Book Review: The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker ★★★

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“Nobody looks him in the face now, it’s as if his grief frightens them. What are they afraid of? That one day they’ll have to endure pain like this? Or that they never will, that they’re incapable of it, because grief’s only ever as deep as the love it’s replaced.”

I am not sure how I feel about this book, to be honest. I was really excited about it, when I first heard of it. I have loved the character of Briseis for years and enjoyed her complicated dynamic with Achilles (from what I have encountered in both the Iliad and various adaptations/retellings). So this book instantly caught my eye. On the one hand, it was very interesting and beautifully written. But on the other hand….I don’t know. It felt like something was missing.

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Book Review: The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden ★★★★

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“He spoke of Russia. Not Muscovy, or Tver, or Vladimir, the principalities of the sons of Kiev, but of Russia itself, of its skies and its soil, its people and its pride.

She listened in rapt stillness, eyes vast and filled like cups with shadow. “That is what we are fighting for,” said Sasha. “Not for Moscow, or even Dmitrii; not for the sake of any of her squabbling princes. But for the land that bore us; man and devil alike.””

Another fantastic finale! I was really pleased with how this series came to a close and I think this final installment might be the strongest book yet. It was very well done!

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Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller ★★★★

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“Every moment mortals died, by shipwreck and sword, by wild beasts and wild men, by illness, neglect, and age. It was their fate, Prometheus had told me, the story they all shared. No matter how vivid they were in life, no matter how brilliant, no matter the wonders they made, they came to dust and smoke. Meanwhile every petty and useless god would go on sucking down the bright air until the stars went dark.”

This book was so much more than I expected! It was so good. Really lived up to the hype and I now see why everyone loves it. I went in with decently high expectations, based on how many and how often people rave about it, but I wasn’t expecting to be blown away or anything. Spoiler alert: I was! It was such a beautiful book. Definitely a 4 star read for me. Madeline Miller is also a new author that I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on.

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Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik ★★★★

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“Of course I was afraid. But I had learned to fear other things more: being despised, whittled down one small piece of myself at a time, smirked at and taken advantage of. I put my chin up and said, as cold as I could be in answer, “And what will you give me in return?”

Oh I lovedddd this one! It was brilliantly written, atmospheric, lush, dark, whimsical, and full of wonderful characters. It was not quite up there with Novik’s other book, Uprooted, which I adored, but it was very very good! Some spoilers below!

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Book Review: Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter ★★

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And, I suddenly understand, I do want to be Vassa–or technically I want to make Vassa into somebody worth being. The only way to become that somebody is to live in a real, substantial world: a world that doesn’t follow orders, that’s just as willful and independent as I’m going to be. I can only become a whole girl in a place that offers resistance; a place that makes me fight for what I want.

Ugh! I’m so sad about this book. I was ready to love it, despite the mixed reviews surrounding it and the incredibly weird plot I had been hearing about. It was a Russian-inspired YA retelling of Vasilisa the Beautiful! Of course, I was going to like it! At least, that’s what I thought 😢

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