Review: Tribe of Midnight by Iris Knox

I just finished listening to the audio book of Tribe of Midnight and I had to come straight here and tell you all how good it is. So please grab your beverage of choice, put your feet up, and enjoy as I tell you why you NEED to read this book.

In the Tribe of Dawn, one must always follow the rules:

Never steal from a neighbour
Never curse the skygods out loud
Never lie to the High Court
Never wander into the East woods alone
Never speak to an enemy clansman
Never approach the boundary
Never, ever cross the boundary

The rules must always be followed.

Lilian Utopiv is wandering through the woods alone one afternoon when she sees a boy across the boundary. She knows the rules. She knows what will happen if she breaks them.

With secrets unravelling at every turn, and an enemy tribe hungry for her blood, Lilian is pushed to her limits–physically, mentally, spiritually. Her enemies want her to be a coward. They want her to spill her secrets. They want her to turn on the Sungod she serves.

But she can’t. Or her tribe will pay with their lives.


Title: Tribe of Midnight (The Skygod Tribes, #1)

Author: Iris Knox

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Tribe-Midnight-Iris-Knox-ebook/dp/B09B941BG2/

Rating: 5 Stars (and if it was possible, I’d give it even more!)

Review: I have never been so mad that I didn’t write a book. Reading this book, I WISHED I had been the one who had written it, I loved it THAT much.

Aside from being mad at Iris Knox that she gets to be the one to claim this wonderful story as her own, what did I like? Well, for starters, the world building was incredible, the world Knox has created for this story is fully formed and described in rich detail, without being overwhelming or including too much exposition.

The two tribes, the Tribe of Dawn and the Tribe of Midnight, absolutely came to life for me, everything about them was so well thought through and described throughout the story. I felt as though I could have been standing right beside Lillian as she stumbles across the boundary and is taken prisoner by a warrior from the opposing tribe.

The plot pacing was perfect, fast enough to keep me interested from start to finish (it’s a relatively short book, at just 155 pages, or 4 and a half hours for the audio book) but never rushed. I grew to love Lilian for her strength and loyalty, and to hate Wyren for his cruelty, over the course of the book, and I loved discovering more of the Midnight Tribe’s city and culture as Lilian did.

This book is Romeo & Juliet meets Red Riding Hood meets epic fantasy, with elements of The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury, The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson, and a hint of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village. The enemies to lovers (more like enemies to even worse enemies) romance reminded me of Serpent & Dove (without the steam – or really even the romance), and I’m struggling to see how Wyren will ever redeem himself for his horrific actions in this book, if we’re ever to see Lilian and him fall in love in a future book. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a Darkling/Tamlin vibe, as I can’t forgive Wyren for his awful treatment of Lilian and I don’t think Lilian should either.

Tribe of Midnight sets the scene for what will be an absolutely incredible high fantasy series, with two rival tribes destined to do battle on the lavender fields every Solstice, and two fiercely loyal and skilled tribal warriors who will do anything to protect their people.

Only one wears a red cloak, but which one is the wolf? Read Tribe of Midnight and make up your own mind…

I listened to a free, review copy of the audio book (thanks Iris!), but I actually bought the ebook back when it first came out, and I’m so glad I have both. The audio, narrated by Cassondra Ladd was brilliant, with English and Scottish accents to distinguish the two tribes, and I’m definitely going to read the ebook before book two comes out (which will hopefully be very soon, please Iris!!) to reimmerse myself in this brutal and captivating world.

Happy reading,

Lyndsey

x

Three Thrillers to Get Your Blood Pumping This January

I’ve read a few thrillers/suspense novels recently as a foil to my YA romantic fantasy edits (The Solitary King comes out 31 Jan!!), so I thought I’d round up all of my reviews into one post. After all, if you’re a thriller fan you’d probably rather read one post about three (very different) books to see which sounds like your cup of tea, than three separate review posts, right?

Great, let’s go.

The Cottage by Lisa Stone – 3.5 stars

Jan needs a fresh start, she’s just lost her job and split from her boyfriend, so when she sees an ad looking for someone to house sit a remote cottage and look after the owner’s dog while she’s working abroad, Jan jumps at the chance. But before long, strange noises start to disturb her at night, and when someone dismantles the fence she puts up to stop foxes getting into the garden, she knows it can’t be an animal.

The Cottage sucked me in with the creepy cover and blurb, but it didn’t turn out to be as dark and thrilling as I’d hoped. It was definitely tense and I wanted to know what was really going on, but it was one of those stories where there’s a reasonable explanation for everything, and I had gone in wanting something a bit darker.

I guessed a few of the plot twists (occupational hazard of being a true crime obsessive), but some of them were genuine surprises and the story did keep me reading just to see what would happen in the end.

I know the author also writes non-fiction/true crime books and this did read almost like a memoir, I could believe everything that was happening was possible, which did make it all the more fascinating.

I’d recommend it if you’re looking for an easy, lighter read with a really interesting premise and a few shock twists, but it won’t keep you awake at night.


The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell – 4.5 stars

Libby just turned twenty-five and inherited a multi-million pound property, but more importantly she’s just discovered the truth – her parents were found dead in very suspicious circumstances, and she is the baby that was found happy and healthy in the cot while three bodies lay on the kitchen floor. Desperate to know what happened, she finds the journalist who wrote a recent article about the unsolved murders and together they dig into a history that only becomes more twisted and shocking the closer they get to the truth.

The Family Upstairs is told from three points of view, Libby and Lucy in the here and now, and Henry describing the events that led up to the three bodies being found in the house he shared with his sister (the aforementioned Lucy), their parents, and another family who came to stay and never left.

I loved the slow build up of tension in this book, I couldn’t take my eyes of Henry’s chapters as the happy family life he enjoyed as a child became increasingly strange and frightening, under the oppressive control of David Thomsen, a house guest who gradually took control over the entire household.

Between unreliable narrators and the slow, drip feed of information building the suspense throughout the book, I was absolutely glued to my seat, especially for the final few chapters. I was a little bit disappointed by the conclusion, but now there’s a sequel coming this summer, The Family Remains (which can apparently be read as standalone) and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Without giving too much away, I highly recommend this book if you love true crime, particularly podcasts and documentaries about cults.


The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley – 5 stars

Seven friends go to a remote Scottish hunting lodge for New Year, and only six of them survive. Every single one of them is hiding something, including the staff, but who is the body at the bottom of the waterfall, and how did they end up dead?

Told over three days and five POVs, The Hunting Party is a fast-paced whodunit (and who-was-it-done-to) that kept me guessing until the very last page. Every character was a possible victim and a potential killer, they were all full-formed and believably complex (read: awful) people.

I flew through the last hundred pages, I desperately needed to know who had been killed and why, even more so than who had done it. Some of the red herrings Foley threw out to distract us and keep us off the right trail were so good, I did spot one of the reveals from early on, but I genuinely couldn’t guess the full truth until it was written on the page.

This is a definite five star read for me, and I’ll be snapping up all of Foley’s other domestic thrillers. I recommend this book to absolutely everyone who likes a good, twisty thriller, you won’t be able to see it coming, I can guarantee it!


There you go, I hope you liked the sound of one or all of these. I actually borrowed them from the library, and now I’ve got C.L. Taylor’s Strangers waiting for me when I finish my edits. Back to the edit cave, Batgirl!

Lyndsey

x

Review: Feathers of Snow by Alice Ivinya

Welcome back friends! I’ve got another book review for you today, this time it’s a fantasy fairytale retelling that’s perfect for these frosty, winter days. It’s Feathers of Snow by Alice Ivinya, book one in the Kingdom of Birds and Beasts series.

I bought the ebook of this story as soon as I saw the cover (I mean, just look at it!), but I was actually given a signed copy by Alice when we met in person last July, so of course I read that! And I was so honoured and emotional to see my name in the acknowledgements when I finished.

This was a gorgeously gripping read, keep scrolling to see what I thought of it…

Blurb

In Brianna’s new world of ice and snow, the coldest things by far are the eyes of her betrothed…

Brianna bears a deadly secret: she’s not the princess she is pretending to be. If the prince finds out, her life will be forfeit and her country plunged into war. But there is more to the icy prince than meets the eye, and Brianna slowly unravels the secrets of his dark past while surviving in a strange culture.

However her goodness and wit will only get her so far. Terrifying beasts stalk the border and a murderer is at work in the town. They know the truth of Brianna’s identity and will stop at nothing to destroy all she has fought for.


Review

Title: Feathers of Snow: A Goose Girl Retelling (Kingdom of Birds and Beasts #1)

Author: Alice Ivinya

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Feathers-Snow-retelling-Kingdom-Beasts-ebook/dp/B08MZ69K29/

Rating: 5 fairytale stars!



This book swept me away to a snow-covered castle and made me fall in love with a frosty prince. I loved the unique world Ivinya created, especially the snippets of history, myth and folklore we were treated to.

It’s a truly original adaptation of The Goose Girl fairy tale, with a strong, steady heroine who faces danger and heartbreak head on, and a stoic, brooding prince who’ll do whatever it takes to protect his people from the threats over the wall.

If you love clean but still swoon worthy romantic fantasy, fairytale retellings and lush, richly detailed world building, you’ll love Feathers of Snow. 

I adored Brianna from the beginning, Ivinya has such skill with character creation, she really makes you identify with her protagonists, hate her villains (ooh I really wanted bad things to happen to the baddie in this book!) and fall for her love interests. Plus, her side characters are fully-formed and have their own back stories and motivations that inform the plot and make the whole story feel very well-rounded – I have such a soft spot for Jeremiah and may have messaged Alice at the halfway mark threatening our friendship if anything bad happened to my sweet cinnamon roll of a guard.

In a nutshell, Feathers of Snow is the book for you this Christmas if you love:
  • Sweet, clean but swoon worthy romance
  • Fairytale retellings
  • Rich world building with unique magic
  • Quietly strong, independent heroines (badass but in a subtle way)
  • Brooding, reluctant heroes who don’t soften easily
  • A villain you will LOVE to hate
  • Mind-talking animal familiars
  • Tense whodunnit murder mysteries
  • Fantasy series you can really get sucked into and fall in love with

Find it on Amazon and read the sample:

Add it to your Goodreads shelf: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55858962-feathers-of-snow


Ready for book two? Check out my blog on Feathers of Blood‘s release here.

Happy reading!

Lyndsey x