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As you know, I was bitterly disappointed when Satalyte shut up shop as it might have meant the end of my admittedly short career as a publi...

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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

My books

The first two novels of my trilogy, The Talismans, are available as e-books from Smashwords. I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $AU25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

The Cloak of Challiver

The Cloak of Challiver
Available again as an ebook soon!

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

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Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
Blue Lake

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
From Kings Park

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

Inner Peace Blog

Inner Peace Blog
Awarded by Joanna Fay. Click on the image to visit her lovely website!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award
Awarded by Kim Falconer. Click on the pic to check out her Quantum Astrology blog!

Fabulous Blog Award

Fabulous Blog Award
Awarded by Kathryn Warner. Click on the pic to check out her Edward II blog!

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Monday, 30 June 2014

Book Review: Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier


Wildwood Dancing (Wildwood, #1) 


My rating: 5 of 5 stars



This review first appeared on the now-defunct website, The Specusphere, in 2007. Seven years on and it is still one of my top favourite books!


Since the release of her first book, the award-winning Daughter of the Forest in 2000, Juliet Marillier has established herself among the best historical fantasists of today. She has a world-wide fan base of readers aged from as young as eleven: Daughter of the Forest was especially loved by younger readers.

It is not surprising, therefore, that with Wildwood Dancing Marillier has crafted a work eminently suited for the Young Adult reader. Indeed it is marketed as such, being published under the Pan label rather than Tor, Pan Macmillan's adult speculative fiction brand, which has sponsored all seven of Marillier's earlier works. Nevertheless, Wildwood Dancing is more than acceptable as a book for adult fantasy lovers, too. Set in Romania, it gives us a new twist on vampires or 'Night People' as Marillier calls them, together with affectionate bows in the direction of several well-loved fairy tales.

Marillier's knowledge of folklore is second to none and her research for this book, as always, is meticulous. Her Transylvanian world is built up, layer upon layer, by references to its history, social customs, food and drink. Some might not see such attention to authentic detail as important, but others might argue that in a work targeting young adults it can be an added bonus if the reader is being educated as well as entertained.

And entertained she will be. I say 'she' because this is essentially a feminine book. Its protagonist is Jena, second of five daughters of a wealthy merchant who has done well enough with his importing business to buy his family a real castle to live in. There Jena and her sisters discover a portal leading to the Otherworld.

Wildwood Dancing is, at heart, a romance. Yet it goes deeper than the happily-ever-after fairy tale, for it touches on questions of sibling rivalry, friendship, trust, betrayal and loyalty. Marillier's approach to these issues is solidly grounded in the plot of what is, essentially, a ripping good read.

Only in one scene does this cohesiveness falter slightly: Jena deserts her best-loved friend, who has, admittedly, undergone an astonishing transformation. Up until this point, Jena has come across as an upright, loyal girl and despite the terrifying situation, it is hard to accept her sudden abandonment of one who, only minutes earlier, she had being calling her 'truest friend in all the world'. However, any failure in the reader's suspension of disbelief is quickly forgotten, as remorse and love enable Jena to discover within herself the necessary bravery and truthfulness to put things to rights, with the best of all possible outcomes.

Wildwood Dancing's cover art is by Kinuko Y. Craft, whose work has graced jackets of books by Brian Aldiss, Isaac Asimov, Guy Gavriel Kay, Stephen King, Ursula LeGuin, Patricia McKillip and Andre Norton. It is utterly stunning. Any young lady between the ages of nine and ninety-five would love this book for the cover alone. What's more, it's obvious that Craft has actually read the manuscript, as it really does reflect the book's contents. (This and other examples of Craft's work can be viewed at www.kycraft.com)

More on the work of this justifiably popular author can be found at www.julietmarillier.com 

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