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.
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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.
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.