Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.
This review is of an ARC copy.
This is one I was more interested in for author than content. Fairy tales just aren't my thing, either modern retellings or fantasy settings. But I enjoyed the first few Temeraire books to want to see what Novik would do with a new setting.
I am surprised by how much of this I liked. Our narrator is a stubborn girl who insists on doing everything her own way, and that goes better than it should. Her best friend is stubborn in a whole different direction, and best of luck to the powerful wizard in their land in dealing with either of them.
Also, consent is a thing with a defined state and women are permitted to desire sex. None of this no, no, I meant to say yes shit. Sex positive coming of age fantasy!
Well, aside from the attempted rape early on. I think I would have had a much easier time getting into this if the narrator hadn't spent pages and pages assuring me she didn't need to fear being raped by this man only to have the next man she meets immediately try to rape her. At least that's treated as a bad thing by the book. Not a misunderstanding or, shudder, seduction. That scene aside, this is a solid book.
There are a lot of lovely reviews of this book out already. Check it out. It is an excellent balance of familiar and new with a well written heroine. Really a fun read.