#BookReview THE UNSPOKEN NAME by A.K.LARKWOOD #TheUnspokenName

ABOUT THE BOOK

What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

PUBLISHED BY  TOR BOOKS

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon 

hive.co.uk

waterstones

MY REVIEW

I’m always excited to discover a new fantasy world to disappear into, and this one delivers on all fronts of excitement, twists, diversity, drama, humour and a new superstar character in Csorwe who we follow as she is set on a new path She’s always been brought up knowing she was going to die on her 14th birthday and while that’s not the best kind of birthday present one can hope for, she’s offered a new fate on the day she’s due to be ‘sacrificed’ and boy is she in for a rollercoaster of a ride, as she becomes a wizard’s loyal sword-hand! Bring on the fights, the deception and the magic!

I often find with some fantasy novels that they can drag a little on the pace front – there’s a lot of world building and characters to explore, but that often slows the flow right down – but that doesn’t happen with the way the author writes this book. It zips along and covers the story over a few years and, although there’s lots going on, there’s always a chance to keep your bearings, so to speak, and that made for such a connection with this story and the characters within. There’s also a very helpful list of characters and how to pronounce their names at the beginning of the book – invaluable!!

Csorwe is on a real learning process alongside Sethennai as she visits places she’s only ever heard about after her incredibly sheltered life, but she soon finds out she’s more capable than she ever imagined as she faces all that is thrown her way. The story is told from a variety of POV’s which I really enjoyed and there’s a huge variety of personalities and it was good fun keeping track of who was there to help or hinder Csorwe and her progress! Just why did Sethennai choose her in the first place? And what consequences will there be for her not following her original destiny?! There’s so much to explore along her journey and I found myself doing the ‘just one more chapter’ thing as I couldn’t bear not knowing what was going to happen next!!

An exciting introduction to this duology and I’m eagerly counting down the days until we get to read more about Csorwe and the world she finds herself a part of!

★★★★

#BookReview THE SISTERS GRIMM by MENNA VAN PRAAG @ThePigeonholeHQ

ABOUT THE BOOK

The critically acclaimed author of The House at the End of Hope Street combines love, mystery, and magic with her first foray into bewitching fantasy with a dark edge evocative of V.E. Schwab and Neil Gaiman.

Once upon a time, a demon who desired earthly domination fathered an army of dark daughters to help him corrupt humanity . . .

As children, Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea dreamed of a strange otherworld: a nightscape of mists and fog, perpetually falling leaves and hungry ivy, lit by an unwavering moon. Here, in this shadowland of Everwhere, the four girls, half-sisters connected by blood and magic, began to nurture their elemental powers together. But at thirteen, the sisters were ripped from Everwhere and separated. Now, five years later, they search for one another and yearn to rediscover their unique and supernatural strengths. Goldie (earth) manipulates plants and gives life. Liyana (water) controls rivers and rain. Scarlet (fire) has electricity at her fingertips. Bea (air) can fly.

To realize their full potential, the blood sisters must return to the land of their childhood dreams. But Everwhere can only be accessed through certain gates at 3:33 A.M. on the night of a new moon. As Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea are beset with the challenges of their earthly lives, they must prepare for a battle that lies ahead. On their eighteenth birthday, they will be subjected to a gladiatorial fight with their father’s soldiers. If they survive, they will face their father who will let them live only if they turn dark. Which would be fair, if only the sisters knew what was coming.

So, they have thirty-three days to discover who they truly are and what they can truly do, before they must fight to save themselves and those they love.

PUBLISHED BY  BANTAM PRESS

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK

hive.co.uk

whsmith

MY REVIEW

I read this via THE PIGEONHOLE app.

I loved the mix of female characters, fantasy and the modern world in this compelling story, and it’s one of those books that you really lose yourself in! And that opening is a brilliant way to lead you into the Sisters Grimm world – very inspiring!

The 4 sisters are struggling with their own problems in their day to day life, but there’s always that feeling that there’s something more going on with visions and dreams and it was so rewarding seeing how the story built up when these ‘sisters’ are reunited approaching their 18th birthdays – when a whole new life is ahead of them and they have to choose their paths! This is a coming of age of a different kind for them all!

My favourite sister is Goldie as I just found her story easier to connect with and the introduction of Leo added the romance element which I really enjoyed. But all the sisters had their own interesting stories and the way the story was told really worked for me – I liked dipping in and out of each of their timelines while strange things started to happen and they were trying to work out why these things were going on.

It was magical and mystical, filled with dark and light moments and the struggles each girl faced made them much easier to find a connection with for me as a reader. These girls aren’t perfect – they’re torn, they have fears and doubts, life doesn’t always work out for them as they hoped and there’s always that element of wondering whether they are going to go down a darker path. It’s a story about finding your place in the world and that’s a very easy thing to relate to! A fabulous fantasy read – and I’m hoping there’ll be more from this Grimm world!

★★★★

#BookReview The Name of all Things by Jenn Lyons #TheNameOfAllThings

ABOUT THE BOOK

“Everything epic fantasy should be: rich, cruel, gorgeous, brilliant, enthralling and deeply, deeply satisfying. I loved it.”―Lev Grossman on The Ruin of Kings


You can have everything you want if you sacrifice everything you believe.
Kihrin D’Mon is a wanted man.
Since he destroyed the Stone of Shackles and set demons free across Quur, he has been on the run from the wrath of an entire empire. His attempt to escape brings him into the path of Janel Theranon, a mysterious Joratese woman who claims to know Kihrin.
Janel’s plea for help pits Kihrin against all manner of dangers: a secret rebellion, a dragon capable of destroying an entire city, and Kihrin’s old enemy, the wizard Relos Var.
Janel believes that Relos Var possesses one of the most powerful artifacts in the world―the Cornerstone called the Name of All Things. And if Janel is right, then there may be nothing in the world that can stop Relos Var from getting what he wants.

And what he wants is Kihrin D’Mon.


Jenn Lyons continues the Chorus of Dragons series with The Name of All Things, the epic sequel to The Ruin of Kings


Published by Tor Books

Publication Date –  7th November 2019


PRE-ORDER LINKS

Amazon UK  £26.99
Goldsboro Books – signed first edition £25.00
WHSMITH  £13.29


MY REVIEW

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the return of Kihrin since The Ruin of Kings, and in The Name of All Things you’re left totally absorbed in the world of magic, battles and dragons once more and I loved being part of this world once more! The snark is strong in this book!! Kihrin is being hunted after wreaking havoc in book one and in the quest to escape it brings him face to face with new characters – allies and foes!

These stories are always told really imaginatively and in this installment we’re with Kihrin and the cast in a tavern as they recall their story. The main storytellers are Janel and Qown and they are such intriguing characters with very diverse backgrounds – this book does a superb job of looking at the issues of gender and how society sees it. To see the struggles the characters, especially Janel, faces brings a more poignant side to the story.

With this book you get maps (always so important!) and the brilliantly epic and snarky footnotes which really do help with the way the story is told, and endears you to the characters even more! They don’t take themselves or the danger they’re in very seriously at times, even though maybe they should! Ooh and there are dragons!! Dragons who are hellbent on destroying anything and everything in their path!

There are battles, fights , insults, deceit, demons, witches, magic and portals galore throughout and the pace is relentless! This story does focus more on the story of Janel but with such an interesting story to tell then this seems only fair! Doing things the easy way is just not how Janel does things!

All the characters are flawed and use unorthodox methods to achieve their aim so you’re often left scratching your head as to the outcome of each ‘adventure’ but it all leads to a satisfying story that sets up everything so nicely for the next installment – which I’m hoping won’t be too far away as I love spending time in this world!


★★★★★

#BookReview The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman

ABOUT THE BOOK

It is twenty years since the events of La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One unfolded and saw the baby Lyra Belacqua begin her life-changing journey.

It is almost ten years since readers left Lyra and the love of her young life, Will Parry, on a park bench in Oxford’s Botanic Gardens at the end of the ground-breaking, bestselling His Dark Materials sequence.

Now, in The Secret Commonwealth, we meet Lyra Silvertongue. And she is no longer a child . . .

The second volume of Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust sees Lyra, now twenty years old, and her daemon Pantalaimon, forced to navigate their relationship in a way they could never have imagined, and drawn into the complex and dangerous factions of a world that they had no idea existed. Pulled along on his own journey too is Malcolm; once a boy with a boat and a mission to save a baby from the flood, now a man with a strong sense of duty and a desire to do what is right.

Theirs is a world at once familiar and extraordinary, and they must travel far beyond the edges of Oxford, across Europe and into Asia, in search for what is lost – a city haunted by daemons, a secret at the heart of a desert, and the mystery of the elusive Dust.

The Secret Commonwealth is truly a book for our times; a powerful adventure and a thought-provoking look at what it is to understand yourself, to grow up and make sense of the world around you. This is storytelling at its very best from one of our greatest writers.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK  £12.26

hive.co.uk  £13.59

whsmith  £12.50

foyles – with exclusive pin badge £20.00

MY REVIEW

Oh how wonderful it is to be reunited with Lyra! I really enjoyed La Belle Sauvage, but we’re now back with Lyra as an adult! She’s in her second year at Oxford and things aren’t going well, especially between her and Pan! It was often so heartbreaking to read them squabbling and doing things on their own.

And when Pan is out one night alone, he sees someone being murdered and is asked by the victims’ daemon to help and hide a wallet. The significance of what is inside this wallet leads Pan and Lyra to set off on different quests to figure out what dark forces are at work, and to work out what has happened to Lyra and Pan in their relationship.

There is tension between them from the start and it makes it difficult to understand what could have gone so wrong between them. Pan has his thoughts on the change in Lyra and won’t settle until he tracks down who he thinks is responsible for making her think differently. Lyra does feel lost without him and when he disappears she has no doubt that she needs to find him. Her life at Oxford isn’t being made to be a pleasant one either by those in charge and there is definitely a plot to uncover what she knows

Malcolm, who we were introduced to in La Belle Sauvage, also makes a welcome reappearance and I love how his role has evolved and the sense of duty he feels towards Lyra. His family are always there to help out along the way and the journey they all take was one that left me breathless! There’s always danger close by and I loved the tension and different plot lines that all seemed to link effortlessly – why are so many so interested in seeing where Lyra ends up?

She relies on the hospitality of many good people along the way, despite the efforts of those wanting to stop her. You can just feel her desperation of trying to make sense of everything that is happening around her, alongside trying to work out what has gone wrong between her and Pan. And she’s also there to help others as well. The further she travels the more troubling sights she sees.

At nearly 700 pages long, this never feels like a slog of a read. There’s always a new piece of information to be devoured, an old friend to help her out and I’m already eagerly awaiting the next installment!! Absolutely blooming brilliant!!

★★★★★

#BlogTour The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E.Harrow #BookReview #TenThousandDoors @Tr4cyF3nt0n @orbitbooks

Delighted to be the latest stop on the brilliant Blog Tour for the equally brilliant THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY by ALIX E.HARROW.  My thanks to the publisher, author and Tracy of Compulsive Readers for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it!

ABOUT THE BOOK

In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in Alix E. Harrow’s spellbinding debut–step inside and discover its magic.

Published by Orbit

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK  £21.72

hive.co.uk  £10.69

whsmith  £9.35

MY REVIEW

I think we’ve all dreamed of finding doors that lead to different worlds – I still live in hope of finding Narnia at the back of my wardrobe – and in this book you get to enjoy the magical journey of following January as she discovers a special book that unlocks worlds of adventure, whilst she discovers more about her past and those around her.  It was  a beautifully written story and one you can totally lose yourself in as you switch between storylines, and there’s never a dull moment in either!

January is a wonderful character. She’s seen as an oddball, but tolerated by others because she is under the care of Mr Locke, a very wealthy man, as her father is seemingly always off working looking for treasures all over the globe. As the story progresses you find out how relevant her fathers’ travels are and this just adds more depth to the story.

The book January discovers tells the story of Ade, another fascinating character, who was born in 1866 and was raised by her aunts who took very little notice of her, allowing her to roam free and adventure. When she is 15 she sees a ‘ghost’ and what transpires is a totally enthralling story that involves lots of door hunting and a wonderful love story.

I found this to be one of those books that takes a little while for you to get your bearings with the way it’s told. but it soon has you under the spell and I really loved the different aspects of the story – the romance, the fantasy elements and the historical as they all blended so well and really just kept delivering surprise after surprise!!  Highly recommended!!

🚪 🚪 🚪 🚪

#20BooksOfSummer A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White #bookreview #wtfbcthu

And on to Book 15!! Another one not on my original list – I think this a theme now!! – but one that covers the #large element of my reading challenge at 480 pages long!  Was prompted to pick this one up as the lovely author EliAllison has started a little twitter book club called #What The Fuck Book Club’ that will focus each month on weird science fiction and fantasy books so can highly recommend checking that out if it’s your thing! And if the first pick of book is anything to go by, then we’re in for some fun reads as I really enjoyed this one! What is it about a group of people in space that captures my imagination so much!!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Boots Elsworth was a famous treasure hunter in another life, but now she’s washed up. She makes her meager living faking salvage legends and selling them to the highest bidder, but this time she might have stumbled on something real–the story of the Harrow, a famous warship, capable of untold destruction.

Nilah Brio is the top driver in the Pan Galactic Racing Federation and the darling of the racing world–until she witnesses the murder of a fellow racer. Framed for the murder and on the hunt to clear her name, Nilah only has one lead: the killer also hunts a woman named Boots.

On the wrong side of the law, the two women board a smuggler’s ship that will take them on a quest for fame, for riches, and for justice.

Published by Orbit Books

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK

hive.co.uk

whsmith

MY REVIEW

Fun, feisty and frenetic! I think that sums this book up well! And though it’s not perfect, it still has a really interesting blend of characters fighting battles with themselves as well as those they meet along their way.

Nilah, is the race car driver who seems to be caught up in a conspiracy to frame her for the death of a fellow racer and she finds herself on the ship the Capricious against her will, alongside Boots who is a bit of a loner and fraudster – not someone you’d want to mess with! Boots also used to be part of the Capricious crew so when she finds herself amongst her old ‘friends’ that stirs up a few memories and it was really interesting to find out her back story. 

Boots and Nilah are very different characters but both are flawed and it’s good to see how the dynamics of their ‘relationship’ changes over time. They all soon find themselves being chased by ‘mother’ who is hellbent on destruction, and also trying to track down The Harrow ship to get answers as to what is going on!

Full of diverse characters and strong female leads, I found there to be plenty to keep me intrigued and entertained throughout – if you liked A long Way to small angry planet, or A chain across the dawn, then this will appeal to you as well as it had all the elements of a space soap opera with a bit of magic thrown in, and I’m interested in seeing how this series pans out!

★★★★

#BlogTour #BookReview David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders

Excited to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for DAVID MOGO, GODHUNTER by SUYI DAVIES OKUNGBOWA.  My thanks to the author, publisher and Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for the copy of the book and for putting this tour together!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Nigerian God-Punk – a powerful and atmospheric urban fantasy set in Lagos.

Since the Orisha War that rained thousands of deities down on the streets of Lagos, David Mogo, demigod, scours Eko’s dank underbelly for a living wage as a freelance Godhunter. Despite pulling his biggest feat yet by capturing a high god for a renowned Eko wizard, David knows his job’s bad luck. He’s proved right when the wizard conjures a legion of Taboos—feral godling-child hybrids—to seize Lagos for himself. To fix his mistake and keep Lagos standing, David teams up with his foster wizard, the high god’s twin sister and a speech-impaired Muslim teenage girl to defeat the wizard. 

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK   £7.67

hive.co.uk  £7.99

whsmith  £6.47

MY REVIEW

The gods have fallen, there’s chaos on Earth but life continues as normal in Laos and David Mogo is trying to earn a living as a Godhunter, while also trying to figure himself out – life isn’t easy if you’re a mix of a human and a god!!  And what follows is a fun mix of fast paced action and the fantastical chaos of living in a messed up world, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and spending time in a world which has been creatively invented by the author.

It did take me a little while to ‘get’ the speech used but it soon clicked and really immersed you into the world, and allowed you to really get a feel for the characters and the craziness they are surrounded by!

 In David Mogo, a character has been created who is such an intriguing person – very conflicted as a person, but dealing with his own powers and trying to figure out the best way to use them.  In his work as a godhunter he is placed in the middle of the action which was really exciting – he’s a person with a good heart but a tough exterior.

There are some very shady characters around which takes the story down some darker paths, but there’s enough humour around to lighten the mood of this read and the message about sacrifice and trust between people comes through loud and clear.

A fascinating debut and fun read and I look forward to more from this author in the future!

★★★★