Thursday 8 February 2018

The Mirror of Pharos by J.S. Landor
Release Date: 22nd October 2017
Publisher: Troubador
Genres: Children's Fantasy / aged 10+

Jack Tideswell’s parents died in a diving accident while exploring the underwater ruins of the ancient Pharos lighthouse. So Jack wants nothing to do with adventure. Until that is, a seagull delivers a strange disc, addressed to him in his own handwriting.

In the blink of an eye, all kinds of magic are let loose, sending Jack on a dangerous journey. Can he learn to navigate time before it’s too late to save the one person who can help him unravel the secrets of the disc?

Whether he likes it or not, there’s no more hiding away. And no looking back. Especially when Alpha is watching. A wolf who sees all there is to see …

Normally when I review children's books I don't usually go for full length novels! However, after reading the blurb on this I decided to give this one a go. I'm so glad I did as I really enjoyed it. Jack is such a sad character for me. The loss of his parents in a tragic and mysterious accident has left such a hole in his young life. Cared for by his grandmother who clearly adores him and appears to be as mad as a box of frogs, Jack has had a lot to cope with in his young life and that grief is always there in the background, permeating all he does. Bullied at school he is a bit of a lost soul. His best friend Charlie however is always there for him..............despite being a girl! She has a type of bravery and confidence that Jack secretly wishes he had.

When Jack receives a mysterious package delivered via the cat flap by a seagull, his life soon takes on a strange new meaning. Finding himself hurtling through time Jack discovers that he has the power to be transported not only into the future but the past too. Jack soon discovers that he must be brave if he is to save lives! Throw in a mysterious character in the shape of Jago Flynn who happens to have a wolf following him about and Jack's life starts to become even more surreal. And, Jack doesn't know it but his grandmother is not all she seems either!

I loved this book! The story was engaging, gripping and its written in a style where the plot demands the reader to sit up and pay attention as there is so much going on. This is the type of book that I would have devoured as a pre-teen (quite a few years ago!) and I was every bit as intrigued by this book as I would have been had I been a young reader. The wonderful array of characters added so many dimensions to this book, each with something interesting to add to the plot and to further engage the main character in different ways. I adored Jack's grandmother. I loved her quirkiness combined with knowledge and wisdom. Her baking style with those wonderful flavours of cookies only added to her eccentricity!

The Mirror of Pharos is a great book to introduce pre-teens to a more mature writing style with themes such as grief and bullying explored within the context of the story. As an adult I really enjoyed this book and at times I did forget it was a book aimed at older children. I became engrossed in the story and found myself totally abandoned to Jack's adventures. There was lots of mystery and magic going on throughout and plenty of clues to keep me guessing. A brilliant read and highly recommended. 
ABOUT J.S. Landor
I grew up in Luton, an industrial town famous for making hats. Dad was an engineer, Mum was Mum, and my little brother, Steve, was a big pest – and my best friend. Life was fairly ordinary. Until, one day, adventure called. We packed up our belongings in a crate and sailed on an ocean liner to Canada.
The crossing took a whole week, an epic voyage for a five-year-old. That amount of rolling sea is not easily forgotten! Nor the seagulls. Nor the slot machine that unexpectedly unloaded such a heap of coins I mistakenly thought I was rich. No surprise that years later the ship (or a fictional version of her) sailed right into one of my stories: The Mirror of Pharos.
As an eight-year old returning to primary school in Luton I was the odd one out. When my funny accent caused some teasing I felt sad and missed my old home in Toronto. But some great new friends soon came to the rescue. And by then I was a bookworm so half my buddies were characters in stories anyway!
After school I studied literature at university and edited a magazine called Magus (look out for that word in the story). Later I became a journalist, a farmer and eventually a publishing editor. But all the while another adventure was beckoning. Someone had whispered a secret to me on a school field trip when I was just seven. Looking back it shaped my destiny. It’s the reason I became a storyteller.
Author website:  

Twitter : @js_landor 

2 Responses so far.

  1. Anne says:

    Thank you so much for the Blog Tour support xx

  2. Unknown says:

    Thank you so much, Debbie. I'm bowled over by this thoughtful review. Thrilled to hear you were hooked and very proud to have The Mirror of Pharos featured on your blog. Jenny Landor

- Copyright © 2013-2014 Brook Cottage Books - Powered by Blogger - Graphics & Blog Customization by JellydogDesign