Category Archives: Fantasy

Blog Tour: Tattoo of Crimson by Sarah Chislon

Tattoo of Crimson
Sarah Chislon
(Blood of the Fae, #1)
Publication date: January 17th 2023
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Mystery

Society, suitors, and…serial murders?

As much as she desires to please her family, gently-bred herbalist Jessa Caldwell has no intention of making a suitable match—not when she’s seeking the truth about the taint of the fae that lies within her. If she’s to escape the madness brought on by fae-touch, she must devote her energies to seeking a cure.

But then mysterious tattoos begin to appear on the citizens of Avons. None recall receiving these harbingers of death, but all die at the hand of an untraceable killer days or weeks after being marked.

When the tattoo appears on her beloved mentor, Jessa seeks the Magistry with information on the case—yet they refuse to consider her findings, so she must risk both social censure and her own safety to hunt for the killer herself.

Her one possible ally represents her greatest fear—the encroaching Otherworld consuming her mind—and may well undo all her efforts to control her fae-touch. Yet if she forsakes the offered aid, the killer will go free.

Something sinister stalks the streets of her city, and she must decide…how far will she go to stop the killing?

Tattoo of Crimson, a gaslamp fantasy novel, is the first book in the Blood of the Fae series. If you like quick-minded heroines who solve cases with logic and intuition, beautiful yet deadly fae, and Otherworldly intrigues, then you’ll love this mystery set in a world of manners and mythical monsters.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Author Bio:

Sarah Chislon lives in Virginia with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing, she’s homeschooling her children and running a web development business with her husband. As an avid reader and a lifelong story-weaver, she delights in creating fantastic worlds and exploring them alongside her characters.

To find out more about her, visit sarahchislon.com.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram

My Blurb (3.5/5 stars)

Gosh, I just love that beautiful cover! I’m not a big fan of the fae in novels but I couldn’t help myself with this one. The premise itself hints at more of a mystery in a fantasy world so I thought this could be something I’d like.

Jessa Caldwell is an easily likeable character though parts of her is a mystery and still a mystery at the end of the book – I’m keen to explore this in the next book in the series. The novel is more like a murder mystery in a fantasy world though similar enough world to ours but with magic and magical creatures. There were some rather dark scenes but overall, it was a fairly easy and engaging read. The only complaint I had was the lack of romance or maybe it was just sooo slow burning that I can barely feel it. Nevertheless, looking forward to book 2 to explore more of this world!

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A Restless Truth by Freya Marske -a review

a restless truthA Restless Truth (The Last Binding #2) by Freya Marske

Knives Out meets The Binding in this historical romp full of magic, romance and adventure.

Maud Blyth has always longed for adventure. She’d hoped for plenty of it when she agreed to help her beloved older brother unravel a magical conspiracy. She even volunteered to serve as an old lady’s companion on an ocean liner. But Maud didn’t expect the old lady to turn up dead on the very first day of the voyage.

Now she has to deal with a dead body, a disrespectful parrot, and the lovely, dangerously outrageous Violet Debenham. Violet is everything Maud has been trained to distrust, yet can’t help but desire: a magician, an actress and a magnet for scandal.

Surrounded by open sea and a ship full of suspects, Maud and Violet must learn to drop the masks they’ve learned to wear. Only then might they work together to locate a magical object worth killing for – and unmask a murderer. All without becoming dead in the water themselves.

Published 10 November 2022 |  Publisher: Pan Macmillan  |  RRP: AUD$34.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)

I just adored A Marvellous Light so I was excited to continue the series even if I’m not quite keen on series where each instalment has different protagonist. I wanted to see the overarching mystery through. Plus, I really do like the magical system which in this book  was even more developed.

This novel opens as Maud is returning to England from America; undercover as a companion to an elderly lady. Immediately we are confronted with murder and Maud’s insistence on solving this mystery. Of course, she has help from expected corners (thanks to certain visions) and more, she encounters her first romantic experience.

A Restless Truth makes a rather enjoyable and light read but unfortunately, it lacks certain sparks that makes A Marvellous Light absolutely adorable. The complex layering mystery was intriguing but I just couldn’t get into this pairing. Yes, there were a number of spicy scenes along with romantic ones but strangely, I was more touched by the ending with Maud’s homecoming scene. I think this is probably me… I get too attached to the original protagonist from the first book that it’s really hard for me to like anyone else! Although, I am hoping the third book will be a certain bad boy lord! I can totally get into that one. His appearance in this novel has intrigued me. I’d like to know his past.

My thanks to Pan Macmillan for ecopy of book via NetGalley in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find author on:  goodreads  |  websiteinstagramtwitter

Blog Tour: The North Wind by Alexandria Warwick – review + giveaway INT

The North Wind
Alexandria Warwick
(The Four Winds, #1)
Publication date: January 13th 2022
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance

Lush. Dark. Romantic. Introducing a newly reimagined tale written in the vein of Beauty and the Beast and Hades and Persephone.

Long before civilization, there were the gods. And before the gods, there was the earth, the celestial bodies, and air given flesh. They are the Anemoi—the Four Winds—and they have been banished to the four corners of the world.

Wren of Edgewood is no stranger to suffering. Her parents are gone. Survival is all she knows. For three hundred years, the land known as the Gray has been encased in ice, surrounded by a great barrier called the Shade, which protects the townsfolk from the Deadlands beyond.

But day by day, the Shade weakens.

Only one thing can stop the Shade’s fall: a mortal woman taken captive across the barrier, bound in wedlock to the dark god who reigns over the Deadlands. He is the North Wind, the Frost King, an immortal whose heart is said to be as frigid as the land he rules.

And the time has come for the Frost King to choose his bride.

The North Wind is a standalone, enemies-to-lovers fantasy romance, the first in a series sprinkled with Greek lore. Perfect for fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout, Laura Thalassa, and Scarlett St. Clair.

Goodreads / Amazon


Author Bio:

Alexandria Warwick is the #1 fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender. She is the author of The Demon Race and the North series.

Website / Goodreads / Newsletter / Instagram


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My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

I’m always up for a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and anything related to it, really. The North Wind has elements of it but it also drew from other fairy tales and/or mythologies. It’s really a hodgepodge of takes of a variety of tales but that’s okay, it’s still an intriguing world with a strong protagonist and a fascinating love story.

A tense opening which introduced readers to just how dangerous this world is; not only from monster but also starvation as the world is slowly being crushed by continuous winter. This is a big part of the mystery, of course, as we are then introduced to the Frost King who required an offering of a young woman. Our protagonist, Wren, is not one of those on offering but her action brought her to his attention. There follows some enemies-to-lovers dynamics and some truly sloooow burn.

While I’m not usually keen on enemies-to-lovers, I do love a good slow burn romance. There is such a thing as being too slow though and I did find it that this one was rather a long story which could probably edited to make it sharper & faster paced. The world building was detailed but I find myself with questions in relation to the magic system. Overall, I love the romance but there could be some tidying up on some parts.

My thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for this copy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

The King of Koraha by Maria V. Snyder -a review

the king of korahaThe King of Koraha (Archives of the Invisible Sword #3) by Maria V. Snyder

Shyla fears for her life when the King unexpectedly summons her, but the true reason proves to be even more terrifying… The nail-biting finale of the award-winning fantasy series by New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder.

‘You can join me or you can die.’

Hard on the heels of trouble in Zirdai city, Shyla Sun-Kissed and Rendor are ordered to report to the King of Koraha – a summons that is deadly to ignore. The King holds the key to Koraha’s existence, but a formidable new enemy threatens Koraha’s very survival and the King desperately needs Shyla and Rendor’s help.

Wielding a terrifying and unknown magical power that can convert opponents into devoted soldiers, the mysterious army is hellbent on usurping the crown. Shyla and Rendor are tasked with discovering who in the seven hells these insurgents are. And what their real endgame is.

Trekking through the punishing conditions across the searing surface of Koraha, and facing numerous unseen foes and untold danger, they must follow the clues to uncover the truth before it’s too late. The fate of the King and all the citizens of Koraha rests in their hands…

Published 1 December 2021|  Publisher: Harlequin Australia  |  RRP: AUD$19.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)

Nearing the end of book 2, The City of Zirdai, I was confused because everything seems to be sorted but this was supposed to be a trilogy! Of course, if you’ve read book 2, you’d have come across the little tidbit at the end which brings us to this third and final book of the series, The King of Koraha. What is obvious to me is that I’ve been so focused on the little bit of this world, Zirdai, while Maria V. Snyder is concerned on the whole universe, Koraha. The problem that we encountered in books 1 & 2, in Zirdai, is not contained… it is part of a bigger problem which needed to be fixed. Who better than the Invisible Sword!?

Shyla and Rendor led the way to investigate this threat to Koraha. As always, Shyla inadvertently walked herself into trouble. This was a bit frustrating to read but a good laugh for after because really, it’s part of her charm. And I just love how her Invisible Sword friends (Rendor included) banded together to support her and each other. In the end, the story is brought full circle back to the first book as Shyla accepted that fact that “with great power comes great responsibility”.

The King of Koraha definitely will not disappoint fans; so many twists and turns as per Snyder’s trademark where each chapter ends with another question that readers will want immediate answers to, this is a unputdownable finale. With plenty of romantic moments between Shyla and Rendor, this turned out to be a very heartwarming read 😉

My thanks to Harlequin Australia for this paperback copy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find author on:  goodreads  |  website  | facebook  | instagram

Dance of a Burning Sea (Mousai #2) by E.J. Mellow -a review

dance of a burning seaDance of a Burning Sea (Mousai #2) by E.J. Mellow

From award-winning author E. J. Mellow comes the thrilling second installment in the Mousai series, featuring a powerful sorceress who finds her loyalties tested by a ruthless pirate lord.

Within the world of Aadilor, there is a hidden place called the Thief Kingdom, where both magic and pleasure abound. There, the Mousai, a trio of deadly sorceresses bound by oath and blood, use their powers to protect the kingdom’s treasures.

Niya Bassette brings the potent gift of dance to the Mousai, but behind her tempting twirls, she carries a heavy secret—that the infamous pirate lord, Alōs Ezra, has been threatening to exploit for years. Now banished from the Thief Kingdom for smuggling, Alōs resurfaces in Niya’s life with a plot to hold her hostage, leveraging what he knows to extort a pardon from the Thief King.

But Niya makes her own deal with Alōs to guard her secret and guarantee her freedom—yet in doing so binds herself aboard his pirate ship, where she must navigate deadly waters, a bloodthirsty crew, and her own traitorous heart. Soon, a simmering attraction between her and Alōs threatens their delicate truce and makes for a tumultuous ride on the open seas. Far from her kingdom, Niya is entangled in a dangerous dance indeed.

Welcome to the world of Aadilor, where dark deeds can mask noble hearts and the most alluring of sways often ends with a burn. Care for a spin?

Published 19 October 2021|  Publisher: Montlake  |  RRP: AUD$22.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s   |  QBD

My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

Pirates!! One of the most romanticised swashbuckling hero characterisation and yet, I also can’t help myself but swoon over a broody handsome pirate. I love a good piratical romance especially one imbued with a good dose of magic just like this novel is. Dance of a Burning Sea is a novel of secrets, betrayals, love, and forgiveness.

I enjoyed the first book of this trilogy, Song of the Forever Rains, which was Larkyra’s (youngest of the sisters) story and am curious about the rest of sisters. I am more curious about Arabessa but that’ll be the third & last book. While I am intrigued by Alōs Ezra, the pirate lord, I wasn’t particularly keen on Niya. Perhaps it’s because she will be one of those people I try to avoid IRL. She says it as she sees it plus she’s also a very angry character and I started to really enjoy the story.. I struggle quite a bit with angry protagonists so the first 30% of the book was a drag to me; a lot happen in this first third of the story so at least, Niya started to develop as a character. At the end of the book, she has matured so much to be unrecognisable… almost.

Dance of a Burning Sea is a hefty sequel (511 pages!!) and while I enjoyed this fantastical world, I found the romance to drag a bit (or maybe I’m just impatient) and I rather expect a big twist in the end which didn’t happen (like whatever twists throughout the book weren’t enough! lol) so I was a little disappointed. The romance ended up quite sweetly, however, so I am happy. Now, I absolutely cannot wait to get to Arabessa’s story!

My thanks to Montlake for ecopy of book via NetGalley in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find her on:  goodreads  |  websitefacebook  |  instagram  |  twitter

Midnight in Everwood by M.A. Kuzniar -a review

midnight in everwoodMidnight in Everwood by M.A. Kuzniar

In the darkness of night, magic awaits…

The Nutcracker for adults, perfect for fans of Robert Dinsdale’s The Toymakers, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus and Stephanie Garber’s Caraval

’It was a rainy day that the magic came, and once magic has entered your life, you stay in its glittering clutch forever’

Nottingham, 1906

Marietta Stelle longs to be a ballerina but as Christmas draws nearer, her dancing days are numbered. At the wishes of her family, she will be obligated to marry and take up her place in society in the New Year. But when a mysterious toymaker, Dr Drosselmeier, purchases a neighbouring townhouse, it heralds the arrival of magic and wonder in her life. Although Drosselmeier’s magic is darker than Marietta could have imagined…

When he constructs an elaborate theatrical set for her final ballet performance, Marietta discovers it carries a magic all of its own. As the clock chimes midnight, Marietta finds herself walking through a land of snow-topped fir trees leading to a frozen sugar palace silent with secrets and must find a way to return home.

In the darkness of night, magic awaits and you will never forget what you find here…

Published 27 October 2021|  Publisher: Harlequin Australia  |  RRP: AUD$29.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)

A gorgeous cover and who doesn’t love story of The Nutcracker, Midnight in Everwood is a scrumptious delight combining dreams, love, and magic. A protagonist who loves to dance and dares to dream. A world full of glitter and luscious delectable desserts. Strong female characters who persevere and fight for their freedom.

Ballet resides in your bones; it courses through your blood. For a dancer, it is the very essence of our identity, stripped down to its rawest, most intrinsic parts; you cannot leave it behind no more than you could forsake your own soul. Feel it. Feel the exquisite pain that comes from the purest form of love, for that is what it means to dance ballet.

This tale is told from the perspective of the ballerina, Marietta Stelle, as she struggles between her dreams of dancing and her parents’ expectations of an advantageous marriage. An encounter with a mysterious new neighbour caused her to stumble into a truly magical world which at the start reminds me very much of Narnia. However, this world holds its own darkness disguised under a blinding crisp shiny surface.

A very easy read with a likeable protagonist who developed a backbone and an enchanting magical universe; Midnight in Everwood is a wonderful and dreamy read -perfect for that Christmas vibe.

My thanks to Harlequin Australia for this paperback copy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find author on:  goodreads  |  twitter  | instagram

The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker -a review

the keeper of the nightThe Keeper of Night (The Keeper of Night #1) by Kylie Lee Baker

I am too dangerous to let live any longer.

It is written in the Book of Ankou, decreed by the High Reaper himself.

Death will come to find me…but I will no longer be there.

Half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami, Ren Scarborough has been collecting souls in the London streets for centuries. Expected to obey the harsh hierarchy of the Reapers, who despise her due to her mysterious mother and even more mysterious Shinigami powers, Ren conceals her emotions and avoids her tormentors as best she can.

When her failure to control her developing Shinigami abilities drives Ren out of London, she flees to Japan in search of the acceptance she’s never gotten from her fellow Reapers. Accompanied by her younger brother, the only being on earth to care for her, Ren enters Yomi, the Japanese underworld, to serve the Goddess of Death…only to learn that here, too, she must prove herself worthy.

Determined to earn respect, Ren accepts an impossible task — find and eliminate three dangerous Yokai demons. With help from only her brother and a new ally who might be less than trustworthy, Ren will learn how far she’ll go to claim her place at Death’s side.

Published 27 October 2021|  Publisher: Harlequin Australia  |  RRP: AUD$19.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)

As I grew up reading a tonne of manga, I’m always keen for any Japanese inspired fantasy novels. The Keeper of Night is a beguiling tale, set in the beginning of the 19th century Japan, of a mixed race child seeking her place and identity in worlds that neither recognise nor welcome her.

The story is told solely from main protagonist’s, Ren’s, view, so readers are privy to all her thoughts; from her confusion as to her identity, her desperate dream to feel that she belongs, to her destructive intent to do and sacrifice all to be loved. By definition, Ren is a monster without any feelings but, in fact, she feels too much and darkness is ever encroaching. In her journey, she is accompanied by her half brother who loves her & wants the best for her and an enigmatic ally who appears to also wants her to have what she wants but why is he being so helpful?

I found author’s prose to be beautiful and I have really enjoyed this book. There was just something mesmerizing even if, now that I’ve finished and am reflecting upon the it, it was all very heartbreaking and very very dark. As a migrant myself, I can sort of sympathise with protagonist’s struggle in seeking her place of belonging though I obviously have no wish to do the things she did! That twist at the very end just crushed me. I look forward to its conclusion in the next book.

My thanks to Harlequin Australia for this paperback copy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find author on:  goodreads  |  website  |  twitter  | instagram

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao -a review

iron widowIron Widow (Iron Widow #1) by Xiran Jay Zhao

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.

When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​

To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed. 

Published 28 September 2021|  Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia  |  RRP: AUD$18.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)

But I have no faith in love. Love cannot save me.

I choose vengeance.

Kickass cover and a premise of a futuristic world inspired by Chinese historical personages and mythologies?! Bring it On! I was totally excited to start reading this book and before, I knew it, I have read for over an hour and 100+ pages have flown by. I was completely drawn into this world that has giant transforming robots and traditional Chinese fashion (I’m most fascinated by the hairdos!).

I hate the way I’ve contorted myself into what people think a girl should be, ready to please, ready to serve.

Yet I love the power it’s given me, a power that lies in being underestimated, in wearing assumptions as a disguise.

Each chapter was quite short but packed full of plot. The story just kept going and it was really hard to put down. The one thing that really surprised me in this first 100 pages was the protagonist’s anger. I knew she was after revenge (see book description) but she wasn’t just red hot with anger but she was blazing white with rage. Despite her tough exterior though, there were little peeps into her vulnerability and real person she is, if she just can be. These were developed a little further on in the book as she continued to fight for her right to live.

…there’s not a stratum of the world that doesn’t need girls. Maybe we’re devalued precisely because we’re so valuable. The world is too afraid of not being able to obtain and control us to respect our true worth.

And while our protagonist, Wu Zetian, fights to live, she also fights humanity’s enemies so she is surrounded my enemies without and within. Yet, there are some who truly cares about her and as she fights for herself, her ‘sisters’, and humanity, she drew those she loved closer to her. 

Love can be infinite, as much as your heart can open.

Iron Widow is a fast-paced immersive novel with twist upon twist (there is even a twist on the last page of the book!) that will keep you up past your bedtime. A truly gripping fantastical universe and I cannot wait for the sequel.

My thanks to Read3rz Re-Vu & Bloomsbury Australia for this copy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find author on:  goodreads  |  website  |  twitter  |  instagram

The One Impossible Labyrinth by Matthew Reilly -a review

the one impossible labyrinthThe One Impossible Labyrinth (Jack West Jr #7) by Matthew Reilly

THE END IS HERE

Jack West Jr has made it to the Supreme Labyrinth.

Now he faces one last race – against multiple rivals, against time, against the collapse of the universe itself – a headlong race that will end at a throne inside the fabled labyrinth.

AN IMPOSSIBLE MAZE

But the road will be hard.

For this is a maze like no other: a maze of mazes. Uncompromising and complex. Demanding and deadly.

A CATACLYSMIC CONCLUSION

It all comes down to this.

For it ends here – now – in the most lethal and dangerous place Jack has encountered in all of his many adventures. And in the face of this indescribable peril, with everything on the line, there is only one thing he can do.

Attempt the impossible.

Published 12 October 2021|  Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia  |  RRP: AUD$39.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)

It’s finally here!! The finale! Jack West Jr. is finally going to tackle the final challenge and of course, be the ultimate victor in this race. No spoilers but I think we all know who’s going to win in this novel, right? The good guy! Yep, this one is completely a roller coaster feel good sort of read. And coming right at the end of Sydney lockdown, #winning !!

As followers of series would expect, this last book in the series is chock-a-block full of action. If things aren’t exploding, it’s raining bullets. If you’re not being shot at, you’re running through a maze full of life threatening traps. I seriously feel like I couldn’t read fast enough; my eyes couldn’t keep up with how fast the action is taking place in my brain. The team is split into several groups and while, Jack’s team is the primary focus, there were switches in views. I do feel like it’s an action blockbuster movie that I’m “seeing” only in my head.

While I loved following their adventures; the twists on mythologies and each book always action-packed, I also find it to be a bit predictable in one particular way. That is, never believe that someone died unless their corpses are actually presented to you on the page lol. And in this way, I didn’t waste a tear at all.

All my life I’ve watched you and wondered what it is that makes you a hero. And I figured it out: it’s trying when nobody else thinks it’s even worth trying, when the odds really are stacked against you or when your friends and family are taken away from you.

That is why fans love Jack West Jr. and always, without fail, cheer for him and his team. And in centre of things, he fought for humanity so in the end, we all win. The One Impossible Labyrinth is an unmissable finale. Read It!

My thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for this copy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find author on:  goodreads  |  website  |  facebook  |  twitter  |  instagram

South of the Sun: Australian Fairy Tales for the 21st Century -a review

South of the SunSouth of the Sun: Australian Fairy Tales for the 21st Century

This is an enchanting illustrated book of fairy tales – but not the kind you read to children at bedtime.

They are strictly for the grown-ups. Often dark, the stories visit places where things don’t end happily ever after, where a single decision can haunt you forever.

But there are also tales to make you laugh out loud, stories of sweet revenge and scenes of sheer delight in the world of magic and the fey.

All the stories, lyrics and poems have something in common, a contemporary edge. Even those set in earlier times have a modern sensibility that reflects the 21st century and celebrates Australian landscapes, characters and voices.

Discover stories from emerging talent and leading award-winning Australian writers including Carmel Bird, Sophie Masson, Cate Kennedy and Eugen Bacon, along with artwork by foremost illustrators such as Lorena Carrington and Kathleen Jennings.

So if you’re ready – once upon a time …

Published April 2021|  Publisher: Australian Fairy Tale Society |  RRP: AUD$35.00

Buy it at: Serenity Press 

My Blurb (4.5 / 5 stars)

I was absolutely curious of just what “Australian Fairy Tales” could be. These would not be Dreaming Time as that is sacred to our First Nations but then what could it be?! The answer was a makeover of familiar tales; freshly dressed in Aussie fashion.

the cultural art of apparently mocking someone while still being warm and friendly. -The Lonely Mosque by Yvette Ladzinski

I loved how these tales were retold in such familiar and beloved setting with mentions of wattles, gum trees, red soil, etc and some with very exaggerated Aussie way of speaking. I especially adore the multicultural references included in these stories whether it be selkies of Irish descent or Vietnamese Pork Roll.

Some of the stories are as traditional as they get as cautionary tales. There was one story about a young girl walking on her own in a quiet ‘blackout’ zone and sending GPS (Grandmother Please Save) signal. But, there are also stories which were just flipped inside out where heroines are strong and aren’t afraid to flex their right to act and save themselves. I love these best!

Being the hero doesn’t make you brave. – The Last Bastion by Marianna Shek

There were just so many stories cleverly twisted to fit into our current world with its own social commentaries. There was a Pied Piper who was engaged to clear out certain creepy crawlies from Melbourne and my favourite of all of this whole book, Jack & the Beanstalk “because the NBN is rubbish”.

The giant didn’t stand a chance. The bureaucrats wrapped him up in red tape in no time at all. – Jack, The Beanstalk and the NBN by Lindy Mitchell-Nilsson

I honestly didn’t expect to enjoy this book so much! The beautiful setting, strong heroines, and “new” but old stories. They made me cheer for their courage, frown at how dark parts of our world is, but best of all, they made me laugh out loud for sheer cheekiness. I’d highly recommend this collection of stories to all!

My thanks to publisher for ecopy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts