Book Review

Bluemantle – Karen Langston

Come with me to the dystopian city of Wydeye, as I join the blog tour for Bluemantle by Karen Langston. Many thanks to Karen and The Book Guild for providing me with a copy of the book and to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to be a part of the tour.

BLURB:

LIVE MUSIC IS OUTLAWED.

Set in the sun-scorched city of Wydeye, the totalitarian Authority controls its citizens through fear and cultivated dependence. Live music is deemed a threat to order and is forbidden by law. Punishment for participation is severe.

Chase Newell discovers his sister is missing. His search for her leads him to the underground music Scene, with its ageless Troubadours who must risk their lives to perform in order to survive. To do this, they rely on Bluemantle.

As the Authority’s control-obsessed leader, Governor Blix, and her evil-incarnate Chief of Command, Wulfwin, step up their efforts to seize the Troubadours and destroy the Scene, the risks escalate.

While the Troubadours are forced to act, will the citizens of Wydeye wake up to Bluemantle’s invitation and find choice beyond the caves of their own making?

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Waterstones

WH Smith

Bluemantle Cover Image

REVIEW:

I have really missed live music over the last year, and can’t imagine what it would be like to never experience it again. It was my love of music that led me to want to read this book, to see what life would be like without it.

The strange magic of the Troubadours is intriguing and plays cleverly off the way readers will know how music can touch your soul, the passion and energy created by live music. However, as I read, I began to wonder if they were the good guys I had originally thought them to be. My distrust of this group of enigmatic musicians meant that I struggled to gel with some of the characters, which in turn led to a slight feeling of being disconnected from the story. For a large part of the book, I wasn’t sure who I should be rooting for, although I was fond of Ursel and Naylor. Despite being suspicious of just about everyone and everything, I was still startled by more than one revelation as the story unfolded, and it was these surprises that overrode the disconnect and kept me engaged in the story.

I enjoyed the fact that we see the apparent enemy, the Authority’s perspective. Instead of them just being a distant hated force, I loved seeing their thought processes and the stories behind their actions. While the concept of the book as a whole put me in mind of the musical We Will Rock You, which I love, this was cemented with Governor Blix making a formidable Killer Queen, and Wulfwin her faithful Khashoggi. Wulfwin’s interrogation tactics are brutal and stomach churning at times.

There is a rawness to the writing which seems to perfectly reflect life in Wydeye, or at least in overground Wydeye. Karen Langston shows her skill as a writer as this harshness melts away to more fluid writing style as we head underground, almost as if the music of the Troubadours is getting under the skin of the reader as it does with their followers. This is a real talent, and I look forward to reading more from this author.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Karen Langston Author PicKaren Langston is a British novelist, writing speculative and science fiction for adults.

Karen has an MA in English from the University of Kent. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, she was a secondary school teacher of English, a senior project manager developing qualifications for professionals in the creative media industries and a self-employed property developer. She lives in Kent with her husband.

BLUEMANTLE is her first novel.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Goodreads

Facebook

Instagram

Make sure you visit the other blogs taking part in this tour.

Bluemantle BT Poster

1 thought on “Bluemantle – Karen Langston”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s