- Forbidden (Book of Mortals Series) by Ted Dekker
- Good or God by John Bevere
- Graceling by Kristin Cashore
- Morrighan by Mary Pearson
- The Harbinger by Johathan Cahn
- The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles) by Mary Pearson
- The Book of Mysteries by Johnathan Cahn
- Sovereign (Book of Mortals Series) by Ted Dekker
- Fire by Kristin Cashore
- A Prophets Heart by Jennifer LeClaire
I can’t believe 2016 is almost over. It’s time once again to share my favorite books of the year. There is a mix of fiction and non-fiction and all are clean reads. My favorite genre is Christian fantasy so you will find lots of adventure with positive messages in the fiction choices. Happy Reading!
I also highly recommend the Harbinger!
If you are already a fan of Ted Dekker, then you won’t be disappointed with his Book of Mortals series, co-written with Tosca Lee. If you haven’t read any of his books, get ready for a new addiction! This three book series transports you to an intriguing world where all emotions, except fear, have been removed from the population by a genetically altered virus. Free of war, crime or conflict, the world is devoted to keeping order. No art, no dance, no creativity exists.
Then something changes. Rom Sebastian is given a mysterious vial of blood to protect. After drinking it, his emotions are restored and he embarks on a quest to find the special boy who holds the answers to waking up world. Johnathon’s blood is the answer to restoring life to the world. But not everyone wants what Johnathon has to offer.
This story is beautifully written and Ted is a master of his craft. It sucks you in and doesn’t let go. Rom, Fane, Johnathon, and all the other characters come alive in a way that made me care for them and their journey. Excellent series but you must read it from the beginning! Make sure you have some time though, because you won’t want to stop reading. Enjoy!
She is an outcast among knights
Her reputation in ruins, her knighthood revoked, and her future bleak, Erielle de Gladiel would have welcomed death as her due. Captured by pirates, she was beaten, whipped, branded a thief—and worse—and then set adrift to die. She did not expect—or even want—to be rescued. Especially not by the dashing blasted pirate now calling himself her husband.
He is the King of Pirates
His oath satisfied and his Legacy secured, Cazien vows vengeance on all who harmed Erielle. But before he can hunt them down, a strange visitor appears with an urgent message—a message that aligns with prophecy Erielle has written in her sleep: The Seahorse Pirates must reach Nirista before the famed Tournament of the Twelve . . . or hundreds of stolen children will die.
Together, they are relentless
With the fate of many resting upon them, Cazien and Erielle sail to Nirista. Once there, they are forced to follow separate paths to achieve their aims. Treacheries are uncovered and allies are gained, but in the shadows, a hidden foe plots a grievous betrayal that could shatter not only their hope, but the Seahorse Legacy itself.
The epic conclusion of this series-within-a series, The Sunken Realm sweeps Erielle and Cazien along a pulse-pounding voyage to discover all they are meant to become, together.
I love, love, LOVE this story and it's lively characters! From the witty banter between Cazien and his Lady Erielle, to the thrill ride of adventure as they fulfill the prophecy over their lives, I did not want this story to end. This is one of the best books I've read in a long while, and on par with the likes of the adventures of Narnia. It had me both laughing and crying as I devoured the pages. I cannot get enough of the Seahorse Pirates!
The story begins where the previous book left off, with Erielle recovering from her life threatening injuries aboard the Meredith. Together, she and Caspian set out to rescue children who have been kidnapped and taken to a mysterious sunken realm. We learn more about the life and destiny of the Seahorse Pirates and their Seahorse Heir. The author does an excellent job developing characters who are both vulnerable and strong. If you've followed the series, this will NOT let you down.
Not only entertaining, this book is filled with beautiful messages of faith, trust, loyalty, true romance and the victory of all that is good. This is one I will pass on to everyone I know. I truly hope the author has more stories of the Seahorse Pirates to share because I am not ready to end this relationship!
The great city of Thyra has fallen and shadows spread across the land. Rowen Mar, the last Truthsayer, is taken before the Shadonae. But the Shadonae are not who she thought they were, and now they want to claim her as their own. Caleb Tala, former assassin and prince, is now a Guardian of mankind. Exiled from his country, Caleb wanders the desert in search of his mother's past and clues to who he is. These are the last days of the Eldaran race. Rowen and Caleb must find their way along the dark path set before them by their ancestors: to heal what was wounded and love where hatred grows. But the road is narrow and the darkness beckons. If either of them fails, all will be lost... And the human race will be no more. Book three of the Follower of the Word series.
Great conclusion to a series that is both entertaining and powerful. Heir of Hope brings the Follower of the Word trilogy to an end and I will miss these characters. Rowen's life has been anything but easy and I love that the author does not shy away from addressing her dark internal struggles. Life is hard and we all struggle with faith when things fall apart around us and darkness seems to be winning. Each of the characters face crisis points in which they are tested. Quite a bit of the story is focused on Caleb and Nierne as they cross a desert to face the Shadonae and their relationship with each other deepens.
This series bears witness to the best and worst of human nature and the powerful redemptive love of our God. I support any fantasy series that weaves messages of love, hope and forgiveness throughout while also entertaining the reader. It provides a wonderful alternative to vampires and other dark, violent series out there. This is a true supernatural adventure where God reigns as victor over evil!
"I know a thing or two about nightmares." Caleb Tala
Renee Hand is a mulit-award-winning mystery children's author. She has created an interactive mystery series known as the Crypto-Capers Series that encourages children to read by incorporating several topics of interest. The reader participates into the story by solving cryptograms and puzzles to solve the case. She is also the author of the Adventures of Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill Series, which focuses on animal detectives and science. This series is a great way to teach children about animals in a fun and interesting way that captures the reader's attention, yet fills them with knowledge about science topics they will be learning about in school. All books are great to use in a classroom setting to supplement various topics or to just enjoy. Not quite sure what a cryptogram is and want to learn more? Visit the author's website at reneeahand.com to learn about cryptograms and how to solve the ones that are in the books.
Just released in August:
The Crypto-Capers in the Mystery of the Circus for Hire
The Circus for Hire is a whirlwind of an adventure where the Crypto-Capers travel to Russia to save Max and Mia's parents, Mitchem and Martha Holmes, from going to prison for a crime they didn't commit. Finding themselves caught up in a scandal that is beyond their control, they use their skills and talents to try to outsmart the most notorious criminal of all time, but can they do that without sacrificing one of their own? Lies become intermixed with truth, yet, with the help of a new ally, the Crypto-Capers find themselves ahead of the game, but will they find the ending they're looking for? Puzzles of varying degrees of difficulty challenge the reader in this award-winning interactive mystery series.
Learn more about Renee and her books at:
After tackling her first mission and coming to terms with her power of empathy, Andriana discovers her first battles were only a taste of what is to come. She and her knight, Ronan, have admitted their feelings for each other, but their bonds are tested when Dri is captured by their mortal and spiritual enemy—Sethos—and his master, Keallach, emperor of Pacifica. Andriana is certain Keallach can be convinced to follow the Maker's plan and join the other Remnants … but in time, she must decide whether she really can pull him back to the Way, or if Sethos's web of darkness has slowly and thoroughly trapped them both … forever.
Andriana's adventures continue in this sequel to Season of Wonder, providing both intrigue and a little romance. Readers learn more about twins Keallach and Kapriel, although I would like to see Kapriel take more of a leadership role as he is supposed to be the prince. I'm hoping he emerges stronger in the next book in the series with a more prominent role. Mysterious Niero also reveals himself more fully with a surprising twist (no spoilers here...). The love triangle between Dri, Ronan and Keallach deepens as Keallach's internal struggle unfolds.
Overall, this story is a real page turner and I found it hard to put down at night! The characters demonstrate the power of faith in the face of challenging circumstances. Great role models and lessons for teens weave throughout and provide stark comparisons to our culture of immediate gratification. I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next!
BEYOND THE REALM OF DREAMS IS A WORLD SHE NEVER IMAGINED.
Masayi Sairu was raised to be dainty, delicate, demure . . . and deadly. She is one of the emperor's Golden Daughters, as much a legend as she is a commodity. One day, Sairu will be contracted in marriage to a patron, whom she will secretly guard for the rest of her life.
But when she learns that a sacred Dream Walker of the temple seeks the protection of a Golden Daughter, Sairu forgoes marriage in favor of this role. Her skills are stretched to the limit, for assassins hunt in the shadows, and phantoms haunt in dreams. With only a mysterious Faerie cat and a handsome slave possessed of his own strange abilities to help her, can Sairu shield her new mistress from evils she can neither see nor touch?
For the Dragon is building an army of fire. And soon the heavens will burn.
The Tales of Goldstone Wood just keep getting better and better. This time the author takes us to a land where royal daughters are raised and instructed to protect and defend their charges. Our favorite cat is back along with the dreaded dragon. And can I say I LOVE those little lion dogs…or should I say “hedge-pigs.” Even their names are adorable: Sticky Bun, Dumpling and Rice Cake. Brilliant.
Golden Daughter delivers everything readers have come to expect from Anne Elisabeth Stengl: an engaging plot with characters who face choices that mold and form them on their journey. The Greater Dark looms over all, infecting characters who harbor anger, resentment and unforgiveness in their hearts. “The Path of Nightmares is beyond mortal tongues to tell. For to each traveler it wears a different aspect, making itself individually dreadful...”
While it certainly helps to read the series from the beginning, this story can stand alone as well- although it might be harder to fully understand the cat (maybe we’ll never fully understand the cat anyway…hehe). The whole series is worth your time and this installment is no exception. Delightful.
A Pirate, bound by a centuries-old oath -- a Knight, determined to prove her calling -- a Legacy, demanding surrender
As Keeper of the Seahorse Legacy, Cazien de Pollis is a King among pirates, divinely appointed to dispense justice on the seas. Bound by the sacred oath of a long-dead ancestor, he must fulfill a contract to wed the green-eyed Oracle’s Daughter named therein—or risk losing everything he and his people hold dear. But at nineteen, with the identity of his betrothed only recently revealed, Cazien resents the contract—and the urgency within him to see it satisfied.
Erielle de Gladiel returned from the quest for the Remedy, changed. Not only are her formerly-blue eyes now a brilliant shade of green, but she must don gloves to hide inky evidence that her prophetically-bestowed title, the Oracle’s Daughter, demands more from her than the task already completed. Erielle’s dearest-held dream is realized when she is knighted by her King, but unbeknownst to her, that very honor jeopardizes the prophesied purpose to which she and Cazien have been called.
Just as Cazien summons the courage to collect his bride, dark rumors and darker deeds crawl up the coasts, calling its guardians, the Seahorse Pirates, into action—and Cazien away from Erielle. But even though the Oracle’s Daughter knows nothing of the contract to which she has been consigned, Cazien’s enemies have somehow learned of his interest in Erielle. And if they reach her before his ancestor’s weighty oath is executed, the Seahorse Legacy will be forfeited . . . and darkness will be given reign.
The third book in this series-within-a series, The Seahorse Legacy begins an epic re-imagining of the classic Grimm fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses which will conclude in Eyes of E’veria, Book 4: The Sunken Realm, coming in 2015.
Want to dive deeper into the world of E'veria? Look for the first two-book set in the Eyes of E'veria series by Serena Chase! The Ryn (book 1) and The Remedy (book 2) retell the classic Grimm fairy tale Snow White & Rose Red on an inspirational and epic scale.
Wow. I did not want this story to end. By far my favorite of the Eyes Of E’veria series, The Seahorse Legacy delivers a fun, enchanting adventure. Hints of the relationship between Captain Cazien and Lady Erielle begin in The Remedy and fully unfold in this engaging tale. Lady Erielle is a heroine with courage and humble heart, a wonderful role model for young girls. Of course, this gets her into trouble and the consequences of her choices lead her to some harsh consequences, which the author boldly explores.
Beautifully written, this novel exemplifies Christian fantasy at its best but even those who aren’t believers will enjoy the story. The seahorse pirates are awesome and I especially enjoyed the relationship between Cazien and the giant seahorses with manes of kelp! Humor weaves through the dialogue between Erielle and Cazien and gives us a hint of the fun to come in the next book. Unfortunately we have to wait until summer 2015 to find out what happens. UGH.
Seriously, you don’t want to miss out on this enchanting series. The book is clean with sweet romance, solid moral values, adventure, integrity and minimal violence (although there is some and Erielle is not immune to it). Pick up a copy and be swept away by the Seahorse Legacy!
Alora is a normal fifteen-year-old girl who lives on a ranch in rural Montana. Her biggest excitement is the upcoming school dance. Until one day while taking a shower, she sees an image that almost seems real. A boy, with long brown hair and the most intense green eyes she’s ever seen.
Little does she know that this vision is only the beginning of a great adventure. That her life will be forever altered as she discovers another realm, a strange world of magic and gifts, where a man full of evil power will use any means possible to capture and control her or else to end her life.
Alora must decide whether to hide in the relative safety of her Montana home or risk everything to fulfill her destiny and defend a home she never knew existed. Though despised for their youth, Alora and her friends, mark the beginning of a new era in Laegenshire.
Alora is a book of powers and magic, good and evil, fighting and valor, and love that conquers all. Where urban fantasy and medieval fantasy merge, there we find the adventures of Alora.
Alora will transport you to another world and keep you on the edge of your seat. I couldn’t put it down! An original, well-written story, Alora grabbed me from the very first page and kept me up late at night just to finish it! I love it when that happens.
Alora is a relatable teenage character who discovers she’s actually from a different world and has the unique ability of being able to transport herself and others across distance and worlds. The adventure heats up when she decides to help the Stone Clan defend against her evil father. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that clean YA fantasy is boring because this fast paced story has it all….danger, an evil villain, a romantic love interest, strong friendships and positive moral values.
Tamie Dearen is truly a talented author and I look forward to reading more of her work. I am hoping there is going to be a sequel to Alora!
Dr. Fairfield is a licensed psychologist, speaker and author. She earned her doctorate from Northern Arizona University.
What I'm reading now: Martyr's Fire by Sigmund Brouwer