Thursday, 20 February 2020

Mageborn by Jessica Thorne - Blog Tour Review

Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I am happy to be taking part in the blog tour for Mageborn by Jessica Thorne. I'm sharing my review of this brilliant book.


The room is small and dark. Row upon row of jars line the shelves, each one sealed with blood-red wax. The seal’s mark is a twisted circle of briar with gleaming, gold-tipped thorns. And in each jar a flicker of forbidden magic dances… beautiful, but deadly.

Sold to the Crown in the aftermath of the Last Great War, Grace Marchant has never known her parents. Now, she trains as an elite soldier tracking down mageborn – those born with an ancient and long-outlawed magic – and destroying them if they don’t surrender their power to the Crown.

The mageborn who submit are collared, then handed over to the King’s cousin and heir: the elusive Bastien Larelwynn, Lord of Thorns, locked away in his shadowy workshop deep inside the castle. What becomes of them is hard to say – the Lord of Thorns keeps his secrets close.

Grace has always fought the voice inside her that questions whether the law is truly just, but when her closest friend is next on Bastien’s list, Grace’s loyalties are tested to the limit. Confronting Bastien – searching his strangely compelling obsidian-black eyes for answers – Grace is shocked to feel herself begin to change, to show the first signs of the wild magic she so fears.

Only the Lord of Thorns has the power to save her and the rest of the mageborn – if he doesn’t destroy them all first…

My Review

It feels like I haven't read fantasy is quite a while after I binge read a couple of series last year. Mageborn was a really brilliant book to get myself back into the fantasy groove. 

Being the first book in a series, it is definitely a slow paced begining to the story while we have world building and mythos created, but it's worth the build up and I really like both the world and how the magic system works. A good magic system is always important. 

I always love a well written multiple POV book and this worked really well in Mageborn, though I did tend to prefer Grace's voice. Grace is a strong character and has flaws and feels really natural to read. There are a few side characters that also seem really interesting and I'd like to see more of them in the future, maybe have some chapters from them too. 

I really enjoyed Mageborn and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series as I certainly want to see where it goes from how everything is left! 

I gave this book 4 stars.

About The Author

Jessica Thorne saw Star Wars at an impressionable age and life was never the same. She’s loved fantasy, romance and science fiction ever since and spends her time looking for adventure – in the pages of her books.

Sometimes she is Ruth Frances Long and won the European Science Fiction Society Spirit of Dedication Award for Best Author of Children’s Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2015.

You can find Jessica Thorne  on -

Don't Forget To Check Out The Rest Of The Tour

Milly's Marvellous Mistakes! by Peta Rainford

Today I am happy to be sharing my review of the fabulous new book by Peta Rainford, Milly's Marvellous Mistakes, which is released today. I've been lucky enough to read and review some of her other books (Jacob Starke Loves The Dark, Isabella's Adventures In Numberland and The Niggle) and couldn't wait to dive into this one! 

Milly's Marvellous Mistakes!

Milly's Marvellous Mistakes is a funny, rhyming picture book for the X-factor generation of children brought up to expect overnight success and instant gratification!

Our hero, Milly May, more than anything, wants to paint beautiful pictures. But she always ends up with blots and smudges. She really WISHES she was a better artist, and then - hey presto! - her fairy godmother appears (looking a little bit like the artist Frida Khalo!) and grants her wish.

Milly is soon turning out paintings in the style of famous artists, including: Van Gogh and Da Vinci! There are lots of great visual jokes in this beautifully illustrated and colourful book.

But Milly soon discovers that success that comes too easily may not be worth having - especially if it means losing friends.

This funny, rhyming picture book - about art, friendship and the dangers of instant gratification - says it's ok to make mistakes. Like Peta Rainford's previous book, The Niggle, it tackles the issue of resilience in a humorous, imaginative and child-friendly way.

This book would be great for early readers or as a bedtime story for children of around 4 to 8 years of age.

My Review

Another absolutely amazing book by Peta Rainford. I'm pretty sure each time I read a new one, I say it's my favourite so far and that's happening again now! Milly's Marvellous Mistakes is my new favourite of her books. 

Peta Rainford always finds the most perfect way of explaining important life lessons to children, without talking down to them or confusing them AND she does it in rhyme! One of the lessons in MMM is that it's not about the end result, it's about the journey you took to get there. Yes you may make mistakes, but the result will be honestly earned. 

The art (which is also done by Peta) is beautiful. The nods to famous artists is a really nice touch and I found myself checking all the paintings to see what I recognised. It gives something extra as well to discuss with your child as you can explore more of an artist's work if they particularly liked one of the pictures or you could talk about their favourite way of drawing. I love books that bring more questions from the Nerdlings. 

The book is brilliant for children, but I think it also has so much to keep adults wanting to read along too. I honestly recommend these books to everyone. 

I gave this book 5 stars.

About The Author

I was lucky enough to have Peta Rainford on my feature, Getting To Know... If you'd like to check that out. 

Peta writes and illustrates her funny picture books on the Isle of Wight, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and hairy jack russell, Archie. Peta loves going into schools to share her books and inspire children in their writing and art. She has appeared at a number of festivals and other events, including: Barnes Children’s Literature Festival, Isle of Wight Literary Festival, Exmoor Dark Skies Festival and Ventnor Fringe. She is one of the organisers of the inaugural IW Story Festival, taking place in February 2020.