Review of The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings by Angela Slatter

The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings by Angela Slatter. ★★★★ TW: sexual assault, parental abuse The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings is a remarkable short story collection with sharp prose, dark edges, and feminist themes. All that said, I, strangely enough, didn’t love it as much as Angela Slatter’s previous collection, Sourdough and Other Stories. It might be…

Review of No Man of Woman Born by Ana Mardoll

No Man of Woman Born by Ana Mardoll. ★★★ Like most short story collections, No Man of Woman Born is uneven. I really enjoyed a couple of stories and others were “eh.” No Man of Woman Born is a fantasy short story collection featuring trans and nonbinary protagonists. The majority of stories in the collection deal with gender-specific prophecies…

Review of Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao. ★★★1/2 Unfortunately, I just didn’t like this as much as the first book, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. What I really loved about Forest of a Thousand Lanterns was the anti-heroic female lead, Xifeng. I love me a good anti-heroine, and Xifeng more than scratched that itch. But Kingdom of the…

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. ★★★1/2 TW: forced marriage, threat of sexual violence, parental abuse I know everyone loves this novel, just like everyone loves Uprooted. Meanwhile, I had a very conflicted relationship with Uprooted. While I liked most things about it, I cannot emphasize enough how much I abhorred the borderline-abusive romance subplot. And when others told…

Review of In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard

In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard. ★★★★ I’ve been telling everyone I know about In the Vanishers’ Palace, a f/f retelling of “Beauty and the Beast”… with dragons! So get ready for a really excited review. Yên is a failed scholar in a harsh world. She and her mother are barely accepted in their village community for…

Review of The Ninety-Ninth Bride by Catherine Faris King

The Ninety-Ninth Bride by Catherine Faris King. ★★★★ Imagine a retelling of the frame story of One Thousand and One Nights, where Scheherazade tells stories each night to avoid death. I’ve seen retellings of this tale before, but Catherine Faris King may have written my favorite. The Ninety-Ninth Bride is a young adult fantasy novel that reads like a cross between The…

Review of I Met a Traveller in an Antique Land by Connie Willis

I Met a Traveller in an Antique Land by Connie Willis. ★★ I requested this novella on Netgalley because of how much I’d enjoyed some of Connie Willis’s other work, namely To Say Nothing of the Dog and The Doomsday Book. That turned out to be a mistake. Jim is in New York to talk to publishers about a…

Review of The Raven and the Reindeer by T. Kingfisher

The Raven and the Reindeer by T. Kingfisher. ★★★★ The Raven and the Reindeer is a retelling of Han Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen” that’s full of Ursula Vernon’s quintessential charm. T. Kingfisher is the name she uses for her adult work, but I think The Raven and the Reindeer could be an easy YA crossover. The arc of the…

Throwback Thursday: Sourdough and Other Stories by Angela Slatter

Sourdough and Other Stories by Angela Slatter. ★★★★1/2 When I read the brilliant novella Of Sorrow and Such, I vowed to read more by Angela Slatter. Well, I’ve fulfilled that vow, and Sourdough and Other Stories turned out to be even better than Of Sorrow and Such. This collection of interlocking short stories is a gorgeously crafted, feminist master piece that would…

Review of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao. ★★★★ TW: physical abuse In short, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is the origin story of the evil Queen from “Snow White,” set in an East Asian inspired fantasy world. So if a YA fantasy with a complex anti-heroine at it’s center sounds like you’re sort of thing, then you…