A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | soaking into Shakespearean Fantasy within the pages of “Harlequin’s Riddle (Book One: Tales of Tarya) by Rachel Nightingale

Posted Monday, 2 May, 2022 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review Year 5 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Gifted Book By: This novel “Harlequin’s Riddle” was part of a gifted #bookhaul of mine from my Mum and Dad for #WyrdAndWonder, Year 4! They happily surprised me with a lovely bundle of books I featured during Wyrd And Wonder Year 3 celebrating the Indie Publisher Odyssey Books! This continues my readings of those novels as I was overjoyed I can read all the lovely stories I had either showcased and/or featured but wasn’t able to read during our Year 3 Wyrd And Wonder.

Thereby, I was gifted a copy of “Harlequin’s Riddle” by my parents and I was not obligated to post a review on its behalf. I am sharing my thoughts on behalf of this novel for my own edification and a continued journey of sharing my readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Note: I received the Press Materials last year from the publisher and had asked if I could re-use them if and when I was able to read and/or review the stories I was featuring during Wyrd And Wonder Year 3 (2020); and thankfully was given permission to do so which is why I am using them during my readings this 5th Year of Wyrd And Wonder.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I was quite smitten with all the stories I’ve selected to feature from this Independent Publisher – each of the guest features will tuck us closer to the stories themselves, introduce us to the writers and give us a newfound appreciation for the Fantasy stories which are being independently published by publishers who champion the crafting of stories and the writers who have created these fantastical worlds for us to discover.

I wanted to begin this series of features with Ms Nightingale – as her world is a rather curious one – both from the perspective of what initially inspired her series and how she first fused curiosity to building the foundation of this world she’s given us to read and by how her characters simply step forward from that world and embrace our imaginations.

-as shared on the guest post by Ms Nightingale

As you might remember – two years ago, I had the lovely pleasure of running a series of guest features for Odyssey Books. Their authors were very welcoming to me and open to my enquiries as much as they returnt my interview and guest post topics with such hearty depth – it was a true pleasure to host all of them! I even interviewed one of them via #SatBookChat as I did a takeover chat experience that year as well.

Last year, I was able to start my readings again of Odyssey Books via “Cassandra” (see also Review) whilst previously I had featured Elizabeth Foster’s “Esme’s Wish” (from 2020: see also Review) and Felicity Banks Rahana trilogy: “The Monster Apprentice” (from 2020: see also Review) and “The Princess and the Pirate” (see also Review) in 2021.

This #WyrdAndWonder I am picking up from whence I last left off – I have the complete set of stories for the Tales of Tarya to read and I couldn’t be happier! I didn’t want to set out to read the first novel if I knew I couldn’t read the rest of the series. Thereby, I waited until our 5th Year to begin my journey into this world and it is my hope to read the rest of the Odyssey Books I have on my shelves every Monday throughout May. Part of what drew me into these stories was the premise of them — how they are a combination of reshaping what we understand about Shakespeare against what we love about Mythological Fantasy and Fantasy which is set in a world re-inspired by another writer.

Whilst I am planning to read the Odyssey Books authors on Mondays – you’ll find two more lovelies from them being featured and read this month: “Esme’s Gift” the sequel to “Esme’s Wish” and “The Shadow of the Skytree” (see also Interview). I am attempting to get a copy of “Songlines” by Carolyn Denman as well. Join me on Mondays as I take my own odyssey into a publisher’s canon of stories and series.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | soaking into Shakespearean Fantasy within the pages of “Harlequin’s Riddle (Book One: Tales of Tarya) by Rachel NightingaleHarlequin's Riddle
Subtitle: Book One of the Tales of Tarya
by Rachel Nightingale
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Nadia Turner
Source: Gifted

Ten years ago, Mina’s beloved older brother disappeared with a troupe of travelling players, and was never heard from again. On the eve of Mina’s own departure with a troupe, her father tells her she has a special gift for storytelling, a gift he silenced years before in fear of her ability to call visions into being with her stories.

Mina soon discovers that the travelling players draw their powers from a mysterious place called Tarya, where dreams are transformed into reality. While trying to solve the mystery of her brother’s disappearance, she discovers a dark secret to the players’ onstage antics. Torn between finding her brother or exposing the truth about the players, could her gifts as a storyteller offer a way to solve Harlequin’s riddle?

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Historical-Fantasy, Magical Realism, Upper YA Fantasy

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1922200990

Also by this author: Harlequin's Riddle

Published by Odyssey Books

on 12th June, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 312

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Tales of Tarya series:

The Tales of Tarya collage created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: jorielovesastory.com

Harlequin’s Riddle (book one)

Columbine’s Tale (book two)

Pierrot’s Song (book three)

Be sure to read Ms Nightingale’s Guest Post after this review!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published by: Odyssey Books (@OdysseyBooks)

Converse via: #HistoricalFantasy, #YAFantasy, #TalesOfTarya
as well as #OdysseyBooks & #WyrdAndWonder

About Rachel Nightingale

Rachel Nightingale

Rachel Nightingale has been writing since the age of eight (early works are safely hidden away). Harlequin’s Riddle is her first novel.

Rachel holds a Masters degree and PhD in Creative Writing. Her short stories have been selected several times for exhibition as part of the Cancer Council Arts awards, and winning the Mercury Short Story competition (junior section) at the age of 16 only fuelled her desire to share her stories with the world. One of her plays, No Sequel, won the People’s Choice Award and First Prize at the Eltham Little Theatre’s 10 Minute Play competition in 2014, while another, Crime Fiction, was performed at Short and Sweet Manila in 2016. Her second passion after writing is the theatre, and she has been performing in shows and working backstage for a rather long time. She co-wrote and performed in the 2013-2015 version of the hugely popular Murder on the Puffing Billy Express, a 1920s murder mystery set on the iconic Dandenong Ranges train.

The inspiration for the Tarya trilogy, which begins with Harlequin’s Riddle, began when she read a quote by Broadway actor Alan Cumming about that in-between moment just before you step on stage and enter a different world, and began to wonder what you might find in that place between worlds.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

my review of harlequin’s riddle:

Such a beguiling beginning! We are entreating into a world where actors are lively performers and where a story weaver has a story he feels compelled to share with everyone who will listen. It is his story we are listening to ourselves wherein Nightingale tempts us with the allure of what ‘lies between our dreamscapes and our reality’. It is a notion of suspended time and yet, so much can occur between those experiences it sets a prime foundation of the world she’s built. The suspense of what is looming is enough to grab your interest as it did mine!

Mina enters into view as a travelling caravan enters her small towne – her own story is marred by the tragedies of life and her Uncle Tonio reminds me of the after effects of a stroke which I can personally relate to due to my father’s change of character post-stroke since 2016. She has shouldered a lot in her life – from the mysteries of why her parents elect not entertain performance art to the ramifications of her mother’s attempts to save their Aunt. Yet, despite those tragedies and others you sensed were close to the surface of their memories, Mina had a light within her which translated through her hope and eagerness to greet the travellers. The vision of the performers arriving with their wagon into the small community of Andon held an eclipse of imagination within their curiously adorned travelling stage! Nightingale describes it so beautifully – as an ever-changing magical portal of imagination! Despite the limitations of a wagon, it was how Nightingale talked about its hidden compartments and how those could transfix an audience who knew not what to expect from the performers who had just arrived into their towne. It was a feast for the eyes as seen through Mina’s observations of its decorations, too! I could see why Mina was tempted by their arrival and what their lifestyle might mean to a girl who felt trapped by circumstance and longed to be set free.

During the performance, we first meet Harlequin – a person who is both a persona and an actor, taking on a role which isn’t as readily able to be understood by words alone as he talks in riddles. The performance itself has a casting effect on Mina; wherein her mind re-casts the past through memory and grants her a license of stepping out of sequence of time from those gathered to watch the play. There is hidden magic in this moment – you could sense it, almost feel it by how Nightingale was writing these scenes. And, that is the beauty of Magical Realism stories for me – where you almost do not see the unfolding of the magic itself because you’ve become immersed into the world as if you’ve been a resident of it for a long time.

There is a crackling of murmured truths in the background of the story – of how intuition, memory and even the unexplainable ways in which we have foreknowledge about certain things are fully present within the narrative. These inclusions make reading the story highly enjoyable because at each turning of the page, you are uncertain what will await you or be revealled but you know the pensivity of the novel itself is what kept you glued to the evolving story.

One of the saddest moments I’ve read in a long while is when Mina, Uncle Tonio and her father are discussing family history and of course, part of that discourse ended up in the loss of Tonio’s gifted talent of art. What was further sombering is that this was a family in crisis and yet, Mina had lost her memories of the fractures within her family – of the weight of guilt her father bore and the truer realities of how her own singular truth and gift was lost long ago. The gravity of that truth coming forward now I felt was both a second chance at freedom but also, a humbling note of fear which in this world seemed worth remembering because not all talents and gifts are well-respected. Your heart bleeds for these characters in this moment as they recognise their past and the unspoken hurts which have acted as barriers between them for so long.

Whenever Mina would watch the players performing on stage, her mind and eyes saw something others in the crowds did not see for themselves. It was one of the moments where the Magical fit into the Reality of the story; as it was a subtle gesture of how magic and reality can become co-mingled and mashed together. It was Mama Tina (Harlequin’s wife) who told Mina what that particular gift was on stage and it fit well with what my own imagination was conjuring to explain that moment as well. Her induction into the life of the players was besieged by a chatty girl named Isabella but she wasn’t all sunshine and sparkles; in fact, all the players thus far introduced have a dual personality. One part of them is full of niceties and the other half makes you question your safety amongst them as they do not appear to be completely benign. Which brought back the warning Mina’s Mama had given her when she left the house.

The players took to the road – travelling to their next venues and it was whilst they were travelling between townes when Mina’s apprenticeship began to get underway. The setting was my favourite though – tucked between a lake and the backdrop of mountains was inspiring in its own way. Knowing the motivation for her journey was half-fuelled by the desire to find out what lay ahead of her as a weaver of stories and the rest from a desire to understand what became of her brother Paolo – part of me worried for Mina. She was fully thrust into a world which played by its own rules and had its own set of consequences therein. The players themselves though kind to a fault seemed to have the upper hand on Mina and part of me was waiting for her to gain a bit more spunk and hold her own amongst them.

I knew it! There is something nefariously sinister behind the players’ motivations – of course, it took time to sort this out as Nightingale wanted you to peer through Mina’s journey as if we were living it beside her as she took her first steps away from her family. But then, right as Mina was unlocking her own secrets and talents, Uberto and Mama Tina were starting to reveal their own truer natures. And, that of course had me questioning the whole role of the players and what truly might be behind their performances.

Aside from this – Nightingale hints towards the awakenings of this world of Tarya. Where it is not necessarily contained to land but also to dreamscapes and visions. She mentions the Creator too and I had a feeling the mythology and origins of this world was quite a complex part of the story, too. I hungered for more details about how all of this fits together but of course, that would have spoilt the journey through the story! Laughs. I understood now why it was named “Tales of Tarya” as it is through the art of telling stories the world self-evolves and enlarges itself. In that way, I felt it had a kinship with The Neverending Story. And, similar to that story this one has its own fair share of Darkness lingering round the edges. I was intrigued by how Nightingale was going to harness the darker aspects of the world against the Light and what that would mean for the people of this world as much as the story weavers like Mina.

All the players have a dual personality, too. On the surface they are approachable even if they are a bit reserved as they are constantly worried about a threat to their living situations. Which even includes bringing on new talent into the troupe as that could affect the balance of whom can work or whom might have to seek employment elsewhere. Yet, just below the surface there is a certain layer of selfishness and an untoward personality which is partially self-serving and partially manipulative too. I felt most the cast befit the description of morally ambiguous characters. Except for Harlequin – of whom I felt was definitely morally corrupt*. Except it wasn’t this simple to explain his character nor to understand his inner psyche as he was as shifty as the winds during the blustering of a fierce storm. And still there were portions of his personality which were slightly askew to the darkness – which I felt bespoke more of what the life of a player entailed moreso than perhaps his own personal inclinations to be villainous.

Mina was awakening in her spirit – seeing life as it truly were vs what she had imagined life would be like back in her home village of Andon. She didn’t leave a sheltered life especially due to her responsibilities in caring for her Uncle but once she was cast out into the world travelling towne to village to city, she saw things differently as you would as you expand your knowledge of the world in which you live. She was on her own, choosing her own actions to undertake and charting her own path forward despite the uncertainties which grew inside her heart. It was interesting watching her evolve through the story, too. She began as an innocent – a young girl on the fringes of womanhood just starting off on her journey and with that, her naiveite showed a bit but it was her kind heart and her optimistic spirit which shined so brightly against the weathered players she was now travelling amongst.

When she lost a dear friend of hers in the troupe, the was a brewing of emotional change within her own soul. You started to see her changing internally the closer she grew towards accepting the life she was embarking on with the players. For theirs was a life with a code and an oath; she was merely an apprentice for most of the story, but she was at a crossroads wherein she had to choose which path forward she would take despite the warnings and the foreshadowing Nightingale had given us to better understand Mina’s choice. Mina was fastly becoming a bit bitter fuelled by anger and with that anger I felt she had a fire inside her she might not be able to properly control. She was intelligent and talented but without proper training or even guidance when she was a child towards understanding the inherent gift she always had – I felt her family in Andon had done her a great disservice. As they let the world teach her rather than taking on that responsible themselves.

Tarya is a very spiritual place or plane if you will where the players have learnt to tap into that ethereal experience in order to gain the stories they use whilst their performing their travelling theatre. It takes a long time within the novel to better understand what Tarya is and how it is used by the players; whilst not all of it is for good and a lot of it is for ill. Mina is caught between those two worlds – between the knowledge of what she has learnt on her own and the truths she is being told which sound more like bitter lies in order to subdue her own heart and mind. Tarya is a fantastical part of this world – full of Light and it is how Nightingale described it which allures you forward to learn more – as there are individual places to explore too – such as the River of Light and the Place of Dreams.

The dreams and dreamscapes are inherently connected to the players, too. It is part of the layering of the story and the ways in which Tarya can be entered as the players transport themselves from their world into Tarya through their own variant of dreamwalking. They are physically connected to themselves, but they are not where they were last seen. Similar if you will as Dr Beckett travelled throughout the series of Quantum Leap. On the level that he was both physically absent and yet physically still connected to his own body. All of this is happening whilst Mina travels with the troupe – city by city and towne by towne. As she travels, she starts to come closer to a reckoning of self and enlightenment, too. Of what is really behind the players performance and what the greater costs are of being a player. Whilst at the same time she has been seeking out the truth about her brother Paolo and what became of him once he had left his family’s home so many years ahead of her own exit.

At the centre of the journey – is a love story between Mina and Dario and similar to most Shakespearen plays, theirs is not a romance without its hardships. Their young and in love caught inside a world which walks through shadows of Darkness which affect their relationship. Both of them were colliding on a course which you knew would not be favourable but how could you not hope to rally against that truth and see them flourish?

My heart was full of emotion throughout reading Harlequin’s Riddle and knowing this was anchoured through inspiration taken from Shakespeare, I was fully aware of how tragic the story would become the closer I drew towards the ending. Thankfully I had the insight to realise I needed to gather all the installments to read together this Wyrd And Wonder because the ending of this story was nearly too much for me to accept as the final note in Mina’s journey. It concludes with the promise of hope even if her own hope has been nearly extinguished through betrayal. Nightingale regaled me with a story which on the surface is readily know in the earlier chapters but it is how she conveyed the journey Mina needed to undertake to reach the path she was walking by the time this installment of the series concluded was well worth the hours enraptured in the readings. You cannot put this story down without pensive thoughts and a heart tethered to Mina.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

NOTE: I took to pitching this to #bookTwitter (see also Tweet) as well as messaged some friends as I had a lingering memory of discussing this in the past on Jorie Loves A Story but unfortunately for me, the content of that discussion and which book I read which prompted it I had read back then is lost to time. If I gain any responses or finally remember what is now forgotten I’ll add a footnote to this review. Mind you, I also combed through various villain and anti-protagonist opinion blogs and I am still finding the answer elusive to me. How I described Harlequin now is closely what I had remembered from the past but still – he is an original character of whom dimensionally has part trickster, part morally ambiguous (as he exchanges personalities as frequently as he puts on a mask) and very morally corrupt – but to pin it down further I’m at a loss. And, of course, he’s wayy beyond manipulative and has an agenda.

on the fantastical storytelling style of rachel nightingale:

As this is a Fantasy set against Shakespeare, what immediately drew me into this world was the language and the eloquence of the story weaver’s tale as it spun into view. Nightingale echoes Shakespeare beautifully and gives us something to chew on even before we enter further into the world itself – as the opening pages allure you into a spell of contemplation and introspection.

I appreciated how she used art as a method of entrance into the imagination, too. The travelling players painted their wagon in colours which might not prove to be the most logical but they stood-out to whomever saw the wagon approach – it was an icebreaker on first sight, but it held a door of possibility I felt afterwards. Similar to why we enjoy teleplays and motion pictures – there is something about a sensory experience to jolt us into an imaginative vortex of story. I felt Nightingale highlighted the tools of the trade which would befit this world but also, cleverly drew you further into her vision of the series she was building within the trilogy.

Artwork also played a strong role in better understanding Uncle Tonio – as he had a talented eye for realistic portraiture which Nightingale described so beautifully, I felt as if I was viewing the paintings myself. I have seen his style of painting in galleries and I oft wondered how the artist was able to render the subjects with such a ready clarity of realism. It is a beauty of its own to be able to paint someone who could in theory walk through the paint and stand beside you as they look as real as flesh and blood.

I loved her words and twists of phrase in this novel, too! She has a natural way of owning a scene through thought and dialogue whilst it is the imagery, she paints with her words of choice which make this such a lushly illuminated world to entreat inside. I love when I find a fellow wordsmith who can enchant us with the beauty of language and allow words themselves to serve as lanterns of curiosity into the world they’ve built for us to explore. I especially liked how her expressive narrative gave keen introspective thought about where Mina lived and how the people in her community took-on their everyday lives. It is writ to be a thinking man’s story and I loved that aspect about this novel. As the passages elongate themselves into further pensive thoughts and contemplation whilst your reading.

Nightingale regaled me with her fantastical theatre – as a lot of the sequences of otherworldly magic and intrigue took place whilst the players were acting on stage. Not always (of course) but for the most part it was a combination of illusion and presentation of a gift beyond sight and explanation. Tarya itself was not just a state of arrival and being but a sacred place of enlightenment with a spiritual purpose as much as an evocation of this world’s highest level of awareness. Not since I read Stephanie Burgis’s (see also Review) have I had the pleasure of returning to this kind of Dark Magic set against the stage! Where masks and performance play such a strong role in the manipulative texture of the story. There is a lot of things happening betwixt and between the performances wherein you have to stay the course to unravel the truths out of the shadows in the same vein as I had with Burgis’s novel.

Part of this novel is Introspective and Philosophical narrative – a credit to the author, for fusing thought-provoking passages which both parlay into the timeline of the story but also, allow the reader to consider and contemplate the deeper themes and subjects she’s embedded into the story. Similar to Shakespeare in that regard, the story itself is layered and has alternative points of view depending on the perspective you have as you enter the novel and the perspective you’ve gained by reading it. I definitely felt she honoured Shakespeare by how she writ this novel and very much tackled his sense of Tragedy and the artfulness of how he chose to use the art of theatre and plays to showcase his observations on humanity.

A Note on Characters:

Uncle Tonio and Mina:

As the story progressed, I saw the differences between a stroke survivor and what happened to him – it felt more like a psychotic break in his psyche than the aftermath of a stroke as further details elude to what truly altered Tonio as you progress forward in the novel. It is a very sad and humbling reality for Mina; to constantly having to be his guardian and caregiver whenever they were outside the house – which included those moments of her childhood when she had to be wiser and more responsible than her peers.

The weight of a carer is one I know well – as I’ve been caring for family and neighbours alike for most of my adult life. Mum and I share this path together and she worked professionally as a carer for five years which started immediately after my father’s stroke and thankfully she was able to retire in February, 2021. It takes a toll – whether you have a career in caring or whether you help out family and neighbours; the carer themselves have to remember to look out for their own health and well-being, too. As you learn more about Mina in this story, it felt like a soft echoing of my own years looking after my father and caring for him whilst Mum worked. We both share duties of caring for Dad and as I mentioned in February, there is a turning tide coming in our lives in respect to my father and where he is now on his post-stroke recovery.

In this way, I felt a kinship with Mina and was grateful Nightingale
had the instinct to write her story in a way which I felt was wicked believable and relatable.


He was one of the players in the troupe Mina joined and he had such a soft-hearted soul. He truly had gained wisdom through his years and when he met Mina, he knew if he could affect one person’s life before his concluded, he wanted it to be Mina. I connected with Aldo because he was the guiding bit of Light in a storming brew of Darkness which was starting to encroach on Mina but she wasn’t yet aware of it; too short-sighted on her original goal of finding her brother Paolo. Aldo was a grandfatherly type character of whom shared a special moment with Mina and that was the first time where you could peer into Tarya and start to understand the fabric of the world but with a cautionary fear as well.

A note on Life, Death and Spirituality:

I was struck by the beautiful ways in which Nightingale approached showing her world’s views on death, life and spirituality. Given the players come from different places, their rituals at point of death and their traditions of grief differ from one another but each of them held their beliefs close to their hearts. My favourite passage was when Mina was sharing with Lisette about how Andon celebrates the dead and how even children who pass too early to live out their lives have a special remembrance tree wherein her village found a way to give them a way of living forward. Both in the natural world and in the memories of her community.

I especially was thankful to see living histories represented as I grew up with those throughout my life – wherein, the stories of those who had come before me in my family were cherished companions of my childhood and youth. Those stories brought back to mind and heart the relatives I might have only known a short time or ones I have never met at all as they had already died long before I was even bourne. It is not something you always find in fiction, and I felt Nightingale did a great job at showcasing how the players from different regions of this world viewed death, approached their faith and grieved. The cycles of life are definitely paramount to any Fantasy series and this world; despite its secrets has a lot of real world overlays.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Remarks about the classification of this being YA:

I made the choice to classify this as Upper YA though for me personally it doesn’t read as a YA or Upper YA story; at least by reflection on stories I’ve read which befit either of those categories. I read this as an adult novel and series; the themes within the story are very adult and the texture of the story is adult; however, given it is referred to as being YA, the best I can offer is classifying this as Upper YA for more mature YA readers who are seeking adult themes and situations in stories like this one. For the traditional YA reader who is seeking YA without those adult thematics I would say it would be better to wait until they were ready to read this series.

I do understand it could be classified as YA due to the age of Mina but again, given the story as it unfolded and how it was writ, I still considered this a novel of Adult Fantasy. Especially if you consider some of the content inclusions and warnings for those who are sensitive readers:

→ Attempted Rape

→ A funeral pyre

→ Death of a Child (not natural causes)

I know these can be inclusive of YA too, but still, I remain firm on feeling this is either Upper YA or Adult Fantasy. Blessedly for those who are sensitive to these inclusions – Nightingale holds back in her narrative from being on-scene descriptive of either instance. Meaning – you know there is a cremation scene, but you do not see it visually and in regard to the attempted rape it was dealt with sensitivity.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Fantastical Elements:

→ Magical Realism – where reality and an altered reality co-merge together

→ Transformation – the art of altering your own appearance and the living reality round you

→ Story tellers/weavers – Persons gifted with story which can become tangible, illuminated and real

→ the Dark Arts – dark magic

→ Psi or Psychic Healing – the art of healing without physical intervention

→ Dreams and Dreamscapes – including where you can visit dreams and alter the realities within

There is an artfulness of creative magic in this story. You have to read close to the scenes and intuitively navigate yourself through the novel because not everything is as it seems here. There is a realistically nefarious undertone to the players – as I immediately identified something was amiss with the character of Harlequin; irregardless of how much I love his costume and identity on the book cover! He is a trickster of old and with that foreknowledge and sense I had about him, there was always the concern for me as I read the novel that the magic in this world might turn deadly horrific if it was wielded for the wrong purposes.

A lot of this story takes place in the dreamscapes of the people who are visited by the players, and it is through those dreams which becomes a wealth of stories to be told. Without giving too much away, the dreams and the dreamscapes (a different plane from whence they live in the reality of the world) are connective to the whole story and within that realm lies the power which is constantly moving from Light to Dark depending on whom has harnessed it.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it.
I look forward to hearing your takeaways about this novel & the author’s guest feature. Bookish conversations are always welcome!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

This book review is part of the #bookhaul of Fantasy novels
my parents gifted me during Year 4 of #WyrdAndWonder:

#WyrdAndWonder #bookhaul collage banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: jorielovesastory.com

Read about my #WyrdAndWonder #bookhaul!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Reading this story contributed to
my #WyrdAndWonder Year 5:

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#WyrdAndWonder Year 5 banner created by Jorie in Canva.


Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Enjoying my fantastical reviews about the worlds of Fantasy?

Ever since the beginning of Jorie Loves A Story, I have embarked on a Quest to seek out stories within the worlds of Fantasy which would heighten my awareness of the genre and give me wicked good reads – across the subniches of a genre I’ve loved since I was seventeen. Every May, I happily co-host @WyrdAndWonder – whilst throughout the months of the year, I regularly read & discuss the Fantasy reads I am discovering.

Visit my full archive for ALL my #EnterTheFantastic wanderings! As well as take a walkabout through my archives for #WyrdAndWonder – or take a walkabout through my archive for everything deemed wickedly fantastical!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

{SOURCES: Book cover for “Harlequin’s Riddle”, book synopsis, author biography and author photograph of Rachel Nightingale were all provided by Odyssey Books and are used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge, #WyrdAndWonder Year 5 banner, The Tales of Tarya collage, Harlequin’s Riddle Book Review Twitter post, #WyrdAndWonder #bookhaul collage (Photos Credit: © jorielovesastory.com) as well as the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2022.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie


Posted Monday, 2 May, 2022 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, After the Canon, Classical Literature, Clever Turns of Phrase, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Dreams & Dreamscapes, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fantasy, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Introspective Literary Fiction, Life Shift, Magical Realism, Parapsychological Gifts, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Realistic Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Upper YA Fantasy, William Shakespeare, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage

All posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary!
I try to visit your blog in return as I believe in ‘Bloggers Commenting Back
(which originated as a community via Readers Wonderland).

Comments are moderated. Once your comment is approved for the first time, your comments thereafter will be recognised and automatically approved. All comments are reviewed and continue to be moderated after automated approval. By using the comment form you are consenting with the storage and handling of your personal data by this website.

Once you use the comment form, if your comment receives a reply (this only applies to those who leave comments by email), there is a courtesy notification set to send you a reply ticket. It is at your discretion if you want to return to re-respond and/or to continue the conversation established. This is a courtesy for commenters to know when their comments have been replied by either the blog's owner or a visitor to the blog who wanted to add to the conversation. Your email address is hidden and never shared. Read my Privacy Policy.

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)