Thursday, July 16, 2020

Book Tour, Giveaway, Review: Splinters of Scarlet by Emily Bain Murphy

Today I have the pleasure of introducing a new book to you - Splinters of Scarlet by . I am a part of a blog tour celebrating its release on July 21, 2020. So soon, and yet so far for you poor people to wait to read it. It's worth the wait, though. If you keep reading, you will get to see the description of the book, my favorite quotes, and my review of it, since I already read it. I hope you enjoy!

About the Book

Splinters of Scarlet
by Emily Bain Murphy


Enchantée meets Downton Abbey in this atmospheric YA historical fantasy set in nineteenth-century Denmark, where secrets can kill and magic is a deadly gift. 

For Marit Olsen, magic is all about strategy: it flows freely through her blood, but every use leaves behind a deadly, ice-like build-up within her veins called the Firn. Marit knows how dangerous it is to let too much Firn build up—after all, it killed her sister—and she has vowed never to use her thread magic. But when Eve, a fellow orphan whom Marit views like a little sister, is adopted by the wealthy Helene Vestergaard, Marit will do anything to stay by Eve’s side. She decides to risk the Firn and uses magic to secure a job as a seamstress in the Vestergaard household. 

But Marit has a second, hidden agenda: her father died while working in the Vestergaards’ jewel mines—and it might not have been an accident. The closer Marit gets to the truth about the Vestergaard family, the more she realizes she and everyone she’s come to love are in danger. When she finds herself in the middle of a treacherous deception that goes all the way up to the king of Denmark, magic may be the only thing that can save her—if it doesn’t kill her first. 

About the Author

Emily Bain Murphy was born in Indiana and raised in Hong Kong and Japan. She graduated from Tufts University and has also called Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California home.  

Murphy is the author of The Disappearances, which was a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, an ALAN Pick, and shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Book Prize. Splinters of Scarlet, Murphy’s second YA historical fantasy, will be published in 2020.  

Murphy is represented by Peter Knapp at Park & Fine Literary and Media. She currently lives in the St. Louis area with her husband and two children. Follow her online on Twitter @EBain and on Instagram @emilybainmurphy. 

My Favorite Quotes

“Sometimes the biggest decisions you make come by doing absolutely nothing.”

“But what is love if not life, siphoned out and given away and spent freely for others each day?”

My Review

Stitches of Scarlet is a YA alternate-history fantasy.

Marit has magic. It’s deadly to the user, and so she keeps it a secret and doesn’t use it. But when her mom-biological sister Eve is adopted by a wealthy woman, Marit has a chance to go with her as a magic-wielding servant. She would risk dying by magic for Eve and for the chance to uncover the reason behind her father’s death.

This book was very good and left me with a bit of a book hangover I enjoyed it so much. Too bad it’s a standalone.

There were a lot of things going on in this book. Like the back cover says, the story is a little like Downton Abbey in the way the classes of the upstairs and downstairs of the grand estate functioned. While Eve is raised as a daughter to the great family, enjoying all the jewels and privileges, Marit is stuck downstairs working for a living and trying to make friends with servants who don’t want her there. The two sisters barley interact in their new lives, in spite of growing up as orphans together. Such distinct class differences.

This book takes place in the 1860s in Denmark, featuring real people and places. However, there is magic in this story. That adds many intriguing twists to the plot and heightens the danger because the mere use of the magic brings each person closer and closer to premature death. But what happens if you are using magic to save someone else’s life? What do you choose? Some of the characters begin wondering if there’s a cure to death-by-magic.

The plot in this book was complex, weaving relevant subplots together into a fascinating whole. The major plot centers around Marit’s search for justice for her father’s death in the very mines her sister’s adoptive family owns. Working in their house, she’s in the best place to research what happened, but the easiest place to be discovered if there was anything other than an accident involved in his death. I loved how the story unfolded.

Relationships between characters were one of the most important parts of the story — building good friendships to survive, functioning well with co-workers and employers, falling in love, telling the truth, keeping older relationships strong in spite of new circumstances. The relationships were very important in his story, as they are in real life, and I loved how well the author brought all of those relationships to life in the story.

The one and only thing that I thought could have been done better was the details of Marit’s particular magic: sewing. I, personally, love sewing and embroidery. For my own sake (would it bore someone else?), I would love to have seen a couple more details about the sewing Marit did. The actual doing of it, the creating, the details, the styles, and whether or not Marit even loved the sewing itself rather than the magic — seemed more of an afterthought in the story and not well-researched. But maybe that’s just me, the bookish sew-aholic.

I really love this book and could go on and on about it. The characters, the development, the settings, the details about the dancing, the class differences, the magic ... all of it wove together into a beautiful story. I highly recommend it.

Content: there is some violence, a little gore, and some kissing.

I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher. All of the opinions expressed are my own, and I was not compensated or pressured in any way.

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