The Withered King by Richardo Victoria – Book review

The Withered King by Richardo Victoria was an amazingly fun read- an impressive blend of science fiction and tech.

Fionn is the wielder of a legendary Tempest Blade, and he is blessed – or cursed – by the Gift. Though his days as a warrior are long over, his past leaves him full of guilt and regret. Life, however, has other plans for him, when he agrees to help a friend locate a missing person. Gaby and Alex never expected to become heroes… until they met Fionn. As an ancient evil arises and consumes the land, Fionn must help them to master their own Gifts and Tempest Blades. Together the three of them, and their friends, will chart a course aboard the flying ship Figaro to save the planet. Will Fionn’s past be an anchor, or will he overcome the one failure from his former life before time runs out? In a world where magic and science intermingle, anything is possible. Including second chances.


I love sci-fi fantasy, so I was so pleased to discover when reading the second chapter that The Withered King by Richardo Victoria wasn’t just a fantasy but a fantasy with lots of tech ( including flying machines).

Continue reading “The Withered King by Richardo Victoria – Book review”

Top Ten Tuesday- TTT Rewind -Bingeworthy television shows

It’s another Tuesday and another Top Ten Tuesday and this week the theme is a topic I missed, so I’ve picked my favourite bingeworthy shows a TTT from 2018

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I enjoy books but I also love tv shows especially the ones with amazing arcs and stories. So in no particular order here are my favourite binge worthy tv shows- a TTT from 2018

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday- TTT Rewind -Bingeworthy television shows”

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle  Zevin – Blog Tour and Book review

I’m pleased to be part of the blog tour for Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabreille- historical fiction shortlisted for the Wingate Fiction Prize.

The Wingate Literary Prize was established in 1977 by the late Harold Hyam Wingate. It is now run in association with JW3, the Jewish Community Centre. Now in its 46th year, the annual prize is awarded to the best book, fiction or non-fiction, to translate the idea of Jewishness to the general reader. The winner receives £4,000.

On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn’t heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.
Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.


Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin has been shortlisted for the Wingate Literary Prize and it is easy to see why.

Continue reading “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle  Zevin – Blog Tour and Book review”

The Sinister Booksellers by Garth Nix- Book Review

The armed and dangerous booksellers are back, this time in Bath- Here is my review of The Sinister Booksellers of Bath by Garth Nix.

When Merlin vanishes, Susan will battle animated statues of heraldic beasts and use magical maps to rescue him on a hunt that leads to a serial killer who must be stopped before she kills again.
There is often trouble of a mythical sort in Bath. The booksellers who police the Old World keep a careful watch there, particularly on the entity who inhabits the ancient hot spring. Yet this time it is not from Sulis Minerva that trouble starts. It comes from the discovery of a sorcerous map, leading left-handed bookseller Merlin into great danger. A desperate rescue is attempted by his sister the right-handed bookseller Vivien and their friend, art student Susan Arkshaw, who is still struggling to deal with her own recently discovered magical heritage.
The map takes the trio to a place separated from this world, maintained by deadly sorcery performed by an ancient sovereign and guarded by monstrous living statues of Portland Stone. But this is only the beginning, as the booksellers investigate centuries of disappearances and deaths and try to unravel the secrets of the murderous Lady of Stone, a serial killer of awesome powers.
If they do not stop her, she will soon kill again. And this time, her target is not an ordinary mortal.


The armed and dangerous booksellers are back, this time in Bath- Here is my review of The Sinister Booksellers of Bath by Garth Nix, book two of The Left Handed Booksellers of London, a historical urban fantasy.

Read more: The Sinister Booksellers by Garth Nix- Book Review

I received a copy of the book for a free and unbiased opinion.

Mderlin,Susan and Vivien are back but in Bath this which is the perfect location given the abundance of roman mythology and statues. Susan is struggling to come to terms with her magical heritage courtesy of her very old and absent father but still trying her best to live a normal life. She drops everything in an instant to help left-handed Bookseller Merlin when he disappears, but the danger doesn’t stop when they rescue him. Susan continues her reluctant journey and it feels realistic when she grows to like her new power a little too much for her comfort.

Merlin continues to be as quirky as ever, a gender- fluid powerhouse who can cos play Jane’s Austen characters when needed.

The authors brings the 80’s to life in all it’s vibrant technicolour glory.

I love the numerous secondary characters that fill the book from grumpy policepeople, old booksellers who love cake to annoyed ancient gods but we never get to spend much time on these fascinating people.

The pace is fast-paced with plenty of action and magic- sometimes almost too frantic and it would have been nice to have a few more slower scenes. The scene with the cake for example was a welcome breather and one of my favourites- I would love to try the double booze cake!

Unfortunately, you do need to read the Left-Handed Booksellers of London first to be able to enjoy this book.

The Close by Jane Casey- book review/Blog Tour

I’m pleased to be part of the Random Things Tours blog tour for The Close by Jane Casey. Here is my review of this murder mystery, book 10 in the Maeve Kerrigan books.

At first glance, Jellicoe Close seems to be a perfect suburban street – well-kept houses with pristine lawns, neighbours chatting over garden fences, children playing together.
But there are dark secrets behind the neat front doors, hidden dangers that include a ruthless criminal who will stop at nothing.
It’s up to DS Maeve Kerrigan and DI Josh Derwent to uncover the truth. Posing as a couple, they move into the Close, blurring the lines between professional and personal as never before.
And while Maeve and Josh try to gather the evidence they need, they have no idea of the danger they face – because someone in Jellicoe Close has murder on their mind.


This was my first Maeve Kerrigan book and I can safely say that this won’t be my last. I could jump straight into the Maeve backstory and the complicated relationship with her bosses without any problem, so you definitely don’t need to have read the previous book to enjoy this one.

Continue reading “The Close by Jane Casey- book review/Blog Tour”

Top Ten Tuesday-Books on my Spring 2023 to read list

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday and this week it’s books on my Top Ten Tuesday.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Here are the books on to read list for this Spring.

Read more: Top Ten Tuesday-Books on my Spring 2023 to read list

Perilous Times by Thomas D. Lee

I enjoy any retelling of Arthurian tales, so this one featuring a modern and diverse cast sounds perfect.

Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong

I wasn’t too sure about the first part of this duology- a fantasy Romeo and Juilet retelling in 1930’s Shanghai but I do want to find out how their story ends.

Dark Rise by C.S Pacat

This YA featuring magic and battles of good and evil sounds right up my street.

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

I’ve read a few reviews for this book, but I have to confess to wanting to read this on the basis of the title alone.

The Surviving Sky by Kritika H Rao

This science-fiction based on Hindu philosophy sounds intriguing

The Bone Shard War by Andrea Stewart

I can’t wait for the third book in this inventive series.

The Ten Percent Thief by Lavanya Laksminarayan

This high tech sci-fi set in the future with a privileged 10 per cent of society somehow doesn’t seem that far-fetched.

Thank you for visiting.

Please leave a link to your TTT so I can’t visit your list

Hell Bent by Leigh Burdago – book review

I enjoyed Hell Bent ( Alex Stern #2) by Leigh Burdago= the urban fantasy follow-up to The Ninth House.

Find a gateway to the underworld. Steal a soul out of hell. A simple plan, except people who make this particular journey rarely come back. But Galaxy “Alex” Stern is determined to break Darlington out of purgatory―even if it costs her a future at Lethe and at Yale.
Forbidden from attempting a rescue, Alex and Dawes can’t call on the Ninth House for help, so they assemble a team of dubious allies to save the gentleman of Lethe. Together, they will have to navigate a maze of arcane texts and bizarre artifacts to uncover the societies’ most closely guarded secrets, and break every rule doing it. But when faculty members begin to die off, Alex knows these aren’t just accidents. Something deadly is at work in New Haven, and if she is going to survive, she’ll have to reckon with the monsters of her past and a darkness built into the university’s very walls.


Hell Bent by Leigh Burdago continues Alex Stern’s journey from magical outcast to a member of the Ivy league’s magical circle and is a worthy follow-up to The Ninth House. So of course, I had this book pre-ordered.

Continue reading “Hell Bent by Leigh Burdago – book review”

In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan- Book review

Can an AI hologram be better at solving a missing person’s case than a human detective? Here is my review of In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan.


I came across Jo Callaghan’s tweet celebrating the publication of In the Blink of an Eye, a thriller featuring an advanced AI helping the police solve cold cases involving missing people, I was hooked- especially given the author’s background in AI and genomics.

DCS Kat Francis, is the senior detective returning to work after nursing her terminally ill husband, chosen to lead a pilot to see if AI could help or ultimately replace traditional police to help cut costs. Kat, reluctantly, takes up the role hoping to prove the AI hologram, Lock, will never replace good old-fashioned human gut instinct but end up working together with Lock when the investigation takes a dangerous turn.

The underlying mystery was complex and difficult to guess until the end but what I really loved about the book was the interaction between the AI and Kat- humorous and sometimes touching.

Continue reading “In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan- Book review”

The Darkest Sin by D.V Bishop – Blog Tour and Book review

I’m pleased to be part of the blog tour for The Darkest Sin by D. V Bishop- a historical murder mystery set in 1537 Florence.

This locked room mystery is set in a Renaissance Florence convent during the spring of 1537. When Cesare Aldo investigates a report of intruders at the Convent of Santa Maria Magdalena, he enters a community that is harbouring dark secrets and divided by bitter rivalries. His case becomes far more complicated when he discovers the impossible: a naked man’s body deep inside the convent, stabbed more than two dozen times. All the evidence suggests one of the nuns must be a killer…


I really enjoyed this historical murder mystery set in 1537 Florence. The Darkest Sin by D V Bishop is a must-read for anyone who likes a good murder with plenty of historical detail.

Continue reading “The Darkest Sin by D.V Bishop – Blog Tour and Book review”

The Daughter by Liz Webb- Book review

I enjoyed The Daughter by Liz Webb- a murder mystery in a complicated family.

‘I lean in and whisper the question I have never let myself utter in twenty-three years.
‘Dad…did you murder Mum?’
Hannah Davidson has a dementia-stricken father, an estranged TV star brother, and a mother whose death opened up hidden fault lines beneath the ordinary surface of their family life.
At thirty-seven, Hannah is losing her grip on both her drinking and a cache of shameful secrets. Now the spitting image of her mother Jen Davidson, and the same age she was when she died, Hannah is determined to uncover exactly what happened to her mum, but soon the boundaries between Hannah and her mother become fatally blurred.


I’m pleased I won The Daughter by Liz Webbe in a giveaway run by the author and this isn’t a book that would normally hit my radar!

Continue reading “The Daughter by Liz Webb- Book review”

Dark Dweller by Gareth Worthington- Book review/Blog Tour

I’m pleased to be part of the blog tour for Dark Dweller by Gareth Worthington- here is my review for this science-fiction thriller.

Captain Kara Psomas was pronounced dead when her research vessel slammed into Jupiter.
More than a century later, the crew of the Paralus, a helium mining freighter, find a pristine escape pod with a healthy young girl nestled inside. A girl who claims to be Kara-and she brings a message of doom.
She says she has been waiting in the dark for that exact moment. To be found by that particular crew. Because an ancient cosmic being has tasked her with a sacred responsibility.
She claims she must alter the Fulcrum, a lever in time-no matter the cost to the people aboard-or condemn the rest of civilization to a very painful and drawn-out demise.
She sounds convincing. She appears brave. She might well be insane.


I enjoyed Dark Dweller by Gareth Worthington, dark and grown-up standalone science fiction.

Continue reading “Dark Dweller by Gareth Worthington- Book review/Blog Tour”

The Book Of Eve by Meg Clothier- Book review

Here is my review of this historical fantasy The Book Of Eve by Meg Clothier-a feminist imaging of the mysterious Voynich Manuscript.

Beatrice is the convent’s librarian. For years, she has shunned the company of her sisters, finding solace only with her manuscripts. But she longs for knowledge of the outside world – a world ruled by men in which women can play no part.
One carnival night, it seems her prayers are answered: two women, badly injured and desperate for help, are abandoned at the convent’s gate. Moments from death, one of them presses something into Beatrice’s hands: a bewitching book whose pages have a dangerous life of their own.
But the men of the city, bent on the book’s destruction, are closing in. Beatrice must do all she can to protect it – no matter what the cost.


The Book Of Eve by Meg Clothier is a feminist imaging of the mysterious Voynich Manuscript- I manuscript I haven’t heard ( thank you google for enlightening me).

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Quantum Radio by A G Riddle – Book Review

I enjoyed the fast-paced science fiction by A G Riddle- here is my review of Quantum Radio.

Dr. Tyson Klein is a quantum physicist who has dedicated his entire life to his research. At CERN, he analyses data generated by the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s biggest and most powerful particle accelerator. Now, Ty believes he’s found a pattern in its output. It looks like an organised data stream, being broadcast over what he calls a quantum radio.Could it be a signal from another universe? A message sent from the future? Or something else entirely?As Ty peels back the layers of his discovery, he learns that what he’s found isn’t what he thought it was. The encoded message is far more profound. It may alter our understanding of human existence and the universe.But Ty is not the only one looking for it. Someone has been following his research for a long time. And they’ll do anything to prevent him from unravelling what is being broadcast by the quantum radio…Because the first one to discover the truth may well control the future.


I enjoyed Quantum Radio- a fast paced science fiction thriller by A G Riddle.

Continue reading “Quantum Radio by A G Riddle – Book Review”

Atlas six by Olivie Blake- book review

Here is my review of Atlas Six by Olivie Blake- a book that has been on my TBR for ages

So in Atlas Six by Olivie Blake, six young magically talented people are chosen to spend a year in a closed house full of knowledge but only some will make it to a secret society.

I’ve had this book on my TBR for ages and honestly, this was because of all the hype and praise on social media. But I have to admit that for me it didn’t live up to the hype.

There are some well-written and thrilling action scenes in the book but not enough of them . I found some of her writing strangely poetic ( I don’t like romance but there is a strange romantic tryst between three of the students that I couldn’t help but read), The actual plot didn’t seem to start until three-quarters of the book with an interesting twist but it was a slog to get there.

The concept is familiar and the whole magical society, bonding, and coming of age with action was my kind of thing but I didn’t warm to any of the characters ( who didn’t seem to show any meaningful change by the end) and I did struggle to tell them apart after a while. The characters spend a lot of time talking at each other ( yes at) but still I felt I still didn’t really have any empathy for them.

Despite that twist, I did feel a little disappointed BUT this book has been and will be perfect for so many readers.

Perfect for Fans of

The Magicians ( review here), The Shadow and Bone Trilogy.

Source : My Own

The Skeleton Key by Erin Kelly- Book review

A story of family, obsession, and treasure hunts. Here is my review of The Skeleton Key by Erin Kelly

Summer, 2021. Nell has come home at her family’s insistence to celebrate an anniversary. Fifty years ago, her father wrote The Golden Bones. Part picture book, part treasure hunt, Sir Frank Churcher created a fairy story about Elinore, a murdered woman whose skeleton was scattered all over England. Clues and puzzles in the pages of The Golden Bones led readers to seven sites where jewels were buried – gold and precious stones, each a different part of a skeleton. One by one, the tiny golden bones were dug up until only Elinore’s pelvis remained hidden.
The book was a sensation. A community of treasure hunters called the Bonehunters formed, in frenzied competition, obsessed to a dangerous degree. People sold their homes to travel to England and search for Elinore. Marriages broke down as the quest consumed people. A man died. The book made Frank a rich man. Stalked by fans who could not tell fantasy from reality, his daughter, Nell, became a recluse.
But now the Churchers must be reunited. The book is being reissued along with a new treasure hunt and a documentary crew are charting everything that follows. Nell is appalled, and terrified. During the filming, Frank finally reveals the whereabouts of the missing golden bone. And then all hell breaks loose.


The Skeleton Key by Erin Kelly is complicated blend of a thriller, historical fiction, family drama and murder mystery.

Nell is the first person narrator in the present but the book slowly explores the past from the points of view of The Churchers and friends of the family the Lallys.

The plot is complicated and covers several strands including the complicated and symbiotic relationship between Frank and Lal, the impact of her parent’s fame on Nell, a murder mystery and complicated family dramas that come together in the end.

I found the murder mystery the most interesting part of the book as well as random people’s obsession with the treasure hunt, I felt sometimes the family drama slowed down the pace and not in a good way.

I didn’t warm to any of the characters (except for Billie the unofficially adopted daughter of Nell) and all of them were horrible without exception but Nell does eventually grow as a person breaking free from her toxic family.

This book will appeal to anyone who loves thickly plotted and complex books

Content warning

Sexual abuse

Perfect for fans of

The Twyford Code by Janice Hallet

Source: My own

The Amberlough Dossier Series by Lara Elena Donnelly- Series Review

It’s been a while since I’ve done a series review, but The Amberlough Dossier Series by Lara Elena Donnelly is definitely one that left an impression.

Amberlough: In Lara Elena Donnelly’s glam spy thriller debut, a Nebula finalist for Best Novel, a double-agent sacrifices all his ideals in order to save his smuggler lover before a government coup takes over their decadent city.
Armistice: In a tropical country where shadowy political affairs lurk behind the scenes of its glamorous film industry, three people maneuver inside a high stakes game of statecraft and espionage. Each one harbors dangerous knowledge that can upturn a nation. Everything is barreling towards an international revolt…and only the wiliest ones will be prepared for what comes next.
Amnesty: In Amberlough City, out of the ashes of revolution, a traitor returns, a political campaign comes to a roaring head, and the people demand justice for crimes past. As a nation struggles to rebuild, who can escape retribution?


The Amberlough Dossiers by Lara Elena Donnelly is set in an alternate world but feels on a good day very close to 1930’s Europe but on a bad news day something that is happening now.

The books follow the stories of Cyril De Paul, a spy, his lover Aristide- a smuggler and performer at a risqué club, and Cordelia a dancer and one of Aristide runners. Cyril’s sister, a politician struggling to survive under a dangerous regime, feature in the other books.

Cyril’s and Aristide’s complicated relationship plays out on a background of increasing intolerance of anyone who doesn’t fit the New Regime’s ideal an that includes Aristide. The books conveys the creeping erosion of a tolerant society by fascism and the people who facilitate this as well as the people who fight back.

The characters are vivid, well rounded and realistic- the lead characters are selfish and put their own needs first except for Cordelia’s arc from dancer to rebel which  was my favourite.

I have to admit sometimes reading the book was hard especially given some of the political events happening across the world but it did and still leaves an impression on me.

I would recommend this book who likes a degree of realism in their fantasy and complex, morally grey characters.

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah  J Maas- Book review

Here is my review of prequel  novella to The Throne of Glass books by Sarah J Maas.

The twist of a knife. The birth of a legend.

Step into the world of the #1 bestselling Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas with this collection of prequel novellas.Celaena Sardothien is her kingdom’s most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful Assassin’s Guild and its scheming master, Arobynn Hamel, she yields to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. But when Arobynn dispatches her on missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, Celaena finds herself acting independently of his wishes and questioning her own allegiance.If she hopes to escape Arobynn’s clutches, Celaena will have to put her faith in her wits and her blade … knowing that if she fails, she’ll lose not just a chance at freedom but her life.A prequel to the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass, this collection of five novellas explores the history of this cunning assassin and her enthralling — and deadly — world.


The first three books of The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas are some of my favourite fantasy books and I was pleased to read the prequel novella, The Assasin’s Blade features connected short stories showing us how Calena ended up from assassin to prisoner.

Continue reading “The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah  J Maas- Book review”

Love will Tear us Apart by C. K McDonnell- Book Review.

This urban fantasy made me laugh and tense at the same time- here is my review of the amazing Love will Tear us Apart by C. K McDonell, the third book in The Stranger Times series.


I love a book that can move me to laughter, tears, fear and anger-Love will Tear us Apart by C. K McDonnell the third book in the urban fantasy series The Stranger Times was one of those books.

Continue reading “Love will Tear us Apart by C. K McDonnell- Book Review.”

Gin Palace by Tracy Whitwell- Book review

Here is my review of this Gin Palace ( Book 2 In The Accidental Medium) by Tracy  Whitwell -urban fantasy set in my favourite ‘toon’ Newcastle and Gateshead.

Ever since Tanz discovered she could speak with the dead, life has become a whole lot more interesting. But after putting herself in grave danger helping to solve a grisly murder, she’s now determined to ignore the voices and put all that nasty business behind her.
So when she’s offered another acting gig in her hometown of Newcastle, it feels like a perfect opportunity to spend some time with family and have a laugh with old friends.
But the dead won’t stay quiet for long. Soon Tanz is being drawn back into their world, and this time, the danger is much closer to home.


I was excited to read Gin Palace by Tracy Whitwell, the second book in The Accidental Medium especially as it was set in Newcastle and Gateshead, in the lovely Northeast of England.

Continue reading “Gin Palace by Tracy Whitwell- Book review”

The Tyranny of Faith by Richard Swan- Book Review

I loved The Tyranny of Faith by Richard Swan, Empire of the Wolf, book 2, . Here is my review of this epic fantasy.

A Justice’s work is never done.
The Battle of Galen’s Vale is over, but the war for the Empire’s future has just begun. Concerned by rumours that the Magistratum’s authority is waning, Sir Konrad Vonvalt returns to Sova to find the capital city gripped by intrigue and whispers of rebellion. In the Senate, patricians speak openly against the Emperor, while fanatics preach holy vengeance on the streets.
Yet facing down these threats to the throne will have to wait, for the Emperor’s grandson has been kidnapped – and Vonvalt is charged with rescuing the missing prince. His quest will lead Vonvalt – and his allies Helena, Bressinger and Sir Radomir – to the Empire’s southern frontier, where they will once again face the puritanical fury of Bartholomew Claver and his templar knights . . . and a dark power far more terrifying than they could have imagined.


The Tyranny of Faith by Richard Swan, the follow-up to The Justice of King ( review here) by Richard Swan was everything I hoped it would be and Empire of the wolf is shaping up to be one of my favourite fantasy series.

Read more: The Tyranny of Faith by Richard Swan- Book Review

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

The book continues to tell the story of Justice Vonvalt through the eyes of his apprentice Helena including his slow descent into the morally grey and the consequences of his single-minded pursuit of Claver, the villain of the first book.

This isn’t a book you can just jump into without having read the first book.

Vonvalt continues to be just a complex as his was in the first book and I love how the author doesn’t sugar coat his flaws but despite this we can still understand why he does what he does.

Helena grows into her own both emotionally and in her own magically abilities- the complicated relationship between Vonvalt and her becomes more complicated in this book but without overwhelming the story and without too much angst (although I would have preferred no angst at all) The friendship between Dubine, Sir Randomir and Helena faces several challenges with a heart-breaking conclusion.

The plot and story races along with action-filled scenes, magic, complicated politics, and betrayals- sometimes I found it hard to keep track of what was happening.

I cant wait to see how Vonvalt’s character continues to develop- will he completely turn to the dark side and can Helena stop him?

This  book proves that dark, epic fantasy can be great without women being subjected to graphic violence

Content warning

References to a death of children,torture

Perfect for Fans of

Dark Epic Fantasy

Song of Silver ,Flame like Night by Amelie Wen Zhao – book review/blog tour

I’m so pleased to be part of the blog tour for Song of Silver, Flame like Night by Amelie Wen Zhao- YA fantasy

Once, Lan had a different name. Now, she goes by the one the Elantian colonizers gave her when they invaded her kingdom, killed her mother, and outlawed her people’s magic. She spends her nights as a songgirl in Haak’gong, a city transformed by the conquerors, and spends her days scavenging for remnants of the past. For anything that might help her understand the strange mark burned into her arm by her mother.No one can see the mysterious mark, an untranslatable Hin character, except Lan. Until the night a boy appears at the teahouse.
Zen is a practitioner – one of the fabled magicians of the Last Kingdom, whose abilities were rumoured to be drawn from the demons they communed with. Magic believed to be long lost. Magic to be hidden from the Elantians at all costs.
Both Lan and Zen have secrets buried deep within. Fate has connected them, but their destiny remains unwritten. Both hold the power to liberate their land. And destroy the world.


One of the things I love about blog tours is coming across books that would never hit my radar like Song of Silver Flame like Night by Amelie Wen Zhao and I loved this YA Fantasy filled with magic, loss and anger.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

Power was a double-edged sword- but not to have it that was to have no weapon at all.

While this is a book about magic with all the usual themes you would expect in a YA book such as complicated romances, identity and angst, this book has so much more. It is a book that captures the feeling of being powerless and what anyone would do to protect themselves and the people they love.

The book describes the horrors of colonisation and the slow erosion of local culture either deliberately or accidentally as a result.

Lan and Zen are the two third-person narrators- Lan is searching for the truth about her mother and the seal she left on her arm as she died and Zen,  one of the last disciples of Hin magic and his own dark, secret.

I loved the world-building, the descriptions of the tea houses, the towns and the terrains Zen and Lan travel through are beautifully described and vivid, The magic used by the Hin magicians isn’t unique but the use of seals to hide and perform magic felt fresh and different.

The Elantians (the invaders) did feel a little one-dimensional but the Winter Magician felt truly evil and threatening.

The story races along and despite the sometimes dark themes, there is a humour and some sensual touches. The main plot of Lan’s identity does have a resolution ( to some degree) but the overriding arc of the story continues in the next book which I can’t wait to read

This is the first book that I have read by the author but I will be adding her backlist to my TBR list.

Content warning

Threats of sexual violence

Perfect for fans of

DAUGHTER OF THE MOON GODDESS by Sue Lynn Tan, THE FINAL STRIFE by Saara El-Arifi, and IRON WIDOW by Xiran Jay Zhao. The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Burdago

She Had It Coming by Carys Jones- Book review/Blog Tour

I’m pleased to be part of the blog tour for She Had It Coming by Carys Jones- a twisty mystery.

‘Someone needs to bring her down a peg or two
When Pippa’s best friend goes missing on a school run, no one thinks twice. Heather is pretty, popular and more than a little wild.
Most people think she ran away for the attention… Others say girls like her always get what’s coming to them.
Pippa’s mother, Abbie, has never liked Heather. Or her mother Michelle, a successful doctor who thinks she’s too good for the school mums’ group.
But when Heather turns up dead, everything changes. Because Pippa was the last person to see her alive… and now Abbie’s own house of cards is about to come tumbling down.


I really enjoyed this twisty murder mystery- She Had It Coming by Carys Jones was an intriguing book with two interesting narrators.

Continue reading “She Had It Coming by Carys Jones- Book review/Blog Tour”

Moon Yoga by Lisa Hood- Book review/Blog Tour

I’m pleased to be part of the Random Things Tours Blog Tour for Moon Yoga by Lisa Hood- yoga practice that can fit into your busy life.

Yoga is both a physical practice and a spiritual one. Expert yoga instructor Lisa Hood provides insightful guidance on how to shape a spiritual practice that channels the moon’s energy to stimulate vitality, creativity, productivity and relaxation. Whether you work through a whole flow, focus on one pose, or just work through a breathing exercise, aligning your body and your mind in a moment of spiritual connection with the moon can help you centre yourself, even if just for a few moments in the middle of a busy day.
– Learn about how each phase of the moon brings a different energy into your life.
– Move with the moon with yoga positions and flows that draw on the energy of each of the nine lunar phases.
– Adjust your practice seasonally with practices for each of the full moons of the year, such as the Wolf Moon, Flower Moon and Corn Moon.
– Find rituals to carry you through the cycles of the moon.
With uplifting mantras and rituals to provide grounding, strengthened intuition and mindfulness beyond your physical practice, Moon Yoga gives you all the tools you need to move in sync with the moon.


I try to be regular in my Yoga practice but I have to admit I struggle with this, so I look forward to incorporating Lisa’s Hood Moon Yoga into my daily life (or at least try to!).

Continue reading “Moon Yoga by Lisa Hood- Book review/Blog Tour”

Death at Crookham Hall by Michelle Slater – Book review and Blog Tour

I’m pleased to be part of the Racheal’s Random Resources Blog Tour for Death at Crookham Hall by Michelle Slater.

A fatal jump. A missing suffragette. An inexplicable murder. 

London, 1920. When she catches news of a big story, reporter Iris Woodmore rushes to the House of Commons. But it’s a place that holds painful memories. In 1914, her mother died there when she fell into the River Thames during a daring suffragette protest. But in the shadow of Big Ben, a waterman tells Iris her mother didn’t fall – she jumped. 

Iris discovers that the suffragette with her mother that fateful day has been missing for years, disappearing just after the protest. Desperate to know the truth behind the fatal jump, Iris’s investigation leads her to Crookham Hall, an ancestral home where secrets and lies lead to murder…


Death at Crookham Hall by Michelle Slater is a murder mystery set just after World War I, just after women won the right to vote (some women anyway) and were just beginning to step into a world outside of marriage and babies.

Continue reading “Death at Crookham Hall by Michelle Slater – Book review and Blog Tour”

Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim- Book review

I loved this middle eastern inspired YA fantasy full of spice, magic, djinns, rebellions and magic tea- here is my review of Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim.


We will fight but first, we will have tea.

I loved this middle eastern inspired YA fantasy full of spice, magic, djinns, rebellions and magic tea- here is my review of Spice Road, the first book in the Spice Road Trilogy by Maiya Ibrahim.

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Top Ten Tuesday- Top Ten Bookish Goals 2023

It’s another Tuesday and another Top Ten- this time it’s my top ten bookish ( and blog) goals

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This time the topic my top ten bookish goals but I am going to add some of blog goals as well as they are related ( somehow).


Beat the backlog. Again

I tried to do this last and was doing so well until life and work got in the way. So I am going to again in 2023 and read those eBooks vegetating on my kindle,

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City of Last Chances by Adrian Tchaikovsky- Book Review

Here is my review for City of Last Chances, epic fantasy  by Adrian Tchaikovsky

There has always been a darkness to Ilmar, but never more so than now. The city chafes under the heavy hand of the Palleseen occupation, the choke-hold of its criminal underworld, the boot of its factory owners, the weight of its wretched poor and the burden of its ancient curse.
What will be the spark that lights the conflagration?
Despite the city’s refugees, wanderers, murderers, madmen, fanatics and thieves, the catalyst, as always, will be the Anchorwood – that dark grove of trees, that primeval remnant, that portal, when the moon is full, to strange and distant shores.
Ilmar, some say, is the worst place in the world and the gateway to a thousand worse places.
City of Long Shadows.
City of Bad Decisions.
City of Last Chances.


I’ve enjoyed Adrian Tchaikovsky’s science fiction books so I was keen to see how his fantasy compared to this and was happy my request was approved by NetGalley for the arc of  City Of Last Chances.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

This is a hard review to write. I didn’t really love the book as much as I thought I would ( although I didn’t dislike the book as much as I thought I would after I finished it either).

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A Deadly Inheritance by Jane McParkes- Book review/Blog Tour

I’m so pleased to be part of the Random Things Blog tour for Deadly Inheritance by Jane McParkes- a murder mystery set in Cornwall.

When Olivia Wells returns to Creekside, Cornwall, intent on fulfilling her bequest of cultivating a co-working community of eco and creative entrepreneurs in a renovated railway building, she soon finds opposition, sabotage and the murdered body of her friend.She has to put her trust in an unlikely ally to help her investigate exactly who is threatening the success of her ventures, her liberty and ultimately, her life.


A Deadly Inheritance by Jane McParkes is a cosy murder mystery set in a little village in Cornwall- a village on the verge of major change. A village that has to deal with very modern issues and challenges.

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Top Ten Tuesday- Top Ten Most Anticipated releases in the first half of 2023

It’s another Tuesday and another Top Ten-  this time its my Top Ten Most Anticipated releases in the first half of 2023

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Here are my anticipated releases in the first 2023 in no particular order ( blurb and image from goodreads)

The Launch Party by Lauren Foley

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Death Comes to Marlowe by Robert Thorogood- Book review

I really enjoyed Death Comes to Marlowe by Robert Thorogood- cosy crime at its best

I couldn’t put Death Comes to Marlowe ,  the second instalment of Marlowe Murder club, by Robert Thorogood ,down until I found out who the murderer was- much to the annoyance of the people around me.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion

Judith, the seven-eight-year-old crossword setter, and naked wild water swimmer is the amateur detective who finds herself with a puzzle of a death when she is invited to the pre-wedding party of Sir. Peter Bailey. But the only problem is while Judith is convinced this is murder, there isn’t any evidence to suggest the death wasn’t anything other than an accident. So of course, Judith sets out to solve the mystery with the help of Suzie, a dog walker and burgeoning radio celebrity and Becks the vicar’s wife hiding her own little secret.

This is modern cosy crime at it its best- interesting with bizarre suspects, plenty of motives and red herrings, a locked room murder, a helpful cop and of course Judith.

Judith is not Miss Marple, she is a vibrant, determined older person battling her own demons but is someone happy with her choices and her life. The subplot involving the messages in the cryptic crosswords was fascinating in itself and made me want to dip my toes in trying a few out.

The plot races along with one little revelation after another and as expected there was plenty of humour and no gore. The book also somehow manages to touch upon serious issues such as privilege and misogyny but not in a heavy-handed way.

My only tiny gripe is Becks- her unique skill is her knowledge of the ‘middle classes but for some reason, I thought that some of the things she was talking about were far beyond the means of the average middle-class household (this is of course my own subjective view which could be very wrong!).

But that is a tiny gripe and I can’t wait for the next instalment and really hope this is turned into a tv show (like Death in Paradise by the same author).

Perfect for Fans

A good murder mystery such as The Thursday Murder Club or a more modern take on Agatha Christie

Publication date : 5th of January 2023 by HarperCollins

Source Thank you NetGalley and Harper Collins

The Simple Truth by James Buckler- Book review/Blog Tour

I’m pleased to be part of the Random Things Tours Blog Tour for The Simple Truth by James Buckler- a fast-paced thriller set in London.

A young woman is dead.

A very wealthy client needs a favour. You newly qualified as a lawyer and this could be your big break, so you jump at the chance.

The case is about to be closed.

All you have to do is talk to a family, ask them to sign some papers. How difficult could it be? Their daughter was found dead at a beauty spot on the outskirts of London in what you told was a tragic suicide.

Only you can uncover what really happened.

But the truth is never that simple. And this case could cost you your life…


I enjoyed The Simple Truth by James Buckler- a fast-paced murder thriller set in the not-so-glossy legal world and the criminal underbelly of London.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

Lewis is an ambitious yet idealistic lawyer from a working-class background trying to succeed in a posh and privileged world where he is an outsider, He jumps at the chance to prove himself in what should be a simple signing of an NDA but finds his values and loyalties are challenged. Lewis’s journey from a man trying to be a typical city lawyer to a man who is comfortable being who he is was a heart-warming journey in what could have been a cynical book on the power of wealth.

The book is contemptuous and relevant to the times we live with its background of environmental issues, corruption and politics.

The underlying murder- the mystery is complex with plenty of suspects and motives – I didn’t guess who the murderer was right till the end when several threads converge quite neatly.

The Simple Truth was engaging, easy and quick (for me) read– I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys tightly-paced thrillers and mysteries.

Content Warning

Drug Misuse, References to Suicide, grief at the loss of an adult child, references to parental abandonment.

About the Author

James Buckler lives in London. He has worked in film and TV for many years, most notably for MTV and BBC Films. His first thriller, Last Stop Tokyo, published to critical acclaim. The Simple Truth is his second novel.

Top Ten Tuesday- Top Ten Books of 2022

It’s the first Tuesday of 2023 and time for another TTT and this time it’s my top ten books of 2022. It has been hard narrowing this down to Ten but here we go.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

It is going to be a challenge narrowing down my list to just ten but here we go.

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday- Top Ten Books of 2022”

Children of Chaos by Trudie Skies -Book review Book 2 The Cruel Gods

I loved the Children of Chaos by Trudie Skies- the second book in the fantasy series, The Cruel Gods.

Chaos stalks the steam-powered city of Chime and threatens the existence of the gods and their domains. Kayl swore to protect Chime’s mortals from their gods’ cruel whims, but when she agrees to represent the mortals of a god long thought dead, Kayl is thrust into a political role that goes against everything she’s ever stood for.
As the newly appointed ambassador to the god of time, Quen’s goal is clear – protect Chime and the domains by any means necessary. But as the gods make their demands, Quen is caught between his loyalties and his conscience.
To ensure a future for all mortals, Kayl and Quen must unite the gods against the threat of chaos and decide what they’re willing to sacrifice for Chime – before the gods choose for them.


I read The Thirteenth Hour( review here) by Trudie Skies as part of a blog tour when I started blogging and loved it, so I had my preorder all set up for the next book The Children of Chaos and it was worth the wait.

Continue reading “Children of Chaos by Trudie Skies -Book review Book 2 The Cruel Gods”

This Charming Man by C.K Donnell- Book review

The Stranger Times newspaper continues to report strange and weird things in this hilarious urban fantasy set in Manchester- Here is my review of This Charming Man by C.K Donnell.


(may contain spoilers for The Stranger Times

After I finished reading The Stranger Times ( review here) , I had to jump into This Charming Man by C. K Donnell, the second book in this urban fantasy series and I loved it.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion,

Continue reading “This Charming Man by C.K Donnell- Book review”

The Stranger Times by C. K McDonnell- Book review

How did I miss The Stranger Times by C.K McDonnell here is my review of this hilarious, action-packed urban fantasy filled with memorable characters and set in Manchester.

The Stranger Times is dedicated to the weird and the wonderful (but mostly the weird), it is the go-to publication for the unexplained and inexplicable. At least that’s their pitch. The reality is less auspicious. Their editor is a drunken, foul-tempered, and foul-mouthed husk of a man who thinks little of the publication he edits. His staff are a ragtag group of misfits. And as for the assistant editor… well, that job is a revolving door–and it has just revolved to reveal Hannah Willis, who’s got problems of her own.
When tragedy strikes in Hannah’s first week on the job, The Stranger Times is forced to do some serious investigating. What they discover leads to a shocking realisation: some of the stories they’d previously dismissed as nonsense are in fact terrifyingly real. Soon they come face-to-face with darker forces than they could ever have imagined


One of the amazing joys of being a book blogger is discovering new books that I never would have normally come across. The Stranger Things by C K Mc Donnell was one of those books and I devoured it book in one sitting.

I received a free copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

This urban fantasy has everything a cast of memorable characters -I’m not sure if I admire or despise the outspoken, drunk, intelligent Bancroft the trigger-happy editor of The Stranger Times. Grace, Reggie, and Ox form the rest of the team at The Stranger Times newspaper ( funny extracts included in the book) and are all quirky and fascinating characters that bring this urban fantasy to life.

Hannah is the new assistant editor escaping her former life as a socialite and is thrown into a new world of UFOs, aliens and monsters and has a bit of fright when she learns ( along with the rest of the team ) that one of these things is real.

The underlying plot of good vs evil, secret societies and magic are well written and the book has a fresh take on this by basing this in a Northern City in England- Manchester and its people form part of the cast in its own way. The plot and underlying mystery kept me reading right till the end. Some vivid and original descriptions made an impression.

But the main strength of the book is the humour which is truly British ( and Northern) and there were several times when I couldn’t stop laughing.

I have to confess I jumped straight into the sequel The Charming Man as soon as I finished.

Perfect for Fans

The Dresden Files (review here), The Tarot Card Sequence, ( review here) Swashbucklers (review here),Terry Prachett

Content Warning

References to a child’s death

Where it rains in colour by Denise Crittendon- Book Review

Here is my review of Where it rains in Colour by Denise Crittendon-an Afro-futuristic science-fiction

Lileala has just been named the Rare Indigo – beauty among beauties – and is about to embrace her stardom, until something threatens to change her whole lifestyle and turn the planet of Swazembi upside down.Colonized by the descendants of Earth’s West African Dogon Tribe, the planet of Swazembi is a blazing, color-rich utopia and famous vacation center of the galaxy. No one is used to serious trouble in this idyllic, peace-loving world, least of all the Rare Indigo.
But Lileala’s perfect, pampered lifestyle is about to be shattered. The unthinkable happens and her glorious midnight skin becomes infected with a mysterious disease. Where her skin should glisten like diamonds mixed with coal, instead it scabs and scars. On top of that, she starts to hear voices in her head, and everything around her becomes confusing and frightening.Lileala’s destiny, however, goes far beyond her beauty. While searching for a cure, she stumbles upon something much more valuable. A new power awakens inside her, and she realizes her whole life, and the galaxy with it, is about to change…


Where it rains in Colour by Denise Crittendon is the perfect title for this book- I felt like I was hit was explosion of colour as I was reading.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

The world-building in the book is unlike anything I have read before- so vivid and rich, bursting with colour and originality Swazembi is a modern, high-tech future society but with a difference, it is bright, vivid, happy utopia where colour plays an important role. The people in Swazembi have skin that can shimmer and shine   future leader Lileala has been chosen as the Rare Indigo because of her outstanding radiance. The technology in the book is truly unique and magical, people get swept up in gusts of wind to travel to destinations which I think should be viable mode of transport in the future.

While I liked Lileala arc from a girl spoilt and pampered for her beauty that’s places values outer looks to a person concerned for other people and an ambassador for peace, I really didn’t warm to her as character.

I struggled with the pace of the book and just couldn’t follow the story at places which was disappointing as I wanted to like it so much. I wish I had been aware of the glossary at the end of the book which may have helped a little ( I which all ebooks would put the glossary in the front of the book!). I’m still not sure what the overall plot of the book was after finishing this

Even though this book wasn’t for me, I imagine many other readers will love the descriptive prose and the world-building.

Top Ten Tuesday- Books on my winter 2022-2023 to read list

It’s another Tuesday and another Top Ten- this time it’s the top ten books on my winter to read list.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

It is going to be a challenge narrowing down my list to just ten but here we go.

The Sinister Booksellers of Bath by Garth Nix

I read the intriguingly titled The Left Handed Booksellers of London ages ago  and I imagine The Sinister Booksellers of Bath which is set in the same world will be just as good- urban fantasy with booksellers.

Gin Palace by Tracy Whitwell

This looks a fun, urban fantasy featuring an accidental medium and set in Newcastle, my favourite ‘toon’ ( city).

The Spice Road by Maya Ibrahim

This YA fantasy set in middle-eastern inspired world and featuring magic and spice looks like colourful and epic read.

The Launch Party by Lauren Forry

I love locked room mysteries and all it its permutations, so a murder mystery set on a isolated hotel on the moon is something I have to read.

Love will Tear Us Apart by C K McDonnell

I’ve been working my way through The Stranger Times books and I cant wait to read the next book in this urban fantasy series set in a madcap newspaper in Manchester  with eccentric staff- a newspaper dedicated to documented the weird and unusual as the while dealing with ghosts,possession and nutty health farms.

The Discord of Gods by Jenn Lyons

The sheer size of he book has put me off reading this but I am going to finish the last book in the epic fantasy series, The Chorus of Dragons.

Song of Silver ,Flame Like Night by Ameile Wen Zhao

I fell in love with this cover and blurb ,  I think it will be a colourful epic fantasy

One for My Enemy- Olivie Blake

I can’t resist another retelling of Romeo and Julliet- this time featuring warring witching families.

Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

I have heard such good things about this book, that sounds like a cross between Harry Potter and the Hunger Games.

The Blue Bar by Damyanti Biwas

I was so excited when this this mystery set in the underworld of Mumbai  was one of the Kindle Prime Picks.

Thanks for

Please leave a link to  your TTT, so I can read your TTT

Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson- book review

Here is my review of Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson an urban fantasy


Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson has been on my to-read list for a long time and I was so excited to finally bought the book. But I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I thought I would, which was surprising.

HMSC has a cast of four childhood friends- Helena, the tough head of the Coven, Niamh, the powerful witch who has left the coven to become a vet in Hebben Bridge, Elle, a healer who has hidden her power from her husband and family and Leonie, the witch who has left the government coven to form her own inclusive and diverse coven.

The once-tight friends are thrown together when a prophecy about The Sullied Child seems to come true and then thrown apart when confronted when their own fears.

The best part of the book besides the premise was the diversity in the characters- there is a range of people of all races, ages and genders and they all fit organically into the story and are the story.

The book had all the things that appeal to me-magic, strong and diverse women, unapologetically morally grey women and plenty of action ending with an almost cinematic finale. So why did I feel disappointed after finishing the book?

I didn’t like Helen and felt perhaps her hatred was to push the plot and create conflict – her inability to contain her prejudices and her reaction to this seemed a little extreme (although I am aware there are woman like in real life, so maybe not so OTT).The men in the book are mostly window-dressing without any depth, and some of the plot outcomes were a little predictable, especially the whole prophecy of an evil child who will destroy the world.

There is a humdinger of a cliffhanger which was truly breathtaking but again left me disappointed and not to keen to pick up the sequel.

I think this book will appeal to a lot of urban fantasy fans. I will probably read the sequel, but I don’t think I will be quite so excited.

Content Warning

References to domestic abuse, transgender slurs

Perfect for Fans of

Diverse urban fantasy