I was lucky enough to get picked to take part in Caffeine Book Tours blog tour for A Shifting of Stars. This post will include my review, an exclusive excerpt from the book, and a chance to enter an international giveaway for either a copy of this amazing book or an Amazon voucher.
Kathy Kimbray is a YA author from Australia. After graduating from the University of Technology, Sydney, with a degree in Media Arts and Production, she went on to complete postgraduate studies in education and spent many years as a primary school teacher.
Now a full-time novelist, Kathy is lucky to be able to tell stories every day.Aside from writing, Kathy is an avid reader, dancer, language learner, musical theatre enthusiast and fan of terrible reality TV. She lives with her husband in Sydney, and dreams of one day owning that elusive chateau in France.
Author website — https://www.kathykimbray.com/
Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/kathykimbray/
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKathyKimbray
Twitter — https://twitter.com/kathykimbray
Title: A Shifting of Stars
Author: Kathy Kimbray
Publication date: 28 May 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
A squandering emperor. A handsome stranger. A reluctant heroine. And the ancient magic that will capsize a kingdom.
Seventeen-year-old Meadow Sircha watched her mother die from the wilting sickness. Tormented by the knowledge that the emperor failed to import the medicine that would have saved her, she speaks out at a gathering of villagers, inciting them to boycott his prized gladiator tournament.
But doing so comes at a steep cost.
Arrested as punishment for her impulsive tongue, Meadow finds herself caught up in the kind of danger she’s always tried to avoid. After a chance meeting with an enigmatic boy, she’s propelled on a perilous trek across the outer lands. But she soon unearths a staggering secret: one that will shift her world—and the kingdom—forever.
Filled with longing and heart, surprise and wonder, A SHIFTING OF STARS is perfect for fans of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES, RED QUEEN and SHADOW AND BONE.
I breathe in. The rancid smell is definitely stronger. A door lies open beyond the last cupboard and I tip toe towards it and peek through the arch. It opens into the belly of the tower-an uncluttered space, the size of a ballroom. The ceiling curves upward into a bell and the windows are masked by roof-to-floor curtains.
And it’s empty. Well except for some tables that cram a far corner like dimply lit islands. Is it someones residence? A laboratory perhaps? An area to meet under the cover of darkness? I tread slowly, but Vogel whisks past me, as if not knowing is too much to bear. The muted candlelight skims his back, catching on cobwebs that speckle his shoulder.
I squint. He reaches the benches quickly and peers down at them, one by one. There are four in a row. Four rows in total: lined precisely, the same width apart. I keep walking at a sluggish pace, an odd unease pressing into my skin. Vogel has stopped and is standing quite still. His lips are parted, his shoulder slumped forward.
Something is wrong. I walk faster. A queasy sensation spurns in my stomach. Coldness grows at the base of my neck, the tingling migrating down to my fingers.
And then all at once, Vogel exhales. The sound of it makes me stop where I am. He blinks once and shakes his head. He means not to look, but it’s too late. My eyes drop to the benches around him. They’re fashioned from steel and highly polished. A narrow trough surrounds each table with a liquid blackness lining the bases. The closer I get, the more I can see. The more I can smell and comprehend.
And I realise the liquid isn’t black.
Its dark red.
And clotted like sludge.
Wow! This book took me on a wild ride. There were so may twists and turns, some I saw coming and others that threw me for a loop. A fantastic and fresh story with an unwilling heroine you cant help but empathise with.
The story starts with Meadow. Needing to move on from the grief of loosing her mother a year ago, she travels to a Gathering, a place where people tell tales. She realises her story about the death of her mother is not the normal kind of tale, and instead changes it to the story of an unjust ruler whose inability to trade led to a woman’s death. Little does she know the Crown Prince hears her words of treason, and in capturing her and taking her to the palace as a prisoner sets her life on a tangent no one, least of all Meadow, could foresee happening.
Meadow was a really intriguing character to read. Brave and quick witted, I thoroughly enjoyed following the story from her perspective. Being made a prisoner of Prince Malthe places her in situations she could never foresee, and all she wants is to get back to her simple life with her father. At some points in the book she comes across as quite self-serving. However, when the unthinkable happens and her life gets turned upside down, she learns to live with the hand life has dealt her, and to take advantage of the almost royal chance she gets given.
The story was unique and the world that Kathy creates was extremely atmospheric. The pacing was slightly slow at the beginning of the book, but picked up drastically around half way through, meaning I powered through the last half of the book, not wanting the book to end. And what an ending it was! I truly did not see that coming. It was perfectly set up for the next book in the series… which I will definitely be picking up.
Though there is a romantic undertone to this book, it plays a small part. The author chooses instead to focus on the love between family and friends. Seeing Meadow do whatever need to be done to protect those she loves. I found this to be utterly fresh, and think it made the story, and characters much more believable and likeable.
If i had to be picky, the one thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was the magic system. It was never thoroughly explained, leaving the reader to guess about a lot of the logistics. It was also something that was kind of dumped in towards the end of the book, without much mention of it before hand. However, because it played such a small part it didn’t take much away from the overall story, and I assume it will have a bigger focus in the rest of the series.
Overall, I would rate this book 4/5. I cant wait for the next book in the series to be released after that shocking ending.
Amazon — https://amzn.to/2MwBk3x
Check out all the other blog tour participants here!
Prize: One (1) signed paperback copy of A Shifting of Stars and one (1) Amazon gift card worth 10 USD (two winners: one for the paperback, one for the gift card)
Scope: Open worldwide/internationally
Link to Rafflecopter giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/950d261634/
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