Iron Will by James Maxwell #GuestPost #BlogTour

War has come to Xanthos. Across the sea, the insane King Palemon’s lust for gold has driven him to build an army of dragons that will soon destroy everything in their path. Neighbouring royalty, Prince Dion and Princess Chloe, refuse to be helpless pawns in a clash of nations, and strive to bring their kingdoms together to fight this impending threat. When they find themselves hopelessly outmanned and outgunned, their only hope is to go in search of the secretive and powerful race of shapeshifters called the Eldren who have long since disappeared into the mysterious Wilds.

 All the while, an ancient, terrible power rises from the ashes to once again claim all-consuming power and domination over Xanthos. The world faces a war to end all wars, and enemies once fighting over gold must now become allies to face this rising evil, less everything they hold dear be destroyed and their whole world be plunged into darkness.

 As a world-spanning conflict begins, a king is betrayed, a prophecy is …

Book Review: A Handful of Stardust by Jake Arnott

Yet another Doctor Who Time Trips novella, a series of short stories written by different authors featuring our favourite Time Lord. A Handful of Stardust features many people's least favourite, the Sixth Doctor with Peri, a companion who divided opinion. As a child I loved her but I know many people rank her among the worst companions. It's not then a story that starts from a place of overwhelming nostalgic warmth!
Mostly set in  England in 1572, the Doctor and Peri meet John Dee, "Doctor of divinity and of mathematics. Alchemist, astrologist, navigator, I am, sir, Her Majesty’s most noble intelligencer. And the greatest mind of our time." Dee is rather like the Doctor, a robust character with a thirst for knowledge. He is aided by Thomas Digges who develops quite the crush on Peri. The characters are the strongest part of the story for me, Arnott doesn't quite capture the Sixth Doctor, he has his ebullience but not his crotchetiness but it's a decent enough characterisation of such a polarising figure, Peri doesn't do much of note but the relationship between her as a Twentieth Century Botany student and the Sixteenth Century scientist Digges is a nice little subplot. Happily and without giving too much away there's a properly bad enemy this time. However, the story itself is just a bit dull and forgettable. I didn't really care what happened and it was also sorted out far too easily. Of the Time Trips I've read so far this has been my least favourite, it's worth a read if you're a Who fan but I don't know if I'd read it again.
Thanks to the publishers for my free copy received through NetGalley in return for my unbiased review.

A Handful of Startdust is published in the UK by Ebury Publishing