📚Golden Healer is the second book in #Ya #Fantasy series The Curse of Time by  @Marjorie_Mallon Reviewed by Robbie, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Robbie.

Robbie blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Robbie has been reading Golden Healer by M.J. Mallon

Book cover for young adult fantasy, Golden Healer by M J Mallon, set against a background of an hourglass from a free photo from Pixabay.
Golden Healer by M J Mallon

Golden Healer is the second book in The Curse of Time series and continues this unique fantasy story with its unusual and intriguing storyline. Book one ended with a happy environment after Ameline’s father was finally restored to his family at the correct age and Esme disappeared from the mirror, presumably to a better place. Book two starts with small but obvious indications that all is not as it seems and the issues involving both Emeline’s father and Esme are not adequately resolved.

The beginning is a bit slower moving as the author skillfully unwinds the reader’s beliefs that all is well and hammers cracks into the happy environment. The stage is set beautifully with fascinating and intricate scenes and dreams spun like a spiderweb from the author’s pen. Ameline’s first dream travel in this book has catastrophic results as while she is away from her body her bloodstone is stolen and this accelerates the cracks in her home environment.

This book is not an easy read and you have to concentrate as you read in the same way you would while reading a classic novel. It is worth the effort as the descriptions and concepts are outstanding and beautifully depicted.

There are a few stand out scenes for me in this book, as follows: the grasshopper in the meadow, the clowns in the café, and Aunt Karissa’s chocolates. For me, these were unbelievably imaginative and full of mystery.

Aunt Karissa features plays a small role in this book, introducing some welcome lightness and humour as Ryder’s darkness and power continue to grow. The reader learns a bit more about Ryder and his origins and homeland.

Another memorable feature of this book is that each chapter or puzzle piece starts with a tanka poem that hints at what is to follow in the chapter. The author is also an excellent poet and the poems were a lovely addition.

A few memorable quotes from this book:

“The grasshopper monster propelled time forward in a steady, slow, rocking motion, as if he was devouring our lives in seconds, minutes and hours as we gazed upon him.”

“Hello my beautiful reflection. You came! You always come when I need you the most. I have been so anxious listening to the troubles of this family which has become my family. What have you been doing? I see sweet flowers covering the red cuts on your left wrist.”

“”She opened the wrapper with trembling fingers. Inside, there was a small, round milk chocolate. It grew in her palm. the chocolate split into two halves, one half dark, and the other half white. In the centre, a dividing line moved form side to side as if whipping up the chocolate angrily.”

In conclusion, I would like to add that when I was a girl of 10 years old, I discovered the books written by Eva Ibottson. Every book of hers I read was a complete delight to me with its amazing fantasy creatures and gorgeous depictions of the lives of hags in dribbles and wizards in towers surrounded by mist. Throughout my adult life, I have search for an adult author who can invoke the same magical worlds and belief in magical creatures that I discovered in Miss Ibottson’s stories, and in this series by M.J. Mallon, I do believe I finally found an adult equivalent.

Orange rose book description
Book description

Amelina Scott’s destiny is to be a Krystallos: a magician of light, chosen to learn the ways of crystal magic on her 16th birthday. Located on a river pathway in a mysterious part of Cambridge, the Crystal Cottage is guarded by mythical beings.

Unfortunately, there are those who seek to harm this haven of light. Learning of Ryder – a Shadow Sorcerer with hypnotic powers – Amelina discovers that her own magic is now threatened, and that the Curse of Time might be unleashed again.

As secrets abound and the creatures of the Chronophage come alive, can Amelina become the true magician she needs to be?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

Rosie’s #BookReview Of #YoungAdult #Fantasy THE HIDDEN KING by E. G. Ragcliff

The Hidden King (The Coming of Áed, #1)The Hidden King by E.G. Radcliff

3.5 stars

The Hidden King is a young adult fantasy and book one of a series. It begins on the streets of a city called The Maze where poverty and danger thrive. A tragedy occurs for a teenage boy called Áed, who takes his ward, a young boy called Ronan, and journeys to the forbidden White City where he hopes they can live a better life.

The White City is the opposite of The Maze, where its citizens live comfortably and have plenty to eat. However, it is overseen by a mad king, and any Maze inhabitants caught trespassing will be punished. When Áed is captured he’s taken to the dungeons and tortured, and has just one chance of survival.

This story has a rags to riches theme and made me think a little of Oliver Twist. The world building worked well and I was able to imagine most of the settings. However, I was a little confused at the beginning when the story focussed on a character who had a short role. It would have worked better if the opening scenes had all been from Áed’s point of view.

Áed is caring and sensible, often putting Ronan’s needs before his own and for a young man he shows a great amount of maturity, especially later in the book when he is dealing with court officials. I thought that he slipped into his new role a little too smoothly considering his background and I didn’t believe his character changes as much as I had hoped to, but I am sure it will be developed further in the next book.

Overall, a good start to the series.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

Hidden truths. Hidden power. Hidden destiny.
Someone is going to get burned…

On the shores of an oily sea, in the streets of a starving city, a young man named Áed scraps to build a life for himself and the makeshift family he loves. Scarred by a trauma he cannot remember, and haunted by the brutal damage it left behind, he has no idea of the courage his future will demand.

When tragedy strikes, a desperate Áed risks a treacherous, life-changing journey in his last chance to save the only family he has left – but an ancient legacy smoldering within him is about to turn deadly. Neither he – nor a kingdom – will ever be the same.

AmazonUk | AmazonUS

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