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Book Review: The Sword and the Rose

The Sword and the Rose – Fun and Engaging Middle Grade Fantasy Series

Author: Robert Iannone
Rating: 5 of 5
Format: Kindle

M’Earth, King of all Aeriaana and its inhabitants of humans, dragons, and sea serpents, posses the Crystal Egg and its magic making him all powerful. Tranquility exists throughout the land, with one exception, the king’s daughter – Rose’Alynnia. At ten-years-old, she is as precocious as they come and the King decides it is time for her to learn perspective in order to be a wise and thoughtful future ruler. So M’Earth sent her off to learn from the dragons and the serpents their history and ways of the world. Years passed, Rose matures, and when a strange man comes to their world, she alone sees the evil within him. But is she too late, will the man take the Egg and control all that they had fought so hard to create?

Robert Iannone’s “The Sword and the Rose” has all the elements of a classic book for middle grade children. He wonderfully portrays Rose’s character, showing her wonderment as a child moving to adulthood as well as her flaws of seeing the world through a narrow perspective. Instead of telling readers how they should behave, they learn as Rose learns about her world, not from other humans but dragons and serpents which wonderfully conveys how we all can learn something from those who are very different from us. The archetype “bad guy” comes and Rose must sacrifice much in order to save the future of her world. Her transformation throughout the book is a wonderful lesson to young readers.

This is the prequel to a much larger series of books in this world. If you have young readers looking for something just a little bit different but still solidly based in fantasy, pick up this prequel. They are sure to enjoy the introduction to this world.

Note: A complimentary copy of this work was provided in return for a review.

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Book Review – Next Time We Steal the Carillon

Next Time we Steal The Carillon – Middle Grade Mystery

Rating: 4 of 5
Author: Louie Flann
Format: Kindle

Teaching criminology at Braxton University, the last thing Professor Palma thought was that his academic skills would be put to the test when the school’s prized artifact is stolen just before homecoming.  Being located in a small Midwestern town, Palma could hardly believe anyone would steel such an artifact.  Where would they fence such a treasure?  Together with his students Jason, Ralphy, and sisters Monica and Veronica LaMonica, Professor Palma races against the clock to find the stolen artifact.

Louie Flann’s “Next Time We Steal the Carillon” is a tween mystery that reminded me of a cross between the series “Unnatural History” that aired briefly on Cartoon Network and the movie “Young Sherlock Holmes”.  This is a nice family mystery that has interesting characters, a few plot twists, and overall good clean fun.  Flann takes the reader into the life of a Midwestern university and its small town characters.  There are twists and turns that loosely connect the plot but in my view they are provided more for the readers enjoyment and introduction to many of the strange goings on in town than plot advancement.

While the action takes place at a university, I think the target audience for this is more the 9-12 age range.  Priced at $2.99 on kindle this is a bargain middle grade ebook read.

Note: A complimentary copy of this work was provided in return for a review.