Blog Tour: Orfeia – Joanne M. Harris

Blog Tour: Orfeia – Joanne M. Harris


Release Date:
September 3rd 2020
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 240
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.25/5 stars

Synopsis

When you can find me an acre of land,
Every sage grows merry in time,
Between the ocean and the sand
Then will you be united again.
(Inspired by The Child Ballads 2 & 19)

So begins a beautiful and tragic quest as a heartbroken mother sets out to save her lost daughter, through the realms of the real, of dream, and even into the underworld itself.

But determination alone is not enough. For to save something precious, she must give up something precious, be it a song, a memory, or her freedom itself . . .

Beautifully illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins, this is a stunning and original modern fairytale.

Review

Joanne Harris is one of those auto-buy authors for me so when I heard she was releasing another novella inspired by the Child Ballads I was incredibly excited to read it. I absolutely devoured A Pocketful of Crows and The Blue Salt Road so I couldn’t wait to see what she would write next. Orfeia is the beautiful and moving tale of Fay, a mother who has lost her daughter. Whilst out for a run she slips into another London where she learns that her daughter lingers in the halls of the Hallowe’en king. Fay must navigate this dangerous dream realm to enter the halls and rescue her daughter.

Like the previous two stories, Orfeia is an incredibly lyrical story, full of beautiful prose. Harris creates a fascinating world in Orfeia and the reader quickly becomes enveloped in the story. It’s quite a quick read but it packs a punch, it’s definitely the kind of story that will having you thinking about it long after you’ve finished reading. This story is such a mesmerising one and I enjoyed every minute of it. Our main character Fay is an excellent protagonist, she’s strong willed and determined to reach her daughter – no matter the cost.

This beautiful retelling is a must read if you love whimsical fantasy stories and it has some absolutely stunning illustrations. If you’ve read the other books in this collection then you absolutely have to pick this one up. If you’ve not yet had the chance to read them they’re absolutely perfect for reading in the autumn and you can binge all three. I loved every second of this book and I can’t wait to see what Harris writes next.

Book Review: The Blue Salt Road – Joanne Harris

Book Review: The Blue Salt Road – Joanne Harris

BOOK REVIEW (28)Release Date: 15th November 2018
Publisher: Orion Books
Pages: 256
Find it on: Goodreads. Waterstones.
Source: I won an ARC of this at YALC.

Synopsis

An earthly nourris sits and sings
And aye she sings, “Ba lilly wean,
Little ken I my bairn’s father,
Far less the land that he staps in.
(Child Ballad, no. 113)

So begins a stunning tale of love, loss and revenge, against a powerful backdrop of adventure on the high seas, and drama on the land. The Blue Salt Road balances passion and loss, love and violence and draws on nature and folklore to weave a stunning modern mythology around a nameless, wild young man.

Passion drew him to a new world, and trickery has kept him there – without his memories, separated from his own people. But as he finds his way in this dangerous new way of life, so he learns that his notions of home, and your people, might not be as fixed as he believed.

Review

This is the second of book by Joanne Harris based on The Child Ballads. The first being A Pocketful of Crows which I read last year and adored. This time around the story focuses on selkies and Harris weaves a beautiful fairytale of adventure, love and loss.

Untitled design (94)The story follows a young woman named Flora who tricks a Selkie into becoming her mate. Once pregnant she steals his seal skin meaning he can never return to the water. According to myth when the Selkie is separated from his skin he cannot remember who he truly is. The story follows the Selkie as he seeks to reclaim what is his, as well as protect his newborn child.

Joanne Harris really is the Queen of beautiful, lyrical writing and her style fits so well with this kind of story. It allows you to really sink into the story, enveloping you in this world of wild seas, full of danger and violence.

Like A Pocketful of Crows I found this book fascinating. I loved the bold story with memorable characters and the gorgeous illustrations really helped to bring the story to life. Although it’s a short little book (in fact I read in a single sitting on the train from London to Edinburgh), it certainly packs a punch and I still think about it even though I read it a while ago.

With gorgeous artwork both inside and out, this really is a stunning book. The story is a beautifully woven tale of magic, adventure and love. Fans of Joanne Harris will definitely not be disappointed and if you enjoy fairy tales and retellings, this should absolutely be on your wish list.
4 stars