‘Clariel’ is written by Garth Nix and was published in 2014, being number 4 in the bestselling Old Kingdom Series. It surrounds the world of the Old Kingdom, focusing on a young girl who is coming of age: Clariel. She is the daughter of a highly respected Goldsmith family in the city Belisaere, which is situated north east of the Old Kingdom surrounded by the Sea of Saere. It is clear from the onset, that Clariel has one main ambition in life: to become a Borderer and live in the Great Forest, not having to interact with people and living life the way she wants to. However, her mother will not allow it. A nice touch to the opening of the book is a map from a birds-eye view of Belisaere and The Old Kingdom, to help readers imagine the location in their mind as well as beautiful artwork on the front cover.Continue reading “A Book Review of: Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen”
‘The Witching Vault’ was written by Kathrin Hutson, International Bestselling Author, and was published in December 2020. I received this copy for free for an unbiased review. The Witching Vault is a contemporary fantasy that deals with a troublemaker-gone-good protagonist who is a witch, looking for a better life but stumbles upon something that is bigger than herself.Continue reading “A Review of: The Witching Vault: Accessory to Magic; Book 1”
Alter Ego, by Kate Sheeran Swed, is an urban superhero novel, with the heroes and heroines described as Independent Operatives (IO), famous and popular with the people! The story follows the secretive life of Mary O’Sullivan, who has an alter ego, her struggles at keeping her identity a secret and keeping the public safe from enemy #1: Mange, who has a hot temper!
I was a little sad I started this on my Kindle, I would have liked to buy the paperback version. When I finished reading, I knew I would be buying the rest of the series, the next one being ‘Anti-Hero’. I connected with all the characters, their fight for good was believable, as when I read a superhero comic I think: “That wouldn’t happen”, and I found myself rooting for the romance side of ‘Alter Ego’, desperately willing it to move forward… which I will only know about in the next instalment!
***SPOILER ALERT*** – yes I know this whole article is a spoiler… but there’s one thing I LOVED – a twist! When you think the good guys are on top and are winning, the plot twists, making the villains and criminals looks like they’re saving the world rather than the IO’s. Kate Swed wrote each chapter from the viewpoint of that hero or villain, which was an interesting technique as most authors write in the third person for all the characters, rather than giving them each a chapter to hear their side of the story.
I do think that Kate Swed managed to find a new type of hero… I mean, we all know about a water hero, fire hero, strong hero and mind control hero or few, but there is a new hero in this story which I found mysterious and unpredictable: The Pearl Knife. She finds herself trying to live up to her parents’ leadership of the LIO, but she feels she hasn’t even mastered her abilities and her fears kept me gripping my Kindle, wondering whether she would suddenly lose control and hurt the people she loved!
A new collection of heroes, who are highly relatable and enemies with potentially good sides? This is a great read, and I would recommend it to adults 18+, full of action, fast-paced with a hint of romance for good measure!
Thank you, Kate, I’ll see you in the next book, and you can see her works here.