Book Review ~ ‘The Bear and the Nightingale’ by Katherine Arden.

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The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.
(The Bear and the Nightingale #1)
Genres: Historical, Fantasy, Fairy Tales.
Release Date: 12th January 2017

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SYNOPSIS

A young woman’s family is threatened by forces both real and fantastical in this debut novel inspired by Russian fairy tales.

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift – a precious jewel on a delicate chain,intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, the father hides the gift away and his daughter, Vasya, grows up a wild, willfull girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.

Atmospheric and enchanting, with an engrossing adventure at its core, The Bear and the Nightingale is perfect for readers of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and Neil Gaiman.

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Book Review ~ ‘The Bear and the Nightingale’ by Katherine Arden ~ 5 Stars!

Lyrical, Fantastical, and Awe inspiring, The Bear and the Nightingale is up there with Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, and has me still thinking about it.

A beautiful historical tale of family, fairytales, and the dangers of mass-hysteria, Katherine Arden has created a story with tones of Joanne Harris’ Chocolat and Russian fairytales that have been passed down through generations. We follow Vasya’s story, a young girl who grows up without her mother, and is in a world that is hovering between modern religion and practice, and the rituals, beliefs and superstitions of old; Spirits are to be given offerings in exchange for their protection, the signs of nature listened to and heeded, slowly being feared and shunned in favour of a christian way of life.

Vasya has a gift to speak with the spirits and demons that surround her village, but with this gift, as paranoia grows in the village, and her stepmother’s hatred for her grows more and more, Vasya is in danger of forces both real and supernatural as she tries to keep those she loves safe.

A magical tale that will take you to the freezing winters of a small Russian village, and will creep into your heart like the tiniest of icicles, making you shudder and gasp as you follow Vasya’s fantastical story.

5+ Stars!

*Review copy was kindly provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*


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Book Review ~ ‘The Thief’s Daughter’ by Victoria Cornwall.

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The Thief’s Daughter by Victoria Cornwall
Genres: Historical, Romance
Release Date: January 3rd 2017.
Publisher: Choc Lit

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SYNOPSIS

Hide from the thief-taker, for if he finds you, he will take you away.

Eighteenth-century Cornwall is crippled by debt and poverty, while the gibbet casts a shadow of fear over the land. Yet, when night falls, free traders swarm onto the beaches and smuggling prospers.

Terrified by a thief-taker’s warning as a child, Jenna has resolved to be good. When her brother, Silas, asks for her help to pay his creditors, Jenna feels unable to refuse and finds herself entering the dangerous world of the smuggling trade.

Jack Penhale hunts down the smuggling gangs in revenge for his father’s death. Drawn to Jenna at a hiring fayre, they discover their lives are entangled. But as Jenna struggles to decide where her allegiances lie, the worlds of justice and crime collide, leading to danger and heartache for all concerned.

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Book Review ~ ‘The Thief’s Daughter’ by Victoria Cornwall ~ 5 Stars!

If, like me, you are having Poldark withdrawals, then look no futher. The Thief’s Daughter is a gorgeous tale of love and betrayal that will have you reading up until the wee hours of the morning as you follow Jenna and Jack on their journey to find their place in the world.

Victoria Cornwall’s debut novel is set on the gorgeous coast of Cornwall, and the descriptions will whisk you away to another time and place where you will feel the wind in your hair, and taste the sea air on your lips. I loved Jenna and warmed to her from the get-go. Strong, fierce and loyal, she was the perfect lass to keep our hero Jack on his toes, whilst also being a definite heroine in her own right. Their romance was paced perfectly, and I could feel the tension building, as well as understanding her insecurity following her abusive past marriage. Her strong morals, and dedication to the family that didn’t deserve it, made for some fantastic scenes, especially when her decisions caused her to be at loggerheads with Jack.

And Jack, what can I say? Now that is my kind of hero!

A beautifully written historical romance, that delves into the dangerous world of smuggling and questions how far you can and should go, even for those you love. I cannot wait to read more from Victoria Cornwall!

5 Stars!

*Review copy was kindly provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*


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Blog Tour + Review ~ ‘Freeks’ by Amanda Hocking.

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Freeks by Amanda Hocking
Genres: YA, Paranormal, Romance
US Release Date: 3rd January 2017
UK Release Date: 2nd February 2017

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SYNOPSIS

Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act…

Mara has always longed for a normal life in a normal town where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. Instead, she roams from place to place, cleaning the tiger cage while her friends perform supernatural feats every night.

When the struggling sideshow is miraculously offered the money they need if they set up camp in Caudry, Louisiana, Mara meets local-boy Gabe…and a normal life has never been more appealing.

But before long, performers begin disappearing and bodes are found mauled by an invisible beast. Mara realizes that there’s a sinister presence lurking in the town with its sights set on getting rid of the sideshow freeks. In order to unravel the truth before the attacker kills everyone Mara holds dear, she has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she was capable of—one that could change her future forever.

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Book Review ~ ‘Freek’s by Amanda Hocking ~ 4 Stars!

What an exciting, intriguing and spine-tingling novel! A travelling Carnival with paranormally talented members and acts? Count me in immediately!

We follow Mara, a young girl who has grown up as a member of Gideon’s sideshow, as she is pulled in different directions as she enters her final years as a teen. Desperate for an occasional escape from the sideshow, where the locals don’t view her as a freek, and she can be her own person, without the pressures of having to look after her clairvoyant mother and the sideshow family, she meets Gabe at a party, and suddenly she realises all that she has been missing out on. But even as their relationship deepens, darker forces attacking the sideshow mean that they aren’t safe, and no local person can be trusted.

I adored the carnival feel to the book, and loved getting to know the characters, the animals and seeing the feats of supernatural talent that the sideshow members could perform. Although I loved Gabe and Mara’s growing relationship, and their sweet scenes together, it was the times I spent with the sideshow cast and crew that I loved the most. I really connected to their world, their views of each other as family, and you could really get that sense of the members ‘Running off to join the circus’! I would have loved to have seen more of their acts, to experience more of the magic which we saw second-hand through Mara.

I loved how dark this story got. As a dark force hunts down the members of the Sideshow, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. What I really admired was how Mara wasn’t the girl to always save the day, but was hunted along with the others, and her powers are only discovered towards the end of the story, and not at the beginning like many ‘Chosen One’ stories.

An exciting story which packs a punch, Freeks is a definite must-read for fans of mystery, magic and family!

4 Stars!


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Amanda Hocking

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