Monday 15 July 2024

Legacy of the Brightwash (Tainted Dominion Book 1) by Krystle Matar

Book Details


Length: 662 pages

Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Age Category: Adult

Date Published: 18 February 2021

Amazon Links:





The StoryGraph


Follow the law and you’ll stay safe. But what if the law is wrong?

Tashué’s faith in the law is beginning to crack.

Three years ago, he stood by when the Authority condemned Jason to the brutality of the Rift for non-compliance. When Tashué’s son refused to register as tainted, the laws had to be upheld. He’d never doubted his job as a Regulation Officer before, but three years of watching your son wither away can break down even the strongest convictions.

Then a dead girl washed up on the bank of the Brightwash, tattooed and mutilated. Where had she come from? Who would tattoo a child? Was it the same person who killed her?

Why was he the only one who cared?

Will Tashué be able to stand against everything he thought he believed in to get the answers he’s looking for?

Legacy of the Brightwash was the title I was most excited to read for the Novel of the Year Awards 2023.
The opening chapter with the discovery of a murdered and mutilated child sucked me into the story straight away and I couldn't wait to find out what Tashué would discover about her.

Legacy of the Brightwash is a character-driven story. It is well-written and tense. The mystery of the murdered girl is only one element of the overall story. She represents everything that has gone wrong with the controlling and regulated society in which they live. However, I was disappointed that the book turned out to be less of a detective or murder mystery story than the blurb implied. There is a heavy focus on political intrigue in which Tashué gets mixed up. 

This is quite a dark story and I felt unease for the characters who were imprisoned for being tainted and unregistered. Tashué's son being one of them. Tashué's job of enforcing the law has a massive impact on their relationship. But, as Tashué slowly digs around in political circles he discovers that the leaders are the bad guys rather than the tainted and that changes are needed in society. Tashué grapples with these new realisations and he feels guilty for upholding an oppressive regime and causing the loss of his family.

At 662 pages this is a whopper of a book and it ends on a cliffhanger. It's also a slow burn with the pacing staying relatively the same all the way through. But, with a mix of dark fantasy, mystery and romance there is something here for everybody.

About the Author

Krystle Matar has been writing for a long time, but things got serious when Tashué Blackwood walked into her life, an amber-eyed whirlwind. Her debut, Legacy of the Brightwash, is a SPFBO Finalist, an r/Fantasy nominee for Best Debut and Best Indie.

When she isn’t arguing with Tashué or any of his friends, she parents full time. She has a lot of children, too many hobbies, and one very excellent husband.

She is currently working on lots of stories set in the Dominion, is 1/4 of the Swords & Corsets Podcast, and is probably obsessively rewatching BBC’s Ripper Street and/or anything that Dennis Lehane worked on like Apple TV's Blackbird.

Monday 8 July 2024

Felicity's War: The Stepney Girls, Book 3 by Jean Fullerton (Corvus, 2024)


Felicity’s War

1941. Whilst London is battered by air raids, Felicity ‘Fliss’ Carmichael has troubles of her own. Reeling from her fiancé’s betrayal, she flees to her family home at St. Winifred’s Rectory.

 Though heartbroken, Fliss finds purpose again as a journalist. On assignment, she crosses paths with Detective Inspector Timothy Wallace, who shares

her passion for truth and justice - though not necessarily her political beliefs. Despite their differences, an instant spark ignites between them.

In a city under siege, Fliss and Tim forge an unlikely bond. But can their blossoming romance endure the perils ahead?

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Felicity's War is a heartwarming historical drama. I immediately liked Felicity as the main character. She is outspoken and modern thinking with a career in journalism. She takes no nonsense from anyone, especially her fiancé and I cheered for her every time she stood up for herself.

Having not read any of the previous books in the series I enjoyed this as a standalone. The story moves quickly. I enjoyed the intrigue with Felicity and DI Wallace investigating crime and black market racketeering. The romance was also a treat. It was fun watching the pair's interactions evolve from sniping at each other to caring and developing feelings.

The author writes about the period so well that I could imagine myself there trying to grapple with food rationing and having to make do. I could also picture ordinary people trying to live a normal life in the extraordinary time of air raids and blackouts. 

I flew through this book within two days. It was difficult to put down and left me with the desire to read the previous two books in the series.

Author Bio 

Born and bred in East London Jean was a District Nurse by trade working throughout East London. She had published twenty-three sagas, including the popular WW2 RATION BOOK, which like all her books is set in East London. Jean has also written her autobiography A Child of the East End, about growing up in post-war Stepney and Wapping. She is currently working on first book of her new four book WW2 series.

Social Media Links –


 X (Formerly Twitter)


 Amazon: Jean's Amazon page

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