A School for Brides by Patrice Kindl

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A School for Brides by Patrice Kindl
Genre: Historical Fiction
4 stars

If there was a book written with my exact brand of whimsy in mind, it was A School for Brides by Patrice Kindl. Regency era women looking for husbands in a location with no men? Heavy handed allusions to Jane Austen? Convenient plot devices to throw men into the girls’s paths? Sign me up! Continue reading “A School for Brides by Patrice Kindl”

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

200px-dsb_final_6_1Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Genre: Fantasy, YA
3.5 stars

I don’t like books about angels and demons.

But I liked this one. And I’m kind of mad about it.

Laini Taylor has taken a genre full of annoying tropes and turned it on its head. The book opens with Karou at art school in the gritty streets of Prague, and slowly, deceptively, transforms into a lyrical fairy tale. Continue reading “Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor”

3 Books I’m Reading

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I’m a picky reader. If a book doesn’t hold my attention, I put it to the side and start something else. Then I end up in a situation where my Goodreads tells the world I am reading eight books at once. After a few months, I clean it out before it starts building up again. Today, I am only at three books, which isn’t too bad. But here they are and here are my first impressions. Continue reading “3 Books I’m Reading”

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

41w2vcvbgrl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
Genre: Fantasy
3 stars

I really, really wanted to like this book. I really did. At the same time, I don’t want to downplay the importance of Okorafor’s work. The need for non-Eurocentric fantasy, and especially African based fantasy, in today’s publishing world cannot be overstated. Okorafor’s world, her folklore, had so much potential, but I found that potential was waylaid by overused fantasy tropes, awkward pacing, and a rushed ending. Continue reading “Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor”

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl’s Moving Castle
4.5 stars
Genre: Fantasy/YA

“In the land of Ingary where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of the three. Everyone knows you are the one who will fail first, and worst, if the three of you set out to seek your fortunes.” 

Diana Wynne Jones is a legend in the fantasy genre. But, like many younger readers, Miyazaki’s animated version of Howl’s Moving Castle was my first glimpse into Jones’s work over ten years ago. I was enchanted by Miyazaki’s interpretation of Howl, Sophie, and the strangeness of their world. Continue reading “Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones”

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

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Memoirs of a Geisha
By Arthur Golden
3.5 stars.

Memoirs of a Geisha is a beautifully written book, with intricate detail that shows that Arthur Golden has done his research. However, the story is shadowed with sexism and ultimately becomes a “fairy-tale” written by a man. Continue reading “Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden”

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Recommendations for History and Fantasy Lovers

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If you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time, you will know that fantasy and historical fiction are my two favorite genres. Books that combine both elements, however, make me absolutely giddy. Well done historical fantasy, as I’ve dubbed this genre, is much more difficult to find than you might expect (with the industry riddled with time-traveling romances like Outlander), so today I’ve drawn up a list of my top ten books for lovers of well done historical fantasy. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Book Recommendations for History and Fantasy Lovers”

Top 5 Wednesday: Non-Western Inspired Fantasy Books

top five wednesday

This week’s topic is books that were inspired by non-western locations, or else set in a non-western location. I decided to narrow it down to Fantasy books inspired by non-western settings as those are pretty few and far between (in English at least). But first, I have a number of thoughts on this topic.

Have you ever wondered why English literature is dominated by western thought? The answer is simple. Because English is a language of the west. So it really isn’t surprising, nor, I think, necessarily a negative thing. However, because the US is a melting pot of cultures and with how our world has expanded into a global community rather than just a national one, it is important to learn about cultures beyond what we know in the west. So, I am happy that authors of non-Western background have been gaining recognition in recent years. Continue reading “Top 5 Wednesday: Non-Western Inspired Fantasy Books”

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

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Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy, fairy tale retelling
3.5 stars.

I’ve been on a bit of a Neil Gaiman streak since reading Neverwhere, and I’m still bummed at myself for never reading him before. But I guess that gives me time to thoroughly enjoy his books now.

Tristran Thorn has never felt like he belongs in the village of Wall. When Victoria, the girl he loves, says she will give him whatever he desires if he fetches her the falling star they saw drop to the other side of the stone wall that separates their world from the strange and magical land of Stormhold, Tristran doesn’t hesitate to agree. In order to prove his love, Tristran sets out on the journey of a lifetime, encountering hungry witches, bloodthirsty princes, and air pirates along the way, only to discover that his heritage is not as he thought it was and that maybe Victoria is not who he truly desires at all. Continue reading “Stardust by Neil Gaiman”

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

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Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy
4.5 stars.

“Richard was sitting in the dark, on a ledge, on the side of a storm drain, wondering what to do, wondering how much further out of his depth he could possibly get. His life so far, he decided, had prepared him perfectly for a job in securities, for shopping at the supermarket, for watching football on the telly on the weekends, for turning on a heater if he got cold. It had magnificently failed to prepare him for a life as an un-person on the roofs and in the sewers of London, for a life in the cold and the wet and the dark.”

This is my first time reading a Neil Gaiman book and all I can say is . . . WHAT IS MY PROBLEM? WHY HAVE I WAITED SO LONG? Continue reading “Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman”