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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

Song by Michelle Jana Chan #Review #Giveaway


I am delighted o be taking part in the blog tour for Michelle Jana Chan's novel, Song. I also have a great giveaway where you can win a print copy of Song. Details on how to enter are at the foot of this post.

Song is just a boy when he sets out from Lishui village in China. Brimming with courage and ambition, he leaves behind his impoverished broken family,hoping he’ll make his fortune and return home. Chasing tales of sugarcane, rubber and gold, Song embarks upon a perilous voyage across the oceans tothe British colony of Guiana, but once there he discovers riches are not so easyto come by and he is forced into labouring as an indentured plantation worker.

This is only the beginning of Song’s remarkable life, but as he finds himselfbetween places and between peoples, and increasingly aware that thecircumstances of birth carry more weight than accomplishments or good deeds, Song fears he may live as an outsider forever.

This beautifully written and evocative story spans nearly half a century and half the globe, and though it is set in another century, Song’s story of emigration and the quest for an opportunity to improve his life is timeless

My Thoughts

This book takes you on a great journey as Song is left bereft at the start when his father dies and leaves his fanily in dire straits. He embarks on a long journey which takes him from China to British Guiana in South America. His life there is harsh and he soon realises that he has to look after his own interests. I loved the cyclical nature of this plot. As Song achieves his desires, he comes to realise that family ties are binding and he hass to make some difficult decisions. 

    The setting is beautifully described. Song is an interesting character., At times, you feel his naivety but at others, you understand the effect that harsh circumstances have played upon him. You appreciate how hard Song has to struggle to survive but also, how outside influences have saved him from the worst of life's vicissitudes. I particularly enjoyed the latter portions of the story when his children began to grow up. They gave another perspective on Song's behaviour. This is poignant writing, full of local colour, which is always able to show how human frailty can affect behaviour. 

In short: A coming of age story, full of atmosphere



About the Author

Michelle Jana Chan is an award-winning journalist and travel editor of Vanity Fair in the UK, where she presents the magazine's digital Future Series. Formerly, Michelle was a BBC TV presenter, a news producer at CNN International and a reporter at Newsweek. She was a Morehead-Cain scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

You can follow Michelle here:  Twitter  |  Website

 Book link: Amazon UK 

Thanks to Michelle Jana Chan, Unbound, and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.  

Check out the rest of the tour!


Giveaway (UK ONLY)

To win a print copy of Song, just Follow and Retweet the pinned Tweet at @bookslifethings and good luck!

 Closing Date is 27th March  2021 and there is one winner.

*Terms and Conditions –UK only.  The winner will be selected at random via Tweetdraw from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


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