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The Honours

(The Honours #1)

by
3.49  ·  Rating details ·  473 ratings  ·  97 reviews
TRUE HONOUR IS ENDLESS. JOIN US.

1935. Norfolk.

War is looming in Great Britain and the sprawling country estate of Alderberen Hall is shadowed by suspicion and paranoia. Thirteen-year-old Delphine Venner is determined to uncover the secrets of the Hall's elite society, which has taken in her gullible mother and unstable father.

As she explores the house and discovers the sec
...more
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published April 2nd 2015 by Canongate Books
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3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  473 ratings  ·  97 reviews


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Susan
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes a book comes along which, although you do not particularly enjoy that genre, you do love the story. Although I am not a lover of fantasy as a genre, I was totally entranced by this novel and found it quite unlike anything I have read before. Our heroine is a thirteen year old girl called Delphine Venner. Sent away from school, after a series of events which are gradually uncovered at the novel progresses, Delphine is a rather forlorn and misunderstood figure. It is 1935 and war is loom ...more
David
Apr 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has been a very difficult book for me to review. For starters, I loved the main character Delphine. She was extremely well-built, and her personality flowed out of the pages as if she was real. Some people have compared Delphine to His Dark Materials' Lyra, and indeed, there is a very strong resemblance in their wilfulness, resourcefulness, and outright incredible imagination. She was a joy to read. Likewise, the writing of the book was captivating. Tim Clare wrote this novel beautifully, e ...more
Kaitlin
This book surprised me a lot. It was so much faster-paced than I was expecting, and it definitely had many themes and ideas which I didn't anticipate. I honestly thought it was a historical fiction-style novel, but in actuality, it is more of a historical fiction fantasy blend. This book is also so incredibly fast paced. I read nearly the entire thing in 2hours which is pretty crazy, but the chapters are short and the character we follow is imaginative and fun so it's a very light easy read.

This
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John Ferrigno
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a big fan of Tim Clare's podcast, Death of 1000 Cuts, I needed to read his novel, The Honours, and I was not disappointed.

This is a fantasy novel unlike any I have ever read. Literary without being stuffy, fantastical yet tethered to reality, The Honours introduced a world I did not want to leave. Delphine, although living in 1935, is a heroine worthy of our attention in modern times. She is strong and smart, yet struggles with not fitting in to her expected gender role at the time. She is a
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Alexis Carpenter
Too much. Too weird. Too confusing. Too slow. Took me about 75% of the way into the book to even start to understand what was going on. After that, the action was too much and took too long to come to a conclusion. I found myself simply reading quickly to finish the book; probably skimmed the last 20% of the novel. Don't suggest it.
Fi
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Honours is set in 1935  in a sanatorium out on the remote coast of Norfolk. The place has a small staff and, I think, not very many patients .  The grand house the sanatorium occupies is the family home of Lord Stokeham,  last in the line of what was once a great aristocratic family. There is a distinct atmosphere of paranoia, secrecy and - I can't think of a better word - weirdness about the place. When our heroine Delphine arrives with her mother and psychologically troubled father - a vet ...more
Jan
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, wcn
Completely captivating and truly awesome. I was lucky to win a proof copy of this book, and lapped it up in a couple of days, staying up till 4am to finish it as I couldn't wait till the next day. A brilliant main character, Delphine (who I wish had been at 13) and amazing attention to detail throughout the book. It's the first of three books, and although it will probably be a couple of years till the next, I can't wait for it.

Similar in fantasy style to the Philip Pullman His Dark Materials bo
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Caz
Nov 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, the hype is all totally justified, EXCEPTIONALLY well written, just beautiful in fact. Well paced, excitement is always round the corner, great characters - Delphine is especially brilliant. A triumph!

I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE!
Barron Van Deusen
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jeepers, what a story.

The Honours is the tale of gun-and-war obsessed Delphine Venner, a girl sent to live on a manor where all sorts of strangeness seems to be afoot. Secret passages. Conspiratorial meetings. Bolsheviks? Maybe not that last one, but the residents of Alderberen Hall are all part of a secret society - Delphine's father, a veteran of the Great War, is as well - and Delphine immediately begins to dig into the odd happenings.

Delphine as a character is a powerhouse. She's bullheaded
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Heather
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
It's 1935. War is looming, and Alderberen Hall is shrouded in suspicion and paranoia. Delphine Venner, the determined thirteen-year-old, isn't quite so taken by this elite society as her mother and father, instead using her time to unravel the secrets she's certain exist. The story she stumbles on is darker and more dangerous than she could have imagined.

There's a vast and odd mix of characters, but one thing is certain: Delphine seems to be a nuisance to all of them. Questioning too much, getti
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Finn Longman
So that was weird, no idea what to say about this one. Picked it up in a charity shop a while ago and read it now because I'm trying to work my way through all the physical books I own but haven't read before I go back to uni and no longer have access to my shelves. Anyway. Don't know how to review this, so won't.
Panagiotis
Ο Τιμ Κλερ παρουσιάζει μια καλλιτεχνική ταυτότητα ετερόκλητων συγγραφικών επιδιώξεων: ποιητής, κωμικός και, με τούτο το βιβλίο πεζογράφος φανταστικής λογοτεχνίας. Το βιβλίο, φρέσκο-φρέσκο, ήδη εγκωμιάζεται για την λογοτεχνικότητά του και τον πλούσιο, ποιοτικό λόγο του. Και έτσι τοποθετείται απέναντι από την υπόλοιπη σοδειά φανταστικής λογοτεχνιάς.
Τι έχουμε εδώ, λοιπόν;
Η πρωταγωνίστρια, κοριτσόπουλο σιωπηλό αλλά με πνεύμα εξερευνητικό και ατίθασο, δρα ως φιλοξενούμενη με την οικογένειά της σε μια
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Caroline Mann
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everyone who says that this book reads like two books in one, the first a historical fiction about interwar England, the second a monster book, is correct, but the split between them was not terribly jarring. Delphine is a joy to read about, though I wished that we learned more about the fantasy world around hers. This might be in the sequel, The Ice House, so I'll check that out next.
May Watson
I wanted to like The Honours so, so badly. I truly did. It's a first novel so I will be a bit more friendly than I would be otherwise.

I like a lot of aspects of the story. A plucky teenage heroine who's good with guns, stylish 1930s setting, a good mystery. The last third of the book flew by and I found myself staying up til 4am because I just HAD to finish it.

The first two thirds though... The pacing is very off. It took me two weeks to get through the first three hundred pages because I just
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Kate Bystrova
Mar 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of fantasy
This is easily one of the best fantasy books I have read in recent years.

When thirteen-year-old Delphine and her parents relocate to Alderberen Hall to join a strange and elite society for the ‘perpetual improvement of man’, she is immediately suspicious. Within minutes of entering the estate, Delphine overhears a conversation that has her convinced the society is a front for some nefarious plot to facilitate an invasion (by communists? Germans?!) into England. But, before long, the true intent
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Hannah Green
Firstly, I would encourage you to go into this book knowing as little as possible. Trust me when I say that the feeling of blindness will heighten your enjoyment of this strange novel greatly.

Nathan Filer's The Shock of the Fall was a completely unique novel that still stays with me to this day. Therefore, in my mind, an endorsement by Filer goes a long, long way. Indeed, that was one of the reasons I picked up The Honours and I'm so glad I listened to him.

In the tradition of old-school horror,
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Alison
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
BT Robinson
I know there is an audience for this book, but that audience isn't me. Without spoiling anything, it should be stated explicitly that this is not a mystery novel but a dark fantasy novel, and a brutally violent one at that. I believe the author intended to blend in mystery elements and mix genre, but the mystery elements — the secret passageways, the estate secrets — are pathways to something else.

In my opinion, the pacing of the second half of the novel is exhausting and could've been ~100 page
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Sarah
Jul 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A plucky heroine helps to save the day in 1935 Norfolk.

Wonderfully British and very evocative of the 30's when the country was still recovering from the aftermath of WW1 and the upease and paranoia as WW2 looms.

The book opens with a bang, and sent a shiver up my spine as I settled in for the adventure.

The writing was beautiful and lyrical with some gorgeous descriptions. This did mean, however, that the first half of the story did move slowly, and that the action at the end of the novel felt
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tomwrote
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, ya
I liked so much about this. The prose, the details, the setting and the clash of genres. Sentence by sentence it was excellent.

Overall, not so much. What I didn't like was the pacing, with so much description between sudden and erratic jolts of the plot. And while it might just be me being thick, I was confused quite a lot of the time as to who was who, when was when, whether the cult front was really a cult or not, why certain characters did certain things to each other (not to get spoilery ab
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Maighdlyn
This was a great first novel, and the characters were quite interesting and well presented. This being said, I felt like the first part was a little "slow-paced", while the last third or quarter of the book was much too fast and I had some difficulties at times understanding or following everything which was happening. I was also somewhat surprised when the "magical" creatures appeared within the story as I was under the impression it was more of a historical fiction type book. But overall, I wo ...more
Marjorie
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
amazingly written, great take on fantasy. It's like Neil Gaiman and Gemma Doyle had a love-child and that child had a seriously twisted dark-side but somehow manages to keep it playful. Tim Clare, please please write lots more books, I'm looking forward to getting my hands on all of them
Lisa
Apr 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The language is gorgeous and evocative; It's the most beautiful thing I've read in a long time. However, the plot felt hazy and I found the subtle, dreamy text made it challenging for me to pick up on important plot details.
Christi Poulsom
May 24, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Got to page 169 and cannot see why I would continue. Getting bored of isolated stories. If I have a break I may come back.
No, didn't bother. File under LTS
Ed Avern
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: archive
I’m not entirely sure how to review this. In the immortal words of Arthur Dent... what an extraordinary book.

Some context: I’m a long-time fan of Tim Clare’s podcast (and former blog) ‘Death of 1000 Cuts’, which I recommend to any and all writers. Mr. Clare has an approach to writing that is meticulous and invigorating, and a truly delightful way with words. His podcast is informative, personal, and captivating. But perhaps the high regard with which I hold Mr. Clare was behind my nervousness to
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Dan
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is a real shame. There is talented writing on show, some intriguing and likable characters, and hints of an interesting and unique world. Unfortunately, the end result is a schizophrenic mess that results in a massive waste of time.

The first 75% of the book meanders through meaningless, sluggish subplots that have nothing whatsoever to do with the final quarter, when the book suddenly and without warning morphs into a rushed and fantastical fantasy novel. This would have been fine, an
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Saffron
Is this going to be part of a series? If so then I am more favourably disposed towards this novel. There are far too many loose ends and half explained story lines for this to hold up for me as a standalone. The other negative I have is my personal pet hate of unnecessary footnotes. With all that in mind, the story was refreshingly inventive, with the vampire and zombie genre being worn thin beyond redemption, the fantasy side of this tale is new and original.

You hit the floor running with the
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eLPy
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-tbr
Intriguing and very well-written

This book gets a very well-earned 4/5 stars.

From the very beginning I recognized this would be a well-written book with beautiful prose. Tim Clare I'd say masters "show, don't tell". It took a little bit longer than I would have liked to get into the action but once that happened I was all in. The second half of the book seems to fly by, making it hard to put down.

I found that I wasn't always guessing what would happen next, which is an easy thing to do when readi
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Drew
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 out of 5.
Boy, this takes a long time to get going and then it REALLY GOES FAST. And by "a long time to get going" I don't mean to imply that the first half (...two-thirds, really) of the novel is bad, but it's very much restricted: we see the story from a young woman's point of view, some strange things happen offstage in the periphery, but the fantastical elements really don't come into play until they burst onto the page and completely overtake the rest of the book.
I'm torn about the effi
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Stacey
This was a weird one, and it took me a considerable amount of time to get into, the first hundred or so pages took me almost two weeks to get through. There is definitely merit to be found here though, there are some great ideas and the main character is engaging and believable as a child who misinterprets things and gets cross and does the wrong thing, but it didn't win me.

Though the writing is at times very good I also felt like it was somehow off at points, especially in the beginning while r
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