Skip to main content


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 - Into the Faerie Hill by HS Norup

 Blog Tour - Into the Faerie Hill by HS Norup

As soon as Alfred arrives at his granny’s cottage, he feels like he’s being watched. There are steep cliffs and dark forests all around, teeming with unfamiliar life – even odd little faerie creatures only Alfred can see. When free-spirited Saga bursts into his life, he begins to appreciate the beauty of these places that have always scared him.

But this special world is under threat: Alfred’s dad is working on a project to dig a giant tunnel through the landscape for a motorway. As he joins Saga in the community protests against the plan, Alfred draws ever closer to the strange world of the faerie creatures, following a thread that seems to be leading him deep into secrets from his family’s past.

Good morning! Today I'm part of a blog tour for the gorgeous Into the Faerie Hill by H.S. Norup, organised by Pushkin Press. I loved Helle's last book, The Hungry Ghost, (you can find my review here) and I have always loved the land of faerie, so I was really excited to be invited to take part and to get a review copy. 

Into the Faerie Hill did not disappoint! It is magical and mysterious, wondrous and complex and beautiful. 

From the start, it is clear that there's something unusual about Alfred's Granny's cottage. The wooden sculptures positioned at each window have an air of mystery and magic, but more than that is this prevalent feeling of menace. There's just something creepy and unsettling about them, however lovely Granny is, that makes the cottage feel a little unsafe. Then there's whatever is creeping around the underbrush that definitely isn't a hedgehog. That's one of the things this story does so well. Nowhere feels safe or secure, and while there are rarely visible dangers there's this constant and palpable sense of menace that is just such a perfect capture of the eerie threat of faerie. There are rituals and there are rites, from the carvings to the saucer of milk that goes out each evening, but they're just there to appease an unseen threat or ward off a mischief. There's also the observance of well documented rules, like the power present in knowing someone's real name. Some of this is imparted by Saga, who is just a wonderful supporting character, kooky and eccentric, knowledgeable, but informed mostly by old stories not always supported by fact. 

That's one of the fascinating things about faerie, and it really comes out here. So much of it is mysterious and unknown. There may be some rules that have been passed down, and many of them can be found here, but there's a world we know nothing about. Into the Faerie Hill gives us a small glimpse of it and some of its inhabitants, but leaves so much more unseen. I'm really hoping for a second book that unravels a few more of the mysteries set up here and shows us more of this fascinating world! It's a world of hierarchy and power, magic and ambition and illusion and deals that are rarely quite what they seem. The queen comes across as a being of great fickle power and there's a real sense of threat coming from her throughout her land. I absolutely loved the use of small faeries as ornaments by the high fey, such a disturbing power play! Even the allies are fundamentally unknowable and hard to trust, exactly as it should be. That's definitely not to say that they're unlikable though, and the shape changers are presented with real charm and I was left wanting to know so much more about them.

So yeah, I adored the depiction of the land of faerie and its inhabitants. But what else is going on? Well, driving the plot is an environmental issue, a tunnel being dug through the hill for a motorway. There's a lot in here about the impact of urban development on the natural environment and how much we lose to bulldozers. It's handled really well. It's not overdone, but it's always there providing a background and driving events throughout the novel. It adds dramatic tension too, as the day draws closer for work to start, and it's cleverly worked throughout the novel as a reason for so many of the characters to act. 

There's also some family drama in there, as Alfred starts to ask questions about his heritage. Or rather, he starts to think of questions that he's afraid to actually ask. Again, this was done really well, with an emotional subtlety and tied in to the whole plot of the novel. It's a really intriguing mystery, with little clues uncovered from a wide variety of sources that slowly unfolds throughout the story and leaves us wanting to know more.

So there you have it. Into the Faerie Hill is a book packed with mystery and menace and magic. The plot is effectively driven by the environmental issues and there are older secrets threaded throughout the whole story. It all comes to a satisfying conclusion, but definitely left me wanting more!

A definite five moons for Into the Faerie Hill!


Into the Faerie Hill by H.S. Norup is out on 2nd March 2023, published by Pushkin Press.

I was given a review copy in exchange for an honest review and participation in this blog tour.

And don't forget to check out the rest of the tour!


Popular Posts