Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Honour's Rest by Judith Crow (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

Honour's Rest


Judith Crow




GENRE:   YA Magical Realism






“So, it’s – what – like magic?”

No, according to Pen’s uncle, the Rite is not magic at all. But, if it’s not magic, then how could Pen push the school bully into a pond while he was really studying alone in the library?
When Pen’s family realise he has the Rite, he is sent to live with his Uncle Napier, who can help him control his ability.
But Napier has other duties. He is the Rendelf, in charge of the Rite in the UK, and he has gathered many enemies over the years…
…enemies who would be delighted to use Pen against him.





“Stop that!” Napier shouted, just as his nephew had done seconds before. But Pen was no less stubborn than his uncle, and the sword continued to move across the room. “Stop that now!”


The hint of panic in Napier’s voice gave Pen a sense of satisfaction. He had achieved what Marley had not. He could see Napier’s fingers working frantically as he wound the Rite around them. The sword was now above his head, the pointed tip of the blade only six feet above him. With an angry cry, Pen sent it crashing down, commanding it to reach its target no matter whether or not Napier stepped out of the way.


There was a loud crash of metal as the sword fell on the floor, and the noise seemed to bring Pen back to his senses. The anger was gone, but it had been replaced with a sickening feeling of remorse and guilt which was already feasting on his insides.


“I’m so sorry,” he said.


His uncle’s face was almost as white as his right index finger, around which he had pulled the Rite tightly to prevent the sword from hitting him. Napier looked at him in silence for a few moments before shaking his head.


“It can’t be helped,” he said, his voice as calm as ever. “I should have known you had it in you. And every Rendelf must face the darker side of his apprentice sooner or later. I should be grateful it happened before you have full control of the Rite. I’ll tidy this place up. You two go and enjoy what’s left of the sunshine.”


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Judith was born in Orkney, grew up in Lincolnshire and now lives in the far north of Scotland. Her work draws inspiration from folklore, experience and the natural world.

The Backwater, Judith’s debut book, was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2019, and her most recent novel, Honour’s Rest, was a finalist in the Eyelands Book Award.

When she isn’t writing, Judith is a teacher at a primary school in Caithness. She sometimes finds that writing gets usurped by crafting, music, and being a generally doting spaniel owner.













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My review:

3.5 stars


Honour’s Rest by Judith Crow is the first book in ‘The Rite Way’ series and centers around a young teen named Pendragon (Pen) who inexplicably has been accused of an assault that he doesn’t remember performing. The discovery that his family has been keeping a major secret from him even as he is sent to Scotland to live with his enigmatic uncle turns Pen’s world upside-down, and forces him to learn things about himself and his abilities that he may regret for the rest of his life, however short that may be.

This young adult magical realism story is a dark fantasy that conjures up the sometimes macabre fairy tales that include death and destruction and a high price for wishes granted. Pendragon is dragged into a world that includes something called the Rite, and forced to learn about a destiny that he’s not sure he wants. I had trouble connecting to the young man, whose frustration and passive (and occasionally active) resistance were understandable but not attractive traits. The secondary characters will hopefully get their time in the spotlight, as some of them have challenging stories that are only lightly touched on, and I would have liked a bit more depth.

The magical elements that are sprinkled through the story are creative and compelling, and I’d like to see much more of them in subsequent books. Some of the twists and turns of the story are unexpected and somber, and I was saddened by several of the developments. The story does provide an arc for Pendragon, but there are several dangling threads to keep one anxiously awaiting the next tale in the series. The dangers of dealing with kelpies is a perfect metaphor for the story itself, which is a cautionary tale, best appreciated by those who like a bit of bite in their tales.


A copy of this title was provided for review

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