Tag Archives: reviews

You Should Read This | March & April 2017

Hi friends!

Sorry for the long delay since my last post. It’s not as bad as it’s been in the past. I’m just in the midst of preparing Heralding for publication.

Also, keep an eye open tomorrow for a special post celebrating the release of Sarina Langer’s second book, WARDENS OF ARCHOS!!

I’ve combined March and April for this post just to get us up to date quicker. 😉



WITCHES ABROAD (DISCWORLD #12) – TERRY PRATCHETT

32486838

Genre: Fantasy, Humour

You Should Read This, Because… It’s Pratchett! But seriously, the great thing about this series is that they are perfect blend of fantasy and humour, spoofing popular culture and tropes. This particular installment features the Witches of the Discworld universe focuses on inverting fairytales to humorous effect!

As a reader, it’s a delightfully entertaining read that will induce laugh out loud moments. As a writer, it’s a lesson in writing parodies while balancing humour and heart

 

THE DARK TOWER SERIES – STEPHEN KING

12274389

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Horror

You Should Read This, Because… There’s nothing else quite like it! Honesty, friends. This series was my first foray into King’s bibliography and I was absolutely. It’s also very difficult to explain the genius of the series without spoiling it. If you’re prepared to follow a dark and sometimes gory epic narrative, to discover just how exceptional a writer King is!

As a reader, it’s a compelling storyline, a long, winding journey that will challenge the way you read again. As a writer, it’s a lesson in crafting unique characters and a genre-blending narrative.

A Shining in the Shadows – Beverley Lee

33640104

(NOTE: this is the sequel to The Making of Gabriel Davenport; my thoughts below are a reflection of the two together)

Genre: Dark Fantasy

You Should Read This, Because… It’s a perfectly atmospheric read that tiptoes the line between fantasy and horror. A vampire fiction, it strays from any clichés and is remarkably fresh in its narrative. The characters are fascinating, full of flaws and good intentions. Creepy but not lacking heart, it’s a genuine delight.

As a reader, it’s the perfect read to satisfy one’s need for a page-turning read that scares as well as lends insight into the human psyche. As a writer, it’s a lesson in overturning the clichés of the vampire genre and crafting intriguing characters.

On Writing – Stephen King

567609

Genre: Memoir, How-To

You Should Read This, Because… It’s at once a fascinating look into the mind of a master storyteller. It gives as much insight into King’s writing process as it does his life. His life unfolds as a narrative, written in prose that sends chills, and doesn’t shy away from the truth.

As a reader, it is an entertaining read that satisfies the demands for an insightful memoir. As a writer, it is an enlightening and inspiring examination of the writing process.

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

32075671

Genre: Contempary YA

You Should Read This, Because… It provides a vibrant and refreshing voice in a topic that is not only relevant, but in need of greater discussion. This book deals with the prejudice in America against African Americans and the jarring gun violence. Thomas deftly deals with the shooting of an unarmed young man by a police officer, letting the story unfold through the eyes of a young girl who intends to have the truth heard. Charged & unyielding, one of the best books I’ve read this year.

As a reader, it makes you face the harsh and cruel realities of society while enticing you to be part of the change. As a writer, it is a lesson in taking a relevant topic of the day and translating it to an audience in a way that is both gripping and enlightening.


Alright, that’s it for today’s post. Any thoughts on the books I’ve spoken of above? Have you read these? Do you intend to read them? Let me know in the comments! And remember to be on the lookout for Sarina’s new book 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Advertisements

You Should Read This | February 2017

Hi friends,

See, the last few months I’ve spoken about coming back but then never did, so this time I decided to not announce my return, but just jump into it! Considering that this is my second post in one week, I say it was the best decision to make!

Action speaks louder than words, right friends 😉

Also, just want to thank everyone for the love. You are all amazing for standing by me during this long period of undependable me.

I am so grateful for your continued support. Truly!



Isle of Winds – James Fahy

28173857

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

You Should Read This, Because… It is perfectly reminiscent of childhood classics such as Chronicles of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, and Harry Potter. The mythology and worldbuilding is rich and fills the pages, while the characters led by Robin Goodfellow make for an entertaining cast. Absolutely delightful and whimsical.

As a reader, it’s a delightful piece of escapism that echoes with humour and with heart. As a writer, it’s a lesson in enriching your story with myths and magic.

Shades of Magic Trilogy – V.E. Schwab

22055262

(NOTE: I read the first book last year, but read 2 & 3 in February, so I’ll just talk about the trilogy as a whole)

Genre: Fantasy

You Should Read This, Because… It is a fantastic series that is consistently gripping and magical from start to finish. With a cast of unforgettable characters, it is fantastical adventure to inspire wanderlust. Lila Bard is one of the fiercest female characters you’ll encounter on the written page.

As a reader, it is page-turning series that ends on a satisfying note, while leaving you wanting so much more. As a writer, it is a lesson in crafting a solid series full of brilliant worldbuilding and engaging characters.




That’s all for February friends. Sorry for the shorter post!

Have you read any of the above books? Which book series do you hold in high esteem?

Stay well friends!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

You Should Read This | January 2017

Hi friends,

Can someone please tell me how it’s possible that today is September 25th. I’m fairly sure it was August when I went to bed yesterday… 🤔

It is still 2017 right?

So, today, I’m starting a new series that explores the best of the books I’ve read every month. I’m starting this late in the year, so I’ll be posting one for each I’ve missed every third day to get started.

Hope you find it entertaining and resourceful!


LITTLE WOMEN – LOUISA MAY ALCOTT

883198

Genre: Classic, Coming of Age

You Should Read This, Because… besides the fact that it is a classic, it’s also a wonderfully inspiring coming of age story about four sisters who endure life together. They bicker and argue as siblings do, but they also rely on one another for strength and courage as they are met by adversity and tragedy.

As a reader, it will touch upon a wide variety of emotions. As a writer, it’s a masterclass in writing characters with real feelings and reactions, and real life moments.

MARIANA – SUSANNA KEARSLEY

1777492

Genre: Historical Romance, Supernatural

You Should Read This, Because… it’s a beautifully imagined romance that is vividly told through sweeping prose. One woman inhabits two lives when she moves to Greyweathers, and travels back and forth between her present life and her past self.

As a reader, it is a perfect read to get swept away into the seventeenth century, and a perfect recommendation for lovers of Outlander & Kate Morton. As a writer, it is a great lesson in writing vivid descriptions that draw readers not only into location, but time.

A MONSTER CALLS – PATRICK NESS

25480342

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

You Should Read This, Because… it will make you feel. There are certain books you read and you know that it’s one that the entire world would find worth reading because it captures the human experience so perfectly. This is one of those books. It reaches so many truths about human emotions and honestly explores the fear of loss.

As a reader, it is a perfect read for a cold night, to get cozy with and let your emotions flow. For a writer, it is a lesson in how to capture the human emotion with honesty and integrity.

THE BLUE SWORD (DAMAR #1) – ROBIN MCKINLEY

407813

Genre: Fantasy

You Should Read This Because… it’s a classic fantasy adventure set in a sprawling desert location and features a formidable female protagonist. What more, it is written in mesmerizing prose that pulls you into the world and action and hooks you in.

As a reader, it is a short (considering it’s a fantasy novel) but fulfilling narrative for the escapist desires. As a writer, it is a lesson in world building and establishing gripping plots.

VICIOUS – V.E. SCHWAB

18180495

Genre: Fantasy

You Should Read This, Because… it is an excellently book that subverts the superhero trope and introduces a stellar cast of characters. It is also a masterful exploration of the grey area of morality and the dark side of ambition. Victor Vale is a complex character who jumps between moments of violent cruelty and tender compassion.

As a reader, it is a refreshing break from much of the same old same old of heroes and villains. As a writer, it is a lesson in crafting an antihero who is not without the potential of redemption.





That ends volume one of You Should Read This!

Have you read any of these books? Have they had the same impact on you? Less of one? More?

Stay well dear friends!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith    quill-ink

At the Halfway Mark | August 2017

Hi friends,

Here’s a new feature I’m hoping to keep up with on my blog moving forward to keep you all updated on how my monthly goals are going and to find out how yours are as well 🙂

So, let’s get to it…


WRITING:

Right now I’m sitting on news for Pirate Eyes. Pitch Wars results come out on the 24th. I haven’t gotten any requests for extra material yet, so I’m not keeping my hopes too high, but this isn’t a down point for me. If something comes of it, great! But if not, I’ll start querying agents again starting on the 25th.

I’m almost done a strong edit of the second draft of Heralding. A lot of things have changed through this edit, which is both exciting and frightening… But it’s all for the best 🙂

I’m planning a fuller post on my editing process, but I’ll just say now that I’ve taken a new approach this time around that’s really helped me nail down my issues.

I’ve also been working on a Christmas musical to put on at my church. I’ve outlined in and made a brief skeleton of songs and I hope to start writing it this week 😉

READING:

As always, I’ve set a monthly goal of five-six books. So far, I’ve read four.

A steampunk from Dana Fraedrich, called Out of the Shadows which was a highly entertaining read. (4/5)

An arc of KJ Chapman’s upcoming novella called Zombie Playlist which was a riotous, hilarious read that I got through in one sitting. Absolutely fantastic! (5/5)

I also binge-read This Savage Song & Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab. This duology was absolutely wonderful. The worldbuilding, the characters, the thematic grappling of survival! So wonderful! Reminds me again why Schwab is one of my top five favourite authors. (5/5 for the duology!)

WATCHING:

I also have a monthly goal of watching four-five movies. So far I’ve watched three.

I watched Pride (2014) on Netflix. I have a fondness for films set in Britain and period pieces. The acting in this movie was wonderful and the directing was brilliant. A very touching and affecting film. (8.5/10)

I also watched Hunt for the Wilderpeople on Netflix. It’s my first Taika Waititi film and I adored it! The balance of humour and drama was fantastic. Sam Neill has been a favourite actor of mine since I saw him in Jurassic Park. He blew me away in this role! And Julian! I really do recommend this offbeat comedy! (10/10)

Last night, my mom, my sister, and I went to the movies to watch North by Northwest as part of our cinema’s classic event series (different one every month). It’s my third Hitchcock and I loved it! Cary Grant is such a suave actor. The storyline was solid too and the scene with the corn duster! Amazing that Hitchcock never won an Oscar for his directing! (9/10)


Alright, that’s all from me. Back to the edits!

Where are you with your goals, friends? How is August treating you?

Take care.

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

 

 

 

Favourite 2017 Reads (So Far) | Top Ten Tuesday

Hi friends,

Happy Tuesday. I’m sorta kinda back… 😉

I’m playing catch up today and participating in Top Ten Tuesday after missing the past two weeks.

The topic for today is best books you’ve read in 2017 so far. Want to join, check out The Broke and the Bookish!

Only three of these were released this year. The rest have been long on my TBR.


10. The Blue Sword – Robin McKinley

407813

My second read from McKinley, this book was an absolute gem of high fantasy, with stunning worldbuilding. I love Harry. Such a short book too. Definitely one I’ll reread in the future.

9. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz

21529297

This book holds a special place in my heart. Not only was it a moving story, but it was my first experience listening to an audiobook and Lin’s voice was perfectly suited to telling this contemporary epic.

8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

13600168

I read this entire series this year. The first book hooked me with its star crossed romance and mythology! The two that followed were still breathtakingly written, but they lacked the tight plot and compelling narrative of the first. Still a beautiful trilogy though.

7. The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

32075671

Can’t begin to express enough how amazing this story is. I don’t read many contemporaries (especially in the YA category — somehow two are on this list, so maybe I should reconsider 🤔). The social relevance of this book alone is enough to convince me that its a book everyone should read.

6. Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman

30809689

The universe must have heard my dreams when it inspired Neil Gaiman to write his own adaptation of Norse mythology. It was preordained that I would love this! And love it I did, with all of Loki’s snark 😍

5. A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

25480342

I read this book early in the year and I nearly forgot that I had, it feels like a classic already, a book I’ve known for a long time. I read it in one sitting and it broke my heart.

— the next four are honestly impossible for me to order because they are all epic! —

1. Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

35116827

This was the last book I finished reading and oh my gosh! My heart doesn’t know what to do with itself. I need more of these amazing characters. More, I tell you! MORE 😭

1. The Dark Tower – Stephen King

5091

I devoured the last three books in this series and I can’t recommend this twisted and complex story enough. The journey of this narrative left me breathless and the ending… Seriously, King is a mad genius!

1. Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

30969076

A perfectly dark fantasy! Reminded me of Game of Thrones – which is a very good thing in my books – with Mia even reading a bit like the epic Arya Stark. But believe me, Mia is her own unique character and one of my favourite protagonists. Godsgrave can’t come quick enough!

1. A Conjuring of Light – VE Schwab

29939230

So maybe I lied. 😅

There’s a reason this is the last one. Because it’s honestly the best book I’ve read this year. I don’t know what it is about the characters and the story but Schwab crafted such a strong world with the Shades of Magic series that I want to get lost in it over and over and over again! Not to mention, that this is one of the most brilliant finales to a series. Though, I wish it was not the end…


What are the best books you’ve read so far this year? Any of the ones I’ve mentioned on your list? Let me know in the comments friends! Hope you’ve all been keeping well!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

MAY TBR

Hi friends,

It’s May 10th, so this is coming later than it probably should, but I thought I’d share the reads I have lined up for this month.

I might be a little overambitious though…

Happy May 1st everyone 😊 It's always exciting to be starting a new month. There's a lot waiting to be done but I'm ready for the challenges. One of those challenges will be keeping up with my #bookstagram. MAYhaps this will be the month I pull it off 😅 Day 1: Here's my May TBR for #grimdragon & #bluelovesbookishmay. It's an awesome lineup if I do say so myself. 😍 #circleofbookishfriends is May flowers – using my scarf to cover that today because it's raining outside and I can't show off the budding beauties 💐 #ampersandmay17 is Mask – Using Eon for this one as it's about a girl who masquerades as a boy. #bookishearworms is Cry Me a River (sad books) – Fire Bringer is a reread for me this month and it's one of the saddest books I've ever read. What books are on your TBR this month? #readingcommunity #readersofinstagram #maytbr #bookworm #booklove #booklover #bookishlife #bookaholic #bookaddict

A post shared by Faith Rivens (@faith_therivens) on

I’ve managed to finish three of these so far:

Beauty by Robin McKinley 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5
I loved this story so much! The prose was excellent and gleamed with all the potential that McKinley honed after this, her debut. Where the story lacked was in stakes and adequate development of the romance. That being said, the characterization of Beauty and Beast were phenomenal! As Beauty and the Beast retellings go, this has to be a favourite of mine.

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5
I have only read ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Atwood which is something I need to rectify this year. Honestly, she’s such an amazing author. This little gem is the retelling of ‘The Odyssey’ from Penelope’s perspective and the voice in it was off the charts! Humourous, witty and a compelling narrative. It’s purpose felt more thematic so the plot itself wasn’t driven by stakes or action. But a small quibble because Penelope’s characterization was phenomenal!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I finished this one two days ago and it is a new favourite of mine. I fell in love with the prose, the worldbuilding, the premise, the setting, the layered plot, the twist. All the love for this amazing fantasy book that used so many of my favourite elements. I could imagine Guillermo del Toro doing something amazing with this book if he was the one adapting it into a movie! Also, Karou has to be one of my favourite heroines too. My only problem is that I want to binge read the rest of the series but I don’t have book 2 or 3 so I have to wait. 😦

At the moment, I have about 50 pages left in Hell’s Teeth by James Fahy. If you’ve been following me long enough, you might remember that I’ve read his other series. An MG fantasy highly reminiscent of Tolkien and Lewis, it’s been one of my favourite reads this year. Well, this new series I’ve discovered is a darker urban fantasy and oh so wonderful! Set in a dystopian world with vampires and featuring a kickass (pardon my French) protagonist, Hell’s Teeth proves that Fahy is a versatile author and a master storyteller.

I’m still working my way through Women Who Run with Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. I had started this nonfiction in April after finishing early with Stephen King’s On Writing and I’m hoping to be finished it this month which will mean that I’m 5 for 5 for my nonfiction reads this year. So far, I’m really enjoying the psychological perspective that she’s applying to myths and the empowering virtues it conveys for women.

Not sure what I’ll read next. Firebringer is a reread so I turn to that. But I really want to read Nevernight and Eon soon. And I was supposed to read Norse Mythology last month but didn’t get to it. The Hatter’s Wife is a novella which promises to be fun and quick so I’ll probably save it for a light read between two big ones. And then there’s Named of the Dragon which is the only book that isn’t a fantasy on my list…. Hmm…?

Any suggestions 🙂


What’s on your TBR this month, friends? Share and let me know what you’ve been reading lately!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Manningtree Account | Becky Wright

Happy Friday friends,

Life’s been keeping busy, but I’m doing my best to make time for y writing. I’m actually ahead with Heralding and managed to write a short story this past week that I’ll submit to a few places next week.

Anyway, I’ll be posting a small update Sunday on the writing front.

For now, here’s another review for you 🙂


34510505BLURB

1646 – A time of English Civil War, when life is cheap, death common and superstition consumes the hearts of God-fearing folk. The life of a healer is precarious, dwelling in the shadows of normal society. Ostracised, their time running out as the self-appointed Witchfinder General scours the countryside for the Devil’s whores…

2016 – One dark night, one sleepy town, one family gripped by terror. The EAPI paranormal team are called to investigate dark poltergeist activity. But, as the eternal night finally loosens its grip, it seems that some evil deeds are never forgotten, reaching out from beyond the grave to exact their revenge…

REVIEW

Well that was wonderfully dark and creepy and haunting!

A fast-paced story. A page turner. An absolutely spellbinding narrative that I could not put down. This novella might be little but the impact is great!

It’s hard to say much without spoiling it and I feel as though it’s best to go in knowing as little as possible so that each twist and turn hits as it should.

What I will say is this: Becky Wright does a masterful job of crafting a sinister atmosphere, her prose is mesmerizing and her narrative is perfectly executed.

And at the end, all I could think was: “Please sir, I want some more.”

CONCLUSION

If you like your tales dark, settle in for the night with this gem. You won’t regret it!

RATING

quills


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

WWW Wednesday | 22.03.17

Happy Wednesday friends,

I’m back today for WWW Wednesday and boy has it been a long time ;P

I’ve been busy with writing, participating in an #AuthorHop on Instagram and life… beautiful, unexpected life! I’ve found time to read since my last post, but not the time to post. But today, I fix that.

Thanks to the lovely Sam at Taking on a World of Words for hosting this amazing blog hop every week! If you aren’t following her already, you’re missing out 🙂

Want to join in? All you have to do is answer these questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

CURRENTLY READING

The Splendour Falls by Susanna Kearsley

18998861Blurb:

Chinon: château of legend, steeped in the history of France and England.

It is to Chinon that Emily goes on a long-awaited holiday, to meet her charming but unreliable cousin, Harry. Harry wanted to explore the old town and the castle, where Queen Isabelle, child bride of King John, had withstood the siege of Chinon many centuries ago, and where, according to legend, she hid her casket of jewels. But when Emily arrives at her hotel she finds that Harry has disappeared, and as she tries to find him she becomes involved with some of the other guests and learns of a mystery dating from the German occupation during the Second World War. Another Isabelle, a chambermaid at the hotel, fell in love with a German soldier, with tragic results.

Emily becomes increasingly aware of strange tensions, old enmities and new loves; as she explores the city, with its labyrinthine dungeons and tunnels and its ancient secrets, she comes ever closer to the mystery of what happened to both the Isabelles of Chinon’s history.

Chances are I’ll be done this one by the time you’re reading this but I’m including it here for the moment because I’m still 100 pages from the end. It’s the second Kearsley I’m reading in my 2017 read-a-thon of her bibliography. It just took a really tragic turn that I wasn’t expecting….

FINISHED READING

The Manningtree Acount by Becky Wright

34510505Blurb:

1646 – A time of English Civil War, when life is cheap, death common and superstition consumes the hearts of God-fearing folk. The life of a healer is precarious, dwelling in the shadows of normal society. Ostracised, their time running out as the self-appointed Witchfinder General scours the countryside for the Devil’s whores…

2016 – One dark night, one sleepy town, one family gripped by terror. The EAPI paranormal team are called to investigate dark poltergeist activity. But, as the eternal night finally loosens its grip, it seems that some evil deeds are never forgotten, reaching out from beyond the grave to exact their revenge…

I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful this novella was! Thrilling and gripping! After reading Becky’s debut novel (Remember to Love Me), a time slip romance, I was excited to see how she handled a paranormal thriller and WOW! She’s a true storyteller, able to work her magic across genres. My full review will be up tomorrow!

READING NEXT

Song of Susannah (Dark Tower #6) by Stephen King

5093Blurb (from The Gunslinger – Book I the series)

Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, The Dark Tower series is King’s most visionary feat of storytelling, a magical mix of science fiction, fantasy, and horror that may well be his crowning achievement.

In The Gunslinger (originally published in 1982), King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting, solitary figure at first, on a mysterious quest through a desolate world that eerily mirrors our own. Pursuing the man in black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life, Roland is a good man who seems to leave nothing but death in his wake.

The penultimate in the series, I am excited and nervous to finish this amazing adventure. I have fallen in love with these characters and am constantly amazed by King’s masterful storytelling. If you can stomach some of the more gruesome elements, this dark fantasy is brilliant and shouldn’t be missed!


Share your WWW posts below or let me know what your week has been like in books in the comments below!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Remember to Love Me | Becky Wright

Hi friends,

Yes. I’m alive.

I know I’ve been gone for a while. I’ve been hiding out in my writing cave lately. This month I’ve written 26,942 (not including today’s word count which is over 2k already). I have 30k left to write to get to the end of this first draft and I need it to be done for the end of the month, so fair warning that I’ll be a little absent for the next two weeks.

Until then, I’ll drop in with a few reviews and any other posts I can manage.

Like this one!


33149049BLURB

1900
Annabelle yearns for nothing more than motherhood. Losing her own mother in child birth at the tender age of four; a gaping hole has grown in the pit of her belly with the desire to nurture a child. Her sole purpose, she values its significance and her duty to provide an heir to devoted husband Richard Hardwick, successor to a wealthy landowning family. But motherhood may not be as she once hoped, as fate deals her a cruel hand, leaving her with a life-changing dilemma.

Her younger sister Emily, vibrant and full of zest is engaged to the dashing Lance Corporal James Wright, jubilant with thoughts of the future she imagines nothing but wedded bliss on the horizon. But as a new century dawns, darkness falls, as the Boer War gains strength James is deployed to South Africa, leaving his new bride alone with an uncertain future. As melancholy festers, Emily escapes the rural confines of Bury St Edmunds to stay with Aunt Anna by the sea, where she languishes in nature’s rough vast beauty. As the distance stretches between the sisters, so too does the life-thread of family.

1997
April has spent her solitary childhood in the pretty Norfolk village of Winterton-on-Sea, surrounded by its quiet lanes and circular pastel holiday cottages; a child flourishing in its rural beauty and thriving off the natural elements of sandy dunes and buffering waves. But now, after leaving University and as her 21st birthday approaches, April finds herself relocating closer to her Grandmother Sarah, to her mother’s childhood home of Bury St Edmunds; a market town in the heart of the Suffolk countryside. Her parents open their longed-for antique shop, and although April is eager to assist with the busy Christmas rush, she aches for something else; a missing puzzle-piece. She looks to Sarah for guidance and direction, struggling to adjust, in her heart, pining for her sea-side home; she takes solace in the extraordinary bond she shares with her grandmother

April’s feelings of uncertainty amplify as she steps over the threshold of her ancestral home; an early Victorian townhouse at the heart of the historic town, where time has stopped in its tracks, pristine and perfectly antiquated. In a visit to the attic late one afternoon, she discovers more than just dusty tea chests and old suitcases. She encounters an ancestor that has remained, a beautiful ghostly apparition whispering secrets in the shadows.

As the weeks follow and Christmas arrives, April is confronted with strange visions and dreams; memories of a lost, long buried time, of grave secrets, of sisterly love, romance and family loyalties that stretch beyond even love’s limits. April is thrown into turmoil, living moments in two eras, experiencing love and loss in both. With the help of Annabelle’s diary, she begins to unravel the mysteries of her ancestor’s history as her own destiny falls into place. Piecing together snippets of another life, giving peace back to the house and laying ghosts to rest; she unfolds the mystery of her family’s Supernatural Legacy.

REVIEW

A brilliant debut novel full of romance and heartbreak, that pulls tight on your heartstrings and ensnares you with magical prose and lyrical beauty.

Fantasy might be my most read genre, but historical time slips/time travels/parallel tales are second to it. I love fiction that weaves narratives through two or three different time periods, seeing the connection of various lives, seeing recurring themes and settings. And that is what I loved most about this truly enchanting read.

In the present day (1997) April is a young girl who is still searching for her purpose in life. When she and her family move near her grandmother, she discovers a family secret and pieces together the lives of her ancestors, all the while coming to understand her role within it.

Annabelle and Emily are two sisters living at the turn of the century, learning to love and coping with love. They face hardships, and their bond is challenged at each obstacle that meets them.

Both these narratives come together in spectacular fashion and it was hard to keep a dry eye throughout the story’s development. Becky Wright gives and takes, sometimes too much for one’s heart, but her characters are so strong and when they interact with one another and come together to support each other, they reawaken hope to ease the soul.

Reminded me of Susanna Kearsley in the best of ways, this novel is not one that you want to miss out on if you love historical romances.

CONCLUSION

A truly stunning debut! Brilliant and beautiful.

RATING

quills


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Game of Shadows | Erika Lewis

Happy Sunday friends,

Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend today.

I’m excited to share this review with you! The start of a new and exciting fantasy series, it releases this Tuesday!

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.


29939198BLURB

Ethan Makkai thought that seeing ghosts was the worst of his problems. Between his ethereal gift and life with a single mother hell-bent on watching his every move, he feels imprisoned. When Ethan sees a chance to escape, to leave the house by himself for the first time in his life, he seizes it, unaware that this first taste of freedom will cost him everything.

Ethan is thrown into a strange and eerie world, like nothing he’s ever seen. He’s assaulted by dive-bombing birds and rescued by a stranger who claims to be his bodyguard. His apartment is trashed, and his mother is kidnapped to a place Ethan never knew existed—a hidden continent called Tara.

Travelling to Tara in search of his mother, Ethan discovers that everything he knows about his life is a lie. His mother is royalty. His father is not dead. His destiny is likely to get him killed.

Confronted by a vicious sorcerer determined to destroy the Makkai family, Ethan must garner strength from his gift and embrace his destiny if he’s going to save his mother and all the people of Tara, including the beautiful girl he’s fallen for.

REVIEW

I think that most of you know by now that fantasy is my go-to genre in my life, and I was excited to get the chance to discover a new fantasy series, especially one with a lot of promise, great world building and fun characters.

The story begins in a world we know well and a boy whose life is about to be changed forever. Like Percy Jackson and Clary Fray before him, Ethan believes himself to be an ordinary kid, except for the ghosts that he sees that no one else can. In fact, Ethan does share a few commonalities with these characters. Like them, his mother has been concealing the truth of his heritage. Like them, one moment throws his normal world into chaos and leads him to discover a new world.

While Ethan’s arc emulates some of those that came before, the plot still features unique characters and interesting twists and turns to keep one interested and to allow the comparisons to fall away for the most part.

What is most wonderful about this story is the worldbuilding. I’m a sucker for Celtic mythology and Erika Lewis does a fantastic job of bringing the land of Tara to life and imbuing it with creatures and characters that provide moments of whimsy and moments of fear.

The plot speeds along at a great pace, packed full of adventure, as Ethan embarks on a journey of his own: to rescue his mother from the clutches of a sorcerer. It makes for a gripping read that rises above the small stumbles. The ending especially leaves off on a tantalizing note and I am rather intrigued to see where this story will go next.

CONCLUSION

A wonderful debut to a new YA Fantasy series, if you’re looking for an exciting adventure, look no further.

RATING

quills


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink