I'm SO very happy to be part of David James' blog tour for his awesome new anthology, SHADES OF THE STARS! David published his YA debut novel LIGHT OF THE MOON in Fall of 2012, and this gorgeous anthology is a collection of companion stories/novellas. As a special promotion just during the tour, SHADES OF THE STARS is FREE on Amazon (Last day of the promo is today!). Read on to find out more about this anthology and to read my review.
Shades of the Stars: A Legend of the Dreamer anthology. Shades of the Stars includes the novellas The Witch's Curse, The Warrior's Code, and an exclusive story called The Enchanter's Fire. Exclusive playlists. Essays on the world of the Order. Interviews. Deleted scenes from Light of the Moon. And an exclusive look at the sequel, Shadow of the Sun.
In The Witch's Curse, Magda cannot stop her heart from running rampant with the beating drum of love. Whenever her eyes find Samuel, she can feel the pull of strings so vividly alive against her heart. But for Magda, love goes against fate; her destiny as a witch forbids her to need anything but the dark binds of magic. Soon, the witch's curse begins to call to Magda. To deny her love for Samuel would be unthinkable, but to defy her destiny would be impossible. Before the curse can consume her, Magda must decide between Samuel and destiny, and her heart may beat too savagely for anyone to stop.
In The Warrior's Code, Warriors fight for justice, freedom, and peace. Becoming a Warrior is an honor given to few, and twelve-year-olds Zackery Solts and Kate Black will do anything to have a place among the elite. Zack and Kate must compete against eighteen others and pass three deadly tests of courage and skill. Above all, they must be strong because while the dangers of the tests are unknown, one thing is clear: not everyone will survive.
In The Enchanter's Fire, Lily Woods is a girl on fire. Literally. Her element burns as fierce as her heart, and very few enchanters want to get close to a girl with such radiant power. None except for Shane Spencer, a boy as calm and cool as his icy element. But fire and ice don't mix, and the element Lily burns inside her is growing stronger. Unstoppable. Soon, Lily's fire may be the end of them all. Taking place during the final, pulse-pounding moments of Light of the Moon, The Enchanter's Fire burns with action and romance.
First, I have never met anyone who writes quite the way that David does. I could call his writing beautiful, visceral, and emotionally-stirring, but those words simply do not do his words justice. What David does with his writing is to transport you right inside his characters' skins and make you feel what they feel. His stories are fantasy, which is what initially drew me to his debut novel LIGHT OF THE MOON, but as I dove into both that novel and each of these companion stories, I found very REAL and important themes about sacrifice, courage, and embracing one's identity. Before I present my thoughts about each of the three novellas, I will make mention of the fact that he has some other lovely extras in this anthology that will make this even more worth your while.
My thoughts about The Witch's Curse. I remembered Magda as the dark and downright creepy witch in LIGHT OF THE MOON. When I first met her in the novel, I was intrigued but not enamored -- The Witch's Curse however, changed that. We read about Magda as a girl with strange eyes that mark her as being fated with a terrible curse, and the story of her romance with Samuel is utterly heartbreaking and tragic. Out of the three stories, this one is probably my favorite because of the raw emotions that it evoked in me. (This next part is not part of my formal review but is merely a confession - I was sneaking a read of this one during a work meeting and had to fake allergies because I was literally in tears...and I RARELY cry over books. So if that isn't a testament to how David's stories have the power to make you feel, I don't know what is.)
My thoughts about The Warrior's Code. This is Zack and Kate's story, and I thought this one stood out from the others because of the strong message about courage -- and not just courage to physically fight as they do in the story but the courage to do what is necessary to stand tall and embrace who we are as individuals. David tells the story of Zack, Kate, and other teenagers who are thrust into trials necessary to prove themselves as "Warriors." What I enjoyed most about this story was seeing Zack as almost an underdog and overcoming his own personal fears to rise above the others. I also loved how David was courageous enough as a writer to portray such diversity in his characters' backgrounds. Proving oneself was something achievable by all, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation -- as long as they had courage to stand tall and fight.
My thoughts about The Enchanter's Fire: Lily became another one of David's characters who I felt for so strongly and rooted for. Feeling like she didn't belong because of who she was, feeling unloved and outcast, Lily was the perfect representation to me of true inner strength and courage, and her character spoke to me in a similar way that Magda's did. She was literally fiery, in a way that was visceral and real to my mind as I read about her. And her story is the perfect note on which to end my review, because that's what I mean about David's stories and his writing style -- he has the capacity to make you FEEL.
MY OVERALL RATING: FIVE STARS
And did I mention that SHADES OF THE STARS is FREE on Amazon through today only? Grab it. Enjoy it. And please review it.
David James writes books about stars and kisses and curses. He is the author of the YA novel, LIGHT OF THE MOON, the first book in the Legend of the Dreamer duet, as well as the companion novellas, THE WITCH'S CURSE and THE WARRIOR’S CODE. A Legend of the Dreamer anthology, SHADES OF THE STARS, will be released in July 2013, and will include the exclusive novella, THE ENCHANTER'S FIRE. The final book in the duet, SHADOW OF THE SUN, will be released in late 2013. Living in Michigan, he is addicted to coffee, gummy things, and sarcastic comments. He enjoys bad movies, goofy moments, and shivery nights. Be sure to visit David’s blog and facebook to learn more about his various addictions and novels.
Stalk David: (He's a sweetie. Do it!)
THANK YOU TO DANI MORALES AT CRAZY GIRL TOURS FOR HOSTING THIS TOUR. FOLLOW MORE TOURS AT THE CRAZY GIRL WEBSITE.
Wherein Helen posts about news, book releases, cover reveals, and other writerly happenings from the bookish world.
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