Tag Archives: magic

YA Book Review- Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlison

Diribani and Tana are stepsisters who are trying to provide for Tana’s mother ever since Diribani’s successful father died and left the family with nothing. One day, when each of them makes a fateful trip to the local well for water and has a run-in with the goddess Naghali, their words begin to turn in to objects as they speak- Diribani speaks flowers and precious jewels, while Tana speaks toads and snakes. The prince of their region soon gets involved and determines that Tana should live a secluded life in a holy grove, and Diribani will join the royal caravan back to their palace. Both girls accept their new lives dutifully, making sure to remember that the goddess must have a plan for their new gifts. Soon, though, it becomes clear that the people of their community who do not agree with their religion and think them witches are out to ruin them, and they both find themselves trying to thwart danger while also protecting the people they love.

This beautifully written tale is based on the classic fairy tale titled “The Fairies” by Charles Perrault. The kingdom that the author sets the story in is based loosely on Indian regions, but is essentially fictional. Give this book to any readers who loves re-written fairy tales, beautiful descriptions, representation of multiple religions, or strong female characters.

toads and diamonds



YA Book Review- Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

For today’s review, we have a guest reviewer: Miss Darby our Children’s Librarian! Check out her blog here.

“Karou knows that her life isn’t normal.  She can step through doors that take her anywhere in the world, she receives fluency in foreign languages as birthday gifts, and she is paid in wishes for her part-time job collecting mysterious objects for the chimaera who raised her.  For the most part, Karou manages to hide her secret life pretty successfully – and aside from her bright blue hair and mysterious lack of family, the friends she’s made at her art school in Prague think she’s just another teenage girl.  But when things in Karou’s already unusual life start to get strange, even she isn’t prepared for the truth about her past and the reality of her future.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is categorized as a teen paranormal romance, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that it’s just another YA book taking advantage of the paranormal fad.  Laini Taylor has created a truly rich and satisfying world full of magic, mysteries, angels, and demons, and readers will be sucked into Karou’s tale long before the romance angle even enters the picture.  Karou is a tough, fend-for-herself main character with a sense of humor and a big heart.  With multiple facets to her personality and complicated feelings about the people she loves, she reads like a real person in ways that other female protagonists of the genre often don’t.  The first in a planned trilogy (the second, Days of Blood and Starlight, is already available), Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a satisfying read that will leave you wanting more.”DaughterofSmokeandBone