Member Reviews

What if, when you died, you were kept suitably preserved and able to be "reawakened" by the touch of a hand?
A young lady accidentally discovers she has such powers to bring the dead back to life but who wants to use her gift and will it be for evil or good?
This is a really interesting and well thought out premise for this book. There are a lot of societal rules about the dead and their property, which shows the attention to detail that the author has given to the entire process.
The characters are well developed and it has nuances of an Austen style setting from the time period but it differs massively with the fantastic reality created.
An immersive and realistic tale which completely captured me from start to finish.
The young lady's journey is so full of twists and turns that I honestly couldn't predict what was going to happen at the end of this novel!
I highly recommend this book for an interesting, captivating read! And it looks like there's a sequel 😊 so hopefully more to come...

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The author immerses readers in a captivating tale of mystery and destiny, where protagonist Laura DeLacey discovers her extraordinary connection to the heavens within the eerie confines of the remote Eastings of Britannia. As Laura navigates the grim portals of Darkharrow Abbey, she becomes entangled in a web of conspiracy that tests her deepest resources and forces her to make momentous choices. The novel's intricate plot and richly drawn characters, combined with its atmospheric setting and themes of love, loyalty, and sacrifice, make it a compelling read for fans of historical fantasy.

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What a beautifully written book. Hearts of Ice & Stone gave me Jane Austin vibes with its historical element to the words.

The author has done absolutely amazing with this story, captivating you from start to finish. So many plot twists and turns taking you on a rollercoaster of emotions for the main character Laura.

I absolutely loved how Martin has used real places from the UK and put his fantasy twist on them.

Overall I highly recommend Hearts of Ice & Stone as I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Laura’s journey. What else is there to do when the dead may not be what they seem after all?

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I loved this book! The plot, the WRITING, the characters. It felt like a classic. Gothic fantasy at its best!

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📚Book Review📚

Hearts of Ice and Stone
Martin Dukes


Ooh really enjoyed this one! So dark and spooky! Everything about it shouts gothic horror and gives me Woman in Black vibes.

The start sets the tone for the rest of the book - with amazing descriptions of the girls' house, with the bodies being brought in and Darharrow - which instantly creates the spooky atmosphere and feels very foreboding.
The characters are well described too, painting each one clearly so we can view their personalities (and future roles maybe).
All very relevent to the period.

I loved Laura's character and found her really relatable - even in these circumstances. I felt that I was rooting for her throughout.

I found Dukes' writing style really easy to read. Often with this era and genre, books can be over complicated and can make you feel bogged down, but here the story flows nicely and the descriptions and plot really hold your attention from start to finish.

Really looking forward to reading more for this author.

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I have had the pleasure of reading this, after discovering Martin on Tik Tok. I absolutely LOVED this book and several others that Martin has written.
The story is fantastic and the world building is out of this world. I love the writing style and it immerses you into the world and story that is being told, it honestly feels as if you have been transported into the story. I would highly recommend this book and any other book written by Martin.

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A rare jewel of literary brilliance!!

This book is so good that, having just finished it, I'm left breathless and desperate for words worthy of this masterpiece, I dare say, second only to top classic english literature books.
"The fire began... The flames reached high for the night sky..", Chapter One begins and I'm already swept away. I'm no longer in my room! I'm in Britannia, next to Laura!
"I can almost feel the heat" by her side, engulfed by the dark smoke and the scent of spice and burning timber, barely resisting the urge to wipe her tears away before her sister does.
I could keep writing about this fascinating novel unceasingly, praising the unparalleled world-building, absolutely vivid descriptions, captivating characters' development and complex dynamics of power and loyalty, love and hatred, sorrow and rage, greed and treacherous politics. This extremely talented author reaches beneath the surface of events illuminating the fact that it's neither the authorities nor the church themselves to be blamed but the people who serve them or use them accordingly. The characters are no mere pawns in the author's hands ; they constantly evolve, some gradually and others at breakneck speed, depending on whether their hearts, beating or not, are made of ice or stone!
As Dukes' artful pen has carried me away as if I were a leaf swirling in a delightful breeze all along, I deeply feel that this book deserves not only five but whole constellations of stars! I definitely urge you to embark on this captivating and transformative journey in Britannia series!!

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I could not put this down! The writing style is absolutely spot on and brilliantly beautiful.

As someone that loves historical fiction and especially Jane Austin. This author has written in this style so well.

I loved the added fantasy element, it lent a wonderful twist to the story,

Captivating, engaging, really interesting story, with characters you end up rooting for throughout the book.

I can’t praise this author enough and would highly recommend!

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I absolutely adored this book! It was definitely exactly what I needed to read right now. When I read the blurb I was expecting a quite fantasy read, and fantasy isn't one of my favourite genres because it often gets quite confusing with all the different things to remember (world, races, items etc.), and also is easy to not explain well enough and leave the reader with an incomplete picture. This book is definitely fantasy, but is enough rooted in reality that it's very easy to believe in a world where all of this is possible, and the fantasy elements are all very well explained so I wasn't left feeling confused at any point. I want to say Magical Realism?
It was described to me as being a cross between Stephen King and Jane Austen and I thought wow, there are two VERY different authors you wouldn't expect to be put together! However I could totally see it! I wasn't sure about Stephen King at first because although I've only read one of his (and seen some films) my general idea of his books is "terrifying". But I do know that some of his books are more just "creepy" than scary. So I didn't find this book keep-me-up-at-night scary, but it definitely had very creepy elements. The Jane Austen though I could see straight away! Set in a Jane Austen-like era the characters, their speech and interactions were so reminiscent of a classic novel and I loved it!
The characters were all extremely likeable (those you were supposed to like of course). The story was gripping, I loved all the twists and turns. When Laura discovered her power I thought I knew which way the story was going to go but then it took a COMPLETELY different turn and there were so many surprises along the way. For me it was the perfect blend of fantasy and classic. A classic for those who don't typically like classics, it had none of the 4000 word sentences where you don't understand 40% of the words, and an interesting story with fantasy elements for those who find classics to be boring where nothing happens haha! And a fantasy book for those who don't typically like fantasy and all the confusion of world-building etc. that often comes with it. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone!

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