Sunday, 8 November 2015

Interview with Leigh Bardugo on her Magic and Mayhem Tour

I interviewed Leigh Bardugo at Seven Stories in Newcastle on Friday 23rd October as she toured the UK, promoting her latest novel Six of Crows! She was as lovely and beautiful as always. And thank you to Nina Douglas, Leigh's UK publicist who set the interview up! 
Both Nina and Leigh are pretty amazing women. 

How has the response to Six of Crows been?

Leigh: It’s been great! It’s been amazing, we debuted at number 1 on the New York Times Bestseller list and we’re still in the top five which is really exciting. I guess more importantly its been really exciting to see people discover Six of Crows who hadn’t even heard of the (Grisha) trilogy, and to see people who really like the trilogy take the leap into the new story.
Whenever you put something new out there’s sort of a fear because it’s a little different, or maybe a lot different, are people going to come along with me? Its meant a lot to me to see people pushing it and promoting it, especially on Tumblr and booktube.

How do you think your love of Slytherin affects how you write your characters?

I for one feel Slytherins are misunderstood and often portrayed in not the most flattering light and that is because history is often written by the Gryffindors. Or the Ravenclaws. I think that the goal is not to make a character likeable. It’s to make the character real. I think Slytherins have an appreciation for all the shades of grey in a given character. Ask Regulus Black, he understands.

Do you identify with any of the crows more than the others? I feel as if you’re like Nina on the outside with some Kaz on the inside.

Kaz is much smarter than I am. There’s a saying that no character can be smarter than the author and that’s really not true. Authors have a lot of time to think and plan and it looks as if Kaz is thinking of these things on the fly when really I’ve been sitting there banging my head against the wall for a couple of weeks.
I wish I had more of Nina’s confidence. But I think she’s the most like me in that I’ve spent my life being told I was too big, too loud, too much of one thing or the other. So I wanted to create a character who was all of those things and really didn’t care.

When did the idea for Six of Crows come about? Was is during the Grisha trilogy, or after?

Well, I always wanted to write a story in Kerch. And I had this idea for Ketterdam where Nikolai went to university or pretended to go to university. I always wanted to set something there because its almost like the anti-Ravka. Ravka is isolated and old-world,  really struggling economically and hasn’t industrialised at all whereas Kerch is prosperous, modern and cosmopolitan. Its on the cutting edge of everything, so I always wanted to set a story there but I didn’t know what story it was going to be. Then I was driving down the street and I saw a billboard for Monuments Men (film -2014) and I was like, I don’t want to see that, but I do want to re-watch Oceans Eleven! And all of a sudden I realised oh my gosh, I want to write a heist story! That’s what I’m going to do! All of these characters that I’d had steeping in the back of my head came to mind and I knew I was going to bring them together and put them on this team, this is exactly the right story for this city. That was the evolution of it.

Did you do a lot of research to build Kerch, like you did in researching Russia to build Ravka?

Research is one of my favourite things because we’re all readers, and research is basically ‘oh, now I have to read for a while. What a chore.’ So I did a lot of research on the Dutch Republic of the 1700’s and Amsterdam and the way that it developed. But also New York, old New York/ New Amsterdam. Also, Victorian London and Las Vegas. There’s all a little bit of them in Ketterdam. I think I was little bit more adventurous in my world building this time, which was kinda fun.

Was it hard writing from so many points of view, after just writing from Alina’s in the Grisha trilogy?

You know, that wasn’t the hard part. I really enjoyed writing multiple character points of view, because if you got tired of a character or if their story got too dark or too sad, you could switch gears.
I found the heist to be the hardest part to write. That was the thing that took the most work and was most challenging. The release of information and the flashbacks was difficult, it’s a much more complex book than the Grisha trilogy. It’s not linear in the same way.

Do you miss writing the characters from the Grisha trilogy?

I missed them early on in Six of Crows because I hadn’t gotten to know the Crows as much as I knew the characters from the Grisha trilogy. And I find I don’t get to know characters, well apart from Matthias, I knew him from moment one, he’s very easy to write, he’s a big blonde drama queen, we understand each other. But the other characters took me a while longer, I really got to know them through the process of writing them and getting to know their voices. I think any time you try something new there’s that getting-to-know-you stage, which isn’t always comfortable. It’s a process, sometimes you can ask ‘why can’t I hear him/her?’ It takes a while to get to know them .

Can we expect to see any of the old characters from the Grisha trilogy in the second novel?

I just turned in the first draft of the sequel to my editor and right now, yes there are some cameos, but I don’t know if they’ll stay, so I’m not promising anything, she’d could just draw a big red X over all of those pages.

I adore Winter Prayer, your song written about the Grisha trilogy. You stated you’d written a song for Six of Crows, what is it about? Can we expect to hear it?

The thing is recording a song takes a lot of time and means calling in a lot of favours from friends, and particularly because I’m not a particularly good musician. I did write the beginning of a song but I don’t know if ill ever record it. My life at the minute its basically tours and deadlines. Someday I wouldn’t mind recording it. It’s a lot simpler than Winter Prayer, which was a big orchestral, sweeping thing. This is more of a folk melody.
I did put lyrics in Six of Crows, there’s a scene with Nina and Inej with a song so I tweaked a few lyrics from a song from my band and put them in.

What can we expect from Six of Crows 2? (Now named Crooked Kingdom!)

You will get Wylans point of view.
Some ships will sail…and some will be wrecked upon the rocks.
Basically all of the powers of the world are descending on Ketterdam, trying to discover the secrets to this drug. Essentially, the future of the world is going to be decided on the streets. There are some old rivalries that will resurface, some new enemies and some new allies. For now, its all mostly contained within the world of Ketterdam, particularly the Barrel.

Can we expect any more folk tales?

Maybe. At some points. What I would really like to do is a collection of stories from each of the countries. From the Wandering Isle, Noyvi Zem, Ravka, Fjerda, I would love to write some Fjerdan folk tales, they’d be so dark!

If you got a tattoo to commemorate your books, what would it be?

I always feel like its tempting fate to get a tattoo of something from the books. What if the book didn’t do well, and then you had to look at it foreverrrr! We did design a tattoo; it’s the Crow and Cup that the Dregs wear. I honestly don’t know, but there’s a saying that Tolya and Tamar use in the Grisha trilogy which I really love. Its yuyeh sesh (despise your heart), ni weh sesh (I have no heart), the first part of the phrase has been with me since college, it was in a survey of African cultures and there was a phrase in Kikongo which means despise your heart and you would say it before you went to battle. I loved it so much and it stayed with me since I was 20. I think that is thing that would be most likely to end up tattooed on me. Despise your heart, which tells you all you need to know about me!

Is there a character from another book that you’d want to pick up and put into your world or a character from your book that you’d want to pick up and put into another world?

Hmm, sometimes I want to put all my characters in a cute contemporary, so nothing bad will happen to them. But then I think about putting Kaz into a Stephanie Perkins novel and I’m like oh my god, he would steal all their money and break into all their houses.
Actually someone on Tumblr has been putting all the characters into the Hogwarts houses and she put Inej in Gryffindor and I was thinking about how much that made me a little bit sad because that’s the childhood she should’ve had. She should’ve grown up and been safe somewhere. I would put Inej somewhere safe, post ( Harry Potter) books, when its peaceful.

Any book recommedations?

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.
The Young Elites and The Rose Society by Marie Lu, it just keeps getting better and better.
The Sin Eaters Daughter by Melinda Salisbury.
I really love Victoria Schwab’s books, I think they’re fantastic.
Gene Yang, he wrote American Born Chinese and Boxers and Saints. They won a tonne of awards. Start with Boxers and Saints, its so good, it’ll destroy you! Then read The Shadow Hero because its charming and fun and happy and it’ll cheer you up.
Oh! And Rainbow Rowell, I love everything she’s written. Eleanor and Park is still my favourite but I really loved Carry on, which has just come out.

Thank you very much for allowing me to interview you Leigh! 

Friday, 11 September 2015

The Secrets of the Wild Wood By Tonke Dragt

'There's no place you can lose your way as quickly as in the Wild Wood...'

One of the King's knights has gone missing. Sent to explore the mysterious Wild Wood, which no-one dares visit and some say are enchanted, he has vanished in the snow. Tiuri - now Sir Tiuri after carrying out his last perilous mission - has to find him. With his best friend and squire, Piak, he must journey into the heart of a terrifying, secret forest realm, where danger is all around and every path leads you astray. It is a place of lost, overgrown cities and ancient curses; of robbers, princesses and strange Men in Green; of old friends and treacherous new enemies - and a secret plot that threatens to bring down the entire kingdom. 

This gripping, spellbinding sequel to 
The Letter for the King sees a hero facing his greatest test, surrounded by darkness in a world where good and evil wear the same face, and the wrong move could cost his life - but where help comes from the unlikeliest of places. (Goodreads)

52 years on from its initial publication, Tonke Dragt’s The Secrets of the Wild Wood, the sequel to The Letter for the King (published in the UK in 2013) has finally been translated into English to allow us all to enjoy its adventure.

If you haven’t yet read The Letter for the King and want to find out more, you can read my spoiler-free review here:
You can read this novel without reading the first, but having the background of the first novel is a bonus to have going into this one.

The Secrets of the Wild Wood has ultimately solidified Dragt in my mind as one of the great classic fantasy storytellers. To many already, their editions are treasured possessions after being so loved as children, but like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, they’re stories that can be loved by anyone, not matter your age, you find yourself drawn back in.

Both the writing and characters feel more matured in this novel. Dragt’s narrative combined with Laura Watkinson’s translation is an example of storytelling at its finest. After reading The Letter for the King, I was confident that the translation would be seamless in this novel, and I was right.
Dragt’s writing feels stronger and bolder, which could be deliberate as it goes well with the return of the main character Tiuri, who is now more mature (Sir Tiuri now) and confident. Tiuri is still the loveable character we fell in love with in The Letter for the King however, reading it feels as if you’re catching up with an old friend. You come to care very deeply for the boy.

The world of the novel, the Wild Wood and its surrounding lands, including Unawen and Dagonaut, is just as vibrant and well described as Middle Earth. The beautiful map set at the front of the book helps you to fall into the world and its adventure alongside Tiuri.

The Secrets of the Wild Wood is a wonderful novel which manages to surpass the first book. You can’t fail to fall in love with this story and its characters. If you enjoy tales of knights in fantasy-medieval settings, this is the book for you.

Its hard to fault- 5stars. 

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Queen of Shadows By Sarah J Maas

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

I initially thought I’d write this spoiler free, but I just have too many feelings about the events of this book that I just need to write them down. So if you haven’t read QoS yet, I wouldn’t read. If you have, read on and then we can discuss all the emotions this book caused.
Sorry if it’s a little all over the place, or incoherent, everything is gushing out of me.

If you’re a fan of the Throne of Glass series, you know how beautiful Maas’s writing is. Well, it’s not different in this book. It’s an absolute dream to read. She expertly mixes heartbreaking lines, brilliant action descriptions; have-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat lines and laugh out loud moments.
Sometimes when a book is written in 3rd person, the reader can get confused as to who is speaking at the moment, but with Maas it’s always very clear. We had a lot of characters having their own points of view in QoS and I am so glad, each one was clear and defined, each character being so well written.

I’m a big fan of big books. Big books are the best. QoS size was heaven. And it’s so action packed. So many things happen, its impossible to put down because its events just grip you from start to finish.

Queen of Shadows is the novel where finally the lingering underlying elements of the story come rushing to the surface. The series has been building to Aelin’s return and her beginning to retake her homeland. The Wyrdmarks, the Valg princes, the evilness in the King and Perrington are out in the open, main plot points.

Now onto the storyline. I’m a reader who is a fan of Manon, but I know there are some who weren’t so fond of her in Heir of Fire. I understand that since her storyline then didn’t have much impact on the overall storyline of the series. Well, in Qos she ends up truly deep in the main storyline, interacting with Duke Perrington and finding out what he’s planning for the witches. I also think Manon grows a lot in this book, or rather becomes a lot more of a good character as she witnesses the corruption going on around her.
The growing importance of Asterin was great, she’s a wonderful character. I loved her unflinching loyalty to Manon and determination to get her to act and not be constantly obedient.
Manon and Aelin’s meeting was as explosive (and badass) as you’d imagine it to be. But eye-opening for the both of them I think. Aelin couldn’t kill her when she saw Asterin’s reaction and Manon left messages to help them with Dorian, she gave them hope.
There was a surprising lack of Abraxos in QoS.

Elide’s introduction was almost bittersweet. To see her still alive and part of the story was great, but what she’d been through and her surroundings were so sad. But she was so strong; the bond between her, Asterin and Manon was awesome to read. QoS portrayed such strong female friendships and just how strong they can be together. GO MAAS.

Seeing what had become of Kaltain was so sad. Both she and Lysandra were characters you weren’t meant to dislike and then CoM and QoS shattered that. Kaltain didn’t deserve to end up that way.

On the subject of ships, I don’t read the series for ships. I just see them as a bonus. But I am a firm believer that the author knows best. How they write something or someone is up to them, because they created them, therefore THEY KNOW BEST. I never finish a book and say ‘it should’ve ended this way’ or ‘this person should’ve ended up with this person’ just because I accept whatever the author writes as the right thing to happen. People may feel differently, and that’s fine. (But please, if you’re angry with how something turns out in book- don’t attack the author. Its seriously not nice.)
I was a hardcore Chaolaena shipper, but now I see that they’re not right for each other anymore. They were in Crown of Midnight, but times have changed, they have changed and they belong with different people now. I really hope they just stay extremely good friends.
The romance in this book was obviously one of the background elements to the book, but it was beautifully written. The main ship of QoS, Rowaelin progressed at just the right pace. They didn’t rush into it and it built into something stable and strong which I think will be awesome in the books to come. QoS seemed to be the start of ships to come.
Anyone else think Aedion and Lysandra might get together? Dorian and Manon too? And Chaol and Nesryn.
Maas seems to sort of pair similar people, Rowan and Aelin both lost their great loves, Aedion and Lysandra are both ‘whores’, Lysandra was a courtesan and Aedion was ‘Adarlan’s Whore’. Dorian and Manon both had some sort of darkness in them, both heirs to thrones, and Chaol and Nesryn were both soldiers, loyal and quite stoic.
The ships are becoming more adult I think. Often people don't spend the rest of their lives with their first love. It portrays that they can change grow out of love with each other.

Chaol broke my heart in this book. Even he could see he was on the wrong path, but he didn’t seem to know the right path. He wanted to help Dorian, but didn’t know what to do to help. He was completely lost, and in feeling lost was lashing out and not letting anyone help him (which is why I’m excited for Nesryn and him to bond). It made me so sad to see Aelin and Chaol butting heads so much. I was glad I held onto hope until the end. Aelin putting the Eye of Elena in his pocket, him losing the movement in his legs leading to him asking Aelin to see her fire magic made me so happy and yet so very sad. I absolutely cried my eyes out when he said ‘It’s lovely’ after seeing her magic. If that’s not accepting her, I don’t know what is and I think any hate between them in buried.
Chaol dedication to Dorian was so admirable too. He was not going to give up on him not matter what and despite his actions, he was still a good man.
Do you think his healer will be Yrene Towers from ‘The Assassin and the Healer’ in the Southern Continent when he goes to fix his legs?

I was unsure as to whether or not Dorian would be ‘fixed’ in QoS, I thought they might find out how, but not bring him back. But I’m so glad they did. From the end, I think its going to be a hard road for him, bless him. He’s going to have to get over Sorcha, killing his father and being the new king of a corrupt kingdom that just had its magic returned, all alone. Or maybe Manon can help him a little. I think he’s going ot grow up a hell of a lot and be the king Chaol always saw him as.
Aelin and Dorian teaming up was spectacular to read. They are the future rulers, fighting for a better future.

When Aelin, Dorian and Chaol all lay next to each other on the grass after the battle and magics return. The image was just too much. The trio that we'd been with from the start all lying together before the shattered remains of the glass castle.

In my QoS theories and questions videos, I questioned how Arobynn would act in this book, since he’s so sneaky. The King was always open in his evilness, but Arobynn was scheming. I NEVER expected both of these characters to be killed in this book. I thought they’d be two that lasted to the last book, especially the King. Arobynn very much revealed his true colours in this book. This series constantly makes me tear up and grip me book in shock, when Arobynn slipped that ring onto her finger, I thought I’d died. When Aelin revealed it didn’t work, my god, i’ve never been so relieved.  Even though you’d expect Aelin to kill him, it seemed right after everything that Lysandra was the one to do it. When Lysandra made her entrance in QoS, I was suspicious that she could be spying for Arobynn and lying to Aelin, but I was so glad to be wrong.
Perrington the real antagonist of the series? Excuse me while I go pick up my jaw from the floor. It was such a surprise and yet makes SO much sense. I never thought I’d feel sorry for the King but oh man.

Aelin finally saw Sam’s grave and OH GOD TOO MANY TEARS. I’m so glad she got closure. But damn, I will never ever get over Sam Cortland’s death. It is impossible.

When Aelin met Aedion, it was such a monumental moment. The look they shared. So many tears. They’re just so alike and so close and protective of each other. Even after so many years, they just accepted each other and reading them together was just heart-warming. I’m so glad they’re reunited. Also, Aedion is Gavriel’s son? That meeting HAS to happen.

Maas always has a perfect ending line to her books. It never fails to make me cry and NEED the next book. QoS’s ending just promised more awesomeness to come. Aelin is HOME. War is coming. (Knowing Maas, that probably inevitably means some people will die NOPE).

This series 

Of course I’m going to give it a 5 stars. It was a great, fast-paced instalment that left me excited for what will happen next.

I’m behind Aelin all the way. 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

The Letter for the King By Tonke Dragt

The Letter for the King was first published in 1962 in the Netherlands, but it took until 2013 for it to be translated into English by Laura Watkinson. Now on 3rd September 2015, its sequel The Secrets of the Wild Wood will also be translated, many years after its publication in the Netherlands back in 1965.
Learning more about Dragt while reading was great too, she’s really inspirational. Born in Indonesia, she was imprisoned in a Japanese war camp, writing her first book on any paper she could find before moving to the Netherlands after the war. In 1976 she won the State Prize for Youth Literature before being knighted in 2001.

Surprisingly, Id never heard of The Letter for the King until very recently, despite its million copy bestseller status, but I’m very glad I got the chance to read it. I think my biggest worry for this book was that the translation wouldn’t be very good. The writing in translated novels I have read before sometimes didn’t flow well. Different languages have different sayings and some of those in English can be awkward to read. Watkinson did a magnificent job translating, it was seamless and a joy to read.

The story begins as the protagonist Tiuri is staying the night with his friends in a church. He must stay the whole night, not speaking to anyone before he can gain his knighthood in the morning. But someone knocks frantically on the door, desperate for his help. The man instructs him that he must deliver an important letter across the mountains to the King there. Tiuri has to abandon everything to do this, and of course, it’s not an easy journey…

Dragt captures the spirit of being a teenage boy extremely well; he’s inexperienced and impatient at times, but very loveable. The kingdoms of Unauwen and Dagonaut are vast and vivid and with the maps in the front of the book, you can keep track of Tirui’s journey without feeling lost and allow you to paint an even better picture of the world in your head.
Tiuri’s story is an instant classic, its one that you will want to return to again and again, filled with medieval fantasy elements. The Letter for the King is a wonderful coming of age story, Tiuri grows over the course of the book, learning to make his own decisions and finding courage as he transports his secret letter across the land.

Gripping and fantastical, it’s a must read.
I highly recommend you pick up The Letter for the King, so that when Secrets of the Wild Wood is released, you can grab it straight away.

4.5 stars.

Misfits and Daydreamers Newsletter

Are you in need of AWESOME writing advice? 
Or are you a fan of Susan Dennard looking for extra content to help fuel your love for her stories, competitions and first look at new stuff? 
Or both????

I highly HIGHLY recommend you subscribe to her Misfits and Daydreamers newsletter, it only takes a second to type your email address and then you get awesome emails brimming with brilliance, FOR FREE! Its just too good to turn down! 

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Thursday, 13 August 2015

My top 5 things about:


  1. The authors – I thought id just make this a general point otherwise my top 5 things would just be the names of authors. All the authors who went to YALC were so happy to be there to talk about their books and so lovely to speak to. I got so many books signed that I just love to take off my shelves and look at.

  1. The people – It was absolutely THE best thing to get to meet fellow book-lovers. Every one was so excited to talk to each other. YALC is so important to allow book-lovers to meet and make friends. When I was in school no one read books, I was the odd one out. I’d rather go to a book signing than on a night out drinking. YALC allows you to meet people who are just as passionate and not feel like the odd one out as you and make lifelong friends to talk over Twitter etc. You see you’re not alone in your love and it’s an amazing thing. I hope YALC continued to grow and grow.

  1. The cosplays – There were some AMAZING cosplays walking around, from Shadowhunters to the Walking Dead cast to Voldemort, there was everything. So much time and effort had gone into costumes and it totally paid off. It made me want to up my game for next year (I went as Celaena Sardothien this year).

  1. FREE STUFF – FREE STUFF EVERYWHERE. I just grabbed it alllll.

  1. The openness – YALC was a floor above London Film and Comic Con and boy was it packed down there. It was hot and loud and very cramped in places. Sometimes there were big queues just to use the stairs. But in YALC it was open, you had room to breathe, and not too cramped so it didn’t get too hot. There were places to sit, which I thought was brilliant to help people who suffer from anxiety, they really catered for everyone.



Sunday, 26 July 2015

Queen of Shadows Questions and Theories!

I've been an admirer or BookTube for a while now, always wanting to take part in the fun, but too scared and worried that my really bad quality camera wouldn't be good enough. 
But today...I actually filmed something! And i'm so excited to share it!

The video is me talking about my ideas for Sarah J Maas's upcoming book Queen of Shadows, the 4th book in the Throne of Glass series.
I really hope you watch (even just a little bit) and tell me some of your ideas because I love talking ToG!
I've also set up a giveaway to win a copy of Queen of Shadows, which you can enter below, to celebrate my BookTube debut :p 

You can watch my video below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 29 June 2015

A Darkness Strange and Lovely By Susan Dennard

With her brother dead and her mother on the verge of insanity, Eleanor Fitt is utterly alone. Even the Spirit-Hunters - Joseph, Jie and the handsome, enigmatic Daniel - have fled to Paris. So when Eleanor begins to hear the vicious barking of hounds and see images of haunting yellow eyes, she fears the worst - that the Dead, and the necromancer Marcus, are coming for her.

To escape and search out the Spirit-Hunters, Eleanor boards a steamer bound for France. There she meets Oliver, a young man who claims to have known her brother. Though friendly, Oliver entices Eleanor with necromancy and black magic, yet as long as she can resist his powerful temptation, she'll be fine. But when she arrives in Paris, she finds that the Dead have taken over the city...and there's a whole new evil lurking. With the body count rising, Eleanor is forced to make a deadly decision that will go against everything the Spirit-Hunters stand for.

In Paris, there's a price for this darkness strange and lovely...and it may have Eleanor paying with her life
. (Goodreads)

If you are anything like me, after finishing Something Strange and Deadly, your hands would’ve been spasmodically grabbing for A Darkness Strange and Lovely. You just HAD to know what happens! Well, it does not disappoint.

Image result for a darkness strange and lovelyDespite ADS&L starting off a few months after the events of the first book, it’s unbelievable how easy it is to slip back into Eleanor’s head, within the first page your engrossed once again, there in Philadelphia 1876. Dennard’s beautiful writing style continues to be a joy to read and also develops. I feel her writing is stronger now she has one novel out in the world.

After receiving a letter from the Spirit Hunters in Paris and frightened Marcus is coming after her, Eleanor decides to go and meet up with Joseph, Jie and Daniel in France. She meets Oliver on the way and the friendship that develops between the two is just wonderful. I like that there’s no romance between the two and it doesn’t create a second love interest; they just have a great bond. 
The romance in this trilogy just between Daniel and Eleanor is enough strain on the heart without another person added in. Just like in the first novel, every time Daniel and Eleanor are together you end up on the edge of your seat, their chemistry just crackles off the page. The romance doesn’t overwhelm the storyline, however, and allows it to grow slowly and realistically, which makes it even sweeter.

Eleanors character goes through some major character development in this novel. She’s still such an original character, she says and does what she likes, even if it’s the wrong thing to do. Eleanor makes mistakes and it makes her real. Even if you think that Eleanor is doing the wrong thing, you admire her conviction and know that she will learn from it. And all the way through, she remains her quirky, clever, easy-to-love self which keeps you rooting for her…and wishing you could be friends with her so you could quote Shakespeare together.

The introduction of Paris to the novel is beautifully described. You can just tell a great amount of research has gone into it being accurate. I’ve never been to Paris but Dennard makes it feel as if you have, and even better a 1876 version of it! You seem to stroll along the streets with Eleanor.
Dennard also keeps her characters accurate to the time, Eleanor uses saying like 'Shut pan' and dance cards are used at parties which all adds to transporting you to the 1800's. 

The storyline of ADS&L is still filled with the walking dead or ‘les morts!’, but also has a lot more mystery than the first. There are certainly some big surprises, which keep you clutching your book until the last page.

Worrying about second-book-syndrome? Worry no more. You have no fear picking up this brilliant second instalment in Susan Dennard Something Strange and Deadly Series. *throws stars in the air* ADS&L gets ALLL the stars!!
BE WARNED: It makes cause extreme obsession and swoons.

The Blog Tour Schedule! See where it’s headed next and catch up on old blog posts from the tour!
Sunday, June 21st:
Ellen @ YA Bookish News - Gushworthy Scenes with Daniel Sheridan & Eleanor Fitt
Blog link:

Monday, June 22nd:
CJ @ Sarcasm and Lemons - Fancast/Playlist
Blog link:

Tuesday, June 23rd:
Liran @ Hearts and Crowns - Fancast/Playlist
Blog link:
Wednesday, June 24th:
Samantha @ 
And Then Celaena Set The World On Fire. - Playlist
Blog Link:
Thursday, June 25th:
Zoey @ Uncreatively Zoey - Throwback Thursday
Blog link:

Friday, June 26th:
Christina @ Between Bookends - Fancast
Blog link:

Saturday, June 27th:
Kim @ Dreaming in Libraries - TBD
Blog link:

Sunday, June 28th:
Adriyanna @ Adriyanna K. Zimmerman - SS&D review
Blog link:

Monday, June 29th:
Laura @ Under a Mound of Books - ADS&L review
Blog link:

Tuesday, June 30th:
Kelly @ Audeamus. Let us dare. - S&EA review
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