Friday, October 4, 2013

Tour Review - Hero by Alethea Kontis #PrismBookTours #Giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Setting Sail on a Fairy Tale Adventure*
*Family Welcome

Hero (Woodcutter Sisters #2)Hero
by Alethea Kontis
Hardcover, 304 Pages
To be published October 1st, 2013 by Harcourt Books

Rough and tumble Saturday Woodcutter thinks she's the only one of her sisters without any magic—until the day she accidentally conjures an ocean in the backyard. With her sword in tow, Saturday sets sail on a pirate ship, only to find herself kidnapped and whisked off to the top of the world. 

Is Saturday powerful enough to kill the mountain witch who holds her captive and save the world from sure destruction? And, as she wonders grumpily, "Did romance have to be part of the adventure?" 

As in Enchanted, readers will revel in the fragments of fairy tales that embellish this action-packed story of adventure and, yes, romance.

My Review:

Satisfying. The short version of my review is... this is a very satisfying book about the Woodcutter sister, Saturday.

It stands alone, like Enchantment, with elements hinting at a much larger, complicated world and plot, but Saturday’s adventures are well-captured here. I love that sort of series… where I recognize names and places, but the main character is refreshingly new.

I enjoyed Saturday and Peregrine, but... I did not feel as though I got to wriggle down into their characters as intimately as I wanted to. Saturday’s drive to do something amazing caught me off guard a few times. When something startling would happen to her, she embraced it with an exuberance that left me a little behind. If you’ve read Enchantment, she’s another Jack in the making. There’s something about her character that doesn’t sneeze at trouble. Only death makes her stop and consider a moment. And the moment feels like she’s reaching outside of herself to try to see things from another’s POV who wouldn’t choose death. Yes, I love Saturday forever and ever, but I missed the intimacy of thinking just like Sunday.

Peregrine gets a similar reaction from me for other reasons. Lol. He makes some really remarkably bad decisions and settles for a life that isn’t living with a contentment that’s difficult to embrace. Just like Saturday, though, his character grew on me ‘til I respected him despite myself. The biggest thing they have in common – with each other and with Betwixt, is a deliciously snappy intelligence. The smooth transitions to Peregrine’s POV are enlightening and delightful.

Betwist! I will never think of him like a pet. Period. He’s not. Sometimes he is fuzzy, though. Or has fuzzy parts. Lol. He is sarcastic, intelligent, wise… as resigned as Peregrine and their friendship is real, genuine, deep and forever. What is he? A shape-changing gryphon thing. He can’t be one animal, he has to be a mix of two and some of the transformations are not convenient. I love him. He’s great.

Most of the story takes place in an amazing icy labyrinth, something not even hinted at with the mention of a “world-breaking ocean”. Yes, I love a good story on the high seas and if Ms Kontis ever gives us a story about Thursday, I will be drumming my fingers with excitement to read it. But Saturday doesn’t duplicate any of her family’s stories (amazing how I feel like I know each person in her family so well!) she, um… arrives in the most beautiful, isolated wonderland imaginable. (That's all I'm sayin' about that. Read the book!) 

The scene with the lake is burned on my memory forever:  Surrounded by icy walls, with water so clear you can see that the lake is deep, so deep you don’t know how deep, heated from molten lava within the mountain. It’s amazing. I want to go there!!  I love the armory, too. It’s such a perfect Saturday story.

Quotes I love-LOVE:
“…broken, battered, and half dead, she was the most beautiful thing he’d seen in a very, very long time. So he kissed her. The cold, chapped lips warmed beneath his. “Sword,” she whispered. “It was only a kiss,” mumbled Peregrine… “ – Pg 86
*snort* I still laugh. I love that moment!
“He was comfortable enough with the way things were, leagues above the world of the eternally dying, down where clocks ticked seconds away and counted breaths that, once exhaled, could never again be taken.” – Peregrine Pg 88
Where the... WHA?!  *gasp* Love this combination of words. Like... I'm making my bed here, in these words. You can find me here next century.
Saturday harrumphed. Next to swinging a sharp weapon and scowling, it was one of the things she did best. – pg 100
Betwixt scratched his jaw with a hind leg. “there are six other days of the Woodcutter week. They can’t all be so badly tempered.” – pg 108
“We do not live here. We merely exist. And we would have gone on doing so while the dragon slept, but it is not a life. Lives have suns and seasons. Lives have happiness and sadness and birth and death.” He lifted his wings to make great shadows on the walls. “Time rises up here to die. Down there is where it is lived, felt, and remembered.” – Pg 148
"transmograficationist?" Peregrine drew the long nonsense word out, making up each syllable as he went along. – pg 180
because he had food, she followed him. – Pg 182
The light fought the darkness and quickly won. As each torch was lit, so was its reflection. – pg 183
He would have given her his heart had she not already possessed it. – Peregrine Pg 207
Saturday rested, letting the soul of the forest nourish her from the inside out, bringing her back to herself. – pg 274
One more thing. Back on my review of Eon, I was quite upset that anyone would fuss over a girl dressing like a guy more than a guy dressing like a girl (scroll to the bottom. It's a quiet rant, but got me thinking.) In my mind, through history, there is more opportunity for the girl to want to dress like a guy. I agree with Saturday about beauty being useful to an extent for some people, but nothing like the glorious usefulness of a sword! Ms Kontis has thrown this entire concept into the face (very nicely) of the lit world by creating a situation where a guy needed to dress like a girl for his survival, which he was able to embrace while being true to himself. The scene where he finds Saturday some male attire while his own skirts are swishing is hilarious.

Catch Alethea's opinion of this HERE.

As for me, depending on the need and situation, dressing in opposite gender makes sense is does not feel weird to me at all. Thought-enducing, ironic, endless source of chuckling in this case, yes, but completely logical. I say, "Well done!"

See my review of Enchanted HERE!

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
Enchanted (Woodcutter Sisters #1)
Hardcover, 305 pages
Published May 8, 2012

It isn't easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past - and hers?

Alethea Kontis

Alethea KontisNew York Times bestselling author Alethea Kontis is a princess, a goddess, a force of nature, and a mess. She’s known for screwing up the alphabet, scolding vampire hunters, turning garden gnomes into mad scientists, and making sense out of fairy tales.

Alethea is the co-author of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Companion, and penned the AlphaOops series of picture books. Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in a myriad of anthologies and magazines. She has done multiple collaborations with Eisner winning artist J.K. Lee, includingThe Wonderland Alphabet and Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome. Her debut YA fairy tale novel, Enchanted, won the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award in 2012 and was nominated for both the Andre Norton Award and the Audie Award in 2013.
Born in Burlington, Vermont, Alethea now lives in Northern Virginia with her Fairy Godfamily. She makes the best baklava you’ve ever tasted and sleeps with a teddy bear named Charlie.

What has our Princess Alethea been up to?

Alethea visited the Burke Centre Library on Sept 26:

On Sept 27th, Alethea visited (and signed books!) at Baltimore Book Festival:

Robin Covington interviews Alethea on USA Today on Sept 30:

My 8-year old daughter loves Alethea Kontis. She's never read one of her YA books, but she knows her as "Princess Alethea" who hangs out with Mommy at book festivals. Alethea lives and breathes fantasy, fairy tales and girl power, and it always pours out of the page. The second book in her Woodcutter series, Hero, is out, and this one has all the trademark spunky heroine and swashbuckling (there are pirates!) fantasy adventure you will find in her books. I was fortunate enough to grab a few moments with Alethea to ask her a few questions.  See the entire interview!

October 1st, our Princess Alethea shared "My Favorite Bit"

My Favorite Bit iconMy favorite bit about Hero, my second novel and seventh published book, should be that it happened at all. When Enchanted was accepted and we pitched the rest of the Woodcutter Sisters books, the publisher politely said, “We see Enchanted as a stand-alone novel.” When Enchanted sold out its first print run in the first few weeks of release, the publisher politely said, “Remember how you said you had other books planned? We’d like two more please. The first one is due in three months.” And I actually delivered it on time. That should be the best part.
But in truth, my favorite bits about Hero are still the cross-dressing and mistaken-identity bits... see more at Mary Robinette Kowal's blog
Don't miss The Big Idea over at John Scalzi's blog today!


The broadcast with Bennet Pomerantz on Oct 4th

Hey!  There's a Launch Party at One More Page Books in Arlington, VA on Oct 5th!!

See more appearances HERE!

And don't forget The Fairy Tale Adventure Tour

Tour-Wide Giveaway
Sept 22 - Oct 17

Fairy Tale Gift Bundle: Signed copies of both Enchantment and Hero by Alethea Kontis plus swag!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sail Away on the 
Fairy Tale Adventure Tour*
*Family Welcome

Sept 22 - LAUNCH
Sept 23 - The Missing Piece at Alethea Kontis
 - Review on Debz Bookshelf
 - Celebration on Deal Sharing Aunt
Sept 24 - Interview with Miss Print
Sept 25 - Interview with Carina Books
 - The Grandfather Pirate on Living a Goddess Life
 - Meet the Inspiration on The Wonderings of One Person
Sept 26 - Review on Shannon's Blog
 - Meet the Inspiration continued on Bookmarks
Sept 27 - Meet the Sister on Leeana Me
Sept 30 - USA Today Happy Ever After Interview
 - Review of Enchantment on Colorimetry
 - Release Day at Waterworld Mermaids
 - My Favorite Bit (with Cat Valente) at Mary Robinette Kowal
 - Review at Library of a Book Witch
 - Interview & Review at Tressa's Wishful Endings
Oct 2 - Video Rant at
 - The Big Idea at John Scalzi's Blog
 - My Bookshelf on Mel's Shelves
 - Did You See? on Cu's eBook Giveaways
Oct 3 - The Missing Piece on I Am a Reader, Not a Writer
 - Review at Books for Kids
Oct 4 - Podcast with Bennet Pomeranz
 - Review of Hero on Colorimetry
Oct 5 - Hero LAUNCH PARTY at One More Page Books in Arlington, VA
Oct 7 - Character interview with Saturday Woodcutter at I Smell Sheep
Oct 8 - A Twist in the Tail at A Backwards Story
 - Review at JL Mbewe
Oct 9 - Enchanted Inkspot
 - Deleted Scene at Fragments of Life