Sunday, July 26, 2020

Set The Stars Alight By Amanda Dykes

Set the Stars Alight
by Amanda Dykes
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764232671

After reading Amanda Dykes' book Whose Waves These Are I saw the cover of her next book, Set the Stars Alight. It looked absolutely magical. When I found out she was curating a launch team I was waving my hand in the air like Horshack hoping she'd pick me! Thankfully, I was able to join her team and was sent a book for my review.


In an aged brick cottage in London, the magic of the past comes alive each night for the family of a humble watchmaker. In her father's fireside stories, Lucy Claremont's fascination with the high seas begins, leading her to devote her life's work to discovering the whereabouts of a legendary lost ship. But when tragedy strikes, it's childhood friend Dashel and his knowledge of the stars that may help her solve the puzzle.  

Two hundred years earlier, three young lives are altered forever when a shepherd rescues the privileged son of a powerful admiral. As the children grow, war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, deep love, and a story of betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption that fades into obscurity as centuries pass.

As Lucy and Dash explore mysterious ruins on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers--and the healing--they so desperately seek.

My Review:

I have so many thoughts and emotions swirling inside me having just closed the back of the book on the story of Set the Stars Alight. Where do you begin for a review of a book that brings to mind the wonder of The Hobbit (for the adventure) or even The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (for the childlike wonder). I feel like Set the Stars Alight is on a plain far above me with a message so profound, hidden amongst the words, that is deeper that I can ever truly comprehend.

Lucy and Dash have childhoods that are bound together at early ages that God had to have set in motion before the beginning of time. Lucy's parents grabbed the little girl heart in me and wished they could've been mine. They were love, and joy, and goodness for Lucy and subsequently, Dashel.

And then we fade to the early 1800s and meet Frederick, Juliette, and Elias. A story of lives intertwining that I never could've predicted and a love so deep and almost, dare I say, sacred, that it blew me away! How words can spill forth from an author to make me feel and understand the depth of a character's love and thought process so completely was surprising to me.

It seems to me, as beautiful as the cover of this book is, that it should be bound in cloth or leather as though it was written in 1802 and not released 2020. It captures ideas and moments like the stories of yesteryear and it filled me up as I read the words!

I couldn't decide whose story I wanted to keep reading. I was so invested in the current time of Lucy and Dash's search for the Jubilee, but then I couldn't wait to get back to the 1800s of Frederick, Juliette, and Elias. Frederick and Dash were so similar in the essence of who they were at their core. They were profound in how they viewed the world and those closest to them.

There probably isn't another novel in which I have so many sticky notes with quotes I want to share. My heart soared in parts of the story and hoped beyond hope at other points. I welled up with tears a couple of times with either a heart so full or near to breaking! Listen, the book pulls out all of your emotions. It's unavoidable.

I realize I'm being incredibly vague in regards to anything specific, but the story is so full of bits and pieces, large and small, that to say too much would be to give away what should be left for the reader to discover! All I can say is, "Who's ready to go exploring some sea caves?"

About the Author:

Amanda Dykes ( is a drinker of tea, dweller of redemption, and spinner of hope-filled tales who spends most days chasing wonder and words with her family. She's a former English teacher and the author of Whose Waves These Are, a Booklist 2019 Top Ten Romance debut, as well as three novellas.


Anne Payne said...

Wow, Mimi!! I haven't read Amanda's books but I've heard good things about them. Your review is stunning and makes me want to hurry out and get a copy.

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.