Morning lovelies.  So I”m finally here with my review of With Face Aflame by A. E. Walnofer, a wonderful heartwarming coming of age story….

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: With Face Aflame
Author: A. E. Walnofer
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Estimated page count: 353
Formats available: Paperback and eBook.  Available on Kindle Unlimited
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Tour organised by: Zooloo’s Book Tours

Born with a red mark emblazoned across her face, seventeen-year-old Madge is lonely as she spends her days serving guests and cleaning rooms in the inn her father keeps.

One day, she meets an unusual minstrel in the marketplace. Moved by the beauty of his song and the odd shape of his body, she realizes she has made her first friend. But he must go on to the next town, leaving her behind.

Soon after, while she herself is singing in the woods, she is startled by a chance meeting with a stranger there. Though the encounter leaves her horribly embarrassed, it proves she need not remain unnoticed and alone forever.

However, this new hope is shattered when she overhears a few quiet words that weren’t intended for her ears. Heartbroken and confused, she flees her home to join the minstrel and his companion, a crass juggler.

As they travel earning their daily bread, Madge secretly seeks to rid herself of the mark upon her cheek convinced that nothing else can heal her heart.

Set in England in 1681, With Face Aflame is the tale of a girl who risks everything in hopes of becoming the person she desperately wants to be.

Purchase links: Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

my thoughts

Madge is a wonderful but shy girl, due to her facial birthmark.  Despite being loved by her family and encouraged to look people in the eye, she is embarrassed by the way she looks and  tries to hide her face from strangers.  One day she’s encouraged to head into town and sing with the strange Minstrel, inviting him back for some ale.  At this stage she realises she’s found her first friend.

But just as things are looking up she overhears her father saying something that changes everything, and she decides she must head off in search of a way to get rid of her birthmark.  Catching up with her Minstrel friend and companion she embarks on her journey, but it turns out to be far more enlightening than she imagined.  Will she be able to rid herself of her mark? Or will see realise that she’s beautiful just how she is?

This is a lovely coming of age story where you’ll journey with Madge and hear her deepest, darkest thoughts.  She’s such a warm and loving characters but has such low self-confidence and it was so heartwarming, although heartbreaking at times, to see her learn and grow.  Her friendship with Keaton is truly wonderful, and just seeing her develop will make you smile.

They meet many people along the way and each one will teach that you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.  The majority of characters are lovely but you’ll get the odd few who you’ll wish you hadn’t met!

Set in 1681, I enjoyed the historical setting and the style in which the characters converse with each other.  Even if you’re not a fan of historical fiction, this is one of those stories that you should really check out anyway as the storyline is a lovely one not to miss.   And even though the narrative is written in more of an older style, suitable for the 17th century it’s easy to understand and follow.

So if you’re looking for a wonderful, beautifully written coming of age story with a fantastic historical element, loveable characters and a truly heartwarming storyline then you should check this out.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A.E. Walnofer spends weekdays mobilizing the soft tissue and synovial joints of patients, and weekends typing out stories that are incessantly brewing inside her head. There are lots of these tales and she hopes to share many more of them with you in the future.

Where to find Aimee online: Instagram | @aewalnofer ~ Website

FOLLOW THE TOUR

Thanks to Zoe for inviting me on to the tour, and to Aimee for a copy of the book. All views and opinions are my own

Chelle x

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