The Thinking by Dallas Sutherland #ChildrensBook #Kidslit @dalkerri #bookreview #MondayBlogs

The Thinking (The Landland Chronicles #2)The Thinking by Dallas Sutherland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Thinking is book two of the Landland Chronicles and is a children’s series. I do recommend reading book one first to get a feel for the story. Book one, called The Greying introduces us to Meah a young girl whose mother has died, her father is missing and she falls overboard whilst on a boat. She ends up in a magical world which is all covered in grey and must help the people.

In book two, Meah now understands that she is living in the pages of a book which her father began writing and which her Aunt has taken over and is distorting the story. Meah is still trying to help the folk of Landland fight the greying and the Firbog army.

Meah has been given mysterious gifts and can use her Thinking skills to communicate. She also finds that if she paints in her book she can create colourful pictures which help in the battles to come. She searches for The Biggo to help her find answers and the story will continue in book 3.

There are some very good descriptions of the forest and people, plus some great drawings. I wasn’t so keen on the different chapter options at the end of the book between Auntie Beryl’s version of the story and The Biggo’s it was a little confusing.

This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by the author.

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My Book Reviews In November Issues of Fleet Life & Elvetham Heath Directory

I’m really lucky in that I have another outlet for my book reviews where I can help spread the word to others about some of the books I’ve read.

I get a page in each of these monthly local magazines, which benefit from on-line versions to reach a world wide audience.

This month’s Fleet Life books were;

The Soul and The Seed – Arie Farnam

Stranger at Sunset – Eden Baylee

Frenzy – Mark King

Seaside Dreams – Melissa Foster

How I Changed My Life In A Year – Shelley Wilson

View the online version Click on the online directory tab and load the magazine. Find my reviews on page 27

Fleet Life Nov

This month’s EHD books were;

Lost Souls – Penny de Byl

Spirit Warriors: The Scarring D.E.L. Connor

The Landland Chronicles – Dallad Sutherland

Patriot – A.S. Bond

Bend With The Wind – Suraya Dewing

View the online version Click on the online directory tab and load the magazine. Find my reviews on page 6

EHD nov

Please note this is a voluntary task I get no monetary rewards for my reviews and the editors decision about which books we use is final.

Good Deeds Challenge Year 2, Week 19

Welcome to my second Year of Good Deeds, a challenge I set myself during April 2013. I decided to do at least one Good Deed a day for a whole year, now I an into my second year.

New Good DeedsDuring my week I’ll also being updating you on My Kindness Challenge which I’m also doing. I read about a new challenge to make the world a better place to live in. “Speak Kind Words, Receive Kind Echoes” see the inspiration on  The Kindness blog . During my learning process I’m donating money to charity for my slip-ups to make me work harder to achieve results. I earn no money from any of my book reviews, so having little to spare should focus my mind.

August 24th – Lent some books to my mother-in-law today who enjoys reading. Have been having a clear out and made a collection of items for the charity shop.

August 25th – Sent out a group e-mail to everyone on the Romancing September Tour to start creating some Buzz and support for the tour and all the lovely authors who are taking part and hoping to spread the news about their books. Finished reading Frenzy by Mark King.

August 26th – Completed 30 pictures that can be used on Twitter during the Romancing Tour. Walked round to a friends house to drop off a birthday present and picked up litter on the way home. Started reading Dark Water by Jan Ruth

August 27th – Left a tip with the barber who successfully scalped my son this morning. My book review today on the blog is for The Landland Chronicles by Dallas Sutherland, a good fantasy for younger readers. Helped out another friend with the bus timetable for college next week.

August 28th – Agreed to read and review two more books today, my list is getting rather long, but then I love reading. Added two more books to the book review team list this evening. Drafted up a guest author post for Mark King for October and have been liaising with reviewers and authors over book review books. Good deeds received, lots of lovely people are getting behind the promotion of the Romancing September tour which starts on Monday. Thanks for all the tweets and posts.

August 29th – Saw a gentleman drop a £5 note today, picked it up and returned it to him. Reading has been really slow this week, I’ve had 24 working hours of accounting book work to complete.

August 30th – It’s been really windy over the past day so there has been lots of litter blowing around. Picked up rubbish this morning and again this afternoon.

Guest Author Dallas Sutherland

Today we are joined by Dallas Sutherland author of yesterday’s book The Landland Chronicles: The Greying. Here is a link to the post if you missed it.

Dallas Sutherland

Let’s find out more about Dallas and his book.

Where is your home town?

I live in Eumundi which is a small hinterland town on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. It’s just north of Brisbane. The weather is great all year round, not too hot, and not too cold in the winter. There is some talk of Eumundi becoming a Book Shop town. This will be amazing, especially for local authors. The town is also known for its thriving market which operates Wednesdays and Saturdays.

2) How long have you been writing?

I always loved to write when I was a child. Then I had a break for many years while working in various jobs. It was not until I began to study Literature at university that I rekindled my love of writing. So, to answer your question, I’ve been writing seriously for about 18 years, but not putting out anything for publishing during much of that time. Most of my writing has been academic: essays, plays, poetry, that sort of thing.

3)What is the one idea which started this book?

A sense of loss and grief


4) Tell us about Ogam.

There are many variations on the origin of Ogam Script, or Ogham (pronounced O em). From a mythological point of view, and one that I like, it was an alphabet thought to be used by the ancient Druidic Celts. There are about 25 letters in the alphabet and these were used to pass on ancient wisdom and knowledge. The letters was usually inscribed onto a wooden staff carried by Shaman/poets. A series of lines, or cuts, were made on the edges of stones and pieces of wood. There were several of these Ogam alphabets; the most widely known was one where each letter related to a sacred tree. Others related to people, places and objects. Ogam was also used to mark boundaries of property, whereby letters were carved into stones. Variations of Ogam Script can be found in Ireland, Wales, England, and Scotland.


Other sources report that Ogham was the invention of Oghma the legendary champion of the early Irish race of the Tuatha De Danann. Much later sources report that Ogham originated in fourth-century Ireland and Britain and that it was primarily derived from the Latin alphabet, and also from Nordic runes.

Whatever the case might be, I like to think that it is a magical alphabet that might pop up again and again in fantasy stories. Hence, my inclusion of it in The Greying.

5)You have some great creatures in the book can you describe the Homunculi and the Firbog to readers?

I’ve named the Firbog after an Irish mythological race, the Fir Bholg, because I like all those tales about the earliest peoples who invaded and conquered Ireland, and who were in turn forced to flee by subsequent invaders. There is a great sense of mystery which surrounds their physical appearance and also their magical abilities. My Firbog, of course, are an entirely different kind of race. There is some magic that goes with them, but they resemble canines in their facial appearance, and the thick fur-like hair which covers their bodies and limbs reinforces the idea. The Firbog are warlike and tend to bark quite often.

An Homunculus is a little man, or manikin. He derives from the middle ages and the word has its roots in Latin. Alchemists first defined the idea that a human spermatozoa or egg-cell could contain a miniature preformed human being (preformation). In this sense, if that were possible to do, then the little man or homunculi could be made and enlarged to a certain degree, and would then be available to do the bidding of the creator. My Homunculi are puppets of the evil Queen Berilbog who has created them. Or has she? I guess you will have to read the book to find out. They are small, stealthy, and sinewy, and are commanded by the Firbog. In The Greying they are able to fly on the backs of the many-headed-winged-things. They know how to fight, too. I had a lot of fun bringing them into being.

6) Who are the Pitterpatterdell?

These creatures are gatherers of people’s souls. They do the bidding of their masters, the Fair Folk. Pitterpatterdell also tend the gardens inside the City of the Fair Folk and look after the sacred stream. Soul gathering is carried out in Dead Wood, although not many people travel to Dead Wood these days, so there is not a lot of soul gathering to be done.


7)What has happened to the Senescent tree?

The ancient Senescent tree is near the end of its life, which is what the word ‘senescent’ actually means. It is no longer capable of reproducing. The trunk and branches of the tree hold the wisdom of the Pictish people. There is much magic to be learned from the tree if only Josh O’Tosh, the last of the warrior Pictish priests, is able to receive more instruction. Josh’s role is to guard both the tree and Dead Wood. He doesn’t want the Bigriverlanders to cut it all down for firewood or farmland. The whole wood is dying, and Teah must find a way to help Josh bring it back to life.


8)What was your favourite character name in the book and why?

I like the name, Dalff. I think it’s because Meah calls him two-effs from time to time. Dalff sounds like an old name that should belong in a faery tale or a fantasy story, but it also has that modern, trendy double-f on the end of it– you know, like a lot of new made-up names these days.

9)Give us a hint about the next book in the series.

In the next book (it might be called The Thinking) Meah gets to combine both the power of the thinking and the magical properties of her mother’s Book of Colours with some surprising results. The Biggo disappears and returns from time to time, Auntie Beryl makes a grand re-entry, the Firbog push forward with the greying, and Landland is in confusion. I introduce some elves, giants, trolls, and a few other things. Readers will find a lot more metafiction here as well. It’s all designed to work towards the master plan, but you might have to wait for the third book to find out who is really in control of the master plan.

10)Where can readers find out more about you?

You can find me at:

If you sign up on my website to The Biggo’s email newsletter about The Landland Chronicles, then the Biggo will send you a free poster map of Dead Wood.


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Thank you Dallas and Good Luck with the next book.




The Landland Chronicles: The Greying by Dallas Sutherland

The Landland Chronicles (The Greying, #1)The Landland Chronicles by Dallas Sutherland

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Landland Chronicles: The Greying is book one in this fantasy series written for children aged 10-13 years. I shall begin with my last thoughts as the book ended; as a child, who wouldn’t love to be written into a delightful book? Meah finds herself alone, her mother has died and her father is missing, she’s left with Aunt Beryl a cold women she hardly knows. Together they are in a boat emptying her mother’s ashes into the sea when Meah falls overboard.

Lost and alone she is washed up on a distant shore where everything has lost its colour. She meets Mermie and Dalff who have been waiting for her arrival to help them find the lost colours. They insist she is called Teah the thinking girl. I really enjoyed the mix of myth, legend, and history to create this magical place. I wanted to taste hot-sap tea and meet a Pitterpatterdell. Some of the names made me smile, their simplicity was refreshing in fantasy Josh O’Tosh, Bill MacIll, Ani Stout and Danar Long.

Teah must go and find a sage called The Biggo who seems to know just where she is and what she might need, he sends Spike with messages of encouragement in her quest to retrieve the Black thing and the Book of Colours. Her path is troubled by many adventures, but slowly with help she finds herself and her lost parts and with friends and brave Pictish warriors she discovers just what or who is causing the sinister tap, tap tapping and together with the Biggo they set off on more adventures in Landland.

I think this is a good fantasy world and the mix of adventure and myth worked well. I have my own historical interest in the ogam language and was thrilled to see it included in this tale.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

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Dallas will be joining us on the blog tomorrow as our guest author, do come back and find out more about him and his books.