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.

Review

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.

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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.

Review

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

Weyward by Emilia Hart – Book review

Here is my review of Weyward by Emilia Hart historical fantasy featuring three women from three generations and their fight to escape trapped their lives.

‘I had nature in my heart, she said. Like she did, and her mother before her. There was something about us – the Weyward women – that bonded us more tightly with the natural world.
We can feel it, she said, the same way we feel rage, sorrow or joy.’
In 2019, Kate flees an abusive relationship in London for Crows Beck, a remote Cumbrian village. Her destination is Weyward Cottage, inherited from her great Aunt Violet, an eccentric entomologist.
As Kate struggles with the trauma of her past, she uncovers a secret about the women in her family. A secret dating back to 1619, when her ancestor Altha Weyward was put on trial for witchcraft…

Review

Weyward by Emilia Hart is an ambitious story about three different women at three different times but all three need to escape their trapped lives.

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

The story of three women suffering from surprisingly similar problems is at times harrowing. Kate in 2019 is trapped in an abusive relationship and has escaped to a cottage she has inherited from her Great Aunt. Violet in 1942 whose father controls her life to an extreme degree and Altha who as a clever independent woman in 1619 is accused of witchcraft.

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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.

Review

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

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The Premonitions Bureau by Sam Knight- Book review

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction! – Here is my review of The Premonitions Bureau by Sam Knight

What if you could share your vision, and stop that train? Could these forebodings help the world to prevent disasters?
In 1966, John Barker, a dynamic psychiatrist working in an outdated British mental hospital, established the Premonitions Bureau to investigate these questions. He would find a network of hundreds of correspondents, from bank clerks to ballet teachers. Among them were two unnervingly gifted “percipients”. Together, the pair predicted plane crashes, assassinations and international incidents, with uncanny accuracy. And then, they informed Barker of their most disturbing premonition: that he was about to die.
The Premonitions Bureau is an enthralling true story, of madness and wonder, science and the supernatural – a journey to the most powerful and unsettling reaches of the human mind.

Review

I must make a confession; I was in a bit of rush when I picked this book off the shelf at my local waterstones. I took one look at the title and assumed with a title like the Premonitions Bureau, this book by Sam Knight would be firmly in the science- fiction genre. But this book is a strange true story!

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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.

Review

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!).

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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…

Review

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.

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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.

Review

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.
Ilmar,
City of Long Shadows.
City of Bad Decisions.
City of Last Chances.

Review

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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