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The Lost Queen by Carol McGrath #Review

  We travel back to the 12th Century for this gorgeous historical novel, The Lost Queen by Carol McGrath . It was published by Headline Accent on 18th July. 1191 and the Third Crusade is underway . .  It is 1191 and King Richard the Lionheart is on crusade to pitch battle against Saladin and liberate the city of Jerusalem and her lands. His mother, the formidable Eleanor of Aquitaine and his promised bride, Princess Berengaria of Navarre, make a perilous journey over the Alps in midwinter. They are to rendezvous with Richard in the Sicilian port of Messina. There are hazards along the way - vicious assassins, marauding pirates, violent storms and a shipwreck. Berengaria is as feisty as her foes and, surviving it all, she and Richard marry in Cyprus. England needs an heir. But first, Richard and his Queen must return home . . . The Lost Queen is a thrilling medieval story of high adventure, survival, friendship and the enduring love of a Queen for her King.   My Thoughts

Relativity by Antonia Hayes ** Blog Tour **

    It is time for my stop on the UK Blog Tour for the January 2017 paperback publication of relativity by Antonia Heyes.

The Blurb 

Ethan is an exceptionally gifted young boy, obsessed with physics and astronomy.

His single mother Claire is fiercely protective of her brilliant, vulnerable son. But she can’t shield him forever from learning the truth about what happened to him when he was a baby; why Mark had to leave them all those years ago.

Now age twelve, Ethan is increasingly curious about his past, especially his father’s absence in his life.  When he intercepts a letter to Claire from Mark, he opens a lifetime of feelings that, like gravity, will pull the three together again.

Relativity is a tender and triumphant story about unbreakable bonds, irreversible acts, and testing the limits of love and forgiveness.
My Thoughts
   Relativity is one of those books which stay in your mind after you have finished it. This is mainly due to the skilful way that Antonia Hayes has drawn the main characters. We find out more about them as the novel unfolds which leads us to question our initial impressions. It is interesting to observe the relationship between Claire and her son Ethan and then to see how his father, Mark's return affects them all. Some of the book is difficult reading but ultimately you realise that you are in safe hands. 

     There are three voices in this book, Ethan, Claire and Mark and you see the story through each of their eyes at different points. This is never confusing although you do question with Claire and Mark, at different points, how reliable their memories are. You realise how fragile life can be and how if either of them had made a different choice how different their lives might have been. I always enjoy a narrative with flashbacks and the glimpses of Mark's early life and family help you to see him, not as a monster, but a human being.

    Ethan is a talented young boy with a knowledge of physics which is far in advance of his age. I enjoyed all the references to the physics he sees around him and which he has a tremendous hunger to understand. You really feel for all the characters but especially for Ethan who is seen as different by his peers. It is lovely to see him make a friend in Alison who relates to him so strongly. 

    As a first novel, this is impressive. Based on events in the author's own life, you can sense that it is very close to her heart. This is a book which enriches the reader and with its clever plotting, one which keeps you enthralled to the end.

In short: a heart-warming tale which deals with difficult and harrowing events but which ultimately enriches the reader.

 About the Author

Antonia Hayes, who grew up in Sydney and spent her twenties in Paris, currently lives in London with her husband and son. Relativity is her first novel.

You connect with Antonia on
Twitter   |  Website   | Instagram  |

Thanks to Clara Diaz at Little, Brown publishers for a copy of the book and a place on the Blog Tour.

                          Check out the rest of the Tour today! 


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