Archive | December, 2015

Review round up 2015

20 Dec

As 2015 comes to a close, I’ve been trying to catch up on books I read but didn’t get round to reviewing. Here are some mini reviews of the ones that got away earlier in the year!

dandelion yearsThe Dandelion Years by Erica James

The Dandelion Years is the first of Erica James’ books that I’ve read. I was drawn to this book initially by the references to Bletchly Park. The code breakers of World War Two have always held a fascination for me. Coupled with the fact that this is a book where the lead character is a book restorer, I had to know more!

This is a lovely story of family, history and love and I found it a gently compelling read. Starting in the present we meet Saskia and her unconventional housemates. This is three men and a little lady grown up as Saskia lives with her dad and two grandfathers which is a set up that I’ve never come across before but made for a refreshingly different family group in the book.

Saskia is given a book to restore and finds a manuscript hidden inside. Titled The Dandelion Years, the handwritten pages tell a tale of wartime love and Saskia is soon hooked. While I enjoyed the main story it was the chapters that took me back in time that I enjoyed most and caught my imagination and curiosity.

James sets a number of mysteries out for the reader and as the story progressed I enjoyed beginning to piece the picture together but I still couldn’t predict what had happened to the Katsura that the historical element of the book focussed icon. With romance, history and an intriguing mystery, this is a lovely novel about seizing the moment and moving forward despite heartbreak loss and uncertainty.

the sistersThe Sisters by Claire Douglas

The story focuses on Abi – a grieving twin whose identical sister has recently died. The questions and cliffhangers come thick and fast starting with a high impact opening chapter and its soon clear that Abi has a lot to deal with. I loved the way that Claire drip fed details about what happened to Abi’s twin Lucy to us and I thought she struck a tantalisingly perfect balance between moving the story forward and deepening the mysteries in it.

Just about everyone in the story feels unreliable as narrators and this was one of the key reasons I enjoyed this book so much – just when I thought I’d worked out who was manipulating who a new detail or event would make me question everything again.

Abi is a complex character and her thought processes and motivations equally complex against a background of grief, self blame and concerns for her mental health. Seemingly minor and plausible events like the misplacement of a letter or medication escalate into more sinister occurrences and throughout as a reader I was as unsure as Abi as to who was responsible. This lent an uncertain quality to the story and made it all the more gripping.

Abi moves in with Bea And her brother Ben and this is where the story really takes off. The relationships between the siblings is intriguing and adds further to the drama and mystery of the book. A fab psychological thriller –  I thoroughly enjoyed Claire Douglas’s gripping debut.

The New Woman by Charity Norman the new woman

Charity Norman has written some of my favourite books of recent years and I was delighted to be chosen to give out one of her books for World Book Night earlier in the year.  I can always rely on Charity to provide a thought-provoking read that will make me look at an issue from many different angles and The New Woman is no exception.

Luke Livingstone is a highly respected solicitor; a family man with a lovely home, wife, children and grandchildren. But Luke has been living with a huge secret; a secret that defines the very core of who he is and as the novel opens, it is a secret that has driven him to take a heartbreaking decision. I have little experience of transgender issues personally but with her characteristic sensitivity, Charity shines a light on what it’s like to feel you have to hide your true identity from those you love.

Charity captures the nuances and intricacies of family life so well. Seeing Kate, Elish and Luke’s perspectives was fascinating and made me think about my own parents and what they really think about my choices as opposed to what they’d like me to think they think! Norman cleverly illustrates the point that as much as we may think we know what our nearest and dearest are thinking only that person can ever really know what’s going on in their heads. For Luke this is a huge identity issue but I could see echoes of the theme throughout the book as key characters were forced in turn to address their own hidden secrets.

I hope that transgender children today would find more acceptance than Luke did when he was young; the story made me concerned and sad as I read but ultimately was a tale of strength and transformation for all.

the ice twinsThe Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne

I read more psychological thrillers in 2015 than I ever had before and The Ice Twins is one that stands out as being particularly and chillingly memorable. Angus and Sarah Moorcraft are trying to piece their lives back together following the tragic death of their daughter Lydia. What is already a devastating subject is made more intense by the fact that Lydia has an identical twin, Kirstie. Everything Kirstie does is a reminder of Lydia and when Kirstie begins to act strangely, Sarah and Angus don’t know how to react.

This is a novel of complex psychology, isolation, the unique relationship between twins and the effects of devastating grief on a family. As Angus, Sarah and Kirstie decide to move to a remote and tiny Scottish Island to a house that Angus inherited from his grandmother, they add an extra dimension to their problems.

But it is Kirstie’s insistence that a mistake has been made and that she is actually Lydia that gives this book such a chilling and memorable edge. I was on the edge of my seat as I read The Ice Twins and the imagery of the isolating Scottish landscape added wonderfully to the otherworldly and spooky events of the novel. With the mystery of what really happened to the twins tantalisingly waiting to be revealed, this is a gripping page turner and will stay with you long after you’ve read the final page.

 

 

Audiobook Review: Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, narrated by Niamh Cussack

18 Dec

Brooklyn audio_It is Ireland in the early 1950s and for Eilis Lacey, as for so many young Irish girls, opportunities are scarce. So when her sister arranges for her to emigrate to New York, Eilis knows she must go, leaving behind her family and her home for the first time.

Arriving in a crowded lodging house in Brooklyn, Eilis can only be reminded of what she has sacrificed. She is far from home – and homesick. And just as she takes tentative steps towards friendship, and perhaps something more, Eilis receives news which sends her back to Ireland. There she will be confronted by a terrible dilemma – a devastating choice between duty and one great love.

I’ve been meaning to read Brooklyn for a number of years; in fact I’ve had a copy sat on my bookshelf for a long time. With the release of the film recently I really wanted to read the book before I saw the movie so when I was offered the chance to review the audiobook, I jumped at it! Having had such a good experience with the audio version of Go Set A Watchman earlier this year, I was keen to try another audio book.

The Brooklyn audiobook is unabridged and narrated by the actress Niamh Cusack. One of the key things I’ve found that can make or break an audiobook for me is the narrator – being familiar with Niamh, I felt confident that I’d like her narration and I wasn’t disappointed.

Brooklyn tells the story of Eilis Lacey who lives in Ireland with her mother and sister. Despite being bright and eager, job opportunities in early 1950s Ireland are severely limited for Eilis. Her brothers have already left the family home for jobs in England and when Eilis is offered a job in America she decides she should take it. Toibin captures the enormity of leaving a small home town for a new life beautifully. In an age before quick, cheap travel and mobile communications, Eilis makes a commitment that cannot be reversed easily. I enjoyed listening to the details of the voyage and my heart was very much with Eilis as she left the familiarity of home.

As the story developed I enjoyed the way that Eilis’s character developed too. The freedoms, opportunities and new ways and fashions that she finds in America are a stark contrast to life back in Ireland. The impact of this change on Eilis really struck home and made me think about how our experiences form us and that we are forever changed by them. It’s the mark of a strong character and a clever author that a character can do things that you don’t agree with or necessarily like and yet you forgive them. I was disappointed in Eilis’s actions in the second half of the book but I understood fully how she made (or didn’t make) her choices and they highlighted starkly the two very different worlds that she has a foot in. This aspect is particularly clear in the love story/romance angle to the book which is well woven into the story and I didn’t envy Eilis the choice she has to make at the end of the novel.

Niamh Cusack does an excellent job of narrating the book and really brought the story to life for me. I loved the voices that she did for the different characters and I could have listened to her all day. I’m probably one of the last people to read/listen to this book but if you haven’t I thoroughly recommend it. Despite an ending that was a little to open for my liking (I need to know what happened next!), I enjoyed the story and I can’t wait to see the film version which has had excellent reviews too.

The Brooklyn audiobook is available now from Audible.

I’d like to thank Audible for providing a review copy of this audiobook.

Find out more about Colm Toibin and his writing at: http://www.colmtoibin.com/

Book review: Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber

14 Dec

dashing through the snowAshley Davison is desperate to spend the holidays with her mother in Seattle. Dash Sutherland has an interview for the job of a lifetime in Seattle and must arrive by 23 December. Both frantic to book a last-minute flight out of California, Ashley and Dash collide at the airport to learn that there are no flights and only one rental car available. After a rocky start, the two reluctantly agree to drive to Washington together. But their journey isn’t without obstacles, and a misunderstanding with the law threatens to ruin their holiday plans altogether.

Will Ashley make it home in time to surprise her mother? Will Kevin report to duty as expected? And most importantly, will they both have the opportunity to discover the greatest gift of all?

Dashing Through the Snow is a fun Christmas comedy of errors from Debbie Macomber. At just over 200 pages, this is a great short novel, perfect for curling up with on a cosy winter night or for fitting into those breaks from all the Christmas preparations. Fans of the movie When Harry Met Sally will love this book as it features a car journey similar to the one at the start of that film.

Dash and Ashley are both trying to get to Seattle for Christmas. Ex-military intelligence officer Dash has a job interview that he can’t miss and student Ashley really wants to surprise her Mum by being there with her on Christmas day. At the airport both Dash and Ashley find themselves unable to get a flight and fighting over the last hire car at the airport and so their adventure begins as they agree to help each other and share the last car.

I liked both Dash and Ashley straight away even though they didn’t seem to like each other much! Ashley is feisty and quick thinking, determined to get what she wants and seems to open her mouth before considering what is going to come out. Dash on the other hand is much more controlled and formal, fitting to his ex-military role. Debbie Macomber always writes excellent developing relationships and as the two drive to Seattle, there’s plenty of different emotions going on! It helps that Dash is a very handsome travelling companion for Ashley but as he makes it quite clear at the start that he’s not the relationship type, Ashley has her work cut out!

Ashley has had her heart trodden on by her ex-boyfriend but as the journey progresses she finds herself liking the idea of getting to know Dash better! The banter between the two ranges from outright argumentative to fun and flirty and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.  There’s also quite a bit of drama in the story, particularly when a police officer at the airport has some major concerns about Ashley and her identity. This element to the story gives it a really unexpected twist and kept me guessing how the journey would work out right to the end.

With capers that involve a cute puppy, a scary  motorcycle gang and a funny karaoke moment, Dashing Through the Snow is a light-hearted and fun read that will make you smile this winter. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas for me now without a story from Debbie and this one was a fab romantic treat!

4/5

Dashing Through the Snow is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

Find out more about Debbie and her writing at: http://debbiemacomber.com/

I’d like to thank the publisher for sending me a review copy of this book.

Book news: Song of the Sea Maid by Rebecca Mascull

13 Dec

The paperback edition of Rebecca Mascull’s Song of the Sea Maid has just been released – isn’t it lovely? Out on 11th February, Rebecca has written a special post over on her blog to mark the reveal: http://rebeccamascull.tumblr.com/post/133855087098/song-of-the-sea-maid-paperback-cover-reveal.

SongOfTheSeaMaid_PB.jpg

 

In the 18th century, Dawnay Price is an anomaly. An educated foundling, a woman of science in a time when such things are unheard-of, she overcomes her origins to become a natural philosopher.

Against the conventions of the day, and to the alarm of her male contemporaries, she sets sail to Portugal to develop her theories. There she makes some startling discoveries – not only in an ancient cave whose secrets hint at a previously undiscovered civilisation, but also in her own heart. The siren call of science is powerful, but as war approaches she finds herself pulled in another direction by feelings she cannot control.

Do let Rebecca know what you think of the new cover by joining in the conversations at:

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Book review: Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts

13 Dec

stars of fortuneSasha Riggs is a reclusive artist, haunted by vivid dreams and nightmares that she turns into extraordinary paintings. Desperate to understand her visions, she finds herself drawn to the Greek island of Corfu.

She has only just arrived when she encounters Bran Killian, an Irish magician with a warm charisma and secrets dancing in his eyes. Sasha has never met Bran before, but she knows him only too well – because this is the man from her dreams. The man she has painted over and over again. The man she seems fated to be with…if she can find the courage to accept who she really is.

Sasha soon discovers that four other strangers have been lured to the island. Like Bran, they are all desperately searching for a mysterious jewel known as the fire star – before it falls into the wrong hands. Together, they might just succeed. But first they must learn to trust one another, and reveal their deepest secrets.

On the sun-drenched island of Corfu, love and magic are sparked into life. And for Sasha, nothing will ever be the same again.

I’ve read a couple of Nora Roberts’ contemporary romances and loved them but I hadn’t realised what a fabulous paranormal writer she is too. I loved this book from start to finish; from the wonderfully diverse group of characters to the beautiful location and gripping storyline, Stars of Fortune is the full package and my only frustration with it is that I have to wait months for book two in The Guardians Trilogy.

As the book opens we meet artist, Sasha. She’s a fairly shy and reclusive character but strong too – a strength that is only hinted at in the beginning of the story but which comes out beautifully as the book progresses. Sasha has been having vivid dreams of a group of people involved in some sort of battle on a Greek Island. As these characters haunt her dreams she begins to paint them in real life and one day as she paints she knows where she has to go. Sasha is fairly set in her ways so it’s completely out of character for her to book a flight and jet off to a small Greek Island!

Once Sasha arrives in Corfu the story gathers pace quickly as she encounters the other people from her dreams. I loved reading as Sasha encountered the different members of the group. Nora is a skilled creator of character and this book is populated with people who are at once familiar and yet remain mysterious. All of them have a hidden skill or ability too and given the nature of the story it will come as no surprise to learn that there’s a strong paranormal element in each – even if the group don’t know it immediately. I had great fun trying to guess what would be revealed about each person and it was great that despite my guesses Nora managed to surprise me a number of times!

The mythology that the story is based on is believable and fun. Following on from the dramatic prologue which tells of another world and time populated by gods and godesses, Riley Gwin, the book’s very own Tomb Raider is a no nonsense archaeologist and soon fills in the gaps that the group has about the mythology of the three stars. The search for the stars unites the group but the question is can they and will they work together to find the treasure?

Roberts’ use of location is excellent and I loved being transported from cold, wet, wintry England to sunny corfu. Nora manages to squeeze in references to Star Wars, Buffy and other fantasy and sci-fi and I found myself smiling as I read. This is accessible fantasy, peppered with references to popular culture which makes is understandable and fun as well as very entertaining. The romance element is skillfully woven in and I liked the tension between Sasha and Bran – the sparks literally do fly for them!

If you’re a fan of Nora Roberts, this is a book you won’t want to miss and if, like me, you’re quite new to her writing but love paranormal roamnce then I highly recommend adding Stars of Fortune to your reading list.

5/5

Stars of Fortune is out now in hardback and ebook formats.

Find out more about Nora and her writing at: http://www.noraroberts.com/

I’d like to thank the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.

Guest post: My Dream Cast for From Paris With Love This Christmas by Jules Wake

10 Dec

It’s my stop on the blog tour for From Paris With Love This Christmas today and I’m delighted to welcome Jules Wake to One More Page to talk about her dream cast for the book. Jules always wanted to be a writer and blames this on her Grandmother taking her at a young age to the Brontes’ parsonage at Haworth. From Paris With Love This Christmas is Jules’ second novel with HarperImpulse and is out now in ebook and paperback formats. Welcome Jules!

893527_537347366356378_857582925_oIt’s quite tricky when people ask you who might play your characters in a film as most of the time they pop into my head fully formed as people in their own right.  Occasionally one of them may look like a real person. For example, Cam in From Italy With Love, bears a striking resemblance to the actor Eoin Macken who appeared in the TV series Merlin as Sir Gawain.

Kit Harington

Kit Harington

In From Paris With Love, the male character Jason is scruffy and rather addicted to a distinctly unfashionable double denim combo.  He’s definitely dark and needs a regular shave as he’s prone to that five o’clock shadow.  If I had to cast him for a film I’d be leaning towards Game of Thrones boys, Richard Madden or Kit Harrington.

The female character Siena, who arrives rather unexpectedly from Paris, has a very distinctive look, you’d spot her in a crowded room because she’s always so well put together.  Even without her designer clothes, she looks like a clothes horse with long limbs and perfect proportions, as well as long blonde hair. She knows how to put together a great outfit whether she’s combining Gucci with New Look or pure Primark.  There are quite a few actresses I might pick to play her, but Lily James from Downton Abbey would definitely be a good call. Plus, she and Richard Madden have already proven their chemistry in Cinderella… If she’s not available, the American actress Amber Heard who’s in the forthcoming film The Danish Girl would definitely do the trick.

000024be3-Ben_Cohen

Ben Cohen

Sweet, naïve Ben, Jason’s brewery assistant, takes everything literally and has a heart as generous and kind as he is big and brawny. This handsome sidekick just happens to be a dead ringer for the rugby star, Ben Cohen.  Perhaps Mr Cohen could be persuaded to start a movie career as I can’t think of anyone else who could play this part.

2015-02-06-9759-0565_Charlotte_Rampling_IMG_x900

Charlotte Rampling

Celeste, Siena’s mother, is one of a kind and not your standard motherly type.  She’s one cool customer, who doesn’t show any emotion or warmth.  Her glacial looks are set off by her effortless style (which is probably where Siena gets it from) and she’s always chic. In fact the word could have been invented for her. Charlotte Rampling, with her understated elegance and brilliant acting, could carry this part off beautifully and like Celeste, she is British born but lives in France.

And last but not least, Will.  One of my favourite characters, I know him well and he has own story to tell.  He’s definitely blonde and he favours the surfer dude type look. Patrician. Tall. Slim verging on skinny.  He has a certain arrogance about him. All this I know about him, but the jury is still out on who might play him.  Simon Baker, star of the Mentalist would have been perfect ten years ago. So if anyone has any brilliant ideas, do let me know.

From Paris With Love This Christmas with quoteJust until Christmas…

That’s what Paris socialite Siena keeps telling herself. She’ll hide away in her sister Laurie’s cottage near London to escape her hot-tempered fiancé.

However, when Jason – gorgeous but a bit of a Grinch – picks her up from the airport, he reveals that Laurie hasn’t lived there for months, complicating Siena’s holiday getaway.

At first, Jason and Siena don’t see eye to eye. But after a weekend in the most romantic city in the world, experiencing all it has to offer – from the magic of a fir-lined Champs-Élysées, lit up by thousands of sparkling fairy lights, to the swoosh of skates on ice at the Eiffel Tower – Siena shows Jason her Paris, and a whole other side to herself. Suddenly Siena’s December deadline seems far too close…

This Christmas, jet off to Paris with Siena and Jason and experience the magic of the holiday season.

Book news: New Audio Adaption of Pride and Prejudice performed by Rosamund Pike

9 Dec

PridePrejudice_LDNBAN.v2._CB286514609_

I’ve developed a new love for audiobooks in recent months so I was very excited to see that a new version of one of my all time favorite books has just been released by Audible.

Who doesn’t love Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice?! And now you can listen to a fab performance of it narrated by Rosamund Pike. I started listening to this yesterday and I’m finding it so lovely to listen to the story. I’ve read the book many times and watched several film and TV versions but I’d never listened to the original being read by someone else. I’d highly recommend it as a treat to cosy up with on a winters night.

Audible Studios, announced the release yesterday and the audiobook is now available to download at: audible.co.uk/prideandprejudice.

Pride and Prejudice will always resonate with people because Austen is dealing with a theme that is so universal: falling in love for the first time,” said Pike, whose artistic relationship with the novel dates back to the 2005 film adaptation, in which she played Jane Bennet. “I hope people enjoy what I’ve done with it, and find my characterizations convincing. While narrating this, I was constantly listening, and making recordings of people’s voices which I thought might have some qualities useful for a character – whether it be the person’s tone, intonation, pitch, or cadence of speech. Performing this audiobook has been extremely rewarding for me. It’s made me think afresh about familiar things, and made me again appreciate what a great heroine Austen has given us in Elizabeth Bennet.”

pride and prejudicePride and Prejudice still captivates modern readers and listeners, and this new recording, makes it easy to see why,” said Audible UK Content Director Laurence Howell. “Austen’s timeless story of romance, family and social dynamics combined with Rosamund Pike’s beautiful performance make this a must-have for devotees of Austen’s novel, and it is a wonderful introduction to the book for a new generation of Austen fans.”

Author Interview: Sandy Taylor

9 Dec

My guest on One More Page today is author Sandy Taylor. Sandy grew up on a council estate near Brighton. There were no books in the house, so Sandy’s love of the written word was nurtured in the little local library. Leaving school at fifteen, Sandy worked in a series of factories before landing a job at Butlins in Minehead. This career change led her to becoming a singer, a stand up comic and eventually a playwright and novelist. Sandy’s new novel, The Girls From See Saw Lane has just been released by Bookouture and she very kindly agreed to answer my questions about the book. Welcome Sandy!

sandy taylorYour new novel, The Girls From See Saw Lane, is out now. Please could you tell us a little about it?
The girls from See Saw lane is a story of friendship. Mary and Dottie meet when they are eight years old and so begins a close friendship that lasts through childhood and beyond. They are opposites in every way but the friendship flourishes. When the innocence and freedom of those childhood years are behind them and they start to go out into the world things begin to change and they are faced with all the problems and worries of being teenagers, falling in love, betrayal and forgiveness. But always at the heart of this novel is the friendship of these two girls.
 
The novel is set in 1960s Brighton – what drew you to this period and place?
I was brought up on the South coast and spent my teenage years in Brighton. The 1960s was a wonderful time and reliving those fabulous years has been  a joy.
 
If you could time travel to any time and place where and when would you go?
If I could travel back in time I would choose 1950s Ireland. I come from an Irish family and I would love to sit again, by the fire in my Grandmothers little cottage. How I would love that.

 

This is the story of Mary and Dottie and their friendship as they grow up; please could you sum up each girl in five words to give readers an introduction to their characters?
My five words to describe Dottie would be… Plump. Shy. Loyal. loving. Forgiving.
My five words to describe Mary would be… Small. Funny. Quirky. Brave. Creative.
 
What was your favourite part of writing this book?
I think that my favourite part of writing the book was seeing the world through the eyes of Dottie and Mary as children.

With Christmas fast approaching, what are your top tips for a happy festive season?
My top tips for the festive season would be to spend it, if possible, surrounded by the people you love. Not fancy presents and food just love.
 
And finally … what can we expect next from Sandy Taylor?
I’m not sure what I will be writing once the Brighton trilogy is over. Apart from a bit of a rest, I shall be waiting for inspiration to find me. But maybe something quite different.

 

Thanks Sandy.

The Girls From SeeSaw Lane is out now in paperback and ebook formats.
see saw laneBrighton 1963. Mary Pickles and I walked along the street with our arms linked, looking in shop windows. We were best friends and together we were invincible.

Dottie and Mary forged a friendship over a bag of penny sweets when they were eight years old. They’ve shared everything together since then – the highs and lows of school, family dramas, hopes and dreams and now, at seventeen, they’re both shop girls, working at Woolworths.
As they go out in the world in pursuit of love and happiness, the simplicity of their childhood dissolves as life becomes more complicated. The heady excitement of first love will consume them both, but the pain of unintentional betrayal will test their friendship in ways neither of them could ever imagine…

Book review: The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston

8 Dec

silver witchMy mind is like the willow; it flexes and springs. My heart is a knot of oak. Let them try to wound me. Let them try.

One year after artist Tilda Forwells loses her husband, she is finally ready to move into the secluded Welsh cottage they were meant to be sharing together.

In the valley below her mountain home is a mystical lake which inspires a strange energy in her. She starts to experience potent dreams, visions, presentiments which all lead her to Seren, the witch and shaman who legend has it lived on this lakeshore in Celtic times.

As Tilda explores the lake’s powers and her own, her connection to Seren grows stronger. And when she comes under grave threat, she must rely on Seren and this ancient magic to save her.

This is the fourth book in Paula Brackston’s Shadow Chronicles series but don’t worry if you haven’t read the others, The Silver Witch stands perfectly well on its own and having really enjoyed this and the first book of the set, I’m now really looking forward to reading the others.

Brackston’s writing is beautiful and her depictions of time and place and descriptions of the Welsh countryside really did transport me. I loved the way the boundaries between past and present blurred throughout the book and the two distinct but linked threads of the story had me hooked.

In the present we meet recently widowed Tilda. Still grieving her husband’s sudden death, she is trying to pick up the pieces and has recently moved to the cottage they had planned to be their first home together. Location is key to this novel and Tilda’s new home is set by the side of an ancient lake in a remote part of Wales near the Brecon Beacons. In the past we meet Seer and Witch Seren whose job is to serve and protect her Prince Brynach. The combination of Celtic myth and legend with a modern day story of a woman discovering her powers had me gripped and I enjoyed the way that Paula combined fact and legend with fantasy to create a story that is magical yet believable.

At times dark (and just the right amount of scary), this is a story of powerful spells, love and treachery. As an archaeological dig begins to unearth secrets from the past, Tilda tries to come to terms with the events of her own past and to move forward with her life. The impact of Tilda’s new home on her is dramatic and I thought the combination of the practical ways in which she chose to go back to her roots as a ceramic artist combined with her newly emerging powers was very well written and as a character I was willing her to have a happy ending from the start of the book. But it was Seren; Celtic witch and shaman who really caught my imagination and I thought her story was beautiful if heartbreaking.

I found myself reading as fast as I could to see how the two threads would eventually come together and I wasn’t disappointed when they did.  There’s a sticker on the front of this books saying, If you liked A Discovery of Witches you will love this book too. I wholeheartedly agree and if you’re looking for a story that combines beautiful locations, rich historical detail and an element of paranormal, this is the book for you this winter. It’s wonderful to see a British author celebrating the richness of history and magic in Wales and I can’t wait to read more from Paula Brackston.

5/5

The Silver Witch is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

Find out more about Paula and her writing at: http://www.paulabrackston.com/

With thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.