Top Ten Tuesday

This is the first time I have taken part in this challenge and it has been fun reliving my top ten fictional crushes.

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.

 Peregrine, The Ordinary Princess by M.M Kaye

Perry was the nice-looking, kind man that Amy fell in love with in The Ordinary Princess. His total acceptance of Amy as a kitchen maid and later as a runaway Princess made him my first ever crush. Of course, it helped that he just happened to be a King too.

Ponyboy Curtis, The Outsiders by S.E Hinton

My teenage self-identified with Ponyboy, the clever, shy, imaginative teenager trying to fit somewhere in a complicated and messy world.

Hareton Earnshaw, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Hareton Earnshaw was a pawn in Healthcliff’s twisted plot for revenge and was the typical broody, angry young man. But unlike Heathcliff, he blossomed when he fell in love and who doesn’t love a man who can stand up to a bully like Heathcliff for the woman he loves.

Mark Darcy, Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding.

Bridget Jones was my favourite pick-me-up book during my singledom years. The fact that Mark Darcy loved Bridget, ‘Just the way she was’ made him my template for the perfect man.

Christopher Paget, Degree of Guilt by Richard North Patterson

Chris Paget was the lawyer who defended his ex-wife even though she abandoned him and her young son. He was loyal, determined, principled as well as an amazing father and I enjoyed following his story over several books.

Richard Crawford, from the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett

Richard Crawford is solid, reliable, dependable and always there when needed unlike his gifted, mercurial brother Francis and who doesn’t love a man who is willing and happy to family first over his ambition.

Niccholas vander Poele, House of Niccolo by Dorothy Dunnett

Nicholas is perhaps too clever for his own good but I love his ambition and drive that made him one of the richest men from his humble beginnings as an apprentice dyer.

Harry Dresden from the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

I can’t help but have a little crush on a character I have followed for the best part of two decades. Harry Dresden is an urban wizard with a wicked sense of humour who grows from lowly PI to one of the most powerful players in the Chicago magical scene in Dresden’s world.

Peter Grant, Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Peter is my latest crush- funny, talented and loyal friend but most of all he is a good son to his mother.

Images from Amazon

Queens’ Play by Dorothy Dunnett- Book review and Discussion

I always forget how much I enjoy reading Queens’ Play, the second book in the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett. Lymond infiltrates King Henri’s French court to protect the Queen Mary of Scots.

#DorothyDunett # Book review

Genre :Historical Fiction

Series : The Lymond Chronicles ( review here)

image form Amazon


“It was one of the occasions when Lymond asleep wrecked the peace of mind of more people than Lymond awake.”

― Dorothy Dunnett, Queens’ Play

The second book in Lymond Chronicles follows the Game of Kings where Lymond has been redeemed. Mary of Guise wants his remarkable mind to work for her and would do anything to have him commit to her cause. Lymond agrees to spy for her in the French court but on his own unique terms and discovers that the Young Queen Mary of Scots life is in danger. Lymond takes on another identity to infiltrate the French court but finds his life in peril from the start yet still charms his way into the inner circle and the bedrooms of the women ( and possibly men) of the Royal Court.

Continue reading “Queens’ Play by Dorothy Dunnett- Book review and Discussion”

The Nobody people By Bob Proehl- Book Review.

I couldn’t help but notice that striking red spine with a barely visible title was curious to see if there could be a fresh take on the superhero genre. Here’s my review of The Nobody People by Bob Proehl.

Series: Resonant Duology


Unfortunately, I didn’t find the story particularly original. The  Resonants are a group of people with special abilities who have kept themselves hidden for decades but now decide to make themselves known to the world with  the usual predictable consequences.

The author’s notes that  the book was written in 2016, a complicated political period in many countries and the book is an accurate reflection of this particularly uneasy time. It is all too easy to imagine detainment camps and restrictive laws described for anyone deemed different and hence dangerous like the Resonants.

Continue reading “The Nobody people By Bob Proehl- Book Review.”

The Game of Kings, Book one of the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett- Book review and discussion

What can be better than reading Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett in Stirling? Read my review of the first book in the Lymond Chronicles.

Series review here.


“I despised men who accepted their fate. I shaped mine twenty times and had it broken twenty times in my hands.”

The Game of Kings,Dorothy Dunnett

I have seen the first book of the Lymond chronicles compared to the Game of Thrones and it is easy to see why but The Game of Kings is so much more- you just have to get the first few chapters to get there. I gave up after the third chapter and only picked the book up again when I literally had nothing else on hand to read but so glad I did.

The story is set in a turbulent time in English and Scottish history- the decade before Elizabeth and Mary take up their thrones. Francis Lymond, the Master of Culter, the disgraced, second son of a noble family and traitor has returned to his homeland of Scotland and is on a mission.

Even though Lymond is the hero or more accurately anti-hero, we never read the book from his perspective but we learn about him through the eyes of the people around him and as their perception changes, so does ours. The author does this so well that I didn’t realise that I hadn’t read a single direct thought of Francis till the end of the book. Lymond almost seems too good to be true- good looking, a skilled fighter and leader, clever, fluent in many languages but we share his brother’s, friends’, allies’ and enemies’ frustration as Lymond is a hard person to like especially at the start of the book. His motives are murky and he knows how to use his charm and sensuality to achieve his goals, for example, poor Will, what was he expecting when he followed Lymond up the stairs in that Inn.

Continue reading “The Game of Kings, Book one of the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett- Book review and discussion”

The Expanse by S.A Corey- Series review

I can’t wait till the last book in The Expanse series by S.A Corey is due to be released in November . This is a series with space battles, political intrigue, alien tech, romance, dystopia, dictators, evil scientists and unique characters like my favourite foul-mouthed politician Chrisjen Avarsala.


Genre: Science fiction

First book: Levithan Rises  

Last book :Tiamat’s wrath

I’m embarrassed to say I started reading the books in this series after watching the first few episodes of the TV series.  I can’t believe I walked past these amazing books in bookshops that started me off reading space operas and harder science fiction.

The Expanse is set in the future where our Earth is overpopulated and Mars has been colonised but over the years the tensions between Mars and  Earth have reached a point where war could break out. The belt which lies between Mars and Earth has been established to service the ships travelling between the two planets but the Belters, the people who have adapted over generations to live in space resent Mars and Earth and are ready to revolt.

Amid all this simmering tension,  the Canterbury, an Icehauling ship is attacked setting off a chain of events and thrusts a crewmember, Holden, into the spotlight and into a hero the universe didn’t know it needed.

Continue reading “The Expanse by S.A Corey- Series review”

The Sightless City by Noah Lemelson- Book review

The Sightless City by Noah Lemelson has one of the most amazing covers I have ever seen, and suits this science fiction dystopia with interesting mutants, sentient Ferral beings and humans living in a post-revolution world.

Image from amazon

Thank you Net Galley, Tiny Fox Press and the author for this e ARC for an honest review.

The striking cover caught my attention and I had to find out more about this floating, burning eye.  The story is set in the city of Huile a few years after a revolution has overthrown the Principate. Marcel is a private investigator who realises he has been used by his friends as a pawn in kidnapping troublemakers who are enslaved to work on keeping aether flowing. He wants to take his former friends down and is helped by a Ferral engineer, Sylvaine and Kayip a monk.

The world-building is different from other dystopian stories, this isn’t another variation of the earth destroyed by some man-made calamity. I really like Sylvaine, who is a Ferral, a kind of hybrid human and animal who desperately wants to prove herself as an engineer despite the discrimination she faces and will do anything to achieve this. Her story was heartbreaking but she comes back fighting. The plot races along with a dramatic climax towards the end which sets up the next book.  I was intrigued by Marcel, he wasn’t the smartest guy in the box and was a bit naïve but this was a refreshing change from the usual clever, athletic, smart men that are all too frequent and made Marcel a very human hero.

The story is a little confusing and I did have to reread a few pages to figure out what was going on. There are hints of something mystical at the start of the book and this becomes more prominent towards the end of the book but I would have liked to have known more about this a little earlier.

Perfect for fans

Anyone who loves dystopian science fiction with a touch of fantasy.


3 and a half stars- Great Characters but slightly confusing plot but will be keeping an eye out for the next part of Sylvaine and Marcel’s story.

The Boy with Fire by Aparna Verma- Book Review

The Boy with Fire, by Aparna Verma, is science fiction fantasy at its best with a unique South-East Asian inspired world, lush descriptions and memorable characters with more than a hint of dubious morality. I will definitely be buying book two of the Ravence Trilogy.

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Release Date: 31/8/21
Publisher: New Degree Press
Series: Ravence Trilogy Book 1


Thank you to the Net Galley, the publisher and author for the eARC for an honest review.

This book caught my eye on Twitter, so I was excited when I was able to read the book ahead of its publication courtesy of Net Galley and I wasn’t disappointed.

Ravence is a desert kingdom in an uneasy truce with her neighbour Jantar, weighed down by its past and a prophecy that terrifies King Leo. Jassen is a half Ravani and half Jantari assassin who agrees to protect the King’s heir Elena until her coronation but Elena has her own secret too.

In my opinion, there aren’t enough science fiction fantasy books out there and this book reminded me why I love this little sub-genre so much. The author’s world-building is intricate and vivid with the technology seamlessly woven in with the fantastical elements of prophecy and magic. The prose becomes hypnotic towards the middle of the book and I could easily see this book on TV or the screen.

Continue reading “The Boy with Fire by Aparna Verma- Book Review”

The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett- Review of a series that fantasy fans should read ( if they haven’t already).

It’s time for my annual re-read of The Lymond Chronicles, a historical fiction series by Dorothy Dunnett that remains popular despite being first published in 1961. Game of Kings, the first book in the series is one of the hardest and most difficult books I have ever read but while it takes time and effort to read all the books in this series, the reward is well worth it. Francis Crawford of Lymond is a truly unforgettable character that has been much imitated in fantasy fiction.

Books in series
The Game of kings( review here)
Queen’s Play( review here)
The disorderly knights (Review here)
Pawn in Frankincense( Review here)
The ringed castle (Review here)
Checkmate ( review here)

Review ( Spoiler free)

I will be honest, I gave up reading the first book in the series, about 150 pages into the Game of Kings. The first few chaotic chapters with a possibly drunken pig, people speaking in poetry, the splattering of French and other languages takes some getting used to. Dorothy Dunnett makes no allowances for the reader with limited French and no explanations for  Lymond’s rotten behaviour at the start of the book. So, I gave up.

But then, I was on holiday and had finished all my books and had only this partially left book on my kindle as reading material. But this time, I was hooked by the story and the characters especially Francis of Lymond. I ended up reading the entire series in days.

Overriding story arc

The books ( titles based on chess moves ) follows Francis Crawford of Lymond, Master of Culter over a period of ten years in a tumultuous and eventful period of Scottish and English history ( ten years before Elizabeth the first ascends to the throne). Francis in the course of these books plays fugitive, spy, mercenary, courtier, politician, hero and villain. The books cleverly intertwine real history with historical characters into Francis’s story.

Continue reading “The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett- Review of a series that fantasy fans should read ( if they haven’t already).”