This MG fantasy novel includes fantastic world-building, a great heroine, complex family dynamics, an intriguing mystery, fascinating magic and a ridiThis MG fantasy novel includes fantastic world-building, a great heroine, complex family dynamics, an intriguing mystery, fascinating magic and a ridiculously fun masked ball. In other words, it is utterly delicious and EXACTLY my kind of book!
Highly recommended, whether or not you've read Book 1 in the series (which is also excellent)....more
Note: I'm reading this as my bedtime book, for which it is absolutely perfect: charming, absorbing and low-tension. It's also SO distinctively writtenNote: I'm reading this as my bedtime book, for which it is absolutely perfect: charming, absorbing and low-tension. It's also SO distinctively written in her voice - I can practically hear her reading it out loud as I read my paperback copy.
And people who've read my own Renegade Magic/A Tangle of Magicks will completely understand why this is my favorite anecdote so far:
"Later we had a miniature dachshund that had back problems and lost the use of its hind legs, so Dad bandaged its legs in old socks to protect the skin as they dragged along the floor. He then came up with the bright idea of taking the dog swimming to try and develop its muscles. As he was Bath's Chairman of Planning at the time, Dad was very involved with the city and had free access to the Roman Baths. He gave Mum the keys to the Great Bath, the magnificent central pool that was the jewel of the ancient complex - now too precious for public use - and every day she smuggled in the dachshund when no one else was around, to give it swimming lessons. Under the gaze of the statues of Roman Emperors and Governors that lined the historic hot pool, our little dog would furiously paddle away in the warm water until gradually it regained use of its legs and started to walk again."
This is one of those books where I feel like I have to say first: please don't judge it by the cover! Honestly, I would never have picked it up basedThis is one of those books where I feel like I have to say first: please don't judge it by the cover! Honestly, I would never have picked it up based on that cover if I hadn't known Tarr's work already, but I loooooove Judith Tarr's historical fantasy novels, so I backed the Kickstarter for this book and I'm so glad I did - I loooooved the advance copy that I got to read!
It's a really lovely short contemporary fantasy novel about horses and magic and a woman finding her own power. It's beautifully written, I loved the cranky heroine, and the magic itself is just fabulous. I've never been a particularly horsey person, but I LOVED the horses in this story, and I can't wait to read the next Horses of the Moon story! I really want to know what happens next....more
This turned out to be one of my very favorite books in the series (and this is, by far, my favorite-ever urban fantasy series - I didn't click with BoThis turned out to be one of my very favorite books in the series (and this is, by far, my favorite-ever urban fantasy series - I didn't click with Book 1, but when I started again with Book 3, I got hooked HARD). I love the combination of humor with real emotion, tension and adventure, and these characters all feel like old friends by now. I loved the mixture of madcap wedding planning moments along with genuinely heartwrenching issues, freaky magic and fun fantasy action. I adored all the different kinds of relationships between women in this book, including one I would never, ever have guessed at any earlier in this series - it came as a delicious surprise in this book. And most of all, I cannot wait for the next book! ...more
If you like 1930s mysteries, sharp, spiky girls, and British boarding school stories, you have to read this book (and series)! It is utterl*4.5 stars*
If you like 1930s mysteries, sharp, spiky girls, and British boarding school stories, you have to read this book (and series)! It is utterly delicious. The writing style is beautifully resonant of Dorothy Sayers, the humor is wry, the characters are fabulous, and the solution of the mystery genuinely surprised me (in a very good way).
I absolutely loved Hazel Wong, the heroine of this book, and her best-friendship with Daisy Wells (the founder and president of their secret detective society) is fascinating and complex, believable and totally compelling. The only reason this book is 4.5 stars for me instead of 5 is (view spoiler)[because I was so furious on Hazel's behalf by halfway through the novel that I wanted Hazel to get MUCH more from Daisy by the end of this book. Outright grovelling might not be in Daisy's nature, but I wanted Hazel to get more external recognition from Daisy - or at the very least more internal validation of her own to make up for Daisy's hideous behavior in the past (their backstory) and also confirm that it's ridiculous for her to be treated as anything but an equal partner in this friendship (and detective society).
I completely believed in the racism that Hazel was dealing with in this book, as a girl from Hong Kong in an English boarding school (which includes the generally accepted idea that Daisy, as the blonde, blue-eyed daughter of an English lord, SHOULD be the primary member of their friendship), and on the whole, I thought that issue was handled really well by the author - but I was SO fervently on Team Hazel that I wanted even more of a satisfying victory for her against those awful attitudes by the end of the novel. (hide spoiler)]
However, this is only Book 1 in the series, so I have high hopes that the power imbalance between Hazel and Daisy, at least, will be resolved over the rest of the series...
...And I ordered Book 2 approximately 30 seconds after finishing Book 1 (and have Books 3 & 4 waiting for me at the library already!) so I should find out very soon. This is a series to ZOOM through - totally addictive and delicious!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more