Review: The Scribe’s Daughter by Stephanie Churchill

I’m thrilled to bring you my review of The Scribe’s Daughter by Stephanie Churchill and to bring you a teaser of its long-awaited sequel, The King’s Daughter, published on 1st September 2017.

What’s more, I can offer one lucky person the chance to get their hands on an advance ebook copy (.mobi file only) of The King’s Daughter.

To enter the giveaway, click here. The giveaway closes on 1st September.


TheScribesDaughterAbout The Scribe’s Daughter

Kassia is a thief and a soon-to-be oath breaker. Armed with only a reckless wit and sheer bravado, seventeen-year-old Kassia barely scrapes out a life with her older sister in a back-alley of the market district of the Imperial city of Corium. When a stranger shows up at her market stall, offering her work for which she is utterly unqualified, Kassia cautiously takes him on. Very soon however, she finds herself embroiled in a mystery involving a usurped foreign throne and a vengeful nobleman. Most intriguing of all, she discovers a connection with the disappearance of her father three years prior.

When Kassia is forced to flee her home, suffering extreme hardship, danger and personal trauma along the way, she feels powerless to control what happens around her. Rewarding revelations concerning the mysteries of her family’s past are tempered by the reality of a future she doesn’t want. In the end, Kassia discovers an unyielding inner strength and that, contrary to her prior beliefs, she is not defined by external things – she discovers that she is worthy to be loved.

Format: ebook Publisher: Pages: 302
Publication: 25th Aug 2015 Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy

TheKing'sDaughterAbout The King’s Daughter

Irisa’s parents are dead and her younger sister Kassia is away on a journey when the sisters’ mysterious customer returns, urging Irisa to leave with him before disaster strikes. Can she trust him to keep her safe? How much does he know about the fate of her father? Only a voyage across the Eastmor Ocean to the land of her ancestors will reveal the truth about her family’s disturbing past. Once there, Irisa steps into a future she has unknowingly been prepared for since childhood, but what she discovers is far more sinister than she could have ever imagined. Will she have the courage to claim her inheritance?

Format: ebook Publisher: Pages: 338
Publication: 1st Sep 2017 Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Extract: The King’s Daughter by Stephanie Churchill

SOMEWHERE ON THE EASTERN COAST OF PANIA

It seems odd that I would notice the birds. Of all the things my eyes could have focused on, it was the birds circling lazily overhead — as if the pattern of their flight was more significant than the knife at my throat — that caught my attention.

“Your miserable life isn’t worth my spit,” the man hissed toward Casmir. “But your woman here…” He licked his lips and tightened his hold around my waist.

I felt a rush of horror sweep over me, fearing what would happen next. Casmir lay face-first on the ground, heaving for air, blood and spit mingling then dripping in viscous streams to the grass. He could do nothing for me. Another savage kick connected with his stomach and he curled into himself. I screamed out and strained against the arm holding me.

The kick didn’t have the desired effect. After a moment Casmir drew from a well deep within himself and pushed up onto all fours, slowly standing fully, making his way toward me. My captor sniffed and spun me, pushing me backwards, still holding the knife and grinning wickedly. I staggered backwards but caught myself, fighting for purchase on the crumbling edge of the cliff’s face. I dared not break my eyes from the man with the knife, so I heard rather than saw pebbles and debris skitter over the edge behind me. Casmir stood at my side, took my hand in his. We would face our fate together.

“Alas, there is no time for sport, as much as I would have loved to make you watch.”

The man with the knife sneered as he advanced forward a step, and his partner raised a sword, hefting it menacingly.

Death comes to us all, it is true, but for many, death is seen coming from far off. They are ready when it arrives, have prepared themselves for the flight into the unknown. I never imagined that I would die this way, and I never saw it coming. Murdered at the hands of those we should have trusted.

TheKing'sDaughterGraphic

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Find The Scribe’s Daughter and The King’s Daughter on Goodreads

My Review of The Scribe’s Daughter

The Scribe’s Daughter is an exciting, action-packed adventure story set in a fictional imagined world. Although not specified, the time period has the feel of the medieval and I imagined the story taking place somewhere in the countries around the Mediterranean.

Kassia is a sparky, feisty heroine. She’s a tomboy when we first meet her; brave, if a little reckless. Kassia has need to be brave, though, because her father disappeared three years ago after failing to return from a trip, and she has to look after her sister, Irisa, and somehow find a way for them to survive. Although suspicious of the stranger who turns up offering her handsome payment in return for repairing a piece of jewellery, Kassia decides it’s better than the undesirable alternatives on offer. This decision will have consequences for both Kassia and her sister.

Carrying out the task takes Kassia out of the city of Corium and it soon becomes apparent that someone is out to get her (for unknown reasons) but that others are out to protect her (for equally unknown reasons).   A story that has started out fairly light suddenly gets darker as we see that Kassia is not immune from the dangers facing a woman travelling alone. I did find this part of the book surprisingly unsettling. Kassia’s experiences will scar her physically and emotionally, making her unwilling to trust anyone and leaving her seeing herself as damaged and unworthy of anyone’s love.

Many adventures and strange new places await Kassia and the group of fellow travellers she falls in with. She learns surprising things about her past that cast her in a new and unwelcome role. Can she be more than a pawn in a political game or a chattel to be negotiated over and possessed? Will she eventually be able to trust someone with her heart? The author skilfully brings Kassia’s story to a satisfying conclusion but leaves strands to be picked up and woven into a new story in The King’s Daughter.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author in return for an honest review.

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In three words: Entertaining, action-packed, lively

Try something similar…The Du Lac Chronicles by Mary Anne Yarde


StephanieChurchillAbout the Author

Stephanie says: I grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and after attending college in Iowa, moved to Washington, D.C. to work as an antitrust paralegal. When my husband and I got married, I moved to the Minneapolis metro area and found work as a corporate paralegal. While I enjoyed reading, writing was never anything that even crossed my mind. I enjoyed reading, but writing? That’s what authors did, and I wasn’t an author.

One day while on my lunch break, I visited the neighboring Barnes & Noble and happened upon a book by author Sharon Kay Penman. I’d never heard of her before, but the book looked interesting, so I bought it. Immediately I become a rabid fan of her work. In 2007, when Facebook was very quickly becoming “a thing”, I discovered that Ms. Penman had fan club and that she happened to interact there frequently. As a result of a casual comment she made about how writers generally don’t get detailed feedback from readers, I wrote her an embarrassingly long review of her latest book, Lionheart. As a result of that review, she asked me what would become the most life-changing question: “Have you ever thought about writing?” And The Scribe’s Daughter was born.

When I’m not writing or taxiing my two children to school or other activities, I’m likely walking Cozmo, our dog, or reading. The rest of my time is spent trying to survive the murderous intentions of Minnesota’s weather.

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