The Mirror of Pharos by J.S. Landor #Giveaway #BookReview #BlogTour

Jack Tideswell’s parents died in a diving accident while exploring the underwater ruins of the ancient Pharos lighthouse. So Jack wants nothing to do with adventure. Until that is, a seagull delivers a strange disc, addressed to him in his own handwriting.

In the blink of an eye, all kinds of magic are let loose, sending Jack on a dangerous journey. Can he learn to navigate time before it’s too late to save the one person who can help him unravel the secrets of the disc?

Whether he likes it or not, there’s no more hiding away. And no looking back. Especially when Alpha is watching. A wolf who sees all there is to see …

‘A wonderful mix of magic and reality that reminds me of the early books in the Harry Potter series.’ The Bookbag

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for The Mirror of Pharos by J.S. Landor today. My grateful thanks to the author, publishers and Anne Cater for inviting me to take part and for my copy of the book.
My youngest daughter, Maggie is now ten and a fluent reader but we still both really enjoy sharing books together. She particularly enjoys adventure stories and as wolves are her favourite animal, we couldn't resist The Mirror of Pharos - just look at those amber eyes staring out from the front cover! I'll be reviewing the book first today and then Maggie will share her thoughts below. I'm also thrilled to be able to offer a copy of the book to one lucky person, to enter just leave a short comment below and I'll pick a winner at random.
I believe a great book for children can be about any subject but it needs certain ingredients. The first is an engaging plot that takes its readers on a journey and never patronises its young audience. The Mirror of Pharos certainly fulfils that criteria as the plot takes its protagonist from the present day to the future and the past in a storyline that is both exciting and really quite complex. J.S. Landor has created a wonderful story here, filled with magic, time travel and danger. As an adult reading the book I was completely gripped and I have to admit to Maggie having a few later bedtimes as we couldn't resist one more chapter!
So, the plot is crucial but the book also needs an appealing protagonist - step forward Jack Tideswell. At the start of the book Jack is a rather timid boy. He has become the main target for the school bullies and spends much of his time trying to avoid them. Jack's life changes abruptly though when mysterious disc arrives and he meets fascinating stranger, Jago Flynn. As he attempts to find out just what the disc's purpose is, Jack will find himself in mortal peril and discover secrets about his character he could never have dreamed of.
The secondary characters are also essential and again The Mirror of Pharos comes up trumps. Jack's Nan is a fabulous addition to the plot; in many ways she is the typical grandmother, worrying about whether her grandson has remembered his coat and spending hours in the kitchen baking delicious treats for Jack and his best friend, Charlie but there is something a bit magical about Nan, whether it's the special flavour of her recipes -  biscuits that taste of candyfloss that remind Jack of a funfair or treacle pudding that evokes memories of hot tarmac on a summer's day - or the feeling that she knows more secrets than she's letting on. Charlie is exactly the best friend that Jack needs, wise, brave, forthright and loyal even when Jack seems to abandon her in favour of the peculiar Jago Flynn. It's Flynn's secrets that lead Jack into an adventure he could never imagined - just who is this strange man? Then there's Alpha of course - powerful, enigmatic and wild, I suspect all readers will fall under this wolf's spell. A word too for Nan's cat, Odin who displays all the contrary feline characteristics cat owners know and love, and who will definitely be grateful for his nine lives by the end of the book.
The story flows beautifully, there are twists and turns, scenes that will set hearts racing and moments that threaten to break them. I absolutely loved The Mirror of Pharos, it was a pleasure to read aloud (although I'm not sure how accurate my magpie impressions are!) and I loved that although this story reached a satisfying conclusion there is the potential for lots more adventure and magic to come for Jack and Alpha. Highly recommended to anybody who loves imaginative, thrilling tales that open doors into the world of magic.

This thrilling page-turner is absolutely awesome! The author has a brilliant style of writing and kept me addicted to The Mirror Of Pharos throughout the whole book. Jack is just an ordinary boy who is trying to get on with his difficult life. He is bullied at school, and lives with his Nan since his parents died. He doesn't expect a package in his own handwriting and he certainly doesn't expect the adventure ahead of him! At the start of this book, I wasn't sure how I'd feel about Jack but before long he became one of my favourite characters. He's very kind to most people and he becomes brave as the story goes on. The mysterious eyes of a certain wolf named Alpha follow Jack as he gets closer to the truth. As a lover of wolves, I was very fond of Alpha and loved the way he was described. I am very pleased Alpha wasn't a pet but was a stunning wild creature. Whether speeding through the past or into the future, Jack wasn't going to give up. The writing painted pictures into my mind and I could imagine just what happened almost as if I was there. I loved the twists that were right under my nose and the sense of danger.
I recommend this to children and adults who love mysteries and adventure! I'd rate this five out of five for the clever plot and brilliant characters.

Don't forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

The Mirror of Pharos is published by Matador Books and can be purchased here. Don't forget you have a chance to win a copy by simply commenting below! Please leave your Twitter handle or some other way to contact you. An announcement will also be made on this post, on Twitter (@karlou) and on my Facebook page. Competition closes at midnight on 17/02/2018 and is open to UK residents only.

About the Author

I grew up in Luton, an industrial town famous for making hats. Dad was an engineer, Mum was Mum, and my little brother, Steve, was a big pest – and my best friend. Life was fairly ordinary. Until, one day, adventure called. We packed up our belongings in a crate and sailed on an ocean liner to Canada.
The crossing took a whole week, an epic voyage for a five-year-old. That amount of rolling sea is not easily forgotten! Nor the seagulls. Nor the slot machine that unexpectedly unloaded such a heap of coins I mistakenly thought I was rich. No surprise that years later the ship (or a fictional version of her) sailed right into one of my stories: The Mirror of Pharos.
As an eight-year old returning to primary school in Luton I was the odd one out. When my funny accent caused some teasing I felt sad and missed my old home in Toronto. But some great new friends soon came to the rescue. And by then I was a bookworm so half my buddies were characters in stories anyway!
After school I studied literature at university and edited a magazine called Magus (look out for that word in the story). Later I became a journalist, a farmer and eventually a publishing editor. But all the while another adventure was beckoning. Someone had whispered a secret to me on a school field trip when I was just seven. Looking back it shaped my destiny. It’s the reason I became a storyteller.

Website -
Twitter - @js_landor
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  1. It sounds really imaginative and exciting!

    1. Ooops forgot - I'm @Beadyjan in case you didn't realize!

    2. Haha! I hope I would have worked it out! Thanks for commenting and good luck :)

  2. Thanks so much for your continued Blog Tour support Karen x

  3. Sounds like one that both me and Rachael (who’s very much inherited my love of books but has a bad habit of reviewing them to me at midnight!) would enjoy!! I’m @nyree_dawn on Twitter x

    1. Haha! I'm pretty sure Maggie sometimes reads waaay more than "one more chapter" at night! Thanks Nyree x

  4. Love magic and a wolves. I have yet to discover the author and her style of writing. Thanks for sharing. Very powerful cover

    1. Those amber eyes really look at you, don't they? Thanks for commenting.

  5. Congratulations to Nyree Dawn Dowell whose name was pulled out of the hat by Maggie and is the lucky winner of a copy of The Mirror of Pharos. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did! x


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