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Clare-Dragonfly

Clare-Dragonfly

Joined September 2016

Writer, reader, mama, knitter, baker, editor, soon to be cancer survivor. she/her
review
Clare-Dragonfly
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Pickpick

This is a fascinating and thoroughly researched historical nonfiction book about the first published rape trial in the new US—a poor sewing girl, Lanah Sawyer, accused gentleman Henry Bedlow of raping her. His defense, of course, is that it was consensual. The book is surprisingly compelling; not that I didn‘t expect to enjoy it, but it isn‘t dry at all and there are several twists that I never saw coming. Recommended!

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Clare-Dragonfly
Island Witch | Amanda Jayatissa
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#libraryhaul… plus a movie… in addition to the three other books I have out, only one of which I‘ve started. I‘ve got to get reading 😬

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Clare-Dragonfly
To Shape a Dragon's Breath | Moniquill Blackgoose

This book is great so far, and this isn‘t really a complaint, but: what‘s with the ubiquity of the “dragons emerge from the shell and immediately bond to a human who is connected to that dragon for life, and we try to control it but that‘s not always successful”? Did Anne McCaffrey invent it, Naomi Novik follow her, and everyone else follow them, or is there some older source I‘m not aware of?

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Clare-Dragonfly
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Pickpick

This book is fascinating, poetic, and academic. I found it to be a dense read; I really had to push myself to get through it. Frequently it made me gasp with the beauty of its language or its insights. The organization, by number rather than suit, was something I liked and hadn‘t seen before, though at times I was puzzled by which cards went with which numbers.

I had to show off a few of my decks!

This is my July #bookspin or #doublespin! 😂

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Clare-Dragonfly
The Mask of Mirrors | M. A. Carrick
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Yay, I have my Storygraph June book collage! Thanks to @sprainedbrain for getting me the directions! Apparently I had missed the existence of an actual mobile app 😅

sprainedbrain Haha I didn‘t even think about needing to be in the app! 2w
25 likes1 comment
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Clare-Dragonfly
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This doesn‘t actually sound like my kind of book at all. But when I saw it at a #littlefreelibrary I had to pick it up because, as my husband said when I showed it to him, “that‘s just us!” 😂

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Clare-Dragonfly
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Mehso-so

I guess this is what I expected of Lovecraft. Strange explorations, monstrous creatures of time long past, it‘s so scary when the monstrous creatures are actually just people (i.e., racism). It was pretty slow and boring, and for the most part I felt like I was being told it was scary, not shown. It did get creepy toward the end, though, and I did like the ending—I appreciated that the narrator did figure out that the monsters were just people!

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Clare-Dragonfly

I feel like I‘m reading a mildly interesting anthropological study of a hitherto unknown alien race, and occasionally being told “and it was sooooo scary.” I do not feel like I‘m reading a horror story.

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Clare-Dragonfly
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I went on vacation recently and managed to limit myself to this very small #bookhaul (Witches‘ Datebook not pictured).

slategreyskies Wow, the North American Folk Magic one looks great! Have you read New World Witchery by the same author? 3w
slategreyskies Oh, never mind my above comment. Just saw your review on it. 🤣 3w
Clare-Dragonfly @slategreyskies Haha, yes! I also listen regularly to his podcast of the same name. 3w
22 likes3 comments
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Clare-Dragonfly
The Mask of Mirrors | M. A. Carrick
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An easy choice for my June favorite, and it beats May, too. I might be picking a surprising number of nonfiction books as my monthly favorites, but fantasy always wins in the end! #readingbracket2024

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Clare-Dragonfly
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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Pickpick

It‘s July already! Here‘s my #bookspin list! @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 3w
Sace Wasn‘t it just February? 3w
Clare-Dragonfly Bookspin: Cassandra in Reverse; Doublespin: Red Tarot 3w
15 likes3 comments
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Clare-Dragonfly
The Hunter's Daughter | Nicola Solvinic
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Pickpick

Deliciously creepy! Anna is a detective, and murders start popping up in her jurisdiction that are eerily similar to those of a past serial killer, the Forest Strangler. What those around Anna don‘t know is that the Forest Strangler was her father. And she‘s missing time… A coincidence in the ending made me roll my eyes, but overall this was a solid mystery.

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Clare-Dragonfly
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Pickpick

An exciting sequel to The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea! As I expected, this book was mostly about Genevieve, and her character arc was very satisfying. I‘m not sure how to feel about the ending; there was a bit of a deus ex machina, but I liked the message. There were too many POV characters but they were all wonderful characters so maybe it wasn‘t too many after all 😂

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Clare-Dragonfly
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Mehso-so

First of all, the title and cover of this book are wildly misleading. Yes, there‘s a tryst, but it‘s only the reason the main character is there… to solve a murder! The character relationships are enjoyable, and the mystery is interestingly twisty. It irked me that Matthew is constantly lying and keeping secrets from the justice of the peace and frankly I think there should have been a lot more evidence to prove Natasha didn‘t do it.

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Clare-Dragonfly
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Reading on the covered porch while it rains in the mountains. This is my idea of a vacation.

TheBookHippie Perfection 1mo
KateReadsYA That is seriously a perfect day! 🥰 1mo
28 likes2 comments
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Clare-Dragonfly
Monstrous Regiment | Terry Pratchett
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Pickpick

This is Terry Pratchett, so of course it‘s funny, ridiculous, and in places cuttingly truthful and deep. It was hard to put down! Jackrum, Wazzer, Shufti, all the other members of the regiment, and especially Polly are wonderful characters. I believe this is my #bookspin for June!

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Clare-Dragonfly
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Pickpick

Just lovely, and with so much to say about life and humanity. But now I‘m sad that I‘m out of Becky Chambers books to read!

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Clare-Dragonfly
A Botanical Daughter | Noah Medlock
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Gross and delightful, sweet and dreadful! I know those words don‘t seem to go together, but this book manages it. A botanist discovers a fungus that has self-awareness and coaxes his taxidermist partner into helping him bind it to a corpse. The fungus learns to operate the body far too quickly. The over-the-top language kept me from being fully immersed, and I‘m side-eyeing the copy editor, but this was absolutely worth the read.

24 likes1 stack add
quote
Clare-Dragonfly
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“My Jo, you may say anything to your mother, for it is my greatest happiness and pride to feel that my girls confide in me, and know how much I love them.”

I don‘t know if this is my first time reading Little Women since becoming a parent, but it‘s certainly the first time since my child could speak and express his feelings, and I so much relate to this quote. ❤️

BarkingMadRead I love this quote! 2mo
26 likes1 comment
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Clare-Dragonfly
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I guess I‘m not allowed to read right now—Gandalf is napping.

Sace I know almost nothing about Tarot but this sounds fascinating. 2mo
29 likes3 stack adds1 comment
quote
Clare-Dragonfly
A Botanical Daughter | Noah Medlock
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“The content of the reading material did not matter, although he made a good performance of erudite interest. What mattered was that he *was reading*, with tea.”

Amiable Yes!! 🙌🏼 (Fellow tea drinker over here …) 2mo
20 likes1 comment
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Clare-Dragonfly
The Mask of Mirrors | M. A. Carrick
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Pickpick

Incredibly rich worldbuilding, an underdog con artist main character with a seamstress sidekick, lots of sexy morally ambiguous characters, an autistic-coded astrologer-detective, nightmares come to life… what more could you ask for?! I was very grateful for the glossary in the back, but wished for a pronunciation guide. Definitely reading the next one!

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Clare-Dragonfly
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I read a lot of books I really enjoyed in May, but none that grabbed me and shook me to say “I am the favorite.” So I reviewed my list and was surprised when my heart chose Breaking Bread! I don‘t think I‘ve ever had a cookbook in my top reads before. This is a big year for nonfiction, I guess, with Mystical Stitches taking the top spot for March. Both were library borrows, but I bought Mystical Stitches and plan to do the same with this!

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Clare-Dragonfly
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Is there anything better than the library worker who checks you out getting excited about your #libraryhaul? 🥰 We had a nice chat about Becky Chambers and Murderbot!

(The other book is by an author who was on… crap, one of the writing podcasts I listen to. I want to say Ink In Your Veins, but I‘m not certain.)

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Clare-Dragonfly
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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Here‘s my #bookspin list for June! @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 2mo
20 likes1 comment
review
Clare-Dragonfly
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Pickpick

This isn‘t just a cookbook—it‘s a memoir told in recipes and in gorgeous, mouth-watering prose. Also, the recipes are great. Pictured is Oatmeal Bread. We haven‘t sliced into it yet, but it smells amazing! I also made the bagels and they don‘t look great but they are tasty. There are so many recipes in this book that I want to try, in fact, that I‘m planning to buy my own copy after borrowing this from the library.

Tamra That looks lovely! 😍 2mo
25 likes1 comment
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Clare-Dragonfly
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“Perfect bread should be defined as that which the baker or eater finds most pleasing to see and eat.”

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Clare-Dragonfly
System Collapse | Martha Wells
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Pickpick

Murderbot is as hilarious, poignant, and relatable as always. This was another exciting romp through a wild sci-fi future in a world mostly controlled by corporations, with our scrappy heroes trying to save people from indenture and slavery as much as possible. My main complaint is that this picked up so closely after the previous novella, with no reintroduction to the characters, that I struggled to keep track—they should have been one book.

29 likes1 stack add
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Clare-Dragonfly
The Year of the Witching | Alexis Henderson
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#bookhaul at my local new-and-used indie bookstore! I was also tempted to get Witch King by Martha Wells, but I just can‘t bring myself to pay new hardcover prices.

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Clare-Dragonfly
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Pickpick

What can I say? Just lovely.

Tamra I loved the other two - reminds me to get to this one as well. 2mo
26 likes1 comment
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Clare-Dragonfly
Weyward: A Novel | Emilia Hart
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This book felt slow to me at first, despite opening on Altha on trial for witchcraft and Kate working to escape an abusive relationship. The writing style feels cozy (as do Kate‘s circumstances for a while). However, it picked up toward the end and I was riveted. I loved the way the lives of these three generations of women echo and entangle with each other. I do wish there had been more magic, but it was wielded in a satisfying way. CWs 👇🏻

Clare-Dragonfly Domestic abuse, on-page rape, abortion, and lots of insects. 2mo
26 likes1 comment
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Clare-Dragonfly
Weyward: A Novel | Emilia Hart
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I got in some extra, unplanned reading time this morning, since Magrat absolutely refused to let me get up.

Ruthiella Cat‘s just trying to do you a favor! 😹😻 2mo
RaeLovesToRead Circlefloof!!!! 🥰🥰 2mo
23 likes2 comments
quote
Clare-Dragonfly
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“Dex had only needed to repair it five times in the [15+] years that it had traveled in their clothes. A reliable device built to last a lifetime, as all computers were.”

Becky Chambers knows how to write a utopia 😅

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Clare-Dragonfly
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Mehso-so

For most of this book I thought it would be a pick—and maybe it still should be—but I found the last couple chapters disappointing. The first 11 trials are real, riveting historical witchcraft trials, chosen to both be representative of other trials of their time and to illustrate turning points in the history of witch trials. But trial 12 is a fictional trial that represents the horrible treatment of “witches” in southern Africa—couldn‘t she…

Clare-Dragonfly …have chosen an example of a real person accused of witchcraft? And while using Stormy Daniels as a modern example was interesting, I felt that it wasn‘t nearly as strong an example as past ones, and she made some striking errors when writing about modern paganism. 2mo
22 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Clare-Dragonfly
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Another irritating error. The Wiccan symbol is a pentacle, not a “pentangle”—seriously, how do you study witchcraft and get that wrong? Also, the symbol isn‘t approved for current service members (I don‘t even know whether that‘s a thing). It‘s approved for placement on grave markers of service members, after years of work, which hardly supports her assertion that the US government theoretically allows freedom of religion including witchcraft.

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Clare-Dragonfly
Wide Sargasso Sea | Jean Rhys
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Mehso-so

I guess I expected more out of this book—something surprising, different from what Bertha‘s life obviously would have been like before the events of Jane Eyre. And why did we need the Rochester POV sections? To establish him as a huge jerk? We‘re told in those sections that Antoinette is in love with him and I really would have liked to see her fall in love. But I don‘t understand what either of them or Richard got from the marriage. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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Clare-Dragonfly
Scottish Folk Tales | Ruth Manning-Sanders
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Successful #fleamarkethaul!

I don‘t think this edition is the same as the one tagged, as there is no author listed.

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Clare-Dragonfly
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Hmm… no, it didn‘t. That wasn‘t added to the dollar bill until the 1950s. 🤔

I hate finding errors like this in books. It makes me suspicious of all the research. 🤨

review
Clare-Dragonfly
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book. The worldbuilding is complex and fascinating, and Mahit is a great character. I had some trouble following all the weird Teixcalaani names and wasn‘t always sure I was associating the right character with the right name. The plot was twist after twist and I was just along for the ride!

vivastory I'm really looking forward to this one. It sounds so unique! 2mo
Clare-Dragonfly @vivastory It is! At first it reminded me of other sci-fi I‘ve read but it quickly differentiated itself. Bonus, it‘s totally queer! 2mo
24 likes2 comments
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Clare-Dragonfly
A Power Unbound | Freya Marske
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Fabulous ending to this trilogy! Marske really raises the stakes in multiple ways, and I absolutely love what ends up happening with British magic. Dufay is glorious. And the sex scenes are 🥵🥵🥵

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Clare-Dragonfly
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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It‘s been a while since I did #bookspin because my brain only had so much room around chemo. But chemo is done now and I‘m having surgery on Monday, so I should have lots of time to read while I recover! (And knit… my surgeon said that knitting is a great recovery activity!) I just need to resist the urge to make a bingo card. I don‘t need more challenges right now!

Librarybelle Wishing you well for Monday! 3mo
Sace Hope all goes well on Monday. 3mo
BarbaraJean All my best for Monday and for your recovery!! 3mo
See All 6 Comments
Tamra Sending all the vibes for recovery! 3mo
TheAromaofBooks Lovely list!! Hope all goes well for you Monday and beyond!! ❤ ❤ ❤ 3mo
21 likes6 comments
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Clare-Dragonfly
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Not a tough choice for April! The decision between March and April was a little tougher… and I think I‘ll leave the next decision until this one is a little less fresh. #readingbracket2024

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Clare-Dragonfly
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It‘s nice to start a weekend trip with a new book!

18 likes1 stack add
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Clare-Dragonfly
Rebecca | Daphne Du Maurier
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Add me to the list of those who just couldn‘t bear to stick with a chapter a day! WOW! I pretty much didn‘t see any of that coming, and yet it all made perfect sense. Du Maurier was a master. #PemberLittens #hashtagbrigade

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Clare-Dragonfly
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Pickpick

What a gorgeous book, rich with historical detail of Spain under the Inquisition in what I would usually call the Elizabethan era. The characters are equally rich and complex. I adored Luzia, Hualit, and Santángel, came to love Valentina, and feared all the villains. The plot took numerous turns I did not expect. Despite an irritating pet peeve toward the end, Leigh Bardugo remains an autobuy author.

Sace I just bought this book recently. I also have Ninth House sitting on my shelf. I have yet to read this author but I always hear good things. I just couldn‘t resist this one. Set in Spain? Magic? Yes please! Plus it‘s just a gorgeous cover! 3mo
25 likes1 comment
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Clare-Dragonfly
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Augh! Why?! Such lazy writing. Just tell us the demands.

And then it never comes up? It isn‘t relevant to the ending? Why bother with the secrets?

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Clare-Dragonfly
Rebecca | Daphne Du Maurier
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I am HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS of this costume suggestion Danny has provided. Did Rebecca always dress as this portrait? Or will Jan look like Rebecca when she is dressed up? It‘s too easy… something awful is going to happen. This is a long chapter! #hashtagbrigade

BarkingMadRead This was 💯 a set up, I‘m guessing because of rebecca? The reaction was awful! I felt so bad for Jan! 3mo
Clare-Dragonfly @BarkingMadRead It has to have something to do with Rebecca! She is the title of the book after all 😂 3mo
BarkingMadRead @Clare-Dragonfly 🤣🤣🤣 3mo
7 likes3 comments
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Clare-Dragonfly
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Pickpick

Wow.

I didn‘t know anything about this book going in—I just knew I had to read it since I‘d loved her Winternight trilogy—and I‘m glad, so I won‘t say too much. It‘s about the horrors of war and other horrific things, and of things beyond war. It‘s about love, both family and romantic. It‘s not like the Winternight trilogy at all. I may even recommend it more highly.

Gandalf‘s opinion is not as high, but what does he know? He‘s a cat.

rubyslippersreads Gandalf looks very wise to me. 😻 3mo
22 likes1 comment
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Clare-Dragonfly
Jane Austen Embroidery | Alison Larkin, Jennie Batchelor
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Today‘s lovely #booknlunch—the weather is beautiful!

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Clare-Dragonfly
Jane Austen Embroidery | Alison Larkin, Jennie Batchelor
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daena I need this book! 3mo
26 likes1 stack add1 comment