Book Review: The Unflinching Ash by Angela Armstrong

Rating: ★★★★
RRP Paperback: $25.00 NZD

Goodreads Synopsis:

In a world like ours, Mystics once ruled the night. Well, so long as they were men. On Ash’s day of naming, she chose the Mystic path nonetheless. The same illusions that garner gasps of awe from the lamp-lit crowds earn her scorn from the basilica. There is only one way forward: a perilous quest – earn the Queen’s Seal, a badge of honour, and immunity. She’ll simply have to avoid being hanged, burned or drowned first.

First of all I’d like to give a huge thank you to the author, Angela Armstrong, for giving me not only an electronic copy of The Unflinching Ash, but also the beautiful physical copy you see in the photo above. (Seriously, how does any book have the right to be this gorgeous?)

Diving straight in, this book was fantastic! I really found myself enjoying it the whole way through. The Unflinching Ash tells the story of Ash, a female Mystic (kind of like a modern day illusionist or escape artist) who strives to win the Queens favour and gain protection from those who seek to harm her from within the bigoted and cruel Church. This book was full of grit and perfectly timed humour, but also touched on some very heavy topics. I absolutely loved it.

I found the beginning a little bit slow and confusing, but it didn’t take long before I got myself situated within the world and the story really took off. I loved the writing style and felt it fit perfectly with the world and the characters that Armstrong built. Speaking of which, I fell hard for these characters! Especially Ash and her love interest, Ren. This book is perfect for those who enjoy a bit of romance within the plot, but aren’t looking for it to completely over power the story.

Ash herself was a total badass and I kind of wish I was more like her. She’s completely headstrong and sure of herself (even if sometimes my introverted ass was screaming “PLEASE DON’T DO ANYTHING STUPID!”). I just found it hard to sit back and relax when she wouldn’t take help from anyone… but I mean, if I was as much of a badass as she is, I probably wouldn’t need any either.

The fact that the author drew a lot of inspiration from real historical events made a lot of what I read a whole lot more harrowing, but I loved seeing our girl, Ash, navigate through these situations and come out stronger.

Over all, this book was amazing. I really loved it. I think the characters were just *chefs kiss* perfection and I’d definitely pick up another book if it meant seeing more of them in the future (please, Angela… PLEASE? CAN WE HAVE MORE?!)

Just Like the Others… (My Publishing Story.)

If you’ve arrived here thinking this is going to have a happy ending, well.. I suppose it does. It’s just not the happy ending you’d expect. I haven’t landed some amazing book deal, I’m not on my way to the best seller list. But I have learned a lot about resilience and taking criticism with grace, and understanding that my novel wont be for everyone (and thats ok.)

I started writing my new adult fantasy novel with the feverish enthusiasm of someone who’s never been cut down for their work. I’d sit for hours each day, stealing time when my child was napping and then when she’d sleep at night. Staying up into the wee hours of the morning, learning more about my characters as I wrote and falling in love with them just a little bit more each chapter. I didn’t care what other people might think at that stage. I didn’t care that one day someone, anyone, might have to actually read it. I just wrote, and boy oh boy, did it feel amazing.

Flash forward about 5 months and I had completed my first draft. I sat looking it over, thinking it was amazing and ready for that first read through by someone who wasn’t me! But the more I thought about sending it off to my friends, the more I felt uneasy. The writing was clunky and it didn’t flow. I knew it wasn’t ready. So instead, I spent another few months going through my work and making changes.

Eventually I felt it was ready. I sent it off to my close friends and the feed back was actually positive! I was ecstatic! It was time to try my hand with the sharks, I mean… the publishers. (No offence to the publishers, but sending your novel in for the first time is kind of like jumping head first into a herd of hungry sharks with a bag of dead fish. It’s terrifying.)

I initially sent my novel to 10 different publishing companies. It wasn’t easy either, with each company wanting different things, the process to just get my applications sorted took months. You’d think I would have grown used to the slow process of book writing and publishing, but then came the longest wait of all. The one where you sit by your email, waiting for someone to accept or reject your baby.

Months go by and I eventually get a response from some of the publishing houses (not all, because most won’t reply if you’re unsuccessful.) Several were straight up rejections, but one, one, was promising. They wanted to see my full novel, not just the first three chapters, but the whole thing!

I send it in and more time goes by, I wait anxiously, checking my emails constantly for a response.

Then it comes…

The worst rejection of all.

The one where my childish enthusiasm finally took a dive.

Don’t get me wrong, they were right to reject the novel where it was at. It wasn’t where it needed to be to be published. I was given some feedback (which I can now appreciate more than anything, as it was proper, editor feedback, not best friend feedback.) It was interesting to see where things needed to change and how I needed to rework my novel to make it a more dynamic, fleshed out read.

Feeling disheartened, I decided to step away from publishing for a while and turned to Wattpad instead, a place I knew I would find a plethora of willing readers ready to give me feedback. I began uploading my novel one part at a time, reworking the story chapter by chapter. It turned out to be a really fun and fulfilling project. The novel changed in a lot of ways, scenes where added, characters where given more depth and the whole story just felt more… mature somehow. It became something I actually felt pretty dang proud of.

For now, the story will stay online and I’ll give people the opportunity to give me their feedback. Maybe one day I’ll try again and see if the publishers are willing to give a new adult fantasy novel a chance. But until then, you can find me plotting book number 2 and forever chasing that feverish enthusiasm I had prior to all the rejection.

If you’re interested in reading Daughters of Prophecy, you can read it here or by clicking the image below.

Book Review: When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald

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Rating: ★★★★
RRP Paperback: $29.99 AUD | $35.00 NZ
Publication Date: February 1st 2020

A huge thank you to the wonderful people at Simon and Schuster for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads synopsis:

A heart-swelling debut for fans of The Silver Linings Playbook and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Sometimes life isn’t as simple as heroes and villains.

For Zelda, a twenty-one-year-old Viking enthusiast who lives with her older brother, Gert, life is best lived with some basic rules:

1. A smile means “thank you for doing something small that I liked.”
2. Fist bumps and dabs = respect.
3. Strange people are not appreciated in her home.
4. Tomatoes must go in the middle of the sandwich and not get the bread wet.
5. Sometimes the most important things don’t fit on lists.

But when Zelda finds out that Gert has resorted to some questionable—and dangerous—methods to make enough money to keep them afloat, Zelda decides to launch her own quest. Her mission: to be legendary. It isn’t long before Zelda finds herself in a battle that tests the reach of her heroism, her love for her brother, and the depth of her Viking strength.

When We Were Vikings is an uplifting debut about an unlikely heroine whose journey will leave you wanting to embark on a quest of your own, because after all…

We are all legends of our own making.

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What a fantastic, insightful and unforgettable read! I thoroughly enjoyed this. It had me feeling all types of feelings! A book that will challenge peoples thoughts and tackles taboo subjects with humility and grace!

When We Were Vikings is the story of Zelda, a woman born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, who lives with her older brother Gert, who is doing everything he can to try and keep them afloat, which includes some pretty shady dealings with some very shady people.

What made this whole book for me was Zelda. She had such a strong and unique voice, it made the whole thing really interesting to read! It was the first book I have ever read that was narrated from the perspective of someone with special needs and it was an absolute  pleasure to see such diversity in literature and have these characters portrayed as epic, strong and passionate individuals!

All the characters were very complex and real. There were times when certain characters were introduced and they would do things that made me physically uncomfortable. Zelda gets taken advantage of several times throughout and called some really horrible names, which I found particularly unsettling. But Zelda is unapologetically herself the whole way through, despite the obstacles she is faced with. Which is one of the many reasons I loved this! It really is a lesson in resilience and not being afraid to be oneself!

The plot was great. It covered a lot of intense issues such as poverty, drug abuse and sexual assault. It flowed nicely and I loved being inside Zelda’s head for the duration of the novel, she was honestly such a badass! It was such an interesting read, that really got me thinking! There were occasions that I think could have had a more emotional impact if they were done slightly different, but otherwise, this is a book I would definitely recommend everyone read.

Once again, a massive thank you to Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy this beautifully heartwarming story in exchange for an honest review!

Book Review: Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

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Rating: ★★★★
RRP Paperback: $29.99 AUD

A huge thank you to the wonderful people at Pan Macmillan Publishing for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads synopsis:

North Carolina, 2018: Morgan Christopher’s life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, she finds herself serving a three-year stint in the North Carolina Women’s Correctional Center. Her dream of a career in art is put on hold—until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will see her released immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to leave prison, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets.

North Carolina, 1940: Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone in the world and desperate for work, she accepts. But what she doesn’t expect is to find herself immersed in a town where prejudices run deep, where people are hiding secrets behind closed doors, and where the price of being different might just end in murder.

What happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues hidden in the decrepit mural? Can Morgan overcome her own demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies?

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This book really took me by surprise! Having been sent this book by Pan Macmillan, it wasn’t the kind of book I would normally pick up! But I am honestly so glad I did! It was really emotional and woven together so perfectly. It honestly felt like watching a painting come together.

Big Lies in a Small Town is told from two separate perspectives. One is that of Anna Dale, an ambitious young female artist in the 1940’s who, having won a competition, is chosen to create a mural that will hang in the post office of a small town in North Carolina. The other is that of Morgan Christopher, a woman serving time for a crime she did not commit, who is given a life altering opportunity to be released from prison early in exchange for restoring an old mural.

I really fell in love with how this story was told. it flowed so well from one perspective to the next and had this really beautiful way of making you slowly fall in love with these characters. The diversity of the supporting characters was amazing, the way the author delved into mental health and trauma was done incredibly well and I really enjoyed the history that was woven throughout the novel. I also really appreciated that we got two strong leading ladies in this book!

The plot itself was amazing. I want to say it’s almost a little bit of a “slow burn” in terms of pacing! It takes its time getting to know the ins and outs of the characters and unveils each plot point in a really intricate and interesting way. There were times I felt heartbroken, times I was genuinely shocked and times that I was in awe! A couple of the plot points I did find the tiniest bit predictable, but others were so intricate and surprising that it made for a really interesting read.

An emotional and perfectly painted mural of a book, that I highly recommend picking up. 4 stars!

Book Review: Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

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Rating: ★★★★.5
RRP Paperback: $19.99 AUD

A huge thank you to the wonderful people at Scholastic AU for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads synopsis:

The dreamers walk among us . . . and so do the dreamed. Those who dream cannot stop dreaming – they can only try to control it. Those who are dreamed cannot have their own lives – they will sleep forever if their dreamers die.

And then there are those who are drawn to the dreamers. To use them. To trap them. To kill them before their dreams destroy us all.

Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality.

Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it.

Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer . . . and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed. . . .

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Note: If you’re here, I’m going to assume you’ve already read The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater. If you haven’t, please go do that first and then read Call Down the Hawk! This book/book review wont make a lot of sense to you if you haven’t!

As with every other work by Stievater that I’ve read, this novel has a beautiful way of telling a complex story in a very subtle and intricate way. It focuses very heavily on the character experience, which is something I’ve always loved. A character driven novel is always more interesting and inspiring to me than a novel that is full of action but no strong character development. Stiefvater has this incredible knack of having a book feel like nothing really happened, but also everything happened all at once, it’s breathtaking and I adore it.

Call Down the Hawk gives us Ronan Lynch’s story. He’s a dreamer. He can literally bring things back from his dreams and manifest them into life. But the Dreamers are being hunted because a small group of people call Visionaries have been having visions of a Dreamer who will manifest a fire so terrible, it will burn the earth to cinders, bringing about the end of the world. This was a really amazing start to a pretty intense mystery and I cannot wait for the next book!

Honestly, my only complaint is that when reading the Raven Cycle books, I fell in love with Adam Parrish (Ronan’s partner for anyone who stuck around, even after my warning that this won’t make a lot of sense!) and this book had entirely too little of him in it! I hope we get more of Ronan and Adam together in the next book! All the new characters were incredible though and I honestly loved learning more about Ronan’s family.

As usual, this book just felt like magic. Maggie’s writing is so atmospheric, I could have been there with these characters while reading. Now I know these books aren’t for everyone, they are highly character driven and less about moving the plot forward at lightening pace but more a slow burn, intricate web of detail for us to wade through. They are incredible, subtle and magical. I highly recommend you give them a go. 4.5 stars!

Book Review: A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

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Rating: ★★★★.5
RRP Paperback: $16.99 AUD/$18.99 NZ | Hardback: $25.99 AUD/$27.99 NZ
Publication Date: 21st January 2020

A huge thank you to the wonderful people at Bloomsbury Publishing for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads synopsis:

In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.

Find the heir, win the crown.
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom.
Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.

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Please note that this review does contain spoilers for the first book in the series!

Ok, where do I start! What an amazing second book to a series! I absolutely loved this! It was a little bit slow to start with, but it really picked up and turned into such an incredible romantic adventure! I absolutely adore Brigid Kemmerer’s knack for blending romance with a brilliant story line! I’m also completely happy with the relationships in this series of books and I’m so glad we weren’t taken down the obvious path!

A Heart So Fierce and Broken picks up a few months after the events of A Curse So Dark and Lonely. Grey is in hiding and carrying the deadly secret that he is the legitimate heir to the Ironrose throne. After being captured and taken back to the castle by force, Prince Rhen will stop at nothing to know Grey’s secret and eliminate any threat to his own claim on the throne. All the while, Grey grows closer to an enemy princess and together they must navigate their way through a world of changing allegiances, forbidden magic and love.

If you’re here, I can only presume you’ve read A Curse So Dark and Lonely (and if you haven’t, what are you doing here? Go read that first and then come back!) The second novel in this series takes a slightly different turn, we no longer get alternating perspectives from Rhen and Harper. Instead we get a story from the perspectives of Grey and a new Character, Lia Mara! Now, I may be totally bias, but because I adored Grey in A Curse So Dark and Lonely I thoroughly enjoyed reading his story, maybe even more than the first!

The world opened up for us in this book! We got to see more of Emberfall and explore different villages and kingdoms! More characters and creatures were introduced and the plot was really engrossing! As I said previously, it did feel like it started out a little bit slow, but the pacing started to pick up after a short while and after that, I couldn’t put it down! The new characters and party dynamic was everything! The banter and begrudging respect that forms between these characters was so much fun to read.

The story comes to a pretty epic conclusion with some rather huge revelations coming to light that already has me itching for the next book! If you haven’t picked these books up already, I would highly recommend you do so! 4.5 stars!

Once again, thank you so much to Bloomsbury Publishing for the opportunity to review A Heart So Fierce and Broken!

Book Review: The Heart of the Moors by Holly Black

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Rating: ★★★.5
RRP: $16.99 AUD

A huge thank you to Scholastic Australia for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Holly Black comes a captivating original novel set between Disney’s Maleficent and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, in which newly-queened Aurora struggles to be the best leader to both the humans and Fair Folk under her reign; her beau, Prince Phillip, longs to get to know Aurora and her kingdom better; and Maleficent has trouble letting go of the past.

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This was a really quick and enjoyable spin on the Maleficent tale. It had a lot of Holly Black’s signature faerie twists which I loved and, as usual, she created a very atmospheric world. The story was very short though and not as fleshed out as I would have liked, however, I understand that this is a middle grade fantasy as well as being a stand alone so that’s completely understandable. It was great! Just not exactly what I would usually read as an adult woman, but still a really fun read!

The only Maleficent story I have ever known is the one I watched as a child when I would ask to watch Sleeping Beauty over and over again! Side note, I was terrified of Maleficent in that movie and my Nan coined the name “Nasty Knickers” for her because it would make me laugh and I was less inclined to run screaming when she appeared on the screen! So when I started reading The Heart of the Moors it was nice to see a different side to Maleficent and the relationship between her and Aurora that was so at odds with the story I grew up with.

I adore Holly Black and I really love what she brought to this tale. It felt like I was reading a proper fairytale, complete with a daring prince, a headstrong queen and lots and lots of magic! As I have noted previously, this isn’t the kind of book I would normally pick up as an adult, however, I would highly recommend it to a younger audience. It was truely a lot of fun to read and I loved getting more of a back story to the characters I grew up watching. It’s actually made me want to watch the Maleficent movie now (I write as I flick over to Disney+)

Overall, this is a really lovely, captivating read that I believe would get any young reader swept away into the fantasy genre. It’s a solid 3.5 stars for me, but I can imagine it would be much higher had I read it as a Middle Grader!

Book Review: Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

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Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

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So I’ll be honest, the reason I decided to grab this book off my shelves and finally read it was because:

  1. Everyone on bookstagram is/has been raving about it, and
  2. I saw a really amazing piece of fan art that blew my mind and got me falling in love with the main characters before I even opened the cover. (it’s completely NSFW though so I won’t link it here.)

I am so glad I decided to pick it up though because I really enjoyed reading this book! I smashed through it in a matter of hours and it was just so entertaining. For some reason going into it, I assumed it was a stand alone book. I was pleasantly surprised to find that we’ll be getting a sequel!

Serpent and Dove is your classic enemies to lovers/ fake marriage troupe (one of my favourites)! The story follows head strong and foul mouthed Lou, a witch in hiding stealing to survive and the stoic and loyal Reid, sworn into the church as a Chasseur and lives by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. As their lives intertwine they are forced to confront their prejudice and forget everything they think they know about one another.

So one of the things I really loved about this story was the magic. It had a really eerie and interesting quality to it that was really immersive to read. It really did feel like something that could be feared! I would love to learn more about how the magic system works for each of the different witch covens too, but I’m sure we’ll learn more in the coming book(s). The world building was awesome and really atmospheric! I felt like I could have been there with Lou on the roof top of the old theatre watching the stars, or walking along cobblestone streets, eating sweet buns!

The characters! Lou was so sassy and fun! I loved that she was so outspoken and forward thinking. Reid was a bit of a cardboard box to start with, but that was to be expected given his character. He had a lot of great growth in this book and I’m sure he’ll have a lot more in the next. The supporting characters were all really interesting and added something different to the plot (particularly Ansel, bless him)!

Overall this was good and I will definitely continue the series. I’m really looking forward to where these characters will go next, particularly after one very exciting and interesting revelation at the end of the book! I’m hooked! I’ll be giving Serpent & Dove 4 stars!

Book Review: Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

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Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…

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Why is this over!? It can’t be over! Can someone please contact Holly and let her know we’d like a whole novel of Jude and Cardan just living their lives and interacting with their cute-as-heck sass.

Queen of Nothing picks up right where The Wicked King left us. Jude is in exile and High King Cardan is on the throne in Elfhame. When Jude’s twin sister Taryn arrives at Jude’s door with some interesting news, Jude is persuaded to return to Elfhame in Taryn’s place.

This was everything I was hoping for! It was such a brilliant ending. My only complaint is that I wish it was longer (which is hardly a complaint really, I’m just super greedy when it comes to Cardan Greenbriar). It was such a fantastic story and I actually enjoyed this one more than the first two (if that’s even possible).

The story flowed perfectly. I loved the fact that this book focused a lot more on our favourite characters and their relationships and that the more political aspects weren’t as prominent (don’t get me wrong, there was still plenty of intrigue, but it just seemed to be more enjoyable in this one! Less plotting and more action!)

It was such a satisfying conclusion to a series I have absolutely adored. I will thoroughly miss these characters and will definitely have to have another read through of the entire series at some point, but until then… I am so happy with how this story wrapped up and I highly recommend picking this series up if you haven’t already.

overall this was an utterly magical and whimsical fairy tale. I absolutely adore the wicked and eccentric vibe of the faeries in Holly Black’s work! I finished this is a matter of hours, it was so readable! But seriously, can we just get another book of Jude and Cardan being perfect?

Book Review: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

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Rating: ★★★★★
RRP: $32.99 AUD

A huge thank you to Penguin Publishing Australia for gifting me a copy of this incredible book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues–a bee, a key, and a sword–that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.

What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians–it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction.

Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life. 

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“Are you lost or are you exploring?”

I have no words.

This was beautiful.

It was poetic and magical.

It was everything I could ever want in a book.

And it’s easily my favourite book of the year!

The Starless Sea takes you on an incredible, vivid adventure. Like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, this book thoroughly immerses you in magic and wonder. I have already set a goal to read it again before the year is out so I can further understand all the small intricacies!

After Zachary Ezra Rawlins stumbles across a mysterious book in his university library, he is whisked off on an adventure that leads him through a magical painted door to a mysterious underground labyrinth filled with stories.

This book was gorgeous! It made me remember why I loved The Night Circus so much. Erin Morgenstern has a way with words. She is a poet. Honestly, my heart is so incredibly full after reading this book. The characters were beautifully written and complex, we got a perfect slow burn (and wonderfully queer) romance and the plot was layer upon layer of intricate detail that came together so beautifully in the end. It’s the kind of book that has you intrigued the whole way through and as you read the last page it’s as if all these pieces fall into place and you look up from your book and just stare in utter reverence at how incredible some story tellers are.

Now I understand that this book may not be for everyone. It can be a little “heavy”and as I’ve stated, there is a lot of intricate detail that some people may find a bit much. But for me, it was absolute wonder. This is a world I would very much like to be a part of!

Over all, I cannot fault this glorious book. It has everything I love in a story and I will read it over and over and over for the rest of my days. Go ahead, leap down the rabbit hole, step through the back of your cupboard, walk through that painted door. You won’t regret it. All the stars in the night sky for this one. Utter perfection.