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Sunday Supper Movement
Confetti Cake Milkshake from Sprinkles Bakes

Confetti Cake Milkshake from Sprinkles Bakes

Today is the last in my Frozen Fridays series, and I’m sharing an assortment of frozen beverages – milkshakes, cocktails, and other concoctions – that had me tracking down where we put the blender when we moved.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these roundups and have gotten some good ideas for your own kitchen adventures. I didn’t try nearly as many of the recipes as I would have liked, but that seems to be the story of my life.

{Frozen Fridays}

Frozen Beverages

  1. Almond Butter Banana Oatmeal Smoothie (from Cooking with Ruth)
  2. Cherry Lambic Milkshakes (from Love and Olive Oil)
  3. Confetti Cake Batter Milkshakes (skinny!) (from Sprinkles Bakes)
  4. Cookie Dough Milkshake (from My San Francisco Kitchen)
  5. Frosted Blueberry Lemonade (from Pinch of Yum)
  6. Iced Snickerdoodle Latte (from Feed Me Seymour)
  7. Kahlua Mudslides (from Sugar Dish Me)
  8. Lemon Blueberry Ice Cream Floats (from The Sugar Hit)
  9. Raspberry Colada Smoothie (from The Housewife in Training Files)
  10. Rice Krispie Treat Milkshake (from Beyond Frosting)
  11. Salted Caramel Bailey’s Milkshake With Vegan Irish Cream (from Spabettie)
  12. Skinny Mocha Frappuccino – Starbucks copycat recipe (from Healthy Sweet Eats)
  13. Strawberry Almond Smoothie (from Healthy Recipe Ecstasy)
  14. Strawberry Riesling Slushies (from Annie’s Eats)
  15. Toasted Marshmallow Peanut Butter Milkshake (from Honey and Birch)
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Warm Pasta with Grilled Zucchini and Tomato

When my family comes to visit, sometimes I feel like meal planning is a real struggle. I always try to accommodate everyone’s food preferences – there is no Mexican food and limited Asian-inspired options; the meal has to be substantial enough for two big guys (salad, sandwiches, quesadillas, etc. aren’t the best options for dinner); and there are few seafood options that the majority will eat. But the hardest person to cater to is my little brother. He’s is the only vegetarian in our immediate family, and having a husband that prefers meat at almost every dinner (this Pasta with Walnuts and Parmesan is the only vegetarian dish I’ve made to date that really leaves him happy and satisfied), I don’t have much of a repertoire of vegetarian meals in my arsenal.

While my brother would happily fend for himself, he visits enough (and is so good to my daughter!) that I’ve been trying to make an extra effort to prepare new dishes (eggplant parmesan gets tiring after a while!) that he would enjoy. Last time he was in town, we tried out this warm pasta salad with grilled tomatoes and zucchini – definitely substantial enough on it’s own but paired with grilled chicken for the carnivores. I could have eaten the whole thing myself. The pasta and grilled vegetables are lightly dressed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, which lets the sweetness of the warm tomatoes and the saltiness of the freshly grated Pecorino Romano shine through. (Don’t skimp and buy buy the pre-shredded/shaved/grated stuff – the freshly shaved cheese really makes this dish).

Warm Pasta with Grilled Zucchini and Tomato 2

Recipe Note: The original recipe calls for chopped thyme and chives, which is reflected below. I’ve also omitted these and made the salad with a sprinkle of Herbes de Province sea salt and chopped fresh basil (pictured here). The basil was a stronger flavor, but the pasta salad was equally amazing.

Serving Note: While the pasta salad is meant to be served warm, the cold leftovers were also good.

Warm Pasta Salad with Grilled Tomatoes & Zucchini

Adapted from Fine Cooking, Issue #86

Serves 4-5 as a meal; 8+ as a side

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 lb. ripe plum tomatoes (about 8), cored and halved lengthwise
  • 1-1/4 lb. small zucchini, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (see recipe note above)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 oz. Pecorino Romano, shaved with a vegetable peeler (about 2 cups)
  • 1 lb. dried penne
  • 1/4 c. thinly sliced fresh chives (see recipe note above)
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, more to taste
Prep & Grill the Veggies: Preheat grill to medium heat. Meanwhile, toss veggies in a bowl with 2 Tbs. oil, 2 tsp. thyme, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Set bowl aside – do not empty or clean bowl.
Grill veggies, cut side down for about 5 minutes before flipping and cooking for another 5-8 minutes, until desired doneness (I like my zucchini still slightly crunchy). Remove from grill and return them to the same bowl.
Allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package. Drain and set pasta aside.
Assemble the Salad: Coarsely chop the warm veggies and toss with half of the cheese, 3 Tbs. chives, remaining olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining chives, thyme, and cheese.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
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So we’ve made it through ice cream, toppings and servers, and popsicles. You might be wondering what else is left. Why, desserts, of course!

This week, I’ve desserts that don’t fall into one of the above categories. They’re frozen pies, cakes, sandwiches, and other ice cream-like creations. Some are simpler to make and others have a number of steps. The thing they all have in common? They’re sure to impress your guests!

Salted Caramel Brownie Ice Cream Cake curtesy of Diary of a Recipe Collector

Salted Caramel Brownie Ice Cream Cake curtesy of Diary of a Recipe Collector

 

{Frozen Fridays}

Desserts

  1. Banana Split S’mores Ice Cream Cake (from Beyond Frosting)
  2. Blackberry Icebox Cake (from Beyond Frosting)
  3. Cannoli Ice Cream Sandwiches (from A Sprinkle of This and That)
  4. Cherry Almond Chocolate Ripple Semifreddo (from Girl in the Little Read Kitchen)
  5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Bars (from Two Peas and Their Pod)
  6. Coconut Brownies Sundae (from Roxana’s Home Baking)
  7. Fried Ice Cream (from Overtime Cook)
  8. Frosty S’mores Cups (from Easybaked)
  9. Frozen Chocolate Cherry Bars (from Running to the Kitchen)
  10. Fudgy Grasshopper Ice Cream Pie (from Through Her Looking Glass)
  11. Funfetti Cookie Dough Ice Cream Pie (from Beyond Frosting)
  12. Ice Cream Crepes (from French Press)
  13. Lemon Cloud No-Bake Ice Box Cake (from The Slow Roasted Italian)
  14. Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake (no-churn) (from Cupcakes and Kale Chips)
  15. Mocha Brownie Ice Cream Pie (from Handle the Heat)
  16. PB&J Ice Cream Sandwich (from Mom’s Kitchen Handbook)
  17. Pan-Fried Banana Split (from Taste and Tell)
  18. Root Beer Float Pie (from Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch)
  19. Rum-Soaked Grilled Pineapple topped with ice cream (from Gimme Some Oven)
  20. Reeses Ice Cream Cake (from Lemons for Lulu)
  21. Salted Caramel Brownie Ice Cream Cake (from Diary of a Recipe Collector)
  22. Salted Peanut Caramel Ice Cream Bars (from Not Without Salt)
  23. Strawberry Sorbet Cookies (from Epicurean Mom)
  24. Toffee Ice Cream Brownie Bars (from Two Peas and Their Pod)
  25. Vanilla Frozen Yogurt and Blueberry Terrine (from Cooking and Beer)
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Not long ago, I had the opportunity to take a short trip to Denver for a friend’s wedding.Tattered_Cover

As much as I enjoy going out and seeing the sights, I’ve learned something about myself – I enjoy a new city so much more when I’m able to experience it, to savor it. I like being able to linger over a good meal (like we did at Tamayo in Lower Downtown, or Lodo) or wander through the streets looking at street art and architecture. Denver had some beautiful architecture – brick buildings framed with the snow-capped Rockies in the background. We visited the recently remodeled Union Station, where I wished for such elegant train terminals in my area. The train station had loveseats and desks and glass lamps. I could not believe how peaceful and relaxing it looked!

Alas, we did not stop to enjoy the scenery, but instead headed to The Tattered Cover, a large independent bookstore in LoDo. My hubby looked like he wanted to roll his eyes at me when I notified him about our destination, but it didn’t take any real convincing to get him to stop. I was smitten with the place  as soon as I walked in. I was immediately struck by the smell of books – which I rarely find anymore – and the worn wooden shelves, arranged in 90-degree angles rather than straight rows. I could have stayed in there for hours, but I would have come home with more books than my suitcases could handle.

As my hubby and I sat having a cup of coffee, me thumbing the pages of my purchases (two books for me, one for my daughter, and a baby shower gift), we discussed the fate of bookstores in general. My hubby wanted a graphic novel, but told me that it was $10 (about 30%) cheaper on Amazon. While I’m all about shopping around, books are one of the things I’m more than willing to spend money on, especially at brick-and-morter bookstore. Doubly so at an independent bookstore. It makes me sad that so many bookstores are struggling to stay open. I love being able to go, browse the shelves, read the book jackets, sit with a cup of coffee and enjoy a new purchase. That’s something that no online retailer (or e-reader) can give me. (And I feel this way, despite reading about half of my books each year on an ereader.)

Does anyone else share my sentiment on the fate of bookstores today?

And now for a review of one of my purchases from The Tattered Cover. 

The Intern's Handbook{Book Review}

The Intern’s Handbook

By Shane Kuhn

John Lago is one of the best interns Human Resouces, Inc. employes. But he’s not just an intern, Lago, like other interns HR, Inc. places into large corporations, is an assassin.

It’s a pretty brilliant set up. You see, interns work long, thankless hours doing grunt work in order to succeed. They are pretty much invisible to the corporate executives who come to rely on them to do everything from getting coffee to doing work that results in hundreds of thousands of dollars in billable hours. A a result, these interns gain easy access to the company’s executives, their targets, while largely being ignored. And then they move in for the kill, literally.

The Intern’s Handbook is Lago’s unofficial guide for new HR, Inc. recruits who are still in training. It tells of the lessons he’s learned in his decade at the company, through the story of his last assignment – the assassination of a partners of a top Manhattan law firm. The assignment is far from ordinary. Not only must Lago figure out which of the partners to kill (the one that is selling the FBI’s witness protection list) but during the course of his investigation, he learns that his primary asset, Alice, is actually an undercover FBI agent working on the same case that he is. What an assignment!

Review/Recommendation: Author Shane Kuhn’s debut novel was a good, quick read. The cover of the book calls it a thriller, but I’m not sure I’d categorize it so. It was more of an action-packed fiction novel that was heavy on the deception. It’s written in Lago’s blunt, sarcastic voice which is part wit, part dark humor. (If you’re sensitive or easily offended, then this isn’t for you.)

Kudos to Kuhn for taking some twists and turns I didn’t expect. Because everything is based on multiple deceptions, I found myself questioning which threads were complete fabrication and which had some basis on reality. As I was reading the book, I wondered how Kuhn was going to tie everything together. I can honestly say that the ending was something I never saw coming – couldn’t have guessed it in a million years – which is part of the reason that I rated this book so high. You just don’t find that any more.

Grade: A

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Peach-and-Blackberry-Margarita-Popsicles-from-Real-Food-by-Dad

Photo courtesy of Real Food By Dad

If you’ve been following Books n’ Cooks for a while, you know that over my past two pregnancies, I ate like a 6 year old during my first trimester – very little, mostly popsicles (or as I call them, ice pops) and my childhood favorites (bagel pizzas, peanut butter sandwiches, etc). It wasn’t a problem during my first pregnancy, but during my second, my daughter watched me eat ice pop after ice pop. She knew what it meant when the freezer opened and she heard the crinkle of a wrapper. She would come running to share whatever I opened. (I’m ashamed to say that I used to wait for her to go to bed so that I didn’t have to share.)

Now that my son is here, I’m eating a lot less ice pops, but we still have some in the house. It’s beautiful weather, so it’s a refreshing treat. And, I now have the energy – some days, anyway – to make my own. I recently made boozy Raspberry Sangria Popsicles (link below) for my hubby and I to enjoy after the little ones went to bed. That batch didn’t last long. Now I have to decide whether to make them again (they were a hit!), to try another boozy popsicle recipe, or to try out something my daughter can enjoy. What do you think?

{Frozen Fridays}

Popsicles

 

  1. Banana Split Pudding Pops (from The Kitchen McCabe)
  2. Berry Beer Popsicles (from Floating Kitchen)
  3. Blackberry Cheesecake Popsicles (from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen)
  4. Blueberry Greek Yogurt Pops inspired by Frozen (from A Mindful Mom)
  5. Coconut Salted Caramel and Chocolate Popsicles (from The Foodie Teen)
  6. Dark Chocolate Fudgesicles (from Annie’s Eats)
  7. Earl Grey Latte Pops (from Dessert for Two)
  8. Green Monster Popsicles (from Pink Parsley)
  9. Honey Yogurt Berry Pops (from 1-2 Simple Cooking)
  10. Key Lime Pudding Pops (from A Spicy Perspective)
  11. Lime Creamsicles (from Prevention RD)
  12. Limoncello Pops (from A Spicy Perspective)
  13. Milk & Cereal Breakfast Popsicles (from In Katrina’s Kitchen)
  14. Nutella Brownie “Cow” Popsicles (from Lady and Pups)
  15. Peach & Blackberry Margarita Popsicles (from Real Food by Dad)
  16. Peach Creamsicles (from The Cookie Rookie)
  17. Rhubarb Coconut Popsicles (from In Sock Monkey Slippers)
  18. Raspberry Coconut Popsicles (from In Sock Monkey Slippers)
  19. Raspberry Sangria Popsicles (from Chef Savvy)
  20. S’mores Popsicles (from The Crafted Sparrow)
  21. S’mores Ice Cream Popsicles (from Smells Like Home)
  22. Strawberry Basil Green Tea Popsicles (from The Healthy Apple)
  23. Swirled Berry Yogurt Popsicles (from Smitten Kitchen)
  24. Thai Tea Ice Pops (from The Novice Chef)
  25. Tiramisu Pops (from A Spicy Perspective)

If this isn’t enough for you, check out last year’s round-up for another two dozen recipes that caught my eye.

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Fresh Cherry Sauce (photo and recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride)

Fresh Cherry Sauce (photo and recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride)

Considering the dozens and dozens of ice cream recipes that catch my eye, I’ve seen surprisingly few homemade servers (bowls, cones, etc) and toppings. I guess if you’re making your own ice cream, the flavor is so vibrant that you don’t want or need a topping for it. However, there are a couple of these goodies that caught my eye recently. If they’re as good as they look and sound, they’ll be sure to elevate any ice cream – store bought or homemade – to another level.

{Frozen Fridays}

Servers and Toppings

 


Want more? Here’s a dozen more ice cream servers and toppings.

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Chocolate-Hazelnut and Toasted Marshmallow Gelato from Floating Kitchen

Chocolate-Hazelnut and Toasted Marshmallow Gelato from Floating Kitchen

Growing up, my mom used to make this fantastic Oreo ice cream. I don’t remember her making many varieties other than vanilla and Oreo, but the Oreo ice cream is the one we all loved. Mom only ever used Double Stuffers, because, really, the frosted center is the reason for eating the cookies. The trick was to get the biggest chunks of Oreo cookie that you could. The cookie would be soft from the ice cream, and the super sweet frosted center would shine through. That ice cream was summer for me.

Now, I look forward to the warm weather and when I can break out my ice cream maker. I never have the time to try even a fraction of the recipes I bookmark, but I enjoy trying. So far this year, I’ve made a classic vanilla ice cream (that only lasted 2 days in the house) and tried out a new recipe for sangria popsicles. I’ve decided that the trick is that I have to make the ice cream, stash it in the basement freezer, and clean up the evidence before my hubby knows I’ve made some. Unless I’m a mean wifey and make something I know he’ll dislike, once my hubby knows there’s ice cream in the house, he’ll have (and I’ll inevitably end up joining him) a bowl a night until it’s gone.

Anyway, without further ado, let’s begin the second year of Frozen Fridays – a new roundup of summer treats every Friday for the month of July. This week, I present to you two dozen ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, etc recipes that caught my eye recently. If you give any of them a try, please come back and let me know what you thought of them!

Raspberry Pistachio Coconut Ice Cream from The Foodie Teen

Raspberry Pistachio Coconut Ice Cream from The Foodie Teen

{Frozen Fridays}

Ice Creams, Sorbets, and More!

 

If this isn’t enough for you, check out last year’s round-up for another two dozen recipes that caught my eye.

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Vanilla Ice Cream

When the weather finally turned into sunshine and spring a month or so ago, I jumped at the chance to make homemade ice cream. I love the rich vanilla flavor and super smooth texture of homemade ice cream. This is my hubby’s favorite vanilla recipe – Philadelphia-style, made with milk and cream, with no egg yolks (unlike my perfered French-style ice cream). While we each have our preferences, it doesn’t really matter which type I make – one batch will be gone before I have the time to make another.

Clearly I adored the photos I took of my little model, and had to include them in this post! I was astonished that she was so enthusiastic about the ice cream – up until now, she could care less about ice cream and when we got her to taste some, she spit out every single sprinkle that made it into her mouth.

Vanilla Ice Cream

I can’t help it – she’s just too cute. There’s a simple shot of just the ice cream below. There was quite a bit of hand-swatting to keep the little one away from it!   :)

Like this post? Come back on Friday to see a roundup of more than two dozen ice cream, sorbet, etc. recipes from other bloggers!

Vanilla Ice Cream, Philadelphia-Style

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebowitz (p. 25)

Makes 1 Quart

Ingredients:

  • 3 c. heavy cream (or 2 c. heavy cream + 1 c. whole milk)
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine 1 c. heavy Vanilla Ice Cream cream, sugar, and salt. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds. Add both seeds and pod to pot. Cool, stirring regularly, until sugar is melted.

Remove from heat and stir in remaining heavy cream and vanilla extract. Allow to cool slightly before moving to a fridge to chill for a few hours.

Remove vanilla bean pods (reserving for other uses, if desired – see tip below) and transfer to ice cream make, processing according to manufacturer’s instructions. (My Cuisinart ice cream maker called for 15-20 minutes – I processed it for 20 minutes for a thicker consistency.)

Tip: Vanilla beans can be used a few times before completely losing their flavor. In this case, after using the vanilla bean pod, allow to dry on a paper towel and add to a container of sugar to flavor sugar. Or, add to an existing container of vanilla extract.

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Rosemary Walnut Baked Chicken

I found this recipe a few years ago and went through a phase of making it all of the time. I had forgotten about it until recently. I quickly added this old favorite back into our regular dinner rotation and vowed not to forget about it again. This baked, crispy chicken is healthy, flavorful, and an easy 30 minute meal for a weeknight dinner. Can’t beat that!

Recipe Notes & Tips:

  • I always slice my chicken cutlets thinly, so they tend to cook a little faster. I’ve also taken to prepping a bunch of chicken ahead of time, portioning it into our ideal cooking portions (enough for dinner + leftovers for lunch), and freezing. The chicken defrosts quickly and removes one step from my weeknight dinner prep.
  • I don’t typically have buttermilk on hand. I’ve used whole milk, half-and-half, or whatever cream I have in the fridge. I’ve also made my own buttermilk with milk and a little lemon juice. Take your pick on what you’d like to do.
  • I’ve made this recipe using both unseasoned breadcrumbs and panko breadcrumbs. Comes out great both ways. Again, just depends on what I have in the house.
  • I keep “fresh” rosemary in my freezer. At the end of every summer, rosemary plants are trimmed back. Leaves are removed from the stems, washed, given a rough chop, and frozen in an airtight container. This gives me “fresh” rosemary all year round, without having to purchase the costly containers at the grocery store.
  • This recipe is easily multiplied. I like to make a big batch of the panko-walnut breading and store it in the freezer to shave time off of weeknight dinner prep.

Rosemary Walnut Baked Chicken

Rosemary Walnut Baked Chicken

Adapted from Cooking Light

Serves 4

Ingredients for the Crust:

  • 1/3 c. panko breadcrumbs*
  • 1/3 c. chopped walnuts*
  • 2 Tbs. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (freshly grated, if you have it)
  • 1 generous tsp. minced fresh rosemary*
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

* See recipe notes and tips above.

Ingredients for the Chicken:

  • 1/4 c. buttermilk
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 4 chicken cutlets, trimmed of fat
  • cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place a wire rack on a foil-lined baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

Make Rosemary Walnut Crust: In a small skillet over low heat, toast panko breadcrumbs until golden, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Place panko breadcrumbs and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 5-10 times, until finely chopped. (You can skip this step if you can chop your walnuts small enough, but I found the finer consistency from a brief whirl in the food processor made for easier coating.)

Combine panko, walnuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, rosemary, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. (If making a large batch to freeze extra, portion out some for immediate use and store extra in an airtight container or ziplock bag.)

Assemble and Bake the Chicken: In a shallow bowl, whisk together buttermilk and mustard until combined. Add chicken to mixture, turning to coat. Dredge chicken through panko-walnut mixture, ensuring that both sides are evenly coated.

Place chicken on prepared baking sheet/wire rack. Spray top of chicken with cooking spray. Bake for approximately 13 minutes (less time for thinner slices, more for thicker), or until chicken is cooked through.

Serve hot.

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Note: This review has been written to avoid spoilers for the books later in the series. 

Daughter of Smoke & Bones Trilogy

{Book Review}

Daughter of Smoke and Bones Trilogy

By Laini Taylor

This trilogy consists of the following books: Daughter of Smoke & Bones (#1), Days of Blood and Starlight (#2), and Dreams of Gods & Monsters (#3). The trilogy tells the story of a blue-headed girl, Karou, who lives in Prague and was raised by monsters. Karou attends an art school and visits her monster family whenever Brimstone – the head of the family – needs her to collect teeth (or “run errands,” as she tells her human friends). But one day, black handprints start appearing on doors that lead to her monster family. The doors burn and Karou is cut off from the only family she’s ever known.

The burning of the doors throws Karou into a tailspin. She embarks on a search to find her loved ones and in the process, becomes a key player in another world, Eretz, a world of which she knew nothing. Karou is the only human in a world of angels (seraph) and monsters, or “creatures of mixed aspect” (chimera).* It takes an angel (Akiva) to introduce her to the world – to unveil the secrets of her past; shed light on a war in which she’d play a key role; and encourage her to dream of peace.

Review/Recommendation: I started this series because it seemed to be all over the place – I was seeing the trilogy in bookstore displays and it was regularly popping up in my Goodreads feed. I knew little about the trilogy until I picked up the first book and read the back, which actually read more like a mystery than it actually was. Even though it wasn’t what I expected, I was hooked almost immediately.

The Format: I listened to the first book in the trilogy but read the other two. I enjoyed both formats, but am really glad I listened to the first book. It helped immensely in learning the intended pronunciation of foreign and made up names and words that appeared frequently in all three books.

The Writing: For the most part, the writing was simple, clean, and easy to read. However, in Daughter of Smoke & Bones, something about the verbiage used made me think that Taylor was attempting to appeal to an older audience or was still finding her voice. This didn’t happen frequently, but the instances dwindled and eventually disappeared as the story progressed.

The Story & The Characters: I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline that traversed the trilogy. Taylor quickly engaged the reader, or at least me, making it difficult to put the books down. There is something in the series for everyone – a little mystery and intrigue, secrets and deception, betrayal and revenge, love, and a lot of hope.

All of the characters in the trilogy had strong personalities that evoked strong feelings for the reader – love them, hate them, be repulsed by them, whatever… all of the primary and secondary characters evoked a strong feeling for me as I was reading. There was a fairly wide spread of personalities – indisputable villains among both the seraph and chimera, quirky and witty human friends, Akiva’s strong-willed sister and gentle-tempered brother… the diversity kept the books interesting. I appreciated that both these major characters as well as other secondary characters showed the propensity for change, as they got to know other characters and the opposite species.

The story slowed down a bit towards the end (the second half of the third book), as things got a little more… philosophical, as the characters delved into discussions about the existence of space and time barriers. Interesting, but a very difference change of pace from the rest of the trilogy.

All in all, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this series, since I picked it up pretty randomly. If you haven’t read any of Taylor’s works and enjoy fantasy novels, I definitely recommend this one. For my part, I will most certainly be checking out Taylor’s other work very soon.

Grade: A

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