The Ring of Morgana by Donna Hosie

ringofmorgana
Title: The Ring of Morgana
Author: Donna Hosie
Series: The Children of Camelot #1
Edition: Kindle, 310 pages
Publication Details: April 28th 2014
Genre(s): YA; Fantasy; Arthurian
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it!

Goodreads // Purchase

Sixteen-year-old Mila Roth wants to be normal. It’s a phrase that has been drilled into her by her mother since she was born.

But Mila Roth is anything but normal. For sixteen years her parents have hidden a secret from her. For Mila was born one thousand years ago in the land of Logres, and far from being a math teacher and a housewife, Mila’s parents are the awakened King Arthur and Gorian druid queen, Morgana.

Two worlds, one thousand years apart. And those worlds are about to collide.

The spirit of the malevolent Lady of the Lake has been contained for sixteen years in the fabled Ring of Morgana. When the ring curses Mila’s younger sister, Lilly, the Roth family has no choice but to return Mila to the land of her birth as they face a battle against time itself.

Accompanied by her best friend, Rustin, Mila will have to decide whether to defy those she loves in order to save her sister. Should she trust the Gorian druids and the mysterious Melehan? What is the true cost to Mila’s heart as she strives to master the purple flame? And why have her mother and father denied the truth of her origins for so long?

For she alone has the combined power of royalty and druid magic within her.

And now only Mila can save Lilly and Logres.

Review


I’m a big fan of Arthurian literature and love that there’s a market for it in the YA genre.

The Ring of Morgana was my first Donna Hosie read, but I’ll definitely be checking out her other series (The Return to Camelot) as well.

On paper, The Ring of Morgana sounds a bit ridiculous. Mila’s dad is the one and only King Arthur, who found a portal into another world, a modern world, and decided to leave Camelot to start afresh there with the once evil Morgana.

When Mila and her little sister Lilly find a strange glowing ring which begs them to try it on, Lilly gives in to its powers and is immediately cursed. She falls into a coma of sorts, and ages rapidly. After a visit from the wizard Merlin, whom no one seems to trust, it becomes apparent that it’s up to Mila and her best friend Rustin to save Lilly, and the only place they can do that is through the portal, into medieval Logres.

Like I said, it’s a slightly ridiculous plot, but the fact that I enjoyed it so much is a testament to Hosie’s writing. She definitely has a way of sucking you in, and her descriptive prose was spot on.

[Queen Guinevere] claps her hands twice and two young girls appear out of nowhere. It’s like they bled out of the stone walls”

For me, The Ring of Morgana felt like a unique take on Arthurian mythology – it felt fresh and exciting, and has left me with lots of unanswered questions, urging me to read on.

I’m intrigued as to why Arthur, and most of Logres are so wary of, and hostile towards Merlin when it seems like he’s the best person to help Lilly. What did he do? I really want to know how Arthur ended up with Morgana too, and if she’s truly good now, like we are expected to believe (I don’t believe it for a second btw).

And finally, I have to mention Mila – loved her! She’s an interesting protagonist who brings heart and humour into everything she does. I can’t wait to find out how she develops in this new, old world she finds herself in.

It doesn’t matter what time you live in, people will always bitch and gossip.”

-Mila Roth

unicorn rating 4

Lazy Saturday Review(s): A few that got away…

I’ve fallen behind of late, so before I completely forget about these books I thought I’d do a quick catch-up in the shape of some teeny tiny reviews.

testimony
Title: The Testimony of the Hanged Man
Author: Ann Granger
Series: Lizzie Martin #5
Edition: Paperback, 400 pages
Publication Details: July 3rd 2014 by Headline
Genre(s): Mystery; Historical Fiction
Disclosure? Nope, I borrowed it!

Goodreads // Purchase

A hanged man would say anything to save his life. But what if his testimony is true? When Inspector Ben Ross is called to Newgate Prison by a man condemned to die by the hangman’s noose he isn’t expecting to give any credence to the man’s testimony. But the account of a murder he witnessed over seventeen years ago is so utterly believeable that Ben can’t help wondering if what he’s heard is true. It’s too late to save the man’s life, but it’s not too late to investigate a murder that has gone undetected for all these years.

Review

I initially picked this book up because it’s set partly on Putney Heath, which is where I lived when I was at uni. I like reading about places I know well, to see how the author portrays them, especially in another era. The Testimony of the Hanged Man is set in Victorian London, and is a classic mystery which unfolds at a slow pace.

I think if I read it all in one go, I would have enjoyed it more, but I only managed a few pages at a time. However, I still enjoyed it – and despite my pet peeve of alternating narrators too.

If you like traditional, light-hearted, Victorian detective fiction, give this series a go.

unicorn rating 3

kisskiss

Title: Kiss Kiss
Author: Roald Dahl
Series: N/A
Edition: Paperback, 231 pages
Publication Details: October 26th 1987 by Penguin Books
Genre(s): Short Stories
Disclosure? Nope, I borrowed it!

Goodreads // Purchase

In these wickedly anarchic stories, Dahl explores the dark, sinister side of the psyche: the cunning, sly, selfish part of human nature that makes for unexpected outcomes and horrifying conclusions.

Review

I’ve wanted to read some of Dahl’s adult fiction for ages so I picked this up for my lunch-time read when I spotted it in the library. I read most of the stories in this collection, and came out with mixed feelings. The collection was first published in 1959, and you can tell; it hasn’t aged well.

The stories are not what I would call anarchic or horrifying in today’s meaning of the terms, but they were interesting, funny and slightly odd – as you would expect from Roald Dahl. I enjoyed Mrs Bixby and the Colonel’s Coat the most.

unicorn rating 3

badjelly
Title: Badjelly the Witch
Author: Spike Milligan
Series: N/A
Edition: Hardback, 64 pages
Publication Details: October 19th 2000 by Virgin Books (first published 1973)
Genre(s): Children’s; Picture Books
Disclosure? Nope, I borrowed it.

Goodreads // Purchase

Badjelly The Witch can turn children into sausages or chop them up to make boy-girl soup. She can turn policemen into apple trees or bananas into mice and she is the wickedest witch in all the world.

A charming fairy tale which has delighted children for many years, this edition is copiously illustrated with Spike Milligan’s own drawings which have been specially adapted and beautifully hand coloured.

Review

Spike Milligan’s Silly Verse for Kids was one of my favourite books when I was little, but I never read this one. I’m so glad I eventually got round to reading it! It’s exactly as bonkers as you’d expect – loved it!

Definitely a fun, wacky book to read to young children.

unicorn rating 4

This Week in Books 15.07.2015

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week. Better late than never, right?

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Now: Horns ~ Joe Hill // Kiss Kiss ~ Roald Dahl

I’m still reading both of these as I had almost no reading time last week! But hopefully things will calm down now.

Then: The Ring of Morgana ~ Donna Hosie

The last one I finished was a modern take on Arthurian tales. I really need to catch up on reviews! 😦

Next: ???

I’m going to work on getting control of my review request list! I don’t know where this month has gone! Ahh!

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #ThisWeekInBooks, and I’ll come and visit!

This Week in Books 08.07.2015

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

twib22

Now: Horns ~ Joe Hill // Kiss Kiss ~ Roald Dahl

Loving Horns! It has one of the best first pages of a book, ever. If I hadn’t have already seen the film, it would have blown my mind. I’m also still working on my lunch-time read which is a selection of Roald Dahl’s short stories for adults.

Then: The Ring of Morgana ~ Donna Hosie

I loved this one too! Review will up next week sometime.

Next: ???

I’m going to work on getting control of my review request list! I don’t know what’s first yet…

New on the Shelf

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews) and Friday Finds hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Purchased: I caved on my book-buying ban this week, but I only bought one book, The Dark Heroine, and it was from a charity shop, so it doesn’t count right?

darkheroine
One moment can change your life forever…

For Violet Lee, a chance encounter on a darkened street draws her into a world beyond her wildest imaginings, a timeless place of vast elegance and immeasurable wealth – of beautiful mansions and lavish parties – where a decadent group of friends live for pleasure alone. A place from which there is no escape…no matter how hard Violet tries.

Yet all the riches in the world can’t mask the darkness that lies beneath the gilded surface, embodied in the charismatic but dangerous Kaspar Varn.

Violet and Kaspar surrender to a passion that transcends their separate worlds – but it’s a passion that comes at a price…

Netgalley: I didn’t make any requests this week.

Borrowed/Other: I got a freebie from work as it was being withdrawn from stock and I liked the sound of it…Bloodstorm by Sam Millar.

bloodstorm

Karl Kane is a private investigator with a dark past. As a child, he witnessed the brutal rape & murder of his mother.

Years later, Karl has a chance to avenge his mother’s murder by killing the man responsible. But he allows the opportunity to slip by, & two days later, two girls are sexually molested & then murdered by the killer.

I’m Waiting on…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

Court of Fives ~ Kate Elliot

At this point, I’m not sure if this sounds amazing or awful, but I really want to find out! #DystopiaOverload

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Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But at night she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for The Fives, an intricate, multi-level athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best competitors. Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an unlikely friendship between a girl of mixed race and a Patron boy causes heads to turn. When a scheming lord tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test Kal’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a powerful clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.

Expected publication: August 18th 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

New on the Wishlist

I saw The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer on the great yAdult Review and had to add it to my wishlist.

cemeteryboys

Part Hitchcock, part Hinton, this first-ever stand-alone novel from Heather Brewer, New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series, uses classic horror elements to tell a darkly funny coming-of-age story about the dangerous power of belief and the cost of blind loyalty.

When Stephen’s dad says they’re moving, Stephen knows it’s pointless to argue. They’re broke from paying Mom’s hospital bills, and now the only option left is to live with Stephen’s grandmother in Spencer, a backward small town that’s like something out of The Twilight Zone. Population: 814.

Stephen’s summer starts looking up when he meets punk girl Cara and her charismatic twin brother, Devon. With Cara, he feels safe and understood—and yeah, okay, she’s totally hot. In Devon and his group, he sees a chance at making real friends. Only, as the summer presses on, and harmless nights hanging out in the cemetery take a darker turn, Stephen starts to suspect that Devon is less a friend than a leader. And he might be leading them to a very sinister end.

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #ThisWeekInBooks, and I’ll come and visit!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Hyped Books I’ve Never Read

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Top Ten Hyped Books I’ve Never Read.

Oh, the hype monster. We all love to hate it don’t we? Over-hyped books do usually put me off, I’m not gonna lie, and there are so many of them that I haven’t read because of just that. There are however, also some hyped books that I realllllly want to read but just haven’t got round to. So I split my list up into those two categories.

Hyped Books I’ll Probably Never Read

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Hyped Books I Do Want to Read

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  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  • Fangirl & Eleanor and Park
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses
  • Wonder
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • Fearless by Devon Hartford

    fearless
    Title: Fearless
    Author: Devon Hartford
    Series: (The Story of Sam Smith #1)
    Edition: Kindle, 346 pages
    Publication Details: July 26th 2013 by Devon Hartford
    Genre(s): Romance; New Adult
    Disclosure? Nope, I bought it (for free)!

    Goodreads // Amazon

    After moving from stuffy Washington D.C. to laid back San Diego, Samantha Smith hopes to shed her troubled past and reinvent herself as a freshman at San Diego University.

    Her parents are pressuring her to major in Accounting, because it’s the safe thing to do. But Samantha really wants to try something more adventurous, and secretly dreams of ditching the business major to study Art instead.

    When she crosses paths with a handsome tattoo-clad bad boy, her life is turned upside down, and Samantha finds herself with more adventure than she ever dreamed possible.

    Review


    This was the first book I downloaded to Kindle for free and it’s taken me this long to get round to reading it. And, to be perfectly honest, the only reason I picked it up now, was because I wanted a fun, trashy beach read for my holiday.

    Woooo, is all I can say – Fearless was so much better than I expected; I couldn’t put it down, and it was the PERFECT selection to escape with on a hot, sweaty beach.

    Sam Smith has issues. Secrets that she hasn’t shared with anyone, not even her family, and this burden has changed her as a person. Not only is she closed off, but she also overcompensates for whatever it is that she’s done by making her parents happy and going to school to become an accountant, even if it’s the most boring career she can think of.

    Everything is going fine until she spills boiling coffee down herself whilst driving, and almost hits another car. The driver is not happy and becomes aggressive towards a traumatised Sam. Enter Adonis, yes you heard that correctly, Adonis [insert laughter and eye-rolling here]!

    It’s not really as simple as hunky god-like, motorcycle-driving, tattooed bad-boy saves the day, and falls for serious Samantha, who then have hot, rampant sex. But it’s not far off.

    However, what was surprising about this book, was how invested I became in the characters. Adonis, who thankfully goes by a much less ridiculous name later in the book, is a dark, brooding type with ghosts of his own. I loved that we very slowly see his softer side, and watch his shell peel off, layer by layer. I’m sorry, but a man with tattoos who cries in your arms…hot right? I also loved the whole artist thing, and found his relationship with his famous artist dad really interesting.

    Fearless isn’t the type of book I read a lot. I was expecting a lot more sex, and a lot less intrigue, which I think is why I enjoyed it so much. It had layers!

    Sam and Christos (yeah OK, so it might have reminded me of Frozen a lot, but it’s still better than Adonis!) might just be my new favourite book-couple. I need to find out what they get up to next, and what Christos’ deal really is!

    unicorn rating 4

    Fearless, is still available to download for free, at Amazon!

    Lazy Saturday Review: There is no Dog by Meg Rosoff

    thereisnodog
    Title: There is no Dog
    Author: Meg Rosoff
    Series: N/A
    Edition: Hardback, 243 pages
    Publication Details: May 1st 2012 by Puffin Books
    Genre(s): YA
    Disclosure? Nope, I bought it!

    Goodreads // Purchase

    Imagine that God is a typical teenage boy. He is lazy, careless, self-obsessed, sex-mad – and about to meet Lucy, the most beautiful girl on earth. Unfortunately, whenever Bob falls in love, disaster follows. Let us pray that Bob does not fall in love with Lucy.

    Review


    I’ve been wanting to read more Rosoff since I saw her at YALC last year, and read How I Live Now shortly after. I loved that book, it was full of big ideas, complex themes and was completely absorbing; Unfortunately, I didn’t feel quite the same with There is no Dog!

    I thought the synopsis sounded amazing, what if God was a lazy-ass, petulant, teenage boy whose sole goal in life is to get his end away? Amazing right? Gahhh it really should have been, but instead it was just…weird.

    It has all these great ideas, but they never seemed to go anywhere. I felt like this was a neat little short story that had been dragged out and the meaning got lost somewhere.

    Don’t get me wrong, it was entertaining and often funny, but it could have been so much more!

    unicorn rating 2