How Not to End a Trilogy: The Case of The Folk of the Air

This review has been three years in the making. Lol.

When I first read The Cruel Prince back in 2018, I honestly saw the appeal. I thought it wasn’t a particularly great book, but it was a highly entertaining one. It was problematic as fuck – it portrayed a victim being in a romantic relationship with her abuser as a good thing and perpetuated that age-old super harmful stereotype of boys being mean to girls because they like them. But it was still enjoyable to read because its main character was one of the most ruthless, ambitious, cunning girls I’ve ever seen in YA fiction. I didn’t know where The Cruel Prince was going to take me, but I did know I wanted to go along with Jude Duarte.

Little did I know the Jude that developed in The Cruel Prince, the Jude that I fell in love with in The Wicked King, was going to be snatched away and replaced by a changeling (hah!) in The Queen of Nothing.

Read on to find out how I was let down by one of the most anticipated reads of the entire YA community.

(Be aware though that this discussion post is not spoiler-free!)

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Get The Cruel Prince here, The Wicked King here, or The Queen of Nothing here.

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[Book Review] The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso // a portrait of the Filipino woman

Listen. If you don’t know by now how hard I ball for Filipino authors – well then, allow me to take the time to welcome you to my blog, because you’re definitely new around these parts if you don’t know that about me!

I’ve been a long-time fan and supporter of Kay’s, and when I heard that her novel The Wolf of Oren-Yaro was going to be published, I was ecstatic. Not only because it’s a magnificent, unapologetically Filipino-coded high fantasy, but also because my dream publisher and favourite industry bookish people of all time, Orbit, was the pioneer that decided to take a chance on this novel. Naturally, when Shealea (whose blog is temporarily down while she makes some improvements!) announced the #HailTheBitchQueen tour, I knew I had to sign up.

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Get this book here!

Despite my hellish work schedule (which you already know all about if you follow me and my rantings on Twitter, lol) and the intimidating page count (496, y’all!), I just knew I had to sign up. And I absolutely didn’t regret it one bit.

Read on to find out why!

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The Makings of a Good Redemption Arc (a discussion of The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala)

Hey there guys, gals, and non-binary pals! Today, I want to tell you all about another book that I bought months ago and only recently finished (because I am trash like that). I posted one of my usual ‘pick my next read from my physical TBR’ polls on Twitter (which I started doing in an attempt to knock some items off of the catastrophically large pile of books I haven’t read yet) and the book that won that particular poll was The Tiger at Midnight, by Swati Teerdhala.

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Get this book here!

One aspect of this book immediately caught my attention, and that’s the redemption arc one of the main characters undergoes. It got me thinking about redemption arcs in general, and how authors sometimes don’t really get to pull it off well because they fundamentally misunderstand their own characters (I’m looking at you, J.K. Rowling).

What really struck me about The Tiger at Midnight and its featured redemption arc is how well it was done. Redemption arcs – especially those that feature the character being redeemed falling in love with a hero – can often be fraught with toxic pitfalls, but this book avoided them neatly and nicely. And in this blog entry, I break down what was it about this redemption arc that made it work!

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When Do Slow-Paced Books Work? (a discussion of Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson)

It was too slow-paced. I was bored. I kept flipping pages to get to the end. These phrases are just some of the common criticisms we hear often regarding books that are either slow-paced or have a stretched out plot. Sometimes, those criticisms are valid. After all, I’ve done my fair share of flipping through books that I felt were taking for-fucking-ever to get to the point like Wicked Saints.

However, I’d like to present my hot take for the day: a slow pace can be fit a book better than a fast one, and it totally depends on the author’s ultimate goals for their audience’s reading experience.

A perfect example is the book I recently finished, Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson. At first, I was pretty reluctant to pick up the book because I’d been seeing mixed reviews of it online, but I decided to one day (the day me, JM, Inah, and Miel went to Pride, incidentally!) because a) that cover is gorgeous, and b) it was on sale!

After an interminably loooong time (I mean, clearly – I bought it in June and just finished reading it in November, lol) I finally picked up this book, went very quickly through it, and realized that I actually disagreed with most people’s assessment that the book was boring!

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Purchase this book here.

Your mileage may vary, of course. Not everyone’s going to have the same opinion about a book. But I do think that, in general, we’ve been spoiled by fast-paced, action-packed YA books where everything moves along really quickly. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! Some of my favorite books play out like a movie on the page. But because we’re so used to things being set in motion quickly, we’ve come to expect that same treatment for almost every book we read.

I believe that the slow pace worked just fine for Sorcery of Thorns and added an aspect to the book that would not have been there had the plot gone faster.

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[Mini-Review] Same Premise, Vastly Different Execution: Fix Her Up vs. A Prince on Paper

How you doin’, guys, gals, and nonbinary pals?

A couple of days ago, I shared the below tweet, asking if it was okay to comparatively review two books that handled the same trope.

The consensus was that it was fine, but to avoid tagging the authors as the usual courtesy. I spent all of yesterday taking down notes, and I’m finally ready to publish this review! For today, I’ll be comparing the books Fix Her Up and A Prince on Paper, which both deal with the fake dating trope.

That’s not their only similarity, though. Both books also feature protagonists who get into the fake relationship to change people’s perceptions of who they are as sheltered and innocent. They both also handle themes of toxic family relationships.

But the difference is, while I absolutely adored A Prince on Paper, I struggled to finish Fix Her Up and was left dissatisfied and even somewhat angry at the end.

Read on to find out why!

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[Book Review] The Never-Tilting World – Rin Chupeco // steampunk fantasy about climate change (!!!)

It really is no secret that Rin Chupeco is one of my favourite authors of all time. Her books at some core always feature an angry girl discontented with the status quo, and her efforts to bring about change.

The Never-Tilting World is almost exactly the same. Why do I say almost? Because this magnificent gem of a book, the first of a duology, features not just one angry girl, but two. Not to mention the people that love them, and all the trials and tribulations they’re willing to undergo for their sakes.

Read on to find out just what I loved about The Never-Tilting World, and why this steampunk fantasy about climate change should be your next read!

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Purchase Links:
Amazon
Book Depository

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[Book Review] Crier’s War – Nina Varelas // a philosophical look at what makes us human

It’s been over a week since I finished reading this.

I.

HAVE NOT.

STOPPED.

SCREAMING.

I was already expecting a lot from Crier’s War because so many book bloggers whose opinions I trust loved it and couldn’t stop raving about it. So you can imagine how pleased I was that not only did this book meet my expectations, it fucking surpassed them! Read on to find out why!

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Purchase Links:
Amazon
Book Depository

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