The strangers guide to talliston by John Tarrow

#BlogTour #BookReview The strangers guide to talliston by John Tarrow

My Rating: 🤩🤩🤩🤩

Pages: 384

Publisher: Unbound

Available: 11th July 2019

Genre: Fiction / Young Adult / Science Fiction / Fantasy / Action and Adventure

With thanks to Anne Cater of #RandomThingsTours and the Author John for my copy of this book! Not only gorgeous on the outside, because WOW that cover, but chock full of adventure and excitement!


Abandoned and alone, thirteen-year-old Joe’s world is shattered when he enters a deserted council house and becomes trapped within a labyrinth protecting the last magical places on earth. There, Joe discovers a book charting this immense no-man’s land, without time or place, its thirteen doors each leading to a different realm. Hunted by sinister foes, the boy is forced ever deeper into both the maze and the mystery of his missing parents. What will he find at the labyrinth’s centre, and can it reunite him with the family he so desperately needs? Crossing through diverse landscapes from Victorian Britain to fifties New Orleans, The Stranger’s Guide to Talliston is inspired by the internationally famous house and gardens dubbed ‘Britain’s Most Extraordinary Home’ by the Sunday Times. It is a classic YA tale of adventure that introduces readers to an otherworld hiding in plain sight, cloaked in magic and steeped in imagined history. Yet beyond its fearsome huntsmen and battling magicians dwells the secret that lies within all of us – the power to live extraordinary lives.

My Thoughts:

If you are looking for a YA fantasy thats a slow wander through a a world that’s simple yet pretty in a way that traditional fairy lands are… then put this down, and give yourself a shake before picking this up again because you are in for something so much MORE than that!

Joe is a very relatable character and I am sure that he will appeal to so many people, whether for nostalgia or because they are currently having issues following their parents rules. Whether you are sat remembering how they felt unfair, or are sat agreeing with him, understanding the harshness of life as a thirteen year old, this is a Character that will resonate with many.

The storyline was very clever and there was clearly a lot of research having gone into the various situations our Main Character encountered. Trying to get home he has a variety of adventures, the time, place and context in each room very different to the last. Each room then has a mystery of some sort, which when resolved allows the next to be opened.

I ADORED this approach, which allows the reader to dive into so many scenarios, gorgeous descriptions transporting the reader right alongside Joe, and it truly was so much FUN! I feel like I’ve spent a couple of weeks off on adventures to various times and places.

If you are looking for a YA fantasy that’s different, full of little surprises and stock full of fast paced scenes that are a wide variety of places in different eras, a wonderfully fast pace that will keep you glued from scene to scene, then this is the book for you!

About The Author:

John Tarrow is a novelist, poet, storyteller and award-winning writer. His fascination with folk and faerie tales has taken him around the world, gathering threads of story and legend to weave into his own mythologies: his extensive studies in Lakota Sioux and Druidic traditions offer readers stories resonant with magic, folklore and the wonders of the natural world. He spent twenty-five years transforming a three-bedroom, semi-detached, ex-council house in Essex into the world-famous Talliston House and Gardens.

3 thoughts on “The strangers guide to talliston by John Tarrow

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