Reading Round-up: January 2022

A new year, a new list of books!

Lady Hotspur by Tessa Gratton

It took me an entire year to read this book, which was incredibly long and broken into three big sections which I treated as their own novels. It may not take you that long if you like your works on the denser side, however, and I am glad I stuck with this book. If you like Shakespeare or The Outlaw King but want it to be gay, I can recommend. My only critique of this story is that, despite the fact that there is very clear dialogue about the pervasiveness of killing your gays in narrative, no man gets what I would call a happy ending in this book, and the body count for queer men is very high. Overall I wouldn’t say that this was per se the book for me, but it’s a very good book and I would pay good money for it to be a movie. Like serious money. (LGBTQIA+, Epic Fantasy)

Robber Girl by S.T. Gibson

Here we have another lovely sapphic tale and a retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen”. While there was a lot in this story that reminded me strongly of The Raven and the Reindeer, another sapphic retelling of the same fairytale, I think Gibson’s lyrical style and the framing of the tale (told from the perspective of Helvig, not Gerda) make it worth the read. It’s also an excellent spooky Christmas tale, if you’re into that sort of thing. (LGBTQ+, Folktale Retelling, Fantasy)

Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

You may have noticed that I’ve been working through Margaret Rogerson’s work, and so far I’ve loved everything. This is her first series work, so not a standalone. The magic system is Catholic inspired — censors and crypts and all the lovely Gothic aesthetic you could want, complete with processionals of saints. But of course the church is not all that it seems, and our main character is a bit of a Joan of Arc trying to survive her own heresy while under the thumb of a mysterious deity with Her own goals. Major flashbacks to Semana Santa in Sevilla back in college for this one, which was an added layer of delight. (Fantasy, Young Adult)

Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

This is one of my favorite things I’ve read recently. Ruthlessly experimental, fabulously inventive, and speaking directly to the heart of out times, the book is part science fiction, party urban fantasy, and all vibrant, unflinching truth. I hope you’ll read it, especially if you like ducks, donuts, and violin. (LGBTQ+, Contemporary Fantasy, Science Fiction)

That’s it for this month! Until next time!

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