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.

Continue reading “Summerwode by J. Tullos Hennig”

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.

Continue reading “Magic or Die by J.P. Jackson”

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!

Continue reading “Witchmark by C.L. Polk”