Thursday, June 18, 2015

Book Review: The Sky-Child and Other Stories (The Wilderhark Tales #6.5) by Danielle Shipley

Sky-Child Cover
The Sky-Child and Other Stories (The Wilderhark Tales #6.5)
By Danielle E. Shipley
Genre: Fairytale Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: July 7, 2015

Blurb:
Born into a world his heart knows as beneath him, an extraordinary boy becomes a man of music, hopeful that someday he’ll find a way higher.

As the first day dawns, a world comes awake, order and disorder striking a dangerous balance.

Under the stars, a princess and tailor trade age-old lore, little dreaming of the future that could trap them in the past.

All of it in, around, and far above the timeless trees of Wilderhark, the forest whose secrets reveal themselves slowly, if ever at all.

Tales of beginnings. Tales of quests for belonging. Most of all, tales of true love.

Once upon a time, you knew something of Wilderhark’s tales. Now for the stories that fall in between.

The Sky-Child and Other Stories
A Wilderhark Tales Collection


You can find The Sky-Child and Other Stories on Goodreads


Review

SPOILERS

I am fortunate enough to grab an ARC of this book and if you're a fan like me then I think you'll enjoy this book! I'd like to start with mentioning these stories are for readers who want more of The Wilderhark Tales so if you've read a majority or all of the books then you'll be quite fine reading all these stories and learning more about your favorite characters.

We have a total of 9 tales in this book, in case you were curious since it's not really listed anywhere. The two longest stories are the second story and last story, both feature my favorite Gant-o'-the-Lute. 


Song-o'-the-Lute
The first story is the story is a little song about Lute and his lute. It's cute and poetic. 


The Sky-Child
Now the second story is what I had hoped to read in The Song Caster so I was happy to find it here. However, I didn't love the voice of the writing as much because there seemed to be a lot of telling of back history which I liked well enough because I got to see more of Lute but sad because of his life situation and I just didn't feel as engaged with the story or characters. It seemed like a darker side of them which I am not used to seeing and surprised me.

Holy crap. I love the idea of the place in the story called Carillon. I'd definitely would go there for vacation if I could. Seemed like a rockin' place to go if you wanted to make music. (Eh? Eh? ^_~) lol 

<SPOILER>
Ok, I've been mulling this over a little. I didn't quite enjoy the love at first sight for Lute but laughed at Viralei's response. It only upset and irritated me that Viralei had been turned into a harp just because she turned Lute down. I completely understand why she did and she had the right to turn him down. No, she didn't do it diplomatically but the punishment didn't fit the crime. To result in her punishment for sort of insulting his pride and saying no to a strange man's advances who trespassed into her personal space seemed more than unfair.

The feminist in me couldn't handle that. There's no freedom of choice if she's transformed against her will and forced to get kidnapped and saved only by him. I felt like she was forced to fall in love with him because he saved her. Also he forced his kiss on her while she was a harp and immobile. He didn't ask, just did it without her permission but she enjoyed it which I guess forgives it? Those things really put me off. I'm not sure if the author did that to speed things up but maybe the execution just work for me.

I just didn't find that romance believable and Viralei was ultimately useless in the story when it came to the escape. Once she had been saved she was all willing to throw herself at him which also irked me. Those things prevented me from fully enjoying the story because these two were one of my hopeful favored couples in the series. I know the author is capable of creating fantastic princesses and I wanted to like Viralei much more than I did in this story. The other couple I love is Edgwyn and Rosalba, who are perfect as is. :) 
</SPOILER>


Still Broken
I enjoyed this story, it shows the psychological aftermath Sula went through after her spell was broken. Like the great doctor caring Villem is there to help her recover.


Day Broken
A glimpse of a moment in Sigmund's life while human.


Skie Welduwark
I thought this story was fascinating. It's the author's version of how the world had been created by her characters. You'll get to see how the Sun became the master of the Four Winds. You get to see more of the relationship between Raeoryn and Lumond and how Raeoryn wants and needs to be in control of everything.


Starheart
This story is sweet and takes place right before Rosalba meets Walzscoria's prince and it's cute and romantic. All I can say is Edgwyn is a sweetie.


The Shining Son
It actually made me dislike Raeoryn more when before I felt fairly indifferent to him. You see how overbearing the Sun can be over everything and I totally didn't expect the end. 0.0;; Didn't think he was the type to do that. You'll just have to read it to know what I mean and it made my jaw drop. lol It's changed my perspective of him and the winds.


Affected
This takes place in The Seventh Spell. I loved the perspective of the children but I'm surprised because I thought they would have known the ordeals their parents went through. Didn't quite understand the little scene between Lute and Edgwyn because it didn't really seem important to me.


A Gallivanting Soul
I got a little confused with this story at first. It was only when I re-read it did I finally catch on!  I'm not sure when it took place at first but then I realized they were scenes from a memory. Holy crap! That's a lovely end and I love it to itty bitty pieces! 


Overall, I enjoyed all the stories no matter how long or brief! Even with that little blip in the second story. (Sorry for the little rant but I needed to share my opinion about it, even though not everyone may agree.) I am curious as to what happened to the witch in the story as she appeared and disappeared during the books and makes an appearance in one or two of these stories.

I do want to note that there isn't a chronological order to these stories so you could read them out of order. If you've read all the books you could probably match each story to a moment in time of the books if you wanted. :D I ended up just doing that in my head. lol

The pacing is good but some of the stories were only two pages long. They all read quickly so I wouldn't be surprised that you could read them all in a sitting or two. The writing is good but to me it didn't read as well edited or polished as the author's previous works. Then again, I can't complain. I am ecstatic to see some of my favorite characters again and I loved seeing the history behind some of my favorite characters and the various scenes in between the stories. 

If you ever wanted more of The Wilderhark gang, especially Lute, the Denebdeor Family, and the Welken then you won't go wrong with these stories! Highly recommended if you're a fan of The Wilderhark Tales or of Ms. Shipley!


3.4 out of 5 rating for me!

(A copy was provided for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way.)


About the Author:
Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. …Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing, publishing, and all that authorial jazz, she’s probably blogging about it.

Writing credits include: “Inspired” (a novel); short stories in paranormal, fantasy, and Steampunk anthologies via Xchyler Publishing; and, of course, her series of fairytale retelling mash-ups, “The Wilderhark Tales”.

You can find and contact Danielle here:
Website
Blog
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