Tag Archives: Reviews

Month of Reads – September

Ah, back to what I love to do most after writing! Reading of course! And this month isn’t so thin on the ground with my reviews, as the last couple of months were. I’ve read some cracking stories and here’s my view of those reads.

The Art of Forgetting - Rider (Book 1)

The Art of Forgetting – Rider, by Joanne Hall

Genre: Fantasy, Epic

Plot: Gifted and cursed with a unique memory, the foundling son of a notorious traitor, Rhodri joins an elite cavalry unit. There, struggling with his own memories of his father, he begins to discover a sense of belonging. Until a face from the past reveals a secret that will change not only Rhodri’s life, but the fate of a nation.

Review: Occasionally you read a story and you become immersed within the tale before you realise it. That’s what happened when I read, The Art of Forgetting. There is a lot of depth and thought put into this story and the main character, Rhodri. Although not unique to many stories, this coming of age tale explores some of the nitty-gritty of adolescence, not only about trying to find acceptance and discovering oneself, but also exploring themes involving sexuality and gender roles. These themes I found reminiscent of Lynn Flewelling’s books and writing, which is a pretty darn good thing, because I love her books!

However, these are not the only topics this book revolves around. Joanne Hall has created a richly developed world, where she has taken careful consideration of not only the majestic a fantasy world can offer, but also its flaws and political instabilities. This runs parallel to the struggles Rhodri faces even before he joins the King’s Riders, and follows him as he grows into a young man. The characters each bring their own strengths and flaws, and at times the story weaves its way heartbreakingly towards the truth: not only for Rhodri, but for his friends. I admit, I was a little teary in one scene, but I’ll say no more as I don’t want to spoil things! But it’s the little intricacies of the characters – none are perfect – and the plot, that show the author to be a master of observation.

It had a conclusion which has left me wanting more and now I can’t wait to read the next instalment.

Rating: 5 out of 5 for an honest, thought-provoking book!

Child of the Ghosts (Ghosts, #1)

Child of the Ghosts by Jonathan Moeller

Genre: Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, Mystery

Plot: For fans of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “Sword & Sorceress”, Tamora Pierce, Robin McKinley, and Jennifer Roberson, here is a new story of a woman’s fight against an ancient evil. When her life is torn apart by sorcery and murder, young Caina Amalas joins the Ghosts, the legendary spies and assassins of the Emperor of Nighmar. She learns the secrets of disguise and stealth, of assassination and infiltration. But even that might not be enough to save her. For the evil that destroyed her family seeks to devour the entire world…

Review: To be honest, I wasn’t overly enthusiastic coming to read this book. I have no idea why really. It had been sitting a long time in my Kindle Library, but I decided it was unfair to leave it unread. At first I was thinking my first impressions were correct, but I was utterly wrong. The more I delved into Caina’s story, the more immersed I became in it. In many ways, it is like a cleverly laid out mystery. Threads, plots and subplots are entwined into a fantasy world and poor Caina’s horrific childhood experiences mark her for something different.

After a necromancer and her mother nearly kill her, she escapes and is taken in by the Ghosts, and taught to be a nightfighter – an assassin/spy. Caina is a strong and clever character with an uncanny gift for observation. She is taught and trained in every aspect of being a nightfighter, a lot of her skills use her wiles along with her fighting prowess. I have to admit, she’s a pretty awesome character.

The story builds momentum as Caina attempts to destroy the necromancer who destroyed her life and her family, but not everything is as straightforward as it seems. There are some great adventurous moments, but occasionally I felt the world created lacked some detail. But overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure and will definitely read the next in the series.

Rating: A slow smouldering 4 out of 5 stars

Awakening Foster Kelly

Awakening Foster Kelly, by Cara Rosalie Olsen

Genre: Fiction, YA

 If only a pile of wayward curls and the inability to stay on her feet were seventeen year-old Foster  Kelly’s most pressing concerns. Unfortunately, stubborn hair and clumsiness are just the tip of it. 

At the age of five when Foster is told, “You don’t belong here,” it was only a mistake, but the result is one broken heart. These four carelessly spoken words have shaped and shadowed Foster, and now—a senior at Shorecliffs High-school—she seeks the wallflower’s existence, denying herself the most casual of friendships, much too afraid that someone will see what she believes is certain: she does not belong anywhere—or with anyone. This reality would continue to suit her just fine; however . . . Love has a long-standing history of undoing broken hearts.

Like a comet, an unexpected arrival knocks Foster out of the crowded, starry sky, sending her directly into the limelight. Exposed and afraid, she will attempt to regain anonymity; but it isn’t so easy now that someone is watching. He pursues this shy enigma, confronting Foster’s deepest fears head-on, and in the process falls wholly and completely in love with her. But there is something he is not saying . . . a secret capable of certain ruin.

Either he will break her heart once and for all, or he will heal it. In the end, though, it is Foster who must decide if she is worth mending.

Review: Awakening Foster Kelly is almost like reading a dream. In many ways it feels as though its floats upon one and you wonder where the tale will take you next.

The story is centred on Foster Kelly, a seventeen-year-old shy, young woman, who has brains to burn and musical talent to boot. It is written in the first person, so the reader has a keen sense of the character, who she is and where she needs to go. It is a beautiful thing to see her character develop as the story progresses.

Now, it is a long book and I think one that takes time to read. Some might find the prose flowery and tangential at times, but I have to say, I am a fan of the poetic and I thought a lot of this was beautifully written. Only occasionally did I feel that it interrupted some of the scene flow, but overall, I loved the style and the story.

Some of the characters left me smiling, especially Emily and her twin Jake. The banter between the two and their strong personalities are at times very comical, in light of the seriousness of Foster’s character. At first I wondered where Dominic (the love interest) would fit in, especially in light of his rather horrid behaviour to start, but he begins to redeem himself as the story goes on.

There are lovely little points of interest, which keep you reading on. You want to find out the little mystery behind Dominic and it was a really pleasant surprise when I reached the end and discovered the twist. I won’t give anything away – it has to be read to be discovered!

A beautiful book.

Rating: 4 sparkling sapphire gems out of 5

Kiss of Fire (Imdalind #1)

Kiss of Fire by Rebecca Ethington

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

Plot: Joclyn Despain has been marred by a brand on her skin. She doesn’t know why the mark appeared on her neck, but she doesn’t want anyone to see it, including her best friend Ryland, who knows everything else about her. The scar is the reason she hides herself behind baggy clothes, and won’t let the idea of kissing Ryland enter her mind, no matter how much she wants to.

The scar is the reason she is being hunted. If only she knew that she was.

If only she had known that the cursed stone her estranged father sent for her 16th birthday would trigger a change in her. Now, she is being stalked by a tall blonde man, and is miraculously throwing her high school bully ten feet in the air. Joclyn attempts to find some answers and the courage to follow her heart. When Ryland finds her scar; only he knows what it means, and who will kill her because of it.

Review: Oh, I hate it when I write a load of good reviews and then I just have to write this. Ugh!

Good Points: The writer definitely has some talent and can write.

Bad Points: I just felt I was reading another twilight or something similar. Nothing about this felt original or different and there were times when I just had to sigh. And I hate that, because I want to love everything I read. I’m not even going to go on, I know some people will love it, but honestly, it was not for me.

Rating: Very sad 2 out of 5 (and I’m being generous, because I feel guilty)

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Month of Reads – August

This months reviews are again a little thin on the ground, but I read a couple of beauties and I am delighted to share my thoughts on them with you! Happy reading folks!

The Reapers Are the Angels (Reapers, #1)

The Reapers are the Angels – Alden Bell

Plot – Zombies have infested a fallen America. A young girl named Temple is on the run. Haunted by her past and pursued by a killer, Temple is surrounded by death and danger, hoping to be set free.

For twenty-five years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can’t remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption. Moving back and forth between the insulated remnants of society and the brutal frontier beyond, Temple must decide where ultimately to make a home and find the salvation she seeks.

Review – I admit that I am partial to the post apocalyptic novels, though I don’t often read zombie ones. This book caught my eye as I was browsing the old Kindle section on Amazon and thought it looked like a fairly decent read. That said, I couldn’t put it down.

Temple is only a young woman, still in her teens. She’s a special sort of person, more an old wise soul than a teenager, and a fascinating character at that. She’s strong and independent, well able to look after herself despite the United States being infested with zombies. (Meatskins as Temple calls them, or slugs).

Travelling, she finds a colony of survivors living in a couple of office blocks. She catches the eye of the distasteful Abraham. Of course, a situation arises where they don’t meet eye to eye and Temple comes out the better for it. However, it brings the unwanted attention of Moses Todd, Abraham’s brother, who is seeking vengeance. The play between these two very similar personalities is intense and a strange sort of respect forms between them during the cat and mouse play that then ensues.

This fascinating book might contain zombies and other horrid creatures, but it really focuses on the characters and the dynamics between them. Really enjoyed this book and there are a few surprises along the way I certainly did not expect.

A couple of things people might find odd in this book are the lack of quotation marks for speech and it takes a little while to get used to that and imagining a southern type drawl to the voices.

Rating – Ya’ll deserve 4 outta 5 stars

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Guardians of Evion – Evelinn Enoksen

Plot – “…cantankerous dragons, evil, ambitious immortals and heroic telepaths who
will sacrifice everything to save their loved ones and their volcanic world …
a romantic, adventurous science fiction saga that begs for a sequel.”
Kirkus
Review

Numak believes his destiny is to be a Rider; but when his life is turned upside down by a beautiful young woman and a mysterious ancient, he learns he is far more extraordinary than he could have imagined.

On the harsh world of Evion, a wild place of storms and earthquakes, Numak Teorenn, a young telepath, is sent to study at the Tarei Waystation in the mountains of Suli. All
Numak wants, other than to become one of the revered Dragonriders, is to find
answers regarding the mysterious death of his twin sister.

He soon learns that his life has a greater purpose, for which nothing has prepared him, and his understanding of reality and of his own being is transformed. When he discovers
the truth of his destiny should he fight it or embrace it? Will he have any
choice at all?

A strange and compelling narrative which encompasses philosophy, adventure and romance within a richly imagined world, embellished with the author’s own extraordinary art.

Review – This fast paced adventure encompasses everything that is good in fantasy and from the very first page, I knew I was going to like this very much. By the end, I loved it . . . And who doesn’t love dragons?

Numak Teorenn is a telepath who wants to become a Dragonrider and discover the truth surrounding his missing twin sister. Sent to study at the Tarei waystation, it isn’t long before the naïve Numak is drawn into trouble and discovers that his destiny is greater than he could have imagined.

The world Enoksen has created is so beautifully wrought, every detail imagined minutely. The book contains some of the authors own amazing artwork, and really adds some lovely touches to the whole story, giving you a visualisation of the world you never though possible. Along with this, there are other characters along with Numak, who add depth and emotion to the story, by bringing their own pasts and emotions with them. The dynamic mix of adventure, imagination, hints of romance and the discoveries the main protagonist faces while he searches for the truth make this a multi-layered and exciting read.

All the while, the characters must face some painful truths while they try to fight an enemy who seems far stronger than they are. And the evil Ilya . . . She spices up an already heady cocktail of fantasy and I can only imagine the fun the author had in creating her bad self. The subtle blending of the science fiction elements work very well within the story, but I have to admit, the surprising and cranky dragons occasionally steal the show!

Rating – 5 out of 5 stars (mind that one in the sky…)

Month of Reads… JULY

It’s been a very busy month! I have been working on my novel with my lovely editor at Grimbold Books, Zoe Harris, so I’ve been a little bit slow on the reading front this month. However, I have a few books under my belt and although this one is short and sweet (also blame the very fine Irish weather for once), I will continue the reviews as normal!

Torque TORQUE – Glenn Muller

Genre – Action, Mystery, Thriller

Plot – After nine years on the road, driving instructor Chas Fenn knows how to avoid accidental death – it’s the intentional kind that gives him trouble.

The intentional kind is the seductive Brittany Reis who plans to carve a niche in the street drug trade with a new hallucinogen. When her lab technician suddenly dies, Reis is forced to partner with an aging con man who sees the opportunity as a last chance for a big payoff.

There is dishonour among thieves, and the formula is misdirected to Fenn who’s main ambitions are to win at darts, and get a raise. And maybe get laid. Now, with Reis and her thugs hot on his tail, Fenn’s life takes a dangerous detour where the normal rules no longer apply.

In the background are Detective Inspector Evan Lareault, Sergeant Frank Bloomfield, and Coroner Dr. Dennis Collier. Their investigations of a fatal overdose, two homicides, and a fraudulent funeral home appear unrelated until Fenn discovers a family connection to the formula, and turns from hunted to hunter.

Review – Torque starts as it means to go on by being fast paced and action packed.  The beginning of the story opens with the anonymous characters playing out a scene, where one is selling a new street drug to some young men. The intriguing beginning ends in a death, but it opens up the tale for a myriad of other characters and plots.

The main character, Chas Fenn, is quite the innocent bystander, but quickly becomes embroiled in the story when his father sends him an important and dangerous package. Fenn’s resourceful, clever and completely likeable and despite his father being a con-man, he is only tainted by the association for the package that was sent to him. He is the man who can do what the cops seem to be failing to do, find links between the many plots and he gives the bad guys a hell of a time! There are a host of interesting deaths, action scenes, car chases, humour and characters that make this an entertaining read – the mysterious Brittany Reis, whose hairclip I wouldn’t won’t to be accidently poked with, Fenn’s tongue-in-cheek friends and a load of good and bad guys.

The story keeps its dramatic pace throughout and the twists and turns never stop.  Even when you reach the end, there are still surprises to be had. A highly recommended read, thoroughly entertaining and very worthy of its rating.

Rating – A horse-powered 4 out of 5 stars.

The Shadow Ryana The Shadow Ryana – C.R. Daems & J.R Tomlin

Genre – Fantasy

Plot – Ryana, a worthless girl-child, is sold to a mysterious woman who takes her to the home of the Shadow Sisters who are prized for their abilities as spies and assassins. She survives years of training in spite of being unconventional: adopting poisonous bats as familiars–something no one else would dare to do; choosing the blow dart as her weapon of choice–a weapon the Sisters don’t teach; and relying on intuition rather than logic.

As she completes her training, the Shadow Sisters are under attack. The senior Sister selects Ryana to find out who is killing Sisters and why–because her intuitive approach has proved effective, even though her youth and inexperience makes it unlikely she will survive.

As she travels through the kingdom as a member of a gypsy clan, she finds the only way she can protect the Sisters and hope to discover the underlying plot is through ever more violence and killing. As she proceeds through the provinces, her secret enemies come to call her the Sister of Death and become desperate to find and kill her. But in her fight to protect the Sisterhood and the kingdom, Ryana fears that she has destroyed herself and the only life she ever wanted.

Review – The Shadow Ryana is the first book I’ve read from the writing duo and I have to say, I really enjoyed it! The story goes through, briefly, Ryana’s childhood and her training to become a shadow sister and spy/assassin. From early on, the reader understands she is different because instead of using cold logic, she uses intuition as her strength.

There are a lot of great points about this book, the pacing, imagination and unique world are very well etched. I thought having bats as familiar was a stroke of genius, because it wasn’t the usual cat or dog familiar. My only gripe is at times, I felt like the action, especially the fights with the magicians were a little repetitive. Overall though, I liked the story, the mystery involved in her search to find who is killing her sister shadows, and the MC’s contrasting surety in her abilities and her growing sense of being lost because of all the killing she has to do.  Very worth reading. Will take a look at the second in the series.

Rating – A sneaky 3.5 (leaning to 4) stars out of 5.

Girl in The GlassGirl in the Glass – Zoe Brooks

Genre – Fantasy

Plot – “I will have to say it: ‘I am Anya and I am nothing’. I will look down at the floor as I say it, so that I don’t see the smile on my aunt’s face, so she won’t see the defiance in my eyes. She will get her victory. She always wins these battles. I know it, she knows it. But one day, one day she will not.”

This Cinderella story for adults, set in an unnamed world, has no fairy godmother and no handsome prince, just a girl of spirit and her strange companion.

Orphaned at the age of 10 in circumstances that she refuses to explain, Anya grows up trapped in the house of her abusive aunt where she and Eva, her Shadow, are treated as slaves. As her aunt tries to break her and the punishments become increasingly life-threatening, Anya struggles to find affection and self-esteem. When the inevitable showdown arrives, where will Anya find the strength to survive and escape? And if she does escape, what then? An arduous walk across an unforgiving desert to a city where an even worse danger lies.

Review – The story sounded intriguing when I read the blurb and I have to admit I was fairly intrigued for a good chunk of the story. Zoe Brooks Anya’s story is poetic and poignant to begin with and as a reader I was sympathetic for her MC, whose tragic beginnings are nothing but cruel.  I found the idea of her friend Eva interesting – her Shadow as she is known, is not quite human and doesn’t have the same emotions as humans, and she acts a lot like a maid.  So I’m not sure exactly what she is, but as a character, you warm to her. A lot of the time these Shadows are misunderstood in the world Brooks has created.

I found the world a strange one. It begins in a desert like realm, but then moves onto a city after Anya and Eva run away from the abusive household. The city felt too much like what we live in today and with the MC changing her identity – I lost a lot of compassion and patience for the stupid mistakes she makes over and over again. I found myself more sympathetic towards Eva than Anya in the end, though I’m not entirely sure if that was the author’s intentions. There is a second book in the series, and having thought over how I feel about the first one, I’m still not sure how to proceed.

Rating – 2.5 frustrated stars.

Month of Reads – June

It’s that time of the month again (no – not that time) when I go through some of the books I’ve read and give them a mini-review.  There’s so many talented authors and great books, but so little time to read their works!  But I endeavour to do my best.  Here’s my reads for June!

Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1)  Life as we knew it Susan Beth Pfeffer

Genre – YA, Apocalyptic Sci-fi

Plot – Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

Told in journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all–hope–in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.

Review – This book is the first in a series, and is written in journal form as it states above.  I thought it might take me a while to get used to the diary format, but it did not hinder me whatsoever.  I thought this was a very clever, well thought out and researched piece.

After the moon is hit by a meteor and knocked off kilter, all sorts of horrors face the planet.  The MC – Miranda, describes these events and how her family – her  mother and two brothers attempt to survive. Each wave of horror that arrives; tidal waves, earthquakes, eruptions and climate change – all happen because of the influence the moon has on our rock.  The most devastating change follows after volcanos erupt, blanketing the sky in an ash that brings on a long winter.  It kills all crops – leaving the surviving populations trying to live and scavenge through starvation and illness.

It’s a coming of age story, but in no way would anyone want to be shaped and matured by such devastation.  I couldn’t put it down. Great book.

Rating – undiminished by volcanic ash, a bright 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Space Games   Space GamesDean Lombardo

Genre – Sci-fi

Plot – Say hello to Robin and Joe—contestants in 2034’s “Space Games,” a high-stakes reality TV show from Hollywood producer Sheldon J. Zimmer that is set aboard next-generation space station, ISS 2. The winner takes home a multimillion-dollar jackpot and a chance at stardom, while the loser faces the ultimate in public humiliation. Only former NASA astronaut Vince, acting as the station’s commander and the games’ sole referee, can separate sexy spitfire and martial artist, Robin Miller, from her brutal opponent, “Big Joe” O’Donnell, as the pair compete inside the cramped zero-g environs. Watched by millions of people back on Earth, the reality show rapidly degenerates into a deadly spectacle.

Space Games is a compelling story and a biting satire about reality television: those who make and participate in it – and those who watch it.

Review – Space Games lives up to the hype.  It is a brutal free for all, a fast paced, violent and yet a satirical look at human nature and the nature of reality television gone too far.  The two main protagonists, feisty Robin and tough Joe, go head to head in an ultimate battle of the sexes show, which quickly descends into chaos.  Morality blurs and hard hitting questions start being asked: how far should one go for television?  For fame/infamy? Money? To prove a point?

The funny thing is, Robin and Joe don’t really ask these questions.  They’re more interested is getting one up on each other.  But as a reader, you do.  The MC’s aren’t the most loveable characters, redeeming qualities are thin on the ground, but that, I think, might be part of the fun of Space Games.  It’s keeps you wondering what God-awful thing they are going to do to each other next…  And the ballsy ending – it is as brutal in its ending as it is in its beginning.  Very well written, entertaining, and asks a few uncomfortable questions about our sometimes voyeuristic natures.  Thoroughly enjoyed it!

Rating – 4.5 ass kicking stars out of 5

Slated (Slated, #1)  SlatedTeri Terry

Genre – YA, Sci fi

Plot – Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance – as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

Review – Slating is a process of memory erasing, a thing you quickly realise the MS, Kyla has suffered.  Generally, it is done for people with criminal type back grounds, but as the novel goes on, you discover that occasionally an overly traumatic might see someone volunteer for the process.  After being Slated, the person must wear a watch-like device, called a levo, which monitors mood levels.

Kyla returns to the ‘normal’ world, a future UK living under the thumb of a stringent government and with fears of rebels/terrorists and bombings.  Moving in with a new family, Kyla tries to build the pieces of her life, realising quickly that she is unusual for a Slated person, because she will ask questions and endeavours to discover more about the world and herself and who she was in the past.  It quickly becomes apparent that if you speak out at all, you will soon be taken away – it is something constantly on the periphery and it created an air of paranoia in the book.

Really enjoyed this book, thought it cleverly plotted, strongly written with good characterisations.  Original and different and will definitely read the next book in the series.

Rating – 3.5 unique stars out of 5

Branded (Fall of Angels #1)  BrandedKeary Taylor

Genre – Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance

Plot – Jessica had the nightmares for as long as she can remember.  Nightmares of being judged by people who have died, of being branded by the angels.  Her friends and family think she’s crazy because of it all.  Yet she carries the mark of the condemned, seared into the back of her neck, and hides it and herself away from the world.

But when two men she can’t ignore enter her life everything changes, including the nightmares.  The two of them couldn’t be more different.  She will do anything to be with one of them.  Even tell him the truth about angels, why she never sleeps, and the scar on the back of her neck.  But one of the two has set events into motion that will pull her toward her own judgment and turn her into the object of her greatest fear.

Review – I thought the premise an interesting one when I read it.  Having to sit and be judged for dead people and to suffer a branding, to be exalted or condemned – it all sounded like a read great.  There’s even some good atmosphere in this book and overall it is an enjoyable enough read.

However…

There’s something not quite right about this for me.  I don’t know if it is the fact the romantic lead is all too perfect and stilted, if the relationship progresses supernaturally fast, or that it was a little too predictable – you could see the bad guy coming a mile off and I felt the vast potential and idea of this book kinda fell flat.  It’s so frustrating to feel that way when you finish a book. (Sigh)

Rating – An anticlimactic 3 out of 5 stars.

Magic of Thieves (Legends of Dimmingwood, #1)  Magic of ThievesC. Greenwood

Genre – YA, Fantasy

Plot – In a province where magic is forbidden and its possessors are murdered by the cruel Praetor, young Ilan, born with the powerful gift of her ancestors, has only one hope for survival. Concealment. In the shadow of Dimmingwood, she finds temporary protection with a band of forest brigands led by the infamous outlaw Rideon the Red Hand.

But as Ilan matures, learns the skills of survival, and struggles to master the inherent magic of her dying race, danger is always close behind. When old enemies reappear and new friendships lead to betrayal, will her discovery of an enchanted bow prove to be Ilan’s final salvation or her ultimate downfall?

Review – After losing her parents and on her way to the safety of her own people, Ilan finds herself caught up with a troupe of thieves living in the Dimmingwood.  Lead by ruthless Rideon the Red Hand, Ilan grows from girl into young woman.  She learns all her best lessons from the thieves, some kind, some not.  It is a coming of age story and at times, Ilan can be brutish, ignorant and mean, especially to peaceful Terrac, who is meant to be her friend.

I enjoyed the fact Ilan wasn’t completely likeable and her growth of character is well handled, but hard learned.  My only real gripe with this is that it ended all too quickly! There’s good characterisation, plenty of action and a Robin Hood type of magic to this book.  Looking forward to reading the next instalment.

Rating – 3.5/4 thieving stars out of 5