Hi all! How did June treat you? I had a good time but I was pretty busy throughout the month, at first with a food poisoning and then my graduation. In June I read a lot less than I wanted to but there were some good ones, including a book that made its way to my all time favourites!
The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman
The Fair Fight is a story of three individuals, Charlotte, a lady marked throughout with smallpox cars, George, a gentleman in love with his needy best friend and Ruth, a girl-boxer who has grown up in a brothel. The book is told in frequently changing perspectives that overlap to provide multiple characters’ views on the same events. The Fair Fight tells about female boxers in 1799s Bristol, UK, and the setting is brought to life by Anna Freeman’s atmospheric writing style.
I read the Fair Fight for Books Between Strangers bookclub. I enjoyed it but the overlapping POVs made the story advance pretty slowly. The slow progression is easily forgivable though as the characters are amazing and the novel is filled with wonderful female empowerment.
Sabriel by Garth Nix
Sabriel is the first book in the Abhorsen series that has been around since 1995. And why in earth did I wait so long before I picked it up?!
I love fantasies with magic that feels ancient. In Sabriel, the magic is just that; old, hard to control and occassionally painful. The old kingdom is separated from the rest of the world with a wall, and the dead roam the old kingdom’s roads. The Abhorsen has the duty of forcing the dead where they actually belong.
Sabriel is like a cross-over between Harry Potter and the Earthsea series (by Ursula K. Le Guin). The world and the magic system are similar to the Earthsea: dark creatures that roam the world and can suck the life out of you, and ancient books that store the secrets of the most dangerous kinds of magic. The plot and the characters remind me of Harry Potter. Love love love.
Lirael by Garth Nix
After finishing Sabriel I had to pick up Lirael straight away. Lirael is the second book in the Abhorsen series but we follow a different set of characters 20 years after the events of Sabriel.
Lirael is a daughter of the Clayr but she has never really fit in. She stands out because of her black hair and brown eyes, but also because she doesn’t have the ability to see the future. Within the Clayr adulthood is signified by obtaining the sight, but Lirael is stuck in her blue children’s robes while all of the others can change into the mature whites often already at 13 years of age or younger.
In addition to Lirael, we follow Prince Sameth, the Abhorsen in waiting. Sameth is going through some rough stuff as well – he is terrified of the death even though he is expected to manage it in the future as an Abhorsen. Sam is reluctant to open the book of the dead to learn the necessary skills to be an Abhorsen but he will have to if he wants to save his friend from a necromancer.
I enjoyed Lirael but not quite as much as I enjoyed Sabriel. I loved Lirael’s bits of the story more than the Sameth ones, but both main characters are still likable. I cannot wait to start the third book, Abhorsen!
Circe by Madeline Miller
Here is the magic being that stole my heart and soul. I already want to reread Circe! I rarely run into books that I want to give all the stars to, so 100000/5 stars for Circe.
I have a full review of Circe right here. Simply put, Circe is a retelling of Greek mythology and it follows the daughter of sun-god Helios throughout her immortal life. At its deepest, Circe is a beautiful exploration of fear and power. It is a brilliant novel.
The Book of M by Peng Shepherd
The last book I finished in June was the Book of M. It is a dystopian sci-fi with a fascinating premise; individuals all over the world start to lose their shadows, and with their shadows – all of their memories. These memories include the names of your loved ones and where you currently are, but also that you have to eat to stay alive and how you can exit buildings. As the shadowlessness spreads, the entire world descends into chaos.
I had high hopes for the Book of M but I was sadly pretty disappointed by it because I wasn’t a big fan of the characters and the plot progressed very slowly. I have a full review here.
Did you read a lot in June? Any favourites? I would love some recommendations too!
Thank you so much for reading!