Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Daughter of the Flames by Zoe Marriott

16-year-old Zira’s dying Ruan mother brought a badly injured Zira to the temple after the fearsome attack that left Rua in the control of the Sedorne. Zira’s memories of her life before that night are gone, until the night ten years later when a Sedorne force, sent by the king, attacks and destroys the temple. As the temple people shelter in the Shrine of God, Zira’s memories are unlocked. She is not poor Zira, warrior priestess in training. She is Zahira Elfenresh, the last surviving member of the royal family of Rua. It is she who should be on the throne as Reia, not the Sedorne king.
Once her identity is known, Zahira becomes the leader of the temple refugees. She leads them, unwillingly, to a Sedorne lord who becomes their ally, and much more. But her alliance with the Sedorne leads many of her followers to doubt Zahira. They want Rua for the Ruan, with all Sedorne either dead or driven out of the land. But the Ruan are not a strong fighting force on their own, so Zahira must unite the Ruan and Sedorne people in order to put an end to the bloody rule of the tyrant Sedorne king.
Zira/Zahira is a smart, strong character reminiscent of Tamora Pierce’s Beka Cooper or Robin McKinley’s Harimad Crewe. The book is well-written and the story carries the reader forward quickly and seamlessly. I will be the first to admit that I picked this book up because of the striking cover art, but from the very first page I was hooked. I highly recommend this title to fans of fantasy and strong heroines!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Gallagher Girl Books by Ally Carter

 I recently read I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter. I loved this book for many reasons, one of them being the story line. It was about a girl, Cammie Morgan, who goes to a school called the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Women. This school may seem like any other, but really it's "spy school" (in other words they get taught how to speak in 14 different languages, how to kill a man in six different ways, one including a piece of uncooked spaghetti, and other "spy stuff.). When on a class mission (for extra credit), Cammie meets this boy, Josh, who seems to like her and she might just like him back. She and her friends agree on figuring out more about him and set them up on dates. The only problem with this is Gallagher girls aren't allowed outside of the school, so Cammie goes through secret passages to get outside and to meet Josh. How long will this last - can she continue to do this? You have to read to find out. This book had an amazing ending and one that really surprised me. I hope that you read I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have To Kill You! It's very good!
~Anna Laws, 7th grade, HMS

One of the books I read from the past few weeks was Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter. I love all of the books in this series, but so far this one happens to be my favorite. I liked this one because there was more excitement in it. For example: the code blacks, the new classified boys' school, and the big test. The story line of the book was that Cammie finds out about a boys' school almost exactly like the Gallagher Academy except called Blackthorne. but, because of what happened last semester with Josh and Cammie, the headmistress of the school decided it would be a good thing for boys and girls to mix, so the boys at Blackthorne moved in to the boarding school. This was because someday the girls would have to work with guys in future missions. When there is a code black the girls blame the guys and bug their dorm rooms and listen in to conversations only to find that the boys were just as smart. The ending was really surprising and I never expected any of that to happen. I loved this book and thought it was great! I can't wait till the next one in the series!
~Anna Laws, 7th grade, HMS

Ms. Heather's Note: The next Gallagher Girls book, Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover, comes out in June!!