The Starfolk Arcana
Martha Dunlop (@MarthaDunlop)
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)
“The energy materialised next to her as a dazzling light being. He had blond hair that reached his waist, his eyes were a clear violet, and his ears rose into delicate points…”
Prepare for a fantasy romance that will take you on a highly charged magical journey – meet Beth and Johan – star(folk) crossed lovers who’ve spent lifetimes being pulled apart. Now, they’re ready to fight for their love as destiny calls them. But even as these two soulmates draw closer but one woman stands in their way.
Beth has psychic senses and finds people around her are also cards in a new ‘Starfolk’ tarot deck she buys – it seems that destiny is having fun with her.
Jonan has waited an eternity to be with the woman who haunts his dreams. When he finally finds his soulmate it seems that his nemesis named Amelia is determined to stand in his way.
Spinning tales of supernatural threats to her adoring fan base, she builds a personality cult through fear of the paranormal. As her power grows, she does her best to scare Beth away from Jonan and plans to reclaim him for herself.
Drawn together by deeply buried memories from before birth, the soul connection between the characters opens windows into both their histories and their destiny.
I enjoyed The Starfolk Arcana, Dunlop writes with a spookily compelling style, bringing characters to life effectively and using local knowledge of St Albans to bring smiles to those who know the area.
Having read some fantasies that have great ideas but don’t deliver on the art of storytelling this is a refreshing book that brings the complete supernatural package to the party.
I had the pleasure of meeting Martha through the Society of Authors group that I chair. So I asked her some Q’s so you can get to know her a bit better:
Hi Matt, thank you so much for welcoming me onto your blog!
Matt: If you were granted the powers of a master magic wielder who or what would be your nemesis?
Martha: If I was a magic wielder, I would illuminate and heal people, animals and situations, to help people find their way to their best futures. In my Starfolk books, Amelia is a celebrity who controls people by whipping up fear of the paranormal. She would be my nemesis, because that ability to drag people into the depths and surround them with negativity makes everything harder. So she would be my polar opposite.
Matt: What is the most life-affirming thing you’ve ever read or watched in a book/film of any genre?
Martha: Honestly, Outlander. Diana Gabaldon puts her characters through the most awful traumas, but they are so resilient, and they use their challenges to become stronger and more connected.
When I need strength, I watch Outlander.
Matt: If you were hired to throw a parade of any scale or theme through the centre of London what type of parade would it be?
Martha: It would be a tarot parade! We would dress up as the fabulous archetypes from the tarot and people would give and receive readings along the way. The road would be lined with gongs, singing bowls and sound healers and we would dance, sing, and explore all the stages of human experience as illustrated in the deck. And, of course, we would buy more decks! It would be amazing!
Matt: You are blessed with a supernatural power to bless the world, what does that look like for you?
Martha: I would choose healing. Being able to heal people physically and emotionally would be incredible.
Matt: Who or what inspires you most (can be living or dead)?
Martha: Honestly, stories of all kinds. Books, songs, theatre, films, stories that have that extra something, that lift you out of yourself and put you into a new world, seeding something inside you. In that moment it feels like anything is possible. That sense of pure potential is so magical.
Matt: There’s a masked assailant with a gun to your head, who is most likely to be under the mask?
Martha: It’s got to be the character in my book without a name. My protagonists call him the Brute. My antagonist, Amelia, calls him the Sheep. He does a lot of bad things in Amelia’s name, but turns out to be one of her biggest victims. We do find out his name in the end, but it takes a long time. He must be fed up of everything I’ve put him through by now!
Matt: What is the meaning of life?
Martha: Learning. I believe we’re here to learn how to become our best selves, moving through our challenges to find our authentic, magical and non-defensive selves.
Matt: What was the best gift you’ve ever been given?
Martha: My Mum overheard little-girl Martha telling her friend that the best present she could receive was a signed hardback of The BFG. So my Mum wrote to Roald Dahl and guess what I got for Christmas!
Matt: If you could create a sidekick familiar – what would it be able to do for you?
Martha: My familiar is definitely my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and he’d get insanely jealous if he had to share me. We communicate very well, but if I could give him the ability to help me, I’d create a telepathic link with him and allow him to use his significant charm to soften situations up for me and report back!
Matt: What would you like written on your tombstone?
Martha: Martha Dunlop. Creator of worlds.
Matt: Any final words you like to add...
Martha: All my books, are on Kindle Unlimited, and I also have a Starfolk Prequel short Story, Starfolk Illusions, which is free to my newsletter subscribers. If you’d like to sign up to receive it, go to
www.marthadunlop.com, hit subscribe, and enjoy!
Thanks again for having me on your blog!