My Two Favourite Books So Far This Year…

Sometimes, I surprise myself! I never imagined that I would enjoy reading a fantasy/mystical-style book, let alone find myself grieving when I reached the end and wanting to give it more than 5 stars.

Now, I appreciate that I am more of a dark, suspense-style writer (and reader), but I simply have to share my reviews on these two books, which blew me away.

FIRST UP… 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

 

5 STARS 🌟
ERIN MORGENSTERN is the author of The Night Circus, a number-one national bestseller that has been sold worldwide and translated into thirty-seven languages. She has a degree in theatre from Smith College and lives in Massachusetts.

The Stuff Dreams Are Made of

I don’t usually read fantasy, but this book was chosen for our book club. I am so glad it was since it was a magical and intriguing story that took me on a journey of pure escapism. The book is like an adult’s version of Harry Potter, minus the wizards.

The story revolves around the Cirque Reveurs, a mystical circus that arrives unannounced and opens from dusk until dawn. The circus features an array of black-and-white tents that transport its customers into a magical wonderland—without a clown in sight!

The author’s imagination and descriptions are awe-inspiring. She mixes the natural and mystical worlds, immersing the reader in a dream-like world with magicians and acrobats with special hidden powers.

The characters are all intriguing and well-written. There is the clockmaker, the contortionist, the young twins and many more. But by far the best are the two main characters, Celia Bowen and Marco Alisdair. These two are on a mission to win a mysterious challenge using their magical skill sets. Two previous competitors set the challenge, with the circus as the battle arena.

I found myself captivated, and despite the book’s length, it whisked me away into a world where time seemed to stand still. Describing the content and storyline proves challenging; this book must be read and experienced to grasp its full beauty.

Feeling disappointed upon reaching the end, I likened it to waking from a beautiful dream I wished wouldn’t end.

 


Midwitch Two

The second book in ‘The Midwitch Series’

by Author D J Bowman-Smith

 

DJ is an author I know personally, and I initially read ‘Midwitch One’ to support her. I absolutely loved it, and you can find my review of the previous book here: https://nikkirodwell.co.uk/the-mid-witch-book-review/

Well, she has done it again! I was hesitant to read the second Midwitch book because I was worried it would not live up to the first in the series. I was wrong. Midwitch Two only improves as we delve into Lilly’s crazy world at North Star Cottage. I read this book in twenty-four hours, which is an unusual feat for me, as is laughing out loud while reading.

In Midwitch Two, Lilly is adjusting to her newfound magical power and the responsibility it brings. The mysterious ‘Coven’ adds an exciting and intriguing element to the narrative, with characters that tread the line between trustworthiness and deceit. The author’s imagination resembles J K Rowling’s with her wizarding world, albeit she writes about witches. 

Hidden libraries, magical books, spells, and hexes captivated me, as if under a spell!

Lilly’s life continues to be chaotic, absurd, and sometimes hilariously funny. Perhaps I am the ideal target reader, but I could totally relate to this menopausal woman and the situations she found herself in. Beware, though…  this is no children’s book!  The sex scenes are raunchy, hot-sweat-inducing, and will leave you feeling flushed and breathless. Lilly’s love life continues to be disastrous until she gets together with ‘Grant’, whom I fell head over heels for! However, as with everything in her life, this is not plain sailing.

This book is expertly written, drawing you in and keeping you there until the very end. It is a warm, cosy read that is highly entertaining and heart-warmingly funny. It is impossible not to fall in love with Lilly and her familiars, Ink, Maud and Claudia. If you love greyhounds, this is a must-read!

The ending was slightly frustrating, but that may be because I didn’t want it to end. However, if the author intended to leave me chomping at the bit for the final book in the series, then job done!