Firesong by William Nicholson – a review

I’ve done it! I’ve finally wrapped up this series! This is a series I have owned in two separate editions (accidentally) for well over a decade. And I’ve finally done it. So… what did I think of the finale to this trilogy?

Firesong (Wind On Fire, #3) by William Nicholson

Sadly, this wasn’t such a great book for me compared to the second book in the trilogy (Slaves of the Mastery). Whilst book two was intense, having me gripped and engrossed, book three was just… fine? I have a feeling that I would’ve like it a lot more if I had read it when I first got the book. But one of the reasons that I would’ve loved it then is a reason I wasn’t so keen now.

That reason is that everything is tied up very neatly in a bow, but this bow is wrapped around events that seem to come out of nowhere. Now don’t get me wrong, this is alluded to throughout the series, and I can appreciate that. But the final scene? Where on earth did that come from? Why? Huh? Whereas childhood me would’ve loved the “big twist”, adult me is just left feeling disappointed by a twist that could have been executed so much better.

There is also the issue of sexism in this book, it’s nothing out there and in your face but it’s very much a book (written by a man) of its time. There were definite moments where I was wondering why the hell the girl had to do all the saving but the boy got to be the hero (our two main characters are a boy and a girl who are twins). That was frustrating to read and I hope that Nicholson has educated himself since these books were published.

Despite what I’ve said above, I did enjoy this book. It was a quick read and was a nice little wrap up to the trilogy. Overall, I gave it 3 stars. There was nothing offensively bad, and I am reading quite a bit above my age range so I don’t want to be too harsh. But I can’t rate it any higher than that.

Have you read this series? Do you agree with my points or do you think I’m bonkers?! Let me know!!

Bedlam: a scene of uproar and confusion, an apt title

The 12th book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, an awkward one to talk about! This is going to be a spoiler free review, for the whole series as well as this individual book, just in case people who’ve read none or some of the previous books want to read this. I gave this book 5* unsurprisingly and really loved it.

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For those uninitiated, the Skulduggery Pleasant series starts off following a tweenager called Stephanie after her Uncles funeral, a skeleton detective called Skulduggery Pleasant and revolves around magic in Ireland, hidden from the mortals. It’s an 8-12 book (Middle Grade for my North American audience), but is surprisingly violent so don’t expect it to be wishy-washy just cause it’s aimed at kids.

Book #9 was the end of the first part of this series, with a cover and tone change from then onwards. In book #10 we come back after Stephanie has been away for a few years (the least spoilery way I could write it!) and the series continues on from there. Now we’re up to book #12.

As always, this was a fast paced, high action, banter filled read that was a pleasure to pick up. We hop around various different viewpoints in order to best see all of the action and in each one of them Landy’s humour shines through, which is really a standout feature of this series. This book probably had one of the least amounts of Skulduggery featured, as well as having a very fast paced and multi-faceted action plot, so as far as I can tell from the less excited reviews on Goodreads these may be reasons that the latest book isn’t your favourite. But personally I was still highly invested, still enjoying myself and still highly anticipating reading the newly released Seasons of War!

If you’ve never read a Skulduggery Pleasant book I really do recommend giving them a go! I’ve never listened to the audiobooks myself but they’re narrated by an Irishman, lending authenticity to those unused to the accent, and you can listen to the whole first audiobook for free here!! (at least at the time of writing) so do you really have an excuse not to give this series a go?

A beautiful, timeless novel

I read some Ibbotson when I was a child, The Star of Kazan and The Dragonfly Pool, and I loved them so much. They were so beautifully written and I felt so absorbed into the worlds. These two books had a similar cover to each other. I found Journey to the River Sea in a charity shop many years later, and just knew that I had to pick it up and read it, if only to try and recapture that feeling I’d had as a child.


I’m so glad that I did pick this up, as I sped through this book ridiculously quickly in one evening. I was completely captured within the beautiful world that was created in the Amazon and the wonderful life that Maia, our main character, was trying to lead. Sadly, not everything is perfect and there are issues with her cousins, but of course as this is a middle grade/ 8-12 novel these issues are tackled well and dealt with. I was enraptured and adored this novel, it is just as beautiful at 23 as it would have been at 9 and I imagine I’ll enjoy it just as much at 53.

I definitely recommend picking up this book, it’s such a beautiful work and one you’ll want to come back to in the future.

When the Sequel Outperforms the First Book

It happened, I’m so surprised in the absolute best way! The first book in this series, The Wind Singer, was a bit of a disapointment to me, I didn’t really enjoy it, I found it very childish, and it was a slog to get through. But this book? Slaves of the Mastery? I sped through it! Adoring it every second of the way and whilst it was childish it was in a more mature way which I enjoyed. I don’t know if this is just because I have changed as a reader in the times between these readings, as I’ve not seen anyone else state the same thing.


In this book the twins have been separated and must work to get back to one another whilst saving their people from the Mastery, I loved the two different viewpoints and seeing how their knowledge of the Mastery, and other big names in the region, develops. The world building was dynamic and really built the world up inside of my head.

I really do recommend this series. William Nicholson has created a beautiful world and I’m now much more excited to finish this trilogy with the Firesong book!

Not what the eye first sees?

I’m slowly getting my way through the Roman Mysteries series by Caroline Lawrence, and this was my most recent endeavour. The Beggar of Volubilis takes the quartet to Africa, as they make their way across the continent to find the Eye of Nero and also Flavia’s uncle. Saying anything more would probably ruin the rest of the series prior to this book! It really relies on prior books unlike many of the other stories.


Don’t get me wrong, this can still be read as a standalone as can all of the other books, but there are ongoing plotlines which those who are reading the books in order wouldn’t want to be spoiled for. This is another interesting read which delves further from the heart of the Roman Empire and gives a wider historical knowledge. It honestly wasn’t my favourite, so I need to read more from the series to tell if I’m just aging out of it (which would be really sad) or if it’s just this one book. Fingers crossed!!

Have you read any books from this series? I absolutely adore them and think they are amazing 8-12/middle grade books! I’ve been trying to collect them all, and I’ve read all of the ones that I own, but sadly I’ve not been able to find the rest of the books in the cover type I’m looking for. Honestly, I don’t know if I actually ever will as I tend to hunt for them second hand, but hopefully.

July Wrap Up! Hella late but better than never!!| 2018

So this is ridiculously late (just wait until I pop my August TBR up!) but surely it’s better late than never?! Okay, shush just let me get on with it! If you’d rather see this in a video format, then click here for the link to my YouTube July wrap up, which was actually posted within a reasonable time frame! Shocker, I know.

whoologyWho-Ology by Cavan Scott    4/5*

This is a fun read which covers the whole history of the show and goes into details about all the doctors, companions, villains and more! As a whovian it was fun to read about some episodes I’ve not been able to get to and have some more depth to the show.

shadow of hitlerIn The Shadow of Hitler by Richard Vaughan-Davies     3/5*

Find my full review here! This was an interesting read, but it didn’t quite hit the mark. Certain aspects were interesting, however, they couldn’t quite make up for the rest of the story to increase my rating.


hit squadHit Squad by Sophie McKenzie    4/5*

Find my full review of Hit Squad here! I am so glad I finally finished up this series, this ended the Medusa Project in a really satisfying way, as well as leaving it open enough that it could be picked up in the future! I would absolutely love that, but seeing as it was published in 2012 I doubt Sophie McKenzie is going to write any more in the series. I can always hope though!

airheadBeing Nikki by Meg Cabot     4/5*

I’ve been really enjoying this series. Contemporary with a fun twist that really adds another dimension to the story, the ending of this book was really shocking and left me on such a cliffhanger!


othelloOthello by William Shakespear    1/5*

Oh my god, I HATED this!!! I just could not get through it and ended up DNFing it! Maybe one day I’ll pick it back up again, and I’d like to watch an adaptation seeing as it is supposed to be performed. But for now, I’m leaving it be.


fracturedFractured by Teri Terry     4/5*

This is the second installment in the Slated trilogy and I really enjoyed it! It has been years since I read Slated (around 5!) so I’m really happy that I still love this series and I’m excited for Shattered!


The Girl in the Blue CoatThe Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse    4/5*

I listened to this book via audiobook (thank you library) and sadly I think this might’ve made me less emotionally attached to the characters, and with a book like this, I personally feel that this is an important part. So maybe this could’ve gotten 5* if I’d read a physical copy, or maybe it was the writing. Either way, I still recommend this read!

the eye of the northThe Eye of the North by Sinéad O’Hart    4/5*

I absolutely fell in love with these beautifully written characters and the world building was fantastic. I genuinely felt sad that the story was over and hope that there could be a sequel in the future! A great 8-12 read and I’ll be keeping an eye out for more from Sinéad O’Hart in the future!

thatoldblackmagicThat Old Black Magic by Cathi Unsworth     4/5*

Find my full review here! This was a really really odd book, but don’t let that stop you from reading it! Magical, dark and intense, this book has the potential to suck you in and only spit you out hours later.

Next up, the 7in7Readathon reads! Find my wrap up and reading vlog here!

punisherThe Punisher    3/5*

I enjoyed this comic, however, this was my first experience with this format and I had been expecting to get more of the story within the issue. Therefore I finished it feeling slightly disappointed, but I still enjoyed the story arc and may finish it up in a bind up in the future.

norse mythologyNorse Mythology by Neal Gaiman    4.5/5*

I really enjoyed Gaiman’s take on the Norse God’s and their antics! The short stories all lead on beautifully to the next and come together at the end to create one larger overall story. I definitely recommend this one!


The Essential Spike MilliganThe Essential Spike Milligan   3/5*

I think I could’ve given this 4/5* if I wasn’t reading it for a readathon. It made me read through this a lot faster than I would’ve liked and took away some of the impacts. I want to reread this at some point and see how I feel then.

fangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell    4/5*

I can’t believe this took me so long to read! I’m so happy that I give contemporaries a chance nowadays. This is a deep book that follows Cath through her discovering college and being introduced to adult life, slowly but surely.

afterannaAfter Anna by Alex Lake    4.5/5*

This book fucked me up so bad. I 100% recommend! Even though I could tell all of the “twists” I was still completely hooked and couldn’t put it down. Total mind fuck! (a great compliment for a thriller!)

Now into the BookTubeAThon reads! Find my wrap up here in blog format and here in video format!

IUTKTI Used to Know That Geography by Will Williams    4/5*

This is a great little geography book and written in a way that keeps you interested (rather than feeling like it’s a textbook!). Great for those wanting to recap the subject or be introduced to the GCSE (14-16 yo) standard of the subject

AoGGAnne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery    4/5*

Although I found the middle section of this book (before Anne turns 12/13) quite tedious, after finishing I absolutely adore Anne and can’t wait to read more following this young girls life! Definitely very invested haha.


And that is my wrap up! I read loads this month and took a loooong time to recover after it! Hence this really late post haha, but I’m getting myself back on track now… before I go and leave for uni. So hopefully I can stay this way! I don’t think I’ll keep this level of reading up but I’m really glad I got through what I did.

The Eye of the North

First of all, I would like to say thank you to NetGalley for an eARC of this book in return for an unbiased review.

This book is aimed at the 8-12/Middle Grade age range, and recently I’ve found myself really enjoying books within this bracket, so I decided to pick this one up. It’s a tale following a young girl after her parents have been kidnapped, and her being confused and having to find out all of the information by herself. The world building was really interesting to me as it seemed to simultaneously be set in both the past and the future. Our protagonist Emmaline wears bloomers and she is traversing the Atlantic by ship rather than by plane. However, the ocean levels around the world have been rising so much that it has drastically changed countries borders. This is explained much further into the book, but I really enjoyed this little glimpse into climate change and how this book seems to emphasise the point that we need to look after our planet to avoid this future.

I vastly enjoyed the character development within this book, with Thing (yes, that’s his name) really coming into his own and I found him very endearing. Emmaline also seems to become a little less independent, and in her case, this is a good thing! She is much more willing to allow people to help her on her way, which means she is able to do much more.

The way this book ends, I feel like it has been left open for a possible sequel. There is nothing on Goodreads, however, I’d really enjoy diving back into this world and seeing more of these children’s escapades. Definitely a fun, charming and engrossing read and one I would recommend to children and those young at heart!

A Place Called Perfect

Now lets be real, I picked this book up purely because of the beautiful and amazing cover. However, the insides definitely live up to the outsides! I ended up giving this book 4/5* and I can’t wait to read the sequel when it is released! Okay, now lets get into what it’s about.

So this book follows a young girl called Violet, as her and her parents are moving into a new town called Perfect for her fathers new job. She was already upset about leaving all her friends behind and going somewhere new, but then things in Perfect seemed to be a little… off. Her mother starts acting very weird, becoming the average suburban housewife where she had been a fun and casual mum. Her dad seems to have been whisked off by the Archer brothers and is nowhere to be found. To top this all off there is a mysterious entity that keeps bothering her, and she can’t see it!

This is a book which is aimed at the 8-12 age range (middle grade for you North American readers) but I fully enjoyed it as a 21 year old! There does seem to be a moral present, as there so often is in books aimed at younger readers, to not just accept what those in power are telling you but to look for yourself and decide what is right. I think this is a very important idea to instill in children, especially in this day and age with the news being reported very differently depending on where the outlets bias lies.

Overall, this is a very fun, engrossing and interesting read for many ages and I’ll definitely be recommending it to various people in the future. If you have found the synopsis interesting I definitely recommend picking it up and I can’t wait for book number 2 to be released!!