I'm so excited to be participating in The Shady Glade's 'Best Overlooked Book Battle'. As a round two judge I was assigned two titles and then had to make a decision about which book would go on in the battle. Here are the two titles I was assigned:
StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce:
‘StarCrossed’ is a book I was looking forward to reading, and I am glad to say that it did not disappoint. I absolutely enjoyed this book! The main character, Celyn (or Digger), was so delightful. I loved how extremely practical she was, and how she really cared about other people. Digger’s loyalty was one of her best qualities, but she was also strong and intelligent. I definitely enjoyed the characters in this novel, but I also loved the fantasy aspects. This is a book which includes magic, court politics, and religion.
Digger’s mysterious past is slowly revealed throughout the novel, and as a reader you are drawn into the story completely. The world building in this book is amazing (so many awesome details, but not in an overwhelming way. I felt like I really understood the world and its politics), so I’m extremely excited that there is a second book coming out this fall. I can't believe that not a lot of people have read this book, because I would definitely recommend it!
Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner:
The beginning of this novel has a bit of a slower pace, but very quickly I became wrapped up in Raisa’s story, caring about her and wanting her to succeed. ‘Threads and Flames’ presents such an interesting account of what it must have been like as an immigrant coming to America and living in poverty. This is a story that involves religious persecution, the reality of social classes, and working conditions for the poor.
Even though the whole book was mesmerizing, the events described within the last 1/3 (or less) of the book are the most hard hitting. This book is centred around the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, a real life event that happened in 1911. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to read about, especially once I did a little research and realized that almost all the events of the fire that Esther Friesner wrote about actually happened.
The characters in this book are amazing. You will love Raisa and want so desperately for her to be safe and happy and to find some hope. Other side characters are just as lovely, especially Gavrel. This is a book with tons of emotional intensity which quietly grabs your heart as you read through its pages.
This was a serious debate! I enjoyed ‘StarCrossed’ so much that before I started ‘Threads and Flames’ I thought to myself “Oh, I already know I’m going to pick ‘StarCrossed’.” Um, I stand corrected. I’m picking ‘Threads and Flames’ to move on in the Book Battle.
This was a tough decision because the books are so different. An incredibly fun cat-burglar fantasy tale versus a heartwrenching historical. They’re so dissimilar that it’s tough to judge them against each other. When it came down to it I asked myself “Which book, of the two, would you say that people have to read?” The answer was clear. While ‘StarCrossed’ is well written and enjoyable, ‘Threads and Flames’ is just plain important. ‘Threads and Flames’ can, and probably has, touched people’s lives. It would be a shame if more people didn’t pick up this book, which is why I made it my winner.
Don't forget to check out more of the Book Battle results at The Shady Glade.