Book Review; The Path Of Thorns- A G Slatter

Page Count 352

Publication date June 2022

Publisher Titan

GoodReads link

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Synopsis

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-Alone in the world, Asher Todd travels to the remote estate of Morwood Grange to become governess to three small children. Her sole possessions comprise a sea chest and a large carpet bag she hangs onto for dear life. She finds a fine old home, its inhabitants proud of their lineage and impeccable reputation, and a small village nearby. It seems an untroubled existence, yet there are portraits missing from the walls, locked rooms, and names excised from the family tree inscribed in the bible.

In short order, the children adore her, she becomes indispensible to their father Luther in his laboratory, and her potions are able to restore the sight of granddame Leonora. Soon Asher fits in as if she’s always been there, but there are creatures that stalk the woods at night, spectres haunt the halls, and Asher is not as much a stranger to the Morwoods as it might at first appear.

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Book Review; The Seawomen- Chloe Timms

Everyone on this island has a history…

Page Count 320

Publication date June 2022

Publisher Hodder & Stoughton

GoodReads link

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Synopsis

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Esta has known nothing but Eden’s Isle her whole life. Raised by her grandmother, after a fire claimed her parents and scarred her face, she’s instructed to piety, to deference, and acquiescence by a religious society that will not suffer anything else. Cut off from the moral iniquity of the mainland, the island believes it can stay free of the Seawomen – creatures from the water that came upon land to corrupt God’s creation and Man. The inhabitants fear the water and believe the only way to remain virtuous is to never enter it, and for the women to conceive within 12 months of their appointed motheryear.

If they do not conceive, they’re cast back into the ocean as a sacrifice in an act called the Untethering.

Esta witnesses such an act as a child. Her childhood growing up on the island is fraught with tension as she comes to the terms with the prohibitive malaise of the culture she finds herself in. Before long, she gets a taste of freedom and the potential of the world that is much larger than Eden’s Isle. But she is bound, like many women before her, when she is married off and her motheryear is finally declared. Will she conceive a child in her loveless arranged marriage, or suffer the same fate of many women before her, and be Untethered?

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Book Review; Nettle & Bone- T Kingfisher

Page Count 256

Publication date April 2022

Publisher Titan

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Synopsis

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-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.

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Book Review; Our Lady Of Mysterious Ailments- T L Huchu

Can magic heal their maladies?

Page Count 368

Publication date March 2022

Publisher Pan Macmillan

GoodReads link

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Synopsis

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-Ropa Moyo’s ghostalking practice has tanked, desperate for money to pay bills and look after her family she reluctantly accepts a job to look into the history of a coma patient receiving treatment at the magical private hospital Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments. The patient is a teenage schoolboy called Max Wu, and healers at the hospital are baffled by the illness which has confounded medicine and magic.

Ropa’s investigation leads her to the Edinburgh Ordinary School for Boys, one of only the four registered schools for magic in the whole of Scotland (the oldest and only one that remains closed to female students).

But the headmaster there is hiding something and as more students succumb Ropa learns that a long-dormant and malevolent entity has once again taken hold in this world.

She sets off to track the current host for this spirit and try to stop it before other lives are endangered.

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AnAverageLife’s Top 10 Titles of 2021

This year was a difficult one for reading motivation, my current average book rating is 3.9. Even so, of the 53 titles I finished over the past year I awarded five star ratings to 19 of them! I’ve painfully narrowed those down to my top 10 below;

10.  Demon – Matt Wesolowski

The latest in Scott King’s Six Stories continues this series five star streak.

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9. False Witness – Karin Slaughter

A fantastic standalone novel from the queen of crime fiction.

REVIEW HERE

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8. The Watchers – A M Shine

I adored this scary twist on traditional Irish folklore.

REVIEW HERE

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7. Dead Ground – M W Craven

After a late start to the Poe series I’m now a full fledged addict!

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6. Near The Bone- Christina Henry

My ultimate fairytale reteller Christina makes it to the top 10 again!

REVIEW HERE

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5. The Once & Future Witches – Alix E Harrow

A truly epic tale with a magical, diverse heart.

REVIEW HERE

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4. Cunning Folk– Adam Nevill

Never found a Nevill novel I haven’t loved.

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3. Mirrorland – Carole Johnstone

An intense, imaginative debut

REVIEW HERE

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2. The Night Will Find Us– Matthew Lyons
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1. The Last House On Needless Street- Catriona Ward

OF COURSE this was my number one of 2021, no question about it.

REVIEW HERE

Did you pick up any of my top ten last year? Do you plan to?

Let me know your thoughts or drop the links to your own reviews in the comments so I can take a look!

Roxanne

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