Friday, December 6, 2013

Blog Tour (Review & Giveaway): The Master's Book by Philip Coleman

The Master's Book Tour Schedule

Title: The Master's Book
Philip Coleman
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Acquired Via: CBB Book Promotions
Release Date: March 15, 2013

Sean moves to Brussels to a house that is a crime scene...

In 1482 Mary, the last Duchess of Burgundy, lies on her deathbed in a castle in Flanders. She is only 25. In her final moments she makes a wish that, 500 years later, will threaten the lives of a boy and a girl living in Brussels.

The Master’s Book is the story of Sean, an Irish teenager, just arrived in Brussels to a house that is also a crime scene. Together with Stephanie, his classmate, he finds an illuminated manuscript, only for it to be stolen almost at once.

Where did this manuscript come from? Who was it originally made for? Is there a connection with the beautiful tomb Sean has seen in Bruges? Above all, why does someone want this book so badly that they are prepared to kill for it?

Part thriller and part paper-chase, this book is aimed at boys and girls of twelve and over.

My Review

Some of my favorite novels have been thrillers that revolve around history or historical artifacts, namely Angels and Demons by Dan Brown and The Book of Lost Fragrances by M.J. Rose. I haven't had a lot of luck with them in the YA sector, but thankfully The Master's Book turned that around for me, though the forefront of the novel seemed to be more about Séan's adjustment to life in Brussels than the mystery of the book.

I think Séan is a character that a lot of young readers will identify with, as well as the adult fans of juvenile fiction will appreciate. He has just moved from Ireland and all of his friends to Belgium because of his father's work. The way Séan responds to this change and his interactions with his peers because of it makes him very realistic. He allows Stephanie, his new friend in Belgium, get him into a little bit more trouble than he would have normally, but we all know how peer pressure can be.

As for the history in The Master's Book, it was quite interesting. I've never read any fiction based on Mary of Burgundy, so I found it necessary to go on a Wikipedia scavenger hunt while I was reading the book. (I read about Mary, then her children, then her children's spouses, and so on.) There is little that I love more than a book that inspires me to do more research. It also led me to discover a historical character that I would love to read some fiction about (Joanna the Mad), but I digress.

The mystery in The Master's Book didn't really pick up until well into the book (probably three-quarters of the way in), with a brief feature in the beginning. The majority of the novel consisted of setting the stage for Séan's development and adjustment to his new life. I don't want to give too much away, but a lot of it consists of a secret room, a mysterious murder victim, and a troublesome book.

I think my favorite part of The Master's Book was the dialect and vocabulary used in the novel. There were a lot of European words and phrases used throughout the story, and it made me a little giddy. (Yes, I love me some Europe.) However, I think it may throw readers off if they're not used to terms like "having a lie-in" and the set up of the European school systems. It's a minor thing that made me a happy nerd, and I don't think it's enough to cause any less pleasure for readers.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Master's Book, and it definitely made me hungry for more thrillers aimed at a young audience.

- 3.5/5 Stars -

Buy Links
Amazon | Smashwords

About the Author

Philip Coleman has worked as a biologist for most of his life—in Ireland, Belgium and now in Switzerland. Having been an avid reader all his life, he took up writing only in 2006. This is his first published novel. He drew his inspiration for the story from the period he spent working for the EU in Brussels. He has a grown-up son and daughter (who were roughly the same ages as Sean and Maeve during the time in Brussels but otherwise aren’t a bit like them at all!). He now lives in France.

Find Philip Online
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Follow the Tour

December 2nd
Bibliophilia, Please - Guest Post
My Guilty Obsession - Top Ten
My Reading Room - Review

December 3rd
Books A to Z - Top Ten
Buried in Books - Review & Top Ten

December 4th
Mythical Books - Guest Post
Amy's Booket List - Interview
Fiction_TheNewReality - Review

December 5th
Queekie Girl Reads - Excerpt
Curling Up With a Good Book - Interview
Candace's Book Blog - Guest Post

December 6th
Bibliophilia, Please - Review
Reviews Unleashed - Review
Book Lovers Life - Guest Post
Victoria Simcox's Blog - Excerpt

December 9th
Brooke Blogs - Guest Post
Gin's Book Notes - Interview
TheOneWithElyseLindsay - Review

December 10th
3 Partner's in Shopping; Nana, Mommy and Sissy Too! - Excerpt
Alwaysjoart - Excerpt
Bees Knees Reviews- Guest Post

December 11th
Dalene's Book Reviews - Interview
Maria's Melange - Review & Interview
My Love For Reading Keeps Growing - Review & Excerpt

December 12th
Words Escape Me - Excerpt
WS Momma Readers Nook - Guest Post
Every Free Chance - Excerpt

December 13th
Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf - Guest Post
Cover2Cover - Excerpt
Deal Sharing Aunt - Guest Post

Tour-Wide Giveaway

Enter to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card
Ends at 12:01 EST on December 20th

a Rafflecopter giveaway
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a copy of the novel from the publisher or author through CBB Book Promotions in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.


  1. ooh my stepdaughter will love this!! sounds very suspenseful and intriguing


  2. I'm with you on the wording and total European feel of the whole thing. I really loved that aspect! I also know that some kids in the US might be confused about it. But it's good to read books from other countries that haven't been edited to US slang, so hopefully some will try and will consider reading more internationally published books. Thanks so much for hosting a tour stop and reviewing this one!

  3. Perhaps I could have toned it down. The voice is very Irish!


You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!