Book Review: Howl’s Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones

Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance… Continue reading Book Review: Howl’s Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones

Book Review: Under the Whispering Door, T. J. Klune

Welcome to Charon’s Crossing.The tea is hot, the scones are fresh and the dead are just passing through.When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own sparsely-attended funeral, Wallace is outraged. But he begins to suspect she’s right, and he is in fact dead. Then when Hugo, owner of a most peculiar tea shop,… Continue reading Book Review: Under the Whispering Door, T. J. Klune

Book Review: Iron Council, China Miéville

In the centre of the swarm, hundreds of figures attending to its complex fussy needs, protected by guards, lookouts at the hills and treetops and in the air, came the cause of it all, the train. Marked by time. It was altered. The train had gone feral. It is a time of revolts and revolutions,… Continue reading Book Review: Iron Council, China Miéville

Book Review: Piranesi, Susanna Clarke

Oh my goodness! This was just sublime! It took a few chapters to get into and was not what I had expected at all from the author of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell but once you were in, this was a novel that did not let go and which haunts the reader long after reading… Continue reading Book Review: Piranesi, Susanna Clarke

Book Review: The House In The Cerulean Sea, T. J. Klune

“Hate is loud, but I think you'll learn it's because it's only a few people shouting, desperate to be heard. You might not ever be able to change their minds, but so long as your remember you're not alone, you will overcome.” You know what it is like where there is a book that you… Continue reading Book Review: The House In The Cerulean Sea, T. J. Klune

Book Review: Rhythm of War, Brandon Sanderson

“Our weakness doesn’t make us weak. Our weakness makes us strong. For we had to carry it all these years.” How Sanderson churns out these tomes so quickly, I am not sure. But he does and he rarely disappoints: all the pleasure of a Marvel movie, a popcorn novel. Not a guilty pleasure - no… Continue reading Book Review: Rhythm of War, Brandon Sanderson

Burn, Patrick Ness

“I'm just a girl.""It is tragic how well you have been taught to say that with sadness rather than triumph.” Patrick Ness... Dragons... The Cold War... yes please! It is no shock to readers of this blog that Patrick Ness is one of my favourite authors: the Chaos Walking Trilogy, A Monster Calls - which… Continue reading Burn, Patrick Ness

The Quick Fire Fantasy Tag

Fantasy was my route into reading as a teenager and remains a staple genre - albeit one which I can find grows stale if I read too many too close together. A few years ago, I might have described fantasy as a guilty pleasure but now I am a proud fantasy reader: there are so… Continue reading The Quick Fire Fantasy Tag

And the Ocean Was Our Sky, Patrick Ness

Opening with that echo of the famous first line of Moby-Dick, Bathsheba is telling her tale as a cautionary warning, a plea, a prophecy. A cautionary tale which, for all the fantastical elements, sounds terribly relevant to and important for the world we are living in.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, Natasha Pulley

At first glance, this novel appeared to be treading familiar ground: the gaslit streets of a fogbound London, hanson cabs, Fenian plots. One expects to be run down by Sherlock Holmes at any moment whenever Thaniel Steepleton ventures outside. Yet, from the outset, Pulley's novel bursts with a lively prose and wry narrative voice which… Continue reading The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, Natasha Pulley

Ninth House, Leigh Bardugo

Some books you pick up, thinking What is all the fuss about, then? It’s a name that you spot time and time again on Blogs, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram… an author that you have become aware of… a hype and chatter that has crossed your path. And so often, it is disappointing: you often read that hyped… Continue reading Ninth House, Leigh Bardugo

Highfire, Eoin Colfer

The story of the last dragon who has survived by hiding in the Louisiana swamps with the alligators. He passes his day with cable TV and vodka martinis until his peace is destroyed by a tearaway Cajun boy and a crooked constable who is determined to kill them both.

The Starless Sea, Erin Morgenstern

It has been an age since I read The Night Circus - so long ago that this blog did not exist - but I remember it as ephemeral, atmospheric, beautiful and moving. So the news this year that Morgenstern was bringing out another novel was huge - huge! So it was downloaded on the day… Continue reading The Starless Sea, Erin Morgenstern

Deeplight, Frances Hardinge

Some writers just blow you away. The depth of their world-building, the vividness and humanity of their characters, the beauty of their language, the thoughtfulness - the philosophy - of their concept. Hardinge is definitely one of these writers. I was a little concerned picking up Deeplight, however much I adore Hardinge because her most… Continue reading Deeplight, Frances Hardinge

The Secret Commonwealth, Philip Pullman

Oh Lyra Belacqua, Lyra Silvertongue. I devoured the original trilogy of your journeys to the North. Bolvangar, Svalbad, Iorek Byrnison, The World of the Dead. I adored the Miltonic and Blakean echoes. Fell in love with the mercurial, quick witted, innocent girl. Loved the world created by Pullman, the familiarity of it, the uncanniness, the… Continue reading The Secret Commonwealth, Philip Pullman

Top Five Saturday: Books with Maps

Top Five Saturday is a meme hosted by Devouring Books to discover and share books that all have a common theme. Previously, the focus has included witches, werewolves, thrillers, faeries, fairy tale re-tellings, high fantasy and many more. This week's theme is books with maps in them and there is one obvious and iconic mapped… Continue reading Top Five Saturday: Books with Maps

Top Five Saturday: Books Over 500 Pages

Top Five Saturday is a meme hosted by Devouring Books to discover and share books that all have a common theme. Previously, the focus has included witches, werewolves, thrillers, faeries, fairy tale re-tellings, high fantasy and many more. This week, we are looking at book in excess of 500 pages. So many to choose from...… Continue reading Top Five Saturday: Books Over 500 Pages

Deeplight, Frances Hardinge

Some authors deserve a fanfare when they are about to publish and Frances Hardinge is one of those! A new novel from Hardinge is a thing of joy! She is one of those authors who seem to have never put a foot wrong in their writing: plots, impeccable; characters, vivid and real; language, beautiful and… Continue reading Deeplight, Frances Hardinge

The Priory of the Orange Tree, Samantha Shannon

It is no secret that I love my fantasy. I cut my reading teeth on fantasy - thank you Tolkien and Eddings and so many others! I love the way that the freedom of a fantasy world can throw a light into the contemporary. I love the sheer fun and spectacle that can come with… Continue reading The Priory of the Orange Tree, Samantha Shannon

Lost Acre, Andrew Caldecott

This is a deliciously quirky trilogy of novels! Many many things in the books, Rotherweird and Wyntertyde should not work, and yet they somehow do. Gosh! Wyntertyde had left us on a cliffhanger: a second mixing point was discovered; Bolitho was revealed as Fortemain and then dispatched; the vile Calx Bole had succeeded in resurrecting… Continue reading Lost Acre, Andrew Caldecott

A Map of Days, Ransom Riggs

Some series just don't know when to die. But I guess, if you get acclaim - and money - for it, why stop? Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's series was enjoyable enough as a piece of popcorn reading. And the books were better than the awful film - but that's not saying much. In the first… Continue reading A Map of Days, Ransom Riggs

Edgedancer, Brandon Sanderson

Sanderson's Stormlight Archive and the wider Cosmere is a fabulous creation interweaving various worlds into a universe with a coherent and cohesive magic system... if magic be the right word for the investiture process which borders on the scientific. It is certainly more precise in application than most magical powers in fantasy. As a rule,… Continue reading Edgedancer, Brandon Sanderson

Rotherweird and Wyntertyde, Andrew Caldecott

Of coracles and crosswords... You know what they say about judging books by their covers? Well, I did with these because they are lovely lovely covers! I was also aware of Caldecott, a respected QC in media law with a string of high profile cases to his name - and what appeared to be a… Continue reading Rotherweird and Wyntertyde, Andrew Caldecott

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 18!

Returning to this Book Challenge - I fear optimistically as the prospect of returning to work looms! - we meet Day 18 and A book you like by an author no longer living. Now, as I've said before, I've had to read widely and enjoyed a huge variety of books written by people who have… Continue reading 30 Day Book Challenge: Day 18!

Lies Sleeping, Ben Aaronovitch

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Rivers of London series as a fresh urban fantasy - and all the freedoms and inventiveness which comes with that - merged with the familiar structures and language of a police procedural. In the previous book, The Hanging Tree, Aaronovitch finally reveals the identity of The Faceless Man, the antagonist… Continue reading Lies Sleeping, Ben Aaronovitch