#BookReview – Beltane by Alys West
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I received an ARC of Beltane in exchange for an honest review via Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT
One of my favourite places to visit here in the UK is Glastonbury in Somerset. This stunning place is full of unique characters, beautiful scenery and mystical stories that greet you at every turn. When I first saw the blurb for Beltane and read that it was set in my favourite place I had to grab a copy – I wasn’t disappointed.
Beltane begins in the thick of the action when a Druid named Finn falls foul of a spellworker. The prologue sets you up for a novel that rushes along at a frantic pace. West does a fabulous job of keeping up the tension as she unfolds her story.
Zoe Rose is an illustrator who is struggling with her creativity. At her friend’s recommendation, she books into Anam Cara, a healing retreat in Glastonbury, to try and help her clear the blockages in her imagination and complete a commission for a book about King Arthur.
Unfortunately, Zoe isn’t as enamoured with the healing center’s hostess as the other guests and takes an instant dislike to Maeve. Within the grounds of Anam Cara, Zoe finds an old tree with a carving of The Green Man, unknowingly she releases a spell which unravels a string of events leading to Finn’s return, and the revelation that Zoe isn’t what she seems.
West paints the perfect picture of a healing retreat and clearly knows her stuff when it comes to the finer points of how the establishments are run and the background into alternative therapies. The setting is magical, and West takes us on a visual trip through the winding streets of Glastonbury, Wells and to the wilds of Dartmoor. Even if you have never visited these places, you will be able to feel the magic.
Finn and Zoe are likeable characters, and I look forward to their story evolving in future books. I did like Winston, and I hope he has a rich story just waiting to be unearthed. West creates a complex antagonist in Maeve, who bends the laws of good to meet her evil needs.
You will be hooked until the very end as the witchcraft and sorcery unfold in this gripping urban fantasy. A very well told novel; thoroughly enjoyable.
Buy a copy of Beltane by Alys West.
About the Author:
Alys writes urban fantasy and steampunk. Her first novel, BELTANE, an urban fantasy romance set in Glastonbury, is now available on Amazon. Her second novel, a steampunk romance called THE DIRIGIBLE KING’S DAUGHTER is available to read on Wattpad.
Alys is a member of the Write Romantic blog group and is doing a MA in Creative Writing at York St John University.
When she’s not writing or blogging you can find her at folk gigs, doing yoga and getting involved in yarnbombing. Alys lives in the beautiful city of York.
You can find out more about Alys on her blog http://www.alyswest.com or follow her on Twitter at @alyswestyork.