Book Reviews by rephilipsen

Ash has always heard whispers from the world around her. She hears things' true names and their possibilities. By naming something, she can tie it to that possibility, essentially deciding what it becomes. Her village, Last Hope, lives in constant fear of attack by the dao fora, or forest fairies, and illwen, giant magical storm beasts with the power to kill and destroy. Every year, the attacks get worse and more frequent, but no one knows what is causing them. One day, a dao fora boy is captured and brought into the village.

When Esther is orphaned as a young Jewish girl, she goes to live with her uncle, Mordecai, and his wife, Joanna. She grows in wisdom and stature, becoming fluent in both Hebrew and Aramaic, well-versed in the texts of her own religion, Judaism, and also knowledgeable about the religions of the neighboring peoples. By the time she is a teenager, everyone in their small Persian town knows of her stunning beauty and brilliant mind.


When Chaant, a mage, gets injured and trapped outside the city walls of Almarra in the midst of a horde of demons led by a great Demon Lord, he has no choice but to flee. He heads toward the mountains, hoping to find a wizard who will give him a powerful enchantment in exchange for a quest. On the way, he runs into an unusual young woman named Anjelica. He teaches her some tricks of a mage, but she is more powerful than anyone he has ever seen.


Arnetta Price has had a fractured family since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her parents, younger brother, and one set of grandparents, sending her to live with her other grandparents, Grammy and Papaw. If only she could have prevented the accident.


Mayten Singer has always lived with her large family in the countryside. She spent her free time with her brother, Wollemi, or with her beloved trees. Soon she won’t have much free time though. She was leveling up to Level 4 with her two friends. Once they received their assignments, they would become full-fledged members of the clan. Mayten isn’t worried. She will be a tree singer just like her mother. After all, communicating with the trees and directing their energy came easily to her. Some even said she had potential to be better than her mother.

There are some things you just can’t tell anyone, not even your best friends. When Zinnia Manning’s older brother, Gabriel, gets into an “accident” while he is away at college, he is diagnosed with a mental illness and sent to a hospital. No one knows when he can come home or if he will be okay. Zinnia’s life seems to be collateral damage.