Mystery and Mayhem pt 1

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m reviewing the first half of the wonderful Mystery and Mayhem anthology, written by a collection of UK authors and published by Egmont. I reviewed the second part of this collection on Book Murmuration  a few weeks ago and Louise reviewed this half here last week.

Onto the reviews!

God’s Eye by Frances Hardinge

While I found this quite different in tone, and much darker, than the other stories within the anthology, I still enjoyed it. It tells the story of Ben; who is assistant to one of two pernickety painters tasked with painting the ‘God’s Eye’ view of London, and what happens when one of them is fatally poisoned. I liked Ben as a character and his unselfish motive for solving for solving the mystery, as well as how the mystery itself unfolds.


The Mystery of the Pineapple Plot by Helen Moss

This is a sublime story set in the Georgian era, which shows that Helen Moss can write an expertly researched page turner regardless of length or the historical era it’s set in. It focues on a seemingly-rich family who are hosting a dinner to impress their elder daughter’s suitor, until he’s poisoned by their prize pineapple! Their servant Quality Fruit and younger daughter Catherine set about investigating. I absolutely adored them as a detective duo, and I thought the mystery was really intriguing. The historical setting was one I’d never seen before, but it felt realistic and the world was well built. The writing style is easy to read and hugely enjoyable; the last line especially made laugh. Finally, I loved the reveal of the culprit as I definetly didn’t expect the story to go in that direction.

The Murder of Monsieur Pierre by Harriet Whitehorn 

The last story in the Poison Plots section tells the tale of shop girl turned detective Angelica as she becomes embroiled in solving the murder of her former boss: hairdresser Monsieur Pierre. Angelica is a gloriously clever heroine, and I also liked that we got told she becomes a famous detective later in life. This is super fun to read as it’s such a melodramatic, madcap mystery (I guessed culprit, but I still had a lot of fun following along till the end). I’m not sure why, but it reminded me of watching Death in Paradise, excpet with child detectives! This has made me want to pick up the Violet books at some point in the future.

SafeKeeping by Sally Nicholls 

As a huge fan of most of Sally Nicholls’s books, I found it interesting to see her turn her hand to the mystery genre. This is a Boys’ Own style story which feautures three office boys trying to solve the mystery of a necklace which has disappeared from the office safe. The narrator is great and has a very distinctive voice. The dialogue and tone appeared realistic for the time, and I also enjoyed the friendship between the three boys. I found the solution of the msytery quite obvious, but I did like the way the detectives came to the comclusion.

The Mystery of the Purloined Pearls by Katherine Woodfine

In this offshoot from the Sinclair’s Mysteries, we see one member of the gang solve a mystery in a theatre. I love a good theatre mystery (especially the Mystery of the Pantomime Cat by Enid Blyton!) and this one was no exception. Woodfine’s prose is as flawless as ever, and I enjoyed seeing things from Lil’s perspective as we tend to follow Sophie during the main series. Finally, I didn’t guess who stole the pearls, and this has really whet my appetite for the 4th and final Sinclair’s book, which came out last week.

The Mystery of Room 12 by Robin Stevens 

In Stevens’s first foray into a contemporary setting, she proves that she’s just as excellent at creating a modern tone and setting as she is historical. She also manages to retain the Agatha Christie/Enid Blyton vibes that are so prominent in her Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries. This story is about Jamie, whose family own a hotel, as he tries to work out where the woman who checked in while he was manning reception alone, has disappeared to without a trace and why. Jamie was super endearing (I also adored his dog) and I thought he was a fabulous detective. Finally, I love how clever and complex the solution to this pacy, exciting mystery is, and I’d actually love to see more stories, or even books, in this setting.

Thank you so much for reading! What’s your favourite of these stories? Do you like any of these authors’ standalones? Are you a fan of mysteries in general?

See you soon with a new post, 

Amy xxx

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Pick a Word and Pass it On Tag

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m doing the Pick a Word and Pass it On Tag, which was created by Life Has A Funny Way of Sneaking Up on You and I was tagged for by the absolutely lovely Faye.

The idea of the tag is to list all of the books you’ve read with a certain word in the title. I’ve decided to continue on with the word Faye chose, which is home.

Let’s get onto the books!

I can only remember 4 books which I’ve read with home in the title, so insead of just listing them, I’m going to tell you a little bit about them too! 😊

A Home for Shimmer- This book tells the story of Amy as her family move to the countryside and open up a vet practise, and what happends when a golden retirever puppy is dropped off and Amy falls in love with her.  As you may know if you follow me on Twitter, my dog is also called Shimmer, and as I’ve mentioned before the book Shimmer is based on mine. There are lots of little nods to my real girl in the book and it was such a special reading experience. It’s also a fab animal story in general, and I’d recommend it to anyone who loves those sorts of books.

Back Home by Michelle Magorian- It’s been several years now since I read this book, and I’m struggling to remember the finer points, but I can recall being captivated and enthralled by Rusty’s story of returning from her evacuation to America and attending boarding school in England. I also remember how tinged with sadness it was. I’ve since went on to read the also incredible Goodnight Mr Tom by this author, and I found it heartwrenching also. Michelle Magorian is one of the most emotive authors I’ve ever read.

I‘ll Be Home for Christmas by various authors (Stripes anthology in aid of Shelter)- While this does, like every anthology, have some stories I’m not so keen on, it also contains some total gems. My personal favourite from what I remember was Cat Clarke’s, but I’m planning to reread/review this anthology on here in the next few months (possibly as part of blogmas, which I am SUPER excited for already!). I’m also looking forward to finally getting round to Stripes’ new A Change is Gonna Come anthology, which I think is such a positive movement and is getting incredible reviews!

Fly Me Home by Polly Ho-Yen- Polly Ho-Yen is one of the most talented writers out there at the moment. You may be bored of me saying it by now, but I don’t care 😎😛. It’s true, though, and Fly Me Home confirmed it for me. After being INCREDIBLY disappointed in her 2nd novel, which just didn’t match the quality of her debut at all, I was so thrilled when her 3rd novel Fly Me Home blew me away with it’s brilliance. I think with a few rereads this could mean very nearly as much to me as Boy in the Tower does (although it’s my favourite standalone MG ever, so maybe not exactly as much 😉)

Thank you so much for reading! I’m tagging Bex and Sarah, and you, if you’d like to do this! Can you think of any other books with home in the title? Let me know in the comments!

See you soon with a new post,

Amy xxx

Guest Review: Mystery and Mayhem pt. 2

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m excited to welcome my wonderful friend Louise to do a review of the second half of the marvellous Mystery and Mayhem anthology. I reviewed part one on Louise’s blog a couple of days ago, and I’m planning to to review this half in the next week or so too 😊

Over to Louise! 
God’s Eye by Frances Hardinge

Newspaper owner Whyte wants a ‘Gods Eye’ view of London. Rival artists Solomon Cork and William Pother are commissioned, although they hate each other so much they refuse to fly in the air balloon together. With Cork flies his young employee Billy. Then Cork falls out of the balloon, and Billy’s friend Susan is arrested on suspicion of poisoning. 

I love the trail of clues in this mystery. It was intriguing enough to keep me reading, and had the perfect balance of believable and out-of-the-ordinary. The set-up gives us just enough people to suspect, and gives Billy reason to care for Susan. Set in the 1800s, it comes across how exciting early flight was. People dream of new possibilities as the skies become accessible to humans for the first time. 

The Mystery of the Pineapple Plot by Helen Moss

It is the 1700s. Ten years ago, a child arrived in England in a crate of pineapples. He came from the plantations, but was kept as a playmate for Lord Catchpole’s daughters. He was named for the words on the side of the crate, Quality First. 

Now Lord Catchpole’s eldest daughter Eliza is engaged against her will to Lord Ponsonby. The pineapple cuttings taken when Quality First was a small child now bare fruit, and Lord Catchpole is engaged in fierce rivalry with his neighbours for the best pineapples. When a pineapple explodes, and a worm bites Lord Ponsonby on the nose, the race is on to find out who put the worm in the pineapple before servant Sam is punished.

Beautifully written. I love Moss’s prose. Her descriptions are so subtle, and often conveyed with action rather than statement. The setting is brought to life through the focus of Lord Catchpole’s obsession with the exotic. As import became wider, new goods arrived in the UK and people became obsessed with the ‘foreign’. Moss shows how what people wanted often wasn’t the real thing, but a very British idea of what another country was. 

This was one of the few stories which wasn’t a murder mystery, and shows how widely the term can be applied. 

The Murder Of Monsieur Pierre by Harriet Whitehorn 

When Monsieur Pierre is murdered, Angelica ‘Jelly’ Beck vows to find out who did it. Was it Lady Osborne, who visited the same evening, or rival shopkeeper Monsieur Leonard?

I found this a little slow-going, but liked Angelica. We are told at the start of the story that she goes on to become a master detective, and the idea that she learned her skills in childhood must be exciting for young readers. 

Safe-Keeping by Sally Nicholls

A necklace is stolen from solicitor Mr Mathieson’s safe, and Mr Contrad is arrested. Young empolyees Billy, Arnold and Stanley set out to find the truth, inspired by the heroes of their favourite ‘tec’ stories. 

The trio of young protaganists reminded me of Katherine Woodfine’s group of young detectives. I LOVE the Sinclair mysteries, so this is positive. I liked how this story was less about the actions which happened, and more about who had the biggest motive

The Mystery Of The Purloined Pearls by Katherine Woodfine

Kitty Shaw’s pearls are stolen from her dressing room. She won’t go on stage without them, to the horror of the theatre producers. Why would anybody steal Kitty’s pearls? 

Did I mention, I love the Sinclair Mysteries? This story is set in the same world. Instead of being told by Sophie, as in the novels, it is narrated by Lil. It was lovely to be back in a familiar world, and to hear Lil’s voice in first person. The set-up is great – a group of people are introduced, and it became apparent that someone’s actions and reactions were a little out-of-sync. A little suspicious

The Mystery of Room 12 by Robin Stevens

James Kahn is left on reception one evening in his father’s hotel. He knows he checked Stella Smith in. Knows she wrote her name and went upstairs. In the morning, her name is gone, her room spotless and nobody believes James. 

Could Stella Smith be runaway Andrea Sandford? If so, what happened? Did she simply disappear? And why are the other guests so keen for him to forget he saw her? 

Unlike most of the stories in the book, it isn’t clear whether there has been a murder or any sort of incident until near the end. I love this format. Robin Stevens is masterful as what she reveals when, and I was hooked. It also had my favourite overall line, about adults: ‘they’ve been around too long, and that means they can’t see what has really happened because they’ve seen too much other stuff already’. Brilliant observation.

Thank you so much to Louise for these fabulous reviews! What did you think of this anthology, if you’ve read it? 

Amy xxx 

#sixforsunday : My Favourite Genres

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m once again taking part in Steph’s Six For Sunday meme. Today, the theme is our favourite genres. Let’s get started on mine, along with some of my favourite books/authors within them!

In no particular order…

Romance- I always enjoy a swoony romance. There’s just something about watching two characters falling in love that hooks me in to a book. Some recent favourites include A Quiet Kind of ThunderAnna and the French Kiss and the Start of Me and You. 

Contemporary- I also love contemporary novels without romance, such as Beautiful Broken Things and Wing Jones (I know this does have some fabulous romance, but it also has quite a separate storyline so I regard it more as contemporary than romance). Even though I barely ever see it, I also love contemporary MGs. Being Miss Nobody, which fits that description, has been one of my top three reads this year, and another great example of contemporary MG is Susie Day.

Mystery- Even though I said this was in no particular order, mystery may well be my favourite genre of all. It got me back into reading at a time when I fell out of love with it (I’m forever indebted to Laura Marlin and Adventure Island, which I still reread often) and I think the quality of MG mystery being released at the minute, for example Robin Stevens’s Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, is absolutely sublime. 

Adventure- Recently, I’ve started to read some more middle grade adventure stories. I fell head over heels for the lyrical contemporary adventure Running on the Roof of the World, as you’ll probably already know if you’ve read some of my posts before, and I also loved the more action packed Defender of the Realm. 

Fantasy- WhileI don’t enjoy some more epic fantasies, I do love some more understated ones. Prisoner of Ice and Snow is a wonderful MG fantasy and I can’t wait for the next in the series! Polly Ho-Yen’s stunning books also have some fantasy elements, along with contemporary and magical realism.

Historical- It’s absolutely fascinating to read about other times and places, and these books are often based on real facts and sometimes even events. Emma Carroll really is ‘The Queen of Historical Fiction’ and Karen McCombie’s recent historical/timeslip offerings are also excellent.

Thank you so much for reading! I’d love to hear about your favourite genres in the comments down below or on my Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl

See you soon with a new post,

Amy xxx

Wunderkids Blog Tour: Jacqueline Silvester’s Top Five Fictional Schools

Hello everybody! 
Today, I have a super exciting guest post from Jacqueline Silvester, author of Wunderkids, all about her favourite schools in books and what she’d get up to if she attended them! Over to Jacqueline!

Where

Constance Billard School for Girls

Why

Because attending Constance would likely mean that I am a rich Upper East Side society teen and that sounds pretty appealing right about now. * Searches sofa for lost coins* It also likely means that I have a stylish, ice-cold girl squad, VIP tickets to all of NYC’s hottest events and a window view of Chuck Bass. Yes, please, and thank you. 

Outfit

Headband! Jewelry to decorate my Constance uniform- Cartier bangles, Van Cleef and Arpels Alhambra necklace and earrings. Celine Handbag, Chloe loafers and a Chloe coat. I have given this a lot of thought. Can you tell?

Food of Choice

Salad on the Met steps, duh! Brought to me by courier or one of my minions. Probably ordered from Serafina or Cipriani. If I’m feeling a little celebratory then I’ll order sashimi from Tanoshi. 

After school activity

My after school schedule is very packed. I help plan the Debutante Ball. I am on a bunch of committees, and model U.N, and then there’s my internship at Vanity Fair, private ballet-barre classes, not to mention all the openings I attend (my mom is on the board of like, every museum in Manhattan.)

2. 

Where

Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters

Why

Well, because that would mean that I am a mutant and I would give ANYTHING to be a mutant. Like, anything. 

Outfit

Pretty much casual  jeans and loose T-shirts. I burn and ruin my clothes when I’m training so I like to keep it super casual. 

Food of Choice

I feel like the kitchen at Xavier’s mansion is very well stocked, especially with American snacks like pop tarts and rice krispie treats. We are not really supposed to have late night snacks or go to the kitchen at night but my roommate can teleport (like Nightcrawler,) so it’s not a problem. 

After school activity

Training for combat in the danger cave. Swimming in Breakstone lake. Trying to break into Hangar bay so that my friends and I can highjack one of the jets for a joy ride.

3.

Where

Camp Half-blood

Why

Not technically a school, but still! Attending Camp Half Blood would likely mean that I am the daughter of a god or goddess and YES PLEASE SIGN ME UP. I don’t even care that the lifestyle comes with troubles and dangers as long as I get to attend camp.

Food of Choice

I would eat lunch with Nico at Apollo’s table. Mainly because I love Nico but also because I’m likely a child of Apollo; with my gift for poetry and all that (and I also feel that my mom would have a had a soft spot for Apollo if you catch my drift.) I’ll have some barbecued fish, grapes galore, and fresh strawberries (whatever the wood nymphs are carrying around.) Since my goblet can magically refill itself with whatever drink I desire, I’ll opt for Dr. Pepper Cherry Vanilla

Outfit

Orange camp T-shirt. Obviously. My boyfriend is a son of Hermes so he made me this little necklace with wings on it, or maybe he stole it, I don’t really know, but it’s super cute and I wear it everyday. I also wear this little leather bracelet with an arrow charm on it to remind me of my dad. 

After school activity

Giving the climbing wall my best shot. Archery practice, obviously. I spend the rest of my time honing my writing talents and reading my poetry to my siblings.

4. 

Where

Wildwood Academy

Why

Yes, Wildwood academy has something sinister lurking beneath its amazing exterior, but that sinister thing only affects like 3% of students so I will take my chances! The food is to die for, the setting is beautiful, the classes are exceptional and funky, and if I got in that means I’m either very talented or very rich, so there’s that.

Food of Choice
Sums and I like to hit the all day Waffle buffet and experiment with the endless toppings. I also like the soft serve machine. The sashimi towers served at dinner. If I’m feeling healthy I will hit up Amber’s favorite- the yoghurt stand. 

Outfit

I like to wear this floor length black cashmere coat. It’s looks so ominous against the backdrop of winter mist and the redwood forest. Also it goes with my uniform and it isn’t technically a uniform violation

After school activity

I want to be on Stamos’s events committee and help plan the winter ball, the Halloween dance, and the Easter egg hunt (dubbed the Easter make-out hunt, as students tend to saunter off for make-out sessions instead of looking for the eggs.) 

When I’m free I like to sneak off to the Point. Once in a while ill go to town to Ye Old Ice Creamery or get a tarot reading in (mostly so that I can gawk at the off-limits townie boys.) 

5.

Where

Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Why

Because it’s Hogwarts. No explanation needed.

Outfit

My robes and my uniform. I have a lot of house pride so I tend to overdo it on the Ravenclaw accessories. My mom is a witch and a fashion designer and she crafted me these light silk pajamas that cool you down when it’s hot and heat you in the winter nights. They are in my house colors and that’s what I wear at night, or in the common room for all-nighter study sessions pre- O.W.L.s.

Food of Choice 

Sunday Roast except every day, pumpkin pasties and cauldron cakes to tie me over between meals and for late night studying. Hagrid invites me over sometimes for tea and rock cakes.

After school activity

I like to go to Hogsmeade for essentials, like to drink butterbear and gossip with my friends. But also for new quills from Scrivenshaft’s. I can be found in the prefect’s bathroom taking pink bubble baths, in the library or at quidditch practice.



Wunderkids is available to buy now

Thank you so much for reading! What did you think of Wunderkids? What are your favourite fictional schools? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl, I’d LOVE to hear from you! 

See you soon with a new post 

Amy xxx


Top Ten Tuesday: Characters You Can’t Help but Root For

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m once again taking part in the Top Ten Tuesday meme hosted over at the Broke and the Bookish. Todays theme was quite broad (characters who share a trait) so I decided to talk about books which feature characters I can’t help but root for. These books also tend to be some of my favourites, so these sorts of characters seem to be the ones I love most.

Let’s get started! 

*no order* (and I’ve only included humans, as I’m yet to find an animal prontagonist I’m not completely behind all the way!)

1. Darkus from the Battle of the Beetles trilogy- in Beetle Boy, Darkus is trying to track down his missing dad, and in book 2 he’s facing off against scientist supervillain Lucretia Cutter yet again. Despite all of this, he’s still an amazing friend to Bertholt and Virginia, and truly cares for all of the beetles, especially his own beetle Baxter. 

2. Elliot from the Who Let the Gods Out series– Elliot has a lot to worry about in these books, which have been some of my favourites of 2017. His mum has early-onset dementia, he learns some upsetting information about his dad in book 2, and that’s not even to mention the fact that the Greek gods have moved in with him! I really adore Elliot as he’s got a lot going on and is a fairly realistic hero in the way he reacts to the situations he faces.

3. Evie from the Spinster Club trilogy- Evie suffers from OCD, and suffers a relapse during the first book in the trilogy (Am I Normal Yet?). I always read this book incredibly quickly (especially by my usual standards) as I become so worried about Evie and after her relapse and throughout books 2 and 3 I definetely root for her to continue on the good path she’s forged for herself.

4. Sam from Ways to Live Forever- Sam has leukaemia and this book tells the story of him achieving the list of things he wants to do before he dies and also tackles his fear of dying and just his day to day life. He’s a truly brave and inspiring character to me.

5. Rosalind from Being Miss Nobody- this is a much more recent read than everything else on this list so far (I only read it last month) but Rosalind is a character who I immediately fell in love with and I read the book in a matter of hours as I was so desperate to make sure she would be okay in the end. I was an emotional wreck throughout; I laughed, I cried, and at the times when things went well, smiled. I can’t recommend this enough. 

6. Alfie from the Defender of the Realm series- Alfie is another recent favourite character. He’s the new king who also has to negotiate his role as the ‘Defender’, a superhero who protects the United Kindgdom from mythical monsters responsible for the REAL historical events. I really cheer Alfie on in his weaker moments and throughout his many action scenes as he’s such a loveky prontagonist and deserves to do well in his roles. On another note, these books are just generally fabulous and I’m often practically glued to the pages to find out what’ll happen next!

7. Harriet from the Geek Girl series- Even though I’m different to Harriet in a lot of ways (e.g. I’m absolutely awful at maths, and she’s a genius with it) I also really identify with her in some ways. I’d be a bit mean if I didn’t root for someone so like me, then, would I not?! Thankfully, I think Harriet’s a BRILLIANT character, and I’m always on her side, no matter who she’s having an argument with or what she’s supposedly done. #teamgeek

8. Hazel from the Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries– Hazel has really changed and grown from who she was in the first book, but I’ve loved her the whole way through and can’t imagine ever not loving her. She’s kind and clever and is becoming stronger and more able to stand up for herself against her very forceful best friend Daisy (who I also love lots, but I think I’d be a bit afraid of her if were to meet in real life, whereas I’d absolutely love to be be friends witj Hazel or have her as a sister). I can’t wait to see her again soon.

9. Summer from the Chocolate Box Girls series– Summer is my favouirte of the Tanberry-Costello sisters, particularly after the book she narrates in the series, Summer’s Dream, in which she starts to crumble under the pressure of achieving her dream to be a ballerina and begins to suffer from an eating disorder. It’s a very hard book to read (it’s as wondeful as all the others,  possibly even better, but watching Summer spiral and hate herself and her body is really upsetting in places). As the series moved on, I was definetly willing Summer on to get healthier and it made me really happy every time she made a step towards that goal (even though she took some steps backwards as well 😔)

10. Ade from Boy in the Tower– last but most certainly not least is Ade, who if I was really, REALLY forced to answer who my favourite character is in a book.  (I massively struggle to choose favourites of anything, but characters are all like my best friends). I can’t read the opening pages of Boy in the Tower without bursting into tears, as I’m so sad about all of the difficult things I know he’s about to face and he’s such a kind, caring character and he just doesn’t deserve any of it. I’ll be honest. I’m welling up just thinking about Ade. I’m of the opinion that this book is a masterpiece, and Ade is a huge reason why I love it so much. 

Thank you so much for reading! Are there any characters you can’t help but root for? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

See you soon with a new post,

Amy xxx

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Ruth Lauren 

Hello everyone!

Today, I’m hugely excited to have Ruth Lauren, who wrote one of my favourite reads of this year, here for an interview.

Let’s get started!

Hi Ruth! Thank you so much for agreeing to an interview; welcome to Golden Books Girl

It’s my pleasure, thanks so much for having me!

1. Can you please describe Prisoner of Ice and Snow in 5 words for anyone who hasn`t read it?

Prison Break meets Frozen

2. What inspired you to write the book? Had you always envisaged it as a series, or did you originally plan for just one book?

The idea began when I was watching Prison Break with my son. I wondered what that kind of story would be like if it was about two young sisters instead (and then if it were set in a fantasy land where I could add all sorts of interesting challenges and twists). 

I actually only planned a standalone, but every publishing house interested in the story wanted a sequel, and once I started thinking about what might happen to Valor and Sasha next, I knew they were right. 

3. The world of Demidova is so vivid and layered. How did you go about your worldbuilding? Were there any high points or challenges during this process?
You’re so kind, thank you!

I wanted a very cold, snowy, frozen world where the elements themselves could cause problems for the characters and bleed through into every part of the planning Valor has to do to try to break her sister out of prison. 

Once the setting was fixed in my mind, the details had to reflect the landscape—the animals that inhabit it, the clothes the people need to wear, the food they might be able to access. My editor was brilliant at helping me think about other aspects that add to making the world feel real—like special celebration days in the city, the history of the prison and the geography involved with surrounding lands and how they might impact on the story.  

I drew on elements of the Russian landscape and traditional clothing but I also wanted to create a matriarchal world where only women can rule and where they often have positions of power. I wanted the sisters to inhabit a world where they don’t have to struggle or overcome (at least not in this aspect) and it would never occur to them that those positions weren’t open or available to them. They see women in every role in the book—from ruler to doctor to prison guard to hunter. That was a really important part of the world to me. 

The whole experience was actually one big high point (or at least it feels like it in retrospect). Prisoner is very different from anything I’d written before and it was a lot of fun to write. 

4. Your heroine Valor, is so brave and I really sympathised with her throughout the book, even if I didn`t agree with her decisions. Who would you say your top three heroines are?

Ok, I’m cheating a little bit here. 

TV: Buffy, Jessica Jones, Lisa Simpson

Books: Katsa (Graceling), Feo (The Wolf Wilder) and Katniss Everdeen

5. Alongside Valor is a variety of other prisoners who form a fabulous ensemble cast. Which character of these is your favourite?
I have a soft spot for little Feliks, but Katia is my girl.  

6. What`s your writing process like? Do you have any unusual habits or quirks?
I really don’t! Just outlining, trying to write 1k a day when I’m drafting, and wondering how people who listen to music when they write can possibly concentrate.

7. If you could have written any book by another author, what would it be and why?

I would love to steal The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern for my own. Or anything by Laini Taylor or Kristin Cashore or Katherine Rundell. Their imaginations feel so much bigger than my own and I know I could never write anything on the scale that the first three do or with the inimitable style that Katherine Rundell does.  

8. Finally, before our quickfire round, can you let anything slip about the sequel to Prisoner of Ice and Snow, Seeker to the Crown?

Seeker picks up right where Prisoner left off and with Princess Anastasia now missing, Valor is plunged straight into another exciting mission. More crossbow, more icy danger, and I don’t want to say too much, but a certain monarch may vanish leaving Demidova in chaos . . . 

QUICKFIRE

Hogwarts house- I have no idea!

Favourite flavour of ice cream– Salted Caramel 

Animal you`d most want to turn into?- Cheetah

City/country you most want to go on holiday to that you haven`t yet? Florence, Italy
Favourite season of the year?- Spring
Thank you so much to Ruth for answering my questions, and Emily at Bloomsbury for setting the interview up!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post everyone! I’d love to hear what you thought if this book if you’ve read it!

 Amy xxx