Bleu Reviews: The Invisible Library

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The Invisible Library By: Genevieve Cogman Rating: 5 out of 5

***There May Be Some Indirect Spoilers, I Try To Be As Vague As Possible ***

Another book completed to add to my 2018 Reading Challenge. After finishing Renegades by Marissa Meyer, I was looking for something different. I even considered that YA may no longer be for me.

My interests tend to linger on the more grotesque of topics and the more gore the better in my opinion.  As a result of fine tuning the specific kinds of books I like, I stumbled across this series and it just topped my list of MUST READS.

I originally discovered this book while doing a Bookstore browse and was actually pulled in by the fourth installment of the series. That book’s cover had a Great Gatsby layout that piqued my interest, but, as an avid book collector and lover of series I had to start with the first book to be sure it was worth the time.

Though still technically a YA novel, “The Invisible Library” turned out to be more exciting than it sounded. The book was full of my favorite things; an amazing creatively developed world, with well-rounded, expertly written, relatable snarky characters. A img_20180624_231004_5964887169042057646425.jpgcreative magical system that uses actual language, (both written and spoken) to thrive. Secret Societies dedicated to the procurement of specialty works of fiction, “By Any (most) Means Necessary” Alternate worlds offering various pending adventures as well as misadventures and a female protagonist, which I’m always down for.

There is even mild sexual tension between characters Irene and Kai and a possible love triangle if we are willing to make Vale a true contender for her affections. Those who enjoy a little romance to break up their action will be pleasantly occupied with the developments there. Cogman did an impressive job developing the plot.

The mystery aspects of the novel were so well conceived that the reader was gradually transported to the same conclusions the characters themselves reached around the same img_20180624_230527_3388987632588590467996.jpgtime. I will admit, on a few occasions, I even guessed at some of the scenes. A true indicator that I was connecting with the story.

The Invisible Library, was a relatively quick read and I would have finished it sooner, if not for family emergencies and a dread of finishing before I had time to buy the next book. This is one series I’m considering borrowing from the library.

I choose my fantasy mostly based on the entertainment factor,  though, a few books manage to toss in an underlying message that I have to dissect later. This book had such a quality. The nature of the library isn’t to interfere nor is it to become attached, yet in essence it’s function seems to be a contradiction.

Agents must intervene in order to intercept the works of fiction, either passively as in most missions (as explained by Irene) or through more direct methods as displayed in the story. Likewise forming attachments, at times prove useful as secrecy isn’t always best when trying to gain information.

I was satisfied with how the first book ended understanding that there is more to it since there are four completed works in this series. I love the overall concept that a secret society of librarians exist to gather books from alternate realms. The Mythos behind it’s forming and its true nature are also things I’m looking forward to learning more about. Very eager to get my hands on the next book, which the author was so kind as to include as an excerpt in the first one.

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What’s Your Favorite Book About Books?

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Bleu Reviews: Renegades

 

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Rating: 4 out of  5

I have finally read a book written by Marissa Meyer and considering the page count, I’m very proud of myself.  I fell into a reading slump during this book, and had to switch to an audio book to actually complete the novel but I finished and i’m still on track for my 2018 Reading Challenge.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer is a YA novel all about superheroes. Very much in the way of X-Men, these “prodigies” (mutants, specials whatevs) were being persecuted for their gifts and were only free of that persecution after a revolt. What would later become the villains were originally the ones willing to fight to end the system that oppressed them. As usual with these sort of things, the power went to their heads and we were faced with a decade of anarchy.

My favorite parts of this book would be the plot and underlying message the book itself conveys. In Renegades, post anarchy, the Renegades are both the police force and  the governing body. Civilization has ground to a halt and prodigies are relied on for everything. It makes me think of the Powerpuff Girls, Too Pooped to Puff  (Season 2, Episode 3) it seems the non-prodigy citizens of Gatlon have fallen into the same boat.

The worst part of the read was really just the pacing, the action scenes were fast-paced, easy to get through but the delivery of backstory  d    r     a    g    g    e    d …  and it killed me at times to read. I finally caved and hunted down an audio book on YouTube.

20180624_152315I love that the two main characters have triple identities and that you can see where at times Nova truly believes in the intent of the Renegades mission while not necessarily agreeing with their existence.

Nova was my favorite character, her inner turmoil made getting through the slower parts more enjoyable. I especially love where the first book leaves her and I’m eager to find out what happens to her next. Sketch is easily overshadowed as far as characters go though he is very well written as the “all-american” golden boy, it feels pretty cliche at times and the only thing changing that was the introduction of the Sentinel.

There are definitely a few plot twists I hadn’t seen coming, but for now I’m only finishing the series because I started it and want to know what Nova plans to do next. I did hear that this was also going to be a graphic novel. I’m much more interested in seeing what the story looks like.
 

Who’s Your Favorite Villain?

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You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

Bleu Reviews: Chinese Cinderella

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Rating: 5 out of  5

I seldom read anything that is not made up. A choice that excludes news, and other great pieces of writing simply because these things actually happened. However, occasionally I find myself straying from my comfort zone to stare change in the face and to embrace something different. This time around it would be a memoir with a catchy title.

Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter

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Based on the life and upbringing of NY Times bestselling author Adeline Yen Mah, Chinese Cinderella,  shares her life and experiences from early childhood until around age fourteen when thanks to good fortune she is able to escape her family.

My initial thoughts were focused around how beautifully written yet highly infuriating  the story was.  I was drawn in by the title, Cinderella, being one of my favorite fairy tales and often used to describe a young woman forced into servitude of her family. I was half expecting a prince to be included and a royal ball to be her saving grace.

This tale was slightly different, still very much a heart-wrenching story of injustice. Reading this story I felt a great deal of sadness and anger on her behalf.  I found myself wishing I had a time machine, so I could go back and rescue the poor child myself.

This story reminds me of “A Child Called It”, by Dave Pelzer. Though Yen Jun-Ling isn’t adelinescleft in a shed or fed dog food, her banishment to a war torn boarding school feels comparable. She isn’t physically abused though the psychological and verbal abuse she experiences shapes her just as strongly in the end. Her familial isolation leads her towards the path of scholarship and literature and she excels despite having few people in her corner.

Her only refuge are her grandfather and aunt whom try to aide her as best they can but also become victims to Niang’s cruelty. I honestly felt both anger and sympathy for them. The once proud head of the family withered by age and illness forced to rely on his vapid son and his wicked younger second wife. I understood the hierarchy of things but still wished Aunt Baba could’ve popped Niang just once.

The book was a quick read, ending when Yen Mah was 14 and on her way to Oxford, to think that she came very close to being forced out of school and into the workforce by her father and stepmother is appalling. That she was only sent to Oxford after winning a literary competition and that even then her father decided she would go for medicine is equally disgusting.

Even though Niang was the primary villain of the book I think the true bad guy was her father. He was her FATHER for crying out loud, she was literally the fruit of his loins, yet he allowed this woman to divide his children, mistreat the originals and literally scar his last child by his first wife. Instead of holding onto her as the final memory of his late wife he treated her worse than the German Shepherd he’d purchased.

Best Part of The Book —> Her finally being free of the terrible family she had. Her second oldest brother was also a jerk. I don’t have fond thoughts of her family but luckily they believe in Karma so they’ll all be reincarnated as dung beetles.

It was a pretty interesting book, as a quick read I may add more memoirs into my collection of books to read throughout the year. I am hoping to get at least 4 non-fiction books into my completed pile before the year is out.

Name Your Favorite Memoir?

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You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

Bleu Reviews: Circe

 

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Rating: 5 out of  5

I spent the best part of my adolescence immersed in Greek mythology, it’s what started me down my path to fiction appreciation and is a large part of the genre I write. Whenever I can find a book that utilizes mythology, of course I want to grab it! I’d been hunting down  Circe  by Madeline Miller for months to add it to my collection dying to see if she’d keep true to the old myths. Though she definitely borrowed from bards I hadn’t even read up to this point Madeline Miller  was able to breathe new life into an old tale, her adaptation of Circe, elevating the character beyond her usual role as supporting cast.

With a cast as overbearing as the Olympians and the Titans themselves it is easy to see how she’s been relegated to clever witch of the magical isle. Even in the beginning of this tale she starts her journey as the plain, unimpressive eldest daughter of Helios and Perse. Circe is said to be named after a hawk or falcon as her voice sounds shrill to the ears of her divine parents. Overlooked and undervalued throughout the realms like a baby bird she wilts and shrivels beneath the brightness of her family; whom never see her as interesting, intelligent or crafty. She has a proclivity towards humans which to her family makes her weak. For a large part of the story she is often seeking love or approval, a desperation that makes her a target for the cruel whims of the Gods.

Circe through Miller’s eyes is less malicious and easily swayed as she appears in the tales of the Odyssey. She is neither damsel nor crone yet she is just as formidable, that peace of her Miller captures effortlessly.  Circe manages to hold onto her vulnerability wearing it around her the way the Gods wore their divinity. She rebelled against all things that made her divine and instead fought for her mortality every chance she got. Her refusal to conform to their societal norms where the Olympians were at present higher ranked and Titans bowed to their whims, Circe stood just outside of this bowing to no one and living in exile for it.

Throughout the book we see Circe test her boundaries with regards to her rebellion against her father and the Olympians. First when discovering her gifts and later in response to using them. She welcomes what they would call a punishment as a respite from years of internal isolation and grows into herself on the island of Aiaia. She clung to  fear hoping it would protect her from some untold wrath it was only when she released herself from those fears that she was able to finally free herself.

When the novel begins we see Circe as the abused eldest daughter who’s  eagerness to please and dote on strangers repeatedly becomes her undoing. She seeks out any form of connection because of the attention it provides despite how she is treated in return. Circe  endures these toxic cycles fashioned from her need to feel appreciated while others use her gifts, her insecurities and her hospitality to their ends.

On some level I feel we can all relate to the feelings Circe struggles with  especially afterfb_img_1528342945463658556408.jpg years of exile. The novelty of freedom wearing off she was faced with the abrupt and endless loneliness immortality forced her into. Couple that with years of eing mentally trained that you are worthless, useless and better off as a pillar of salt. That she found her inner power at all was a miracle.

Circe’s discovery of her powers is a pivotal moment in the book. Until this point she was a shrinking violet, withering away to nothing. Even the pace of the book was a bit slower during this period of her life. Until Circe meets Glaucos there is no real action. If Circe was a child before she begins a sort of puberty in the following chapters  experiencing her first crush, heartbreak and even envy. If it were not for this Circe may have never came into her powers and there would have been no tale.

Circe’s obsession with the mortality of humans is a motivation for her throughout the book. She seems always preoccupied with the withering years of the humans she encounters. It is the disposition that makes her the scapegoat. She is the most disposable or so they think. Circe’s discovery of her powers may have come as a happy accident but her evolution as a witch was a sheer force of will.

At first magic is described as means of bringing forth ones truest self. We see that Circe’s magic has that effect on everyone she seems to come into contact with. It revealed Glaucos to be as vile and cruel as any of the Gods. Showed Scylla for the monster she truly was. It even revealed the goddess herself to be more than the mere whipping-post her family had relegated her to .

Until that point, Circe  hadn’t bothered to stand up for herself or what she wanted in any way. She’d been a doormat, being browbeaten and berated endlessly. Her transformation of Scylla was the first time she did something out of spite and for her own benefit.  The aftermath of that one moment stayed with her throughout the book and it was considered her greatest regret. She was both physical punished and forced into exile because of this, yet her exile became her salvation.

It is on that island that she found her power.

The themes of women and power are heavily explored in Circe.  Throughout the novel there are several examples of women who use everything from looks to the ability to bear children as a means to carve out a place for themselves in the male dominated world they live in.

It is Perse’s womb that carried the witches, each child a new string of amber beads to brag about. Pasiphae uses both her magic and her womb to control Minos, a son of Zeus he is powerless against her succumbing to her will. Pasiphae in turn debases herself in unspeakable ways all in attempts to be remembered. All in pursuit of greater power.

fb_img_15283430110441541008710.jpgEven the Goddess Athena; who is as worthy an adversary as any male mentioned in this story, even mentioned more fearfully than males in this particular novel, requires the male heroes to do her bidding because it is there offerings she craves.

This novel also explores the varying concepts of power. There seemed to be a sort of Cold War between the remaining Titans and the Olympians which threatened to break into a new war at any minute. The Olympians understood that their victories were mostly won through the alliances forged with other Titans willing to stand by them. The Titans saw that they were greatly outnumbered at this point and for some they were fairly outmatched. Physical power and the power of wills are two very strong themes.

In witchcraft a spell is only as powerful as the will of the one casting it. The power to sway minds and souls. There are many striations of power and the lengths individuals are willing to go through to wield it. Circe seems to gravitate to her magic because it is the one thing that seems to make her less of a victim. She who spent all her life at the mercy of others was able to wield a power that even rivaled the goddess Athena.

If there was one thing that frustrated me with the character of Circe it was her love life. Even this trait is a testament to the development of the character, Miller did great work here in making her well rounded. Circe is a classic case of a young woman with “daddy issues”. Because she never received the love or compassion from her father, she takes any semblance of kindness towards her and runs with it.

We see it with Glaucos but we see it repeated with Hermes. Though she is aware he sees her as a novelty she entertains him anyway, losing herself in him for a time. He shares with her news of the world she is unable to experience for herself however for Hermes she is another story to tell.

She finds herself more interested in mortals.  First Daedelus, the talented builder, who was so enchanted by her he crafted the loom she’d kept in her home. Then Odysseus who’s stay on her island showed a different side to their encounter.

What’s most interesting is the way Odysseus himself is portrayed throughout the book, he is most certainly wily but there was a darkness in him that Circe seemed to quell. He brought her from the brink of darkness herself. They’d both been broken for so long at that point, she’d taken to converting any sailor unfortunate enough to grace her shores and he literally lost his way on the seas at the mercy of vengeful Gods. Their relationship29981ab05cb409815c35e0fce5b0d0fe1694326308.jpg was built on the hopes of a safe-haven.

Another really interesting turn in the book occurred when Circe discovered she was pregnant. Whether she intended to become that way or it was purely accidental i’m still not entirely sure. She chose to keep him secret finally having something of her own to love that couldn’t leave so easily. Circe had evolved many times up to this point but she  changes again. Motherhood made Circe her most fierce and her most fragile. She was willing to go to the depths of the earth and back for her son and to keep him she opened her heart and her home in ways she’d never expected.

Circe was so fearful of mortality despite coveting the human experience. She could walk with them sharing in their moments but never truly feeling what it was to be human. She possessed many of the qualities without realizing it, perhaps she finally comes to that understanding towards the end of the book. It may even be what inspired that final act on the island.

Circe’s exile seemed to be one of her own design. As her sister said once lapping at the feet of the Gods made her closer to their feet. When Circe finally abandoned the fear that held her back she was able to force her will and free herself from her exile. In some way her release of exile was like shedding the final layers of who she’d been. As she stepped beyond the shores she have truly evolved into her truest self. The best transformation was gradual but saved for the final moments of the book.

I have to give Miller special acknowledgement for her skillful remastering of heroes whom even Disney has had their hands on and still giving them an original flair worth reading further into. Every facet of this book was ingenious and it’s clear how this book made the NY Times bestseller List. It is definitely one of my many favorites, I’ve recommended more times than I can count.
 

What Is Your Favorite Modern Myth?

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You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

Bleu Reviews: Children of Blood & Bone

 

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Rating: 4 out of 5

This is actually a slightly different review than what I posted on GoodReads but only because I’ve had some time to marinate on the book as a whole and I usually write my GoodReads review immediately after reading.

I’d really give this one a 3.5 but that’s still basically a 4.

The cover is gorgeous of course! The striking colors against the mottled black background share glimpses of red behind an opaque pitch; obscured by the shocking white of Zelie’s hair, scarves encircle the crescent of her forehead. Reminiscent of Storm from X-men, the young woman’s dark skin gleams from the cover, traces of tribal markings can barely be seen dancing around the edges of her steel gray eyes, calm but focused peering back at you.

Again, I love the overall concept of the book and Children of Blood & Bone  by Tomi Adeyemi, has a magical structure I can’t wait to see unfold. There seems to be elements to the story that indicate bringing magic back may have consequences no one was ready for. I’m looking forward to seeing what she does with the foundation she has set for us as the audience.

With that being said though,

Maji ClansI decided to read this along with a group and TBH, I must admit we all had the same kind of issue. If the main character was a girl you knew you’d probably have the “chill sis” conversation with her around page 348.

Some parts of the book were VERY predictable and it was easy to see where the author was working you for the sequel. As a rule of thumb, a novel in a series should be a complete story that fits snugly into a larger one. There are parts to this novel that feel like canyons we need to jump over to get through the book.

At times this book read like a harlequin romance novel. I’ll let you read it to find out which parts. 😉

Overall, I did thoroughly enjoyed reading it. There’s been so much build up around the book I was determined to scratch it off several TBR’s. It discussed cruelty and injustice that people experience when a government is against them. Touching on the civil unrest we (POC’s) experience today. The Author’s Note in the back goes a bit farther into Adeyemi’s feelings fb_img_15263592354151235954168.jpgon the historic and continued mistreatment of people of color and what really motivated her to write the book. 

*Side Note: The book has been getting critical acclaim by celebrities and press. With the help of  ICM Partners, Adeyemi landed a near seven-figure movie deal with FOX for her series as well as secured a pretty impressive publishing deal that recently closed with Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, making this 23-years-old first time author very wealthy. *

With all that buzz, at times I really had to consider if my opinion of the book was because I wanted to like the story or if I genuinely liked the story. Most days there was a mixture of both, but by the end of the book, I was certain of a few things.

As I said in my review of Song of Blood and Stone when magic is involved their are often only two outcomes. Those with it use that power to lord over those without or Those without it persecute those with it. In this instance those who should have it have been stripped of it and are still treated like vermin.

The thought and effort put into the history of the maji’s  was intense. The history of Sky Mother, the Gods and the 10 Maji clans is something I’m looking forward to exploring as she continues the series. The rituals, artifacts and language of the Maji was very believable. The history behind the royal family once revealed was also interesting, but I do wish to know more about what went awry that caused Saran’s “first family” to be murdered. 

So often is magic described as this never-ending thing, to think of a world in this sense where magic can and has been temporarily barred and the battle to return it is also what makes the book so captivating. I also really enjoyed all of the artwork associated with the book, that includes the names of the narrators, but, especially the world map in the beginning, I always love a good world map.

My favorite thing about this novel would have to be the characters, if Adeyemi did nothing else she developed the four main characters into tangible beings. Each person had a strength they didn’t realized they’d possessed and a vulnerability they were dsc_14621308978600.jpgdesperate to hide. The progression of the story exposes the weaknesses of Zelie, Amari, Inan and Tzain while challenging them to evolve into better stronger people or to perish beneath the weight of their doubts. The inner turmoil each character must overcome to truly fight for a better Orisha has been the most titillating part of the novel, at times it is the book’s saving grace.

I didn’t really care for the names of the animals there was no real difference between a Lionaire from a Panthenaire and a Gorillion is just a gorilla in my book. It seemed like a missed opportunity for the author to create creatures that truly added to the world they were in. The “Ryders”, are this world’s main source of transportation and the beasts are as involved in the story as their human counterparts. Yet they weren’t original nor were they that clever. They were merely the lackluster adjustments of existing animals. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the way the chapters were broken up, in fact at times some chapters were only three pages with no shift in narrator, a real distraction for me occasionally.

The book was a quick read  once I got into it, lasting it’s standard 4 days for it’s 500+ pages. Animal names aside, the language was also insightful as it taught me rudimentary Yoruba. The book seemed as true to facts as possible regarding the Orishan deities and their gifts. The clans as evidence of the Gods will was also a nice touch. Totally looking forward to the next installment. 

Though as rumors of the story now being stretched into seven books and the progression of the “fandom” takes hold I only hope this truly ends up being like Hogwarts and NOT like Shadow Hunters.

 

For more info about the Children of Blood and Bone movie click here.

 

 

What did you REALLY think about Children of Blood & Bone ?

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You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

Bleu Reviews: Dickmitized

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Rating: 5 out of 5

Before I fell in love with fantasy I was hardcore into Urban Fiction. There’s something about the realness of the stories that I could connect with but also some of the things I read were far stranger than any magical world I’d ever dreamed of. My passion for books as a whole has brought me to meet amazing authors, like Justin Q. Young, who was kind of enough to autograph my copy of Dickmitized after a cafe discussion one weekend.

My TBR pile back then and presently is through the roof, but fresh from reading Song of Blood and Stone. I figured 166 pages of something, “different” might pull me from the verges of a slump.

…And it did.

I definitely wasn’t expecting to find the story THAT interesting, yet still found myself rocking on the edge of my seat wondering what Josiah would get himself into next and 20180425_0943181700222862.jpghow he’d bounce back from the messes he’d created.

It was a fascinating tale of sexual conquests. A point blank perspective into the psyche of a womanizer and the women he frequents. There wasn’t much flowery language, I didn’t feel like there was a mood being set entirely. Josiah’s exploits are definitely vivid, if not at times a bit comical. Each chapter I found myself asking, do these things really happen in real life?”

I’m willing to bet that for some lucky men, it probably does. Having been a true blue “good girl” my entire life, I’m sure I wouldn’t know for certain.

My Favos: I absolutely love the story, yes I’m one of those people. The overall story was amazeballs. Womanizer goes for the ultimate goal of bedding two bestfriends but finds himself in waaaaaaay deeper than he expected. I’d read that all day.

Next I absolutely love the ingenuity of FHLIRT which I googled and is NOT  a real site. Though from the description in the book it totally could be. That was a creative twist to what could’ve been another braggy book about a bachelor banging his way through life. The site provided an added incentive, and make’s Josiah seem more like a sex addict than a mere man-whore.

The ending was a bit of a buzzkill. I seldom read stories told from a male perspective and Dickmitized is a lot more raw than my Zane novels; but, I must saw that as far as erotica goes it was definitely done tastefully. Not what I’d usually expect.  The main character was well-rounded and grew on you. It was a quick read, straight to the point. There are a few loose ends that I hope can be answered with maybe a pt. 6. The obvious rivalry between Josiah and Steve is something worthy of exploring as well as the true outcome in that game of Russian roulette.

 

 Have You Ever Been Dickmitized?

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You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

Bleu Reviews: Song of Blood & Stone

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Rating: 5 out of 5

We are dealing with jealous Gods again. One of my all time personal favorite things to read about are deities who’s temperaments mirror the societies who worshiped them. Why should this world be no different. Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope is the ultimate sibling rivalry spanning centuries.

The back of my book describes this story as a Tale of Romeo and Juliet meets Return of the King (Lord of the Rings reference?) I’m all too pleased to report that it reads true to the description. A tale of overcoming differences at it’s fullest. Song of Blood & Stone mirrors many of today’s injustices people of color presently face and without the adolescent suicide.

The Lagrimari, people gifted with EarthSong, are trapped at the mercy of a merciless villain who enslaves them and steals their most precious gift for his own depraved whims. They are shunned by their neighbors the Elsirans, who fear them after years of wars between the two sides.20180417_1857571116080946.jpg

A few of my absolute favorites! I’m digging the cover. Of course it’s partially blue but beyond that the cover just whispers ethereal and there’s a girl on the cover who looks like me, if you catch my drift? So i’m all for that. It looks as though the galaxy lies within this young woman which gets me excited for the story that lies beneath. This time you can totally judge a book by it’s cover. It is really as good as it looks.

I appreciated the fables that coincided each new chapter. It became a separate tale that both foreshadowed the chapters’ contents while also adding a richer layer to the overall story. We got to meet the spiders, jackals, horses etc. Which aide in most Afrikan folklore and further give in to the mythos of the world we’re reading about.

This book is really three separate stories in one; the superficial musings of the fables heading each chapter, offer a warning of what’s to come for our characters. The overall story of Jasminda and Jack who are thrust together in a whirlwind romance while trying to save the world as they know it; but also the underlying deeply woven backstory of Eero and Oola whom we wouldn’t have a story without. Their jaded history a monumental ripple that shaped the world Jasminda and Jack presently live in.

There are always two types of magical stories. Those where those with magic are in power, and the other where those with magic are scorned for their gifts. This was an interesting view at the latter.

Ironically in a time where people of color are openly mistreated based on their hue, Song of Blood and Stone explores the mistreatment of other persons of color gifted with a talent they are scorned for. Brainwashed by a mismanaged education of the past the Elsirians scorn the same people who’s gifts helped built the very city they stood on. The Lacrimari for their talents are forced to live in servitude or as peasants on the cusps of civilization. If not for the benefit of her mother Jasminda would’ve lived amongst those people. It would take the union of an EarthSinger and an Elsiran to unite the two worlds.

I absolutely loved the story obviously. A sucker for creative title headings again I cannot rave on enough about the fables to mark each new chapter.

Amidst a backdrop of war the love story of Jack and Jasminda unfurls. Despite her true heritage she appears to be Lagrimari and is gifted with EarthSong. She happens to share Elsiran blood which protects her from years of mistreatment in Lagrimar. However, her appearance means she is still treated like the Lagrimari. Jack doesn’t treat her the way she’s come to expect other Elsirans to treat her, and their romance seems for a time like a protective bubble against the harshness of their realities. His world soon crashes into hers and there is no going back.

I am all too excited about the ending of the book. I finished in about the time I figured I would and I’m hoping the next two books come out soon so I can get started on those as well. Apparently the sleeping Queen has many secrets to unfurl.

 

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