Title: The Stars That Guide You Home // Author: Jemma Robinson
Date of publication: March/ April 2021 by Partenership Publishing // Print length: paperback, 492 pages
You can buy this book from Amazon
Sophia had her life planned out in the Capital. She could have had it all; the finest made ballgowns, diamonds and a King. But Sophia wanted to chase her own fate, fearlessly running away to the woods of Lowshore where she found Tom, the Woodcutter. Sophia traded in royalty and jewels for her very own diamond in the rough…or so she thought …
“We never let our pasts define us. I never told him of mine, as I never wanted to. And yet now, I wished that I had. Because I knew he could have kept me safe. And maybe this would have never happened.”
Diversity Tags: N/A
Content Warnings: graphic – torture, toxic relationship, sexual assault, physical abuse, misogyny, grief, emotional abuse domestic abuse; moderate – blood, kidnapping; minor – rape (off-page), animal cruelty.
Writing Quality 3.5/5, Character Development 5/5, ‘Couldn’t put it down’ – ness 5/5, Intellectual Depth 5/5, Originality 4/5, Overall 4.5/5
As I’m writing this review, I’m crying (nothing new), but I do have to say that this novel has been crueller, more heartbreaking but also more beautiful than many books I’ve read throughout the years. The Stars That Guide You Home will always have a spot in my heart, despite the pain it caused me – in an honourable way, of course.
She’s looking at me, her green eyes as deep and rich as the forest trees. I never thought I would see those eyes again. And it is taking every ounce of strength that I have not to walk out of here, find that bastard and squeeze the life from him.
Before I start with the praises, I have to bring to light something that puzzled me throughout my reading, aka the setting. This book takes place in the middle ages, which is perfectly fine by me -the Medieval European fantasy makes everything better- but there were some elements scattered along the book that shaped the present or modern history, rather than the past. On the one hand, we have mentions of framed photographs (to be fair, they were black and white), identity papers (which funnily enough, had no pictures), and even police. On the other, characters were travelling by carriages, arranged marriages were still a thing, and the king detained complete power over the state. This makes me believe that the state regime in the book resembled an absolute monarchy, which once again, points towards the middle ages. Now, I know this book is a work of fiction, and I know I shouldn’t be taking things so literally, but the little details usually help the readers get acquainted with the universe and understand better the times in which the book takes place. Even with this minor inconvenience, I can’t deny that Jemma has a way with words, and I can’t deny the fact that I enjoyed the novel way too much.
He sees it that he is the King. His word is law. And people are too scared to go against him. The priest he forced to marry us was as scared as I was.”
Now, let me tell you a bit about the characters. Sophia is the main hero of the book, and she will grow on you from the moment you start reading (I was hooked after page 4). Edmund, which reminded me so much of the awful King Henry the eighth, was the main antagonist, and if you didn’t despise him form the moment he was introduced, the author didn’t do their job. Tom was the love interest of Sophia, and I have to admit, their relationship, is to be admired. Throughout the book, more characters come and go, my favourite being Annalise, but it makes no sense for me to spoil this part for you.
Pain is the first thing I feel upon waking. Though not the torturous, agonising pain of the last few days. Now it feels duller, more manageable
As much as I loved Jemma’s writing style, and as much as I admire this book for finally taking me out of my reading slump (I’ve been struggling since December), I can’t tell you this book is only flowers and honey. As you go deeper and deeper into the novel, the descriptions get more graphic, and the violence reaches a point even I couldn’t stand. Right before I approached the end, I got so disgusted at the level of graphicness of the abuse and violence, that I had to stop for a little while, just to let things sink in. I don’t want to sound like a snob when I’m telling you that this book is not for everybody. I do not mean that only the most intelligent of the academics can understand this book, but I imply that if you can’t take violence and abuse well, this book is not for you. Even so, I do think the ending was worth it (and the plot twist even more).
“Tom once told me,” I begin, knowing that I can talk freely with Annalise. “He told me that if there were ever a time when he was not here beside me, that I could look up at the stars and know that he would be looking up at the same stars and thinking of me.”
I highly recommend this book, but be mindful, this work can trigger painful memories if you’ve been through a lot. As it contains graphic violence (to the point where it resembles Outlander a bit), I wouldn’t recommend this book for people younger than 16-17.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Writer of my daydreams. True believer in the power of the Universe and the power of words to make you feel, believe and hope.
In my spare time I enjoy reading, watching epic TV series’ and helping out at my local animal shelter.
My debut Historical Romance novel ‘The Stars That Guide You Home’ will be released in early 2021.
Connect with me:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JemmaRWrites/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jemmawrites/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/jemma_writes
Q&A from my publishers – https://www.partnershippublishing.co….