Mini-Review Day!

 

 

 

 

Diana and the Island of No Return (Wonder Woman Adventures, #1)

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GoodReads:
Warrior. Princess.Hero.Diana’s destiny is to be the world’s greatest female super hero… if she can survive this action-packed adventure!

Young Princess Diana is fierce and whip-smart, and she loves her island home of Themyscira. Her deepest wish is to be able to train with the rest of the Amazons and protect her homeland–but she’s told it’s out of the question. This is the year Diana hopes to persuade her mother, Queen Hippolyta, to let her learn how to fight when the world’s most powerful women gather on Themyscira for a festival to celebrate their different cultures.

But at the start of the festivities, an unexpected and forbidden visitor–a boy!–brings news of an untold danger that threatens Themyscira and all of its sacred neighboring lands. It’s up to Diana and her best friend, Princess Sakina, to save them, even if it means tangling with a cunning demon who reveals that a terrifying force is out to capture Diana against her will.

In the first of three high-octane, breathtaking Wonder Woman Adventures, Diana finally gets the chance to prove her worth as a warrior and save not just her friends and family but their entire way of life. As long as she can make it out alive herself….

My Review

Such a delightful children’s [Middle Grade, on the earlier side of it] book! My daughter is so excited to start this together with me now that I’ve read through it so quickly.

Saeed gives us a young Diana who is learning about herself and is keen to become a warrior. The best part is that this is all part of the Wonder Woman we know and love and Saeed keeps true to her and introduces her to a younger generation in novel form.

Well-paced, fun and lighthearted enough, but still with this stronger message of being Diana being a person of justice and wanting to help others.

Again, this is a pretty light and fast-paced read for older children/middle-grade readers.

Thanks to Random House for an eARC of this in exchange for my honest opinion. 

 

 

 

The Story of Silence

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GoodReads:
A knightly fairy tale of royalty and dragons, of midwives with secrets and dashing strangers in dark inns. Taking the original French legend as his starting point, The Story of Silence is a rich, multilayered new story for today’s world – sure to delight fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale.

There was once, long ago, a foolish king who decreed that women should not, and would not, inherit. Thus when a girl-child was born to Lord Cador – Merlin-enchanted fighter of dragons and Earl of Cornwall – he secreted her away: to be raised a boy so that the family land and honour would remain intact.

That child’s name was Silence.

Silence must find their own place in a medieval world that is determined to place the many restrictions of gender and class upon them. With dreams of knighthood and a lonely heart to answer, Silence sets out to define themselves.

Soon their silence will be ended.

What follows is a tale of knights and dragons, of bards, legends and dashing strangers with hidden secrets. Taking the original French legend as his starting point, The Story of Silence is a rich, multilayered new story for today’s world-

My Review

This is such a good book, the story of a Nonbinary knight discovering their way in the world, and discovering who they really are. As much as I enjoyed it, I gave it like a 3.75/3.5 and rounded up to 4, the pacing in the middle dragged to the point where it took me much longer to finish this than anticipated. I couldn’t get over how the story just took so long to conjure up, but, the last five chapters were AMAZING.

This wonderfully original and old school story of Knights with the added fantastic element of Silence fitting perfectly in their role as a knight but neither as a man or woman. I think it’s important to remember that nonbinary people are not ‘new’ as some seem to believe, but that their stories have long been covered up and though this is a small twist on a legend, it’s a step in the right direction in remembering to include them and others in historical fiction that are often forgotten.

Aside from the huge slump in pacing, I felt it was such a beautiful tale and I’ve bought myself a hard copy. Thanks so much to HarperVoyager UK and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion

 

 

The Sin Eater

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GoodReads:
Can you uncover the truth when you’re forbidden from speaking it?
A Sin Eater’s duty is a necessary evil: she hears the final private confessions of the dying, eats their sins as a funeral rite, and so guarantees their souls access to heaven. It is always women who eat sins – since it was Eve who first ate the Forbidden Fruit – and every town has at least one, not that they are publicly acknowledged. Stained by the sins they are obliged to consume, the Sin Eater is shunned and silenced, doomed to live in exile at the edge of town.
Recently orphaned May Owens is just fourteen, and has never considered what it might be like to be so ostracized; she’s more concerned with where her next meal is coming from. When she’s arrested for stealing a loaf of bread, however, and subsequently sentenced to become a Sin Eater, finding food is suddenly the last of her worries.
It’s a devastating sentence, but May’s new invisibility opens new doors. And when first one then two of the Queen’s courtiers suddenly grow ill, May hears their deathbed confessions – and begins to investigate a terrible rumour that is only whispered of amid palace corridors.
Set in a thinly disguised sixteenth-century England, The Sin Eater by Megan Campisi is a wonderfully imaginative and gripping story of treason and treachery; of secrets and silence; of women, of power – and, ultimately, of the strange freedom that comes from being an outcast with no hope of redemption for, as May learns, being a nobody sometimes counts for everything . . .

My Review

I requested this book thinking, ‘hmm, sounds interesting’ but I did not expect it to be, quite frankly, amazing.

This is a sort of dark whimsical feel that I love, I can see why it was compared with Alice in Wonderland but it is this parallel of Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Mary and Christianity. There’s supposed witchcraft, there’s faith, and there’s the Sin Eater.

The job of the sin eater is to take on the sins physically through food and in the eyes of the Maker so that those dying and dead can return to the Maker’s side while the sin eater, always a she, is at the right hand of Eve. Sometimes though if the sin eater does all that is asked of her, she’s able to rise up to the Maker as well. But, when the newest sin eater is left without her mentor and forced to unravel a mystery at the heart of the Queen’s reign, being a sin eater is far more dangerous than it has ever been.

I loved our sin eater, she’s young, determined and so vulnerable and human. I loved watching her struggle and continuously try to overcome everything put against her.

The story gives a long hard look at a job that is necessary and goes unspoken of, like so many jobs today, and the story of women and those on the outskirts of society.

I adored Campisi’s writing style and her story is one that I would love to get lost in several more times, the sin eater was a superb read for me.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. 5/5 cups of coffee from me!

 

 

The Seven Endless Forests

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GoodReads:
A bold and blood-hungry retelling of the King Arthur legend from the critically acclaimed author of The Boneless Mercies.

On the heels of a devastating plague, Torvi’s sister Morgunn is stolen from the family farm by Uther, a flame-loving wolf-priest who leads a pack of ragged, starving girls.

Torvi leaves the only home she’s ever known and joins a shaven-headed druid and a band of roaming Elsh artists known as the Butcher Bards. They set out on a quest to rescue Torvi’s sister, and find a mythical sword. On their travels, Torvi and her companions will face wild, dangerous magic that leads to love, joy, tragedy, and death…

Torvi set out to rescue a sister, but she may find it’s merely the first step toward a life that is grander and more glorious than anything she could have imagined.

My Review

This had a classic whimsical feel to it, staying true to the heart of King Arthur’s tale in that sense, and with a lovely world presented to us by Tucholke.

There was a major issue though.

Pacing.

I found myself absolutely dragging my heels at the thought of the plot barely moving in the pages I read. Admittedly it picks up, but for me that didn’t happen until 70% in and it felt like a ‘too little too late’ situation at that point.

If it weren’t for the enjoyable writing style, I was probably going to DNF, but I really wanted to know more of the Arthurian twist, and to see if Torvi could save her sister.

I would recommend this to fans of King Arthur and those who enjoy retellings as long as they don’t mind the slow pacing.

The last 30% is the reasoning in this getting three stars, it saved the novel for me in a lot of ways.

3/5 cups of coffee from me, thank you so much to NetGalley and the Publisher for an eARC to read in exchange for my honest review.

 

 

A Cloud of Outrageous Blue

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GoodReads:
For fans of Fever 1793 comes the story of a young woman paving her own path and falling in love during the Great Plague of 1348, from the award-winning creator of What the Night Sings .

Edyth grew up in a quiet village with a loving family, before losing everything she holds dear in the blink of an eye. Suddenly sent to live in a priory and work with ancient texts, Edyth must come to terms with her new life and the gifts she discovers in herself. But outside the priory, something much worse is coming. With the reappearance of a boy from her past and the ominous Great Plague creeping closer and closer to the priory, it will be up to Edyth to rise above it all and save herself.

From the award-winning author-illustrator of What the Night Sings comes a new journey of self-discovery and love in the most uncertain times.

My Review

Gorgeous art, darkly and wonderfully written.

The author immediately connects you to the MC and plunges you into this gorgeous world. This story was so much darker and emotional than I first thought, I assumed it would be glossed over but it wasn’t and oh man, what a treat.

Despite the darker aspects of loss and grief, this was a tale that also gave a wonderful presentation of hope and faith.

Stamper truly goes above and beyond in this novel and I fell in love from page one.

This was seriously a BEAUTIFUL read from the writing style to the story, to the MC, and of course the art. I don’t think I’ve read a book that’s made me quite so emotional before with the simplest of words and art.

Stamper didn’t need to use an overly elaborate plot, just the twists and turns of human nature and letting it naturally take its course. Us humans have a way complicating things all on our own naturally haha.

Loved this, and I will be looking into getting a final copy.

Look for it hitting shelves this month, August 25, 2020!

Thanks to Random House & NetGalley for an eARC of this in exchange for my honest opinion. 

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