Tag Archives: Emily Rodda

“All I Want For Christmas Is You” … and books, mainly books

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Trust me, he wanted a book not that sweater.

Have you left Christmas shopping until December? Have you just realised that stores are now zoos full of rabid animals? Never fear, I can and will help you… well,  not so much me as books. Books can and will solve your problems. So here are my Christmas recommendations for those of you without the time to think.

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Where Do You Hide Two Elephants? by Emily Rodda. Ridiculously cute picture book.

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The Red Wind by Isobelle Carmody. For the lover of fantasy. Added bonus, yes it is a series. We fantasy geeks love a good series.

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Impossible Quest Series by Kate Forsyth. The first two books are already out. Get into them before they blow out Harry Potter style. Fantastic kids series.

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The Protected by Claire Zorn. Incredibly moving YA novel about grief, resilience… I actually have to stop writing about this novel now because I’m tearing up just thinking about it. It’s powerful stuff. I’ll leave it at that.

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The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss. Non Fiction exploration of stereotypes and beliefs thrust upon women/Tara Moss. That description does not do it justice at all. Captivating read. Just go out and get it for any and all women you know.

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Under Siege by Belinda Neil. A memoir about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It rings true for a lot of mental illnesses though, such as depression and anxiety,  not only PTSD, so is highly accessible.

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Holiday in Cambodia by Laura Jean McKay. For you travel bug friend. Get Destination Cambodia by Walter Mason as a companion piece. Your friend will love you forever. I’m trying not to literally laugh out loud remembering the “dangerously jolly” scene in Destination Cambodia.

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The Black Dress by Pamela Freeman. Get it for the woman who wants to read about strong women and also anyone with an interest in religious history. A truly excellent read about Mary MacKillop.

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Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. Yes, you can believe the hype. Buy it for yourself for Christmas.

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The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. For your historical fiction loving friends who enjoy some romance.

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The Nightingale by Fiona McIntosh. Another beautiful romantic historical fiction novel.

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Fishing for Tigers by Emily Maguire. For the Literary snob who secretly likes it a bit sexy. In other words,  exceptionally well written but they get down to business.

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Avoiding Mr Right by Anita Heiss. For the woman who likes the idea of chick lit but needs something with a bit more depth.

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Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan. Styled as young adult but so brilliant. Honestly,  it’s for any adult, young or old, human or seal. A beautiful take on the Selkie myth.

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Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood. Love a light murder mystery and the cover is very cool. Seriously, I know you can’t judge a book by its cover but… well… we do.

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Animal People by Charlotte Wood. Slightly traumatising but oh so good. For your friend who likes a bit of real life grit.

Okay Christmas peoples,  go forth and part with your cash. Probably online, so you can avoid the people. Mwah.

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Book Review: The Impossible Quest – Escape From Wolfhaven Castle ~ by Kate Forsyth

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It’s an obvious comment to make but it’s true, The Impossible Quest is impossibly good.

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“Tell your lord to beware,” the wild man said, gripping Tom’s arm with a dirty hand. “The wolves smell danger.”

From the opening lines the reader is thrown straight into the action. Who is the wild man, how does he know what the wolves are saying, and why must Tom tell his Lord? Such action and curiosity lures the reader on and Kate Forsyth keeps the reader baited with masterful storytelling throughout the entire novel. I should know, because this reader read the whole thing in one bath sitting. I must admit I topped up the hot water a few times to keep on reading just one more chapter.

This story is meant for upper primary students, who I know would love this (my niece can be expecting her own copy for Christmas… no she can’t have mine I want to read it again!), but also adults will enjoy this. It is written in that sweeping epic style of Feist, Eddings, McCaffrey and Jordan that will keep adults happy but with the youthful exuberance of Rowling and Rodda which the kids will love. Kate Forsyth has even managed to give an elegant nod to the classics with beautifully chosen character names that are reminiscent of Arthurian legend. The Impossible Quest: Escape from Wolfhaven Castle manages to be delightfully magical, darkly adventurous, deeply passionate, with a dash of whimsy, all at the same time.

And as for the ending… I don’t want to give it away (“Spoilers Sweetie,” as the Whovians say) but it manages to be utterly enchanting, a satisfying resolution yet an absolute cliff hanger all in one. My mind is officially blown.

Kids will be sneakily reading it when you’ve dragged them to boring social functions and adult Fantasy fans will finally have that perfect sized book to read on the train. All in all a wonderfully written book and yes, I’m hanging out for the sequel.

Review now also on Good Reads https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1046853563

Learn more about Kate Forsyth here: http://www.kateforsyth.com.au/