The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima

I finished the Exiled Queen (book two in the series) last night and started right into The Gray Wolf Throne (#3).  Chima has created strong and consistent characters that have plenty of human flaws (like falling for the wrong person or ticking off the wrong person or trusting the wrong person).  The third story in the series continues the suspense on many different levels: personal (friendship and romance), political (war and marriage as tools to gain power), and spiritual or magical.

Although prolific readers will find many similarities in Chima’s world and other fantastical realms, the author brings a fresh and believable world alive.  There is room for both strong young women and strong young men to find champions and blackguards in the Seven Realms Series.

The Voice Inside My Head by S.J. Laidlaw

Overall, I enjoyed this book.  However, there were a few things that were stumbling blocks to the flow of the story; the first was that some of the names or characters were close enough that I got mixed up once or twice and had to look back in the text, the second was the dalliance into the swamp which would have made more sense if the story were going to follow the path of mysticism and spirits.

Stuff parents may not like in this book:

Underage drinking, drug use, murder, alcoholic mother

Spring Break Fun at the Berthoud Community Library

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Silent Library “Happy Meal Challenge”

Blended Happy Meal

Blended Happy Meal

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Cinnamon browsing the videos at the Berthoud Community Library.

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Cinnamon loves to read!

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Toys at the library helps Cinnamon learn about cause and effect.

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What are you doing in the book bin, silly bear?

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima


This book has got me wanting more!

Originally posted on christysclassblog:



This is the first book in the Seven Realms Series.  My friend, Jacob, suggested I read it and now I am hooked!  I am listening to the second book that picks up just a bit after the Demon King ends and I fear for the heroine of the tale.  Raisa is the princess heir to the queendom but she has been forced to flee from an unlawful and unwanted marriage.  Since the Breaking of the world and the hard won healing, there are hard and fast rules that separate Wizards and the Queen as well as Wizards and the clans.  The male protagonist of this story, Han, doesn’t pay much attention to politics or thousand year old stories of queen Hanalea and her interactions with the Demon King.  Han is busy trying to provide for his mother and sister, which is proving very difficult to do in any legal…

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Writing prompt

The following is a writing prompt that I was given by a coworker (and my response).
“It’s your 18th birthday and, upon it, your parents deliver some pretty shocking news: You’re not really human. They admit that they’ve been covering up the fact that you are actually a” (and here begins my imagination) genetically modified Martian spliced with human DNA.
“What do you mean, I’m a Martian? There’s no life on Mars!”
“Yes,” says your mother, “but there WAS life and it was preserved, deep beneath the icecaps.”
“You’re telling me, you grew me in a lab or something? What the hell, haven’t you ever heard of adoption? There are babies in Russia and China and Africa that are already bred and everything! No splicing required!”
“We didn’t want to have to tell you this way, but our hand has been forced.” Your parents glance at one another. “We need you to pack a bag, without any electronics. No phone, no ipod, no laptop, no game boy. We have to leave quickly and we can’t risk being tracked.”
“What’s really going on? Is this some stupid new reality T.V. show? Trying to see how gullible I am?”
“You – we – but mostly you – were part of an experimental team put together by the defense department, for the purpose of colonizing Mars. Last week, some of the top scientists of the team went missing. Just this morning one of them turned up -” Another glance crossed between them. “Dead. The thing that was most disturbing-”
“Aside from being told you’re half Martian?”
“- the way the body was found. Totally by accident. If it hadn’t been for a kid that wandered away from his campsite, the body wouldn’t have been found…in time.”
“In time for what?”
“To finish what was started. Now get packing.”
With your head reeling, you numbly begin shoving clothes into your backpack, leaving your homework on the desk where you had been frantically scribbling down answers. By the time you finish zipping up your pack, you hear the horn blast from the garage. On a last minute whim, you grab the family photo from the hall and tuck it under your arm. The garage door is open and the car seems to already be loaded to the gills. You open the back door and shove yourself in with your backpack on your lap as your Dad pulls into the street like it were any other day.

“So, um…are our lives in danger?”

“It is very likely.”  Your mom doesn’t glance back at you.

“Shouldn’t we, like, go faster then?”  You lean forward to see the speedometer is holding at 35 MPH.

“We don’t want to let on that we know anything is amiss.  Plus, we don’t want any trouble from the local authorities.”  Dad answers with the patience he gives a slow freshman.  This shouldn’t irritate you at a time like this, but it does.

“Who wants us dead, exactly?”

“I will feel a great deal better when I have an answer to that question.”  He responds.

This is not the first time you wish your parents were less scientific and more emotional.  Not only are they no fun to argue with – staying so calm you just want to punch them in the face (not that you would, but it would be interesting to see if they reacted any differently)- but they give you only the information they are sure of without offering much in the way of speculative guesses.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black



I will preface this review with the fact that in my teen years I was reading Anne Rice and Poppy Z. Brite.  I thought I had read all the best vampire novels already, but when I read the review of this book I bought it for the library and put it on my ‘to read’ list.  Well it came in and was processed and on the shelf for quite some time before I checked it out for my son (he had just finished Holly Black’s White Cat trilogy).  As these things happen though, I picked it up first and spent the weekend entangled in the world of a vampire plague wrapped around a love story.  Black creates a strong, likeable and believable female lead for this adventure story.  Now my son can read it.