THE NEAR WITCH – V.E. Schwab

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RELEASED: 12/03/2019
PUBLISHER: Titan
GENRE: Fantasy, Fairy Tale

All-new deluxe edition of an out-of-print gem, containing in-universe short story “The Ash-Born Boy” and a never-before-seen introduction from V.E. Schwab. The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. There are no strangers in the town of Near. These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger, a boy who seems to fade like smoke, appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true. The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy. Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

Shamefully, I’ve never read a book by V.E. Schwab, despite being desperate to do so! So, upon seeing that I could rectify that situation, I was delighted to be sent a copy of a rerelease of her debut The Near Witch; it looked a lot less daunting than her other series’ and I’m sold on fairy tales involving witches!

The Near Witch reminded me of a lot of children’s classics from Diana Wynne Jones, Cliff McNish and Paul Stewart that I loved growing up, and so I found this to be an easy one to get hooked on. Despite being a fairly short book, the world has been crafted so it really comes to life in your mind and the characters are really interesting. The feeling of fear really came off the pages and kept me guessing throughout.

One thing that I loved about this book is that it was a perfect bridge between YA and adult fiction; it was so easy to get immersed in the world of Near and I found that as soon as the story got going it was impossible to put down! It’s been a while since I’ve found a book that I’ve just had to keep reading in one sitting, and, considering that it’s a debut novel, the writing style is flawless.

I can’t wait to finally get around to reading more of V.E. Schwab’s work after reading this wonderful book!


Thank you to Lydia at Titan Books for sending me a copy of this title.
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AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Heather Trim

Hello and welcome to something a little bit different; I’m very excited to have my first author interview on here!

HeatherTrim03Today I am joined by Heather Trim, author of the YA fantasy Wingbound series (Wingbound came out earlier this year, and book two, Wingless, came out earlier this month). I’ve really been looking forward to this post since Heather agreed to it – going on book one, this series is something that’s totally different to anything that I’ve ever read and is one that I would love to share with you!

So, without further ado…welcome Heather!

What inspired you to begin writing the Wingbound series?

The Wingbound Series was a result of daydreaming. I may have been driving and cloud gazing at the same time. (Don’t worry, no one was harmed in this daydream!) But I saw a cloud that looked like an island floating in the sky. I imagined it circling the world as it drifted by. And there had to be people aboard. People with wings!

That’s good to hear! The world you’ve crafted in Wingbound really is wonderful!
Did you always know that it would be a series as opposed to a stand-alone?

It started as a stand-alone and the story kept going beyond the end of Wingbound. So Wingless was born, and it’s even better than book 1.

wingboundYou’re making me so excited to read book 2! It sounds fab. For those who haven’t come across your books before, could you give one sentence to describe it?

The Wingbound Series is a young adult fantasy with a drop of romance and a dash of adventure.

Have you ever been inspired to write for any other genres or age ranges?

Young adult has always been my favorite to read and write, whether it’s fantasy or sci-fi, as long as there is at least one good kiss. Ha! I guess I will never grow up!

I think you’re spot on there! How does your writing fit in with your daily life?

For me, writing is an escape from normal life and a stress reliever. When I just need to do something not serious and fun, I write.

What’s your favourite read this year?

I loved Legendary by Stephanie Garber (book 2 of the Caraval series). There’s so much mystery and plot twists. My biggest question is HOW did she write this!?!

winglessYES! I have to agree – it’s such a good series with a wonderful cast of characters! Who’s your favourite character in the Wingbound series and why?

I love all of them of course! They are my BFFs. But if I had to choose, it would be Hollis. She is the main character, Leger’s, love interest. She’s so wild, funny and sassy. I wrote her with “what would I NEVER do?” in mind and out came the dragon riding wildcat: Hollis.

Hollis is the one who stood out to me. Everyone loves a good sassy character! What’s the one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to become an author?

Three things: read a lot, write a lot, and edit a lot. Flush insecurities, because the combination of those three things keeps you learning and practicing so you keep getting better and better. Only compare yourself to your past-self.

That’s such good advice for budding authors, and for life in general! Finally, what’s next for you?

I’m working on the final installment of the Wingbound Series. (I don’t even know the title yet!) But there is some fun in store including plot twists, love interests (or two), and more dragons!

WINGLESS-3d-2Thank you so much to Heather for answering my questions, and good luck with the third and final installment in this fantastic series!

Wingbound and Wingless are out now!

If you’re UK based, at the time of publication of this interview, Wingbound is on an unmissable offer on Amazon!

WHICH WITCH? – Eva Ibbotson

5/5

100% in my top 10 books of all time. Because it’s awesome.

I am going to keep this short and sweet because I would hate to ruin the magic of this book, but if you love magical realism, witches and magical creatures, this is most likely the perfect book for you!

I read this book every Halloween without fail! Honestly, I can not find a single fault; it’s fantastically written (it’s Eva Ibbotson, goes without saying really!), has a brilliantly funny and magical storyline and it’s perfect for the young and old alike. One thing I love about it is that I can recommend it with confidence to readers just starting to get confident with reading bigger chapter books but may be put off by reading a book that’s “too long/big” but also to anyone who is looking for a fun read full of magic that is still surprisingly realistic despite the presence of familiars, bottomless holes and princesses turned into swans!

Just trust me and read it!

ARCACIA – T.A.Barua

Good evening! I was asked to be a part of the blog tour for Arcacia by T.A.Barua, a new children’s fantasy book. It’s been receiving some good reviews! Here’s the premise:

When a beautiful sorceress-queen, Selina, spurns Setanor, a powerful, jealous northern warlock, an invasion of Western Arcacia begins. To save her newborn triplets from death, they are cast down a magical river to the New World, a place called, ‘London, England.’

Thirteen years later in a cold, Victorian London attic… The future of Sophie, an impoverished orphan looks bleak but everything changes, to her astonishment after a young witch arrives through her bedroom window with an incredible message and a warning. So begins her life in a beautiful, enchanted ancient world…

How do Sophie and her four friends summon the tremendous courage to rescue her long lost family while restoring Arcacia from dark, ruling forces? Mystical beasts, sceptres, powerful witches and daemon-trolls are just some of their challenges. Meanwhile, the dreaded terrifying warlock, Setanor and his witch-consort Lilith have sent a secret enemy to plan their downfall…

Check out the rest of the bloggers involved in the tour!

You can get a copy of Arcacia here.

Have you heard of or read Arcacia? What did you think of it?

Six for Sunday: 10th June 2018

Good evening! Sorry I’ve been a bit MIA on here – it feels like a while since I last did a tag post! I’m taking a break from revision for my French exam tomorrow to do this one; it’s an interesting topic!

You can find the prompts for S4S here. This week’s is:

Reasons you love books…

1. Escaping to another world, whether it’s set in our world or a fantasy one

2. Finding characters who have similar traits, both positive and negative, as you

3. To learn more about others and what they go through

4. I have an obsessive personality, so I became obsessed with books at a young age, and that’s unlikely to change

5. Finding relatable quotes

6. They take you on emotional rollercoasters and can help you to feel emotions

They’re the main reasons that I love books so much – what are yours?

WWW Wednesday: 2nd May 2018

How is it already May?! I’ve had to focus a lot on uni this week so haven’t had a chance to read much, but I’ve still read a bit!

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What are you currently reading? 

I started We Are Young by Cat Clarke today, so far so good! I love her writing style and it’s so easy to get in to her books. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this latest title which comes out tomorrow!

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What did you recently finish reading?

This week I read a picture book – Monty and Sylvester, which was alright! I also half read How To Write a Love Story by Katy Cannon, which also comes out tomorrow, which, whilst it started out pretty good, ended up being way too fluffy for me!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I want to read Skylarks by Karen Gregory next, and give Wingbound by Heather Trim another go as I’m more into fantasy at the minute than I was when I first started it!

WWW Wednesday: 25th April 2018

It’s that time of week again – hello and happy Wednesday! This has been one of my favourite reading weeks this year…you’ll see why!

What are you currently reading?

I’ve just started How to Write a Love Story by Katy Cannon, and whilst I’m not far into it it’s pretty good so far! It seems like a fairly light contemporary.


What did you recently finish reading?

I finished Legendary this week and OMG! It was even better than Caraval and I just want to experience the magic all over again!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I have a load of May releases to get on with so probably one of those! I’m tempted to start We Are Young by Cat Clarke next.

LEGENDARY – Stephanie Garber

5/5

Sequel to the wonderful Caraval, that’s arguably even better than the first.

I finished Legendary this afternoon. My heart is still racing. This book!

Without a doubt, Legendary is even better than Caraval, which is some feat since Caraval was without a doubt one of the top books of 2017. Somehow, Stephanie Garber has crafted a tale that once again has you doubting what’s real and what’s only a part of the game, full of unexpected twists and turns. Even things that you are fairly certain are real you question, and that really is the true beauty of this book!

Legendary focuses on the story of Tella, who is a much feistier character than her older sister Scarlett, and as such makes the story a lot more fast-paced and unpredictable. I couldn’t help but adore Tella. She takes on everything that’s thrown at her with such a headstrong attitude as she is thrust into the world of Caraval.

I don’t want to make this a spoiler review, so I’m going to try to be as obscure as possible, but know that so many fantastical new characters are introduced in Legendary, as well as some incredible development of existing characters. I finished the book with a new book boyfriend (oh hi Dante!) and a thirst for more!

I have heard that this is just a duology, but, that said, I’m desperate for more and want to know what happens next! So, if you’re reading this, Stephanie, PLEASE can there be more!


Thank you so much to Hodder for my copy of Legendary via NetGalley!

WINGBOUND – Heather Trim

4/5 so far

Full review to come.

“Ledger is supposed to fear and despise the Sky People of Ellery. When an Ellerian girl named Alouette with beautiful, white wings sneaks into his village, everything changes. With his village at war with the winged people who live on the floating island that circles their world, he does the unthinkable: he befriends her. 

In Ledger’s seventeenth harvest, Ellery returns empty. The Sky People are gone, Alouette is missing, and Ledger must make a difficult choice—continue life as usual in the blacksmith workshop or board the island against the elders’ wishes and find her. 

From debut author Heather Trim comes a vibrant fantasy where following the rules isn’t always the right thing to do when you were born to be the exception.” – Goodreads

Okay, so I was very lucky and was asked if I would like to review a new Young Adult fantasy book from debut author Heather Trim. It sounded right up my street fantasy book-wise and the reviews already are fantastic – I couldn’t wait to get my review out there too! You may have noticed me talking in the past-tense and that this is very different to my usual style of review; I haven’t actually read all of this book *hangs head in shame*. However, what I have read is so good that I simply didn’t want to DNF it just because I’m not in the mood for fantasy books at the minute! The past month or so has seen me have lots of uni assignments to do, become very unhappy in my current job and so getting a new job and lots and lots of book releases that I had copies of via NetGalley, so, as you can imagine, it’s been very hectic! The books I have read have all been contemporaries – it’s my favourite genre and has been what I’ve needed to read to keep me sane so fantasies and historical fiction have really taken a backseat.

But I really want to raise some awareness about this exciting new book!

So, from what I have read, with Wingbound you are guaranteed a fast-paced book with some fantastic world-building and characters. Heather Trim’s writing style is so easy to get into and she doesn’t fall into the trap that I’ve come across so often with debut authors of being overly descriptive of everything. She gives just enough detail to create a vibrant image in your head which is perfect for me! Going on other reviews and my reading experience so far, what’s to come can only get better!

I fully intend to continue reading Wingbound as soon as I’m in the mood for fantasy and life settles down a bit, which hopefully will be soon!


Thank you very much to Shayla and Heather for sending me an eBook of Wingbound!

WWW Wednesday: 14th February 2018

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m having a good reading week – loving my current read and getting through lots of picture books!
What are you currently reading?

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What are you currently reading? 

I’ve recently started The Exact Opposite of Okay by Lauren Steven…I knew it sounded good but omg! It’s absolutely brilliant and full of humour and I’m really enjoying reading it! I’m very excited to get a finished copy next month!
What did you recently finish reading?

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What did you recently finish reading?

This week I read both mini mysteries in the Wells and Wong series – Robin Stevens is the author of the month for the British Books Challenge and A Spoonful of Murder has just come out and I just felt like a good short story, so I read two. Loved them, expected nothing less!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’ve got lots of ARCs to read, I think next will either be Wingbound by Heather Trim or Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley, depending on whether I fancy a fantasy or contemporary.