#FridayFiveChallenge ~ BuyorPass ~ The Maker of Swans by Paraic O’Donnell @rosieamber1

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five Challenge, involves taking only five minutes to choose a book cover which appeals instantly. So take a few minutes, grab yourself a coffee…..and have a browse.


In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

Rosie’s Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book, and any other details.

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

Inspiration deserted me this week. Time was running out so I decided to check out the debut titles. This book cover caught my eye almost immediately.


Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US

The book description reads….

Amid the fading grandeur of a country estate, Clara lives in the care of Mr Crowe, a man of many mysterious gifts, and his faithful manservant, Eustace. Free from rules and lessons, she inhabits a silent world of her own. She has her books, and her secret places.

Mr Crowe was once the toast of the finest salons: a man of learning and means, he travelled the world, dazzling all who met him. Now, he devotes himself to earthly pleasures, while his great library gathers dust and his once magnificent gardens grow wild.

But Mr Crowe and his extraordinary gifts have not been entirely forgotten. When he commits a crime of passion, he attracts the attention of Dr Chastern, the figurehead of a secret society to which Crowe still belongs. When Chastern comes to call him to account, his sinister attention is soon diverted to Clara. For Clara possesses gifts of her own, gifts whose power she has not yet fully grasped. She must learn to use them quickly, if she is to save them all.

A very distinctive and effective cover design, denoting perhaps the Yin Yang opposing forces, the negative and positive, and obviously symbolising the title. The kindle edition is £8.99/$10.81 although new hard copies from other sellers start at £5.62/$12.28 plus shipping. The kindle price is far too expensive, if I were to buy it would definitely be a paperback from another seller.

There are 12 reviews on Amazon UK, with an average of 4.3* and one 4* review on Amazon US . The one 2* review on the UK site states.. An overlong book with too much going on. Did not hold my interest, sorry. I was given a digital copy of this book by the publisher Orion Publishing Group via Netgalley in return for an honest unbiased review.

Whereas one 4* reviewer finishes by saying… Author Paraic O’Donnell book is a lovely read and he makes all the characters intriguing, often seeming above the law, and the reader is never quite sure what they will do next. There is always the air of mystery and uncertainty around them which begins to clear somewhat as their fascinating pasts are revealed. Good writing and a captivatingly unusual story this is a worthwhile read and an excellent debut from Mr O’Donnell.

Most of the reviewers are with the Amazon Vine programme and as such are considered unbiased, the remaining reviewers had ARCs.

The premise does sound intriguing with the hints of magic and menace, although some reviewers mention the narrative is sometimes ‘densely poetic’ and ‘histrionic’ while others describe it as beautifully written. 

Decision time. Will I BUY or PASS? I’m going to PASS. If the price comes down I may reconsider.

More Friday Five Challenge Choices

Barb had a hoot with Amazon’s recommends but found a witchy urban fantasy

Rosie searched for Hecate and found a WWII drama

Shelley search took her to a 1,000 places to see before you die

10 thoughts on “#FridayFiveChallenge ~ BuyorPass ~ The Maker of Swans by Paraic O’Donnell @rosieamber1

  1. I think I’d buy it. I love the cover and the blurb is quite intriguing. But I agree the price for the ebook is way too high, particularly for a new author with his debut book.

    Liked by 1 person

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