March Book Reviews

Slightly late posting these as I was away at the end of the month but here it is, my round-up of everything I’ve read in the lovely month of March!

First up,

A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan

Blurb:

“‘It’s true, ma petite. If they know – if they discover what we are – they will try to kill us’

Brittany, 1821. After Grand-mere Ursule gives her life to save her family, their magic seems to die with her. Even so, the Orchieres fight to keep the old ways alive, practising half-remembered spells and arcane rites in hopes of a revival. And when their youngest daughter comes of age, magic flows anew. The lineage continues, though new generations struggle not only to master their power, but also to keep it hidden.

But when World War II looms on the horizon, magic is needed more urgently than ever – not for simple potions or visions, but to change the entire course of history.

A Secret History of Witches is a moving historical saga that traces five generations of fiercely powerful mothers and daughters – witches whose magical inheritance is both a dangerous threat and an extraordinary gift.”

Loved this book! It’s beautifully written and every character through each generation is so well fleshed out that they each felt real to me. The characters are strong, flawed and at times very frustrating but all unique. I found some of the Orchierre women’s stories more gripping than others and have to admit I found the Queen Elizabeth/ War scenario a little bit far fetched but it’s so lushly written that I can forgive it. A heart-breaking and bitter sweet read.

Four stars ****

Next,

Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness

Blurb: Continue reading “March Book Reviews”

February Book Reviews

Been a little bit slower on my reading this month as there’s been quite a lot going on and I’ve really been pushing to finish my latest draft of The Cauldron Born so only two finished reads this month.

First up, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omen’s:

I really enjoyed this book, it’s a lot of fun and a really interesting, original concept. I loved the quirky characters and it’s beautifully written. There are some very funny moments and one liners that had me chuckling to myself. The only thing I would say is that it’s a little bit slow in places and I found myself losing interest a bit towards the end but overall, definitely recommend it! Very much looking forward to Prime Video version, the cast looks amazing.

My other read this month was V.E Schwab’s A Gathering of Shadows, the sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic:

This was another very enjoyable read, as evidenced by the fact that I devoured all 500 pages of it in about 3 days. I think I actually liked it even more than the first instalment. V.E Schwab weaves a beautiful, lush and believable world that is very easy to sink into and get immersed in. I loved Lila’s adventures on the pirate…ahem..sorry…privateer ship and found a new favourite character in Alucard Emery. Not ashamed to admit that I kinda shipped him and Lila for a minute there. Lilalucard? He was a fun, interesting character and I found I wanted more of his scenes. I was a little disappointed that he wasn’t actually a vampire. I mean, c’mon, his name is Alucard.
Anyhoo, there were a few niggly annoying things about this book. The main one for me being the use of the “not like other girls” trope with Lila which seemed to be emphasised a lot more heavily in this one than the first. It just seemed like the author should kinda know better, particularly in a book with so many cool and powerful female competitors in the tournament who are barely brushed on. Kisimyr, anyone? But no, all girls like dresses and Lila is one of a kind because she prefers knives. K.
I also found some of the whining from Kel and Rhy a little bit tiresome in places. I totally get why they’re struggling. They’ve been through some major trauma. I just feel like we labour over it too much after it has already been made clear.
Overall though, it is superbly written and I found it very hard to put down.

So that’s my quick round-up of February reads. Up next I’m reading A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan.

About the Author

Author pic

Since I’m relaunching this blog after a long hiatus it seemed like a good time to introduce myself and put a face to the words. It’s also my birthday today so it seems fitting to make it all about me!

OK, just kidding, although it really is my birthday.

I’m Bethany Smith, an aspiring writer currently on the fourth round of edits on my first completed novel and around a quarter of the way through writing book 2. The series will be titled The Cauldron Born (hence the blog title) and it follows the misadventures of witch and reluctant heroine Cardinal Carrow. I write Urban Fantasy fiction, set in a parallel universe where magic and supernatural beings exist out in the open, alongside the regular human world. But more on that later.

As of today I’m 25 years old. I consider myself a typical Aquarius, I like to embrace my originality and unique, quirky side, I’m very independent and I have a strong dislike of injustice. I’m also a witch, gradually inching my toes out of the broom closet.

I’ve always loved to write and dreamed of being an author throughout my teenage years. Unfortunately, teenage me was a lot better at starting projects than finishing them so I have a desktop folder full of random scraps of stories but, up until finishing The Cauldron Born much later on, hadn’t actually managed to finish anything. Once I’d started college my interested in writing drifted away and moved onto film. But upon moving out in my early twenties and finally having my own space to get stuck into creative projects, my writing muse piped up and made herself known again and The Cauldron Born was…err….born. And so, two years later, here we are with a finished book. Exciting, huh?

I’m a major bookworm and love nothing more than getting lost in a good story. My favourite genre is fantasy, particularly urban fantasy but I’ll read pretty much anything. I’ll try to post the odd review on here. I’m doing the Goodreads challenge again this year and I’m hoping to keep up with last years goal of reading 50 books this year. Progress so far: 7 down, 43 to go!

I’m a garden nerd and get unreasonably excited about growing my own flowers, fruit and vegetables. This also fuels my love of cooking and, more importantly, eating! I’m researching and learning a little about herbalism at the moment and beginning to experiment with herbal medicine. One of my garden goals this year is to grow more medicinal plants to use at home. Watch this space to see how that goes!

For my day job, I work as a studio camera operator for our local BBC news station and freelance as a production assistant on a variety of projects, from documentary to short film and corporate video. I live with my boyfriend of 6 years in Nottingham, England, home of Robin Hood.

I can most often be found at my writing desk, drinking coffee, hunched over my tarot cards or, in fair weather, covered in mud out in the garden.

Please feel free to introduce yourself in the comments as I’d love to connect with fellow writers and bloggers.

Blessed be! x