Genre: Mythological Fantasy

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 Book Review | feat. #IndieFantasy novelist Kira Weston with “The Fighter of Aldea” the first installment in this trilogy!

Posted Tuesday, 25 May, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: In  Spring (2019) I participated in an event uniting book bloggers and Indie Authors called #ReviewPit. One of the authors I discovered during this event was Kira Weston – her s/o about the novel on Twitter was most enticing (see also tweet) but it was the premise which captured me the most – elemental sorcery, strong female lead, a world without electricity and the complexities of the relationships between the sorcerers and the humans! All knitted up together in a #YAFantasy which felt like a wicked good read if you ask me! The fact she was keenly open to sending out print copies of the novel touched my heart as not every author can send them.

I was seeking stories during #ReviewPit which caught my eye for their uniqueness but also what was quite lovely is how most of the stories which intrigued me to read were actually within the realms of Fantasy! I found this wicked interesting and it is why I was thankful during #WyrdAndWonder Year 2 I could continue to celebrate my love of Indie Authors & Indie Publishers and Press!

I received a complimentary copy of “The Fighter of Aldea” direct from the author Kira Weston in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: I received this novel for review in [2019] however due to five migraines throughout Wyrd And Wonder, I was unable to finish my readings in May. I re-attempted to read this during different portions of late Summer and mid-Autumn, finding myself unable to re-attach into the story. Fast forward through several months of migraines and illnesses (September-December, 2019) and the entire Spring of 2020 – it wasn’t until our 4th Wyrd And Wonder (May 2021) I could resume my readings of this novel with wicked sweet enjoyment! Thereby, over 25% of this was writ in May, 2019 and the rest was finalised in May, 2021.

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

Finding an entry of #YAFantasy during #ReviewPit:

When I first learnt of the #bookishTwitter event #ReviewPit, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect – I keep a watchful eye on twitterverse events where writers are seeking betareaders or where authors are seeking publication (ie. #PitchWars, etc) as I generally find #newtomeauthors this way and I do like to champion the writers who are on their path towards becoming published as this is something I can personally relate to as I’m a writer whose currently moonlighting as a book blogger and joyful tweeter! It is lovely to reach out into the Indie community on Twitter and continue to seek out the stories I desire to be reading. Ever since I first started blogging here at Jorie Loves A Story, I’ve had an eye out for Indie Press, Publishers and the writers who are seeking alternative publication – either through the Indie side of publishing directly through established publishers and press; or through Small Trade publishers or taking the full-Indie route into Self-Publishing or Hybrid publishing options.

This is what made #ReviewPit such a keen event for me – I decided to just jump into it and see what I would find. It is run similar to other events where you get a pitch about a story and you are given a clue of a nod towards its genre of interest. I quite literally had such a wicked joy just scrolling through all the lovelies being offered, I wasn’t entirely sure how many would be available to receive as print editions for review but I decided to give myself the chance to just seek out the authors first and request which ones were available lateron.

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ahead of accepting my #reviewpit selections
I enquired about the stories:

Whenever I am about to read a #newtomeauthor, I like to get a feel for their writing style and how they are approaching their genre of interest. It is part of my due diligence as a reader and as a book blogger – however, I do not always have the pleasure nor luxury of interacting with an author directly ahead of accepting a novel for review consideration. This is why the event #ReviewPit is such a wicked lovely idea – as it encourages direct communication between the novelist and the book blogger and/or reviewer.

I have the same general questions about all the STORIES I am keenly interested in reading – this was the series of questions I asked on behalf of Kira Weston who happily gave me a lovely response in return: The YA I love the most is writ clean without explicit vulgarity, overt sensuality and without graphic violence; I know some authors write those into their stories which makes me feel their more Upper YA than traditional YA; overall I’m not a fan despite a few exceptions to that rule where I read stories involving mental health or other harder topics.

Overall, I would say my book is pretty mild and would be considered more traditional than upper YA. There is nothing particularly vulgar or sensual in the novel, and the violence that is in the book (mostly battle violence) isn’t particularly graphic. I’ve had a few 13-year-old readers without any complaints/concerns from them or their parents.

I wanted to share with you my dear heart readers the information I was given per book during my #ReviewPit queries in case one of the lovelies I’ve been reading this #WyrdAndWonder is catching your own eye of curiosity! This way, you’ll see the process I went through to accept the stories and what I was most concerned about prior to reading them. As you can see – the author’s response on behalf of The Fighter of Aldea fell within my personal preferences and layers of acceptance.

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: 

The cover art really hones in on Lydia and how she wants herself to be known – she’s a fighter, yes, but her passion is for archery. I can understand her preference with a bow and arrow; as archery is a sport in of itself but also a challenge to the archer for both accuracy and power within the strength of how you use the bow itself. I liked the look of Lydia on the cover but also how this is a crucial piece of insight into the world she lives in as well.

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | feat. #IndieFantasy novelist Kira Weston with “The Fighter of Aldea” the first installment in this trilogy!The Fighter of Aldea
by Kira Weston
Source: #ReviewPit Author, Direct from Author

It’s the year 2216, and ever since Lydia Humsworth was little, she’s heard stories about electricity that used to light up skylines and planes that soared through the sky like birds. There were also stories about The Shift, which plunged the world into darkness nearly two hundred years ago and gave some people magical abilities. These people came to call themselves sorcerers.

Now, in the small village of Aldea, sixteen-year-old Lydia is training to be a Fighter in hopes of one day protecting her village. Her best friend, Daniel, spends his days working long hard hours on the farm. Humans and sorcerers have always seemed to coexist peacefully, but when a deranged sorcerer by the name of Leonardo Kinch starts a war against humans, nothing is as they believed.

When war rages across the country, Lydia and Daniel must do everything they can to stop Kinch and stay alive, or risk the human race falling into extinction.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Historical-Fantasy, Low Fantasy, Mythological Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction, YA Fantasy



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781732254800

Published by Cool Cat Publishing

on 15th October, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 364

Published by: Cool Cat Publishing

Discover MORE about this novel on the author’s site!

The sequel will be called: The Sorcerer of Vantana!

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

About Kira Weston

Kira Weston

Kira Weston writes Young Adult fiction, often day-dreaming the what-ifs of magic and science fiction, and how they might affect the world. Her debut novel, The Fighter of Aldea, is available now. Kira grew up in Las Vegas, NV under the hot sun and the distant lights of the famous Las Vegas Strip, and now resides in Colorado, which is much cooler—most of the time.

When she's not writing, she spends her time befriending cats, hoping for rain, drinking mochas, and listening to music.

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

a short extract from “The Fighter of Aldea”:

Quote The Fighter of Aldea provided by the author and is used with permission.

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

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Tuesday, 25 May, 2021 by jorielov in Book Review (non-blog tour), Elves & the Elven, Faeries & the Fey, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Mythological Societies, Self-Published Author, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction

#EnterTheFantastic Book Review | Exploring the first installment of the Light of Faerie series within “Fly Free” by Allison Rose

Posted Wednesday, 13 January, 2021 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

#EnterTheFantastic Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: During my 3rd Year of co-hosting @WyrdAndWonder, I was able to participate on my first blog tour with Storytellers on Tour which was featuring the author Brianna Sugalski on her “Disenchanted” blog tour. What I appreciated about Storytellers on Tour is their dedication to Indie Authors of Speculative Literature and their ability to find authors who are telling stories in Fantasy which intrigue me to read. Fantasy has been a challenging genre for me to explore even a bit moreso than Science Fiction – which is why I feel blessed to be on their blogger team. Whilst some of their tours I might seek out a book to consider for review, I also actively enjoy hosting creative content using book photography and/or featuring their authors in conversation (ie. interviews) or giving them the breadth of joy to write a guest post based on a topic of my choosing. Overall, Storytellers on Tour are dedicated to creating community and for championing those of us who are choosing to share our readerly lives each day we bring content to our book blogs. 

I received a complimentary copy of “Fly Free” direct from the author Allison Rose in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What initially drew me into “Fly Free”:

I’ve been delving into the realms of the fey ever since I became a book blogger as I knew I wanted to explore Fantasy more than I had before I blogged. For me, Speculative Fiction was a harder branch of literature to explore as a non-blogger because of the overwhelming stigma attached to girls’ who love reading it. I would run into hurdles at bookstores to seek out new voices in Speculative Fiction whilst other readers themselves never seemed inclined to think girls’ should be reading Fantasy; almost like it was exclusively a male-dominated genre of stories! Never one to let anything deter me, I trudged on with my own wanderings in the genre but what I was missing were the Independent voices of SpecFic – of which have fast become my favourites to read as a book blogger and as a reader!

Whilst book blogging opened the door wider for me to dive into genres of interest, it also presented a unique new issue of sorting out what kinds of stories within those genres I love to read I most wanted to explore. Finding literature about faeries has been a unique journey – from the Tipsy Fairy Tales by E. Chris Garrison to my discovery of #OctoberDaye and my first fey-centred Fantasy Romance by H.L. Burke!

I realise the October Daye series isn’t an Indie Fantasy series – however, as I read stories by all routes of publishing, I have found when I tabulate how many stories I read by Indie voices of genres I love against traditionally published authors – the Indie side of the ledger tends to yield a larger number of #booklove from me! Hence why I love hosting Indie authors of Fantasy during an event celebrating Fantasy I happily co-host every May called @WyrdAndWonder!

I first learnt about the two courts of the fey (generally referred to as the Seelie & Unseelie) when I read the anthology A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court. Concurrent to this, I also borrowed a few books from my library about the seelie and unseelie courts but those stories were a bit too dark for me to appreciate whilst the concept of the fey and their courts never fully left me. Which is why I had to smirk when I picked up my first October Daye novel, it was by extension re-examining the fey from a wholly different perspective than the one I had become attached to inside the Tipsy Fairy Tales!

You could say, a lovely niche I love to explore within Fantasy is the world of the fey and faerie and that is why dear hearts, I jumped at the chance to read this lovely novel by Allison Rose! Meanwhile, I have the final installment of the Tipsy Fairy Tales I’ll be reading this New Year 2021 (ie. Mean Spirit) whilst I will also be picking up where I left off with the October Daye series as well – as lo and behold, my local library completely surprised me and *bought!* the whole series!!

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#EnterTheFantastic Book Review | Exploring the first installment of the Light of Faerie series within “Fly Free” by Allison RoseFly Free
Subtitle: Light of the Faerie : Part One
by Allison Rose
Source: Author via Storytellers on Tour

In the land of Faerie, lies are easily disguised as truths.

They were raised like sisters, the heir to the Court of the Day and her guardian.

And as rebellion darkens the land of the Day—and the faeries of Court fall under a dark magic that disconnects them from the land, dooming them to a slow, agonizing death—they will question all they know to be true.

Sevelle, the Light of the Day, is destined to rule one day. She possesses a rare form of magic, the ability to heal the powerful connection between faeries and the magic in the land, the connection that gives them life—if only she could figure out how to use this magic, or even find it within herself.

Jae lives in the shadows, watching over Sevelle as her guardian and listening to the whispers of Court brought to her by the winds. She longs for a life outside of Court, but knows her duty to Sevelle is more important than her own desires.

But when an unexpected proposition comes from none other than Lex, son of the rebel leader, Sevelle and Jae realize their lives will never be the same—and that evil may be within their own court more so than in the rebels that oppose them.

Walking paths far different than they imagined separates the sisters, but then a secret is revealed that may break them apart forever.

Fly Free is the first installment of the Light of Faerie series. Enter a land of magic in the midst of a power struggle, where all is not as it seems and love may be found in the most unlikely places.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Mythological Fantasy, YA Fantasy



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1733077651

Published by Allison Rose Creations

on 17th September, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 250

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This is the first installment of the Light of Faerie series!

This is a Self-Published novel and series!

Converse via: #Fantasy, #YAFantasy or #Fey, #Faerie
as well as #StorytellersOnTour #  & #EnterTheFantastic as #JorieReads

About Allison Rose

Allison Rose

Driven by a lifelong passion for words and reading fantasy novels, award-winning author Allison Rose writes YA fantasy stories featuring faeries, magic, and strong heroines. She has a BA in psychology and is fascinated by how other people think, but her love for reading and writing is greater. When Allison isn’t writing, she is editing and proofreading the works of others. Allison lives with her husband, collie mix, bunny, and chinchilla in the place of wild weather also known as Buffalo, New York.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #EnterTheFantastic
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Posted Wednesday, 13 January, 2021 by jorielov in #EnterTheFantastic, Blog Tour Host, Dark Arts (Dark Magic), Faeries & the Fey, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Indie Author, Self-Published Author, Storytellers on Tour, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, YA Fantasy