Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: City of Circles, by Jessica Richards (2017).


Blurb:Danu, in mourning for her parents after a disease ravages the circus she calls home, begins a high-wire act with Morrie, a charismatic hunchback who wants to marry her.

But her mother entrusted her with a mysterious locket that will lead her down a path Morrie cannot follow.

When the circus visits Danu’s birthplace, the magical city of Matryoshka, she goes in search of a stranger who may hold the answer to her past.

Will she and Morrie ever be reunited, or will something unexpected be waiting for her in the mysterious city?

City of Circles is a mysterious story which is written in a prose that I found difficult to read. I felt as though I spent more time in mystery than really knowing what was going on. The storyline seemed to jump around a lot and causes a lot of confusion. Honestly it wasn’t until probably ¾ through the novel before I put the pieces together in any sort of order that I could follow.

I did however enjoy the love story. Star crossed lovers, hopes of futures crushed and destroyed but perhaps a love that just isn’t meant to be. One never knows the future of such stories, they are yet to be written.

Overall I would have to say Jess Richards has authored a fairly good book in the City of Circles. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery and fantasy. I give this novel a rating of 5/10 stars.

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Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Daughter of the Wolf by Victoria Whitworth (2016).

Blurb:

Daughter of the Wolf is set during the Dark Ages, in an England ruled by rival Kings. Among the lords who serve them is Rademer of Donmouth, the King’s Wolf, guardian of the estuary gateway to Northumbria.

When the King sends Rademer on a mission to Rome, Don mouth is left in the safekeeping of his only daughter, Elfrun, whose formidable grandmother wants her to take the veil, while treacherous Tilmon of Illingham covets her for his son.

This is the story of daughters in a man’s world. Wynn, determined to take over from her father, the smith. Saethryth, wilful daughter of the village steward, whose longing for passion will set of a tragic sequence of events. And Audi, whose merchant ventures father plies his trade up and down the coast, spying for the Danes.

Above all, it is the story of Elfrun of Donmouth, uncertain of her father’s fate, not knowing whom she can trust, or whom she can love.

This is a fantastic read. I found it difficult to follow at first, but after a few chapters I did find myself hooked! The author has done brilliantly with the characters, giving Elfrun much depth and showing the world that a woman can be just as formidable and strong as a man even whilst she is being kind and compassionate. The story of Elfrun and her new responsibilities is quite intrigueing and it is nice to follow her through and watch her grow up.

I was quite shocked at the twists and turns in the storyline, especially where Athulf is concerned. I didn’t expect him to behave the way he does and be as crafty. He hides things well and I wasn’t expecting this fantastic twist in the story. If really gave life to what is really happening to Elfrun and the people around her. Even Saethryth manages to make the reader feel sorry for her in the end, which with her personality and role in the story is quite hard to do.

The biggest shock of all is crated by Wynn. It isn’t noted until the end of the book, but it does make sense when everything is brought into the light with Fredegar the priest. It is quite a confronting passage to read, but it does tie a lot of the story together, which would otherwise be left feeling empty.

Overall this is a fantastic novel and I would recommend this novel to anyone interested in fantasy of the dark age era, as well as those who enjoy a good love story! I give this book a rating of 8.5/10 stars.

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Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Darkrise by M. L Spencer (2018).

Darkrise is the third book in the Rhenwars Saga (not including the prequel), and has been an exciting and action packed read. The story of Darien and the Rhen is one that is full of emotional turmoil and the will to survive in a world that is in mortal peril. M. L. Spencer has proved a fantastic author and delivered readers a fantastic novel with many story lines less than completed. (Does this mean there is more?!)

The story continues with Malikar and the Rhen about to embark on war, with Darien Lauchlin in an emotional tornado trying to determine a way to destroy an ancient curse as well as save all of his people. Quin embarks on an adventure to top all adventures to try and stop the annihilation of the Mage race. With him he drags the heroic Naia and sacrifices himself in a variety of ways to attempt victory. Kyel hasn’t been forgotten either, and after reviving Merien he plays his own part in the sticky situations the mages have gotten themselves into. Some with chains, some without, and some with pledges of loyalty to just about everyone, including ancient gods and the like.

The story lines have been unique throughout the series, and once a reader begins the journey set by some pretty awesome characters its hard to put it down. I have personally enjoyed it every step of the way and tried hard to not give anything away in my review as it is a genuinely great read and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. However some of the story lines didn’t feel complete in this book, which could mean that another is on the way.

Overall, I believe M. L. Spencer to be a fantastic author who ‘s writing is evolving into something unique and entertaining with each novel written. Darkrise is the best novel yet. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy and has a little imagination, and I give it a rating of 9/10 stars.

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Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Land of Painted Caves by Jean. M. Auel (2010).

The sixth, and final book of the Earth’s Children series authored by Jean. M. Auel, tittled The Land of Painted Caves, has been an enthralling read, and one I won’t forget anytime soon. Not only did Ayla’s life change dramatically in becoming One Who Serve’s the Great Earth Mother, Ayla finds that her beliefs have been right all along. It is her, Ayla, that the Mother chooses to give the knowledge, that creates a change within the Cave’s of the Zelendoni people that leads reader to think nothing would ever be the same again. In this way, the book gives light to the way in which the first humans may have learnt and therefore evolved into the intellectual thinkers of today.

I feel that I have enjoyed this book more than the last few predecessors, which has something to do with the relaxed descriptions of vegetation. Without so much description the story of Ayla and Jondalar as well as their daughter Jonayla, really comes to the surface. Although there were many repetitions of the mothers song, although slightly varied in places, which replaced descriptions of fauna sighted in the near vicinity, this could be somewhat overlooked as the song itself is interesting and can be read a number of times before the novelty wears off.

In this novel, Ayla finds that she is often taken away from her family to perform her Zelendonii duties and studies, and unfortunately Jondalar looks elsewhere for someone to satisfy his sexual desires when she is busy. This leads to secrets and lies, and eventual confrontation that causes broken hearts and many, many falling tears. Luckily for both of them that old friends have come to visit at the Summer Meeting and give them a hand to sort out their relationship issues!

The most exciting part of the novel of course has to be what Ayla learns that the act of Pleasures and the conception of a child. For a long time Ayla had believed that a baby was started when a man puts his essence inside of a woman. It was nice to see that she is finally proved right.

Of course the animals Ayla has raised have large roles throughout the novel, with Whinney transporting The One Who Is First among those that Serve The Mother on a special pole drag, and Wolf protecting Ayla and being by her side when she needs him the most.

Overall, The Land of Painted Caves by Jean. M. Auel is a fantastic novel, as well as the entire series. There are some parts that I found tedious, but they do contribute to the story as a whole, and without them, the series would not be quite as unique and appealing. The story of how Ayla survives through some amazing situations and eventually finds a home, a mate, and starts a family is an incredible story on its own. The characters have each become forever etched in my mind and heart. The way the author puts so much depth in these characters giving them a unique and imaginative story that draws reader in quickly and hold them there until the very end. I recommend this novel to anyone who loves a genuine love story, or has interest in historical fantasy. I give this book a rating of 10/10 stars.

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