Archie and the Enchanter by Alexander Weir @weir_norman #childrensfiction #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Archie and the Enchanter by Alexander Weir. My thanks to Publishing Push and Alexander for getting in touch and sending me an e-copy of this fabulous childrens book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

This is for 8 – 12 year olds.

It takes place on Scotland’s wild West Coast where Archie discovers an ancient and supernatural set of bagpipes.

The magical bagpipes do impossible things. The music it makes is powerful.

Through its music, history begins to change.

It’s not the bagpipes but the chanter that is supernatural (the chanter is the part of the bagpipe that the piper uses to make music).

The chanter is probably more than 1,500 years old and yet looks brand new.

The name ‘chanter’ comes from the word ‘enchanter’ – and ‘enchant’ is what it does. The origins of the enchanter are shrouded in mystery. It disappeared before the Jacobite risings of 1715 and 1745. Perhaps the Young Pretender, Bonnie Prince Charlie, would have won through if the Enchanter had been around.

Then our hero, a scruffy little boy called Archie, found it, and this book is about what happened next.

Let me also share the introduction to this magical story…

Archie and the Enchanter – Introduction

‘No one knows where it came from. It was found in a heathery glen by a shepherd tending his sheep. The shepherd was keeping a wary eye on the horizon for Viking raiders and for a moment looked down. And there it was shining silvery at his feet.

What it could and would do was a constant source of amazement. It didn’t seem to age, and despite the passage of the centuries it always looked as shiny and new as it had been when it was found. It became a treasured possession of one of the Highland clans. Its ownership was kept a closely guarded secret although the Royal Stuarts knew about it and called upon it to be used in their quest for power.

Then it was lost. Everyone in the clan searched, but no one found it. The chanter entirely disappeared during Scotland’s troubled times at the close of the seventeenth century.

Who knows how the conflict at Culloden would have turned out if it had been there.’

This is a wonderful story to read and I can see it being a real hit with the age group it is aimed at.

Archie is a wonderful character and one that seems to get himself into mischief without trying, I say mischief but what I actually mean is gets dirty, ruins his clothes and just seems to attract dirt from wherever he goes, much to his mums annoyance. Archie goes to visit his Grandfather and while Grandfather is asleep Archie goes exploring and comes across a very old set of bagpipes, as Archie already plays this instrument he is immediately interested.

Archie finding the old bagpipes is just the start of the story really, as the story then changes tempo as Archie discovers what the pipes can do. What follows is a wonderful tale that not only delves into a little Scottish history, but also gives some facts about bagpipes and of course what Archie gets up to.

The bagpipes have a wonderful magical quality that has quite an impact on the small Scottish Community where Archie lives. The story also has a moral.

Archie is a wonderful character who I really liked, along with a few of the other people who I briefly met. The author has done a really good job of creating an exciting story and at the same time adding little snippets of information that help me learn something as I read.

The setting descriptions were good, enough to get a sense of place but not too much to take away from the story for a younger reader. It has excitement, magic and quite a few chuckle moments in it to keep you entertained, well it did me!

This is the first in a planned series and it is a great introduction, I got to meet Archie, his family and some of the local community. This is a really good start to the series and I think the age group of 8-12 years feels about right, though I think 8-10 is more appropriate.

It is a story that has a older feel to it, by this I mean it is not full of modern technology so maybe I mean more of a whimsical classic children’s’ style to it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I think children will enjoy it, I did and I would recommend it.

For Further Reading

If you head over to the Publishing Push Blog Site there is a great article that gives you a chance to read an excerpt of Archie and the Enchanter, there are also some really interesting facts and info there as well. You can follow the link HERE

You can order a copy of the book from Amazon

Alexander Weir is married, with two children together with his wife, and three dynamic go-ahead grandchildren. He lives in a small community in a remote part of Scotland’s Argyll Coast. As part of the community, he teaches art to the children in the community home school and, come evening time, they join him in the family room for ‘story time’. The imagination of the children has been captured in this tale, and author Alexander and his family, are keen to see Archie’s escapades being enjoyed by other children of similar ages too.

He has serialised both books and have been read on Argyll FM radio and covering Ulster, with an outreach across Kintyre, Knapdale, and Northern Ireland. In addition, he has introduced the books to children in Canada and Ireland – and received an enthusiastic response. Alexander is also the Editor of a quarterly Scottish Fellowship of Christian Writers literary magazine, called ‘WordWise’.

Alexander gained his MSc from London South Bank University, and has worked a varied career from Railway Manager, to Missionary, Vice Chairman of Savanne Winery in Tbilisi (Georgia), and Company Secretary, General Manager and Director for two London-based companies. He retired from Business Life in London in 2012.

His writing has not only focused on children’s historical fantasy. Alexander is also author of a peer reviewed medical research paper, and of two theological books, ‘A Question of Time’ and ‘A Question of Identity’.

For more information visit Alexander’s Website or visit him on Twitter Facebook

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

Violya by Rosalyn Kelly @RosalynKAuthor #Fantasy #Bookreview

I am so delighted to share my thoughts on Violya by Rosalyn Kelly. This is the second book in the fantasy saga trilogy In The Heart of the Mountains, the first book was the amazing Melokai and you cane read my review of that HERE

Let me show you what Violya is all about…

A gifted warrior consumed by revenge. An unstoppable enemy rampaging ever closer. A ravaged country in desperate need of a ruler.

After a brutal and bloody invasion, a once powerful matriarchal nation is in chaos.

Only the shy warrior Violya can pick up the pieces and save her broken country. But an old threat – for one thousand years suppressed – has awoken. Now unleashed, it’s hell-bent on destruction.

To protect her people, Violya must cast aside her desire for vengeance, master her rare magic and find the courage to rule – and fast.

Time is running out as a prophecy is coming true. A formidable enemy is closing in to crush them all. Can Violya unite friend and foe to face the looming catastrophe before it’s too late?

She’s out for blood, but first she must master her own…

VIOLYA is a grimdark epic fantasy packed with unique creatures and beings, blood-soaked action and brutal battles. It’s a sweeping tale of power and betrayal, sex and survival, love and family ties, powerful magic and hardened warriors.

Gritty adult fantasy with intricate worldbuilding, a diverse cast of complex characters, and a richly detailed plot told from multiple narratives.

VIOLYA is the second book in the In the Heart of the Mountains trilogy, the first is MELOKAI.

Violya is the second book in the In The Heart of the Mountains Trilogy, the first one being Melokai which I read a couple of years ago.

This is an epic fantasy saga and the second book delivers just as much action and adventure as the first. In this second instalment the author has drawn me once again back into the world she has created. This book see’s the different races of people being drawn into something more dangerous and it is a threat to the survival of their races.

The author has pitted family members against each other, with traitorous and bloody feudal consequences. For one family power is all-encompassing, it is all they have ever wanted so when it is threatened there are no holds barred. Trusted friends show their true colours and put lives at risk.

This story has a backstory that is interwoven throughout, it explains traditions and customs. As the different races are having to deal with many changes it is a really good way of bringing the past to the front as tradition is challenged.

Violya is the main protagonist and she has been chosen to become the new Melokai, leader of her race of people. Violya is stronger than most as she has the gift of magic. As she is a warrior she is used to being in the thick of the action and so she is her own envoy travelling through lands to try to form alliances.

The author has an amazing way with her descriptions. She has made it so easy to imagine the different races from her descriptions. She goes even further by developing each race so as they have their own histories, explanations about their troubles and also what threatens them. Not every race is innocent though, a way is needed to start to put the past in the past and by doing that a new future and alliances can be formed.

I love everything about this trilogy, the characters, the stories, the settings and the descriptions. The author has woven quite a complex story but it has been created in such a way as to make it understandable. The reading then becomes effortless and this makes it such a brilliant read.

If you are a fan of grim-dark, fantasy saga genres then both Melokai and Violya should be on your list to pick up and read. They are fabulous and I cannot wait for the final book in this epic trilogy, though it will also tinged with sadness as it will mean the end of a fabulous trilogy. Violya is a book I would Definitely Recommend.

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

#TopReads (Part 3) – Books I have loved this year (2019) by genre – Fantasy, Dystopian, YA & Children, Non- Fiction #MeAndMyBooks

Welcome back to my Top Reads of the Year. I have read some amazing books this year and I have beaten my own record for the amount of books read in a single year.

I have set my Top Reads out in 4 Parts, today is the turn of Fantasy, Dystopian, YA & Children, and finally Non-Fiction.

You can see my previous posts by clinking on the links below –

Part 1 – Crime, Thriller, Mystery and Fiction

Part 2 -Romance, Rom-Com and Historical Fiction

Fantasy & Dystopian

Young Adults & Children

Non-Fiction

If you pop in again tomorrow you will get the chance to see which books I have chosen from those listed over the past 3 parts made my Top 10 Books of the Year. I do have a Top Read of the Year… I wonder if you can guess which one it will be! 🤔😉

The Vagabond King by Jodie Bond @jodierbond @annecater #RandomThingsTours #TheVagabondKing #fantasy #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Vagabond d King by Jodie Bond. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and also for arranging my copy of this brilliant book.

I am so excited about this book and I am delighted that it is the first in a planned trilogy! 🙂

Let me show you what it is all about…

Threon, the Vagabond King, is torn from a life in the palace by raiders and forced to scrape a living on the streets of a foreign land. Meeting a witch from distant mountains, a rebel soldier and a woman cursed by a god, he seeks retribution through a quest to reclaim his home and throne. Together they rekindle old allegiances, face an immortal army and learn to trust one another. But when the gods begin to interfere with their plans, is it a curse or a blessing?

When soldiers raid the city and kill the King and Queen, their son Prince Threon finds an unlikely ally who rescues him. Threon then spends the next few years in exile, living as a beggar and a wanderer and being given the title of The Vagabond King. Unlikely allies are going to be important to Threon as he gradually makes his way back to his old home. The road is fraught with danger as it is not only people, but also gods who have a hand in what happens on the earth.

This is a fabulous fantasy read and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I liked the way this story played out and the author did a cracking job of explaining the various different people and where they are on the power ladder.

Power is a very sought after commodity in this story. From the powerless slaves who are forced to work in the mines, to the power hungry gods who are trying to gain overall control of the world below.

With fantasy stories there are some things I like to see, the first is pronounceable names, I like a story line that is not too complex, I like corruption and power struggles and then I like a good under dog, a few battles, some uncertainty and a bit of magical influence, okay maybe a bit more than a few things! This book had all these things and and more, they are wonderfully wrapped and entwined into a fabulous story-line that was very addictive indeed.

The story-line follows some wonderful characters who are very memorable for various reasons. One of my favourite characters was Savanta who was pulled into the story in a very harsh way, also Azzania with her powers, that were a little different and well thought out by the author. Threon is however the main focus of the story, but these other characters definitely have a role to play as the intensity increases throughout the book to a climatic ending.

There are some wonderful descriptions and some vivid imagery within the story. This is great for me as a reader because it makes it so much easier to see the world the author has created. As well as the scenery, a lot of thought has gone into the structure of the societies and also of the religion, I liked having three gods, though the focus is on two.

The author brought this first in the trilogy to a very climatic ending with just the slightest hint of something to come in the next book. This was a really good book and when I began it I didn’t realise it was part of a planned trilogy until I had finished it.

A fabulous read with characters that are memorable and that I cared about, a pace and flow that felt right and gradually built as the story progressed, basically a cracking read that when I wasn’t reading, had me itching to pick it up again. The Vagabond King is one that I would definitely recommend.

Jodie Bond comes from a family of gin makers in the mountains of north Wales. She works in marketing and performs as a burlesque artist. She had an unconventional childhood, dividing her time between a quiet life on her mother’s farm and her father’s home which was infamous for holding some of the UK’s biggest raves in the 90s.

Follow Jodie on Twitter

See what other Book Bloggers think of this book by checking out their stops on the Blog Tour…

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

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow. This is a fabulous and fantastical read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I have a paperback copy of this book and it is gorgeous, my photo really doesn’t do this book justice, it has gold embossing on the keys and it is just a stunning cover!

Let me show you what it is all about…

EVERY STORY OPENS A DOOR

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artefacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored and utterly out of place.

But her quiet existence is shattered when she stumbles across a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page reveals more impossible truths about the world, and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

I really enjoyed this book so much, it was fabulous to delve into the worlds that the author has created for her main protagonist January.

January is a girl who doesn’t quite fit in, she is an in-between person who lives with the very wealthy Mr Locke. Locke is her guardian and looks after her while her father is off travelling and collecting artefacts. As January starts to feel where she fits in society she becomes more aware of her differences and also of the restrictions that Locke imposes on her. Living in a large house surrounded by artefacts, curios and all manner of different things, she becomes aware that she may actually be part of his collection.

This is such a good read that I within the first saw few chapters I felt the addiction. It has a whimsical fantasy feel that also had a historical and literary fiction vibe to it. It is a story of stories or a story within a story as I followed January on her journey through life. Along the way, I learnt of her parents and of their travels and meetings.

The journeys the author takes January on are ones that force this young girl to grow up quick. They put her in danger as she tries to discover the truth of her life and also of her parents. These journeys are wonderfully written and describe with some fabulous imagery.

This is a slower-paced story and gave me a chance to enjoy the writing and the story. It covers various emotions such as loneliness, isolation and abandonment but equally it is about hope, determination and stubbornness to continue. So has a nice balance to it.

This is a really well-written book that I thoroughly enjoyed and I would recommend it to readers who like fantasy stories.

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

The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson #ChildrensFiction #Bookreview

I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on a wonderful children’s book that would make an ideal Christmas present for younger readers. The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson and is illustrated by Kathrin Honesta.

Let me show you what it is all about…

They call me Yanka the Bear. Not because of where I was found – only a few people know about that. They call me Yanka the Bear because I am so big and strong.

Found abandoned in a bear cave as a baby, Yanka has always wondered about where she is from. She tries to ignore the strange whispers and looks from the villagers, wishing she was as strong on the inside as she is on the outside. But, when she has to flee her house, looking for answers about who she really is, a journey far beyond one that she ever imagined begins: from icy rivers to smouldering mountains meeting an ever-growing herd of extraordinary friends along the way.

Interwoven with traditional stories of bears, princesses and dragons, Yanka’s journey is a gorgeously lyrical adventure from the best-selling author of The House With Chicken Legs.

Oh my goodness what an absolutely beautiful read this book was. It is the story of Yanka, she is known as Yanka the Bear as she is bigger and stronger than others of her age. Even though she lives happily in her village with her Grandmother, there has always been a question she has wanted answers to. Where did she come from and who were her parents. The story is one of Yanka discovering her roots and finding out who she is and where she feels she belongs.

This is an absolutely brilliant read that is full of adventure and magical folklore tales that have a feel of Eastern European folklore to them. Dark mysterious forests full of wonderful creatures and things that you would find in fairy tales. A tale of bears, a dragon, a lone wolf, a weasel, an elk and a walking house with chicken legs have all been wonderfully woven into a totally captivating story.

The descriptions of the animals, creatures and surroundings are wonderful and it was so easy for me to see what was described. This was enhanced by some very simple but wonderful illustrations by Kathrin Honesta, these complimented the story so well and in such a subtle but suitable way. Just look at the cover can you see the bear?

The story itself is actually a book of stories that have been interwoven to create a bigger story and I loved how each of these little stories started in the classic “Once upon a time” way. This for me adds a touch of magic and took me back to wonderful stories I read as a child. Talking of children’s stories, this is actually who this book is aimed at and I am so glad I read it because I loved it so much.

The story is a journey of discovery for Yanka and how she is trying to find her place, by this I mean where she feels she belongs. She is a girl who is conflicted and feels that because of her strength and size she could be a danger to others around her. It makes her wary of joining in or accepting help. In her own journey, she discovers so much about herself as well as realising things she was not aware of before.

This is a beautifully written book that has its roots in the fairy tales of old, it has a wonderful flow and fabulous descriptions. This is the second book the author has written and I have not yet read the first one, I will be soon though as I have just ordered a copy of her first book “The House with Chicken Legs”.

The Girl Who Speaks Bear is a book that I would definitely recommend.

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

Sorcery Reborn by Steve McHugh @SteveJMchugh #RandomThingsTours @annecater #Bookreview

I am so delighted to join in the Blog Tour for for Sorcery Reborn by the fabulous Steve McHugh. I was delighted to see an email asking if I would like to be part of the the Tour for this new series – The Rebellion Chronicles, it has links to the last series The Avalon Chronicles and also Hellequin. But don’t worry if you have not read all the previous books as this is the start of the next chapter if you like and so you will soon be brought up to speed.

I would like to thanks Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot and also a huge thanks to Steve for my signed review copy xx

He doesn’t need a weapon. He is the weapon.

After losing his powers in an epic battle between good and evil, former sorcerer Nate Garrett finds himself living as a humble human in Clockwork, Oregon. While the world thinks Nate is dead, his friends continue to fight against Avalon and the evil it’s intent on spreading.

Avalon’s forces turn up in Clockwork, and Nate’s frustration grows with every passing day his magic doesn’t return. He finds himself trying to stop Avalon’s plans while hiding from enemies who would destroy everything in their path to see him dead.

Avalon’s darkness begins to threaten the people Nate cares about, and an old nemesis returns; magic or no magic, he has no choice but to fight. But will Nate see his magical powers reborn before the entire town—and everyone he loves—is destroyed?

I had previously read the Avalon Chronicles by this author and I absolutely loved it. So when I saw there was a Blog Tour for a new series I was eager to get on board.

Sorcery Reborn is a brilliant book that is action packed from start to finish. The main protagonist is Nate, he had lost his powers and was now in hiding in the town of Clockwork. Only a select few know he is alive and the less people know of him the better.

While the bulk of this story is about Nate and what is going on in and around the town, there is also a secondary story line. This one involves Layla and a small group who are in another realm working against the forces of Avalon.

So yes this is a new series, but one that still has links with the previous ones. I do think that having a list of characters and what role they play listed at the front of the book is a great idea. One because it is a great memory jogger and two it gives the tiniest glimpse as to what or rather who, a new reader to the series can expect.

Right from the get go, this book is fabulous and full of action, mystery and intrigue. As Nate worries about when he will get his powers back and if they will return in time to help in the fight against Avalon, he also has some new comers to deal with. They seem hell bent on causing trouble for Nate and his friends.

The author weaves a fabulous world of mythological beings and legends from folk lore into his stories. He has an ability to take a any number of gods, deities, dwarfs, were-beasts and give them very unique and memorable characteristics and traits.

This is a brilliant start to a new series and as I am so glad that there is more to come. The fight against good and evil is one that spans the centuries and this series brings characters ancient legend, religion and myth into a modern world. What can mere humans do when they are confronted with the powers of the gods? Just as well humans are protected by the likes of Nate and Layla as well as a whole host of fabulous other characters.

This is a fantasy series that, if the previous one is anything to go by, will be just as action-packed and be brilliant reading. It already has that addictive feel and in case you wondered whether I liked Sorcery Reborn… yep I loved it and yep I would absolutely recommend it.

Here is the link to Amazon so you can check out Steve’s books.

Steve’s been writing from an early age, his first completed story was done in an English lesson. Unfortunately, after the teacher read it, he had to have a chat with the head of the year about the violent content and bad language. The follow up ‘One boy and his frog’ was less concerning to his teachers and got him an A.

It wasn’t for another decade that he would start work on a full length novel, the result of which is Crimes Against Magic.

He was born in a small village called Mexborough, South Yorkshire, but now lives with his wife and three young daughters in Southampton.

Social Media – TwitterWebsite

Check out the other Book Bloggers who are part of the Blog Tour and see what they think…

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

Raven’s Wand by Steve Hutton #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to be finally sharing my review for Raven’s Wand by Steve Hutton. I say finally because the publishers, Boddington & Royall sent me a copy of this book several months ago and it has taken me until now to read it, many apologies to them for the lateness of the this review. And to also add, Yes you were right, I did enjoy it! 😊

I have included this book in the #20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge. It seems quite appropriate, and definitely unplanned, that this is the 13th book I read in the challenge! 😲

So, let me show you what it is all about…

Raven’s Wand sees two opposing secret societies waging a war of belief behind the skin of Victorian Britain. One uses magic to heal the world, while the other twists it into abominations and war machines. It is 1886 and a battle is about to be waged; Knight Superior Krast of the Illuminata is prepared for victory but fate is not wholly on his side.

Many years later, the survivors of that dreadful day will meet again. Kolfinnia has a great task set before her and, with the aid of the Raven wand, she dares more than she ever dreamed possible. A tale of two clashing worlds. The world of Kolfinnia and those who wish to eliminate her and all of her kind. Raven’s Wand is Book 1 in The Dark Raven Chronicles. Book 2: Flowers of Fate will be published Autumn 2016

The setting of 1886, Victorian Britain is absolutely spot on for this story. It is an era that still believes in the mysteries of the occult, witchcraft, superstition and traditional beliefs, it gives the perfect platform for witches and magic. On the flip side of the era coin is the the progression of industry, power, politics and propaganda. This is where the Illuminata come in, rounding up witches and destroying covens.

The story is focused around the Wildwood coven and of Knight Superior Krast. They both value the two sleeping dragons, the witches to protect them and Krast to possess them and their power.

I loved the contrast of the two sides to this “good ‘v’ evil” style story. The witches are very much at one with nature and is in harmony with living things, they nurture the young to understand their position in all things and their role in the world. Krast and the Illuminata however, well they want to possess and control things. The witches and the two hidden dragons have a power that can be harnessed and controlled, this has a double whammy as such, it means that Krast gets stronger and also the witches are destroyed. He builds great machines that cause devastation and destruction giving an almost steampunk vibe to the story.

The author has woven a fabulous story that just has a fantastic feel to it. He has successfully mixed in various things like, superstition, tradition, legend and folk lore into his tale. A nature ‘v’ man-made element is quite strong and so are the beliefs and politics that come with that, both believing they are right. It is one of those books that simply drew me in from the very beginning and had me eagerly turning the pages.

The characters are just wonderful, a maniacal power hungry Krast against the gentle coven, but don’t think for a moment that the witches are a walk over, they are most certainly not! The characters are very memorable and there are a few, but honestly, I found them easy to keep up with. the other thing I liked was that there were no strange names that I had to try and get my head around, this was great and also fitted with the time and setting of the story. The characters have traits and characteristics and as you get to know them you soon work out which side of the fence they sit, well most of them you do!

The setting is again another great contrast, the busy hustle bustle, smoke filled and noisy city of London is very different to the more rugged, tranquil, natural setting of the South West, an area that is full of legend, myth and folklore.

This is the first book in the series and it definitely wowed me. It is such an easy book to disappear into with a story that captured me and kept it’s hold. It moves along at a good pace and has a good amount of tension, intrigue, mystery and surprise.

In case you had not yet worked it out… Yes I loved this book a lot, a fantasy with wonderful characters, story-lines, settings and contrasts. These made it wonderful reading and has definitely left me wanting to know what happens next.

Raven’s Wand get a Definitely Recommended from Me!


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

Book 13 of 20

Warlock Holmes – A Study In Brimstone by G.S. Denning #20booksofsummer (7/20) #BookReview

Welcome to my review for Warlock Holmes – A Study in Brimstone by G.S. Denning. This is book number 7 of 20 in the 20 Books of Summer Rading Challenge.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Sherlock Holmes is an unparalleled genius who uses the gift of deduction and reason to solve the most vexing of crimes.

Warlock Holmes, however, is an idiot. A good man, perhaps; a font of arcane power, certainly. But he’s brilliantly dim. Frankly, he couldn’t deduce his way out of a paper bag. The only thing he has really got going for him are the might of a thousand demons and his stalwart flatmate. Thankfully, Dr. Watson is always there to aid him through the treacherous shoals of Victorian propriety… and save him from a gruesome death every now and again.

An imaginative, irreverent and addictive reimagining of the world’s favourite detective, Warlock Holmes retains the charm, tone and feel of the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle while finally giving the flat at 221b Baker Street what it’s been missing for all these years: an alchemy table.

Reimagining six stories, this riotous mash-up is a glorious new take on the ever-popular Sherlock Holmes myth, featuring the vampire Inspector Vladislav Lestrade, the ogre Inspector Torg Grogsson, and Dr. Watson, the true detective at 221b. And Sherlock. A warlock.

As you can see from reading the synopsis, this is similar to Sherlock Holmes and yet it is completely different!

Warlock is definitely a unique individual, you could say slightly mad, a little too mysterious and not altogether what you would expect.

This story is entertaining as I discovered the dynamics for this authors version of Holmes and Watson is more of a role reversal. Holmes is not the confident type of detective and in fact it is Watson who, once he gets to grips with the facts, takes the lead.

This is a re-imagined version of Sherlock Holmes, changing the name to Warlock and adding a more supernatural twist to it, actually worked rather well for me. I always think of the original Holmes as being mysterious and open to various thoughts and beliefs, and in some ways this lends itself to the way the author has taken with his version.

This is one of those books that I really enjoyed, although I do expect that it may not appeal to all. The books includes 6 stories and is entertaining reading. It does have the feel of the Conan Doyle original to it and I found myself quite engrossed wondering what on earth was going to happen next.

It is a book I would recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be great 🙂 x

The Last Spell Breather by Julie Pike #BookReview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Last Spell Breather by Julie Pike. This is a Young Adult book that is full of magic and that this Adult Reader enjoyed as well!

Let’s have a look and see what it is all about…

A stunning fantasy debut, enter the unique world of the Spell Breathers. 


Spell Breathing does not come naturally to Rayne – she loathes the hours of practice, the stacks of scrolls, and the snapping mud devils that cover her mothers precious spell book. 


But it is spell breathing that keeps her village safe from the dreaded monster curse that plagues their world. It is ancient powerful magic, but as Rayne learns to her horror . . . it is also fragile. 


In one clumsy move, the magic that keeps them safe is broken, her village is plunged into danger, and an incredible adventure begins . . .

12 Year old Rayne is learning to be a Spell Breather and is an apprentice to her mum. They live in Penderin, a village hidden behind an invisible barrier that keeps them hidden from the world outside. The world is one where monsters roam. Raynes mother has to make a journey out of the village and leaves Rayne in charge of the Spell Book for safekeeping. It is not very long before there is an accident, the only person to help is her mum. So Rayne decides she will have to go after her.

This is a wonderful story that Older, as well as Young Adult Reader, will enjoy. The author has built up a magical story with an array of goodie and baddies and has a nice balance between the good and evil in the story. Magical is a pertinent word for this story as there are spells that are woven and spoken, being cast on the breath of the speaker. The spells are used to help people in their ailments, problems and also to provide protection, or at least that is what Rayne’s mum uses them for! On the flip side of this is what happens when the spells are used for self-empowerment.

The pacing of the story is good, the story flows nicely and it meant I wasn’t rushing the reading to find out what was going to happen next and still kept me turning pages eagerly.

There is a good range of characters, some good, some bad and some that left me which side they were on! Enough to provide a depth to the story but without being confusing trying to remember who was who and what role they played. They added diversity to the story that at times felt like a fairy tale.

I liked the focus on the words themselves that are included in the spell making. Not only using alternative words but also including the feeling a certain spell should feel like. It is a way of accessing feelings for younger readers. At the end of the book, the author has a great few pages about words and how you would create a spell. Using a thesaurus to find different words and then putting them together. I liked this inclusion because it encourages the younger reader to use their imagination and also learn new words at the same time. This is something that would have really appealed to me as I began my reading journey as a younger reader.

A great story that I, and older reader, thoruoughly enjoyed and would highly recommend.

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