Review: Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović (Hibiscus Daughter #1)

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It was bad luck to name a daughter after the thing that first sparked the gleam, Mama said. So I was Iris, for a flower that wasn’t hibiscus, and my sister was Malina, for a raspberry. They were placeholder names that didn’t pin down our true nature, so nothing would ever be able to summon us. No demon or vila would ever reel us in by our real names.

I have a lot of conflicted feelings about Wicked Like a Wildfire. The first half (roughly) was wonderful – gorgeous prose, languid, slice of life kind of pace, plus I have never read a fantasy book set in an ex-Yu country before. The last half I liked…less. The ending, the least. And I think it’s a damn shame.

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Review: The Ill-Made Mute by Cecilia Dart-Thornton (The Bitterbynde #1)

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The Ill-Made Mute is basically the fantasy equivalent of comfort food. It felt cozy and nostalgic, that sort of book you read curled up in a blanket with a cup of tea, and I’d say that despite its many flaws and the cliché/predictable nature of certain plot elements, it was still worth reading.

The plot is mostly about our protagonist’s seach for memories, identity and a cure for poisoning which disfigured their face. After waking up in a tower and spending some time (well, the first 100 or so pages) as a servant, wandering around and being mistreated by everyone, they sneak on a windship and escape with the hope of finding a cure but stumble upon adventure instead. Regardless, despite the fact that nothing happens, I actually liked the early tower section the best and could read a whole book’s worth of that.

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