When Alva receives an invitation from a man offering his services as a Time Tutor, she doesn’t know what to think: Is he a time traveler or a charlatan? And does it really matter, when he is so devilishly attractive? The Time Tutor is a fast-paced romantic prequel to Bee Ridgway’s acclaimed novel, The River of No Return.
Fast-paced is right: The Time Tutor is either a very short novella or a long short story, and fans of The River of No Return will love it even as it leaves them hungry for more. Alva, the Ofan courtesan/teacher from The River of No Return, really sparkles in this tale of her early life: she’s intelligent, beautiful, strong-willed, and playfully bewitching. We also get to know Ignatz Vogelstein (aka Lord Dar, Julia’s adoptive grandfather), as a younger man, and we get a better sense of Bertrand and what makes him tick. Most of all, we see how and why the Ofan evolved to become a real rival to the Guild.
Make no mistake: The Time Tutor, while technically a prequel to The River of No Return, will make more sense if you’ve already read the novel. I think it could be read as a standalone or indeed as a prequel before reading the novel, but the novella is much richer if you already understand something of the Guild, the Ofan, and the nature of time and time travel.
The River of No Return was one of my few 5-star books of 2013, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting a sequel. I’m hoping that the publication of The Time Tutor means the sequel will be coming soon. According to Ms. Ridgway’s Goodreads author page, she’s working on it: “the experience of writing [The River of No Return] was so overwhelmingly fun that I’m roaring ahead on the sequel.” Huzzah! I can’t tell you how excited that makes me – I can’t wait!
Giveaway: Thanks to the publisher, I have a paperback copy of The Time Tutor to give away to one lucky reader! (US and Canadian readers only, I’m afraid, since Penguin will be shipping it directly to you.) Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the Rafflecopter entry form.
And if you haven’t read The River of No Return yet, check out my review!
Rating: 4 stars
Category: Historical fantasy
Series: River of No Return #0.5
Publisher: Penguin Plume
Release date: Feb. 25, 2014
Book source: advance review ebook from the publisher
About the author:
I was born and raised in Amherst, Massachusetts, in a parsonage made from three stuck-together old cottages. I attended Oberlin College. I worked for a year in features at Elle Magazine, then went to Cornell for a doctoral degree in English literature. After several years spent chasing research materials and true love around the UK, I settled down to teach American literature at Bryn Mawr College. I live with my partner in Philadelphia. The River of No Return is my first novel. (bio source: author’s website)
The series in order:
- The Time Tutor (this review)
- The River of No Return (my review)
WIN A COPY of The Time Tutor!