Monday, January 30, 2012

Book Review of Eye of the Sword by Karyn Henley

Eye of the Sword is Book Two of the Angelaeon Circle Series. Book One, which I also read, is Breath of Angel.
I enjoyed this sequel and am looking forward to reading the third book in this series when it is available.
Melaia appears as a priestess in Book One and in Book Two, she is a princess. Both books are fast paced, young adult fantasies. With so many characters and levels of angels, it would have been confusing to keep up with all of them if it hadn’t been for the helpful Cast of Characters and Angelaeon lists in the beginning of the book. As with the first book, one of the things I didn’t like with this book is that it left a lot of unanswered questions. I know that is to entice the reader to want to read the next book but I like books that wrap everything up. However, I enjoyed the characters and the writing. That is enticement enough to make me want to read the next book.
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

The following book descriptions are taken from Karyn Henley’s website.

Breath of Angel
Book 1 of the Angelaeon Circle
- a Young Adult fantasy -

“The stranger’s cloak fell back, and with it, a long, white blood-stained wing.”

Melaia, a young priestess, witnesses the gruesome murder of an emaciated stranger in the temple courtyard. Just after she discovers wings on the stranger, the murderer enters the temple, and what Melaia has known only through song and story suddenly takes on flesh. Angels and shape-shifters were myths and stories . . . until now.

Melaia finds herself in the middle of a blood feud between two immortal brothers who destroyed the stairway to heaven, stranding angels in the earthly realm.  When the feud turns violent and Melaia becomes a target, she finds refuge with a band of wandering angels attempting to restore the stairway. But the restoration is impossible without the repayment of an ancient debt, the “breath of angel, blood of man,” a payment that involves Melaia’s heart, soul, and destiny.  [download sample chapter]

Eye of the Sword
Coming March 2012!
 Book 2 of the Angelaeon Circle
ISBN: 978-0307730145
To prove himself worthy of a princess, Trevin must first defeat the terror of his past.

In Camrithia, a land of shadows and mystical secrets, Trevin lives to serve King Laetham. But his heart belongs to the princess, Melaia. When the king sends Trevin on a dangerous quest to find the missing comains, he must leave Melaia to the advances of a swaggering Dregmoorian prince.

Challenged to prove his worth, Trevin throws himself into his quest. Challenged to prove his love, Trevin undertakes a second mission—find the harps Melaia seeks in order to restore the stairway to heaven. Through fire caves, rogue winds, and murderous threats, Trevin remains steadfastly dedicated to his quest—even when he is falsely accused of a heinous crime. As Trevin’s time runs out, he realizes he must face the shame and horror of his own past and the terror-dream that has come to life. Will he have the courage to finish what he has started?
You can find chapter one here.

Karyn Henley Biography
Award-winning author Karyn Henley has written over 100 titles, which include a mix of children's books and articles, parent-teacher books, articles, and curricula, and preschool musicals and CD's/DVD's of original music for children. An accomplished songwriter, Karyn has been a Dove Award nominee, and received a regional Emmy Award as Music Composer for a Christmas television special. She has traveled worldwide speaking to parents and teachers and entertaining children and their families in storytelling/active movement sessions and concerts. Most of her work has been in the area of spiritual development. She is best known as the author of the original version of The Beginner's Bible, which during the fifteen years it was in print (1989-2004), sold over 5 million copies and was translated into 17 languages.
A graduate of Abilene Christian University (BSEd), Karyn received a Master's of Fine Arts degree from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2004. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Book Review of Sisters of the Quilt by Cindy Woodsmall

Sisters of the Quilt contains the complete trilogy of the Sisters of the Quilt series. The following book summaries are taken from the author, Cindy Woodsmall’s website

Hannah Lapp was born and raised in an Old Order Amish home, without electricity, a telephone, or the right to follow her heart. Without her parents’ knowledge, she’s been in love with Mennonite Paul Waddell for years. When he asks her to marry him, she accepts, even though to do so will cause her family to avoid her for the rest of her life.
Before Hannah and Paul reveal their relationship, tragedy strikes. In one unwelcome encounter, all that Hannah has known and believed is destroyed and she faces losing everything: her family, her fiancé, and even her faith in God.

When the Morning Comes is the sequel and continuation of the best-selling novel When the Heart Cries. Her relationship with fiance Paul Waddell in tatters, Hannah Lapp has fled her secluded Old Order Amish community in hopes of finding a new home in Ohio with her shunned aunt. Hampered by limited education and hiding her true identity, Hannah struggles to navigate the confusing world of the Englischers.
Will the countless opportunities in her new life persuade Hannah that her place is amongst the Englischers or will she give in to her heart’s call to return home and face the past?

Rumors and lies left Hannah’s life in tatters; can the truth possibly stitch it back together?
Having fled in disgrace more than two years earlier, Hannah finally has found happiness in the Englischer world, as well as love with Martin Palmer, a man with whom she can safely entrust her heart. But almost immediately after her arrival in Owl’s Perch, the disapproval of those who ostracized her reopens old wounds.
As Hannah encounters former fiancë Paul Waddell, truths unknown to her surface about the events during her absence and she faces an agonizing decision. Will she choose the Englischer world and the man who restored her hope, or will she return to the Plain Life-and perhaps her first love?

I was delighted to be able to read these riveting books as a complete series all at once. I received Sisters of the Quilt on a Friday afternoon and finished reading the 1,000 page book the next Monday evening.
I was struck by how hurtful wrong assumptions can be. When adults assume children are too young to understand difficult concepts, children are left to fill in their own assumptions, usually inaccurate and often more hurtful than the truth. 

I especially related to Hannah and when I had finished reading, I felt like I was saying goodbye to a dear friend and wishing her well.

Although these books can be purchased separately, I recommend getting Sisters of the Quilt so you can read all three at once. 

I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.