Book reviews #7: Blossom of Ash by Kennedy Vega

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 Persephone is a mortal girl, beautiful in every way,  her only flaw is that she was born with a curled foot, a deformity that her aristocratic parents believe makes her undesirable and therefore ineligible to be married. Unable to bring her parents status and wealth through wedlock, Persephone is viewed as useless and is sentenced to live her life as a servant in her very own home. 
Her parents place their hopes and dreams on the shoulders of Persephone’s younger sister, Anathema, however the young child is afflicted with a fatal disease and in a desperate attempt to save their prospect her parents make a deal with the Lord of Death himself, Hades. 
On Persephone’s eighteenth birthday she must choose whether to go live with Hades and offer her life to save her sister or to live her days in the mortal realm as the Fates intended. 
A timeless tale reimagined with a fairytale flare, Blossom of Ash is a short story about the love that blooms between a mortal girl and a dark god as she discovers that your true home can be found in the strangest of places. 

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Hello book dragons! Today I am talking about a novella, a short story writen by my Instagram friend Kennedy Vega (januaryrabbit on Ig). When I learned she was writing a retelling of Hades and Persephone, I had to jump on it! First, I am a fan of greek mythology. I used to collect all the Hercules books I could find, true story. Second, I love retelling, always did, always will.

I was not disappointed with that one! We find a young Persephone, closer to Cinderella than to a deity. Having a hard life, she finds comfort in her beautiful garden, selling her flowers in the hope to one day leave this life. Until the day the bergain her mom made with Hades catches up with her!

I loved the writing of Kennedy, there is a lot of poetry in her words, and you can feel her tenderness and love for her characters. Reading this story was like taking a break in a long day, refreshing and sweet.

My only regret is that there is not enough development of the love story between Hades and Persephone. I understand the why, you do not have room for everything when you write something the length of a tale. But I wanted to know more, all the details. Thanksfully, the author is working on a longer version of this book!!! I can’t wait!

See you for a cup!

Elise

Book reviews #6: No good deed by Kara Connolly

Processed with VSCO with  presetEllie Hudson is the front-runner on the road to gold for the U.S. Olympic archery team. All she has to do is qualify at the trials in jolly old England. When Ellie makes some kind of crazy wrong turn in the caverns under Nottingham Castle—yes, that Nottingham—she ends up in medieval England.
 
Ellie doesn’t care how she got to the Middle Ages; she just wants to go home before she gets the plague. But people are suffering in Nottingham, and Ellie has the skills to make it better. What’s an ace archer to do while she’s stuck in Sherwood Forest but make like Robin Hood?
 
Pulled into a past life as an outlaw, Ellie feels her present fading away next to daring do-gooding and a devilishly handsome knight. Only, Ellie is on the brink of rewriting history, and when she picks up her bow and arrow, her next shot could save her past—or doom civilization’s future.

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A retelling of Robin Hood with a female lead? I am in! That’s the first thing I thought when I read about No Good Deed. And honestly, I was right to be. I was not disappointed by this book at all. the author took a young archer from the 21st century and send her 800 years before, in a very different context. Ellie, our hero, will learn the hard way how different the world is under Prince John regency, and the difference she can make. She will make strange encounters and befriend quite special people… and she will become a legend!
The first thing I loved about this book is the narrator being Ellie. We discover this strange century with her, her comparisons with her own world, her struggles and most of all, her humor. You will feel comfortable with Ellie, like if she was a friend telling you a story, modern, full of life and compelling. I simply loved her.
I also really enjoyed how the author turned history into her story. How Robin came to be, to become the legend we know. Half by accident, half by creating himself.
All the characters were also built interestingly, from James to Isabel to Guilbert. They all are very well defined and bring something different to the story. And for once, there was no straight forward romance. Hints, yes, but the main focus was the making of Robin Hood, and the travel of Ellie.

It was also good to have a why as for the archery skills at the heart of this book, just as not having all the answers regarding time travel. The end reveals an interesting little surprise too 😉
Overall, a story full of humor, lead by a teenage girl you can only love and sweat for, and so different from the classic Robin Hood story!

I would DEFINITELY recommend this book to all the lovers of smart and sassy female leads, Katniss type with bow and arrow, but also all the persons who watched or read about Robin Hood! (was I the only one watching the old not-so-good TV shows like 10-15 years ago? )

See you for a cup!

Elise

 

Thank you Random House Kids for sending me this ebook!