• Blog Tours

    Blog Tour: A Winter War – Tim Leach

    I seem to be on a real military historical trip lately. I enjoyed A Winter War a lot, following Kai and his adventures in the Sarmatian army at war with the Roman Empire. Check out my fellow blogger’s posts on the tour as well!

    Many thanks to Avneet Bains and Head of Zeus for having me on the blog tour and sending me a review copy of A Winter War – as usual, all opinions are my own.

    RELEASE DATE: 05/08/2021

    STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶

    SUMMARY: AD173. The Danube has frozen. On its far banks gather the clans of Sarmatia. Winter-starved, life ebbing away on a barren plain of ice and snow, to survive they must cross the river’s frozen waters.

    There’s just one thing in their way.

    Petty feuds have been cast aside, six thousand heavy cavalry marshalled. Will it be enough? For across the ice lies the Roman Empire, and deployed in front of them, one of its legions. The Sarmatians are proud, cast as if from the ice itself. After decades of warfare they are the only tribe still fighting the Romans. They have broken legions in battle before. They will do so again.

    They charge.

    Sarmatian warrior Kai awakes on a bloodied battlefield, his only company the dead. The disgrace of his defeat compounded by his survival, Kai must now navigate a course between honour and shame, his people and the Empire, for Rome hasn’t finished with Kai or the Sarmatians yet. (from Head of Zeus)

    OPINIONS: A Winter War dives into a part of Ancient history that isn’t as well known. Set parallel to the later Roman Empire, the Sarmatians live on the other side of the river Danube, to the east. As a history nerd, I loved learning more about these people that are less discussed in both traditional history and historical fiction. But of course, this isn’t just a history text book. A Winter War is a compelling work of historical fiction set around military conflict between the Sarmatians and the Roman Empire and centred around the character of Kai, a Sarmatian warrior.

    The story is well written, fun and enjoyable. The slightly gloomy and cold setting is a great change to read in these days of sunshine and melting summer temperatures, especially if you’re like me and don’t deal well with the heat. Don’t expect a deep work of literature, but rather a fun, escapist read that will transport you back in time and captivate you in Kai’s world and struggles. I kind of wish there were more female characters, but then, that’s not the kind of book this is, or is trying to be. I think A Winter War is excellent at what it sets out to be, and is exactly what it sets out to be. Recommended for fans of military oriented historical fiction, traditional epic fantasy and generally all those who like to curl up with a good escapist read.

    Add A Winter War to your Goodreads here, or order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).

  • Blog Tours

    Blog Tour: The Fort – Adrian Goldsworthy

    Aaaaaand another blog tour! I’m starting to feel like a tour guide for books – and I like the feeling. Today I’m taking you to Dacia, approximately where Romania is situated in the present day, to one of the later big expansions of the Roman Empire. The story of The Fort takes place, surprise, surprise, at a Roman fort and the people situated around it.

    Many thanks to Vicky Joss and Head of Zeus for inviting me on this blog tour and for sending me a review copy of The Fort. All opinions are my own.

    RELEASE DATE: 10/06/2021

    STAR RATING: 3.5/5 ✶

    SUMMARY: AD 105: DACIA

    The Dacian kingdom and Rome are at peace, but no one thinks that it will last. Sent to command an isolated fort beyond the Danube, centurion Flavius Ferox can sense that war is coming, but also knows that enemies may be closer to home.

    Many of the Brigantes under his command are former rebels and convicts, as likely to kill him as obey an order. And then there is Hadrian, the emperor’s cousin, and a man with plans of his own… (from Head of Zeus)

    OPINIONS: The Fort is exceedingly fun. It’s small-scale military drama woven into bigger politics with some strong characters. I picked this up without knowing too much about what to expect simply because I have been really enjoying the recent classically set novels like The Wolf Den (haha, Fab, you are slightly ridiculous given the title of this book) – this is actually more of a dad-book rather than a feminist one, so I was certainly in for a surprise. But not necessarily a bad one. Once I adjusted my expectations (aka Fab stops being upset at the lack of women in a Roman army) I really enjoyed myself and the story for what it is. Sometimes it is a good thing if I don’t pay too much attention to blurbs past the setting because I’m not sure I would have picked this up otherwise and I’d have deprived myself of a story I really enjoyed.

    The Fort is really fast paced and compelling. I consistently struggled to put it down at the intervals I gave myself – part of that is that I think I’m slowly getting my reading mojo back, but a large part is the writing in The Fort. I loved reading this action packed military novel, detailing the struggles at the Dacian border, with problems with traitors within the legion. The leading characters are strong, and I especially liked Claudia Enica, the Dacian queen. She stood out not only as a female warrior but through the respect that the Romans showed her, both in her own right and as the wife of Flavius Ferox. I appreciated that as one of the only women in the story she was presented as a character with agency rather than objectified which seems to be the case in this sort of novel all too often.

    It is clear that the author is an expert on the time period and the Roman army and has done his research. The Fort is excellently embedded in history without detail overwhelming the reader, which is the true art of writing historical novels. I am curious to see where the series goes next.

    If this has peaked your interest, you can add The Fort to your Goodreads here, and order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Adrian Goldsworthy has a doctorate from Oxford University. His first book, The Roman Army at War was recognised by John Keegan as an exceptionally impressive work, original in treatment and impressive in style. He has gone on to write several other books, including The Fall of the West, Caesar, In the Name of Rome, Cannae and Roman Warfare, which have sold more than a quarter of a million copies and been translated into more than a dozen languages. A full-time author, he regularly contributes to TV documentaries on Roman themes.

  • Blog Tours

    Blog Tour: The Wood Bee Queen – Edward Cox

    It’s release day for Ed Cox’s wonderful The Wood Bee Queen, and I’m thrilled to open the Gollancz blog tour for it. With a title this punny, how could I not love this book. Massive thanks for Will O’Mullane and Gollancz for having me and sending me a review copy. All opinions are my own.

    RELEASE DATE: 10/06/2021

    STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶

    SUMMARY: Somewhere in England, in a small town called Strange Ground by the Skea, Ebbie Wren is the last librarian and he’s about to lose his job. Estranged from his parents, unable to make connections with anyone except the old homeless lady who lives near the library, Ebbie isn’t quite sure what he’s supposed to do next. His only escape from reality is his deep interest in local folklore, but reality is far stranger than Ebbie can dream.

    On the other side of the sky and the sea, the Queen of House Wood Bee has been murdered. Her sister has made the first move in a long game, one which will lead her to greatness, yet risk destruction for the entire Realm. She needs the two magical stones Foresight and Hindsight for her power to be complete, but no one knows where they are. Although the sword recently stolen by Bek Rana, small time thief and not very good at it, might hold a clue to their location… and to stopping the chaos. But all Bek wants is to sell the sword and buy herself a better life. She’s not interested in being a hero, and neither is Ebbie.

    But someone is forcing their hand and playing for the heart of the Realm. Ebbie and Bek are destined to unite. They must find a way to stop the destruction of House Wood Bee, save the Realm, and just maybe save themselves in the process. All victories come at a price. The Oldungods are rising. And they are watching… (from Gollancz)

    OPINIONS: I think the best way to describe The Wood Bee Queen is to say that it’s a children’s fantasy adventure for adults. This does not mean that it’s a childish book or a story without depth, but that its form as a portal fantasy, coupled with a fairy-tale style world and its use of a deus ex machina plot device is most often found in that area. As I love both adult fantasy and children’s books, I thought this was a really cool concept and I really enjoyed my reading experience.

    The Wood Bee Queen is humorous, compelling and entertaining. The story is quite fast-paced and keeps up tension throughout. I think what might make this a make-or-break kind of book is the use of a deus ex machina device that explains things to the characters and leads them on their journey – enjoyment of the story is hinged on being able to go with it and accept a magical guiding hand. The plot as a whole isn’t anything new – it’s a fairly straight forward quest – but its packaging in a detailed and imaginative world makes it stand out.

    I really enjoyed the characters – Ebbie Wren, small-town librarian in his late twenties who doesn’t know what to do with himself is far too relatable for comfort. Bek Rana is a badass snarky thief and I fell for her very quickly. And Mai, whose death is the catalyst for the story, never appears herself, but oversees the events through her memory. Simply wonderful. Another thing I appreciated about this book is that there is NO ROMANCE. It’s just a story, a quest, with found family elements and friendship. So good to read a book that focuses on those elements rather than romantic ones for a change.

    Add The Wood Bee Queen to your Goodreads here, and order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).

  • Blog Tours

    Blog Tour: The Blacktongue Thief – Christopher Buehlman

    Hello and welcome on another blog tour! Today, I’m featuring the fun and exciting The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman, out tomorrow from Gollancz. This is the rare unicorn – a Grimdark book that isn’t grim at all. It has a fantastic voice that pulls it all together and made me really enjoy it! As a friend put it: the voice is great, reminiscent of K.J. Parker and has echoes of Terry Pratchett… And if that’s not an endorsement, I don’t know what is. Also, go check out some of the other wonderful bloggers that they recruited for this tour, that’s a stellar lineup!

    Big thank you to Will O’Mullane and Gollancz for having me on the tour and sending me a copy for review.

    RELEASE DATE: 27/05/2021

    STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶

    SUMMARY: Kinch Na Shannack owes the Takers Guild a small fortune for his education as a thief, which includes (but is not limited to) lock-picking, knife-fighting, wall-scaling, fall-breaking, lie-weaving, trap-making, plus a few small magics. His debt has driven him to lie in wait by the old forest road, planning to rob the next traveler that crosses his path.

    But today, Kinch Na Shannack has picked the wrong mark.

    Galva is a knight, a survivor of the brutal goblin wars, and handmaiden of the goddess of death. She is searching for her queen, missing since a distant northern city fell to giants.

    Unsuccessful in his robbery and lucky to escape with his life, Kinch now finds his fate entangled with Galva’s. Common enemies and uncommon dangers force thief and knight on an epic journey where goblins hunger for human flesh, krakens hunt in dark waters, and honor is a luxury few can afford. (from Gollancz)

    OPINIONS: This book was SO MUCH FUN! I loved my reading experience – I really did not expect this to have a voice this distinctive and entertaining going in. This has all of the elements of Grimdark but is not actually grim to read – you have the hallmark morally shady characters, unhospitable world and political issues that don’t really end well for anyone, but you’ll have a blast while reading about them. I cannot emphasize this enough.

    The Blacktongue Thief is a fast-paced story full of interesting lore, weird magic and lots and lots of tattoos. I already want to start rereading it for all the things I might have missed on my first read. And I mean, the book starts with the lines “I was about to die. Worse, I was about to die with bastards.” Kinch is a great narrator, self-aware, sarcastic and dry-witted. (Though he is the only first person narrator, so this will not work for r/fantasy bingo hard more, I’m afraid. But it has chapter titles!) Honestly, it seems like most pages have some sort of quote that stands out. I am looking forward to people making art with all the fun quotes! Also blind cat <3

    Basically, think the wit of Pratchett (though of course no one can live up to the master) combined with Mike Shackle’s dark and murky morality and compelling characters. Really, just a delight, and one I know I will be rereading again – and I have already started throwing it at friends. Add The Blacktongue Thief to your Goodreads here, and order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).

  • Blog Tours

    Blog Tour: The Coronation – Justin Newland

    Welcome to another fancy blog tour! This time for The Coronation by Justin Newland. This historical fantasy novel was published in 2019 by Matador and they’re giving it another push with a massive blog tour spanning a month hosted by Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tours – click HERE for the full schedule (and check out some of my wonderful co-hosts posts too!). If this review has made you think that this is a book you might enjoy, there’s a giveaway for two physical copies for readers in the US as part of the tour which you can find HERE.

    Many thanks to HFVBT for having me and for sending me a copy of the book for review. All opinions are my own.

    SUMMARY: It is 1761. Prussia is at war with Russia and Austria. As the Russian army occupies East Prussia, King Frederick the Great and his men fight hard to win back their homeland.

    In Ludwigshain, a Junker estate in East Prussia, Countess Marion von Adler celebrates an exceptional harvest. But this is soon requisitioned by Russian troops. When Marion tries to stop them, a Russian Captain strikes her. His Lieutenant, Ian Fermor, defends Marion’s honour, but is stabbed for his insubordination. Abandoned by the Russians, Fermor becomes a divisive figure on the estate.

    Close to death, Fermor dreams of the Adler, a numinous eagle entity, whose territory extends across the lands of Northern Europe and which is mysteriously connected to the Enlightenment. What happens next will change the course of human history…

    OPINIONS: Set during the Englightenment in a war-torn German Reich, The Coronation is an interesting (and rather weird) historical fantasy. It is told through the perspectives of mainly Marion von Adler and Ian Fermor, though others are sprinkled in. It is a compelling tale, and the three hundred pages of it fly by rather quickly. It deals with war and the consequences thereof on the society that stays back, combining it with the Adler, a mysterious supernatural entity that seems to shape the character’s destinies.

    I’m not sure I fully understood the significance of the Adler when reading. Nevertheless, I did enjoy The Coronation, and especially its setting in the Enlightenment era. I liked how it didn’t discount female characters, which would have been easy to do in that period, but gave them agency – though the ones featured were very privileged in terms of social standing.

    This is not a perfect book. But it is one that might be worth having a look at if you’re interested in historical fantasy, unusual entities or suchlike. Add it to Goodreads here, or order a copy from Amazon here.

  • Blog Tours

    Blog Tour: The Witch’s Heart – Genevieve Gornichec

    Today, I’m thrilled to present my stop on the Titan Books Blog Tour for The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec. This has been out for a while in the US, but the shiny UK paperback just came out this week! While I’m personally partial to the US cover, Genevieve has been lucky to get two very different but gorgeous covers for her debut based on Norse mythology. I absolutely loved it, and can wholeheartedly recommend this with a full five stars.

    SUMMARY: Angrboda’s story begins where most witch tales end: with being burnt. A punishment from Odin for sharing her visions of the future with the wrong people, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the furthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be the trickster god Loki, and her initial distrust of him—and any of his kind—grows reluctantly into a deep and abiding love.

    Their union produces the most important things in her long life: a trio of peculiar children, each with a secret destiny, whom she is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin’s all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life—and possibly all of existence—is in danger.

    Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she’s foreseen for her beloved family—or rise to remake it.

    OPINIONS: Hi you need to read this queer story based on Norse mythology. I love Angrboda. She is a wonderful leading lady, a complex character not easily reduced to anything. And Loki is just… Loki. Smug bastard, in all his weird and wonderful glory as a trickster. I might also be slightly in love with Skadi, just as Angrboda is. She is amazing, and while she is a badass, she is also kind of a cinnamon roll and super supportive and just, everything that one might wish for in a partner.

    Genevieve manages to take these elements of Norse mythology and craft them into a magnificent tale of her own, an epic fantasy that is nevertheless contained in a volume that does not threaten to smother its reader by sheer volume. All the pieces of the story fit together, and when I read it, it was exactly what I needed in that precise moment. I am already looking forward to rereading it – and these days, I don’t get around to doing a lot of rereading, so that’s high praise!

    I can’t wait to see what Genevieve comes up with next, and I look forward to seeing where her journey as a writer takes her – if I enjoyed her debut this much, and found it this well-crafted, it can only get better from here, and I have high hopes. If you enjoy epic historical fantasy along the lines of Madeline Miller or Lucy Holland’s Sistersong, or even more Grimdark takes on Norse stories such as those by John Gwynne, you’ll probably like this one a lot.

    Add The Witch’s Heart to your Goodreads here, or order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).

  • Blog Tours

    Blog Tour: Birds of Paradise – Oliver K. Langmead

    Today, I’m excited to welcome you to my stop on the Titan Books tour for Birds of Paradise by Oliver K. Langmead. This is one of the wackiest books I’ve read in a long time, but it’s weird in all the best ways. It imagines a scenario where Adam (yes, that one from the Bible) is still alive and so are the first animals – though able to take human shape, and there are pieces of paradise still to be found on Earth… Think a cross between Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Jasper Fforde’s work. It’s out there, but it’s addictive.

    Many thanks to Lydia Gittins and Titan Books for including me on the tour and sending me a copy for review. All opinions are my own.

    RELEASE DATE: 08/04/2021

    STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶

    SUMMARY: Many millennia after the fall of Eden, Adam, the first man in creation, still walks the Earth – exhausted by the endless death and destruction, he is a shadow of his former hope and glory. And he is not the only one. The Garden was deconstructed, its pieces scattered across the world and its inhabitants condemned to live out immortal lives, hiding in plain sight from generations of mankind.

    But now pieces of the Garden are turning up on the Earth. After centuries of loneliness, Adam, haunted by the golden time at the beginning of Creation, is determined to save the pieces of his long lost home. With the help of Eden’s undying exiles, he must stop Eden becoming the plaything of mankind.

    Adam journeys across America and the British Isles with Magpie, Owl, and other animals, gathering the scattered pieces of Paradise. As the country floods once more, Adam must risk it all to rescue his friends and his home – because rebuilding the Garden might be the key to rebuilding his life. (from Titan)

    OPINIONS: This is such an addictive story. I could not put it down and read it in a single sitting. It’s weird and wacky and wonderful. I loved how it plays with theology, taking elements of the Bible and reworking them into something completely unique – Adam and some of the first animals tracking down pieces of Paradise on Earth to re-build their home. It is smart and fun, combining elements from fantasy, science fiction, heist-story and thriller (yes, I’d argue this is a book that counts for hard mode in the r/fantasy bingo!).

    Adam, the first man, alive for a very, very long time, is a fantastic leading character. He is world-weary and tired, but keen to return to his roots and simply garden. He is not power hungry, and in his modesty almost super-human. It would have been easy for Langmead to take him and make him into a caricature, but the version that is published could not be further from that. He is utterly human, flawed and humble. I was a bit sad that Eve didn’t play a role in the story, though that is something that is solved well in the end. And Crow! She was probably my favourite of all the animals. Badass, matter of fact and charming.

    All in all, while Birds of Paradise isn’t a perfect story, it is a compelling and well-written one, and one I highly recommend you take a look at it. Add Birds of Paradise to your Goodreads here, and order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).

  • Blog Tours

    Blog tour: Empire of Wild – Cherie Dimaline

    Today, I’m thrilled to kick off the blog tour for Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline, out today from Weidenfeld & Nicholson. While this has been out in Canada for a bit, today is its UK release. This is based on traditional Métis legends, something that I have no prior knowledge about but that made this extremely appealing to me. I have read far too few books by indigenous writers, and this is an excellent one to start with if you feel similarly.

    Many thanks to Will O’Mullane and W&N for sending me a review copy. All opinions are my own.

    RELEASE DATE: 01/04/2021

    STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶

    SUMMARY: Broken-hearted Joan has been searching for her husband, Victor, for almost a year – ever since he went missing on the night they had their first serious argument. One hung-over morning in a Walmart parking lot in a little town near Georgian Bay, she is drawn to a revival tent where the local Métis have been flocking to hear a charismatic preacher. By the time she staggers into the tent the service is over, but as she is about to leave, she hears an unmistakable voice.

    She turns, and there is Victor. Only he insists he is not Victor, but the Reverend Eugene Wolff, on a mission to bring his people to Jesus.

    With only two allies – her Johnny-Cash-loving, 12-year-old nephew Zeus, and Ajean, a foul-mouthed euchre shark with deep knowledge of the old Métis ways – Joan sets out to remind the Reverend Wolff of who he really is. If he really is Victor, his life and the life of everyone she loves, depends upon her success. (from W&N)

    OPINIONS: This is equal parts a mystery, psychological thriller to an extent as a speculative fiction novel. I loved Jean’s character, a smart, take-no-bullshit lady in her thirties, trying to figure out what happened to her husband, who disappeared almost a year ago. Through glimpses into the past, we see how she evolved from a directionless young woman into one who is sure of herself and what she believes in. And, oh, how satisfying it was to read a book that was so explicitly rooted in Métis culture. It is something I knew very very little about aside from stereotypes, and I learned so much (yes, I am the nerd who learns about the world from novels). It’s not a book that deals with identity in the traditional sense, but one that is steeped in its culture.

    I think it is very fitting for our times that one of the antagonists of the story is one of the few explicitly white-coded people. A business man, using Christianity for his personal aims. Feel like you’ve seen that before? Welcome to the history of the world. But Cherie Dimaline manages to implement it in a manner that’s not preachy (pun intended), but rather challenges the reader to explore their notions about the world.

    This is not a perfect book, and there are things I wish had been done differently – for example, I wasn’t that happy about the ending, but it is a very good book, and an important one, packaging contemporary issues in a personal story.

    Add Empire of Wild to your Goodreads here, and order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).

  • Blog Tours

    Blog Tour: All The Murmuring Bones – A.G. Slatter

    And one last blog tour for this week! In typical me-fashion I ended up bingeing the whole book today instead of actually sticking to my TBR and reading in time… All The Murmuring Bones by A.G. Slatter is a charming and compelling folk-tale inspired story, with a wonderful heroine. Check out the posts of the other stops on the tour too!

    Massive thanks to Titan and Sarah Mather for providing me with an eARC and letting me be part of the blog tour!

    STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶

    RELEASE DATE: 08/04/21

    SUMMARY: Long ago Miren O’Malley’s family prospered due to a deal struck with the mer: safety for their ships in return for a child of each generation. But for many years the family have been unable to keep their side of the bargain and have fallen into decline. Miren’s grandmother is determined to restore their glory, even at the price of Miren’s freedom.

    A spellbinding tale of dark family secrets, magic and witches, and creatures of myth and the sea; of strong women and the men who seek to control them. (from Titan Books)

    OPINIONS: Um, so I love fairy tales and this has the exact feel of those kinds of stories. It is not a perfect book but one I very much enjoyed and fell for. I struggled a bit to get into it, but once I got sucked into the story at not quite a third in, I couldn’t put it down. Miren is such a fantastic leading character, stubborn, fierce, but also young and clueless in a lot of ways. She is not your average chosen heroine, although she does hint at elements of the trope. Having been left by her parents and sold into a marriage she doesn’t want by her grandmother, she sets out to find out who she is after she finds out that her parents are not dead as she was told for her whole life. And once she gets to her destination, she finds a situation much different to her expectations.

    There are elements that are utterly predictable, and issues that get solved a little too easily, but it doesn’t distract from the enjoyment of the story. This is a book that embraces its flaws, and doesn’t pretend to be anything but what it is: an compelling tale inspired by traditional folk tales. It is set in a world where stories Slatter has published before exist as stories passed down the O’Malley family. Creating a universe in which these stories can shine.

    If you enjoy twisted stories with compelling characters, that nevertheless feel comforting and familiar, this might be a book for you. Add All The Murmuring Bones to your Goodreads here, and order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).

  • Blog Tours

    Blog Tour: Dangerous Women – Hope Adams

    Yes, this is the week of too many blog tours. But all of them are for awesome books! Today, it’s my turn to talk about Dangerous Women by Hope Adams. This is a fun historical mystery set aboard a ship going from the UK to Australia in the nineteenth century. It is focused on characters, and based on a real journey and the quilt that was produced during the voyage. You can see the quilt here – I can’t stop staring at it! And can I just mention how gorgeous the cover for Dangerous Women is? I love it.

    Thanks to Michael Joseph Books and Gaby Young for having me on the tour and sending me an eARC. All opinions are my own.

    STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶

    RELEASE DATE: 04/03/21

    SUMMARY: London, 1841. The Rajah sails for Australia. On board are 180 women convicted of petty crimes, sentenced to start a new life half way across the world. Daughters, sisters, mothers – they’ll never see home or family again. Despised and damned, all they have now is each other. Until the murder. As the fearful hunt for a killer begins, everyone on board is a suspect. The investigation risks tearing their friendships apart. . . But if the killer isn’t found, could it cost them their last chance of freedom? (from Penguin Michael Joseph)

    OPINIONS: I’ve been on a bit of a historical kick lately, and I really enjoyed Dangerous Women. It is a fun escapist story, with the added quality of being based in a real historical moment. While the characters and story are fictional, the ship, the Rajah, existed, and was used to transport prisoners from the UK to Australia in 1841. The quilt the woman produce over the course of the journey exists and is absolutely stunning, giving the story an added dimension.

    I found this to be well-written and full of interesting characters. It really is a character-driven story, and not very fast paced. I feel like it could have been condensed a bit, but not massively so. What irritated me a bit while reading – and this is likely due to reading an eARC and generally being terrible at noticing chapter headers – is that it switches around on the timeline quite often, but because it’s all on the ship it isn’t always obvious from context. This got me a bit muddled up for a while, but I think that’s more of a me problem than anything else.

    The resolution of the story is very satisfying and it never felt very obvious how the story might turn out. The ARC I read was at times a bit more superficial than I would have preferred, but overall it did not detract from my enjoyment. It is not a perfect book, but if you like historical fiction or novels such as The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton, you might like this one too. Add Dangerous Women to Goodreads here, and order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).