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Sophie Masson

(1959- )
Sophie Masson is an Australian author and some of her works are not available in other countries.

The Firebird: Russian folklore fantasy

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The Firebird by Sophie Masson

The Firebird is a story made up of a range of Russian folklore, from the gnome-like 'leshis' to the greedy tsar to the Firebird itself. It reads like a fleshed-out fairytale, and contains much of the imagery and themes associated with such stories — everything from the persecuted younger brother to the quest narrative to the malevolent ruler of the land to the magical helpers and objects. For this reason, the story may sound rather predictable (and often it is), but as Russian folktales are not often delved into by Western writers, it is worth tracking down for a read.

Ivan is the youngest son of Tsar Demyan, and bullied by his two elder brothers, the brutal Yuri and the sly Igor. Tsar Demyan has the greatest garden in all the world, the centrepiece of which is the apple tree from Avalon on which grows a single golden apple. This ... Read More

The Tempestuous Voyage of Hopewell Shakespeare: A fun, diverting read from a solid author

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The Tempestuous Voyage of Hopewell Shakespeare by Sophie Masson

I've always enjoyed Sophie Masson's books; to put it simply, her stories are imaginative and her prose is elegant. The Tempestuous Voyage of Hopewell Shakespeare is no exception, (though it's not one of my favourites of hers) inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest and Twelfth Night, and containing all that those titles imply: adventure, romance, mystery, magic, mistaken identity, and of course — a voyage that ends in a shipwreck upon the shores of an exotic island.

According to her author's note, the name of the protagonist derives from her sister-in-law's anecdote about teaching Shakespeare with texts published under the imp... Read More

Malvolio’s Revenge: A quick but fun read

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Malvolio’s Revenge by Sophie Masson

I've read plenty of Sophie Masson's novels and enjoyed them all, but I'm fairly certain that Malvolio's Revenge may end up being my favourite. Though Masson usually writes straight-out fantasy stories, this is a more of a mystery with a few supernatural trappings thrown in.

The book's title is a bit misleading, for this book isn't a sequel to Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Instead it refers to the title of a play that the travelling troupe of actors who comprise our main characters are performing all around Louisiana. Set primarily in New Orleans in 1910, the story begins on a terribly stormy night when the Trentham Troupe of Players stumble upon an old estate that promises food and shelter.

Unfortunately the mansion is all but ruined, but that it's called Illyria (the setting... Read More

Scarlet in the Snow: A unique and interesting take on Beauty and the Beast

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Scarlet in the Snow by Sophie Masson

Sophie Masson's unofficial fairy tale trilogy is linked only by the presence of feya (powerful fairies) and certain geographical locations, which hint that Scarlet in the Snow, Moonlight & Ashes, and The Crystal Heart all exist in the same world, though none of the stories or characters ever interact.

Each one is based on a traditional fairy tale, with Scarlet in the Snow providing some interesting twists on the story of Beauty and the Beast. What if Beauty's father was dead and it was instead her mother who was struggling to make ends meet? What if Beauty actually investigated the Beast's identity, in an attempt to find out who he was before the spell wa... Read More

The Crystal Heart: An interesting retelling of a familiar tale

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The Crystal Heart by Sophie MassonI've always enjoyed Sophie Masson's books, and it would seem she's written something of an unofficial trilogy based on the stories of Rapunzel (The Crystal Heart), Cinderella (Moonlight & Ashes) and Beauty and the Beast (Scarlet in the Snow). All of them are based on old familiar fairy tales, but take the opportunity to flesh out the characters and expand the tales into fully-fledged adventures, till they bear very little resemblance to their original sources.

In this case, it's easy to forget that The Crystal Heart is based on Rapunzel, as after establishing the existence of a young girl trapped i... Read More

More books by Sophie Masson

Fairy Tale Trio — (1996-1999) Young adult re-tellings of Puss-in-Boots, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. Serafin was published as Carabas, and Malkin was published as Cold Iron outside the US.

Sophie Masson fantasy book reviews 1. Carabas (Serafin) 2. Cold Iron (Malkin) 3. ClementineSophie Masson fantasy book reviews 1. Carabas (Serafin) 2. Cold Iron (Malkin) 3. ClementineSophie Masson fantasy book reviews 1. Carabas (Serafin) 2. Cold Iron (Malkin) 3. Clementine


Lay Lines  — (1998-2000) For adults. An omnibus edition called The Forest of Dreams is available. Publisher: The Lay Lines Trilogy is centred around the life and work of the 12th century French poet, Marie de France, who wrote a number of wonderful lays, or narrative poems, about love and magic, werewolves and fairy lovers, jealousy, murder and humour. The Knight by the Pool begins when Marie is still the young wife of an elderly Breton lord, and when she has an encounter with a strange otherwordly knight in the forest, who tells her her fate. Later, newly widowed, she goes of to France, back to her ancestral lands, when she meets Richard the Lionheart… Many complications ensue, not the least being that nothing in Marie’s past is resolved, and as events begin to rapidly develop, and danger looms, she must show just what she is made of! And what her serving-knight, the silent, mysterious Welshman Llew ap Gruffydd, is also made of…

Sophie Masson Lay Lines: Forest of Dreams: 1. Knight by the Pool 2. The Lady of the Flowers 3. Stone of Oakenfast fantasy book reviewsSophie Masson Lay Lines: Forest of Dreams: 1. Knight by the Pool 2. The Lady of the Flowers 3. Stone of Oakenfast fantasy book reviews


El Jisel — (2004-2006) Young adult. Publisher: On the island of Jayangan, old beliefs and magic exist side by side with new pop songs and motorcycles… Adi is a fisherman’s son, proud to be studying with the greatest of traditional sword makers. Dewi is the daughter of a healer, curious about the world beyond her quiet village. Neither Adi nor Dewi is prepared for the sudden violence that transforms their lives. Both are propelled into an epic battle in which even the mystical spirits of Jayangan are threatened and helpless. Charged with a desperate quest to find the mysterious Snow, Fire, and Sword, Adi and Dewi know only that if they fail, their beloved homeland will fall to an evil shrouded in impenetrable darkness. Can two children of the modern world succeed where the most powerful and ancient spirits cannot? Set against the backdrop of a mythic Indonesia, Sophie Masson’s gripping fantasy will leave readers breathless.

Sophie Masson fantasy book reviews The Firebird, The Tempestuous Voyage of Hopewell Shakespeare, Snow Fire Sword, In Hollow Lands, Malvolio's Revengefantasy and science fiction book reviewsfantasy and science fiction book reviewsfantasy and science fiction book reviews


Thomas Trew — (2006-2007) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Everyone thinks 10-year-old Thomas Trew is weird: neighbours, other kids, even his own dad. Thomas doesn’t really mind. It’s been like that ever since he can remember. Then one day there’s a dwarf in his house, and his life changes forever. Thomas is summoned to the Hidden World — a magical place responsible for dreams, music, and imagination in the Obvious World (the human world). Extraordinary adventures await Thomas and his shape-shifter friends, caught up in the unpredictable rivalries between the different races of this world. He soon discovers his true talents and emerges as a Rymer, able to take his place as a link between the worlds of imagination and magic and the everyday. Thomas comes to understand both, and his ‘weirdness’ becomes greatness indeed.

Sophie Masson 1. Thomas Trew and the Hidden People 2. Flying Huntsman 3. Hornes of Pan 4. Island of Ghosts 5. Klint Kings Gold 6. Selkie's Curse Sophie Masson 1. Thomas Trew and the Hidden People 2. Flying Huntsman 3. Hornes of Pan 4. Island of Ghosts 5. Klint Kings Gold 6. Selkie's Curse Sophie Masson 1. Thomas Trew and the Hidden People 2. Flying Huntsman 3. Hornes of Pan 4. Island of Ghosts 5. Klint Kings Gold 6. Selkie's Curse Sophie Masson 1. Thomas Trew and the Hidden People 2. Flying Huntsman 3. Hornes of Pan 4. Island of Ghosts 5. Klint Kings Gold 6. Selkie's Curse Sophie Masson 1. Thomas Trew and the Hidden People 2. Flying Huntsman 3. Hornes of Pan 4. Island of Ghosts 5. Klint Kings Gold 6. Selkie's Curse Sophie Masson 1. Thomas Trew and the Hidden People 2. Flying Huntsman 3. Hornes of Pan 4. Island of Ghosts 5. Klint Kings Gold 6. Selkie's Curse


Sophie Masson fantasy book reviews The Firebird, The Tempestuous Voyage of Hopewell Shakespeare, Snow Fire Sword, In Hollow Lands, Malvolio's RevengeIn Hollow Lands — (2004) Young adult. Publisher: When twins Tiphaine and Gromer are lured from their peaceful home into the strange world of the magical korrigans it is the beginning of an extraordinary adventure. How will they break the spell of their enchantment and how are they connected to Bertrand du Guesclin, fighting against the English?


Sophie Masson The Madman of Venice fantasy book reviewsThe Madman of Venice — (2009) Publisher: The London home of Matthew Ashby is visited by the beautiful, famous half-Venetian musician, Emilia Lanier, begging him for help. A young Venetian girl, Sarah, has been accused of witchcraft by a wealthy merchant’s wife, and has since disappeared. Is she in hiding? Or worse — kidnapped or murdered? So with his daughter, Celia, and his clerk, Ned, Matthew Ashby sets off for Venice and into a greater mystery than could ever be imagined. They must draw on all their wits and ingenuity to find allies in unexpected places. When Master Ashby is kidnapped, Ned and Celia have to race against the clock to find him as well as Sarah — but nothing is as it seems, not least the mysterious Madman of Venice…


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsMoonlight and Ashes — (2012) Publisher: The story of Cinderella as you’ve never heard it before… A girl whose fortunes have plummeted from wealthy aristocrat to servant-girl. A magic hazel twig. A prince. A desperate escape from danger. This is not the story of a girl whose fairy godmother arranges her future for her. This is the story of Selena, who will take charge of her own destiny, and learn that her magic is not to be feared but celebrated. Pure fairytale — with all the romance, magic and adventure that goes along with it.


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