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Review: Crier’s War by Nina Varela

by Laila Winters Of all the books that were released in 2019, I was most excited for Nina Varela’s debut. Crier’s War is an LGBTQ+ novel that straddles the line between science fiction and fantasy, and it did not disappoint. It tells the story of Ayla, a human servant with the dire need to avenge...

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Fiction: The Gift by Dawn Vogel

By Dawn Vogel T’was the night before Christmas, and I wasn’t done with my shopping. There was only one person I wanted to buy a gift. I knew she’d understand if I didn’t give her anything, but I wanted to. I needed to see her eyes sparkle with delight. I worked until close, which meant...

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Fiction: The Koi Empress by Nyla Bright

by Nyla Bright The sight of the two-foot-long golden koi in the grip of a snake was horrifying. Alexandria’s mother had told her some of the fish in her grandmother’s pond were worth as much as a car. “And,” she had said, “there is a goldfish that is priceless. Watch out for that one.”  The...

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Fiction: Death Friend by Nora Bailey

I died for the sixth time on the night of my thirtieth birthday. It was highly annoying—after making it through my whole twenties alive, it had been too easy to think that I’d finally become normal. Damn, I can just hear my mother now. “What is normal and who says so anyway?” Okay, fine. But...

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Fiction: The Price of a Word by Laura Jane Swanson

Content warning: stillbirth Tamsin was sweeping away the last of the spell when the door opened. She squinted against the sunshine, bright even with someone standing in the doorway. Had the mother brought the child back? His fever had broken as soon as the dust of Tamsin’s spell had fallen on him. Surely that was enough....

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Witching The Book

by Margaret Kingsbury In fairy tales, witches are often scary, though not always. They sometimes eat children, curse innocent bystanders, poison fair maidens. But sometimes witches are the arbiters of goodness. When two stepsisters approach a witch and one helps her and the other mocks her in “Diamonds and Toads,” for instance, the kind sister...

Review: House of Salt and Sorrows
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Review: House of Salt and Sorrows

House of Salt and Sorrow is billed as a retelling of ’12 Dancing Princesses’, a Grimm fairy tale. Since I was unfamiliar with the original, which itself is a variation of fairy tales passed on to the Grimm brothers, I did not research the origin until after I finished the book.  House of Salt and Sorrow may...

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10 #OwnVoices, Asian-inspired Fantasy YA Books of 2019

by Margaret Kingsbury This year brings a lot of amazing Asian #OwnVoices YA fantasy. While Asian characters and settings have been a part of fantasy for a long time, often these settings and cultural practices have been appropriated by white authors, and stereotypes abound. That’s one reason why it’s so important for more #OwnVoices Asian...