My Review of Silver Fire by Freya Pickard

Title: Silver Fire

I was given an ARC in exchange for a review

Name: Freya Pickard

Genre: Fantasy

When Otta and Erl are banished from their village for angering the gods, they embark on a peculiar quest. Commanded by a wandering god, Otta is obliged to follow the strange, elusive “unicorn’s trail.” Her twin brother, Erl, has lost his memory and is struggling to discover who he is. As they travel further from the shelter of the Homestead, the siblings discover unpleasant traits in their personalities. They must learn to adapt and change before they are driven apart. Who is the wandering god? Just what is the “unicorn’s trail” and where will it lead? What are the kaerlings? And who are the brown-robed travellers that trespass in Otta’s dreams? Silver Fire is the first volume in Freya Pickard’s epic fantasy series The Kaerling.

My Review:

Silver Fire is one of those novels that deserves to be promoted in the SPFBO blog by Freya Pickard.

This is the gritty version of what a Western setting of Avatar the Last Airbener would look like. I think Freya has done a wonderful job with the descriptions of her character, the elegance of her prose, and the good dialogue that is interspersed within this novel.

Without much spoilers, I read a quote on twitter saying that a reader wishes to be in the world. I can say that Frey a must have researched Celtic Mythology/Norse Mythology because I didn’t feel it was too Christian inspired which is a good thing. Much of Christianity’s origins came from the adaption of Celtic/Roman Paganism for that matter. I also felt that Otta’s character was good, but her emotional development needed more scenes. I wanted her to feel more remorse for her actions, and to feel a bit more compassionate in terms of scene development. Erl on the other hand was like an empty vessel in the ocean with a sentient soul trying to figure out in the middle of the ocean where he was. Although I did not understand the desire he had when there were many women around.

I would ask Freya if she could upgrade her cover. Because I could easily see this novel being promoted by HarperCollins or Harpervoyager, and the writing is so smooth and fluid I am flabbergasted that she has not been picked up. Really I am. I’d be happy to finish this trilogy and I understand that due to budget costs this may not be possible. I am immersed into this world. I can clearly see a large range of diverse cultures. I want to see a map for one. I did not feel that Otta’s parents got enough scene development myself, and would have wanted to seen more in the novel. This is a fantastic read. You are missing out on a wonderful novel and seriously, this is a fantastic debut. Your proof-editor did a wonderful job. My rating: 5/5

My Review of In the Hanging of the Shadow Tree by Micheal Mc Lellan

Publication Date: April 26th, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction
In 1865 a shadow hovers over the nation: the shadow lingers still…
Born into slavery, Henry’s young life is spent working in tobacco drying sheds on Missouri
plantations. Freed at the onset of the Civil War, he’s alone, starving, and on the run from
Confederate militiamen.
Five years later, Clara Hanfield, the daughter of a powerful New York shipping magnate, escapes her
tyrannical father and travels west in pursuit of John Elliot, the man she loves. John, a U.S. Army
lieutenant, was sent to the Dakota Territory where he discovers a government conspiracy to incite
an all-out war with the Indians; a war meant to finally eliminate them as an obstacle to the
westward expansion.
Henry finds himself caught in the middle.
Aided by Clara, John, and his native ally, Standing Elk, Henry must battle hatred, greed, and the
ghosts of his past during this turbulent and troubling time in American history


My Review:

For someone who hasn’t read about the aftermath of the Civil War, this was quite the eye-exposure. I wasn’t even aware of the relations that the US Government had with the Native Americans. In fact most Civil War in popular depictions of media and television don’t present the Native American Point of View. I like how it doesn’t portray that one side is good or that one side is bad. War is war. It will take anyone relentless of your colour, creed, your religion and your ethnicity.

In this novel, we get to see a different viewpoint of Native Amercians and their relationship with the African Americans. What I love about this novel is that Micheal doesn’t shy from showing that the explusion of Native Americans was meant for economic purposes. Both sides had a negative view point of each other. At this point, there was really no chance of peace between the American Government or the Native Americans for that regard. Does this mean it happened everywhere in the United States? No, because there would have been some Native American tribes that were unaffected, but that would have been a small minority.

I liked Henry’s character, his resolve, his cunning and his wisdom. Read this book for his wisdom, but it is a stark reminder that war can take away the ones you love the most. I loved Clara, and deeply felt for the emotional development she went through. I did not like John Elliot’s character as I felt he was too naive, and that he needed more character developments. I felt sometimes the POVs were difficult to read, and since this was an uncorrected ARC given in exchange for a review, I can forgive this, but sometimes I got confused with some viewpoints. I also felt there were a little too many characters and thus we were moving and shifting, but I fully understand that when you’re covering a subject as big the American Civil War, it affected a huge amount of people. The descriptions of war, blood and gore are present. Micheal doesn’t give you a side to pick, he doesn’t tell you hey look the Native Americans are good, or the Americans are bad, he tells you that there was a deeper picture that we, in the 21st century can’t judge by using our morals of good and bad. That was a different time, and we should be glad that such a conflict should never need to occur again. I liked this novel, but I feel it needed a couple more pages. A bit more was needed. Nevertheless, its epic in scale, visually brilliant, and my rating is a solid 4/5

Relic Book Tour: My review of Relic by Bronwyn Eley

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Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Blurb: In the city of Edriast, there is no deadlier duty than to serve as the Shadow.

As the personal servant of the powerful Lord Rennard, the Shadow’s life is all but forfeit. Rennard possesses one of five rare and dangerous Relics – a jewel that protects his bloodline, but slowly poisons everyone else in its proximity. When the current Shadow succumbs to its magic, nineteen-year-old blacksmith Kaylan is summoned to take his place.

It’s an appointment that will kill her.

As the time Kaylan has left ebbs away, hope begins to fade… That is, until she discovers a plot to destroy all five bloodlines in possession of the Relics.

A rebel force plans to put an end to Rennard’s rule and Kaylan suddenly finds herself embroiled in a cause that might just be worth fighting for. But no cause is without its costs…

As her life hangs in the balance and rebellion bears down on Edriast, Kaylan must decide where her loyalties lie – and how she’ll leave her mark on the world.

Relic is the absorbing first novel in The Relic Trilogy, a thrillingly dark YA fantasy series

Note: ARC with uncorrted proof exchanged for review, thoughts and opinions are my own.


Relic is an amazing novel that  needs more attention. On the one hand, this was quite an amazing experience to read through. I liked Kaylon’s ability to use her powers to help in her when trouble came, but I felt she did not take enough ownership of the consequences of her actions as much as I would have liked too.

The prose, the dialogue and the pacing is all well done. 

I also loved Rover 🙂

This novel is quite complex in its characterisation. I felt Markus was a good love interest but he did not know enough about Kaylon. The two needed more scenes to get in touch with each other, and to develop the chemistry between them.

While I liked Kaylon I wanted her to take more action and being less hesitant. Rennard may have been an man that over time has become corrupt, which is true in history, but I would use the example of Empress Theodora. She was a prostitute yet the most powerful man in all of Byzantium fell in love with her. Kaylon would benefit from some inspiration from her. 

I felt Rennard was under-used as well as Jespar. Clearly there is a hidden history between the whole basis of the conflict that envelopes the town.

I like the concept of feudal lords utilizing people to work. This was what the Samurai Warlords did to their populations, and they killed unproductive workers.  If you’re in the UK and on KU, its free for what I believe is a limited time. Do not miss this at all.
I def want to read on this exciting triology and see what comes next. Thank you so much to Shealea for allowing me on this blog tour.

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