The wait is over! The anxiously awaited sequel to A Deadly Education, first book in the Scholomance series by Naomi Novik, has arrived at the library. Dark Academia is one of my favorite sub-genres, and this book is dark indeed! (Scholomance is like Hogwarts, if Hogwarts was run by Voldemort’s more powerful and more evil sibling…). Highly recommended but I strongly advise reading book 1 first if you haven’t already done so.
Library Journal review: “Keep far away from Orion Lake.” Galadriel “El” Higgins knows she should take her mother’s words seriously, but she has to survive her senior year in the Scholomance, and Orion may be one of the few allies (friends?) who can help. From day one of the term, El is up against deadly homework, the maleficaria that linger, and her destructive destiny for dark power. She must fight fate, feelings, and monsters to get herself and her allies out of this horrid school alive, and the stakes will only continue to rise. When El’s power is made public, she realizes that rules were made to be broken. In fact, throwing out the rulebook entirely might mean her survival…VERDICT Sardonic students, gruesome monsters, growing friendships, and a touch of romance create a highly readable story. Some questions remain to be answered in the trilogy’s last volume. The end of this installment ensures that book three can’t come fast enough.”
“New York Times bestseller and Hugo, British Fantasy, Romantic Times, and Eisner award-winning author of the graphic novel Monstress , Marjorie Liu leads you deep into the heart of the tangled woods. In her long-awaited debut collection of dark, lush, and spellbinding short fiction, you will find unexpected detours, dangerous magic, and even more dangerous women. Briar, bodyguard for a body-stealing sorceress, discovers her love for Rose, whose true soul emerges only once a week. An apprentice witch seeks her freedom through betrayal, the bones of the innocent, and a meticulously plotted spell. In a world powered by crystal skulls, a warrior returns to save China from invasion by her jealous ex. A princess runs away from an arranged marriage, finding family in a strange troupe of traveling actors at the border of the kingdom’s deep, dark woods. Concluding with a gorgeous full-length novella, Marjorie Liu’s first short fiction collection is an unflinching sojourn into her thorny tales of love, revenge, and new beginnings.”
I love short fiction and general, but it’s especially great for the summer, when you can knock out a story of novella while enjoying the warm weather, and was thrilled to see that Marjorie Liu had had released a short fiction collection. I’m a huge fan of Liu’s Monstress series of graphic novels, and The Tangleroot Palace delivered exact mix of heart and grit that I expected, and more.
Poisoned is Jennifer Donnelly’s latest fairytale retelling, a new YA interpretation of Snow White.
Too kind to be a ruler, Princess Sophie has lived her life pretending to be cruel, like her stepmother. When Sophie has her heart cut-out by the huntsman, she is saved by seven brothers who give her a clockwork heart instead. But the clock won’t last forever. Now Sophie must find a way to save herself so she can save her kingdom from the cruelty of her stepmother.
With a swift writing style and entertaining plot, Donnelly has produced yet another exciting book. Filled with colorful characters, magical creatures, and friendship, Donnelly takes you across her fantastical kingdom and into the heart of social problems and disputes. Strung-through with morals and life lessons, Poisoned is a great read for everyone looking for a little hope in bleak times. Fans of fairy tales and adventure will adore this book and all of Donnelly’s works.