Genre: Mythological Fantasy

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.

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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)

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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!)

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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 #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 #WyrdAndWonder #RomanceTuesdays | featuring “Druid’s Moon” (a re-telling of ‘Beauty and the Beast’) by Deniz Bevan

Posted Tuesday, 3 May, 2022 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#RomanceTuesdays banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Every so often I am blessed with Review Requests which come directly via my Review Policy on my blog. There are some months where I fall behind on my responses to the requests – due to life and work obligations – however, in this instance, I was wicked fascinated by this particular premise and as it fit into the stories, I was seeking out for our 5th Year of #WyrdAndWonder, I took a chance on the ARC being pitched would still be available to request. Thankfully I was granted the review opportunity and the book arrived in time to coordinate with my Wyrd And Wonder plans this May. I knew, too, with this being a re-telling of a beloved classic story (ie. “Beauty and the Beast”) this would fit in well with my Wyrd And Wonder takeover of #RomanceTuesdays which is a regular feature of my blog. 

I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher Dancing Lemur Press, LLC in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I enjoy fantastical re-tellings & am curious about werewolves:

Even before I realised there was a werewolf connection, I surmised it through the cover art! The only werewolf I truly have had any experience or knowledge of previously was Harry’s Uncle. Werewolves are typically on my list of creatures I’m not as comfortable reading about and thereby make choices case by case as I find stories which involve them. Now, when I realised this is a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast with a window into Druid & Celtic Histories and a potential curse unearthed by an archaeologist on a dig – wells, let’s just say that felt quite a fanciful new direction to take the original canon!

I have been reading re-tellings of Classic Literature ever since the very beginning of Jorie Loves A Story (9 years ago this past 31st of March) – which you can observe via my Story Vault as those stories are listed closer to the top of the list of archived reviews. I have also read variants of Beauty and the Beast previously whilst I LOVED seeing the rendition of the live-action film starring Emma Watson not so long ago now (2017 wasn’t it?). In fact, in that film the hardest scene for me to reconcile was when the ‘beast’ no longer had his fur! Even Mum agreed (as it was a surprise viewing with her) it was hard to shift past who he was before he transformed back into being a human because we all were lost in the story and had come to become quite fond of him in his beastly state of presence! Laughs. Which I believe is why Emma Watson’s character mentioned him growing a beard at the end and where he implied that would never happen! Laughs heartedly.

The key reason I LOVE retellings is because you get to see a different perspective on the original story and the original intentions for that story by the original author. The new variants of the Classics also offer new passageways into those characters’ and into those worlds; some even re-invent the whole experience if you take into account my listenings of the Jane Austen Dragons series! (see also Review) The beauty of course is finding which authors have an entrance point which first enchants you forward and then, entertains you the most whilst you take up residency in the new world they’ve created in homage to the original.

Now, once upon a time I had a huge interest in Archaeology, Anthropology and all routes interconnected to both disciplines — however, now I entertain those interests through reading Fiction and Non-Fiction alike and enjoy the adventures from afar. History has played a strong role in my life as well – which is why you’ve oft found me chasing down timescapes and windows of History through my extensive readings of Historical Fiction over the last nine years as well. And, yet I always feel there is something new to discover when you merge the past with the present and angle a story through the excavation of the past.

With werewolves – those are a bit trickier for me to feel cosy comfortable around – though, in truth, I am sure most of them are misunderstood or in the case of the one in Druid’s Moon – perhaps caught inside of a curse he/they cannot extract themselves from!? Ah. Alas, I felt this might be an interesting and intriguing story to add to my selections this #WyrdAndWonder and that is why it is being featured during my Wyrd And Wonder takeover of #RomanceTuesdays as in effect a Beast needs his Beauty and there lies the romance!

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A #WyrdAndWonder #RomanceTuesdays | featuring “Druid’s Moon” (a re-telling of ‘Beauty and the Beast’) by Deniz BevanDruid's Moon
by Deniz Bevan
Illustrator/Cover Designer: C.R. Wolfe
Source: Direct from Publisher

Beauty to his Beast…

Lyne Vanlith, an archaeologist who seeks a logical explanation to any mystery, discovers an ancient Druidic curse on her first dig. When the signs foretold by the curse descend on her, Lyne can’t find a reasonable interpretation.

And that’s even before a Beast rescues her from a monstrous sea-creature. She drops a grateful kiss on the snout of the Beast, who transforms into a man, Frederick Cunnick, Baron of Lansladron. Lyne is meant to be Beauty to his Beast—and break the curse forever.

Now both spellkeeper and monster are targeting Lyne. She must take up her legendary role, to defeat the curse and save Frederick—and herself. Instead of logic, for the first time, Lyne must trust her heart.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Fairy-Tale Re-Telling, Mythological Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, Paranormal Romance (PNR)



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1939844866

on 5th September, 2022

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 173

Published by: Dancing Lemur Press, LLC (@DancingLemurPre)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #FantasyRomance, #ParanormalFantasy or #Fairytale Re-telling
as well as #BeautyAndTheBeast or #WyrdAndWonder

About Deniz Bevan

A firm believer in burning the candle at both ends, Deniz Bevan is generally writing a new novel while editing another and blogging about her reading and research adventures. Other days, she tries to stay off the web altogether, as she delves into the history, mystery, and romance of her characters’ lives.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
Divider

Posted Tuesday, 3 May, 2022 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, After the Canon, ARC | Galley Copy, Book Review (non-blog tour), Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Folklore and Mythology, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Paranormal Romance, Re-Told Tales, Romance Fiction, Supernatural Fiction

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:

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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