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WOSFF: Women of Science Fiction and Fantasy

What is Science Fiction and Fantasy?

I thought that this was pretty self explanatory. After talking with a friend, I realized that it may not be. So I thought that I would take the time to discuss what I considered to be science fiction and fantasy. Even with these two parent categories, there are a lot of sub-genres that fall under them.

Science Fiction:  I consider science fiction to be anything that is science related. Specifically, anything to do with the hard sciences biology, chemistry, physics, and anything that has to do with space and such.

Fantasy: This is really the category that causes such confusion. I consider fantasy to be anything that deals with things that are not realistic, depending on the intent. I include stories that include werewolves, vampires, ghosts and other magical beings as long as the intent is not to scare the reader. The supernatural and paranormal beings are usually found in Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Romance.

I am not an expert about the definitions of science and fantasy, so if its not as specific as you would like, I apologize. These are just the broad definitions that I use when categorizing works.  Some works bleed between genres and that’s okay, as long as the main story falls into one of these two categories, the reviews will be posted on this blog.

Always Shine

Featured post

Summer ARCs

Since I have set the goal to read the ARCs I have by the season, I thought that I would do a seasonal preview of what I have. If there are any books that you would definitely like to see sooner rather than later, please let me know. Since this is something that I just started – don’t be surprised if some books have already released. I will still do release day posts on the specific day, here they are sorted just by month. Buckle up, it’s a lot!

June

July

August

Review: Breath of Earth

Breath of Earth by Beth Cato (Blood of Earth #1) August 23, 2016

Genre: Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Steampunk

Off my Bookshelf, Unread Books

From The Story Graph:

After the Earth’s power is suddenly left unprotected, a young geomancer must rely on her unique magical powers to survive in in this fresh fantasy series from the author of acclaimed The Clockwork Dagger.

In an alternate 1906, the United States and Japan have forged a powerful confederation—the Unified Pacific—in an attempt to dominate the world. Their first target is a vulnerable China. In San Francisco, headstrong Ingrid Carmichael is assisting a group of powerful geomancer Wardens who have no idea of the depth of her power—or that she is the only woman to possess such skills. 

When assassins kill the Wardens, Ingrid and her mentor are protected by her incredible magic. But the pair is far from safe. Without its full force of guardian geomancers, the city is on the brink of a cataclysmic earthquake that will expose Earth’s powers to masterminds determined to control the energy for their own dark ends. The danger escalates when Chinese refugees, preparing to fight the encroaching American and Japanese, fracture the uneasy alliance between the Pacific allies, transforming the city into a veritable powder keg. And the slightest tremor will set it off. . . . 

Forced on the run, Ingrid makes some shocking discoveries about herself. Her powerful magic has grown even more fearsome . . . and she may be the fulcrum on which the balance of world power rests.

My Thoughts:

Full disclaimer: I picked this up when my reading mood went sideways so I won’t talk about pacing. When I first started it, I was enjoying it, but it felt like it was going super slow. When my reading mood changed, I flew through it.

This is not my first steampunk novel. it is, however, the first steampunk novel that made me want to explore this genre more. This it the first in a trilogy and it serves as an uncovering. The world as Ingrid knew it is shattered. Se discovers that she is capable of much more than she thought. But she also realizes that she not only does she not know herself, but she doesn’t know the people around her. Some are hiding their truths from her and some are keeping secrets about her from her. But, Ingrid is often overlooked and is much stronger than she knows. I enjoyed seeing Ingrid trying to figure out what was happening. She learned more things about herself and her family. Then she made choices for herself, choices that inevitably put her at risk but benefited others, just not in the most obvious of ways.

When Cy first appears, to be honest, I didn’t trust him. Like Fenris and Lee, he does grow on you. They all have complicated backstories, but I am unsure if we will get to see just how complicated. The magic system is unique but we learn about it through Ingrid, who is also not an expert. She is able to do stuff that she shouldn’t be able to and she doesn’t know all of what it is that she can do. There are a variety of magics but the main -Ingrid’s specialty- is geomancy, Earth magic. Ingrid is able to take in power from the Earth. Wardens are able to feel the movement of the Earth (earthquakes) as well as use it to fill Kermanite -which is the power source for everything. It powers airships as well as lights. But, Ingrid can do so much than that. The other thing I like is the fantastics. These are the mythological and folklore creatures that actually exist during this time, I honestly didn’t pay much attention until Ingrid had an encounter with Selkies. I suspect that they play a bigger role later on.

In short, I really liked this book. Ingrid was the perfect character -she was capable and likable. A little naive in certain areas, but confident in all the right ways. The second book will be heading my way soon and I can’t wit to continue on with this story.

Always Shine!

Release Day!!!! June 8

Orbit Books

A ruthless princess and a powerful priestess come together to rewrite the fate of an empire in this “fiercely and unapologetically feminist tale of endurance and revolution set against a gorgeous, unique magical world” (S. A. Chakraborty).

Exiled by her despotic brother, princess Malini spends her days dreaming of vengeance while imprisoned in the Hirana: an ancient cliffside temple that was once the revered source of the magical deathless waters but is now little more than a decaying ruin.

The secrets of the Hirana call to Priya. But in order to keep the truth of her past safely hidden, she works as a servant in the loathed regent’s household, biting her tongue and cleaning Malini’s chambers.

But when Malini witnesses Priya’s true nature, their destines become irrevocably tangled. One is a ruthless princess seeking to steal a throne. The other a powerful priestess seeking to save her family. Together, they will set an empire ablaze.

Harper Voyager

In the vein of Naomi Novik’s New York Times bestseller Spinning Silver and Katherine Arden’s national bestseller The Bear and the Nightingale, this unforgettable debut— inspired by Hungarian history and Jewish mythology—follows a young pagan woman with hidden powers and a one-eyed captain of the Woodsmen as they form an unlikely alliance to thwart a tyrant. 

In her forest-veiled pagan village, Évike is the only woman without power, making her an outcast clearly abandoned by the gods. The villagers blame her corrupted bloodline—her father was a Yehuli man, one of the much-loathed servants of the fanatical king. When soldiers arrive from the Holy Order of Woodsmen to claim a pagan girl for the king’s blood sacrifice, Évike is betrayed by her fellow villagers and surrendered.

But when monsters attack the Woodsmen and their captive en route, slaughtering everyone but Évike and the cold, one-eyed captain, they have no choice but to rely on each other. Except he’s no ordinary Woodsman—he’s the disgraced prince, Gáspár Bárány, whose father needs pagan magic to consolidate his power. Gáspár fears that his cruelly zealous brother plans to seize the throne and instigate a violent reign that would damn the pagans and the Yehuli alike. As the son of a reviled foreign queen, Gáspár understands what it’s like to be an outcast, and he and Évike make a tenuous pact to stop his brother.

As their mission takes them from the bitter northern tundra to the smog-choked capital, their mutual loathing slowly turns to affection, bound by a shared history of alienation and oppression. However, trust can easily turn to betrayal, and as Évike reconnects with her estranged father and discovers her own hidden magic, she and Gáspár need to decide whose side they’re on, and what they’re willing to give up for a nation that never cared for them at all.

I am very excited about both of these books and have plans to read them both soon(-ish).

Always Shine!

Changes are Here and New Goals

If you have been with me for a while, then you may have noticed that posts are inconsistent and there are a lot of times where I tend to disappear. Maybe you were aware that I also had another blog (At Home With a Book). If you followed both then you know that I decided to let that one go and focus solely on this one. So the constant struggle was what to do with the arcs that were not meant for this particular blog. So this is what I have decided to do:

This blog’s main focus will still be science fiction and fantasy written by women. But, if I read a science fiction or fantasy book with a stand out female characters but not written by a female author, I may do a full review here as well. I post both positive and negative reviews, so the review may reflect that. These reviews will have a special note or category or something else. I haven’t decided on all of the details so, I guess, just pay attention.

New Goals: These are specifically just for June – December.

Blog:

Be more consistent.

-I will have two posts a week.

-I will do a release day post for all ARCs.

Reading:

While, I do have pie in the sky goal of reading all of the ARCs that I have, both new and old. For the rest of the year, my main focus will be 2021 ARCs specifically for this blog, meaning science fiction and fantasy books written by women.

-Read and review ARCs that are for WOSFF blog that releases June 01- December 31 (50).

-Stretch Goal: Read ALL ARCs releases June 01- December 31 (47)

-Bonus: read ARCs the month of release

So, it should not come as any surprise that I have change my mind about my goals. I want to be realistic and stretch a bit. I don’t think I am ready for the lofty goals that I want to set, so this is to get me ready, to break some bad habits.

-Read 50 e-arcs, bonus if they are read the season of their release. But this number does include older arcs (though I am focusing on 2020 and 2021 -mostly.)

While, I will be doing release day posts, I think I am going to do one big one for all of the summer releases (and FYI I am following the meteorological schedule of seasons. )

-Read 50 of my unread books, or books from my physical TBR.

-Complete 15 series -I was debating on if I wanted to make this just about sci-fi and fantasy series or leave it open. I think that I am going to leave it open as a confidence booster.

I usually do my wrap-ups, weekly, on Instagram. But, I will do a goal check in here monthly. (I am hoping that this will help me to stay focused, but we shall see.)

Always Shine!

Wyrd & Wonder Wrap-up

I am finally doing my last Wyrd & Wonder post. Yes, I know, one day I’ll get it together. I will make this as brief as possible.

I did set a TBR for Wyrd & Wonder, but of course I didn’t follow it. I read a total of 8 books and I did get a BINGO!

I’ll start with the BINGO books first and then show the extras.

Unreliabe Allies: Flood City by Daniel Jose Older

I listened to this on audio, and you can find my thoughts on this on my instagram weekly wrap-up.

Reluctant Heroine: Breath of Earth by Beth Cato

This is one that came from my own collection. I will have a full review posted soon.

Freebie: Master of Djinn by P.Djeli Clark

This was a review galley that I had, and a full review will be posted soon. This was my favorite read of the month.

Finish a Series: Wayward Witch by Zoraida Cordova

This is the final book in the Brooklyn Brujas trilogy. I had this as a review galley, but I had also preordered the audiobook. A full review will be coming.

Chosen One: Death at Peony House by Krista Walsh

This was a review galley that I received from Book Sirens. A full review is already posted and you can check it out now.

Bonus Books:

Mercy Blade by Faith Hunter

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova
Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart (The Group Book)

I had a lot of fun participating and I’m really looking forward to doing this again next year. Maybe, I will follow my TBR next time.

Always Shine!

The Bone Shard Daughter Week 4 Discussion

So here we are at the final week! And let me say that it actually took me a couple of days to sit down and do the discussion part of the read along, because well… I am sure that I am the odd one out. The ending wasn’t what I was hoping for but I couldn’t decide if that was a good or bad thing. Once again, if you want to find other opinions, learn more about Wyrd & Wonder (which has officially come to a close) check out Imyril’s blog There’s Always Room for one More.

Let’s Go!

**Spoilers**

Lin’s a construct, Bayan’s a construct, the people on Maila Isle are constructs…. Let’s talk about constructs! We now know far more, but still not enough. What are your thoughts and feelings on the nature of constructs?

I have to be honest and say that I am not sure how I feel about this. I am not sure if this is lazy writing or if it’s something that goes deeper and there’s a bigger purpose. Now don’t misunderstand me, I am not wanting the author to spoon feed me, or hold my hand while I get to where she’d leading. But, I would kind of like to know the reason behind some -ok a lot- of the choices that were made. What does it mean that Sand is having memories of being with the emperor? He acts as if his wife was too far gone to do the experiment with, but her we are with Lin (named after his dead daughter) and we’re led to believe that he did an experiment that would recreate Lin into his wife’s image. But then who is Sand and what are those memories? She is now able to contemplate and participate in violence and her first thought is to head to the emperor and kill him. So is Sand a construct? Or is she the emperor’s wife that he tossed aside because he couldn’t control her? Lin has not been the most reliable person, so maybe she’s not a construct like we are led to believe. And yes, we will believe that because the emperor pretty much confirms it- but he’s dead and also not that reliable. So… the only thing I can confidently say is that we don’t know enough about the constructs.

Hot on the heels of the revelation that she was not born but made, Lin has learned why she was made *shudder*. Reaction shots, please.

My first reaction is to take everything at face value. And with that— eww. But, I don’t trust anything that Lin says or thinks that she knows. Because how can she? She doesn’t have any of her memories, and while I think that the memories were a way to control her, that leaves her with nothing. The emperor didn’t say anything about his plans and it’s just inferences about why and who she was created after. I was good with going with that until Sand. I mean if Bayan was to be the replacement for the emperor then it makes sense that the empress would have a replacement too. But to pass them off as kids and the heir? I just wish that we were able to see into the emperor’s mind, I almost wish that we had a couple of chapters from his point of view.

The Emperor is dead. (Hurray!) Phalue has successfully usurped her father as governor. (Yay?) Change is on the wind and those Alanga paintings have opened their eyes…..Care to make any predictions for what’s coming? Do you think the Alanga are really a threat?

I don’t know. I don’t want to know. I don’t not want to know. It’s not very clear -but then again nothing is. This is the problem with an unreliable narrator -everything that they know and assume is cast with an air of suspicion. The emperor is dead, but no one knows what he was up to or what exactly he did to scare away the Alanga. And if the paintings are a sign of things to come, then where did the Alanga go? Did they sink into the endless sea?

We’ve also discovered the identity of Sand. Possibly. She has memories that suggest she is Nisong, but she is a construct just like Lin. What does it all mean?? (Not a rhetorical question- please tell what it all means!)

This is a shit storm of everything that we don’t know. There I said it. WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH INFORMATION TO MAKE ANY GUESSES OR SEE WHERE WE ARE BEING LED. And with each question that is asked and I attempt to answer, I get angrier. because it doesn’t make sense that we have read this book and still know nothing. There is nothing that we know that is 100% accurate. Except that Emahla is dead. We can’t say with any certainty that Jovis; power is connected to Mephi (or what his power his). We can’t say that the emperor was the cause of the Alanga leaving/beig destroyed. We can’t say that the Alanga have, in fact, been destroyed. Lin is supposed to be a construct made in the image of Nisong. Nisong is supposed to be dead. But Sand has memories of Nisong.

Jovis and Mephi have arrived on Imperial Island and come face to face with Line and Thrana. This is an interesting development . What are your theories on Mephi and Thrana? Also, on the emperor’s laboratory and what he was using Thrana for?

Wait for it. Are you ready? I DON’T KNOW. There are so many possibilities of what it could mean. I want to say something that will make me sound smart and insightful. But there are so many things that could happen. If we knew the motivation of just one of the characters it would help to try to put the picture together. I mean, I have not made it a secret that I want Jovis and Mephi to be the heroes of the story. I just don’t see how that will work. Stepping back and looking at how many enemies the empire has (real or imagined) paints a pretty bleak picture. You have the rebels with a leader who is known to be a liar and is tricking the people that are trusting and following him. I have no doubt that Jovis was correct and that he had sent someone to kill Phalue. (And Ranami doesn’t tell her! And while we are here- let me just say that I hate that they are still together and now Phalue feels that it’s all on her to fix things. I want her to walk away and open her eyes.) Then there are the things from Maila Isle that are now coming after the empire. Yes Nisong is angry with the emperor, but something tells me that the more that the memories return the more her goal is going to change to being the person in charge. And the Alangas- if they are a threat, and I am pretty sure that they are waking. Then you have whatever forces that have sunk the first island. Then there’s the governors who may be more ambitious now that the emperor is dead. You have the people. How long before they give Lin before they try to dethrone her while she is weak? The fact that Lin and Jovis have a common sidekick will probably change his loyalties- especially since he already distrusts Gio. And then there are the Ioph Carn, surely they will attempt to wrestle some power for themselves. It appears that everyone is coming for the empire and the empire is currently ill- prepared to handle any of it.

Always Shine!

Release Day!!!!

Here are the books that are releasing today! I have digital or physical ARCs of these titles, and you can come back later for my full review.

Images and summaries are taken from Netgalley/Edelweiss

Orbit Books

The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.

As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose—to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods. Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again. But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood—and her world—whole.

Scholastic Press

From New York Times bestselling author Sayantani DasGupta comes the story of a demon who must embrace her bad to serve the greater good.Pinki hails from a long line of rakkhosh resisters, demons who have spent years building interspecies relationships, working together to achieve their goal of overthrowing the snakey oppressors and taking back their rights. But she has more important things to worry about, like maintaining her status as fiercest rakkhosh in her class and looking after her little cousins. There is also the teeny tiny detail of not yet being able to control her fire breathing and accidentally burning up school property.Then Sesha, the charming son of the Serpentine Governor, calls on Pinki for help in defeating the resistance, promising to give her what she most desires in return — the ability to control her fire. First she’ll have to protect the Moon Maiden, pretend to be a human (ick), and survive a family reunion. But it’s all worth it for the control of her powers . . . right?

Inkyard Press

The conclusion to #1 NYT bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Harbinger trilogy will shock, delight and thrill readers as Trinity and Zayne face down angels and demons and work with Lucifer himself to change the fate of the world.

Danger, betrayal, and enticing forbidden love clash in book three of #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Harbinger trilogy!

Are there books releasing today that I should be aware of?

Always Shine!

The Bone Shard Daughter Week 3 Discussion

First, I have to say WHAAAAAAAT?!!! I am anxious to get back to reading, because so much has happened. I know that I am late to the game, as today is the last day of this round of Wyrd & Wonder. But, if you want to find other people’s thoughts and posts, check out imyril’s blog over at There’s Always Room for One More.

**Spoilers***

Let’s talk!

Sand appears to be organizing something of a rebellion herself-but against what? Any ideas about what might be happening to the people on Maila and why? For that matter, any theories who Sand herself might be/where she came from?

I don’t know who Sand is. She reads kind of young, so my first thought that she was Jovis’ wife. But then the flash of the emperor told me that I was probably wrong. I think, with everything that we learned, that it would be easy to assume it’s the emperor’s cast off. But, my gut is saying that it’s not that simple. There would be no reason for the emperor to keep his cast offs. We know about the Shardless few and we know about the Alangas -somewhat. But we know nothing about the ship with the blue sail and it’s purpose in taking people and hiding people. Them not having any true memory makes since, as they are all complacent until their memories are awakened. I think that this is tied to something else that we have yet to uncover.

Ranami got something of a taste of her own confrontational medicine with Phalue this week. What do you think the future holds for these two? Are either of them really in the right here?

I have not been a fan of Phalue and Ranami since the beginning. I think that Phalue is deceptive and selfish. If they have a happy ever after, I a going to have to see the work on page of Ranami earning it. I don’t think that Phalue will give up the rebels out of her love for Ranami, but if she actively participates in the coup, my opinion of her will change drastically. It would be one thing if Ranami hadn’t used/decieved her and had given up as much as Phalue will. It would be something else altogether if I felt that Ranami actually loved Phalue, but I don’t.

Do you think Jovis’ power really is connected to Mephi somehow, or is something else going on?

I still don’t think that Jovis’ power is connected to Mephi. We know that witstone makes Mephi sick, but that’s it. We don’t know what happened to Mephi while Jovis was away. I am also curious about the sinking of the island – was that somehow tied to Jovis’ waking of power or was that history repeating itself. If Gio is to be believed, they have not explored the caverns. Jovis found the book, maybe Mephi found something or came into contact with something when they were in that hidden room. If his power is tied to Mephi and he no longer has it, than that means that he and Jovis are dead. And I am not ready to accept that. I think that either his powers are transitioning into something bigger -making it that much harder to untangle himself from the Shardless or that there is a third person -maybe an Alanga spirit that is with them.

“I lived in a dollhouse of my father’s making.” We get part of the truth about Lin (and Bayan!) revealed this week, following a rather harrowing massacre; how do you feel about this particular twist? And what do you think the emperor’s goal here might be?

This twist is a big deal. And it makes sense, at least for Bayan. But, I am going to be honest, I think that this is a bit of lazy writing. It’s convenient that Lin would be a construct and the emperor’s pet project. But, it also complicates things in so many ways. There are so many things that we don’t know, that we don’t have answers to, that it’s impossible to say what this twist really means. The massacre was inevitable, because up until recently, Lin was behaving as the emperor’s heir-selfish and entitled. She knew what she was asking but gave nothing in return, only the promise to be a better ruler than her dad. But there is one more thing that I am curious about- when did the emperor know? Because, it kind of feels like it was tied to the last key. Numeen warned her that she would have to wiggle the key because it was made in a rush. All of the other times she worked really hard to keep the original key separate and returned without notice. She also wasn’t carrying them both at the same time. So- if she accidentally gave her dad the copy, it wouldn’t be hard to tell. And while he may have known who and where she was going, he may not have figured all of what she was up to- unless this is not the first time she’s done and it and he expected her to do this.

I get why people love this book, and I can’t say that I am not enjoying it. But, now that we are at the last quarter I am concerned. Because there are so many more things that we don’t know than what we do know. We know that the emperor is the villain. Now it’s not just because he’s a weak ruler, but because there is malicious running through him. I get that his daughter died when she was 3, and that everyone grieves in their own way. But I don’t think that grief made the emperor this way. There is still so much that we need to know. We know snippets, and we don’t have a picture where we are trying to get pieces to fit. This is the beginning of a series/trilogy, and I am invested in Jovis and Mephi (who had better be okay), but really that’s it. I am even less certain that making Lin the new emperor will be the right thing.

On to finish the book!

Always Shine!

The Bone Shard Daughter Read-A-Long Week 2 Discussion

I am going to be completely honest, and say that this week has been a bit of a struggle. Reading wise and content wise. I have finished a few books (thanks to audiobooks), but my plan was to focus on The Bone Shard Daughter, as it is the group book for Wyrd & Wonder, and I was already behind. Way behind. I planned on reading it and posting the discussion posts and two reviews this week. Well, here it is the weekend and I have finally and just finished reading the second week’s chapters. So my Wyrd & Wonder reading may go beyond May 31, or maybe I can knuckle down and get stuff done this weekend.

Anyhoo…

If you want the full summary, you can click here. In short, this debut fantasy is about a revolution, strange magic and the people that is most affected by the choices of an emperor who has long lost touch with those he rules over.

On to the discussion! Chapters 12-23 I got the prompt questions from Imyril over at There’s Always Room for One More. I am not sure if that is the official place to get them, but you can head there for all Wyrd & Wonder information.

**SPOILERS**

  1. Jovis has begun to show strange new strengths since escaping Deerhead Island. What do you think is going on?

I can’t help but think back to when the statue’s eyes opened, everyone freaked out but nothing happened. How many relics awakened and what does it mean? I think that powers are awakening in people who never knew that they had powers. And I think that Jovis is one of those people. I know that the emperor used his own version of magic (which seems to be more of a blend of science than actual magic) to save the empire from the Alangas. But why do people so readily believe that only special people have that talent? I mean we don’t know enough about what the emperor does with the bone shards, to say if it’s really magic, science or a blend. We don’t know enough about the Alangas or their magic. They were there, maybe they left more than relics behind. Jovis ties his powers to Mephi, mainly because of the bond and because he doesn’t know what Mephi is. But the more that Mephi learns, the more that it seems that he/it is relearning something instead of learning something new. What is the connection? Honestly, I don’t know, but I doubt that it’s the most obvious one.

2. What is your understanding of witstone, and the strange effect it has on Mephi?

Again, simplest answer is I don’t know. It’s something that is closely (*ahem* relatively) guarded by the empire. And we see that the most common use for it is as a fuel. But why does the empire hoard it? But after Mephi’s reaction, maybe it’s a magic/power neutralizer of some sort? Maybe it wasn’t the emperor’s constructs/ magic that saved them in the first place and the emperor knows this but no one else does.I am interested in what is learned when Mephi relearns the language and what he will share with Jovis. (Yes, I am secretly hoping that Jovis turns out to be the real hero of the story.

3. Lin attends two rather different – and rather awkward – family dinners. Why do you think her father invited her to eat with him? What do you think of Bayan now?

I don’t like the emperor. Not only is he weak as a ruler, he is manipulative as a father. No one know why he does what he does and that doesn’t foster trust. And I don’t like Lin. I don’t think either would make good rulers. Would the old Lin be a better ruler? Possibly, but that’s not who she is now and even when she gets her memories back she’s changed too much. I think her father invited her, as another form of manipulation and control. I think he planned to offer a chance to get another key, but I don’t think he expected her to actually do it. I am still undecided about Bayan. All of what we know so far has come from Lin’s perspective. And she is not to be trusted. But, I don’t think he should be trusted either. I think he has the potential to be an ally for the people- but we’ll see.

4. What do you think of the rebel plan and the offer they make Jovis? Do you trust them to deliver what they promised? How do you think Phalue will react to their plan?

Umm, this book is filled with so many people that I don’t trust. So needless to say I don’t think the rebels will uphold their end of the deal. While they may know where the ship with the blue sail is going, I don’t think that they have any intention of sharing. Jovis is proving to be highly sought out and he is all too aware that anyone who wants to use him is not to be trusted. When you have to manipulate people to do what you want, then you should consider that what you want is not truly good. I am happy to know that Jovis sees the reality and knows that if he refuses that Gio will kill him. I think Phalue is going to be pissed. But, I think she is going to go along with it. She loves Ranami. Unfortunately and unsurprisingly – at this point- I don’t trust Ranami. Who stages a fake kidnapping with wanted rebels to prove a point? And, maybe this is my paranoid-read more than what is written- self coming out, but I don’t think the kidnapping is the first time Ranami and Gio met. I think she was sent to try to get close to Phalue and they played a long con. I wish Phalue was a little (okay a lot) less lovesick over Ranami, because I think she’s just being used. I don’t think it’s that hard for Ranami to make Phalue to understand, I don’t think Ranami has any intention of staying with Phalue any longer than it serves the rebels.

We are the halfway point, and so far the only person I trust is Jovis, because he at least appears to be honest about himself. I know that the title and synopsis suggest that this is about Lin. But I don’t like her and don’t trust her. There is so much that we don’t know and I can’t see how this is going to work out in the favor of the people. There are quite a few characters that I don’t like, but I also don’t know who the true villains are. I know the story would have us believe it’s the Alangas, but they have yet to make an appearance and well, maybe they’re really not the villains. However, I am interested in seeing where the story goes.

Always Shine!

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