THE KING IS DEAD by Benjamin Dean

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets The Inheritance Games in this Black LGBTQ+ royal romp full of heart-swooning romance, scandalous secrets and one hell of a mystery.

James has been a prince all of his life, and since he was born, he’s been thrust into the spotlight as the first Black heir to the throne. But when his father unexpectedly dies, James is crowned king at seventeen. Now, the secrets he could keep as a prince with no real responsibility – namely, his sexuality and hidden relationship – are rocked as his life irrevocably changes.

When his boyfriend suddenly goes missing, the royal secrets and scandals that only he knows start to leak online. And when it becomes clear that whoever is behind the messages isn’t going to stop anytime soon, James begins to question everyone around him 


Title : The King is Dead
Authors : Benjamin Dean
Format : eARC
Page Count : 367
Genre : YA Contemporary LGBTQ+
Publisher : Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
Release Date : July 7, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3 star review

Headlines:
Queer black protagonist
Mystery suspense
Lots of drama

The King is Dead is an unusual choice of read because I am the opposite of a monarchist but in the same breath, a queer, black young King was a bit too interesting a characterisation to ignore. I did like the LGBTQ+ focus, the parentage twists, the recognition of the inherent racism in the UK and the complicated family and friendships.

There’s a lot of drama in this read and I had to remind myself that James was only 17 and his flitting between attraction, allegiances and risky outings was due to his immaturity. I had to fully suspend realism to get behind this story. I could really see some mirroring in some of the current royal family and racism they’ve experienced and how Jame’s position was viewed by the public and press.

The mystery was a bit far fetched but this was a quick thrilling read which kept a good momentum. I definitely see the Gossip Girl analogy in relation to this book and I think it will appeal to many.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster for the eARC. 

A TASTE OF GOLD AND IRON by Alexandra Rowland

The Goblin Emperor meets “Magnificent Century” in Alexandra Rowland’s A Taste of Gold and Iron, where a queer central romance unfolds in a fantasy world reminiscent of the Ottoman Empire.

Kadou, the shy prince of Arasht, finds himself at odds with one of the most powerful ambassadors at court—the body-father of the queen’s new child—in an altercation which results in his humiliation.

To prove his loyalty to the queen, his sister, Kadou takes responsibility for the investigation of a break-in at one of their guilds, with the help of his newly appointed bodyguard, the coldly handsome Evemer, who seems to tolerate him at best. In Arasht, where princes can touch-taste precious metals with their fingers and myth runs side by side with history, counterfeiting is heresy, and the conspiracy they discover could cripple the kingdom’s financial standing and bring about its ruin.


Title : A Taste of Gold and Iron
Author : Alexandra Rowland
Format : eARC / ARC
Page Count : 416
Genre : LGBTQIAP+ fantasy
Publisher : Tordotcom
Release Date : August 30, 2022

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ .5


Hollis’ 2.5 star review

This is a tough one to review. Because I had all sorts of feelings about it — one of which was, I read the first chapter and had such a visceral “nope” feeling about it that I put down the kindle and walked away for an hour — but mostly those feelings were ambivalent. And then occasionally frustrated because I was seeing things I could love but the love was just out of reach.

The good? The tropes. There’s an A03-style list of tags for what you can find in this book, I won’t list them out but they are easy to find if you go looking, and most of them are delicious. And honestly how they played out was also, mostly, delicious. And actually most of what I found to be good in this story was the romance because I did like these characters; one was easier to love than the other as he was more fleshed out, but the other had a good bit of unlayering from how he started out, too, so it didn’t feel too unbalanced. They are caught up in a complicated dynamic, and even though there was some angst due to pining and yearning and feeling unworthy being caught up in that, the dialogue that the author leaned on to express consent, reciprocity, the morality/ethics of it all, and understanding between them, was so good.

The less good? The world. For all the prose and descriptions, not to mention the wordcount, I did not have a good handle on the setting or the politics and found the conflict of the plot kind of flimsy. It didn’t help that we were thrown right into things near the beginning and, as mentioned, I really wasn’t feeling it — the first chapter really jarred me but that feeling stuck with me for like 30%. But we definitely had some sweet spots.. though the ending, too, as in the final page, was also jarring (is this a series? or is that just how it wraps?).

Split down the middle? The supporting cast. We had some really good eggs mixed in with our MCs and we also had some less good. Equally, we had some good eggs that just acted in frustrating ways and for reasons that are never truly explained but, of course, forgiven. Part of that supporting cast is a strong presence of queerness and identities interwoven in this world and zero homophobia. Huge win.

So, yes, if this romance-centric high fantasy did well by the romance, why such a low rating? I still felt the slowness of the background fantasy/action plot, and sometimes when there should’ve been urgency, there wasn’t, and I found that a bit jarring. I wish that the villain(s) of the piece had been a bit less obvious because it might’ve added more uncertainty and, again, given us some of the tension that was lacking. And, again, there was that ending — just as I was really feeling things were on the up I feel like I misstepped and was left stumbling a bit, which has me not wanting to round up.

Overall, while there are elements within the whole that could be worth a recommend, I would definitely hesitate to encourage anyone give it a try who wasn’t already going to.

** I received an ARC from Edelweiss+ and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

OTHER BIRDS by Sarah Addison Allen

Between the real and the imaginary, there are stories that take flight in the most extraordinary ways.

Right off the coast of South Carolina, on Mallow Island, The Dellawisp sits—a stunning old cobblestone building shaped like a horseshoe, and named after the tiny turquoise birds who, alongside its human tenants, inhabit an air of magical secrecy.

When Zoey comes to claim her deceased mother’s apartment on an island outside of Charleston she meets her quirky and secretive neighbors, including a girl on the run, two estranged middle-aged sisters, a lonely chef, a legendary writer, and three ghosts. Each with their own story. Each with their own longings. Each whose ending isn’t yet written.


Title : Other Birds
Author : Sarah Addison Allen
Format : eARC
Page Count : 304
Genre : contemporary romance / magical realism
Publisher : St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date : August 30, 2022

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ .5


Hollis’ 2.5 star review

It’s been such a long time since I’ve picked up a novel by SAA and I was so hoping that Other Birds would feel like so many of this author’s previous works — magical, delicious, and full of wonder. And while there is some deliciousness, and a little bit of magical, it wasn’t quite wonderful. And, combined, it didn’t quite pack the punch I expected.

Initially, this story doesn’t do much to draw the reader in. I found the voice of (what I presumed to be, and was later wrong) the MC to be a little off and not very engaging. And the same could be said for the other POVs, which was something of a disappointment. As is typical for me, though, the one perspective I liked the most was the one we had the least.

I think what works against this offering is that the found family element doesn’t feel realistic. This group of motley misfits, living in this condo complex, on a small island, are drawn together by proximity and a few strange events and things quickly escalate in a way that doesn’t feel quite believable; which is kind of funny because I was absolutely onboard with the magical part of the story.

I think, had this been given a little more time to breathe, the page count been a little longer, it might have fleshed things out more. But maybe it’s supposed to be a snapshot. It’s something of a beginning for these characters, or a reset, or a new chapter, and there’s something hopeful in that, in letting go and moving on. But as a reader (or at least, for this one) it’s also a little unsatisfying.

Having said that, I’m very glad to see SAA pop up after such a long time (her last release was 2015!) and I do hope there’s more to come. I would absolutely recommend you check out her backlist if magical realism is at all in your wheelhouse.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY – AUGUST 30, 2022

Happy “where’d all my money go?” new release Tuesday, everyone!

As you know, the most exciting day of the week in this community is the day that follows the one we all dread (Mondays for the nope) and today we’re going to highlight some of the new books chipping away at our bank accounts — but each one is so worth it.


Pack of Lies by Charlie Adhara kicks off another paranormal romance series following the events, and some characters, from the author’s Big Bad Wolf series.

Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid is a “powerful novel about the cost of greatness, a legendary athlete attempts a comeback when the world considers her past her prime.”

The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is the finale in this YA mystery series filled with secrets, riddles, and romance.

A Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland is a queer adult romance set in an Ottoman Empire-like fantasy world. UK readers you can grab this on September 1, 2022!



Are there any titles out today you’re excited for? Let us know in the comments below! 

PACK OF LIES by Charlie Adhara

Werewolf meets human. Werewolf snubs human. Werewolf loves human? 

Julien Doran arrived in sleepy Maudit Falls, North Carolina, with a heart full of hurt and a head full of questions. The key to his brother’s mysterious last days might be found in this tiny town, and now Julien’s amateur investigation is starting to unearth things the locals would rather keep buried.

Perhaps most especially the strange, magnetic manager of a deserted retreat that’s nearly as odd as its staff.

Eli Smith is a lot of things: thief, werewolf, glamour-puss, liar. And now the manager of a haven for rebel pack runaways. He’s spent years cultivating a persona to disguise his origins, but for the first time ever he’s been entrusted with a real responsibility—and he plans to take that seriously.

Even if the handsome tourist who claims to be in town for some R & R is clearly on a hunt for all things paranormal. And hasn’t taken his brooding gaze off Eli since he’s arrived.

When an old skeleton and a fresh corpse turn a grief errand into a murder investigation, the unlikely Eli is the only person Julien can turn to. Trust is hard to come by in a town known for its monsters, but so is time…


Title : Pack of Lies
Author : Charlie Adhara
Series : Monster Hunt (book one)
Format : eARC
Page Count : 368
Genre : paranormal LGBTQIAP+ romance
Publisher : Carina Adores
Release Date : August 30, 2022

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ .5


Hollis’ 3.5 star review

Sometimes, I swear you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. In this particular sense, I’m talking about rereads. I made a point to reread the Big Bad Wolf series prior to this spin-off series opener because I wanted everything fresh in my mind for any carry-over plots and characters. And I’m glad I did. I’m also glad I put two weeks between finishing those and starting this, just so there wouldn’t be too much of a good thing in my brain. But.. I think it also made me love this a little less.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to love here. Eli being the number one thing. Eli was perfect. His dialogue, his wit, his whole being. There was no wrong done. And while I liked Julien, and did think there was some chemistry in their intimacy, outside of it..? It just wasn’t as electric. I wasn’t desperate for them to interact, to bounce off each other, or even to bone — though hey, again, those were good times. There was really only one moment, where Julien asked to be friends (if you know you know!), that socked me in some feels.

Having said that, when I did my reread, I knocked some ratings up a star. So maybe this is another one I’ll love more in hindsight when it’s all said and done? Historically that seems to be the case with Adhara. We might eventually find out.

Oh, what’s this all about you ask? Well, it’s a queer paranormal shifter mystery! This new series (which, by the way, I would not recommend starting here; go back to the beginning and meet Cooper and Oliver!) features a secondary character from the main series, one who has not had an easy life (some backstory reveals in the main series, hint hint), and who is now part of a new start-up pack and is heading the running of a “retreat” (as far as humans know) which is a front for a shelter, or a safe place, for wolves. He’s barely there long enough to get the place running before hijinks ensue that have him threatened by a nearby pack, put a human who is clearly hiding things in his path, and more. Said human, Julien, eventually convinces Eli to team up and try to uncover.. well, more than a few things. How’s that for vague and unhelpful?

But yes, while I’m not shouting praise from the rooftops like I expected, this could just be me a little overwhelmed by my own expectations, and also too much Ollie and Coop too recently in my reading (and forever in my heart). It does not mean I am in any way not excited for more. I want Julien to grow on me. I want more hijinks. I want more Eli fullstop. And, in general, I just love this world and Adhara’s writing. Also, I’m clearly an outlier; just look at all those five stars! I’m not disappointed by this rating. And you shouldn’t be put off, either.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

BELLADONNA by Adalyn Grace

For as long as Signa Farrow has been alive, the people in her life have fallen like stars . . .

Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her wellbeing – and each has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy.

Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family’s waning reputation and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. But when their mother’s restless spirit appears claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger, and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the killer.

Signa’s best chance of uncovering the murderer, though, is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side. Though he’s made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful – and more irresistible – than she ever dared imagine.


Title : Belladonna
Author : Adalyn Grace
Series : Belladonna #1
Narrator : Kristin Atherton
Format : Physical ARC/audio
Page Count : 416
Genre : YA Fantasy
Publisher : Hodder Books
Release Date : August 30, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 5 star review

Headlines:
Death is in the air
Family unwanted and found
Atmospheric

I read Belladonna by audio and physical copy because when I couldn’t listen to audio, I needed to carry on with the story; it was unputdownable. The whole book oozed atmosphere from the early pages right to the end.

Signa was an unwanted ward, shunted around families who didn’t want her but wanted her inheritance. Eventually, she found herself with an uncle and cousins who Signa actually felt some connection to. You know who else Signa had a connection to? Death…she saw the reaper whenever death was close or imminent. She hated him, wanted to be ignorant to Death’s work and his presence that she felt in chilling ways. But over time, Death had a usefulness in helping solve an urgent mystery of poisoning. Signa came to understand Death and like him. There’s a really compelling romance to root for.

Death’s character grew on me immensely and I think that was aided somewhat by the superb narration. Even though this was a single narrator, Kristin Atherton inhabited Death’s character and voiced him so well. I was intrigued but wary of Silas and I was willing the new family in Percy and Blythe to show Signa the familial connection she was so neglected of. So much went on in Thorn Grove, parties, intrigue, business, death, poisoning and sleuthing.

The whole piece had a gothic feel, it was dark but not heavy. The writing was a joy, pulling you in while keeping you on your toes. This story finishes with a ‘and then….’ feeling and we have a title for a new book. There’s plenty of wrapping up of plot however, so readers will feel okay with where this ends.

Thank you to Hodder Books for the early review copies.

THE DO-OVER by TL Swan

I’m wealthy, powerful, and able to get any woman I want.

So why do I feel so empty inside?

In search of a deeper me, I take a sabbatical from my privileged life. One year of backpacking around Europe: a new identity, no contacts, and no money. Not a bad plan, I think.

Until I get there.

A crowded hostel room, body odor, and beer bongs—there are no words for the fresh hell I’ve landed in.

But amid the chaos, I meet my new roommate, Hayden Whitmore. She sleeps in the bed opposite me, and I openly admit to staring at her more than I sleep. Beautiful, innocent, and smart. Not my usual type but perhaps the perfect woman.

There’s just one small problem with the divine Miss Hayden. She’s totally unaffected by my charm. Nothing is working, and now, I’ve been friend zoned.

What?

But the good thing about me is that I’m an incredible problem solver, and I’ve come up with a diabolical plan. I’m going to slide right in under her friend zone. Be the best damn friend she ever had, hold her hand, make her laugh, and spoon with her in bed.

But now there’s another problem.

Hayden is the one who is sliding under my skin, and maybe friendship isn’t enough. 


Title : The Do-Over
Author : TL Swan
Series : The Miles High Club #4
Format : eARC
Page Count : 553
Genre : Contemporary Romance
Publisher : Self Published
Release Date : August 30, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Headlines:
Opposites, lies and backpacking
An office meets cows
Working on yourself

Chris, the male protagonist in this story was something of a tool but he knew it and set off on a year away from money and safety to try and change himself. Kudos to that but Chris wasn’t always easy to like and that element wasn’t resolved early on. I stuck with him and it was worth it.

Hayden was a country bumpkin, so the opposite to Chris in every way. What started as friendship, didn’t stay that way. As is often the case with Swan’s books, there was a special character that stole the show when he was on page…Eddie. Eddie had my eyes brimming and that last quarter of the book nearly wrecked me.

This book felt like the funniest of Swan’s installments of these brothers and the laugh out loud-ness was real. So many monents, banter and ridiculous situations ruled the pages and I loved that. The chemistry was good and the connection felt real; time was taken and nothing was rushed.

I’m sad there were only four brothers, they’ve been a blast to read about but we have some epilogues coming in a book later down the line. Thank you to netgalley for the review copy.


KINGSCASTLE by Sophia Holloway

It is a truth universally acknowledged that love is never smooth sailing.

Captain William Hawksmoor of the Royal Navy never expected to inherit Kingscastle, his family’s estate, and finds himself all at sea when he does so. Especially when he learns that he must marry within a year or be forever dealing with trustees.

As the new Marquis of Athelney, the captain takes command of Kingscastle and discovers much to be done to set it in order. He must also contend with his aunt, Lady Willoughby Hawksmoor, who is determined that her daughter will be his wife. When she discovers he is far more interested in Eleanor Burgess, her underpaid and much put-upon companion, Lady Willoughby shows she will stop at nothing to keep them apart.


Title : Kingscastle
Author : Sophia Holloway
Format : Physical
Page Count : 320
Genre : Historical Romance
Publisher : Allison and Busby Books
Release Date : November 18, 2021

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★.5


Micky’s 3.5 star review

I would call this a bit of a slow but building historical romance (clean). I adore the ‘striding’ cover and would have appreciated more of a stride in the pacing. However, this book had some good characters and a cross-class romance.

Captain William turned Marquis gave me a bit of a Persuasion feel with his naval roots and plan to settle in his new title and land. He was totally fair-handed, lacked any kind of snobbery and loved how he treated the servants and locals alike, that is, like equals. The heroine came in the form of a paid companion who was treated terribly by her mistress.

The connection between William and Eleanor felt a bit stop-start but it was worth hanging in for their hesitations, self-esteem issues and eventual team work.

Overall, this was pacey but worth pursuing.

THE UNDERTAKING OF HART AND MERCY by Megan Bannen

Hart is a marshal, tasked with patrolling the magical wilds of Tanria. It’s an unforgiving job, and he’s got nothing but time to ponder his loneliness.

Mercy never has a moment to herself. She’s been single-handedly keeping Birdsall & Son Undertakers afloat in defiance of sullen jerks like Hart-ache Hart, the man with a knack for showing up right when her patience is thinnest.

After yet another run-in with Merciless Mercy, Hart finds himself penning a letter addressed simply to “A Friend”. Much to his surprise, he received an anonymous reply, and a tentative friendship is born. Little does Hart know he’s baring his soul to the person who infuriates him most. . .

Set in a world equally full of magic and demigods as it is donuts and small-town drama, this utterly unique fantasy is sure to sweep you off your feet.


Title : The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy
Author : Megan Bannen
Format : Physical
Page Count : 448
Genre : Fantasy Romance
Publisher : Orbit Books
Release Date : August 25, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 5 star review

Headlines:
Grumpy-grumpy-together we make sunshine
Brilliant fantasy world with easy world-building
Who said the appendix was a moot organ?

I completely vibed with this book from the first few pages, I knew I was going to love it from the moment I first set eyes on the main characters. Mercy and Hart were completely memorable, completely unique and incredibly loveable, flaws and all.

This world was pretty quirky, zombie-laden, a world of water and land but everything about how the world was written was brilliant. There was no world-building as such, the author just slowly sowed seeds of how things were, worked and operated in a way that you naturally put the pieces together.

Hart and Mercy took centre-stage and kept your focus for every moment. The barbs these two threw at one another were like acid burns but how they came to be friends through letters was everything. The chemistry was onnnnnn (fans face) but the connection was so damn deep.

The humps in this story’s road were painful and I cried hart-broken. I just felt so much as I rolled with the lives of these two, I felt their frustrations, their amusement, their affection, love and deep sadness.

This book swept me off my feet and I hope Megan Bannen has something of a similar ilk in store for us in the future. She wrote the socks off this book!

Thank you Orbit Books for the early review copy.

BABEL, OR THE NECESSITY OF VIOLENCE : AN ARCANE HISTORY OF THE OXFORD TRANSLATORS’ REVOLUTION by R.F. Kuang

Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal. 

1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation — also known as Babel. 

Babel is the world’s center of translation and, more importantly, of silver-working: the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation through enchanted silver bars, to magical effect. Silver-working has made the British Empire unparalleled in power, and Babel’s research in foreign languages serves the Empire’s quest to colonize everything it encounters.

Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, is a fairytale for Robin; a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge serves power, and for Robin, a Chinese boy raised in Britain, serving Babel inevitably means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to sabotaging the silver-working that supports imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide: Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence? What is he willing to sacrifice to bring Babel down? 

Babel — a thematic response to The Secret History and a tonal response to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell — grapples with student revolutions, colonial resistance, and the use of translation as a tool of empire.


Title : Babel, or The Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution
Author : R.F. Kuang
Format : eARC
Page Count : 560
Genre : historical fiction / fantasy
Publisher : HarperVoyager
Release Date : August 23, 2022

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : unrated


Hollis’ unrated review

You know, more and more it’s books like this that make me dislike the rating system more than I already did. It’s all relative anyway, right?

Let me start off with the easiest thing I want to say about this book. The thing that’s been at pretty much the forefront of my mind the entire time I read it : I respect the hell out of this book. Yes, it’s clearly a chonky guy, so you can make the leap that this was a lot of work; not just for research and plotting but because of the academic setting and focus, too. Add to it the intense study of colonialism, racism, and the overbearing feeling that resistance to the system is futile? This book is doing a lot.

It’s also uncomfortable. And I think it’s supposed to be? The main characters we follow are each coming to Oxford, to Babel, with the desire for belonging, for refuge, to become more (better) than those around them believe them capable of. As a group, this random selection of four, who become necessary to each other not just to the survival of their early days in this new place, but become necessary for each others’ happiness, their successes, their joy.. they rub each other raw, fight, hurt each other, and it’s what makes the whole of their dynamic so real. Because even though they face adversity on all sides — for their race, their gender — they are still human and imperfect and their various marginalizations don’t always mean they easily understand one another.

And one of those characters, I think, is meant to be a reflection for readers — that even someone with their own battles, their own hardships, can never understand what it’s like to be other in white society. That even with her best intentions, unthinkingly, she does harm. She’s a reflection of our own blind spots, the times we are complicit, and ignorant — or at least she was for me. And yeah, that’s uncomfortable as hell to read. But I appreciated it.

Incase you can’t tell, there’s a lot of pain in this story. Beyond the dynamics, as mentioned, the topic of colonialism is vivid and stark. The casual cruelties, made to be factual by those who believe themselves the betters of others, the violence enacted on non-white bodies both physically and emotionally, it’s all just a lot. Much like the catalyst that sends these characters towards the bitter end, there is a slowbuild of hurts that shifts into rage. Because there’s only so much that a person, a people, can take.

Having said all that, if you expect this to be a fast-moving action fantasy, you will quickly be disappointed. I’ve only liked one of the two prior dark academia’s I’ve read but in some ways I would argue that those plots move a little differently than this one. Even at the end, during what I guess you would call the climax, it’s slow. But it’s fitting. These are scholars and much like the rest of the book things move at a certain pace. As for the magic, it’s almost not like magic at all. It’s a tool, a resource; and as a result the silver feels like something real. Something to hoard, to master, to go to war over. Interchangeable with almost anything, really.

So, beyond my respect, beyond my discomfort, what else is left and where does that leave us? I will say that I was fascinated by some of the spiralling language discussions, the etymology, the shifting and morphing of language. The whole discussion about translation, really, was just spectacular; and also a little heartbreaking. And how that tied into the end.. well. Shockingly I didn’t cry while reading this, though one or two moments did make it a little hard to swallow, and I’m as baffled as you as to why this didn’t rip me to shreds. But maybe it’s also why I can’t come to grips with a rating?

Overall, while I don’t know if this is going to be a story anyone likes, I do think it’ll be one people revere. And maybe that’s where I’ve ended up. Time will tell if I’m right or wrong but, either way, I would definitely recommend this, if you’re interested, but you can’t say you weren’t warned about what to expect.

And in the meantime, I might try and read (finally) the author’s other series, which I have put off for far too long. Similarly, I’ve heard enough to know what to expect about that. I should be prepared. I hope.

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started