Bite-sized reviews: April Edition

What’s this again? Everyone’s least favorite style of post? A BITE-SIZED REVIEW ROUND-UP? That’s right, it’s finals for me and I am So Stressed because if I get One B I will die and lose my dreams of going to the University of Michigan for Grad School. So I read some books this week but I’m not going to talk about them at length! Let’s go!

Sofi and the Bone Song

Sofi
Sofi and the Bone Song by Adrienne Tooley
416 pages
publishes April 19th, 2022

In this gorgeous, queer standalone fantasy, a young musician sets out to expose her rival for illegal use of magic only to discover the deception goes deeper than she could have imagined–perfect for fans of An Enchantment of Ravens! 

Music runs in Sofi’s blood. 

Her father is a Musik, one of only five musicians in the country licensed to compose and perform original songs. In the kingdom of Aell, where winter is endless and magic is accessible to all, there are strict anti-magic laws ensuring music remains the last untouched art. 

Sofi has spent her entire life training to inherit her father’s title. But on the day of the auditions, she is presented with unexpected competition in the form of Lara, a girl who has never before played the lute. Yet somehow, to Sofi’s horror, Lara puts on a performance that thoroughly enchants the judges. 

Almost like magic. 

The same day Lara wins the title of Musik, Sofi’s father dies, and a grieving Sofi sets out to prove Lara is using illegal magic in her performances. But the more time she spends with Lara, the more Sofi begins to doubt everything she knows about her family, her music, and the girl she thought was her enemy. 

As Sofi works to reclaim her rightful place as a Musik, she is forced to face the dark secrets of her past and the magic she was trained to avoid–all while trying not to fall for the girl who stole her future.

-sapphic!
-Deep, Involved Fantasy!
music as magic
a RIVALRY that ends in KISSING?
-GENERATIONAL TRAUMA?

This is many things I enjoy in a book. Four stars. Bookshop link here.

 

A Fatal Booking

Booking
A Fatal Booking by Victoria Gilbert (Booklover’s B&B Mystery #3)
304 pages
publishes June 7th, 2022

Victoria Gilbert’s third Booklover’s B&B Mystery, a treat for fans of Mary Daheim and Kate Carlisle, finds owner Charlotte Reed and her former spy neighbor, Ellen Montgomery, pitted against a tea-party poisoner. 

Booklover Charlotte is delighted to welcome an eclectic group of guests to Chapters Bed and Breakfast for a book club retreat focused on fairy tales and classic children’s literature. But when one of the guests is poisoned at a Mad Hatter tea party, Charlotte realizes she’s fallen down a rather unpleasant rabbit hole 

The victim – an opinionated busybody whose jewelry store sold original designs, along with some possibly “hot” merchandise – had plenty of enemies, spurring Charlotte and Ellen to offer their well-honed investigative skills to assist the local police. But as they delve deeper into each of the guest’s stories, they realize all of them had a motive, and the means, to close the book on the unfortunate victim. 

Enlisting the aid of a few local residents, as well as their new ally, agent Gavin Howard, Charlotte and Ellen vow to reveal the truth, even if the path to any sort of happy ending is strewn with deadly danger.

-I’m taking a ballads and folktales course this semester as part of my children’s literature degree and I thought about it so much while reading this book
-the theme is Alice in Wonderland
-EVERYONE has a motive which I think is very good
-this is definitely a good afternoon read with a cozy cup of coffee

Four stars.

 

Spear

Spear
Spear by Nicola Griffith
192 pages
publishes April 19th, 2022

If Le Guin wrote a Camelot story, I imagine it would feel like Spear: humane, intelligent, and deeply beautiful. It’s a new story with very old bones, a strange place that feels like home. –Alix E. Harrow, author of A Spindle Splintered

She left all she knew to find who she could be . . . 

She grows up in the wild wood, in a cave with her mother, but visions of a faraway lake drift to her on the spring breeze, scented with promise. And when she hears a traveler speak of Artos, king of Caer Leon, she decides her future lies at his court. So, brimming with magic and eager to test her strength, she breaks her covenant with her mother and sets out on her bony gelding for Caer Leon. 

With her stolen hunting spear and mended armour, she is an unlikely hero, not a chosen one, but one who forges her own bright path. Aflame with determination, she begins a journey of magic and mystery, love, lust and fights to death. On her adventures, she will steal the hearts of beautiful women, fight warriors and sorcerers, and make a place to call home. 

The legendary author of Hild returns with an unforgettable hero and a queer Arthurian masterpiece for the modern era. Nicola Griffith’s Spear is a spellbinding vision of the Camelot we’ve longed for, a Camelot that belongs to us all.

On the surface, this is everything I love in a book (queer Arthurian retelling! Welsh Arthurian retelling! sapphic!), but it really unfortunately felt like it Was Not For Me, which I don’t think was any particular fault of the book itself, it was honestly probably just the fact that it is Finals Week and also Migraine Week for me. I think if you liked Cursed which was an Arthurian retelling on Netflix that premiered at the start of the pandemic, you’ll really like this book, but I couldn’t get into that for similar reasons (it was the start of a pandemic and I was very stressed about it). Three stars but like, I’m sad about it. Rating systems suck.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s