Book Review: Black Sun – Rebecca Roanhorse

Book Review: Black Sun – Rebecca Roanhorse


Series:
Between Earth and Sky #1
Release Date: January 21st 2021
Publisher: Rebellion Publishing
Pages: 454
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

A god will return
When the earth and sky converge
Under the black sun

In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.

Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.

Crafted with unforgettable characters, Rebecca Roanhorse has created an epic adventure exploring the decadence of power amidst the weight of history and the struggle of individuals swimming against the confines of society and their broken pasts in the most original series debut of the decade.

Review

Black Sun is the first book in a new series from Rebecca Roanhorse, author of Trail of Lightning. The story is a multi-perspective tale following different characters on the lead up to a rare solar eclipse in the holy city of Tova. We follow Xiala, captain of a ship that is carrying a strange man to the city. The passenger – Serapio – is a blind and scarred young man with much more to him than meets the eye. Then there is the Sun Priest, preparing for this celestial event and attempting to navigate the politics of the order. As the solar eclipse begins, the three characters must battle for survival.

This is my first time reading a book by Rebecca Roanhorse but I absolutely loved it. This well executed fantasy tale gripped me from the very beginning and I found myself picking this book up at every opportunity, even getting up early in the morning just to squeeze in a few extra chapters. I loved the complex and diverse characters that Roanhorse created in this world. Xiala was my favourite, she’s much more than a down on her luck sea captain and I loved seeing the relationship grow between her and Serapio. I similarly found Serapio fascinating, he’s an ambiguous character and you’re never quite sure if he’s a villain or not. Roanhorse created incredible characters in this wold and I’m so excited to see where they end up in the next instalment.

The world building is well plotted and we are treated to lots of information and history without feeling info-dumpy. I really loved the world and the magic in this one and I can’t wait to learn more as the story progresses. The story was quick paced with plenty of action to keep the reader hooked in. If you’re a fan of dark and fast paced fantasy this is definitely one to pick up. Black Sun will absolutely be in my favourite books of 2021 and I’m already dying to get my hands on book two.

January TBR!

January TBR!


I can’t quite believe 2021 is here already! I’m so excited for all the 2021 releases that are coming out and I’m determined to try and stick to the TBRs I make this year. I’m looking forward to reading so many of these so lets dive in!

1. The Once and Future Queen –  Clara O’Connor
In a world where the Roman Empire never fell, two starcrossed lovers fight to ignite the spark of rebellion…

Londinium, the last stronghold of the Romans left in Britannia, remains in a delicate state of peace with the ancient kingdoms that surround it. As the only daughter of a powerful merchant, Cassandra is betrothed to Marcus, the most eligible bachelor in the city.

But then she meets Devyn, the boy with the strange midnight eyes searching for a girl with magic in her blood.

A boy who will make her believe in soulmates…

When a mysterious sickness starts to leech the life from citizens with Celtic power lying dormant in their veins, the imperial council sets their schemes in motion. And so Cassandra must make a choice: the Code or Chaos, science or sorcery, Marcus or Devyn?

2. The Burning Girls – C J Tudor
500 years ago: eight martyrs were burnt to death
30 years ago: two teenagers vanished without trace
Two months ago: the vicar committed suicide

Welcome to Chapel Croft.

For Rev Jack Brooks and teenage daughter Flo it’s supposed to be a fresh start. New job, new home. But, as Jack knows, the past isn’t easily forgotten.

And in a close-knit community where the residents seem as proud as they are haunted by Chapel Croft’s history, Jack must tread carefully. Ancient superstitions as well as a mistrust of outsiders will be hard to overcome.

Yet right away Jack has more frightening concerns.

Why is Flo plagued by visions of burning girls?
Who’s sending them sinister, threatening messages?
And why did no one mention that the last vicar killed himself?

Chapel Croft’s secrets lie deep and dark as the tomb. Jack wouldn’t touch them if not for Flo – anything to protect Flo.

But the past is catching up with Chapel Croft – and with Jack. For old ghosts with scores to settle will never rest . . .

3. The Heiress – Molly Greeley
As a fussy baby, Anne de Bourgh’s doctor prescribed laudanum to quiet her, and now the young woman must take the opium-heavy tincture every day. Growing up sheltered and confined, removed from sunshine and fresh air, the pale and overly slender Anne grew up with few companions except her cousins, including Fitzwilliam Darcy. Throughout their childhoods, it was understood that Darcy and Anne would marry and combine their vast estates of Pemberley and Rosings. But Darcy does not love Anne or want her.

After her father dies unexpectedly, leaving her his vast fortune, Anne has a moment of clarity: what if her life of fragility and illness isn’t truly real? What if she could free herself from the medicine that clouds her sharp mind and leaves her body weak and lethargic? Might there be a better life without the medicine she has been told she cannot live without?

In a frenzy of desperation, Anne discards her laudanum and flees to the London home of her cousin, Colonel John Fitzwilliam, who helps her through her painful recovery. Yet once she returns to health, new challenges await. Shy and utterly inexperienced, the wealthy heiress must forge a new identity for herself, learning to navigate a “season” in society and the complexities of love and passion. The once wan, passive Anne gives way to a braver woman with a keen edge—leading to a powerful reckoning with the domineering mother determined to control Anne’s fortune . . . and her life.

4. Last One to Die – Cynthia Murphy
One of Us is Lying meets This Lie Will Kill You but with a chilling supernatural twist that will keep you guessing until the very end . . .

Young, brunette women are being attacked in the city of London.

16-year-old, Irish-born Niamh has just arrived for the summer, and quickly discovers that the girls being attacked look frighteningly similar to her.

Determined to make it through her Drama Course, Niamh is placed at the Victorian Museum to put her drama skills to the test, and there she meets Tommy: he’s kind, fun, attentive, and really hot! . . . Nonetheless, there’s something eerie about the museum.

As the two strands of present-day serial attacker and sinister Victorian history start to collide, Niamh realises that things are not as they seem. Will she be next?


5. Hall of Smoke – H M Long

Hessa is an Eangi: a warrior priestess of the Goddess of War, with the power to turn an enemy’s bones to dust with a scream. Banished for disobeying her goddess’s command to murder a traveller, she prays for forgiveness alone on a mountainside.

While she is gone, raiders raze her village and obliterate the Eangi priesthood. Grieving and alone, Hessa – the last Eangi – must find the traveller, atone for her weakness and secure her place with her loved ones in the High Halls. As clans from the north and legionaries from the south tear through her homeland, slaughtering everyone in their path, Hessa strives to win back her goddess’ favour.

Beset by zealot soldiers, deceitful gods, and newly-awakened demons at every turn, Hessa burns her path towards redemption and revenge. But her journey reveals a harrowing truth: the gods are dying and the High Halls of the afterlife are fading. Soon Hessa’s trust in her goddess weakens with every unheeded prayer.

Thrust into a battle between the gods of the Old World and the New, Hessa realizes there is far more on the line than securing a life beyond her own death. Bigger, older powers slumber beneath the surface of her world. And they’re about to wake up.

6. The Island – C L Taylor
Welcome to The Island.
Where your worst fears are about to come true…

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime quickly turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re coming true.

Seven days in paradise. A deadly secret.

Who will make it off the island alive?

So those are the six books I’m hoping to get to in January. I’m hoping to get to a few more over the month but I’m trying to make my TBRs manageable so I complete them each month. I’d love to know what you’re planning to read in January and if you’ve read any of these I’d love to know your thoughts!

Book Review: The Thief on the Winged Horse – Kate Mascarenhas

Book Review: The Thief on the Winged Horse – Kate Mascarenhas


Release Date: November 12th 2020
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Pages: 400
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.25/5 stars

Synopsis

The Kendrick family have been making world-famous dolls since the early 1800s. But their dolls aren’t coveted for the craftmanship alone. Each one has a specific emotion laid on it by its creator. A magic that can make you feel bucolic bliss or consuming paranoia at a single touch. Though founded by sisters, now only men may know the secrets of the workshop.

Persephone Kendrick longs to break tradition and learn the family craft, and when a handsome stranger arrives claiming doll-making talent and a blood tie to the Kendricks, she sees a chance to grasp all she desires.

But then, one night, the family’s most valuable doll is stolen. Only someone with knowledge of magic could have taken her. Only a Kendrick could have committed this crime…

Review

The Thief on the Winged Horse is the beautifully told story of the Kendrick Family and their infamous doll shop. The dolls are magic, evoking a feeling or emotion with a single touch. Though the craft was founded by sisters, the secrets of the magic are now known only to the men of the family. Persephone Kendrick is desperate to be a sorcerer, but her family refuses to allow her to learn the craft. When a stranger arrives at the shop claiming to be a long lost relative, Persephone knows this could be her chance to get what she’s always wanted. When one of the most famous Kendrick dolls is stolen, the family are pushed to the limit as they attempt to discover who could have stolen such a precious item.

This is my first time reading a book from Kate Mascarenhas and I completely fell in love. This is such a gorgeous story, full to the brim with lyrical writing and a gripping plot. I absolutely adore magical realism stories but this has got to be one of my favourites. I thought the concept was fascinating and I ended up reading this one almost in one sitting I just didn’t want it to end. I almost wish there was another book because I would love to know more about the Kendrick family and their incredible dolls.

The plot was well executed and it was quite a quick paced story. I was really intrigued by the mystery of the missing doll and attempting to discover who had taken it. I did guess quite early on but that absolutely didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story. It was a brilliant story and it was so interesting watching the family dynamics change as the story progressed and Persephone learned the skills she’s always wanted to learn.

While this is my first Kate Mascarenhas book it definitely will not be the last. Her characters were superb and I loved how complex and fascinating they are. Persephone in particular was my favourite. She’s stubborn and determined to learn the skills for crafting the enchantments, even if that means having to stay with her drunken father. Larkin was also a really interesting character and I was constantly questioning his motivations and how truthful he was really being. I similarly really liked Hedwig, who on the surface seems so sweet but had so much more going on. The characters were probably my favourite part about this book, they were vividly described and so gripping to read about.

The Thief on the Winged Horse is one of those books you find yourself thinking about long after you’ve finished read. A beautiful and compelling tale and one fantasy fans will absolutely adore.

Book Review: Kingdom of the Wicked – Kerri Maniscalco

Book Review: Kingdom of the Wicked – Kerri Maniscalco


Series:
Kingdom of the Wicked #1
Release Date: October 27th 2020
Publisher: Hodder Books
Pages: 448
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

Two sisters.

One brutal murder.

A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…

And an intoxicating romance.

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…

Review

Kingdom of the Wicked is the first in an all new series from Kerri Maniscalco. This is my first time reading a book by this author – I’ve long been intrigued by her Stalking Jack the Ripper series but I’ve never gotten around to reading it. When I heard she was releasing a new book featuring princes from Hell and a quest for vengeance, I was immediately sold. This is a dark and compelling tale – it’s beautifully told and definitely one of my favourite reads of 2020.

The story follows twin sisters Emilia and Vittoria. The sisters come from a long line of witches who live secretly among humans. When Vittoria is brutally murdered Emilia swears she will find out who the killer was and have her vengeance. She will stop at nothing to find out who is behind it – even using the dark magic her Nonna has forbidden her to use.

I absolutely loved this book. I loved the vivid Italian setting, the fascinating magic system and the idea of the seven princes of hell. Emilia’s family run a restaurant and there’s quite a lot of descriptions of food that sounded so incredible it made me want to get on a plane to Italy right now. The story is really fast paced and there’s plenty of action as Emilia tries to solve the murderers, out-manoeuvre the princes of hell and battle some demons in between.

The characters are also incredibly well depicted in this story. Emilia is a clever and headstrong protagonist. She does what she has to do to protect her family and find out the truth of Vittoria’s murder. I also thought Wrath was a brilliant character – he’s so sarcastic and aloof, I absolutely loved seeing the banter and relationship evolve between the two.

Kingdom of the Wicked was a book I didn’t want to end and as soon as I turned that last page I was desperate for more. If you’ve been curious about this one I’d definitely recommend picking it up and I will be eagerly awaiting the second instalment in the series.

Blog Tour: Ashes of the Sun – Django Wexler

Blog Tour: Ashes of the Sun – Django Wexler


Series:
Burningblade & Silvereye #1
Release Date: October 1st 2020
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Pages: 464
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Long ago, a magical war destroyed an empire, and a new one was built in its ashes. But still the old grudges simmer, and two siblings will fight on opposite sides to save their world in the start of Django Wexler’s new epic fantasy trilogy.

Gyre hasn’t seen his beloved sister since their parents sold her to the mysterious Twilight Order. Now, twelve years after her disappearance, Gyre’s sole focus is revenge, and he’s willing to risk anything and anyone to claim enough power to destroy the Order.

Chasing rumors of a fabled city protecting a powerful artifact, Gyre comes face-to-face with his lost sister. But she isn’t who she once was. Trained to be a warrior, Maya wields magic for the Twilight Order’s cause. Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, the two siblings will learn that not even the ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two.

Review

Ashes of the Sun is the first in an all new epic fantasy series from Django Wexler. This is my first time reading a book by this author and I had so much fun! The story follows Gyre, who hasn’t seen his sister since his parents sold her off to the Twilight Order. Hellbent on seeking revenge for his sister, Gyre goes in search of an artifact that will give him enough power to destroy the Order, but in doing so finds his long lost sister. She is much changed, a hardened warrior for the Order. As civil war looms, the two find themselves on opposite sides of what is sure to be a devastating fight.

Ashes of the Sun is a really gripping read and a fantastic opening book to the series. The world building is superb and I was fascinating by this world that is still attempting to rebuild after a magic war. I really enjoyed Wexler’s writing style and it was easy to become completely absorbed in the story. The story was well paced, giving the reader time to understand the world without being info-dumpy. There was plenty of action to keep the reader hooked and I found it particularly hard to put the book down during the fighting scenes.

Wexler has created some truly brilliant characters in this book. We are treated to the POVs of Maya and Gyre and I really liked both characters. I loved seeing the relationship dynamics change as the story progressed. Gyre in particular I found fascinating, he’s so determined to get revenge he will stop at nothing. While it is quite a serious story there are plenty light-hearten moments in the story too, particularly in the witty banter between the characters.

All in all Wexler has created a really fascinating and compelling story and I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next instalment. If you’re looking for an excellently plotted epic fantasy to keep you hooked over the winter months this should absolutely be your next read.

Blog Tour: The Once and Future Witches – Alix E. Harrow

Blog Tour: The Once and Future Witches – Alix E. Harrow


Release Date:
October 13th 2020
Publisher: Orbit Books
Pages: 528
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when the Eastwood sisters–James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna–join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.

Review

The Once and Future Witches is the new book from acclaimed author Alix E. Harrow. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a book I’ve been really excited to read, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. When I heard she was coming out with a new book about witches and the suffragettes movement it immediately went straight to the top of my anticipated releases list.

Set in a time where witches are a thing of the past, the story follows three sisters – James, Beatrice and Agnes as they join the suffragettes movement in New Salem. As support for the movement begins to increase the sisters delve deeper into the magic of their ancestors in an attempt to escape the forces that wish to harm them.

While I haven’t read Harrow’s debut novel I know many people loved it for the beautiful writing style. That absolutely shines through in The Once and Future Witches, I adored the lyrical way that she wrote and I was completely captivated by this gorgeous story. It is a story of sisters and family, of standing against oppression and I loved every single second of it.

Harrow has created such a fascinating and unique tale in this book. I found the combination of suffragettes and witches such a brilliant and fresh take. The story is well paced and I thought this was such an engrossing read. While I was really fascinated by the plot the thing that kept me hooked most was the characters. Harrow has created three distinct and complex protagonist, each dealing with their own hardships and difficulties. It was fascinating seeing them attempt to reconcile after so many years and see how their sibling relationship changed as the stakes became higher.

The Once and Future Witches is a spellbinding and beautifully written book. It’s the perfect autumn read with brilliant characters that you become quite attached to. It’s full to the brim with magic and I can already see myself rereading this one for Halloween next year. It touches on a lot of important subjects such as equality and racism and there are many parallels with the world today. If you’ve been intrigued by this one I’d absolutely say give it a go – you won’t be disappointed.

Blog Tour: A Golden Fury – Samantha Cohoe

Blog Tour: A Golden Fury – Samantha Cohoe


Release Date:
13th October 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Pages: 352
Find it on: Goodreads. Amazon.
Source: I received an E-ARC of this via Netgalley
Rating: 3.75/5 stars

Synopsis

Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.

While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.

But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.

Review

A Golden Fury originally caught my eye because of that beautiful cover but after reading the synopsis for this one I was immediately intrigued to know more. The story follows Thea Hope, a young girl longing to be an alchemist like her mother. However her mother controls all the aspects of her life and Thea wants nothing more than to help her uncover the secrets of the philosopher’s stone. Whilst looking at her mother’s stones Thea discovers that there is a curse placed on the stone that drives anyone who uses it to insanity. Forced to flee France and live in Oxford, Thea soon becomes entangled with a group of alchemists desperate to steal her knowledge and create the stone themselves.

A Golden Fury is a really enjoyable read, full of mystery and atmosphere. I loved the setting of the story and Cohoe did a great job with the world building. The story is an engrossing one and I was completely fascinated by the idea of alchemy and the possibility of creating the Philosopher’s Stone. It definitely felt like Cohoe brought a fresh perspective to a well known story and I loved learning about the alchemy and the work Thea and her mother did.

A Golden Fury drops the reader right into the middle of the story and there’s plenty to keep the reader hooked. I did feel the pacing was a little off, with it being a bit on the slower side to start. Despite this I really enjoyed this one overall and I really liked Thea as a main protagonist. It was interesting seeing her relationships with her parents and how they changed over time. Thea is quite a likeable character – she’s strong and smart and she stands up for what she believes in.

Overall I thought A Golden Fury was an impressive debut and I would be interested to read more from Samantha Cohoe. Her beautiful writing style and fascinating world had me hooked from the very beginning. If you’re looking for an addictive new historical fantasy to escape in this autumn, A Golden Fury has got you covered.

Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V. E. Schwab

Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V. E. Schwab


Release Date:
6th October 2020
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 560
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly approved me for an E-ARC on Netgalley
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever-and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore, and he remembers her name.

In the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After LifeThe Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab’s #1 New York Times Bestselling Author genre-defying tour de force.

Review

V. E. Schwab is one of my favourite authors and while I haven’t read all of her back catalogue yet, I’ve loved every single one that I’ve read. Going into Addie LaRue I had the highest expectations and I already thought this was going to be a five star read. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue isn’t just a five star read though, it’s without a doubt my favourite book of 2020 and possibly my favourite book of all time. If you take one book recommendation from me it would be to pick this one up.

The story follows Adeline LaRue a young woman desperate to escape life planned out for her – a small village, marriage and children. In a desperate attempt to gain her freedom she sells her soul to be made immortal, however there’s a catch – Addie will live forever but she will be forgotten by everyone she meets. We follow Addie through her lifetime until almost three hundred years later when she meets a boy named Henry in a used bookshop, who remembers her name.

I’m not sure I have the words to convey how much I loved this book. V. E. Schwab has such a beautiful lyrical writing style and it shines in this story. I loved the two timelines of Addie in the present and Addie in the past. It’s quite a slow paced story, but it absolutely fits the tone and the atmosphere.

This truly is a brilliant story and part of the reason I think I loved it so much is because of the terrific protagonist Schwab has created. As you follow Addie you become so attached to her, it was fascinating seeing her grow as a character and adapt to her life as an immortal. She’s a clever and determined character and even when she thinks of giving up she still picks herself up and continues.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a compelling tale, full of love and heartbreak. It’s the perfect story to get lost in. There’s already been quite a lot of hype about this one but it is absolutely deserved. A magical tale from start to finish, I did not want this one to end and I cannot wait to see what V. E. Schwab does next.

Blog Tour: The Bone Shard Daughter – Andrea Stewart

Blog Tour: The Bone Shard Daughter – Andrea Stewart


Series:
The Drowning Empire #1
Release Date: September 8th
Publisher: Orbit Books
Pages: 448
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

In an empire controlled by bone shard magic, Lin, the former heir to the emperor will fight to reclaim her magic and her place on the throne. The Bone Shard Daughter marks the debut of a major new voice in epic fantasy.

The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.

Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.

Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people.

Review

As soon as I read the synopsis for The Bone Shard Daughter I knew it was going to be a book I would love. The premise sounds fascinating and coupled with that absolutely stunning cover, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. The Bone Shard Daughter is an absolutely incredible debut, and without a doubt one of my favourite books of the year.

The story is set in a world where the emperor uses bone magic to ensure his continued rule. He refuses to acknowledge his daughter Lin as heir to his throne and she will do anything she can to learn the forbidden bone shard magic and prove she is worthy. But rebellion is stirring in the kingdom and when it arrives at the palace Lin has to give everything to save her people.

I absolutely adored this book. It’s a fast paced tale that’s brilliantly executed and incredibly clever. There’s absolutely tons of action and I honestly never wanted this book to end. The world building is truly superb and I was completely fascinating by the magic system in this story. The idea of bone shard magic felt so unique and it was such a dark bloody magic to witness. The story is full to the brim with magic and revolution with a touch of romance.

The story features a number of different POV characters and I felt that they were all well created and developed. I really liked Lin and Jovis and I thought Stewart did an excellent job of giving each POV character a unqiue and compelling voice. Some of the characters are told in first person perspective and some in third – I thought this might have been a little jarring but actually worked incredibly well in the story.

The Bone Shard Daughter is an absolutely magnificent read and I’m so glad there’s more to come in The Drowning Empire series because I cannot wait to dive back into this incredible world. If you’ve been intrigued by this one I definitely recommend picking it up – you won’t be disappointed.

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.