Winterkill

Winterkill

Winterkill was written by Kate A. Boorman and was first published in 2014. It combines elements of a fantasy, dystopian and historical novel to tell the story of a teenage girl coming of age in a remote and highly religious settlement. The novel is the first part of a planned trilogy and is followed by Darkthaw (2015). The final part of the trilogy – provisionally titled Heartfire – is expected to be released in late 2016.

Emmeline’s people have lived in the settlement for eight generations, banding together for safety after they were forced to leave the Western world. They have survived sickness and deadly winters by following their devout Councilmen, who put their faith in the virtues of Bravery, Honesty and Discovery. Anyone who is caught defying these precepts is declared Wayward and executed at the Crossroads to prevent them from causing damage to the community.

As an outcast in society, Emmeline knows that most people expect for her to become Wayward. She is stained – atoning for the sins committed by her grandmother long before she was born. As her sixteenth birthday nears, she knows that she will soon be of the age where she can be bound to a man. She wants nothing more for it to be Kane but when Brother Stockham – the leader of their community – starts to show an interest in her she starts to panic. Wedding the Councilman will absolve her of her stain but can she stand to be married to someone she does not love?

At the same time, Emmeline begins to have strange dreams that call her into the woods – the voices of a long dead race begging her to find them. Yet the woods are out of bounds and if she’s caught exploring them, Emmeline knows that she’ll be declared Wayward for sure. Yet that would be the least of her problems. The woods are also home to a terrible entity called the malmaci. If she ventures too far into the unknown, she could just as easily fall prey to the monster…

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Spotlight – Wolf by Wolf

This post is brought to you in association with Rockstar Book Tours. Look out for my full review next month!

Wolf by Wolf Cover

Author:  Ryan Graudin

Genre:  Alternative History / Science-Fiction

Page Count: 400

Release Date: 20 October 2015

 

A Special Note from the Author:

“Once upon a different time, there was a girl who lived in a kingdom of death. Wolves howled up her arm. A whole pack of them–made of tattoo ink and pain, memory and loss. It was the only thing about her that ever stayed the same.

Her story begins on a train.”

And so begins the story of Yael, a girl who can change her appearance to mimic any other female. A girl who must win a 20,000 kilometer cross-continental motorcycle race from Germania to Tokyo so that she can have an audience with Adolf Hitler. A girl who has every intention of killing him.

Whenever I describe the premise of WOLF BY WOLF to people, the reactions I get are quite similar. It’s the “are-you-insane-or-are-you-onto-something” face: dropped jaw, squiggly eyebrows. I must admit, I felt many of those same feelings when I first started penning Yael’s story. Alternate history + sci-fi + epic motorcycle journey felt like a strange recipe for a novel. But I pushed through my fears and kept writing, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. I, for one, don’t think I’m insane, but I’ll let you, dear reader, come up with your own conclusion.

Happy reading!

Ryan Graudin

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Raven Boy

Raven Boy

Raven Boy was first published in 2013 and is Kateryna Kei’s first young adult book. The novel is a historical fantasy set in Viking times, focusing on a young boy who is forced to wrestle with a terrible destiny. This story is the first part of a planned series – titled The Raven Boy Saga – but at the time of writing no further instalments have been announced.

After the Viking King falls in battle, it is left to his widow to choose a successor. Although the honour usually falls on a king’s first born son, Turid is concerned for her boy’s safety. Her twin sons have both yet to come of age and are just not experienced enough to lead their village in a time of war. Unable to come to a decision alone, she visits the local runecaster for advice.

The prophecy that the runecaster reveals is somewhat disturbing. While her eldest, Olaf, would make a strong leader, he would not be able to defeat the encroaching foreigners. Her youngest, Hrafn, would stand a chance at winning the war but it would come at a great cost. Hrafn was destined to live a tragic life, finding true love only to lose her forever.

Although Turid is torn between what is best for her people and what is best for her boys, she quickly decides that the new leader must be Hrafn. However, her decision leaves her son in a very difficult situation. As a child, the other Vikings are reluctant to obey his commands. The foreigners far outnumber them and they believe that a warrior is the only one who can lead them to victory. On top of that, Olaf feels as though Hrafn has stolen his rightful place and begins to distance himself from his brother. With war on the horizon, Hrafn must muster all of his cunning to devise a plan to defeat his enemies before his people are completely wiped out.

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The Lady Astronomer

The Lady Astronomer

The Lady Astronomer was written by Katy O’Dowd and first published in 2012. It is an alternative history novel based loosely around the life of Caroline Hershel, embellished with fantastical steampunk elements.

Lucretia lives a busy life. She is well known throughout the town of Bath for her soprano singing voice and the fine hats that she makes. On top of this, she spends her free time caring for her dysfunctional family – brothers Freddie and Al, Leibniz the lemur and Orion the owl – and studying the stars from the roof of their home.

When her Freddie receives funding from the King to build a forty-foot high telescope, she is forced to leave her business and move with him to Slough in order to be closer to the court. Intelligent and resourceful, Lucretia has little trouble in getting their new home up and running.

However, as misfortune strikes and delays the completion of the Forty-Foot, Lucretia is taken hostage by the King in a well-meaning attempt to get Freddie to work faster. The Lady Astronomer has never been exposed to life in the royal court before and soon finds it to be far more cut-throat than she could ever have imagined. As her stay lengthens, it becomes increasingly apparent that if the telescope is not completed quickly then she could easily lose her life.

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