Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hedgie's Must Reads: March 2013

Spring has come, though where I live, you wouldn't be able to tell, with all of the rain and no sunshine. It's no wonder the honey bees never know when winter is over. Even so, there is a freshness to the air, even when it is raining, and the trees are beginning to look green, and my flowerbeds are starting to put on color that isn't damp brown. For books, March has been a lot better than February in terms of good reads versus bad ones. And here are my and Hedgie's favorites of the month.

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen (5/5)
The second book in The Ascendance Trilogy, it is guaranteed to be no disappointment to fans of the series - and even those who were a little less impressed with The False Prince than others. Sage continues to be a terrifically sarcastic protagonist, while genuinely caring for his country, practical, and not afraid to do what needs to be done to save his people from war. The love triangle is wonderfully subtle - so subtle that it's hardly even there, - and the story is packed with action and adventure, some surprising twists, and authentic pirates! The Author isn't afraid to harm her characters, making for some intense moments of peril and excitement. Girl-and-guy read, any age. Fans of Ranger's Apprentice will love it.

Babylonne by Catherine Jinks (4/5)
When her abusive relatives decide to marry her off to the oldest man in town, Babylonne disguises herself as a boy and runs off, intending to join the exiled lords and fight the French. But then she meets Isidore, a kind Catholic priest, and things change for her. Anyone who has read Catherine Jinks' Pagan Chronicles will recognize him in this strong, spirited young girl - his daughter - and they will fall in love with her as much as with Pagan. Sarcastic, resourceful, trouble has a way of finding Babylonne, but she faces it with tremendous wit and courage. The turbulent war between Catholics and Cathars makes for a dramatic backdrop to this stirring story of trust and friendship. Girl-and-guy read, sixteen-and-up, good for historical fiction fans.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (4/5)
The second book in The Lunar ChroniclesScarlet is one whirlwind of a sequel that won't disappoint Readers. A lot happens in the story, but the Author deftly weaves together all of the characters' story in a comprehensive, smooth, exciting new story, making for one of the cleverest retellings of Little Red Riding Hood. We get to see more of Cinder's world, meet new characters, and learn more shocking revelations. Scarlet makes for a spirited protagonist with a quick temper and even quicker survival instincts, while Wolf, a mysterious street fighter, provides Readers with an intriguing new male character that you just want to give a big hug to. Girl-and-guy read, thirteen-and-up, perfect for fairytale retelling fans looking for something new.

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