The Divide Trilogy (Elizabeth Kay) Series Review

Whilst I’m reading a book ‘on contract’ for an author, I’ll write this small review to keep the blog active whilst I read! The Divide trilogy is a series I first read as a child, where I borrowed it from the library. The fact that it’s still on my bookshelf, about six years later says something (my own copies that is, I didn’t steal them!). They are for a younger generation than most of the books I review, probably early-secondary school children (11-13) but they’ve a charm that makes me want to read them over and over.

The Divide – Felix is a boy of thirteen. He has a heart problem that has held him back for his whole life, and his parents constantly fear for his safety. Whilst on holiday in Costa Rica he passes out over ‘the Divide’, a watershed where water flows to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Waking, he finds himself somewhere he’d never imagined – a place where legendary creatures are real, and humans the things of legend. He meets Ironclaw, a Brazzle (Griffin) and Betony a tangle-child (elf). He finds out from the brittlehorn (unicorn) leader that there may be a cure for him in that world – so Felix sets off on a quest to find that cure.

Return to the Divide – Felix is happy, he’s cured and home again. Until Snakeweek, the antagonist of the first book turns up at his door, and turns his parents to stone! Then, Felix has no choice but to help Snakeweed get home, for he must also go to the world across the Divide to find the cure before it destroys his world, for anything that touches his parents’ statues is also petrified, and so it spreads..

Jinx on the Divide – Felix is back at school. That is, until Rhino – a bully at his school – is kidnapped by a genie from a lamp Felix kept from across the Divide. The genie demands to be taken home and given physical form, else it won’t give Rhino back! Meanwhile, inside the box, Rhino has found a box that gives him any of his worldly desires – if only he’ll say little magic words that wreak havoc on both sides of the Divide!

Ah, that’s the problem with series reviews, summarising the plot is monstrous! Anyway, it’s all done now so let’s go on to actually look at the plot! Let’s be honest, it’s not a complex one and there are good reasons for that. It’s aimed at the younger end of young-adult fantasy, so a complex plotline would ruin the book for the majority of it’s readers. I actually like how simple it is, it’s a carefree and easy read! It’s funny and light, something you can enjoy that you don’t have to dig deep into. I know I’ve said that I love the opposite, real nitty-gritty books, and it’s true, I like a bit of the both. There aren’t many sub-plots and behind-the-scenes goings on, it’s all there in front of the camera, as it were. I love it, it’s an innocent story of a young lad trying to find a cure for his life-threatening disease in a fairy world. It’s the sort of book that has me keening and remembering with fondness the childish tales of knights in armour. If you want an easy read, this trilogy will make you happy. It probably won’t take you too long to read, but I think it’d be nice for, say, a holiday read. There are some genuinely funny bits too, bits that still make me laugh when I read them now.

The characters are cute and charming. Sure, they’re not the deepest, most soulfull folks you’ll have met on your travels through fantasy, but that doesn’t matter. That’s not to say they’re bland though, they’ve got distinct and interesting personalities, just not ones that’ll set you thinking for hours upon end. I’ve got to say that without a doubt, Ironclaw is my favourite character – he’s hugely witty and hugely clever, which makes for a hilarious combination. Betony is an emotional lass, quick to anger, and folly perhaps, but she becomes Felix’s best friend. Their relationship is a strong one, and true. Again back to innocence, it’s not a relationship fouled by the dark things they go through (there aren’t really that many) nor does Felix suddenly propose his love for his, it’s a charming child’s friendship. It’s sweet. The characters are believably, even if the bad guy is a bit generic. That fickly ol’ Snakeweed, we all come to love him for his nasty tricks.

Perhaps I’m biased. Perhaps it’s just a series I loved in my childhood and can’t think but to love it now, but they are lovely books. There aren’t deep messages or harsh words. A boy goes on a short series of adventures and saves the day more than once. Now, I can’t say fairer than that, myself. It’s a series I’d recommend picking up for a light read, as I think it’s one you should read. Funny and light-hearted.

I’m going to give The Divide Trilogy an 8/10. Obviously as an adult fantasy book, it stands nowhere near that score, but it isn’t adult fantasy. It’s a young-young-adult book, and it’s a beautiful one.


Carpe Diem Haru Higan

Spring Equinox, we are now in astrological spring folks, so chins up! I quite like this Haiku thing, though I didn’t like yesterday’s word.

Haru Higan! Yes!
Our sweet springtime equinox,
On this bright march day.

Hmmm, not so brilliant..

Now the old Druids,
Do stir from homes, to the stones,
For Haru Higan!

Slightly better. What do you think?

Carpe Diem: Aomugi

This is my first entry to the Carpe Diem Haiku weblog, and I hope you all enjoy it. I’ll be honest, I haven’t written a haiku since primary school, where my debut work was ‘My Dog Jazz’. So, let’s give it a whirl, country girl!

Ah yes, the prompt word is Aomugi, meaning Green Barley!

O, sweet green barley,
Your long fronds a-swing the breeze,
Softly past my face.

So high dust thee climb,
Aomugi, for the hops,
Aye, for bitter beer.

Hey, how was that? Please comment!

Planning a Story Plot

I’d just like to share with you a post about writing a novel – specifically, how to plan out the storyline for your novel. I say novel, it could be a play, a non-fiction piece or so on. It outlines twenty-five different ways you can do it, and I found it really, really interesting! I think it’s helped me too. I can’t reblog it directly, but here’s a link:


I take no credit for the content therein!

The Silmarillion (J.R.R. Tolkien) Book Review

The Silmarillion is another of Tolkien’s books set in The Lord of the Rings universe. Most of his books are, of course, and all are brilliant. Every regular to this site knows of my love affair with Tolkien literature, so if you don’t want to read a review brimming with affection and enjoyment. Alternatively, if you found the Silmarillion too difficult to read, and are now searching the Internet for a bad review to make you feel better, you can leave too.

The Silmarillion is the story of Arda, the world, ranging from its creation through its elder history, the awakening of the elves and the coming of men and dwarves. It tells of the gallon of Melkor, who was the master of Sauron, and on through all the history of Arda – the world, through the Lord of the Rings trilogy era (summed up in about a page) ending with the last ship leaving the Grey Havens, as it does in the Lord of the Rings. Continue reading

HOP Book 1: Dragon (Rustin Petrae) Book Review

Another exciting review for me, as it’s a book sent to me for review. It’s something I’ve found quite surprising – these new authors really want for their books to be read, reviewed. At first I was worried that, in offering to review a book for somebody, they’d simply think that I was trying to get a free read out of it. I was so very wrong. The author of this book, Rustin Petrae, seemed very thankful that I had reached out to him. Thinking about it, if I had written a book, I too would want to know how people felt about it. Anyway, this book is the first in a series of four, the second of which is to be expected July this year. Well then, on to the review!

The Rooks are a race of people far technologically advanced, able to create almost anything they need from small nano-bots that are kept with them at all times. The Terraquois are a colony of people dwelling deep within the forest, in tune with nature and the animals. Many can alter their form to a beast representing their nature. The two people’s are at war. There’s a new player though, and when the Rook city is attacked by the Blak Army, a young Terraquois girl saves the life of a Rook Prince. And that’s where things really start going wrong.

Continue reading

Rohrer & Kligner Cassia ‘Review’

This is the fabled purple I talked about in my sheeny ink post, that one with the beautiful green tint to it. Now you’ll see it not just as a sheeny ink, but as the purple colour itself, which is very nice. This is one of the only inks of this months samples that I’m considering buying a full bottle of, as I really do enjoy it. Have a look, and tell me what you think!