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Book Review: The Summoned King by Dave Neuendorf

Posted by Julie on August 27, 2016 in Book Review, Julie Arduini |
Book Review: The Summoned King by Dave Neuendorf

Book Review: The Summoned King by Dave Neuendorf

Book Description:

Indiana high school senior James Madison Young might best be described as a Renaissance man: intelligent, of good character, well educated, and full of passionate interests in everything from Krav Maga to robotics. One evening he falls asleep while studying at the library. He wakes to find himself in another world, filled with magic, danger, and romance. He has been summoned by court wizard Maynard to be the king of Kalymbria. Forced into marriage with the beautiful and magically powerful yet untrained Julia Roper for his queen, he must restore the lapsed Constitution in the face of opposition from a hostile Council of Advisors, and defend his new country from the evil machinations of the wizard Ruinga and her allied kingdom of Venicka. Rediscovering the lost art of enchantment may provide him with a powerful edge in his quest, if he can survive the assassins and conspiracies arrayed against him.

James is a sweet, kind of nerdy teen who finds himself in a new world after he falls asleep in the library. Suddenly he is in charge of decisions and preparing his own wedding. He has to work with different people from the Kalymbrian kingdom and defend the country against a bad wizard.

I liked James a lot, he’s a likeable teen that I think any boy could relate to. This isn’t a genre I’m well versed in, but I felt like there wasn’t enough conflict. I felt like scenes and chapters needed a push/pull/action/reaction, and it wasn’t quite there to keep the momentum. My guess is a tween or young teen might be engaged enough to keep reading, but I’m not sure if an older teen would.

To purchase The Summoned King, click here.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: When King’s Clash by J.E. Lowder

Posted by Julie on November 20, 2015 in Book Review, Julie Arduini |

Book Description:

The furnaces of Ebon burn day and night, melting ores for weapons. Throughout the land, bonfires are lit as Ebonites pay homage to the Cauldron’s Dark Flame. The land’s midnight sky glows like sunrise. Ebon prepares for war as myths and legends from ages past take on flesh and walk the land. The Worms of Bal Malin soar the skies, the ancient fortress of Min Brock rises from the ashes, Storytellers from Claire weave tales of power – and now two mighty warriors arise, both claiming the dread title of Gor King. A clash of kings is inevitable, and only one can emerge victorious. “In mad times such as these,” Lassiter offered with one last look at the ridgeline, “sometimes the sane thing to do is be mad yours elf.” Mälque risked a quick glance as they rolled past the corpse of his brother. “Ain’t nothin’ but dyin’ out here today.” In a softer voice, as if offering a prayer or reciting a prophecy of his own demise, he added: “Nothin’ but dyin’ everywhere you look.” Yet when all hope is lost, a whisper comes. The War of Whispers rages.

51xcX4sorIL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_When Kings Clash is the third installment after Tears of Min Brock and Martyr’s Moon. I’ve commented before that fantasy is not my first genre as a reader and yet J.E. Lowder has kept me captivated the entire series with amazing storytelling. I thought the previous too were great reads.

When Kings Clash takes everything I enjoyed with the first two and enhances the experience, which I did not think needed improving. The imagery is breathtaking. Authors often hear they need to work on showing, not telling. When Kings Clash is all showing, and it is so seamless, I truly felt I was watching the action. It was dark, eerie, action-packed and suspenseful. There’s death, stealing, hopeless feelings and a battle for control.

Love fantasy? This series HAS to be on your list, starting with Tears of Min Brock and ending with the excellent When Kings Clash. If you don’t love fantasy, I still say give it a try.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

To purchase When Kings Clash, click here.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman’s Heart by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery

Posted by Julie on April 22, 2014 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Book Description:

41u4-liZVaL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_Christian women don’t have to choose between being sexual and spiritual. 
They have legitimate longings that the Church has been afraid to 
talk about, and books like Fifty Shades of Grey exploit. Whether 
you are single or married, sexually dead or just looking to revive your sex 
life, Pulling Back the Shades will address your desire 
to be both sexual AND spiritual. With solid Biblical teaching and transparent 
stories, trusted authors Dannah Gresh  and Dr. Juli Slattery, offer an unflinching 
look at the most personal questions women ask. The book offers practical 
advice for women to address five core longings:

to be 
cherished by a manto be protected by a strong manto rescue 
a manto be sexually aliveto escape reality

designed women with these longings and has a plan to satisfy them. It’s 
time for women to identify their intimate longings and God-honoring ways to fulfill 

I knew there would be a Christian response to the “50 Shades” phenomenon. What I didn’t realize until after I read Pulling Back the Shades is the deep need there is for a Christian response, and for every woman and clergy member to read it.

Pulling Back the Shades explains that the Fifty Shades of Grey is about in easy to understand terms. Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery go through and inform readers what actions in the book are real, and not. What actions are Biblical, and not. They explain that Christian women ARE reading not only Fifty Shades of Gray, but erotica in general. And defending themselves. Instead of judging women who read these books, the authors explain what is driving them to.

Women, even Christian women, single and married, are lonely.

They long for romance.

And escape.

And right there ready to pounce is the true defeated one, offering what looks like a perfect solution. Instead of having an affair, women feel justified reading erotica. But the after effects, the consequences of taking the mind to those words are far reaching and devastating.

I really was shocked by the grip satan has on women through erotica. Pornography is well documented and spoken about in sermons and counselor offices. But women reading Fifty Shades of Gray and books like it, and that it is causing problems? I was naive. I had no idea how many Christian women are reading these books. How many find the situations real and long for them enough in their lives they are leaving their marriages and seeking satisfaction where they can find it, thinking what they read in the books will be as thrilling as real life.

But devastation lays in the wake.

I applaud Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery for tackling the subject, and for Dr. Slattery reading the Shades series. She did so with her clinical background and her faith, but covered herself in prayer as she read. Beyond the clinical things she discovered that I hinted at above, she was taken aback at the spiritual mocking the 50 Shades books takes, so subtle that EL James probably didn’t even realize it as she wrote. The “hero’s” name is Christian. The word holy is misused over and over and over again. Scriptural reference is employed in direct contrast to the Bible. And I could go on.

This book needs to be in every woman’s hands. Christian or not. All clergy should have this book and be ready for the women who will be coming in seeking counsel, or for the sermons they should prepare in an effort to set women free from a stronghold they might not know is destroying them.

Pulling Back the Shades is a must read. I’m sorry that it has to be as much as the authors struggled with writing it because the topic is so graphic. But I’m so glad they did.

To purchase Pulling Back the Shades, please click here.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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