Important Announcement! 07/28/2018Dear BCF members, This forum has been running now for many years, and over that time we have seen many changes. Generalised forums are nowhere near as popular as they once were, and they have been very much taken over by blogs, vlogs and social media discussions. Running a forum well takes money, and a lot of care and attention, as there is so much which goes on behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly. With all of this in mind, and after discussion within the current moderator team, the decision has been made to close this forum in its current format. I know that this will disappoint a lot of our long term members, but I want to reassure you that it's not a decision which has been taken lightly. The remaining moderator team have agreed that we do not want to lose everything which is special about our home, and so we are starting a brand new facebook group, so that people can stay in touch, and discussions can continue. We can use it for free and should be easier for us to run (it won't need to be updated or hosted). We know not everyone has FaceBook, but we hope that those of you who are interested will join the group. We will share the link, and send invites as soon as we are ready to go. Added: We may as well get this going, find us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/195289821332924/ The forum will close to new registrations, but will remain open for some time, to allow people to collect up any information, reading lists etc they need to, and to ensure they have contact details for those they wish to stay in touch with. The whole team feel sad to say goodbye, but we also feel that it's perhaps time and that it feels like the right choice. We hope we can stay in touch with all of you through our new FaceBook group. I personally want to thank everyone who has helped me moderate the forum, both in the past and the present, and I also want to thank every single person who has visited, and shared their love of books.. I'm so proud of everything we've achieved, and the home we built. Please visit the new section in the Lounge section to discuss this further, ask questions etc.
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Although this is being classified as a YA book, I wanted to post it under Fantasy, as I feel it has plenty to offer all readers, and isn't specifically YA. Gilded Cage This is the start of a trilogy and I fell in love with the world. For me personally, I loved the world building from the author.. often I find there can be a certain amount of jarring until you settle in, but this alternative present-day England immediately felt real to me, and I dived straight in. It tells of a world where there is a small ruling class, the Elite, but their power comes from the magic they hold. All other citizens live normal lives, aside from the fact that they have to give up ten years to become slaves, many in heavy industry, some serving the Elite. The Elite live in their own blinkered world, with their own power struggles, whilst the decade of slavery turns out to be worse than could be thought, with many being affected by it for their whole lives. The other great thing for me was that the author doesn’t focus on just one of these groups, leaving the other ignored, but she shows us the depths of both, with fascinating characters throughout. Abi, a citizen, makes a decision to try to keep her family together during their decade of slavery, by getting them all into the service of an Elite family – something she almost achieves. Most of her family are sent into the service of a powerful family, and her and her younger sister find themselves wrapped with the families world in ways they didn't expect. Her brother, however, is separated from them, and sent to a brutal factory town, where he starts to believe in revolution. Meanwhile, the three brothers within the Elite family have their own stories, struggles and relationships, and they are more complex than you would expect. This first book moves at a fast pace, and it certainly has plenty for both YA and older readers. It wraps up this particular story enough, whilst opening the way to the next volume. Thankfully the gaps between books is short, but also far too long, because I’m excited to get back into this amazing world! A contender for my book of the year!