Samantha Sutton and the Winter of the Warrior Queen Blog Tour: Review & Guest Post

December 21, 2013 blog tour, book review, guest post 1

Hey guys! Welcome to my stop on the SAMANTHA SUTTON AND THE WINTER OF THE WARRIOR QUEEN blog tour, hosted by Sourcebooks! Be sure to check out the author’s, Jordan Jacobs, favorite moment of his college career as an archaeology student down below my review. Thanks so much for stopping by, Jordan!

Samantha Sutton and the Winter of the Warrior Queen by Jordan Jacobs

Release Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Series: Samantha Sutton #2 (stand alone)
Pages: 368
Format: ebook ARC
Source: publisher

A secret society, a lost fortress, a precious artifact only Samantha Sutton can protect.

Twelve-year-old Samantha Sutton isn’t sure she wants to go to England with her Uncle Jay, a brilliant, risk-taking archeologist. But the trip seems safe enough–a routine excavation in Cambridge–and Samantha has always had a love for the past.

At first the project seems unremarkable–just a survey to clear the way for a massive theme park. But everything changes when Sam uncovers something extraordinary. Are the local legends true? Is this the site of the ancient fortress belonging to Queen Boudica, the warrior queen? What treasures might be found?

When others begin to learn of her findings, Samantha senses she is in danger. Can any of her friends be trusted? Samantha will need to solve the mystery of the site in order to protect herself and let the world know of her remarkable discovery.

When I was asked to participate on this blog tour, I just couldn’t say no. I love history and was strongly considering becoming an archaeologist when I grew up. Ever since I was little I would find neat rocks and things I found in the dirt to bring home to my mom. After reading the summary for this book and finding out that the author is an actual archaeologist, I knew that this book would be something completely up my alley. I also knew that it would be true to the real world of archaeology, which was so exciting!

WINTER OF THE WARRIOR QUEEN takes Samantha, her brother, and her uncle to Cambridge, an area chalk full of history, battles, and the rise and fall of various eras. Samantha is excited to get back out there and discover something new alongside her family. But what starts out as an exciting trip turns into a race for time. The owner of the land they are digging has other plans for the area and will do anything to keep to his schedule.

The plot caught my attention from the very first turn of the page. We are thrown into a high risk situation with Samantha on the run for life, shielding something mysterious in her bookbag. The Prologue is obviously an event that is going to take place later on in the story, but I’m so glad Jacobs decided to give a sneak peek at what was to come. It captured my attention and had me on the edge of my seat, dying for more information. Jacobs also included maps and sketches from Samantha’s journal in between each chapter which I loved! It was great getting to see the kinds of things she wrote down instead of just hearing about it. It added a whole new layer to the story.

As I mentioned, because Jacobs is an archaeologist, I figured we’d get an inside look at what being a real archaeologist would be like. He included everything from what initially occurs at a sight to gridding techniques to how to properly excavate an artifact. It was awesome! He wrote it in such a way that it wasn’t info-dumping, either.

My only issue, if you can call it that, is that I had a hard time believing a 12 year old was this talented. Samantha knew exactly what to do out on the field. She was responsible for some of the greatest finds out there. And she also called the shots a lot when out and about in London. I have a 12 year old sister and she would never be running around the streets of London by herself, let alone dealing with power hungry people. In this regard, I found Samantha a bit unrealistic but it didn’t deter my fascination with the book.

SAMANTHA SUTTON AND THE WINTER OF THE WARRIOR WITCH is an intriguing, thrilling, and an overall enjoyable read that many audiences will enjoy. It’s packed with adventure, discovery, and hair-raising moments. I loved getting to be out in the field with Samantha, discovering great artifacts right along with her. With just the right amount of drama, family dynamics, relationships, and corrupt people, the story is one that I couldn’t set down.

4.5 Thought Clouds

I received an ebook copy from the publisher as part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Author Guest Post

The site of Chavin de Huantar, Peru, almost writes itself.

Perched high in the Peruvian Andes, the two thousand year old temple complex would make an archaeology lover out of anyone.  Want some secret underground passages? Chavin’s got those. A mysterious ancient cult? It’s got that, also…and bats, and monstrous stone heads, and the occasional skeleton or two.  Best of all, perhaps, are the cunning devices of sound and light the ancients deployed within the temple, rigged to mess with the minds of the uninitiated.

In short, Chavin is exactly the kind of thing I would have wanted to read about as an archaeology-crazed kid.  And so I decided to write a children’s book about it—Samantha Sutton’s first adventure, The Labyrinth of Lies.

In writing the book, I was lucky to be able to draw on my own experience at the site during the summer of 2000: easily the highlight of my college career.  Over the course of the project, I was chased through town by fearsome village dogs, surprised by dinners of cuy–(guinea pig!), and charged by llamas.  These (mis)adventures all found their way into my story for my characters to deal with.

But my scientific experiences at Chavin were much more profound.  Pottery we discovered rewrote what was known about the site at the time, and Chavin’s interaction with other sites throughout what is now Peru.  We found more of those underground passages, too–called “galleries”–and took steps to be able to map them. These experiences also found their way into the book, so that readers could see how real archaeology is practiced by real archaeologists, today.

Winter of the Warrior Queen also took this approach.  From the beginning, I wanted to present an accurate depiction of archaeological fieldwork and how Britain manages its heritage.  My first hope is that Samantha’s adventures entertain. But if readers finish my book with a new interest in archaeology, as well, I want to make sure that that enthusiasm is based on an accurate depiction of the discipline.

Christine

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