KP Book Review: Shadows of the Hersweald

The war is over, and the Prince has pardoned everyone who rebelled. But what will happen to those who continue to harm the innocent?

When the small town of Nerthach receives news of the pardon, the residents have mixed feelings. Haydn, a former rebel, spurns the pardon, believing that he and the rest of the bandits pillaging his village deserve punishment. He is willing to endure the penalty himself as long as the others are retributed for their ongoing crimes. Haydn is determined to find a way to catch and judge those marauders with the help of his stepsister, Gorawen.Shadows_of_the_Hersweald

Hope Ann’s third book in her Legends of Light series, Shadows of the Hersweald, is a combination of a Hansel and Gretel retelling and Christian allegory. It effortlessly melds the fairy tale aspect with a biblical message of redemption and mercy. Set in a medieval fantasy world, the tale builds on the experiences of previous characters in the series while holding to a unique, standalone plot. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Emily Kopf
Emily Kopf is a voracious reader with a love of all things fantasy, fairy-tale, and happily-ever-after. She is a twenty-something college student studying English Literature and Christian Studies to learn how to harness her two passions into some kind of career in the Christian book-ish world. In the meantime, she writes Zerina Blossom’s Books, reads and reviews books constantly, and dreams of faraway places and a handsome prince. Back in the real world, you can find her making pretzels, volunteering at church, crafting beautiful things, and spending time with friends and family.

KP Book Review: The Woodcutter

The Woodcutter is the keeper of the peace between the Faerie realms and the magical, human kingdoms. But all is not right in the Wood and the Twelve Kingdoms. A young woman with chipped glass slippers lies dead in the Wood, without even a bruise to indicate the cause of her demise. A Wolf is loose. Only the Woodcutter can catch him and uncover his employers, and every clue the Woodcutter finds reveals a more sinister plot than previously imagined.The_Woodcutter

The Woodcutter by Kate Danley fuses popular fairy tales, mythology, and folk tales into an unforgettable story. It is a mystery, not a romance; but like most fairy tales, the power of true love is a major theme. Such love overcomes the natural, untamed magic all royals are born with. For a Wolf that devours untamed magic, true love is the only thing that can thwart him. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Emily Kopf
Emily Kopf is a voracious reader with a love of all things fantasy, fairy-tale, and happily-ever-after. She is a twenty-something college student studying English Literature and Christian Studies to learn how to harness her two passions into some kind of career in the Christian book-ish world. In the meantime, she writes Zerina Blossom’s Books, reads and reviews books constantly, and dreams of faraway places and a handsome prince. Back in the real world, you can find her making pretzels, volunteering at church, crafting beautiful things, and spending time with friends and family.

KP Book Review: Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Everyone in the galaxy has a gift, similar to a magical talent, which develops during puberty. Few have a fate, an inevitable future event in their lives. Akos and his brother have fates, which makes them dangerous, despite being only the children of a farmer and an oracle. Cyra and her older brother, the children of a bloodthirsty emperor, also have fates. When their identities and fates are revealed, the lives of these four intertwine in ways that no one, not even the oracles, foresaw.

Carve_the_MarkVeronica Roth, author of the Divergent Series, recently released her latest novel, Carve the Mark. It’s a mixture of fantasy, dystopian, light romance, historical reimagining, and, most strongly, science fiction. Spaceships, advanced technology, and foreign planets comprise a fantastic world full of complex cultures and beautiful imagery. Yet, extraordinary abilities and prophesying exist alongside Roman coliseums, tyrannical emperors, and intentions of world dominance. Roth layers these literary elements over each other to form an unforgettable story world.

Carve the Mark explores many deep, even dark, themes. It is not recommended for readers younger than fourteen. Cyra suffers constant, excruciating pain, which she is capable of sharing with others through a single touch. As the daughter and sister of bloodthirsty emperors, she becomes a tool for their use. Readers need only imagine the pain Cyra experiences to realize how dark the themes must be for her to have a successful character arc. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Emily Kopf
Emily Kopf is a voracious reader with a love of all things fantasy, fairy-tale, and happily-ever-after. She is a twenty-something college student studying English Literature and Christian Studies to learn how to harness her two passions into some kind of career in the Christian book-ish world. In the meantime, she writes Zerina Blossom’s Books, reads and reviews books constantly, and dreams of faraway places and a handsome prince. Back in the real world, you can find her making pretzels, volunteering at church, crafting beautiful things, and spending time with friends and family.

KP Book Review: For Love and Honor by Jody Hedlund

From birth, Lady Sabine’s arm has been blotched by a bizarre birthmark. In a culture where beauty is regarded as symbolizing the state of a person’s soul, a slip of her glove could have her branded as a witch and killed. But despite all the pressure, Sabine dreams of finding acceptance from her friends, community, and God.For_Love_and_Honor

For Love and Honor is the third and final book in Jody Hedlund’s An Uncertain Choice series. Although readable as a standalone novel, it features many of the main characters from the first book in the series, namely Sir Bennet, Sabine’s counterpart. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Emily Kopf
Emily Kopf is a voracious reader with a love of all things fantasy, fairy-tale, and happily-ever-after. She is a twenty-something college student studying English Literature and Christian Studies to learn how to harness her two passions into some kind of career in the Christian book-ish world. In the meantime, she writes Zerina Blossom’s Books, reads and reviews books constantly, and dreams of faraway places and a handsome prince. Back in the real world, you can find her making pretzels, volunteering at church, crafting beautiful things, and spending time with friends and family.

Announcing New KP Staff Members

staffannouncementOne side effect of trying to do everything at once is that you can forget to announce the awesome new people you’ve added to the site team. So without further ado, here we are. We’ve recruited three illustrious interns for our writing team—Gabrielle Pollack, Emily Kopf, and Cindy Green—and we are proud as punch to have them with us. You should begin seeing new articles, book reviews, and poems from them this upcoming month.

We’re also excited to belatedly announce Christi Eaton as our new social media manager. Christi’s been running our social media for a while now and has been doing a fantastic job. If you aren’t subscribed to our various social media channels now, here’s your chance. (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter.)

Finally, we’re thrilled to introduce a new web developer to the team. Isaiah Taylor is a rather mysterious fellow, so there’s not much we can say about him, but his expertise will be invaluable to us as we work on updating the site over the coming months.

Read more about our new writing interns below and feel free to wish them a hearty welcome in the comments!

Writing Team Interns

Gabrielle Pollack

Gabrielle PollackGabrielle Pollack currently resides with her family and many cats amidst a small wood she wishes was Narnia. Her interests are varied, and when she isn’t writing or studying, she enjoys karate, archery, introverting, and hanging out on the Kingdom Pen forum. She relishes the cool wind that rushes in before a thunderstorm, the scent of fresh rain, black clouds, and in summary, all things storm. As a lighthearted INFP, she loves horses, spring, strawberries, and sitting on the roof of her house.

She fell in love with stories many years ago and immersed herself in epic books like The Kingdom Series and The Peleg Chronicles, living the adventures and loving the characters. It took her a while to realize she could write epic stories herself, but once she did, she was a lost cause. She never quite recovered her sanity and often rants about good storytelling to innocent bystanders. Gabrielle has written two books since and has a plethora of other ideas swirling inside her brain, waiting to turn into people and worlds. She desires to glorify God through her books, short stories, and blog, and she looks forward to learning more about her trade.

She dreams of traveling the world and wishes to return to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, the heights of the Rocky Mountains, and the sandy shores of the Outer Banks. Gabrielle also wishes to travel to New Zealand and stand upon a rocky perch overlooking a flatland, where she will then quote Lord of the Rings lines in dramatic fashion. Her more realistic goals include becoming a full-time writer and surviving adulthood.

Cindy Green

CindyCindy Green is a Canadian homeschool student who wants to live in a world where rain is colorful and mint chocolate chip ice cream is acceptable for daily consumption. But she is contented to live in one where dogs exist, fireworks are a regular occurrence, and trees are climbable objects (though the winter season is consistently extended in the land of igloos and hockey, she has climbed trees in her snowsuit before, and she will do it again). She began scribbling out fiction and keeping a journal at around age seven, and last she checked, hasn’t stopped. Thinking of writing always goes hand in hand with thinking of a quote that she feels captures part of her existence: “I just want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares.”

She deems becoming an intern for Kingdom Pen the biggest of deals in regard to her writing accomplishments, surpassing even her excitement upon placing second in a library contest, having a short story accepted in a nationwide collection, and being frequently published on a blog for young authors.

Aside from obsessing over the arrangement of words and fantasizing about maple-syrup-coated beavertails, Cindy enjoys spending time playing piano, looking at pictures of outer space, loudly singing along to music, exploring the dictionary, attempting Highland dancing, and reading. She hopes to someday publish a book of her own, learn to skateboard without getting scraped, and witness the aurora borealis in the Yukon. Most of all, she wants to live her life colorfully and passionately for the glory of a good God and to point to her Creator as the source of all joy.

Emily Kopf

EmilyEmily Kopf has loved books since her mom taught her how, and she reads everything she can get her hands on. After she read Dragons in Our Midst by Bryan Davis at the age of eleven, Emily became obsessed with dragons and fantasy. Now, ten years later, she has invented a few fantasy stories of her own and is determined to make a career for herself in the bookish world. She is studying English Literature in her final year in college, writing scores of book reviews, blogging at Zerina Blossom’s Books, writing epic stories, editing, and helping other authors make a name for themselves.

Emily comes from a creative family, with two self-published authors for uncles. She grew up in the beautiful mountains of the Inland Northwest as the oldest of three kids in a Christian family. She was homeschooled until fifth grade, when she joined a tiny Christian school. Emily loves everything artistic, from singing to macramé to sketching. Most of all, Emily loves Jesus and her family and friends.

Her favorite genres to read and write are fantasy, fairy tales, historical fiction, and sweet romance … or anything clean with a happy ending. A few of Emily’s favorite authors include: Nadine Brandes, Anne Elisabeth Stengl, Bryan Davis, Jane Austen, and J.R.R. Tolkien. Currently she is a book reviewer for Kingdom Pen, so if you want her to review a specific book, send in a suggestion to KP for consideration.