The Ivory Tomb (Rooks and Ruin #3) by Melissa Caruso

My Five Word TL:DR Review : Superb conclusion to the series


Given recent family events I’m slightly behind with reviews so I’m going to keep this one short and sweet as I attempt to make some headway.  This is in no way a reflection of my feelings for this book and the series as a whole which has been a wonderful reading experience packed with action, emotion and character development.

The first thing I would mention is this is not the type of book that you should read (in my opinion) as a standalone, the two previous books provide so much groundwork and seeing the characters evolve during the course of their journey is, for me, one of the most memorable parts of the series as a whole, which isn’t a reflection on other elements such as pacing (fast), action (breathtaking) and plot (excellent).  The second thing I would also point out, is that if you haven’t yet read this instalment but are planning to do so you might want to be aware that spoilers may be lurking, although I generally try to avoid these.

Well, Caruso certainly delivered a dark and punchy story and an absolutely satisfying conclusion.  I cannot tell a lie, the pacing is positively non stop, as is the action and the author mercilessly puts her characters and her world through the wringer.  I reached a point quite early where I was literally feeling sorry for them!  The world itself is left reeling from the devastation and destruction caused by the unleashing of the demons, it’s like the apocalypse has arrived and it’s running amok leaving bodies in it’s wake.

I really enjoyed the overall plot for the whole series.  There’s a lot to take in and I’m not going to try and give an overview here but the scope of this series is very impressive.

And, for the romance lovers out there – and even for those who don’t fall into that bracket (myself usually included) – the relationship between two of the central characters is an absolute must read and was without doubt one of my favourite elements of the book – it’s so easily developed, no instalove here, great banter and an overall steady pace that is lovely to read.

This is an author that I will watch eagerly to see what she comes up with next.  Clearly a great talent and unbridled imagination.

My rating 4.5 of 5 stars.


Can’t Wait Wednesday : A Woman of the Sword by Anna Smith Spark


“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : A Woman of the Sword by Anna Smith Spark because I loved the Empires of the Dust series.  Here’s the cover and a bit of information:


A Woman of the Sword is an epic fantasy seen through the eyes of an ordinary woman. Lidae is a daughter, a wife, a mother – and a great warrior born to fight. Her sword is hungry for killing, her right hand is red with blood.

War is very much a woman’s business. But war is not kind to women. And war is not kind to mothers and their sons.

Expected publication : April 2023

Friday Face Off : The Drift by CJ Tudor

Posted On 27 January 2023

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Today is the second week of a new Friday Face Off  (a meme originally created by Books by Proxy) – similar in many ways to what came before but different going forward.  From 2023 I will no longer be posting prompts or themes to guide cover choices.  Instead, having noticed that many of my most recent reads have had more than one cover,  I thought instead it would be a change to highlight something that I’m keen to shine the focus on. So, if you have a book that has alternative covers, highlight them and choose your favourite.  If you’re taking part it would be great if you leave a link so I can take a look at what you’ve chosen.

My book this week The Drift by CJ Tudor. I’m loving this author’s work and this is no exception.  Really well done indeed.

Here are the covers:

My favourite this week is :


It’s really tough to choose a favourite this week because I really like both covers. At the end of the day it comes down to the simple fact that the red cover is so eye catching – it would definitely draw you in if you saw it on the bookshelf.

Join me next week in highlighting one of your reads with different covers.

Can’t Wait Wednesday : The Book That Wouldn’t Burn by Mark Lawrence


“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : The Book That Wouldn’t Burn by Mark Lawrence – because – Mark Lawrence!!

Here’s a little bit more info:


A boy has lived his whole life trapped within a vast library, older than empires and larger than cities.

A girl has spent hers in a tiny settlement out on the Dust where nightmares stalk and no one goes.

The world has never even noticed them. That’s about to change.

Their stories spiral around each other, across worlds and time. This is a tale of truth and lies and hearts, and the blurring of one into another. A journey on which knowledge erodes certainty, and on which, though the pen may be mightier than the sword, blood will be spilled and cities burned.

Expected publication : May 2023

The Whispering Muse by Laura Purcell

Posted On 24 January 2023

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My Five Word TL: DR Review : I loved everything about this.


It seems that Laura Purcell is not only the Gothic Queen but she also seems unable to do little wrong in terms of her creations.  This is an author that I usually dance a little jig to whenever I discover that she has a new release pending and so far I’ve enjoyed them all – very much.

Set in the theatre this is a dark and atmospheric read.  It revolves around five key plays that reflect the story as it progresses.  It’s a tale involving plenty of drama, unholy deals that come at a price, jealousy, ambition and tragedy.

As the story begins we meet Jenny, she’s fallen on hard times following the betrayal of her own brother which has left Jenny and her siblings in dire straits.  When Jenny is called to meet the wealthy wife of of the Mercury Theatre owner she is intrigued and a little amazed when she’s offered the job of dresser at the theatre – the very place where her brother betrayed not only her but the cast and crew of the theatre itself.  It seems that the lady herself has suspicions about her husband and his leading actress and wishes Jenny to be her inside eyes – a spy no less – and Jenny is desperate enough to take the position.  Of course, when she begins to find out she likes the actress in question, admire her a little even, it doesn’t help her to undertake her new role.

I loved this.  The setting, the plot, the writing, the dark gothic feel, the characters, the strange blending in of theatre and supernatural elements with such a deft touch.  Absolutely loved it and frankly I could read it again.

The theatre setting and Victorian period is perfect and seems to be Purcell’s domain.  The theatres is brought to life beautifully, dilapidated and yet startling when the bright lights shine.  This is a dangerous place and when things start to go wrong, it seems like bad luck has come calling

The leading lady, Lilith Erikson, is a beautiful and passionate woman, full of ambition and determined to grasp the nettle now.  When she comes into possession of a strange watch, one believed to contain dark powers, her troubles begin.  Her performances on stage are magnificent, she lives and breathes the characters, but off stage she loses her will.  Jenny is a great character too and it’s a pleasure to read two such strong female leads.  Jenny is basically good at heart and therefore conflicted with her newfound role as tittle tattle.  She feels bad for spying on Lilith but needs must when the devil vomits into your kettle, she’s basically in between a rock and a hard place and must take any work she’s offered – and this is indeed a lucrative position.

The supernatural elements revolve around a pact with Melpomene, the tragic muse from Greek mythology.  These elements are subtly woven into the story in such a way that I think readers who don’t particularly love supernatural elements will still enjoy.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this.  The writing is fantastic, it provides the perfect balance in all ways, the theatre comes to life and the characters leap off the page.  In a nutshell, I can’t say enough good things about this book.  Put simply I loved it and like a greedy child desperate for more I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with next.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 5 of 5 stars

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