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Friends with ARCs | For a Muse of Fire + The Boneless Mercies

Collaborative feature with Alexa. We read ARCs together and post our reviews on the same date.

pub 9/25/18 by Greenwillow Books
Young Adult - Fantasy
Received from pub via Edelweiss
I just want to preface this review by saying that I recently had the pleasure of watching Heidi Heilig moderate an author panel, which she also contributed to. She was so eloquent and sincere that it really made me excited to read her book. But between reading The Girl From Everywhere two years ago and then For a Muse of Fire last month, I just don’t think her writing is for me. I always find the concepts of her books so intriguing but have never been happy with the execution. In Muse, Jetta and her family are a famed group of shadow players whose puppets seem to move without sticks or strings. What no one outside her family knows is that Jetta can see souls of the  dead and bind them to objects, like puppets. But her magic is forbidden so they can never ever let anyone find out. They use their fame to land a spot on the royal ship to Aquitan in the hopes to finding safety. But as she crosses paths with a young smuggler, her life gets turned upside down and their family is forced to make decisions they never expected. I struggled a lot to make sense of the world, the language and even the storytelling style she decided to employ. It was hard to picture what she was describing and that affected how I read immensely. I also didn’t think the telegrams or letters added any value to the story either. And I just didn’t connect to the characters (although I did like the smuggler). I really wanted to like this book but again, it just wasn’t for me.

Favorite play • Favorite play I’ve read would be The Tempest by William Shakespeare and then one I’ve seen on stage would be The Children of A Lesser God (to be fair I’ve only seen 2 plays and everything else are musicals!).


pub 10/8/18 by Farrar, Straux & Giroux
Young Adult - Fantasy
Received ARC from pub
The Boneless Mercies is about a band of mercenary girls–Ovie, Juniper, Runa and led by Frey–who are hired to kill quickly, quietly and most importantly of all, mercifully. It's not the life they all necessarily want to lead but it's the life they've chosen. Each girl has a different story, a different reason for becoming a Mercy and a different hope for their future. Even though the book is told from Frey's perspective, we learn about each girl and see the fierce loyalty they have to one another. It's that sisterhood and their individual personalities that the author brought to life that made me feel invested in their journey. And it's quite the journey they go on when Frey hears of a monster ravaging nearby towns. She decides it's their one chance to put themselves on a different path and they decide to take it. It takes them through different parts of this fantasy world and introduces us to new characters along the way. I was really impressed by how vivid each new place and new person felt even when we only spent a short time with them. But when it came down to it, it was really about the Mercies (at least for me!) and the fight they were willing to pursue to be able to have the future they each dreamed of. And while I may not be entirely familiar with Beowulf (which this is based on), I absolutely appreciated her feminist twist and reading about such heroic women. 

 Favorite Viking/Norse inspired YA book • My current fave is Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young!




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