Letterbox Love is a way to give all of the books I receive for review some exposure. Summaries are taken from the cover, or Amazon/NetGalley/Goodreads in the case of e-books, unless otherwise stated.
River of Ink, Paul MM Cooper (e-proof)
All Asanka knows is poetry. From his humble village beginnings in the great island kingdom of Lanka, he has risen to the prestigious position of court poet and now delights in his life of ease: composing romantic verses for love-struck courtiers, enjoying the confidence of his king and covertly teaching Sarasi, a beautiful and beguiling palace maid, the secrets of his art.
But when Kalinga Magha, a ruthless prince with a formidable army, arrives upon Lanka’s shores, Asanka’s world is changed beyond imagining. Violent, hubristic and unreliable, Magha usurps the throne, laying waste to all who stand in his way. Under his terrifying rule, nothing in the city is left untouched and, like many of his fellow citizens, Asanka retreats into the shadows, hoping to pass unnoticed by the tyrant. But it seems his new master is a lover of poetry…
To Asanka’s horror, Magha tasks him with the translation of an epis Sanskrit poem, a tale of Gods and nobles, love and revenge, which the king believes will have a civilising effect on his subjects, soothing their discontent and snuffing out the fires of rebellion he suspects are igniting across the island.
Asanka has always believed that poetry makes nothing happen, but as each new chapter he writes is disseminated through the land and lines on the page become cries in the street, his belief and his loyalties are challenged. And, as Magha circles ever closely to the things Asanka treasures most, the poet will discover that true power lies not at the sword, but in the tip of a pen.
How amazing does this sound?! And that cover… Thanks Bloomsbury and NetGalley!
Maresi, Maria Turtschaninoff (proof)
A world where girls live in fear.
A safe haven far away.
But is it far enough?
This is Maresi’s story.
Maresi came to the Red Abbey when she was thirteen, in the Hunger Winter. Before then, she had only heard rumours of its existence in secret folk tales. In a world where girls aren’t allowed to learn or do as they please, an island inhabited solely by women sounded like a fantasy. But now Maresi is here, and she knows it is real. She is safe.
Then one day Jai – tangled fair hair, clothes stiff with dirt, scars on her back – arrives on a ship. She has fled to the island to escae terrible danger and unimaginable cruelty.
And the men who hurt her will stop at nothing to find her. Now the women and girls of the Red Abbey must use all their powers and ancient knowledge to combat the forces that wish to destroy them. And Maresi, haunted by her own nightmares, must confront her very deepest, darkest fears.
I’m so in love with the sound of this! Translated feminist fantasy: sold! Thanks Pushkin Press and Riot Communications!
Sophie’s World, Jostein Gaarder (paperback)
The international bestseller about life, the universe and everything.
When 14-year-old Sophie encounters a mysterious mentor who introduces her to philosophy, mysteries deepen in her own life. Why does she keep getting postcards addressed to another girl? Who is the other girl? And who, for that matter, is Sophie herself? To solve the riddle, she uses her new knowledge of philosophy, but the truth is far stranger than she could have imagined.
An addictive blend of mystery, philosophy and fantasy, Sophie’s World is an international phenomenon which has been translated into 60 languages and has sold over 40 milion copies.
I read one of Jostein Gaarder’s books on my Nan’s recommendations years and years ago so I jumped at the chance to read and review the 20th anniversary edition of this classic. Thanks Orion!
Beetle Boy, MG Leonard (proof)
Darkus can't believe his eyes when he sees a huge insect drop out of the trouser leg of his horrible new neighbour. It has seven legs – or six legs and a horn – and it seems to want to communicate. But how can a boy be friends with a bug the size of a hamster? And what exactly does this beetle have to do with the strange disappearances of his dad and the arrival of evil Lucretia Cutter, with her taste for living jewellery?
The answers could lie in the mountain of rubbish next door – if Darkus and his new buddy are brave enough to find out…
How very intriguing… Thanks Chicken House and Riot!