Exquisite. That is the first word that comes to mind as I consider The Song of Achilles. Miller is a truly gifted author. The ways in which she was able to breathe new life and depth into characters who have been part of our collective consciousness for millennia is awe-inspiring. The story of Achilles and the Trojan War is one I have consumed in a plethora of formats and reiterations, but the way Miller tells the tale is without comparison.
I’d like to thank the publisher (Orbit/Redhook) for gifting me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. While I deeply appreciate the gift, the giving of it had no impact on the thoughts and opinions expressed below.
One witch you can laugh at. Three you can burn. But what do you do with a hundred?
The Ten Thousand Doors of January was my favorite book of 2019. I adored Harrow’s way with and respect for words and stories. The tale was such an ode to both that it made my heart feel as though it would burst. I kept having to pause periodically and close the book and my eyes so I could just soak in the exquisite prose. I wasn’t sure Harrow could ever again pen something quite that beautiful. But while I didn’t quite connect to her second novel as deeply as I did her first, I needn’t have worried. The Once and Future Witches is just as lovingly and impeccably crafted as Harrow’s incredible debut.…
‘Proper witching is just a conversation with that red heartbeat, which only ever takes three things: the will to listen to it, the words to speak with it, and the way to let it into the world. The will, the words, and the way.
… everything important comes in threes.’
‘Once upon a time there were three sisters…’ Three Eastwood sisters, to be precise. Agnes, Bella, and James Juniper. They live in a world where magic and power were female, once. Now it is all hushed words passed from mother to daughter, hidden workings and small tricks, all the better to stay beneath notice. For in this place, which is also our place, women are less than they were. They are made small by the power of men— and expected to stay that way.
The year is 1893 and in New Salem the suffragists are rallying for the vote. But the ballot box isn’t the only path to change and a little witchery might be what’s needed to counter the arrival of a new danger, one cloaked in shadows and sickness. Juniper certainly thinks so. But these are sisters are riven by their past, too uncertain with each other in the present. To have a future, they’ll need mend the hurts that broke them, find a way to bring back what was forgotten, and forge something new… something wild and witchy.
I was so disturbed by this book. My Dark Vanessa is incredibly thought-provoking and raises a ton of great questions. I’m glad that I read it. And I’ll never read it again.(Side note: Everything being explored in this review is pretty much referenced in the book’s synopsis, so I don’t think I’m spoiling anything. But if you want to go into this book truly blind, you might want to skip this review.)
“To be groomed is to be loved and handled like a precious, delicate thing.”
There was still something unfinished around her eyes; she wasn’t done yet. She was a story, not an epilogue.
This was my third time reading this, and I have loved it even more with each rereading. Seanan McGuire created something magical with this novella. I’m not one to judge a book by its cover, but that’s exactly what attracted me to this book in 2016. A random door in the middle of a forest is the stuff of daydreams, and I had to see if the story inside was as captivating as the cover. It was. Everyone who has every felt like they didn’t fit in should read this book. It’s a love letter to dreamers and outcasts, and a declaration that everyone should have the freedom to be exactly who they are, without worrying about the disapproval of others.…
Something I’ve noticed over the course of my recent reading life is that, if you’re in the mood for weird, you should definitely look into short story collections. Some of the strangest and most memorable fiction I’ve read in the past five years or so have been short stories. This is not a format I thought I enjoyed, as I prefer to dig more deeply into a story than twenty pages or so can accommodate.
Honestly, I probably never would have given short stories the chance they deserved if it weren’t for the fact that I started writing my own, and the fact that Neil Gaiman reads his own collections in their audio format. For those of you who aren’t aware, Gaiman has an incredibly smooth, sultry, expressive reading voice, very similar to Benedict Cumberbatch in my opinion. Listening to him read his own work is a fantastic auditory treat.
Because I’ve enjoyed Gaiman’s short stories so much, I decided it was time to try out some other authors known for their short stories. After doing some research, I decided on Kelly Link, as she’s a big name in both the short story form and the literary fantasy and horror genres. I’m so glad I did. While I didn’t love every story in this collection, there were quite I few that I really enjoyed. Below I’ve given each story its own tiny review. Overall, I think they came together to create a strong collected work. …
I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher. While I am thankful for the gift, the giving of it had no impact on this review. All views below are completely my own.
Holy Sister keeps you on the edge of your seat from the first page. It’s an incredibly smart conclusion to a standout, action-packed series, with heartbreak and triumph mingled on nearly every page. I can’t remember the last time I felt so satisfied upon finishing a book.
City of Miracles is a stunning accomplishment; it is a marvelous ending to what I now consider my favorite trilogy, and a fast-paced, addictive story in its own right.
“One should not seek ugliness in this world. There is no lack of it. You will find it soon enough, or it will find you.”
Sigrud je Harkvaldsson was one of my favorite side characters in both City of Stairs and City of Blades, and I was both incredibly excited and more than a little nervous to read his story. Sometimes when a side character becomes the focal point of the story, they seem to lose a bit of their appeal for some reason. That was definitely not the case here. Sigrud has a wealth of experiences under his belt, most of them not good ones. Those experiences have shaped him into the man he is today, for better or for worse. He feels that he really only excels at one thing: violence. Once again, he finds himself in a position calling for violent action, and he revels in it. Until he doesn’t. Sigrud grows so much throughout this book, and I loved seeing him learn from past mistakes and struggle with his past and who that past made him.…
It’s sad when a perfectly decent story leaves you disappointed, but that’s how I feel about this little novella. I absolutely loved Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones. They were both deep and meaningful and had important things to say about accepting yourself no matter how different you are and finding your place, whether it’s in this world or another. They spoke about how adults don’t see children as their equals, and undervalue their experiences and opinions and value just because of their age.
Because I was so moved and inspired by the first two books, I was expecting some of the same from this third installment. But that’s not what I got. …