Tag Archives: fantasy

The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall – book review

Disclosure. This post mentions a book that I won. All opinions are my own.

I’ve just got round to reading a book that I won as part of the online YALC 2020, (Young Adult Literature Convention). I had been hoping to attend for the first time, but lockdown put paid to that plan, so instead I followed some of the online events. My prize was a proof copy of The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, her debut novel. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

The Mermaid the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Here is the book blurb.

In a world divided by colonialism and threaded with magic, a desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial lady find a connection on the high seas.
Aboard the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl takes on the identity of Florian the man to earn the respect and protection of the crew. For Flora, former starving urchin, the brutal life of a pirate is about survival: don’t trust, don’t stick out, and don’t feel. But on this voyage, Flora is drawn to the Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, who is headed to an arranged marriage she dreads. Flora doesn’t expect to be taken under Evelyn’s wing, and Evelyn doesn’t expect to find such a deep bond with the pirate Florian. Neither expects to fall in love.

Soon the unlikely pair set in motion a wild escape that will free a captured mermaid (coveted for her blood) and involve the mysterious Pirate Supreme, an opportunistic witch, double agents, and the all-encompassing Sea herself.

Deftly entwining swashbuckling action and quiet magic, Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s inventive debut novel conjures a diverse cast of characters seeking mastery over their fates while searching for answers to big questions about identity, power, and love.

The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea is a mixture of fantasy, adventure and romance. Part one is set aboard the pirate ship Dove where the passengers on a long voyage from Crandon to the Floating Islands are initially unaware that the ship they are on is actually crewed by pirates, who plan to sell them as slaves.

Flora now known as Florian and brother Alfie are crew members, previously living from hand to mouth on the street. Meanwhile 15 year old Lady Evelyn Hasegawa is travelling with the Lady Ayer on the Dove to meet her husband-to-be in the Floating Islands. Flora is assigned by the captain and Rake to guard Evelyn from other crew members, especially Fawkes, as she will fetch a very good price. However Flora and Evelyn form a bond and fall in love. How will Flora save Evelyn from her awaiting fate?

This book which is divided into 3 parts, The Mermaid, The Witch and The Sea is full of twists and turns. With the fantasy element, I found it quite difficult to keep up with what is going on, but I found it a lovely touch that the Sea was viewed as a character. So yes we meet a mermaid who sadly has been captured by the pirates, since Mermaid’s Blood is a powerful expensive drink. She is getting weak. Can Flora or Evelyn come up with the answer to save her? And was Flora identifying as a female or a male?

We don’t meet the witch and her magic until much later. Meanwhile not everyone is whom they seem. I lost count of how themes, the author managed to weave into this tale.

The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea is an intriguing fantastical magical romantic adventure.

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An Unexpected Adventure by Kandi J Wyatt – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book An Unexpected Adventure by Kandi J Wyatt to review. You may find out more about the author on her website.

The Unexpected Adventure by Kandi J Wyatt

Here is the book blurb.

Harley will do anything to keep his new pal safe. But a hungry dragon needs to eat. And the government is hot on their tail.

Harley Maegher’s seen E.T. and knows what the government will do to mythical creatures. There’s no way he’s about to let his new-found friend fall into the hands of an NSA agent. When the dragon starts setting fires and eating livestock, the choice may be taken from him.

Steria is only interested in filling her tummy and spending time with Harley and his friends. After all, they’re the ones who woke her and called her from her egg. When the agent tries to capture her, she’s confined to the farm where she’s safe but without sufficient food. She’ll do anything to protect herself and Harley, even if it means she’ll go hungry.

This is the first title in the Myth Coast Adventures trilogy, set in a small town in Oregon. The story starts with eighth grade (yr9) Harley and his friends Will and Chace searching on the beach for Thundereggs for Professor Raleigh. If like me, you have never heard of a Thunderegg, Wikipedia tells us it is a type of rock. Will finds something, but rather than a Thunderegg, it is an actual egg, but a very large one indeed, as big as a backpack. On Monday, they show it to their science teacher Mr Behr, before hiding it in a barn at Chace’s family farm. Before long, another school friend Cherise is in on the secret too. But is Professor Raleigh really who he says, especially once he turns threatening?

Is it a dinosaur? No, when it hatches, they discover it is a dragon who they name Steria. But how are they going to feed her and keep her a secret from the Professor and everyone, even with Mr Behr’s help? And what about once she starts to get bigger and learns to fly? She definitely gives Harley’s older sister Karis a shock, who is delighted to then be in on the action too.

Things progress and this develops into quite a page turner. Certainly a bit more than the biology project they say they are working on.

An Unexpected Adventure is available on Amazon in Kindle format, audiobook or paperback. A great book for older children and teens with its mix of adventure, fantasy and fun.

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Bearmouth by Liz Hyder – book review

When I heard last month that Bearmouth had won this year’s Branford Boase Award, I decided that it would be my next personal choice of read. This title by Liz Hyder was already on my radar, from when it also won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for older readers earlier in the summer. And it also was chosen as The Times 2019 Children’s Book of the Year.

Bearmouth by Liz Hyder

Here is the book blurb.

It only taykes one person to start a revolushun

Life in Bearmouth is one of hard labour, the sunlit world above the mine a distant memory. Reward will come in the next life with the benevolence of the Mayker. Newt accepts everything – that is, until the mysterious Devlin arrives. Suddenly, Newt starts to look at Bearmouth with a fresh perspective, questioning the system, and setting in motion a chain of events that could destroy their entire world.

In this powerful and brilliantly original debut novel, friendship creates strength, courage is hard-won and hope is the path to freedom.

This story is set deep underground in the Bearmouth mine, where the workers not only work hard for little pay, 6 days a week, but they live too. Food rations of gruel barely sustain them and they have to pay out of their wages for everything like candles, matches, hot water and clothes.

The tale is narrated by young Newt, whose age isn’t specifically mentioned, but probably about age 10-12. Newt hasn’t seen daylight since age 4, as it is too expensive to take the lift to the surface. Newt and the other miners are all very religious, praying to the Mayker. Every Sunday (Maykers Day), they climb 10 levels to pray in Maykers Hall, which is led by Mr Sharp, the overseer.

Thomas, an older miner is like a surrogate parent to Newt, and is teaching Newt and Tobe, their letters. Meanwhile, the book is written in a phonics-like language, with the words spelt like how Newt would say them. This meant I had to concentrate extra hard on reading this book, and I do wonder how anyone who struggles with reading will get on with it. I did manage to decipher most words apart the more technical mining related ones. For instance, can anyone work out what caban, hagger or mandril are?

Day in, day out, everything is pretty much the same. But then a new boy Devlin arrives in Newt’s dorm. And what Devlin says, sows a seed of doubt in Newt’s mind. How does Newt react? What will happen next?

This book struck a chord with me as quite a number of my ancestors worked down the pits from a very young age, at coal mines in the North East and lead mines in the remote Welsh mountains. I could tell that Liz Hyder had done plenty of research into 19th century mining.

It is a tale of friendships, foes, child labour, exploitation, grief, class, courage and tension. A unique very dark compelling YA read, which is targeted at age 13+. Bearmouth is Liz Hyder’s debut novel, so I shall certainly be interested to see what she follows up with.

Note does include scenes of sexual assault and attempted rape.

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Life of Pi by Yann Martel – book review

My latest personal choice of read, rather than a requested book review is Life of Pi by Yann Martel. This was the winner of the prestigious Man Booker Prize back in 2002.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Here is the book blurb.

One boy, one boat, one tiger . . .

After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan — and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and best-loved works of fiction in recent years.

This book starts like most with an author’s note, which initially made me assume that the story was based on a true tale, but as I read, I revised my original opinion. How could such a scene possibly have really happened.

The first few chapters dart from theme to theme as the scene is set, which I did find slightly confusing. But this is to introduce us to Piscine Molitor Patel, known as Pi. Yann also weaves himself in as the writer interviewing characters. In part 1, we follow Pi through childhood in the 1970’s upto age 16, when he and his family are about to emigrate from India to Canada. I particularly liked how Pi was a practising Hindu, Christian and Muslim.

Pi’s father had been the Pondicherry zoo director, but he is now closing the zoo and most of the animals are being bought by US zoos. So the family and the zoo animals are about to set sail aboard the Japanese cargo ship Tsimtsum for pastures new.

It is only as we move into part 2 of the story, that the blurb comes into play. Four days out of Manila, the ship is in trouble. Three of the crew throw Pi overboard into a lifeboat before the ship sinks. But who does he have for company on this lifeboat, but some of the animals who had escaped from their cages. A hyena, a zebra, an orangutan and a tiger, with sharks circling around. You just know that things are going to prove interesting.

And what a tale it is. There is even a part 3, which is different again. I highly recommend Life of Pi. A great read which I thoroughly enjoyed, suitable for both adults and older children from about age 11 upwards.

This bestselling book has also been made into a film which i would love to see too.

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Screamcatcher: Dream Chasers by Christy Breedlove – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book Screamcatcher: Dream Chasers by Christy J Breedlove to review. You may find out more about the author on her website.

Screamcatcher: Dream Chasers by Christy J Breedlove

Here is the book blurb.

Seventeen year-old Jory Pike knows a thing or two about Indian lore from her half-blood Chippewa ancestry. She can trap, hunt and fish with the best of them. She has a team of three other teens friends called The Badlands Paranormal Society. Instead of bagging groceries or playing on I-pods, they think they can excel at banishing evil spirits. They hope to cleanse houses and earn fat paychecks for their services.

Dream catchers aren’t just the chic hoops tourists buy at novelty shops–they work. And sometimes they clog up with nightmares until they collapse under their own evil weight, imploding and sending the dreamer into an alternate world. Jory uses her worst nightmare to enter the dream catcher world. She’s pulled her teammates in deliberately. Everything goes right on schedule but they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. Now Jory and her friends are there, trapped between the people who have confessed their sins to the Great Spirit and are seeking a way out, and the monsters and evil spirits, which are happy to keep them trapped in the web world forever.

They were once considered Seekers in the dream world. Now they’ve become vigilantes and call themselves Pathfinders. Is it spiritual enlightenment they after? Or have they now become fatally reckless?

This is book 2 in the Screamcatcher series, aimed at YA readers. I haven’t read book 1, but found this worked perfectly as a stand-alone read. It is fantasy, a genre I don’t usually read, but I was hooked from almost the beginning.

It starts off with a team of 4 main Pathfinder characters, Jory, Choice, Lander and Darcy, all aged 16-18, who have been commissioned to sort out a huge evil dream catcher which is giving its current owners nightmares. They make the jump into an alternate nightmare world, starting on the bad outer rim of the dream catcher, where the neighbourhood seems to have been burnt to the ground. All is in ruins, nothing useful can be found and they need to head west, searching for the good Seekers, moving from sector to sector, heading to the centre where good can pass through.

But everything seems stacked against them, challenges, monsters, difficult terrain, extreme weather and huge walls between sectors.

So can they find and rescue some Seekers? And can they reach the centre?

Screamcatcher: Dream Chasers is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format. A great read. Highly recommended.

I’ve never actually seen a dream catcher, but I’ve even been eying up my wind chimes suspiciously since reading this book.

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The Morgans and the Jewel of Bar-Ran by K T Dady

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Morgans and the Jewel of Bar-Ran by K T Dady for son2 to review. To find out more about the author, you may see her website here.

The Morgans and the Jewel of Bar-Ran by Karen Dady

Here is the book blurb.

Your world isn’t the only one that exists. There is another, a magical place called Bar-Ran, and it’s about to be destroyed unless the Morgan children can find the royal dragon and replace its heart. They are five siblings who are magically transported to a strange land during the night. All they want to do is go home, but a wizard sends them on a journey to rescue the powerful Jewel, and it is a journey that changes their lives forever. This book is suitable for Harry Potter fans and those who enjoy discovering new places like Neverland, Wonderland, and Narnia. This is the first book in the series.

The Morgans and the Jewel of Bar-Ran by Karen Dady

This is what son2 had to say about the book.

I liked this book, it was very interesting, with twist and turns all around and ending on a cliffhanger.

Short and to the point. As I also read the book, I’ll give you a bit more. The five orphaned Morgan children aged 7 to 13 were on holiday visiting their grandmother Nana Hats who lives in a castle, near the town of Peasmore. Unfortunately they can’t live there, as they are in the custody of their horrible mean uncles who make them do all the chores on their pig farm.

But there are some very odd things going on like floating upto the ceiling and glowing red rain. When the children investigate further in the castles’s South Tower in the middle of the night, they end up being transported to the magical land of Bar-Ran in their pyjamas. They want to go home but discover they have first have to complete a mission to save Bar-Ran by recovering the Jewel and returning it to the dragon.

Their mission takes them on journey through many lands, meeting all sorts of magical characters, some good and some bad. We get to see the different personalities of each of the siblings. And son2 is correct about it ending on a cliffhanger, all ready for a new adventure in the second book – The Morgans and the Legend of Blood-Beard.

The Morgans and the Jewel of Bar-Ran is available on Amazon, currently priced at £6.99 in paperback and is also available in kindle format. A great children’s chapter book which son2 really enjoyed. Highly recommended.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are mine and my son’s own.

The Ghost of Crow Cavern by John Wedlake and Norman Mounter

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Ghost of Crow Cavern by John Wedlake and Norman Mounter for son2 to review.

The Ghost of Crow Cavern by John Wedlake and Norman Mounter

Here is the book blurb.

A wave of delight and anticipation sweeps through a small community of red squirrels as they behold a vast fleet of boats carrying their distant cousins towards them. They will no doubt bring incredible wealth, wisdom and joy to the humble squirrels of Nutshaven. However, the dream soon becomes a nightmare. Their distant cousins soon turn out to be enormous and brutish bullies of an ever-expanding Grey Empire. Shadowtail – the brilliant but intensely evil Grey leader – announces that their lives are about to radically change: Your colony is now ours, and we shall endeavour to use you and your resources to enrichen the imperial spoils of conquest and world domination. With their entire way of life now under threat, will the wisdom of old Normsk, the wits of young Cheswick and the might of Brutenuts the Brave be enough to counter such a dark and dominant force?

This is what son2 had to say about the book.

I liked the Start, However, as it went on it got a bit boring, However, the End was alright.
I liked the concept of it Starring Squirrels. 🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿

I also read this book and was quite surprised how dark the storyline is for a children’s book. Amazon indicates it to be aimed at children age 6-10, but no way would I read this to a 6 year old. I would suggest this is much more suited to children age 10-13. Even the blurb hints at how ruthless the grey squirrels are. And the cute cover red squirrel looks quite scared indeed. However son2 seemed oblivious to the dark undertones.

Red squirrels used to be the only squirrels here in the UK up until the late 1800s. Grey squirrels were originally native to North America. I myself have never seen a wild red squirrel, although probably see grey squirrels in my garden most days. Take this theme and make it darker, then you have the measure of this tale.

The Ghost of Crow Cavern is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.78 in paperback and is also available in kindle and hardback formats. A rather dark storyline for children. Son2 rates this chapter book 3star. He is usually an avid reader but this didn’t really hit the spot for him.

The Ghost of Crow Cavern by John Wedlake and Norman Mounter

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are mine and my son’s own.

The Colonel and the Bee by Patrick Canning

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Colonel and the Bee by Patrick Canning to review. For more information on the author, you may see his website.

The Colonel and the Bee by Patrick Canning

Here is the book blurb.

A peculiar explorer and downtrodden acrobat span the globe on a building-sized hot air balloon, in search of a precious artifact and the murderous treasure hunter who seeks it.

Beatrix, a spirited but abused acrobat in a traveling circus, seeks more than her prison-like employment offers. More than anything, she wants to know her place in the world of the halcyon 19th century, a time when the last dark corners of the map were being sketched out and travel still possessed a kind of magic.

One night in Switzerland, the mysterious Colonel James Bacchus attends Beatrix’s show. This larger-than-life English gentleman, reputed to have a voracious appetite for female conquests, is most notable for traveling the world in a four-story hot air balloon called The Ox.

Beatrix flees that night to join the Colonel, and the two of them make a narrow escape—Beatrix from her abusive ringleader, the Colonel from a freshly-made cuckold. Beatrix, feeling the Colonel may have the answers to her problems, pledges to help him catch the criminal he seeks in exchange for passage on his magnificent balloon.

The criminal seeks a precious figurine, The Blue Star Sphinx, but he’s not alone. The Sphinx’s immense value has also drawn the attention of the world’s most deadly treasure hunters. A murder in Antwerp begins a path of mystery that leads all the way to the most isolated island on Earth.

What dangers await the Colonel and the acrobat?

Well this is certainly a unique storyline like no other. The book starts in 19th century Switzerland where “The Amazing Beatrix” is an acrobat in Ziro’s touring circus. After the performance in the Big Top, Ziro takes her to perform at a private dinner at Chartish Manor. Here she meets the Colonel James Bacchus, a jolly character with flowers in his hat, who travels the world in a multi-storey hot air balloon. My mind boggled at how many rooms were under this colossal balloon.

Beatrix makes up her mind to escape the circus from Ziro’s whippings and flees with the Colonel in his balloon, who is also running from an enraged Lord Chartish, having just slept with his wife. But he only permits her to stay one night, as he is on a mission to find a dangerous criminal. Bee persuades him that she can help.

From Switzerland, they follow a lead to Antwerp, where they meet the Colonel’s friends, Thelma and George, but too late. They find a murdered man and a clue. The trail leads through Spain, Gibraltar, Britain, Africa and on and on, meeting friends, foes and treasure hunters along the way. What will the outcome be?

I salute this author for his inspired creativity with this storyline. So far-fetched that this book stands in a genre of its own. I wasn’t sure what to think when I first read the blurb, but I definitely liked it.

The Colonel and the Bee is available on Amazon, currently priced at £12.95 in paperback or £3.99 in Kindle format. A fantastical adventure.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice by Katarina West

I have received a free advance PDF copy of the book “The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice” by Katarina West  to review. I was looking forward to this, having read Katarina’s previous novel “Absolute Truth For Beginners” back in 2015. To find out more about the author you may visit her website or blog.

The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice by Katarina West

Here is the book blurb.

Meet Irene Nylander, a frumpy housewife from Finland… and a yo-yo dieter. She feels trapped in an unhappy marriage, looking after her domineering mother-in-law and living vicariously through romantic movies.

Meanwhile, in Florence, Mimi Kavanough’s star is rising. She has the body of a Barbie princess, the iron will of an army sergeant – and Hollywood in her sights.

On her fiftieth birthday, Irene discovers her husband is having an affair. Devastated, she prays for a way out: she wants to die.

In heaven, a mischievous angel called Aaron hears her prayers. He decides to make Irene and Mimi swap bodies.

How will the two women cope with their unexpected, and very different, second lives? And will Aaron’s meddling get him evicted from heaven?
What will happen if he has to transform into a human being and live on Earth?

This book is set over the course of a fortnight commencing 23 June. It starts with Irene heading to Helsinki for a night out to celebrate her 50th birthday with her best friend Saara after more rudeness from her mother-in-law Horrible Harriet. But Saara doesn’t show, giving an excuse about working late. Irene decides to go to the restaurant alone, but then she spots her husband Henrik, who is supposedly on business in Stockholm. Instead he is having a cosy intimate meal with Saara. Irene rushes out and back to her car, just praying to die, as her life is so unhappy.

Meanwhile up in Little Heaven, prankster punk angel Aaron has already caused havoc that day by pretending he spotted a demon. Now he realises Irene needs help and he says Jump as her car is just about to crash.

At the same time, Hollywood star and model Mimi is enjoying herself on a yacht near the Italian island of Monte Cristo when she hears a voice in her head saying Jump. It makes perfect sense to her, as she jumps into the sea.

And just like that Irene and Mimi swap bodies. But what will happen to Aaron, since angels are not permitted to meddle with humans like that. And how will Irene and Mimi get on in their new lives? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

This book is available on Amazon and is currently 99p in Kindle format. I loved this book with its mixture of fantasy and chick-lit. It is the first story in the Angel Aid series, so I’m really looking forward to book 2.

And the author is hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway 10 Amazon Kindle copies of The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice. Open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice by Katarina West

I’m participating in the book tour and you may like to check out some of the other blog stops on the tour.

13 June, Tuesday

Rocksprings Crafts

14 June, Wednesday

The Cosy Dragon

Creative Misfit

15 June, Thursday

Hall Ways

The Writing Desk

16 June, Friday

Joyful Antidotes

Mademoiselle Women

17 June, Saturday

Linda’s Book Bag

18 June, Sunday

Novel Gossip

19 June, Monday

Yet another blogging mummy!!!

20 June, Tuesday

Sarah Smiles

Leila’s Bookshelf


22 June, Thursday

Hello Booklover

Katarina West

You can find Katarina West on social media as follows:-
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.







The Embers of Enchantment by S D Davieson – book 2

Regular readers of my blog may remember that when son1 reviewed the first book in The Embers of Enchantment series in April, I mentioned that we had also received a free copy of the second book. My son has now read this too.

The Embers of Enchantment by S D Davieson

Here is the book blurb.

Darkness has awoken once again within the shadows. Three unlikely Welsh teenagers and a young dragon fall mysteriously into each other’s lives as destiny is forced to intervene. Dylan and Heulwen discover they have abilities not heard of in centuries. Emyr now has his own personal demon to battle. Seren falls, literally into Dylan’s, Heulwen’s and Emyr’s lives.

Will the legendary prophecy of The Chosen Five come to pass?

We can all only hope.

Without them, creatures of darkness will have the power to destroy us all!

The Embers of Enchantment by S D Davieson

This is what son1 had to say.

This is the sequel of EMBERS OF ENCHANTMENT. I rated it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It is another good book where Lizzie-Ann discovers the chosen 5:
Dylan, Heulwen, Seren, Emyr and Emyr’s unhatched dragon egg 🐲

Come and get it now 🎁

Once again he has kept it brief, so I’ll add some more details. The first chapter begins with a recap of the last chapter of book 1, but continues to reveal Emyr discovering that his mother was a black witch. Dylan and Heulwen experience a weird mental connection and transfer on the way to see Emyr, that hasn’t been heard of in centuries. They then all become friends with Seren and have another strange magical experience with orbs of light. Heulwen senses danger with regards to a stranger but Seren protects them with a spell. Emyr hating magic, runs off. The others then head to Lizzie Ann’s cottage but are chased by something menacing. Lizzie Ann reveals that they are part of the chosen 5 and conjures up more magical orbs of light which seek out the 5, the 5th being Emyr’s unhatched dragon egg. The next day they commence their magical training with Lizzie-Ann beginning by entering a stone circle and vanishing in thin air.

To be continued. I’m eager to read more, but parts III and IV haven’t been published yet.

The Embers of Enchantment Destinies Entwined Part 2 is available on Amazon, currently priced at £6.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. Both son1 and I enjoyed this book.

And to find out more about the author you may visit his website.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.