Review: Heart of the Country


Heart of the Country by Tricia Stringer

five-stars 5 stars

Read from 23-24 April, 2017

Synopsis: Heart of the Country is the first book in an epic historical saga of three Australian families. Spanning several generations, this epic tells the story of the Baker, Smith and Wiltshire families forging their paths in a land both beautiful and unforgiving.

Lives are intertwined by love and community then ripped apart by hate and greed but remain always bound to the land they love…

1846. Newly arrived from England, Thomas Baker is young, penniless and alone. Eager to make his mark on this strange new place called South Australia, he accepts work as an overseer on a distant sheep property, believing this will be the opportunity he seeks. But when Thomas’s path crosses that of ex-convict, Septimus Wiltshire — a grasping con man hell bent on making a new life for himself and his family at any price — trouble is on the horizon.

But Thomas is made of stern stuff and his fortunes take a turn for the better when he meets spirited farmer’s daughter Lizzie Smith, and soon he envisages their future together.

But this land is like no other he has encountered: both harsh and lovely, it breaks all but the strongest. When his nemesis intervenes once more and drought comes, Thomas finds himself tested almost beyond endurance with the risk of losing everything he and Lizzie have worked for… even their lives. Continue reading

Review: Thief’s Magic


Trudi Canavan's Thief's Magic book cover

3 stars

Read from March 10 – 31, 2017

Synopsis: FORGET WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT THE NATURE OF MAGIC.

In a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, unearths a sentient book called Vella. Once a young sorcerer-bookbinder, Vella was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. Since then she has been collecting information, including a vital clue to the disaster Tyen’s world faces.

Elsewhere, in an land ruled by the priests, Rielle the dyer’s daughter has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet she knows she has a talent for it, and that there is a corrupter in the city willing to teach her how to use it — should she dare to risk the Angels’ wrath.

But not everything is as Tyen and Rielle have been raised to believe. Not the nature of magic, nor the laws of their lands… and not even the people they trust.

AN EPIC NEW FANTASY ADVENTURE BEGINS. Continue reading

Reblog: #AWW2020 Book Review: “Greythorne” by L. M. Merrington — A Keyboard and an Open Mind


Title: Greythorne Author: L. M. Merrington Genre: Historical fiction/Gothic novel Target audience: Adult Date Read: 08/05/20 – 12/05/20 Rating: ★★★★ Review: I’ve had a copy of Greythorne for quite some time and I’m finally getting to it now that I am actively aiming to read the Australian books I own. Merrington draws on the Gothic tradition, as you can […]

via #AWW2020 Book Review: “Greythorne” by L. M. Merrington — A Keyboard and an Open Mind

AWW Review: Leap of Faith


LeapOfFaith

2 stars

 

Read from January 29th – February 2nd, 2017. Recommended for: Horsey people

Synopsis: The highly anticipated new novel from beloved Australian writer Fiona McCallum.

Jessica Harrington is a promising horse-rider who dreams of representing her country. But the recent death of her father – her coach and mentor – has left her doubting her ability to continue in the sport. When she fails at the Adelaide International Horse Trials her fears are confirmed – and her world begins to fall apart.

Unable to bear seeing her well-bred, highly trained horses languishing in the paddock, she makes the snap decision to sell. She’s broken her own heart, but can’t see any other way – now she will just have to focus on a life without them. Her husband Steve and best friend Tiffany, however, can see through her bravado.

Jessica is dismayed when Steve brings home a horse from a clearing sale, a horse so skinny and forlorn he just couldn’t leave it behind. Unwilling to be drawn back into the world of horses, she’s reluctant to get involved. But when a summer thunderstorm brings on a life-or-death emergency, she finds she underestimated the heart of one little horse. Can Jessica put her trust in Faith? Continue reading

Gender bias in writing and characters


I stumbled across an interesting article written a couple of years ago about gender bias in writing, characters and, in fact, quite a number of creative aspects.

Iwantyou

What do YOU think? Photo Credit

As a contributor to the Australian Women Writers Challenge, I feel this is a very important issue to not only remedy, but discuss widely and openly.

Sydney Morning Herald Article

What are your thoughts?

2016 Reviews completed!


excitedbaby

I’m finally caught up to 2017 reviews… and it’s only July!

In 2016, I read 50 books.

2016books

Of those 50, I only rated two books 5 stars. Happily they were both Australian women writers! Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat and The Orchid Nursery by Louise Katz.

The rest of the break down went like this:

  • I rated 16 of the books 4/5.
  • 23 of them 3/5.
  • 7 books got 2/5 stars.
  • I rated one book 1/5.
  • I couldn’t finish one book.

How did you go in 2016? Are you trying to challenge yourself with a reading challenge this year?

Stay tuned for my 2017 reviews coming soon.