I anticipate that Set the Stars Alight may take its place as my very favorite book of 2020. In my opinion, it will be extremely difficult to surpass this beautifully written story. I have found each and everything I have read by Amanda Dykes to be filled with wonder and a magical, lyrical style that makes me want to immerse myself into the story and stay forever. Each of her tales is better than the last.

Although many reviewers have remarked on the sense of wonder and light that emits from this book, I can only agree. Wonder just seems to be the right word and no other one will do to describe how I felt when reading it. This author has a powerful gift that touches the very soul and Set the Stars Alight was just what I needed to read during the dark days of this summer.

Set the Stars Alight is story-telling at its best. Quotable lines abound on nearly every page. I highly recommend reading it for the sheer beauty of its words but its story is worthwhile and offers a ray of hope to all who enter in.

I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by the author. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.


In an aged brick cottage in London, the magic of the past comes alive each night for the family of a humble watchmaker. In her father’s fireside stories, Lucy Claremont’s fascination with the high seas begins, leading her to devote her life’s work to discovering the whereabouts of a legendary lost ship. But when tragedy strikes, it’s childhood friend Dashel and his knowledge of the stars that may help her solve the puzzle.

Two hundred years earlier, three young lives are altered forever when a shepherd rescues the privileged son of a powerful admiral. As the children grow, war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, deep love, and a story of betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption that fades into obscurity as centuries pass.

As Lucy and Dash explore mysterious ruins on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers–and the healing–they so desperately seek.

Read an excerpt here.


Photo Credit: © Michael Pettrey

Amanda Dykes ( is a drinker of tea, dweller of redemption, and spinner of hope-filled tales who spends most days chasing wonder and words with her family. She’s a former English teacher and the author of Whose Waves These Are, a Booklist 2019 Top Ten Romance debut, as well as three novellas.