The Speculative Faction Book Tour

Book tours are a great opportunity to find out about new books - and perhaps new authors - that are soon to come on to the market.

You can read my honest review, discover more about the author and where you can find the book. Plus look out for more tour stops!

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CROWN OF BONES by Rosalyn Briar

The Speculative Faction is proud to host book tours, courtesy of Storytellers on Tour. It's a great opportunity for everyone to find out what great, new books are available to read. We guarantee honest and positive reviews (otherwise we don't post them!) and details about the author with helpful links. So, without any further ado...

Rosalyn Briar is a mother and a wife living near St. Louis, MO. USA. She is a former teacher and has many creative hobbies. Writing quickly became her passion a few years ago. The Crown of Bones is her debut novel. She loves to write dark fantasy novels that dip into the horror genre and always have a splash of romance.

To find out more about Rosalyn, visit her website: https://www.rosalynbriar.com

Book blurb

Fairy tales are not what they seem. Gisela knows about sacrifice all too well.

She abandoned her education, friends, and fairy tales to support her family and care for her sister. But when she jilts a wealthy suitor, Gisela is chosen for another type of sacrifice.

As an Offering to the Goddess Bergot, Gisela and seven others are sent on a deadly quest for a mythical crown. To return home, Gisela must overcome obstacles which darkly resemble the fairy tales she once believed.

Weaving through a tapestry of friendship, romance, violence, and magic—Gisela becomes the target of an ancient evil force, while an ominous detail from the past haunts her at every turn.

To what lengths will Gisela go to save the ones she loves?

Sometimes sacrifices must be made.

This is dark fantasy story is in the New Adult age group (18-25years).


My thoughts

Crown of Bones by Rosalyn Briar is a fun story. It tells how Giselle has to survive one ordeal after another if she is to discover the Crown of Bones which can save her life and the valley where she lives. It’s also a story of romance. Her relationship with Brahm may begin in a coy way but when they are thrown together on this quest it is their love for each other which brings them together as they save each other’s lives.

The fun part of the story is how so many classic fairy tales are woven into the story and given a different twist to the conventional narratives. In this way these tales turn into the challenges Giselle must overcome on her way to defeat a goddess eager to claim Giselle’s body for her own.

If you’re a fan of romantic fiction in a fantasy realm with a lot of exciting action to complement it, this is the book for you!

FROZEN RAGE by Steve McHugh

The Speculative Faction is proud to host book tours, courtesy of Storytellers on Tour. It's a great opportunity for everyone to find out what great, new books are available to read. We guarantee honest and positive reviews (otherwise we don't post them!) and details about the author with helpful links. So, without any further ado...

Steve McHugh is the author of the bestselling Hellequin and Avalon  Chronicles.


He lives in Southampton, on the south coast of England,  with his wife and three young daughters. When not writing or spending time with his kids, he enjoys watching movies, reading books and comics, and playing video games.


You can find out more about Steve's work on his site - https://stevejmchugh.wordpress.com

Steve McHugh defines this novella, Frozen Rage, accurately as a ‘murder mystery with magic’, where his main character ‘gets to do his best Hercule Poirot impression’. It’s one of the main reasons for enjoying the story, there are lots of nods, implicit and explicit, to the whodunnit genre.

I wasn’t familiar with Steve McHugh’s work before reading this book. Apparently, this novella sits between two of his existing novels in his Hellequin Chronicles series, Promise of Wrath and Scorched Shadows. The story is a standalone, easy to read without knowing anything about the rest of the series. References are made to other events and the background of Nate Garrett, the Hellequin of the series title, is already established. That said, the author does a fine job of balancing the exposition for fans and new readers alike.

The story is a classic whodunnit, with murders at the outset with more bodies piling up as the investigation develops. It takes place in a large castle in a realm designed for the wealthy to enjoy themselves. The characters divide between those assisting our Poirot-like protagonist and the suspects. Magic is a critical ingredient for the fun and the mystery. There are lots of were animals – wolves, lions, a bear and a tiger. Political machinations between the werewolves and werelions are the root of the investigation. I loved how magic replaced the science in this enquiry. It was inventive, clever and witty in its use.

Another factor which made this story stand out for me? Its humour. The banter which exists between Nate’s friends is always good-natured and wry. The references to modern-day culture is a wonderful counterpoint to the fantasy elements. For instance, there’s a Red Wedding reference – taken from Game of Thrones and applied to the same situation where the setting of this story is at a wedding that goes wrong. I loved them, it suggests the author isn’t asking us to take things too seriously, fun is uppermost here.

All in all, a wonderful story that I couldn’t put down. I actually read this story in two days. It’s writing style is economical yet efficient, you can move through it easily but that doesn’t mean it lacks any vital ingredients. It’s just clever, fun writing. Action packed, there’s always something happening to encourage you to keep reading. I will definitely be reading more books by Steve McHugh.

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