Jaffareadstoo is delighted to be part of the Cold Fire Blog Tour
31 August 2018
My thanks to the author and to Rachel's Random Resources for my invitation to the blog tour and for my copy of the book
What's it all about..
Set in the magical boarding school of St Francis', Cold Fire centres around a group of teenagers who become involved in the tale of Romeo and Juliet in this contemporary re-telling of the classic story. Meanwhile, four hundred years earlier, a young teacher from Stratford Upon Avon arrives at the school. His name is Will... From the author of The Invisible Hand comes the second book in the spellbinding Shakespeare´s Moon series.
What did I think about it..
Romeo and Juliet, that iconic Shakespearean tale of tragic young lovers, has been given a contemporary feel in Cold Fire which I am sure will appeal to young adult readers in a very relevant way. The story is set in St Francis’ which is a Scottish boarding school and even though it’s an enchanted sort of place, the pupils there are filled with the same sort of angst that teenagers the world over have experienced at one time or another. Young love, unrequited love, warring parents, peer rivalry, it’s all there in abundance, but what’s also fascinating is the way that the author has directed the story along the lines of Romeo and Juliet, a play we know so well, and yet, he has given it a slightly edgier feel, which I think works really well. Add into the mix the story of Will from Stratford who arrives at the school some 400 years earlier to look for work, and you have the excitement of the bard himself adding his own distinct personality to the pages.
The idea of making Shakespeare more accessible to younger readers is a great idea and the author does a great job of making the story both relevant and interesting to a younger audience. The story is written with great enthusiasm and the intertwining of the past with the present, whilst at the same time keeping the integrity of the original story, is to the author’s credit and works really well.
I have read The Invisible Hand, the author’s first novel in the Shakespeare’s Moon series, which is also set at St Francis but which focuses on the story of Macbeth, and I think that Cold Fire is a fine continuation of the theme.
James was born on the Wirral, England, in 1973 on a rainy Thursday. He shares his birthday with Bono, Sid Vicious and two even nastier pieces of work, John Wilkes Booth and Mark David Chapman. His mother was a hairdresser with her own business and his father worked in a local refinery which pours filth into the sky over the Mersey to this day. They married young and James was their first child. He has two younger brothers and a still-expanding family in the area. As an Everton fan he suffered years of Liverpool success throughout the seventies and was thrilled when his father took a job in Singapore and the family moved lock, stock and two smoking barrels to Asia. He spent five fine years growing up in the city state before returning to the rain, storms, comprehensive schools and desolate beauty of the Scottish east coast. Later years took he and his family to baking hot Muscat, in Oman, and a Syria that has since been bombed off the surface of the planet. James lives in Madrid, Spain, with his wife and two children.
Giveaway – Win 5 x Signed copies of Cold Fire with a special tactile pen
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