This month’s reviews:
The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski
A fascinating fantasy set in a land with seemingly arbitrary divisions in society. Some people live in luxury, while Nirrim has always lived in poverty and never questioned the system. But after she is arrested while trying to do the right thing, she meets a mysterious stranger from another land and sets out to discover why her country is so divided, and if there’s anything she can do to change that. I found this completely gripping. Everything is vividly described and the relationships between Nirrim and the other characters are really compelling. The ending made me gasp and I’m really looking forward to finding out what happen next.
The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty
This is a family story set on a tiny Australian island, with the perspectives of several generations of characters, all with a tie to the island and the mystery at its heart. It took me a while to get into this as the perspectives shift so quickly in the beginning, but by the end I was invested in the characters, especially Sophie, who has unexpectedly inherited a house on the island, and Grace, who is suffering from postpartum depression, and felt quite emotional when the story ended.
The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid
Évike, the only girl in her village without any magical abilities, finds herself being chosen as a sacrifice, to stop the king getting his hands on any more power. But when she and the woodsmen who are taking her to the city are attacked in the woods, she finds out that one of them is actually a prince and they end up joining forces to save the things they care about. I really enjoyed the character development in this, the meandering plot, and the gruesome horror bits!
She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan
This is a retelling of the rise of a Chinese emperor with a twist – he’s actually a girl who decided to take her brother’s prophesied destiny after he died. The settings were beautifully described, and the different perspectives are really interesting. I loved the way that it plays with gender, destiny and the roles that the characters are supposed to have within the society and the various warring factions. I will be anticipating the sequel with great interest!