#BlogTour Orfeia by Joanne M. Harris

It was my turn on the BlogTour Orfeia by Joanne M. Harris yesterday, but due to unforeseen circumstances I am posting today instead. This beautiful book is illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins.

‘The stunning new novella from No 1 bestselling author Joanne Harris: Orfeia is a gender-flipped retelling of the Orpheus Myth.’ 

About the Author

Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French writer, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy. In 2000, her 1999 novel Chocolat was adapted to the screen, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. Chocolat has sold over a million copies in the UK alone and was a global bestseller. 

She is an Honorary Fellow of St Catherine’s College, Cambridge, and in 2013 was awarded an MBE by the Queen. Her hobbies are listed in Who’s Who as ‘mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion’. She plays bass guitar in a band first formed when she was 16 and runs the musical storytelling show Storytime. Joanne lives with her husband in Yorkshire, about 15 miles from the place she was born. Find out more at www.joanne-harris.co.uk or 

Follow @Joannechocolat on Twitteron GoodreadsBuy Orfeia

About the book

When you can find me an acre of land, Every sage grows merry in time, Between the ocean and the sand Then will you be united again.

So begins a beautiful and tragic quest as a heartbroken mother sets out to save her lost daughter, through the realms of the real, of dream, and even into the underworld itself. But determination alone is not enough. For to save something precious, she must give up something precious, be it a song, a memory, or her freedom itself . . .


I can only recommend you buy a hardcopy of this beautiful book. It may only be novella length with 224 pages, but the illustration and the story make up for the length. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it as a gift and it is one of those books that takes up a special place on your bookshelf. 

It’s inspired by folklore or the myth of Orpheus, who tries to return to the Underworld to be reunited with Eurydice, but cannot do so whilst alive. The myth also speaks of him playing a mourning song to call on death, depending on the variation of the retelling. The songs and sound of grief, longing and love are important in this story.

Harris takes the tale and puts her mark on it as only she can. Orpheus becomes Orfeia the grieving mother, who returns to the world she has forgotten to find her lost child. To do so she must also enter a world, which demands death as an entrance fee, but before doing so she must also remember and adhere to the sly and often insidious games of her people. The people she left behind to live the life of a mortal, which in retrospect has only caused her grief.

I have to say the first chapters were heartbreaking. It was as if Harris was reaching out from within the pages and squeezing my heart. Words so beguiling and yet simultaneously brutally frank. One wonders, why isn’t there a word for mother or father who has lost there child. We have a title or phrase for everything else – perhaps the hope that one never has to endure said situation is why it remains nameless. No shout-out to the universe, hence no echo returning to inflict such pain. If only that were true.

I absolutely loved it.

Buy Orfeia at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published in hardback by Gollancz on 3rd September 2020 – £14.99. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Waterstones.

The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #2)

It seems as if Kagawa is experiencing a peak in her writing at the moment. She seems to be ticking all the boxes in her newest books.

The Iron series The Iron King started as a bland mixed bag of sweets with a penchant for ripping off fairy tales and the legends of Fey.

That series leads into this spin-off featuring the son of Ash and Meghan. Kagawa has grown as a writer and turned this series into a challenging and entertaining YA experience.

In this book the prophecy begins to rule the outcome of events. The role that Keirran will play in the Fey game of chess slowly becomes apparent. It is almost like looking back upon the first fissures Megan created during her early years in Fey. Keirran acts without thinking through the consequences of his actions and he does it all in the name of true love.

Meanwhile Ethan is split between supporting his family and acknowledging his real feelings. It takes a visit to a goblin market for him to unlock the subconscious anger that has been slowly drifting beneath the surface.

His anger in combination with the darkness growing inside Keirran is a ticking time-bomb waiting to implode. Question is who will lose control first?

The ending was a cliffhanger and dramatic extravaganza par excellence. I am not going to reveal any spoilers but what I can and will say is that in the next book all hell is going to break loose. Life as they know it in Fey, the Never Never, the Inbetween and the good old real world will never be the same again.

Yes, the ending is that good.
I highly recommend the series for younger and older readers alike and have actually purchased the entire series in paperback for my 15 year old.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

View all my reviews