Publisher: Penguin


Monday, March 05, 2018

A Fierce Adventure: The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras

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I received this book for free from Kathy Dawson Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A Fierce Adventure: The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane MagrasThe Mad Wolf's Daughter by Diana Magras
Published by Kathy Dawson Books on March 6th, 2018
Genres: Adventure, Historical, Middle-Grade
Source: Kathy Dawson Books
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A Scottish medieval adventure about the youngest in a war-band who must free her family from a castle prison after knights attack her home--with all the excitement of Ranger's Apprentice and perfect for fans of heroines like Alanna from The Song of the Lioness series.

One dark night, Drest's sheltered life on a remote Scottish headland is shattered when invading knights capture her family, but leave Drest behind. Her father, the Mad Wolf of the North, and her beloved brothers are a fearsome war-band, but now Drest is the only one who can save them. So she starts off on a wild rescue attempt, taking a wounded invader along as a hostage.

Hunted by a bandit with a dark link to her family's past, aided by a witch whom she rescues from the stake, Drest travels through unwelcoming villages, desolate forests, and haunted towns. Every time she faces a challenge, her five brothers speak to her in her mind about courage and her role in the war-band. But on her journey, Drest learns that the war-band is legendary for terrorizing the land. If she frees them, they'll not hesitate to hurt the gentle knight who's become her friend.

Drest thought that all she wanted was her family back; now she has to wonder what their freedom would really mean. Is she her father's daughter or is it time to become her own legend?

I am garbage for a good middle grade adventure so when The Mad Wolf’s Daughter was pitched to me, I was on board and wanted to gobble this book up. Good thing it wasn’t disappointing, amirite?

Here is the thing, among the sea of commercial fiction that dominates Middle Grade books, The Mad Wolf’s Daughter doesn’t necessarily stand out but thats not really a good or bad thing? Familiar tropes and adventures are good things and just because The Mad Wolf’s Daughter isn’t necessarily //different// doesn’t mean that it is a bad book or a mediocre book?

The thing about tropes (at least in my opinion) is that it all comes down to how the author uses them to enhance their story. You’re never going to read a book that is free of tropes because that is not how literature works. If you @ me and say “but not the classics,” I WILL prove you wrong. My aside aside, what I am trying to say is that Magras takes common tropes and uses them to give us a worthwhile adventure that is exciting and even a little refreshing.

Drest’s life is shaken when when knights come and kidnap her family. She is left behind and now its up to her to save her family. So she embarks on an adventure and picks up misfits along the way all the while learning about her family’s dark past and dealing with her familial identity and how to be Drest without being her family. Wow, that was a long sentence. I feel like I was holding my breath as I was writing that. ANYWAY.

This adventure is filled with magic, friendship and self-discovery. Truly, the best combo for any adventure written for any demographic.

I know I’ve basically been dancing around specifics regarding the story but it’s hard to feel like I have anything worthwhile to say about individual characters within the story. They are serving their story rather than the other way around and that is perfectly fine. Younger readers can easily self-insert within the story and explore their own identities through these characters and older readers, well there isn’t as much here for us but hey, if you’re trash for adventure, join me on this journey.

 

About the Author

Diane Magras grew up on Mount Desert Island in Maine. The Mad Wolf’s Daughter is her debut novel. She is the editor, writer, and chief fund raiser for the Maine Humanities Council. She volunteers at her son’s school library, and is addicted to tea, toast, castles, legends, and most things medieval. Diane lives in Maine with her husband and son and thinks often of Scotland, where her books are set
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Posted by on 02/23/2018 • 0 Comments

Occasionally, when a book is written in verse(partly in this case) and I need to review it, I break out my incredibly rusty poetry skills and write a review in verse too. I usually try to imitate the style of verse in the book but you know, it isn’t always successful.

This Book

Between the Lines follows the story

of eight teens.

It seems like a lot and is occasionally overwhelming 

and yet . . . 

Nikki Grimes has somehow found the balance so it isn’t

too much.

Between the Lines is so ordinary and yet extraordinary in the way it tells the story of

eight different children and how they come to embrace the power

of poetry.

The story of these eight different children is bound

to take you…

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Posted by on 01/26/2018 • 2 Comments

I have no clue how I am supposed to start this review. I tried to explain to Nick how I felt about the book because we sorta buddy read it (she finished a day before I did) and it’s really hard to capture my overall reaction. There were bits that I loved but overall, The Wedding Date just didn’t make the impression I had hoped it would. It’s a total feel-good read and I want to see it on a big screen (this is the second time I am saying that about a book in the span of a month.)

I am a big romance reader but as Nick will tell you, I am really picky and want a very specific sort of vibe. I want the domestic scenes…

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I think there is this general conception that for a fantasy novel to be truly good, it needs to have about a 1,000,000 pages and at 304 pages, Beasts Made of Night is not a particularly long book. Do not and I repeat do NOT let that fool you. Tochi Onyebuchi packs a fucking punch in those 304 pages. World building? You got it. Adventure? You got it. A mother-fucking rebellion? YOU GOT IT. Beasts Made of Night isn’t just a great novel for fantasy readers but also for people too vary of the genre because of its reputation for long-winded novels that take lifetimes to get through.

Onyebuchi has a background in screenwriting and honestly, the high stakes and the quick pace of the novel really reflect this. For some people,…

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Posted by on 10/27/2017 • 2 Comments

Hey everyone! Welcome to Xpresso Reads’ tour stop for FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS. If you’re a fan of complex heroes & anti-heroes, this book should 110% be on your TBR. Today, we have Julie Dao on the blog talking about what she learned while writing FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS.

What Julie Dao Learned While Writing Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS is about a villain’s rise to power – or at least, Xifeng would be considered a villain in any other book where she wasn’t the star. Here, she is a dark and ambitious antiheroine who will let nothing stand in her way on the path to the throne!

As a result, the most common question I get is: was it hard writing such…

E.K. Johnston’s Favorite Victorian Woman

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Posted by on 10/13/2017 • 2 Comments

Hey everyone! Welcome to Xpresso Reads’ blog tour stop for The Inevitable Victorian Thing! E.K. Johnston won my heart over last year with Exit, Pursued by a Bear and I’ve been a fan ever since! While I haven’t had the chance to read The Inevitable Victorian Thing yet, I am sure it will be amazing and I am sure I will be a FAN. Anyway! Today! We have the lovely E.K. Johnston over on the blog talking about her favorite victorian woman.

E.K. Johnston’s Favorite Victorian Woman

Okay, so my serious answer to this question is Ada Lovelace for a bunch of reasons that you can look up on tumblr.

But my actual answer is a little different.

The year is 1886. At Oxford, four students and one woman (who is a student in…

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Posted by on 10/11/2017 • 2 Comments

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It did take me a while to get into There’s Someone Inside Your House so it is slow-going but as soon as things started getting bloodier and gorier, I was HERE FOR IT and I just got sucked in.

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Posted by on 10/03/2017 • 5 Comments

Welcome to Xpresso Reads’ tour stop for Jane, Unlimited! In Jane, Unlimited, the MC is obsessed with making umbrellas and so I was inspired to do a post dedicated to some of the super cute umbrellas out there.

10 Awesome Umbrellas You Will Want to Own

1.

This cute one from Kate Spade. Those eyes are throwin all the shade at the rain for you.

2. 

I found this one for all your subtle rainbow needs. Also, can you imagine twirling that in the rain??? It seems like so much fun.

3. 

This one will let you embrace your inner Wednesday Addams and I think that’s fucking important.

4. 

I would highly suggest not looking at the prize tag on this one because there is a chance it’ll give you a heart attack. BUT….