This month shall forever be known as the month that The Ikessar Falcon ruined my entire reading for a straight month. I did not read as much as I hoped. I even had to put down quite a few books because it just wrecked me completely. For real my heart was hurting. It was such an emotional read but a good one!
Angela says she had a lot of DNFs this month so that’s September for her 😫
What We read
What Brigid Read
This is essentially what happened and it remains accurate.
I am hurting. I am not okay. This is the most traumatizing and addictive book I’ve read in a long ass time.
I read it. I finished it. I loved it. I had a hard time even caring about anything else in my life. End of story.
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
I decided to read the Poppy War and the Ikessar Falcon simultaneously. Both K.S. Villoso and her publicist, Angela Man, both said ‘what were you thinking?’ I was not. There was a readathon going on and I thought I could juggle both my ARC obligations and reading a book that I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. It sounded fun. Fool. I am a fool. Give me a tattoo, sir.
It is so good. I ended up crying in the very first chapter. It deals so much with unreliable characters in a history wrought complexity and a realness as if the author had been inspired from diaries (yes apparently). I intend to continue it as soon as me and my terrible mental health have healed fully from Ikessar. I am not fully there yet.
My opinion on self published fantasy romance is that traditionally published fantasy romance cannot ever compare to the level of slow burn and gorgeous prose that is in this book. I loved it but it wasn’t without its issues. I needed this in a time when I was generally having a rough time in my life. It definitely soothed some aches.
This is another self published romance. Elizabeth Frost is Emma Hamm’s pseudonym. This is the perfect book to pick up right now if you’d like a fun and unconventional witchy/fae book but doesn’t take over your entire reading schedule. It’s very quick. Even though I did have some issues, it’s still worth a pick up.
Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
I started this and dropped it. It was not the right time. I intend to pick it back up but because of a certain book above I couldn’t continue with it. I will mention, though, that it does remind me a lot of the tropes in Wolf of Oren-Yaro. I think I might read it and then do a compare/contrast thing just because they seem to parallel each other so well, and Villoso has said that there are aspects of her writing that were inspired by it.
Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
I LOVED THIS. It was exactly what I needed after Ikessar. It was cute and fluffy. It’s like a big fantasy teddy bear. The amount of times I wanted to hug the characters is unmatched.
Shadow Witch by Kim Richardson
DNF. I really did not like this. The writing is atrociously bad. Really flat writing. I could barely read even 10 percent. I didn’t put it on my goodreads for this reason. It just was not really worth discussing. Shadow Witch is supposed to be Halloweentown/Practical Magic inspired and I can see that. But no. I can’t push through it.
What Angela Read
This heart-wrenching continuation of Raphael and Elena’s story will leave you desperate for the next book. As war looms on the horizon, the personal stakes are higher than ever. This is an excellent addition to the series, but definitely not to be read on its own.
What Navessa Read
This is more than just a story about a missing harp. Woven beneath that is a subplot of good vs evil, magic vs fear, and humanity vs the uncanny. It’s also about personal growth, centered around that special time in our lives between youth and adulthood, when we realize that eventually we need to grow up, own our actions, and find our voices.
There are also two romantic subplots that I am really excited to read about as the series progresses, which is part of why I bought the next one the second I finished this.
If you’re into older YA fantasy that stands out from the pack, you should definitely add this one to your TBR.
This book is set on a small, remote island in Finnmark, Norway in 1617. It’s so harsh that trees don’t grow there, and during the depth of the winter, the townspeople live in a world of eternal darkness. It opens with one of our main characters, Maren, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with all the other women in her village. What was almost as hard to read was this underlying awareness of the danger of men. They held near-absolute power over women during this time period, and reading about how helpless their wives and subjects were made my skin crawl.