Book Review: The Truth About Mud – A ‘Mangleblood Rose’ Story (A YA Fantasy Adventure Novelette) by Christina L. Rozelle

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The Truth About Mud – A ‘Mangleblood Rose’ Story (A YA Fantasy Adventure Novelette) by Christina L. Rozelle

A Fantasy Novellette published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (01/19/15)

 

Summary:

“Oh crabapples, you’re the most atrocious troll I’ve ever seen in my life.” (Page 31).

Thistle has always wanted to cross the Mangleblood River, but as a troll and Mud she has been told not to. It isn’t until a crow steals her beloved nan’s medallion that she gathers the courage to defy her king and find a way across the river. Her friend Fane finds her as she searches for the way and joins her in the quest. Together they cross the river and find something so new that Thistle will lose herself temporarily in its shininess.

 

Keywords:

 Muds, Treasures, Kings, Journey, Magic, Fantasy, Gross, Breaking Orders, Independent, Friendship, Duty, Mascue, Femme, Different World

 

My Review:

There are a few themes touched upon in The Truth About Mud that are fascinating to read about in the context of a story about Trolls and Mud and a gross-out kind of environment that as humans we are entirely not used to. The world Rozelle builds is so unfamiliar to us that it is mesmerizing in its depth of uniqueness. The characters are Trolls and live a very different life than humans and Rozelle builds up their environment expertly to show how they live the way they do and what’s important to them in their world.

I found the ‘gender’ difference and the ‘species’ differences to be fascinating, especially as presented in a seemingly harmless fantasy world.

Mascues and Femmes I assume are similar to males and females as we would kind of know them in our human world. Mascues are masculine and tough, but also very gross and very troll-like. They train and are warriors. Femmes are feminine but also very gross and they have powers of enchantment. The author sticks with typical gender roles, but extends them beyond the norm for her world infested with boogers and mud and yucky things.

Treasures and Muds are two types of trolls that are separated by the Mangleblood river. The way Rozelle plays with stereotypes and prejudices of one species of troll with another almost mimics real world stereotyping.

This novel was published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on January 19th, 2015 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.00

 

Links for more information:

Christina L. Rozelle’s Website

Twitter

Goodreads

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Book Review: Red and the Wolf by E. A. Walker

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Red and the Wolf by E. A. Walker

A Fairy Tale Adaption Short Story published by Two Moons Books (04/06/15)

 

Summary:

“…an adult needs to be able to hear the truth, even when it has an unpleasant sound.” (Kindle Location 281).

Vöröža wanted Juri from almost the moment she set eyes on him, but her Babushka had other plans. Snežana claims that Vöröža is of noble birth and shouldn’t consort with the lowly villagers, especially the woodcutter, but Vöröža doesn’t listen. In secret, at least she thinks so, she meets with Juri and they make plans together. All in the town are wary of the two women in the forest, but Juri, until one event that will have them sympathizing with the young Vöröža. Can she truly leave her noble birth behind?

 

Keywords:

 Romance, fantasy, werewolf, legends, fairy tale, little red riding hood, woodcutter, clueless, short story, old-world feel, isolated, forest

 

My Review:

This short story is based on Little Red Riding Hood, but it is very much its own tale and very different from the simple animated versions that abound in film. This story, though new, is told as if it is a tale retold, a legend of a small town near a wide and foreboding forest. E.A. Walker does an amazing job at carefully crafting her descriptions and keeping her consistent old world feel of the story. From the beginning Walker provides enough physical descriptions to set the scene and plunge the reader into Vöröža’s world.

The characters are whole and alive in the imagination. It was very helpful to have the pronunciation chart at the start of the story and helped as I read for visualizing. As the story went on, I thought there were a few too many characters and it got a bit confusing.

After reading the story a second time, I really was able to appreciate the bit of foreshadowing that was cleverly disguised.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this story in exchange for my honest review.

This novel was published by Two Moons Books on April 6th, 2015 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.00

 

Links for more information:

Smashwords

Goodreads

Book Review: Moonlight by David Rose

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Moonlight by David Rose

A Short Story Romance published by David Rose (04/13/14)

 

Summary:

 Tadao and Yuzuki spent three years together as the best of childhood friends, brought together by the wandering cat Gekkō-san and their loneliness. It is not until Tadao must leave the city with his parents at the age of 14 that he and Yuzuki realize they were more than just friends. The two young kids make a pact by the moon, that in seven years they will meet again in their special place on the beach. “And then, too soon, we were parted, with nothing to sustain us but faith and moonlight.” (Location 419).

 

Keywords:

 Romance, Short Story, Japan, Young Love, Enduring Love, Magical Realism, Cat

 

My Review:

Moonlight is an adorable short novel at just around 50 pages and the entire time I was reading it I was reminded of an animated short. Moonlight has a wonderfully delightful twist to the romance that involves what I would call magical realism. In order not to spoil the book, I will not go into further detail but I will say that it was a well-executed twist that gives the story more depth and meaning.

Moonlight involved a cute story of a romance between two of the sweetest characters. Unfortunately because it was such a short book, the reader is not given much information about the characters as individuals, although I believe the story stands alone solidly without the need for more background or description. Personally I would have liked more information, but that’s because the story was so well-rounded and easy to read that I wanted more of it.

David Rose gives us something a little different with Moonlight and I was thoroughly delighted with this short romance story set in Japan.

 

I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys short stories, cute romances, stories set in other countries such as japan, or animated shorts.

This novel was published by David Rose April 13th, 2014 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TLDR Star Rating: 4.5

 

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Smashwords