Review - The Ten Riddles of Eartha Quicksmith
The Ten Riddles of Eartha Quicksmith by Loris Owen
I love this book. Right from the start I was gripped by its mysteries and its puzzles, and it just pulled me further in to this fantastical world. It's exciting, it's funny, and it's very clever.
It does the whole hidden world tucked away just out of sight in the real world thing really well. But unlike so many of these boarding school fantasy novels, The Ten Riddles of Eartha Quicksmith is based on science and not magic. It's just not the kind of science you'd recognise! There are so many amazing theories and marvellous inventions floating around (often literally), it's an absolute wonder and a joy. It feels like such an amazing place, and I enjoyed getting a glimpse of it.
There's a lovely set of friendships at the heart of it, with some of their ups and downs. The Glowflyer Gang is one of the best things about the book, and the bullies they face are genuinely nasty and sinister, giving a real sense of threat, and also making me cheer whenever someone stood up to them.
The central mystery is wonderful too. I loved the quest for the riddles and the prize at the end of them, and they were so cleverly presented. The pacing is perfect, with the tension really building up to the climax of the story, and Kip's past tragedies give it a real emotional poignancy.
There's wonderful use of language too. From the new inventions and sciences to the teacher, Professor Steampunk, who comes out with the most splendiferous words.
It also has some incredibly imaginative and cute animal companions.
This is definitely a series you want to get into now, at the start!
I was given an eProof of The Ten Riddles of Eartha Quicksmith via NetGalley and directly from the publisher, in return for an honest review.
The Ten Riddles of Eartha Quicksmith by Loris Owen is published by Firefly Press on 10th September 2020.
There is a publisher preorder offer to receive a signed copy and a pin badge. Find more details at https://fireflypress.co.uk/books/ten-riddles/