Thanks for sticking with me as I count down my top reads of the year so far. Today I bring you numbers 10-6.
#10 – The Poppy War
Where do I start with the amazing Rin? She is an epic reluctant hero, a la Batman. The magic in this world is unlike anything I’ve ever read. The war is intense and brutal and the politics are cutthroat and at times nonsensical. I devoured this story and have also enjoyed the second one. I’m trying to keep myself from reading book three too soon and having the series be over.
You can read my original review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3665631562
#9 – Firekeepers Daughter
Daunis is a fabulous protagonist that you just want to root for. She is surrounded by terrible circumstances and is trying desperately to both honor her family and their traditions as well as find a way to be something more. I learned so much about Daunis’s indigenous culture and how complicated it is to balance being proud of your identity and equally unhappy with how the world at large views and treats your people. The murder / drug mystery was intriguing and at the right level for YA.
You can read my original review here:
#8 – Ariadne
Another mythology read, you ask? Well, yes. I’ve found a genre I love and I’m sticking to it! As with all myths and fairy tales, Ariadne’s life is a cautionary tale. Lots of looming doom and you’re hoping against hope that this young, naive girl with a heart of gold will end up happy and fulfilled and you just know where it’s headed. Or, you think you do. I loved the balance of traditional myth elements with the modern feminist embellishments. I love when it reads like historical fiction but adds supernatural elements which don’t steal the show.
You can read my original review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3831976915
#7 – Where the Lost Wander
My favorite era to read about in history is early America. It’s my home and early settlement and frontier times just tap into the wanderlust in me. I know these are complicated times in history now that we know the truth of them. Where The Lost Wander balances well the fear and the intrigue that the white and indigenous cultures had for one another. There were powerful moments of misunderstanding leading to tragedy and equally heart swelling moments of mothers seeing that regardless of their culture, their love for their children could create a bond where they could rise above it all.
You can read my original review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3279314198
#6 – Black Sun
Three books about indigenous cultures in a row? I really do find pre-European expansion civilizations intriguing. In this case, the story is based on pre-Columbian civilizations that based their actions on celestial prophecies. The magic and power in this one is utterly intoxicating. I equally wanted to live in this world and also never meet these intense people. We see the battle between the tribes for resources, land and power and how intense that drive can be when you think your success is written in the stars. I loved the fierce women and the disability rep, these folks never let anything keep them down. The sneaky betrayals and power grabs in this one, would give GRRM a run for his money. I am dying to see where this series goes next.
You can read my original review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3614521086