Indie Book Review: Hills and Valleys by Helen Jones

hills and valleys helen jonesHills and Valleys (The Ambeth Chronicles Book 3) by Helen Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I received a free electronic copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Hills and Valleys is the third novel in Helen Jones’s Ambeth Chronicles. You can read my review of the first two books, Oak and Mist and No Quarter by clicking on their titles. To avoid major spoilers for all three novels, I will focus this review more on my personal reaction to the text and the writing itself, and will refer to the content in broad terms. That being said, some mild spoilage will occur. You’ve been warned.

As with No QuarterHills and Valleys picks up right where the previous book left off. The reader is launched right back into England and Ambeth, as Alma and the members of the Light grieve the tragedy that befell them at the end of No Quarter. Right away, it is clear that Hills and Valleys will have a more serious tone than the previous two novels, signalling both a maturing in Alma as a character and the growing threat in the quest to return the Regalia (whether Alma chooses to continue helping or not).

For me, this grieving period lasted a little longer than I would have liked. While I understand and respect Jones’s choice to spend a decent portion of the book working through the character’s emotional distress, I would have preferred for the action to move along at the same time. Chess pieces were slowly put into place, but some of the conversations and debates between the Light and Dark in Ambeth seemed repetitive, and I wish more space would have been allowed to show the development of Alma’s powers (which, though fantastic, seemed to emerge a bit out of nowhere for me).

Speaking of Alma, I believe she really comes into her own as a character in Hills and Valleys. She shows strength and independence in situations where I feel she might have faltered in previous books (especially with her support of her mother and her interaction with Deryck), and toward the end of the book, she accepts rather dramatic revelations with admirable calmness. Likewise, the supporting characters reveal new layers to their personalities as well. Deryck and Ellery both face complex moral and emotional conundrums, Lord Denoris unveils new levels of delicious evil, and King Thorion gives us more insight into his personal struggles.

As with the entire series, the settings in Hills and Valleys are beautifully described. The jewel of the Ambeth Chronicles remains Ambeth itself, and seeing it from a new character’s perspective made me fall in love with it all over again. Moreover, the introduction of Wales made for a gorgeous (and symbolic!) backdrop, and I’m pleased that it will feature in the next novel, too.

If you’ve been a fan of the Ambeth Chronicles thus far, everything you love is still there: the wonder of Ambeth, the twisting turns of the quest for the Regalia, and the enchanting sparks of magic. If you’re a fantasy lover who has not explored this series yet, I highly recommend you jump on board. Between developed, emotive characters, dazzling magic, stunning scenery, and dashes of romance Ambeth has something for everyone.

As for this novel itself, Hills and Valleys is a brilliant continuation of the series that will leave readers hungry for the next step in the journey. I know I can’t wait.

View all my reviews


hills and valleys helen jonesIf you are interested in reading Hills and Valleys and would like to help sponsor my writing and research, you can purchase it through my Amazon Associates Store. By doing this, you will not pay a cent extra, nor will the author receive a cent less, but I will receive a small commission on the sale. Simply click the book’s title or the book’s image.

Advertisements

Kate M. Colby is an author of science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction. When she is not writing or working, Kate enjoys playing video games, antiquing, and wine tasting. She lives in the United States with her husband and furry children.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Book Reviews, Fiction Blog
22 comments on “Indie Book Review: Hills and Valleys by Helen Jones
  1. Sounds like a great series! I have Oak and Mist on my Kindle and will be getting to it soon. Looking forward to it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Helen Jones says:

    Thanks so much, Kate! So pleased you enjoyed the latest instalment 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Helen Jones says:

    Reblogged this on Journey To Ambeth and commented:
    A lovely review of Hills and Valleys, my latest Ambeth instalment, from Kate M. Colby. Thanks, Kate!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kev says:

    Reblogged this on KC Books & Music and commented:
    A wonderful review of Helen’s, Hills and Valley’s by Kate!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Kev says:

    Great Review, Kate… I’ll definitely be looking into this one! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. […] Hills and Valleys by Helen Jones – read review […]

    Like

Share Your Thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Fiction Fans: Join My Reader List

Two emails a month with...
1) Sneak peeks of new books
2) Behind-the-scenes content
3) First notice on special deals

button

Get your FREE booklet
100 Blogging Ideas for Fiction Writers

SIGN UP for my Writing Newsletter today!

Buy Signed Books
Click the Books tab on the menu
What I’m Reading
Tweet Me
My Instagram Feed
In honor of World Poetry Day, here's one of my favorite poems, written back in 2012.
%d bloggers like this: