Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee at It’s Book Talk. It’s designed as an opportunity to share old favourites as well as books that we’ve finally got around to reading that were published over a year ago.
Today I’m revisiting a book I reviewed in 2017, The Scribe’s Daughter by Stephanie Churchill, which was published in August 2015. Awarding The Scribe’s Daughter one of its coveted Discovered Diamond badges, the Discovering Diamonds reviewer said, “If you like George R.R. Martin and Sarah J. Maas, this is absolutely for you. Definitely a brilliant diamond of a discovery!”
The Scribe’s Daughter was followed by The King’s Daughter in September 2017. Whilst the first book focuses on the adventures of Kassia, The King’s Daughter brings the reader the story from the viewpoint of her older sister, Irisa. Unfortunately, The King’s Daughter hasn’t yet reached the top of my author review pile, although it’s sitting in third place so not long now! I’m really looking forward to reading it.
And the good news is that Stephanie Churchill is working on a third book, as yet untitled, featuring one of the characters from The King’s Daughter who proved particularly fascinating to readers.
About the Book
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 (302 pp.) Publisher:
Published: 25th August 2015 Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, YA
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 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 is 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 terrible experiences will scar her physically and emotionally, making her unwilling to trust anyone and leave her seeing herself as damaged and unworthy of another’s love.
Many adventures and strange new places await Kassia and the group of fellow travellers she encounters. 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.
In three words: Entertaining, action-packed, lively
Try something similar…The Du Lac Chronicles by Mary Anne Yarde
About the Author
When Stephanie was a child, she was curious about everything, particularly as it related to “old stuff.” And because in those days there was no internet, when she was bored or wanted to learn something new about history or anything else, she could be found sitting on the floor at home reading an encyclopaedia. Her fondest memories are of wandering her grandparents’ farm in rural Nebraska, daydreaming and telling herself fairy tales, usually with a medieval twist.
Upon reaching adulthood, Stephanie developed a love of reading history and historical fiction. But never once did it occur to her to become a writer. Working in the field of law instead, it took a nudge from her favourite author suggesting that she try her hand at becoming an author.
Evoking the essence of historical fiction but without the history, Stephanie’s writing draws on her knowledge of history even while set in purely fictional places existing only in her imagination. Filled with action and romance, loyalty and betrayal, her writing relies on deeply drawn and complex characters, exploring the subtleties of imperfect people living in a gritty, sometimes dark world. Her unique blend of historical fiction and fantasy ensures that her books are sure to please fans of historical fiction or epic fantasy literature alike.
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