Book Review

The Luminaries – Susan Dennard

Today I am reviewing The Luminaries, the YA fantasy novel by Susan Dennard. Many thanks to Susan and Daphne Press for my copy of the book, which I received via NetGalley.

BLURB:

Hemlock Falls isn’t like other towns. You won’t find it on a map, your phone won’t work here, and the forest outside town might just kill you…

Winnie Wednesday wants nothing more than to join the Luminaries, the ancient order that protects Winnie’s town―and the rest of humanity―from the monsters and nightmares that rise in the forest of Hemlock Falls every night. Ever since her father was exposed as a witch and a traitor, Winnie and her family have been shunned. But on her sixteenth birthday, she can take the deadly Luminary hunter trials and prove herself true and loyal―and restore her family’s good name. Or die trying.

But in order to survive, Winnie must enlist the help of the one person who can help her train: Jay Friday, resident bad boy and Winnie’s ex-best friend. While Jay might be the most promising new hunter in Hemlock Falls, he also seems to know more about the nightmares of the forest than he should. Together, he and Winnie will discover a danger lurking in the forest no one in Hemlock Falls is prepared for.

Not all monsters can be slain, and not all nightmares are confined to the dark. 

REVIEW:

Being a huge Leigh Bardugo fan, when I saw her quote on the front of this book, I knew I had to read it, and I wasn’t disappointed. From the very first page, I could tell that The Luminaries was the start of what promises to be a very exciting new YA fantasy series.

The prologue made my spine tingle and the hairs on my arm stand up, and whilst the rest of the book was not as dark as this made me imagine it would be, The Luminaries was the perfect escapism from a day where my health saw me miserable, in pain and stuck in bed. Winnie’s experiences as she fights to become a Luminary hunter  were a wonderful distraction from the real world. The world that Susan Dennard has created is rich with detail and I absolutely loved the pages from the Luminary compendium, complete with illustrations, that are included – a fully illustrated compendium would make a wonderful companion book to this series (hint, hint!) The inhabitants of Hemlock Falls make up a varied and well developed cast of characters, and I soon had my favourites among them. I very quickly became engrossed in their world and it was a real wrench when I had to leave it at the end of the book.

I finished The Luminaries with more questions than answers. I have a few suspicions about these though and I cannot wait until the next book so I can see if I am right about any of them.

Book Review

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries – Heather Fawcett

I am getting back into the swing of blog tours today as I join the tour for Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett. Many thanks to Heather and Orbit books for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Tracy at Compulsive Readers Blog Tours for inviting me to take part.

BLURB:

Enter the world of the hidden folk – and discover the most whimsical and heart-warming tale you’ll read this year, featuring the intrepid Emily Wilde…

Emily Wilde is good at many things: she is the foremost expert on the study of faeries; she is a genius scholar and a meticulous researcher who is writing the world’s first encyclopaedia of faerie lore. But Emily Wilde is not good at people.

So, when she arrives in the hardscrabble village of Hrafnsvik, Emily has no intention of befriending the gruff townsfolk. Nor does she care to spend time with another new arrival: her dashing and insufferably handsome academic rival Wendell Bambleby.

But as Emily gets closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones – the most elusive of all faeries – she also finds herself on the trail of another mystery: who is Wendell Bambleby, and what does he really want? To find the answer, she’ll have to unlock the greatest mystery of all – her own heart.

Filled with enchanting magic, heart-warming romance and a heroine you can’t help but love, Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries is the perfect read for fans of The Ten Thousand Doors of January and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

REVIEW:

Well, if my first tour of the year is any indication of what is to come, then 2023 is going to be a brilliant year for books. From the outset, Emily had such a distinctive voice that I found myself presented with the clearest image of a highly intelligent, yet somewhat socially awkward and eccentric young lady that stayed with me throughout the book. She is a delightful character and I found the style of the novel as her journal to be particularly endearing.

Although we, thankfully, didn’t have the extreme weather of Hrafnsvik, this book was the perfect read for the cold winter evenings of January, and is definitely best read with a soft blanket and a warm drink.

I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this book, from the warmth of the villagers of Hrafnsvik to watching Emily’s heart begin to thaw, in spite of the frozen conditions that she finds herself in. It is beautifully written and made me wish that Emily’s Encyclopaedia was a real book. That would make for some fascinating reading.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Heather Fawcett is a Canadian author of books for adults, kids, and teens, including the Even the Darkest Stars series, Ember and the Ice Dragons, The Language of Ghosts, Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries, and more. Her books have been translated into more than ten languages and somehow all include dragons in one form or another. She has a Master’s degree in English Literature and a Bachelor’s in Archaeology. She lives on Vancouver Island.

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Fifth Birthday

Happy blog birthday to me! I can’t believe that it has been five years since I first set up my little book blog. I have absolutely loved getting to know new authors, discovering new books, and generally sharing the book love far and wide. What I thought would be a little hobby has turned into a huge part of my life, culminating in 2022 with my being a part of the judging panel for the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award. That was an absolute blast to be involved with and I loved chatting with the other bloggers on the panel.

Five years feels like a bit of a milestone, so I thought now would be a good time to look back over some of my blogging statistics.

  • I have had the honour of sharing 65 author Q&As and guest posts. The first of these was Jennifer Gilmour right back in January 2018, and the most recent was Val Penny in January 2022. I would love to host more of these types of post, so if you are a writer and would like to be featured, please get in touch!

I found it so interesting looking back over my first five years as a book blogger, and I am excited to see what the next five years bring! Thanks for taking this little trip down memory lane with me!

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Top 10 of 2022

Happy 2023 folks! It’s that time of year again when I share my favourite books from the outgoing year. I always struggle to narrow it down to just ten books, but this year was particularly hard as I have read some truly amazing books. After much toing and froing though, I have managed to whittle my list down from 40-something to just ten. These are purely in the order that I read them rather than a chart run down. Click on the titles to read my reviews of each of these:

  • Dusky Dahlia – Lucy Holden
    • I absolutely adore the Nightgarden Saga by Lucy Holden, and having read the final three books in the series in 2022, it was hard to choose just one. In the end, it had to be Dusky Dahlia because of the depth of emotion in the story.
  • The Embroidered Book – Kate Heartfield
    • Two of my favourite genres are historical fiction and fantasy, so when the two collide, it is a dream come true for me. This stunning book is a reimaging of Europe at the time of Marie Antoinette, and I could not put it down!
  • Nothing Burns As Bright As You – Ashley Woodfolk (review coming soon)
    • This YA novel in verse is as beautiful as it is devastating. I wanted to review it as soon as I read it, but I just could not find the words – to be honest, nine months later, I am still struggling.
  • Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl – Joya Goffney
    • This was a tricky decision for me, because I also read Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya in 2022, and I loved both books equally, but only had space for one. I ended up choosing this one because I think that its subject matter is something that should be spoken about more.
  • The Ghost of Ivy Barn – Mark Stay
    • I can’t get enough of the Witches of Woodville series by Mark Stay, and I loved this latest instalment. Each book has a slightly different feel to it, and I found this one a lot more emotional than I had expected. Oh, and I cannot stress this enough, you HAVE to look up Mr Stay’s unboxing videos!
  • The Wedding Cake – Isabella May
    • If you don’t know by now that I am a huge Isabella May fan, then I don’t know where you have been for the last five years! I love, love, love her Foodie Romance series! It is just wonderful.
  • Words In Deep Blue – Cath Crowley (review coming soon)
    • Oh my, this book! It was recommended to me by a friend, you know the type, “You have to read this book, it will destroy you!” and she certainly wasn’t wrong. I know this is a book that I will keep coming back to – just as soon as I recover from reading it the first time!
  • We Are All Constellations – Amy Beashel
    • Yet another book that left me in absolute bits! I think maybe I should read some happier books in 2023, but I just can’t help myself with the emotional rollercoasters!
  • Goblins of Lapland – Caedis Knight
    • While a lot of the books on my list this year are YA, this one is most definitely an 18+! The latest in the Blood Web Chronicles is a festive prequel full of Christmassy delights!
  • The Witch and the Tsar – Olesya Salnikova Gilmore
    • Finishing off this year’s list is one of the last books I read in 2022, and another where history meets fantasy, this time in Russia as Ivan the Terrible encounters a reimagined Baba Yaga. It was the perfect wintery read to curl up with in the days before Christmas.

What were your favourite books in 2022? I would love to see your lists to add to my TBR!

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Bookish Christmas Book Tag

The quiet period between Christmas and New Year seemed the perfect time to hop on to the Bookish Christmas book tag. Thanks to Danni at For Book’s Sake for tagging me to do this. If you haven’t already, make sure you check out her blog!

This tag was originally created by Callum McLaughlin.

Father Christmas: Name a book you received as a child that you treasure to this day.

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis. I adore the Chronicles of Narnia, but this was my first introduction to the world, a gift from my much loved godmother.

The ghost of Christmas past: Is there a book or series you like to revisit each year at Christmas time?

Fittingly for the start of this question, I always like to experience A Christmas Carol in some way at Christmas, whether that be reading the book or watching one of the many screen adaptations. This year, I was lucky enough to attend an interactive dramatic reading of the book at a stately home near where I live, which was so much fun (if this sounds like your kind of thing, check out their website – Torchlight Tours)! I do keep a folder of festive books on my Kindle as well to dip into if I fancy it. Some of the books on there include Midnight in Everwood by M.A. Kuzniar, The Gift by Cecelia Ahern, and Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather.

Christmas tree: Name a series that reaches new heights with every entry.

This has to be Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles. I am absolutely addicted, and I am currently counting the days until the next instalment releases (35 days including today, in case you were wondering).

Friends and family: Name a book with fantastic characters.

Oh so many! As this is a friends and family question, I think I will say the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo. The characters there may not be blood, but they are still very much a family.

Decorations: Name a book with a gorgeous cover you would proudly display on your shelves.

I see so many absolutely beautiful books being published these days, but I think that the Blood Web Chronicles by Caedis Knight take some beating – especially all lined up together. Designed by Jacqueline Silvester, one half of Caedis Knight, the colours are simply stunning, and the detail in each globe is spectacular. Find out more about this spicy series HERE.

Christmas cards: Name a book that carries a great message.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I remember a friend telling me that I had to read this book, but not telling me anything much else about it. At the time, I thought this was a bit strange, and when I started reading and found it was a book about a boy on a boat with a tiger, I thought it was an even stranger book to recommend. However, I ended up being absolutely blown away by it. I can’t say much more about it, or the message it carries, without spoiling it for anyone who is yet to read it, but it really is an astonishingly good book.

Ice and snow: Name a book that you were hoping to love, but which ultimately left you feeling cold.

Oh no, there’s no ice and snow here this Christmas, just hot chocolate and lebkuchen for all!

Christmas lunch: Name a book that was big and intimidating but oh so worth it in the end.

I love a big chunky book, so I don’t tend to find a high page count intimidating, and to be honest, I read mainly on Kindle, so I often don’t even know how long a book is before starting to read it. According to Goodreads, the longest book I read in 2022 was The Stone Monkey by Jeffrey Deaver at 657 pages. I really enjoy his Lincoln Rhyme series, so I am sure this didn’t feel anywhere near as long as it is.

Mince pies: Name a book you found sweet and satisfying.

A food based question at Christmas? There is only one possible answer that I could give – Twinkle, Twinkle Little Bar by Isabella May. It is an absolute delight featuring all the Christmas loveliness that your heart could desire. Read my review HERE.

Presents: What book do you wish you could give everyone to read?

The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale. I read this book way back in way back in February 2018, and I still find myself thinking about it. It is just such a beautiful book in every single way. You can read my review of it HERE.

Spreading the festive cheer: Tag some friends to help spread the festive bookish love.

K T Robson

Kate Kenzie

Book Review

The Witch & The Tsar – Olesya Salnikova Gilmore

Well, 2022 is certainly going out with a bang – my final blog tour this year features one of the best books I have read this year, the wonderfully wintery The Witch & The Tsar by Olesya Salnikova Gilmore. Many thanks to Olesya and to Harper Voyager for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour.

BLURB:

As a half-goddess possessing magic, Yaga is used to living on her own, her prior entanglements with mortals having led to heartbreak. She mostly keeps to her hut in the woods, where those in need of healing seek her out, even as they spread rumours about her supposed cruelty and wicked spells. But when her old friend Anastasia – now the wife of the tsar and suffering from a mysterious illness – arrives in her forest desperate for her protection, Yaga realises that the fate of all of Russia is tied to Anastasia’s. Yaga must step out of the shadows to protect the land she loves.

As she travels to Moscow, Yaga witnesses a sixteenth century Russia on the brink of chaos. Tsar Ivan – soon to become Ivan the Terrible – grows more volatile and tyrranical by the day, and Yaga believes the tsaritsa is being poisoned by an unknown enemy. But what Yaga cannot know is that Ivan is being manipulated by powers far older and more fearsome than anyone can imagine.

In this stunning debut novel, the maligned and immortal witch of legend known as Baba Yaga will risk all to save her country and people from Tsar Ivan the Terrible – and the dangerous gods who seek to drive the twisted hearts of men.

PURCHASE LINKS:

REVIEW:

Wow! I thought I was almost set on my favourite books of 2022, but this one has certainly put a spanner in the works. From the cover to the very last page, The Witch and The Tsar is an utterly beautiful book, exquisitely written and absolutely captivating. I studied Russian history at A-level many years ago, and this book brought the rich culture, landscape and folklore of the country to life in a way my teacher could only have dreamed off.

Part historical fiction, part reimagining of Russian folklore, The Witch and The Tsar weaves together the facts of Ivan IV’s reign of terror with the traditional tales of Baba Yaga and Koshey Bessmertny, giving a twist to their stories and offering a new explanation for Ivan’s behaviour. I was not hugely familiar with Russian folklore prior to reading this book, but it has left me wanting to know more and I will certainly be looking for more about Yaga and Koshey.

Olesya Salnikova Gilmore’s characters are simply wonderful, and I felt an emotional attachment to each and every one of them. She even managed to make Ivan the Terrible seem somewhat relatable! Even the worst, most evil of the characters had motivations that were understandable, whilst their actions remained awful. It is no mean feat to make a reader feel sorry for the antagonist, but Olesya succeeds in this beautifully.

It is hard to believe that The Witch and The Tsar is the debut novel from Olesya Salnikova Gilmore. I think we can expect great things in the future, and personally, I can’t wait!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Olesya Salnikova Gilmore was born in Moscow, Russia, and raised in the United States, and graduated from Pepperdine University with a BA in English/political science, and from Northwestern University School of Law with a JD. She practised litigation at a large law firm for several years before pursuing her dream of becoming an author. She is happiest writing historical fiction and fantasy inspired by Eastern European folklore. She lives in a wooded lakeside suburb of Chicago with her husband and daughter. The Witch and the Tsar is her debut novel.

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Make sure you check out the other blogs taking part in the tour.

Book Review

Goblins of Lapland – Caedis Knight

If you are still looking for that perfect gift for the (adult) bookworm in your life, I have the book for you right here as I share my (overdue) review of Goblins of Lapland by Caedis Knight. Actually, the full set of the four Blood Web Chronicles books (so far), with their exquisite jewel covers, would make a really beautiful gift.

BLURB:

Saskia de la Cruz, Verity Witch and undercover reporter for the Paranormal Blood Web, has been sent on her first international mission…to Lapland!

Convinced she’s set for a magical Christmas adventure in the snow, she’s dismayed to find the Christmas village she’s investigating is a complete disaster. She also takes an instant dislike to the rugged Finnish inn owner, Elias, who’s so miserable he makes the Grinch look like Santa. How can she trust a man whose only friend is a reindeer?

But Elias has bigger things to worry about than a nosy journalist. Locked in a bitter feud with a Texan tycoon, Elias has already lost too much to hand over his family business to his rival. As more mysterious disasters befall the village, Saskia soon discovers that one local Christmas myth is still very much alive. Will Saskia manage to save the village in time for Christmas? Or will they all end up Feliz Navidead?

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

REVIEW:

Whilst I might start planning the gifts I want to make for Christmas way back in March or April, I usually have a fairly strict “no Christmas books or films until December” rule. However, when the eagerly awaited Goblins of Lapland landed on my Kindle on 1st November, I knew there was no way I would be waiting a single second before reading it. By happy coincidence, I had finished my previous book the night before (okay, yes, I might have stayed up late to ensure that was the case), so I was able to jump straight in. A prequel to the main series, Goblins of Lapland sits after Mermaids of Los Angeles chronologically, but before Vampires of Moscow in the Blood Web Chronicles world, so if you haven’t read the previous books, it doesn’t matter, although you are missing out on multiple treats and I highly recommend you read them as soon as possible.

As always with Caedis Knight’s books, Goblins of Lapland is a real feast for the senses, filled with rich descriptions of wintery landscapes and festive treats. I don’t really eat meat, but even my largely vegetarian mouth was watering at the description of the reindeer stew. That said, it was all the sugary delights that really got my taste buds going – stocking up on the mince pies and lebkuchen before settling down to read is recommended!

Saskia’s stay at the Crazy Reindeer, the oldest Christmas village in Lapland is filled with mayhem, as she attempts to uncover the cause of some rather strange goings on – is the village being sabotaged by a rival, or is there something more unusual behind the mishaps being suffered? Whatever the cause, the situations that Saskia finds herself in are sure to have you spluttering in your Christmas cocoa!

Goblins of Lapland may be set in one of the snowiest spots in the world, but Caedis Knight once again ensure that temperatures don’t dip below scorching (and not just inside the sauna!).

The only problem with this book? It was just too short! I could have quite happily stayed with Elias in Lapland until spring! Maybe without the goblins though!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Established fantasy authors Jacqueline Silvester and N J Simmonds joined forces in 2019 when they learned readers were looking for steamy paranormal stories with more diversity, more sass, and set outside of the US.

Between them, they have lived in ten countries and speak six languages fluently – all of which inspired them to create a fantasy world hidden within our own. The cities featured in the series are cities they have lived in (except for Lapland).

Jacqueline Silvester is of Russian/Ukrainian descent and now loves between Berlin and The Netherlands. She works as a screenwriter and producer and has collaborated with large names such as Netflix, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon. Natali Simmonds lives in The Netherlands and has British/Spanish heritage. She writes fantasy as N J Simmonds, and feminist thrillers as Natali Simmonds.

Together they pen paranormal romance as Caedis Knight, and run the Caedis Knight Romance Academy where they teach a variety of courses on writing and self-publishing.

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BBNYA Spotlight – Dark Apprentice – Val Neil

Happy BBNYA spotlight day to Val Neil, and her fantasy novel, Dark Apprentice.

This year, the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA) is celebrating the 50 books that made it into Round Two with a mini spotlight blitz tour for each title. BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 10 finalists and one overall winner.

If you want some more information about BBNYA, check out the BBNYA Website https://www.bbnya.com/ or take a peek over on Twitter @BBNYA_Official. BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

BLURB:

A psychopathic wizard. An immortal mage. An epic battle of wills.

Nikolai doesn’t want much out of life: sex, immortality, and the power to disembowel anyone who crosses him. But with dark magic forbidden, his only option is Medea–a mage so deadly even the Enforcers give her a wide berth. Despite dire warnings that her apprentices don’t survive, Nikolai won’t stop until she agrees to train him. After all, he’s a killer himself.

Barbaric and brutal, the training is a far cry from what Nikolai expects. When a mysterious illness strikes Nikolai down, he suspects he’s found the secret to Medea’s longevity. He resolves to find out what happened to her previous apprentices. If he can locate the source of her power, he can turn it against her.

Medea swore off training dark wizards–none of them take the craft seriously and the ungrateful bastards always try to kill her. This one definitely seems the backstabbing type, but magic is dying out and she hasn’t felt such magical strength in centuries. If she can control the boy, show him that magic is more than curses and necromancy, he might obtain the power he desires. If not, well . . .

What’s one more dead apprentice?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Val was diagnosed with autism at the age of forty-one and couldn’t be happier to have her weirdness professionally validated. She lives in California with her ADHDer spouse, three children (two neurodiverse and one undecided), a normal number of dogs, and an abnormal number of birds.

For a free short story, witty ramblings and recommendations, sign up for my monthly newsletter: subscribepage.com/t7a2d4

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BBNYA Spotlight – Dragon’s Reach – JA Andrews

After a short break, I am back with another BBNYA semi-finalist to share.

This year, the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA) is celebrating the 50 books that made it into Round Two with a mini spotlight blitz tour for each title. BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 10 finalists and one overall winner.

If you want some more information about BBNYA, check out the BBNYA Website https://www.bbnya.com/ or take a peek over on Twitter @BBNYA_Official. BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

Today’s spotlight is on epic fantasy novel, Dragon’s Reach, by JA Andrews

BLURB:

Sable has spent ten years trapped in the slums, indebted to a ruthless gang boss Kiva, and scrambling to keep her younger sister safe.

She has nothing but the power to feel the truth in people’s words and a gnawing longing for freedom.

When she catches the slightest glimpse of escape through a traveling theater troupe, she must decide if the chance is worth risking Kiva’s wrath.

But there are more vicious evils in the world than gang bosses, and some threats you can’t outrun.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

JA Andrews lives deep in the Rocky Mountains of Montana with her husband and three children. She is eternally grateful to CS Lewis for showing her the luminous world of Narnia. She wishes Jane Austen had lived 200 years later so they could be pen pals. She is furious at JK Rowling for introducing her to house elves, then not providing her a way to actually employ one. And she is constantly jealous of her future-self who, she is sure, has everything figured out. You can find her at http://www.jaandrews.com.

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BBNYA Spotlight – The Chocolate Clouds – Marc Remus

This year, the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA) is celebrating the 50 books that made it into Round Two with a mini spotlight blitz tour for each title. BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 10 finalists and one overall winner.

If you want some more information about BBNYA, check out the BBNYA Website https://www.bbnya.com/ or take a peek over on Twitter @BBNYA_Official. BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

Today’s spotlight is on The Chocolate Clouds, a Middle Grade fantasy from Marc Remus.

BLURB:

Everybody in Sugarland is overweight because there’s no food other than sweets. For decades, delicious Chocolate Clouds soared above Choco-Locoville, the hometown of ten-year-old Henry. They would melt in the intense summer sun and chocolate would drip from the sky. Henry’s family collected the drops and made a fortune, building a candy empire that controlled Sugarland’s food supply.

One morning, Henry wakes up to the shocking news that the Chocolate Clouds have disappeared. With the family‘s empire in jeopardy and Sugarland at risk of starvation, Henry now ventures beyond the scary Monster Mountains and embarks on a wild journey.

Along the way, he befriends magical creatures, learns about healthy food choices, and discovers that the Chocolate Clouds didn’t just disappear but were actually stolen. Now he must visit the creepy Barebone Island, where monsters are said to live …

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Marc Remus is an award-winning German painter and author. His books have received more than twenty literary awards and have been translated into seven languages.

Remus was educated in the United States, graduated with a BA in art and illustration from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, and lived in Japan and Central America for many years. He has traveled to almost seventy countries and visited over a thousand cities, of which he has painted over two hundred. His work has been featured on TV and in many magazines and newspapers in Germany, USA, and Mexico.

During his art studies in California in the 1990s, Remus took his first children’s book illustration class. His college teacher inspired him to start writing and not just illustrating. The result was a picture book called Painting Brian, which led to his first book and eventually to the Magora series. In the early 2000s, Remus studied for four years at the Institute of Children’s Literature. In 2016 the Magora book, which he had initially written more than twenty years before, was finally published. During the five years that followed, eight more books were published, and Remus received many literary awards for his achievements.

Having a sweet tooth since childhood, Remus embarked on a new journey in 2019. Surrounded by many overweight friends and family members, Remus came up with an idea to teach children a healthy way of eating without preaching. This idea resulted in The Chocolate Clouds. It took the author two years to illustrate the book. With over 150 drawings, it is a rarity in children’s literature.

Today, Marc Remus is working on a new children’s book while The Chocolate Clouds are being translated into more languages. He continues to eat chocolate.

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