Tag Archives: book review

Book Review – Pushing Madness by Hart St Martin

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I’ve been reading this series for the past three years, following Lisen and her family, eagerly anticipating the next book. Here’s my review of the final book…

A fitting finale

This is the final book in the Lisen of Solsta series, and what a finale!

Once again, Lisen and Korin are separated, duty coming before their personal relationship, as they endeavour to prevent Garla and Thristas going to war. Sixteen years previously, a young, naive eighteen year old Lisen fought her first battle in these lands and she now prepares for another, though she hopes she can prevent it from ever happening.

The lives and fortunes of the main characters over the past sixteen years are recalled, tying up loose ends for the reader, while the story moves on to its ending. There’s suspense right from the beginning, though I have to confess to skipping a little in my eagerness to reach the climax of the story of the House of Ilazer.

The final chapters resonate with magic, power and courage. No spoilers, but a memorable and visually dramatic conclusion is a fitting finale for this enjoyable series.

 

The Lisen of Solsta series is imaginative, exciting fantasy fiction. Here’s my review from 2015, of the first book Fractured, to give you a taster…

From a Californian beach, Lisen Holt is transported to a different world, one she knows but does not yet remember. In the haven of Solsta, with the help of Hermit Eloise, the facts of her birth and childhood are drizzled into her consciousness. Her Destiny is laid before her, requiring her acceptance and this is the underlying theme running through Fractured. This is the beginning of Lisen’s journey from carefree Californian teenager, living with Mom and Dad to talented hermit and necropath and the heir to the throne of Garla.

I really enjoyed this book! Once into her writing, St Martin writes a great story. In a very short time I cared about Lisen and was interested to see how the story would unfold. With the story beginning from Lisen’s point of view, I was caught out and had to back track a couple of times when the point of view changed, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment and read easily from then on.

I loved the characters of Ariel and Lorain and can’t wait to find out how their relationship progresses! There are instances when the same story is told twice from two different points of view which, for my taste, was not necessary and one would have sufficed. I started to skim a bit where Lisen visited the same thoughts, as I was eager for the story to continue so maybe there was a little too much repetition of similar ideas.

This book is about a real young women, faced with a real situation. I felt for her as she battled with weapons training on the journey to Halorin and loved Jozan for supporting her. Her reticence using gifts she has not thoroughly explored is genuine as is her determination to help others, not considering the cost to herself. The final scenes of the book are testament to the mental and physical pressures she has been under as she attempts to come to terms with a new, strange life.

I have no hesitation awarding 4* and look forward to reading the next book in the series.

 

You can find both books via the author’s pages here https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.-Hart-St.-Martin/e/B0099S9GWW/ref

and https://www.amazon.com/D.-Hart-St.-Martin/e/B0099S9GWW/ref

 

To pop back for more reviews, interviews, writerly musings, dance, plant based recipes and magic. Bright blessings xx

 

 

 

 

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Long Shadows: Tales of Llys y Garn by Thorne Moore

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You may recall my interview with Thorne in September. She co-hosts the Narberth Book Fair in Pembrokeshire with Judith Barrow. You can read more about Thorne here https://wendysteele.com/2018/09/12/thorne-moore-author-and-co-organiser-of-the-narberth-book-fair/

I was fascinated to read her books and began with Long Shadows, her newest book released in April of this year.

A compelling read

This book is written as three novellas, each containing tales of Llys y Garn, a house in Pembrokeshire. Each story is told by the female protagonist.

The first is The Good Servant 1884, the second The Witch 1662 and the final story is The Dragon Slayer 1308. The house changes over the centuries, but the women who strive to be heard within it do not.

The first story is about Eluned Skeel, servant to the wealthy owners of the house, while the second is from the perspective of Elizabeth and her siblings. The third is about Angharad, daughter to Owain ap Elidyr.

The reader is given a fascinating insight into the lives of these three women during these points in history. They are all required to be obedient and subservient to men and yet, they’re strong women, willing to fight for justice, family and their honour. Eluned will do anything for her precious ‘son’, while Elizabeth battles for the right to live in the house she adores and Angharad fights in memory of her mother and sister.

The characters are beautifully drawn, giving the reader enough information to paint in their own colours and bring the story to life as they see it. Visually crafted books, written in the third person are my favourite. Each story is compelling, memorable in its own right and written with nothing held back. The stories are set in violent, cruel times and nothing is omitted when describing fights, abuse and childbirth, yet there is joy in Angharad’s friendship with Johan and delight when Mrs Skeel’s boy comes home.

If you’re looking for a compelling read, look no further.

You can buy Thorne’s book, Long Shadows here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Long-Shadows-Tales-Llys-Garn-ebook/dp/B07CQRXKBL/ref

or for my friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Long-Shadows-Tales-Llys-Garn-ebook/dp/B07CQRXKBL/ref

 

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