Thursday 16 November 2023

Bookshops and Bonedust by Travis Baldree


Today is my spot on the Blogtour for Travis Baldree's NYT #1 Best Seller Bookshops and Bonedust.

B&B is a prequel to last year's Legends and Lattes and I guess if you've already read that you know what to expect - you won't be disappointed. The story takes place 20 years before L&L and features our favourite orc, Viv who is injured in battle and left to recover in the town of Murk. With very little to do Viv soon discovers the titular Bookshop and its grumpy owner and an unexpected love of books. 

The people and creatures she meets in Murk and through the bookshop are what really makes the story stand out for me, the interactions and banter are even more enchanting than in L&L. The bookshop owner, Fern, a grumpy, foul mouthed ratkin was an absolute gem, one of those characters you would happily spend more reading time with.

B&B was a comfy (if not as much so as L&L) read with magic, intrigue, friendship, adventure and was just as much fun as I had hoped it would be. The added snippets from other books only added to the overall enjoyment.

Now, I know a lot of genre fans may turn their noses up at the idea of Cosy Fantasy (and yeah, I would have been one of those before last year) but both Legends and Bookshops were a massive surprise. Sometimes you just don't know that the book you need isn't always the book you would choose.

5/5* and a definite contender for my favourite book of the year.

Thanks to Black Crow PR for inviting me onto this tour and providing me with a review copy (which in no way influenced my thoughts or opinions). Please have a read of the reviews by the other bloggers on the tour (below) 

Sunday 5 November 2023

The Darkness Before Them - Matthew Ward


 I really enjoyed Matthew Ward's Legacy Trilogy so a chance to read an early review copy of The Darkness Before Them was a definite no-brainer for me.

 The setting here is more of a Middle Eastern one, so certainly different to Legacy's more British feel and while I liked that I did find myself struggling with some of the pronunciation and that did cause me to take a bit longer reading it than I had hoped. But I got there just this afternoon and very satisfying it was too.

 Right, the story . . .

 TDBT starts off at a run with Kat and her girlfriend in the middle of a heist. We are quickly introduced to the magic system which, is a kind of spirit magic I guess. It has the spirits of the dead watching over the treasure rooms of the wealthy making them practically impregnable. Kat has a special gift though, she can talk to, and command the spirits. This heist, the one big job, is the one that will clear her debt, which she had to take on from her father when he died, will be a doddle then.

 Nah, of course not. As expected things go wrong and our hero is in a whole world of trouble.

 The other POV is that of Damant, castellan to one of the ruling families and this allows us to see things from the wealthier side of the city.

It is very much a case of the rich getting more and the poor making do with scraps (if they're lucky) but rebellion and uprising is in the air and Kat and Damant are going to end up in the middle of it.

 There is a lot going on in this story, the world building is top notch (apart from my struggles with pronunciation . but that's on me), the battles exhausting (in a good way) and, most importantly the characters have me invested in their plight that I am already Jonesing for the next in the series.

 Thanks to Matthew Ward for inviting me onto this blogtour and arranging the review copy. All opinions and views are my own and not influenced in any way. Please have a look at the posts from the other bloggers on the tour (below).