Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

MASTER OF ONE by Dani Bennett & Jaida Jones book tour- Tbrandbeyond tours


Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing Date: November 10, 2020

Goodreads Amazon Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Indigo | IndieBound

Sinister sorcery. Gallows humor. A queer romance so glorious it could be right out of fae legend itself. Master of One is a fantasy unlike any other.

Rags is a thief—an excellent one. He’s stolen into noble’’s coffers, picked soldier’s pockets, and even liberated a ring or two off the fingers of passersby. Until he’s caught by the Queensguard and forced to find an ancient fae relic for a sadistic royal sorcerer.
But Rags could never have guessed this “relic” would actually be a fae himself—a distractingly handsome, annoyingly perfect, ancient fae prince called Shining Talon. Good thing Rags can think on his toes, because things just get stranger from there…

With the heist and intrigue of Six of Crows and the dark fairy tale feel of The Cruel Prince, this young adult fantasy debut will have readers rooting for a pair of reluctant heroes as they take on a world-ending fae prophecy, a malicious royal plot, and, most dangerously of all, their feelings for each other

Thank you so much, NetGalley, HarperCollins Children’s books and Harperteen for the chance to read this book!

TW: murder, torture, violence, loss of free will, kidnapping, death

Rags is an excellent thief, until he’s caught by the Queensguard and forced to help a sadistic and cruel sorcerer to find an ancient Fae relic, a powerful relic unlike anything they ever knew. But after Rags finds a Fae, a beautiful, powerful prince called Shining Talon, things begin to become more and more dangerous and complex and he finds himself involved into a deeper plot. Between gallows humor, sinister and sadistic magic, prophecies and Fae magic, Rags has to face adventures, new allies and enemies, dangers and, above all, his and Shining Talon’s feelings for each other.

Master of one is an intense, brilliant and funny young adult fantasy debut and it’s unbelievably amazing. Set in a world ruled by a cruel and sinister Queen, Rags’ life is a difficult one, living on the streets, stealing and building his name as a thief. His world expands when he’s thrust into a complex and dangerous situation, forcing him to grow, to work with others, to understand himself and the world around him.

Rags is an unlikely and reluctant hero, fighting with self doubts, fears and using gallows humor to get by and survive the pain and the dangers. He’s a wonderfully relatable character, with his feelings and thoughts.

The story is told, at first, by Rags’ POV, but, as his world expands so the POVs. Each character is skillfully written, well rounded and complex, with their pasts to face, secrets, lies, family to protect, revenge, guilt, remorse and so on. They are relatable in their fierceness, flaws and mistakes. It’s impossible not to love, support and freak out about them and their adventures.

They are introduced slowly, piece by piece, like a puzzle, adding more and more to the initial plot. This is one the things I loved the most about Master of one.

Everything starts with Rags and a mission he’s forced to do by a sinister sorcerer and the dangers he will find, facing it. But slowly the story breathes and expands, including more characters, places and plots, truths that have to be uncovered and faced, secrets and magic.

The worldbuilding is lush and well written, the story set in a world medioeval or similar to that time, but with magic and sorcerers, a cruel queen and enslaved people. There are a lot of dark themes in Master of one, like murder, torture, death, enslaved people, exploitation and cruel and complex characters.

The interactions between characters are amazing and brilliant. The main relationship the reader sees is between Rags and Shining Talon, self deprecating, full of dark humor and doubts the first, a Fae brilliant, honorable and brilliant the second. Their relationship is a slow burn, an achingly beautiful queer romance between them, a chemistry and a yearning intense and lovely to read.

It was amazing reading how much they grow to trust, help and love one other, above all witnessing the growth of Rags, from a lonely and stubborn thief, self-deprecating and sure of being better alone, to someone able to trust, protect and work with others and relying on them.

The magic is another interesting element in this book, both sinister and cruel if used by sorcerers, but full of wonder and beauty when used by the Fae, heartwrenching and so beautiful.

I won’t say anything more about this book, because it’s an experience and everyone should read and love it! So if you love queer romance, yearning, action packed plot, slow burn, suspence and an intriguing worlbuilding this book is perfect for you.

Five stars rating vector icon

There are many reasons you should read Master of one, but here’s my top 5! There could be spoilers ahead, so be careful!

If you love slow burn romance, yearning and two stubborn characters (let’s be honest, one stubborn and self-deprecating character), this book is perfect for you. The relationship between Rags and Shining Talon is amazingly written and complex, the chemistry between them intense and intricate. Their queer love is *chef’s kiss*.

I loved reading about them, following them in their adventures, slowly learning to trust, confide and help one other and open up. They grow up so much in this book and I’m so proud of them. I was freaking out about Rags and Shining Talon since the beginning, smiling at every small interaction and touch. They are perfect together.

While reading Master of one it’s impossible not to laugh or facepalm thanks to Rags dark and gallows humor, able to defusing a tense situation or simply helping getting by and face the dangers. Rags is darkly funny and his interactions with Shining Talon are hilarious. It’s thanks to this kind of humor, these characters move on, trying to see the silver lining in their troubles and situations.

As written above in my review, Master of one has multiple POVs. The story begins with Rags’ and slowly expands, introducing more and more characters. They are intricate, burdened by loss, past traumas, intense feelings and intentions. Like pieces of a broken mirror (pun intended), the reader is able to know them and, through their eyes, to follow and know the whole story, above all when the characters are separated, learning about their feelings and thoughts, doubts and fears.

There are many themes in Master of One and some of them are dark. Master of one deals with murder, torture, enslavement, exploitation, cruelty, loss of free will and consent, using dark and sinister magic.

It also deals with love, yearning, friendship, loyalty, connection, rebellion and trust. These characters, each of them from different social classes, upbringing and even species, are bonded through accidents, fate, adventures and destiny and they have to learn how to rely on, trust and help one other, fighting for the right thing and supporting each other.

The magic used in Master of one is a sinister and cruel one, used by the Queen’s sorcerer’s. In this world of enslaved, dark magic and cruel intentions, the fragments’ and Fae’s magic is in stark contrast, full of beauty, wonder and deeply connection. It was intriguing and captivating starting to learn more about the Fae and their kind of magic, the connections between them, their powers and pasts.

Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett are married co-authors (without wanting to divorce yet) who live in Brooklyn with 8 cats. Danielle is from Victoria, British Columbia, and works freelance as an independent editor, proofreader and plagiarism checker. Jaida is a native New Yorker. Their published work includes four novels from the Volstovic Cycle, in addition to their many twitter rants on intersectional feminism and the NYC subway system. COMING FALL 2020 FROM HARPERTEEN: MASTER OF ONE.

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Forest of souls by Lori M. Lee

I received this copy from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review! Thank you, Page Street Publishing, for this earc!

Sircha Ashwyn has no family, no name, abandoned in an orphanage when she was very little, but she’s determined to find her own place in the world.

Trained by the mysterious Kendara, hoping to become the queen’s next Shadow, a royal spy, and training as a soldier, all Sircha’s plan are ruined when she got involved into a shamans’ attack and her best friend Saengo is killed. But, without even knowing how, Sircha manages to bring her soul back, discovering an ability and a power she knew nothing about.

Unveiled as soulguide, a rare and powerful kind of shaman, Sircha and Saengo are summoned to the Spider King, Ronin, whose power is vital in maintaining the peace between kingdoms and in controlling the dangerous Dead Wood, a forest possessed by trapped souls. But his powers seem to be weakening, since the trees are becoming more and more wild and spreading.

Sircha finds herself involving into the dangerous task of taming the Dead wood, before the trees claim her friend’s life and welcome a war between kingdoms.

Forest of souls is a lush, evocative and magical fantasy first book of the Shamanborn series, set in a world of political conflicts, mysterious powers, magic, intrigue, sisterhood and friendship. The world-building is spectacular and the author has the ability of grabbing’s the reader’s attention right away, thrusting her/him/them into a world skillfully written, with magic, drakes, plot twists, secrets, murders, giant spiders, ambigous and complex characters.

The writing style is absolutely evocative and the characterization is brilliant. Told by Sircha’s POV, the main character, Sircha is determined, stubborn, loyal and strong. She came from nothing, in a world, a place where family’s name can be very important, but she’s determined to prove to everyone and to herself her worth, her abilities and her loyalty.

When she discovers a new truth about hersef, changing her whole life and future and those of Saengo’s, Sircha proves herself to be even more adaptable, strong and skilled, relying on her training and bond with Saengo, looking for answers, eager to do something to save her friend and her country, fighting for beliefs she believes in, her loyalties tested when she discovers the cruelty and intrigues of her queen. Forest of souls is full of wonderful and intense characters.

Besides Sircha, Saengo is brilliant, loyal, a true friend and their relationship and sisterhood is one of the things I loved the most in this book. How both of them would do anything for the other, how they are bonded, how they love and trust one other implicitly.

Theyen is another complex figure and I really liked his sarcasm and the way he and Sircha bicker and prince Meilik is a wonderful written character, whose loyalties and beliefs are constantly tested throughout the whole book, pushing him to chose and I liked his relationship with Sircha, how it changes from prince and subject, to commander and soldier to become allies and friends. Intense and ambigous are the characters of Kendara and Ronin and I really need to know more about them and what will happen in the next book to this wonderful and skilled characters.

Overall, I really loved Forest of souls, the story was thrilling and captivating and the characters are impossible not to love and cheer on. I can’t wait to have this book in my hands and I will wait devoutly for the sequel!

4.5 stars

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Wicked as you wish


432 pages

Published March 3rd 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. A huge thanks to SOURCEBOOKS fire for this!


Rin Chupeco’s book deals with issues like homophobia (against Alex and Loki’s fathers), racism, child abuse, abuse, bigotry, poltical stance on immigration, police (ICE agents) abuse of power.


Tala Warnock is the descendant of Maria Makiling, a Filipine heroine able to negate spells and she lives in a world where magic is strictly controlled, a modern world where magic and techonology are both present and connected.

In Invierno, a boring town in Arizona, magic rarely works and thanks to her family’s ties to the country of Avalon (unreachable, frozen and bespelled for almost 12 years) they are chosen to protect and guard the heir of Avalon, Alexei, taking care of him against people and countries who want to exploit his kingdom’s magic for their cruel ends.

While both Tala and Alex try to have a normal life, going to school, to parties, trying to have boyfriends, their life are abruptly changed when the firebird, one of the Avalon’s deadliest weapon, appears to Alex and the Snow Queen, presumed dead, attacks him. They are forced to run, leaving the town, helped by Tala’s family, by the Bandersnatchers, a contingent of young people, teenagers, tasked to protect their heir.

On the run, in a kingdom she thought lost, Tala is confronted with family’s secrets, magic and the need and desire to protect her best friend and understand her own powers and story.


I really liked Wicked as you wish. In the beginning, to be honest, I found the worldbuilding a bit confusing, but while reading everything clicked and I found myself involved in this amazing story.

Set on a Earth where fairytales’ characters like Alice in Wonderland, the Cheshire Cat, Arthur Pendragon and so on and where places like Avalon, Wonderland and Beira, the Snow Queen’s kingdom are real, the reader is pushed right away in a complex and captivating world.

It’s almost possible to divide the book in two parts, the first one, set in Invierno and the other one in Avalon. In the first part, the reader get to know Tala and Alex, their secrets, Tala’s being a spellbreaker, Alex being gay and closeted and the Avalon’s heir in a world not so different from our own, except for the magic.

The firebird, the Bandersnatchers, the Snow Queen change everything and Tala is separated from her family, with a friend to protect and she’s is forced to rely on herself and her new friends, in their attempt to reach Maidenkeep and to try to save their kingdom, but their trip is full of surprises. Ice wolves, secrets, frog marsh king, profecies, dooms and fights.

During the trip the reader, through Tala, get to know the Bandersnatchers, their bonds, friendship, families, powers and weapons and Avalon’s story. One of the things I loved the most are the characters. I loved the diversity in this book. Tala is biracial Filipino, Alex is gay, Loki is non-binary, Chinese-Canadian and was adopted by two men, Ken is from Japan.

Tala is smart, brilliant and determined and in a situation where she’s utterly unprepared, but where she’s eager to learn and fight. Betrayed, full of question, she’s focused on their mission, willing to do anything to protect her best friend and save Avalon.

The Bandersnatchers are amazing, I loved them so much. Zoe, who is the leader of the mission, is brilliant, sensible and weighed down by the responsiblity of protecting a stubborn and with attitude heir. West, whose family is naturalist, so doesn’t know many modern things, is funny, cute in his questions and he’s a Roughskin, a shapeshifter. (I laughed so much while reading him shredding his clothes and Zoe complaining about him being naked.)

Ken,with his magical swords and their hidden powers, is playful and funny. Loki, with their magical staff, is a ranger, resourceful and without them and their sense of direction, they would have been stuck in the forest forever. Cole with his scary scythe, his attitute and his secrets is the brooding type, but with his heart in the right place (I hope). And Nya, the latest addiction, full of surprise and ready to be part of their group and adventure. I want to know more about them, from Zoe and her boyfriend (and his bond with Alex), West’s shapeshifting, Ken’s explanations and joke, Loki and their fathers’ love and their powers.

I LOVED the firebird. Like the bantering between the Bandersnatchers, the firebird was unbelievably funny and I laughed so much reading the scene with it in it, like when he blew raspberry or rolled his eyes.

Alex is another interesting character, with a painful past. When he was five years old he saw his parents being killed and was saved and taken away from Avalon, before the frost hit the kingdom. He spent all his life hiding, running for his life, shuttled from one family to the other, until Tala’s family, who was forced, with the firebird’s arrival, to leave Invierno and run away. Coming back in his kingdom, destroyed, frozen and hurt by the Snow Queen and her vendetta is painful and for most of the book, in Avalon, Alex is rude, hurtful and full of lies and secrets, keeping himself away from Tala and the others. I hope he and Tala will find a way to be more honest around one other in the next book.

Complex are the “villains” in the story, like the Snow Queen, her story and past really interesting, like her vendetta and obsession and Ryker, who is a intruing character, his past and his reasons for his loyalty painful and raw to read. I liked Ryker, a lot, and I can’t wait to know more about them, their full and bigger plan.

Amazing are the side characters, like Tala’s family, Lumina and Kay, their love and relationship strong and inspiring, and Lola Urduja and Katipuneros, a group of old warriors, unbelievably tenacious and ready to do anything to protect their families and heir and the Cheshire, a mastermind.

Interesting and unique is the use of profecies and dooms, so important in this world that a certain kind of doom can get some priviliges. It was amazing trying to decode the Dame’s and the priestess’ predictions, while reading! Fascinating the magic and the concept it comes with a price, usually a physical one. Brilliant and funny are the chapter titles, like (In wich government agents are assholes, but what else is new or In which Loki uses a toothpick and Ken loses a fight with a library)!


Above all, I really loved this book. I loved how the author deals with important themes, like abuse, homophobia, racism in Wicked as you wish, talking about the political tension in their world, the power abuse, the countries’ stance on immigration and so on. At the same time it’s a journey of discovery, of trying to do the right thing, of protecting others, of taking back a kingdom, of learning things about others and oneself.

The characters are amazing, the story is full of mysteries, plot twists, fairytales characters and this mix of modern world and fairytales was amazing and funny. I can’t wait to know what will happen next.

from google images

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Blog tour Highfire by Eoin Colfer

Welcome to my stop of the blog tour for Eoin Colfer’s first adult fantasy novel, Highfire, which comes out on January 28th!

A huge thanks to Milly Reid for my shiny copy of Highfire and to the publishers! I’m thrilled to be part of this blog tour!


From the internationally bestselling author of the Artemis Fowl series: Eoin Colfer’s first adult fantasy novel is a hilarious, high-octane adventure about a vodka-drinking, Flashdance-loving dragon who’s been hiding out from the world – and potential torch-carrying mobs – in a Louisiana bayou . . . until his peaceful world’s turned upside down by a well-intentioned but wild Cajun tearaway and the crooked (and heavily armed) law officer who wants him dead.

Squib Moreau may be swamp-wild, but his intentions are (generally) good: he really wants to be a supportive son to his hard-working momma Elodie. But sometimes life gets in the way – like when Fake Daddy walked out on them leaving a ton of debt, or when crooked Constable Regence Hooke got to thinking pretty Elodie Moreau was just the gal for him…

An apprenticeship with the local moonshine runner, servicing the bayou, looks like the only way to pay off the family debts and maybe get Squib and his momma a place in town, far from Constable Hooke’s unwanted courtship and Fake Daddy’s reputation. Unfortunately for Squib, Hooke has his own eye on that very same stretch of bayou – and neither of them have taken into account the fire-breathing dragon hiding out in the Louisiana swamp…

For Squib Moreau, Regence Hooke and Vern, aka Lord Highfire of Highfire Eyrie, life is never going to be the same again

I’ve always been a fan of Eoin Colfer’s books, since I grew up with Artemis Fowl, so I was over the moon when Netgalley accepted my request for an earc and then when I was asked to be part of my first blog tour.

Told by three POVs (Vern’s, Squib’s and Hooke’s), Highfire is a very peculiar book, full of adventure, action and funny moments. Like in his other books, Colfer’s writing style is brilliant, full of sarcasm, jokes and foreshadowing.

“And as is so often the case, things would’ve turned out a whole lot better if the kid could’ve kept it in his pants.”

Highfire’s characters are brilliantly written and relatable. Squib is a fifteen years old, who finds himself involved in something bigger than he could have ever thought, running from a crooked cop, with a dragon as boss. His thoughts and inner monologue are hilarious and his character is multi-dimensional and realistic. Through his POV the reader can see how deeply he loves his mother, how loyal and stubborn he is. And unfortunate. He means well, even though he finds himself into trouble everytime.

His thoughts are consistent with his age, still able to believe in extraordinary things like a talking dragon and to accept this turn of events, without thinking himself crazy. Even though he’s in a difficult situation (his Momma works hard, he works three jobs, his Daddies left them in trouble), Squib is brilliant, sassy, sarcastic and able to see the world for what it is and act accordingly, but without losing his hopes and dreams.

Reading through Vern’s eyes, the reader is able to experience his loneliness, his depression. He remembers, melancholically, an Era when dragon were feared and he mourns his family, killed by humans, whom he distrusts and hates. Vern hides from them and their phones recording and weapons and from what would happen if they discover his existence. Convinced to be the last dragon alive, he would love to live peacefully watching TV cable and talking only with Waxman, his mogwai and oldest friend. But then Squib changes his entire existence.

Vern is funny, sarcastic and thoughtful. Even though he has fantasy characteristics, such as flying, hording riches, fire, Colfer created a new dragon, talking about his physical traits like his powerful sense of smell, the oil he needs to use his fire, his fat, his cells, the proprieties of his fluids and excrements, his penis and the importance and message of the balls if they are in or out. It was unbelievably funny ( and sometimes gross) reading about the physical characteristics of both dragon’s and mogwai’s anatomies.

Even though he is a dragon, a mystical creature, Vern is absolutely relatable and “humanized” with this thoughts and fears, his prejudices, his depression and blues and loneliness. I’ve never felt so close to a dragon before.

The third POV is Hooke’s, who is crooked, arrogant and psycothic. Sadist. From his background the reader learns he had a difficult childhood, with his parents, above all his father, but it’s impossible to feel sympathy for him, because Hooke is unrepentant. He’s cruel, greedy, patronizing, calling everyone “son”, feeling superior. In his thoughts and inner monologue it’s clear the influence of his father and the church. His lust for Elodie and hatred for Squib are very clear. It was interesting seeing his thoughts, because he’s the perfect villain in the story, ready to do anything to get what he wants. He represents, incarnates the cruel human Vern is hiding from, with his violence and plans to exploit or kill.

The relationship between Vern and Squib is one of the thing I loved the most in Highfire. Rocky and suspicious at first, slowly they get to know each other, until they are at ease with one other. Vern is cinical and bitter, but funny and Squib is sassy and brilliant, even though many didn’t know that. I really liked reading their banter. They would do (and do) anything for each other. It was fascinating reading how much they and their relationship grow throughout the book, until they become friends. Vern and Squib are captivating main characters, very intruing.

The side characters were brilliantly written, too. I liked a lot the relationship between Vern and Waxman, full of insults, witty and sarcastic banter and good-natured bickering. I liked how Squib listened to Waxman’s advices and thoughts, how he was an important friend in his life. Elodie Moreau and Bodi Irwin were amazing characters, both of them sassy and protective of Squib first and then of Vern, too. I’d loved to read more about them.

There are a lot of reference to music and TV shows in Highfire, from Flashdance (Vern really liked that movie, above all a particular scene), Game of Thrones (Vern DIDN’T like how the dragons were portayed), Lord of the Rings, Batman and so on.

I loved reading Highfire. I laughed so hard, I was moved by many moments and involved in the action. It was impossible not to love these characters, cheering for Squib and Vern, getting angry at Hooke, laughing at Vern bantering with Waxman, Squib and Bodi.

I really enjoyed reading Highfire, a very peculiar book, a mix between a comedy, a thriller, a noir with unforgettable characters, full of funny, moving and deep moments, able to captivate the reader since the first page into an emotional and brilliant rollercoaster.

Trigger warnings: suicide, attempted suicide, death, gore, mutilation, rape jokes, depression, kidnapping, drugs, weapons.

#Highfire           @JoFletcherBOoks                        @EoinColfer

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

One of The Observer’s Best Children’s Books of 2018!

Fans of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and The Children of Blood and Bone have been getting lost in The Hazel Wood

“The Hazel Wood kept me up all night. I had every light burning and the covers pulled tight around me as I fell completely into the dark and beautiful world within its pages. Terrifying, magical, and surprisingly funny, it’s one of the very best books I’ve read in years. -Jennifer Niven, author of All The Bright Places

From Google

Melissa Albert is a web editor and the founding editor of B&N Teen Blog. She has written for McSweeney’s, Time Out Chicago and more. Melissa grew up in Illinois and lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is The New York Times bestselling author of The Hazel wood. (from the back cover of The hazel wood and The night country).

The Hazel wood, first book from the series The Hazel wood (the sequel, The night country will come out in 2020) is a really peculiar book. It’s a fantasy and a thriller and a fairy tale book with horror strokes. The main character is Alice, a seventeen years old, who spent all her life moving from city to city, with her mother Ella, living in friends’ houses, trying to shake their uncanny bad luck. When a letter informed them that Ella’s mother, Althea Proserpine (a fairy tales author Alice has never met), is dead in her mansion, the peculiar Hazel Wood, Ella thinks their problems are gone, their luck restored. They are free. She decided to marry up and for a while she and Alice settled and tried to live a normal and quiet life. No more running, no more bad luck. But one day Ella’s kidnapping turns Alice’s world upside down. Her kidnapper claims to be from the Hinterland, the mysterious world Althea set her story in. Alice finds herself alone, left by her stepfather and stepsister and with a strange letter, bearing her name in a story, with weird and dangerous people following her and no choice but ask her classmate Ellery Finch, a great fan of her grandmother, to help her find her mother and The Hazel wood.

They start a magic and perilous journey, through fantasy and reality, dangers and death, stories that are not just words on paper, but are real and dangerous, ready to maim and kill them. Running from the Hinterland itself, manifesting through its inhabitants, Alice and Finch follow clue after clue to find the mysterious Hazel wood, Alice’s grandmother’s house. And they find more they had bargained for.

The hazel wood is a book full of twists and revelations. So many shocking twists, I loved them. It was a rollercoaster. Melissa Albert book is, among other things, a dark fairy tale. Interwined and fundamental for the main plot there are fairy tales, loved and narrated by Ellery Finch. The main characters are interesting and well written.

Alice is full of rage and ice, a young woman who decided to take the power and the story in her own hands and she’s driven by her love for her mother, her need for answers. Alice’s journey brings her to a world she never thought it could exist. Obsessed, when little, by the arcane figure of ther grandmother and her fairy tales, she discovered a world and answer so shocking her life is changed forever.

Ellery Finch is a complex character, full of loss, pain and intelligence and wit, different from the rich kid Alice thought he was. He’s complicated, with a painful past and bleak present. I adore reading about his love with Tales of the Hinterland, Althea’s book, a love so great to become obsessed with that world, to desire to visit it, to live in it. I totally relate to this desire to discover and see other worlds, magical ones.

This book is a story about a lonely girl who is trying to find her mother, about discovering her real identity, a journey to find herself and her place in the world, the Earth or the Hinterland.
The story is amazing, captivating and it conveys the importance of words, how could they change, heal or hurt someone.

Reading about the Hinterland was absolutely amazing. A world where Stories exists, where stories from a book are real, living in a world where the Story Spinner controls everything. Everything and everyone but Alice. She’s not a damsel in distress, a princess to be saved, but a strong and clever girl who fights to decide her own life and world.

The fairy tales intertwined with the main plot are not the Disney ones, but there are cruel, creepy and captivating, full of blood, murder and mystery, like the story of Alice Three Times. I’d love to read all the story from Tales from the Hinterland.

In the end, The Hazel wood is a 5 stars reading, able to captive your attention and making you wish to follow Alice and Ellery in their journey.

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Ninth House di Leigh Bardugo

Benvenuti, viaggiatori.

Ho deciso di dedicare la mia prima recensione al libro del momento, almeno per me, Ninth House, scritto dalla straordinaria Leigh Bardugo.

Se non siete a conoscenza di questa autrice, ecco una sua piccola presentazione.

Leigh Bardugo ( @LBardugo su twitter e LBardugo su Instagram) è nata a Gerusalemme, cresciuta in California e laureata a Yale; vive e scrive nella città di Los Angeles ed è un’autrice bestseller di racconti brevi e romanzi fantasy tra i quali la saga Grishaverse, che comprende la trilogia Shadow and Bone e la duologia Six of Crows. I romanzi sono stati tradotti in italiano dalla Mondadori e Sei di Corvi è uscito il 24 settembre 2019, mentre il seguito, Il regno corrotto uscirà il 29 ottobre. (Info da ) . La saga di Grishaverse diverrà, inoltre, una serie televisiva acquistata dalla Neflix con il nome di Shadow and Bone. L’annuncio, pubblicato dalla stessa autrice il 2 ottobre, ha reso noto il cast principale. ( ).

Dopo questa brevissima panoramica dell’autrice, alla cui saga Grishaverse dedicherò più in là un post più articolato, volevo parlarvi del primo romanzo adult fantasy scritto da Leigh Bardugo, Ninth House.

Pubblicato il giorno 8 ottobre 2019 dalla Flatiron Books ( ISBN1250313074, ISBN13: 9781250313072) e dopo due soli giorni è stato annunciato che Amazon Studios produrrà la serie tv del romanzo, che vedrà Leigh Bardugo in qualità di produttrice esecutiva. L’autrice si occuperà inoltre di scrivere l’adattamento.

La trama

Ninth House è ambientato a Yale, l’alma mater di Leigh Bardugo e vede come protagonista Galaxy “Alex” Stern, matricola dal misterioso e complesso passato, improbabile membro di Yale. Cresciuta da una madre hippie, abbandonati gli studi e coinvolta in un losco mondo fatto di droga e ricatti dal ragazzo spacciatore, Alex si ritrova a vent’anni ad essere l’unica sopravvissuta di un orrendo e irrisolto omicidio. Le viene offerta, però, una seconda chance, grazie al rettore Sandow, ovvero la possibilità di frequentare la prestigiosa università di Yale. A che scopo? Perché proprio Alex? Alla giovane viene chiesto in cambio di far parte della società segreta Lethe, che si occupa di monitorare le misteriose attività delle ulteriori otto società, le Antiche Otto. L’omicidio di una giovane stravolge quello che doveva essere il nuovo inizio di Alex, spingendola a indagare, nonostante le frettolose risposte della polizia e dell’amministrazione del college. Cercando risposte, Alex si scopre coinvolta in un enorme complotto, molto più grande e sinistro di quanto avrebbe mai immaginato.


Inizierò la recensione definendo Ninth House uno dei migliori libri che abbia letto in tanto tempo.

Presentato da Stephen King come “Impossibile to put down” Ninth House è un libro magnetico, che spinge il lettore a divorarlo, perché si sente il bisogno di sapere cosa succederà, di andare avanti, di leggere capitolo dopo capitolo. Al tempo stesso, però, si vorrebbe assaporarlo lentamente, come un delizioso piatto prelibato e leggerlo il più piano possibile per poterlo gustare meglio. La scrittura di Leigh Bardugo, notata già leggendo i suoi libri precedenti, è coinvolgente e spinge il lettore in un mondo completamente nuovo, del quale, una volta letta l’ultima pagina, si sente la mancanza. Alex Stern, la protagonista del racconto, possiede un potere (o maledizione, a seconda di come si potrebbe intendere) che ha attirato l’attenzione della misteriosa Nona Casa, la Lethe: può vedere i fantasmi, sin da quando ne ha memoria e questa sua capacità la rende assolutamente perfetta per monitorare le attività delle altre società segrete. Leigh Bardugo, infatti, immagina che ciascuna delle otto società, i cui membri sono importanti personaggi della politica, della cultura e del mondo dello spettacolo, pratica un diverso tipo di magia. Per non anticipare molto (scoprire i diversi rituali delle case è stato magnifico e davvero molto interessante), farò l’esempio di Skull and Bones che pratica la divinazione usando interiora umane e di animali. Lethe ha il compito di sorvegliare e ispezionare i loro rituali e Alex viene coinvolta in un mondo fatto di magia, riti e cerimonie, formule in latino, oggetti magici e misteri. Il romanzo Ninth House è strutturato in maniera molto particolare. Quasi ogni capitolo (che prendono nome dal periodo in cui si svolgono i principali avvenimenti, come Early Spring, Winter and Last Fall) oscilla tra passato e presente, costruendo la trama come pezzi di un puzzle. Sin dal prologo il lettore viene spinto all’interno del mondo di Alex e finisce di leggere la prima parte con moltissime domande,domandandosi chi sia la protagonista e cosa le sia successo. Capitolo dopo capitolo, rivelazione dopo rivelazione, il lettore viene a conoscenza del passato di Alex e del mistero che riguarda la giovane ragazza uccisa che si intreccia con la scomparsa del mentore di Alex, Darlington, sparito durante un’ispezione andata male. Pezzo dopo pezzo, veniamo a conoscenza di Alex e Darlington, delle compagne di stanza di Alex, dei riti magici e seguiamo la protagonista nella sua indagine. Alex, infatti, nonostante le rassicurazioni del rettore e della polizia, sospetta che l’omicidio della giovane Tara Hutchins non sia così “semplice” come tutti gli altri pensano. Non scriverò ulteriori informazioni sulla trama, perché Ninth House è un libro che merita di essere assaporato. La storia è piena di colpi di scena e rivelazioni fino all’ultima pagina. Dotato di personaggi interessanti e accattivanti è un fantasy per adulti, un thriller, un viaggio in un mondo dove la magia è parte integrante del college stesso e delle sue società. Interessantissimo leggere dei riti magici e del passato dei protagonisti. Mi sono immedesimata molto in Darlington, nella sua curiosità e fascino per la magia. Inutile dire che non vedo l’ora di tuffarmi nuovamente nel mondo di Alex e Darlington.

Concludo questa mia prima recensione avvertendo i lettori che Ninth House non è un libro adatto ai giovani, o almeno, chi ha voglia di leggerlo deve sapere che ci sono dei trigger warnings, che potrebbero sconvolgere o rendere difficile la lettura, per chi è sensibile a tali tematiche:

  • stupro sotto l’effetto di una droga
  • stupro di un minore
  • overdose
  • morte
  • omicidi
  • spargimenti di sangue
  • tentato omicidio
  • mangiare escrementi
  • autolesionismo

Per quanto mi riguarda sono venuta a conoscenza dei trigger warnings di Ninth House mesi prima dell’uscita del libro, leggendo commenti su Twitter, e devo ammettere che il doversi aspettare un certo evento mi ha reso più ansiosa. Credo che avrei vissuto meglio la lettura di un dato avvenimento se non avessi letto prima i trigger warnings, ma ovviamente è una mia personale idea.

Concludo scrivendo che Ninth House è un libro che mi ha davvero stupita, essendo molto più di quanto avessi potuto immaginare. Mi ha tenuta sulle spine, mi ha fatto sobbalzare e commuovere e mi ha coinvolto moltissimo. Non vedo l’ora di leggere il seguito.