Monthly Archives: November 2017

Outcaste – Fletcher DeLancey

Outcaste – Fletcher DelanceyThis is the 6th instalment of the Chronicles of Alsea series and one of the best, which says a great deal given they all rate five stars. While it is a strong part of the series it can be read as a stand-alone because of the slight ‘separateness’ of the storyline. But if you read this first you are going to want to go back and read 1-5; they are just too good to miss.

Outcaste finds 10-year-old Rahel dreaming of becoming a warrior, reading all the books she can find, and longing to be allowed to start training. By 15 she is even more set in her path when her merchant father and crafter mother announce they are inscribing her as a merchant early to prevent her from following her ‘unrealistic’ dreams. Like any determined teenager she leaves like a thief in the night, setting out for Whitesun and a very uncertain future.

Surviving the first few ninedays by luck more than good judgement she settles into the life of an outcaste, literally a non-person who does not have the rights or support of a caste house, and must live by low paid day work, quick wits and strength of character alone. Along with the friends she begins to make she must forge a way to survive until she can challenge for the right to join the Warriors at 18.

Rahel is a brilliant lead character. Fletcher Delancy does her usual amazing job of building a character from the inside-out, only this time we get to see the child become the woman, live literally every step of the journey into adulthood, and watch the person evolve and emerge from the childish hopes and dreams. Flawed despite her honest and honourable nature Rahel is a classic hero, who must fall from grace and risk everything to claw her way back, finding her true self in the process.

Fletcher DeLancey bioThe world-building and descriptive scene building in this series is outstanding, some of the best there is, the people, places and deep emotional sense of continuity shows the hand of a truly great fantasy writer. The secondary characters alone rate 5-star. You simply get lost in the alternate reality and forget it’s a book – a story – it just feels so real.

As the plot progresses we move from the isolated and relatively insular life of a teenage runaway into the larger world and revisit many of the major events of the first 5 novels, but from a refreshingly alternate viewpoint, bringing in the major players who have formed the core of the overall saga and filling in details we didn’t even know we were missing. I have to admit I had my doubts about the story arc, I was really concerned with where Rahel was going, her behaviour becoming increasing distant from the woman we had watched grow into the honourable warrior, but Delancey flipped it round in expert style and created a heroic saga of epic proportions, the rise, the fall and the rebirth. I should have known better given the section titles.

Overall, just outstanding. Excellent writing and editing, top class storytelling and a wonderful addition to an already top-notch series. I can’t wait for book 7.



Did you know? If you purchase any of the books reviewed on the LRR from our Amazon shop or Amazon page links we receive a couple of cents per book which will help us support the Lesbian Reading Room GCLS Scholarship Fund.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 598 pages
  • First published 2017
  • Publisher: Heartsome Publishing
    (October 27, 2017)
  • ASIN: B075TCR9LM
Amazon.com
To buy from Amazon.com – click here.
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Picking the Right Heart – Jade Winters

Picking the Right Heart - Jade WintersWhen Adriana’s beloved grandmother dies her high spending lifestyle comes to a crashing halt until she can secure her inheritance. She must deliver a handwritten letter to a woman she’s never even heard of, a task that will take her across the world and into a very different reality.

Jessica is living a life that is a million miles from the Chelsea set, scraping a living in a dead-end job and fighting to pay her bills. Adriana is a breath of fresh air, and offers Jessica the chance to see a world beyond her dingy flat and the prospect of dancing at a men’s club. The two appear to have nothing in common, but their whirlwind adventure will show both women what is really important in life.

This is a great fun read with a poignant message. Adriana is a spoilt little rich girl who doesn’t know her world is balanced on very shaky foundations. Her gran is her rock and once she has gone Adriana’s financial situation changes, her ‘friends’ turn away and her parents push her towards a high society ‘arranged’ marriage. Jessica is the exact opposite, a down to earth, working class girl doing her best to survive. What they share is love of their Grandmothers and of course a spark of attraction or it wouldn’t be a romance.

The plot is a madcap chase across the globe, leading the girls into a better understanding of each other’s worlds, and themselves. Bea’s letter to Eddy will have most in tears and reminds us all how far we have come while showing us what really matters.

Thoroughly enjoyable; well written and edited, light hearted and fast paced, it kept me riveted to see where we would shoot off to next.



Did you know? If you purchase any of the books reviewed on the LRR from our Amazon shop or Amazon page links we receive a couple of cents per book which will help us support the Lesbian Reading Room GCLS Scholarship Fund.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 179 pages
  • First published 2017
  • Publisher: Wicked Winters  (October 18, 2017)
  • ASIN: B076L17HNJ
Amazon.com
To buy from Amazon.com – click here.
Amazon.co.uk
To buy from Amazon.co.uk – click here.