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Heart of Ice by Sibelle Stone

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I was not familiar with Sibelle Stone, but when I had the opportunity to read her novel Heart of Ice, I was intrigued by the premise and the combination of several genres. The story is set in 1910- in Iceland, which is rather unique. Lucinda Stafford is a young woman who is not ready to return to her home in New York. She applies for the position of governess. She has never worked as a governess before, but she had one growing up, and that’s pretty much the same thing, isn’t it? Continue reading

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A Curse of Ash and Iron by Christine Norris

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I had not heard of A Curse of Ash and Iron before I received the opportunity to review it, but I was extremely intrigued by the premise. This is a young adult novel written by Christine Norris.

As the story begins, we are introduced to Ben and Ellie. Despite the fact that Ben was the son of the cook in a grand home that Ellie lived in, the two were best friends of children. They were separated rather abruptly when Ellie’s stepmother fired Ben’s mother seven years earlier, but a chance meeting brings them together again. Ellie tells Ben a wild story about being enchanted by her stepmother and forced to work as a servant in her own home. Ben is a young man enamored with science and technology, and he finds the idea of magical enchantments to be absurd, but he agrees to help his old friend. As they explore the nature of the enchantment, they learn that if the curse is not broken by midnight on New Year’s Eve, the effects will become permanent, and Ellie will be bound to her stepmother forever. Continue reading

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Mildred’s Resistance by Katie Cross

In the interest of full disclosure, I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I read Miss Mabel’s School for Girls almost a month ago, and immediately fell in love with the world of The Network. Since then, I have gone on to read the second book in the series, Antebellum Awakening. I have also read The Isadora Interviews, a novella featuring school admission interviews from some of the secondary characters.

Mildred’s Resistance is the third book in the series, and it takes place before the events of MMSFG. Mildred serves as the High Priestess in the series; essentially, she serves as the head of the government. There are several allusions to an uprising in the past, during which Mildred seized power from a witch name Evelyn. Continue reading

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Queen of Tomorrow by Sherry Ficklin

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I am not familiar with Sherry Ficklin’s other books, but I love young adult books and I love historical fiction, so I was excited about the opportunity to read Queen of Tomorrow.

Queen of Tomorrow is the second book in Ficklin’s Stolen Empires series. Catherine is a young girl married to the heir to the Russian throne. Court life is full of intrigue, and plots, and forbidden dalliances. Catherine knows that she needs to produce an heir in order to ensure the continuation of the dynasty, but her husband Peter is wholly unsuitable, thanks to his mercurial temperament. Continue reading

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Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I had started to hear wonderful things about Serafina and the Black Cloak, so I was very excited about the opportunity to read it. This middle grade novel was written by Robert Beatty.

Serafina lives in the basement of the Biltmore Estate with her father, who works as a mechanic. No one knows they live there, and no one knows that Serafina even exists. She is supposed to stay hidden, but she cannot resist sneaking around at night. Serafina takes pride in her “role” as chief rat catcher, but one night, she sees something utterly terrifying in the vast basement of the estate. She sees a man in a black cloak chase down a little girl, and make her disappear. Continue reading

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Poppy’s Best Paper by Susan Eaddy

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but as soon as I saw Poppy’s Best Paper, I knew that my three girls would love it. This delightful picture book was written by Susan Eaddy and illustrated by Rosilande Bonnet.

Poppy is an enthusiastic little rabbit full of joie de vivre. Some might also call her “spirited”. Poppy wants to be a writer when she grows up, so when her class receives an assignment to write about what they want to be when they grow up, Poppy doesn’t spend a lot of time on her paper, but she is sure that she is going to be the one whose paper is read aloud by the teacher. When she isn’t picked, she huffs and doesn’t congratulate her best friend, whose paper was the one read aloud. When this scenario is repeated the next day, Poppy throws a tantrum and continues to misbehave at home. Can she pull herself and write the perfect paper? Continue reading

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The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed reading The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate a couple of years ago, so when I received an opportunity to read The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate, I was very excited.

The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate is a middle grade novel written by Jacqueline Kelly. The story begins in the spring of 1900, only a couple of months after the end of The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. Callie is still determined to become a scientist, and she spends as much time as possible with her grandfather. When Callie is not working with her grandfather, she is playing with her younger brother Travis. Travis is gentler than the other boys, and cannot help put take pity on the foundling animals he finds. Callie knows that it cannot possibly be a good idea to bring home an armadillo or a baby raccoon, but she has trouble saying no to her kind brother. Travis is heartbroken when their attempts at domesticating the animals don’t work out, but Callie approaches things from a scientific perspective and tries to remain impartial. Continue reading