My Review of The Orphan’s Tale


The Orphan's Tale - Pam Jenoff

The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff follows Noa, a sixteen year old girl, who’s father kicks her out of the house for getting pregnant by a Nazi soldier, and we are given the story from Noa’s POV. We are later introduced to Astrid, a trapeze performer with the German circus, and we get the story from her POV. The story goes back and forth between the two women’s stories, which connect along the way creating a well written, dark and ominous, though thought provoking tale.


Jenoff does an excellent job bringing you into this story. She brings the characters to life, and you can’t help but let yourself be taken away.


This story has quite a bit of darkness, which portrays extremely well how life was for someone in these two women’s situations during WWII. Jenoff’s research adds to the darkness based on true events, which, for me, was very thought provoking. It is an intricate story of love and hate, resentment and acceptance, betrayal, fear, hope, and so much more . It is, by far, one of the best books that I have ever read.


I received this book through NetGalley, and received a copy from Harlequin for an honest review and all opinions are my own.

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YAhoo! It’s a #LoveOzYA Review: Frogkisser!

The Bookshelf Gargoyle


Who could go past a title with such an alluring and obvious exclamation mark in the title?

Not us, that’s for sure.

Especially when it is penned by Australian YA and fantasy powerhouse Garth Nix.  We received a copy of Frogkisser! from Allen & Unwin for review and here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

The Last Thing She Needs Is a Prince.

The First Thing She Needs Is Some Magic.

Poor Princess Anya. Forced to live with her evil stepmother’s new husband, her evil stepstepfather. Plagued with an unfortunate ability to break curses with a magic-assisted kiss. And forced to go on the run when her stepstepfather decides to make the kingdom entirely his own.

Aided by a loyal talking dog, a boy thief trapped in the body of a newt, and some extraordinarily mischievous wizards, Anya sets off on a Quest that, if she plays it right, will ultimately…

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My Review of Morning’s Journey


Morning's Journey - Kim Headlee

Morning’s Journey by Kim Iverson Headlee is the second book in The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles. After reading the first book in this series, I was excited to read Morning’s Journey. I was a bit disappointed with the ending of this book. There are several situations in this story that weren’t resolved. When there are only two books in a series, I feel things should be wrapped up in the second book. Other than that, Kim’s writing is extremely good, it has a consistent pace, and the character development is great. But because of the lack of conclusions to some of the plights that were against some of the characters, I give this book three stars.

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Mondays are for Murder: The Chalk Pit…

The Bookshelf Gargoyle


As promised, here is my second Murderous Monday for February – and it’s a cracker of a read for those of you who enjoy serial police procedurals.  We received a copy of The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths, the ninth book in the Ruth Galloway series, from the publisher via Netgalley and here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Boiled human bones have been found in Norwich’s web of underground tunnels. When Dr Ruth Galloway discovers they are recent – the boiling not the medieval curiosity she thought – DCI Nelson has a murder enquiry on his hands.

Meanwhile, DS Judy Johnson is investigating the disappearance of a local rough sleeper. The only trace of her is the rumour that she’s gone ‘underground’. This might be a figure of speech, but with the discovery of the bones and the rumours both Ruth and the police have heard of a vast network…

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My Review of Dawnflight


Dawnflight - Kim Headlee

Dawnflight by Kim Iverson Headlee is the first book in the The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles. It’s an Arthurian tale following the strong female lead known as Gyanhumara “Gyan” nic Hymar. She is betrothed to Urien map Dumarec, the son of Gyan’s clan’s enemy and Arthur’s political rival. Before she is wed to Urien she meets Arthur map Uther, the Pendragon, who conquered her people in the war. Even though he conquered her clan she is taken with Arthur, and he is taken with Gyan, which causes strife between Arthur and Urien even more so than before she entered their lives.


I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It has a strong female protagonist who isn’t afraid to speak her mind and isn’t afraid to wield a sword. There is romance with just a tad of detail, which I could handle. The characters are well defined, and the world building is decent. There are vivid and exciting battles, and though there are religious undertones throughout the tale, it is a vital part in understanding some of the trials Gyan and Arthur had to face, and definitely added to my interest in their plight. I would recommend this book to anyone into Arthurian historical fiction.

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F.T. McKinstry

Outpost Cover Art

Introducing Outpost, Book One in The Fylking, a fantasy series woven with Norse mythology and a touch of science fiction.

Nine thousand suns ago, a race of immortal warriors came from the stars through a rare alignment and stepped onto the world of Math, a world much like their own, a perfect place for a backwater outpost from which to fight their ancient war. The realm they claimed came to be known as Dyrregin, Gateway of the Gods.

They call themselves the Fylking. Unseen by all save those sensitive to the Otherworld, the Fylking taught seers to build and ward over the Gate, an interdimensional portal spanning the realm like a sigil shining on the surface of the world. The Fylking’s enemies, pitiless beings who think nothing of annihilating a world to gain even a small advantage, are bent on destroying it. They succeeded once, leaving Dyrregin in…

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Picture Book Perusal: Two Titles That Deserve a Closer Look…

The Bookshelf Gargoyle

picture book perusal button

This post should probably be a Reading Round-Up, but the two titles that I have for you today are worthy of a slightly more specific examination.  We received both from Allen & Unwin for review and there are some absolute delights here that drew the mini-fleshlings in and had them fully engaged in the reading experience.

Allow me to introduce to you Neon Leon, a chameleon with a slight camouflage-skills issue and a TOP BOOK OF 2017 PICK recipient from we Shelf Dwellers!


neon-leon Neon Leon by Jane Clarke & Britta Teckentrup.  Published by Allen & Unwin, February 2017.  RRP $19.99

Created by Jane Clarke & Britta Teckentrup, this delightful book is chock-full of subtle interactive prompts and colour bursts that will knock your socks off.  The picture above doesn’t really do the cover justice, because Neon Leon is most definitely an eye-burstingly bright pinky orange neon colour in the flesh…

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My Review of Through the Wildwood (The Legend of Vanx Malic, #1)


Through the Wildwood - M.R. Mathias

I chose Through the Wildwood by M.R. Mathias for The Wildgoose Reading Challenge 2017 hosted by The Bookshelf Gargoyle. It’s going toward Category One – “Wildness.”


When I purchased this book, I was so excited, but I soon found out that this book is like an extension of The Wardstone Trilogy, and I believe for me to get more out of this book I should start there.


Vanx Malic is a very interesting character, and this story has great battle scenes and very interesting world building. I will be checking out more work from Mathias.

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