Battle Magic
Young Adult / September 30, 2016

Circle Reforged #3. Author: Tamora Pierce. Summary: While visiting the God-King and the First Circle temple in Gyongxe, mages Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy are invited to visit the emperor’s summer palace. Although treated like royalty when they first arrive, the mages soon discover that the emperor plans to invade Gyongxe, posing a fatal threat to the home temple of the Living Circle religion. Accompanied by one of the emperor’s prize captives, the three mages rush to Gyongxe to warn its citizens of the impending attack. With the imperials hot on their trail, Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy must quickly help the country prepare for battle. But even with the help of new allies, will their combined forces be enough to fight the imperial army and win the war? (Goodreads summary.) My Thoughts: Fairly mediocre, I thought. There’s interesting world-building, in the singing mountains one girl can hear and the living gateway paintings another boy can see, but the full range and implications aren’t really explored. Nothing in particular stood out beside Tamora Pierce’s other books. Content Review: Sexual content: “He knew that Rosethorn sometimes slept with people other than Lark. He knew that Lark knew. He had had one conversation with…

First to Ride
Middle Grade / Juvenile / September 30, 2016

Author: Pers Crowell. Summary: “You shall choose for your king the one who comes riding upon the back of a Fleet One.” This is the strange message left by the leader Manos before he dies. Ride upon the back of a Fleet One, a wild horse? No one has ever done that — not the bravest of the cave dwellers, not the mightiest of the hunters. And among these men of long ago, no one believes it is possible to ride a horse — except the boy Vuldar. Content Review: Sexual content: None. Language: None. Violence: One mammoth is killed, one man is speared by a mammoth, a wild stallion is tamed, which involves rough, wild, bucking rides and him fighting ropes several times. No gory details for any of this.