This is a delightful book that follows the journey of Abigail Shepherd from unpublished writer to debut novelist, with the release of her YA book Victoria’s Victorian Victory.
In My Year of Stories, we follow Abigail’s journey with twelve stories to represent each month, preceded by an excerpt from her journal. I like the addition of this diary extract as it gives the reader an idea how each story was created and when.
This is a book you can read in one sitting or go to when you want to read another story for the first time or as a reread. You’ll find you’ll want to do that. I read the first story, The Dandelion Clock when it was first published in Whim online magazine but I enjoyed reading it again as January’s story in this book. There is also a prequel to Victoria’s Victorian Victory.
The stories are each different, some sweet and moving, others humorous and some a little dark.
I highly recommend My Year of Stories. You’ll enjoy the read.
Chains of Gaia by James Fahy
(Book Three of The Changeling Series.)
With each book, I love returning to Erkling and the Netherworlde, to catch up with Robin, Henry, Karya, Woad and the other Erklingers.
This time, Robin and his friends have to retrieve the Shard of Earth from the heart of the Everhart Forest. A scourge lies over the great forest, as a rampaging beast lays waste to it, and to villages that border it.
Their journey is fraught with danger as they encounter centaurs, a minotaur in an ancient labyrinth, and let’s not forget the Grimms and Redcaps.
We meet new characters including Ffoulkes (with his affectations), a population of gentle green Dryads and a new Fae.
It’s wonderful to see Robin maturing and learning to be his true self. Henry and Karya are also growing up and there’s a lot more to learn yet about them, I’m certain. Woad keeps being Woad, which is just what I hoped.
James Fahy creates a very believable fantasy world. His writing is concise and his imagery is magical. I felt totally immersed in it. The characters are all well written and well rounded. The author’s wit shines through them.
I feel like I want to say more and more. The book has such depth but moved along at a cracking pace. I thoroughly enjoyed Chains of Gaia and can’t wait for the next instalment.
I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too.
This is a fantastic second book in The Changeling Series. I loved the Isle of Winds, the first book, and I wasn’t disappointed with The Drowned Tomb.
I was excited to get back to Erkling Hall and the Netherworlde to meet favourite characters once again. Robin is as amazing as ever. Henry is a real favourite of mine, with his humour and easy-going manner, as is Woad and his new pet. Karya retains her aura of mystery but we are teased with some hints about her past.
New characters are added seamlessly into the story. Some intriguing, some evil, some filled with menace. New and old, all are brilliantly written, well-rounded and believable, even the antiheroes.
The development of the story and the world building are superb. When I think of The Drowned Tomb, I think of Lords of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. Like these timeless favourites, The Changeling Series is for all ages.
James Fahy’s writing is witty, sincere, and concise, with a narrative that takes you on a fast and exciting ride, while at other times immerses you in scenes of beauty and magical wonder.
If you haven’t read it yet, I’d highly recommend you plunge into The Drowned Tomb soon, ready for Fahy’s third book, which is to be released on 12th June.
Lifesong by Julia Blake
Lifesong is a mixture of fantasy and science fiction, carrying with it an ecological message and a gentle love story.
It’s a beautiful story about a young woman who has an amazing ability to seek out the lifesong of others. This leads her to a wonderfully happy time in her life but it isn’t long before she finds that, after crossing the universe, she is trapped on our world. But what kind of a world is it that has no lifesong, and that seems determined on its own destruction?
Julia Blake’s thought-provoking and heart-warming story is perfect as a novella. The story is concise and fast flowing. It has a lyrical quality to it and is beautifully written.
I highly recommended Lifesong.
It’s a story you will want to read more than once.