WWW Wednesday: 14th April

Posted 14th April 2021 by Sia in WWW Wednesday / 0 Comments

I’ve decided that, at least for the foreseeable future, I’m going to be participating in WWW Wednesdays, which is a meme hosted over at Taking On a World of Words. To take part, you just answer the three questions below, and link back to TOaWoW!

First, a State of the Sia update: my mood’s up and my fibro continues to not-suck! Woo! I’ve even been able to walk more as the weather here in Helsinki improves (I am not nearly hardcore enough to do any proper walking during Finnish winter, even if I have finally figured out ice cleats). I’m seven books behind on my Goodreads challenge, but I’ve had a lot of good days this week, mentally and physically. YAY!

But now, onto my reading!


Travel Light by Naomi Mitchison
Genres: Fantasy

"Travel Light is the story of Halla, a girl born to a king but cast out onto the hills to die. She lives among bears; she lives among dragons. But the time of dragons is passing, and Odin All-Father offers Halla a choice: Will she stay dragonish and hoard wealth and possessions, or will she travel light?"
—Amal El-Mohtar, NPR, You Must Read This

A wonderful story that will transport you into Halla’s world where a basilisk might be met in the desert, heroes are taken to Valhalla by Valkyries, and a fortune might be made with a word to the right horse.

This short and fabulous book transports the reader from a cave in the forest to a dragon’s lair to the wonders of early Constantinople. It’s dense yet light, happy, deep, sad, amazing, and short enough that once it’s read all at once you’ll have time to read it again.

I think I saw this one mentioned on twitter, probably by Amal El-Mohtar, whose recommendations I take as gospel. With my head being all over the place lately, I wanted something a bit simpler but still wonderful – and Travel Light is absolutely it!!! It’s more detailed than a fairytale but in that kind of style, wry and clever and poignant and imaginative all at once. I am so, so in love with this incredible little book!


Gifting Fire (Stealing Thunder, #2) by Alina Boyden
Genres: High Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: South Asian cast, Hijra/third gender MC, multiple major and minor hijra characters

The battle has been won, but the war is just beginning.

Although at long last Razia Khan has found peace with herself and love with her prince, Arjun, her trials are far from over. In order to save her prince and his city from certain destruction, Razia made a deal with the devil--her father, the Sultan of Nizam. Now the bill has come due.

Razia must secure the province of Zindh, a land surrounded by enemies, and loyal to a rebel queen who has survived her father's purge. But when her old tormentor Prince Karim invades her new home and forces her into a marriage alliance, Razia finds herself trapped in the women's quarters of a foreign palace, with her beloved Prince Arjun exiled from her side.

Now, in order to free herself, and her province, from Karim's clutches, she must call upon all of her training as a royal princess, a cunning courtesan, and a daring thief to summon new allies and old friends for a battle that will decide her fate, and the fate of an empire.

I finished this just in time to write a review for its release yesterday, which you can read here – but the TL;DR version is that I FREAKING LOVED IT!!! It’s High Fantasy that celebrates and features hijras (within the context of this series, best understood as trans women) including the main character Razia. I loved how much of this story was about the kind of strength men – and plenty of cis women – don’t understand, and the prose is so beautiful, and there’s so much gorgeous jewelry, and did I mention the feathered-dragon creatures??? That breathe lightning??? Go read this immediately!


Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki
Genres: Science Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Trans MCs
Published on: 28th September 2021

Good Omens meets The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet in this defiantly joyful adventure set in California's San Gabriel Valley, with cursed violins, Faustian bargains, and queer alien courtship over fresh-made donuts.

Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six.

When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka's ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She's found her final candidate.

But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn't have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan's kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul's worth. And maybe something as small as a warm donut is powerful enough to break a curse as vast as the California coastline.

As the lives of these three women become entangled by chance and fate, a story of magic, identity, curses, and hope begins, and a family worth crossing the universe for is found.

Sometimes – um, quite often 😅 – I get too excited about a book, and can’t actually bring myself to start reading it. I’ve been staring at this arc in awe since I was approved for it, but I keep telling myself it’s not the right moment to start it. Like I have to wait until I’m not in pain, not feeling down or foggy or fizzy (why yes, those are all technical terms) etc, but also, the weather and the pets and the alignment of the stars must all be perfect too. But I don’t know what The Perfect Moment is supposed to look like, and there’s no such thing, anyway. So…this is the book I want to read next.

If I can bring myself to!

Here endeth the weekly check-in!


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