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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

Review - The Castle of Tangled Magic by Sophie Anderson

The Castle of Tangled Magic by Sophie Anderson

Magic awaits, all you have to do is believe... When thirteen-year-old Olia steps through a magical doorway, she discovers another land. A land tangled by magic, where hope is lost, and a scheming wizard holds all the power. Soon Olia learns that she is destined to save this land, but with time running out and her new friends and family in danger, she must search for the magic within herself - to save everything and everyone she loves.


With The Castle of Tangled Magic, Sophie Anderson has woven Russian folklore together with modern fantasy and a lovely family and created something special and unique. 

It is a superb story about magic, family, bravery and home, and I absolutely adored it.

Unlike Sophie's first two novels, this one is a "portal" story, where Olia, who already lives in a wondrous and probably magical castle, travels through a portal with a household spirit into a land of pure magic. A land where everything is starting to fall apart, where she needs to find allies and find her way and find a solution before everything unravels completely. There's such an overwhelming sense of peril, that kept me absolutely gripped. The fairy tale creatures she meets are fascinating too, drawn from a Russian folklore that I'm really not familiar with, to give the whole thing a sense of being different and intriguing. And as with all the best fairy tales, things are never quite what they first seem. 

It's a story about family too, and the depiction of Olia's family is really nicely done. Unlike some other portal stories, I always felt that she had something to succeed for and someone to go home too, and that increased the tension. She never had the chance to just wander around and explore the land she found herself in because of her family and home calling her back.

It's another magical story from a magical writer at the top of her game.

A definite five moon read!


The Castle of Tangled Magic is out now, from Usborne. I was given an eproof in return for an honest review.


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