Book Review

The Night Country – Melissa Albert

Today I am review The Night Country by Melissa Albert. My thanks to Melissa, and to Penguin Random House, for providing me with a copy of the book which I received via NetGalley.

BLURB:

Alice has fought hard for a normal life. Having escaped the Hinterland – the strange, pitch-dark fairy tale world she was born into – she has washed up in New York City, determined to build a new future for herself.

But when her fellow survivors start being brutally murdered, Alice must face the fact that the Hinterland cannot be so easily escaped, and that, from the shadows of her past, something – or someone – is coming for her . . .

THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED SEQUEL TO INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING NOVEL THE HAZEL WOOD

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REVIEW:

I hadn’t realised just how much The Hazel Wood had stayed with me until I picked up The Night Country and was instantly sucked back in. All the sinister feelings The Hazel Wood had generated came flooding back before anything had even happened. The Stories that resided in the Hinterland were terrifying enough when they stayed where the belonged, but to discover that the very worst of the ex-Stories had followed Alice back to the human realm was a truly horrifying thought.

I enjoyed the “whodunit” element to Alice’s story – this is something that you don’t often see in YA fantasy, and it added an unusual twist. It was Finch’s story that I truly loved in this book though. The telling of it had an almost fairy tale style to it, and even as the Hinterland unravelled around him, it retained a certain innocence that wasn’t present in Alice’s dark and twisty life. The mirrored styles of each of their stories enhanced each other and balanced the book beautifully. Everything around Finch’s adventures, from using books as doors to other worlds, to the way he communicates with Alice was just filled with wonder.

As the story built towards its climax, my heart was in my throat as I couldn’t see any way there was going to be the happy ending I longed for. Did I get my happily ever after, or did they all die in the end? You’ll just have to read it to find out.

The Night Country really is a satisfying sequel to a book that made my Top Ten of books I read in 2019, and I have a suspicion that it could be making its own appearance in this years Top Ten.

Book Review

Empire’s Hostage – Marian L Thorpe

Today marks the return of Marian L Thorpe, with Empire’s Hostage, book two in her Empire’s Legacy series. Many thanks to Marian, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to take part in the blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book. You can read my review of Empire’s Daughter, book one in the trilogy here.

BLURB:

For fifteen months, the Empire and the northern people have been at war, but a truce is finally at hand. As part of this treaty, Lena, now a Guardswoman on the Wall, is asked to stand as a hostage, to go north to live and learn among the people of Linrathe. But not everyone there will welcome her. As Lena learns more of the history of both her land and the north, a new threat emerges, one that will test her loyalty to its limits, and in the end, demand a price she could not have envisioned.

PURCHASE LINKS:

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REVIEW:

As Lena’s adventures take her north of the Wall, as a hostage to the people of Linrathe, Empire’s Hostage becomes a voyage of discovery through the history of the Empire, Linrathe and beyond. Whilst this could easily have become a dry information dump, Marian Thorpe weaves the story in such a way that instead it becomes a fascinating history lesson. I loved learning the customs of people of Linrathe and uncovering the secrets of the Eastern Empire. Lena’s dramatic learning curve that began in Empire’s Daughter continues, and it feels like you are riding right along with her. I enjoyed the little touches that I recognised from our own history, such as the song about the rash caused by the Eastern Fever, and the Celtic and Scandinavian influences on the ways and language of the people of Linrathe and Marai respectively. The whole book just made my inner historian dance with glee.

I warmed instantly to the students and teachers of the Ti’ach na Perras, so welcoming to their hostage. It felt like a safe, restful place to be, a stark contrast to the conflict of Empire’s Daughter, and the drama that Lena was yet to face.

Empire’s Hostage is a beautifully crafted book, easing you gently along as it lulls you into a false sense of security before reaching it’s dramatic climax.

Empire’s Hostage has left me eager to find out more about the mysterious Eastern Empire and the fever that led to it being lost to history, and I can’t wait to read the final book in the trilogy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Empires Hostage AuthorNot content with two careers as a research scientist and an educator, Marian L Thorpe decided to go back to what she’d always wanted to do and be a writer. Author of the alternative world medieval trilogy Empire’s Legacy, Marian also has published short stories and poetry. Her life-long interest in Roman and post-Roman European history informs her novels, while her avocations of landscape archaeology and birding provide background to her settings.

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GIVEAWAY:

Win a Paperback copy of Empire’s Legacy, the complete trilogy (Open Internationally)

Empires Legacy ebook

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Don’t forget to pay a visit to the other blogs taking part in the tour for more information about this book.

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The Breaking – K.S. Marsden

Today I am excited to share with you the cover for The Breaking by K.S. Marsden, book three in the Northern Witch series. The cover is coming up soon, but first, here are all the details.

BLURB:

Mark thought being a witch would be easy, but it has ruined everything.

Now, he has to fight for his friends and the guy that he loves.

Which would be challenging enough, without school being a living nightmare; more demons than he can handle; and witches that have strayed from the light.

If that has got your attention, read on, because here comes the cover…

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If you think this book sounds and looks great, you can pre-order your copy here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

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Apple

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Publication Date: 20th March

 And if you haven’t already discovered this series Winter Trials (Northern Witch #1) is currently available for free here

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

author 500x500Kelly S. Marsden grew up in Yorkshire, and there were two constants in her life – books and horses.

Graduating with an equine degree from Aberystwyth University, she has spent most of her life since trying to experience everything the horse world has to offer. She is currently settled into a Nutritionist role for a horse feed company in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.

She writes Fantasy stories part-time. Her first book, The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1), was published in January 2013, and she now has several successful series under her belt.

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Book Review

Legacy of Light – CD Tavenor

Today I join the blog tour for the fantasy novel Legacy of Light by CD Tavenor. Many thanks to the author, and to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to take part in this tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

If only they knew us as more than accursed.

The Holy Empire hates the People of Light. Maripes, arriving in its capital, seeks to save his people from certain destruction. The Inquisition seeks theocratic justice, and it will stop at nothing to rid the world of those it considers evil.

Still, Maripes must try. For if he fails, doom will certainly befall his people. Standing in his way? The High Inquisitor, the Empress, and a million subjects all indoctrinated to believe he is evil incarnate.

Should be an easy task.

Otherwise, his son Mono, a soldier in the legions of their people, will face the fight of his life . . .

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PURCHASE LINKS:

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REVIEW:

I’ll let you into a secret – when I first signed up to join the blog tour for Legacy of Light, I hadn’t realised how short it was. I am used to epic fantasy novels of four or five hundred pages, and I will admit that when I saw the page count for this book, I was a little dubious. I mean, how could the depth of world building and character development that I so love about the fantasy genre be squeezed into such a small package? Well, I don’t know how, but C.D. Tavenor has managed to do just that.

Despite its diminutive size in comparison to other books in the genre, Legacy of Light tells the story of three generations of one family in such a way that I was instantly invested in each of the characters, and felt that I was right there with them as they fought for their very survival. Tavenor’s descriptions of the landscape and towns the characters inhabit was so vivid that I found myself completely absorbed in the world.

Honestly, as a writer, I am a little in awe of what C.D. Tavenor has created in this book. We have three strong characters, each of whom could easily have held my attention for an entire novel, living in a complex world, which again would have captivated me for an entire trilogy, all packed into one relatively short book, and yet it doesn’t feel like anything is missing, and nothing is rushed or skimmed over. That, to me, is a real skill.

They say great things come in small packages, and that is certainly true of Legacy of Light. If you are a novice fantasy reader, or want to give it a try but have always found the enormous texts a bit daunting, this is the perfect book to introduce you to what, in my opinion, is a wonderful genre for pure escapism.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author PhotoC.D. Tavenor is a science fiction and fantasy author based in Columbus, Ohio and the Director of Editorial Services for Two Doctors Media Collaborative!

He’s excited to tell stories that engage readers beyond a desire for entertainment, whether through philosophical inspiration or social inquiry. And he’s a firm believer in connecting every piece of fiction to reality, whether through their themes or their settings.

When not writing, Tavenor enjoys the more than occasional board game, his favorite being Eclipse.

To stay in touch and receive some great free books, go here: https://mailchi.mp/a6b48c582759/welcome-to-two-doctors-media-collaborative

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Don’t forget to pay a visit to the other blogs taking part in the tour for this book.

 

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Wild Sky Cover Reveal

Regular readers will know that I have been eagerly awaiting book two of Lexi Rees’ Relic Hunters series from the second I finished reading book one, Eternal Seas. As such, I am thrilled to finally be able to share the cover for this much anticipated book with you today.

If you are yet to discover this fantastic series, which is aimed at children from eight years and up, you might want to take a minute here to read my reviews of Eternal Seas first and maybe grab a copy before you read on, just to avoid any spoilers.

Book Review

Audiobook Review

Just to make you wait a bit longer for the big reveal, here comes the blurb for Wild Sky first:

After delivering the pearl, Finn and Aria thought life would return to normal.

But with the survival of the clans still in peril, they must continue their quest.

Can they find the next relic before the forces of evil?

Not everyone is who they appear to be

And time is running out …

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Isn’t that wonderfully dramatic! If the cover and blurb have grabbed your attention, you can pre-order your copy of the book HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lorraine-16Lexi Rees writes action packed adventures for children. The first book in The Relic Hunters Series, Eternal Seas, was awarded a “loved by” badge from LoveReading4Kids and is currently longlisted for a Chanticleer award.

She’s passionate about developing a love of reading and writing in children, and as well as an active programme of school visits and other events, she has published a Creative Writing Skills workbook, is a Book PenPal for three primary schools, and runs a free online #kidsclub and newsletter which includes book recommendations and creative writing activities.

In her spare time, she’s a keen crafter and spends a considerable amount of time trying not to fall off horses or boats.

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Pop back in December to find out my thoughts about the book and see if it lived up to expectations. In the meantime, my thanks go to Lexi, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to be a part of today’s cover reveal.

Meet the Author

Hall of Night – Emma Miles

Hall of Night, the brilliant sequel to Hall of Pillars, by Emma Miles is published today, and to help celebrate that, I am delighted to share with you all a conversation I had with one of the star players in both books, Feather the Brownie. We recently caught up for a stroll in the countryside, and this is what he had to say.

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You are known for your love of bread and honey, but what would your absolute favourite food be?

What could be better than bread and honey, my girl? They do make a lovely sweet in Ashgrove in the autumn. They slice up apple nice and thin, dip it in spices, then fry it in nut oil. That’s rather scrumptious. And then, of course, there’s chocolate which I discovered when visiting the mortal realm. It’s a shame we can’t import a bit of that from Astol!

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You have visited many places on your travels, but which of these is your favourite?

I think the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen is the Silent Valley. The views were stunning. Forests, mountains, waterfalls. It was a rather scary place to be at the time though. But the best place? Our little cottage in Briarton, my home.

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Is there anywhere that you haven’t visited yet that you would like to see?

Well Caelin’s tale got me quite intrigued about the land of the Horse Lords. I’ve never met a centaur. There are so many places to see though, especially when you can also sneak through into another realm. I hear the mortal realm is huge!

If you had a day free of danger, and didn’t have any chores to do, how would you spend the day?

It’s very hard for a brownie not to find chores to do! Mya and I do like to take walks and explore though – just as I’m doing right now! There are always new things to see and new friends to make. The wilds used to be terrifying for a little fellow like me, but I’ve come to love wandering the wilds. It’s much better with company though.

Do you have any hidden talents or party tricks you could share?

Well I can’t be showing you my magic now, my girl, it’s against all the brownie rules. I can stand in plain sight and not let you see me, I guess that’s a trick of sorts. I can make a piece of honeycomb disappear!

Ha ha. It was lovely to meet you, my girl, but it’s a long way back to Astol and the pass back to my Valley so I’d best be on my way. Safe travels to you.

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If you haven’t already pre-ordered your copy of Hall of Night, you can buy it here.

 

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Hall of Pillars – Exciting News

Hopefully you will all remember that when I revealed the cover for Hall of Night by Emma Miles, I said that there would be exciting news for anyone who hasn’t already read Hall of Pillars. Well, the time has come for me to share that news!

From now until Hall of Night releases on 18th November, the ebook of Hall of Pillars is free to order from Amazon!!!!

You can place your order here and believe me, you won’t want to miss out on this great book! Here is the blurb if you want more information.

Their only hope for survival is a heart poisoned by vengeance. 

For years humans have fought to survive in the Valley; enfolded by impassable mountains and protected by the Vallier and his loyal Spellwards. But the magical Ward which holds back the fey is failing and fear stalks through the great city of Ayresport. 

Like many, shy Mya has learned to survive on the edges of the wilds outside the protection of the Ward. As the time of her orphaned nephew’s coming of age draws close, Mya is filled with both pride and fear. There is every possibility Jack has the Gift of Magic like his mother, and Mya knows the Gift means death.

A chance meeting leads Mya to an unbreakable friendship that will sustain her soul through the hardest of times, but will courage be enough to keep her and Jack alive? 

When a traitor comes looking for Jack, there is only one choice. Flee, or die.

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