Book talk: Three leading authors

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This week, Michael Popple looks at outstanding books from three leading authors. You can find more of Michael’s book reviews on his blog: unseenlibrary.com.

The Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier

Macmillan, $29.99

The warriors of Swan Island are an elite group of peacekeepers, helping to keep order in the lands. When an ancient coronation harp is stolen from a nearby kingdom, three Swan Island trainees are sent undercover to help recover it. However, the case is far more complicated than expected with ancient forces, politics and the trainees’ pasts all affecting the future of the kingdom. This is a fun and exciting fantasy adventure from Australian author, Juliet Marillier, who makes excellent use of three separate character perspectives and a medieval Gaelic inspired setting to tell an intriguing story.

The Dirty Dozen by Lynda La Plante

Zaffre, $32.99

London, 1980, Jane Tennison has just been assigned to the infamous Flying Squad. Tasked with foiling armed robberies, ‘the Sweeney’ are the ultimate police boy’s club and are unwilling to accept a woman in their ranks. Tennison must find a way to prove herself as they go after a dangerous group of bank robbers. This is the fifth book in the Tennison series, which serves as a prequel to La Plante’s Prime Suspect television show and novels. This latest book is a captivating piece of crime fiction that once again highlights historical police sexism while showing Tennison’s growth as a character.

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Del Rey, $32.99

In Garner County, women are taught that they have magic that can control the actions of men and drive them wild. In order to rid themselves of their magic, all young women must participate in the grace year, a dangerous year of isolation. As Tierney James begins her grace year, she begins to realise that everything she knows is a lie, and the greatest threat is the women trapped with her. This is an exceedingly fascinating novel whose dystopian story attempts to examines how young women are viewed in modern society. A complex and compelling piece of literature that is worth checking out.

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