August Upsum

Wow, August has been such a good reading month. I have read so many great books this month it is going to be a task to praise them all so highly. There’s also been disappointments, unfortunately, but let’s not dwell in that. That’s what the review is for.


Continue reading “August Upsum”


Review: Founder, Fighter, Saxon Queen by Margaret C. Jones

Founder, Fighter, Saxon Queen: Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians

Margaret C. Jones

Pen & Sword History

Publication date: 30/8/18



Copy received from Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.

Aethelflaed, daughter of King Alfred, is a historical figure who, until recently, was almost completely erased from history mostly thanks to the Victorians (they have to ruin everything, don’t they?).  You would think that having a Queen on the throne would mean they would actually embrace strong females through history but apparently not.  Alfred, hell yes, but his daughter hell no.

That doesn’t mean she wasn’t a fascinating woman.  Born to a King, married to an Ealdorman of Mercia (I’m making that distinction because no matter how much you want to paint her as an actual Queen, she wasn’t.  The King of Wessex was overlord of Mercia in this period), she became one of the most influential and powerful women in Anglo-Saxon history.  Her influence can be seen throughout the tenth century and this new biography of this great woman does a good job of telling the story of Aethelflaed and tying her to the larger historical context in Anglo Saxon England.

Continue reading “Review: Founder, Fighter, Saxon Queen by Margaret C. Jones”

Review: Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

Emperor of Thorns

The Broken Empire #3

Mark Lawrence

Harper Voyager

574 pages



I hate endings.  No matter how good they are and how much I usually end up loving them, I hate reaching the end of a series.

The thing is, I hate saying goodbye.  To worlds.  To characters.  Even when everyone gets their happy endings, I hate saying goodbye.  There’s a reason why the five books that have actually made me cry managed to do that: four of them are endings and all of them involve saying goodbye in some way.

Continue reading “Review: Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence”

Last Chance Saloon pt. 2: White Fang by Jack London

Does anyone remember the Tv series White Fang that was on in the 90s?  I can remember watching it in the school holidays and I thought that there were loads of episodes nut when I looked it up, there were only 25 made.


Anyway, the book White Fang is not really anything like the television series.  It tells the story of a wolf-dog crossbreed and his journey from wild animal in the cold Canadian north, to domesticated animal in California.  This is the second part of my last chance saloon on Jack London, the first part being on The Call of the Wild.

Continue reading “Last Chance Saloon pt. 2: White Fang by Jack London”

Last Chance Saloon pt 1: The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Hello, and welcome to another instalment of Last Chance saloon, or maybe in this case it should be called “book I’ve had on my shelf for about a decade and have never bothered to read”.  That’s not quite as catchy though.  Anyway, this series is where I choose books that I have given up on (or in this case, never read) and give them another go to see if they are worth keeping.  So far, I have re-read Atonement, The Lovely Bones and Human Traces (I have reviews for all of them).  None of them made the cut.


Today, I am going to be looking at The Call of the Wild by Jack London.  I also have White Fang to read, as well, but that’s a post for another day (mostly because this review ended up being a little bit longer than I anticipated, so I’m going to split it into two parts).

Continue reading “Last Chance Saloon pt 1: The Call of the Wild by Jack London”

Review: The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams

The Bitter Twins

The Winnowing Flame Trilogy #2

Jen Williams


612 pages



Once again, I am writing a rave review for another absolutely amazing fantasy series.  There have been so many this year which have just absolutely blown me away and The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams is no exception.

I had never heard of Jen Williams or this series until earlier this year when I read The Ninth Rain and fell in love with both the plot and the characters.  I found it to be a wonderfully written tale and The Bitter Twins carries on much in the same vein.

Continue reading “Review: The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams”

Life in Books tag


Wow, the last couple of weeks have been busy at work. So much so that I have not got anything to post and I haven’t finished another book to review, so I’m doing a quick book tag that I came across by searching “book tag”on WordPress because I am feeling so lazy at the minute. This one is The Life in Books tag.  You might see a few of these pop up if I don’t have time to do anything else.

1. Find a book for each of your initials

J: James and the Giant Peach- Roald Dahl
O: Oliver Twist- Charles Dickens

2. Count your age along your bookshelf – what book is it?

A Man’s Life by Jack Lawson. Local history ftw.

3. A book set in your city/country

I’m going to say The Vicomte de Bragelonne because part of that book is set in Newcastle. Of course, Dumas got the location of Newcastle wrong but, still, it is set there for a little part of the novel.

4. A book that represents a destination you’d love to travel to

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. I’d love to visit any of the Scandinavian countries.

5. A book that’s your favorite color

Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky. The cover is purple.

6. Which book do you have the fondest memories of?

Matilda by Roald Dahl

7. Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

It’s a toss up between War and Peace or Atlas Shrugged. Both were long and both were incredibly boring.

8. Which book in your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you finish it?

The Crimson Petal and the White. I got quarter of the way through and gave up so I’m planning to give it another go.

I’m not tagging anyone because I can’t be bothered.

Review: King of Assassins by RJ Barker

King of Assassins

Wounded Kingdom #3

RJ Barker


508 pages



King of Assassins is the third book in the Wounded Kingdom trilogy by RJ Barker and follows on from Age of Assassins and Blood of Assassins. It follows the tale of Girton Club-foot, an assassin, picking up twenty years after the end of Blood of Assassins as he goes with his King, Rufra, who is vying for the position of High-King, to Ceadoc: a city of political intrigue, assassins and some very dark secrets.

Continue reading “Review: King of Assassins by RJ Barker”

Review: Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff


The Nevernight Chronicle #2

Jay Kristoff

Harper Voyager

455 pages



Godsgrave, the second in the Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff continues the story of Mia Corvere, an assassin determined to make those who destroyed her family pay.  It’s a violent tale, full of blood and death.

It’s also completely awesome.

Continue reading “Review: Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff”

Review: Darksoul by Anna Stephens


Godblind #2

Anna Stephens

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Release Date: 23/8/18



ARC received from Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.

Darksoul, by Anna Stephens, is the sequel to her 2017 debut novel Godblind, a book I class as one of the best books I have read this year.  It was dark and violent with a compelling plot and fantastic characters.  It was a brilliant debut and Darksoul continues in much the same vein.

Continue reading “Review: Darksoul by Anna Stephens”