The cover of Song of Blood and Stone

Song of Blood and Stone

Title: Song of Blood and Stone

Author: L. Penelope

Published: St. Martin’s Press, 2018

Song of Blood and Stone

Song of Blood and Stone takes place in the world of Elsira, which is a land of Silents; people, who cannot use the magic that is Song. Those who can are called Singers.

In Elsira lives Jasminda, a child of a Silent and a Singer, who bears the Song within her and the skin of a Singer on her outside. Because of this, she mostly keeps to herself, since people are afraid of her and her Song.
Jasminda has lost her parents and her brothers and lives alone in the family cabin on a small patch of land outside the nearest town, and now she stands to lose this too.
One day a group of soldiers and the injured spy they have captured find their way to her cabin, and she is forced to let them in. Jasminda slowly forms a bond with the injured captive named Jack and when they manage to escape the soldiers, it is the beginning of a long journey for both of them. Jasminda is racing time in order to keep her land and her last connection to her family, while Jack is on a mission to save their country.

My thoughts

I cannot find the words to describe what a wonderful experience it was to read this fantasy! I was completely taken aback by the marvellous story, magical universe and compelling characters that this story holds.
The story is told through a third person narrator, but still juggling multiple point of views (POV’s), which I love. The main character Jasminda is so likeable and relatable and she has quickly climbed the ladder of my most liked characters.

I think L. Penelope has managed to write a story that will both take you away, but can also make you think about your own world and life. This is one of the strongest and most important possibilities of any fantasy ever, I believe.
I know we all love different things, and I am really afraid of overselling this, since I think it is important to go into a new book with less than high expectations, since your expectations can kill the reading experience. However, I sincerely recommend you read this, if you love a good fantasy novel!

Sneak Peek

I have been allowed to show you an excerpt from the book Song of Blood and Stone and I am so happy and so excited for this! You can find this excerpt by clicking on the title below this section and it will lead you straight to it! The excerpt is chapter two in which we meet a wounded soldier and a good samaritan. I sincerely hope you enjoy this chapter as much as I did! And if you wish to read the rest of the book, I can assure you that you don’t have to wait for long: It will be on sale on Tuesday May 1st 2018 right where you normally buy your books and can already be preordered many places.

Song of Blood & Stone excerpt

Find the excerpt through this link.

L. Penelope

The authoer L Penelope sitting and looking at the camera

Leslye Penelope has been writing since she could hold a pen and loves getting lost in the worlds in her head. She is an award-winning author of new adult, fantasy, and paranormal romance. She lives in Maryland with her husband and their furry dependents: an eighty-pound lap dog and an aspiring feral cat.

Song of Blood and Stone is out on May 1st.

The cover of the e-book The Ganga Shift on a mobile phone next to a grey vase and a read burning candle

The Ganga Shift

Title: The Ganga Shift

Author: Mary Bernsen

Published: Parliament House Press, 2018

The Ganga Shift

Isabella hasn’t had an easy life and this has led her to jail. Because of her background and her limited ties to the outside world, she is chosen for a government funded experiment on gene mutation. Her body however doesn’t react on this treatment as expected and in order to provoke the correct response out of her body she is tossed into a dome together with a group of shifters, whose only goal is to make Isabella shift too – even if they kill her in the process.

My Thoughts

One of the first things I often do when starting a new book is consider the title. In some cases I research it. This was one of those cases. The Ganga Shift. I didn’t know what to put in the word Ganga. And I was also somewhat unsure about Shift. Maybe this stems from me not being a native English speaker, or maybe I am just unschooled in this topic. My research however quikly led me to Hinduism, which I found odd, and I actually sort of dismissed it and instead accepted that I would find out during my read. And I did. And I hadn’t been far off. This amazed me and at the same time it made me so happy! I found it very refreshing to have a different cultural background to this kind of story and I loved that Hinduism played a role in this story.

Throughout the story Isabella grows to face the challenge she is met with and her change is evident. She is a very headstrong character, who is not afraid of asking for help, when she needs it. She is genuine and stubborn, and I found her to be very different from anyone I have ever met/read about before.

Chase and Brayden – her cell mates – are a couple of fun types too. Chase is this calm and controlled being, who meditates and who is very independent. Brayden is anything but. He is a young man with practically no manners (according to Chase) and he is very animalistic. The book changes POV between these three characters which gives a very dynamic reading experience, and also muliple POVs are just brilliant, because it broadens the view of each character, since we both get to follow their own mindset, but we also know what others think about them, despite what comes out of their mouth.

I really loved the Ganga Shift

It was so different, and so spectacular and I seriously loved the Hindu approach. I loved that the main character was a vegetarian, and even though it didn’t play a major role, but were more a character treat, it mattered, because I like when authors challenge conservative tropes.

I loved the love triangle between our main characters, although I am not quite sure I buy into it. The ending was fresh and concise, and despite the fact that I felt there were a few situations that moved by quite fast, it was an altogether marvellous, enthralling and refreshing read that I highly recommend you read!

Should you read it?

My feeling is, that if you enjoyed stories like Twilight, The Hunger Games, Song of Blood and Stone etc. then you will probably also enjoy this one. If you enjoy a headstrong female lead, a small love triangle, sci-fi books on DNA-alteration and paranormal shifting stories, then this could very well be a story you would also enjoy! And if you on top of that also like a book filled with cultural references, then I am sure you will love this!

Thanks

I would like to thank Parliament Hous Press for letting me review a copy of this book! I have been eyeing it since they announced the cover reveal of this book in January and I am so glad that I finally got to read it, and that it was such an amazing experience!

The crime fiction book Ligblomsten by Anne Mette Hancock on a flowery background next to a bookmark

Ligblomsten

Author: Anne Mette Hancock

Published: Lindhardt og Ringhof, 2017

The book

Ligblomsten (Titan Arum – look it up, you’ll be surprised) is the first crime novel from Anne Mette Hancock. We follow Heloise, a journalist who has recently had some credibility issues at her work place. Heloise is a young and sturdy woman, who suddenly finds herself entwined in an old murder case, because she begins to receive letters from a woman named Anna Kiel. The woman who is wanted for a murder commited years ago. With the help of policeman Erik Schäfer she tries to unfold the mystery that connects her to this old case and the killer on the run.

My thoughts

I loved this one. Okay, there I said it – you can stop reading the review now.

No really, I really enjoyed this book so much. I have had cravings for crime fiction for months now, but had some other books I needed to finish, yet after Christmas I found some time to get started. And what a start.

Ligblomsten is told through various points of views, which is something I am often very fond of, because it adds perspective to the story. In a crime novel it also adds mystery through ‘the pronoun game’. You know, when everybody is always referring to “he” and “him”, but never mentioning a name or something personal that will make you realise who is in fact talked about. That ‘pronoun game’. This is no exception, and Hancock makes it work. I was constantly trying to figure out who was connected to whom, and who “he” could be.

At the same time the story is carried by a varied gallery of characters, who are actually very believable and likeable. I didn’t get very far into the story before I thought: “Oh no, I am going to hate this person.” But I didn’t. Despite the character having traits that I normally find very annoying in book characters.

I liked that we mostly follow Heloise instead of the investigators, since it made the story much more suitable for us laypeople. Crime novels tend to be a little to heavy on the police/investigation perspective, and then they lose me. This book however managed to balance the two worlds to perfection. In doing this, we readers are introduced to the private lives of Heloise and Schäfer, which adds to their character and gives us a deeper understanding of the two.

Both Heloise and Schäfer are very likeable, and as I have already mentioned, they are also very believable characters. I really look forward to reading a lot more about these two and the adventures (or horrors) they’ll come across!

This is by far not the last book by Anne Mette Hancock that I will read.

Should you read it

I gave this book five stars on Goodreads and if you like a well-planned plot, an exciting and well-written story that is hard to figure out you should read this one. Moreover, the characters felt very human, and that just makes the reading experience so much better. Whether or not you like these characters has an impact on your experience too, of course, but I am positive that both hardcore crime fiction fans as well as new and curious crime fiction readers will find this book exciting and wonderful!