The Highland Witch by Susan Fletcher
This book is about Corrag, a young woman in touch with the earth and on the run from anyone who may brand her a witch. Which is everyone at the end of the 17th century. We learn her story in two different points of view: present day from the point of view of the man who went to see her in prison and in past tense, her story from her point of view.
As I read this book I felt an overwhelming need to go to Scotland, ride a horse, and be an herbalist. Corrag’s relationship with her horse was one of my most favorite parts of the book. I didn’t give it five stars because it took me about 1/4 of the book to really get into it and feel invested in the story.
Competence by Gail Carriger
Unfortunately, Competence was quite a miss for me. There have always been players in the Parasolverse who do not conform to social norms, especially 19th century norms, and they have been written in a way that stays true to their character while still fitting perfectly in with everyone else’s story. With this book, it felt more like we were reading about Prim and Tasherit’s sexual tension with a shadow of adventure going on in the background. The LGBT aspects of the book felt very unnatural with the rest of the story and to me it feels like they were put there just to be there.
As with the first two books in the Custard Protocol series, this book reads as a YA book with very adult subjects. Carriger’s most recent books are all weighted quite heavily with adult subject matter compared to earlier works, and I can’t say I’m a fan of it. I also just really don’t like Prudence. If these books weren’t set in this universe I would have given it a lower rating but I can’t find it in my heard to give a Parasolverse book fewer than three stars.
A favorite quote: “I do think of tassels as the height of civilisation, don’t you?” Tasherit p.171
Bella Figura by Kamin Mohammadi
Despite the tag of, “How to Live, Love, and Eat the Italian Way,” this book is much more memoir than Italian guide. There are a few good tips, for sure, but they feel like they were just added on to most of the stories of Kamin’s first year in Italy. It is an enjoyable read; light, entertaining, and I finished it in less than 24 hours.
Morning Glory Murder by Jessica L. Randall
Morning Glory Murder is a great Midwestern cozy. Set in Nebraska, it takes place in a small community inhabited by descendants of Romani immigrants who all have small powers, or inheritances, giving the book a delightful dose of magical realism. Eden’s inheritance is making those around her talk, whether it’s rambling on about their life story or sharing a deep secret. After moving to her new neighborhood she discovers that her family has been cursed along with another local family, making it so they can’t get physically close to each other. This, combined with the murder of a neighbor, causes Eden to become involved with her community whether she wants to or not. I subtracted a star because the Eden makes repeated questionable decisions; I feel that she could have been a stronger character.
This is a light and enjoyable read for anyone who likes cozies or magical realism.
I was given a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Flavor Vol. 1 by Joseph Keatinge
A young crêpe chef (!!!) enters a major competition despite not coming from a privileged background. I hadn’t read a culinary-themed comic before but I trust Joe because Glory and Shutter are two of my faavorite reads. This volume focuses on world building and setting things up for what is to come. I really hope we get more from this comic. As a bonus there are entries in the back of each issue from a food scientist to teach you about food, ingredients, and Crêpes Suzette.
This isn’t an exhaustive list. If you’d like to see all of the books I read, follow me on Goodreads.