Blog Tour: The Jungle – Pooja Puri

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Release Date: 16th March 2017
Publisher: Ink Road
Pages: 224
Find It: Amazon. Goodreads. 

Synopsis:

There was a story Jahir used to tell me. About how the first humans were born with wings. Can you imagine what that would be like? To fly anywhere in the world without worrying about having the right papers?

Mico has left his family, his home, his future. Setting out in search of a better life, he instead finds himself navigating one of the world’s most inhospitable environments the Jungle. For Mico, just one of many ‘unaccompanied children’, the Calais refugee camp has a wildness, a brutality all of its own.

A melting pot of characters, cultures, and stories, the Jungle often seems like its own strange world. But despite his ambitions to escape, Mico is unable to buy his way out from the ‘Ghost Men’ the dangerous men with magic who can cross borders unnoticed. Alone, desperate, and running out of options, the idea of jumping onto a speeding train to the UK begins to feel worryingly appealing.

But when Leila arrives at the camp one day, everything starts to change. Outspoken, gutsy, and fearless, she shows Mico that hope and friendship can grow in the most unusual places, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll show you the way out as well.

Review:

Happy publication day to The Jungle, and welcome to my stop on the blog tour! I think this book is such a beautiful one. It’s a subject that isn’t often talked about in young adult books, and is definitely one that needs to be explored. The book is really wonderfully written with some really striking imagery, and that’s one of the main reasons I enjoyed it so much.

The Jungle develops quite slowly, allowing you the chance to get to know Mico and Leila. They are fascinating characters, and I really enjoyed seeing the story from their perspective, as well as watching their relationship develop throughout the book. One of things I thought was particularly striking about The Jungle is the way it highlights not just the harrowing nature of living in the refugee camp, but also the effects that it has on a person – both physically and mentally.

I have to also say how much I loved the cover, it’s really striking and a couple of people asked me about it when I had my face buried in it when travelling. I enjoyed reading every second of this book, and it has a very unexpected ending. The Jungle really makes you think about life in the refugee camp and given the current state of affairs in the world, I think it’s definitely a topic that needs to be explored in literature more. This book did a brave and stunning job of it, and I’m very much looking forward to see what Pooja writes next!

Thanks for checking out my stop on the blog tour, be sure to check out the other stops listed below!


Book Review: Sugar – Kimberly Stuart

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Release Date: February 7th 2017
Pages: 248
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Find It: Amazon. Goodreads.

 

Synopsis:

After realising her coworkers at L’Ombre, a high-profile restaurant in NYC, will never appreciate or respect her, Charlie Garrett allows her ex-boyfriend, Avery Michaels, to convince her to work for him as executive pastry chef at his new Seattle hot spot, Thrill. She’ll have her own kitchen, her own staff—everything she ever wanted professionally.

When she arrives at Thrill, however, she realises that Avery wanted more than a pastry chef for his restaurant—he wanted a costar for the reality show they’re filming about the restaurant and its staff. Charlie is uncomfortable with the idea at first, but she soon realises that this is her chance to show the world what women in the kitchen are capable of. She sets some ground rules with the film crew, signs a non-disclosure agreement, and promptly meets the man of her dreams, Kai, off-camera.

The show, and her demanding work schedule as head of the pastry kitchen, makes it nearly impossible for Charlie and Kai to spend time together. Drama on and off the set soon take a toll on Charlie’s well-being, forcing her to choose if life in front of the camera is worth sacrificing life behind the scenes.

Sugar is a contemporary romance, set in the high-pressure commercial kitchens of New York and Seattle. A funny and clever story of how a female chef learns to thrive in the ruthless world of premier restaurants.

When she arrives at Thrill, however, she realises that Avery wanted more than a pastry chef for his restaurant—he wanted a costar for the reality show they’re filming about the restaurant and its staff. Charlie is uncomfortable with the idea at first, but she soon realises that this is her chance to show the world what women in the kitchen are capable of. She sets some ground rules with the film crew, signs a non-disclosure agreement, and promptly meets the man of her dreams, Kai, off-camera.

The show, and her demanding work schedule as head of the pastry kitchen, makes it nearly impossible for Charlie and Kai to spend time together. Drama on and off the set soon take a toll on Charlie’s well-being, forcing her to choose if life in front of the camera is worth sacrificing life behind the scenes.

Sugar is a contemporary romance, set in the high-pressure commercial kitchens of New York and Seattle. A funny and clever story of how a female chef learns to thrive in the ruthless world of premier restaurants

Review:

This is a lovely little book about a chef trying to find the balance between her dream job and her home life. It’s a light enjoyable chick-lit read – and one that will continually make you hungry with all the talk of food. It’s a pretty short read at only 240 pages, and it’s sweet – both in the desserts and in the romance kind of way (see what I did there!)

I found the plot really enjoyable, Charlie takes the leap of moving from New York to Seattle, but her job isn’t all that it seems, and of course there’s her new relationship to contend with the demanding job. The one thing that let me down about this book were the characters. I would have loved a much deeper analysis into them. So much happens in those two hundred odd pages, I felt like I barely got to know them and it was finished. I also didn’t get particularly attached to the characters – don’t get me wrong they’re written well, I just didn’t connect with them in any real way.

Despite that it’s still a really enticing story, and one that I really enjoyed. I read a large chunk of it in one sitting during a train journey, and really loved the depictions of working in a crazy hectic kitchen. The depictions of the food are really fabulous and well researched and there’s also a dash of humour tied in to make a really enjoyable mix. If you’re looking for something light and fun, this will definitely be up your alley.


Blog Tour: The Gingerbread House – Kate Beaufoy

Image result for the gingerbread house kate
Release Dare: 2nd March 2017
Publisher: Black & White Publishing
Pages: 208
Find It: Amazon. Goodreads. 

Synopsis:

Nestled among cherry trees in a picturesque country garden, the Gingerbread House resembles an illustration from an old-world storybook. But beware! For in the fairy-tale, that s where the witch lives…

Away from the city, with no distractions, the Gingerbread House seems like the perfect place to start work on a novel. That’s what former advertising copywriter Tess thinks when she goes there to live with Eleanor, her aged mother-in-law. But Eleanor is suffering from dementia, and caring for her proves tougher than Tess could ever have imagined: feeling increasingly isolated, her only comfort is wine o’clock and weekend visits from her husband. Meanwhile her teenage daughter Katia is helpless to intercede; in the end she can only watch as things fall apart and a tragedy even closer to home surfaces.

Review:

This book is beautiful, moving and one I definitely won’t forget anytime soon. I read The Gingerbread House in just a few sittings, it’s such a gripping piece of writing that I kept going back to it and reading much longer than I’d planned. It would be possible to look at the title and thing this book might be a kind of light, fun read but instead it is poignant, and heart-breaking.

The book is writing in a really interesting way, the style feels very personal, which for me made it all the more heart-wrenching. The Gingerbread house is in some ways a difficult book to read, but I also think it’s a really important one. Of all the books I’ve read, I’m not sure I can recall a single book that focuses on dementia, and the hard work and difficulties it places on the family of the person. It was really interesting to read a book with this as its focal topic, and I definitely recommend everyone read it.

The other thing I really loved about The Gingerbread house was the humour. It is painful to read, but there’s also an element of dark humour that runs the whole way though, and makes for such a fascinating narrative. Similarly the characters feel very honest and well-written. They’re all very life like and human – finding their own ways to deal with such a difficult thing like dementia.

The Gingerbread House is a very touching book. It’s charming and heart breaking at the same time and I think it’s rare you find a book that can be both things at once. If you’re looking for a quick read – but one that will really make you think – then this is definitely the book for you. I must also point out how lovely the cover is!


Book Review: Our Tiny Useless Hearts – Toni Jordan

33811509Release Date: February 2nd 2017
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Pages: 288
Find It: Amazon. Goodreads.

 

Synopsis:

Henry has ended his marriage to Caroline and headed off to Noosa with Mercedes’ grade three teacher, Martha.

Caroline, having shredded a wardrobe-full of Henry’s suits, has gone after them.

Craig and Lesley have dropped over briefly from next door to catch up on the fallout from Henry and Caroline’s all-night row.

And Janice, Caroline’s sister, is staying for the weekend to look after the girls because Janice is the sensible one. A microbiologist with a job she loves, a fervent belief in the beauty of the scientific method and a determination to make a solo life after her divorce from Alec.

Then Craig returns through the bedroom window expecting a tryst with Caroline and finds Janice in her bed, Lesley storms in with a jealous heart and a mouthful of threats, Henry, Caroline and Martha arrive back from the airport in separate taxis—and let’s not even get started on Brayden the pizza guy.

Janice can cope with all that. But when Alec knocks on the door things suddenly get complicated.

Harnessing the exquisite timing of the great comedies to the narrative power and emotional intelligence for which she is famous, Toni Jordan brings all her wit, wisdom and flair to this brilliant, hilarious novel.

Review:

This is a light and fun chick-lit read full of witty and self-deprecating humour. This isn’t normally the kind of book I would read, but the publisher sent it along with another title, and I decided to give it a go. It’s quite a short book, but it delves into the complicated and messy nature of relationships. So here’s how it works.

[SLIGHT SPOILER] Caroline and Janice are sisters  -> Caroline is married to Henry -> Henry is leaving Caroline for school teacher Martha -> Janice is divorced from Alec and still has feels for him -> Lesley and Craig are the nosy next door neighbours, and Craig has been having an affair with Caroline.

For me personally, I found all this a little far fetched. I felt like there were too many stories attempting to be shoved into one book. The book could have been about Caroline and Henry, and their marriage falling apart, or Lesley and Craig where Lesley is sure he isn’t being faithful, or Janice and Alec and why they got divorced but still love each other. Having the three relationships in one book – plus two children and one pizza man, felt a little jumbled and disjointed.

The book has some pretty funny, if not slightly cliche moments – and the humour is quite witty and enjoyable. The one reason I didn’t rate this book higher was the characters. Though there’s a whole range of them, I didn’t really have an attachment to any of them. I found most of them pretty self-centred and unlikeable and that put me off the story in a big way. Despite this the story is well written, and evenly paced. If you enjoy some light chick-lit with a bit of dark humour involved, this one will be right up your street.


Blog Tour: The Mercury Travel Club – Helen Bridgett

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Release Date: 16th March 2017
Publisher: RedDoor Publishing
Pages: 308
Find It: Amazon. Goodreads.

Synopsis:

Meet Angie Shepherd who, after 24 years and 11 months of marriage, finds herself divorced and driven by friends and family to move on. From hangover to makeover, Angie steps firmly away from the sensible knitwear, and launches into every adventure on offer – from baking classes and book groups, to speed dating, and even ‘The Granny-Okes’, a 1980s tribute act and YouTube sensation.

But Angie needs more than a bar of galaxy and a night in with Murder She Wrote… what she dreams of is entrepreneurial success. Channelling her inner Richard Branson, the light bulb moment happens: it’s time to take the plunge and invest her divorce settlement into The Mercury Travel Club, an exciting new business venture. But as the Travel Club gets going, things never go according to plan, and in this digital age a little chaos brings the fame she’s been looking for.

Set in present-day Manchester, this classic mid-life journey features the 1980s soundtrack from Angie’s youth, and sees her travel the world whilst coping with life after the Ex. Angie’s journey is the catalyst her friends need to examine their own lives; as they start to find their true callings, will Angie find hers? Witty, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny, this feel-good debut novel shows it’s never too late for a second chance.

Review:

The Mercury Travel Club is fresh and funny take on getting a second chance in life. I absolutely flew through this book, it’s one of those really fun enjoyable reads, one that I kind of wish I had been able to take on a trip with me, so I could lie in the sun and spend hours reading it.

The Mercury Travel Club is really well written, with lots of clever and witty dialogue to keep the reader entertained. The characters are really terrific, Angie and her best friend Patty are hilarious in the situations they manage to get themselves into (I try not to give too much away, but there is a great karaoke scene). The book is well paced, the story is set over about a year and really gives you a chance to really get to know Angie and her story. The other thing I absolutely love is the cover. It’s really eye catching and I could definitely see a few people glancing at it when I was reading it on the go.

The chapters in the book are also relatively short – some are only a few pages – and that continually made me say “oh just one more chapter” and before I knew it I was half way through the book.  I’m keeping this review fairly short and sweet. It’s a terrific book, and one that is best enjoyed without and spoilers of the plot. This is definitely one of those light-hearted, uplifting books that makes you smile all the time that you’re reading it. The Mercury Travel Club would be a perfect read on a beach, or a book to make you laugh in this cold winter weather!

Thanks you checking out my stop on The Mercury Travel Club blog tour, be sure to check out the other stops for more reviews and Mercury Travel Club posts!

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Blog Tour: The Scarecrow Queen – Melinda Salisbury

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Series: The Sin Eater’s Daughter #3 (See my reviews of the other books here!)
Release Date: 2nd March 2017
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 423
Find It: Goodreads. Amazon.

A Stunning conclusion to an absolutely fantastic series.

Synopsis:

The final battle is coming . . .

As the Sleeping Prince tightens his hold on Lormere and Tregellan, the net closes in on the ragged band of rebels trying desperately to defeat him. Twylla and Errin are separated, isolated, and running out of time. The final battle is coming, and Aurek will stop at nothing to keep the throne forever . . .

Review:

When you find a series you really love, you become incredibly attached to the characters. You root for them, you hope they succeed, that everything will work out for them. When the conclusion for that series gets announced, a certain amount of trepidation comes along with it. What if the ending doesn’t do the series justice? What if all those questions you have aren’t answered? What if you’re left feeling unsatisfied?

Well, let me dispel your fears. The Scarecrow Queen is perfect.

Picking up after the events at the end of The Sleeping Prince, this epic conclusion heads straight back into the thick of the story. I must admit it was quite a while ago that I read The Sleeping Prince, but it certainly didn’t take me long to get back into the nitty-gritty of the story. The book is well paced, and changes in point of view from Twylla’s to Errin’s. The characters have grown so much since book one and two, and it was wonderful to watch them continue to evolve and adapt to the threat of Aurek.

The Scarecrow Queen, much like the previous two books, has an absolutely fantastic plot, that keeps you hooked right from the very beginning. I completely blame Melinda Salisbury for the fact that I got zero coursework done during the days it took me to devour the book. I couldn’t stop reading the book, and if I absolutely had to put the book down I kept developing theories on what was going to happen next, which were for the most part always wrong. Let me tell you – there are plenty of surprises in store.

The Sleeping Prince was one of my favourite books of 2016, and The Scarecrow Queen will definitely be up there for 2017. Sometimes you find in a book that there’s one or two characters that stand out more than the rest, but for me, that isn’t the case. I love all the characters in this series. Aurek is the perfect villain, Twylla and Errin the most wonderful heroines. If you love gripping fantasy, you will adore this series. I don’t want to say much about the ending, as I definitely don’t want to spoil it for anyone. I will say that it is a satisfying one, and one that I think really works with the overall feel of the book. I loved every second of reading this series, and am eagerly awaiting to see what Mel can destroy my emotions with next.

Merek Vision Board

As a bit of fun for The Scarecrow Queen blog tour, we created some vision boards, showcasing some of the aesthetics of the characters. Be sure to check out the other stops (listed on the poster) to see what all the lovely bloggers came up with. So without further adieu, here’s what I came up with for Merek:

 

And here is Mel’s!

Mel’s thoughts:

Nicole’s Merek is brilliant – I love the lion especially, and he would too. She’s done an amazing job to capture every element of him, from his royal side, to his slyer, more tricksy side. I also love the clever reference to the bird in the cage, and what that would mean to both him, and to Twylla.

Nicole’s thoughts:

I absolute adore these images, they’re so beautiful and I think they really match Merek’s personality. We both had some similar images, the crown and books, which I think show how clever Merek is, and how important Lormere is to him. The image of the deer in the wood is probably my favourite, it’s really striking and shows such an interesting side to Merek’s character.

I had such a fab time working on these vision boards, so thank you for checking out my stop on The Scarecrow Queen blog tour. Be sure to check out the other stops, and happy publication day to such a wonderful book!

 

About Melinda Salisbury


When not working on her next novel Melinda Salisbury is busy reading and travelling, both of which are now more addictions than hobbies.  She lives by the sea, somewhere in the south of England.

The Scarecrow Queen is the highly anticipated and captivating finale in the internationally bestselling trilogy that began with The Sin Eater’s Daughter. Published by Scholastic 2nd March 2017.


ARC Review: The Witchfinder’s Sister – Beth Underdown


Release Date: 2nd March 2017
Publisher: Viking
Pages: 400
Find It: Amazon. Goodreads.

Without a doubt one of my favourite books of 2017 – and it’s only February!

Synopsis:

The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six…

1645. When Alice Hopkins’ husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.

But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women’s names.

To what lengths will Matthew’s obsession drive him?
And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

Review:

I found it pretty hard to put my thoughts on The Witchfinder’s Sister into coherent sentences. It was a wonderful read – beautifully written and at times it scared the **** out of me.

The book follows the story of Alice, who after the death of her husband has to return to her childhood home, and live with her brother Matthew. She’s a really fascinating protagonist, a complex and flawed person and I loved seeing the story develop from her perspective. She’s likeable, she attempts to help those accused of witchcraft and those in the household that have to work for her brother.

The plot is well put together, encompassing Alice and her unexpected pregnancy, her relationship with her brother, and the trials of the women accused of witchcraft. This book does a fantastic job of bringing the fascinating history of Manningtree to life. After I’d finished reading the book I found myself spending a great deal of time on Google, just reading the history surrounding Matthew and Alice Hopkins. I found it particularly astonishing that women could be tried as witches for the most menial things, and The Witchfinder’s Sister certainly highlights that. It’s a stunning debut and one that I’m definitely going to read again.

The most compelling thing about this book is the atmosphere. The claustrophobic nature of Alice’s life – she has nowhere to go and no one to turn to regarding her brother –  makes for a very unsettling energy within the story. Combining this with the eerie moments where Alice and Matthew aren’t quite sure what they’re witnessing, makes for one dark and intense atmosphere. A couple of times I had to put the book down or risk scaring myself silly (and then of course cave and pick it back up, because I had to know what was coming next.)  The writing is rich and compelling, you’ll absolutely find yourself reading large chunks of it at a time.

This is definitely going to be on my top reads of 2017. It’s a fascinating story and I have already had it pinched lent it to my mum because I talked about it so much. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, this is absolutely a book you’ve got to read. If you love dark and eerie stories, make this the top of your buying list.


Blog Tour: Ragdoll – Daniel Cole

30259893Series: Detective William Fawkes #1
Release Date: 23rd February 2017
Publisher: Trapeze
Pages: 304
Find It: Goodreads. Amazon.

Synopsis:

A body is discovered with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together like a puppet, nicknamed by the press as the ‘ragdoll’.

Assigned to the shocking case are Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes, recently reinstated to the London Met, and his former partner Detective Emily Baxter.

The ‘Ragdoll Killer’ taunts the police by releasing a list of names to the media, and the dates on which he intends to murder them.

With six people to save, can Fawkes and Baxter catch a killer when the world is watching their every move?

Review:

This book gripped me right from the very first page, and refused to let me put it down. I must admit I read this book very quickly, partly because of the blog tour schedule, but also because I was absolutely desperate to know what happens. This is detective fiction at its very best.

This book is fantastically well written, the plot is so well paced – there’s plenty going on, but enough mystery to keep you guessing about what’s going to happen next. The book is a race against time, the action ramps up the further you get into the story, and  continually pulls you back in.  You very much get thrown in at the deep end, and Ragdoll continually leaves you wanting to know more. The characters are superbly well written. Detective Fawkes – Wolf – is a really fascinating character. He doesn’t play by the rules and is determined to catch the killer. He’s very human, he’s flawed and doesn’t always do the right thing, and that makes the story so much more enjoyable.

Ragdoll really stood out for me. Not just because it’s a fun read and a really intense crime thriller, but it was also really funny. I saw previously the book was compared to the TV show No Offence, and I think that’s really apt. It’s funny and wonderfully written. I enjoyed reading it immensely, and highly recommend it to those that love high action mystery thrillers. This is the first book in the series, and I’m so glad there’s more on the way,  I can’t wait to see what he has in store next.

Thanks for checking out my stop on the Ragdoll blog tour (and on publication day!) there are loads of great blogs also on the tour, hosting reviews and other interesting posts. Be sure to check them out below!


Blog Tour: The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days – Juliet Conlin

34259121Release Date: 23rd February 2017
Pages: 442
Publisher: Black and White
Find it: Amazon. Goodreads

Synopsis:

Approaching 80, frail and alone, a remarkable man makes the journey from his sheltered home in England to Berlin to meet his granddaughter. He has six days left to live and must relate his life story before he dies…

His life has been rich and full. He has witnessed firsthand the rise of the Nazis, experienced heartrending family tragedy, fought in the German army, been interred in a POW camp in Scotland and faced violent persecution in peacetime Britain. But he has also touched many lives, fallen deeply in love, raised a family and survived triumphantly at the limits of human endurance. He carries within him an astonishing family secret that he must share before he dies… a story that will mean someone else’s salvation.

Welcome to the moving, heart-warming and uncommon life of Alfred Warner.

Review:

This book was completely unlike anything else I’ve ever read. The story focuses on the life of Alfred, and all he’s coped with over the years. The story alternates between the perspectives of Alfred and Julia – the lady who he meets and tells his story to. This book is heart warming and gripping – I absolutely loved it.

I took this book with me on a train journey to work – thought I would read a few chapters on the way there and the way home. After reading the first few pages I was completely sucked in. I almost missed my stop on the train, was sneaking in chapters on my lunch break and then had my face glued to it for the rest of the evening. This book is stunningly written, and really focuses on some difficult subjects – the holocaust, coping with death and loss are just some of them.

Although there are some really heart breaking moments in this story,it was also incredibly heart warming as well. Alfred has some really amazing experiences in his life, and it’s fascinating to see them. The characters are so complex and well written, each dealing with their own happy and sad moments.

Alfred certainly had an uncommon life, and his story was one that I did not want to end. The book really drives home how one single moment – one chance meeting, can have such a profound effect. The Uncommon Life of Alfred in Six Days is definitely one of my favourite books of 2017 so far. It’s unique, gripping and beautifully written – I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Thanks for checking out my stop on The Uncommon Life of Alfred in Six Days blog tour, check out the other stops (listed below) and check out their reviews!


Blog Tour: Incendium – A. D. Swanston

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Series: Christopher Radcliff #1
Pages: 416
Release Date: 7th August 2017
Find it: Goodreads. Amazon.

Synopsis:

Summer, 1572 and England is vulnerable. Fear of plague and insurrection taint the air, and heresy, fanaticism and religious unrest seethe beneath the surface of society. Rumour and mistrust lead to imprisonment, torture and sometimes murder. To the young lawyer Christopher Radcliff and his patron and employer, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, the prospects for peace are grave – and as Leicester’s chief intelligencer, he is charged with investigating both the rumours of rebellion at home and invasion from abroad.

But Radcliff’s own life is far from orderly. His relationship with the widow Katherine Allingham is somewhat turbulent and the cut-throat world of court politics leaves no room for indiscretions.
That the queen’s own cousin, the Duke of Norfolk, is found guilty of treason, it is a sign of just how deep the dissent goes. Jesuit priests have been sent to England in order to foment revolt but the threat of a Catholic uprising comes not just from within. Across the channel, France is caught up in a frenzy of brutal religious persecution and England’s other enemy of old, Spain, is making preparations to invade. England is a powder-keg, just waiting for a spark to ignite it – and then Christopher Radcliff hears word of a plot that could provide that spark. The word is ‘incendium’ – but what does it mean and who lies behind it? Suddenly Christopher Radcliff is caught up in a race against time…

Review:

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Incendium. Incendium is a really rich and beautifully written book, set during a fascinating time in England’s history. This book is a fantastic start to the series, and I thoroughly enjoyed this intense historical thriller. The novel is full of life, with all the sights and smells of Elizabethean England really coming alive. Swanston doesn’t shy away from vivid descriptions of what that time period was like, and it really serves to suck you in all the more.

Radcliff is a really interesting character. He’s resourceful, intelligent and determined. Seeing the story unfold from his perspective made for some really gripping reading. He’s certainly the perfect protagonist for this story. The rest of the cast of characters are equally as well written, making for a some really fascinating perspectives.

The plot is pretty fast paced – though I did find the initial few chapters a little slow – but there’s plenty of action and political intrigue going on to keep you hooked. This is one of the best historical novels I’ve read in a long time, and if you’re a fan of Swanston’s other books, you’re going to absolutely love this!