Tag Archives: comfort reads


By Robin McKinley

Another comfort read for me.   I bought this novel two years ago in a fabulous fantasy book shop in Bris-vegas, Pulp Fiction.   Worth a visit if you are in town.

As you have read in previous posts, I totally love Robin McKinley’s work.   Even though a fantasy or fairy tale theme always runs through her work, McKinley’s novels are different to each other in style.

Chalice is the story of Mirasol, a young beekeeper, who suddenly finds herself the second most important person in her land, Willowlands.   The Master of Willowlands has died without an heir, and his Chalice has died too.   The Circle, a type of governing body of people with special abilities, come to Mirasol as she has been identified as the next Chalice.

The new Master of Willowlands is a priest of Fire, and there is doubt that he could rule at all.   Mirasol must help the new Master to save Willowlands from the greed of others.   Another beautiful tale.

Feel free to disagree.


Ella Enchanted

By Gail Carson Levine

Another comforting re-read.   This was the very first book I read when I started working at National Library School Services.   We spent our lunch hours, our commuter time, and a chunk of our evenings reading children’s and YA fiction.   It was taking work home with us –  but what awesome work!

Ella Enchanted is a retelling of Cinderella, with a lovely twist on the tale we all know.   Ella was given a fairy gift at birth – the gift of obedience.   This proves to be both an annoying and a dangerous gift.   And yes, Prince Char , the stepmother and stepsisters are all there, along with trolls, ogres, fairies, and finishing school teachers!   Just lovely.

Gail Carson Levine has also written a retelling of Snow White, called Fairest. I am stealing myself up to re-read it. Not because it is bad, but because our erstwhile heroines find themselves in very tricky situations and I feel for them too much! I have often thought that writers of children’s fiction are way better at getting to emotions than writers who write exclusively for adults.

Two thumbs up.

Talking to Dragons (1985)

By Patricia Wrede

Another comfort read.   A kids book (maybe Y6+), so well written and easy to read.  It is the 4th in a series, but could easily be read on it’s own.   In fact, this was the first in the series I read.

16 year old Daystar is sent into the Enchanted Forest with the sword of the sleeping king.  Early on he meets a young fire-witch, Shiara, and together they must find their way through the forest.   They are both being chased by evil bands of wizards, and get into a number of sticky situations along the way.  And of course, they talk to dragons.

Predictable but totally enjoyable.

Talking to Dragons by Patricia Wrede