Book Reviews

Review: The Ghost Woods by C.J. Cooke

In the midst of the woods stands a house called Lichen Hall. This place is shrouded in folklore – old stories of ghosts, of witches, of a child who is not quite a child. Now the woods are creeping closer, and something has been unleashed. Pearl Gorham arrives in 1965, one of a string of young women sent to Lichen Hall to give birth. And she soon suspects the proprietors are hiding something. Then she meets the mysterious mother and young boy who live in the grounds – and together they begin to unpick the secrets of this place. As the truth comes to the surface and the darkness moves in, Pearl must rethink everything she knew – and risk what she holds most dear.

Book Reviews, Fantasy

Review: A Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland

Kadou, the shy prince of Arasht, has no intention of wrestling for imperial control with his sister, the queen. Yet he remains at odds with one of the most powerful ambassadors at court – the father of the queen’s new child. Then a hunting party goes terribly awry, and Kadou finds himself under suspicion of attempted murder. To prove his loyalty to his sister and salvage his reputation, Kadou takes responsibility for the investigation of a break-in at one of their guilds. He enlists the help of his newly appointed bodyguard, the coldly handsome Evemer, who seems to tolerate him at best. But what appears to be a straightforward crime spirals into a complex counterfeiting operation, with a powerful enemy at its heart. In Arasht, where princes can touch-taste precious metals with their fingers and myth runs side by side with history, counterfeiting is heresy. The conspiracy they discover could cripple the kingdom’s financial standing – and bring about its ruin.

Book Reviews, Non-fiction

Review: The Wilderness Cure by Mo Wilde

Mo Wilde made a quiet but radical pledge: to live only off free, foraged food for an entire year. In a world disconnected from its roots, eating wild food is both culinary and healing, social and political. Ultimately, it is an act of love and community. Over the course of the year, using her expert knowledge of botany and mycology, Mo follows the seasons to find nutritious food from hundreds of species of plants, fungi and seaweeds. In the process she discovers an even deeper connection with the earth, and learns not only how to survive, but how to thrive, nourishing her body and mind.

Book Reviews, Fantasy

Review: Against All Gods by Miles Cameron

A vibrant and powerful epic set against an alternate Bronze Age, this tale of gods, men and monsters, conspiracy and war, is a rich, compelling and original read from a master of the historical and fantasy genres. The people caught up in toils of the gods are merely trying to survive. Victims of vicious whims, trapped by their circumstances or pushed beyond what the mortal frame can bear, a handful of god-touched mortals - a scribe, a warlord, a dancer and a child - are about to be brought together in a conspiracy of their own. A conspiracy to reach the heavens, and take down the corrupt and aging gods… Who are already facing troubles of their own…

Book Reviews, Middle Grade

Review: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Eugenides, the queen's thief, can steal anything - or so he says. Then his boasting lands him in the king's prison, and his chances of escape look slim. So when the king's magus invites him on a seemingly impossible quest to steal a legendary object and win back his freedom, Gen in no position to refuse. The magus has plans for his king and his country. Gen has plans of his own...

Book Reviews, Teen

Review: Rebel Skies by Ann Sei Lin

Kurara has never known any other life than being a servant on board the Midori, but when her party trick of making paper come to life turns out to be a power treasured across the empire, she joins a skyship and its motley crew to become a Crafter. Taught by the gruff but wise Himura, Kurara learns to hunt shikigami – wild paper spirits who are sought after by the Princess. But are these creatures just powerful slaves, or are they beings with their own souls? And can a teenage girl be the one to help them find their voice – and change the course of an empire?

Book Reviews, Middle Grade

Mini Review: The Riddle of the Sea by Jonne Kramer (translated by Laura Watkinson)

When Ravian's father doesn't return home from sea for his son's birthday, Ravian is certain he must be in danger. Hearing tales of a cursed ship that captures fishermen, Ravian goes in search of his father accompanied by his only friend Marvin the seagull. Before long, the pair find themselves trapped on the ship with a kindly boy and a bad-tempered pirate for company. The ensuing voyage is beset with battles with giant squid and fierce storms, and Ravian despairs of ever finding his father. Featuring stunning illustrations by acclaimed illustrator Karl James Mountford.

Book Reviews, Middle Grade

Review: Wilder Than Midnight by Cerrie Burnell

Silverthorne is a place of secrets. A forest of twisting paths and tangled thorns. A castle with locked towers and whispers of tragedy. A village trapped between terrors known and unknown. But something is stirring in the leaves...Saffy is a good girl, tired of being told to stick to the forest paths, and always follow the… Continue reading Review: Wilder Than Midnight by Cerrie Burnell

Book Reviews, Science Fiction

Review: Eyes of the Void by Adrian Tchaikovsky

After one great battle, the Architects disappeared. Yet humanity’s fragile peace is brief. For, forty years later, the galaxy’s greatest alien enemy has returned. This time, the artefacts that preserved entire worlds from destruction are ineffective. And no planet is safe. The Human Colony worlds are in turmoil as they face extinction. Some believe alliances with other species can save them. Others insist humanity must fight alone. But no one has the firepower or technology to ensure victory, as the Architects loom ever closer. Idris spent decades running from the last war’s horrors. Yet as an Intermediary, altered to navigate deep space, he’s one of humanity’s only weapons. He’s therefore forced back into action. With a handful of allies, Idris must find something – anything – to stop the Architects’ pitiless advance. But to do so, he must return to the nightmare of unspace, where his mind was broken and remade. What he discovers there will change everything.

Book Reviews, Fantasy

Review: Nettle and Bone by T. Kingfisher

After years of seeing her sisters suffer at the hands of an abusive prince, Marra—the shy, convent-raised, third-born daughter—has finally realized that no one is coming to their rescue. No one, except for Marra herself. Seeking help from a powerful gravewitch, Marra is offered the tools to kill a prince—if she can complete three impossible tasks. But, as is the way in tales of princes, witches, and daughters, the impossible is only the beginning. On her quest, Marra is joined by the gravewitch, a reluctant fairy godmother, a strapping former knight, and a chicken possessed by a demon. Together, the five of them intend to be the hand that closes around the throat of the prince and frees Marra's family and their kingdom from its tyrannous ruler at last.