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Online book reviews since 2011, the very best in reviewing – connecting good readers with equally good writers

You’re Never Too Old for Romance or Ballads

Ah, youth! Booking’ with Sunny is very fortunate to have reviewers who are chronologically closer to YA books than I will ever be. You don’t have to be a kid to read YA, but reviewing a teen romance in the fantasy range is way out of my comfort zone, or so I thought. I’ve just posted Joanne Mallari’s review of Impossible, the 2008 novel by award-winning author, Nancy Werlin. Impossible is a fantasy based on verses from The Elfin Knight, specifically an early version of Scarborough Fair.

The book had been recommended to me when I was still working at Clayton Books, in California, but like so many recommended books that I’ve acquired by near-osmosis, it remained unread and packed away in the move to Reno. When offering Joanne books to review, I almost passed it up until she spotted it. And now that I’ve posted her enthusiastic review, I’m sorely tempted to read it myself when she returns it.

I know I will probably like Werlin’s book because I have already read another series of mystery/fantasy stories based on very old ballads. These stories are The Haunted Ballad Series, written by Deborah Grabien of San Francisco. Grabien is a natural when researching anything that has to do with music, and if it’s old and English, so much the better. The youthful romances of Grabien’s series are confined to the stories behind the ballads, but she is not beyond acknowledging the more mature romance carried on by her two main characters who bring the ballad spirits (and yes, I do mean spirits as in specters) to life, if only long and scary enough to right a very old and forgotten wrong.

If you are a younger reader, please do give Impossible a try, but for all those others, don’t pass up the chance to read Grabien’s series: The Weaver and the Factory Maid, The Famous Flower of Serving Men, Matty Groves, Cruel Sister, and New-Slain Knight. -s.s.

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