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Mini Reviews: The Will To Battle, The Thousand Names, Witches of Lychford, Of Charms Ghosts and Grievances

It’s again time for another round of mini reviews to catch up on my backlog – this time two novels I finished back in March but couldn’t give full reviews to, and two novellas. Once again without any DNFs or books I’d dislike 😊

The Will To Battle by Ada Palmer (Terra Ignota #3)

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Another good installment in the Terra Ignota series, with plenty of twists and politics and an ending to make you scream – but if you came that far, you know what to expect by now. There’s not much to say about a third book in a series that does its job. One star off because I felt the plot as a whole still didn’t move all that much, but as a whole, the series very much ranks among my favourites.

Enjoyment: 4/5
Execution: 4/5

Tags that apply: sci-fi, fantasy, female author, dystopia, utopia-ish, LGBTQ+, politics, religion, the fuck did I read, good prose, concept-focused

The Thousand Names by Django Wexler (The Shadow Campaigns #1)



I first picked up this book in September 2020, and even though I liked it quite a bit, I put it down 40% in for reasons I can’t remember, and then forgot about it for two years, which is why I can’t give it a full review. Once I picked it back up, I easily finished it in a day. Though the plot is a little predictable, it’s fast-paced, easy to follow, and at points, even quite funny. It’s been ages since I read any military fantasy and I don’t care about tactics in the slightest , but this was a breeze. Fun protagonists, fun story, didn’t blow me away by any means but worth continuing.

Enjoyment: 4/5
Execution: 4/5

Tags that apply: male author, fantasy, military, LGBTQ+ (Winter is a lesbian), religion, fast pacing

Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell (Lychford #1)

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Oh, this was fun. It reminded me strongly of Stardew Valley with its fight against a big supermarket coming to a small village, except with witches and fae involved. I also loved Judith – cranky old ladies who have had enough of everyone’s shit make the best protagonists. And unlike in many novellas, I didn’t find the pacing to be too off. I will definitely try to remember to pick up the sequels, perhaps quite soon.

Enjoyment: 4/5
Execution: 4/5

Tags that apply: fantasy, contemporary, novella, male author, witches, fae, older protagonist, religion

Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances by Aliette de Bodard (Dragons and Blades #2)

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ARC received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Another fun mystery novella starring everyone’s favourite diplomacy and stabby husbands, Thuan and Asmodeus. This time, they stumble upon a murder in an abandoned shrine, witnessed only by a ghost of a child – whom Asmodeus immediately decides to adopt (his interactions with children in general are sooo cute). I was, however, often frustrated by their lack of communication. While it made sense in-story, partners arguing because of miscommunication is one of my least favourite tropes to read, especially when it’s this central to the plot. Still, it’s a good novella and I’m very much looking forward to the next, if there’ll be any more!

Enjoyment: 3/5
Execution: 4/5

Tags that apply: ARC, fantasy, female author, non-western, novella, mystery, religion, LGBTQ+

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