Hello, Sunshines, I am delighted to be todays stop on the brilliant blog tour for; With Face Aflame by A.E. Walnofer. I can’t wait to share my review of this beautiful book with you all.
Firstly, I want to say thank you to Zoe at Zooloos Book Tours for the invite to this tour.
About the Book
With Face Aflame by A.E. Walnofer.
Genre: Historical Fiction
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.
Firstly, I have to take a moment to comment on this book cover, isn’t it striking? It’s a beautiful cover that reflects the story and the character of Madge so perfectly.
I think that this book would appeal to younger readers, those who are just discovering the beautify of historical fiction as there was a slight young-adult feel about it. It’s a lot lighter than the historical fiction I have read before, which again made me think that this would great for any reader who is just dipping their toes into this wide and hugely enjoyable genre.
I loved the writing, the author builds a vivid picture of the era and that of Madge’s character as she develops throughout the story. I loved the journey that we readers are taken on as Madge traverse the dark waters of life, I loved how she grew in confidence once she started meeting people who like her had been shunned by society because of being a little ‘different. She meets friends who show her that she is a beautiful person inside and out.
The story follows that of Madge, a young girl who lives her life in the shadows while going about her duty working in her father inn. She has no self-confidence, she is self-conscious of her looks. She lives in isolation with no friends and only her father and the cook to talk to she is lonely and at times fearful. She lives this way because unfortunately for her, she lives in an era that isn’t tolerant of anything out of the ordinary, she has had to put up with people’s assessment of her character based on her birthmark and that is a hard pill to swallow for her.
After hearing something which by rights shouldn’t have been said, she flees and this is when the story comes into its own, this is when Madge discovers that she is more than just a mark on her face. She meets a handsome minstrel, a man who she is overawed with, there is a flutter of something which shimmers in the background. Madge has found her first true friend, another who isn’t shunned by the world for being different.
I liked how the story flowed, it is a very easy book to read, I liked that we the readers discover all that is ahead along with Madge which I thought was very cleverly done and helps draw the reader further into the tale. I enjoyed how unexpected the story was, and I loved the solid friendships which formed throughout.
Despite this being historical and set during the 17th century, I felt that the historical aspects weren’t as strong as they could have been. It read more modern than historical to me, I think that there could have been far more texture and historical depictions than there was, but that didn’t diminish my enjoyment of what is a moving and clever story, one which has the most beautiful message of acceptance, tolerance and of being yourself and being respected for that.
With Face Aflame is a moving and compelling coming of age story, it’s a light and easy read. With likeable and memorable characters whom you can’t help but root for. If your looking for a lighter, feel-good and charming historical that’s not too heavy then this is the book for you.
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.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aewalnofer/ / Website: www.aewalnofer.com