Book Review of “The Rebel Prince” by Celiene Keirnan

“The Rebel Prince” is the first book completed from my list for the TBR Pile Challenge 2012.


The Rebel Prince



“The Rebel Prince” is the third book in the Moorehawke Trilogy, following “The Poison Throne” and “The Crowded Shadows.”   The story line follows the efforts of our three protagonists in reuniting an estranged king and his son, before political intrigue and the threat of a deadly new weapon can destroy the kingdom.

And, throw in a few Loup-Garou,  ghosts and a talking cat, and you have a tale of political intrigue, with some strong fantasy elements.

I enjoyed this trilogy quite a bit, and the characters were unforgettable.  From poor, tortured Christopher, dashing Razi, and  Wynter, the young female protagonist;   to the host of secondary characters, they were all richly drawn and had complex, believable backstories.   It is actually a good lesson in how to peel off the layers of backstory one by one to reveal the whole onion, and by the time it is all revealed you are so hooked on the people in the story your heart breaks over and over again for them.

While full of politics and court intrigue, the plot itself was not terribly complicated, but I still found myself turning pages long after my bedtime just because I was so invested in what happened to the characters.

That being said, I found the ending somewhat disappointing.  After the harrowing, bloody climax, we get a denoument five years after, a little slice of life showing the three main characters living their happy ending.  Perhaps because I had invested so much emotionally in them, I wanted a bit longer pay off.  Justice was ultimately served in the end everyone got what they deserved one way or another, but I wanted to see a bit more of how.

I would still recommend this trilogy to anyone interested in young adult fantasy because of the strong characters and strong writing, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing that my only complaint was that I wanted more!

Great characters, strong writing and massive emotional tensions throughout, I would still give “The Rebel Prince” 4.5 out of 5 stars.


What Accounting Taught Me About Writing Whether I Wanted to Know or Not

I’ve spent most of the last couple of weeks getting ready to file our taxes.  We own a small business and somewhere along the way I got the crackpot idea that I could serve as the bookkeeper and financial person for the business.  This made total sense in light of the fact that for years I could never even balance my own checkbook, but somehow it seemed easier than trying to explain the chaotic, right-brain mess I had come up with to a professional.

I also have this gung ho drive to learneverythingpossibleabouteverythingintheuniverse, (and perhaps one or two control issues– just sayin’ )  but this was more out of my comfort zone than social media.

I felt stupid, and completely out of my depth, and more to the point I was worried that I was hurting our business, and part of our livelihood.

A couple of years ago, I decided that I had had enough and  I should give up and just hire a pro, but something weird happened when I started sorting things out to turn it over.

I found out that I had actually begun to understand it.  All that beating my head against Quickbooks had soaked in some how. Now, I’m not ever going to run off to be a corporate accountant, our little mom and pop is plenty for me, but my figures were starting to make sense, and I understood how I had organized the data.  My cash flow statements started to make sense, and I was better able to figure out how to keep a budget square so I didn’t have to panic if there was an unexpected feed bill.  Okay, those things still make me panic because dang it, feed prices are ridiculous these days, but at least I don’t have to eat ramen noodles for two weeks so the four leggeds can dine unfettered.

It’s all about making good habits, keeping organized, and most important of all:  not psyching yourself out before you even get started.

See, I’d always heard that whole “girls aren’t as good at math” crap, and my father was a CPA, so I figured if I didn’t crawl out of the womb with one of those little bookkeepers hats on my head, I couldn’t do it. Or at least do it well.

To which I now say: horse apples.  We are all capable of doing anything we set our minds to do, provided we are willing to put in the time, effort and discipline to make it a success.

The same with writing, too.  I had always figured that if I couldn’t make Hemingway – esque prose drip from my typewriter (yes, that was what I learned to type on-I’m that old!) it was something that couldn’t be learned.

Again:  Horse apples.  It also takes time, effort, discipline and investing in the learning process.  And investing in yourself, a bit too.

And its a dang sight more fun in the long run than accounting. If I can learn to make my balance sheets pretty I can sure as heck figure out how to master story structure.  That stuff actually makes sense.  I mean seriously?  What sadist created double-entry bookkeeping? Yeesh.

What about you?  Is there something that was difficult for you that you mastered and felt pretty danged proud of yourself for conquering?  Share with me!

Row 80 Check In

Short and sweet this week:  I’ve been in the middle of preparing our taxes.  Gak.

1)  I backed off of my word count goal so I could devote all my angst and energy to  numbers.  I’m back to 1200 daily for the week and so far so good.

2)   I joined a TOPS club near the zoo so I can weigh in and have a little consistent accountability.  I can tell myself that my scale is stupid and not working and a bleeping piece of crap, but I can’t say that to the cute little old lady recording the weigh ins.  Not cool.

3)  Got the first book read in the TBR pile challenge, and I need to write a review.  However, this challenge does not seem to have stopped me buying new books.  Of course books are to a writer like chocolate is to a stressed out pre-menopausal woman…not that I would know anything about that!

4) Been making the blog luv rounds, slowly but steadily.  Met some cool new people who have some cool books out…see # 3!

How is everyone else doing?  Are you getting in the rhythm after the holidays?

Take care and check in when you can!

New Book on the Pile

Yeah, I knew I wasn’t going to do so hot with my unspoken resolution not to buy any more books until I finished most of my TBR pile challenge.

I’m a book junkie.  Sue me.  It’s the curse of literacy.

I did finish the first book from the TBR Pile challenge list I made, and I’ll be posting a review of The Rebel Prince per the challenge rules soon.  I’m still digesting the book.

Anyway, the latest book to arrive in the mail via Amazon is a used copy of The Medieval Warhorse: From Byzantium to the Crusades by Ann Hyland.

I’m fascinated by history, and I’m fascinated by horses, so I expect most of you won’t be floored by this selection.  I’m a sucker for a good medieval romance and I think part of my lifelong love of medievals is linked to a fascination with war horses in general.

There’s no doubt that the domestication of the horse is one of, if not the, most pivotal happenings in the history of the human race, right up there with the wheel, the written language, and beer.  And it never ceases to amaze me that an animal that 40 million years of evolution has hardwired to “run very fast in the other direction and ask questions later” when faced with something very dangerous can be trained to “run towards danger and kick it’s ass when you get there”.

Yeah, I’m weird, but you guys love me.  😉

So, I figure I can allow myself one new book for each one read from the TBR pile list.  That way I maintain the status quo, and can keep the current level of entropy intact.

And if anyone else is interested in any little pearls of info about medieval war horses,  let me know!  I don’t want to keep all that glorious weirdness to myself!

Happy weekend, peeps!

Row 80 Check in

Oops, should have posted this yesterday.

1)  I had a busier week than normal last week, so my word count stumbled.  I’m not raising it this week, and once I’m comfortable at 1200 daily I’ll start climbing again.

2)  Still nowhere with the exercise habit.  Again, thanks to the busy week I didn’t get a chance to even think about it.  Also, since I didn’t even set a goal for this week, it’s no wonder I couldn’t make it happen.  So, my goal is to go for a short walk twice this week,

3)  I’m reading The Rebel Prince by Celine Kiernan, from my TBR pile.  This is the third book in a trilogy, and I kind of got buried in it and forgot about things like laundry and excercise.  I had to stop so I could get a few things done but I’m hoping  going to finish it this week.

4)  I struggle with the regular blogging.  I psych myself out and procrastinate on writing posts, and if nothing else I need to get organized.  This week I will write drafts of three posts and start posting something weekly other than Row 80 check ins and my whacko musings.

How is everyone else doing this week?  Here’s to another successful challenge and continuing to Rock the Row!

7 Random Things About Me!

Seven Random Things About Me!

My friend Angela McGill tagged me with this an embarrassingly long time ago.  Right about mid-October, my work and farm life went on a high speed ride on the crazy train, and I didn’t have the time I felt I needed to do it justice.  And I was a little freaked out that someone thought I was versatile.  And I was convinced they needed to be interesting things, which I wasn’t sure I could come up with.  And I couldn’t figure out how to add the badge to the side bar.  And…oh well, you get the drift.  And yes, I put too much pressure on myself.  It’s how I roll.

But, I eventually got things straightend out and came up with some random things to share with you.  Angela, I hope you will forgive my tardiness!  I did have a lot of fun doing this.  And, to all the buddies I tag, here’s to learning more about you.

So here goes:

1.  My husband and I met while we were both working in a hog farm.  Yes, working in a large hog operation is as glamourous as you might imagine.  I can honestly say he saw me looking as horrible as a woman can look on more than one occasion, and still wanted to date me, so I figured he might be a keeper.

2.  I learned to fly a plane before I could drive a car.  My father was taking flying lessons for a while, and as there was no minimum age for learning to fly, I got to take lessons at 14.  Unfortunately, I was never able to finish and so I never got my pilot’s license, but finishing is on my bucket list.   I still remember my instructor telling me over and over again, “Make small corrections!”  and showing me quite clearly what happend if you made too big a correction!

3.  I played piano and flute as a kid.  I still have both instruments packed in the mothballs.  Ok the piano isn’t exactly in mothballs, but it is buried under a bunch of stuff, including the majority of my TBR pile.

4.  The only food I refuse to eat is iceberg lettuce.  I mean seriously?  Is that even a food?  Ok, I won’t refuse it if I’m at your house and thats what you offer me because that would be rude, but I will go out of my way to avoid eating it if I have the choice.

5.  I like spiders.  I don’t want to have one as a pet, but I think they are incredible creatures.  I love the big yellow and black garden spiders that come around every summer, and I generally try to go out of my way to avoid their webs.  That and because no matter how much I love them, it’s still no fun to smack into one in the dark.

6.  My favorite movie is Lord of the Rings.  Actually the second and third movies are my favorite, they really got interesting when Tolkein finally got to Rohan.  Go figure. I loves me some Eomer!

7.  I like opening my mail with an old fashioned dagger-like letter opener.  It makes a very satisfying slice through the bills, and I’m considering it training for the future rejection letters I know will come my way.  For some reason hubby doesn’t like to be within slicing distance of me on bill day.  O_o  Dunno why.

Ok, so there are seven random and hopfully interesting things about me.  And in order to pass on the love, I’ve picked 15 of my blogging buds to bestow the award upon:


When accepting this award there are responsibilities. (And I’m sure you will all do better than I did!) What comes around, must go around.  Here is Angela’s post, which I have  borrowed from:

The rules:

1. Thank and link the person who nominated you.

2. Share seven random facts about yourself.

3. Pass this award on to 15 blogging friends.

4. Contact and congratulate the awarded bloggers.

The Winners in no particular order are:

Natalie Hartford  This chick tirelessly blogs about a subject that had an enormous impact on her life, impaired driving, but can still crack me up faster than anyone I’ve ever met!

Piper Bayard  Anyone who can combine bellydancing and the apocalypse gets my vote for president!

Tameri Etherton  A cup of tea and sorcery sounds good to me!

Patricia Sands Everyone Has a Story!

Kerry Meacham Our favorite Southern Gentleman

Marion Spicher  One of the warmest people on the blog-o-sphere

Merry Farmer  I love this girl’s blog!

Jillian Dodd  Where I go for my eye candy!

Jenny Hansen  We could all use some more cowbell!

Carrie Spencer I’m not sure who’s funnier, the crazy cat lady or Woodie!

Now, many of you are going “Callene, dear one, that’s only ten, not fifteen.”    Nothing gets past you guys, does it?  🙂  Part of the penalty for my procrastination is that many of the  blogs and bloggers I love had already recieved this award. 😦   So rather than be redundant, I decided this means that:

1)  I need to get out into the blog-o-sphere a bit more!

2)  I reserve the right to randomly award five more bloggers in the future, just spontaneously, out of nowhere!  Like a kitten who waits behind the potted fern to attack your bare feet when you wander by in the dark!  AAAGHH!  Gotcha!

 I hope you guys have as much fun with this as I did!
Thanks for playing along!


Row 80 Check In #1

Well, I’m definitely off to a crawl this week:

1)  I think I will plateau at 1200 for a week or so, it’s been a bit of a stretch to hit that #.  So, when I’m comfortable and consistent with 1200 I’ll go to the next level.

2)  I thought about exercising this week.  Doesn’t count?  Well, crap.

3) Haven’t gotten much reading done so far, but it’s still way early in the game.  Meaning plenty of time to procrastinate and stress out later!  Woot!

4) Not much progress so far, but the rest of the week should be a bit smoother, so I’m looking forward to making the rounds!


How’s it going for all of  you for this first check in?