- Paperback (Haikasoru, 219 pages)
- First published 2013; this edition published 2013
- Rating on Goodreads: 3 stars
- Buy the book here
- Paperback (Persephone Books, 234 pages)
- First published 1938; this edition published 2008
- Rating on Goodreads: 4 stars
- Buy the book here
Here’s the thing: I love cafés. I particularly love cafés that are cosy, a little bit higgledy-piggledy, and have a fantastic range of teas. The Cake Shed has all three. I don’t remember when I stumbled across the little gem in the middle of the bit of Regency-era town known as The Pantiles, but I’ve known of it – and visited – for over a year. Honest to god, their teas – loose – are divine. I’m particularly fond of their garden tea; it’s so fruity and just ugh so damn good. (I haven’t even talked about the food yet. Red velvet cake is top notch. Definitely recommend. In fact, any of their cakes are fabulous.) But the thing is, it feels homey. I can sit in there with a book and be at peace for hours. My hometown is no London, true; it’s hardly diverse and it’s pretty damn posh (Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells, anyone?) – but The Cake Shed is a little slice of comfort for me. With gorgeous crockery and cutlery that looks like it’s come straight out of Alice In Wonderland… well, I’m in heaven. If ever you’re in Tunbridge Wells, pay The Cake Shed a visit – and don’t forget to bring a book.
~ Books mentioned ~
- The Complete Poems – Ben Jonson http://www.bookdepository.com/Complete-Poems-Ben-Jonson/9780140422771
- Five Plays – Thomas Middleton http://www.bookdepository.com/Five-Plays-Trick-Catch-Old-One-Revengers-Tragedy-Chaste-Maid-Cheapside-Women-Beware-Women-Changeling-Thomas-Middleton/9780140432190
- The Opposite of Loneliness – Marina Keegan http://www.bookdepository.com/Opposite-Loneliness-Marina-Keegan/9781471139628
- Written In My Own Heart’s Blood – Diana Gabaldon http://www.bookdepository.com/Written-My-Own-Hearts-Blood-Diana-Gabaldon/9780812999273
- Smoke Gets In Your Eyes – Caitlin Doughtyhttp://www.bookdepository.com/Smoke-Gets-Your-Eyes-Caitlin-Doughty/9781782111030
- All I Know Now – Carrie Hope Fletcher http://www.bookdepository.com/All-I-Know-Now-Carrie-Hope-Fletcher/9780751557510
- Bitter Greens – Kate Forsyth http://www.bookdepository.com/Bitter-Greens-Kate-Forsyth/9780749013233
- Low Vol. 1 – Rick Remender http://www.bookdepository.com/Low-Delirium-Hope-1-Rick-Remender/9781632151940
- Roverandom – J.R.R. Tolkien http://www.bookdepository.com/Pocket-Roverandom-Tolkien/9780007523283
- The Second Sex – Simone de Beauvoir http://www.bookdepository.com/Second-Sex-Simone-de-Beauvoir/9780099595731
- The Tale of The Duelling Neurosurgeons – Sam Kean http://www.bookdepository.com/Tale-Dueling-Neurosurgeons-Sam-Kean/9780316182348
- The Vagenda – Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett http://www.bookdepository.com/Vagenda-Rhiannon-Lucy-Cosslett/9781784700430
- Once Upon A Time – Marina Warner http://www.bookdepository.com/Once-Upon-Time-Marina-Warner/9780198718659
- The Miseducation of Cameron Post – Emily M. Danforth http://www.bookdepository.com/Miseducation-Cameron-Post-Emily-Danforth/9780062020574
- Selected Writings – Galileo http://www.bookdepository.com/Selected-Writings-Galileo/9780199583690
- Claudius The God – Robert Graves http://www.bookdepository.com/Claudius-God-Robert-Graves/9780141188607
- Demelza – Winston Graham http://www.bookdepository.com/Demelza-Winston-Graham/9781447281535
- The Melancholy of Mechagirl – Catherynne M. Valente http://www.bookdepository.com/Melancholy-Mechagirl-Catherynne-Valente/9781421556130
- The Hollow Crown – Dan Jones http://www.bookdepository.com/Hollow-Crown-Dan-Jones/9780571288083
- Very Good Lives – J. K. Rowling http://www.bookdepository.com/Very-Good-Lives-Rowling/9781408706787
- Collected Poems – Philip Larkin http://www.bookdepository.com/Collected-Poems-Philip-Larkin/9780571216543
- Collected Poems – T. S. Eliot http://www.bookdepository.com/Collected-Poems-1909-62-Eliot/9780571105489
- Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler http://www.bookdepository.com/Why-We-Broke-Up-Daniel-Handler/9780316127257
- The Many Deaths of The Firefly Brothers – Thomas Mullen http://www.bookdepository.com/Many-Deaths-Firefly-Brothers-Thomas-Mullen/9780007340828
Find me here!
- Paperback (Headline, 480 pages)
- First published 2015; this edition published 2015
- Rating on Goodreads: 2 stars
- Buy the book here
- Review copy courtesy of Bookbridgr
“Vincent is an apprentice librarian who stumbles upon a secret powerful enough to destroy his master. With the foolish arrogance of youth, he attempts blackmail but the attempt fails and Vincent finds himself on the run and in possession of an intricately carved silver raven’s head.
Any attempt to sell the head fails … until Vincent tries to palm it off on the intimidating Lord Sylvain – unbeknown to Vincent, a powerful Alchemist with an all-consuming quest. Once more Vincent’s life is in danger because Sylvain and his neighbours, the menacing White Canons, consider him a predestined sacrifice in their shocking experiment.”
Having loved Karen Maitland’s The Vanishing Witch, I was so happy to receive a review copy of her newest novel. Ravens, death, magic, and medieval history – what’s not to love?
Unfortunately, love I didn’t. Unlike The Vanishing Witch, The Raven’s Head lacks pace, and the numerous viewpoints make it very confusing rather than entertaining. The characters lack decent personalities, and aren’t very well fleshed out. True, there are certain passages and phrases that are beautifully written, but overall I just couldn’t get into the plot, or feel for the characters.
What bothered me most was just how slow it was. It took ages to get anywhere, and it just dragged and dragged. Nothing exciting seemed to happen, and by the end of it I just didn’t care.
I can’t deny that Maitland is a good writer, given how great The Vanishing Witch is – but The Raven’s Head, sadly, isn’t her best. If you’re looking for a medieval-era piece of fiction with a touch of magic, avoid this one.
- Paperback (Speak, 336 pages)
- First published 2014; this edition published 2015
- Rating on Goodreads: 5 stars
- Buy the book here