It’s May! I am so happy that summer has finally started to arrive. I read a lot, so I thought I would pull together some of my favourites from my bookshelf that is sure to have you sat out in the sunshine with something fruity – book in hand 🙂
AND I DARKEN
by Kiersten White
‘Vlad Dracul’s heavy brow descended like a storm when the doctor informed him that his wife had given birth to a girl.’
And I Darken is a beautifully written story. A must for every feminist and woman who wants to find her voice. Lada (based on Vlad the Impaler) is a fantastic mix of intelligence, determination and anger. Lada doesn’t conform to the rules society has pushed upon her. Her ruthlessness both saves and endangers her as she struggles to carve a path for herself and when she remembers – her brother. Set in the Ottoman Empire you follow Lada and Radu as they are forced into situations outside of their control. Kiersten White tackles big subjects such as sexuality, religion, conflict and betrayal, each complex and thoughtful. There are many points throughout the novel that force you to question your own morals, beliefs and behaviours. The first of a trilogy, And I Darken is a great novel that digs deep into flawed characters we can all relate to.
CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE
by Tomi Adeyemi
I have a lot of respect for Tomi Adeyemi. She has managed to portray an entire world, with history, culture and stunning imagery. Children of Blood and Bone follows feisty Zélie as she addresses head on the oppression of her people and the racial bias that eats into every aspect of the tale. Forced into an unlikely alliance she and her new companions endeavour to set all wrongs right. The depth of the characters is poetic to read, Adeyemi gives each their own story and you cannot help but empathise. Exploring the theme of prejudice, each character has to overcome their personal battles to break free of the box they have been put in. The magical world of Orïsha is explored and endured with grit as you follow each character as they learn to push beyond their fears of alienation.
‘People often shit themselves when they die. Their muscles slack and their souls flutter free and everything else just… slips out.’
Honest, brutal and to the point. Jay Kristoff paints a dark tale of murder, revenge and deceit. Assassin-in-training, Mia has one goal – retribution. The lengths she will go to get it form an intricately woven story where you are always on the backfoot. Kristoff’s use of characters such as Mister Kindly ask the questions on behalf of the reader, giving context or simply adding an extra layer of shadow. The story is told through two voices as the narrator pauses periodically to speak directly to the reader, offering history, side stories or opinions. Nevernight is a refreshing read that captures the imagination and is not to be missed.