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Reviews

Review of Alpennia Series Bundle: 1-3

The richness of the world of Alpennia, the city of Rotenek, and the characters that inhabit this fictional European place are skillfully built line by line, and by the end you can almost feel the Rotenek river breeze against your face.

Mallory Lass, The Lesbrary
Review of Daughter of Mystery

The chemistry between Barbara and Margerit builds ever so slowly until it’s finally crackling in the later stages of the book. ... The author makes it feels like we’re reading something that could have been written in the 19th century but, you know, with magic, kind of like Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Heather Rose Jones’s worldbuilding is superb. It’s clear that she’s done extensive research into European history during the time of the English Regency in order to create Alpennia as a setting that’s both relatable and unique all at the same time.

Tara Scott, Smart Bitches Trashy Books
Review of Mother of Souls

Mother of Souls is the first book in Heather Rose Jones's Alpennian series that I feel achieved it's full potential. With each book building off the previous volume everything started to click into place over time and here with the larger cast of characters there was a better balance than just the two previous couples featured. ...among all these characters there is a strong theme of female empowerment running rife. This book is a rallying cry, as is the opera Luzie writes about the female philosopher Tanfrit who is only remembered through her connection to the male philosopher Gaudericus! Women have been told to be quiet for far too long! Men are always keeping us down and taking credit for what we do and when that can't work just erasing us from history. I literally can not think of a woman who won't identify with Luzie's relationship with the composer Fizeir.

Eliza, Strange and Random Happenstance
Review of Daughter of Mystery

Abduction attempts, social sabotage and political intrigue follow, with both women in over their heads and dependent on each other for survival. This could so easily have been a story romanticising an abuse of power but Jones skillfully avoids that, with Margarite carefully keeping her feelings hidden until circumstances change to put them on an equal footing.

Siobhan, Autostraddle
Review of Gifts Tell Truth

I wasn’t surprised by how entertaining—and how good—I found Heather Rose Jones’ story “Gifts Tell Truth” in Lace & Blade 4.

Liz Bourke, Tor.com
Review of Mother of Souls

I love this series. It’s expertly penned, the prose style is tense and concise, it’s convincing in terms of characterisation and you just find yourself completely absorbed by the whole idea of Alpennia and its mysterious inhabitants.

Kate Cudahy, Personal Blog
Review of The Mystic Marriage

You know that joy you have when you first discover what it means to read for pleasure as a kid? That sense of losing yourself in another person’s imagination, of finding yourself so invested in their characters that you’re willing them on: that they become, if only for a brief moment, part of the fabric of your own mental world? This is precisely the joy I experienced reading The Mystic Marriage.

Kate Cudahy, Personal Blog
Review of Daughter of Mystery

The world building is superlative – I never felt that I was being spoon-fed when I read this novel. The author fleshes out sufficient space for the reader to make sense of Alpennia as both a reflection of 19th century Europe and its ‘other’ – a realm of fantasy in which our awareness of religion and history might be turned on its head. The prose style both challenged and entertained, and I found myself unable to stop turning the pages as the narrative reached its climax.

Kate Cudahy, Personal Blog
Review of Daughter of Mystery

Daughter of Mystery compares fairly well to some of the other historical fantasy novels I’ve enjoyed, such as Sorcerer to the Crown.

Sarah Waites, The Illustrated Page
Review of Daughter of Mystery

Daughter of Mystery is a book which really, properly examines its magic system, and completely wonderful to read if you’re at all interested in the mechanics of a fantasy world. There are no easy answers here. Yet it does not forget its roots in historical fiction either, with recognisable and well-loved tropes such as chance meetings, issues of inheritance and propriety, and secret identities. There’s a marvellous eye for detail in everything from style of dress to archaic law in a way that even I, as a novice in historical fiction, was able to engage with and enjoy.

Rachel, Rustling Reads

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