One Year On

Open Birthday Greeting Card Near Pen


Today is the one year birthday of Beneath a Thousand Skies, and I wanted to thank everyone for making it such a fantastic first year (despite the chaos that has been 2020). The idea for this blog actually happened about a month earlier, when I realised that I was fed up of not having people to babble with/to about books and I started looking into creating a book blog. The plan then had been to launch 1st of January 2020, but I read The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang and I needed to review it, and so on the 27th December Beneath a Thousand Skies had it’s first POST.

Since then, I have made almost 170 posts, read over three hundred books (a feat I don’t think I would be able to repeat, and is the only good thing to come out of lockdown). I have participated in blog tours (which I didn’t know was a thing before this year), events and challenges. I have turned my TBR from a pile into a tower that keeps on growing.

I have also met lots of wonderful bloggers, readers and authors over the last year.

So thank you again, and here’s to a better 2021 (and lots more books!)


Two People Toasting Flute Glasses

The Sunshine Blogger Award

The Sunshine Blogger Award


Today I am finally getting around to answering this tag – in my defence some of the questions had me stumped for a while. Thank you to Jake at Jake is Reading for the Sunshine Blogger Nomination, please do check out his fantastic blog (and prepare your TBR for some additions).

How does it work?

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions prompted by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
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Farewell 5-Star Rating System (well soon…)

Silhouette Of Man And Trees


As I have mentioned previously, I have been intending on doing away with the five-star rating system on the blog for a while now, after seeing some discussion on the matter and knowing that star ratings are sometimes harder to define/explain as it is so subjective, and I know there are books that I have rated higher because while they have problems *I LOVED THEM* and that was reflected in my rating. I will still be using the 5-star system for goodreads and other sites, but here I wanted to introduce something different here and I’ve finally settled on a system (and a look for the badges) that I am happy with.

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Ten of My Most Anticipated Sequels for 2021


As promised here is my second post about some of my most anticipated reads for 2021. In this post I will be looking at sequels that are due to be released next year. Again this is not a comprehensive list, and I have also not included any that are part of the series I intend to read in 2021. The only downside is that many of these haven’t had cover reveals yet.

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Ten of My Most Anticipated Releases for 2021


Continuing to build up my TBR pile (or maybe it should be tower by this point), this is the first of two posts looking at some of my most anticipated books for 2021. This list is by no means comprehensive as I keep coming across new ones that have my inner dragon wanting to hoard, and I have listed them in no particular order. The only rule for this list is that they have to be either standalone books or the first book in a new series, while in the second post I will look at ten of my most anticipated sequels coming in 2021.

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Twelve (well 14) Series I Want to Read in 2021


With 2021 just around the corner (and how did that happen?) it’s time to look ahead to what I want to read next year. There’s a lot of books on that list – old and new – so I am breaking it down over a few posts, starting with this one: Twelve (or Fourteen) Fantasy series that I want to read in 2021. My plan is to read one of the twelve series for each month of the year, with those that are expecting a 2021 release planned for later in the year (marked with a *). I haven’t set a particular order that I will read these in, although I intend to start with Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series.

The other two series on the list are separate, because these are ones that I am going to tackle across the year just because the size of them and those series are:

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November Wrap-Up and What’s On for December

Close-up Photography of Snowflake


Well November has come and gone and we’re now in Christmas Month (I work in retail so it is definitely a month long event lol). November was both a productive and unproductive month, as I read A LOT, but fell behind on reviews due to pain making it hard to focus – alas reviews don’t transport me to other worlds in the way books do, so I am now playing catch up so I will have a lot of Posts between now in Christmas.

This also had a knock-on effect on Nanowrimo and I came nowhere close to the 50K on the YA project I was supposed to be working on in between editing, on the other hand, editing is progressing – slower than I would like but progress is being made, and it will be off to an editor sooner rather than later, and I now have dozens of random scenes for the follow up book because I turned into a bit of a mood writer this month which is both good (because yay, words were written) but also a pain, as I can’t use them for a while.

That said, I had a fantastic time participating in Norsevember (even if nearly all my reviews were crammed into a single post right at the end), and while I fell off the wagon with the Sci-Fi Month challenge, I have started on Dune so I am not counting it as a complete loss.

I have also caught up with Critical Role, reread the Godblind trilogy (in Audiobook form, as I adore both the books and narrator), and I am currently working on a large A2 map for a friend. While in DnD, my Disaster Tiefling Niamh is currently stuck in frog-form courtesy of her Archfey Patron (to be remedied this weekend when she is going to try and escape) and no longer has any memories of her friends in the party (the cost of casting the Wish Spell via a magical flower to yeet a Kraken to save the party and the Water plane).

I love DnD XD.

Oh, and I also finally got confirmation that my university had fixed the issue with one of my modules and that I have (somehow) completed my Postgraduate Diploma in Coastal and Maritime Societies and Cultures – something which I am more relieved than excited about, but still a good thing in 2020.

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Norsevember Wrap- up


I can’t believe that we’re already at the end of November! It comes with bittersweet feelings, because on one hand I can now thoroughly embrace the festive spirit – Christmas music is going on at work tomorrow!! – on the other, today is St Andrews Day and were it not the year of Covid I would be attending a Street Ceilidh, torch-lit procession and fireworks. I will however, be indulging in haggis, neeps and tatties and blast some Ceilidh music while I do so.

Tomorrow, I will be sharing my November wrap-up post and looking at what’s on for December. Today however is all about Norsevember, and will actually be my main post for the month as life (and my blasted knees) have got in the way and derailed most of my November plans.

Firstly a massive shoutout to Alex at Spells and Spaceships for organising this event, and for all his amazing posts over the month which have been a much needed bright spot. Also, thank you again for this lovely bookmark that I won from one of the giveaways.

Secondly, I managed to read all but one of the books from my Norsevember TBR, but hadn’t managed to review them yet, so below you will find those reviews (hence the fact that this is a veeeery long post). They turned out to be a mixed bag, with some that I absolutely adored and others I absolutely hated, and some snuck in that weren’t even on the TBR to start with (as is always the way, right?)


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Blog Tour (Book Review) – The Failsafe Query (Sean Richardson #1) – Michael Jenkins


Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Failsafe Query’ by Michael Jenkins organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. I hope that you will check out both the author and the book, as well as the rest of the blogs involved in the tour.

*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*

Book Summary:

‘Some secrets were meant to be buried forever. Until now.’

Sean Richardson, a disgraced former intelligence agent, is tasked to lead a team to search for a British intelligence officer on the cusp of exposing thousands of secrets to the media. It includes a long lost list of Russian moles embedded since the Cold War, one of whom remains a public favourite in the British parliamentary system.

The action moves with absorbing pace and intrigue across Central Asia and Europe as the puzzle begins to unfold through a deep hidden legacy. As Sean gets closer to the truth, senior figures are left to nurse their anxiety knowing that if the secret is revealed, it will destroy their lives.

On the verge of success, his eye is taken off the ball, and the Russians step forward ready to pounce.  

Tense, fast paced, and insightful, The Failsafe Query twists and turns to a satisfyingly dramatic finale.

The first in a set of spy thrillers that have been expertly crafted with stunning plot lines, magnificent locations, and twists that leave you gasping for air. Perfect for fans of Frederick Forsyth, Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, and Scott Mariani. 

Continue reading “Blog Tour (Book Review) – The Failsafe Query (Sean Richardson #1) – Michael Jenkins”