Monday, 29 June 2020

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Review: The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

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The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Published: 6th February 2020 | Publisher: Picador | Cover Designer: Katie Tooke | Source: Publisher
Kiran Millwood Hargrave's Website

Finnmark, Norway, 1617. Twenty-year-old Maren Magnusdatter stands on the craggy coast, watching the sea break into a sudden and reckless storm. Forty fishermen, including her brother and father, are drowned and left broken on the rocks below. With the menfolk wiped out, the women of the tiny Arctic town of Vardø must fend for themselves.

Three years later, a sinister figure arrives. Absalom Cornet comes from Scotland, where he burned witches in the northern isles. He brings with him his young Norwegian wife, Ursa, who is both heady with her husband's authority and terrified by it. In Vardø, and in Maren, Ursa sees something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place untouched by God, and flooded with a mighty evil.

As Maren and Ursa are drawn to one another in ways that surprise them both, the island begins to close in on them, with Absalom's iron rule threatening Vardø's very existence.

Inspired by the real events of the Vardø storm and the 1621 witch trials, The Mercies is a story of love, evil, and obsession, set at the edge of civilization.
From Goodreads.

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I received this proof for free as a bookseller's reading copy from Picador for the purposes of recommending/handselling. I review all books I read honestly on my blog.

Continue reading Review: The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Monday, 22 June 2020

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Review: The Golden Key by Marian Womack

The Golden Key by Marian Womack

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The Golden Key by Marian Womack

Published: 18th February 2020 | Publisher: Titan Books | Cover Designer: Julia Lloyd | Source: Publisher
Marian Womack's Website

An extraordinary, page-turning Gothic mystery set in the wilds of the Norfolk Fens from the BSFA-shortlisted author.

London, 1901. After the death of Queen Victoria the city heaves with the uncanny and the eerie. Séances are held and the dead are called upon from darker realms.

Samuel Moncrieff, recovering from a recent tragedy of his own, meets Helena Walton-Cisneros, one of London’s most reputed mediums. But Helena is not what she seems and she’s enlisted by the elusive Lady Matthews to solve a twenty-year-old mystery: the disappearance of her three stepdaughters who vanished without a trace on the Norfolk Fens.

But the Fens are a liminal land, where folk tales and dark magic still linger. With locals that speak of devilmen and catatonic children found on the Broads, Helena finds the answer to the mystery leads back to where it started: Samuel Moncrieff.
From Goodreads.

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I was sent this review copy for free by Titan Books for the purposes of providing an honest review.

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Thursday, 11 June 2020

Done With Rowling

Trigger Warning: Transphobia. 

Until the very recent past, Once Upon a Bookcase was only a book blog. A book blog that promoted diverse books. It was also a book blog where I was very vocal about my love of the Harry Potter books. Because of this, I feel it is important that I speak up regarding J.K. Rowling's recent transphobic tweets and essay on her website. I am absolutely disgusted. I am horrified at the pain and suffering trans and non-binary people are experiencing because of her transphobia. I am so damn angry.
Continue reading Done With Rowling

Monday, 30 March 2020

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Review: Mythos by Stephen Fry

Mythos by Stephen Fry

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Mythos by Stephen Fry

Published: 26th July 2018 | Publisher: Penguin | Source: Bought
Stephen Fry's Website

No one loves and quarrels, desires and deceives as boldly or brilliantly as Greek gods and goddesses.

In Stephen Fry's vivid retelling we gaze in wonder as wise Athena is born from the cracking open of the great head of Zeus and follow doomed Persephone into the dark and lonely realm of the Underworld. We shiver when Pandora opens her jar of evil torments and watch with joy as the legendary love affair between Eros and Psyche unfolds.

Mythos captures these extraodinary myths for our modern age - in all their dazzling and deeply human relevance.
From Goodreads.

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Having had my interest in the Greek myths reignited by Great Goddesses by Nikita Gill, I dived right into Mythos by Stephen Fry straight after. However, while it was interesting, it wasn't what I expected, and I felt quite disappointed.
Continue reading Review: Mythos by Stephen Fry

Monday, 23 March 2020

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Review: Great Goddesses by Nikita Gill

Great Goddesses by Nikita Gill

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Great Goddesses by Nikita Gill

Published: 5th September 2019 | Publisher: Ebury Press | Source: Bought
Nikita Gill on Instagram

Empowering life lessons from myths and monsters.

Wonder at Medusa's potent venom, Circe's fierce sorcery and Athena rising up over Olympus, as Nikita Gill majestically explores the untold stories of the life bringers, warriors, creators, survivors and destroyers that shook the world - the great Greek Goddesses.

Vividly re-imagined and beautifully illustrated, step into an ancient world transformed by modern feminist magic.

'I watch Girl become Goddess
and the metamorphosis is more
magnificent than anything
I have ever known.'
From Goodreads.

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Monday, 16 March 2020

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Review: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

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The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Published: 12th June 2008 | Publisher: Gollancz | Source: Gift
Patrick Rothfuss' Website

'I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

My name is Kvothe.
You may have heard of me.'
From Goodreads.

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Monday, 9 March 2020

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Review: The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

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The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

Published: Del Rey | Publisher: 3rd October 2019 | Cover Design: Head Design | Cover Illustrations: Aitch | Source: Bought
Katherine Arden's Website

Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen.

The Winternight Trilogy introduced an unforgettable heroine, Vasilisa Petrovna, a girl determined to forge her own path in a world that would rather lock her away. Her gifts and her courage have drawn the attention of Morozko, the winter-king, but it is too soon to know if this connection will prove a blessing or a curse.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.
From Goodreads.

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My other reviews of The Winternight Trilogy:
The Bear and the Nightingale | The Girl in the Tower

WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoilt for you.

Continue reading Review: The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden