The Lost Plot is the fourth book in the Invisible Library series following the librarian Irene Winters in the battle between the forces of chaos and order.
Shortly after The Lost Plot begins, Irene is approached by a dragon with a request to acquire a specific version of a text, a request that threatens the Library’s neutrality between the dragons and the fae, and Irene finds herself caught between two rival factions of feuding dragons.
One of the aspects I love most about this series are the locations and this one was set in an alternate 1920’s New York complete with speakeasy’s, prohibition and gangs.
The pace of The Lost Plot trots along and there were enough shady deals, betrayals, shoot-outs and librarian duels to keep me hooked until the end. As an added bonus the slow burn romance between Irene and her assistant Kai finally starts to heat up.
I’m generally reluctant to commit to long-running series, but the Invisible Library books are so original, fun and easy to read with such endearing characters that I’m always happy to find out what Irene and her allies are up to. Have a lovely week. X
February is not a month I usually look forward to as it’s often a cold and dreary end to the winter, but this year it’s been very special indeed, as we welcomed our daughter into the world.
I expected to hate being pregnant but I was lucky to have a straightforward, easy pregnancy. I had a few extra ultrasound scans, and I’ll never forget the first time we saw our baby on the screen at just 8 weeks looking like a little gingerbread man with oversized head, truncated limbs and most importantly a flickering heartbeat. I’ve felt our baby swimming around my tummy like a little mermaid, a squirming fidget tickling me from the inside, and a master of hide and seek who could be so still at times that I was scared our dream was over before it had begun.
Our fair-haired, blue-eyed daughter was born on a cold and stormy Friday evening after a relatively quick 20 hour labour, and I’ll be eternally grateful to the doctors and midwives who helped deliver her safely.
We’ve spent the last week in a cosy, little bubble at home while Storms Ciara and Dennis raged outside, welcoming visitors who braved the winds, sleet, hail and snow to meet the newest addition to our little family, and just enjoying the novelty of it all. Have a lovely week. X
Although I read a lot of fantasy, I’ve outgrown most of the stories about dragons, dwarves and elves, but one aspect that continues to draw me in is ordinary characters who find themselves caught up in epic events and I have a particular soft-spot for rogues and underdogs. Six of Crows kept getting recommended to me based on other books I’ve enjoyed and I regret waiting so long to read it because it was exactly the type of character driven fantasy adventure that I love.
Six of Crows follows a group of teenage thieves, misfits, orphans and runaways lead by the criminal prodigy, Kaz Brekker. Kaz and his handpicked team are hired by the merchant Jan Van Eck for a high risk, high reward heist: break into an impenetrable military stronghold to rescue a hostage – preventing chaos and war in the process.
For a young adult novel, this was a little darker than I expected containing descriptions of torture and references to sexual exploitation, but it also ticks all the boxes for diversity with a cast made of different races as well as LGBTQ and disabled characters.
Six of Crows contains plenty of unexpected twists, action and suspense, romantic pining and humour, it’s a thrilling roller-coaster ride of a story that ends on a cliffhanger, and I can’t wait to find out how the final part of this duology resolves itself. Have a lovely week. X
We’ve been in full-on nesting mode recently: my hospital bag is packed, the freezer is full of home-cooked meals to make life with a newborn easier, and we’ve been tackling a few of the DIY projects around the house that we’d been putting off.
We’ve finally redecorated the master bedroom, and I wanted to share a few before and after photos. Since my husband and I moved here three years ago, we’ve slept in the smaller bedroom and used the master bedroom as a guest room whenever parents, in-laws and friends came to visit, but we’ve now moved into the master bedroom and we’ll eventually turn the smaller room into a nursery when the wee one is old enough to sleep in their own room.
Much like the rest of the house, the bedroom was not a blank canvas, as the previous owners favoured bold, dark colours and imposing furniture. I used to think white was a cold, sterile and boring colour to paint a room, but over the years I’ve come to appreciate how warm, bright and clean it can be. The master bedroom is north-east facing, and white walls really help to maximise and reflect the natural light, though we added a feature wall because I fell in love with the woodland wallpaper from Cole and Son. We’ve also added a little deskspace in the alcove, which is ideal for working from home.
There are still other more ambitious improvements and renovations we haven’t got around to yet (like adding a downstairs bathroom and extending the kitchen) but they aren’t urgent, and as always I’m grateful to call this house home.
I feel like I haven’t really stopped since starting maternity leave as the last few weeks have been full of midwife appointments, antenatal classes and catch ups with family and friends. We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of our families, friends and colleagues, and I had the loveliest send-off from work, but now enjoying being able to put my feet up for a little while. Have a lovely week. X
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