Good evening, chums! I know that my blogging has been a bit sporadic with the start of the new year and that is because I have been prepping for many new, good things to come in my personal life! A lot of it is nerve-racking shtick, but exciting and good, nonetheless. Now that most of those preparations have been taken care of, regularly scheduled blogging shenanigans shall be returning promptly.
Since I have been super busy, I have not been able to read nearly as much as I would like to. Yet, I have managed to finish a couple of books in January so far, so reviews for those will be going out later this week. In the meantime, let’s look at a few of the novels that I have discovered at the library with this new year! Out of the five that I will be talking about today, my most-anticipated book is one that revolves around William Shakespeare being an individual of political intrigue. That just sounds so bloody brilliant to me.
The Oyster Thief by Sonia Faruqi
This underwater fantasy novel is authored by a woman of colour that follows a mermaid who’s betrothed to the merman of her dreams until a terrible travesty hits the ocean, placing her sister’s life in danger. In order to save her, Coralline, the mermaid, must go on a journey to find a special elixir. Then there’s a guy named Izar who is about to change ocean mining in revolutionary ways, ways that will make the mer-people all but extinct. Then through plot happenings, Izar finds himself transformed into a merman. He collides into Coralline and offers to help her on her quest with the hopes of being able to transform back into his former human self. The premise sounded pretty interesting to me and different from other mermaid narratives, plus it’s a diverse, adult fantasy novel.
The Half-Drowned King by Linda Hartsuyker
This is an #OwnVoices Norwegian fantasy book that is about the descendent of kings who is named Ragnvald. He is supposed to take his rightful place as the chief of his family’s lands, however his greedy uncle betrays him and plots to have him murdered out in the open ocean. After being rescued, Ragnvald swears to get his revenge against his douche-bag uncle, and to save the women in his life that he loves dearly. In order to accomplish this feat, Ragnvald obtains the assistance of a young warrior who is prophesised to rule all of Norway one day. I’ve never read a Norwegian-Scandinavian historical fiction novel before, and this one sounds so brilliant. It’s basically a Viking adventure about the birth of Scandinavia. I also checked out the sequel to this book, The Sea Queen.
The Spy of Venice by Benet Brandreth
This is a historical mystery about William Shakespeare. He gets swept into court and political intrigue when he’s tasked with an important assignment from the royal rulers. However, his journey gets more complicated when the plot is uncovered and people are sent after Sir Shakespeare, hungry for his blood and his head. I love Shakespeare’s works. He’s a major influence in my own writing, and I absolutely love mysteries and British period stories. All of that is at play here, and I’m going to hope that it turns into a delightful feast for my brain and imagination.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
An historical fiction novel that takes place during World War II, it is about a young girl and her father in Paris. Her father works as a master of locks in the Museum of Natural History. When Marie goes blind, he builds her an extraordinary model of the city, which she uses to learn of the streets so she can always find her way back home. When Marie turns 12, the Nazi occupation of France begins, forcing Marie and her father to flee for their lives from the only home they’ve known. I’m addicted to World War II fiction that takes place anywhere that isn’t America, so that instantly had my attention. Then one of my favourite reviewers gushed about this book, and I knew it was finally time to pick it up.
If You Leave Me by Crystal Kim
An #OwnVoices Korean, historical fiction, multigenerational narrative that begins with a sixteen-year-old Haemi Lee. When Communist backed North Korea invades her village, her and her family—a widowed mother and ill brother—flee to a refugee camp along the coast. After being there for a bit, Haemi seeks peace for a few hours every night when she takes a walk with her childhood friend, Kyunghwan. Too preoccupied with school, Kyunghwan doesn’t realise when his cousin starts to fall for Haemi. Soon, Haemi becomes a wife and then a mother. The decision to forsake her love for her family will affect her for generations to come. I love Asian literature, but have a difficult time finding #OwnVoices Korean novels that are adult. So when I found this, I snagged that ish so fast, let me tell you.
What do you think of these books? Do they sound interesting to you? Have you read any of them? Please, come chat with me in the comments! It’d make my weekend to hear from you. Wishing you all a lovely evening.