A Book Review: Rulers & Mages

Author Daley Downing was kind enough to send me an EARC (early advanced reader copy) of the second installment of her series, The Order of the Twelve Tribes, Rulers and Mages.

I was a major fan of Downing’s first book, Masters and Beginners and was won over again with Rulers and Mages. Mystery, magic, drama, and love abounds!

I greatly enjoyed that Downing wrote a series with teenagers who only rebel when they must, and show respect for themselves and their family. Downing proved it is entirely possible to hold a reader’s attention without sex, drugs, profanity, etc. This quality alone makes her stand apart from other YA authors of her time. For this reason, I hold her writing in high esteem, but that’s not the only reason I will keep reaching for more books from this series.

Downing’s characters are distinct and well created. I especially appreciate the fact that she included diversity in her characters, including two with autism. Through her characters, Downing taught me a lot about autism. We need more “own voices” in our literature to promote inclusion and understanding in our society. Downing did a fantastic job at that.

With all of the above-mentioned, wonderful qualities, Rulers and Mages was also a very well-written and thoroughly enjoyable progression of The Twelve Tribes story. I’m excited to pass this series to my own children when they are old enough to read.

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Please take a moment to check out Downing’s website, The Invisible Moth.  Her posts are very informative about the publishing and author world. I’m always so impressed by Downing’s thoroughness in her writing, whether it’s her blog or her book series.

-Rachel McKee

Picture Pick FriYAY: Around the Home

Happy FriYAY!  I hope everyone has something they look forward to this weekend. Whether that be time with friends, family, or a good book savor the moment. Here is a collection of random images from around our home.

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Irish Hot Cocoa. Yum!
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Queen Keke.
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I just finished reading The Witch’s Boy.
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My Great Grandmother made me this angel figurine for my 5th birthday.

-Rachel McKee

Black Ice: A Review

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Britt Pheiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

Britt is forced to guide the men off the mountain, and knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there…and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

I have to confess, I love young adult (YA) fiction. I don’t know if that means that I have not grown out of my 16 year old expectations of entertainment or if YA as a genre is just the best… I will let you decide.

I just finished reading Becca Fitzpatrick’s Black Ice and it was everything you could want for a Friday night, Dove chocolate kind of book-fest. There was suspense, romance, danger and for the night I was able to lose myself in a story that was fast-paced and marathon read-worthy. My husband laughed when he saw me half way through the book 4 hours after I bought it. I recommend picking up this book for a vacation, weekend, or a distraction read.

Warning: I stayed up until 1am reading this book, make sure you have adequate sleep-in time the next morning.

Happy reading,

♥R♥

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