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!
As for a State of the Sia update: my fibromyalgia has been incredibly bad the last week or so, and I’ve been struggling with my depression, and the long and short of it is that I’ve fallen behind on my reviewing. I’m typing this post up on my tablet, since using a stylus isn’t so bad for my hands. Sigh. Hopefully things get back to normal soon! At least I can still read.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?The Charmed Wife by Olga Grushin
Representation: very minor F/F
A sophisticated literary fairy tale for the twenty-first century, in which Cinderella, thirteen years after her marriage, is on the brink of leaving her supposedly perfect life behind.
Cinderella married the man of her dreams--the perfect ending she deserved after diligently following all the fairy-tale rules. Yet now, two children and thirteen and a half years later, things have gone badly wrong and her life is far from perfect. One night, fed up, she sneaks out of the palace to get help from the Witch who, for a price, offers love potions to disgruntled housewives. But as the old hag flings the last ingredients into the cauldron, Cinderella doesn't ask for a love spell to win back her Prince Charming.
Instead, she wants him dead.
Endlessly surprising, wildly inventive, and decidedly modern, The Charmed Wife weaves together time and place, fantasy and reality, to conjure a world unlike any other. Nothing in it is quite what it seems, and the twists and turns of its magical, dark, swiftly shifting paths take us deep into the heart of what makes us unique, of romance and marriage, and of the very nature of storytelling.
I was looking for something brainless…and instead my sluggish brain got lit up and sucked in to this subversive, poignant, and at times hilariously funny retelling! So far we’ve had lesbian mice and a brilliantly cynical witch and shoes made of soap…it’s really not a comedy, though, not at all. It’s about a gas-lit Cinderella deciding she’s had enough, if I had to sum it up in a sentence. I definitely wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I have been so far.
WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?Heart of Stone by Johannes T. Evans
Genres: Historical Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: MC with ADHD, Autustic MC, M/M or mlm
The year is 1764, and following a glowing recommendation from his last employer, Henry Coffey, vampire, takes on a new personal secretary: young Theophilus Essex.
The man is quite unlike any secretary - or any man, for that matter - that Henry has ever met.
'Heart of Stone' is a slowly unfolding period romance between a vampire and his inimitably devoted clerk: lushly depicted in flowing, lovingly appended prose, we follow the slow understanding these two men grasp of one another, and the cross of their two worlds into each other's.
Henry Coffey, immortal and ever-oscillating between periods of delighted focus upon his current passion project, is charming, witty, and seems utterly incapable of closing his mouth for more than a few moments; in contrast, Theophilus Essex is quiet and keenly focused, adopting an ever-flat affect, but as time goes on, he relaxes in his employer's presence.
Craving resounding intimacy but with an ever aware of the polite boundaries for their situation, Coffey and Essex perform a slow dance as they grow closer to one another, and find themselves entangled.
This was exactly what I’ve been needing: a soft, languid, no-stakes (because you know they’ll end up together in the end) character-driven fantasy. It’s so sweet and gentle, and the fantasy elements are so elegant and brilliantly put together! I hope I can do it justice in my review, but know that I recommend it most strongly!
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?Queens of the Wyrd by Timandra Whitecastle
Raise your shield. Defend your sisters. Prepare for battle
Half-giant Lovis and her Shieldmaiden warband were once among the fiercest warriors in Midgard. But those days are long past and now Lovis just wants to provide a safe home for herself and her daughter - that is, until her former shield-sister Solveig shows up on her doorstep with shattering news.
Solveig's warrior daughter is trapped on the Plains of Vigrid in a siege gone ugly. Desperate to rescue her, Sol is trying to get the old warband back together again. But their glory days are a distant memory. The Shieldmaidens are Shieldmothers now, entangled in domestic obligations and ancient rivalries.
But family is everything, and Lovis was never more at home than at her shield-sisters' side. Their road won't be easy: old debts must be paid, wrongs must be righted, and the Nornir are always pulling on loose threads, leaving the Shieldmaidens facing the end of all Nine Realms. Ragnarok is coming, and if the Shieldmaidens can't stop it, Lovis will lose everyone she loves...
Fate is inexorable. Wyrd bith ful araed.
Queens of the Wyrd is the brand-new epic Norse fantasy adventure by Timandra Whitecastle.
I asked Reddit for recommendations for books with mums who go above and beyond for their kids – I had a sudden craving. Queens of the Wyrd was recommended a few times, and it was already on my tbr, so it got bumped up the list!
Here endeth the weekly check-in! What has everyone else been reading?