A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows- Book review

Here is my review of A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows – a queer, romantic fantasy

Velasin vin Aaro never planned to marry at all, let alone a girl from neighboring Tithena. When an ugly confrontation reveals his preference for men, Vel fears he’s ruined the diplomatic union before it can even begin. But while his family is ready to disown him, the Tithenai envoy has a different solution: for Vel to marry his former intended’s brother instead.
Caethari Aeduria always knew he might end up in a political marriage, but his sudden betrothal to a man from Ralia, where such relationships are forbidden, comes as a shock.
With an unknown faction willing to kill to end their new alliance, Vel and Cae have no choice but to trust each other. Survival is one thing, but love—as both will learn—is quite another.

Review

A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows was one of my anticipated reads of 2022 as I enjoy books with intrigue, fantasy, magic and very occasionally a bit of romance and this book seemed to have it all. But I have to admit to feeling a little disappointed.

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A Symphony of Echoes By Jodi Taylor – Book review

The chaotic romp through time continues with A Symphony Of Echoes, the second book in the St Mary Chronicles by Jodi Taylor.

In the second book in the Chronicles of St Mary’s series, Max and the team visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches.
But they must also confront an enemy intent on destroying St Mary’s – an enemy willing, if necessary, to destroy History itself to do it.

Review

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor continues Max’s story (click here for the review of One Damned Thing After another) and her time-travel adventures with St Mary’s along with the rest of her eccentric colleagues.

In the second book, Max heads to the future and has to face her nemesis(s), Isabella Barclay and Ronan again and ends up interim director but after she faces off with Jack the Ripper.

Max continues to be feisty, and funny (even when she has to lead) but vulnerable in this book particularly with her relationship with Leon Farell. I have to admit I wasn’t a big fan of Leon in this book and I did want to throw the book at the wall when reading about their relationship. I preferred Max’s more healthy relationships with her colleagues and friends which forms the heart of the book but her reaction to Leon’s boorish behaviour was hilariously unhinged.

As expected, there is plenty of tea, accidents and mishaps and of course a completely bonkers take on history- I loved the explanation of why Jack the Ripper disappeared from history. The team also head off to Tudor Scotland to stop Mary becoming the Queen of England and Scotland- a complicated scheme hatched by Ronan to save his love Anne.

 We do learn a little bit more about the past (or future) history of St Marys.

Content warning

References to rape, sexual assault, torture and violence (this is in a historical context and boy were they violent in the past!)

Perfect for Fans

Who loves Time travel books

Series: Book two in the St Marys Chronicles

Source: My Own

One Damned Thing after another by Jodi Taylor

I’m finally reading the St Mary Chronicles in order. Read my review of One Damned Thing after Another by Jodi Taylor which introduces the chaotic, tea drinking time travellers.

Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document – to try and find the answers to many of History’s unanswered questions…and not to die in the process. But one wrong move and History will fight back – to the death. And, as they soon discover – it’s not just History they’re fighting.
Follow the catastrophe curve from 11th-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake.

Review

I love time-travel stories and the St Mary Chronicles is one of my favourites. I have dipped in and out of the series ,reading the books in random order ( which works fine for this series) but decided to finally read them in order.

Continue reading “One Damned Thing after another by Jodi Taylor”

Top ten Tuesday- Books on my Autumn (Fall) to read list.

It’s another Tuesday and another list. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is books on my autumn(fall) to read list and of course I have added more to an ever-expanding 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.

Here we go in no particular order

Continue reading “Top ten Tuesday- Books on my Autumn (Fall) to read list.”

Wayward by Hannah Mathewson- Book review

I loved the second book set in Witherward- the city hidden below London. Here is my review of Wayward by Hannah Matheson YA fantasy.

The grandchildren of the High Sorcerer are nothing but trouble. Cassia is determined to be inducted into the Society of Young Gifted Sorcerers. But the harder she trains, the more unreliable her spells become. But when Cassia accidentally awakens an archaic power, the fate of the entire city falls into her hands.
Ollivan, her disgraced older brother, is scheming to seize the leadership of the society and revoke his banishment. But if he is to succeed, he must unravel a vengeful plot he set in motion the night he was exiled. The problem? His sister has triggered the spell.
The city is divided between six rulers of six warring, magical factions. Each wields unique powers. Each is uniquely dangerous. The tenuous peace between them all is barely maintained by fragile accords. Now Cassia’s only chance to save that peace and put an end to the destruction she’s unleashed is to join forces with her villainous estranged brother. 

Review

Source: My own

I love books set in parallel worlds and hidden cities, so I picked this up in a bookshop without realising this was set in the same world as Witherward ( review here)- a book I really didn’t enjoy as much as I thought I would. But I loved Wayward by Hannah Matheson.

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Redspace Rising by Brian Trent – blog tour and book review

I’m pleased to be part of the Random Things Tours blogtour for Redspace Rising by Brian Trent. Here is my review of the futuristic military sci-fi.

Harris Alexander Pope is the man who ended the Partisan War on Mars. All he seeks now is solitude and a return to the life that was stolen from him. Yet when he learns that the worst war criminals are hiding in other bodies, he is forced into an interplanetary pursuit teaming up with other survivors eager for their own brand of vengeance ,Harris begins to suspect a darker truth: Maybe what he remembers about the war isn’t what happened at all.

Book review

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

Redspace Rising by Brian Trent is set in a far future where Mars has been colonised and is now savaged by long wars. Unfortunately, The Partisans who promised freedom have become terrible oppressors and Harris has been their loyal and highly decorated soldier for years. But in the middle of yet another mission he is captured by the other side and finds out that he has, in fact, been a deep undercover agent for the last twenty years ( he is so deep undercover he has forgotten that he is an undercover agent with help of some interesting tech) and is activated- to finally end the war. Which he does- but this is just the start of Pope’s journey and story.

Read more

The story is told from Pops’s point of view and it is a realistic view of war, the consequences and the aftermath. While the book doesn’t glamorise war, it also doesn’t glamorise its effects on the people who have had to live through it. I didn’t warm to Pope but I sympathised with him, his struggles and his overwhelming desire just to spend some time with his brother.

There is a huge array of fascinating tech in this world and the politics of Mars are just as corrupt as you would expect it to be in a dystopia but this enhances the story. The battle scenes are vividly described and the plot is fast-paced with plenty of high-tech action.

I was gripped by all the twists and turns in the story, especially the end.

I did feel the book was perhaps a little long and would have appreciated a bit more downtime between all battles and action. While Pope is a nuanced and realistic character, the women in the book had less depth.

Perfect for fans

Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan

Content warning

Descriptions of torture,

Genre: Miltary Sci-fi

Source : with Thanks to Flame Tree Press

Top Ten Tuesday—books with geographical terms in the title

It’s another Tuesday and another list. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a hard one- books with geographical terms in the title.

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 week’s TTT theme is a hard one especially when geography wasn’t my favourite subject!

So here we go

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The Jane Seymour Conspiracy by Alexandra Walsh – Book review

The Jane Seymour Conspiracy, the fourth book in the Marquess House Saga by Alexandra Walsh has an unique take on the Tudor dynasty, here is my review of this brilliant historical fiction.

London, 1527
Jane Seymour arrives at court to take her place with Queen Katherine of Aragon. Discovering a court already beginning to divide into factions between Katherine and Jane’s second cousin, Anne Boleyn, Jane finds herself caught between the old world and the new.
When King Henry VIII finally succeeds in his pursuit of Anne, Jane witnesses the slow unravelling of his interest in the new queen as she, too, fails in her task to deliver a son. Having watched both Katherine and Anne fall from grace, Jane has no ambition for the throne, but when the king begins seeking her out, Jane realises the decision may be out of her hands…
Pembrokeshire, 2020
When a set of papers called The Pentagram Manuscript makes its way to Perdita and Piper at Marquess House, they find they have a new mystery to unravel. The manuscript is the tale of five women on a quest to find true love, written while Anne Boleyn was queen. As Perdita begins to unravel the text, she discovers a code that leads to a whole new outlook on Henry’s relationship with Jane Seymour but puts her loved ones in danger.

Review

I had to remind myself a few times when reading The Jane Seymour Conspiracy by Alexandra Walsh that this was fiction. I read it one sitting to find out what happens to Jane Seymour even though I know what actually happened to Jane Seymour!          

Continue reading “The Jane Seymour Conspiracy by Alexandra Walsh – Book review”

The Wild Court by E.G. Radcliff – Book review/Blog tour

I’m pleased to be part of the The Write Reads blog tour for the The Wild Court by E. G Radcliffe- a YA fantasy with faeries, magic, power, love and Aed, the former Hidden King.

Book Info

Genre: YA Fantasy

Length: 488 Pages

Published: 29th June 2021

What perils await on the other side of the veil?
In the seventh year of Áed’s reign, night descends on the autumn festival. But a time of revelry turns into one of fiery destruction—as fae pour across the veil and the Gut becomes a battlefield in an otherworldly war.
Determined to protect his kingdom and the people he loves, Áed finds himself catapulted into a realm as unfamiliar as it is dangerous, where magic is king and wild courts vie for supremacy.
While the faerie Queen’s missing consort holds the key to life and death, tenuous alliances raise questions about Áed’s connection to the mysterious Bone court. His survival hinges on cunning as much as illusion.
On a mission like no other, only one thing is certain: no one will survive unscathed.

Book review

The Wild Court by E. G Radcliff continues Áed’s, the half-faerie King, story and journey as a leader.

Continue reading The Wild Court by E.G. Radcliff – Book review/Blog tour

Lost in Time by A G Riddle – book review

I found another time travel book! Here is my review of Lost in Time by A G Riddle.

When his daughter is falsely accused of murder, a scientist must travel 200 million years into the past to save her. But there are secrets waiting there. And more than her life is at stake.

From the worldwide bestselling author of Departure and Winter World comes a standalone novel with a twist you’ll never see coming.

Control the Past.
Save the Future.

Review

Source: NetGalley,Head of Zeus and Ad Astra books

Publication date: 1st September 22

I love time-travel fiction, so I was so excited when I found Lost In Time. I haven’t read any of A G Riddle’s books before but after reading this book I will definitely be exploring his backlist.

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

The book has an interesting use for time- travel technology- it is used to send criminals to the past to be eaten by dinosaurs although the official line seems to be for people to live in exile.

Sam finds himself accused of the murder of his lover as is his 19- year-old daughter Adeline but finds himself confessing to the crime to protect her. As a result, he is sent to the dinosaur age which is ironic as he was one of the scientists who developed the tech and made millions from this.

His daughter Adeline is determined to find the evidence that proves his innocence and bring him back home. But she needs the help of his fellow scientists and financial backer but why do all of them seem to be hiding secrets.

Adeline is a realistic and believable 19-year-old and the book is mainly from her point of view. The world-building is futuristic and believable. There is enough explanation of the science to understand time travel but not too much to be boring.

I can;treally say more about the story as that would heading into spoiler terrority.

I’m not sure if there is a sequel to the book as I thought there were plot strands that weren’t resolved which left me a little frustrated. I didn’t quite understand the plot but that could be just me being dense and this did not stop me from enjoying this mind-boggling story.

Perfect for fans of

St Mary Chronicles, Island of Time ( review here)