• Book Review,  Reviews

    Wayland – Tony Mitton and John Lawrence

    “Out of the lands in the chill, far north come legends from long ago.  This is the story of Wayland Smith, the strangest of all I know. For out of the dark spring stories  to banish both drear and cold.  So gather you near, come, listen and hear,  where the fire burns red and gold.” The re-imagining of the legend of Wayland Smith, the legend that travelled with the vikings of long ago, is brought to live by fantastic imagery and wonderful prose. It is a story of greed, love and revenge and will stay with you for long after you have read it.  *** I absolutely loved this book.…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    The Child’s Elephant – Rachel Campbell-Johnston

    “The sound of the rifle shot rang through the air. For a few moments it seemed as if the whole world had stopped. The cicadas fell silent, a bush rat dived for its burrow, the cattle paused in their chewing and looked upwards with wide empty stares; and Bat, the lone herd-boy who up till then had been dreaming, swishing at bushes with a long whippy branch, let the switch fall and dropped suddenly down on his haunches. His head was quite hidden by the tall, yellow grass.” In the African savannah heat Bat witnesses poachers at work, they shoot and kill a magnificent elephant and then take its tusks…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    The Goblin’s Gift – Conrad Mason

    “It’s not the pain that he enjoys.  It’s the fear. He straightens his glasses with a thumb and forefinger and inspects the creature squirming on the desk before him. It is pinned to a wooden blocks, wings pierced with Azurmouth steel so that it cannot escape from the darkened cabin.  A female fairy. Daemonium volans. Deamonspawn.” Joseph, a half-goblin ex tavern boy, has recently joined The Demon’s Watch. He and his fellow watchmen protect Port Fayt, a town where humans, goblins, fairies and other beings live alongside one another quite happily. Until The League of Light threaten the townsfolk and and sends an armada to wipe it off the map.…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    The Toymaker – Jeremy De Quidt

    “Do you know Frausisstrasse? You must. The street named after that fine Duke who, seeing his army beaten before him, rode his great high-stepping white horse down onto the battlefield, and taking off his hat in one majestic sweep, dismounted before the enemy prince, drew his sword as though to surrender it, and drove it instead straight through the man’s heart, so the lost battle was won and the city saved.” Mathias only ever knew his grandfather, Gustav, and the circus they rode with. Gustav kept himself to himself but, the conjuror would frequently tell Mathias that he knew a secret, one that should never be told. When Gustav sees…

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    Before I Die (Now is Good) – Jenny Downham

    “I wish I had a boyfriend, I wish he lived in the wardrobe on a coat hanger. Whenever I wanted, I could get him out an he’d look at me the way boys do in films, as if I’m beautiful. He wouldn’t speak much, but he’d be breathing hard as he took off his leather jacket and unbuckled his jeans.” Tessa has cancer. She is dying, choosing to stop the treatment that was causing her so much more pain than she could bear. But before she goes, she has a list, and every thing on that list has to be done. Number one on the list is sex, and that’s…

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    Muddle and Win: The Battle for Sally Jones – John Dickinson

    “Pandemonium is a place. To get there you go down.  That’s not ‘down’ as in the bottom of a mine. You can go to the deepest mine you like and dig and dig and dig until there’s so much air pressing on top of you that it squashes you to treacle. But you don’t get to Pandemonium that way. It’s the other sort of down.” In Sally’s world people how lifetime deed counters (LDC’s) not that they know about them. The angels and demons from up and down keep an eye on the LDC’s and when someone needs balancing out an angel and a demon are summoned to do the…

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    The Demon’s Watch – Conrad Mason

    “The old woman smiles into the darkness. Her cloak is already drenched, but still the rain beats at her back, drips from her hood and streams over her hands, where they cling onto the cold tiles of the rooftop. Port Fayt. At Last.” In Port Fayt everyone lives side by side; goblins, trolls, elves, imps, fairies and men. They are all equals… or as close to it as you can get. The order is sometimes pushed off kilter and there’s a great deal of fighting when you mix up a population like that, especially when the pirates and smugglers come ashore. But Captain Newton and his men in The Demon’s…