Blood Bound

By Patricia Briggs

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Ace Books, 2007

Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, paranormal, mystery, paranormal mystery, vampire

Series: Mercy Thompson; 2

ISBN: 9780441014736

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 292

Setting: Tri-cities (Richland,Kennewick, &Pasco), WA

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: When Mercy’s friend, Stefan, asks her for a favor in the middle of the night, she can’t say no.  She is indebted to the vampire for his help in Moon Called.  Unfortunately for Mercy, helping Stefan ends up leading her to great peril with a demon vampire. Continue reading

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Howl’s Moving Castle

By Diana Wynne Jones

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Harper Trophy, c1986, 2001

Genres: Fantasy, steampunk

Series: Howl’s Moving Castle; 1

ISBN: 9780064410342

Intended audience: Young adult

Number of pages: 329

Setting: Market Chipping, Porthaven, and Kingsbury, Ingary & Wales

Time period: No stated time period in Ingary.  The Wales setting is a contemporary time.

Plot summary: Sophie Hatter was born the eldest of three – a terrible misfortune in Ingary.  While her younger sisters are sent off to learn magic and baking, Sophie is destined to run the family hat store.  That is, until the Witch of the Waste enters the store one day and lays a curse upon Sophie.  Sophie soon discovers that she has been transformed into an old woman.  To undo the curse, Sophie must leave the hat store and find someone willing to help her, but she won’t be able to speak of the curse. Continue reading

Storm Front

By Jim Butcher

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Roc, 2000

Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, mystery, paranormal

Series: The Dresden Files; 1

ISBN: 9780451457813

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 322

Setting: Chicago, IL and outskirts (Chicagoland)

Time period: 2000

Plot summary: Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is “the only openly practicing wizard in the country” (p. 2).  One can find his ad in the Chicago yellow pages.  Business has been slow for him; that changes quickly when he gets a call about a missing person and a call from the Chicago Police Department Special Investigations Unit on the same afternoon.  Soon, Harry will be much busier than he wants to be trying to find a killer.  But there’s no turning back, especially when others start to think that Harry is the one responsible for the magical murders. Continue reading

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

By Nahoko Uehashi [translated by Cathy Hirano]

Illustrated by Yuko Shimizu

Place: Publisher, Year: New York : Arthur A. Levine Books, 2008

Genres: Fantasy, adventure, mythic fiction

ISBN: 9780545005425, 0545005426

Series: Moribito; 1

Intended audience: Tweens, young adults

Number of pages: 248+

Setting: Reminiscent of ancient Japan

Time period: Medieval time period

Plot summary: As Balsa crosses the commoner’s bridge over the Aoyumi River, her life takes an interesting turn.  At the same time she is crossing, so is a royal procession crossing the Yamakage Bridge just upstream.  Balsa witnesses the royal carriage tip over, dumping the young Second Prince into the raging river.  Without stopping to think, Balsa clips her rope to her spear and sends it flying into the river, rope in hand, to save the prince.  However, once she has rescued the prince, she finds herself bound to his fate, which will require many more rescues of the young boy. Continue reading