Tag Archives: Russell Whitfield

The Spirit of Solstice by Charlotte E. English (@Charlottenglish) – Review

Title – The Spirit of Solstice (The Malykant Mysteries Book 6)
Author –Charlotte E. English
Genre – Dark Fantasy
Length – 92 Pages
Publication – Jan 2017
My Rating –5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Konrad Savast is the Malykant: foremost and most secret servant of the God of Death. His job? To track down the foulest of murderers and bring them to The Malykt’s Justice. No mercy. No quarter.

Solstice Eve, and Konrad is dragged from his bed to investigate the murder of a local wine merchant. The man’s as dead as they come, but his spirit seems oddly unperturbed by his passing.

More victims are swift to emerge, all killed in the same brutal style — and all with strange, unheard-of reactions to the news of their own demise. Is it just the Solstice spirit, or is there something else afoot? Something stranger, darker and far more dangerous…

Review

I don’t know how Charlotte does it but this series gets better and better with each story.

Konrad is the Malykant, He seeks justice for those murdered and he has a growing group of followers to help him. My favourites being Optapi and Eetapi as always. Their dark humour always has me smiling. The relationship between them and Konrad is a strange one, I don’t think Konrad wants to admit it but as much as he doesn’t like the serpents he’d be lost without them.

This case is a very perplexing to start with..a man is found murdered but seems happy to be dead when the serpents bind him. Why?

More bodies turn up and the curiosity grows with each death.

Now I don’t want to spoil the tale by giving away too much detail but Konrad has to root out fact from fiction to discover the identity of the killer but the strange manner of the deaths means this isn’t a quick open and shut case.

I loved the injection of myths in this tale. Fantasy and myth blend so well for me and it made for an extraordinary tale.

What the author manages to do superbly well is that she builds on the previous foundations set in the series and develops the relationships. Konrad is still coming to terms with feeling emotions and in this tale it looks like having emotions might not be the best thing.

While I loved the original ensemble of characters I really enjoyed the return of Tasha, she’s very unique and I love the relationship she has with Konrad and the growing support she has to offer with her own set of skills.

Once again I’m shocked at how much Charlotte can fit into so few pages. At 92 pages this is exactly what a short story should be..It’s a full tale, fast flowing and easy to follow, no unanswered questions & nothing feels rushed.

Charlotte’s tales are dark and a mildly gruesome at times but are very enjoyable and well suited to a young adults and above. I think what I really enjoy is Charlotte’s use of language, it’s never dumbed down but never too complex to put a reader off either.

I’ve said it before but Charlotte is Queen of the short tales for me. She never sets a foot wrong and they’re perfect if you don’t have the time to read a longer length novel.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

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A Year of Ravens: a novel of Boudica’s Rebellion – Review

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Title – A Year of Ravens: a novel of Boudica’s Rebellion
Authors – E. Knight, Ruth Downie, Stephanie Dray, Russell Whitfield, SJA Turney , Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Ben Kane (Foreword)
Genre – Historical Fiction
Length – 483 Pages
Publication – 17th Nov 2015
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Britannia: land of mist and magic clinging to the western edge of the Roman Empire. A red-haired queen named Boudica led her people in a desperate rebellion against the might of Rome, an epic struggle destined to consume heroes and cowards, young and old, Roman and Briton . . . and these are their stories.

A calculating queen foresees the fires of rebellion in a king’s death. 

A neglected slave girl seizes her own courage as Boudica calls for war. 

An idealistic tribune finds manhood in a brutal baptism of blood and slaughter. 

A death-haunted Druid challenges the gods themselves to ensure victory for his people. 

A conflicted young warrior finds himself torn between loyalties to tribe and to Rome. 

An old champion struggles for everlasting glory in the final battle against the legions. 

A pair of fiery princesses fight to salvage the pieces of their mother’s dream as the ravens circle. 

A novel in seven parts, overlapping stories of warriors and peacemakers, queens and slaves, Romans and Britons who cross paths during Boudica’s epic rebellion. But who will survive to see the dawn of a new Britannia, and who will fall to feed the ravens?

Review

I was very lucky to receive an ARC of this book for review purposes.

This book follows the tale of Boudica and her rebellion against Rome and is split into 7 parts which are told by a different authors.

Each story is full of action and crammed full of emotion which you want but the best thing for me was that every story was told from a different characters perspective.

This is the first book I’ve read with this style of storytelling and I loved it, it’s what made it so enjoyable to read.

The way in which the tales are told add to the growth of the characters as throughout the book you see them through someone else’s eyes and I found myself liking people I originally didn’t.

There are some complex characters and relationships in this book and I particularly loved Sorcha & Andecarus. Each of these stood out for me. I also loved anything involving Duro.

In conclusion I felt everything worked well with this book, it was full of action, fast paced and a joy to read. I also felt having so many authors involved and the writing style of the book brought something to my eyes which was unique. I can see my book pile is going to grow after being introduced to some authors I’d previously not heard of.

It’s also made me want to look into some more stories about Boudica, she seems a very strong and complex character who I’ve not read much about. The one thing that really makes a good book for me is when the author leaves a spark with you.. leaves you wanting to find out more.. to read more. This book has certainly done that.

I feel quite privileged to have had the chance to read/review this before its release. This is a must read for anyone who enjoys the genre.

To find out more information head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com. Pre-order is available now!