Sunday, May 15, 2022

THE KNAVE OF SECRETS by Alex Livingston
Publication: 7th June 2022 (US);
9th June 2022 (UK)
Publisher: Rebellion Publishing
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★


A twisty tale of magicians, con artists and card games, where secrets are traded and gambled like coin, for fans of The Lies of Locke Lamora and The Mask of Mirrors.

Never stake more than you can afford to lose.

When failed magician turned cardsharp Valen Quinol is given the chance to play in the Forbearance Game—the invitation-only tournament where players gamble with secrets—he can’t resist. Or refuse, for that matter, according to the petty gangster sponsoring his seat at the table. Valen beats the man he was sent to play, and wins the most valuable secret ever staked in the history of the tournament.

Now Valen and his motley crew are being hunted by thieves, gangsters, spies and wizards, all with their own reasons for wanting what’s in that envelope. It’s a game of nations where Valen doesn’t know all the rules or who all the players are, and can’t see all the moves. But he does know if the secret falls into the wrong hands, it could plunge the whole world into war…



Gambling is widely accepted in this book culture. With a mix of magic, sleight of hand, and cunning -the story focuses on a group of gambling hustlers caught up in a power struggle between two nations.

Hello. This is my stop for THE KNAVE OF SECRETS by Alex Livingston Blog Tour.  hosted by  @TheWriteReads.

I think Livingstone did a good job researching about gambling and how to cheat. It’s very believable and educational for me. However, it was a challenge to put two and two together, at times, in this complicated plot. My main motivation is why and how could people put the fate of an independent nation on gambling. Gambling on secrets, to be exact. The main characters have the “Robin Hood and his Merrie Men” vibe, except they don’t give their winnings away (ha ha). The wordbuilding is intriguing, especially where people with money and influence can gain actual government power by funding public works and projects. It seems almost every major plot points here are morally flawed in the real world. In a way, it challenges the readers to withhold their ideals. Magic (not the wand-swishing kind) plays an important role in this multi-cultural world, and a seminary of magicians are highly revered. I’m sure fantasy readers who navigates towards con-artists and political affairs will enjoy this.


TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | BLOGLOVIN | GOODREADS


About the Author

Alex Livingston grew up in various quiet New England towns before moving to Buffalo, NY to study English at Canisius College. He writes SFF prose and interactive fiction. Alex is married and lives in an old house with his brilliant wife and a pile of aged videogame systems.







*Thanks to Rebellion Publishing and @TheWriteReads for the digital copy in exchange for this unbiased review.


Blog Tour | THE KNAVE OF SECRETS by Alex Livingston

Sunday, May 8, 2022

THE CARNIVAL OF ASH by Tom Beckerlegge
Publication: March 15th 2022
Publisher: Rebellion Publishing
Genre: Adult Literary Alternative History
Rating: ★★★★

Cadenza is the City of Words, a city run by poets, its skyline dominated by the steepled towers of its libraries, its heart beating to the stamp and thrum of the printing presses in the Printing Quarter. 

 Carlo Mazzoni, a young wordsmith arrives at the city gates intent on making his name as the bells ring out with the news of the death of the city’s poet-leader. Instead, he finds himself embroiled with the intrigues of a city in turmoil, the looming prospect of war with their rival Venice ever-present. A war that threatens not only to destroy Cadenza but remove it from history altogether…
...

Set in an alternate reality, The Carnival of Ash tells the story of Cadenza, a city thriving with poetry, where the written word is a treasure and well-sought after commodity. Amidst the sudden death of its most fearsome governor Artifex Tommaso Cellini, grief and unrest are buzzing the streets and alleys of the City of Words.

Hello. This is my stop for the Ultimate Blog Tour of The Carnival of Ash, hosted by @TheWriteReads.

Adopting a beautiful Italian Renaissance landscape, the book is replete with evocative words and some intriguing characters. Berckerlegge employed a dozen cantos for chapters, taking in different perspectives and building the political panorama. The idea of ink maids is very new to me. This below-the-surface, sort of, life seems so repressing and liberating both at the same time. I enjoyed the winding stitches of the story plot and how this tapestry came together. And, I like how it was tightly woven, making the loss truly noted.

Dark, immersive, and delectable -surely recommended for those who love historical fiction and atypical social structure.


TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | BLOGLOVIN | GOODREADS

About the Author:



Tom Beckerlegge grew up in the northwest of England in a house filled with books. Writing as Tom Becker, he won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize with his debut novel; The Carnival of Ash is his first adult book. He lives in Enfield with his wife and young son.







*Thanks to @TheWriteReads and Rebellion Publishing for the printed copy in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.


Blog Tour | THE CARNIVAL OF ASH by Tom Beckerlegge

Saturday, April 9, 2022

MAN DOWN by James Goodhand
Publication: 3rd March 2022
Publisher: Penguin


About the Book:

A man stands. A man fights. A man bleeds.

These are the first lessons you learn in a town where girls are objects, words are weak and fists do the talking.

Will's more at home in the classroom than the gym, and the most important woman in his life is his gran. So how can a boy who's always backed away from a fight become the hero who saves the day?

Because a disaster is coming. One that Will can prevent. But only if he learns the most important lesson of all: sometimes to step up, you have to man down.

A searingly powerful exploration of toxic masculinity, perfect for fans of Juno Dawson or They Both Die at the End.




TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | BLOGLOVIN | GOODREADS


"Wow. My mind is going 100 miles an hour now and I can’t stop thinking about it. What does it all mean?
You’ll have to read it to find out."
-I'm A Voracious Reader

"Powerful. Emotional. Compelling."-Brewtiful Fiction

About the Author:

James lives in Surrey with his wife and newborn son.

He took up writing three years ago. A mechanic by day, much of his work has been written at an oil-stained workbench whilst ignoring a queue of broken cars in need of his attention.

James is also a keen musician, regularly gigging as a rhythm & blues pianist.

James' debut YA novel, Last Lesson, tackling teen mental illness and toxic masculinity, was published in spring 2020 by Penguin Random House Children's.



*Content sent by @TheWriteReads for this blog's publication. This is a free ad.

Book Spotlight | MAN DOWN by James Goodhand

Friday, March 18, 2022

QUEEN OF TILES by Hanna Alkaf
Publication: April 19th 2022
Publisher: Salaam Reads;
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Rating: ★★★★★

CATALYST
13 points
noun: a person or thing that precipitates an event or change


When Najwa Bakri walks into her first Scrabble competition since her best friend’s death, it’s with the intention to heal and move on with her life. Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to choose the very same competition where said best friend, Trina Low, died. It might be even though Najwa’s trying to change, she’s not ready to give up Trina just yet.

But the same can’t be said for all the other competitors. With Trina, the Scrabble Queen herself, gone, the throne is empty, and her friends are eager to be the next reigning champion. All’s fair in love and Scrabble, but all bets are off when Trina’s formerly inactive Instagram starts posting again, with cryptic messages suggesting that maybe Trina’s death wasn’t as straightforward as everyone thought. And maybe someone at the competition had something to do with it.

As secrets are revealed and the true colors of her friends are shown, it’s up to Najwa to find out who’s behind these mysterious posts—not just to save Trina’s memory, but to save herself.



We all know that Scrabble is incredibly fun. I can recall many great family nights playing this board game. However, I’m still surprised how this book picked me up from my overextended reading rut.

QUEEN OF TILES is filled with both excitement and mystery. The story follows Najwa while she reestablishes herself into the Scrabble world again, a year after her best friend’s shocking death. And this year, she is more than just eager to win the tournament. She is doing it for Trina. And when mysterious posts appear from Trina’s supposedly idle Instagram page, Najwa realizes that there’s more to Trina’s death than the authorities had assumed.

Wordy, nerdy, and well-thought, set in a fast-paced narrative, this book has all the elements to engage. Hanna Alkaf managed to write a crisp understanding of grief, of passion and determination, and of self-love tucked in a twisty mystery. I cannot wait for you to read this too.


TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | BLOGLOVIN | GOODREADS


About the Author:
Photograph (c) Azalia Suhaimi

Hanna Alkaf is the author of The Weight of Our Sky, The Girl and the Ghost, and Queen of the Tiles. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has spent most of her life working with words, both in fiction and nonfiction. She lives in Kuala Lumpur with her family.





*Thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for the printed ARC in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.


Book Review | QUEEN OF THE TILES by Hanna Alkaf

Monday, February 14, 2022

OCTAVIA BLOOM AND THE MISSING KEY
by Estelle Grace Tudor
Series: Through the Fairy Door
Publication: July 20th 2020
Publisher: Inlustris
Genre: Middle-Grade / Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★

One tiny discovery can have enormous consequences...

Almost 10-year-old Octavia Bloom is looking for adventure, but when it comes it's in the shape of a tiny fairy door.

Dragging her reluctant sister and cousins into the mystery, Octavia discovers her family are hiding not ONE but TWO life-changing secrets.

Why is her mother searching for an elusive flower? And does she have what it takes to reunite her fractured family?

Octavia's certain the answers lie behind the fairy door, if only she could just find the key...

Bravery, secrets & magic intertwine in this fantastical adventure.


AMAZON CA | AMAZON US | AMAZON UK




I received this book to read and review as part of the 2021 BBNYA competition and the BBNYA tours organized by the TWR Tour team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest.

BBNYA is a yearly competition where Book Bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website www.bbnya.com or twitter @bbnya_official.

The sign-ups will soon be open for the 2022 BBNYA competition, be it for authors to enter their books, or for bloggers wanting to be part of the new panel, so keep your eyes peeled!!

...


If my daughter’s still a preteen, we would pore over this book and most likely gobble up the whole series in a few days too. Come to think of it, nothing is stopping us now to do exactly that.

Hi there. This is my stop for the OCTAVIA BLOOM AND THE MISSING KEY blog tour, hosted by @TheWriteReads.

Estelle Grace Tudor’s take on Fairy Land has all the elements of magic and heroes. She added layers and details, making this very enchanting and exciting. There are also elements of family and sibling connection, of love and bravery, of self-confidence and accepting trust. Seriously, this book is great for family reading time, and a huge source of encouragement. Tudor gave each character a unique identity and any child will instantly make an attachment. And, I don’t think there’s any child who would say no to blooming unicorns, talking animals for companions, and a fantastical adventure.

This story started with an unexpected door that magically appeared in an attic. A door that opens to endless possibilities and imagination. And I cannot wait to go back in.


TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | BLOGLOVIN | GOODREADS

About the Author:
When not searching the backs of wardrobes for Narnia, the bottom of the garden for fairies or exploring yet another Castle, Estelle can be found with her nose in a book or a pen in her hand.

Having previously worked at Cardiff Castle, she now writes full time while looking after her four children. She lives on the beautiful South Wales coast with her husband, children and crazy dog.





*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.


Blog Tour | OCTAVIA BLOOM AND THE MISSING KEY by Estelle Grace Tudor

Monday, October 25, 2021

THE BOOK OF URIEL by Elyse Hoffman
Publication: January 26, 2021
Publisher: Project 613 Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction / Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★

In the fires of World War II, a child must save his people from darkness…

Ten-year-old Uriel has always been an outcast. Born mute in a Jewish village known for its choir, he escapes into old stories of his people, stories of angels and monsters. But when the fires of the Holocaust consume his village, he learns that the stories he writes in his golden notebook are terrifyingly real.

In the aftermath of the attack, Uriel is taken in by Uwe, a kind-hearted linguist forced to work for the commander of the local Nazi Police, the affably brutal Major Brandt. Uwe wants to keep Uriel safe, but Uriel can’t stay hidden. The angels of his tales have come to him with a dire message: Michael, guardian angel of the Jewish people, is missing. Without their angel, the Jewish people are doomed, and Michael’s angelic brethren cannot search for him in the lands corrupted by Nazi evil.

With the lives of millions at stake, Uriel must find Michael and free him from the clutches of the Angel of Death...even if that means putting Uwe in mortal danger.

The Book of Uriel is a heartbreaking blend of historical fiction and Jewish folklore that will enthrall fans of The Book Thief and The World That We Knew.


A mute young Jewish boy, Uriel, was tasked to free the Angel Michael, face Samael’s challenges, while hiding among the Nazis. This is my stop for THE BOOK URIEL Blog Tour, hosted by @TheWriteReads.

This story was told amidst the horrific events of the Shoah. While chaos and death rage throughout Poland, Elyse Hoffman, showed us a keen insight of the Jewish beliefs and practices. Through Uriel’s eyes and words, we get an exceptional view of their lives in minute details. The horrors of this time were told in a childlike, innocent manner, giving this story an intense impact.

I love the idea of stories within a story. And the blend of Angel Lore and history is so intriguing for me. Imagine a spiritual warfare causing human troubles and hostilities. Both Uriel and Uwe’s character are amiable, but I have to say that I admire how Hoffman presented the villains in this story too. In its core it shows that these are human beings who methodically and viciously harmed their fellow human beings. Oftentimes, it was painful to read, and yet, thought-provoking.

Reminiscent of The Book Thief and This Present Darkness, THE BOOK OF URIEL is a unique historical fiction about humanity and perseverance. I highly recommend it.


TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | BLOGLOVIN | GOODREADS


About the Author:

Elyse Hoffman strives to tell historical tales with new twists: she loves to meld WWII and Jewish history with fantasy, folklore, and the paranormal. She has written six works of Holocaust historical fiction: the five books of The Barracks of the Holocaust and The Book of Uriel.

Stay up to date with: Facebook, Twitter, BookBub, and Goodreads.






*Thanks to @TheWriteReads and Project 613 Publishing for the digital copy in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.


Blog Tour | THE BOOK OF URIEL by Elyse Hoffman

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Welcome to my stop for THE MEETING POINT Ultimate Tour, hosted by @TheWriteReads.

...


THE MEETING POINT by Olivia Lara
Publication: September 2, 2021
Publisher: Aria Fiction
Genre: Romance
Rating: ★★★★★



What if the Lift driver who finds your cheating boyfriend's phone holds the directions to true love?


'Who are you and why do you have my boyfriend's phone?’


'He left it in my car. You must be the blonde in the red dress? I'm the Lift driver who dropped you two off earlier.'


And with these words, the life of the brunette and t-shirt wearing Maya Maas is turned upside down. Having planned to surprise her boyfriend, she finds herself single and stranded in an unknown city on her birthday.


So when the mystery driver rescues Maya with the suggestion that she cheers herself up at a nearby beach town, she jumps at the chance to get things back on track. She wasn't expecting a personalized itinerary or the easy companionship that comes from opening up to a stranger via text, let alone the possibility it might grow into something more...




Maya loves giving people the happy ending they deserve. At least in her stories, that is. However, writing stories is a passion Maya has to file away while she hangs onto her relationship with David and struggle to keep her job writing for a magazine. So, when catastrophe hits work, Maya consoled herself that spending her birthday with David in San Francisco is the best thing. Only, it wasn’t…


There’s something, someone, much better.


L' amour, Ai, Liebe, Pag-ibig. I guess, LOVE in any language sounds the same –wonderful. So when people find it, everything seems beautiful. And without it, we sometimes lost our sense of wonder. It’s easy to relate to Maya – to feel her, to be her. I’m glad that Maya found her sense of wonder back at Carmel by the Sea. I’m glad she found the courage to fight off her flight instinct. I’m glad I read her story.


THE MEETING POINT is a story of taking a huge risk falling in love, with someone you have not met. Olivia Lara wrote a heartwarming story. She managed to keep the tight exciting plotlines together, while also keeping it simple and clean. Everyone and everything is absolutely charming. The characters are easy to absorb- fear, anger, and excitement -all their emotions are real to me. And by heavens, Ethan really upped the level on dating! Bearing in mind, Carmel by the Sea seems like a really enchanting place to fall in love. I also like how this story encourages self-discovery, fighting indecisiveness, and pursuing your passion.


Light and heartwarming, I absolutely recommend this book to every reader who needs an extra boost of excitement, encouragement, and wonder!



TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | BLOGLOVIN | GOODREADS


About the Author:

As a child, Olivia not-so-quietly ‘observed’ (AKA bothered with countless questions) her grandfather — who worked for the biggest publishing house in Romania — edit hundreds of books. And when he wasn’t editing, he read. Everything, all the time. Just like her father, who wrote short sci-fi stories, and was set on building the largest library she’d ever seen and her mother who’s never found without a book…wherever she goes. Her love for words came naturally, and after studying marketing, communications & photography, Olivia worked as a journalist for a newspaper and news television network in Romania.


An unapologetic citizen of the world, she spent a few years in Greece, Sweden, France, before settling in sunny California with her photographer husband and young daughter, where she works in marketing and writes. Oh, and let's not forget the ever-growing menagerie that completes the family: Pumpkin, the Maine Coon mix, three black cats and a siamese kitten.


When she's not writing or thinking about writing, she reads (across genres), watches old movies and collects vintage books, vinyl records, and eerie paintings. She loves traveling (and can’t wait until she can do it again, safely), swimming, biking, hiking and of course, photography.


SOMEDAY IN PARIS, her debut, published by Aria Fiction/Head of Zeus in May 2020 became a B&N, Apple, Kobo and Amazon Top 100 Bestseller and was shortlisted for the Romantic Novel Awards 2021. Her second novel, THE MEETING POINT, a contemporary romcom set in Northern California, is set to be published as an e-book on September 2, 2021 and in paperback in December 2021 in the UK and March, 2022 in the US.


Keep up with Olivia: twitter || instagram || facebook || blog



*Thanks to Aria Fiction for the egalley in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.




Book Review | THE MEETING POINT by Olivia Lara

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

SISTERS OF THE SNAKE
by Sasha Nanua and Sarena Nanua
Publication: June 15, 2021
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: YA Fiction / Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★

A lost princess. A mysterious puppet master. And a race against time—before all is lost.


Princess Rani longs for a chance to escape her gilded cage and prove herself. Ria is a street urchin, stealing just to keep herself alive.


When these two lives collide, everything turns on its head: because Ria and Rani, orphan and royal, are unmistakably identical.


A deal is struck to switch places—but danger lurks in both worlds, and to save their home, thief and princess must work together. Or watch it all fall into ruin.


Deadly magic, hidden temples, and dark prophecies: Sisters of the Snake is an action-packed, immersive fantasy that will thrill fans of The Wrath & the Dawn and The Tiger at Midnight. -Publisher



On the brink of war, two sisters will challenge fate, love, and the limits of their magic.


The chapters are told alternately by the two main characters -Ria, an orphan and thief prowling the streets of Abai, and Rani, a princess trapped inside the palace walls. After the battle of the Great Masters of Magic, Amran enforced a 100-year peace treaty between Abai and Kaama, and as the end nears, a bloody war seems inevitable. Ria plans to steal some palace jewels to escape her conscription for this coming war. Once in the palace though, Ria and Rani have no time to register their shock –to have a twin they never knew existed. Ria has to postpone her escape to swap places with Rani in exchange for passports and financial aid. Rani will have the opportunity to escape the palace and find the Bloodstone to prove herself as the next monarch, while Ria uncovers the truth of why she grew up in an orphanage. It’s more than a good bargain!


There are several reasons why I enjoyed reading the SISTERS OF THE SNAKE. (1) It’s refreshing to read a retelling of an old English tale in an Indian setting. There is fullness on diversity and awareness of South Asian culture. (2) I like the magical structure. Having animals as familiars is nothing new in fiction, but making them work better with other forms of magic is quite fascinating. And by gods, I love Shima’s sassiness! (3) There are contrived scenes, here and there, but I like how the plot flowed. There are no dreary or stagnant chapters. (4) Twins on twins! Sasha and Sarena are convincing storytellers. I can hear the echo of their voices in the storylines. I’m sure they will explore more of the twin chemistry in the next installment.


There is magic, young love, action-packed adventure, and unselfish heroes –every fantasy should have! And if you love to try the audiobook, Soneela Nankani is amazing.



TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | BLOGLOVIN | GOODREADS

About the Author:


Sarena Nanua & Sasha Nanua are twin sisters living in Ontario, Canada. Born on Diwali ten minutes apart from each other, they grew up loving stories about twins and magic, and began writing books together when they were nine years old. They are graduates of the English and professional writing programs at the University of Toronto and are also the authors of the Pendant trilogy. You can visit them online at www.sarenasashabooks.com.


*Thanks to HarperCollins Canada for the egalley in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.




Book Review | SISTERS OF THE SNAKE by Sasha Nanua and Sarena Nanua

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

HOW TO SAVE A QUEENDOM
by Jessica Lawson
Publication: April 20, 2021
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books
for Young Readers
Genre: Children’s Fiction / Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★

Life’s never been kind to twelve-year-old Stub. Orphaned and left in the care of the cruel Matron Tratte, Stub’s learned that the best way to keep the peace is to do as she’s told. No matter that she’s bullied and that her only friend is her pet chicken, Peck, Stub’s accepted the fact that her life just isn’t made for adventure. Then she finds a tiny wizard in her pocket.

Orlen, the royal wizard to Maradon’s queen, is magically bound to Stub. And it’s up to her to ferry Orlen back to Maradon Cross, the country’s capital, or else the delicate peace of the queendom will crumble under the power of an evil wizard queen. Suddenly Stub’s unexciting life is chock-full of adventure. But how can one orphan girl possibly save the entire queendom?



Queendom!
Now, it’s about time Webster’s Dictionary include the word.

People would think that after all the hardships and injustices Stub endured from Matron Tratte, she would be bitter and angry. Instead, Stub is clever, intuitive, and compassionate. This adventure brought out all her best, and the side characters were just the encouragement she needed. It’s such an inspiration for children.

I love this world that Jessica Lawson created. It has all the elements a children's fantasy should have –grand adventure, magic, courage, and friendship. I love the family structures, too. The book shows how compassion may gain friends. And turn friends into a family. Also, this shows that a little encouragement can lead to great victories.

I highly recommend HOW TO SAVE A QUEENDOM!


TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | BLOGLOVIN | GOODREADS

About the Author:


Jessica Lawson enjoys living in Pennsylvania, where she and her family spend weekend hours hanging at the local orchard, pretending to be on cooking shows, building with magnet blocks and Legos, making up new holidays, and reading plenty of books. She likes pizza. A lot. Photo courtesy of author.





*Thanks to Simon & Schuster for the printed copy in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.


Book Review | HOW TO SAVE A QUEENDOM by Jessica Lawson

Friday, June 11, 2021

The sky opens up... I hear them laugh.
They don’t feel the sadness in the air.
They don’t feel the danger coming, riding in on the wind.


BECOMING LEIDAH by Michelle Grierson
Publication: April 13, 2021
Publisher: Simon & Schuster CA
Genre: Literary Fiction / Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★

In the hinterlands of old Norway, Leidah Pietersdatter is born blue-skinned, with webbed hands and feet. Upon every turn of season, her mother, Maeva, worries as her daughter’s peculiarities blossom—inside the root of the tiny child, a strange power is taking hold.

Maeva tries to hide the girl from the suspicious townsfolk of the austere village of Ørken, just as she conceals her own magical ancestry from her daughter. And Maeva’s adoring husband, Pieter, wants nothing more than for his new family to be accepted by all. But unlike Pieter, who is blinded by love, Maeva is aware that the villagers, who profess a rigid faith to the new God and claim to have abandoned the old ways, are watching for any sign of transgression—and are eager to pounce and punish.

Following both mother and daughter from the shadows and through time, an inquisitive shapeshifter waits for the Fates to spin their web, and for Maeva to finally reclaim who she once was. And as Maeva’s elusive past begins to beckon, she realizes that she must help her daughter navigate and control her own singular birthright if the child is to survive the human world.

But the protective love Pieter has for his family is threatening the secure life they have slowly built and increasingly becoming a tragic obstacle. Witnessing this, Maeva comes to a drastic conclusion: she must make Leidah promise to keep a secret from Pieter—a perilous one that may eventually free them all.



This Canadian debut is set in nineteenth-century Norway, where the marriage of time and magic brought forth uninhibited wonder.

Maeva and Pieter struggle to live in peace and acceptance, but the villagers of Ørken are far from welcoming. If any, they are always suspicious of new and eccentric folks, and Maeva’s elfen looks are a stark reminder of the old ways. Of magic. These made raising Leidah, their blue-skinned daughter, among these people even more difficult.

Norse Mythology has this defined appeal that tickles the curiosity, and Michelle Grierson made this an even more fascinating read with her lyrical narration and distinct sense of wonder. Readers will question the villagers’ spite, Pieter’s blind belief, Maeva’s secret, and Leidah’s naïveté. There's danger, betrayal, anticipation, and redemption. It feels like every page is a discovery. The book is told in three parts, separated by time, which unfolds into a realm of timeless magic.

BECOMING LEIDAH is recommended for those who love a good blend of history and mythology.


TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | BLOGLOVIN | GOODREADS

About the Author:

Michelle Grierson is a teacher, writer, dancer, painter, habitual traveller, voracious reader, and enthusiastic mom, who has spent a lifetime chasing and channelling ancestral ghosts through her writing, art, and choreography. A firm believer in blood memory, she has been researching her Norwegian and Celtic ancestry for years, and that inspired her debut novel, Becoming Leidah. Most days Michelle can be found exploring the woods near her southwestern Ontario home with her son, Taras, and their dogs, Tulla and Bijou. Photograph by @ Cassie McReavy.




*Thanks to Simon & Schuster CA for the egalley in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.




Book Review | BECOMING LEIDAH by Michelle Grierson