Book Review, Contemporary, Historical

Book Review – Set The Stars Alight


Set the Stars Alight

by Amanda Dykes

Lucy Clare51FBg5f4M3L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_mont’s family treasured the magic of the past, and her childhood fascination with stories of the high seas led her to become a marine archaeologist. But when tragedy strikes, it’s Dashel, an American forensic astronomer, and his knowledge of the stars that may help her unearth the truth behind the puzzle she’s discovered in her family home.

Two hundred years earlier, the seeds of love are sown between a boy and a girl who spend their days playing in a secret sea cave, while the privileged young son of the estate looks on, wishing to join. As the children grow and war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption unfolds, held secret by the passage of time.

As Lucy and Dash journey to a mysterious old estate on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers–and the healing–they so desperately seek.


My Thoughts

This is one of those breathtaking novels that leaves you sitting in awe. I hardly know where to start with a review, or how to put words together to even begin to adequately describe this glowing story.

It is an absolutely beautiful, beautiful story. This is one of those that could not be rushed in its reading. I loved it so much. I finished it with a bittersweet sorrow. I’m almost certain it will be a top read of the year for me.
This book is a lovely weaving together of two stories. And more layers than you can count. Stories intertwined between the two main stories. Poetry. And prose. Riddles and ballads.
Friendship. Loss. Sorrow. Hope. Love.

The story begins with Lucy. And Dash. It shows their childhood. Almost the kind that fairy tales come from, at least for Lucy. Then everything changes, and she is almost as much an orphan as her dear friend Dash.

Interwoven with the lovely characters is the detailed description of their lovely setting. Lucy grew up in a little glass cottage by a match factory. One that is now abandoned. Set in London (or England, somewhere). I just loved reading the descriptiveness of the setting. The author made it come alive before my very eyes.

As an adult, Lucy is so alone. She’s forgotten the lovely stories told to her by her dad. But she’s on a hunt, determined to find a long-forgotten ship, the Jubilee. So this story is also a treasure hunt, of sorts.

Then you have the story of Frederick. Of Juliette. Of Elias. This from a time about 200 years earlier. Their stories are also full of sadness. Anger. Loss.

But the stars. The light. The hope. How beauty can come from ashes. Diamonds from dust. Stars from darkness. Anything is possible. Expect the impossible.

I loved the richness of these tales. I had the feeling that each word was carefully chosen, polished, placed exactly in its proper place, in a revealing of a treasure beyond description.

All of it is just so very beautiful. This is one of those stories that will stay with me for a long time, one that I will hold close.

Five out of five stars

Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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