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Jan Siegel

Amanda Hemingway Jan SiegelAmanda Hemingway writes fantasy under the pseudonym Jan Siegel. She writes novels in other genres, also. She comments about her books at her website.

Prospero’s Children: Beautiful and poetic prose

Prospero's Children by Jan Siegel

Fern is a no-nonsense kind of girl, who acts as her befuddled father's aid and her young brother Will's mother-figure and certainly has no time for games or imaginings. But all that is about to change when her family inherit a home in Yorkshire and her father introduces two new business associates; the cold and creepy Javier Holt and the sensuous and manipulative Alison Redmond.

A painting of a lost city, a rock that looks like a cloaked man, a sinister talking idol, a ship figurehead, a large but silent wild dog...all these elements are dispersed throughout the novel, all of which are ultimately connected as Fern uncovers the mystery of the house. Forces of both good and evil are convinced that a mystical object is hidden in the house, a "key" which opens up the door to Time; and each individual after it wants it for a different reason. Though the story employs such typical fantasy-adventure comp... Read More

The Dragon Charmer: Love it or hate it

The Dragon Charmer by Jan Siegel

There is no middle ground when it comes to Jan Siegel's novels: you either love them or hate them. Considering I love them, you might want to take this review with a pinch of salt as you may take my advice to read it and find that it is simply not to your taste. In any case, borrow before you buy and hopefully you'll enjoy these books as much as I do. They are beautifully written, with intriguing ideas and careful plotting, and (in my humble opinion) are among the best books that the fantasy genre has to offer. In a world of Tolkien rip-offs, it is a rare thing to find a fantasy novel that transcends the clichés into something fresh and new, yet resonant with older traditions and mythologies.

In the previous novel Prospero's Children, Fern Capel came into her inheritan... Read More

The Witch Queen: Weakest in the trilogy

The Witch Queen by Jan Siegel

The three-part story of Fernanda "Fern" Capel that began in Prospero's Children and continued in The Dragon Charmer comes to its conclusion in The Witch Queen. A young woman now, Fern has resigned herself to the presence of magic in her life and accepted (however reluctantly) that her Gift means that the life of a witch is the only one she can lead. In Prospero's Children Fern time-traveled back to the City of Atlantis, where she loved and lost a young man of that nation; and in The Dragon Charmer she became the unwilling student of the witch Morgus (known in life as Morgause, the sister of Morgan le Fay), eventually betraying and slaying her tutor in her desire to return to her ordinary life. But Morgus was not destroyed when Fern flung her into the River Styx, and now she has emerged st... Read More

More fantasy by Jan Siegel

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Devil’s Apprentice — (2013) Publisher: The Devil is retiring… but who’s taking over? In the house with no front door, a group of teenagers are trapped in assorted dimensions of myth and history, undergoing the trials that will shape them to step into his cloven footwear – or destroy them… The Devil is retiring… but who’s taking over? When teenage Pen inherits the job of caretaker for a London building with no doors and only a secret entrance from the caretaker’s lodge – which she must never use – little does she know it will lead her into unbelievable danger. For Azmordis, also known as Satan, a spirit as old as Time and as powerful as the Dark, Immortality is running out. In the house with no front door, a group of teenagers are trapped in assorted dimensions of myth and history, undergoing the trials that will shape them to step into his cloven footwear – or destroy them. Assisted by only by an aspiring teenage chef called Gavin and Jinx, a young witch with more face-piercing than fae-power, Pen must try to stop the Devil’s deadly game plan – before it’s too late.