Warning: minor spoilers ahead in the form of fangirling over a character pairing
This is the second instalment in Melinda Salisbury’s The Sin Eater’s Daughter series. This is the first book in a long time that I ran through in one sitting. After immensely enjoying the first book in the series, I was initially disappointed as this novel seems to drop Twylla from the narrative completely and instead picks up with an unknown character. All I desperately needed to know was how Twylla was getting on after the events of her story and instead we move to a struggling village in a neighbouring part of the realm and follow Leif’s younger sister Errin. I was not happy. However I was far to quick to judge because she became one of my favourite fictional characters to read about in 2017. She is young, snappy and hungry (name that musical 😉) to survive the changes in the world she sees around her. After Leif’s departure from their newly broken family home, Errin is forced to give up her trade as an apothecary to care for her sick mother. She must resort to illegally making remedies, poisons and other lotions and potions to pay for her survival and to ensure the villagers don’t turn on her mother who is looking increasingly like she is possessed by something sinister. She has grown up in a society firmly rooted in fact and science, which is the polar opposite to what we have seen with Twylla. However with their world facing the reawakening of the Sleeping Prince, a being of legend, Errin’s people are not able to place as much surety in science as they are used to. Errin must watch her family life and the society she has always known and loved crumble before her and watch her neighbours take up some of the odd practices of the devout citizens in the part of the world we know through Twylla. The only constant in Errin’s new life of despair is her strange friendship with the mysterious Silas. Enter my favourite couple of the series.
Here we have yet another book I read after meeting the author first. Melinda Salisbury was on the panel at the Fantasy and Folklore event, chaired by Samantha Shannon, at Waterstones Piccadilly. Melinda’s personality screamed through everything she said. She was hilarious, intelligent, the anecdotes of her Grandmother reminded me of my own family…and this concoction meant I simply couldn’t leave without buying one of her books. Surely a person that was so very interesting upon first hearing from her could whip up a book that I would love? Well, bless my instincts because holy smokes what a novel!
After going to another panel event at Waterstones Piccadilly (Fantasy and Folklore with Samantha Shannon, Melinda Salisbury and Lisa Lueddecke) I decided to buy one of the books spoken about: A Shiver of Snow and Sky. It sounded right up my street with mention of the Northern Lights, folklore, superstitions…I was not disappointed.
Title: A Shiver of Snow and Sky – DEBUT NOVEL ALERT
Author: Lisa Lueddecke
Published: 5th October 2017
⭐️ 4 / 5
Set on the fictional snowy island of Skane, the book follows best friends Ósa and Ivar in the aftermath of the red Lós (Northern Lights) presenting in the sky which signals the beginning of a plague and almost certain death. The friends also uncover a plot of invasion from the evil, almost Viking-esque, race called the Ør – who have a penchant for removing the heads of their victims and wearing their teeth as a necklace. Ivar takes it upon himself to help train all of the local villagers against the impending attack while Ósa decides to tackle the plague. She does this by riding across the country to the mountains to ask their Goddess in the stars for help and in the process she hopes to prove herself – both to herself and to the family who don’t love her as they should.
It’s been five years but here we are. John Green has a new book on the shelves again. We have this little gem in our hands. It’s something we all want to be a part of. More than a want, a need. (I’m sorry. That was too good an opportunity to miss. Let me know when you get the reference)
Title: Turtles All The Way Down
Author: John Green
Published: 10th October 2017
⭐️ 5 / 5
I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with myself now I’ve finished this book…It’s been five years since we last enjoyed a release week for John Green. We’ve all been so impatient. But now I get it. I understand every single day of the five year wait. It was worth it. There are lots of us that really need a book like this.
Here’s another book I bought and read off the back of an event I attended at Waterstones Piccadilly. Alwyn was a really engaging panel chair and I loved the snippets I heard about her books so I thought I’d give this one a go.
First things first, DEBUT NOVEL ALERT. Yes, I’m new to the party as this was published in 2016 but let me have my moment. Rebel of the Sands doesn’t feel like a debut. It’s certainly a solid first novel. It took a little bit of warming up to but I’m now converted.
This week’s train read/commute book has really stollen my heart…
In the week of my one year anniversary of moving to London it was so lovely to wrap myself up in a book that reminded me of my roots, even the slightly odd and alternative ones 😉
Title: The Graces
Author: Laure Eve
Published: 1st September 2016
⭐️ 5 / 5
This is another novel I decided to read after attending Victoria Aveyard’s event at Waterstones Piccadilly (read about it here). Laure Eve was one of the authors that appeared alongside Victoria, and the more she talked about her own book the more I realised just how much it was up my street. I was NOT disappointed!!
The Graces is about a mysterious family from the small town that the protagonist, River, has just moved to. This simple statement immediately presents some intriguing plot points that drive the book; River is not her real name – we never find out what her real name actually is, only that she feels more comfortable and more herself being known as River. As well as her name being mysterious it’s also unclear where the small town she has just moved to actually is, nor do we know why she has moved there until the final thirty pages or so. The town has a lot of Americanisms in the feel of the high school but it also screams of the kind of small town I grew up in. I’m from Devon and the feel of home is dripping from every page, which makes a lot of sense considering Laure grew up in Cornwall. As much as both sides of the border hate to admit we are certainly very similar in our intriguing ways, especially when is concerns our mythology and our varied histories.
*CLAXON* I’m back in the swing of a reading schedule and I’ve actually finished a book! I’ve finally clawed my way out of the reading slump that uni caused and I’m ready to jump back to it.
This week my commute book has been Ink by Alice Broadway. I picked this up last week after hearing Alice talk about her book at Victoria Aveyard’s event at Waterstones Piccadilly (which you can read more about here).
Author: Alice Broadway (DEBUT NOVEL ALERT)
Published: 2nd February 2017
⭐️ 4 / 5
First of all can we just loOK HOW PRETTYYY
I know we don’t judge books by their covers but come on. This is a thing of beauty right there. Looks glorious on your bookshelf, glorious whilst you’re fighting for elbow space on the tube, it’s just so pretty and that makes me happy.
I really liked this book. It was a lovely easy read that I just lapped up and sped through without even noticing the page numbers whizzing by. The book is set in a world where life is recorded through the ink on your skin and the citizens have strict beliefs as to why this must be the case. We join the protagonist, Leora Flint, in the aftermath of her father’s death, which has left her reeling. Through mourning him and visiting his skin book she discovers that something isn’t quite right, which leaves her questioning her whole life and her beliefs.