Receiving Reviews

I can’t think of a single author who enjoys receiving bad reviews. 

I mean, if you put a lot of time and effort into writing and editing your story, the last thing you want is for someone who may have never even written a book to come along and start bashing your story for not being what they wanted it to be.

But everyone has their tastes and opinions. 

No Bad Books

There are books that my friends enjoy that I can’t stand, and there are books that I love that other people despise.

And that’s actually one of the things that I love about the writing and reading community as a whole. There are so many different genres and sub-genres that anyone can find something that they enjoy reading or writing.

I’ve learned that there’s no such thing as a bad story (at least for the most part).

Even a badly written story with a terrible plot and unlikable characters can become popular if it finds the right audience. Take, [whatever super popular book that you despise but everyone else loves], for example. 

One Bad Review

After my book, The Librarian’s Ruse was published, I asked a lot of people to review the story. I didn’t ask any of them to give me a good review, but many of them genuinely enjoyed the story and left me good reviews on GoodReads and Amazon anyway.

It wasn’t until a couple weeks later that I got my first negative review. I knew even before my book was published that I’d probably get some bad or negative reviews, but somehow it still managed to catch me off-guard.

All Reviews Are Good Reviews

I didn’t know the person, or anything about them other than the fact that they had read my book and didn’t like it. But when my brother heard about the review I got, he smiled at me and said, “Congratulations! People are reading your book!”

And he’s right. My book is out in the wild, and people are reading it. New reviews—good and bad—are proof of that.

Is it a little scary? Sure. But am I excited? Absolutely!

Speaking Of Reviews…

Since we’re on the topic of reviews, let me share a few of my favorite reviews that people have written for The Librarian’s Ruse.

People who enjoyed the puckish, wholesome humor of The Princess Bride, the royal/political intrigue of Defy the Night, and the chaotic sibling dynamic of Twin Crowns will definitely love this book.

The Libarian’s Ruse is a light, quick, and rambunctious read. There’s no wild scramble to prevent the end of the world or all-powerful evil to conquer, but rather a fun political adventure with two vastly contradicting siblings. There’s an adorable balance of sweetness and sarcastic wit. Amelia is earnest, thoughtful, and unabashedly good. She’s levelheaded and brave but by no means fearless, making her character all the more loveable. While Amelia was wonderful, Leon was my favorite. He was snarky and bold with a dash of ambition that made me root for him even when his intentions weren’t the most honorable.

-L.T. Ellis

(Read Leah’s full review on

Mistaken identity? Mercenaries? Handsome young emperors? And librarians?? Yes please!!

I enjoyed The Librarian’s Ruse a lot! It’s a quick read- I read it in under two hours- and was a great way to spend an afternoon. It reminded me of Jaye L Knight’s “Ilyon Chronicles”, only for a younger audience. The plot twists!! They had me on the edge of my seat. There were times I thought I had the rest of the story figured out but then Thirzah would prove me wrong.

I would definitely recommend this book to young teen readers who are interested in fantasy with a hint of clean romance!

-Abby Bales

(Read the rest of Abby’s thoughts on

I’ve followed Thirzah’s work for some time now, and her debut novel does not disappoint! The story had a fun blend of contrasting fairytale themes. Leon reminded me of leads in fairytales where deception and wiliness were presented as resourcefulness (Aladdin, Puss in Boots, Rumpelstiltskin, etc.), and Amelia reminded me of fairytale leads who were rewarded for their virtue and honesty (Cinderella, Snow White and Rose Red, Lizina from The Colony of Cats, etc.). Whether the homage was intentional or not, it made me think of those two, primary themes in myths, and they go head-to-head as tangible characters in The Librarian’s Ruse.

The novel was well-written in an easy-going pace, not overly descriptive and not over-dramatic. This, combined with the book’s shorter length, make it perfect for a YA audience who’s in search of a clean, fun read. This is the type of book that I would highly recommend to my younger sister (15) and her friends, though it would cater to a younger and older audience as well. In essence, it’s a treat for all ages and definitely the type of book I’d like to see more of on the market! Can’t wait for the second!

-Audrey Laine

The day when you find a book like ‘The Librarian’s Ruse’ is a day to celebrate. You’ll be hard pressed to find a fantasy book that keeps to the standards of Thirzah’s work—it is a read that both your conscience and your sense of humor can feel good about. While the plot is serious and the characters do run into some danger, there are also a lot of opportunities to laugh—and there are few things I love more than when a book makes me laugh aloud!

As to getting down to the nitty-gritty of story structure, it was a well done debut novel. The main characters had clear motives, the plot had a few twists—while remaining easy to follow, and the theme of the novel was integrated in a way that felt natural and never forced.

I will always cheer for characters that choose to take the high-road. Likewise, an author who chooses to write a book that I can genuinely recommend deserves a hearty round of applause. And an encore. Can we have another story, Thirzah?…Please 🙂

-Kya Rayne

From the start I was swept into another world. The writing is brilliant! It invites the reader to imagine countless possibilities while clinging to hope that things will resolve for the characters who have won our hearts. I will be nagging the author for the sequel.

-Kyle Peters, author of Every Bush Afire

I loved this book! This book is filled with adventure, mystery and romance that is perfect for teens 12 and up! It is funny, interesting and sooooo well written! The dialog was amazing, the plot line was spot on, basically I am obsessed with it and love it!!!!! There is some violence, mention of people getting killed or execution victims. (Only mentioned not described.)

Over all, I love, Love, LOVE this book! And I need more!!!!!!!!! I totally suggest this short story to any Christian teen who loves a good fantasy adventure! (Now if you will excuse me, I need to go and re-read this book and love it all over again!)

-The Young Llama Reader

(Read Kelsey’s full review on

Before You Go…

If you haven’t yet, I’d really appreciate it if you would help the right audience find my book by leaving your own review of The Librarian’s Ruse!

You can leave your reviews on Amazon, GoodReads, or Barnes & Noble.

Thank you so much!

Also, I’m still in Europe. Why? Read last week’s blog.

Want To Read A Free Short Story?

Enter your email and get my latest fantasy short story, Rule of Dance, sent straight to your inbox right now!

Your free short story is on its way to your inbox!