Honeyed Words is the sequel to Black Blade Blues. I enjoyed this quite a lot more than the first book. While I had been interested by the characters aHoneyed Words is the sequel to Black Blade Blues. I enjoyed this quite a lot more than the first book. While I had been interested by the characters and the setting, I was put off the first book by Sarah's internal conflicts. As a queer woman, I really don't want to read about characters who hate themselves because they're gay.
Sarah has, thankfully, gotten over those issues. Honeyed Words was blessedly free of the self-hate, and although she still has things that she is working through, including repercussions from the events from book one, the romance with Katie was very much at the forefront. There aren't enough books out there with sweet lesbian romances. :)
The external plot is a little slow, and it isn't immediately obvious how everything ties together, but I enjoyed it. It's different than your average fast-paced urban fantasy, which is a nice change. It's a slower, more thoughtful story.
All in all, an enjoyable read, and I can't wait for the next book!...more
I loved this book. Some time ago, I stumbled across Sarah Diemer's website when a friend linked to a(Fair warning: I suck at writing formal reviews.)
I loved this book. Some time ago, I stumbled across Sarah Diemer's website when a friend linked to a contest she had running. Her premise of a lesbian retelling of the myth of Hades and Persephone fascinated me. For one, it's one of my favorite classical Greek myths. For another -- LESBIANS! Who get to have adventures! SQUEE.
This is very much a character story more than a plot story. It's about Persephone finding out who she is, and who she loves. It's most certainly a romance. All of the characters are well-drawn, even the ones who appear only briefly. I particularly loved Pallas, Athena's spurned lover.
I felt the explanation for why Hades is referred to as male easily believable. Basically, Zeus is a patriarchal, chauvinistic asshole who thinks that women exist only to please him (which is not far off from Greek myth), and "Lord" Hades is a jab at his sister, who is somewhat masculine.
The romance between Hades and Persephone was terribly sweet and had me saying "Awwwwww" out loud at several points in the story. My only quibble is that the book is labeled YA, and some of the sex scenes are a bit more sensual than I'm used to seeing in YA. Not explicit, but more along the lines of, say, Mercedes Lackey. This doesn't bother me any, being an adult ;) but I wouldn't have known it was supposed to be YA if it hadn't been marketed as such.
All in all, an incredible book, and Sarah Diemer has won a reader for life. Especially if there are more awesome lesbians. :)...more
I really enjoyed this book. The premise is intriguing, the worldbuilding interesting, the characters engaging, and the storyline kept my attention. II really enjoyed this book. The premise is intriguing, the worldbuilding interesting, the characters engaging, and the storyline kept my attention. I would have given it 4 stars, but unfortunately, I did not find the ending at all plausible. There were simply too many logical holes. ...more
**spoiler alert** This book was a difficult one for me to rate. The writing is superb, I love the world setting, and many of the secondary characters**spoiler alert** This book was a difficult one for me to rate. The writing is superb, I love the world setting, and many of the secondary characters are charming and amusing (I especially loved Florentine, and even more when her past history is revealed -- I could've read a whole book about her). However, I found the primary character somewhat dull, but still sympathetic. Based on all that, I probably would have rated the book 4 stars. But the hero... well, I doubt you could call him a hero. Petulant, selfish, and hair trigger temper.
I found his explosion toward Quilla at the end of the book unacceptable. It's certainly the "black moment" of the book, but adding that the resolution and "happy ending" is incredibly short compared to the rest of the story... honestly, I did not come away with any belief that he had changed, and as an abuse survivor, I found it chilling, since Gabriel forces Quilla to crawl on her knees for the express purpose of humiliation, and very nearly beats her with his belt in more than once instance.
I think had the resolution been longer, it could have persuaded me, because it was shown that Gabriel was trying to change... but as it stands, I wasn't convinced that the hero was anything more than an abuser going through the charming, contrite, apologetic, win-her-back portion of the abuse cycle. I finished the book not happy for the romance, but scared for Quilla's well-being.
The so-called romance, I would give 1-2 stars. The rest of the book, I would give 5....more