Hearts of Ice and Stone

Britannia Duology-Part One

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Pub Date 21 Jul 2023 | Archive Date 31 May 2024

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Laura DeLacey never realised that she was different to those around her, or that she was touched in some ways by the heavens, until she first set foot, contrary to all law and tradition, within the grim portals of Darkharrow. Here, in the remote Eastings of Britannia, far from the wealth and power of London, the dead lie sleeping beneath the ancient towers and cloisters of the great abbey. For some of these, destiny dictates that their long slumber shall endure until the last trump sounds and all of the dead rise from their graves at last, but a fortunate few are fated to reawaken well before that day. No one has ever been able to look upon the countenances of the departed and tell whether they may be awakened, whether their hearts are of ice or stone, and none have been able to summon them forth once more - until now.

Caught between the competing affections of those who love her, threatened by those who would destroy her, Laura finds herself enmeshed in a web of conspiracy that draws upon her deepest resources and enforces choices upon her of the most momentous kind.

Laura DeLacey never realised that she was different to those around her, or that she was touched in some ways by the heavens, until she first set foot, contrary to all law and tradition, within the...

Advance Praise

With so many twists and turns this made a compelling and intriguing read, unputdownable. The various locations and characters are written in wonderful vivid detail. If you're a fan of gothic fantasy then I highly recommend reading.

Goodreads *****

With so many twists and turns this made a compelling and intriguing read, unputdownable. The various locations and characters are written in wonderful vivid detail. If you're a fan of gothic fantasy...

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ISBN 9798853116375
PRICE £4.82 (GBP)

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Average rating from 9 members

Featured Reviews

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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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 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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📚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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