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Blog Tour Review - A Power Unbound by Freya Marske

 Blog Tour Review - A Power Unbound by Freya Marske Secrets! Magic! Enemies to. . .something more? Jack Alston, Lord Hawthorn, would love a nice, safe, comfortable life. After the death of his twin sister, he thought he was done with magic for good. But with the threat of a dangerous ritual hanging over every magician in Britain, he’s drawn reluctantly back into that world. Now Jack is living in a bizarre puzzle-box of a magical London townhouse, helping an unlikely group of friends track down the final piece of the Last Contract before their enemies can do the same. And to make matters worse, they need the help of writer and thief Alan Ross. Cagey and argumentative, Alan is only in this for the money. The aristocratic Lord Hawthorn, with all his unearned power, is everything that Alan hates. And unfortunately, Alan happens to be everything that Jack wants in one gorgeous, infuriating package. When a plot to seize unimaginable power comes to a head at Cheetham Hall―Jack’s ancestral fam

Review - Tourmaline and the Island of Elsewhere by Ruth Lauren

Review - Tourmaline and the Island of Elsewhere by Ruth Lauren

When Tourmaline’s mother goes missing on a search for precious artefacts, Tourmaline sets off to find her with her best friend George, her new friend (former foe) Mai and her limitless determination. On their adventure, they encounter a band of female pirates, a maze of talking trees and a series of challenges that test the children and their friendship. But will it be enough to reunite Tourmaline with her mother?

I loved Tourmaline and the Island of Elsewhere! A thrilling tale of magic and treasure hunting, friends and family, full of wonderful female characters, moral dilemmas, puzzles and humour.

There are hints of Pullman's Northern Lights at the start. Tourmaline lives in a large university, where her mother is a faculty member, and has a mix of lessons and free time to look for trouble. Her mother is often away treasure hunting, and Tourmaline picks up hints and whispers that something has happened to her. She then decides that the only sensible course of action is to investigate it herself, whatever that takes. She sneaks away with two friends, boards a ship in the harbour and heads off for adventure.

The Pullman similarities really begin and end with the university setting, the missing parent and the curious, inquisitive young heroine. Tourmaline is a very different character to Lyra, and she is responsible for driving a lot more of the action than I feel Lyra is. I love Tourmaline sneaking through weird interdimensional spaces between university rooms just to eavesdrop on her professors, barely thinking to question why a cupboard in one room might emerge in a wardrobe in another. 

The dynamic between the main characters is fantastic. Tourmaline is definitely the trouble maker, the rule breaker. George, on the other hand, likes to play everything by the rules, and Mai starts out as a rival. All three have wonderfully interconnected character arcs as they develop and grow, and I really enjoyed watching them together. Tourmaline's confidence is a joy, brazenly blagging her way through everything that's thrown at her as if it's all part of some great plan. And I thought the pirates, led by Captain Violet, were just superb!

The magical elements are all wondrous and exciting. The living archive is mysterious and awe inspiring, and the actual island is just incredible. It all feels suitable fantastical and brilliant. The puzzles and problems are clever and fun, and there's plenty in there to leave you thinking.

A wonderful tale that introduces an unforgettable new heroine to the world of children's literature.


Tourmaline and the Island of Elsewhere by Ruth Lauren is out now, published by Little Tiger.

I was given a review copy via Netgalley in return for an honest review.


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