‘You would like to go to the ball, is that not so?’


Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .   This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below. This week’s theme:

The pen is mightier than the sword – a cover featuring a fancy font

This week I’ve chosen : Charm (Tales from the Kingdoms #2) by Sarah Pinborough.  There are three books in this series and they’re just an unexpected delight, a mash up of more than one fairy tale and three independent stories from the same world.  Be warned though, these books are adult retellings:

Most of these have a lovely font and I’m torn for a winner with the bottom two covers – I think overall I’d go with:


I love this cover – it has a sense of mischief and fun and the Tiffany Aching books are certainly a whole lot of fun.

Which is your favourite?

Next week – a cover featuring the night

Future themes:

8th December 2017 – ‘Do not go gentle’ – a cover featuring the night…

15th December 2017 – Hubble bubble toil and trouble – a cover featuring a portion/perfume bottle

22nd December – ‘Oh, we loves games! Doesn’t we, precious?’ – a cover featuring a Puzzle or Game

29th December – If music be the food of love, play on – a cover featuring a Musical Instrument

5th January – ‘The seaweed is always greener, in somebody else’s lake.’ – Under the Sea

12th January – ‘More than one meaning have I’ – a cover featuring a Knot/knots

19th January – You know your A, B, Cs – a cover made up only of letters/words

26th January – “The grass is always greener on the other side of personal extinction” – a cover featuring grass

2nd February – Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds – a Psychedelic cover

9th February – ‘My what big teeth you have’ – a cover featuring a cloaked figure 

16th February – ‘Groovy baby’ – a cover that is: Retro

23rd February – “There are too many steps in this castle, and it seems to me they add a few every night, just to vex me”  – a cover featuring a staircase

2nd March – ‘The only true wisdom is to know that you know nothing’ – a cover featuring something from Greek mythology

9th March – ‘…but Icarus flew too close’ – a cover featuring the Sun

16th March – ‘I got no strings to hold me down’ – a cover featuring a doll or puppet

23rd March – “When she was a child, the witch locked her away in a tower that had neither doors nor stairs.” – a cover featuring a Tower

30th March – ‘A little soil to make it grow’ – a cover featuring seeds/spores

6th April –  “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” – a cover featuring a family

13th April – ‘lawns and rocks and heather and different sorts of trees, lay spread out below them, the river winding through it’ –  a cover featuring a panorama

20th April – Where there’s fire there’s… – a cover featuring smoke

27th April – ‘Those darling byegone times… with their delicious fortresses, and their dear old dungeons, and their delightful places of torture’ – a cover that is positively mediaeval 

4th May-  ‘A Hand without a hand? A bad jape, sister.’ – a cover featuring a hand/hands

11th May – ‘Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth’ – a cover featuring a dinosaur/s

18th May – ‘Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;’ – a cover featuring a gravestone

25th May – Trip trap, trip trap, trip trap – a cover featuring footsteps

1st June – clinging and invasive – a cover featuring creeping vines

8th June – Raining Cats and Dogs – a cover featuring a stormy sky








The Emerald Circus by Jane Yolen

Posted On 30 November 2017

Filed under Book Reviews
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emeraldI don’t make a secret of the fact that short stories don’t always work for me and in fact I usually avoid collections but the promise of retellings based on old favourites such as Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz and the mention of tales that bring into play Robin Hood, Merlin and King Arthur, definitely intrigued me and I couldn’t resist picking up a copy of this one.

Did Jane Yolen manage to spin her magic in this collection, yes, for me she did.  I’m not going to pretend that I was equally gripped by all the tales, in a collection like this it’s inevitable that you’ll have favourites, just like in a box of chocolates, but the writing was lovely and the feeling of reading a story before going to sleep all added to the sense of whimsy and nostalgia and made this collection enjoyable to pick up last thing of an evening.  And, thankfully, unlike a box of chocolates – there were no coffee ones.

I’m not going to go into all the offerings but will highlight briefly the ones that worked well for me.

The first tale looks at the life of Hans Christian Anderson.  Famous the world over for his wonderful stories this particular offering has a lovely fairytale feel that combines elements that for me brought to mind Pinocchio, The Snow Queen and even, a little, the Elves and the Shoemaker – which isn’t to say that those are Anderson stories (apart from the Snow Queen that is).  This is a story that has a sad feeling to it although the ending is a little bit more upbeat.  It brought to mind the saying ‘be careful what you wish for’ and also the fae nature of wishes and more to the point making sure that they’re very specifically worded.

Lost Girls was a story that shines a different light on Peter Pan and perhaps looks at the changing role of women – or maybe I’m just reading too much into it – there’s this whole element here of why did Peter really bring Wendy to Neverland?  She didn’t really take part in his adventures but was brought there more to fulfil the role of ‘mother’.  For me, Lost Girls adds another level to the story.  Girls want to take part in the adventure not just facilitate the adventures of others while they stand by with a cup of tea and a hanky.

My absolute favourite of the book was A Knot of Toads.  I just really enjoyed this story.  Based in Scotland it’s a tale that invokes long shadows, whispers in corners and witchcraft.  A young woman who returns to her childhood home to lay her father to rest.  Estranged for many years the two of them shared a love of books and a misunderstanding of each other.  This story just really appealed to me and on top of that who knew that toads were sometimes known as puddocks.  That’s a keeper.

Our Lady of the Greenwood was another of my favourites.  It takes the myth of Robin Hood, adds a hint of fae and comes up with a story of how Robin was named.  I’m a bit of a sucker for all things fae and so the scene in the woods with the fae dancing beneath the trees, coupled with the sometimes dangerous side to their nature really appealed to me.  The naming scene in the woods had a lovely element of the fairy godmothers in Sleeping Beauty.  I could certainly have read more of this tale – Robin Hood and his adventures – brings fond memories of my gran who used to recount tales to me and my sister.  I loved her storytelling – she had a way of telling us stories that on reflection could be quite dark.  Robin Hood’s tales were the lighter ones and it was lovely to go back to a story about how he possible received his name.  My gran would have liked this one I think.

The last two stories that I will mention are:

Evian Steel which is a beautifully written story that could be a very early start to the legend of Merlin, King Arthur and his queen .  It revolves around the forging of swords, Excalibur, and also brought to mind the Lady in the Lake.  I loved this one.  The island came to life in my imagination, the life of the girls sent to learn how to forge steel and the fears they had of what was to come.  It had a mysteriously dark side and was so well executed.

Sister Emily’s Lightship was the final tale and was very quirky and different in nature than the other stories in this book.  A look at Emily Dickinson and her, perhaps, out of this world inspirational experience.

This was a lovely collection of stories.  Some of them will undoubtedly appeal more than others but if you fancy a book that you can pick up randomly to read a story in one sitting this could be just what you’re looking for.

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

My November Covers

Posted On 29 November 2017

Filed under Book Reviews

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Below is a quick round up of the books I’ve read during November displayed in covers.  My month in review will follow shortly.  Hope you’ve read some good books this month – I’ve enjoyed my books this months although I do seem a bit behind with reviews.  Some catching up is in order although I do have three reviews lined up at least:

Waiting on Wednesday : The Armored Saint (The Sacred Throne #1) by Myke Cole

“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 Armored Saint (The Sacred Throne #1) by Myke Cole.

armoredIn a world where any act of magic could open a portal to hell, the Order insures that no wizard will live to summon devils, and will kill as many innocent people as they must to prevent that greater horror. After witnessing a horrendous slaughter, the village girl Heloise opposes the Order, and risks bringing their wrath down on herself, her family, and her village.

Due to be published: February 2018

Now is the winter of our content, made glorious summer by this array of books


Every Tuesday over at  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

This is a nice easy one.  My upcoming reads for December, January and February include the following books that I’m really looking forward to:

  1. Firestorm by Lucy Hounsom
  2. The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) by Holly Black
  3. The Queen of All Crows by Rod Duncan
  4. The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson
  5. A Time of Dread by John Gwynne
  6. The Girl in The Tower by Katherine Arden
  7. Paris Adrift by E.J. Swift
  8. The Toy Makers by Robert Dinsdale
  9. Mister Tender’s Girl by Carter Wilson
  10. The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch
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