Wicked Saints is certainly not for everyone but it’s 100% for me! It’s been a while since any book had me this much on edge, this excited: There’s the Eastern European inspired world (always there for that!), a complicated inscrutable magic system (I like puzzling over that stuff!), a gripping dark and desolate atmosphere (gets me every time!), intriguing characters (hello, dark-and-mysterious-more-or-less-evil guy!), and an ending that left me quite devastated (gimme that second book already!) …
The Book of Three is delightful, fast-paced middle grade high fantasy with adorable characters, funny banter, difficult journeys, a multitude of wicked situations, and the realisation that being a hero is not as simple as it sounds …
I was introduced to Jenny Hughes via the PonyClub, a horse themed subscription box service/publisher. However, we’ve got a rather mixed track record – the fourteen books I’d previously read ranging from one to five star reads. The ones I liked were pretty great, though, so I started buying the books that hadn’t been published in German. This is one of them, and I’m so very glad I did!
Anna zu Pferde [Anna on Horseback] has everything young Ellie wanted in a novel: a kickass heroine, horses, a great atmospheric setting, a family mystery, and an unexpected romance. Reading it for a second time, the mystery fades into the background but I came to appreciate the historical setting much more than I did when I was younger. Just in case you were wondering: first and foremost, this is actually historical fiction. The title of this novel comes from the title of a painting of Anna and her horse that’s part of the story. Given that it is 1630, horses have to play a part if a character wants to get from A to B. Nevertheless, Anna’s close relationship to her horse is present but never in the foreground . . .
I bet you thought that this is a horse novel, but really, it is not. It’s more or less the 1987s version of a New Adult novel that has incidentally horses in it because it’s set on a farm. You’re probably not convinced yet. After all, there’s a horse on the cover and it has ‘stallion’ in the title (well, one could read it metaphorically, but we really, really don’t want to go there) . . .
I can’t remember how I first learned about this novel. I can’t remember what made me buy it. However, I remember that I ordered it at my local bookshop one early summer shortly before I went on holidays in France with my Mum and my sister. I remember, because I started this novel when we hit the road and couldn’t put it aside. I read it while we drove through Germany, I read it at that strange and blazing hot hostel in Freiburg, I read it on our way through half of France, and I finished literally the second we arrived at the campsite in the Gorges du Chassezsac. It was the magic of the novel that glued me to its pages. Since then, including this one, I reread it three times . . .
This novel is the great surprise of 2013. A wonderful (fairy)tale about good and evil, friendship, love, and beauty with complex lovable and loathsome characters that also happens to be magnificently written. It is both hilariously funny and heartbreakingly sad, predictable and utterly unexpected.