WWW Wednesday

I’m about half way through The Storm Keepers’ Battle, and am absolutely loving it! It feels like Fionn has a real battle ahead of him but hopefully, he will have the islanders on side. My heart is aching for one of the characters – if you’ve read this, you probably know who I’m referring to! I’ve just started listening to Evernight on BorrowBox and am enjoying it. It seems like quite a dark read, probably more suited for the top end of primary and into secondary. I’m looking forward to seeing where this one goes.

I read Dragon World which is the most wonderful book about dragons with maps, information and myths. The illustrations really are stunning. There is so much I didn’t know about dragons around the world – a book that is certain to fascinate younger readers, and perfect for a topic on dragons. I also finished listening to The Skylarks’ War which was just as wonderful as I remembered it – tears, smiles and eagerness to read The Swallows’ Flight.

I’m on Easter holidays from Friday, so I’m hoping to get more reading done. I’m going to start with The Strangeworlds Travel Agency The Edge of the Ocean and then indulge in the next two Picklewitch and Jack adventures – can’t wait!

What are you reading? Have you read any of these?

Review: Dragon World

Written by Tamara MacFarlane
Illustrated Alessandra Fusi
Published by Doring Kindersley Ltd on 4th March

Blurb:

Lurking in every corner of the world, from mountain peaks to ocean depths, and even under the very ground you tread, dragons watch and wait …

Whether as powerful gods, wise friends, or fearsome foes, dragons take many forms, and exist in myths from cultures all over the world.

So turn the pages to enter the dragon’s domain. Soar through their skies, look into their lairs, witness their power, and discover their incredible world.

Who isn’t fascinated by dragons? This is an absolutely stunning and incredibly engaging book about my favourite mythological creatures: dragons. I was utterly fascinated by every aspect of this book: the maps, the fact files and the myths. The illustrations are gloriously gorgeous, making this a very special book which I know children are going to adore. This is one for the treasured books section of your bookshelf, and is one that will be lovingly dived into time and time again.

Dragon World is a wonderful introduction into the world of dragons for younger readers, and is perfect for parents and teachers to share with children. As a teacher, I can see so much potential for using this book in class with its links to history, science, English, art and geography.

The book is divided into four sections:

  • Asian Dragons
  • European Dragons
  • Dragons of the World
  • Dragon Discoveries

Each of the first three sections includes:

  • a beautifully illustrated map showing the names and images of dragons linked to places. I loved the compass in the shape of a dragon!
  • detailed information about the dragons included in the myths: The Chinese Long dragon; the Japanese Ryujin dragon; the Welsh Y Ddraig Goch dragon; the Nordic Lindworm dragon; the West African Aido-Hwedo dragon.
  • wonderfully retold myths: The Dragon Dance (China); The Dragon King and the Jellyfish (Japan); The Dragon Battle (Wales); The Dragon Curse (Norse); and The Earth Serpent (North Africa).
  • Fascinating facts about a wide range of dragons of the world including: Appearance, Dwelling and Powers and Traits.

The final section focusses on ‘Dragon Discoveries‘ including identifying dragon eggs; dragon jewels; real-life dragons; dragon science; and, artwork encouraging readers to draw and design their own dragon.

This book offers such a wonderful opportunity to enter the entrancing world of dragons. As an adult, I was captivated, so I have no doubt that children will spend many happy hours absorbed by the text, maps and illustrations.

Dragon World is a perfect fantasy information book for younger readers, and is one I am very keen to use myself in the classroom as I can see so much potential to engage children in this world.

Thank you to DK for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Review: Everyday Magic by Jess Kidd

Written by Jess Kidd
Cover Illustration by Beatriz Castro
Published by Canongate on 1st April

Everyday Magic is a delightfully charming, quirky and magical adventure with an abundance of fun, fast-paced action and fantastic characters. 

Alfie Blackstack is not a seeker of adventure so, when he moves to live with his two aunts after his father goes missing, it is with great relief that he discovers that Little Snoddington is a cosy, idyllic village where nothing much happens.  How WRONG can a nine-year-old be?

It transpires that his aunts Gertrude and Zita are, in fact, witches, and magic is real!  Whilst Gertrude is welcoming and kind, Zita is not exactly overjoyed to have her nephew living in the rather creepy Switherbroom Hall. After all, she despises children!

Despite Alfie not seeking adventure, it soon finds him in the form of a snowglobe and his first ever friend! He is gifted the snowglobe which holds an occupant who seems to delight in causing mayhem, leading to lots of giggles!  He also makes his first ever friend in Calypso who has arrived in the village with the travelling circus. 

When Calypso’s little sister, Nova, goes missing, Alfie is determined to help find her … and so begins a brilliantly fast-paced, action-packed adventure with oodles of fun, danger and revelations that kept me captivated and entertained throughout.  Can Alfie and Calypso discover the whereabouts of Nova?  As if that wasn’t enough adventure, they find themselves caught up in the threat of a Witch War:  can they outwit the popularity-seeking, nasty Head Witch, Prunella Morrow, before she destroys both families?

There is so much to delight in, and giggle at, in this splendiferous story:  warring witches on vacuum cleaners; an imp causing chaos; a ghost librarian; and, a Snakes and Ladders contest with a difference. 

Alfie is an absolutely delightful bespectacled, bright-orange anorak-wearing young boy.  In his new life, he discovers true friendship, family and home, and a sense of belonging.  When he is standing up for his friends, family and himself, Alfie shows that he is both courageous and daring.  Calypso proves to be a wonderfully supportive and kind-hearted friend who believes in Alfie. 

This is a wacky, bewitching and exciting adventure that young readers of 7+ will adore. 

Thank you to Canongate for an early copy in exchange for my honest opinion.   

Six for Sunday

The March theme for Six for Sunday, hosted by A Little But a Lot is Around the world in 80 books and today’s prompt is for Blue and green books. I have a LOT of books on my bookshelves, so it wasn’t difficult to find some for this prompt. I’ve chosen six that are more recent or upcoming releases that I’m very excited to read.

Blog Tour: Skin Taker

Written by Michelle Paver
Cover Design by John Fordham
Chapter Illustrations and map by Geoff Taylor
Published by Zephyr Books


Skin Taker is the second book in the new Wolf Brother series, and is another masterpiece:  powerful, riveting, and breath-taking.  I was completely captured from the opening pages which immediately drew me back into this richly-drawn and evocative Stone Age world, taking me on an unforgettable and gripping epic adventure.

Disaster strikes the Forest when a cataclysmic event, which the Clans call ‘Thunderstar’, decimates its people and land.  With the devastation caused by the Thunderstar, the Great Forest is in danger of dying.  Torak, Renn and Wolf find themselves in a race against time to save the Forest, a venture that will see them pushed to the edge of their endurance as they face danger, betrayal and a vindictive evil that threatens the lives and souls of the Forest and the Clans. 

I was on a knife-edge as I devoured this story; the tension and sense of foreboding is palpable as the story unfolds; as Torak, Renn and Wolf make terrifying discoveries, as they confront their fears, and strive to survive and protect each other in the midst of great upheaval.

The world-building is exceptional, giving a fascinating insight into the lives of the Stone Age Clans:  their lifestyle, customs and belief system, and their affinity with the world around them.  I found the metamorphosis of some of the separate Clans into an amalgamation of Chosen Ones through the manipulation of an evil presence both terrifying and absorbing.  The destruction caused to the forest is heart-breaking, not only as it causes imbalance in nature, but also as it threatens the essence of the Clans. 

The prevalence of the supernatural throughout was at times stirring and at others frightening.  I found the Clan belief system compelling with its affinity to animal spirits, belief in demons and in protecting the dead.  The Clans have a depth of reverence for their spirit animals and respect these animals in their day-to-day life.  I was intrigued by the way others exploit these beliefs for very different purposes. 

Torak and Renn are incredible characters who have certainly found their way into my heart.  They are mates who have a deep bond, but a bond that is tested by the impact of the destruction of the Forest.  Torak, a spirit-walker, is changed by the event and has a darkness within him that leads to fractious exchanges, but never enough to sever their bond. The strength, courage and resilience that they show, and their first instinct to protect each other, is genuinely moving.  Torak is prepared to put his life and souls at risk in order to save those he loves whilst Renn fights for him, using all her ingenuity and Mage powers, to save him from great evil, and from losing himself in the spirit world.

The connection between Wolf and his pack-brother Torak is just beautiful with each caring so deeply for the other that they sometimes feel their loyalty to others torn. 

Skin Taker is an astounding, action-packed adventure:  a tense, emotive and mesmerising fight for survival amidst the chaos of natural and supernatural destructive forces that absolutely held me enthralled from start to finish.

Thank you so much to ed public relations and Zephyr Books for inviting me to be part of the Blog Tour for this absolutely stunning book and for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Skin Taker by Michelle Paver is published 1st April 2021, published by Zephyr, an imprint of Head of Zeus, price £12.99 in hardback.

Copyright image 2019© Michelle Paver.
This image is copyright Anthony Upton 2019©.

Do check out the rest of the Tour:

First Lines Fridays

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

It was a wild and lightning-struck night. The kind of night that changes everything. Jagged forks of light ripped across the sky and thunder rolled in tidal waves over the rooftops and spires of London. With the rain lashing down and clouds crashing above, it felt like the whole city was under the sea.

Any ideas?

Goodreads Synopsis:

Cordelia comes from a long line of magical milliners, who weave alchemy and enchantment into every hat. In Cordelia’s world, Making – crafting items such as hats, cloaks, watches, boots and gloves from magical ingredients – is a rare and ancient skill, and only a few special Maker families remain. When Cordelia’s father Prospero and his ship, the Jolly Bonnet, are lost at sea during a mission to collect hat ingredients, Cordelia is determined to find him. But Uncle Tiberius and Aunt Ariadne have no time to help the littlest Hatmaker, for an ancient rivalry between the Maker families is threatening to surface. Worse, someone seems to be using Maker magic to start a war. It’s up to Cordelia to find out who, and why . . .

Have you read this? What did you think?

MG Takes on Thursday

This is my weekly meme celebrating amazing middle-grade books. I hope others will enjoy taking part in this too!

How to take part:

  • Post a picture of the front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
  • Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence. 
  • Write three words to describe the book.
  • Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.

This week, I’m celebrating …

Written by M.G. Leonard & Sam Sedgman
Illustrated by Elisa Paganelli
Published by Macmillan Children’s Books

This book in three words:

MYSTERY, TRAINS, FRIENDSHIP

Favourite Sentence/s from Page 11:

It was the most baffling encounter he’d [Hal] had ever had with a girl.

I read The Highland Falcon Thief and Kidnap on the California Comet back-to-back last Summer, and absolutely loved both. This one made me desperate to go on holiday, and my husband and I spent some time looking into the real-life California Zephyr afterwards. Maybe one day! I have a copy of Murder on the Safari Star in my TBR, and am really looking forward to finding out about Hal’s next adventure.

Harrison Beck (Hal) is travelling aboard the California Comet with his Uncle Nat, a travel journalist, who has been invited to attend a press conference by technological entrepreneur, August Reza.  Hal has barely arrived before he meets siblings Mason and Hadley, who are outgoing and friendly, and have talents which will prove useful for the mystery Hal soon finds himself intent on solving …

He also meets the rather unhappy and lonely daughter of the billionaire, August Reza.  Marianne befriends Hal and warns him that she is in danger so, when he witnesses her kidnapping and finds a ransom note, he is determined to use his detective skills to save her. Who has kidnapped Marianne, and is the motive as obvious as it appears?  

This is a brilliantly clever, exciting and engrossing mystery, packed full of suspects, clever clues, tantalising puzzles and intrigue. It sets up a delicious trail to follow, a trail which leads to startling revelations and danger which will undoubtedly take its readers on a wonderful adventure, puzzling and searching for clues, as they try to solve this classic whodunnit.

You can read my review here.

I’d love if anyone who wants to give this meme a go would comment in the comments box and include a link to your post so I can visit, comment and find some great middle-grade recommendations. If you do create a post and are on Twitter, and would like to share your post, please use the hashtag  #MGTakesOnThursday so I can find it, read it and share it!

WWW Wednesday

I’ve just finished reading a physical copy of a book and haven’t started my next one yet. I have read a physical copy of The Skylarks’ War last year, but I found the audiobook on BorrowBox so I’m listening to it again in preparation for reading The Swallows’ Flight. I’m really enjoying the narration, and being back in this masterfully created world with characters who I feel I really know.

I finished listening to Changeling on audio. I really enjoyed this one and would definitely be interested in seeing where it goes next as I’m hoping it is part of a series. I really enjoyed the growth of Sarah/Cassie throughout, the use of magic and the school environment. Cassie forms lots of relationships in the book which I thought were really well developed. I also read Skin Taker which is just brilliant. I love the depth of Michelle Paver’s writing and I can definitely see the connections between her adult books and this one in terms of building atmosphere and tension. I will be taking part in a Blog Tour for this one later this week, and will be posting my review then. I finally managed to re-read the truly fantastic Eye of the North and will write my review this weekend which will be my first post for Reading Ireland Month.

I’m going to continue with Reading Ireland Month with the final part in this amazing trilogy, The Storm Keepers’ Battle.

What have you read this week? Have you read any of these?

May Anticipated Releases …

And this is why my TBR never gets any smaller! I love looking forward to new releases, and these are the ones which I know about that are due to be released in May that I really want to add to my TBR. I have been lucky enough to get early copies of some of these either via NetGalley or from publicists so will be able to read some during my Easter holiday, ready to post my reviews before publication.

I’ve taken the synopsis for each of these from the Waterstones website (except for the final book whose synopsis I took from the Publisher’s website), and hope that other fans of middle-grade will be interested in reading some of these too. I have read and loved books by many of these authors, and have also included a few new-to-me and debut authors whose books have definitely caught my interest.

Release Date: 6th May

Publisher: Chicken House

Three tiny, ancient beings – Moss, Burnet and Cumulus, once revered as Guardians of the Wild World – wake from winter hibernation in their beloved ash tree home. When it is destroyed, they set off on an adventure to find more of their kind, a journey which takes them first into the deep countryside and then the heart of a city. Helped along the way by birds and animals, the trio search for a way to survive and thrive in a precious yet disappearing world …

Publisher: Anderson Press

The Evernight has been defeated and the sun has returned, thanks to Larabelle Fox and her friends Joe and Double Eight. White Witches have their souls back and Mrs Hester is no more. It should be a time of celebration and relief. But a new threat is emerging from the mists of the Veil, the dangerous forest that surrounds the Silver Kingdom’s southern lands. Mysterious killings are taking place, and Double Eight is the suspect. Lara and Joe journey to Lake End to discover what’s really happening, all the while trying to stay one step ahead of the secret police . . . 

Publisher: Nosy Crow

Lonny is a lifeling. He has the power to heal any living creature and bring it back from the dead. But he pays a price for this gift – by lengthening the creature’s life, he shortens his own. So Lonny has to be careful, has to stay hidden in the forest. Because if people knew what he could do, Lonny would be left with no life at all…

Publisher: Barrington Stoke

When Pete, Nancy and Krish arrive at Heathland Camp for a school trip, they’re in for an adventure – just not the kind they were expecting. Nearby sits the abandoned Harwood Institute. The crumbling buildings reek of secrets and at night strange screams come from the surrounding forest. Nobody knows what experiments took place at the institute during the war, so Pete and his friends make it their mission to find out . But the forest is hiding a sinister secret, and the trio could be in real danger … Are some mysteries best left undisturbed?

Publisher: Scholastic

In a re-imagined world, the Empire of Albion is ruled by science. Everyone’s destiny is pre-determined by a track of stars on their wrist, and 13-year-old Paisley Fitzwilliam discovers that her fate is to die before her fourteenth year. But when her mother goes missing and is presumed dead; there is nobody left to protect her Dragon Touched brother Dax. So begins a breath-taking adventure through Floating Boroughs, a vault guarded by Dragon Walkers, and the dark sewers of lower London. To save her brother, Paisley must unlock an ancient secret that will not only defy her stars, but will change the course of history forever . . .

Publisher: Barrington Stoke

Winter 1942. Teenagers Frank, Joseph and Stephen are Royal Navy recruits on their first mission at sea during the Second World War. Their ship is part of an Arctic Convoy sailing to Russia to deliver supplies to the Soviets. The convoys have to navigate treacherous waters, sailing through a narrow channel between the Arctic ice pack and German bases on the Norwegian coast. Faced with terrifying enemy attacks from both air and sea, as well as life-threatening cold and storms, will all three boys make it home again?

Publisher: Nosy Crow

Otherland is a dangerous magical underworld – a place where appearances can be deceiving and anything can happen. A world of gods, vampires, and fairies. It’s also… horrible. When life-long friends Myra and Rohan discover that Rohan’s baby sister Shilpa has been stolen and taken to Otherland, the only way to rescue her is by taking part in a deadly game – three impossible challenges set by the Fairy Queen of Otherland. Win the game, and Rohan and Myra can go home with Shilpa – but lose, and they’ll be trapped in Otherland forever…

Publisher: Canongate

It’s midsummer’s day and thirteen-year-old Elle and her Leapling classmates are visiting the Museum of the Past, the Present and the Future. But on the day of the school trip, disaster strikes, and the most unique and valuable piece in the museum, the Infinity-Glass, is stolen! And worse still, Elle’s friend and fellow Infinite, MC(2), is arrested for the crime! To prove his innocence Elle must leap back centuries in time, to a London very different from today. Along the way she will meet new friends, face dangers unlike any she has ever known, and face an old enemy who is determined to destroy her. Can Elle find the missing Infinity-Glass and return it to its rightful home before it’s too late?

Release Date: 13th May

Publisher: Usborne

Wick has always lived in the dark and dreadful Harklights Match Factory and Orphanage, working tirelessly for greedy Old Ma Bogey. He only dreams of escaping, until one day a bird drops something impossible and magical at his feet – a tiny baby in an acorn cradle… As midnight chimes, Wick is visited by the Hobs, miniature protectors of the forest. Grateful for the kindness shown to their stolen child, they offer Wick the chance of a lifetime – escape from Harklights and begin a new life with them in the wild… 

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Alfie has noticed a few things since his family moved to Folding Ford. He really misses life in the city. He and his sister don’t exactly fit in here. But the most interesting one is that the weather is BONKERS. One frost-covered branch on one tree in the middle of June? A tiny whirlwind in a bucket in the garden? Only in Folding Ford. Armed with his bike, a notepad and his new best mate Sam, Alfie is going to investigate. His best clue is Nathaniel Clemm … the only thing in town weirder than the weather. When Alfie ‘investigates’ Mr Clemm’s garden, only SLIGHTLY illegally, he finds a strange box that freezes his trainers and makes his teeth tingle. And when he opens it, only SLIGHTLY deliberately, SOMETHING gets out. Something fast, fizzing and sparking with electricity and very, very much alive. But the creature from the box brings trouble of its own, and as barometers and tempers go haywire in Folding Ford, Alfie finds himself at the centre of a perfect storm.

Publisher: Little Tiger

On the hunt for an unimaginary, Skeleton Keys meets young Flynn Twist, a boy with a wild imagination who tells of his encounter with a terrifying shadow calling itself the Nobody. Skeleton Keys suspects it could be a shapeless unimaginary searching for a physical form. As night falls the Nobody roams the village of Matching Trousers turning everyone it meets into zombie-like nobodies. No one is safe – not even Skeleton Keys. Soon only Flynn is left. Can he become the brave hero of his imagination and free everybody from the Nobody?

Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group

Justice and her friends are third years now and there’s an intriguing new girl in Barnowls. Letitia has never been to school before and doesn’t care for the rules – and the teachers don’t seem to mind! She decides that Justice is her particular friend, much to Stella and Dorothy’s distress. But Letitia just isn’t the kind of girl you say no to. Then, after a midnight feast in the barn, and a terrifying ghost-sighting in the garden, a girl disappears. Soon ransom notes appear, and they’re torn from the pages of a crime novel. Where is the schoolgirl and who has taken her? It will take all of Justice’s sleuthing to unravel this mystery!

Publisher: Pan Macmillan 

Being the smallest doesn’t stop you having the biggest ideas. Eleven-year old Noah sneaks along on his big sister’s geography field trip. Everything goes wrong! Six kids are marooned on an uninhabited island. Their teacher has vanished. They’re hungry. Their phones don’t work and Noah has broken the internet. There’s no way of contacting home … Disaster! Until Noah discovers a treasure map and the gang goes in search of gold.

Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group 

Scarlett Fife has BIG FEELINGS. And when she has BIG FEELINGS, they explode out of her like an over-squeezed stress ball. Scarlett’s in big trouble after a BIG FEELINGS episode leads to a runaway hamster getting into the vicar’s trousers at her aunty’s engagement party. If she loses her temper ONE MORE TIME, she’s going to miss out on her trip to Mega Awesome Sicky Fun World, the best theme park on the planet. But feelings are like slime in a party bag. No matter how much someone tells you to keep it in, it’ll always find its way out. And very soon, Scarlett notices that every time she pushes her feelings down, something explodes. Like … really, properly explodes. It might be her teacher’s slimy green smoothie. A huge pot of purple paint. Or a massive pile of elephant poo at the zoo. And let’s hope Scarlett doesn’t get mad at Aunty’s wedding – that wedding cake is HUGE …

Release Date: 20th May

Publisher: Firefly Press

It’s five months since the nightmare Year Six School trip to Crater Lake, and something has gone very wrong in Lance’s home town of Straybridge. There’s been an explosion at the University, a mysterious test creature is missing and no one is allowed in or out of the town. On top of this Lance has lost touch with his friends since starting at his new school. And now his mum has been acting strangely since they started decorating the Christmas tree… As he goes door to door trying to reunite his team, Lance realises how bad things have got. Now he, Katja, Max, Chets and Ade, plus new friend Karim, must think bigger and bolder if they are to save their families. But there’s something else out there too – something straight out of their nightmares…

Publisher: Pan Macmillan 

Four ordinary lives connected by extraordinary circumstances, Hilary McKay’s stunning companion novel to the Costa Award-winning The Skylarks’ War features the next generation of characters as they move from childhood to the threshold of adulthood amid the chaos and conflict of the Second World War. Erik and Hans admire swallows over the rooftops of Berlin, little thinking that one day they will be flying above England, risking their lives in a war they both detest. Ruby and Kate, great friends despite their differences, find themselves racing towards a danger that neither of them could possibly have imagined. Meanwhile Rupert and Clarry work secretly for peace – and a brighter future for them all …

Publisher: HarperCollins 

Ten-year-old Rainbow Grey – Ray for short – lives in the magical Isles of Celestia, high in the sky! Ray comes from a long line of rainbow casters and this means that she’s supposed to have the ability to harness ALL the weather power and create a RAINBOW! But Ray’s AWESOME WEATHER MAGIC isn’t working properly, and she’s not sure why. With villainous Tornadia and her rogues creating weather chaos around the universe, Ray has to get to the bottom of her mystery missing magic. Can Ray and her friends work out what’s going on AND save the world from the ultimate storm?

Publisher: Maverick Arts Publishing 

A botched bread roll robbery spells trouble for Victorian sewer scamp, Nicholas Nabb-big trouble. But when a mysterious veiled widow, Annie, steps in to save him, it looks like his luck might finally be changing. Only Annie vanishes before they can become properly acquainted, leaving Nick with nothing but questions. Who is the lady behind the black veil? Why does she have a baby photo of him inside her locket? And, most importantly of all, where is she now? Nick will stop at nothing to find out.

May is going to be another bumper month for book purchases! Do any of these pique your interest?

First Lines Fridays

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

A watchful girl stood before the walls of a silent city. She knew those walls as well as she knew her mother’s face, but while her mother was tawny-cheeked and quick to smile, the walls were crumbling in some places and covered with ivy in others.

Any ideas?

I was so excited to see the cover reveal for this on Twitter today as it is one of my most anticipated books of the year, and it made me feel I was a little closer to reading it! Imagine my excitement when I checked on NetGalley and it was available to read as I am pre-approved by the publisher. I am going to re-read Eye of the North first and then read this immediately after as it is a prequel and I think tells us more about Thing. So can’t wait!

Synopsis:

The circus has seen better days, but for Bastjan it’s home. He will do anything he can to save it, even if it means participating in a death-defying new act. But when that fails to draw in the crowds, the ringmaster makes a deal with a mysterious man by the name of Dr Bauer. In exchange for his help, Bauer wants a box that belonged to Bastjan’s mother and came from her birthplace – the faraway island of Melita. Bastjan is desperate to keep his only memento of his mother out of Bauer’s hands. And as he uncovers more about the strange objects contained within, he realizes it’s not only the circus that’s in terrible danger…