Bookish Facts

Bookish Fact #2: My first genre of choice was fantasy.

I rarely read fantasy nowadays; however, that’s pretty much all I read during my pre-teen/teenage years. The Immortals series by Tamora Pierce was the first series I picked for myself without any influence from family and friends. Kristen Britain’s Green Rider is the first book I stayed up all night to finish (it was not the last night of sleep lost to a good story). I loved fantasy.

I some how lost my love for the drama as I moved through my 20s and 30s. I’m actually ok with this change but I am beyond happy reading my current mix of nonfiction, historical fiction, and mystery.

I have held on to my favorites though, and I will find myself picking them back up when I need a read that feels like an old friend. My copies may be worn but they are well loved!

#2

What genre got you into reading? Which fantasy books are your favorites? Let me know and happy reading!

Lindsay

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The Realms of the Gods

The Realms of the Gods

by Tamora Pierce

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Daine and Numair are suddenly swept into the otherworldly home of the gods
after facing certain death on earth. But they cannot remain there for long,
because they are both needed to help fight the desparate battle raging in
Tortall. And so they undertake the dangerous journey back to earth…a journey
that will teach them a great deal about life and about each other, a journey
that will lead to the startling culmination of the conflicts, both mortal and
immortal, that have long plagued Tortall.

 Big changes are coming to Sand Between the Pages in the next week so I thought it was the perfect time to review a couple of my favorites. 

The Realms of the Gods is the fourth book in Tamora Pierce’s Immortals series. You can also check out my reviews of the first three novels: Wild Magic, Wolf-Speaker, and Emperor Mage. 

Stormwing Ozone has declared war on Tortall, leaving Daine, Numair, and their allies on the defensive. Daine and her mentor are pulled in to the realms of the gods by Daine’s parents during a losing battle. It is here Daine learns the goddess of chaos is backing Ozone’s fight. The pair must make it across the realms of the gods to the dragonlands and gain passage back home if they have any hope of stopping this war. 

Realms of the Gods is the exciting end of one of my all time favorite series! We are introduced to a new cast of characters (my favorite are the Darkings) and get to watch the development of old favorites. The settings are vibrant and colorfully written, and I like how we are just dropped with Diane in to this new world. And DRAGONS! The interactions with the adult dragons is the best but I won’t be sharing any more to avoid spoilers. As for the budding relationship between Daine and Numair….FINALLY! I shipped this before I even knew what a ship was. The two are perfect for each other and I love how Pierce gives them a very adult outlook on their future. This is rarely seen in young adult books, much less a book designed for preteens. 

I have a slight complaint about the pacing. I feel like readers are rushed through the majority of the book because we practically jump from setting to setting during the journey to the dragonlands. And then the pacing comes to a screeching halt when we come to that final battle. I just felt the novel should have been longer to even out the pacing. The only weird thing is the age difference between Daine and Numair. She is supposed to be sixteen years old while he is in his mid-thirties. Normally, big age differences do not bother me but this series is aimed at preteens and that made it a little awkward. I’ve always felt that Daine should have been a few years older than she is, which would have made the age gap less drastic. Don’t get me wrong; I adore the relationship between Numair and Daine! The age difference just made it a tad awkward is all. 

This is still a favorite series of mine, and I may end up rereading it, again, before the end of the year. I adore the world Pierce has built and I still connect with Daine years later. What is your favorite Tamora Pierce novel?

Lindsay

Wild Magic

Wild Magic

by Tamora Pierce

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Young Daine’s knack with horses gets her a job helping the royal horsemistress drive a herd of ponies to Tortall. Soon it becomes clear that Daine’s talent, as much as she struggles to hide it, is downright magical Horses and other animals not only obey, but listen to her words. Daine, though, will have to learn to trust humans before she can come to terms with her powers, her past, and herself.

The last few weeks have been rather stressful; the type of stress that leaves one absolutely drained.  I found myself putting aside all my currents reads and pulling a childhood favorite off of the shelf in the wake of this exhaustion.  I first read Wild Magic, and the rest of Tamora Pierce’s The Immortals series, as a pre-teen.  I instantly connected to the main character because I could relate to her social awkwardness and passionate love for animals.  Wild Magic is the first book I remember actively picking out by myself, and the cover is worn and faded because I have read it at least 15 times.  So, I was a tad hesitant to read it with the intentions of reviewing it.

I still absolutely love this book!

Wild Magic provides the origin story of Daine, a young girl with an amazing knack with animals.  She is escaping a violent past when she, and her trusty pony Cloud, land a job with the horsemistress of Tortall.  Daine soon establishes a happy life in her new kingdom, and even makes some lasting friendships.  Readers follow Daine throughout the start of her new life and are drawn in to the action when she must use her talents to fight immortal creatures and protect Tortall from invasion.

Adventure, immortal creatures, and magic?!  My pre-teen heart just ate this book up!  I would definitely recommend Wild Magic for pre-teens, or teenagers, looking for something different.  I feel that the plot, which is well developed, is even complex enough for adults looking for a light read.  Pierce provides well-developed characters with each remaining unique and separate from the others.  Wild Magic, and the rest of The Immortals books, are set in the same world as Pierce’s other youth series, but it is considered a side-series and is often over shadowed by Pierce’s main book sets.

Now this novel is geared for younger audiences, so some of the ‘teaching’ moments can resemble the end credits of many 1980s cartoon episodes (my favorite example would be Thundercats).  Daine is supposed to be 14 years old but I always felt like she read older and this discrepancy can get confusing at times.  Many characters lack the flawed personalities one comes to expect in YA and adult fiction, but this doesn’t make the characters any less effective.  Wild Magic provides examples of tolerant relationships and friendships, promotes social equality, pushes girls to think outside the box, and doesn’t spend 300 pages describing a tortured crush/lust/love relationship.  All of these are positive traits that make this book worth sharing.

Reading Wild Magic was like being visited by old friends I haven’t seen for years.  My husband noted my giggles and smiles as I read and expressed his pleasure at my uplifted spirit.  Wild Magic definitely holds an honored place on my shelves.

Has anyone else read Pierce’s Immortals series?  Do you have a favorite book that has stuck with you for decades?  If so, what is it?

Lindsay