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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Reading “The Warden and the Wolf King”

The Warden and Wolf KingThere are ninety-six chapters in The Warden and the Wolf King.

Ninety-six.

And there are five hundred nineteen pages of story.

Well, five hundred twenty, to be more precise.

Such a book may daunt some readers, but this is one fast read. I knocked out several chapters in each sitting, and didn’t realize it until the time came to replace the bookmark and go about the rest of my day.

I love it when that happens. It signals a great story and excellent writing, and a mind so absorbed that I forget the world around me. The first fourteen chapters were read at the dentist’s office as I anxiously awaited a procedure involving large steampunk needles and growling drills. However, the characters and the writing in this wide, engaging fantasy novel helped me relax, forget about what was coming, and actually become impatient for pauses between steps in the procedure so I could read more.

Stuff like this:

The little men and women sneaked toward the house as silent as the snow, then they divided into two groups. One group skittered like thwaps to the roof of the house and unfolded a large net while the others huddled against the side of the cottage. One of the Ridgerunners dangled from the eaves and nodded to one on the ground. It coughed conspicuously and then stomped noisily through the front door.

The silence was shattered by the troll’s terrible roar and Janner nearly jumped out of his cloak. The ridgerunner dashed out of the house with a shriek, and the troll emerged and stooped on the porch. The troll was smaller than the others Janner had seen. This one had a little tuft of black hair and was only as tall as the roofline, though its bare chest and shoulders were so massive they barely fit thorugh the doorway.

“Leave me ALONE,” the troll said, shaking its fist and stepping down from the porch. (p69)

Not to give away the future, but the young troll (Oood) and the teenaged Throne Warden (Janner) become friends.

Hey, a friendly troll can come in handy. Especially during trouble.

One of my favorite characters is Gammon, the Florid Sword. Think Zorro or the Scarlet Pimpernel or some other masked or caped or secret hero with a noble soul and a comic flair for the dramatic.

Suddenly, a dark figure burst into the tavern. All conversation ceased. Patrons peered at the caped man silhouetted in the light streaming through the door.

With a flourish of his cape, the man leaped ino the center of the room, struck a pose, and said, “Aha! Avast! ‘Tis I, the Florid Sword, and I seek Maraly Weaver with mine own eyes and noble intent!” (p132)

“We fly! Aha! Away!” cried the Florid Sword. He swished his blade through the air thrice, then removed his wide-brimmed hat and bowed low. “Resume the consumption of thy eggish scrumption!” He smiled. “I believe I made that word up. And it rhymed! Gleeful are the delights a new day bringeth!” (p133)

As one can see, this is not a tale for the somber and unamused, or the too-grown-up.

I’ve said it many times before, and I’m saying it again: If I can pick up any book in a series but the first one, and still be drawn in to the story and not lost, that bodes well for the rest. And to think that there are three other books in The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson? Awesome.

Read more about it at other stops on the CSFF Blog Tour:

Beckie Burnham
Pauline Creeden
Vicky DealSharingAunt
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Ryan Heart
Bruce Hennigan
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Nissa
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Rachel Starr Thomson
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler

 

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The Warden and the Wolf King

Where should most stories begin?
At the beginning, of course.
Unless they begin at the end.
And that’s where I joined the excellent Wingfeather Saga — at the end.

The Warden and the Wolf King is the fourth and final book in singer/songwriter Andrew Peterson‘s richly-illustrated and fast-moving fantasy series.However, had I not known there were three other books, were those books beyond my reach, I would still think this book a rewarding, fun adventure. I was never lost, never bored, and laughed much.

Today — Monday, July 21 — is my birthday, and there have been activities and family matters since Friday, so this CSFF Blog Tour sneaked up on me. I’ll return tomorrow with something substantial to say. Meanwhile, please visit the other stops on the blog tour to read other reviews of The Wingfeather Saga, a delight for all ages:

The Warden and Wolf KingBeckie Burnham
Pauline Creeden
Vicky DealSharingAunt
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Ryan Heart
Bruce Hennigan
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Nissa
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Rachel Starr Thomson
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler

 

 

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Saying No to Say Yes

Keanan Brand is — thinking.

“Nooooo! He’s thinking! Run! Run for your lives!”

No, really. I’ve been thinking. I’ve been considering how to approach the next season of life. How to reach literary goals.

We writers can live narrow, enclosed lives, sometimes forgetting there’s a big world out there, outside our novels and our minds. It’s a peculiar irony that narrowing aspects of that world will actually expand others.

the warden and the wolf king_thumbYesterday, I heard old but good advice from a fellow writer. She said that, in order for a bigger goal to be reached, smaller things, even good things, must fall away. We must practice “intentional neglect”.

In other words, sometimes we must say no even to the good things in order to say yes to something better.

To that end, I’m paring down, and that may include changing up the blog a bit. I’m not sure yet.

One certainty: I’m turning down book review requests lately, not because I’m lazy or don’t like the authors or am not interested in helping them succeed. My read-for-review list of books has been stagnant since May or early June, but if your book is on it, I will review it.

Promise.

SE_thumb“The Warden and the Wolf King” by Andrew Peterson has jumped the queue because it’s the July entry in the Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tour. Otherwise, the next in line is Sword’s Edge by L. S. King.

Meantime, I’m educating myself in the various aspects of independent publishing. As an independent author, my responsibility extends beyond just putting words on paper. As an editor, my knowledge must expand beyond that of an editor for a traditional publisher. The entire publishing process, not just the steps of authoring or editing, is on my shoulders.  

Added to that education, I am also in the midst of revising or writing a handful of novels. And then there’s life in the real world.

Something’s gotta give. 

 

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