The Bear and the Nightingale and Girl in the Tower, Katherine Arden

  I feel terribly guilty reviewing these books two at a time. They are too good to be treated like this! They are a delicious treat and parcelling them up together simply for convenience and to save time feels wrong. But, I’m still doing it. These novels are two parts of a mythic fairytale set…

A Skinful Of Shadows, Frances Hardinge

Cards on the table. I adore Frances Hardinge. She can, in my humble eyes, do no wrong. I would buy a telephone directory with her name attached to it as an author! Her Cuckoo Song was a masterpiece. The sort of novel which I wish I had more than my self-imposed five stars to give…

Oathbringer, Brandon Sanderson

I was concerned about the shift in tone from the end of the second book in The Stormlight Archive, Words of Radiance: Kaladin and Shallan had been lost characters slowly discovering their powers and paths in their own way, interracting with their spren and learning in a softly organic way; as Words of Radiance ends, Knights…

Railhead, Philip Reeve

  This is a delightfully fun and engaging tale with all the confidence you’d expect of Phillip Reeve, returning to the steampunk genre, if in a very different world, of Mortal Engines. Here, rather than walking cities, we have sentient trains and K-gates – wormholes or portals, taking trains and their passengers instantly to different worlds and different…

The Plague Charmer, Karen Maitland

As the image above shows, this book is another historical fiction novel by the author of Company of Liars, which I read and enjoyed a while ago. It wasn’t a great book but it was an enjoyable enough read, earning a decent four star review here. I was expecting something similarly entertaining and comfortable reading….

Catch Up

For various reasons – Ofsted, toddler, family visits – I’ve not been able to add reviews recently and am about to try to catch-up. Once again. As an aide memoir to myself, to you – and a short cut to adding photos later, the books I’m yet to review are: Autumn by Ali Smith: gorgeous,…

Grave Peril, Jim Butcher

It’s a Dresden File. It’s Harry Dresden; it’s Jim Butcher. Even after reading only the previous two novels, I already know what to expect. It’s also a step up from the previous two novels in the series: the prose is still very, well, prosaic; Dresden is still a wise cracking hard boiled detective with magic;…

The Trees, Ali Shaw

This book might win the most striking cover award this year: the stunning autumnal russets and reds are gorgeous! But you know what they say about judging books by their covers? As a parent and as a teacher, we trot out that truism time and again but on what else are you going to judge…

The Voyage Of The Basilisk, Marie Brennan

Still trying to catch up on my reviews which have been delayed thanks to writing a whole bunch of schemes of learning for work and a delightfully full-on three year old daughter, I realised I’d missed this one. The third installment of the Lady Trent memoirs – set in a fictional but faintly vwiled and…

Fool Moon, Jim Butcher

Book Two of the Dresden Files. Pretty similar to book one, really! Special Investigations, Karrin Murphy, Bob the Skull, potions brewed, magic used. This time around, we have werewolves! Seriously, there’s not much more to say: it’s smart and sassy, it’s got magic and werewolves. It is not high literature! It’s a decently written, fast…

The Bands of Mourning, Brandon Sanderson

I tend to have three books on the go simultaneously most of the time: an audiobook for the drive to and from work; a thoughtful, dare I say literary, book for when I’m at home; and a just-entertain-me book for when I don’t actually want to think too much. We all need a just-entertain-me book…

The Lie Tree, Francis Hardinge

I am coming to adore Frances Hardinge! I’ve only read this and Cuckoo Song to be fair, but there’s something about her imagination and her writing which chimes with me: dark, intensely personal, yet somehow mythic at the same time. She captures a sense of wonder,  of terror, of awe which is simultaneously so childlike…