Started 12/27 Finished 1/2
I’m deep into Book 3, more than halfway through the series. There’s very little world building left, only one new kingdom to introduce. The chapters go back and forth between Kali’s point of view and Devon’s, like they did in Book 2.
Now in Book 3 Kalli and Devon have gathered their team to defeat the Demon. He’s been set free to grant a heart wish, kind of like genies do. After it’s granted, the Demon can do whatever he wants – like destroy the world for humans and open it up for demons. Buckle up! This story’s going to get bumpy . . . Kali’s going rogue!
In the explosive third volume of The Hundredth Queen Series, the queen of fire faces off against a demon of ice.
Despite the odds, Kalinda has survived it all: Marriage to a tyrant. Tournaments to the death. The forbidden power to rule fire. The icy touch of a demon.
That same demon now disguises itself as Rajah Tarek, Kalinda’s late husband and a man who has never stopped haunting her. Upon taking control of the palace and the army, the demon brands Kalinda and her companions as traitors to the empire. They flee across the sea, seeking haven in the Southern Isles.
In Lestari, Kalinda’s powers are not condemned, as they are in her land. Now free to use them to protect those she loves, Kalinda soon realizes that the demon has tainted her with a cold poison, rendering her fire uncontrollable. But the lack of control may be just what she needs to send the demon back to the darkest depths of the Void.
To take back the empire, Kalinda will ally with those she distrusts—and risk losing those most loyal to her—to defeat the demon and bring peace to a divided nation.
I’m still reading the Hundredth Queen series to look at world building, but my mentor suggested I look at Harry Potter for my bat book. Why? She thinks the tone and complexity are what my story needs. I’ve worked with her since 2018, and I trust her advice.
Harry Potter – that sounded so intimidating until I wrapped my head around it. I don’t have to write 800 pages or sound like J.K. I’ll write my story, and I’ll follow Harry’s footprints. Not exactly, but in a way that fits my bats and 2 humans.
Reading Harry as a mentor text is different than reading it for fun. It’s like taking a road trip. You read as fast as you can and enjoy the scenery. But now that Harry’s my teacher, I read a chapter at a time, then take notes. I’m looking at how Jo put the story together, and the elements I want to remember. I just finished chapter 3. Here’s a peek at my notes.
Chapter 1 is all about setting the stage – introducing the setting and characters. Jo doesn’t show the inciting incident between Harry and Voldemort. We’re told about it through the fallout. Chapters 2 and 3 focus on one incident per chapter. Chapter 2 takes place 10 years later, and Jo uses a birthday to show how Harry’s treated in the family. Chapter 3 focuses on a letter, and all of Mr. Dursley’s attempts to keep Harry from reading it.
Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That's because he's being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he's really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.
Started 12/24 Finished 12/26
I started Book 1 because I wanted to look into world building. I got it in spades! The main character is forced to leave the convent to become the 100th queen. Kalinda survives, but the evil surrounding the rajah’s kingdom leaves her as a widow on the run.
In Book 2, those elements meld into a new challenge and a new world for Kalinda. She flees to Janardan for help, but their rajah plans to use his daughter and another tournament to take over Tarachand. It won’t be as simple as the rajah hopes . . . all the competitors have bhuta/superhuman powers. Hang onto your hats! You’re in for a bumpy ride and another great story!
In the second book in The Hundredth Queen Series, Emily R. King once again follows a young warrior queen’s rise to meet her destiny in a richly imagined world of sorcery and forbidden powers.
Though the tyrant rajah she was forced to marry is dead, Kalinda’s troubles are far from over. A warlord has invaded the imperial city, and now she’s in exile. But she isn’t alone. Kalinda has the allegiance of Captain Deven Naik, her guard and beloved, imprisoned for treason and stripped of command. With the empire at war, their best hope is to find Prince Ashwin, the rajah’s son, who has promised Deven’s freedom on one condition: that Kalinda will fight and defeat three formidable opponents.
But as Kalinda’s tournament strengths are once again challenged, so too is her relationship with Deven. While Deven fears her powers, Ashwin reveres them—as well as the courageous woman who wields them. Kalinda comes to regard Ashwin as the only man who can repair a warring world and finds herself torn between her allegiance to Deven and a newly found respect for the young prince.
With both the responsibility to protect her people and the fate of those she loves weighing heavily upon her, Kalinda is forced again to compete. She must test the limits of her fire powers and her hard-won wisdom. But will that be enough to unite the empire without sacrificing all she holds dear?
Started 12/11 Finished 12/23
I’ve only read this book once, but I quickly fell under Kalinda’s spell. She’s the main character, and the heroine. It was written so well I wanted to find out who she was and where she was heading, so I read the whole series, all 4 books.
Now as I’m rereading it, I’m interested in how the author creates the Tarachand Empire based on ancient Sumeria. Think pre-Babylonia! That’s exactly what I need to do for my bat fantasy. To create a new world for them. The only problem . . . I can’t picture it yet, but reading this book gives me a sense of the kind of major world building that I need to do for those bats! Somewhere in my subconscious, I hope, I’m weaving this world together, bit by bit, character by character.
In Emily R. King’s thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.
As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood in the ancient Tarachand Empire, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.
But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.
Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.
Started 12/7 Finished 12/7
I loved William the first time I read it, and I’m loving it again. This is another quest story like the Enchanted Forest series, but the main character is much younger. The plot . . . Mom has been missing for a while, and now Dad is too. That’s when a witch shows up. She wants something, but William must solve 3 riddles before he can figure out what she wants. Here’s to another successful quest!
PS – I picked this story because I need to reimagine my bat story. It’s keeping me in the middle grade range, but I haven’t found the perfect path to stretch it out. I think the witch character is the right way to go, but I think I need to look into some bat lore to help me push my story farther. Here’s to my new quest!
A charming reimagining of Sleeping Beauty that “will appeal to younger middle grade readers who like fantasy, fractured fairy tales, and adventure” (School Library Journal)!
William and his little brother, Pinch, have been left alone at their home atop the mountain. When a witch named Morga shows up, William is forced to embark on a terrifying journey, the worst part of which is Morga herself. She has three riddles for William to solve, with only the help of an odd fellow who wakes up a different size every day and a tiny yellow dragon who can dream storms into reality.
Three chances to lift an ancient curse.
Three chances to save his family.
Part fantasy and part fairy tale, and sprinkled with charming black-and-white illustrations, William and the Witch’s Riddle is a loose retelling of Sleeping Beauty and an adventure that’s just right for middle graders.
Started 12/3 Finished 12/7
Wow! I knew there was a huge gap in time between Books 3 and 4, but I had no idea! Book 3 ended with Mendanbar locked inside his castle, and Cimorene on the outside, pregnant. She has the baby in the Epilogue. Then, they disappear.
That baby, Daystar, turns 16 in Book 4. That’s when Cimorene gives him his father’s sword and sends him off into the Enchanted Forest, with little more. His companions – a fire witch, a kitten, and a small dragon. Together they set off to discover the sword’s secret. It alone, will save the Enchanted Forest.
The best part about this series . . . the author’s note at the beginning of each book. Patricia wrote the back story for each one, for how they came into being. It’s helping me to reimagine mine!
PS – My critique partners said the 1st two chapters are heading the right way. Their biggest piece of advice – GROW THAT PLOT! I’m working on it, but I’ll finish the last three chapters of the almost original story first.
Then . . . I’m moving the story across the ocean to my lake in Tennessee. That’s the setting where I’ll work to imagine the fantasy, I believe it can be.
One day, Daystar's mom, Cimorene, hands him a magic sword and kicks him out of the house. Daystar doesn't know what he is supposed to do with the magic sword, but knowing Cimorene, he's sure it must involve a dragon or two!
Started 11/29 Finished 12/3
Yes, that’s a blue donkey on the cover, but Patricia didn’t play with the Shrek theme. Killer (love the name) turned blue because he’s always so hungry that he eats before checking for magic.
There’s also a new main character. She’s one of my favorites from the 1st two books, Morwen! She’s leading the quest to find Mendanbar’s sword. The wizards have stolen it, and Morwen must find it before the Wizards steal every drop of magic from the Enchanted Forest.
Mendanbar can’t leave the forest – he also holds power that the Wizards want to steal. Cimorene goes since Mendanbar can’t. Kazul the Dragon King refuses to be left behind on this all-important quest.
PS – I just finished the first two chapters of my bat book. The witch’s part is the most fun to write. It all started with a throwaway line in the 2011 version. A bat thought that the grandmother was a witch. Originally I said she was a nice old lady, but this time I decided to play with it. I’m having so much fun that I can’t wait to see where that witch takes me!
Those wicked wizards are back--and they've become very smart. (Sort of.) They intend to take over the Enchanted Forest once and for all . . . unless Cimorene finds a way to stop them. And some people think being queen is easy.
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!