Friday, December 9, 2016

Literary Friday: The Fate of the Tearling

Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!  In spite of all the Christmas activities and obligations, I did read a book this week, and I found it hard to put down.  It's Book # 3 in the Tearling Series, and I highly recommend it: You should add it to your Christmas list!





About The Fate of the Tearling



Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Harper (November 29, 2016)

"Katniss Everdeen, you have competition."Entertainment Weekly The thrilling conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Tearling trilogy. In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has transformed from a gawky teenager into a powerful monarch. As she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, the headstrong, visionary leader has also transformed her realm. In her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies including the evil Red Queen, her fiercest rival, who has set her armies against the Tear. To protect her people from a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable: She gave herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy and named the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, regent in her place. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign, imprisoned in Mortmesne. Now, as the suspenseful endgame begins, the fate of Queen Kelsea and the Tearling itself will finally be revealed.



Add to Goodreads badge
 

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon| Barnes & Noble



My Review

Wow.

There are so many unexpected twists in The Fate of the Tearling, the final installment of the Tearling Trilogy that I literally gasped out loud and had to go back and re-read sections.  It is so rare that a series actually improves as it progresses from book one to two to three, but this trilogy accomplishes that and more.

Queen Kelsea is one of my very favorite characters ever.  She is very introspective: She is her own worst critic, yet she tries very hard to be empathetic even toward her enemies.  Yet her empathy doesn't weaken her nor does it weaken her quest for justice.  She makes extremely tough decisions (one which blew my mind), and at the end of the book when she must make one crucial choice that will determine the fate of the Tearing, she must base her decision on not only what, but when: when as in when in time.

The villains are very complicated, well-drown and not flat at all.  The Red Queen's identity (revealed in book two, The Invasion of the Tearling) and her childhood shape her into the despot she becomes. She is actually my second favorite of all the characters!  I also enjoyed the heroics of one of the young women named Aisa who trains with the Queen's Guard and again, Father Tyler is a standout among the secondary characters.

One of the themes of this series is the longing for "a better world."  That is William Tear's original goal for the original pilgrims who cross God's Ocean in search of utopia.  As humans we typically make the same mistakes throughout history.  The main reason for this is because history has never been taught to children the way it should be.  There's always an agenda, and primary history sources are rarely used.

My only cringe-worthy moments while reading the series is Kelsea's disdain for "God's Church" or the Christian Church.  As a Christian, I would have liked to have seen the church portrayed in a more positive light, but at least Father Tyler's character is brave, righteous, and heroic.  And in the end, there is a remnant of the church left that is {hopefully} less corrupt.

Warning!  Spoilers ahead!

I still have many question that aren't answered in The Fate of the Tearling.  They include questions about time travel, how William Tear's ancestors received the original sapphire in the past.  What were those vampiric children that Rowland Finn foster, and how did he gain all his black magic and knowledge of the occult?  Through library books?  Why would the pilgrims have brought books on the occult with them when they had limited space and no printing press?  Did Kelsea ever know that she killed Jonathan Tear, or was it really Lily?  

End of Spoilers 

This is a fantastic fantasy series, but I wouldn't exactly call it a young adult series due to language, violence, sex, and other mature situations.  I definitely wouldn't recommend it to younger teens. 



Below is a trailer for The Fate of the Tearling:












Disclosure:  I received an advanced reader's copy of The Fate of the Tearling from the publisher via TLC Book Tours.
Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill




Advent Day Nine 2016



Happy Happy Friday, My Lovelies!  Our Number One daughter is finished with most of her work for the semester, and our Number Two daughter will be home for Christmas Break this afternoon.  YAY!  I can't wait!

Today's cookie is the Russian Tea Cookie.  The funny thing is it reminds me of the Danish Wedding Cookie.  When I was a little girl, Danish Wedding Cookies were my very favorite treat at holiday parties. I'm sure it's probably an American invention...named either Danish Wedding Cookie or Russian Tea Cookie to make the simple cookie seem more exotic.

It reminds me of the Russian Tea I enjoyed growing-up in the seventies.  Russian Tea us made with Tang.  I doubt that the Russians invented Tang.



You may see my recipe for Hot Spiced Russian Tea HERE.


Speaking of Russia, it has come to my attention that I have five times more Russian readers than American ones.  I just don't understand why.  Would one of my Russian readers please leave a comment and explain why y'all like reading my blog?  Just curious.  I appreciate all my readers worldwide.  I also have many readers in Belarus and Germany.  :D

Now on to the cookie....

I liked this cookie, but my family didn't like the walnuts in it.  They all asked why I didn't use pecans or macadamia nuts.  I had black walnuts in the pantry, and I thought it would be a great idea to use them but apparently not.

These cookies get rolled in powdered sugar twice: once while they're warm, and again once they've cooled.



Everything's better rolled in powdered sugar, don't you think?




2 Peter 3:11-18

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.  That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.


17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.


Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill




Thursday, December 8, 2016

Advent Day Eight 2016

My Lovelies, I must confess.  Mama is *tired*

So when I opened the flap on my Cookie Advent Cookbook and saw that it was for a cutout cookie, I cheated and bought cutout gingerbread men and women.




I know you'll forgive me, but the point of this exercise in craziness baking is to challenge me by baking cookies I haven't baked before.  I can bake cutout cookies in my sleep!








And now for your viewing pleasure, I want to show you the most AH-dorable and tiny (288 square feet) Brooklyn apartment decorated Scandinavian style for Christmas.  I think it is so sweet.

Enjoy!  








2 Peter 3:1-10

The Day of the Lord

3 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.




Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill



Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Advent Day Seven 2016


 photo 880ccc5e-edf7-4fd0-9533-f86ac37b2b50.jpg



Hello, My Lovelies!  I'm actually happy with today's cookie unlike yesterday's debacle. Today's cookie is a Mint Meringue Wreath.  It was easy.  Take your basic meringue recipe and add a little peppermint flavoring and green food coloring.  Draw circles on parchment paper, flip it over and place on a cookie sheet, and pipe circles using the circles on the parchment paper as your guide.




 photo ecd1efc0-2ac9-4d4e-966c-b1108bf8ff14.jpg





Would you like to see something adorable?  Sure you would!  Take a look at my sister-in-law's Christmas tree at her beach house:



 photo 8d56fb54-e256-4050-8533-bfb3757e3175.jpg
She used crab traps, seashells, ribbon and light.  *love*



Psalm 146:5-10

5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the Lord their God.
6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
    the sea, and everything in them—
    he remains faithful forever.
7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
    and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
8     the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
    the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the foreigner
    and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
    but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
10 The Lord reigns forever,
    your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord.



Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Advent Day 6 2016

Well, it had to happen eventually.  Today's cookie is an epic.  Pinterest.  Don't {even}.....Meh!  Double Meh!!!!

I eagerly opened the flap for December 6th, and what did I see???






Pretty little candy canes.  Red-and-white-upsidedown-j's-for-Jesus.  And, yes, I CAN follow directions.  I followed the recipe, and the rolling part was like Play-doh from you know where....



This one wins the ugly cookie award:



Maybe if I put the cookie on a striped plate it will be camouflaged....




Even the stinking' sugar didn't stick to the cookie correctly!




See the pretty roses?  Mr. Art @ Home brought me flowers to cheer me up.  I've had a craptastic day all the way around.




I need some scripture!


Romans 15:14-21New International Version 

Paul the Minister to the Gentiles
14 I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another. 15 Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

17 Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. 20 It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. 21 Rather, as it is written:

“Those who were not told about him will see,
    and those who have not heard will understand.”


Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill