Welcome back lovelies. So my second post of the day is a review of the wonderful Beltane by Alys West. I absolutely adored this – full of magic, intrigue, romance, history and the supernatural, this brings some of my favourite things together…..I’m so glad I found this series!
Struggling artist, Zoe arrives in Glastonbury seeking inspiration. The small Somerset town is steeped in myth and legend and Zoe’s sure it’ll be the perfect place to work on a book about King Arthur. But behind the shops selling witchcraft supplies and crystals real magic is being practised.
When Zoe meets Finn her life changes forever. Not only is he a druid connected to the ancient energies of the earth but she dreamed about him long before they met. Finn’s life is in terrible danger and Zoe’s dreams start to reveal more of the plot against him.
After dreaming of a deadly battle at a stone circle on Dartmoor, Zoe starts to wonder if the dark magic around her is playing tricks of its own or if she really can see the future. Will she learn to trust Finn, and herself, in time to stand any hope of surviving the powerful magic that will be unleashed at Beltane? Or is it already too late?
This gripping story of magic, romance and the supernatural will entrance fans of Deborah Harkness and Phil Rickman and keep you spellbound until the very last page.
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Artist Zoe has just been awarded a big commission focussed on King Arthur but she’s struggling. Encouraged by her friend to go to Glastonbury and stay at a retreat she recommended, Zoe arrives but her feelings towards Maeve and Anam Cara are not what she’d expected or hoped.
When she bumps into a stranger, Finn, she is sure she recognises him, but they haven’t met before. Then she realises he’s the man of her dreams; and when the dreams start getting more worrying Zoe has to decide whether she should tell him. Will she look a fool or is she really seeing the future? But then he has a confession of his own…..
Finding out that magic isn’t just a make believe thing, Zoe must come to terms with the fact that there is a whole different world out there that she didn’t know, and that it can be dangerous….. With Finn’s life at risk, they must work together to prepare for what’s coming on Beltane. But can they survive it? Or will Zoe’s reluctance put them both in danger?
I absolutely loved this. From the first chapter, I was hooked! The two main characters are amazing. I instantly liked Zoe and was just as suspicious of Maeve and Anam Cara as she was; and I adored Finn. He’s so mysterious, moody yet charming and as the reader, we get to know more about him than Zoe does, and it’s brilliant going along with her as she finds out! Winston comes into the story a bit later and I absolutely loved him too. And then there’s Maeve……I’m not going to say anything about her as I want you to read it and make your own minds up!!
The plot is fantastic; full of mystery, magic, danger and romance I honestly didn’t want to put it down. Set in Glastonbury, it only made my need to go there stronger! West does a fantastic job with her descriptions, and even though I’ve never been there, I could picture everything vividly – the streets, alleys, shops, cafes and Tor.
The story is well written, easy and thoroughly enjoyable to read. I was fully invested in the characters and the story and honestly just loved it so much. This is one of those books that you love so much that it’s hard to put it into words – or words that will do it justice at least. As a massive fan of Deborah Harkness, I was anxious when I started to read this but I have to say I love this just as much, and I’m so glad it’s a series!
Honestly if you’re a fan of A Discovery of Witches, or Harry Potter then you will love this. And if you love all things witchy then you should check this out too. I genuinely don’t have the words to tell you how fab this was, so go and check it out for yourself!! All I know is I will be buying the paperbacks of this series and adding them to my favourite series shelf!
about the author
Alys West writes contemporary fantasy and steampunk. She lives in York but loves to travel especially to Scottish islands. Her stories grow out of places and the tales which people tell about places. Her work draws on her own experience of surviving trauma but always with the possibility of a hopeful ending.
Alys has a MA in Creative Writing from York St John University and teaches creative writing at the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of York. She’s also a book whisperer (like a book doctor but more holistic) and mentor to aspiring writers.
When she’s not writing you can find her at folk gigs, doing yoga and attempting to crochet. She occasionally blogs at www.alyswest.com, intermittently tweets at @alyswestyork and spends rather too much time on Facebook where you can find her at Alys West Writer. She is also on Instagram at @alyswestwriter. To keep up with Alys’s news you can join her Facebook readers’ group ‘Druids, Spellworkers and Dirigibles’.
Keep an eye out for my review of book 2, Storm Witch early next week too…..
Have a wonderful day lovelies.