Reviewed on 9th June 2020

Son of Secrets by NJ Simmonds

Genre: Contemporary / Fantasy / Fiction / Romance / Time Slip/Time Travel
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Son of Secrets by NJ Simmonds Synopsis

In a fight against destiny – who will win?

Ella has been waiting for Zac for three years. She’s convinced he’ll return for her, but fate has other plans. When Josh is thrown back into her life, Ella has a choice: step back on to her rightful path, or wait for the one who dared her to rebel.

But Ella’s not the only one missing Zac. Luci has been searching for her blue-eyed boy over two millennia and will stop at nothing to get him back. Even if that means hunting down the only girl he ever loved.

From Tuscany 5BC to 17th century witch hunts, Ella, Zac, Luci and Sebastian’s lives have been forever intertwined. The time has finally come to complete the circle.

Son of Secrets by NJ Simmonds Review

An Open Love Letter to Strong Women, Witches and Feminism

“One must always be careful of books… and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.” ― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel

I find it hard to put into words how a good book makes me feel but Cassandra Clare has summed it up perfectly, a good book changes me. They have a way of touching your heart, making you question things even when they have transported you miles away to a dystopian world.

Surely you’ve felt it, the way some books stay with you, the way they get inside your head. Some make you re-evaluate your morals (The Hunger Games), while many will question your views on love and relationships (Fifty Shades of Grey). Some might not make you question anything at all, but one series that got to me personally was The Path Keeper series by NJ Simmonds, or more accurately the second book Son of Secrets.

It was THE book. You know the one, the one that makes you view the world around you differently. I never knew just how angry I was about the treatment of women until I read Son of Secrets for the first time.

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‘When you love for the first time, that love resides deep within your soul. It doesn’t vanish or fade away; it grows in size and strength’ – NJ Simmonds, Son of Secrets.

This quote sums up my love for this book and for the character Luci. When I was first introduced to her I didn’t know what to think, there are facets to her personality that rubbed me up the wrong way, but the more I continued to read… to question her actions and motivations the more I realised that I actually loved her.

Artwork by @morganaOanagrom

Here is a woman who fights for what she wants, who protects other women and is unapologetic of her gender and power. She was not always this way, she had to learn, had to be broken first, but her complexity only makes her that more relatable.

She is a character that spoke to me on a deeply personal level, who had me questioning how I have been treated and how other women have been treated in the past. Her quote ‘never mistake a strong woman for an evil one’, had me realising that some people still make that mistake. They want to keep women down, to label them and put them in boxes of their own making based on archaic patriarchal values and that’s not right.

I’ve never really classed myself as a feminist, there are so many definitions these days that I get lost in the complexity but Son of Secrets had me revaluating this, it had me feeling so angry for sitting there, for reading about this gross treatment of women and not doing anything.

It also made me realise what all my favourite books have in common, apart from the ability to make me think. They all have strong female characters, and this for me is extremely important. We need them, we need these women, we need female authors to include them whenever they can.

There is nothing more important in this day and age than being able to pick up a book and find positive representations of women. Ones that are comfortable in their sexuality and strength. It’s so easy to slip back into tradition, into masculine and feminine roles that have been around for centuries. I’ve done it many times myself, but that all ends now.

Instead, I will remember the women Simmond’s writes about. The witches that scare the men around them. The ones that are branded evil, that are burned and hanged for not backing down and for acting on their pleasures.

These women are my role models. They embody aspects of female empowerment and I want to emulate them. They remind me to never settle for less and that I am equal to any other human being.

Buy your copy of Son of Secrets on Amazon by clicking here.

Therefore I need to thank NJ Simmonds for writing Son of Secrets as by doing so she has given me a gift. She has given all of us a gift. The book itself is a love letter to women and feminism. It reminds us of what came before us and why we need to continue to fight now. She has given us what we want and set the bar for other writers to follow her lead.

Ditch the placid female – she is not wanted.

We don’t want her. We’ve been given a taste of strong women in her work and in others and we are never going back. We’ve seen what we can be and we want more. We will no longer be satisfied with anything less.

If you haven’t picked up The Path Keeper series yet I highly recommend you do. Even if it’s just for Son of Secrets. Son of Secrets was my awakening, it opened up this new side to myself. One that now has her own version of feminism, her role models and her voice. This novel, no this love letter is so important to me because it gave me back something I never knew I lost. It taught me that, (to paraphrase another quote from Son of Secrets) even when a woman can no longer fight she must wear her amour well.

Son of Secrets is Published by: BHC Press
ISBN: 978-164397-044-8

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