BOOK REVIEW: Nectar for the God

My second round with Mennik Thorn and I am thoroughly impressed.

Cover of the novel Nectar for the God, with Mennik Thorn standing at the front, magic ready in his palm

By Patrick Samphire. Find out more about it here.
427 pages

Only an idiot would ignore his debt to a high mage, and Mennik Thorn is not an idiot, no matter what anyone might say. He’s just been … distracted. But now he’s left it too late, and if he doesn’t obey the high mage’s commands within the day, his best friends’ lives will be forfeit. So it’s hardly the time to take on an impossible case: proving a woman who murdered a stranger in full view is innocent.

Unfortunately, Mennik can’t resist doing the right thing – and now he’s caught in a deadly rivalry between warring high mages, his witnesses are dying, and something ancient has turned its eyes upon him.

The fate of the city is once again in the hands of a second-rate mage. Mennik Thorn should have stayed in hiding.

Taff’s squee rating: 4 1/2 hearts!
What’s inside: The same as what we’ve found in book one! Check out my review here. On top of that, we’ve got Mennik really showing how he messes up – especially around his friends and I really appreciate how his actions have clear consequences.
Trigger warnings: More magical violence with plenty of gore. Tentacles. The setting has little mercy and children are not immune to harm.

After I put down Nectar for the God, my first thought was: Okay, I need the next one. For a bunch of reasons, too. One, I’m fond of Mennik. Two, I’m fascinated by Agatos (it’s people, it’s magic, it’s political intrigue). And three, I really need to see more Captain Gale (and find out how Mennik gets on with her in the next book).

Allow me to show you a little no context Gale:

“But it’s a god,” I said.
She smiled. “This isn’t the first god we’ve dealt with.”


Anyways! We pick up where we’ve left off in Shadow of a Dead God, and the consequences of Mennik’s actions from prior do not take long to catch up to him. And how does he meet them? Hm. I am going to say he meets a lot of them with inaction. Or at least with procrastination by means of taking on a job which has nothing to do with any of the pressing matters breathing down his neck. It’s that inaction, that avoidance, that helps us see how Mennik really is just a man who is beholden to his fears and his ego. And inaction has consequences, too, you see, and I’m always up for seeing the hero of a story realise with cold dread how they’ve just messed up and that they really have no one else but themselves to blame.

Overall, Shadow of a Dead God shows us more of who Mennik is and what drives him – and what he fears. I might go out on a limb here and say that this book may have had a theme of overcoming anxieties? Or at least face them? I don’t know, I am not very good at pointing out themes, I am mostly just here for the rides and what a ride this was.

What I am good at though (I think, maybe, potentially) is pointing out when a book is a lot of fun. And this one is a real lot of fun. The pacing continues to be tight, the mystery mysterious (but we got clues we can put together ourselves, meaning we get that wonderful AHA!! moment), and the humour has yet to miss for me.

I got book! Beautiful and independently published

Today, when coming back from walking my dog, I spotted a package lying next to my door. I hadn’t seen it when leaving because over her its pitch black at 4 PM. And what was in it? A beautiful, beautiful book. You can get your own here: Amazon.

Maegan’s self published book is gorgeous. The letter I got with it was gorgeous too and even came with a proper wax seal. Look!

Werewolves, Fantasy, Indie Books, Fantasy Book, Monster Hunting

And the book itself is gorgeous inside and out and I think I am going to re-read it now that I have it in paper.

Werewolves, Fantasy, Indie Books, Fantasy Book, Monster Hunting

Book Review: The Botanist’s Castle

Goblins, ghosts and giant beanstalks! One small boy. Not enough chamomile tea…

The Botanist's Castle

Life for William Meriweather is pleasant but rather dull, until his father takes a job at the Botanist’s Castle.

Before long William is thrown headlong into adventure as the Venus man-traps develop a taste for kitchen-boys, the dryads take over the library and the breakfast toast is burnt to a crisp.

A magical children’s book in 102 pages. Available on Amazon. It’s imaginative. Uplifting. And makes you smile.

The Botanist’sCastle by Hesketh Tolson is both charming and sweet, and reminded me of the books I probably should have read as a child.  And it leaves me wondering: Just how much does the author love plants? 

William, the books protagonist, allows us to come along with him and his father, as they set out on a fantastic journey into a world of intricate magic and fascinating flora (and fauna), which ranges from beautiful, delicate, to down-right terrifying.

What stood out most to me was the effortless world building, and how I was given the opportunity to see William’s world through his young, unbiased eyes.  Right from the first page on, I was left wondering:  Is William’s father just pulling the boy’s leg?  Or is magic real?  And with undeniably fantastic style, I was let in on the world’s secrets, bit by bit.

Are there some editing errors?  Yeah, there are, but they are rare, and greatly outmatched by the otherwise evocative and easy to read style.

So, have a read.  I would definitely recommend this for anyone who wants to dive into something innocent, delightful, short, and smoothly paced. There’s little in there that didn’t make me smile, from the side characters we get to tour a certain castle with, to the resolution to problems William faces.