Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tahleen gives two mini reviews

Tahleen here!

So I'm the worst and am only now getting my post up for today, and for that I'm sorry. I'm going to do a quick little review of the last few books I read, just enough to whet your appetites for some nice YA books.


This one is a Morris Honor book for this year (for those of you who don't know, the Morris Award is given to the most outstanding YA debut of the year). Dragon slayer, you think; must be a high fantasy of some sort. Well, kinda. Not really.  It's more like urban (rural?) fantasy, set in a small town in Canada outside of Toronto. Just, dragons are normal here. And Owen is the nephew of the most famous Canadian dragon slayer since St. George, and the son of two more dragon slayers. He doesn't tell his own story though; that is Siobhan's job, a girl who turns out to be his bard.

What I liked about this book was Owen was just kind of this scrawny kid, who happened to be super famous by association with his Aunt Lottie, and because he was also training to be a dragon slayer (as is custom; the job is hereditary). It's a school story, but with dragons. And maybe a little outside investigation of possibly true nutso theories about the surge in the dragon population. The world Johnston has created here is very clever, so kudos!

That said, this one wasn't my very favorite book ever, and it took me a loooooong time to get through it. Speaking of the end, though, it was pretty abrupt and part of me is wondering if another one is in the works. It could go either way the way this one ended, to be honest. I was also annoyed to see some typos in there, but what can you do.


Yay, it's Annith's turn to get a story! Quick catch-up: This trilogy is about assassin nuns of the convent of St. Mortain, god of death, in 15th-century Brittany. These ladies are pretty intense.

 Annith, to escape the Abbess's plot to make her the next Seeress of the convent of St. Mortain, has escaped to the wider world and quickly gets caught up in a band of Hellequin, dead men who serve the god of death in order to atone for sins they committed in life. She falls for Balthazar, their broody dark leader, but worries they are indeed hunting her because of her choice to abandon the convent. So once again she escapes, and finds her way to her sisters Ismae and Sybella who are serving the Duchess of Brittany in their attempt to keep their country free and safe.

We get some doozy revelations here, so I won't say a whole lot, but I thought this was a fitting end to a well-written trilogy. This one did start to feel a little long toward the end, but everything wrapped up well, so I can't complain too much. I especially liked the author's note at the end, providing readers with fact vs. fiction has far as history is concerned. Gold star for that.

Quick note on the audio version of this: I didn't think it was particularly good, but not awful. It wasn't as good as the second book's narration (excellently done), and it was not as bad as the first. So, whatever. It got the job done and I'm happy.

Did you read either of these? What did you think?

Disclaimer: I got these books from my local library (and you should too!)


  1. The Story of Owen already has a sequel out, and I loved it! Hard to say much without spoilers, but I finished it while my kids were playing on the school playground, and it left me sobbing in my car. Not just that sad things happened, but that the author managed to put me in the main character's mind enough that all possible hope for happiness was completely sucked out of the world.

  2. I loved The Story of Owen! Here is my review,
    can't wait to read the 2nd book in the series!
    I will be getting to Mortal Heart soon:) Thanks for your post!


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