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An intriguing book with magic woven through it, and an enjoyable tale of the dominant characters getting their comeuppances.

The blurb

“The Kendrick family have been making world-famous dolls since the early 1800s. But their dolls aren’t coveted for the craftmanship alone. Each one has a specific emotion laid on it by its creator. A magic that can make you feel bucolic bliss or consuming paranoia at a single touch. Though founded by sisters, now only men may know the secrets of the workshop.

Persephone Kendrick longs to break tradition and learn the family craft, and when a handsome stranger arrives claiming doll-making talent and a blood tie to the Kendricks, she sees a chance to grasp all she desires.


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It’s Wednesday afternoon on the 18th of March as I write this, and here in the UK it’s just been announced that all schools in Scotland and Wales will be closing from Friday. It seems highly likely England is going to follow suit, with other countries around the world already having sent children home.

Like many parents, I’ve already been thinking ahead and worrying about how this will go: not just about what it’ll mean for my work, but also about the challenge of sudden, not-really-prepared-for home-schooling. I’m hopeful that we’ll be getting sent lesson plans and/or homework by my children’s schools, but the details aren’t clear yet. How will we get our kids to take us seriously as teachers rather than parents? …


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A wonderful sequel to the also-wonderful The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, which pulls you deeper into the characters you already know, as well as some marvellous ones you don’t.

The blurb

“For Thaniel Steepleton, an unexpected posting to Tokyo can’t come at a better moment. The London fog has made him ill and doctor’s orders are to get out.

His brief is strange: the staff at the British Legation have been seeing ghosts, and his first task is to find out what’s going on. …

About

Stuart Dredge

Scribbler about apps, digital music, games and consumer technology. Skills: slouching, typing fast. Usually simultaneously.

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