It’s rare to find a book aimed at children, with a distinct voice to the narrator, that is also enjoyable as an adult. SORCERY FOR BEGINNERS is a surprisingly mature story that deals with bullying, social injustice, betrayal and yes, sorcery.
Genre: Young Adult
I was drawn to DEVILS & THIEVES by the unique mashup of motorcycle clubs and magic, and while I had a few issues with the book, the motorcycle and magic combo did not disappoint.
THE HOLLOW GIRL was written by a Romani to honor her grandmother and their shared Romani heritage. I was drawn in by that fact, excited to learn more about the Romani culture from the point-of-view of a young woman learning magic from her grandmother. However, I feel I must start this review by acknowledging that THE HOLLOW GIRL deals with a trigger warning for sexual harassment, abuse, and rape.
SPARKED starts with a smolder rather than a true burn, carefully introducing the characters and their home life. Despite the sluggish start, I was thoroughly hooked once more details of Ivy’s disappearance were revealed, along with the mysterious love interest.
THE FIRE QUEEN takes the battle royal concept to a fictional and fantastical desert empire whose people worship gods based on Sumerian deities. This time, the teenagers involved are all women and capable of great feats of both magic and strength, which is what drew me to the book initially. The second in The Hundredth Queen series, it does not stray far from the original conceit, as Kalinda is again thrust into a tournament that puts her life and her people at risk. The stakes are raised with the introduction of a love triangle and with multiple people vying for control of the empire.
Being very familiar with (and loving) fantasy books set in England’s Regency period, I absolutely had to read MURDER, MAGIC, AND WHAT WE WORE. And luckily, I was not disappointed! This book is a fun example of this genre, and was a cute, quick read.
BLACK BIRD OF THE GALLOWS fits in a lot of YA paranormal romance cliches while somehow also managing to be very unique and totally creepy. The creative mythology really gives a lot of oomph to what could be a very flat and boring YA paranormal romance.
The only word I can think of to describe THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE is that it is a romp. A delightful, amusing romp through Europe, with bits of fantasy here and there. Definitely don’t go into this one looking for a fantasy story, instead, suspend your disbelief for the alchemy tidbits and enjoy the ride.
WICKED LIKE A WILDFIRE is a story about the complexity of relationships, the economy of love and hurt that exists within families. It spins a fairytale without readers realizing, we stare at the magician’s right hand while the left builds whole new worlds around us.
Everything from the description to the cover of THE ELDRITCH HEART grabbed me immediately. I knew I had to read it. The cover, with its eerie, green heart called to me, as did the back matter that hinted at dangerous politics and a forbidden love between a princess and her handmaiden.