I came across Josie Jaffrey, an independent author, on Instagram. After contact with her, she offered me a copy of her latest Young Adult fantasy novel, The Gilded King. As I enjoy this genre, I agreed to read and review her work.
In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well. Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world cannot accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape int the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside. But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained. Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight. One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.
From the first page of this novel I was drawn into Jaffrey’s world and swept away by her prose. The world she has created is refreshingly different and, even though it does not exist, her description of the Blue (and later the Red) captured my imagination and allowed me to suspend disbelief. I fell in love with the characters Julia and Lucas – and grew to distrust other Nobles living within the Blue. As the story moved to a climax, I held my breath and hoped for the survival of my favourites. The writer expertly takes you through a range of emotions, and does not allow you to put down her novel and forget her story.
I loved reading The Guilded King. the first in the Sovereign series. As the story came to a close, Jaffrey left me on tenterhooks, anxiously waiting for the next installment. Her writing and storytelling has converted me into a fan and I know that I am going read everything that she has previously written. If you love fantasy fiction, you should seek out a copy of this tale – you will not regret it.
Last year, a couple of months before Christmas, I entered a giveaway on one of Susan Toy’s blogs, Reading Recommendations and I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the recepients to receive a book. My choice was an author I had not read before but had noticed around the blogosphere: Seumas Gallacher.
The past two weekends has seen me reading the words in Vengeance Wears Black, a crime thriller. The novel drew me in from the first line and kept me interested until the last page. This fast-paced thriller centres around the character Jack Calder, an ex-SAS agent and security specialist. The action begins with a deadly grenade which is thrown into a Chinese restaurant in the West End in London at lunchtime, and continues into the world of the drug trade. Readers are taken from London to spots in Europe with Jack Calder and his ISP colleagues.
Reading this novel made me think of fast-paced Hollywood action movies. I turned the pages quickly and regretted the moments when I had to put the novel down. The second Jack Calder novel is one that I would recommend, especially if you enjoy reading fast-paced stories that are succint and full of action. I enjoyed this read and look forward to reading the next one featuring the former SAS agent.
I have just completed the fourth novel by T. B. Markinson, Claudia Must Die. From the first paragraph of this story, I was hooked. I had all these questions in my mind as I was reading the first page: Who is this Claudia? Why was she being hunted? Why was she looking for a woman similar in appearance to herself?
As I read on, my questions were answered – but my curiosity did not wane. Claudia is a woman on the run: she has left her gangster husband taking a lot of his money with her. She finds a way out of her dilemma but her plan goes awry. Unplanned events happen one after the other and snowball into a solution Claudia never thought of happening.
I enjoyed this novel by Markinson and believe it to be her best yet. This story is different from the others she has written and yet the story has been well told. Markinson’s characters are believable and their actions realistic. Claudia’s original intentions may be suspect – and yet one grows to understand the reasons for her actions. I found myself flipping the pages of my reader quickly to see whether the end may be a positive one for her. For a light read that has a bit of thrill in it, I recommend Claudia Must Die.
To connect with T. B. Markinson, you can find her on her blog Making My Mark.