Ashes & Alchemy by Cindy Spencer Pape Review

Sebastian Brown served his country in India before returning home to England to serve as an Inspector investigating strange, paranormal cases for the Order of the Round Table. If his home life seems a little lonely with just himself living in his large house, well, he can always work more hours. Then Minerva collapses on his doorstep and nothing will ever be the same again.

In The Gaslight Chronicles by Cindy Spencer Pape, Minerva Shaw is braving the elements in a smokey, coal cloud filled night in desperate search of a doctor willing to visit her sick daughter but she is struggling to find one willing to visit her poor apartment. Desperate she is trying to find the one doctor she heard will visit the poor when she mistakenly finds herself on the doorstep of Sebastian. Can this kind lonely be really what he seems or is she just going to get hurt again.

The Gaslight Chronicles by Cindy Spencer Pape is a great bridge series, with paranormal and historical elements it is a great beginning series for those who are interested in dipping their toes into the steampunk genre. Ashes & Alchemy is the sixth book in the Gaslight Chronicles and is a stand alone novella. However, I do recommend at least reading Moonlight & Mechanicals (you can read my review here) so you have a better idea of who Wink is and her history. Sebastian is a great character who undergoes some big changes with the advent of Minerva into his life but it is Minerva character that makes Ashes & Alchemy such a fun read. My only real problem is that Ashes and Alchemy is too short. 

Gaslight Chronicles Reading Order

Steam & Sorcery

Photographs & Phantoms

Kilts & Krackens

Moonlight & Mechanicals

Cards & Caravans 

Ashes & Alchemy

Rating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon3 NB

Title: Ashes & Alchemy

Author: Cindy Spencer Pape

Format: eBook

Page Nos.: 82

AISN: B00F942VRC

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date: January 6, 2014

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett Review

   Tiffany Aching, a nine-year old witch in the book “The Wee Free Men” by Terry Pratchett, starts to see creatures from fairy tales that she shouldn’t be able to see. When her brother is taken, she decides that is the last straw and she starts demanding answers. She grabs her grandma’s book on common sheep ailments, a frying pan (because it is made of iron and monsters don’t like iron), and enlists the help of some very unusual clans people. The Nac Mac Feegles are six inches tall, have shocking orange hair, are covered in blue tattoos, and wear only kilts. Oh, and they are famous for stealin’ (anything that isn’t nailed down is fair game), drinkin’ and fightin’. It is what they do best, afterall. After following them back to their home, the elderly Kelda tells her what she wants to know in exchange for becoming the new Kelda of the clan. She then has the unpleasantness of trying to decide which of the Feegle’s hand in marriage she wants because as the new Kelda, she must marry one of the warriors. Tiffany does her best with this rowdy bunch as she enters the dreamland where the Queen lives that took her younger brother. She fights her way through the monsters of nightmares to find the Queen and her younger brother and along the way picks up the Baron’s son (who was missing for a year) and they barely escape with their lives.

The Wee Free Men, although not really a romance, was hilarious! No one can understand how funny the Discworld novels of Terry Pratchett are until they start reading. This is a good one to start with to get the feel for his writing. His writing style is a bit unique and generally contains quite a bit of satire. The Wee Free Men is a bit different because the wee free men use a very heavy Scottish dialect that does take a little bit to understand in some places, using words like ‘ken’ and ‘dinna’. Once you get the hang of how they talk, it goes smoother and you can pick up the pace again. The Wee Free Men has a lot of flashbacks to stories about the protagonist’s granny. It is easy to recognize those because it changes to italicized font. This is nice because it is a lot easier to keep straight what has happened so far. This book followed the typical story line for a “quest”. The protagonist is living a normal life, strange things start happening, her brother gets kidnapped and she must go rescue him. It is a typical “hero’s journey”. The plot is paced well in the first of the novel; it does slow down a bit in the middle, and then picks back up in the last few chapters.  I really love The Wee Free Men and have read it several times over the year! The idea of traveling through dreamland (where your nightmares come true), is very intriguing to me. Overall, The Wee Free Men is exciting and hilarious, a perfect combination!

You can read an excerpt here.

Tiffany Aching Series Reading Order:

The Wee Free Men

A Hat Full of Sky

Wintersmith

I Shall Wear Midnight

Rating: Star 4copy

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Title: The Wee Free Men

Author: Terry Pratchett

Format: Paperback

Page Nos.: 375

ISBN: 978-0-06-001238-0

Publisher: HarperCollins

Release Date: October 2009

Available: Amazon

Reviewer: Jillian