The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert

9cbc4c105110dbc597577517141433041414141_v5Alice and her mother Ella are always moving. Ella’s mother Althea is an author with a cult following. Her book of fairy tales, called Tales from the Hinterland has long been out of print, and is nearly impossible to find even in used bookstores because it’s so sought after.   Alice has never met Althea – she and Ella have been on the run for far too long.

They’re on the run because of bad luck. Something is always following them. Alice is seventeen now, and word has come that her grandmother has died, and that means that everything they’ve been on the run from will soon come to a head.

Althea’s fairy tales are dark. I actually had to take a couple breaks from this book – I could totally see where it was going, and that wasn’t bad, but the atmosphere was just too much. (I really am being influenced by what’s going in the outside world in what I can tolerate for light reading.) There is a sequel, but this book is actually pretty self contained, so I am interested to see where that goes (it seems to be mainly about a character I haven’t mentioned above.) It’ll probably just be a little while before I’m ready for more.


A Midwinter’s Wedding – Melanie Cellier

b071kq4m6r.01._sx180_sclzzzzzzz_I’ve accidently happened upon a theme here –starting in the midst of series. In this case, it’s a series of fairy tale retellings, which are loose enough there is a note saying you can start anywhere, though you’re probably better off reading them in order if you can.

Cordelia is one of the youngest in her family – usually over-shadowed by her older siblings. When her brother is set to marry a princess in the kingdom of Northhelm, her parents send her as the family representative to the wedding. She’ll be snowed in for the winter, which is why they can’t go, but she quickly realizes what a great opportunity it is for her to be away from most of her siblings.

Cordelia quickly makes friends in the court, including the crown prince, William, and his good friend, Ferdy. Ferdy is the frog prince for this retelling, and it’s a fun little story of how he and Cordelia spoil a plot against all the visiting royalty that have come for the wedding.

I’m curious now to see what her older siblings were up to – I’ll have to go back and find the older stories.

Sapphire Flames – Ilona Andrews

2c86d5d64c44501596776487377433041414141_v5I managed to start a series midway through, but it’s fortunately a good place to start in this case. Catalina has just become the head of her household of magic users (alternate present day real world with magic – this is set in Houston). A friend’s mother and sister are killed, and she vows to help, and suddenly finds herself in way over her head. And with the sudden arrival of her school day crush (a handsome Italian count, no less), things get really interesting.

There were lots of references to the prior stories in this series (which center around Catalina’s older sister Nevada and her husband), but nothing was too confusing by not having read them – this is a pretty standard detective story, with magic thrown in. Great candy reading. Naturally, the next book’s not out yet, though that does give me the opportunity to back track.

On a side note, does anyone remember when you did start series midway through because that might be the only book you could get your hands on for a while, so you just muddled through, and hope you eventually got to backtrack. Technology has just spoiled me!

Knitting Notes


Here’s the rest of the Blue Moon Silky Sock yarn used up in hexipuffs.    On a side note, wool is hilariously soft when you take a quick detour from working with linen instead.    Which is probably inconceivable to many people since wool = scratchy in most people’s heads.   But it’s totally true!