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Feathers and Sparks (The Bone Jester Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Helen Winters
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 214 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

‘Wherever the journey ends, wherever the shadows gather, the Bone Jester will be waiting for you. You possess something he wants.'
In our world, the Above, 13-year-old twins Hannah and Tom live at Green Night House with their mother and eccentric great uncle. The twins may not always get on but they share a secret from the outside world – their friendship with Slaye, the dragoman, part human part dragon, living in the warren of tunnels below Dragoman castle. Slaye has a friend in trouble in another world, the Below, and Hannah possesses something this friend needs to save his world from destruction, a Telein.
The twins’ journey into the moonlit decaying Below will turn into an adventure full of mystery, magic, madness, terror and humour. They experience sinister puppet shows and kidnapping; travel through salt deserts, haunted forests and abandoned crystallising cities; confront perpetually burning trees, ghostly children, salt fiends, gothic families with awful secrets, elderly vampires, murderous parents, skinstalkers who inhabit bodies. And over all this Kasperle the Bone Jester casts his shadow, watching and waiting.

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More About the Author

Helen Winters has an English degree from York and has been involved with book-selling, publishing, restorative justice, charity fundraising, teaching and child-rearing. However, her children are now finally too old to need rearing any longer and she works at Michelham Priory, a beautiful heritage property in Sussex, the perfect site for any gothic fantasy novel. She loves reading, writing, watching films, chocolate and socialising. She hates maths, Turkish Delight and cleaning and lives in a very dusty house, also a perfect site for a gothic fantasy novel - which is why it features in her book. 'Feathers and Sparks' is the first novel in her 'Bone Jester' trilogy and it's full of things she likes or finds fascinating - paperweights, salt deserts (she visited one in Africa), quirky old buildings, abandoned cities, books and music, mysteries and puzzles, the moon. 'Feathers and Sparks' has taken her five years to write, although during that time she has also worked on the other two books in the trilogy. She writes to please herself but hopes other people will enjoy her work too.

Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic fantasy adventure 17 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
We follow Hannah and Tom on the adventure of their lives, beautifully written this tale is creepy and mysterious, sometimes amusing and at other times terrifying but all the time magical. The pace keeps up and keeps our attention, my older children have been gripped. Not normally a reader of fantasy but this was recommended to me, and I'm so glad it was.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this for your teenager, but borrow it back. 7 Jan. 2015
By K.D.
Format:Kindle Edition
Although aimed at teenagers there is much to grip the attention of parents who see references glossed over by the younger generation. The fantasy world contains a liberal scatter of exciting yet familiar images that linger in the mind: the “mug more chip than china”, the “dreadful noise, like listening to a headache singing”, an “unmade bed incubating the usual number of books”, wings making “a cracking noise like shaken out clothes”. Drawn into the story I failed to see the twists coming, a second reading reminded me of the clues that I had forgotten. So buy this for your teenager, but borrow it back.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for the next book!! 3 Sept. 2014
By jo
Format:Kindle Edition
My 11 year old son was given this book to read by his teacher (we discovered from her that we are local to the author and the setting ) and became wrapped up in the story line from the very beginning. My son says ' Feathers and Sparks is a tense book. Always had the reader on the edge of their seat. A spectacular ending. Can't wait for the next in the trilogy!!!'.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This beautifully written fantasy quickly draws you into its extraordinary landscape of illusion and betrayal. `They stood in the terrible brightness, tense and fearful. Korngold seemed less like a destination, more like an affliction they couldn't avoid, a dead crystallizing city full of unknown horrors.'

The novel, which shifts between our world The Above and the troubled, moonlit desolate Below, is peopled with strange enigmatic characters, some human, some hybrid. It is a classic fight against the dark powers with allusions to Tolkien, C.S.Lewis and other greats of the genre but nothing is as it seems: the dead are not necessarily dead and those you think you can trust may ultimately turn out to be your enemy. In the best literary tradition, many of the characters are themselves on personal quests to discover their true identity and unravel their own complex pasts.

Feathers and Sparks will delight discerning readers of 11 years and up and anyone who relishes classic fantasy. The plot twists and thickens and ends with a particularly satisfying reversal which sets up the sequel perfectly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Feathers and Sparks review 4 May 2014
By GC
Format:Kindle Edition
I loved Hannah's story and the salt desert scenes. I would particularly recommend this book for the secondary school age group.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You will not regret reading this book 8 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Impressive, cleverly written, engaging and witty - I thought the characters are very well thought out and although I am not normally drawn to this type of book, found it an engaging read with a good story line. I am very impressed that this is part of a trilogy and no doubt it will appeal to a wide range of readers - young and old.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and packed with evocative imagery. 30 Mar. 2014
By cat77
Format:Kindle Edition
I love this book. The characters are a mix of 'real' and fantasy, but all are easily imagined from the author's excellent descriptions, as are the scenes. The book would have appeal, particularly for a teenage audience of either gender, but is equally enjoyable for adults, with subtle references to characters in for example, Greek mythology. It keeps you interested throughout and I am eagerly awaiting the next in the trilogy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Baroque adventure in the Below 23 Mar. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Beneath the familiar streets of Hannah & Tom's home town lies the sunless Below,drenched in perpetual moonlight & peopled by Skinstalkers seeking host bodies.Into this world the children unwittingly stumble through their accidental possession of theTelein, which the Dragoman Slaye has come in search of. Helen Winters leads us through strange and haunted landscapes to encounter the denizens of the Below. This is a compelling journey,described with an eye for the bizarre & the exotic, and enough literary allusions to keep the grown-ups intrigued too.Looking forward to the next episode !
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great plot - really good to read
I enjoyed this book very much. Of course it is all about good versus bad, but the the characters are not all perfect and their failings are sometimes key to the story. Read more
Published 16 months ago by A. Buckley
5.0 out of 5 stars original, moving and exciting
Disclaimer: I am related to the author

This is the first book in a trilogy.
It's an original fantasy with elements of CS Lewis ( but darker) and a streak of... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Richard Mott
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic array of characters who travel between two worlds!
Despite its dark steak this book is full of wit and allusions to literary greats, including Proust, Tolkien, CS Lewis and many more. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Doris Moorhead
5.0 out of 5 stars A richly imaginative fantasy
In this highly-coloured and densely-populated fantasy, thirteen-year-old twins Hannah and Tom leave their not altogether happy home to descend into a surreal netherworld peopled by... Read more
Published 17 months ago by S C MORRIS
5.0 out of 5 stars A richly imaginative fantasy
‘There are a lot of unhappy families, in whatever world you’re in...’ Jacqueline Wilson meets Mervyn Peake, with touches of ‘The League of Gentleman’ as Hannah and Tom, who live in... Read more
Published 17 months ago by B. Kita
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping story full of fantastic people, creatures and places.
This is a fast-moving adventure where brother and sister set out on a quest to understand strange events from their past that resurface in the present. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Crabtree
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