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Just Awful
Anypony who likes Daring Do is properly a six month old filly. There, I said it! The plots are insultingly simplistic, the characters are irritating and there is something very iffy about the books' portayal of donkies. I am a sixth generation donkey (and damn proud of it!) and we are NOT all pack mules, thank you very much.

In short, Daring Do is boring, repetive and just plain speciest. If you like this series then Celestia should send you to the moon!
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The Alicorn's Shadow: Surprisingly Dark But Nowhere Near A Bad Thing
As a father of two mares and a foal, I enjoy the Daring Do series as much as they do and I appreciate that they have aspects that adults can enjoy as well. When Alicorn's Shadow came out, I immediately purchased a copy. As we read together, I was quite astonished at how...different this one is.

I don't want to spoil anything for anypony, so I'll give a brief synopsis: Daring Do has found the ancient battlefield of the battle between Princess Celestia and Nightmare Moon, but she isn't the only one who has found it. Enter Sebastius Mareton, a treasure hunter who lacks the morals Daring has. The race is on to find the ancient battleground, unawares of the dark remnants of Nightmare Moon's powers.

We were so used to the goofiness and lack of foresight of Ahuizotl. Mareton is a completely different monster all together.

I do appreciate the similarities between Daring and Mareton. It seems to be that Mareton is what Daring could've been if she didn't have her family. It is dark, but in a surprisingly mature way that does not betray the themes or the intended demographic. What I should warn ponies about is that for some parents, it may be a bit too dark for them. But I argue that sometimes books intended for foals and mares can be if handled competently, like it is in Alicorn's Shadow.

Grade: A-
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The Staff of Star Swirl the Bearded
As a(n Earth Pony) direct descendent of the titular Unicorn of this volume, I must say it's by far my favorite.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

The story starts off differently than the rest in the series; we're following Bravado in his continuing quest for "the fragments", having already procured three of the seven, and looking for the fourth down in Brayzil. He crosses paths with Daring along the way (as he usually does), but a few chapters later we find out it's actually the hired hoof Zuri in disguise, when she knocks him out and steals the four fragments of the Staff. After a heated fight in the streets of Rio de Janeighro, Bravado manages to get the fragments back, but realizes they're not safe with him anymore. Obviously, the best place to keep them safe is with the one pony he knows he can always trust: Professor Daring Do.

Bravado arrives in Canterlot on a Friday afternoon, just as Daring is finishing her last class of the week. The two chat for a while, exchanging tales of heroism and treasure hunting, and Bravado asks if Daring would like to join him on his next fragment run. She responds with some sarcasm, and then gets serious and suggests splitting up. She's heard rumors of a fragment in Trottingham and volunteers to lead a separate team, since she's got a trip scheduled for there anyway.

The story follows Daring and Storm Talon's trip to Trottingham, defeating the twisted baker Sweeney Trot, and procuring the fragment they'd come looking for...but at a terrible cost. A few chapters dwell on how they're affected by the loss of Lightning Kicker, but we eventually get back to the action. Bravado has found the sixth fragment, and Ahuizotl sends taunting word that he has the seventh. Bravado and Daring board the Explorer and make for the monster's hideout back in the southern provinces. This all leads up to a climactic battle aboard the roof (including a five-minute Enemy Mine with Ahuizotl when Zuri rears her ugly face again), as detailed on the CMoA page.

When all is said and done, the completed Staff is turned in to the Canterlot Museum, And The Adventure Continues.

All in all, I cannot recommend this volume enough. If you have to pick a book to recommend if you're looking to get somepony hooked on this series and can't find Quest for the Sapphire Statue, this is the one.
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Daring-Do and the Quest for the Sapphire Stone.
One day, my friend handed me a copy of the book while in the hospital. Needless to say, I was quickly addicted.

The plot is VERY engaging, with multiple sub plots, such as Ahuitzotl's history. How did he became so evil? Why does he want to kill Daring Do? The descriptions are very detailed, so much I almost thought I was the character!

Next up, the continuity. Almost every book is connected to each other in the same way, so you have to read all the books to understand everything!

A 9/10! With descriptions so vivid, you thought it was real, and easy-to-understand details, this book is a book for everypony. However, the problem of buying all the books to understand everything, is what drops the score to a 9/10.

Remember, "Another Day, another Book!"
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