I usually inhale books. The pages dance beneath my fingertips, blurring and whirling as I hungrily suck in words. But every once in a while, a gem is uncovered. A book so meticulously crafted, I can’t help but savor it, letting it steep and soak into the recesses of my imagination. It’s a pleasant surprise to unfurl the first chapter and immediately know, this one’s a keeper.

Set the Stars Alight was that book.

This book masterfully weaves together two stories from across time, knitting together a tale of family and longing, adventure and mystery. The words read like poetry on the page, rich and compelling, inviting the readers to share in the wonder it holds.

“Good,” he said, ruffling her hair. “I think it’s our duty to keep the stories, to pass them on. It is our duty — and our honor. In a world as dark as ours, we — that is, people — forget how to see the light. So we remind them by telling the truth, fighting the dark, paying attention… setting the stars alight. There are things shining brightly all along, if we will notice.”

Set the Stars Alight, Amanda Dykes

From the Publisher:
“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.”

Set the Stars Alight ripples with imagery, exposing a story that has been intricately built, layer upon layer. As I read, I couldn’t help but marvel at the way Dykes blended story within story. Hidden parables lie beneath the words, inviting readers to look closer. This theme of light within the darkness points to the grander narrative, the story in which all stories find their meaning. As she writes, the author navigates readers towards a place of wonder and hope.

“Her evenings, however, were magic. Each day, as the sun began to set over Candlewick’s towers and the stars began to appear, and the flats across the courtyards were coming to life with the blue glow of tellies, she returned to the glass house and felt the rush of the city drop away. The cottage was a place where tales spun inside every dusty shaft of golden-hour sunlight. Where each evening, stories and riddles were told around flickering flames — crackling hearth fire in winter months, pirouetting candlelight in the summer.”

Set the Stars Alight, Amanda Dykes

This was a book that I didn’t want to end. The cover is as enchanting and dreamy as the novel within. The characters are real and heartfelt, ones that you can root for and love. And the narrative speaks to an incredibly gifted storyteller. Set the Stars Alight has well-earned a permanent place on my bookshelf and for that, I will heartily recommend to all.

I’m giving this one, five absolutely gorgeous stars.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

You can find “Set Stars Alight” on Amazon.

**Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group
and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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