Tag Archives: Book 4

Call Me Irresistible

Phillips, Susan Elizabeth. Call Me Irresistible (2011). 385 Pages. HarperCollins. $25.99

Wynette, Texas | Book Six

There is a sort of chronology to these books, but they certainly don’t have to be read in order. In roughly story-order, this one is book six. Earlier books in the series told the tale of Theodore’s parents– Fancy Pants is about his early years. Seemingly he makes another appearance in Lady Be Good, and then features as the hero in Call Me Irresistible. Meg Koranda’s parents are in Glitter Baby, and Lucy Jorik’s parents are in  First Lady. I’ve read a few of those, but I’m taking my time coming up with opinions.

From the Cover

Lucy Jorik is the daughter of a former president of the United States.

Meg Koranda is the offspring of legends.

One of them is about to marry Mr. Irresistible– Ted Beaudine– the favorite son of Wynette, Texas. The other is not happy about it and is determined to save her friend from a mess of heartache.

But even though Meg knows that breaking up her best friend’s wedding is the right thing to do, no one else seems to agree. Faster than Lucy can say “I don’t,” Meg becomes the most hated woman in town– a town she’s stuck in with a dead car, an empty wallet, and a very angry bridegroom. Broke, stranded, and without her famous parents at her back, Meg is sure that she can survive on her own wits. What’s the worst that can happen? Lose her heart to the one and only Mr. Irresistible? Not likely. Not likely at all.

First Lines

More than a few residents of Wynette, Texas, thought Ted Beaudine was marrying beneath himself. It wasn’t as if the bride’s mother was still the president of the United States. Cornelia Jorik had been out of office for over a year. And Ted Beaudine was, after all, Ted Beaudine.

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Lioness Rampant

Pierce, Tamora. Lioness Rampant (2005 ed.).  400 Pages. Simon Pulse. $6.99

Song of the Lioness: Book Four

Tamora Pierce wrote quartets, until (as she said) Harry Potter taught publishers that children would read longer volumes. I’ve read this series many times over the years, and this volume is both my favorite and my least favorite. It’s sad, and it’s triumphant, and things are dramatic and terrifying, but they also end well. Alanna is a strong protagonist, and she’s really finished growing up at the end of this novel, becoming the legend which we know she will be.

Alanna of Trebond and Olau is on an adventure to retrieve the Dominion Jewel. They’re in Maren, on the trail of the jewel, and their journey is just beginning. In Berat, Alanna meets Liam Ironarm, the Shang Dragon; “People like you change the world; a smart man keeps track of such folk” (12) he says. Shortly after meeting Liam, Alanna has her second encounter with the Great Mother Goddess, who presents her with the question “who will you be, Alanna?” (19). Unfortunately, Alanna doesn’t know who she will be, or what she wants, or even what she is truly capable of (not yet, anyway). All she knows is that she has a map that needs to be translated, and a need to be somewhere, anywhere besides Tortall.

Before she knows it, she’s on a great adventure, one that takes her through war-torn Sarain to the Roof of the World. By retrieving the Jewel, Alanna hopes to prove to the world that she’s a warrior in her own right, that she never used her Gift to cheat her way to her shield, that she is truly a force to be reckoned with. So, armed with a map, and her knightly skills, leading her motley troop of herself, Coram, Faithful, and Liam Ironarm, she heads through Sarain where she picks up even more strays.

Alanna’s strays are Princess Thayet and Buriram Tourokom, who are fleeing from Thayet’s father, the Warlord of Sarain. They decide to join forces with Alanna, and follow her to Chitral’s Pass, where the Dominion Jewel is supposedly held.

Of course, there’s more going on than Alanna’s quest. In Corus, much is going on; Queen Lianne has died, and King Roald died not long after. Jonathan is King, but has not been crowned yet. Thom has gotten himself into more trouble than he can handle, and is dying. The people are convinced that Jonathan’s reign is cursed– there has been famine and plague since Alanna left Corus. George is struggling with issues of his own, and there is a plot against Jonathan within the palace. Things go a little sideways, toward the end. There is a huge battle, and many characters are left dead. The ending, despite the deaths, is hopeful.

The Series as a Whole:

This was my first Tamora Pierce series, back when I was in middle school. My friends and I read it, and traded it and read it again until all of our books were worn thin, and we all knew the stories by heart. It really is ideal for middle schoolers, but it manages to be a book which adults can enjoy as well. It’s hard to outgrow a series like this, and because of its enduring re-readability, it gets a 4.5/5.

The Quick Version:

Alanna really comes into her own in this book. She finishes growing up, goes on a great adventure, and learns to balance Woman and Warrior. She makes a name for herself, and she changes the world. This is my very favorite from the series, and scores a 5 out of 5, because I love it so very much (even if I always cry at the end).

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On other notes, as I was flipping through my book, looking for the bibliographic information, I learned that it’s an autographed copy (which is way more exciting than I ever expected, even considering that it’s signed to “Kelli” and not to me). I got it second-hand though Swaptree not too long ago, and though I don’t think I got it from the Kelli it was signed to, it’s still pretty sweet. Now all I have to do is figure out how to get one signed to me, and I’ll be the happiest book nerd ever.

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Filed under Book Review, Children's Fiction, High Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Talking to Dragons

Wrede, Patricia C. Talking to Dragons (1995). 255 Pages. Scholastic. $4.95 

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles: Book Four (or Book One)

Depending on who you ask, this is either the first book or the last book in the series. If you feel that this is the last book, be aware of spoilers. If you feel that it is the first, welcome to the Enchanted Forest Chronicles.

Daystar has lived right next to the Enchanted Forest his whole life, but he has never spent much time there. His mother, Cimorene, has drilled two rules into his head since childhood; always be polite, especially to Dragons, and never say yes to an unknown favor. When he is sixteen years old, he enters the Enchanted Forest for the first time.

Armed with a magic sword, and good manners, Daystar is sent on a quest, even if he doesn’t have a clue what he’s supposed to do. He makes the acquaintance of a fire witch, meets a small lizard, and a young dragon, all without figuring out much more than that the King is sleeping in his castle.

Eventually Daystar learns that the sword he is carrying is very important, that Morwen the Witch and Telemain the Magician are both very powerful and very helpful– and know considerably more than he does about his quest– and that his mother was very right in teaching him to always be polite to Dragons.

Eventually, Daystar makes his way to the Castle of the Sleeping King, where he figures out what everyone has been hoping he’d do all along. The book climaxes with an epic battle, and ends on a good note. It resolves the story without ending everything. It’s not exactly “happily ever after” but all the characters are set up to find their ever-afters easily.

The Series as a Whole:

I choose to think of this as the fourth book, because I’ve always read it last. It makes a solid close to a long story, one which has been well written, and is really enjoyable. The appearance and re-appearance of familiar characters makes it feel like one contiguous work, which is nice. Each one has just enough difference from the last that you’re interested, and things are steadily growing off what has already been set up.

As a series opener, it’s fascinating; you start with the end, you know the happily ever after, and so the “What” is solved. Reading the rest of the books is like learning the “Why”, which is really not a bad way to do things. Beginning with the end is a fun way to tell a story.

The series gets an overall score of 5/5.

The Quick Version:

This is one of the first Fantasy series I remember reading, and because of this I know I’m at least a little biased. However, I’ve read it so many times that I nearly have the book memorized and I still enjoy it. This book in particular is good. Daystar makes a great protagonist, and whether you know what’s going on or not, you find yourself rooting for him. It scores a 5/5 for being a great book.

Want to read it? Get it through Amazon or Swaptree.

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Holy Smokes

MacAlister, Katie. Holy Smokes (2007). 341 Pages. Signet. $7.99

Aisling Grey, Guardian: Book Four || Dragons Universe Book Four

Please be aware that there may be are spoilers present, as this is the fourth (and final?) book in a series!

Seemingly, Holy Smokes is the last book which we will read about Aisling Grey, but it is certainly not the last we’ll hear of the Dragons. The rest of this review has been placed behind a tag because it is very full of spoilers (for the first three books, rather than the fourth). Click at your own risk.

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