The Map Maker’s Daughter by Caroline Dunford @verdandiweaves @SpellBoundBks @zooloo2008 #yafiction #fantasy #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Map Maker’s Daughter by Caroline Dunford. This is a Young Adult fantasy read that I really enjoyed.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s Book tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-cop of the book.

Sharra’s world is a terrifying place.

Violent seismic ‘Shifts’ and outbreaks of an all-consuming black fire radically alter landscapes on an increasingly frequent basis. Only the Map Makers can predict where the Shift will fall, and Sharra, daughter to one of the most famous Map Makers, yearns to join their ranks and break a cultural taboo which forbids female cartographers. Sharra’s father, Lord Milton, is one of the few to challenge the current order, but his shadowy past limits his political reach and his second wife, Lady Ivory, is determined to manipulate him to ensure a privileged future for herself and her daughter, Jayne.

The main obstacle standing in Ivory’s way is Sharra.

MY REVIEW…

This is a wonderful Young Adult Fantasy book that follows the adventures of Sharra, she is the daughter of a mapmaker. Their role is to warn the world when the earth shift. When shifts happen danger and death follow.

Sharra is not like most girls her age, she’s a bit of a tom-boy, gets into trouble and is interested in the skill of map-making. This skill isn’t just your average map-making, it is a skill that literally can move mountains. Girls and women do not possess this skill, but then Sharra’s mother had the skill so it can happen.

This is a really enjoyable fantasy story, it has some magical intrigue to it and it is easy to follow. I would say that this is more a lighter fantasy book and it would work very well for younger readers. There is enough description to keep the plotline flowing and plenty of mystery and intrigue to keep the attention. I soon found myself caught up in this book and quite unable to leave it until I had finished it.

The character of Shanna is an interesting one, she has a stepmother who is always on at her, a father who is trying his best and also the stereotype of what society expects of a young woman of her position. This gives several elements that make for interesting reading. Add into this the danger that Shanna is in from those who want to have more of a hold over the map-making skills and it makes for a good action-adventure story.

I really enjoyed this, it is a good Young Adult Fantasy that I read in one sitting, I did find it wrapped up a little quick for me, and I could have quite easily read another 50 pages or so. I also think there is the potential here for another follow on book and if that is the case I would definitely be picking that one up. This is a fantasy, coming of age type story and one I would happily recommend. 

About the Author…

Caroline lives for stories. Reading them. Telling them, Watching them. She can’t get enough of them. She can hypnotise people and she sings well in the shower. She enjoys cooking, but hates housework, and has managed to convince everyone who knows her that she doesn’t understand washing up. So much so that when friends visit some of them do it for her. Fortunately she also has a dishwasher. She always feels she didn’t make enough of her teenage years, and hopes that at least the teenagers in her books do!

Visit Caroline at – Facebook Instagram TwitterWebsite

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The Wolf and The Woodsman by Ava Reid #20booksofsummer #1 #fantasy @DelReyUK #NetGalley #readingchallenge #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Wolf and The Woodsman by Ava Reid. This is the first of the books I read in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

This book is a fantasy that has a folk tale, fairy tale feel to it. Let me show you more…

A dark, evocative and unforgettable fantasy debut steeped in Hungarian history and Jewish mythology, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Katherine Arden.

‘Rooted in history and myth, The Wolf and the Woodsman is a stunning debut . . . It will twine like a dark forest around your heart.’Samantha Shannon, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Priory of the Orange Tree
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Stories don’t have to be true to be real…

In her forest-veiled pagan village, Évike is the only woman without power, making her an outcast clearly abandoned by the gods. When soldiers arrive from the Holy Order of Woodsmen to claim a pagan girl for the king’s blood sacrifice, Évike is betrayed by her fellow villagers and surrendered.

But when monsters attack the Woodsmen and their captive en route, slaughtering everyone but Évike and the cold, one-eyed captain, they have no choice but to rely on each other. Except he’s no ordinary Woodsman – he’s the disgraced prince, Gáspár Bárány, whose father needs pagan magic to consolidate his power. Gáspár fears that his cruelly zealous brother plans to seize the throne and instigate a violent reign that would damn the pagans and the Yehuli alike. As the son of a reviled foreign queen, Gáspár understands what it’s like to be an outcast, and he and Évike make a tenuous pact to stop his brother.

As their mission takes them from the bitter northern tundra to the smog-choked capital, their mutual loathing slowly turns to affection, bound by a shared history of alienation and oppression. However, trust can easily turn to betrayal, and as Évike reconnects with her estranged father and discovers her own hidden magic, she and Gáspár need to decide whose side they’re on, and what they’re willing to give up for a nation that never cared for them at all.

My Review…

I do like books that have elements of mythology and history in them. This one has Hungarian history and Jewish mythology woven into the story. I am not familiar with either, so I found a story that had a grown-up, or more adult style fairy tale feel to it.

Evike is a wolf girl but not like the others in her village. She does not have one of the magical abilities of the other though. This leads her to feel like an outcast or loner. She is bullied and not made to feel like she belongs. AS she doesn’t have the powers, she is not as valuable and therefore becomes the obvious choice to send to the King.

Gaspar is a woodsman, he is also the Kings son. He is another character who doesn’t really fit, he has mixed blood, and some see him as not being fit to be the next king.

Over the course of the story, the author gradually builds on her characters beliefs, thoughts and views. Being different or belonging to a different culture is something that is a strong theme in this story. Evike is a pagan and looked down upon. Gaspar is a follower of the Holy Order of Woodsmen. Their differences are shown, but they gradually become to understand each other. Bloodlines, faith, beliefs and cultures are something that the author has worked in so well. She shows different sides and viewpoints as well as extremes.

Being a book that deals with magical abilities, it puts this in a fantasy genre, but in some respects, it also falls into a coming of age for Evike. I was quite sad when I finished this book, I found it captivating as the two main characters travelled. Exciting as they met knew creatures and people. Addictive when it came to the dynamics and power struggles.

I thoroughly enjoyed this and it lived up to my expectations. I would definitely recommend it.

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Threadneedle by Cari Thomas @Cari_Threads #Threadneedle @RandomTTours @HarperVoyagerUK #urbanfantasy #NetGalley #debutauthor #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for Threadneedle by Cari Thomas. I adored this book so much and I would like to thank Anne at Random Things Tours and Harper Voyager UK for my spot on the tour and for my e-copy of this gorgeous book.

Anna’s aunt has always warned her of the dangers of magic. Its twists. Its knots. Its deadly consequences.
Now Anna counts down the days to the ceremony that will bind her magic forever.


Until she meets Effie and Attis.


They open her eyes to a London she never knew existed. A shop that sells memories. A secret library where the librarian feeds off words. A club where revellers lose themselves in a haze of spells.


But as she is swept deeper into this world, Anna begins to wonder if her aunt was right all along.
Is her magic a gift…or a curse?


Told through spells created with knots and threads, this is a story that is both innovative and
based in traditional witchcraft.

My Review…

Wow-what an amazing book this was. I had such high hopes for this book as I was really in the mood for a witchy fantasy type story and this is what I got and so much more.

Anna has been warned about the dangers of magic and its use. Rather than risking the danger, it would be better if Anna had her magic bound, in other words, has it blocked so she cannot use it. Anna sort of goes along with this until she discovers that she is not alone in this magical world. That others have powers and that they do use them. They are not all of the same opinions as Anna’s guardian and Aunt. I have to say, thank goodness they don’t share her opinion.

Mysterious deaths are reported in the paper, with a range of far-fetched sounding rumours. I mean there are no switches, it is a myth, right? Well, as far as the author, Anna and her friends are concerned there are witches, they are not myths, they are just good at hiding themselves.

I adored everything about this book apart from one thing… it ended and I have to wait for more! This was such an easy book to get caught up in, the story of Anna and her Aunt is at times brutal. The author really does have a great way of expressing the term “tough love”, there is more to this than first meets the eye though. Safety, fear and danger have a large part to play.

I do like how the author brings a group of misfits together and how she uses them to good effect to deal with being a teen and the problems that come with it. In some respect, this is a story about a group of teens who are dealing with life, school and the whole rebel thing but this group has a little more up their sleeves than your average teen.

I also like how the way the author gave various traits and characteristics to the group but then challenges their characters. I am not revealing how this occurs, while it isn’t exactly a major part of the story it does show the progress that the group makes as a whole.

This is a coming of age story, it is about learning lessons in life and that actions have consequences. Yes, it is a young adult read that I do think that age group of readers would love, but also the older readers. I did at times feel a hint of A Discovery of Witches, as Anna learns more about the magic and (I love that series of books btw).

This is a wonderful fantasy book that mixes magic with a world of today. It is simply a brilliant book and as I read it over a couple of days I was hooked, addicted and didn’t want it to end. It really didn’t feel like a book over 500 pages long. It is one I would definitely recommend and I am eager to see more in this exciting new series. 

About the Author…

Cari Thomas has always loved magic, inspired by her upbringing among the woods and myths of Wales’
Wye Valley. She studied English and Creative Writing at Warwick University and Magazine Journalism at
The Cardiff School of Journalism. Her first job was at teen Sugar magazine where she ran the book club and
quickly realized she wanted to be the one writing the books instead. She went on to work at a creative
agency, spending her spare time researching magic and accumulating an unusual collection of occult books.
She wrote her debut novel Threadneedle while living in London, wandering the city and weaving it with
all the magic she wished it contained. She now lives in Bristol with her husband and son, who bears the
appropriately Celtic name of Taliesin.

A Note from the Author…

I remember the old family stories about my Great Aunt Mary. A fiercely independent, enigmatic woman who was said to be a witch. Perhaps it was these early stories seeping into my subconscious, perhaps it was devouring The Worst Witch, or growing up in rural Wales surrounded by myth and fairy tales, or maybe it was just me, but from a young age I developed a fascination for all things witches and magic.
But let’s not forget that the witch’s hut always sits outside of the village for a reason. In my research, I became just as obsessed with magic’s opposite forces – repression, fear, suspicion and prejudice. After all, if my Great Aunt Mary had been alive a few centuries earlier she may well have been burnt at the stake.
Witch hunts became an area of fascination for me and the more I read the more outraged I became – how powerful, outspoken women and men, or people of the pagan faith, or simply outsiders, have time and time again been suppressed, silenced and extinguished from society. How the power structure of the day meant that it was near impossible for them to have a voice and to defend themselves.
Why was it such people terrified those in power? Why were we not taught more about this dark period
of history? Why did the themes feel like they still resonated so strongly today?
I explore these tensions in Threadneedle- the freedoms of magic set against a fear of witches and feminine
power; schoolgirls forced to take on the injustices of the world one spell at a time.
The sheer joy of writing the book came in bringing these tensions into the modern world and particularly
into the London setting we think we know. Ultimately, this is where the heart of the story lies: in feminine power and sisterhood, bringing together
an unlikely set of outsiders, who together must navigate their way through the light and dark of being
a young woman in today’s world. A world that is more complex than ever and yet still plagued by many
of the same issues that my Great Aunt Mary would have faced, and all the witches who came before her.

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Malice by Heather Walter @penguinrandom #NetGalley #Fantasy #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Malice by Heather Walter. This is a fab read and my thanks to Random House UK for approving my request to read this e-book via NetGalley.

I love the cover for this book!

The princess isn’t supposed to fall for an evil sorceress. But in this darkly magical retelling of Sleeping Beauty, true love is more complicated than a simple fairy tale. 

Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who, in an act of vengeance, cursed a line of princesses to die. A curse that could only be broken by true love’s kiss.

You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? The handsome prince. The happily-ever-after.

Utter nonsense.

Let me tell you, no one in Briar actually cares about what happens to its princesses. Not the way they care about their jewels and elaborate parties and charm-granting elixirs. I thought I didn’t care, either.

Until I met her.

Princess Aurora. The last heir to Briar’s throne. Kind. Gracious. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am Alyce, the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Humiliated and shamed by the same nobles who pay me to bottle hexes and then brand me a monster. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she . . . cares for me. Even though it was a power like mine that was responsible for her curse.

But with less than a year until that curse will kill her, any future I might see with Aurora is swiftly disintegrating—and she can’t stand to kiss yet another insipid prince. I want to help her. If my power began her curse, perhaps it’s what can lift it. Perhaps, together, we could forge a new world.

Nonsense again.

Because we all know how this story ends, don’t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I—

I am the villain.

My Review…

I really enjoyed this re-telling of the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. It is the story of Alyce, or as she is nicknamed Malyce! She is a Vila, known as a Dark Grace. The Grace’s are the fairy’s if you like, and are admired, revered and people visit it them for the charms they make. Alyce doesn’t make charms like wisdom, beauty, intellect, she makes curses such as warts, forgetfulness and other inconveniences.

The story is how the “wicked witch” in the tale of Sleeping Beauty comes into being. The author has taken Alyce and adapted her story giving this young woman a backstory. Alyce does not fit in, she is considered an abomination and is bullied and looked down upon. All she wants is to be like the other Grace’s but her skin is dry, her hair lank, her blood green and is so different from the others. The Grace’s make charms for money, it gives them a purpose and a way of making a living and people do come to see Alyce as well.

The story takes a route that sees a friendship form, it unlikely and also frowned upon. Alyce discovers more about her villa heritage and how she is different from the other Grace’s. The author has then expanded on this difference in several ways and gradually bring Alyce up to the story we know concerning Princess Aurora becoming the Sleeping Beauty.

I found this to be a really enjoyable story and it did have a teen or young adult feel to it, and for me, this made it an easy book to read but one that did have a really captivating storyline. After finishing the story I did think that it felt right. There was a good amount of information, some history and also a general feel of Alyce being bullied and almost forced into becoming what she does.

While it is aimed at a teen or young adult market I really enjoyed escaping into this fantasy novel. It was interesting and I really enjoyed the route the author chose. One I would recommend if you are looking for a bit of escapism and also for returning to a childhood classic.

Malice is due for Publication on 13th April 2021

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The Fall of Koli by M.R. Carey @michaelcarey191 @Tr4cyF3nt0n #compulsivereaders @orbitbooks #fantasy #dystopian #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Fall of Koli by M.R. Carey. I am also gutted that this is the final book in The Rampart Trilogy.

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my book with the publisher Orbit Books.

The Fall of Koli is the third and final novel in the breathtakingly original Rampart trilogy – set in a strange and deadly world of our own making.

The world that is lost will come back to haunt us . . .

Koli has come a long way since being exiled from his small village of Mythen Rood. In his search for the fabled tech of the old times, he knew he’d be battling strange, terrible beasts and trees that move as fast as whips. But he has already encountered so much more than he bargained for.

Now that Koli and his companions have found the source of the signal they’ve been following – the mysterious “Sword of Albion” – there is hope that their perilous journey will finally be worth something.

Until they unearth terrifying truths about an ancient war . . . and realise that it may have never ended.

My Review…


The Fall of Koli is the final book in the trilogy and as much as I was eager to read it there is also a sadness knowing this is it.

Having previously read and loved the first two books I didn’t even think about reading the synopsis before I began. The title gives an indication that the story is coming to an end, but how that end is arrived at was something that I was strangely nervous about.

If you have read the previous books then you know that this is set in the future, it has several characters that join the main character Koli. Koli is an exile from his village and has to survive the wilderness. Not your average forest, this one has trees and plants that are as fierce and carnivorous as wild animals.

While Koli is making his journey, the village he has left behind has not been forgotten by the author. Spinner’s character is used skillfully to keep the reader up to date with what is happening in Mythen Rood.

The world the author has created is one that is full of awe, wonder and danger. Old technology is prized, even more so if it still works. One piece of tech is Monono. There are also weapons and medical equipment.

The final book sees the author filling in gaps, linking stories and also going back to finally give the reader the full picture. Explanations about some of the tech, what a strange signal is and also to give such a wonderful conclusion.

I am aware that this review may be vague, but if you have not read the previous books then there should be no spoilers.

M.R. Carey has created a world of characters having adventures that I adored. Each book has been an addictive read, from building blocks of the first book, through to more explanations and travels in the second until the final stunning conclusion of the final one.

An absolutely amazing trilogy from start to finish and it is one I would very absolutely recommend to those who like dystopian and fantasy genres.

About the Author…

M.R. Carey

Mike Carey is the acclaimed writer of Lucifer and Hellblazer (now filmed as Constantine). He has recently completed a comics adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, and is the current writer on Marvel’s X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four. He has also written the screenplay for a movie, Frost Flowers, which is soon to be produced by Hadaly Films and Bluestar Pictures.

Also writes as Mike Carey 

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Here are all three books in all of their gorgeous-ness

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The Stranger Times by C.K McDonnell @TransworldBooks #fantasy #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Stranger Times by C.K. McDonnell. This is a brilliantly mad and quirky book and was ideal for a bit of pure escapism. My huge thanks to Bantam Press for accepting my request to read via NetGalley.

Here is more about the book…

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There are dark forces at work in our world (and in Manchester in particular), so thank God The Stranger Times is on hand to report them . . .

A weekly newspaper dedicated to the weird and the wonderful (but mostly the weird), it is the go-to publication for the unexplained and inexplicable.

At least that’s their pitch. The reality is rather less auspicious. Their editor is a drunken, foul-tempered and foul-mouthed husk of a man who thinks little of the publication he edits. His staff are a ragtag group of misfits. And as for the assistant editor . . . well, that job is a revolving door – and it has just revolved to reveal Hannah Willis, who’s got problems of her own.

When tragedy strikes in her first week on the job The Stranger Times is forced to do some serious investigating. What they discover leads to a shocking realisation: some of the stories they’d previously dismissed as nonsense are in fact terrifyingly real. Soon they come face-to-face with darker forces than they could ever have imagined.

The Stranger Times is the first novel from C.K. McDonnell, the pen name of Caimh McDonnell. It combines his distinctive dark wit with his love of the weird and wonderful to deliver a joyous celebration of how truth really can be stranger than fiction.

My Review…

This is one of those weirdly, quirky, slightly eccentric, mad-cap books and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It one that was highly entertaining.

Hannah has left her husband, she is has gone from being a socialite as such married to a man with plenty of money but who doesn’t know how to keep it on his pants. She now searches the bargains in the food aisles and hoping she will soon find a job.

One interview is at The Stranger Times newspaper, a paper that reports weird and wonderful stories. Alien abductions, Elvis being alive, you know the sort! More esoteric rather than mainstream to say the least. But, it is a job. If the paper wasn’t weird enough then the other employees are definitely filling the void that is left, in a rather fun way.

The story itself is of two deaths. The first is that of a homeless man, the second is a suicide. Both are quickly dealt with by the police. One officer, however, is not convinced and neither are the staff at the paper. What follows is a mix of chases, strange occurrences, weird events and even weirder circumstances as the hunt for the truth pans out.

This is such a fun read and it was one that caught me by surprise as I didn’t read the synopsis before picking it up. I mean I did read it when I first looked at the book, that was several weeks before I started reading it though. The surprise was one that had me wondering what on earth was happening and wondering where the story was going, but through this, I still found myself eagerly turning the pages of this quirky and bizarre story that is a mix of urban fantasy and mystery.

I completely enjoyable read that had me sniggering to myself on several occasions. It has characters that I adored and I am really looking forward to seeing what this series hold in the future. A fun read and one that I would defiantly recommend.

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Map’s Edge by David Hair #fantasy #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Map’s Edge by David Hair. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I am looking forward to reading more.

Let me show you a bit more about this wonderful fantasy read…

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Synopsis…

Follow a renegade sorcerer off the edge of the map, in a thrilling adventure perfect for fans of Scott Lynch, Brandon Sanderson and Sebastien de Castell . . .

Dashryn Cowl has run out of places to hide. The erstwhile sorcerer of the Imperial College fled the Bolgravian Empire when his high-flying family fell from grace, but the tyrannical empire is still hunting for him.

So when he gets his hands on a map showing a place outside the known lands rich in istariol, the mineral that fuels sorcery, he sees a way back to power. There’s only one problem: it means masquerading as an Imperial Cartomancer (an instant death sentence) and finding some dupes to help him mine the istariol in secret, no questions asked.

But somehow, amid the dangers of the road (floods and avalanches, beasts, barbarians and monsters), a strange thing begins to happen: Dashryn starts to care about his ragtag followers and their strange odyssey into the ruins of an ancient forgotten civilisation.

But his past won’t let him be: the implacable Imperial Bloodhound Toran Zorne has caught his scent, and Zorne has never yet failed to bring his quarry to ground.

At the edge of the map, there’s no going forward and no going back . . .

Purchase from Amazon UK ( this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

This is my first experience with this author and what a wonderful experience it was. This is the first book in the trilogy and I very quickly found myself hooked. Often I find that there can be a lot of time spent setting up the scene and characters not so with this one.

The Empire rules the land and dominates through fear, force and magic. People are pressganged into submission and are keen to be seen to follow the rules.

A healer and his daughter live in the edge of the country along with those who wish to be left alone, forgotten keeping their heads down. The healer learns of a power source that could be the chance of starting over, not just for himself but for the rest of the ragtag bunch that make up the community living on the edge of the civilised world as they know it.

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the idea of a dominating empire lording it over those seen to be weaker than them. It gave me a chance to cheer on the underdogs! But, are they underdogs? What I gradually learn is that not everyone is as they first appear, this gives a wonderful edge of uneasiness as I was never quite sure if I was cheering the right side on.

The author uses names that are pronounceable, this is a big thing for me as often I know the characters but cannot pronounce the name and this takes some of the personal side away from them. There was the odd one that I did pause over but I soon got them in my head. The names of the characters have a European feel to them, and I think this helped to cement the characters more. Certain names have a more Eastern European feel and look and this adds an ominous side to the character.

The story is one of action and adventure and one that I was really able to get my teeth into. The words are easy to follow and the author does give descriptions along the way so I was aware of what he was referring to, e.g. istariol – the source of the power. Along with various other place names, things are explained and histories are given along the route the characters make. Explaining the past as they travel makes it more part of the story rather than an aside.

There is action along the way, death and birth, reckoning, conspiracy and an uncertainty as to who to trust. Even the main characters make you wonder, are they really doing it for the greater good or are they looking after themselves and their ends. This again adds to the intrigue of the story.

As this is the first in the series, there is that almost cliff hanger to it. Yes this first story ends at a good place and it makes sense, but it also leaves a teaser.

This is a very accessible fantasy series that has a historical feel at times with mentions of flintlocks but then does have magic and politics of a ruling empire. It is a brilliantly paced story that has beasts, and otherworld animals, sorcerers, healers and good honest characters as well as a good amount of baddies.

A wonderful book that I flew through in a couple of days. I would definitely recommend this to those who are looking to start a new series, it has left me wanting to eagerly read the next one.

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The Trials of Koli by M.R. Carey @michaelcarey191 @OrbitBooks #TheTrialsOfKoli @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders #Bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to be able to share my review today for The Trials of Koli by M.R. Carey.

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the tour and for arranging my gorgeous copy of this second book in the trilogy.

This is a fabulous trilogy and yes you really should read them in order, it is a trilogy and therefore the first book is the start of the story, this book is the middle and the next is the end – makes sense to read them all doesn’t it? 😉

Let me show you what The Trials of Koli is about…

Synopsis…

The Trials of Koli is the second novel in M R. Carey’s breathtakingly original Rampart trilogy, set in a strange and deadly world of our own making.

Beyond the walls of Koli’s small village lies a fearsome landscape filled with choker trees, vicious beasts and shunned men. As an exile, Koli’s been forced to journey out into this mysterious, hostile world. But he heard a story, once. A story about lost London, and the mysterious tech of the Old Times that may still be there. If Koli can find it, there may still be a way for him to redeem himself – by saving what’s left of humankind.

Get your copy HERE (this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

I have been looking forward to reading this second book in the Rampart Trilogy. It continues the story of Koli as he makes his way towards a radio signal in London. His travelling companions are Ursual and Cup and together they make their way through the wilds, try to avoid others and also survive the danger in the world that the author has created.

The story flits back and forth between Koli as he journeys towards London and also of Spinner. Spinner is back home and this is where the author quickly recaps the first book but from Spinner’s viewpoint. It also continues her story and the villagers after Koli’s disgrace and departure. I like this as it keeps the reader in touch with what happens at home while Koli is away.

I thought the first book was great and while it did have that first book in a series feel it was still addictive. This second in the trilogy is absolutely brilliant and I adored it. I slowed my reading down for this book so I could savour the story. It is a story that is full of hidden dangers and of how society is surviving in an uncertain future in small pockets and communities.

The author paints a vivid picture of a future that still has everyday problems but also a future that has very little technology. The tech that is still in use is highly prized and gives the user a certain status. It is this tech that not only helps but also adds danger to having it as there is always those that want what they haven’t got.

Over the generations, stories have been passed down of what was but it is what is happening now that has people dealing with new challenges. I like the way the author has simplified some of the words that are used, it gives more of an innocence to the characters and it didn’t take me long to fall back into their speech and way of talking.

I absolutely adored this book and it is with great anticipation that I look forward to the next book, but also sad that it is the final one in the trilogy. A brilliant book and one that I would definitely recommend.

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The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart @AndreaGStewart @orbitbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #compulsivereaders #fantasy #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart. This is the first book in The Drowning Empire series and was an excellent start and has left me eagerly waiting for the rest of the books. This is a fantasy book, but it is very accessible and would suit many readers.

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of the book from Orbit Books. Before I get to carried away let me show you what The Bone Shard Daughter is about…

Synopsis…

In an empire controlled by bone shard magic, Lin, the former heir to the emperor will fight to reclaim her magic and her place on the throne. The Bone Shard Daughter marks the debut of a major new voice in epic fantasy.

The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.

Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.

Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people. 

My Review…

I have been looking forward to reading this book for so long and I was not disappointed. This is the first book in The Drowning Empire and I am so excited to see where this series goes in the future.

As I started this book I was introduced to the main cast, I was aware of them having an Oriental feel to their names. When I got to the end of the book I discovered the author is of Chinese/ American heritage. I do like Eastern folklore, magic and legend and this book has the feel of some of those elements.

There are a few characters to get to know as I mentioned earlier. There is Lin, the Emperor’s daughter and in theory, should be the next Emperor when her father retires or does. But he doesn’t show much time for Lin or in showing her how to work the Bone Shard magic. He is such an odd character, a recluse who seems to be paranoid and is searching for something.

Then there is Jovi, he is the best smuggler ever and he has posters of him for his arrest. He is a character that I really liked, while he seems cold, he is actually more compassionate than I first realised. He’s a smuggler but one that has a moral sense of right, Iknow that sounds bizarre but it is true and his character works really well.

Then there is the Governors daughter, Phalue. She is aware of the suffering of the people and does what she can to help. But in the eyes of her girlfriend, it is not enough, that Phalue doesn’t truly understand the suffering. I did feel for this character as she struggled with the love she has for her father but also the love of her girlfriend.

Finally, there is Sand, I first thought this was a very strange character, but actually, as the story progresses, she becomes more prominent, and her true role is just starting to emerge.

Often with first books in a series I find they are slower to get going as characters, backstories and threads begin the process of being started and plotted for the adventures and stories that will follow. With this book, that process seemed to progress really quickly, yet I never felt it was rushed, and I quickly found myself drawn into a story that has an epic feel to it.

The chapters are quick and rotate between the various main characters, I think this really helped with adding backstories, brief snippets of history, some geography and also a little of the politics. There is a general feeling of unrest in the people of the various Islands. They are hungry, have to work long hours for little p[ay and live in awful conditions. Yet the residences of the EMperor and the Governor is that of opulence and ignorance.

I really adored this story and I thoroughly enjoyed being transported in this story of magic, moving islands, strange occurrences and meeting some wonderful characters. I am really excited about this series and I would definitely recommend it to readers of fantasy and also to readers who are looking for a new series to being.

About the Author…

Andrea Stewart is the Chinese American daughter of immigrants, and was raised in a number of places across the United States. Her parents always emphasized science and education, so she spent her childhood immersed in Star Trek and odd-smelling library books. When her (admittedly ambitious) dreams of becoming a dragon slayer didn’t pan out, she instead turned to writing books. She now lives in sunny California, and in addition to writing, can be found herding cats, looking at birds, and falling down research rabbit holes.

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Island of Fear by Misha Herwin (Adventures of Letty Parker #3) @MishaHerwin #PublicationDay #youngerreaders (8-12) #adventure #LettyParker #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review on Publication Day for Island of Secrets by Misha Herwin. This is the 3rd book in the Adventures of Letty Parker series and it is a right riveting read, full of adventure, pirates and secrets.

My huge thanks to Misha for my e-copy of the Island of Fear, my review is my own, unbiased and honest. Also, Happy Publication Day Misha xxx

Synopsis

When Letty Parker is asked by her best friend, Hepzibah, to solve a family mystery she willingly agrees. She has no idea that investigations will lead the Letty Parker & Associates Detective Agency team across the high seas to the exotic isles of the Caribbean.

Letty, Jeb and Mango, are soon fighting for their very lives in a world where pirates rule the seas, evil plantation managers hold the land, and the forests are filled with duppies and dark magic.

My Review…

This is the 3rd book in the Letty Parker series, Letty and her associates find lost things and people. Letty is a streetwise kid who has a small group of friends and one of these is not well. Hepzibah has asked Letty to find her long lost brother Simeon who was sent away as a boy because he was out of control.

While Letty is focusing on her searching for clues her friend Jeb is in a spot of bother. You can rest assured that wherever Jeb goes, Mango is not that far behind. This is why they are all now together on a ship leaving Bristol set for Jamaica.

I was really pleased to be able to catch up with the streetwise Letty and her little gang. Set in Bristol with a Victorian backdrop but with more danger lurking in the shadows. Monsters are real as are other dark things.

I love this Gothic feeling series that at times has a steampunk feel to it, it has all the feel of a Victorian city but with a wonderful twist. The characters are really good and I do like Letty, Jeb, Mango, Hepzibah and also a few of the new characters that have a part in the story. Not all of the characters are good and there are some that are evil and dangerous. This adds to a sense of dread and fear especially if you are a younger reader.

A wonderful series that young, as well as adult readers, will enjoy. It is a mystery series with a fantasy alter universe feel and it works so well. It has a storyline that has a sense of foreboding, is addictive and just a great book to settle down and read over the course of an afternoon. I would suggest reading the series in order as there are some things that happened in the past that make more sense if you read in order. A brilliant next book in the series and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Image and Bio taken from Misha’s Author Page on Amazon

Misha Herwin was born in England of Polish parents. English was not her first language but once she learned to speak it, she has never stopped. At twelve she wrote and staged her first play in a theatre made from a cardboard box. Since then things have improved and her plays have been both performed in England and Jamaica, where she lived for a while. As Misha M Herwin she has written two novels “Picking up the Pieces” and “House of Shadows”, both published by Penkull Press. “Dragonfire” “Juggler of Shapes” and “Master of Trades” are her fantasy trilogy for kids. “City of Secrets” is her most recent book and is the first in a fantasy adventure series for children. Her stories for adult readers have appeared in a number of anthologies including “A Fairy’s Story,” in “Bitch Lit”, and “The Satan Stones” in “Ancient Wonders,” by Alchemy Press. Her latest “The Loop Line” is in “The Darkest Midnight in December”. Her children are grown up and she lives in Staffordshire England with her husband in a house with a dragon in the garden. 

Social Media Links – BlogTwitterAmazon Author Page

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx