the eighth court – mike shevdon

The Eighth Court

This is the fourth and last book in the ‘Courts of the Feyre’ series, and let’s face it, i wouldn’t have got this far if I didn’t love the series already.

Niall Peterson and Blackbird have come far since the first book.  Blackbird is setting up the eighth court as its leader, to ensure that all of the half-breed feyre can have a place that they can belong and call their own.

Niall has found his calling amongst the Warders, although the Warders as a group seem to be becoming more fragmented.  When Niall’s life is threatened, he starts hallucinating scenes from times long gone – but are they hallucinations, or are they memories..

The previous book, Strangeness & Charm centred very much on Alex and her coming of age, and her battle of conscience as she fully came into her powers.  In this book, she has come to terms with who and what she is, and the responsibility that comes with that, and is settling into family like with Blackbird, her father and her new baby half-brother as well as being forced to concentrate on just being a teenage girl!

So, all seems to be good for the people of the eighth court.

However, after Blackbird finally manages to find a home for them, they come to realise that all may not be quite as it seems, and they realise that some tough decisions are going to have to be made – and lives are going to be lost.

The story took a little while to get going this time, which was a little annoying as surely we had now had three books to build up the back story, and could have just jumped in with a little more happening.

I have to admit, I found Niall’s storyline in this book a little confusing and drawn out at times, but that aside, when the action started, it was wonderfully written and exciting.

Mike Shevdon has really got into the head of each of his main characters and made the reader really fall in love with them and care about their outcome – and it is due to this that the final scenes are so nail-biting.

Now, what comes next from Mike Shevdon?  I can’t wait to find out!

strangeness and charm – mike shevdon

Strangeness & Charm

It has been ages since I read Sixty One Nails and The Road To Bedlam, which are the first two books in this..erm..quadology?  It was only because I noticed that the last one was due out that I realised that the third had been released!

Niall has managed to rescue his daughter Alex from Porton Down, also setting free other half-fey.

Alex has returned to the courts to live with him and Blackbird and their new baby son.  She is put into training to learn how to control her newly found power, but, being your average 14/15 year old (normal, fey, powerless or powerful) she is moody, sullen, prone to bursts of rage and gives off a general air of ‘nobody understands me’.

When it all gets too much for her, and she realises that she can’t go back to her ‘normal’ life with her mum, she decides to run away – and manages to evade even Niall’s powers of detection.

The majority of this book concentrates on the relationships between the main characters, and especially focuses on Alex herself.  Being the mother of a sullen, moody teenage girl I can understand some reviews that say she seems rather self-centred and sorry for herself.  I can assure you, this is normal teenage girl behaviour.

The thought of my daughter having these mood-swings and the power to kill anyone in sight makes me shudder – as I’m sure she would.  She’d be extremely sorry the moment she did it – but by then it would be too late!

This did take some time to grow on me – but I think that a lot of that was due to the time gap between reading the first two books and this one.  Once I got back into the story, I was absolutely hooked – and the ending was completely epic.

I have since read the next one (The Eighth Court) – which I will review soon 😉

the road to bedlam – mike shevdon

The Road To Bedlam

This is Part 2 in the series, following Sixty-One Nails.

Blackbird is heavily pregnant, and Niall is in training to become a Warder when they get word that Alex (Niall’s daughter) has been involved in an accident at her school, and exposed to some form of biological contamination which has killed three of her fellow students.

Things aren’t quite as they seem though, and Alex has in fact come into her Fey powers that she has inherited from Niall.

I felt that there were a couple too many side-stories to this book, which was a shame, as the main story gripped me completely.  Actually, I was SO caught up in the climax to the main story (which kind of reminded me of Firestarter – which is a good thing!), that I even missed my stop on the Tube.

I am just hoping that there will be  abook three now!  On Mike Shevdon’s website he says:

A. My initial contract with Angry Robot Books was for two books, which is pretty standard for a new author.  We are in discussions about further books at the moment, but there will almost certainly be a book three.

I am not sure that I am altogether happy with the wishywashiness of ‘…almost certainly…’ – I demand a third book!

sixty-one nails – mike shevdon

Sixty-one Nails

I’m not sure how I came about this book – I think I remember seeing a tweet about it somewhere…but don’t hold me to that.

The marketing splurge of it being ‘Neverwhere for the next generation’ really drew me in, as I absolutely adore Neverwhere.

I can see what the connection was – it has the whole ‘alternative London’ going on that straddles this world with another secret one inhabited by the faeries or Fey, but at the same time it’s nothing like Neverwhere at all!

It starts when a very normal Londoner is going about his very normal life and suddenly has a heart attack on the Tube.  He is revived by a woman who allows him to call her ‘Blackbird’ – and tells him that he has ‘come into his powers’ and is no longer safe.

I loved this book.  I loved the tiny glimpses of London.  I love the way that the author took real, slightly odd London rituals/happenings and built up a fantastical reason for them occurring.

At first, I felt that the story was rather convaluted and wasn’t ready to buy into it, but without me realising, I had suddenly really bought into it, quite early on and just eagerly looking forward to finding out what happens next.  I know that this is meant to be one of a set (not sure how many yet) and I will definitely be reading the next one after I have read my next book club books.

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