The Circus Infinite by Khan Wong- Book Review

There aren’t a lot of books featuring a circus set in outer space, so I was fascinated by The Circus Infinite by Khan Wong with an asexual hero and amazing world building.

Publisher Angry Robot

Date of Publication: 8th March 2022

Source: NetGalley

Jes is on the run from a cruel and nasty research faculty who want to find out more about his abilities to manipulate gravity and his uniqueness. Jes is a mixed species who never really belonged on his own planet and an empath whose powers don’t seem to fit the usual mould. He finally escapes to a pleasure moon, Persephone- 9, where he joins the circus and finds a place where he truly belongs. Unfortunately, he finds himself blackmailed by the local crime boss, Niko Dax, to do his dirty work. But when the crime boss threatens the safety of his new home, Jes and his friends have to find a way to bring him down.

Review

I received a copy of this book for an honest, unbiased and free opinion.

This was a weirdly fun read despite some of the darker themes that run through the book. The players in the circus have talents that are vividly described by the author and I must admit this is one show I would have loved to have seen if it was real!

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The Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart – Book review

Heavy is the head that wears the bone shard crown especially when you have to fight errant Bone constructs, a growing rebellion and an ancient magical enemy. Read my review of the Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart. as part of the March of the Sequels hosted by Sue’s Musings.

Series The Drowning Empire Book 2

Genre: Fantasy

Source of the book: My own

REVIEW

This book picks up from the end of the Bone Shard Emperor Daughter ( review here) where Lin has killed her father to become the new Emperor. Jovis has now become Captain of her Guard, a reluctant spy for the Shardless Few and someone who now has superpowers.

This book definitely didn’t suffer from the second book of the trilogy syndrome and the plot continues to race along. The point of view characters remains the same with Lin, Jovis and Phalue being the main ones.

Lin’s struggles to become an effective emperor and different from her father is well described and introduce some political intrigue and manoeuvring into the story. The Alanga, the ancient magical enemy play a significant role in adding another layer to the story.

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The Spring of the Ram by Dorothy Dunnett- Book review

This is my second reading of  second book in Dorothy Dunnett’s historical fiction series House of Niccolo- The Spring of Ram and  yes, I missed loads the first time round. Here is my review.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Series: Book 2 of the House of Niccolo series.

Source :My Own

In 1461, Nicholas is in Florence. Backed by none other than Cosimo de’ Medici, he will sail the Black Sea to Trebizond, last outpost of Byzantium, and the last jewel missing from the crown of the Ottoman Empire. But trouble lies ahead. Nicholas’s stepdaughter — at the tender age of thirteen — has eloped with his rival in trade: a Machiavellian Genoese who races ahead of Nicholas, sowing disaster at every port. And time is of the essence: Trebizond may fall to the Turks at any moment.

Review

The Spring of the Ram picks up after the end of Niccolo rising( review here) in 1461 where we learn that Nicholas believes himself to be the son of Simon St Pol- the cause of their enmity. His friends and allies are wary of Nicholas’s clever manipulations and have him on a short leash but are equally happy to follow through on his plans to make the Charetty company rich. But of course, his path is full of obstacles and people he has to conquer to fulfil his plan. Nicholas sets sail to Trebizond to trade but Doria, a rival merchant elopes with Catherine-Nicholas’s 13-year-old step-daughter sabotaging Nicholas’s plans at every opportunity.

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Midnight in Everwood by M.A Kurniar- Book Review

A dark retelling of The Nutcracker that left me wanting to raid the sweet cupboard. Here is my review of Midnight in Everwood in M. A Kurniar.

Source: my own

Genre: Fantasy

I must admit I have never managed to sit through an entire performance of The Nutcracker!

This retelling of the Nutcracker reads like a fairytale with its palace of sugar and ice, endless balls and beautiful dresses but there are dark themes underlying all the fluffiness.

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The York King by Amy License – Blog Tour.

I’m so pleased to be part of the Random Things Tours Blog tour for The York King by Amy License which continues Edward the Fourth’s story.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Series: Volume two of the House of York Trilogy. Read the review of book One Son of York here

Source: Lume books and Random Things Tours

During the early years of his reign, Edward IV of York battles to bring peace and stability to the country, as Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, raises support in the north, attempting to return the Lancastrian king, Henry VI, to the throne.
The Earl of Warwick pursues a marriage alliance with France, determined to bring about a friendship between the two countries and suppress support for Lancaster.
Edward meets Elizabeth Woodville, daughter of a squire, and marries in a secret ceremony. With verbal agreements broken, friendships damaged and old divisions reappearing, Edward finds himself facing new enemies much closer to home.

Review.

This is the second book in the House of York Trilogy but you don’t need to have read the Son of York to read the York King,

I couldn’t put The York King down until I finished reading the last page despite the fact I knew exactly what was going to happen. The plot races along with plenty of action, drama and romance. It is hard to believe this is history and not epic fantasy.

Continue reading “The York King by Amy License – Blog Tour.”

Scorpica, Book 1 of The Five Queendoms by G. R Macallister- Book review

I’ve always had a soft spot for books that are based on Matrilineal Societies, so it no surprise this fantasy caught my eye. Scorpica by G. R Macallister is full of strong female characters, action, magic and intrigue.

Genre: Fantasy

Series: The Five Queendoms

Source NetGalley

Publication Date:22 Feb 2022

REVIEW

I love fantasy but I do get a little tired of male-dominated societies but thankfully this is changing. Scorpica by G R Macallister is one of those books that is gloriously about women.

Across the five Queendoms, a matrilineal system prevails- daughters inherit their mothers’ crown, power and magic. The focus of the book is on two queendoms- Scorpica and Arca. Scorpica is an Amazonian like society with women born to fight with disputes over who rules decided by the sword. In Arca, the women have magical gifts and anyone who possesses all magic can lay claim to the throne but  Queen Mirriam holds on to her power using every trick she can. In the midst of this, Sessadon, an old sorcerer plots in the background to rule over all five Queendoms.

So,in a land where girls are essential, the five Queendoms are plunged into chaos when girls stop being born.

The book has several point of view characters which could be frustrating as I found myself more invested in a particular character. The pace is slow to start with but as the author’s prose was so descriptive and rich, I didn’t really mind. The action picks up towards the middle and doesn’t stop.

The book does raise interesting questions- would a female-dominated society be fairer and treat men better or would it be the same as any patriarchal society? In Scorpica, males hold no value except to be bartered for food and in Arca high society men are subservient (and seek to overthrow the Matriarchy) and their Queen certainly chooses her men for their looks. I would have liked to find out more about the other Queendoms where men and women seem a little more equal. I must admit to being more than a little curious as to how the women in Scorpica managed to get pregnant.

How would society react if one sex stopped being born? Would they be targets to kidnap or hoard? Would they be locked away to protect? Would there be a revolution? This book explores these themes effectively among the battles, magic, intrigue, and passion.

The book resolves all the major plot threads but effectively lays the ground for book 2 which is definitely on my list to read.

Content warning

descriptions of young teens sacrifice, reference to children dying.

I received a copy of this book for a free,unbiased and honest opinion

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Enjoyed but haven’t mentioned on the blog

An interesting Top Ten Tuesday this week-books I have read and enjoyed but haven’t mentioned on my blog.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.,

I love reading and read widely but when I started my blog, I decided to focus on science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction. But there are so many books I have enjoyed but haven’t reviewed on my blog.

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