blog tour, Book reviews, Fantasy

The Thief On The Winged Horse by Kate Mascarenhas – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The Kendrick family have been making world-famous dolls since the early 1800s. But their dolls aren’t coveted for the craftmanship alone. Each one has a specific emotion laid on it by its creator. A magic that can make you feel bucolic bliss or consuming paranoia at a single touch. Though founded by sisters, now only men may know the secrets of the workshop.

Persephone Kendrick longs to break tradition and learn the family craft, and when a handsome stranger arrives claiming doll-making talent and a blood tie to the Kendricks, she sees a chance to grasp all she desires.

But then, one night, the family’s most valuable doll is stolen. Only someone with knowledge of magic could have taken her. Only a Kendrick could have committed this crime…

MY REVIEW 

Persephone works in the Kendrick family business, they make rather special, magical dolls. Each doll has an enchantment added so anyone who touches it feels that emotion, such as love, fear and paranoia. Only the men of the family are allowed to add these enchantments.

This is the secret of the Kendrick family.

One day a man, Larkin, arrives claiming to be a lost member of the family, a descendent unknown of. He wants to be part of this family business and learn it’s secrets. 

But, then their most prized doll, the Paid Mourner disappears, who would have been able to steal this doll with all its protection? 

They believe in the story The Thief on the Winged Horse may have taken it and that a payment is needed for its return. But is it that simple?

This is a whodunnit with a difference, it has a slightly surreal fantasy heart that is unique.

It feels like historical fiction in the manners and rest of the characters, but they also use mobile phones and technology. The Kendrick business is a male dominated world but the women are just as powerful and soon things will change.

The characters are well developed, some likeable and some definitely not. The world building is very clever and I loved the mix of old and new.

A slightly surreal fantasy that I found thoroughly engrossing from start to finish.

Thank you to Amber at Midas PR for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and a copy of The Thief on the Winged Horse.

blog tour, Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Smallest Man by Frances Quinn – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

I want you to remember something, Nat. You’re small on the outside. But inside you’re as big as everyone else. You show people that and you won’t go far wrong in life.’

A compelling story perfect for fans of The Doll Factory, The Illumination of Ursula Flight and The Familiars.

My name is Nat Davy. Perhaps you’ve heard of me? There was a time when people up and down the land knew my name, though they only ever knew half the story.

The year of 1625, it was, when a single shilling changed my life. That shilling got me taken off to London, where they hid me in a pie, of all things, so I could be given as a gift to the new queen of England.

They called me the queen’s dwarf, but I was more than that. I was her friend, when she had no one else, and later on, when the people of England turned against their king, it was me who saved her life. When they turned the world upside down, I was there, right at the heart of it, and this is my story.

Inspired by a true story, and spanning two decades that changed England for ever, The Smallest Man is a heartwarming tale about being different, but not letting it hold you back. About being brave enough to take a chance, even if the odds aren’t good. And about how, when everything else is falling apart, true friendship holds people together.

MY REVIEW 

The Smallest Man is historical fiction set during the reign of Charles I, and is the story of Nathaniel Davy, ‘The Queen’s Dwarf’.

Nat was born into a poor family and was sold into service. He became part of Queen Henrietta Maria’s royal court and soon became one of her favourites and constantly by her side. He travelled with her across Europe as civil war broke out.

Nat is the narrator of his story, his life and adventures with even a little romance. His charming personality, wit and resilience really come across, he’s such a likeable character.

There is plenty of historical fact seamlessly mixed with the fiction and the details,of the royal court and its politics is fascinating.

A heartwarming tale of one man’s strength, resilience and the power of kindness and compassion. Something we desperately need in this world today.

Beautifully written and completely engaging from start to finish. Historical fiction at its best.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and a copy of The Smallest Man.