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Book Review: The Bell Between Worlds by Ian Johnstone

Published (in paperback) 1st January 2015 by Harper Collins.

21096480Goodreads Synopsis: Half of your soul is missing.
The lost part is in the mirror.
And unless Sylas Tate can save you, you will never be whole again.

Sylas Tate leads a lonely existence since his mother died. But then the tolling of a giant bell draws him into another world known as the Other, where he discovers not only that he has an inborn talent for the nature-influenced magic of the Fourth Way, but also that his mother might just have come from this strange parallel place.

Meanwhile, evil forces are stirring, and an astounding revelation awaits Sylas as to the true nature of the Other. As violence looms and the stakes get ever higher, Sylas must seek out a girl called Naeo who might just be the other half of his soul – otherwise the entire universe may fall…

My Review: I had seen copies of The Bell Between Worlds everywhere last year, when it was first released in hardback, though didn’t get around to reading it – so I was really pleasantly surprised when I received a copy of the paperback edition, which had just been released. I hadn’t read a huge amount of fantasy so far this year and I dived straight into this not knowing too much about the story, apart from what the synopsis said!

I was really taken by Johnstone’s writing style. In a lot of places, it was very lengthily descriptive. I really loved that; visualising this fantastical world so clearly was as much fun as reading about the events within it unfolding! Though, in some places, it did mean the story dragged a little, especially in the more action-packed parts, or that it took a while to get to the action.

The world building is stunning and unforgettable. I am in love with the concept of the mirrored worlds – our world of science, and the Other; a world of magic – as well as all of the fantastical elements such as the Passing Bell. The world of The Mirror Chronicles quickly became one of my favourite fantasy settings – and considering I decided this halfway in, and this is only book one, I guess that shows how much I loved it.

Overall, The Bell Between Worlds was a much more enjoyable read than I’d actually anticipated! I haven’t been reading much fantasy lately but this has definitely rekindled my love for the genre and I’m looking forward to reading many more similar books, as well as the next Mirror Chronicles book, Circles of Stones. Johnstone’s fantastical world has a very unique feeling to it, and the characters are fantastic. I can’t wait to read more about Sylas, Simia and Naeo!

My Rating:

fourI received a copy of The Bell Between Worlds from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

BBC pointed shaded

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