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Blog Tour Review - The Only Way Out is Death by Varun Gwalani

 Blog Tour Review - The Only Way Out is Death by Varun Gwalani Twelve powerful people are kidnapped and imprisoned in an empty hotel. Each one of them has three choices: Live out the rest of their days peacefully in the hotel, Die by suicide so the rest of their companions can go free, Or murder one of their companions so they alone can go free. The Only Way Out is Death follows the story of these twelve people from the perspective of a young lawyer, Kiriaki, told as the events unfold. She has to forge messy alliances, navigate complex relationships and feuds, and, above all, try to stay alive. Meanwhile, the mastermind of this death game is lurking just out of view, watching them closely, making sure they are primed for murder. Will Kiriaki find the mastermind before it's too late for her? Will she outmanoeuvre the cutthroats before they cut her throat? There are twelve selfish lives in the hotel. Will it end in twelve selfish deaths? The Only Way Out is Death is a fascinating nov

Blog Tour - The Accidental Wizard

 Blog Tour Review - The Accidental Wizard by Kimberley Pauley

Twig is the last surviving apprentice of the great wizard Ripplemintz, which, as a job, is just as terrifying as it sounds. Oh Ripplemintz always means well, but for a wizard of such high regard he really does make an awful lot of mistakes. And who's always left to clear them up? That's right - Twig.

So when Ripplemitz's most powerful spell is let loose on the world, off Twig goes to catch it. And catch it he does, except... not quite in the way that he intended. Because, instead of catching it in an enchanted jar, Twig sort of... well... catches it in... HIMSELF.

The Accidental Wizard is a lot of fun! It's a fun, magical fantasy with lovely characters and thrilling spellcasting in a fascinating new fantasy world.and one I enjoyed immensely.

Poor Twig, the only (surviving) apprentice of a really not very good wizard accidentally ends up as the most powerful wizard in the world. And as fun as this sounds, it's not something he really wants to celebrate. I really liked how the first implications of his new power are an endless succession of people wanting favours and things for free, much like how lottery winners suddenly find out about so many long lost family members. Twig is a very endearing character and I love seeing how his optimism and compassion is tested from the start. I love the different ways he copes with everything that gets thrown at him. 

The other main characters are also superb. I particularly love Vile, the young hag who is far too pretty to be a hag. Her character and spirit and story arc are just brilliant, and the interactions between her, Twig and Glimfinkle the gnome are often hilarious.

Beyond these three, there's a wonderful mix of spellcasting types. We see other wizards of various different types and power levels, witches, hags and a most intriguing Oracle. There are so many different regions and kingdoms and spellcasters referenced that it feels like there's so much I'd love to see explored later on in the series. 

Wizard duels and tournaments have been done several times before, but they're always something I love to see. The Accidental Wizard handled it really well, with a thrilling and funny tournament that had me gripped.

There were also some really thoughtful aspects of the book, about what makes us who and what we are, that I really enjoyed.

My proof copy had what looks like unfinished sketches of the illustrations by Jason Cockcroft, but these still looked lovely, ranging from border design flourishes to full page illustrations and I'm sure they'll add a lot to the finished book.

The Accidental Wizard is fun fantasy with a lot of heart and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I'm giving it four and a half moons.


The Accidental Wizard is written by Kimberley Pauley with illustrations by Jason Cockcroft. It is published by Scholastic. I was given a proof copy in return for participation in the blog tour and an honest review.


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