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

30 Day Book Challenge: Day Six!

Today's challenge is to identify  A book that broke your heart. There is only one contender in this category and it is Patrick Ness' A Monster Calls. I have read this novel a dozen times: initially as simply a book for myself; later as a class read for work. I have read it in my head… Continue reading 30 Day Book Challenge: Day Six!

30 Day Book Challenge: Day Four!

Day Four and I'm still up to date and this time we are looking at A book you remember from childhood. I cannot recall a time when I did not read - often to escape the attentions of family! - so there are a lot to consider. Again! Enid Blyton was a staple of my… Continue reading 30 Day Book Challenge: Day Four!

Blood Rites and Dead Beat, Jim Butcher

I'm going to review these two together quickly: everything you'd expect from Jim Butcher and Harry Dresden is here and in abundance. Sixth and seventh entries into the Dresden Files, following the exploits of Chicago's only professional wizard, if you've been reading up to this point, you know what you're getting into!  Blood Rites for me… Continue reading Blood Rites and Dead Beat, Jim Butcher

30 Day Book Challenge: Day Two!

Today's task: Favourite book by favourite author. Wait! What?! I have to pick one?! One?! Was this challenge not supposed to be fun? Okay. Let's narrow down the favourite authors part. As with the previous day, let's look at them by genre, too. I'm going to kick off with the obvious: Shakespeare. Not trying to… Continue reading 30 Day Book Challenge: Day Two!

The Winter of the Witch, Katherine Arden

Disclaimer: I was provided with an ARC / Proof Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. How exciting! My first ARC review! My first ARC review! My first ARC review! This is the third in Arden's Winternight Trilogy which commenced with The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower,… Continue reading The Winter of the Witch, Katherine Arden

The Winter of the Witch, Katherine Arden

So excited that an ARC of The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden has been dispatched today! Book three of the Winternight Trilogy. I love Vasilisa Petrovna - firey, alien and other - the phoenix dominating that cover. I adore Arden's writing, her Russian folklore, the historical authenticity. And Morozko. And Solovey. It is… Continue reading The Winter of the Witch, Katherine Arden

Touch, Claire North

Poor Claire North. She brought out The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August as I read Kate Atkinson's Life After Life; I pick up Touch just after reading A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge. And both times, she comes a slight second in similar and comparable fantasy scenarios. Imagine being able to switch your… Continue reading Touch, Claire North

The Sleeper and the Spindle, Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

There are times when I love my job. Some. On rare occasions. One of those times came today when I spotted a copy of The Sleeper and the Spindle on the side in the library and I was asked to have a read of it over night and see whether I thought it was suitable.… Continue reading The Sleeper and the Spindle, Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

Within the Sanctuary of Wings, Marie Brennan

Sometimes we just need the familiar and the comfortable, don't we? A warm cuddle of a book. The Natural History of Dragons series by Marie Brennan, of which Within the Sanctuary of Wings is the fifth and, it would appear final, installment, is one of those series. It's not challenging; it's a tad formulaic by… Continue reading Within the Sanctuary of Wings, Marie Brennan

Weekly Round Up 4th June

So, half term is over and we're all back at work. As predicted, I didn't find enough time to complete a book since the last round up so I'm still reading Sarah Schmidt's See What I have Done and am warming to it much more. She has a gorgeous way of creating voice in her four… Continue reading Weekly Round Up 4th June

The Black Book of Secrets, F. E. Higgins

Every year, I determine to teach at least one text which is new to me that year - which with a shrinking pool to choose from at GCSE becomes harder year-one-year - and that is why I have stumbled upon F. E. Higgins' The Black Book of Secrets. It is an odd little book -… Continue reading The Black Book of Secrets, F. E. Higgins

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… Continue reading The Bear and the Nightingale and Girl in the Tower, Katherine Arden

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… Continue reading A Skinful Of Shadows, Frances Hardinge

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… Continue reading Oathbringer, Brandon Sanderson

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… Continue reading Railhead, Philip Reeve

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.… Continue reading The Plague Charmer, Karen Maitland

CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017

It being March, the CILIP Carnegie Medal Shortlist has been announced and I'm embarking on the ritual of trying to read them. This year, the list is:

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,… Continue reading Catch Up

The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch

 It's a funny thing about series. What is original and unique can become familiar and even - dare I say it? - stale as a series goes on. They become perhaps over-thought or overworked like a piece of dough that's had the life kneaded out of it. I wonder whether that's what has happened with… Continue reading The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch

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;… Continue reading Grave Peril, Jim Butcher

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… Continue reading The Trees, Ali Shaw

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… Continue reading The Voyage Of The Basilisk, Marie Brennan