Blog Tour: These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy

Release date: 20th April 2021

Genre: YA Fantasy

Read: 17th April 2021

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rep: sapphic main character, sapphic love interest, f/f relationship, deaf side character

CW: death of a parent, fantasy violence, kidnapping, attempted murder, on page death, major character injury, on page emotional abuse, references to physical abuse, self harm for magical purposes

Synopsis:

A queer retelling of “The Firebird,” a Russian folktale

When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm.

But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned.

As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.

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Reading Wrap Up: March 2021

As far as actual published works are concerned, I didn’t have as good of a reading month in March quality-wise as I did in February. Nothing that I read was such that I disliked it, but there were a couple of pretty meh books in there. There were however also a couple of books that I really enjoyed! I wouldn’t go quite so far as to say that I discovered any new favourites this past month, but my criteria for what makes something a favourite is kinda undefinable even to myself.

So, in the order that I read them, here are the books I read during March!

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Review of Magic Mutant Nightmare Girl by Erin Grammar

Release Date: March 10th 2021

Read: March 16th 2021 – March 17th 2021

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Rep: bi main character, non-binary/demigirl side character, chinese-american side character, mexican-american side character, implied aroace side character, implied bi side character, implied aspec side character

CW: grief, depression, parental death (off-page, in backstory), anxiety (especially thought spirals and overthinking), bullying/harassment, mild gore and medical body horror, violence, mention of violence-related PTSD, brief underage drinking, mention of drug use, mention of organised crime, 18 year old protagonist develops a crush on someone in their early 20s though this is not acted upon

Goodreads description:

Fight like a magical girl in this paperback original contemporary fantasy in which a Harajuku fashionista battles mutants—and social anxiety—by teaming up with an elite group of outcasts. Perfect for those obsessed with the technicolor worlds of Sailor MoonThe Umbrella Academy, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Book One of the Magic Mutants Trilogy.

Holly Roads uses Harajuku fashion to distract herself from tragedy. Her magical girl aesthetic makes her feel beautiful—and it keeps the world at arm’s length. She’s an island of one, until advice from an amateur psychic expands her universe. A midnight detour ends with her vs. exploding mutants in the heart of San Francisco.

Brush with destiny? Check. Waking up with blue blood, emotions gone haywire, and terrifying strength that starts ripping her wardrobe to shreds? Totally not cute. Hunting monsters with a hot new partner and his unlikely family of mad scientists?

Way more than she bargained for.

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Review of A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth

Release Date: February 23rd 2021

Read: March 10th 2021 – March 14th 2021

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Rep: gay main character, bi main character, lesbian main character, questioning (later to be revealed as pansexual) main character, achillean relationship, sapphic relationship, genderfluid side character, minor character who uses neopronouns

CW: arson, blood/gore, body horror, death of a child, depression, disownment, divorce, drug use/addiction, grief, human trafficking, poverty, psychopathy, stalking, suicide (past, off-page), suicide ideation, toxic relationship/manipulation, trauma/PTSD, violence, gun violence, fantasy bigotry/othering, harry potter references

Goodreads description:

The “ironborn” half-fae outcast of her royal fae family.
A tempestuous Fury, exiled to earth from the Immortal Realm and hellbent on revenge.
A dutiful fae prince, determined to earn his place on the throne.
The prince’s brooding guardian, burdened with a terrible secret.

For centuries, the Eight Courts of Folk have lived among us, concealed by magic and bound by law to do no harm to humans. This arrangement has long kept peace in the Courts—until a series of gruesome and ritualistic murders rocks the city of Toronto and threatens to expose faeries to the human world.

Four queer teens, each who hold a key piece of the truth behind these murders, must form a tenuous alliance in their effort to track down the mysterious killer behind these crimes. If they fail, they risk the destruction of the faerie and human worlds alike. If that’s not bad enough, there’s a war brewing between the Mortal and Immortal Realms, and one of these teens is destined to tip the scales. The only question is: which way?

Wish them luck. They’re going to need it.

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Women’s History Book Tag

It’s Women’s History Month, which means it’s the perfect time to do the Women’s History Book Tag! This tag was originally created by Margaret @ Weird Zeal last year, with the aim to celebrate women through history who’ve had huge impacts on the world and to celebrate authors who are women. I was tagged by Mayurakshi @ Bookshelf Life, thank you so much for tagging me!!

Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post.
  • Link to the creator’s blog in your post
  • Answer the questions below using only books written by women
  • Feel free to use the same graphics
  • Tag 8 others to take part in the tag
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Blog Tour: Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson

Release Date: March 9th 2021

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Genre: YA fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Retellings

Read: March 3rd 2021 – March 4th 2021

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

CW: fantasy bigotry/othering, self harm (for magical purposes), violence, murder, kidnapping, child abuse, memory manipulation, infantcide, referenced poverty & homelessness

Synopsis:

Isda does not exist. At least not beyond the opulent walls of the opera house.

Cast into a well at birth for being one of the magical few who can manipulate memories when people sing, she was saved by Cyril, the opera house’s owner. Since that day, he has given her sanctuary from the murderous world outside. All he asks in return is that she use her power to keep ticket sales high—and that she stay out of sight. For if anyone discovers she survived, Isda and Cyril would pay with their lives.

But Isda breaks Cyril’s cardinal rule when she meets Emeric Rodin, a charming boy who throws her quiet, solitary life out of balance. His voice is unlike any she’s ever heard, but the real shock comes when she finds in his memories hints of a way to finally break free of her gilded prison.

Haunted by this possibility, Isda spends more and more time with Emeric, searching for answers in his music and his past. But the price of freedom is steeper than Isda could ever know. For even as she struggles with her growing feelings for Emeric, she learns that in order to take charge of her own destiny, she must become the monster the world tried to drown in the first place.

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Reading Wrap Up: February 2021

My streak of reading loads and loads, but not very much of it being published works, continued in February. AO3 still has a tight grip on me and it doesn’t look like I’m going to be released any time soon. I don’t mind this so much, I’m having a lot of fun, but it does mean that I end up having less to talk about on here than I’d like.

That being said, even when not counting the fanfic, quality-wise I had a really great reading month! I enjoyed everything I read, and didn’t rate anything below 4 stars!

As usual, books are listed in the order that I read them, along with a few thoughts on each of them.

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Blog Tour: This Golden Flame by Emily Victoria

Published on: February 2nd 2021

Genre: YA Fantasy

Read: February 10th 2021 – February 12th 2021

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rep: aroace main character, non-binary side character, achillean side characters & relationship, visually impaired side character

CW: violence, death of a parent, homelessness, kidnapping, loss of bodily autonomy, very brief internalised aphobia

Synopsis:

Orphaned and forced to serve her country’s ruling group of scribes, Karis wants nothing more than to find her brother, long ago shipped away. But family bonds don’t matter to the Scriptorium, whose sole focus is unlocking the magic of an ancient automaton army.

In her search for her brother, Karis does the seemingly impossible—she awakens a hidden automaton. Intelligent, with a conscience of his own, Alix has no idea why he was made. Or why his father—their nation’s greatest traitor—once tried to destroy the automatons.

Suddenly, the Scriptorium isn’t just trying to control Karis; it’s hunting her. Together with Alix, Karis must find her brother…and the secret that’s held her country in its power for centuries.

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Review of The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

Read: 5th February – 8th February

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Spoilers in review: No

Rep: west african inspired setting and cast, sapphic side character

CW: graphic violence, murder, mutilation, torture, death of a family member, death of a family member due to illness, disownment, reference/discussion of rape, reference/discussion of child rape, fantasy bigotry/othering, racism, sexism

Goodreads description:

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

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Reading Wrap Up: January 2021

I read a lot during January! I’m reasonably certain that I read more in January than I’ve read in a single month for at least the past three years, and I really enjoyed almost everything I read!

Thing is, most of what I read was fanfic. I thought I’d been reading a lot of fanfic in December, but oh boy. I write down everything that I read that’s over 25k words long in my journal, and I ran out of space this past month and had to stick in an extra piece of paper so I could keep going. That hasn’t happened to me before.

I also discovered this month that some fanfics are on Goodreads. Which means that, for the small price of publicly declaring that I’ve read them, I can have them count towards my Goodreads reading goal. Which obviously I did, because I want to give myself as much credit as I can for the reading I’m doing, regardless of what it is that I’m reading.

For this wrap up I’m just going to stick to published works! I can’t really explain it, especially as I’m apparently okay with marking them as read on Goodreads, but I’d feel a bit weird posting about specific fanfics on my book blog lmao. Like I said last month, I’m happy to talk fic, so feel free to drop a comment or DM me if you want to chat!

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