Best Book Editors

The Tail, the Tree and the Star by Steven Ashford

Book Blurb

Cur grows up in a bafflingly labyrinthine house, ignored by the staff, neglected by his family, and confronted daily with the odd and the impossible. Only the three house guests seem to have time for him. But are the chain-smoking historian, the wheelchair-bound old lady, and her maddeningly elusive companion other than what they seem? And as Cur tries to test the limits of the house, will the death of his grandfather hold the key to his final liberation?

Like a box of artisan chocolates, The Tail, the Tree and the Star is a book to be savoured. Some of its contents you’ll find fruit-filled and sweet, some darkly bitter, some surprisingly salty. Open by candlelight, in a comfortably upholstered armchair, beside a crackling fire. No picture guide has been included.

Best Book Editors Review

In awe of this book.

Readers are invited into the House where imagination knows no bounds.

Ashford’s storytelling prowess is fantastic as he crafts a narrative that leaves you trying to work the puzzles out on every page. It’s easily one of the best books I’ve read this year.

The story is a fusion, blending fantasy, magic, love and mystery. It keeps the reader wanting to know more. The imagination in this book is great, the unexpected becomes the norm and the mundane transforms into the extraordinary as nothing is the same twice.


This book is plot-driven, but the author’s knack for character development is outstanding. The reader connects with Cur immediately, and his voice holds you from beginning to end. Each character is relatable, and most are endearing. Their interactions and relationships are portrayed with perfection, adding depth and authenticity to the story.

As the plot unfolds, it’s impossible not to become emotionally invested in Cur’s plight.


Ashford crafts prose that is elegant and verbose, but at the same time, it’s accessible—a rare combination. This is a book that reminds us of the joy of reading. It’s a star in its own right, an example of the magic found in the pages of a well-crafted story.

I will be reading this author some more.


About Steven Ashford

He used to be a Steiner Waldorf teacher in a wonderful little school in Derbyshire until a combination of OFSTED (don’t get him started) and financial pressures closed them down. Since then he’s been winging it, but lockdown gave him a chance to finally get around to something he’d been trying on and off for 30+ years: finishing a novel!

He’s now completed three.

He’s got one daughter (12) and two cats. He loves coffee, red wine, Radiohead, and forests.

His favourite book ever is “Little, Big” by John Crowley.
Blue Earth

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 March 2023





Eve K
5.0 out of 5 stars “The Tail, the Tree and the Star”-a truly fascinating read!!!

Reviewed in Australia on 10 September 2023

I was introduced to the author, Steven Ashford, through “The Tail, the Tree and the Star,” and what a remarkable introduction it was. This is a beautifully crafted narrative that manages to be both compelling and disconcerting in equal measure.
As I delved into the pages of “The Tail, the Tree and the Star,” I found myself unable to put it down, doggedly reading on until the final page. The initial chapters, centered around the young character known as Cur, left me intrigued about his true nature as the story ventured deeper into a fantastical realm.
The vibrant characters and the unfolding plot brought to mind classics like “The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland,” amalgamating into a narrative that exuded an air of the extraordinary. The story revolves around Cur, a figure treated like an animal and abandoned by his father. Cur’s struggle to survive within the perplexing labyrinth of his home, which serves as both refuge and prison, remains the focal point. His narration guides us through his formative years.
The storytelling is masterful, with descriptions that are both wild and vivid, making it easy to envision this tale as a compelling film. This story is rich in metaphor, offering multiple layers of interpretation. It inhabits a unique literary space with its protagonist’s quest for the unattainable and the house itself becoming a character in its own right. The unexpected conclusion adds an extra layer of intrigue to this already absorbing and imaginative story.
I wholeheartedly recommend “The Tail, the Tree and the Star.” It’s a mesmerizing and unsettling work of literature, masterfully narrated by Cur, whose unsettling frankness juxtaposes with the dreamlike quality of his narrative. Like Cur, I felt compelled to uncover the mysteries behind his circumstances, turning the pages eagerly in search of clues. Despite its layers 




Facebook  Group: