#YA #Review #TheMidnightQueen @sylwritesthings @AllisonandBusby #WhatDaisySays

Today I hand over the blog to my 14 year old daughter Daisy. It would appear I have two budding bloggers on my hands. So here it is #WhatDaisySays!

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The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Hunter
Synopsis:

In the hallowed halls of Oxford’s Merlin College, the most talented – and highest born – sons of the kingdom are taught the intricacies of magickal theory. But what dazzles can also destroy, as Gray Marshall is about to discover . . .

Gray’s Britain is a fragmented kingdom of many tongues, many gods and many magicks. But all that concerns Gray right now is returning as soon as possible to his studies and setting right the nightmare that has seen him disgraced and banished to his tutor’s home – without a trace of his powers. And it is there, toiling away on a summer afternoon, that he meets the professor’s daughter.

Although she has no talent of her own and has been forbidden by her father to pursue it, Sophie Callender longs for a magickal education. But she started a bookish rebellion in her father’s library long ago, and her sheltered upbringing conceals a mysterious past and what may prove a catastrophic future. Her meeting with Gray sets off a series of events that will lead them to uncover a conspiracy at the heart of the kingdom and into the legend of the Midnight Queen, who vanished without a trace years before.

#WhatDaisySays:

The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Hunter is an intriguingly written fantasy book based around a world of magick. This is due to be a trilogy and I am honestly excited to see where the writer takes the plot. Our two main characters are introduced within the first chapter. Gray (Graham Marshall), has been forced to stay at his professor’s house for the summer for reasons unbeknown to the reader for a while into the book. Gray’s character is a very intelligent, caring, young man. The visible hatred between Gray and the professor is brought to the reader’s attention by our other main character, Sophie. Sophie was by far my favourite character. I think the themes in this book were really relatable and current. For instance, in the setting of the book Sophie is discouraged by her father from reading and learning about magick like the men in story do. I feel this was an exceptionally relevant theme, considering the modern feminist movements. Sophie’s character was also very bubbly and talkative which combats Grays initial moodiness.

Within the first chapter I noticed that the writing style was very unusual. Whilst reading, the informal, friendly tone made it feel as if it was written in first person by Sophie, when in fact it’s written in the third person. Sylvia Hunter has a very unique writing style that makes the book very easy to read. However, the book was very slow to get to the plot. This was the only downfall I found the book had. On one hand, I can see that because it took a while to get to the plot we got to get to know Gray and Sophie really well but on the other hand it does make the first 100 pages or so hard to power through.

Throughout the book the plot takes lots of unexpected twists and turns that I personally thought were quite clever. I enjoyed learning all about magick which was obviously one of the main themes in the book. Despite knowing magick obviously isn’t real I still find it incredibly interesting to read different authors inventions of magickal worlds. I think Sylvia Hunter’s magickal world went in depth enough to catch your interest but at the same time it doesn’t feel like your reading one of Gray’s study books from Oxford’s Merlin College.

Three other characters that I thought were written very interestingly were: Amelia, Joanna and the professor. Firstly, Amelia was the character I loved to hate. You could tell that she was designed to be written in a very mean girl fashion. She’s one of those girls whose pretty and she knows she can get anything with her looks- very manipulative. Joanna, who is one of the three sisters (Joanna, Amelia and Sophie) born to the professor is very outspoken and sassy. I enjoyed reading her character’s dialogue and I thought it bought a funny, light hearted tone to the book. Joanna was very passionately against her father’s views. Her father, the professor is written in a very old fashioned manner with very controversial and prejudice views against women. You find out early on that the girl’s mother (whom died when they were fairly young) was very upset to find that Joanna (the youngest) was a girl because the professor had wanted at least one boy. You also find out that Amelia believes it’s her father’s job to ‘pick’ her a ‘suitable’ man. This dynamic makes very thought provoking, interesting reading.

What would a book be without romance? Sophie and Gray’s romance develops very slowly from a place of trust, care and friendship. This like the plot develops very slowly but makes for very chilled out reading. There personalities are written to be very compatible and you see throughout the book how much they help each other.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book once the plot got going. The plot is full of very exciting twists and turns that I think almost any reader would enjoy and I personally thoroughly enjoyed the way the characters are written. I did also really enjoy the theme of female empowerment.

SH
Sylvia Hunter
Authors links:
Web: http://sylviaizzohunter.ca/
Twitter: @sylwritesthings

#Review #WarGirlUrsula @MarionKummerow #WW2Fic #Indie #HistFic

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War Girl Ursula by Marion Kummerow

Synopsis:

Berlin 1943: Compassion is a crime.

A prisoner escapes. A guard looks the other way.

Why does Ursula Hermann risk her life and brave the Gestapo to save a man she barely knows?

Ursula has always lived the law, never broken the rules in her life.
That is until the day she finds escapee British airman Tom Westlake and all the right she’s worked so hard to maintain goes wrong…

He runs.

And she does nothing to stop him.

Torn with guilt about what she did, Ursula battles with her decision when suddenly Tom returns, injured and pleading for her help.

This is her opportunity to make things right.

But shadows from the past tug at her heart, convincing her to risk everything, including her life, in order to protect a man from the nation her country is fighting.

As they brave the perils and dangers of the ever-present Gestapo, will Ursula find a way to keep Tom safe?
Or will being on the opposite sides of the war ultimately cost both of them their lives?

My review:

I have read and loved Unrelenting by the author and I am a huge fan of her writing style. She knows exactly how to write straight to the hearts of her readers. After already being astounded with her writing abilities, I was desperate to read this!

The novel opens in Berlin, January 1943, at the wedding of Ursula Klausen and Andreas Hermann. However, only Ursula is present. Andreas is buried deep in the eastern front, fighting in the war! I don’t know if it is because I married a soldier myself at just 17 years old and the catastrophic events of 9/11 occurred just a month later. But the vulnerability and loneliness of Ursula’s plight really struck a chord with me. There she goes again Kummerow hits me straight in the feels with her opening pages! 🙂

Ursula’s young brother Richard, is also away at war, at the fragile age of just 17 years old. She lives with her mother and sisters Anna and Lotte. Lotte is extremely anti-Hitler and despises the policies of the Nazi’s so much so, she is often shushed by family members for fear of someone overhearing her cast off comments. Anna longs for an education, which is virtually unheard of in Nazi Germany society. She settles for nursing school in an attempt to appease her parents and the Nazi government.

The atmosphere of being inside Nazi Germany, with real life German citizens is written incredibly well. It details exactly how fascism takes hold of a nation. Goebbels suggests in his speeches great things await those who are worthy! Ursula desperately wants to be deemed worthy. Ursula is by no means a rule breaker, she the typical ‘good girl’ that follows the rules and does as she is told. That is until she is forced to witness the atrocities herself………

With young rebel Lotte sent to relatives in the countryside with her mother and Anna at nursing school. Ursula must begin her own role to contribute to the greatness of the Fatherland. She is assigned a detail at a local prison, a prison that will open her eyes to the sheer brutality of Nazi rule. At the prison she meets a wealth of characters and she begins to develop empathy and even sympathy for their situations. So much so, she becomes known as the ‘blonde angel’.

When Ursula receives a devastating Telegram regarding her husband. She finds comfort in the words of the prison priest. But cracks are beginning to show and Ursula is waking up to the inhumanity that surrounds her. Months go by and she is forced to watch further barbaric practices when the mass executions begin. Has Ursula started to realise the Nazi regime for the morally unjust government that it is?

When there is a shell strike at the prison and a young British Captain escapes, Ursula stands by allow it. Why has Ursula, in her own words, suddenly become a disgrace to the Fatherland? What if she is caught and who is the young escapee?

This is a novel of the characters, their lives and the aftermath of their actions or inaction. Living with a continual element of fear, the captain and Ursula begin to bond. Ursula is faced with the difficult task of coming to terms with the brutality she has ignored and the propaganda she has believed. This novel reads right to the very last page and leaves you with an emotional cliff-hanger of an ending that will have you begging for the next in the series! A fabulous historical fiction novel 5*

MK
Marion Kummerow
Authors links:
Web: http://kummerow.info/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6868348.Marion_Kummerow
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AutorinKummerow/
Twitter: @MarionKummerow

*The novel is available free to #KindleUnlimited members!