Sixteen year old Canny Mochrie has always been a little different. She's never known her father, she's always had a calculating, mathematical mind, and she's always been able to see something Extra. When she begrudgingly joins her older stepbrother on a trip to research a strange coal mine disaster that happened thirty years earlier, she wanders into a nearby enchanted valley, occupied almost entirely by children who all have the same last name and who can perform a type of magic that makes things stronger and better than they already are. With the help of the alluring and somewhat threatening Ghislain Zarene, who is held hostage by a powerful, out-of-control spell for his part in that mine accident long ago, Canny starts to untangle the mysteries of the valley - only to find that its secrets are her secrets too.
I've been reading fantasy books since I was young but never one by a New Zealand author, so I jumped at the chance to read and review Elizabeth Knox's new novel, Mortal Fire.
As is to be expected there are certain elements that often make up a fantasy book (fantastical world, dragons, magic, adventure, etc) and after a while it becomes hard to find one that is truly original.
Mortal Fire is just that.
The book is set in 1959, in a parallel universe much like our own. It feels like the real world (as opposed to a fantasy world) and Canny is a teenager of that time - except shes different and she knows it. I love books that have strong main characters and Canny is certainly that. She is beautiful, intelligent, cunning and is the main driving force behind the story, pushing the boundaries at every turn. Hers is a story of friendship, love and self discovery, she knows exactly what she wants and doesn't let anything stand in her way.
While the book may feel slow going to start with, it is extremely easy to read. Elizabeth Knox writes in such a way that you can't help being drawn in and the back stories all help to give you a better understanding of the characters and the world in which they live.
But what makes this book truly unique is the magic system. It feels real and fits perfectly into the world that Elizabeth Knox has created. There is a sense of mystery about it that keeps you wanting more.
A lot of the story is left open to interpretation but all the loose threads come together at the end to provide some answers and the ending is such that there is definitely room for a sequel should Elizabeth Knox choose to write one (which I hope she does).
Rating: 4.5/5 Note: I was not paid to write this review. I just love books/reading and want to share my passion with you.
It's my nephews birthday coming up and since its winter at the moment I decided to crochet him a hat.
Originally I was going to make this hat here but I have trouble with sizing when I follow patterns so I sorta just winged it and when I couldn't get the puppy ears to look how I wanted them to, it turned into a bear hat (I think he has more of a bear face anyway).
I'm really happy with how it turned out. Riley has taken quite a shine to it and has requested that I make him one as well.
I have a number of crafty projects on the go at the moment but nothing ready to share yet and since I always seem to lack motivation in Winter, I thought I'd share some of my past winter projects with you all.
I made this scarf for Riley back when I was still a beginner sewer. It was such an easy project and the best part is that he still wears it now, talk about good value.
This fleece blanket is such an easy way to dress up a child's bedroom and keep them warm at the same time.
Crochet beanies are one of the quickest things to make and there are so many sweet patterns available for both boys and girls.
Hot water bottle covers are so simple to make. Just trace around a hot water bottle to create your template, adding an extra 1/2" seam allowance on all sides.
It's always nice making something for yourself, you can find the pattern for my infinity scarf/cowl here.
These hand warmers are a great way to keep fingers warm on those cold and frosty mornings. Heat in the microwave, pop them in your pocket and your good to go.
I hope some of these projects inspire you to get creating this Winter