Starborn by Lucy Hounsom: Review

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“Lost powers will shake the earth.”

Hello folks so up next is the fantastic debut from Lucy Hounsom. Very rarely do I not finish a book, and I usually give any book a fair chance. My usual rule is that if it doesn’t hook me in the first one hundred pages then we are in a spot of bother. This really was not the case for Starborn.
The first chapter starts off with a crash, bang, wallop leading to a domino effect of catastrophic events all played out by a wonderful protagonist, Kyndra.
Here is the synopsis from the book-

Kyndra’s fate holds betrayal and salvation, but the journey starts in her small village. On the day she comes of age, she accidentally disrupts an ancient ceremony, ending centuries of tradition. So when an unnatural storm targets her superstitious community, Kyndra is blamed. She fears for her life until two strangers save her, by wielding. powers not seen for an age – powers fueled by the sun and the moon.

Together they flee to the hidden citadel of Naris. And here, Kyndra experiences disturbing visions of the past, showing war and one man’s terrifying response. She’ll learn more in the city’s subterranean chambers, amongst fanatics and rebels. But first Kyndra will be brutally tested in a bid to unlock her own magic.

If she survives the ordeal, she’ll discover a force greater than she could ever have imagined. But could it create as well as destroy? And can she control it, to right an ancient wrong?

Lucy Hounsom, has created something truly wonderful here. Kyndra is someone who has been put in a situation in which she has very little choice or say but she reacts in a way that is human. What I’m trying to say is that Hounsom has sprinkled fairy dust onto to the page and truly brings the protagonist to life. Kyndra acts in such a way that we can all relate to her in some way.
As well as having a very cool name.

Bregenne and Nediah, are the Wielders who save Kyndra and take her to Naris. At first there relationship is a little fractious and you will have to read it to see how that develops. With Bregenne and Nediah, Hounsom has written them to be two halves of the same person. Which links nicely to what I felt, was a really cosmic magic system, in more ways than one. Nediah is a solar wielder, and Bregenne is lunar. Each can only use their magic either in the day or night. So both of these characters are already linked in power which equates to them having a very strong personal bond. It really is a lovely magic system.

The pacing and the beautiful smooth prose of this book made the story come to life for me. The world that Lucy Hounsom has created leaves a lot to be explored in later books, which I very much look forward to reading. I do so wish that I could tell you more as to what happens in Starborn but I really don’t want to spoil it. I shall leave you with this though. The ending will blow your mind. It was an ending that I wouldn’t have even attempted at guessing.

A super smashing debut that both lunar and solar magic would be proud of.

Starborn is out now via Tor Uk http://www.panmacmillan.com

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The Stars Seem So Far Away by Margret Helgadottir: Review

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Hello folks! After a bit of a hiatus, the moustache man is back.
Today’s post-apocalyptic is the marvelous The Star Seems So Far Away by Margret Helgadottir.

The story focuses on five characters, Aida, Nora, Zaki, Simik, and Bjørg. Each of these characters have been plunged into sadness and an earth they no longer recognize through war, famine, disease. Their survival is paramount and each of them have to learn to adapt to the devastating changes.

This is the first book that I have read by Margret Helgadottir and my goodness, what a fabulous writer. The emotion on every page is so palpable, so much so that on a few occasions it made me cry. I felt for each and every one of the characters and their plight.
The situations they overcome, the loved ones that they had been separated from and the grief that shadowed them wherever they went. Helgadóttir’s writing has this beautiful, haunting quality about it. Certain lines and passages really stand out, and you are reminded of them on a daily basis. One such of these lines for me was when Bjørg sees the skeleton of a whale,
” ‘I think you are beautiful,’ she whispered. ‘Forgive us.’ ”

An Incredible story told with grace and beauty. A reader can truly immerse themselves in the moving prose of the author.

The Stars Seem So Far Away is out now via Fox Spirit Books http://www.foxspirit.co.uk
@FoxSpiritBooks

(Image: cover art by Sarah Anne Langton http://www.secretarcticbase.com)