernatural Fiction, Telekinesis, Telepaths & Telepathy, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Urban Fantasy, Writing Style & Voice

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | Exploring #MiddleGrade Fantasy within “Dalya and the Magic Ink Bottle” by J.M. Evenson; courtesy of #NetGalley

Posted Saturday, 1 May, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Borrowed Book By: In late Winter 2020, (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 ebook copy of “Dalya and the Magic Ink Bottle” direct from the publisher Capstone via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, I was not able to read and review it – as I misunderstood you could not request a print copy. At the time I requested this title, I had just joined NetGalley and hadn’t quite understood the whole process. Thereby, I made a purchase request at my regional library and they were thankfully able to purchase this novel for me. I borrowed this book in time to read and review during #WyrdAondWonder Year 4 – whilst being able to read one of my backlogue NetGalley reads in the process. 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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I wanted to read &/or listen to “Dalya and the Magic Ink Bottle”:

I love reading #diverselit but sometimes, I struggle to find stories which are inclusive of multicultural characters & families which are in genres I read which are not full of violence or themes which are outside my literary wanderings.

Whenever I seek out Fantasy – I tend to gravitate towards Middle Grade & Young Adult moreso than Adult narratives because a lot of Adult Fantasy is a bit too far afield for me to read. Not always, but if you’ve noticed I have had the tendency of reading more Children’s Lit during #WyrdAndWonder than I do anything else and there is a reason for this!! Violence aside – I am enraptured by the writers who are giving us wicked good Middle Grade & Young Adult Fantasy stories. Their writing the narratives I want to be reading most and their characters give such a lasting impression of their lives on my bookish heart, they quite literally become my most beloved reads!!

When I read the premise of this story I connected with it immediately – though, by the time I sat down to read the novel, I had completely forgotten about how important it was to take stock of the ‘cat’ and therefore had a delightful surprise when I dove into the story this morning! I was just thankful my library was able to purchase a copy for me in hardback and allowing me to read this during #WyrdAndWonder before it was called back to the library! I’m hopeful other readers who find it on the library’s shelves will be as wholly enthused by what they’ve read as I have become myself.

It didn’t surprise me either that my first two readings this #WyrdAndWonder are about families & the concept of both what constitutes ‘home’ and ‘family’ to the characters. There is a centreing of truth in my own literary wanderings wherein family, community and coming-of age stories tend to the big draw for me as a reader. This was a special choice for me too, as I wasn’t sure which direction Everson might take us to account for the ‘magic ink’ and lo & behold it involved the JINN! Eek. I was positively smitten after I learnt that, too!

As you will tell from my review, this was a story which touched my heart & soul – being set in Turkey and taking place in the largest city’s marketplace was also a delight as I’ve seen documentaries about their markets and felt as if I had ‘been there’ just by how close those documentaries came to giving you the full effect of being ‘there’ yourself. I felt having that in my memories also helped me feel closer to Dalya on her journey, too. If you love stories of transfiguration, magical cats and the cheekiness of the Jinn – you’ll want to get a copy of this for yourself! I quite literally read this in the morning hours in one sitting — it was #unputdownable and wickedly brilliant!

What a sweet way to kick-off #WyrdAndWonder, eh!?

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Notations on Cover Art: This is one of those charmingly brilliant novels where you can’t help but notice the cover art! I loved how both the cat and Dalya are not entirely seen on the front of the novel but also, there is this allure of the story itself – of what kind of magic awaits the reader and how interestingly captivating this image is of who is featured in the artwork. I love Fantasy & Speculative art – and this book cover is one of my all-time top favourites! 

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | Exploring #MiddleGrade Fantasy within “Dalya and the Magic Ink Bottle” by J.M. Evenson; courtesy of #NetGalleyDalya and the Magic Ink Bottle
by J.M. Evenson
Source: Borrowed from local library, Purchase REQ | local library

When twelve-year-old Dalya is dragged to Istanbul to help sell her family's ancestral home, the visit begins unpromisingly. Most of the aged mansion is off-limits because it's falling apart, her father is ignoring her, and her great aunt keeps prattling on about a family curse. Despite warnings against it, Dalya tiptoes upstairs, where she finds an old bottle of magic ink hidden under a floorboard. She asks the bottle's jinn (aka genie) to grant her a simple wish...to send her home. Except the jinn interprets "go home" to mean "send me back in time and turn me into a cat." Then Dalya must set off on a wild adventure through Istanbul's animal underworld to find the jinn with the power to set things right. Along the way she collects a group of companions - furry and human alike - but if she isn't careful, she'll lose the chance to reverse her family's fortunes and may never find her way back home.

Genres: Children's Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Magical Realism, Middle Grade Fantasy, Urban Fantasy



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781684461301

Published by Capstone

on 1st August, 2020

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 200

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published By: Capstone (@CapstonePub)

Converse via: #KidsLit, #MGLit or #MiddleGrade, #Fantasy
as well as #DalyaAndTheMagicInkBottle + #ReadingIsForEveryone and especially #WyrdAndWonder !!

Available Formats: Hardcover, Trade Paperback and Ebook

✍📖 Follow the writer J.M. Evenson | @JM_Evenson

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Saturday, 1 May, 2021 by jorielov in 21st Century, Book Review (non-blog tour), Castles & Estates, Children's Literature, Familiars, Fantasy Fiction, Father-daughter Relationships, Folklore and Mythology, Juvenile Fiction, Magical Realism, Middle Grade Novel, Modern Day, NetGalley, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Urban Fantasy