Wild Sky by Zaya Feli

Summary (Spoiler-Free)

Wild Sky is an epic fantasy adventure set in a world where wild dragons roam the skies. The story begins with Tauran Darrica, a wounded veteran of dragon combat (we know something awful happened to him in the battle, we just don’t know exactly what), who is just barely scraping by after leaving the Sky Guard. Tauran returns to the city of Valreus, a place full of bittersweet memories of his time as a dragon rider in the Sky Guard. There he meets Kalai, an idealistic young foreigner who came to Valreus looking for adventure. Kalai happens to be in the right place at the right time and is given a job working for the Sky Guard as their archivist, translating old scrolls full of Dragon Advice from his native language into something the guard can use. Tauran and Kalai quickly bond over their shared enthusiasm for parenting: dragon parenting, that is. They work together to hatch a very large dragon egg that may or may not (no spoilers!) contain a very adorable, very feisty baby dragon.

Everything seems to be going pretty well, until wild dragons start attacking the city of Valreus. Tauran and Kalai, both dragon experts in their own ways, will need to figure out why the dragons are attacking and who exactly the enemy is.

Queer Content

While this book is primarily an adventure/mystery story, the representation of LGBTQ+ characters is top notch. Tauran and Kalai’s slow burn romance is the heart of the story, and their devotion to one another is sweet and endearing. The content is not explicit at all (no steamy scenes here) but there is lots of affection, touches, kisses, words of endearment. This is the way I like my romances, personally: emotional first and physical second.

In addition to our main pairing (one of whom is bi), we have trans rep with Catria, who is a wonderful side character that I adored: curly-haired girl who loves her dad is my jam.


On its face this book is a very light-hearted romantic adventure story, but for fans of angst and heartbreak there is actually a goldmine here too. This book is so impressive because of how subtly and beautifully the characters’ pain and trauma is explored. The genius comes in with Zaya Feli’s light touch; the writing never feels melodramatic, but results in some really beautiful moments of emotional catharsis. The characters are given the time and space to explore the ghosts of their past in a really satisfying way. Angst is often best when it’s interwoven gently into the narrative so that you can almost wonder if the author did it on purpose or if you’re reading something into it, and that’s exactly what you’ll find here. The emotional peaks in this story are all deeply integrated with the characters’ pain, trauma, guilt, and fear. Fans of fluff will be able to enjoy this book because it’s not in-your-face with dark tropes and suffering, but for those of us that like to see characters grappling with difficult situations, there is much to be found here as well.


I’m giving Wild Sky a 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5. There are so many things to love about it: the creativity, the depth of character development and world-building, the amazing message about finding acceptance and love.

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Wyldingwode by J Tullos Hennig

This post contains spoilers for all the books of the Wode Series, including Summerwode and Wyldingwode.

Wyldingwode is what happens when fate rips the Ceugant apart again, but this time our characters are a little bit older and a lot more mature. At the end of Summerwode we saw our three main characters separated by fate: Robyn pulled into Barrow Mere, Gamelyn under the yoke of the Templars, and Marion left to manage hearth and home at Tickhill with new baby Aderyn. At the outset of this tale, we’ve moved forward a few years in time, but not much else has changed. Robyn is still missing, Gamelyn is still being drawn away by his Templar masters, Marion is still occupied defending Tickhill and her status as a peasant and a woman among the lords of the land.

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Summerwode by J. Tullos Hennig

I have feelings. So many feelings.

Summerwode is the fourth book (out of an anticipated five) in the Wode series by J. Tullos Hennig. This story is (I believe) loosely based on The Tale of Gamelyn, which is a Canterbury Tale as well as actual English history from this time period, including a recorded siege of Nottingham Castle in 1194. Richard the Lionheart had been ransomed from Henry VI and is returning to English shores. Our band of outlaws had made some progress toward legitimacy in Winterwode, and now a royal pardon is within their grasp. Meanwhile, old enemies are plotting revenge and the leaders of the Templar Knights have their own agenda and seem to want to seize control of the magic of the Wode.

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Magic or Die by J.P. Jackson

There are probably people out there who would love this book, but unfortunately it wasn’t quite right for me.

The only expectations I went in to Magic or Die with came from the summary that I read on Goodreads, and it really made it sound like it sound like the kind of story I would be into: characters with traumatic pasts and emotional depth, high stakes involving the commodification and trafficking of magically gifted people, and a queer romance subplot. All things that I love and look for in my stories. However, Magic or Die didn’t really deliver on much of that. The seriousness and the drama of the situation were watered down by a strange mess of world-building that didn’t really make sense, hackneyed villains (at one point there was a non-ironic use of the word henchmen), and a very awkward romance between the main character and one of his students.

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Witchmark by C.L. Polk

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I found to like about Witchmark. I was a little worried that it was going to be more romantic and sweet than I generally go in for, but – while it was very wholesome – there was a lot of emotional depth and some hard-hitting tropes that I adore. Read on for more!

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