Blog Tour: The Retreat – Sarah Pearse

Blog Tour: The Retreat – Sarah Pearse


Series:
Detective Elin Warner #2
Release Date: July 21st 2022
Publisher: Bantam Press
Pages: 368
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Most are here to recharge and refresh.
But someone’s here for revenge . . .

An eco-wellness retreat has opened on an island off the coast of Devon, promising rest and relaxation – but the island itself, known locally as Reaper’s Rock, has a dark past. Once the playground of a serial killer, it’s rumoured to be cursed.

DS Elin Warner is called to the retreat when a young woman’s body is found on the rocks below the yoga pavilion, in what seems to be a tragic fall. But the victim wasn’t a guest – she wasn’t meant to be on the island at all.

When a man drowns in a diving incident the following day, Elin starts to suspect that there’s nothing accidental about these deaths. But why would someone target the retreat – and who else is in danger?

Elin must find the killer – before the island’s history starts to repeat itself…

Review

The Retreat is the newest twisty thriller from Sarah Pearse, author of The Sanatorium. Featuring the same protagonist, the story follows DS Elin Warner as she is called to a remote wellness retreat on an island. A body has been found and the death looks like a horrible accident, however, the woman wasn’t a guest and wasn’t supposed to be there. As Elin dives deeper into the retreat, she discovers the island has a dark past and the deaths might not be so accidental.

I really enjoyed Sarah Pearse’s The Sanatorium and was really intrigued to pick up The Retreat. The story is just as addictive and I found myself turning pages long into the night. Pearse has a brilliant way of keeping the reader hooked and the short chapters definitely had me reading longer and longer. The story is full to the brim with twists and turns – there were more than a few moments I didn’t see coming. The story is really well plotted and are plenty of heart-pounding, edge of your seat moments too.

I absolutely loved the setting for the story and it really provided that tense, remote atmosphere. The vivid descriptions really brought the island to life and there were some moments that sent a shiver up my spine. The characters were also well developed and I enjoyed seeing Elin’s character growth as she grows in confidence. The story is multi-perspective, giving the reader an insight into those on the island too. The Retreat is a compelling tale, one that will absolutely keep you on your toes. If you’re looking for a clever, compelling thriller that you won’t be able to put down, definitely add this to your reading list.

Book Review: Ash Princess – Laura Sebastian

Book Review: Ash Princess – Laura Sebastian


Series:
Ash Princess Trilogy #1
Release Date: April 14th 2018
Publisher: Macmillan
Pages: 448
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this book from Waterstones
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

Review

Ash Princess is the first in a YA fantasy trilogy that follows Theodosia, a young princess who lives at the mercy of the Kaiser who murdered her mother and stole her throne. For ten years she has suffered under his abuse and ridicule when she decides that enough is enough and will do everything in her power to reclaim her lost throne.

Ash Princess is a pretty standard YA story. It was a bit darker than I was expecting but it follows a similar plot to other YA fantasy stories. I have found myself reading less and less YA lately so I wasn’t really sure going in if this was going to be for me. In the end, I did actually enjoy this book immensely, I really liked Sebastian’s writing style and the fast paced, action driven storyline had me glued to the book for long periods of time.

As this is the first book in the series I’m really interested to see how the story develops. Theo does go through some character growth in the story but I felt like some of the other characters could have done with a bit more development. The story does end on a bit of a cliffhanger so I am intrigued to see where Sebastian will take things. This is a fun, fast read and if you’re looking for a YA fantasy tale to keep you hooked this one will be right up your street.

Blog Tour: Equinox – David Towsey

Blog Tour: Equinox – David Towsey


Release Date:
12th May 2022
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Pages: 368
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Christophor Morden lives in a world where everybody changes with the rising and setting of the sun. For every person contains two distinct identities – a day brother and a night brother. One never sees the light, the other nothing of night.

One evening Christophor, one of the king’s special unit of witch hunters, is woken early by a call to the city prison. A young woman has torn her own eyes out, and the police suspect supernatural causes. The investigation takes Christophor far from home, to a village on the edge of the kingdom.

There he will find his witch – and his night brother will find himself desperate to save her. And as this battle of the self rages, the witch’s ancient and apocalyptic ritual comes ever closer to completion…

Review

Equinox is an intriguing book that lured me in for a number of reasons. Firstly it has an absolutely stunning cover and second it’s a fantasy standalone – something I definitely don’t read enough of. The story also has such a fascinating concept that I couldn’t resist diving straight into it.

Equinox tells the story of Christophor Morden. Christophor lives in a world where everyone has two identities – one for the day and one for the night. One only ever sees the darkness and the other the day. Christophor is a member of the king’s special unit, whereas his day brother Alexsander is a musician. When Christophor is called to the city prison to witness a prisoner who has torn out their eyes. The cause is thought to be supernatural in origin, sending Christophor and his day brother on a quest to find the witch responsible.

Equniox is such a unique story – it felt like such a fresh take on the fantasy story. It felt wholly original and unlike anything I’ve read before. It was so fascinating to see these two characters who lead completely different lives and have completely different personalities inhabit one body. I really liked Christophor as the main protagonist and felt the story was well-paced. It did take me a little while to get into the story but after the first quarter of the book, I was completely invested in the story.

Towsey does a really brilliant job of creating that tense atmosphere, particularly as the mystery begins to unfold. The magic in this story is pretty dark and it was probably the thing that intrigued me most about this book. There are some moments that are on the creepy/gory side and Towsey doesn’t shy away from scenes that send a shiver down your spine. Equinox is a brilliantly told dark fantasy story that I thoroughly enjoyed. If you’re looking for some dark, gripping fantasy this should definitely be on your reading list. Whilst this is my first book from David Towsey, I cannot wait to read more from this author!

Book Review: Reckless Girls – Rachel Hawkins

Book Review: Reckless Girls – Rachel Hawkins


Release Date:
February 3rd 2022
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 312
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

When Lux McAllister and her boyfriend, Nico, are hired to sail two women to a remote island in the South Pacific, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. Stuck in a dead-end job in Hawaii, and longing to travel the world after a family tragedy, Lux is eager to climb on board The Susannah and set out on an adventure. She’s also quick to bond with their passengers, college best friends Brittany and Amma. The two women say they want to travel off the beaten path. But like Lux, they may have other reasons to be seeking an escape.

Shimmering on the horizon after days at sea, Meroe Island is every bit the paradise the foursome expects, despite a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and even rumors of murder. But what they don’t expect is to discover another boat already anchored off Meroe’s sandy beaches. The owners of the Azure Sky, Jake and Eliza, are a true golden couple: gorgeous, laidback, and if their sleek catamaran and well-stocked bar are any indication, rich. Now a party of six, the new friends settle in to experience life on an exotic island, and the serenity of being completely off the grid. Lux hasn’t felt like she truly belonged anywhere in years, yet here on Meroe, with these fellow free spirits, she finally has a sense of peace.

But with the arrival of a skeevy stranger sailing alone in pursuit of a darker kind of good time, the balance of the group is disrupted. Soon, cracks begin to emerge: it seems that Brittany and Amma haven’t been completely honest with Lux about their pasts––and perhaps not even with each other. And though Jake and Eliza seem like the perfect pair, the rocky history of their relationship begins to resurface, and their reasons for sailing to Meroe might not be as innocent as they first appeared.

When it becomes clear that the group is even more cut off from civilization than they initially thought, it starts to feel like the island itself is closing in on them. And when one person goes missing, and another turns up dead, Lux begins to wonder if any of them are going to make it off the island alive.

Review

Reckless Girls is the dark and addictive story of Lux McAllister, a young woman who followed her boyfriend Nico to Hawaii. Planning to fix up his boat and sail the world, Nico is hired by two women to take them to Meroe Island, a mysterious place with a tragic history. Lux agrees to go along and soon hits it off with the two women. When they arrive they join another couple and spend time exploring the island. As the group spends more time together they begin to realize that not everyone is what they seem and the arrival of a third boat brings tension to the remote island. As things take a dark turn Lux begins to wonder if they are ever going to make it off the island alive.

This was such a fun and fast-paced story. I sat down to read a few chapters and it was so readable and engaging that I didn’t put it down for the next few hours. The story is really easy to get into and I was completely fascinated by this mysterious island and its dark past. I really liked the inclusion of short chapters from the perspective of others that have been there, it really added another layer to the story. We mainly get things from Lux’s point of view but there are some chapters set in the past with Eliza and Amma. The story had plenty of twists and turns and the ending was definitely not something I could have predicted.

Reckless Girls has a slow, creeping atmosphere that builds as the story goes along. This is my first book from Rachel Hawkins but I am absolutely going to pick up more from this author. If you love addictive mystery stories with compelling characters, you’re sure to love Reckless Girls.

Book Review: The Witch of Willow Hall – Hester Fox

Book Review: The Witch of Willow Hall – Hester Fox


Release Date:
October 2nd 2018
Publisher: HQ
Pages: 384
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this from a local bookshop
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Years after the Salem witch trials one witch remains. She just doesn’t know it… yet.

Growing up, Lydia Montrose knew she was descended from the legendary witches of Salem but was warned to never show the world what she could do and so slowly forgot her legacy. But Willow Hall has awoken something inside her…

1821: Having fled family scandal in Boston Willow Hall seems an idyllic refuge from the world, especially when Lydia meets the previous owner of the house, John Barrett.

But a subtle menace haunts the grounds of Willow Hall, with strange voices and ghostly apparitions in the night, calling to Lydia’s secret inheritance and leading to a greater tragedy than she could ever imagine.

Can Lydia confront her inner witch and harness her powers or is it too late to save herself and her family from the deadly fate of Willow Hall?

Review

The Witch of Willow Hall is the beautifully told tale of the Montrose family, who move to the countryside following a family scandal in Boston. The family take up residence at Willow Hall but as the family attempt to build their lives back up there are some strange sightings and a sense of dread that lingers in the house. When Lydia meets the previous owner John Barrett, she begins to suspect the house has a dark past, but will she be able to uncover the truth and confront the secrets of her own past before it’s too late?

The Witch of Willow Hall is an atmospheric tale, full of beautiful writing and captivating characters. I picked this one up on a whim and I’m so glad that I did – I ended up completely devouring this book. The mystery kept me hooked right from the very beginning and it was well-paced, keeping me intrigued right to the very end. There are some spooky, eerie moments in the book that definitely added to that tense, uneasy atmosphere. The Witch of Willow Hall is an impressive debut and I’m incredibly excited to read more from Hester Fox.

Lydia has a really strong narrative voice and I really liked her as a protagonist. The sibling relationships were really interesting – with Lydia having a really close almost motherly relationship with Emmeline and a strained relationship with Catherine. Fox does an excellent job with the characters and I loved the mixture of historical fiction, mystery, and a dash of magic. The Witch of Willow Hall is the perfect read for a dark winter night and you won’t want to put it down.

Book Review: The Women of Troy – Pat Barker

Book Review: The Women of Troy – Pat Barker


Series:
Women of Troy #2
Release Date: 304
Publisher: Doubleday
Pages: 304
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I took part in a Tandem Collective readalong for this book
Rating: 3.75/5 stars

Synopsis

Troy has fallen. The Greeks have won their bitter war. They can return home as victors – all they need is a good wind to lift their sails. But the wind has vanished, the seas becalmed by vengeful gods, and so the warriors remain in limbo – camped in the shadow of the city they destroyed, kept company by the women they stole from it.

The women of Troy.

Helen – poor Helen. All that beauty, all that grace – and she was just a mouldy old bone for feral dogs to fight over.

Cassandra, who has learned not to be too attached to her own prophecies. They have only ever been believed when she can get a man to deliver them.

Stubborn Amina, with her gaze still fixed on the ruined towers of Troy, determined to avenge the slaughter of her king.

Hecuba, howling and clawing her cheeks on the silent shore, as if she could make her cries heard in the gloomy halls of Hades. As if she could wake the dead.

And Briseis, carrying her future in her womb: the unborn child of the dead hero Achilles. Once again caught up in the disputes of violent men. Once again faced with the chance to shape history.

Review

I had never read anything by Pat Barker until I picked up The Silence of the Girls and I ended up reading it and The Women of Troy back to back. The story continues on where we left off in The Silence of the Girls, following Briseis and the other women after Troy has fallen. The Greeks have been victorious, but the winds are not strong enough to sail and they are stranded with only the women of Troy for company.

Whilst this was an interesting sequel, I found myself much more gripped by The Silence of the Girls. Barker has created some really compelling characters, dealing with the grief and trauma of losing everything and everyone they know and love. She really captures the sense of loss and I was really captivated by the well-crafted characters. Briseis in particular was a really interesting character – now a free woman and pregnant with Achilles’ child, she is still completely at the mercy of the men around her.

I did feel like there wasn’t an awful lot happening in the story and there were a couple of points where the story dragged a little. I do wonder whether Barker will write a third installment in this series and I would be excited to see where she takes it. If you’re a Greek mythology fan this is definitely one for you.

Blog Tour: You’ll Be the Death of Me – Karen M. McManus

Blog Tour: You’ll Be the Death of Me – Karen M. McManus


Release Date:
December 2nd 2021
Publisher: Penguin Books
Pages: 400
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I received an E-ARC of this book via Netgalley
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be close. Back in middle school they were best friends. So, when Cal pulls into campus late for class, and runs into Ivy and Mateo, it seems like the perfect opportunity to turn a bad day around. They’ll ditch school and go into the city. Just the three of them, like old times. Why did they stop hanging out, anyway?

As soon as they pull out of the parking lot Cal knows why. Ivy’s already freaking out about missing class, and heartthrob Mateo is asleep in the backseat, too cool to even pretend like he wants to be there. The truth is they have nothing in common anymore.

At least they don’t until they run into the fourth student ditching school that day. Brian “Boney” Mahoney is supposed to be accepting his newly won office of class president. Which is why Ivy follows him into an empty building, only to walk into the middle of a murder scene. Cal, Ivy, and Mateo all know the person lying on the ground of that building, and now they need to come clean. They’re all hiding something. And maybe their chance reconnection wasn’t by chance after all.

Review

Queen of YA crime Karen M. McManus is back with a new thriller – You’ll Be the Death of Me. The story follows three students – Ivy, Cal and Mateo. They used to be close but have drifted apart. When the three run into each other in the school car park, it seems like the perfect opportunity to recreate the best day ever. They skip school, heading into the city for a day of fun. The three friends quickly realize they don’t have much in common anymore, but when they run into another student skipping, they decide to follow him. The three friends then find themselves wrapped up in a murder investigation and learn their random meet-up might not have been random at all.

So far I’ve read all of McManus’s books and each one has been a fast-paced, twisty read. You’ll Be the Death of Me is no exception. The story gripped me right from the beginning, with plenty of moments I just did not see coming. You’ll Be the Death of Me is an easy book to get caught up in and the short chapters had me turning pages quicker and quicker. Over the course of the book, I developed multiple theories about what was going on – all of which turned out to be wrong.

The story is well-paced and it has a really intriguing premise. I’ve seen it described as ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with murder’ and if that doesn’t intrigue you I don’t know what will. I really liked all three of our main protagonists and it was fascinating watching how the group dynamic changed as their secrets were revealed. Ivy was probably my favourite of the three, however, all of them were really interesting and well fleshed out.

If you’re looking for a fast-paced YA thriller to keep you hooked on a long winter night, You’ll Be the Death of Me absolutely has you covered. This was a hugely enjoyable read and I cannot wait to see what McManus writes next.

Blog Tour: Blue Running – Lori Ann Stephens

Blog Tour: Blue Running – Lori Ann Stephens


Release Date:
December 2nd 2021
Publisher: Moonflower Books
Pages: 334
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Blue Running is a gripping coming-of-age thriller set in post-secessionist Texas.
Fourteen-year-old Bluebonnet Andrews is on the run across the Republic of Texas. An accident with a gun killed her best friend but everyone in the town of Blessing thinks it was murder. Even her father – the town’s drunken deputy – believes she did it. Now, she has no choice but to run.

In Texas, murder is punishable by death. There’s no one to help her. Her father is incapable and her mother left the state on the last flight to America before the secession. Blue doesn’t know where she is but she’s determined to track her down. First she has to get across the lawless Republic and over the wall that keeps everyone in. On the road she meets Jet, a pregnant young woman of Latin American heritage. Jet is secretive about her past but she’s just as determined as Blue to get out of Texas before she’s caught and arrested.

Together, the two form an unlikely kinship as they make their way past marauding motorcycle gangs, the ever watchful Texas Rangers, and armed strangers intent on abducting them – or worse. When Blue and Jet finally reach the wall, will they be able to cross the border, or will they be shot down in cold blood like the thousands who have gone before them? Some things are worth dying for.

Review

Blue Running is the moving story of fourteen-year-old Blue. Blue lives in the small town of Blessing, which is part of the Republic of Texas. When an accident occurs and Blue’s friend Maggie is fatally wounded by a gunshot, everyone believes Blue did it. With Blue’s father being the drunken town deputy and her Mother abandoning them when she was little, Blue has no choice but to go on the run. Whilst on the run Blue meets Jet – a pregnant Latin American woman just as desperate to escape her past. The two must work together if they have any hope of surviving the motorcycle gangs and Texas Rangers out looking for them. But will they make it to the wall and be able to escape Texas forever?

Blue Running is unlike anything I’ve read before. It was a gripping story that drew me in right from the very first page and I found myself thinking about this book long after I finished reading. I really enjoyed the writing style and the short, sharp prose really kept me hooked. I ended up reading this over the course of a single day, it was a fascinating and terrifying read – the idea of guns being so common that even children carry them every day.

This story is very much a coming-of-age tale and I really felt for our main protagonist Blue. She has gone through so much in her short life – her father is a drunk and she doesn’t have any friends at school. In the beginning, she’s incredibly naive and it was so interesting watching her grow as a person. She forms an unlikely friendship with Jet and the two were both well-developed characters. Blue Running is an incredibly engaging read and one you do not want to miss.

Blog Tour: The Year of the Reaper – Makiia Lucier

Blog Tour: The Year of the Reaper – Makiia Lucier


Release Date:
November 9th 2021
Publisher: Hodder Books
Pages: 336
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

The past never forgets . . .

Before an ambush by enemy soldiers, Lord Cassia was an engineer’s apprentice on a mission entrusted by the king. But when plague sweeps over the land, leaving countless dead and devastating the kingdom, even Cas’ title cannot save him from a rotting prison cell and a merciless sickness.

Three years later, Cas wants only to return to his home in the mountains and forget past horrors. But home is not what he remembers. His castle has become a refuge for the royal court. And they have brought their enemies with them.

When an assassin targets those closest to the queen, Cas is drawn into a search for a killer…one that leads him to form an unexpected bond with a brilliant young historian named Lena. Cas and Lena soon realize that who is behind the attacks is far less important than why. They must look to the past, following the trail of a terrible secret—one that could threaten the kingdom’s newfound peace and plunge it back into war.

Review

Year of the Reaper first caught my eye because of that absolutely beautiful cover. The story follows Cassia, a member of one of the most trusted families in the kingdom. When Cas is taken prisoner by a rival kingdom, he is forced to reside in a prison cell for three years. On returning home he finds the villages and towns destroyed by plague. His family castle has become a sactuary for the king and queen, desperate to escape the plague. When an assassin begins to target those closest to the queen, Cas must team up with historian Lena to uncover the truth behind the attacks. As the delve deeper into the mysteries of the past, what they uncover could destory the peace between the two kingdoms.

Year of the Reaper is one of those books that captivates you right from the very first page. Lucier has a brilliant, vivid writing style and I was immediately caught up in the story. The plot was well-paced and I was completely glued to the book for the latter half of the book. The world was really fascinating and I loved learning about the history of these kingdoms that have been so affected by the plague.

Where Year of the Reaper really excels is the characters. Cas is a compelling protagonist and it was so interesting seeing him grow as he adapts to once again living in the castle. There was a really intriguing cast of secondary characters and I similarly really liked Lena. Year of the Reaper is a marvelous read, one with a few surprise reveals that I did not expect. I loved that this was a standalone story and whilst this is my first time reading a book from Makiia Lucier, this will definitely not be my last.

Book Review: A Clockwork River – J. S. Emery

Book Review: A Clockwork River – J. S. Emery


Release Date:
October 7th 2021
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Pages: 736
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Lower Rhumbsford is a city far removed from its glory days. On the banks of the great river Rhumb, its founding fathers channelled the river’s mighty flow into a subterranean labyrinth of pipes, valves and sluices, a feat of hydraulic prowess that would come to power an empire. But a thousand years have passed since then, and something is wrong. The pipes are leaking, the valves stuck, the sluices silted. The erstwhile mighty Rhumb is sluggish and about to freeze over for the first time in memory.

In a once fashionable quarter of the once great city, in the once grand ancestral home of a family once wealthy and well-known, live the last descendants of the city’s most distinguished engineer, siblings Samuel and Briony Locke.

Having abandoned his programme in hydraulic engineering, Samuel Locke tends to his vast lock collection, while his sister Briony distracts herself from the prospect of marriage to a rich old man with her alchemical experiments. One night Sam leaves the house carrying five of his most precious locks and doesn’t come back…

As she searches for her brother, Bryony will be drawn into a web of ancestral secrets and imperial intrigues as a ruthless new power arises. If brother and sister are to be reunited, they will need the help of a tight-lipped house spirit, a convict gang, a club of antiques enthusiasts, a tribe of troglodytes, the Ladies Whist Club, the deep state, a traveling theatrical troupe and a lovesick mouse.

Review

A Clockwork River is a beautifully written tale set in the town of Little Rhumbsford. The place is not what it once was and the great feats of engineering that were once infamous have now started to decay and fail. The story follows Sam and Briony Locke, two residents of the town as they find themselves wrapped up in an epic adventure. Sam was once a student of hydraulic engineering and is passionate about locks. When one night Sam goes to give a lecture on his lock collection, he does not come home. His sister Briony,  a young woman fascinated by alchemy, will do anything to avoid marriage to rich old man to save her family home. When she discovers her brother is missing she soon finds herself wrapped up in a web of secrets. Will she be able to uncover the truth and find her brother before it’s too late?

A Clockwork River is a chunky book but this compelling story had me captivated right from the very first chapter. I loved the gorgeous language, the fascinating plot and the intriguing characters. J. S Emery has created a really unique hydro punk world and I constantly wanted to know more and more. It was completely unlike anything I’ve read before and despite it being over 700 pages I ended up reading this in just a few days. The story is charming and excellently plotted, making for a quaint and engaging read.

A Clockwork River has some really fascinating characters and this was the thing that captured my attention most. They felt very realistic as there was an immense amount of depth and character development throughout the story. They felt like real, flawed human beings who sometimes don’t get it right. I particularly liked Briony, she’s a clever young woman, determined to avoid marriage and I enjoyed her character arc the most. There are a whole host of fascinating secondary characters too and Emery has created a brilliant cast of characters.

A Clockwork River is one of those books that’s just a pleasure to read. If you’re looking for a unique fantasy story with beautiful prose and complex characters, this book is a must read.