Circe by Madeline Miller
(This review is kind of long, so there’s a TL;DR at the end for those who don’t want to read the whole thing.)
Buckle up kiddos, because this book is a wild, wild, ride. Prepare to be hurt. Prepare to cry. Prepare to enjoy every second of the madness. When I say I would lay my life on the line for Circe, there is hardly any hyperbole.
Background: I discovered Madeline Miller a year or two ago, when I read her Song of Achilles. It’s an intense, sweeping tale, but that’s a review for another day. The point being, I was super excited when I found out she was doing a new book, as she’s an amazing writer. More on that later.
Anyway, Circe, as you probably expected, is a retelling of the life of the enchantress Circe. She is known in Greek mythology as a goddess of magic and transformation, most famously in Homer’s Odyssey. The book follows her through her father’s halls (her father is Helios the titan), various adventures, whirlpools and remote islands. As far as I can tell, most, though not all of the plot elements are taken from original texts about her.
(At this point, I’ll say that I don’t think I’d recommend this book for younger audiences. There’s swearing and, y’know, other things going on that could be considered pretty unsavoury. No explicit sex scenes or anything, this isn’t Fifty Shades, but still. It can get to be a little much.)
Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly
Serafina (Aka. Sera), princess of Miromara, the largest underwater kingdom, is coming of age. She will hold a Dokimi ceremony, which will determine if she is worthy of the crown or not. On the night before the ceremony, Sera gets a nightmare that foretells the return of ancient evil. Her nightmare is forgotten the next day when she awakes to last-minute preparations for the ceremony and her songspell practices (songspell is their kind of magic) she needs to perform during the Dokimi ceremony.
One thing Sera is looking forward to a reunion with her best friend Neela, princess of Matali. Things on her list of worries are the crown prince of Matali, Mahdi and whether his feelings towards Serafina and the betrothal have changed. On top of that, she worries about not living up to her mother, Queen Isabella of Miromara’s expectations and hopes. Then, it’s time for the Dokimi. Everything proceeds perfectly until……(drumroll) a assassins arrow hits Isabella, leaving her teetering between life and death. The whole kingdom falls into chaos, confirming Serafina’s nightmare. Now she and Neela must journey all across the mer kingdoms, on a quest to find the assassin’s master and prevent a war between the mer nations. Their search will lead them to other mermaid heroines scattered across the kingdoms.
I loved this series! To me, it’s the kind that you read, reread and reread again! I would recommend it to people that like fantasy and mythology. Book order:
- Deep Blue
- Rogue Wave
- Dark Tide
- Sea Spell
Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep
In this book, Gypsy Gwen Frost faces yet another challenge. Her friend is poisoned by a reaper and the only way to cure him is to get the ambrosia flower that grows in the Eir Ruins. Gwen and her other friends set off to retrieve the flower with the help of Covington, Gwen’s cousin Rory Forseti and Rory’s aunt Rachel Maddox. When they get there, the reapers ambush them and they fight to get the flower that will save their friend’s life.
I like this book because it sets you on edge. It’s just as good as the previous books in the series before it. It is full of surprises and humour. I recommend this book to anybody who loves adventure, suspense, mystery, and mythology.