Little White Hands by Mark Cushen

It is always great to find a new author, especially if they are writing about a genre that you really enjoy.  I had not come across the work of Mark Cushen before I was asked to take part in this blog tour, but I found the plot outline intriguing and really wanted to read the story.  Since then I have discovered that this is the first of a duology (published in 2021) and the second title  “Faeland’s Champion” is now available.  However the reason for the blog tour is that this title was shortlisted (at no 10)  for the BBNYA Awards, so it has garnered readers and reviewers from around the world

The story is set in a mythical world, very similar to medieval England, which gives it a very Knights of the Round Table feel.  It is also a world where magic still exists and where there are also non-human inhabitants, who just want to live their lives.  The hero of the story is a young boy called Garlan, who works with his uncle in the castle kitchen, but in the evening he is being tutored by the court wizard.  However, secretly Garlan harbours dreams of becoming a knight and saving young ladies from dragons and other dangers.  After a mysterious attack on him, Garlan escapes and sets off to try and get aid from the three Seasons who had won a war against Winter, 500 years previously.  What they discover is that someone wants to free Winter from his prison and bring perpetual winter to the world.

What follows is an exciting roller coaster of a journey, as Garlan and his companions, including a wooden head imbued with the spirit of a dead wizard, face many dangers in their quest to save their world.  There are horrendous villains, wonderful heroes and at the centre of it all is the delightful young Garlan.  This is a book that will be loved by readers of fantasy, whether they are 10 years or even adults.  There is action, excellent characterization and a very satisfying ending.  Whilst this is similar to the medieval world, there are some obvious American quirks to be found;  it took me a while to realize that Lord Fall would actually be Autumn on this side of the pond!  I am also not convinced that any kitchen boy at that time would be called’ little white hands’, unless the other person was being sarcastic.  However, I really enjoyed this book overall and have even bought the follow up for my Kindle, so that I can follow Garlan as he grows and  develops.

As an additional comment, I have to like the author as he is a fan of “Jason and the Argonauts”; which I saw at the cinema when I was a small child.  I am sure that films like that had an effect and helped develop my love of fantasy and mythology.


Author Biography 

Mark Cushen has loved the fantasy genre since he accidentally stumbled onto Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion  masterpiece, “Jason and the Argonauts”, while channel-hopping one Christmas-time Saturday afternoon, somewhere between the ages of 5 and 8.

Ever since then he has been obsessed with sword-wielding heroes battling monsters in fantastical lands, and now, after spending a few years writing his own Goosebumps fan-fiction as a child, he is attempting to create such stories of his own.

When he is not working his day job or sitting at his desk (OK, on the couch) writing, he can usually be found walking through the woods, either listening to a podcast about an obscure subject or the OST of The Last Samurai on repeat.


About BBNYA  (Book Bloggers Novel of the Year Award)

BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner.

If you want some more information about BBNYA, check out the BBNYA Website or take a peek over on Twitter @BBNYA_Official. BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.


Book Details 

Length: 339 Pages

Genre: Fantasy

Age Category: Middle Grade

Date Published: 01 May 2021

Amazon Link: (Canada) (USA) (UK)

Goodreads Link:

The StoryGraph Link:

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