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5 Historical Fiction Reads with Magical Elements

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield 

Beyond the gorgeous cover, Once upon a River has a narrative style that wraps you in a blanket and hands you a cup of tea. The story is set in 1887 and revolves around an inn on the Thames that is famed for its story telling. One night, a stranger bursts with a dead child into the inn and promptly collapses. However, hours later the child breaths and returns to life. The story surrounds the mystery and arguments of the child’s prominence, and we find ourselves asking the same questions as the town’s midwife- is there really a rational explanation for it all? If you love suspense, definitely be sure to give this a read. 

The Binding by Bridget Collins

The binding is a fantasy set in a time that is most like 19th century England. In this world, books are bound from people’s memories, pulling them out so that the person they’re coming from will never remember them. Our story follows Emmet, a new binder’s apprentice, who one day finds a book with his own name on it. This book has a world that feels familiar with even the magic system making logical sense, leaving the reader free to be whisked up in the suspense, dying to know- what is his secret?

The Familiar by Stacey Halls 

Set in 1612 in the shadow of the Pendle Hill Witch Trials, this novel follows to women; Fleetwood Shuttleworth, a pregnant noblewoman, and a midwife Alice Grey. The novel is plunged into suspense when Fleetwood discovers a letter from the doctor to her husband, saying how she will not survive another birth, and as for Alice, as a midwife she is soon accused of witchcraft. While this book leans into some popular misconceptions about the 17th century witch-hunts it is none the less a fantastic story- perfect for bookclubs to stimulate conversation and argument asking, well, was she a witch? 

An Almond for a Parrot by Wray Delaney

Our story is set in 18th century England and is told by our main character Tully Truegood, from where she sits in prison awaiting a trial that will surely end in her execution. The story begins from her impoverished childhood, to being high class courtesan at a famous brothel. It is here she also meets Mr Crease and begins a love affair with the art of magic. How did Tully end up in Newgate prison? You’ll just have to read to find out. 

Midnight Never Come by Mary Brennan

This story is set in the Elizabethan court with a twist. In the catacombs beneath the city of London there exists a court that mirror’s Queen Elizabeth I’s, except this is a court of Fae. The Onxy court is a place of treachery and distrust, and our main character Lady Lune must navigate the trials of court life to avoid being cast out, or worse. This book is also the first in a four book series, so if you like it, you’re going to be well set up. 

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Books I Wrote Essays on as an English Major

I think most English majors enter university with images in their head of leisurely reading great novels, and debating them in classes a la dead poet’s society. One thing which may or may not excite said students, are the essays. I had a love hate relationship with essays in Uni. For the first two years, I just was not about college life. But, in my final year I pulled up my bootstraps and learned to really love writing essays. Below are the books I wrote essays on during my time as an English major. For the sake of brevity, I didn’t include any poems, short stories, or plays I wrote essays on, but if that’s something you’re interested in, let me know in the comments!

This was the first essay I wrote for English, and given that I have already completed my degree I can say without fear, I never read the book. I don’t know if its the attitude I had, or if I just have an aversion to Dickens, but I could not for the life of me get through this book. If you know nothing about this book (lucky!) it is a victorian bildungsroman, following an orphan named Pip. In typical Dickens fashion there’s poverty, love, and tragedy. As for my essay, this was for a class about coming of age , so naturally the essay focussed on the ways in which Pip came of age throughout the book. 

I loved Northern Lights (the sequel not so much) and of course Alice in Wonderland is a cherished childhood fave. Northern Lights is a book set in a fantasy world that looks a lot like Victorian London and we follow our main character Lyra as she goes on an expedition to find missing children. And if any of you don’t know, Alice in Wonderland follows our main character Alice as she falls down a rabbit hole into a new world called wonderland where she meets a host of eccentric characters. The essay looked at how the fantasy genre developed over time, and compared how Northern Lights adapted the fantasy genre to deal with darker themes. 

The moonstone is a nineteenth century crime novel that revolves around the theft of an expensive diamond. I really enjoyed this book, the world of the story was vibrant and the characters memorable. I compared The Moonstone in my essay with Poe’s Murder on the Rue Morgue and how crime novels represent the relationship between criminality and race. 

The Death of the Heart is a novel set in the interwar period that follows our main character sixteen year old Portia as she moves in with half brother and his wife and thinks herself in love with an older man. The Rising of Bella Casey tells the story of Irish playwright Sean O Casey’s older and largely forgotten sister. Bella goes through trial after tribulation in the novel, dealing with poverty, sexual violence, and shame. My essay on these two books considered how each of them portray mother-daughter relationships, particularly where these relationships become tenuous at the point of the daughter’s adulthood.

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Skelton’s Guide to Domestic Poisons: Review

Set in the nineteen-thirties, famed barrister Arthur Skelton had been tasked with defending Mary Dutton; The Collingford Poisoner. With the aid of his trusted assistant, Skelton delves into the secrets that lay deep in the Dutton family to try and prove Mary’s innocence.

I went into this book expecting a detective style story, but that’s not really what I got. The thing that really makes it not a detective story is an overall lack of suspense, to the point that I didn’t feel entirely invested in the mystery. Without spoiling anything, I will say the book ended without a climax for me. That isn’t to say it was an anti-climax, as it didn’t really feel like it was building to a climax at any point.

With that out of the way, I think if you go into this novel with the right mindset, it has a lot going for it. Firstly, the best thing about this books was its characters. They were all really unique with distinct voices and I honestly loved spending time with them. And, if the author is reading, I would love a full novel all about Rose. I also really liked the questions if raised around the politicising of crime. While its something we talk about a lot today, it was interesting to see the perspective in a historical setting. However, when it comes to this book as a historical fiction, I found the atmosphere lacking a little. There were plenty of references to ground it in itself historical context, but even so I didn’t really feel like I was transported to another time. I think this is because at times, the novel suffered from white room syndrome, with sometimes pages of dialogue passing by with little else to break it up.

So essentially, if you’re looking for gripping mystery novel, this probably isn’t for you. But, if you’re looking for a quick and relatively easy read with interesting characters and witty dialogue then I’d say give it a go.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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20 Books Coming Out This Autumn 2020

Fantasy

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

This book follows a trans Latino called Yadriel who is striving to prove himself as a real brujo to his traditional family. Attempting to free the ghost of his murdered cousin, Yadriel mistakenly summons Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy. We follow as Yadriel helps Julian find out what happened to him, and watch as they become closer.

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

Set at a magic school with a dark side where failure means death, our main character El must survive the school year. However, while she has the power to defeat the monsters that terrorise the school, her dark magic could kill all the other students at the same time. 

The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass by Adan Jerreat-Poole

Eli is an assassin created by witches to hunt ghosts in the human world. However, when a mission goes awry, Eli questions everything she has ever known. Following this mistake she falls in with a group of renegades and is given the most difficult task; capture the Heart of the Coven. 

Romance

Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe

Our main character Henri is intelligent, popular, and, as our title suggests, charming and is vying to be accepted to Columbia University. However, when ‘intense’ classmate Corrine uncovers Henri’s less-than-honest dog-walking scheme, she blackmails him into helping her change her image. Soon, their arrangement blossoms into something more. 

Crazy Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

The third book in this collection follows Alexis Carlise and her best friend Noah Logan, both characters in the second book. While Alexis deals with the newfound fame as a result of coming forward as a victim of a celebrity chef’s sexual abuse, and a mysterious long lost sister, Noah struggles with confessing his true feelings for Alexis. This book can be read as a stand-alone, but it features our favourite characters from The Bromance Bookclub, who try to push Noah in the right direction.

Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon

When Cirrus Soh unwittingly mistakes self-proclaimed nerd Sunny Dae’s older brother’s rockstar bedroom for his, he leans into the lie and claims to be the front man of a rock band to impress her. As the lie begins to tumble out of control, Sunny is forced to wonder if it was all worth it. 

Historical Fiction

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

This book centres around the battle for sufferage in New Salem 1893, a world where witches are relegated to nursery rhymes. But, with the appearance of the Eastwood sisters in the suffragist movement, they pursure forgotten ways to turn the womens movement, into the witches movement.

Skelton’s Guide to Domestic Poisons by David Stafford

Set in the nineteen-thirties, famed barrister Arthur Skelton had been tasked with defending Mary Dutton; The Collingford Poisoner. With the aid of his trusted assistan, Skelton delves into the secrets that lay deep in the Dutton family to try and prove Mary’s innocence.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

In eighteenth century France, Addie makes a bargain to live forever but cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. But after nearly three hundred years, Addie stumbles across a man in a hidden book shop and he remembers her name. 

Crime

Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger

When Selena’s train home stalls on the tracks, she strikes up conversation with Martha, who soon confesses she’s having an affair with her boss. In return, Selena confesses she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. The two women part ways, but a few days later, Selena’s nanny disappears. 

And Now She’s Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall

Grayson Sykes is tasked to track down Isabel Lincoln, a missing woman that does not want to be found. Over the course of this dangerous game of cat and mouse, Grayson must uncover the truth about the secrets Isabel has hidden from her family. 

The Silent House by Nell Pattison

This book centres around a deaf family who wake up one morning to find the murder of their daughter that occurred in their house during the night. Paige Northwood is called to the scene to interpret the family, but as the story continues, Paige gets the sense that the Hunter family have something to hide. 

Sci Fi

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

In the first book of a new trilogy, Between Earth and Sky, we follow Xiala, a disgraced Teek whose song can calm waters, but warp men’s minds, and a passenger described as harmless called Serapio, headed in a ship toward Tova, a holy city that has prophesied the winter solstice as an unbalancing of their world. 

Seven Devils by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May

This is the first book in a feminist space opera duology that follows seven female resistance fighters striving to free the galaxy from a ruthless empire. 

Crown Chasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer

Another first book in a duology follows Alyssa Farshot who, after her uncle’s death, is called to take part in a crownchase to find the royal seal hidden somewhere in the empire. 

Spooky Reads

Don’t Turn Out the Lights edited by Jonathan Maberry

In a tribute to Alvin Schwatz, this collection includes 35 scary stores from some of our favourite scary writers that range from haunted houses to flesh-hungry ogres. 

Watch Over Me by Nina Lacour

This is a ghost story where we follow Mila, a girl who has aged out of the foster care system who takes a job at an isolated farm. Mila must learn to deal with her own terrible memories, along with those of the ghosts that inhabit the farm. 

Vampires Never Get Old by Zoraida Cordova and Natalie C. Parker

Another collection of spooky themed stories but this time they all focus on the age old bloodsucker. These stories range from vampires lurking on social media, vampires on the hunt for their first kill, and vampire rebels. 

Graphic Novels

Fangs by Sarah Anderson

Fangs is a graphic novel that follows three hundred year old singleton Vamp, who one night meets a charming werewolf in a bar. The story follows their awkward love story. 

Mary by Brea Grant, illustrated by Yishan Li

This graphic novel follows a descendent of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley. Mary is an angsty teenager who doesn’t want to follow in the family tradition of becoming an author. However, she finds out she shares another characteristic with her ancestor, the power to heal monsters.

4 and 5 Star Books I Read This Summer

I know I’m not alone in that since quarantine my reading has skyrocketed, and as a result I have read some belter books this summer. There were a few stinkers, of course, but no one needs any more negativity at the moment, so without further ado, here are the absolute best books I have read this summer.

The Beach Read by Emily Henry

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Beach Read is a contemporary romance revolving around two authors in a seaside town, both struggling with writer’s block. In an attempt to save their stories, they agree to try their hand at writing in each other’s genres; one in romance and the other gritty literary fiction. This book had the perfect combination of witty dialogue, sexual tension, and emotional climaxes. And best of all, both characters exist as whole people independent of the relationship. All wins to me! 

The M Word by Brian Conaghan

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book follows our main character Maggie Yates, a working class girl who is trying to start a new life in art college. However, she must compete with her mother’s depression, her own mental health, and the grief of her best friend’s suicide. This book is nothing if not poignant, with the descriptions of self harm being particularly graphic. It’s not a book to read if you want something light, but for an unflinching look at mental health in working class environments, this is the book you need.  

145th Street by Walter Dean Myers

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This collection of short stories was published nearly twenty years ago but is still just as relevant today. The stories all take place on a single street where we get an insight into the hardship the black population of Harlem face. It is unflinching in its representations of discrimination and police brutality, but portrays these instances in such an intimate way.  

Burn by Patrick Ness

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Patrick Ness is my favourite author, so I had no doubt that this would be a five star read. However, this book completely surpassed my expectations; it’s my favourite book of his since More Than This. The story is set in 1950’s America in an alternate universe where dragons are a normal part of every day life. This book is a wild adventure from start to finish featuring dragon prophesies, a religious cult, the FBI and an assassin. I seriously cannot reccommend it enough.

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This books is as much a love letter to crime fiction as it is a psychological suspense itself. Mal is the owner of an old book shop who on one cold night is approached by an FBI agent investigating a string of seemingly unrelated deaths. These deaths all correspond to a blog post Mal made years ago, listing the perfect crimes in fiction. Taking the investigation into his own hands, Mal comes face-to-face with reincarnations of Agatha Christie, Strangers on a Train, and other classic crimes. This book is a super quick read and everything you’d want from a crime novel.   

The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A retelling of Les Misérables if the French Revolution had failed. I’ve already raved out how much I love this book so if you want to see that, check out my full spoiler free review here: The Court of Miracles Spoiler Free Review

The Binding by Bridget Collins

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In this world, books are made by binding the memories a person wishes to forget. Our main character Emmett starts work as a binder’s apprentice and one day finds a book with his own name on it. From this point the book switches between present day and the past, revealing the secrets Emmett has forgotten. This is such a tender book with captivating characters. The world is so vivid, I never wanted to leave. 

Pumpkin Heads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is another book I have written a full review for so you can check that out here: Pumpkin Heads Spoiler Free Review. The long and short of it is though, this is a heart-warming graphic novel that will really get you in the autumn spirit.

The Strange Adventures of H by Sarah Burton

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The strange adventures of H is set in 17th century England and follows our main character H through the trials and tribulations of her life where she deals with ruffian cousins, courtesans and more. The world of the book is a character in itself and was extremely rich thanks to Burton drawing details from real sources, like Samuel Pepys’ diary and plot points from early modern plays. However, this book is by no means stuffy or boring when it comes to history. It takes many twists and turns and loses no opportunity to poke fun. 

Pumpkin Heads Spoiler Free Review

I’ve wanted to get my hands on this book for a while now, but couldn’t justify buying it new because I knew how quickly I’d have it read! So when I went back to my local library for the first time since lockdown, I couldn’t believe my luck when I spotted it in the graphic novel section. 

It took me about an hour to read in total. I had planned to just read a few sections each day so I could savour it, but it was just so engaging that I couldn’t stop myself from devouring it. 

The first thing I should note is the illustration style. The illustrations are done by Faith Erin Hicks; who I hadn’t been aware of before this book but is now someone I want to keep on my radar. The colour palette is very soft and naturally autumnal. There were so many tiny details in every panel that made the world of the story feel so vibrant and bursting. The panels without speech that featured solely the characters’ expressions were particularly successful creating humorous moments. 

Shockingly, this is the first book by Rainbow Rowell that I’ve read. I feel like I missed out on her books when I was part of her demographic so I don’t think I’d identify with them now. Though do let me know if I should give them a shot, because I loved this story. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t breaking any walls down or even doing anything particularly interesting, it was just a very sweet, wholesome story. I particularly recommend this if you’re in a reading slump, because it is very easy reading. 

This book also gets an A+ for diversity in featuring people of colour, LGBTQ identities, and fat representation.

The one thing I would have liked done differently is the ending. I still like the ending, again it fit in with the story, but I think there was another route that would have made a more interesting statement. 

That being said, the ending didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the book whatsoever. This book is a very solid 5 stars for me. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Why I didn’t like The Rape Trial of Medusa

The Rape Trial of Medusa by Michael Kasenow

TW: Rape, Racial Slurs, Anti-Semitic Slurs

If you’re looking for a badass feminist take over of the Medusa myth where she gets justice by being empowered, this is not the book for you. 

I’ll start with what I did like about this book. It was a very simple, quick read. While at times quite obvious, there was some interesting political commentary surrounding rape culture and particularly how those with money and power are exempt from being held accountable. It was particularly interesting to read how the Olympians fit into our modern day world, with what they are gods over translating into departments in a company. The character of Zeus takes a lot inspiration from Donald Trump, this is witty in the beginning of the book, but after multiple references to “grabbing by the p*ssy” and “fake news” it comes across more as a cheap joke. 

The lazy parody of Zeus is disappointingly one of the more interesting characterisations in this book. The characters all come across as very flat, and I found myself not caring about what happened to them either way. I couldn’t identify with any of the characters, nor could I empathise with them. This was in part due to a lot of telling and not showing- it felt like I was being told how I should think and feel about the characters, without actually being made to feel that way. The book does become more engaging in the latter half, however it still doesn’t quite hit the mark for me.

The aspect of this book that bothered me the most was the inherent misogyny. There are certain times where I can overlook badly written women, but in a book that seems to set itself up as a commentary on sexism in our society, I really expect more. Every female character in the story is described by her body type. We’re told twice that the head of Medusa’s legal team “keeps her features slim” and “was tall and slim and looked good on camera.” Medusa was “slim and feminine.” Another female character is described as being “dressed casually in a sexy way” (I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean either). The only character that was not slim was “always on a diet” and “wounded by the reality of [her] fatness.” The male character on the legal team, however, gets almost five pages dedicated entirely to his backstory, favourite sport team and favourite music. 

This book has some noble intentions, but unfortunately lacks the nuance to achieve its aims satisfactorily. 

Rating: 2 out of 5.

10 Things I Hate About Romance Books

I’m a new convert to the world of romance novels. I shied away from the genre for the same reasons I did the colour pink, make up, and all the other things that are ridiculed because women enjoy it; internalised misogyny. While I learned to discard my ‘not like other girls’ superiority in my early twenties, romance novels still remained taboo for me. Why? Because they were vapid, and I was serious. Thankfully, with credit to The Heartstopper graphic novel, I had my Elle Woods moment and realised I could wear pink and be a lawyer! …Or rather, I started to allow myself enjoy books that I actually liked, regardless of whether they made me feel serious or not. All that being said, over the last year, the flood gates have opened and I have consumed more romance than I ever have in my entire life. And while I’ve taken to this whirlwind in my stride, there are a few trends I’ve noticed that really get my goat. 

InstaLove

Okay, I know this is the thing everyone mentions, but that’s for a good reason! It’s the age old debate, does love at first sight exist? But these books seem to assert outright that their characters are not falling in love at first sight, yet go on to have said characters be overtaken by an all-consuming obsession. I’m not saying every romance novel has to be 100% realistic, but either lean into the cliché and take it in your stride, or give a reason for their gratuitous feelings that goes beyond, “there’s just something about them.” NEXT. 

No follow through

We’ve been told for the whole book there’s some reason why our couple can’t be together, something so unfathomable, they don’t even attempt to find a resolution because there will be none. And finally when we get to the point where all this promised conflict comes to a head, there is none. It turns out, the driving force of conflict for the whole story, could be resolved in two sentences. I know we all complain about situations in romance that could be easily fixed by communication, but if you promise the drama, you have to bring it. 

Pointless barriers

Speaking of those unresolvable things that keep couples apart, another thing in romance that I can’t stand is when barriers are clearly just there for the sake of prolonging the build-up to the romance. I love some drawn out pining as much as the next person, but even I have to roll my eyes at some of the tricks that get pulled out. 

Reminding us how woke they are

This one might be controversial, but I think books can be diverse and open minded, without reminding us how woke they are every chapter. Whenever a character makes a forced reference to a social issue that’s being shoehorned into a context where it doesn’t make sense, I can almost hear the author shouting for brownie points. Not impressed. 

Every ex is evil

This is perhaps my most loathed trope in romance. Whenever a character has an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend they are always a lying, conceited, gold digging, superficial scumbag. First of all, why was our character ever with them in the first place? And what annoys me most of all is that this trope completely ignores the nuances of relationships. Most of us have been screwed over in love, and I’m sure we’ve also screwed over others, but to create a character that is 100% irredeemable is just unrealistic. I would endlessly appreciate a romance book that features an ex with whom it didn’t work out, but was not an entirely evil human being. I beg you romance muses! 

Gratuitous sexualisation

Now I love a steamy moment, that’s not what I’m talking about here. What I don’t understand in romance novels is the sexualisation of mundane things. We all know the scenes. The characters are having dinner and we’re listening in on their internal monologue. Their eyes transfixed on the food entering their mouth, almost unable to control themselves. Being honest, I have never looked at someone I’ve fancied and thought, “I’d give anything to be that fork.” Seriously, what’s with everyone wanting to be forks around here? 

Drawn out pining

I think I’ve made it clear that I want authors to get to the point a bit quicker, but contrary to what you might be thinking, I don’t hate pining. Quite the opposite in fact- I love when I can feel the desperate yearning coming from the characters straight off the page. However, after the first 200 pages, it gets a bit tedious. Keep up the pining, but at least give me some distractions and near misses, because there’s only so many forlorn sighs I can take. 

No climax (oy oy)

On the note of those 200 pages of sighing, if I’ve waited that long for a pair of idiots to get together, I want fireworks when it does happen! I read a book recently where the characters finally agreed to go on a date. I was all geared up for it, flicked to the next chapter, and the timeline had skipped to the point that they’d already been on multiple dates. Safe to say, I wanted to fling the book across the room. 

Over hinting to secret

Often one or both characters have a deep secret they’re keeping from the other. This secret pervades their every thought when they’re close to the other, and they are fixated on the idea that if this secret comes out, it will ruin everything. And you know, this is a great device to introduce some tension and drama to the plot. However, if this secret is dragged out and referred to every second page to the point that we all what the secret is hundreds of pages before its revealed, the pay-off is just lacking. This is particularly bothersome when approaching the end of the book, because we know that the secret can’t possibly be as big of a deal as its been made out to be. 

But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all. 

Yes, some romance novels are problematic, and some are convoluted, and some are just plain boring. But even with all that in mind, I’ll still keep coming back to the genre. Because I love how a cheeky line can make cover my face and giggle, I love how a steamy scene can be romantic even in today’s culture, and I love believing that if two people are meant to be, their love will transcend barriers, and it the end, it will all end happily ever after. 

The Court of Miracles Spoiler Free Review

I devoured this book in one day. The story is a what-if scenario; what if the French Revolution had failed? The story considers Les Miserables from this what-if. Now I have never read Les Mis, I’d like to say I have, but frankly I can’t bring myself to invest in that chunky of a book (please let me know if I should!). However, I have seen the film, so that is the only position I can speak from. As such, I could appreciate the references to the characters and certain plot points, but it by no means felt like I was reading a rehash of the same story. The characters were fully fleshed out and independent from their namesakes. Grant also does some really interesting things in playing with original plot points where the familiar story seems to sneak up on you and you slap yourself for not thinking of it yourself.

I find I have to keep stopping myself from calling this a fantasy, because it just isn’t. This isn’t set in another world, there is no magic system of any kind, and yet the temptation remains. I think that is due to just how rich the world was in this story. I have never encountered a story outside the fantasy genre that dedicates so much work to world building, and it absolutely pays off.

That said, while the world building was done both clearly and with subtlety I did find myself tempted to draw up a flowchart. For such a short book, there was a litany of characters to remember, and not only that, but to remember their guild, their role in the guild, what their guild did, and what the levels in their guild was called. It was a lot! However, this was only mainly difficult for characters on the boundary, it was easy to become familiar with the characters that played an important role in this particular story. This leads me on to my next point. This is going to be a trilogy! I can’t emphasise how much this excites me. I have no idea where the next two books are going to take us, but frankly I don’t care. I am so invested in these characters I would follow them on their weekly shop.

As well as that, this book was FUNNY. It made me actually laugh out loud, yes you read that right, I didn’t huff a laugh through my nostrils, I actually audibly laughed, for a prolonged period of time. Don’t get me wrong, the book is absolutely very dark, but these moments of humour don’t seem out of place neither do they take away from the atmosphere- they feel perfectly at home, which meant I could relax enough to enjoy them. 

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