The Four Profound Weaves: A Birdverse Book by R.B. Lemberg

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Shielded (Shielded, #1) by KayLynn Flanders

The Surun’ do not speak of the master weaver, Benesret, who creates the cloth of bone for assassins in the Great Burri Desert. But Uiziya now seeks her aunt Benesret in order to learn the final weave, although the price for knowledge may be far too dear to pay.

Among the Khana, women travel in caravans to trade, while men remain in the inner quarter as scholars. A nameless man struggles to embody Khana masculinity, after many years of performing the life of a woman, trader, wife, and grandmother.

As the past catches up to the nameless man, he must choose between the life he dreamed of and Uiziya, and Uiziya must discover how to challenge a tyrant, and weave from deaths that matter.

Find out more on Amazon and Goodreads.

I received a copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have a lot of conflicted feelings about this book. It was rambling, but also profound, I suppose. It was a little contrived but spoke honestly and bravely about claiming one’s identity. It did not know if it was a poem or a book or a novella, but I didn’t mind that so much. It started out slow and dense but resolved itself beautifully.

The Four Profound Weaves is an LGBTQ+ fantasy set in a brutal world full of harsh societies and a hostile desert. The book follows two transgender characters, who, after looking back on a life of pain and longing, set out on a journey to find what they most desire. The novel is prose-heavy, but driven by some semblance of a plot. It is a story about transformation, hope, acceptance, and death. Its imagery is fantastical but its messaging is very real.

This book will resonate with those who are struggling to be themselves or find themselves in a society that does not accept them. Because of the importance of its themes and the beautiful journey it takes its readers on, I think it is worth reading even if you are not in love with the world or the writing. It is only around 200 pages, so for me, it was worth pushing through what I thought was overly lyrical writing to get to the heart of the story.

Thanks for reading my quick little review! Happy reading 🙂

Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer

Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer

 

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Modern witchcraft blends with ancient Celtic mythology in an epic clash of witches and gods, perfect for fans of V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy and A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES.

Seventeen-year-old Dayna Walsh is struggling to cope with her somatic OCD; the aftermath of being outed as bisexual in her conservative Irish town; and the return of her long-absent mother, who barely seems like a parent. But all that really matters to her is ascending and finally, finally becoming a full witch-plans that are complicated when another coven, rumored to have a sordid history with black magic, arrives in town with premonitions of death. Dayna immediately finds herself at odds with the bewitchingly frustrating Meiner King, the granddaughter of their coven leader.

And then a witch turns up murdered at a local sacred site, along with the blood symbol of the Butcher of Manchester-an infamous serial killer whose trail has long gone cold. The killer’s motives are enmeshed in a complex web of witches and gods, and Dayna and Meiner soon find themselves at the center of it all. If they don’t stop the Butcher, one of them will be next.

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I received a copy from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

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The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

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  • My rating: 3/5 stars
  • Published by Central Avenue Publishing
  • 289 Pages
  • Goodreads
  • Amazon

Most people have no idea goblins live in the woods around the small town of Bellwater, Washington. But some are about to find out. Skye, a young barista and artist, falls victim to a goblin curse in the forest one winter night, rendering her depressed and silenced, unable to speak of what happened. Her older sister, Livy, is at wit’s end trying to understand what’s wrong with her. Local mechanic Kit would know, but he doesn’t talk of such things: he’s the human liaison for the goblin tribe, a job he keeps secret and never wanted, thrust on him by an ancient family contract.Then Kit starts dating Livy, and Skye draws Kit’s cousin Grady into the spell through an enchanted kiss in the woods. Skye and Grady are doomed to become goblins and disappear from humankind forever, unless Livy, the only one untainted by enchantment, can unravel the spell by walking a dangerous magical path of her own.

I have always loved stories about the fae that dwell just beyond the human world–this can include goblins, elves, fairies, and countless other creatures. Some of my favorites in this genre include An Enchantment of Ravens and The Treachery of Beautiful Things. I thought I’d give this one try, and it was about what I expected. Nothing amazing, but entertaining nonetheless.

If you’re looking for a story with depth, originality, and elegance, then this is not the book for you. I gave it three stars because it is average: nothing more, nothing less. The characters, while bland, aren’t annoying. The book is short enough that even the slow parts weren’t too boring, and the action was just intense enough to keep me reading. It’s a short, simple read with basic prose and very little stylistic voice. I would say that it is targeted towards younger readers, but it is a bit mature in terms of sex–there is no explicit detail, however, I wouldn’t recommend it for a pre-YA audience.

Overall, the book was simple with just enough intrigue to make me want to read it. It’s not a great novel by any standards, but it’s something I would pick up for a short read on a rainy afternoon. It’s super cheesy, but that’s what makes books like these fun to read sometimes. (Key word: sometimes. Normally I wouldn’t tolerate a book like this but I haven’t read something so unambitious in a long while).

(P.S. Sorry for posting twice in one day! I wanted to get my review up on Netgalley ASAP. Disclaimer: I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Granted, it came out a year ago…but at the time I downloaded it, it was an ARC. lol it took me a while to get around to it)

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A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

  • My rating: 4.25/5 stars
  • Goodreads
  • Amazon $12.61 USD
  • Pages: hardcover, 452
  • Publisher: Razorbill
  • Release Date: August 30, 2016

I’m so conflicted right now…wow is all I can say. This book made me want to rip my hair out and scream and cry because Sabaa Tahir has no mercy.

Warning: this will have minor spoilers for An Ember in the Ashes. There will also be a spoiler section for this book because I can’t help but rant about it.

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