Sunday Post – 14th May 2017


This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.

Last Sunday my son was down for his birthday – we had a lovely time together at Highdown Gardens after a birthday meal, including making my very first vegan cake! It tasted okay – at least the sponge was soft and moist, but I’m going to need to practice more with the egg substitute, I think, maybe have a go at a carrot cake… This week my sister and I have been spending a lot of time together flat-hunting for her and also spending some quality time. Sadly, I am still not 100%, so I missed going to West Sussex Writers on Thursday night as I simply ran out of energy.

Today is a gathering of the clan at a birthday meal for my sister before she returns to France to pack for her new life here in England later in the week – I still can’t quite believe we are going to be living in the same town! A very happy Mothering Sunday to all of you across the pond…

This week I have read:
A Second Chance – Book 3 of The Chronicles of St Mary’s by Jodi Taylor
St Mary’s is back and nothing is going right for Max. Once again, it’s just one damned thing after another. The action jumps from an encounter with a mirror-stealing Isaac Newton to the bloody battlefield at Agincourt. Discover how a simple fact-finding assignment to witness the ancient and murderous cheese- rolling ceremony in Gloucester can result in CBC – concussion by cheese. The long awaited jump to Bronze Age Troy ends in personal catastrophe for Max and just when it seems things couldn’t get any worse – it’s back to the Cretaceous Period again to confront an old enemy who has nothing to lose. So, make the tea, grab the chocolate biscuits, settle back and discover exactly why the entire history department has painted itself blue …
If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of this madcap time-travelling adventure, then the blurb does give a flavour of the roller-coaster nature of this superior and original series. I woke up Himself by cackling aloud in some places – while I was near tears in others. It takes a special book to do that…

The Outskirter’s Secret – Book 2 of The Steerswoman series by Rosemary Kirstein
Two shining lights hung above, motionless in the night sky as the constellations slowly passed behind them. The common folk knew them well, and used them to count the hours, mark the seasons. But when the steerswoman Rowan discovered a number of broken blue jewels of clearly magical origin, her investigations led to a startling discovery: a Guidestar had fallen. There were more than two; the others hung above the opposite side of the world; something had caused one of those to fall. But what? And what might it mean? Rowan had no answers… But she knew one thing: where the fallen Guidestar was located. To reach it, she must cross the Inner Lands and pass deep into the wild and deadly Outskirts. Rowan’s traveling companion, Bel, is an Outskirter herself. Together the steerswoman and the warrior-poet have a chance of surviving the cruel landscape, the barbarian tribes, and the bizarre native wildlife. But there are more secrets than one in the Outskirts: and each dangerous step closer to the Guidestar brings new discoveries, leading to the most startling secret of all…
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, but this one takes the series to a new level with an amazing twist that turns it from epic fantasy adventure to fantasy/science fiction. I love it when that happens. As a bonus, the worldbuilding in this slice of the story – this is the second book in a quartet – is outstanding.

Assassin’s Fate – Book 3 of The Fitz and the Fool trilogy by Robin Hobb
Prince FitzChivalry Farseer’s daughter Bee was violently abducted from Withywoods by Servants of the Four in their search for the Unexpected Son, foretold to wield great power. With Fitz in pursuit, the Servants fled through a Skill-pillar, leaving no trace. It seems certain that they and their young hostage have perished in the Skill-river. Clerres, where White Prophets were trained by the Servants to set the world on a better path, has been corrupted by greed.
Fitz is determined to reach the city and take vengeance on the Four, not only for the loss of Bee but also for their torture of the Fool. Accompanied by FitzVigilant, son of the assassin Chade, Chade’s protégé Spark and the stableboy Perseverance, Bee’s only friend, their journey will take them from the Elderling city of Kelsingra, down the perilous Rain Wild River, and on to the Pirate Isles. Their mission for revenge will become a voyage of discovery, as well as of reunions, transformations and heartrending shocks. Startling answers to old mysteries are revealed. What became of the liveships Paragon and Vivacia and their crews? What is the origin of the Others and their eerie beach? How are liveships and dragons connected? But Fitz and his followers are not the only ones with a deadly grudge against the Four. An ancient wrong will bring them unlikely and dangerous allies in their quest. And if the corrupt society of Clerres is to be brought down, Fitz and the Fool will have to make a series of profound and fateful sacrifices.
I’ve always loved Robin Hobb’s books, but this one is the best yet. She has taken her complex, interesting protagonists and pushed them to the limits of their endurance – and then shown us what they are made of, while tying up a number of outstanding plotpoints along the way. And those marvellous dragons of hers make a stunning entrance – Tintaglia… need I say more?

My posts last week:

Sunday Post – 7th May 2017

NEW RELEASE SPECIAL Review of The One by John Marrs

Teaser Tuesday featuring Assassin’s Fate – Book 3 of The Fitz and the Fool trilogy – Book 16 of the Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb

NEW RELEASE SPECIAL Review of Running on the Cracks by Julia Donaldson

NEW RELEASE SPECIAL Review of Scavenger’s Alliance – Book 1 of the Exodus series by Janet Edwards

Friday Face-off – Don’t leave me hanging on the telephone… featuring
Scared to Live – Book 7 of the Cooper and Fry series by Stephen Booth

NEW RELEASE SPECIAL Review of Cold Welcome – Book 1 of Vatta’s Peace by Elizabeth Moon

Interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week, in no particular order:

Appearances can be deceiving These amusing pics made me grin…

The Best Short Non-Clichéd Poems for Weddings As ever, this excellent site nails it with a lovely selection of wedding poems that are different.

A Gap in the Market This thoughtful post from a concerned mother about books that deal with death in a sensitive way for very young children caught my attention.

Book Marketing that is Grand, Extraterrestrial and Bloody With ever more books being produced, how do authors and publishers gain attention for their new darlings? Kristen enjoys one of the latest developments…

Fitness Tips for the Apocalypse Chapter 5 – Yes – Any Sort of Apocalypse Means Looting the Mall My advice is to go back to Chapter 1, but this is a really enjoyable, quirky series.

Thank you for visiting and taking the time and trouble to comment – and may you have a wonderful reading and blogging week.

27 responses »

  1. Happy Mother’s Day! I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating. Happy birthday to your son too and glad to hear about your sister. Yay, you seem to have had a great week. 🙂
    My two little sisters live in a different town so I miss them every day. Thanks to google hangouts and WA, though, I can video call them almost every day. 🙂
    I hope you enjoy the books you’re currently reading and planning on reading. Thanks for the links to the other blog articles. They all sound great. Have a wonderful week. 🙂

    • Yes, the joy of modern technology is that we can keep in touch with our nearest and dearest despite the distance can’t we? I hope you, too, have a great week:)

    • You’re welcome – I really enjoyed your article, which raises a pertinent issue. Jodi Taylor’s books are wonderful, very intense and funny. Do let me know what you think if you manage to get hold of them.

  2. I’m sorry that you’re still not feeling 100%, I hope things improve very soon. It must have been lovely to spend time with your son for his birthday, and also time with your sister. How lovely that when she goes back to France this time you know she’ll soon be returning here for good.
    Hope you have a good week ahead 🙂

  3. It sounds like you made the best of the week despite not feeling your best. (Hope you feel better soon, btw!) And between the two birthdays and your sister moving back to England – and to your hometown, to boot – you have all kinds of happiness and blessings to be thankful for. That’s what I enjoyed most about this post, I think. 🙂

    Hope you have a good week, Sarah! And I don’t know if it’s Mother’s Day across the pond, but I wish you a happy one nonetheless.

    • Sorry about the delay in replying – I’ve been rather behind this week… Thank you – I’m beginning to feel a little more like myself but am taking it a bit easier this week so I don’t hit a brick wall again. Yes… I’m very lucky and it was another lovely week-end. It wasn’t Mother’s Day this week-end – we had ours back in March when I had a wonderful get-together with my daughter and her family. Thank you for your kind good wishes, Sara – they mean a lot and I hope you are having a great week:))

  4. Glad to see you liked book 3 of the St. Mary’s series. I only read enough to see you liked it so I will be surprised when I get to book 3. I haven’t read any of Robin Hobb’s books though I do own more than one of them! From seeing your comments about the book I think I need to read this series. It sounds very good.

    • Oh yes – if you actually have a Robin Hobb, then give it a go. She isn’t necessarily for everyone, but she is a very popular epic Fantasy author. I do love the St Mary’s series – I don’t think anyone write quite like Taylor:). Hope you’re having a great week and sorry for the delay in getting back to you, Jan.

  5. Have I told you how much I enjoy your Sunday Posts? They keep me up to date on my blogging friend who has come to mean a lot to me. I hate to hear you have not completely “bounced back” yet. Not to make you feel older or anything, but as we age, it takes longer and is harder to reach that 100% we strive for. The picture of you and your son is so nice. You both look very happy. I’m glad you and your sister have been apartment hunting (as we here “across the pond” call it) and delighted that the two of you will be so close by. I was very glad to see Book 3 of St. Mary’s is out. Ever since your reviews on Book 1 and Book 2, I have been a fan. I do like stories which include time travel. Check out our Mother’s Day weekend at

    • Thank you for your kind words and warm friendship – it means so much:). And you are right… it does take a tad longer to bounce back, but FINALLY I think I’m getting there, thank goodness! The pic is one of my sister and my son, which perhaps I should have made clearer:). Have a lovely week, Rae!

      • I thought you must have let yourself go a little, Hon, ha ha! Your blog picture is very attractive (not to say that your sister isn’t!!!) Oh me, I’d better quit before my foot goes all the way down my throat!

      • Thank you for the kind compliment:). It’s a big birthday in a few weeks and I’m dying my hair pink and purple to celebrate – I’ll be posting a pic of it when I do the deed, so it will be completely up to date – you’ll be able to judge then:).

  6. Last week was my son birthday too! 🙂 Glad to hear you had a good time together I have never had vegan cake! I would love to try one. Good to know they can be misty and spongy 🙂 I did hav a great mother’s day! Thank you 🙂 [I love the “across the pond” expression 🙂 ]

    • It’s certainly hard to get hold of vegan cakes in the shops – at least here in the UK. I’m glad you had a lovely Mothering Sunday – ‘across the pond’ is a cool expression, isn’t it?:) Have a great week!

  7. Oh wow! A vegan cake – that’s interesting! I’ve never tried cooking with egg substitutes.

    I’m sorry you haven’t been 100%! I hope this week has been a lot better for you.

    Also happy (belated) mother’s day and I look forward to catching up properly this weekend.

    • Yes – I was pleased with it as a first attempt and my vegan son was thrilled. I think I can finetune it a bit and it would work really well with carrot cake or blueberry muffins where the extra fruit would provide extra binding and moisture. Thank you for your good wishes, Di – I have felt better this week and taken it easy, while trying to catch up on my mountain of chores… Have a great week-end:)

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