Reading roundup 14/07/21

Apologies for the lack of a Reading Roundup post last week. I am really struggling with my health these days and this is affecting my reading as well as my writing of posts! At least I have two books to tell you about today.

The Betrayals by Bridget Collins

My first read was The Betrayals by Bridget Collins. You may remember that I wrote about another of her books, The Binding, a few weeks ago. I found that book very strange, but intriguing, and this one was very similar, in its own way. First of all, this is the blurb…

If everything in your life was based on a lie…
Would you risk it all to tell the truth?

At Montverre, an exclusive academy tucked away in the mountains, the best and brightest are trained for excellence in the grand jeu: an arcane and mysterious contest. Léo Martin was once a student there, but lost his passion for the grand jeu following a violent tragedy. Now he returns in disgrace, exiled to his old place of learning with his political career in tatters.

Montverre has changed since he studied there, even allowing a woman, Claire Dryden, to serve in the grand jeu’s highest office of Magister Ludi. When Léo first sees Claire he senses an odd connection with her, though he’s sure they have never met before.

Both Léo and Claire have built their lives on lies. And as the legendary Midsummer Game, the climax of the year, draws closer, secrets are whispering in the walls…”

And here is the review that I wrote on Goodreads:

The BetrayalsThe Betrayals by Bridget Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t really know what to make of this book or how to classify it or rate it. The story is so strange and mysterious, so annoying at times but also well written. Annoying because it is difficult to get a firm grip on what is actually happening, who all these characters are and what the grand jeu is!

Occasionally, as I read through the book, I felt like giving up and turning to something less challenging: a straight forward adventure or a swords and sorcery fantasy tale. But, for some reason, I continued to read. Perhaps I remembered reading Collins’ previous book, The Binding, and how I found the first half quite difficult to understand but then my confusion cleared?

Anyway, I am glad that I read this and exercised my rather worn higher reading faculties!

But now I will definitely relax with something much easier…

View all my reviews

After that, I turned to something very different…

The Vow by Debbie Howells

My second choice of the week was The Vow by Debbie Howells. I simply picked this one at random from the Library’s ebook catalogue. Here is the blurb:

“Two weeks before her wedding, a stranger stops Amy in the street and warns her she’s in danger. Then that night, Matt, her fiancé, doesn’t come home. Desperate, Amy calls the police – but when Matt fails to emerge, she’s forced to call off her wedding day.

Then another man is reported missing, by a woman called Fiona – a man meeting Matt’s description, who was about to leave his fiancée for her.  He was supposed to be moving in with her – but instead, he’s vanished.

Amy refuses to believe Fiona’s lover can be her Matt – but photos prove otherwise, and it soon becomes clear that Matt has been leading a double life. As the police dig deeper, two conflicting, yet equally plausible stories emerge from two women who allegedly have never met.

The wedding day never happened. But the funeral might.”

And this is my short review:

The VowThe Vow by Debbie Howells
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have read through quite a few of the reviews of this book on here and have found several which agree with my response. Basically, the first half is quite good and gripping with interesting twists and turns in the story. Unfortunately, however, as the tale moves on in the second half, it becomes repetitive and totally unlikely, with coincidences that are almost preposterous!

In addition, the author wrote the story from various points of view, but, in my opinion, didn’t do enough to actually use different “voices”. For example, the mother’s and daughter’s styles were almost indistinguishable from each other. It felt like a step too far for the daughter to be as interested in plants as her mother, for example.

I do hope that the author continues to write and work on her craft, as I believe that she is capable of something much better!

View all my reviews

I am now part of the way through my next book, but I am not going to tell you the details, just in case I have chosen another dud as I did a few weeks ago!

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



About The Librain

Retired School Librarian
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