Thanks for stopping by! I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for With Face Aflame by A. E. Walnofer and sharing my review today. With thanks to Zoé at Zooloo’s Book Tours for the invite to join the tour and to the author for my copy. First things first let’s take a look at the description for the book…
Born with a red mark emblazoned across her face, seventeen-year-old Madge is lonely as she spends her days serving guests and cleaning rooms in the inn her father keeps.
One day, she meets an unusual minstrel in the marketplace. Moved by the beauty of his song and the odd shape of his body, she realizes she has made her first friend. But he must go on to the next town, leaving her behind.
Soon after, while she herself is singing in the woods, she is startled by a chance meeting with a stranger there. Though the encounter leaves her horribly embarrassed, it proves she need not remain unnoticed and alone forever.
However, this new hope is shattered when she overhears a few quiet words that weren’t intended for her ears. Heartbroken and confused, she flees her home to join the minstrel and his companion, a crass juggler.
As they travel earning their daily bread, Madge secretly seeks to rid herself of the mark upon her cheek convinced that nothing else can heal her heart.
Set in England in 1681, With Face Aflame is the tale of a girl who risks everything in hopes of becoming the person she desperately wants to be.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I first picked up this book. I knew the character of Madge would go on a journey with a minstrel and a juggler. However after that I wasn’t quite sure what would happen next or even which direction this story would take. Even though Madge spends her days working in her father’s tavern she lives quite an isolated life. Only really interacting with her father and cook, Babs. However after overhearing a distressing conversation Madge flees from her home.
What I found in this story was that Madge not only goes on a journey by road but she also goes on a journey of self discovery. Along the way she learns new things about herself and this is what made With Face Aflame so engaging. It only took a few pages before I was caught up in Madge’s life. Seeing her hopes and dreams but also her struggles with self confidence and doubt in her looks. I couldn’t help but like Madge and wonder how life would turn out for her.
The story itself moves at a lovely pace and I was eager to read more. Wondering where Madge’s journey would take her next. The characters all brought something to the story but a special mention has to go to Keaton. I loved the friendship between Madge and Keaton. As he gently offered reassurance and care to Madge. I found this added a wonderful uplifting feel to the book. By the end of the story it felt as if I was saying goodbye to friends. With Face Aflame is a delightful coming of age story!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A.E. Walnofer spends weekdays mobilizing the soft tissue and synovial joints of patients, and weekends typing out stories that are incessantly brewing inside her head. There are lots of these tales and she hopes to share many more of them with you in the future.
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