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Ghost Wall: thin skins and thinner boundaries

Book cover: Ghost Wall - Sarah Moss (close-up of interwoven branches)Just how far will a group of experimental archaeologists go to re-enact Iron Age life and rituals? Time for a rare break from my usual genre diet to enjoy Sarah Moss’s brilliant new short novel, Ghost WallContinue reading “Ghost Wall: thin skins and thinner boundaries”

The Court of Broken Knives: poetic grimdark

Book cover: The Court of Broken Knives - Anna Smith Spark (a sword and a figure silhouetted as if in firelight)Sorlost is the heart of the richest empire in the world: ancient, proud, unconquered. But its self-regard is stronger than its armies. As nobles conspire for power and mercenaries flock to their call, who will prove ruthless enough to seize – and hold – power?

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Charmcaster: friends are the family you choose

Book cover: Charmcaster - Sebastien de Castell (an orange playing card, with a young man in a hat on top and a squirrel cat on the bottom)Kellen Argosi is both hunted and hunter – the Jan’Tep want him dead as a shadowblack-cursed traitor, while he is intent on thwarting their nefarious plot to possess the children of their foreign rivals. But Kellen is a 17-year-old with only one trick up his sleeve. You’d be right to think he’s at a disadvantage. Just as well he’s got friends to help him fight his family…

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The Beautiful Ones: love, duty and telekinesis

Book cover: The Beautiful Ones - Silvia Moreno-Garcia (a silhouette of a long-haired woman ins a gown against a green background)Nina Beaulieu is a debutante, spending the Season with her cousin Gaetan and his glamorous wife Valerie. They will usher her into a glittering world of balls and find her a suitable husband. But Nina has a mind of her own, and talents that aren’t welcome in polite society. Can she be satisfied within its constraints?

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The Bitter Twins

Book cover: The Bitter Twins - Jen Williams (a dragon winding about the book title)War has begun. While Noon and Vostok struggle to forge their friends into a coherent fighting unit, Vintage unearths clues that will lead them away from the conflict in search of Ysgeril’s birthplace. But the enemy is moving against them in ways they’ve never seen before. Everybody needs allies, but who can trusted?

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Shadowsong: one does not simply walk away from the Underground

Book cover: Shadowsong - S Jae-Jones (poppies in a fractured icy globe)Returned to her family, Liesl pines for her austere young man and for her brother. But from Vienna to the Bavarian forest, people are dying with mysterious marks on their lips and throat. The old laws cannot be broken. The Underground must have it due. Someone must die if spring is to return…

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Spare and Found Parts: review and giveaway!

Nell Crane is the girl with the clockwork heart, daughter of two revolutionary thinkers whose contributions have improved the lives of everyone in Black Water City. Great things are expected of her, but she’s running out of time to make a contribution that will keep her free of a life of manual labour. When inspiration finally strikes, her idea is so bold it may destroy her ties to everyone she loves…

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Under the Pendulum Sun

Book cover: Under the Pendulum Sun - Jeanette Ng (purple hued, woman in fabulously spiky dress)If you get lost enough, you can find Arcadia. The South Seas Company are keen to limit access to maintain their monopoly on trade. The Church, with no such worldly concerns, wish to bring the Word of God to the Fair Folk. And Catherine Helstone wants to find her beloved brother Laon, missionary to the Court of the Pale Queen…

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The Ninth Rain: bad dreams and waking nightmares

Book cover: The Ninth Rain - Jen Williams (a blue-grey eagle against a silver background)Eight times, the Jur’elia have laid waste to Sarn. Eight times, the Eborans have fought them off with the aid of their holy tree Ygseril. But Ygseril is dead, and the Eborans are nearly extinct. If the Jur’elia come again, who will stand against them?

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Gnomon: asking all the questions

Book cover: Gnomon - Nick Harkaway (pieces of paper drifting against a black background; the outline of a shark fin in the centre)In a near-future surveillance state, Mielikki Neith must investigate why an author died resisting a routine interrogation; and what secrets she was trying to hide. But when Mielikki is immersed in Diana Hunter’s memories, she finds other personalities instead – a Carthaginian witch; a Greek investment banker; an Ethiopian artist; an angry spirit determined to consume everyone. Are any of them real? Who was Diana Hunter?

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Tremontaine: Into the Woods / Behind The Mask

I’ve fallen behind on Tremontaine, so it’s time to quickly catch up! In Into the Woods, a party of nobles celebrate midwinter at Diane’s hunting lodge in the woods, but the Land calls for blood during the White Days and someone will have to pay the price. Behind the Mask sees Kaab closing in on the rixinkun’s secrets, whilst Rafe suffers a disappointment. Will Micah ever master the peculiar game of Social Graces?

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Tarnished City: Equal opportunities for the few

Book cover: Tarnished City - Vic James (a chained hand points down, a Scottish castle in the background)With the Chancellor dead, the Jardines are back in control of Britain. As Luke Hadley is delivered to the Scottish fortress of Lord Crovan for his Condemnation, Abi escapes to join Luke’s agitating allies. But can they do anything to avert the horror the Jardines will bring to Britain – let alone rescue poor Luke before he chooses to walk through the Last Door?

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