Review of Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri. ★★★1/2 TW: forced marriage, threat of sexual assault I have a complicated relationship with Empire of Sand. On one hand, it’s a very good book, maybe not quite on the level with N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, but it gives me similar vibes. On the other hand, Empire of Sand uses tropes that just…

King Arthur: Igraine’s Choice in Le Morte d’Arthur and Excalibur (1981)

This third essay in the King Arthur series is comparing the 1981 movie Excalibur with the Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, an extensive account of the King Arthur legend written in 1485. Weirdly enough, I liked Le Morte d’Arthur a lot better than Excalibur. Well, maybe that’s not weird if you’ve ever seen Excalibur. I could elaborate on…

Review of City of Broken Magic by Mirah Bolender

City of Broken Magic by Mirah Bolender. ★★★ This debut fantasy novel showed a lot of promise, but by the end, I was just skimming, trying to finish the book for a review. Laura is an apprentice Sweeper, a professional trained to deal with the magical infestations that threaten her world. Created as a weapon that then…

Review of Toxic by Lydia Kang

Toxic by Lydia Kang. ★★★ The ending of Toxic was more gripping than the beginning, but the story didn’t manage to really suck me in. Toxic is a YA science fiction novel following two teens aboard the dying biological space-habitat Cyclo. Hana was created in secret by her mother in violation of the community population laws and has never been…

Author Interview: Natasha Ngan on Girls of Paper and Fire

I devoured Girls of Paper and Fire, a stunning new young adult fantasy, in less than twenty-four hours. It’s an incredible novel, and I’m excited to bring Natasha Ngan herself here to talk about Girls of Paper and Fire, fighting the patriarchy, and girls falling in love with girls.

King Arthur: Questioning Authentic Love in Chrétien’s Perceval

Chrétien de Troyes was a Frenchman writing during the 1180’s or 1190’s. He wrote five courtly romances about King Arthur and his knights, the last of which, Perceval, he left unfinished. The movie we watched in comparison was Perceval (1978), a French film that managed to be some of the most painful two hours of my life. It…

Review of Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean. ★★★1/2 I have such mixed feelings about this book. I wasn’t a huge fan of the first 75%, which felt super full of tropes and not particularly original, but then the very end flipped the entire book on its head! Empress of All Seasons is centered around a competition, a familiar…

October 2018 Monthly Recap

October has seen me going from two reviews a week to the even more sporadic, “reviews whenever I have time to write them.” Senior year has been more intensive than any year yet, in a large part because I’m doing all the usual coursework but also frantically scrambling to get ready for graduation. Also, a…

Review of Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. ★★★★ TW: sexual assault, violence Young adult fantasy meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this explosive new novel. Not only that, but did I mention that it’s queer? Lei is a human girl, the lowest caste in a kingdom ruled by demons. Years ago, her mother was stolen by the royal guards,…

Guest Post: Holding onto Chains and Screaming by Kat Howard

Kat Howard is the author of phenomenal books such as Roses and Rot and An Unkindness of Magicians, but she has also written many wonderful short stories. Her new collection, A Cathedral of Myth and Bone (releases October 23rd, 2018 by Saga) gathers together sixteen of these stories. To celebrate the release, I have Kat Howard here, discussing the importance…