Monday, September 26, 2011

Mara, Daughter of the Nile by: Eloise Jarvis McGraw

Mara is a slave, but unlike other slaves, she has not accepted the fact. She still dreams of one day earning her freedom. But when the opportunity arises, the situation gets more serious than she ever could have imagined. Earning her freedom involves serving as a double spy for two arch enemies - both of whom support a different contender vying for the throne of Egypt.

From then on her life is one of confusion as she is commissioned to work as a translator for a Canaanite princess - this will get her behind enemy lines so she can deliver a message from her master. Why? she does not know. All she knows is that, if no mistakes are made, it will gain her freedom.
But then she meets Sheftu and overhears him plotting to overthrow the queen. Unfortunately for her, Sheftu knows that she was eavesdropping, and forces her into his plans - threatening to kill her if she disobeys.

Rather unwillingly, free-spirited Mara works as a double-agent, translates for an over-weight, homesick princess, and begins to believe the plan to restore Thutmose III is not as treacherous as it once seemed.

Ultimately, Mara finds herself falling in love with Sheftu and is finally willing to admit feelings towards him when her duplicity is unveiled, putting not only Mara, but her beloved Egypt, on the line

My thoughts:

Many a time I have made the mistake of telling my mom that we "have no books to read," and for the next ten minutes she will create a pile of books for me that we have that I haven't read yet. In this case, Mara, Daughter of the Nile made it into my mom's pile of "to read" books, so I picked it up and began to read.

Well, to start with, I absolutely love Mara. She's so independent and I love that she is always ready with a clever remark. I also like that she is not willing to accept her destiny as a slave - even when a fellow servant, Teta, discourages her from dreaming big.

This story is set in ancient Egypt - which is a time period I happen to l♥ve.
I can't really think of anything else to say about it, except that I loved it, so I'll go right to the....

Objectional Content:

Language: I'm embarrassed to say that while I know there was some, I don't remember any of it.

Romance/Sexual Content: Mara flirts with an officer so he will let her through the gates, and he wants to kiss her. *SPOILER ALERT* Mara and Sheftu kiss several times.

Violence: Mara is tortured. Nothing else I remember.

Drugs/Alcohol: None that I remember.

12 and up.
Highly Recommend.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cascade by: Lisa T. Bergren

Read my review of book one in The River of Time Series, Waterfall.

What if you not only fell back through time... but fell in love, too?

Cascade is the second tale in The River of Time Series. In this book, we continue the story of the Betarrini sisters, Gabi and Lia, and their escapades in fourteenth-century Italy. Except this time, they've got their mom with them.

Gabi's heart is continually drawn towards Marcello Forelli, but many things are keeping them apart. For example, she is from the twenty-first century, and he the fourteenth. Gabi can not leave her family, and she can not ask them to go back and live in the past. But Lia, Gabi's fifteen year-old sister, seems to have discovered feelings towards Luca, as well.

War is raging on in Italy, and all three of the Betarrini women are right in the middle of it. But there are also good things coming out of this. Gabi and Lia are feeling a connection with their mom - something they haven't had for a long time, courage, and the realization that good things often mean sacrifice.

After much pondering, the Betarrini women decide to travel in time to the moment just before their dad dies and save him. But is it really possible to go into the past and change your future? And will Gabi and Lia fulfill their heart's desires and marry the men they love?

My thoughts:

I quite enjoyed this book! I am curious, though, how the last book in the series is going to finish. Because it would be a little weird if Gabi and Lia stayed in the fourteenth-century and married Marcello and Luca when they're really two twenty-first century American teenagers.

One thing I definitely did not like about this book, though, is that despite the fact it carries the title, "Christian book," it did not really have any mention of God in it. Sure He is brought up once or twice, but it is not enough to satisfy me. Some people would probably say I'm just picky.

I love how Gabi is so independent, but Lia always kind of annoyed me. I know she is supposed to be sweet, but I don't find her to be so.

And, like I said in my Waterfall review, I absolutely l♥ve the cover art!

Objectional Content:

Language: None that I remember.

Romance/Sexual Content: Marcello and Gabi kiss several times. Marcello proposes to Gabi. Lia begins to fall for Luca.

Violence: Some sword fights, and some painful wounds.

Drugs/Alcohol: Nothing that I can recall, except for maybe some wine at a feast.