Tag Archives: #Childabuse

Leckman, J.R.: Pursuit (The Legend of Kimberly) (2012)

Pursuit
Cover art by Georgi Markov

I have placed this cover among my favorites (see slide show). Markov has captured one of the scenes of the story perfectly.

So, here we are with book no. 2 of The Legend of Kimberly, Pursuit. According to the author: “The Legend of Kimberly series is really about growing up and learning that life, even a fairy tale one, is never what you expect of it.” I think that all of us who have been through this process can attest to that statement.

Kimberly grew up very quickly in Inheritance, at least physically, when she was unceremoniously dumped in Auvierra. Mentally she had quite a bit of catching up to do. Through her friendship with the “fox” Ip and the troupe she ends up wandering and fighting with she finally gets an understanding of what fairly healthy relationships are like and she gains the strength to continue her fight against the cruelty that others wish to inflict on her and others.

Fighting for the “light side” continues to be part of Kimberly’s job in Pursuit. This time she has to get her friend Serra away from those freaking zealots that appeared in Inheritance and kidnapped Serra. The Brotherhood of Zor are possessed with defining anything non-human or non-conformative as demons or as being possessed by demons. These guys are nuts from my point of view but filled with the light of truth from their own point of view.

The first chapter has a wonderfully gross description of Kimberly’s encounter with the macklejacks. I must admit that I am partial to such vivid detail of muck and smells. Action-filled and humorous first pages.

Poor uncle Ben – Kimberly’s uncle. He is about to get the shock of his life. When he discovers that he is the son of an apparently insane author father and then discovers that dad really wasn’t crazy after all life can only get worse. Then he meets a mermaid. After that the Brotherhood. Oh, boy, his introduction to Auvierra stinks. Unfortunately, this makes becoming a family for Ben and Kimberly more difficult.

We have some seriously crazy people in Pursuit. In addition to the Brotherhood a wizard with an evil imagination joins the kabal (hold-over from Inheritance). His compatriot is an assassin/con-artist who loves to torment others. I’m not sure if we can add his walking staff to the evil cabal but he/it too has some serious issues. For those of you who like nasty, I am certain Maitlan’s fate is right up your alley.

J.R. Leckman writes well, really well. He remains in the flow for the most part and has an action-pace that almost takes my breath away. Add to that all of the strange characters and abilities and we have a cauldron filled to the top with a delicious word-stew. Good job.


Reviews:


  • Published: Aug. 01, 2012  
  • Words: 57,370 (approximate)
  • Print Length: 161 pages           
  • Language: American English           
  • ISBN: 9781476239446
  • ASIN: B008RQLEHW

My review of Inheritance

Leckman, J.R.: Inheritance (The Legend of Kimberly) (2011)

Inheritance
Cover art by Isabell Weise

I am really glad I read Inheritance and doubly glad I am not Kimberly. Her father and brothers are crazy violent. Because of the abusive parts of the novel some of the reviewers out there have disagreed about the age-appropriateness of the story. Kimberly is 14 herself, but I think that kids younger than that would be perfectly fine with Inheritance. As usual my advice is that if you are an adult wanting to get this for a child that you read it yourself first (or read it with whomever the intended audience is).

I wonder what it would be like to know that I was going to die at a specific time? Hal Stone does. He tells his “fox” friend Ip that he will die that same evening. Rather than fight it, he makes certain the last of his preparations are finished.

Hal Stone is the author of a YA fantasy series about the land of Auviarra. His success in the book-world is not reflected in his family. His son, Nathan, is utterly and completely mad/insanse/sociopathic … Just add any adjective in this category and you could describe him. Two of Hal’s grandchildren seem to follow in the shadow of their father while the last one seems to be less under his influence and more under the influence of Hal. This, of course, is Kimberly.

Kimberly is a typical child of an abuser. She will do anything to avoid enraging her father all the time knowing that nothing she does stops his rages when he wants to get at her. Novels like Inheritance make me wonder about the future of such children. Even when she gets to Auviarra, and apparently away from her abusive family, Kimberly still cannot get away from their influence.

Ip transfers his loyalty from Hal to Kimberly. Ip is much more than the fox that Kimberly thinks him. He is a creature originally from Auverria and is some sort of shape-shifter. When Kimberly ends up in Auviarra he comes along for the ride.

I try to remember my mentality at 14. How would I have managed to deal with the life Kimberly has been dealt? Hmmmm. Difficult to say – partly because it has been an eternity since I was 14.

I like Kimberly. I also like the troupe she ends up with. They are a combination of different qualities, making their whole so much more than one of them.


Facebook



No Longer Blinded by the Right

The world is unfair. I am lucky and live in a country where water is abundant while people in other countries die of thirst. How is that fair?

Not only that. I live in a country that thus far has been lucky enough to have harvested the income necessary to keep Norway out of the financial crisis that has hit so many other countries hard. How is that fair? While we here in Norway are doing well, people in other countries are having to move in with their parents again, losing their jobs and not able to pay their debts. How is that fair?

Even here in Norway there is plenty of unfair stuff. My children are lucky and have parents who are  well-educated and who are lucky enough to be finished with our debts. They have grown up with safe and boring parents. How can this be fair, when there are children here in Norway who live in difficult circumstances and lack the opportunities that our children have?

I have a son that struggles with Aspergers. How is that fair, when others don’t?

Life is a joke. It really is. Most of all it isn’t fair, not for anyone. We do not deserve our lives, we just have them. That is all. Luck of the draw.

BroadBlogs

“It’s not fair that you get a free lunch when my mom has to work to pay for mine.”

That’s what I told a classmate at age 10.

In this view I was like a lot of conservatives.

In his book, Why Americans Hate Welfare, Martin Gilens found that while most want to fight poverty, many don’t like welfare, feeling the recipients are lazy and undeserving.

George Lakoff studies how language affects the mind. He says conservative morality is based on the notion that people should have “liberty to seek their self interest and their own well-being without worrying or being responsible for the well-being or interest of anybody else,” especially since — in their view — welfare fosters a “culture of dependency.”

All we need is equal opportunity, right?

Until taking a high school course taught by a conservative economist and a liberal political scientist, presenting opposing views…

View original post 482 more words

Briggs, Patricia: The Hurog duology

“The Five Kingdoms” by Michael Enzweiler

Patricia Briggs has written the Hurog duology. As you might have surmised from this blog she is quite a prolific writer. Her books fall into the light entertainment category. The Hurog duology’s version of the Briggsian world-creation is placed in a world reeking of the middle-ages with all of its dragons, shape-changers, magicians and various other people.

I absolutely loved the Danish covers. Wow, what a cool dragon. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an interpretation like that. And it fits with the dragon of the story. This is probably one of the better stories that Briggs has written. Ward is a wonderful character, caught in his own trap, yet never quite giving up hope.

DRAGON BONES (2002)

Danish cover by Bent Holm

Dragon Bones is a stand-alone novel. Its main character is Ward, heir to Hurog. What you need to know about Ward is that his dad was, to put it mildly, a monster. Child-, spouse and animal-abuse were his main hobbies. Until he had managed to damage Ward enough to affect his thinking, he saw Ward as his rival. So when he dies at the beginning of the book, it would be fair to say that Ward did not feel like grieving.

Unfortunately for Ward, the damage done to him had enabled him to pretend to be quite dense. Undoing other people’s perception of himself turns out to be more difficult than Ward would like. Discovering a damsel in distress and the secret of Hurog both play a part in enabling Ward to figure out how to show himself as someone to be trusted. This brings the king’s attention to the Hurog family, driven by his paranoia of the world being against him.

Ward comes across as a believable character. He clearly struggles with the long-term effects of his childhood. But in learning about Hurog’s very secret secret and some truths about the people around him, Ward manages to feel less alone in his struggles. One of the first things Ward must do in getting people to take him seriously is to prove himself a warrior, taking him and a small group accross the kingdom.

The story is told in first-person, through the eyes of Ward. This is part of what makes Ward such a real person, but it also shows us the world around him through his experiences. The people around him are clearly filtered through the life of Ward, making us care more for him and for the people around him. Dragon Bones is quite an enjoyable introduction to the world of Ward of Hurog.

DRAGON BLOOD (2002)

Danish cover by Bent Holm

While Dragon Bones is a stand-alone story,  Dragon Blood depends on the reader having some knowledge of the world. It continues the story of Ward, and in this case Tisala the rebel, and love of Ward. Neither book is a romance, something I quite enjoy. I’m weird like that. For some reason I both dislike romance in books and yet really enjoy it at times. Romance done the Hurog way is great.

The beginning of Dragon Blood is quite brutal. We come upon Tisala while she is being tortured for information about the rebellion that has been realized in the wake of Ward’s exploits in Dragon Bones. She escapes and runs to Hurog. This implicates Ward in the mind of the king and the king demands that Ward be committed for mental illness. All of this comes on top of Ward having to prove himself politically able to his little kingdom. One might say that Ward’s life has a bit more excitement than is good for a person’s health.

Hurog means dragon, and dragons are showing up on the door-steps of the kingdom once more. Dragons have played an important part in the whole kingdom’s past history, not only Hurog’s. Thankfully neither book is very graphic, enabling them to be read by a younger audience (not too young). Neither violence nor romance is explicit. Upon finishing the Hurog duology, I was left with a sense of wanting more.


<

p>Dragon Bones and Dragon Blood are available as audiobook.

Bradley, Marion Zimmer: Sword and Sorceress XXI (2004)

Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword and Sorceress XXIOriginally, Marion Zimmer Bradley started the Sword and Sorceress series to further strong female protagonists in the sword and sorcery genre. She saw the need to change what she considered an appalling attitude toward women in these works.

Readers flocked to these anthologies and submissions to them increased. By the time of her death, she was on the 18th collection. After her death it was decided to publish three more collections. In the end, a volume 21 with Diana L. Paxson as editor was printed, and the tradition has continued from there on. (Wikipedia)

SWORD AND SORCERESS XXI (2004)

IntroductionDiana L. Paxson

Sword and SorceressJennifer G. Tifft – Poem

Dawn and DuskDana Kramer-Rolls – Dagne, with the different colored eyes, grew up ostracised by her father, step-mother and brothers for being a freak. In the end she has to run away to protect herself. We meet her in a cabin in the woods on a cold and bitter night.

Spell of the SparrowJim C. Hines – A family of two ex-thieves and a budding wizard ought to be a dream come true. But parents will be parents everywhere, and our two ex-thieving parents do not approve of Mel’s dabbling in magic. That is all about to change when poor old dad is spelled by a Cloudling.

The Woman’s PlaceSusan Urbanek Linville – The continuing welfare of the tribe is of prime importance. When winter threatens to destroy all of the, grand-dame has to make a choice that will mean life or death to them all.

KinNaomi Kritzer – Once magic has been properly woken in a person, they become addicted to the feeling. Julia is going to have to make the choice between her magic or the saving of a child.

Child’s PlayEsther M. Friesner – Mira’s father is the richest man for miles, but that does not make a difference to either of them when Mira’s mom dies. When a new woman moves into the house, Mira knows she is in trouble. Thankfully she has her teacher on her side, a teacher willing to go the extra mile to protect this child.

UrsaJenn Reese – A child was placed on a mountain side to die. Saving it changes the life of Ursa and the father.

Red CaramaeKit Wesler – Caramae sneaks into the catacombs of the wizards looking for an object of power. What she finds is more than she has bargained for.

Parri’s BladeCynthia McQuillin – When Soela steals away with a blade that was supposed to follow Parri on his pyre, Hamli goes after her to right the wrong. What she discovers is that grief has many ways of expressing itself.

Necessity and the MotherLee Martindale – In Hemfrock Donta runs the inn – The Mercenary’s Mother. It has an excellent reputation and is popular with all kinds of customers. When the city council decide that all metal in the city must be confiscated for the sake of magicks, Donta and her crew pack up and go somewhere else. What will the city council do when they discover that perhaps their decision was a bit hasty?

Sun ThiefK. A. Laity – This is a story of the sacrifice rebelling against her fate when she discovers the truth about the alleged god she is being sacrificed to.

LostlandRosemary Edghill – Ruana Rulane was a proper hero, the kind with a special sword and a destiny to fulfill. Not everyone wants her to keep her sword or for her to stay true to her destiny. Betrayal sends her to Lostland, from which very few people have returned.

PlowsharesRebecca Maines – When Elisabeth loses her husband to illness, she decides to go on pilgrimage to the holy cathedral. Her journey will teach her a great deal about herself and the role of women.

Step By StepCatherine Soto – After betrayal from their uncle, Lin Mei and her brother have taken to the roads as caravan workers. One night they are attacked by robbers.

Favor of the GoddessLynn Morgan Rosser – An unknown woman is hiding from the guards. She isn’t sure why she keeps on fighting them and running away, she just knows that she has to. Then the Empress is scheduled to appear on the Holy Moon.

Rose in WinterMarie M. Loughin – Rosabel has three chances to grab happiness. Some choices are life-defining.

Kazhe’s BladeTerry McGarry – Kazhe prefers staying drunk to stay the memory of her loss. Then the loss comes to her opening old wounds.

The Skin TradeHeather Rose Jones – Being a Kaltaoven – skin wearer – is a quality the Marcalt of Wilentelu would like to possess. When two come to town, he uses all of his persuasive powers to give him the gift.

Multiple ChoiceLeslie Fish – Magic is exacting business, but is a useful tool in discovering the truth. When the old wizard dies and leaves his cabin for the next one coming, the wizardess discovers that he is haunting it. She calls him forth and asks him a few questions.

OuluAimee Kratts – Hilda Lajatur decides to quit the village she is living in so she can go to warmer areas. But not everyone in the village is happy about her choice and decide to kidnap her.

A Kind of RedemptionJohn P. Buentello – All I’m going to say about this story is that it is a proper ghost story.

Journey’s EndDorothy J. Heydt – Looking for answers to her questions to the death of her husband, Cynthia goes into a cavern of the gods.

Love Potion #8½Marilyn A. Racette – Sometimes when customers do not wish to pay the full price, one must use imagination to change their minds.

There were three stories that I especially liked: Jim C. Hines – Spell of the Sparrow for the ingenious way mother and daughter solved their problem, Dana Kramer-Rolls – Dawn and Dusk for its retribution, and Marilyn A. Racette – Love Potion #8 1/2 for its wit.

The stories are all good. Some are quite serious: Susan Urbanek Linville – The Woman’s Place and some quite swordy (and humorous): Lee Martindale: Necessity and the Mother.

Enjoy.

Hoffman, Beth: Saving CeeCee Honeycutt (2010)

This book is a prime example of why I prefer to read books by English writers in English. The Norwegian translator just hasn’t gotten the nuances of the English language. All I have to do is translate back to English, and I discover that the author’s meaning was completely different from the Norwegian translation. I’m going to see if I can get this book in the original language.

cover

All complaints aside, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is an excellent example of what happens to a child who experiences many years of neglect. CeeCee is a mess by the time her mother is killed while having a psychotic episode. A crazy mom along with an absent dad just doesn’t make for a happy life at 12 years old. Luckily, her neighbor, a lovely Mrs. Odell, was a safe harbour for CeeCee. That and CeeCee’s books made quite a difference to her own sanity, because having a crazy psychotic mom is not something that generally endears people to you.

Fortunately, CeeCee’s great-aunt Tootie steps in and brings CeeCee into her home. This saves CeeCee. Her recovery takes time and some wounds hurt longer than others. But, like Fannie Flag’s books, the ending is happy for CeeCee.

What I really liked about this book is that it shows that it really matters what you do. Tootie could have stayed away and let CeeCee end up in whatever arrangement her dysfunctional dad could have come up with. But she didn’t, and that made all the difference. Tootie wasn’t alone in all of this. Her sister, maid and friends all accepted CeeCee’s presence. That made it easier when CeeCee met the inevitable bumpy people in her road.

I know someone like grand-aunt Tootie. When it was needed, she stepped in and saved two children from a difficult life. It hasn’t been easy, but it has certainly made a difference. This is one of my heroes. Knowing a real life example of CeeCee’s experience, makes the story believable and wonderful to read.