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By Michael Lee Pope. Wednesday, August 8, At the end of his first term as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, Del.

The Delmarian Influence - eBook

David Englin D can point to eight bills that he successfully shepherded through the sausage-making factory of legislation in Richmond. Considering that the House is under Republican control, former Del. The rest were all unanimous often technical corrections and not substantive. Marston questioned the effectiveness of the plan and wondered if it would make any impact in the complicated world of health-care reform.

A very good read for fantasy fans who want a bit more royal intrigue and less magic with very enchanting relationships. Jill J, Reviewer. I loved this book! It was very fast paced. Everything moved very quickly, so it was never boring. The beginning of the story was a little confusing because it starts right in the middle of the action. At first, it was difficult to connect the prologue to the rest of the story, but it quickly becomes clear how the events of the prologue are important to the story. I had no idea where the story was going to end up, but I think a clever reader could figure it out before the end.

Diana P, Librarian. Adventure, mystery, murder, and maps - what more could you want?

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Isle of Blood and Stone opens with a scene of a mass murder, which is a pretty great hook, then springs 18 years into the future as questions about what happened that day are brought to light through the discovery of two mysterious maps. Fast paced, but not at the expense of characterization, there's quite a bit of action to keep readers entertained, and the mystery is actually very compelling and not easily sorted out.

The world that Lucier has created is very interesting, and my one critique of the book is that I wish there were more world building, though it does look like this is the first book in a series, so hopefully there is more to come. Katherine M, Reviewer. There is such great imagery that is colorful and vivid; old-fashioned customs are used, such as leeches to suck out toxins from the blood I love stuff like that , and tonics from plants are used to cure ills, and plant dyes are described in great detail, for that is how color is gained for pigment used for the paint on maps. And maps, and the study of cartography, are central to this novel, and may be foreign to so many in this day and age, when so many people may not even have ever handled an actual paper map.

Lord Elias is the royal mapmaker and longtime friend of the newly crowned King Ulises, and he is a a natural explorer, adventurer, and he wants to solve the long-time mystery and disappearance of of Ulise's two brothers. Two maps hold the clues and together with Ulises and Mercedes Ulise's beautiful cousin, and his eventual love interest; what would the story be without that? Although the story seemed a little slow to unfold, the characters gradually grew on me; after reading many main female characters in books recently, I really enjoyed reading a young male character; it's also a book with little violence, no use of bad language suitable for younger readers , focus on story, with no obvious plot holes, and a new setting for a 'royal family' fantasy.

I also very much enjoyed the look at the drawing up of maps and cartography, and the use of compasses; author Makiia Luciier evidently researched this extensively, and I have seen on her Twitter feed a great many interesting old maps! I'd love to have seen more about the connection to the sea and more of the sea serpents; the community on the sea derives its character from the creatures and nature of the sea, so we see that in the designs, food, and colors around the people.

Overall, this is a lovely read, with a mystery that pulls you in, with main characters that are all likeable, in a beautiful setting at least I can see myself visiting reminded me a bit of Cyprus? If you prefer your YA fantasy without the blood and gore as in many books of late, this is the one for you. Luciier is natural storyteller and has conjured a beautiful novel on a magical Isle that you will want to visit.

Another beautiful book cover. Vicky C, Reviewer. I know I've mentioned I've had a pretty ehh fantasy year so far and Ace of Shades was one of the first books to pull me out of that slump. But this is a book that's actually similar to all those books I've been trying princes and mapmakers and all sorts of mystery that is slaying! Besides just loving the writing style--it's simple yet descriptive and makes everything clear in third person--I found it to just be really enjoyable in general to read. The story has a very nice balance, in the different plots and in the characters.

Elias is nice enough that you actually like him, but he does have some flaws and not too much of a tortured past--just enough of one to keep you intrigued. He is a little more heroic and less tortured, although it was refreshing than all those dominating males because he was courteous and nice and we need more of that.

What I really loved about the character dynamics with Elias is how he had such a great relationship with is family.

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He and his stepfather interact in such a cute way and I love how Elias has managed to form this heathy stepfather bond and is actively concerned about his family's well-being without it being the entire motivator of the plot. Even throughout the whole story, he respects both his actual father that is, if he finds him and his step father, and this was something that just came off as really cool in a fantasy novel.

He's considerate and an enjoyable male main character that we honestly need more of in books narrated by MMCs. I enjoyed some of the historical part of this fantasy novel as Lucier references different places but also twists some things to let her add more diversity and potential with the story. There's definitely some twisting of history as there's a huge emphasis on the importance of maps, but I like the references to places like the Pyrenees.

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The whole thing was very entertaining to read and engrossing--I wanted to see what's going to happen next and I was invested in the story and the riddles and the maps and the world. Nothing is super slow or boring and there's all sorts of cool things like sea serpents and a whole ton of mystery. There's definitely a little conspiracy going on and although the issue isn't the most complicated plot ever, I definitely found it enjoyable.

Where I took off the half star really rested in how I felt like if Lucier tried, she could have turned this into more books with more intrigue and issues and I actually think I would have wanted to read all of them aka my problem was that I wish there were more books. But it's also always nice to see fantasy standalones which are kind of a breath of fresh air in this series clogged world.

The only other thing I wanted to touch on was the transitions in the story. I'm pretty sure in the actual book when I see a physical, I'll check inside to confirm there are line breaks or something to indicate a shift in the third person POV, but in the DRC I read there weren't any and it immediately went to another point of view in the next paragraph and was very disconcerting.

  • Christmas Skate Ornament to Crochet & Embellish.
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I'm pretty sure this was a formatting issue, but it's always good to check. Overall, I very much enjoyed this novel and found it to be a refreshing fantasy read! I'd definitely recommend to someone looking for something similar to popular fantasy novels topic-wise, but without some of the more aggravating points to it. Brenda B, Reviewer. I was getting tired of fantasy and wasn't sure if I'd like this book, but man, was I wrong! It's a slow burn book, so it took me a little while to get into it, but it was way worth it because the payoff is so satisfying.

The book is from several different third person viewpoints, but the most frequent one, Elias, a mapmaker who along with a clever 9 year old, Reyna, find a mysterious map that seems to look like one of his dead father's Elias, his beautiful love interest and bad ass friend, Mercedes, and his best friend who is now the king, Ulises, try to figure out the mystery, and nothing is as it seems. The characters are great and are well developed and a lot is packed into this richly wrought fantasy. It might seem initially slow to people, but I would recommend sticking with it, because it will be worth it in the end.

I loved the story, the world, and the characters and how things are never black and white, but shades of gray. Overall, a beautifully written novel and is intricately plotted.

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A must read. Shannon M, Reviewer. I know I usually start with the positives of a book, but today, I am starting with the negative. The reason is, there really only was one negative: I really just didn't feel a ton about this book either way. Objectively, it was good and the plot was pretty interesting. But it didn't leave any kind of huge impression on me, and I feel like that's probably an important thing. But I did like some stuff! I enjoyed the characters, and thought that they were well-written. I loved the romance aspect of the story, too.

The plot is a bit of a slower paced one, and isn't full of action, but is more the characters trying to figure out certain things about their world and their loved ones. I don't dislike that sort of plot, so it was fine with me, but something to be aware of. Bottom Line: I feel like I should have more to say, but I simply don't. It's one of "those" reviews, sorry to say. While nothing really stuck out as negative, neither did I have overwhelmingly positive feelings. It was a fine book, but not particularly memorable for me.

Sherry M, Librarian. This is a very well-written fantasy novel that adults will probably enjoy as much as the YA target audience. The story involves a mystery—who kidnapped two young princes on an outing almost two decades ago, and what happened to them afterwards?

Another nation was blamed for the crime and was utterly destroyed in retaliation, but no trace of the princes was ever found. Then recently drawn maps are discovered that appear to be the work of Lord Antoni, the former Royal Navigator, who disappeared along with the princes.

The details about mapmaking incorporated into the plot were fascinating. Recommended to readers of YA and adult fantasy.

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A copy of this book was provided through NetGalley for review; all opinions expressed are my own. Hannah O, Reviewer. They are my brothers.