Throughout my time as a blogger I have had the pleasure of being introduced to a number of indie authors and their books which my not have come onto my radar otherwise. Many of these books have become some of my favourite reads and are ones I regularly tell friends and family about when they ask for recommendations. Once such author is the wonderful Josie Jaffrey who has written numerous vampire based books which I have absolutely adored devouring; especially as I missed the first time vampire tales were doing the rounds!
However, Josie has recently released the first book in her new Deluge series, The Wolf and the Water, which sees her leaving the vampires behind and instead taking inspiration from Ancient Greece. Having loved everything about her previous books and being intrigued by the concept of this new story I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy and start reading! Thanks to Josie for sending me a copy of this book for review and I hope you all enjoy reading my full review of this recent release. Also be sure to check out Josie’s website and social media for details of all the other fabulous books this indie author has released.
About The Book
Some secrets are worth killing for……
The ancient city of Kepos sits in an isolated valley, cut off from the outside world by a towering wall. Behind it, the souls of the dead clamour for release. Or so the priesthood says. Kala has never had any reason to doubt their word – until her father dies in suspicious circumstances that implicate the city’s high priest. She’s determined to investigate, but she has a more immediate problem: the laws of the city require her mother to remarry straight away.
Kala’s new stepfather is a monster, but his son Leon is something altogether more dangerous: kind.
With her family fractured and the investigation putting her life in danger, the last thing Kala needs is romance. She would rather ignore Leon entirely, however difficult he makes it. But when she learns the truth of what really clamours behind the wall at the end of the valley, she faces a choice: share what she knows and jeopardise her escape, or abandon him to his fate along with the rest of the city.
If she doesn’t move fast, then no one will make it out of the valley alive.
Kala’s life has been anything but easy; left disabled by illness as a youngster she’s shunned by others from the founding clans of Kepos. Her parents were urged to kill her for bringing shame on their family, but luckily for Kala her Father, head of the Glauks, dotes upon her and would never hear of such a thing. But Kala’s life is upended when she returns home to find her Father and faithful dog dead. Still reeling from the loss of her biggest champion Kala discovers that her Father’s death may not be the accident it has been made out to be.
Under Kepos law Kala’s Mother is required to find another husband immediately and within days has remarried. Unfortunately for Kala her new Step-Father Nikos is a violent brute who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, and he’d like nothing more than to dispose of the cripple daughter of his new wife.
Not content to sit back, Kala continues digging around to try and discover what really happened to her Father, putting herself in grave danger as she uncovers a whole host of secret’s about her family and the other inhabitants of Kepos. One such revelation shakes the foundation of Kala’s life leaving her to question everything she has ever been told and wondering what to do with her new found knowledge. But who can she trust and who will jeopardise her plan?
Despite being completely different to her other books I absolutely adore this new book as I knew I would. Written in Josie’s signature easy style she managed to successfully bring to life a unique fully formed new atmospheric world that hooked me in. Perfectly paced, The Wolf and the Water, offers a mix of tension, drama and character development which allowed me to feel fully immersed in the story from start to finish, as well as emotionally invested in the characters.
Our main protagonist Kala is by far my favourite character. Despite her constant battle to over come obstacles thrown her way she remains strong, independent and resilient throughout; determined not to be seen as a burden to others. In a world where women are the lowest of the low, unable to own anything and controlled by powerful men, Kala is a shining light of hope, determined to fight the establishment to make things right. She is kick ass and then some! Whilst Kala is the character I feel we come to know most in this book there are a host of ‘side’ characters that also deserve a mention; for instance Melissa who is a slave in Kala’s house, but is also her closest confident as well as her lover. Their relationship is wonderfully portrayed and it’s often with the help of Melissa’s encouragement and belief that Kala’s resilience is maintained. As I found with Josie’s other books the character’s in this book are written in such a realistic way which give them depth and allows me as a reader to feel a connection and in some cases relate to their situations.
This style of historical inspired fiction isn’t normally one I would automatically be drawn to, but I absolutely loved everything about this story and as soon as I finished it was already anticipating the next in the series – not least because of the cliff-hanger it left off on! I enjoyed learning and discovering the culture, religion and politics involved in this newly created world and whilst it look me a little while to place everything, it’s a place I can’t wait to return to soon.
**Please be aware this book comes with a page of trigger warnings at the back which include: Violence ( murder, amputation, poisoning, arson, injures described), Death ( parental death, sibling death, discovery of body, death in childbirth, grief and more), Racism ( from side characters inc use of words savage and barbarian), Ableism ( bullying, use of word cripple, internalised ableism & feelings of worthlessness), Slavery ( slaves present throughout, mainly treated kindly, main characters family own slaves) , misogyny ( women seen as possessions), parental abuse ( physical and emotional), miscarriage, attempted sexual assault, romantic relationship between slave and owner, implied romantic relationship between unknowing siblings.**
About The Author
Josie lives in Oxford, England, with her husband and two cats. When she’s not writing, she works as a lawyer, specialising in intellectual property and commercial law. She also runs a video book review club, The Gin Book Club, through her website.
The Wolf and The Water is available to purchase now from Amazon*