Monday, December 23, 2013

Book Review: Thornewicke by Charity Bishop

Thornewicke by Charity Bishop

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Seventeen-year-old Evangeline lives a normal life. She goes to school with her friends, lives with her parents, and nothing exciting ever happens to her. Except for the terror that something is stalking her. Add to that the stunning news that her Aunt Henoria is still alive, and not only alive but wants her to visit, and Evangeline's life is set on a new course. What about her is so different? The normal life she has always led was merely a facade and Evangeline's magical talents rise to the surface as soon as she steps onto the borders of her aunt's property, Dragonspire. It is at Dragonspire that Evangline discovers the reality of who she really is, meeting the local minister Alistair, running into the great Nikola Tesla who lives down the road from Henoria's property, and especially, discovering just what True magic means. Evangeline discovers that the forest of Thornewicke is dying. It is being overrun by evil creatures determined to break the boundary of good that Henoria has set up against them. Evil is encroaching on good, and it must be stopped.

I love speculative fiction. The possibilities of the world intrigue me, and it's always so much more fun that plain, boring reality. What Ms. Bishop has done with "Thornewicke" is craft a complex world of good and evil magic, all based on scriptural teachings, but without preaching. My favorite character in the entire book is Alistair. Don't get me wrong, I love Evangeline, and I ADORE that Ms. Bishop added Tesla as a character, but it is Alistair that won my heart. He is Henoria's guardian, her keeper, and he is helplessly in love with her. A godly man of virtue and high principles, Alistair is strong and everything a minister of the Gospel should be. I love him and Henoria together, even though they're not completely "together." It's a bittersweet relationship. Let's just say that Alistair came alive for me, and is by far my favorite of Ms. Bishop's male leads.

If you love speculative worlds, and are desperate for one with a Christian spin, then give "Thornewicke" a try. There aren't enough Christian books to satisfy my need for fantasy and speculative fiction, so I hope Ms. Bishop writes other books set in this world. Her world building is thorough and complete, and I love how she adds in those historic characters. Now to wait for her next book, The Secret in Belfast, that takes place in the Titanic! Oh, the joys of anticipation!


  1. Sounds lovely. Cannot wait to read this one. :)

    Merry Christmas, Carissa - hope you and yours have a lovely holiday.

    1. It's excellent!

      And Merry Christmas to you and your family, too. :)

  2. Thank you for the review. I truly appreciate it. :)

    Speculative fiction has so much occult material in it (and if it's not the occult, it's sensuality) that I felt it needed a Christian writer to storm into it and come up with something unique. Hopefully, I succeeded in that -- and it's a lot of fun for me to write!

    I have a soft spot for all my characters but I'm glad you liked Alistair. In my first couple of drafts, he got overshadowed by the other characters but he finally carved out his niche in the end.

    You'll get to read the next book soon. If my proof-reader doesn't finish it right away, I may just send it to you anyway. Considering it's dedicated to you, you should get to read it before anyone else. I hope you'll like Thomas Andrews and Richard as much as Alistair, but you never know...

    1. How could I not love Thomas Andrews!? That's a given! ;)

      Send it whenever you want. I have TIME!

      And yes, a lot of speculative fiction goes too far down dark roads. It's depressing to read, and I don't really enjoy being depressed. Your books aren't like that which is another reason why I love them. :)

    2. Well, yes, it is. ;)

      I'll ask her how done with it she is -- if she's not very far into her second re-read, I'll send you the unedited file and hope there aren't too many blunders. Oh, and you might mention to her that my books aren't depressing, since she might disagree with that! Then again, she doesn't like anything but romcoms, so what can you do?

      Even in darker stories, I try to find some way to make it less tragic -- it'll be interesting to see if you like what I did in that regard with the TITANIC.

    3. I love a lot of stories with dark plots that still don't end in outright tragedy. Books with a little meat to them are always awesome. You're going to have me in tears with Thomas Andrews' death, though. You know that, right? I think if you'd killed Alistair, I'd have mourned for weeks, so thank you for not doing that.

    4. I hope so, considering *I* cried -- twice.

      ... come on, do you really think I'd kill off a fictional character unless I had to?

      Lore says Pilate committed suicide. Historical characters are different from my babies. ;)


Book Review: Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions by Amy Stewart (Kopp Sisters #3, 2017)

Original Summary Deputy sheriff Constance Kopp is outraged to see young women brought into the Hackensack jail over dubious charges ...