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.

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

Cold Fusion 2000 by Karl Drinkwater @karldrinkwater @BOTBSPublicity #ColdFusion2000 #BOTBSPublicity #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Cold Fusion 2000 by Karl Drinkwater. Many thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side for my spot on the Blog Tour and also for arranging my copy of the book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Alex Kavanagh is a pedantic physics geek – a teacher who hates teaching, a lover who’s always getting dumped, a writer whose articles all get rejected, a 28-year-old still living at home and bullied at the bus stop by teenagers – and he’s just had the worst day of his life. Things can only get better, right?

Enter his ex, Lucy, in what seems to be a chance meeting. Her betrayal marked the point when his life went nuclear. But – holy protons! – he still loves her.

Two problems. First, she isn’t who he thinks she is. Second, she’s going to leave him forever in 72 hours.

Cold Fusion 2000 is a haunting novel about a man who’s too rational to believe in ghosts and too short-sighted to see what was in front of him all along.

This was a book that I wasn’t sure about when I first started it. The beginning was a mix of a playlist of songs, physics and then a character I didn’t immediately take to. I read a dozen pages and decided to go off and do something else. I then returned to it and an hour or so later.

I don’t why that break worked but it did. I found the main character of Alex Kavanagh to be a cold and almost allof one and I didn’t think I would like him. By the end of the book however I discovered that me initial thoughts about him were totally wrong.

Alex is a socailly awkward person, he doesn’t quite seem to fit in anywhere and doesn’t seem to have anyone that he can connect to. He had been on track to complete a Phd, he then left University before completing it after a breakup from his then girlfriend Lucy. He returned back home to live with his parents.

He then reconnects with Lucy for a short time, they get on well but it isn’t meant to last as she is only visiting.

The story flows around Alex, his past and his present and his friendship with his sisters friend Natalie. It is almost like a story of finding who he is and where he belongs. I suppose you could call it a coming of age story, but this doesn’t really feel right as you assume that this would be more about a teen, but Alex is in his 20’s.

From a story I wasn’t sure about I then discovered a tale that was wonderfully written and gradually drew me in. I then found it very difficult to put down. A story of a man who is lost, but needs someone to take the time and have the patience for him. Alex went from a man I wasn’t that fussed about to a man who I really liked.

I think this is a book for those who like something a little bit different, that is well written and has some wonderful heartwarming moments. I really enjoyed it and I would recommend it.

Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but lived in Wales for twenty years, and now calls Scotland his home. He’s a full-time author, edits fiction for other writers, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.

He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you’ll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

When he isn’t writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.

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Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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