Sunday, 30 September 2012

King of Thorns, Mark Lawrence

Publishers: Harper Voyager

Pages: 597

Main Characters:

Jorg, Makin, Katherine

King of Thorns is the second book in Mark Lawrence's The Broken Empire fantasy series. The book picks up the story of Jorg Ancrath four years after the Prince of Thorns. This book is a little different to Prince because it has two different story lines. The first is that of the ‘Wedding Day’. On this day, Jorg is (obviously) getting married, but that is but one small detail in the day. The wider plot to this story line is that Jorg is defending his Castle against the might of the Prince of Arrow, Jorg’s rival to the Imperial crown. Things are not looking good for Jorg. He is outnumbered nearly twenty to one by a Prince who is a great strategist and who is very likeable. Jorg also has no great plan to save himself or his Kingdom and must take the initiative and think on his feet if he is going to survive the day!

The second and more substantial story line is that of ‘Four years earlier’, which tells the tale of how Jorg manages his new Kingdom and more importantly follows the story of the ‘box’ which holds one of Jorg’s worst memories. This side of the book really shows how the burden of been a King turns Jorg from the bloodthirsty boy in the Prince of Thorns to the man he becomes in the King. It also reintroduces us into Jorg’s passion over Katherine and how someone else’s terrible action means that he can’t be with her.

This was another great book from Lawrence, however I didn’t enjoy it as much as Prince. I think one reason for this was that Jorg was less of the unpredictable, fierce Prince who was driven by hate and his desire for revenge. I think there were some aspects of the old Jorg in this book but most of the time Jorg reigns himself in. I think Lawrence did this to show how Jorg was maturing into a man because he was not lashing out and killing on a whim. However, in the Prince, this was my favourite characteristic of Jorg and I would have liked to see more of it in this novel. I also found some aspects of the dual plot sometimes confusing, especially if they were based in Castle Renar because I couldn’t remember if it was the ‘Wedding Day’ plot or the ‘Four years earlier’ one!

Nevertheless, I still really enjoyed the book! It was gripping, (I read it in a couple of days) at times funny and full of action and battles. I also like how Lawrence widened the story of the ‘Builders’ in this novel!

As I said, I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait until the next saga of Jorg’s life is released! I would suggest this book to anyone who is a hard-core fantasy fan or anyone who likes writers such as Patrick Rothfuss or Hank Quense.

For author’s official website click here.

And don't forget to check out Mark's blog here for updates on his Broken Empire Series.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Prince of Thorns, Mark Lawrence

Publishers: Harper Voyager

Pages: 373

Main Characters:

Jorg, Makin, Sageous

Based in a post-apocalyptic world, where the European society has been thrown back into the middle ages, the Prince of Thorns tells the tale of Jorg, a young, rouge prince with a dark past and an even darker future. Jorg is the son of the King of Ancrath, a small Kingdom in where we would call central Germany. However, Jorg is not a man of privilege. After witnessing the murder of his beloved mother and brother at the hands of Ancrath’s biggest rival the Count of Renar, and his father’s lack of response to their murders, Jorg decides to become an exile and seek his own revenge from the Count!

To do this, Jorg frees a band of mercenaries from his father’s dungeons. Through hard work, cunning and pure ferocity Jorg manages to become the leader of these ‘Brothers’ and wreaks havoc across the countryside, pillaging and destroying villages as he and his men please. After a few years of running wild, Jorg realises that he has drifted away from his goal of killing Count Renar and decides to return home to his father and Ancrath. However, what he finds back home is something he does not like!

His father has remarried to a young woman and has already made her pregnant. Jorg is furious that his father can forget his mother’s death so easily. His father’s new advisor also angers Jorg, for he is a dream-witch called Sageous, a dangerous person to be around! Nevertheless, Jorg wants to stay in Ancrath and lead its men. His father does not believe Jorg is man enough to lead troops and sets him out on a quest, to capture the lands of Gelleth to Ancrath’s East. Gelleth’s main fortress is Castle Red, an impregnable stronghold. Jorg knows his task is difficult, but with his cunning and the help of his Brothers he manages to find a route under the city in the caves left by the ‘Builders’, a race that destroyed themselves with the detonation of hundreds of ‘suns’ (bombs). In these caves, Jorg and his band of Brothers uncover a race of monsters called Lueucrota who agree to help them through the caves. But, the Lueucrota are not the only things living under Castle Red. The caves are also home to Necromancers, a group of mages that live and feed off the dead. After an epic battle with these Necromancers, Jorg cuts out and eats one of their hearts and gains some of their power!

Jorg and his men find what they are looking for under Castle Red, an ancient Builder ‘Sun’ and detonate it, destroying all of Castle Red and effectively handing his father the lands of Gelleth. However, on his return to Ancrath, Jorg finds that he is betrayed by his father and Sageous and is left to die. Luckily, the Necromancer's heart saves him and puts him back on his original journey- to kill the Count of Renar. However, it is now not just for revenge, but to create himself a Kingdom in which he can destroy his father's!

This book was an amazing read but as some of you may know, there is some controversy surrounding it. I feel that I should take a few moments to describe what and why that is. The reason the book is controversial is because the protagonist, Jorg, is a rapist. Now, I must say that I do not condone what Jorg does in the book. However, I would say that as a character it makes Jorg much more believable because he is a dark and often evil character. I feel Lawrence was right to add this to Jorg’s journey and I think he does so in a tasteful way. He does not describe any aspects of the rape; he just writes how Jorg remembers doing it. I do not think this is unlike any other fantasy or historical-fiction novel, apart from the fact that it is the protagonist who is the rapist.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I can tell you more about the book. As I said above this book was amazing! I picked it up because it reminded me of Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller series which I enjoyed. However, this book was so much better! I love the character of Jorg; he is so dark and dangerous! It just makes you think of him as a bad ass, but you know that if circumstances were different he wouldn’t be that way. I also loved Lawrence’s idea of basing the book in the future but making it seem like the past. And I thought the story behind the ‘Builders’ was a nice touch and hope that he brings in more of their story in his later books.

As you can tell, I thought this book was great! I would suggest it to anyone who is a fan of fantasy novels like A Game of Thrones or The Name of the Wind. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series King of Thorns!

For author’s website click here.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Book of the Month Competition for your chance to win a FREE copy of 1984 by George Orwell. To enter, just follow the instructions on the widget below and for more information click here.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The Splintered Kingdom, James Aitcheson

Publishers: Preface

Pages: 396

Main Characters:

Tancred a Dinant

The Splintered Kingdom sees us return to Tancred after the end of Sworn Sword. As promised by Robert Malet in Sworn Sword, Tancred is rewarded for his bravery at York (Eoferwic) with land which takes him for been a Knight into a Lord! Tancred’s new land and hall is in the small town of Earnford on the borders between England and Wales. Life is good for Tancred, he is now a Lord with his own knights, he has wealth and he has a new woman. However, life on the Welsh Marshes is not as easy as it seems. The fearsome Welsh have started to raid Tancred’s land as their leaders have become more militant towards the new rulers of England. And upon hearing the news that some of Harold Godwinson’s old friends and allies have taken refuge within the Welsh King’s courts, Tancred suspects that there will soon be trouble not just for his small holding but for the kingdom at large!

His fears are proved right as he and his men are called to arms to defend the imminent invasion from the Welsh and Saxons. But this is not the only threat; Eadgar Ætheling and the King of the Danes have joined forces and are removing the Norman presence from the North! After finally convincing the leader of the army set to tackle the Welsh (Guillaume Fitz Osbern) to take the initiative and attack does Tancred find himself at the head of five hundred men, with the task of pillaging and plundering the Welsh countryside. However, Tancred falls into a trap and is only just saved from defeat and death, with the Norman army been pushed back out of Wales with its tail between its legs!

With this last blow and humiliation, Robert Malet decides enough is enough and takes Tancred and the rest of his men north to York to try and find a safe haven for his sister Beatrice. But on their journey they are ambushed and Tancred is taken captive by the Welsh King! After finally escaping his captors, Tancred returns to his journey north in search of Robert and the rest of his men. What he finds is the King’s army moving to the aid of York which has been sacked by the Ætheling! Tancred also finds that Robert and Beatrice have been taken captive by the Ætheling and his Danish allies. Tancred must return north to save his Lord’s family (again!) and face his nemesis Eadgar, the murderer of his old Lord and his love Oswynn.

This was another faced-paced, thrilling and historically detailed novel from James Aitcheson!  I really liked how James developed Tancred as a character is this book. How he is not just a knight with no responsibilities but a Lord in his own right, having to care for his people and command his own soldiers! There is also a great twist in this novel that really sets up the next one! I won’t say too much because I don’t want to spoil it for any of you, but it is awesome!

I would suggest this book to anyone who has read Sworn Sword. If you have read it, you MUST continue reading this series because it is amazing! I would also suggest it to fans of authors such as Bernard Cornwell and Robert Low because their novels are based around the Vikings and the Saxons.

For author’s official website click here

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Book of the Month Competition for your chance to win a FREE copy of 1984 by George Orwell. To enter, just follow the instructions on the widget below and for more information click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Sworn Sword, James Aitcheson

Publishers: Arrow Books

Pages: 403

Main Characters:

Tancred a Dinant, Wace, Eudo

Sworn Sword is the first book in James Aitcheson’s 1066: The Bloody Aftermath series. The novel is based two years after the Norman conquest of England and tells the tale of Tancred a Dinant, a Norman Knight serving under the Earl of Northumbria, Robert de Commines.  Tancred’s story starts with the Norman capture of the city of Durham (or Dunholm as it’s called in the book). Tancred is on a scouting mission looking for any English fugitives that have escaped the attack on the city. But his mind is elsewhere. He would much rather be celebrating the victory with his comrades in the city and spending time with his woman Oswynn than riding through the dark, wet Northumbrian countryside.  But his mission soon becomes less of a strenuous walk and more of a fight for survival.

Tancred and his men come across a regrouped horde of English warriors and a new Northumbrian army led by Eadgar Ætheling, an English pretender to King William’s throne. Tancred and his companions are trapped in a fierce fight, but it is a fight they cannot win, and are forced to flee as Durham is sacked and recaptured by the English. Tancred is wounded and left without a Lord as Robert de Commines is killed. But, with the help of his friends Wace and Eudo, he makes his way to York (Eoferwic). After passing out for a few days, Tancred awakes in the house of Guillaume Malet the vicomte of York. After he has recovered, Tancred is given a mission by Malet to take his family to the safety of London and to escort his priest Ælfwold to Wilton (Wiltune) with a message. After giving his oath to Malet, Tancred, Wace and Eudo set out on their journey South, and it is not a moment too soon as Eadgar’s army is about to lay siege to York!

On their journey Tancred, Wace and Eudo uncover a secret conspiracy that could unite the entire English race against the Normans and send them back over the Narrow Sea! Tancred must work out who the conspirators are and help recapture York to stop the secret becoming known! But will he and his two companions be able to do it in time? Or will King William and the Normans have a country-wide rebellion to put down?

For me this was a great book. For some time I have been looking for a novel that is based around 1066 and the Norman Conquest and Sworn Sword was just what I wanted. It is not directly based around the Battle of Hastings but does refer back to it as Tancred talks about what happened there. I really liked that Aitcheson decided to base his novel after the battle and more on the Northumbrian rebellions and the ‘Harrying of the North’ because I think that this point in history is as important as the Battle of Hastings. It was a time where the Normans effectively colonised England, interbreeding and intermarrying with the English, further gaining a hold on the Kingdom. Plus the ‘Harrying’ showed King William’s determination to keep hold of his Kingdom by killing thousands of Northerners and creating an elaborate castle system throughout  the North to further police and control the English population, (many of these castles are still standing today!) further cementing in the English psyche that they were here to stay!  It shows to people that Norman history is not just about 1066 and the Battle of Hastings but has other as exciting and important parts! Plus I enjoyed it because it is based in the North and I’m a Northern boy!

The book itself was well written and I thought Aitcheson paid a lot of attention to detail. For example giving place names their French/Saxon names instead of just their modern English ones. I also liked that some of his characters like Robert de Commines and Guillaume Malet are based on real historical people, further showing that he added more detail to his novel to make it seem that much more factual and enjoyable to read!

As I said I was looking for a good novel about 1066 and Sworn Sword really delivers! I would suggest this book to anyone who is a fan of Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories as it is based around similar themes; they both are about the conquest of England (Cornwell=Vikings, Aitcheson=Norman) and both are great reads! And I can't wait to read the sequel The Splintered Kingdom!

For author’s website please click here

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Book of the Month Competition for your chance to win a FREE copy of 1984 by George Orwell. To enter, just follow the instructions on the widget below and for more information click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Interview with Sergio Silveira, author of The Secret of Ravelston

Hey everyone! As some of you may have read, a few days ago I reviewed the historical mystery novel The Secret of Ravelston by Sergio Silveira. Well, if you enjoyed my review then you will love my interview with its author Sergio Silveira! It’s a really interesting insight into what Sergio’s inspiration behind the novel was and why he decided it to be based in England during the 19th Century. I hope you all enjoy!

1. What inspired you to write The Secret of Ravelston?

I was inspired by one single poem, written by a rather unknown, albeit important poet called Sydney Dobell, an English Victorian poet, member of the "spasmodic school" of poets--yes, what a title, isn't it!

I heard "The Ballad of Keith of Ravelston" several years ago at The Art of Poetry Class, a wonderful class given in NYC at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation, and I was simply swept by it.  In his poem, Dobell tells that a great injustice was done to a young woman, but because she was poor no one cared about what happened to her.  But something happens to the place where that injustice took place that it can never be ignored.  I was deeply moved by the idea that an injustice done to a poor person couldn't be pushed away, ignored, having grown up in a developing country where so many terrible things were done to poor people, and it was seen as irrelevant.

2. How much of the book was based from your own experience growing up in Brazil in the 1960’s and how much of the book is the work of fiction. Was the relationship between the rich and poor as you explained it in the book the same as it was in Brazil? Or was it based more on historical sources from the 19th Century?

Although my novel takes place in the United Kingdom of 1805, so much of it are moments of my own life, growing up in the 60's and 70's in the northeast of Brazil.  I grew up in a society very much alike that of early 19th century Europe, in which wealthy, aristocratic landowning families lived in great luxury, at the expense of a vast majority of impoverished people.  Most of these wealthy land owners lived far away from their large estates, sometimes rarely visiting them.  Meanwhile, ever so many destitute human beings spent their entire lives toiling in those vast estates producing the large wealth the absent land lords enjoyed.  That's so much in my book, as in the case of Mr.Hemmings, who hadn't visited his vast ancestral estate in 30 years, but felt he was exclusively responsible for the creation of the estate's great wealth because of his diligent correspondence to the estate's managers, every other month.

Yet the main thing in common with the UK of 1805 and the northeast of Brazil in the 60's and 70's is actually a way of seeing people, and particularly a way of seeing the poor people, which enabled those living in wealth to justify their injustice.  This, I only learned later in my life, and in the US, from a great education called Aesthetic Realism, founded in 1941 by American poet and critic, Eli Siegel.  It is contempt, and which I had, growing up in one of those wealthy and old land owning families.  I remember as a young child, realizing that so many poor children died in Brazil from easily curable diseases, and asking those around me whether poor parents suffered in seeing so many of their children die.  I was told the poor people didn't have feelings like we did.  While the death of a child would simply devastate one of us, I was told, the poor people were quite used to it, and they actually suffered very little from it.  It made me feel less guilty to believe this. This contempt, I learned, not only causes the great poverty of millions in Brazil, it also had children spend their young lives and die in industrial mills in the UK of 1805.  One great question I heard studying Aesthetic Realism began to fundamentally change my terribly unjust way of seeing people: "Do you think poor people are more like or different from you?" I had been so sure they were completely different, and inferior, to me.  When I began to realize that they had feelings, and hopes and fears just like I had, the thought of a parent being unable to buy the medicine a child desperately needs, of even food, became simply unbearable to me. Lord Andrew, with all his sarcasm and anger, is actually a better person than I was growing up in Brazil, for he is deeply bothered by the injustice he sees, he feels it's unjust.  Yet he is torn between this beautiful feeling, and what he sees as being loyal to his family.

3. I felt Jane Freemont was a very likeable character and I would love to read more of her. Have you ever considered making her into a historical mystery heroine and having a number of books based around her solving mysteries?

My next adventure for Jane is in the works.  It will be called The Mirror Lies, and it's about how the thirst we all have for flattery can take us away from everything that is true and just.

4. As a historical mystery writer, what other authors do you enjoy reading?

I enjoy the classics more than anything else: George Eliot's Middlemarch, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Henry James' Portrait of a Lady, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and I love Agatha Christie's mysteries.  Yes, I confess, I love everything British, and I am damn proud of it!  How, otherwise, would a Brazilian lad ever write a British period novel?!

5. So what is next for Sergio Silveira? Are there any other novels in the pipeline, if so could you give us a brief synopsis of what it’s going to be about?

In The Mirror Lies, Jane is again sent far away by her brother, and she discovers that a large hallway mirror is actually an entry to a place where all we wonderful things we yearn to be--beautiful, charming, witty, adored--become true.  But there is a terrible price for it.

6. And finally. As a self-published author is there any advice you would give to writers who are trying to get their work out there?

The first advice is, get a good editor.  Second, look for reviewers who like your genre.  Third, and most importantly, you must never stop believing on the value of what you wrote.

For author’s goodreads page click here.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Book of the Month Competition for your chance to win a FREE copy of 1984 by George Orwell. To enter, just follow the instructions on the widget below and for more information click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 6 September 2012

The Secret of Ravelston, Sergio Silveira

Publishers: Self Published

Pages: 180

Main Characters:

Jane Freemont, Lord Andrew, Mary Hale

The Secret of Ravelston is the historical murder mystery novel by Sergio Silveira. Based in Northern England during the nineteenth century, the novel tells the tale of Jane Freemont, a young upper-middle class woman living in Wallingsford in the South of England. Jane is a modern woman for the nineteenth century, always questioning her superiors and giving her honest opinions at rather inappropriate times. However Jane is unfortunate. Her attitude is not so welcome in her home town of Wallingsford where Jane’s forward thinking (and an embarrassing mistake!) get her exiled from the town. Her brother, the town’s Pastor has only one option, to send Jane to live with their Uncle in Ravelston.

Jane is distraught at the thought of living in Ravelston. It is so far in the North, surrounded by wilderness and has no social life what-so-ever! She will never find a husband and have nothing to do in the boring, small town. But when she arrives, Jane soon finds that Ravelston is not the sleepy, rural town she expected it to be, but it has a dark secret which neither the town’s rich or poor are willing to share!

The townspeople seem to be unusually quiet about the disappearance of a young servant girl called Mary Hale. The rich of the town are unconcerned with Mary’s disappearance because she was poor and therefore unimportant; claiming that she will have found work elsewhere. Jane knows that Mary can’t have just left because all of her possessions are still in her old room. When Jane tries to ask Mary’s old colleges why she left and where she went to, they state that they don’t know and are too scared to tell Jane the truth because they will lose their jobs, the only thing that keeps them from the streets. Jane becomes obsessed with the disappearance of Mary and uncovers a love affair which could never be allowed between Mary and a wealthy local noble. Whilst uncovering the true secret of the town which could destroy the richest family there, the Ravelstons.

I really enjoyed this book. I think it was made that much better because of my conversations with the book's author Sergio Silveira. Sergio is actually a native of Brazil and grew up there during the 1960’s when the rural Brazilian society was similar to the English society of the nineteenth century. A society where the rich became richer off the back of the hard work the poor did in their fields. A society where the poor servants were not considered important and where made to work for a pittance so the rich could enjoy their luxury. It is really interesting to see some of Sergio’s own experience come through in the book and even more interesting/amazing/terrifying that these societies were still in existence fifty years ago and in some places still exist today!

The book itself was great. At first I didn’t think I was going to like the character of Jane. She was the typical spoilt, middle-class girl at the start of the book; only considered about how the situation could benefit her advancement in society. However when she realises the errors of her ways and how lucky she is, she becomes much more considerate towards other people and with her outspoken manner, asks the questions of why rich people are rich and poor people are poor. She was also funny which I really liked!

I found the mystery of Mary Hale very gripping but I did find the reason for her disappearance a bit disappointing. I thought something really, really bad had happened to her, but with only twenty pages left I was thinking ‘come on, come on, what gruesome fate awaited her?’ Whereas what really happened to her is rounded up within the last couple of pages and is very timid compared to what I thought was going to have happened and for me, this made the ending seem a little rushed!

Nevertheless this was still a thrilling read with a little more substance than the average murder mystery novel. I would suggest this book to anyone who is a fan of authors such as C.J. Sansom and his Shardlake series. If you would like to purchase this book it is available for Amazon Kindle at or in other eBooks from B&

I’d like to say a massive thank you to Sergio Silveira for getting in touch and introducing me to his work. Thanks Sergio!

For author’s goodreads page click here.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Book of the Month Competition for your chance to win a FREE copy of 1984 by George Orwell. To enter, just follow the instructions on the widget below and for more information click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 3 September 2012

Book of the Month Competition- September

Well it’s happened again guys…it’s another new month and I don’t have a physical book to giveaway that I read last month! All of the books I read in August were all on my Kobo! But don’t despair because I have a cracker of a book which you can win!

September’s Book of the Month is the cult classic 1984 by George Orwell. I remember reading this epic book and thinking ‘wow’ because at the time I’d never read anything like it. If you put yourself into the situation the world was in in 1949 (the time when the book was published), there was a real possibility that Britain and the rest of the world could be invaded by The Soviet Union and that a society like the one in 1984 could be how people lived in the near future. That’s what makes this book so good, you think that people could never live like Winston does in the book but there was a real possibility that an extreme form of communism could overtake the world.

I don’t think you can really call yourself a true lover of literature if you haven’t read this book, so now is your chance to win it for FREE.  All you have to do is click on this link to my Facebook page, ‘like’ my page and then write a comment saying you would like to enter the competition. Or you can enter through the widget below! If you are not on Facebook but are a member of Blogger, you can enter the competition by following my Blog directly through Blogger by clicking on the ‘join this site’ button on the right hand side of the page. Or you could subscribe to my YouTube channel and enter that way! It's that simple!

Remember it’s FREE to enter and it will not cost you a penny to get the book in the post. So why not have a go? You could win an excellent top 100 novel to read before you die book for absolutely FREE!

Good luck to everyone that enters, I hope you’ll have as much fun with the competition as I will. I’ll be choosing the winner on the 30th September. For further details on the competition such as how the winner will be chosen and how the winner will be announced please click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 2 September 2012

A Diary's House, Where True Love Endures, C. David Murphy

Publishers: Digital Publishing Expert

Pages: 644

Main Characters:

Landon, Shelly, U-no-le

A Diary’s House, Where True Love Endures is based in the late nineteenth century in North Carolina and tells the tale of Landon Hampshire, a young boy on the verge of manhood. Landon and his two friends; Jonathan and Thomas set out on an adventure to make them rich, famous and above all into men. Their idea to become these three things is to journey down the dangerous and infamous Randola River to Sebastian’s Island where it is rumoured a pirate’s treasure is hidden! But to get there they need help. The three friends travel to the house of a mysterious old man called Montague, who has travelled down the Randola and lived to tell the tale.

Old Man Montague agrees to help the boys and builds them a raft to float down the Randola. However Landon is suspicious of Montague, believing that there is something not right with him, but Jonathan and Thomas are too excited to start their journey down the Randola and tell him to 'stop fussing' over his suspicions. The day of the voyage arrives and Landon’s suspicion is proved right, Montague backs out of his agreement to journey down the Randola with the boys and vanishes into thin air! It turns out Montague was a spirit who was killed in the Randola and wanted to lead them to their deaths! This is not a good omen for the boy’s voyage.

Their voyage is dangerous but by following the advice Montague gave them (before he disappeared) the three companions make it to Sebastian’s Island. But what they find there is not what they were expecting! The island is protected by Kituhwa, (the soul of a Cherokee Indian Legend) a fierce warrior who attacks Landon and his companions! In their attempt to lose Kituhwa, the boys are spilt up on the island, for safety Landon ventures into a forest full of ancient trees. Whilst in hiding, Landon uncovers an old dairy written over fifty years before, which tells the tale of a young girl’s emergence into adulthood. Landon is reunited with his friends and escapes the island with his life. He realises that he will not uncover the Pirate’s treasure but he now has to uncover the mystery of the diary; whose is it?

The diary reveals the story of two star-crossed lovers. One is the daughter of a wealthy, white business man (whose diary it is) and the other is a young Cherokee boy named U-no-le. The diary tells of how they met and how they both fell in love with each other. But because of outside influences, their love is not allowed to be. Landon becomes engrossed with the diary’s story of a love that was challenged at every chance. Landon soon finds that this diary is more than just an old love story but something much closer to him and his family and which will have a vital role in his future!

For me, this was a book of two halves (a bit of a cliché I know!). The first half was Landon’s journey down the Randola River and the second half was the story and mystery behind the diary. To be totally honest, I really didn’t like the first half of this book. I thought that it was beautifully written, but I also thought that most of the text didn’t need to be there! What I mean by this is that you’d be reading sentence after sentence of beautifully written text but it would be describing something like Landon’s breathing or him climbing in and out of a window. I felt all this description really slowed down the book making it hard to really get into! I also found the story of Landon sailing down a river to find a Pirate’s treasure unappealing, especially when there were ghosts and talking trees thrown into the mix! When I was reading it, I always seemed to think of the movie ‘Stand by Me’ for some reason or ‘The Goonies’. I just thought it was going to be like one of those movies; 'three kids on an adventure to find themselves!'

However this changed with the introduction of the diary. I really like the story of the girl and U-no-le (I would have liked to have gone into it more detail above but I didn’t want to spoil the ending!). I found it truly sad as these two people who loved each other were not allowed to be together. Coincide this with the events in Landon’s love life makes this half of the book really tug at your heart strings (which I really liked). I also loved the relationship that emerged between Landon and his Grandmother in the book. Again, I don’t want to give too much away but it is really sad because Landon doesn’t at first see much of his Grandmother but you can tell that they are so much alike and that his Grandmother really loves him. And most importantly, I liked how Landon became a man, not by conquering a famous river or by finding lost treasure but by solving the mystery of the diary and bringing his family closer together.

All in all I enjoyed this book. I found it really slow at the beginning but when the mystery of the diary is introduced it picks up pace. If you would like to purchase a copy of this book you can get it in eBook from

I'd like to say a massive thank you to C. David Murphy and Marlene Diaz for getting in touch with me and introducing me to your work.

For author’s official website click here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...