Review — Confession by Martín Kohan

By: Martín Kohan
Translator: Daniel Hahn
Release Date: 2020
Publisher: Charco Press
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)

Martín Kohan’s novel Confession is a look into Argentina’s past. More specifically, it is a look into the life of Mirta Lopez from the time she’s a young girl to her years as an elderly grandmother. These are broken into three main sections of the novel, each one centered on Mirta’s teenage, adult, and twilight years, respectively.

Review — All the Horses of Iceland by Sarah Tolmie

All the Horses of Iceland
By: Sarah Tolmie
Release Date: March 1, 2022

Sarah Tolmie—author, poet, and writer of sonnets—brings us a novella combining fantasy and historical fiction that captures all the feel of an old tale found in an ancient, labyrinthine library. As a medievalist, Tolmie’s knowledge of the time period and literature of the age are keenly apparent in All the Horses of Iceland.

Review — Rizzio by Denise Mina

Front cover of the novel Rizzio by Denise Mina Rizzo
By: Denise Mizio
Release Date: September 2, 2021
Publisher: Pegasus Crime
Series: Darkland Tales

Denise Mina’s slim novel Rizzio packs one hell of a punch within a mere 118 pages. The multi-award-winning author brings us a new novel centered on a crime—the murder of Mary, Queen of Scots’, private secretary, David Rizzio. This is an utterly outstanding work of literary and crime fiction, one that will keep you at the edge of your seat regardless if you know the true-life story of David Rizzio and Mary, Queen of Scots.

Review – The Way Back

The Way Back
By: Gavriel Savit
Release Date: November 17th, 2020
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Received From: NetGalley
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)

As I’m sure most of us can agree, as a reader we love any and all stories. For me my first love was classic fairy tales and folklore so when I saw The Way Back on NetGalley advertised as a historical fantasy brushing the realms of folklore I had to beg for the copy. I was thrilled to receive it and enjoyed every single page.

The Way Back follows a boy named Yehuda Leib and a girl named Bluma as they both chase after the Angel of Death for their own reasons. For Eastern European Jews there is the belief that demons have a land of their own: a Far Country peopled with the souls of the transient dead, governed by demonic dukes, barons, and earls. 

In their adventures we see Yehuda and Bluma struggle towards their goals and face the realities of the realm they find themselves in. I loved the fantastical elements of the story and loved the rich descriptions and interwoven details throughout the book.

Review: And I Darken (The Conqueror’s Saga #1)

And I Darken
By: Kiersten White
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Series: The Conqueror's Saga

I’m not going to lie to everyone – sometimes I do judge books by their cover. When I saw this cover in particular I was drawn in by the dagger and flower petals. I’m also a sucker for simple titles.

In the time of the Ottoman Empire we follow the story of Lada and Radu, princess and prince of Wallachia as they are taken from their home and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman Courts (as part of a deal between the empires). To everyone’s surprise these two outsiders become close friends with Mehmed, the son of the Ottoman sultan.

Review- The Heirs of Locksley (The Robin Hood Stories #2)

The Heirs of Locksley (The Robin Hood Stories #2)
By: Carrie Vaughn
Release Date: August 4th, 2020
Series: The Robin Hood Stories

Book two in this wonderful series made me so happy. I read it in a matter of hours, directly after finishing book one The Ghosts of Sherwood, and I was so pleased by the ending. I wonder (hope, pray) that there will be a book three in this series as we seem to be delving deeper into each of the Locksley children as they grow up.

Review- The Ghosts of Sherwood (The Robin Hood Stories #1)

The Ghosts of Sherwood (The Robin Hood Stories #1)
By: Carrie Vaughn
Release Date: June 9th, 2020
Series: The Robin Hood Stories

Sometimes I love classic stories being re-imagined and sometimes I am let down by them. In Carrie Vaughn’s The Ghosts of Sherwood we see her interpretation of the life of Robin Hood but instead of focusing on the man, myth and legend himself she tells us a tale of his life years later, no longer an outlaw but still brave, but also a family man that is trying to protect his family and lands. Also, we learn more about his kids than the man and Marian which I really enjoyed.

Review- The Angel of the Crows

The Angel of the Crows
By: Katherine Addison
Release Date: June 23rd, 2020
Publisher: Tor Books

If you are a fan of historical fiction and alternative history writing this story is definitely for you. Also, if you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes then this story is 100% even more for you.

Now, before moving into the story itself there are a few things I wanted to clear up as I found them out for myself as I finished this novel. First, the author Katherine Addison is the same person as the author Sarah Monette. It appears that for different genres and topics Monette has applied her pen name Addison, so keep that fun fact for yourself if you want to read more of her writing. Second, and this is direct from the author herself in the Author’s Note – The Angel of the Crows began as a Sherlock wingfic fanfiction.

Now, to talk about this wonderful book itself. I am, admittedly, a fan of all things Sherlock Holmes so to see a reimagining of the story with different characters (Crow being Sherlock and Doyle being Watson) was fun for me. The explanation for why the characters are the way they are fits so well that I found myself smiling wide. Crow, being an angel whose domain is all of London, thus explaining his heightened senses and sometimes odd behavior as Sherlock, is wonderful in his odd ways. Doyle, much like Watson, is suffering from a leg injury and from having been in the war however his injury is of a spectral nature as he was attacked by what is known as a Fallen angel i.e. one that is now filled with dark, nefarious energy and power.

Throughout this book we cover the well-known Sherlock Holmes stories of “A Study in Scarlet,” “The Sign of the Four,” and “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” but Addison didn’t stop there and also had our heroes join the hunt for Jack the Ripper.

Honestly while I wish some lesser-known Sherlock tales had been picked or that things had been reworked a bit more to make them feel new or extremely different I did enjoy the way that Addison connected the dots between these classic stories and our newly reimagined characters.

If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes, alternative history or the idea of these characters being redone in a way that breathes new life back into these classics I would definitely suggest you pick up this book. While it wasn’t life altering it was a quite enjoyable read and I was impressed with Addison’s style. I may be picking up her other works soon.