Monday, October 20, 2008

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

Young Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Irish Lord Colum of Sevenwaters, a domain well protected from invading Saxons and Britons by dense forest where, legend says, fey Deirdre, the Lady of the Forest, walks the woodland paths at night. Colum is first and foremost a warrior, bent on maintaining his lands against all outsiders. Not all of his sons are so bound to the old ways, and that family friction leads to outright disobedience when Sorcha and her brother Finbar help a Briton captive escape from Colum's dungeon. Soon after, Colum brings home a new wife who tries to manipulate everyone around her and casts a spell over the six brothers. By her spell Sorcha's brothers are cursed to become swans. Only Sorcha, hiding deep in the forest, can break the spell by painfully weaving shirts of starwort nettle--but then Sorcha is captured by Britons and taken away across the sea. Determined to break the curse despite her captivity, Sorcha continues to work, little expecting that ultimately she will have to chose between saving her brothers and protecting the Briton lord who has defended her throughout her trials. (

I love fairytales, they are my weakness. I love reading them and I love modern-day retellings. Daughter of the Forest is a retelling of an old fairy tale “The Wild Swans” by Hans Christen Anderson, and “The Six Swans” by the Brothers Grimm.

I really liked the main character Sorcha and the strength of character that she had. She had a wonderful relationship with her brothers, which often made me think of my three older brothers. And took on the most impossible task in order to save their lives, at great sacrifice to herself. The love story between her and Hugh was sweet. I liked how he took it upon himself to be her protector, how they had a connection and even though she couldn’t speak they were able to communicate and build a friendship, where she would eventually be able to trust and love him. I really wanted to loved this story, it’s a classic fairytale and if a few things had been done differently it really would have been great.

***Spoiler alert***
Here are the things I didn’t like about the book. About 150 pages into the book Sorcha is raped. Had I known there was a rape in the story I wouldn’t have bothered reading it. Although I skipped over that part, I found it very upsetting and couldn’t believe the author added that to the story. It was completely unnecessary, and left a sense of darkness throughout the rest of the book. It really ruined the whole story for me and I think the author should have stuck closer to the original stories and not taken such liberties in adding such a needless tragedy. I also thought the book really needed a good edit. It really dragged on and on. There was way too much detail and side stories and the chapters were too long. I would have enjoyed it more if the story had been more concise.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Help! I Need Book Club Suggestions

so many books so little time Pictures, Images and Photos

My book club will be meeting next week (we'll be discussing Secret Life of Bees and Pride & Prejudice). While there we will also be discussing which books we want to read in 2009. I would love to have some suggestions on which books you've read and loved or ones that you want to read. Please leave a comment with any book ideas that you have. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I Heart Your Blog Award

Color me surprised! I was looking at reviews on and came across a post on Monday, October 6th in which Angieville had nominated Bookworm Nation for an award. Below are the rules for the award.

1) Add the logo of the award to your blog
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs!

Nominees so far:
*The Friendly Book Nook at
*The Printed Page at

Thanks Angieville for the nomination! I can't remember how I stumbled upon your blog, but I love it. I like how its set up, and your reviews are always fun to read. My list on GoodReads is growing too long from all the book ideas I've gotten from you!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson's fourth summer at Camp Half-Blood is much like his previous three—high-octane clashes with dark forces, laced with hip humor and drama. Opening with a line for the ages—The last thing I wanted to do on my summer break was blow up another school—this penultimate series installment finds Percy, Annabeth and the satyr Grover furiously working to prevent former camp counselor Luke from resurrecting the Titan lord Kronos, whose goal is to overthrow the gods. When the heroes learn that Luke can breach Camp Half-Blood's security through an exit from Daedalus's Labyrinth, they enter the maze in search of the inventor and a way to stop the invasion. Along the way they encounter a lifetime supply of nightmare-inducing, richly imagined monsters. Grover's own quest to find the lost god Pan, meanwhile, provides a subtle environmental message. Percy, nearly 15, has girl trouble, having become something of a chick magnet. Full of humor and heart-pounding action, this latest book promises to be their most thrilling adventure yet. (GoodReads description)

I had forgotten just how much I love this series and am so happy to learn that this is not the last book. The writing is well done, as always. The quest Annabeth leads is packed full of adventure and wonderful monsters. Riordan is able to mix the old Greek mythology with modern day characters and places. I’ve always loved reading about Greek mythology and these stories really bring them to life. I only wish I had this series while I was in middle school. This is a great series for young boys and girls, but it is also very fun for adults. I would definitely pick up The Lightning Thief today and start the adventure.

Book One: The Lightning Thief
Book Two: The Sea Monsters
Book Three: The Titan's Curse
Book Four: The Battle of the Labyrinth
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