Showing posts from February, 2015

Vowed by Liz de Jager

Vowed is the second novel from Liz de Jager, continuing the story of monster fighting teen Kit Blackhart. I loved the first instalment and I think this one is even better. Each novel is a separate adventure and so can be read out of sequence. In this one Kit is reluctantly teamed up with Dante, a human “spook” or government agent to discover why kids have been going missing from a South London estate. The writing is whip crack smart and the story rattles along; believe me you will be hurtling through the chapters desperate to know what happens next. We meet many of the characters familiar from Banished such as Kit’s family and her werewolf best friend Aiden but we also learn more about the Seelie and Unseelie Fae and the variety of demons, angels and other creatures that exist in Kit’s world. Kit is fantastic central character; smart, cheeky, tough and endearing she makes an ideal role model for teen girls. This is the kind of YA kids have been screaming for and the kind of crossover …

The Anchoress

Robyn Cadwallader’s debut novel is the story of a young woman in medieval England who chooses to be enclosed as a holy woman; an anchoress, shut into a tiny cell and a life of prayer and fasting. Sarah is just seventeen and grieving for her beloved sister who died in childbirth. She is also fleeing the romantic attentions of the son of the Lord of the Manor. The very idea of this book creates a feeling of claustrophobia for the reader and while this is certainly apparent it never overwhelms the narrative. Although Sarah has chosen to shut herself away she nonetheless features at the centre of village life. Her maids speak to her all day long about the weather and the changing seasons and she also acts as a listening ear for the many village women and through them the author paints a glorious portrait of the seasonal rhythms of life in a medieval village. With the death of her patron Sarah suddenly comes under the legal control of his son the man she had fled from marrying and she come…

Blog Tour for Winter Siege by Ariana Franklin and Samantha Norman

Winter Siege is the final novel from an author I adore, Ariana Franklin also known as Diana Norman. This book has been completed by Diana's daughter Samantha and the transition from one writer to another is seamless so I do hope that Samantha will continue to write historical fiction.
The book is the story of a large cast of characters but the main focus is on eleven year old Em, brutally attacked in the bleak winter fens and rescued by big hearted mercenary Gwil. Together they form an unbreakable bond of friendship and Gwil teaches this tough and tenacious young girl how to fight as they try to track down a sadistic killer and prevent him killing again. It also deals with the siege of Kenniford Castle and we find another heroine here in sixteen year old Maud, the castle's young chatelaine. All of the characters are small players caught up in the war between Stephen and Matilda. the historical detail is fantastic and clearly the research has been meticulously carried out. Mau…

Author Feature: Anna Belfrage

Today's featured author is the lovely Anna Belfrage.

Anna is the author of the fantastic Graham saga of time slip novels set in the seventeenth century. A firm favourite with historical fiction readers across the world. There are now seven books in the series and you can find out more about the books and Anna on her website

Five favourite books

What a horribly difficult question! Favourite books come and go, I think, believing on my present situation in life and my mood. But if I make a humongous effort, I can put together a list – not at all comprehensive, of course, but still…

1. Lord of the Rings – author name unnecessary, right? A book (well, trilogy) I’ve returned to over and over again throughout my life. A book that has been a door-opener into the magic world of literature for my sons (not my daughter), a book that is so well-read it is falling apart along the spine.

2. Kristin Lavransdotter by S Undstedt. The first truly historical book I ever read…