Review: The Poppy War Trilogy

TW: reference to sexual violence. R. F. Kuang tackles the nature of war and humanity in her dark military fantasy The Poppy War trilogy, inspired by China’s 20th Century bloody history and the second Sino-Japanese war. This trilogy is by no means an easy read. Kuang incorporates real world historical events, such as the rape […]

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Review: The Gilded Ones

TW: this book contains scenes of sexual and physical violence, abuse, racism and PTSD. Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear of the blood ceremony, a ritual that will determine her ‘purity’ and worth as a member of her village and society. Already feeling like an outcast due to the colour of her skin, Deka prays for […]

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Review: The Wolf and the Water

Josie Jaffrey’s The Wolf and The Water (Silver Sun Books, 2020) is an eye-opening, addictive fantasy filled with ideas of hope, true friendship and the possibility for a better future. The main character, Kala, represents people living with a disability, but this never holds her back. I connected with her from the first page, and […]

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Review: How to Survive Everything

Ewan Morrison’s newest novel writes the COVID-19 pandemic as a moment in history, and a precursor to something much bigger and much worse. At least, that’s what Haley’s Dad believes. This time – he predicts – after the trauma of the 2020 pandemic, relentless testing of possible future viruses means that the next one comes […]

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Review: Piranesi

Piranesi (Bloomsbury) is a mind-bending, absorbing book, more slender than Susanna Clarke’s previous work of fantasy, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, but equally dazzling. Clarke’s narrative choices and the classical flavours in Piranesi leave it feeling somehow entrenched in reality despite its magic. The protagonist, Piranesi, narrates the story through his meticulous journal entries. He […]

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