Archives for category: Orion Books

Published by Orion Books

This reminds me a little of Welcome to Nowhere (Elizabeth Laird’s book on the Syrian refugee crisis); this though is a tale of Tibet, of bravery, adventure, secrets, mountains, danger, and two extraordinary yaks. It is another story about man’s inhumanity to man – but it is also a tale of hope. Tash and Sam attempt to travel to India from Tibet by yak, hoping to meet the Dalai Lama and perhaps make some contribution to change.

The chapters are small, no more than a few pages, with beautifully decorated leaves in between. Simply and clearly written it is a powerful novel.

I now want to visit Tibet, the mountains and perhaps to be introduced to a yak or a dri…I suspect they are rather special creatures.



Undrowned ChildPublished by Orion Press

I am a little astonished that I haven’t reviewed this superb volume on my blog before – you will understand when I tell you that I must have sold well over a thousand copies of this book – by that I mean hand-selling it to anyone I think would enjoy it.

I received a proof of it when I was working in the now defunct branch in Harrods (I was there for 15 years or so) – and fell in love with it. At that time I had an ‘Account’ on the Waterstones web site and was able to review it:

‘Atmospheric, beautifully written and about Venice…a superb volume of adventure encompassing all that makes a good solid read. Includes ghosts, retribution, death, mermaids, seahorses, bravery…Absolutely brilliant. Read it in Venice if you can, if not, then read it and visit as soon as you can…’

I then organised for Michelle to come to the store for an event, for which I wasn’t in store, however, I know it was a success and that she was very touched as I received a gorgeous bar of mandarin Venetian marzipan (and a signed copy) from her as a result. You don’t really need to know about that though – you are only interested in the book – so my curious friends…

If you have been to Venice, and fallen in love with that aromatic, aquatic city, with its history and stories, then this is the book for you.

That is unless you don’t like the gondolas. I had a customer, once, who said she didn’t like Venice and when I asked why, she complained about the gondolas, as, to quote her, ‘…they moved…’ It was at that point I gave up – I think she is the only customer I have tried to sell this book to, who hasn’t gone away with it in their pocket.

If you haven’t been taken by your parents, or your partner has been,  but you haven’t – then I suggest you do something about it. If your parents have been and haven’t taken you, then they haven’t (in my opinion) done their job properly. There really is nothing like the city, mysterious & beautiful; a gem of a place… If your partner has been and you haven’t. Then that alone would be a measure for me to decide whether to continue with the relationship, or not…

This book takes a nugget of the history of the city and its people and has a glorious piece of fantasy wrapped around it. Michelle Lovric loves the city. She had at one time a small apartment in an palazzo – and has written many books on the history and stories. Her first books about the city were for adults, this was her first for young readers. She used her knowledge of the city and wound it into a world that is both beautiful and twisted. Parts of this are dark. I cannot repeat this enough, but the plot is glorious, our heroine, brave and resourceful, the  mermaids (there are mermaids), are NOTHING like any mermaids you have ever come across, and are not to be discarded as rock decoration – they have attitude.

The language is superb, and is wonderful – colouring the story….

It is an expensive book. Not because of the intrinsic cost (£6.99), but because you will want to visit the city afterwards – to find the places mentioned in the book and to just saturate yourself in the story, and the city as a result of it. The additional costs include: flights, hotel, food (always a joy), a trip on a gondola (if you have never been to Venice, this is a must, but isn’t one of the less expensive experiences in the city), and of course some sort of souvenier… Do not go in the  summer – there are too many tourists. The spring and the autumn are the times to go and remember to take something warm – it can be quite chilly in the evenings…the water is never far away and remember to take with you your copy of The Undrowned Child

It is probably time I revisited the city.

We keep this in the 9 – 12 section of the store. It is true that some of the younger readers in this reading group will love it. Others though might find it a bit much, so for comfort’s sake I have listed this as 12 and onwards…after all the last sentence or so of the introduction are the following:

A Case of Baddened Magic

‘…They found all the bodies in the end, except that of the baby.

Stories flew about. ‘Such a tiny little mite, the fish ate her.’ people whispered.’






3910c2e251c43d86ef0aff1c5089b35bPublished by Orion

Having just written the post for Clare Balding’s The Racehorse who Wouldn’t Jump and referred to this wonderful book within that post, I suddenly realised I hadn’t reviewed this one. It is the start of a trilogy and is something else altogether.

It is superbly written and has a brilliant plot too. Not everything goes according to plan in this superb volume, and there are tense moments as the challenges come thick and fast. A very human and hopeful tale of a young girl, her dream and of course a horse. Superb. An extremely good author that can be relied upon to provide a story of passion…brilliant. Enjoy the trilogy…

Published by Transworld ISBN 978 0552166621 Paperback

Published by Orion ISBN  978 1473200104 Hardback

Almost everything that could be said about Sir Terry Pratchett has been said – particularly since he joined Death and walked with him ‘through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night’.

I am a little cautious too about posting this about Mort, as this book has been reviewed many times by others who know more about these books than I.

I cannot, however, ignore the pure pleasure that Terry Pratchett gave and gives – to everyone who read and reads his books and so must include his books on my blog pages in some form and the obvious choice for me has to be Mort

Mort is one of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels – number four in the series if you are going to read them in order. Death employes Mort to help him with his rounds and initially the benefits of such employment seem all encompassing, until Mort realises quite how the job might affect his love life.

Death, an ‘anthropomorphic personification’ is a cat fancier, and should our death actually be anything like this slightly flawed character, I will not be worried. After all you really can’t go wrong with someone who after thinking about it, answers the question

‘What is there in this life that makes living worth while?’

with the eventual reply of


For pure joy and escapism – this series is second to none. Clever, colourful and full of Terry Pratchett’s philosophy of life.

The books have recently had new editions published, nice hardbacks with blocked boards and spines priced at a little more than the paperback editions but worth every penny. (Mort / ISBN 978 1473200104) If you find yourself starting to collect the Discworld Books, do keep these in mind for those particular favourites.