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Joined 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Just a simple queer skeleton sailing aboard a haunted pirate ship ☠️🏴‍☠️🏳️‍🌈

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Druidan's books

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2023 Reading Goal

45% complete! Druidan has read 11 of 24 books.

Harrow the Ninth (Paperback, 2021, 4 stars

"She answered the Emperor's call.

She arrived with her arts, her wits, and her only …

Harrow the Ninth – Review

5 stars

This series does not give up its secrets easily. It holds them closely and tightly like a squirrel with its nuts. I was left at the end of the last book with a lot of questions, and really pressing plot developments that I needed answers to, and “Harrow the Ninth“ wasn’t going to give them to me lightly. The book does its best from the get-go to upend your sense of reality, attacking your memories of what exactly happened in the first book. It does this both in story content - it directly contradicts events as you remember them from book one - but also in the narration. style. I can’t say that I have ever read another book that spends this much time in the second person. It took me quite a while to get used to it, as I typically despise second person, but once I did it …

Payback's a Witch (2021, Little, Brown Book Group Limited) 4 stars

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets The L Word in this fresh, sizzling rom-com by Lana …

Payback's a Witch - Review

4 stars

Let me start off by saying to all my fellow fantasy and urban fantasy fans out there, do not go into this one expecting strong world building or magic systems. The magic and the trials are used for instigation, and as basic plot tools to put characters into confrontation with one another. In that, it is used well enough, but it is definitely not the focus of the story.

The characters and relationships, as well as the core conflict inside the main protagonist, are the key to the book's successes. Much of the tension comes from the connection of he main character, Emmy Harlow, to her hometown, and the way she is torn between loving it, and not wanting to feel trapped in it. Will she return home to the place she loves but with all the responsibilities and past pain that entails, or will she stay away in the …

Misrule (2022, Random House Publishing Group) 4 stars

Does true love break curses or begin them? The dark sorceress of “Sleeping Beauty” reclaims …

Misrule- Review

4 stars

True to its title, this follow-up to the first book, “Malice,” deals with themes of what it means to rule, to lead, and the ways cycles of abuse and violence result in misrule and bad leadership that further feeds those cycles. It asks the question, can these cycles be broken? Is reconciliation possible? Is forgiveness possible?

The misrule of leaders past and present on all sides fuel the chaos and tragedy that plagues the lives of everyone involved, as does systemic bigotry and abuse. All of this feels very pertinent to our times, while being broadly applicable at any time.

I don’t believe the novel nailed the conclusions the book arrives at in those themes, but I admire the attempt, and it’s far closer to the mark than every fairy tale perfect ending. The author recognizes that mistakes are not easily rectified, and forgiveness may or may not ever be …

Gideon the Ninth (Paperback, 2019, 4 stars

Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian …

Gideon the Ninth - Review

5 stars

This book managed to be both pretty much what I was expecting and yet surprising at the same time.

Pop-Goth vibes. Science-Fantasy. Necromancy. Skeletons. Mysteries. WLW. Enemies to Lovers. Angst. Hurt/Comfort. Etc. Basically a wall of AO3 tags. I have been more or less aware of Gideon the Ninth for some time now, and from all of the fanart and mentions I saw of it I went in expecting all of the above. It had all of that and served it in plenty.

What surprised me about it was not the content, but rather how fresh and vibrant it was. It felt like the author loved what they were writing, loved the characters, and was just plain having fun. I found that tone to be infectious and charming, and by the end, I loved it all as much as the author did.

The characters were easily the standout elements. The …

A Lesson in Vengeance (2021, ‎Delacorte Press) 4 stars

A dark, twisty thriller about a centuries-old, ivy-covered boarding school haunted by its history of …

A Lesson In Vengeance - Review

3 stars

The book does a good job building atmosphere. The gothic melancholy and mystery, laced with is-it-real-or-not supernatural happenings, is delightful. Between that and the ability to create a few vivid images that really stick in my mind, there are some definite strengths here.

A few of the twists and turns were also solid, with the tension of the final act being the strongest piece of the writing.

I wish that were true of the rest of the book.

Frankly, the characters were generally unlikeable, though Ellis at least was interesting due to how much of an enigma she was.

Felicity was a wet blanket. I get her grief, and the more you learn the why the more understandable it becomes. That doesn’t make it interesting to read. I don’t know how realistic her mental issues were, but they felt like a convenient excuse to hide information buried in her memory, …