Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 1-16-24
YA - Fantasy

A Drop of Venom- Sajni Patel: When Manisha was young, her people were attacked by the King and forced to scatter for their survival. Despite wanting to stay with her family, Manisha was sent to work in one of the King's temples as a priestess, biding her time by gathering information on her enemies. While at the temple, Manisha crosses paths with Pratyush, the famed Slayer of Monsters and the King's most prized warrior. Pratyush is tired after years of fighting and wants to settle down and live a peaceful life, one with Manisha if she'd have him. But then, a temple visitor assaults Manisha and pushes her off a mountain. But instead of falling to her death, Manisha lands in a pit of snakes who proceed to bite her all over, infusing her body with venom. When rumors spread about a dangerous monster turning men to stone, the King sends Pratyush to slay the beast. But will Pratyush be able to swing his blade when he finds out the monster he was sent to kill is the girl he wants to marry?

This was one of the most unique Medusa retellings I've read in a while. I loved the incorporation of Indian mythology and thought it added another level to the story. I enjoyed following our two main characters, but, at times, I found their POVs hard to follow due to the different timelines. I don't know if I necessarily believe in the romance aspect between them because we didn't get enough build-up for it to feel real, but I'm hoping it will develop more in the coming books. Aside from that, I enjoyed this a lot and am looking forward to seeing the story progress. Patel's writing was lush and powerful; she never shied away from exposing the harsh realities of being a woman. That said, I would recommend checking out trigger warnings before picking this up.

Rating: 3.5/5

Pub Date: 8-30-22
Adult - Fantasy

The Serpent and the Wings of Night- Carissa Broadbent: Orphaned as a child, Oraya was taken in by the fearsome Nightborn vampire king. Being human, Oraya knew that if she wanted to survive in a world of beings who wanted her dead, she would need to grow her own set of fangs. She trained and honed her skills from a young age, but it still wasn't enough to keep her safe. Oraya knows the only way to ensure her survival would be to win the legendary Kejari, a deadly competition held by the goddess of death herself. Against her better judgment, Oraya must ally herself with Raihn, the handsome enemy of her father's crown. As the competition gets deadlier, the pair find themselves growing closer, but war is on the horizon, and Raihn is hiding a secret that will destroy everything that Oraya holds dear.

I've seen so many TikTok girlies going feral for this series, so I wanted to see what it was all about. Gotta say I don't get it. Like, it was fine, but nothing too spectacular. It felt like every other romantasy out there. It was chock full of all the stereotypical tropes, which made it super predictable. But was I still entertained the entire time? Yes. I liked the banter between Oraya and Raihn but thought the chemistry could've used some work. I also liked the competition aspect, but I wish there would've been more background about it because I didn't fully comprehend why they had it in the first place. While it lacked a few key factors for me, it was a fast, fun read, and I'm intrigued enough to pick up the next one.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 7-21-20
YA - Fantasy

A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking- T. Kingfisher: Unlike the other wizards in her town, Mona isn't using her powers to defend against invaders but to bake bread. Mona's powers can't call down lightning or speak to water, but she can turn a stale loaf of bread fresh again. Mona, and her sourdough starter familiar, is happy to while away the hours working at her aunt's bakery. But when a dead body is found on the bakery's floor, Mona's quiet life turns upside down. An assassin is stalking the streets, preying on magical users, and has his eyes set on Mona. If Mona wants to stop a war from breaking out in her town, she'll have to stretch her powers to their limits and hope her bread army will rise to the occasion.

This was probably the most charming of all the Kingfisher books I've read so far. It was so whimsical. I loved the idea of this wizard who uses her powers to bake and would rather make gingerbread men dance than fight a war. Mona is such a young, naïve character who gets thrust into saving her entire town, and I liked how she did everything on her terms. I liked watching her grow into her powers and gain confidence in her abilities. I loved all the baking elements. Bob, the sourdough starter, and the gingerbread man stole the show. If you're looking for a quick, fun fantasy that feels more middle-grade, I recommend checking it out.

Rating: 3/5


Popular Posts