Thursday, December 6, 2012

Celebrating Crafts and Christmas + My Review of Princess of the Silver Woods

A while ago I agreed to be part of a blog tour today for a book I read through NetGalley. So today we get to celebrate the craft of writing! Gotta love a good story!

But I also wanted to offer a sort of giveaway of my own. My freelance editing business is still trying to get off the ground - starting a new business is a slow process, it seems! If any of you are into the writing craft, this "giveaway" is for you!

Giveaway: If you have a short story, novella, or novel that could use some editing, I'd love to help! To any writer who e-mails me and mentions this post ("Celebrating Crafts and Christmas") today, I'm offering 25% off any of my "Winter" packages! (You know I love the "seasons" theme! The "Winter" package is for those who have completed a first draft of their story.) If your story does not currently fit in that package, I'm offering a 10% discount on any of my other packages ("Fall," "Spring," or "Summer").

This is a one-day only thing, since I'm announcing all of this week's winners tomorrow. Even if you're not sure what package your story fits into, all you have to do is e-mail me today and let me know you're interested in talking further about this in order to lock in the discounted price. You will not be required to use my services, should you decide (after we talk and before I get started) that I'm not the right editor for you.

Check out the various package options for Editing Through the Seasons HERE, and feel free to contact me through my website's contact form HERE. (And please note that the package prices do not include shipping costs, as I make my comments and marks on hard copies and not on computer files.)

I look forward to hearing from you!! And now for that review...

Here's a description of the book from Goodreads:

"When Petunia, the youngest of King Gregor's twelve dancing daughters, is invited to visit an elderly friend in the neighboring country of Westfalin, she welcomes the change of scenery. But in order to reach Westfalin, Petunia must pass through a forest where strange two-legged wolves are rumored to exist. Wolves intent on redistributing the wealth of the noble citizens who have entered their territory. But the bandit-wolves prove more rakishly handsome than truly dangerous, and it's not until Petunia reaches her destination that she realizes the kindly grandmother she has been summoned to visit is really an enemy bent on restoring an age-old curse. The stories of Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood get a twist as Petunia and her many sisters take on bandits, grannies, and the new King Under Stone to end their family curse once and for all."  

My Rating

Spring

My Review

Jessica Day George creatively combines fairy tales and legends in this exciting conclusion to her "Princess" series! The story begins with Petunia - the youngest of the twelve dancing princess - in a beautiful red cape being waylaid by thieves with wolf masks, and races on with her interactions with Oliver - a young Robin-Hood type who charmingly bumbles his way into kidnapping Petunia and then becoming her protector. There are plenty of twists in this story, as Petunia is forced to ask herself who the real "wolves" are. Can this "princess of the silver woods" outsmart her pursuers and find victory in the battle for her heart?

This is my second experience with a Jessica Day George book, and I think the more enjoyable of the two. (The other book being Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow.) Her creativity really shines in this story, and this hero has more of his own personality. Oliver is definitely the character who won me over the most - his sweetness, his protective nature, his sense of responsibility, his naivete, and basically his big heart, all add up to an adorable hero.

As for Petunia, she's a strong heroine who doesn't take any guff and who is more than willing to fight against the evil plaguing her family. She kind of surprises me in some ways - not always acting the way I might expect the youngest of twelve to act. (But I guess I wouldn't really know what to expect, in reality!)

The rest of the cast of characters has some hits and some misses. Rose and Galen are wonderful - Galen, especially. He's an awesome big brother to the girls (and a caring husband to Rose). Many of the other sisters who didn't have their own stories in this series are mostly names to me. And some of the villains come across as rather "cardboard."  (Of course, I didn't read the other two books in the series, so maybe readers who read the whole series will feel a closer connection to the secondary characters in this installment.)

Princess of the Silver Woods doesn't completely satisfy as a stand-alone, although it's still an enjoyable read. (Thankfully, having read Entwined by Heather Dixon, I was slightly familiar with the tale of the "Twelve Dancing Princesses," so that made it easier to get swept into this third part of the bigger story, I imagine.)The suspense and the sweetness are great, although the style marks it as more of a quick read than a grand piece of literature. But if you're looking for a fun, fast, fairy-tale-inspired read, then Princess of the Silver Woods delivers!

*With thanks to Bloomsbury Children's Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book and share my honest opinion.*

Note: This book will be released December 11, 2012.

12 comments:

Ugochi said...

You really make me want to read this, I loved little Red Riding Hood too.
I found you on a friends blog and now follow. Really inviting review you have written here.
Have a super blessed day!
Love
http://www.ugochi-jolomi.com/

Julie said...

Hey Amber, I hear you girl on that starting a business is slow! My daughter is going to be starting her own locksmith business but there are all kinds of obstacles and hoops to jump through first. Eeeeek! Great review of Princess of the Silver Woods. I've enjoyed your week of sharing different crafts! Great idea!

Julie@My Favorite Pastime

Rissi said...

Glad to know this was sweet - I've read complimentary reviews on Jessica's books but never read one. Someday...

Bluerose said...

I'm praying for your editing business! You are such a talented young lady. I truly believe that God has amazing things in store for you. :)

I'm still torn on whether to read this series or not. I've read 2 of her other books now, and while they were perfectly enjoyable, my reading tastes clashed a bit with the writing style. Since you liked this one better than Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, though, I'm strongly considering it now.

Amber S. said...

Ugochi,

So glad you found my blog, and thank you for following! :) It's a pleasure to "meet" you!

I'm also glad you enjoyed the review! Hope you had a blessed day, as well!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Julie,

Thank you for understanding! I totally know what you mean - lots of hoops and obstacles, for sure! I'm mostly past that part now, but the next challenge is to get someone to give a new business a chance, you know? :) Best wishes to your daughter as she starts her own locksmith business! (Way cool!)

Anyway, I'm so happy you enjoyed the crafts & Christmas week! :) Thank you for joining in the celebration!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Rissi,

Definitely a sweet, fun read. :) This past year I've really become interested in more YA fairytale and dystopian books! The Selection is on my Christmas wish-list! :)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Bluerose,

That means so much to me!! Thank you for your encouragement and for your prayers! I'm blessed by your friendship! :)

As for this series, I've only read this last one, so I don't know how the first two are... It's not as engaging and emotional as Entwined (I think that book might just be my favorite or one of my favorites of the year!). But I found it to be a cute, fast read with some creative twists. :) The hero is adorable!

~Amber

Julie said...

Just reading your responses and love that you are enjoying the YA and dystopian books! I read The Selection and really liked it. So many different opinions on that book for sure! I have found that either people love it or they totally hate it! ha!

Amber S. said...

Julie,

I'm super happy to have discovered so many new books to enjoy! :) I've read The Hunger Games series, Divergent, Entwined, and several YA Kindle books in the past year. I absolutely LOVED Entwined!! And besides The Selection, I also have Cinder (as well as the Christian YA fiction book, The Fairest Beauty) on my Christmas wish-list. I love the cover of The Selection, and I'm curious to find out what I'll think of it! ;)

Do you have a favorite YA book from this past year?

~Amber

Julie said...

I went back to look at my list of books I've read this year and found that my YA is kind of lacking for sure. I would have to say that Cinder and the sequel Scarlet were my favorites along with Flesh & Bone by Jonathan Maberry. It is the 3rd book in a zombie series that I loved! ha! I really liked The Selection and look forward to the second one The Elite. My friend got an ARC of it and I'm hoping she sends it to me soon ;) The problem I found with a lot of the YA that I picked up was the language and sex. I guess I expect that in secular adult books, but when I pick up a YA and know that children/Young adults are reading this it makes me cringe. I was very impressed with Cinder, and the others I mentioned because of the absence of those crude things that I think don't need to be in books for younger audiences. And even though I expect that type of thing in adult secular books I choose not to read them. So there's my soap box for the evening :)

Amber S. said...

Julie,

I'm glad you enjoyed both The Selection and Cinder. :) I've heard great things about the latter one! And the cover for The Elite is absolutely gorgeous!

As for zombies... Haven't really gotten into that yet. ;)

I know what you mean about the language and sexual content! I think some authors include it to make a story more "authentic"... But I really appreciate it when authors can tell a good story without feeling the need to include inappropriate content. And you make a great point that we're talking about reading material for young adults, not secular adult books, so there should be different expectations.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts! :)

~Amber