*BLOG TOUR BOOK REVIEW* Discoucia by Nicholas Lovelock
Discoucia: A Victorianish Fairytale
‘Revolution, romance and technological wonders are all in a day’s work for the decorated hero of Alavonia, Sir Arthur Pageon.
An acclaimed explorer and inventor, Sir Arthur Pageon takes his unofficial role as defender of the realm of Alavonia very seriously. A fantastical world, Alavonia is home to the Discoucian Monarchy, as well as monstrous creatures and secretive academies for the highly gifted.
Upon returning from his most recent exploits aboard on his personal flying galleon The Nostradamus, Pageon is treated to a hero’s welcome and celebratory procession through the streets of Alavonia’s capital, Evermore. Little does Pageon know he’s being followed by a mysterious group known as the Purple Guard, whose devious leader is his estranged sister, Queen Lily Pageon of Harrha Island. Fiercely intelligent, Lily specialises in dastardly technological inventions with the aim of bringing down the Discoucian Monarchy so that she may reign as its dictator. However, the heir to the throne is one Princess Josephine Olandine, whose youth and royal position masks her role in the Discoucian Secret Service.
Joining forces, Princess Josephine and Sir Arthur’s adventures will take them across the whole of Alavonia — from the fog-bound shores of Karga, to the secret underground shanty town beneath the frozen prison of Icester, south to the verdant city of Proceur and from there to the affluent Starfall Academy — in their quest to foil Lily’s revolutionary plans.’
First of all let me just say, this book is a little bonkers! But that’s what makes it so unique. The characters bounce off each other really well and the author has a good grasp of what he wants from each character in each scene which makes for interesting reading.
One thing about this novel that will make itself clear yo the reader from the very first page is the author’s style of writing. It’s quite frenetic and almost un-punctuated – obviously it isn’t but still feels like it. This isn’t to the point of excess or tot he extreme of being unnecessary but it does take some getting used to. The dialogue is delivered quickly and incorporates even the smallest of small talk, again, something that takes a little getting used to. Once you’ve read the first 100 pages or so, you start to get a real feel for the author’s writing and style, at this point the book becomes sooo much better!
The characters throughout the book are varied and fun, they also have detailed back stories which help when identifying and rooting for them. the author has done this well and I found myself caring about the characters and what happened to them, an absolute must for me as a reader. My favourite character though was Sir Arthur Pageon, he’s a real beauty. I found him to be funny’ quirky, and the type of character every book should have. His relationship with Princess Josephine is great and the author does a good job of contrasting their personalities.
The real gem within this book, for me, is the world created by the author (he was also kind enough to do a a guest post for me about his process of world building, you can read it here). Alavonia is a world that just feels absolutely massive and has places like “Icester” that just feel so British but also so…fantastical(?) it is just brilliant. Alavonia has a lot more to give and hopefully the author will write more within this world in the future.
There is a slight steampunk theme throughout the book and the mot glaring is the flying galleon, The Nostradamus, that is owned by Sir Arthur. Overall though, this is not overbearing and doesn’t rely on trying to market itself to this niche, it’s just about right.
I liked this book and I think there are a lot of readers out there who have been waiting to read something like this.
About the author: Based in a small village in Oxfordshire Nicholas Lovelock is the author of the Alavonia series. As well as a passion for history, Nick holds a keen interest in Numismatics —the study and collection of coins, banknotes and medals— counting a 200 year-old 1826 half-crown and coinage of monarchs like Queen Anne, Elizabeth the First and Henry the Eighth as part of his collection.
Thanks for reading, I hoped you enjoyed this stage of the blog tour for Discoucia. Please comment on and share this post if you enjoyed it. And remember that every time you share, you’re not just helping out a lowly blogger, but also an author who’s spent a load of time creating/developing/nurturing their story.