Throwback Thursday: Serpentine by Cindy Pon

Serpentine by Cindy Pon. ★★★ I was not a fan of Cindy Pon’s debut book, Silver Phoenix, but I also figured, “It’s a debut book, and her writing will probably improve over time.” With that in mind, I finally checked out Serpentine from the library. And guess what? I liked it better than Silver Phoenix! Skybright is sixteen-years-old and handmaiden…

Review of Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. ★★★1/2 The night of the Raid, magic disappeared and the king took the chance to kill all mages, including Zélie Adebola’s mother. Zélie and other diviners (mage-born children who’s magic has not woken) were left orphaned and brutally oppressed. Any diviner who cannot pay the ever increasing diviner specific taxes…

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…

Review of Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee

Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee. ★★★1/2 When Zeroboxer first came out, I passed on it because while it was a sci-fi book, it was also a sports story. And I’m really not into sports. Then, I read Fonda Lee’s Jade City and developed a burning need to read everything she’s ever written. Turns out, while I may not be into sports stories,…

Review of Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman. ★★★★ TW: sexual assault (not shown), infant death, suicidal thoughts, slut shaming While Tess of the Road is set in the same world as Seraphina, it is an independent story that stands by itself. Actually, you might enjoy it more if you don’t go in expecting it to be like Seraphina; for Tess of the…

Review of The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton. ★★1/2 TW: attempted sexual assault Sometimes when I venture in YA fantasy, I find an amazing story. More likely, I end up being disappointed. Such as it was with The Belles. In the kingdom of Orléans, nothing is more important than beauty. But beauty isn’t something you’re born with — unless you’re a Belle….

Review of Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra

Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra. ★★★ Markswoman is a debut fantasy novel with a bit of a science fiction twist to the world building. I was drawn to the premise involving an order of all female assassins. However, while it was an all right read, it ultimately didn’t live up to my hopes. Markswoman opens with Kyra being sent on…

Review of Odd & True by Cat Winters

Odd & True by Cat Winters. ★★★1/2 I came into Odd & True expecting a fantasy story, but what I got was mostly historical fiction instead. Don’t get me wrong — I think it’s a fairly good book, but I probably wasn’t the right reader for it. When Trudchen was little, her older sister Odette told her stories about…

Review of The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline. ★★★1/2 This YA dystopia is pretty different from the rest of its subgenre, in a good way. Frenchie is on the run. His parents and brother have already been taken, grabbed by government agents, shoved in a white van, and driven off to the schools. After years of ecological devastation, a…

Throwback Thursday: The Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. ★★★1/2 When I was growing up, everyone told me that I had to read Harry Potter. Being a stubborn child, I naturally resisted, until my sister’s copy was the only thing left to read on a family vacation. Turns out there was a reason everyone was telling me to read…

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…

Throwback Thursday: The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. ★★★ Before anything else, I’ve got to talk about the context in which I read The Golden Compass. I’m course tutoring a first year seminar on gender and leadership in YA fantasy, and I completed all the assigned readings so I’d best be able to help the students with their papers….