Thursday, February 8, 2018

Hath No Fury

Hath No FuryHath No Fury by Melanie R. Meadors
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Heaven has no rage, like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury, like a woman scorned.

The quote above is from The Mourning Bride by William Congreve and it's the origin of the quote everyone is familiar with, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." The quote from Congreve has been misunderstood and changed. In a similar way the importance of women has been misunderstood and changed over the years. It's laughable for many people living now to believe that women are simply good for cleaning, sex, and having/taking care of children, but not long ago that was the thinking. Hath No Fury seeks to put ridiculous stereotypes about women to bed by showing all types of heroines. Not all are warriors, but all fight for what's important.

The reviews below aren't for all the short stories, but rather some of the ones that caught my attention.

The Scion by S.R. Cambridge

Chemical weaponry changed the world forever. Their use killed most infected by them, but those who lived were different. They believed they were special and chosen by God so others nicknamed them the faithful. Some settlements survived and fought off the faithful yet the war seemed never ending. Nika Zawisza is a ranger for one of those settlements. Her prospects for a long life are bleak especially when her family motto is, "the women in our family die young." Nika and her sister Kaja are sent to discover what happened to the power station that supplies their home.

The Scion isn't terribly original yet it scores some points on an emotional level. The story is filled with the common apocalyptic future tropes such as war that broke the world as we know it, survivors who aren't truly human anymore, and frightening changes to the remainder of society. The biggest one that caught my attention was the way the people made sure their babies didn't "turn out funny." Men are sent from different settlements to impregnate the women who wish it. It literally sounded as though women lined for these out of town men to attempt to impregnate them.

The strength of the story comes in the relationship between the Zawiska women particularly Nika and Kaja. Nika is the point of view character and she recounts the women in her family that she knew including her mother and aunts. It seems they all die young. Kaja seems to be the exception because rather than being a fierce warrior she's scholarly. She didn't become a ranger like the women in her family, she apprenticed with the settlements biochemist unfortunately Kaja was still known as "Kaja, who hasn't a use." The sisters time together just felt realistic and somewhat touching.

The Scion was a good short story that feels like an excerpt of something bigger.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Casting On by Philippa Ballantine

A group of women in a war torn land sneak away to an abandoned library to sow. One day these women unexpectedly find a wounded man who was barely alive. The only problem is that he's an enemy solider. These women having lost husbands, sons, fathers, and brothers to the war effort decide to help him anyway.

Casting On was a touching story on the strength and resolve of women. These ladies could have reported the soldier or simply pretended not to see him yet they all decided as a group to fix something rather than helping others destroy. Such resolve was impressive and it felt realistic overall. My only complaint is that the story feels like the beginning of a much larger and more engaging tale, yet it ends before it can get to that point.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Burning by Elaine Cunnigham

Burning is a hard story to give a synopsis for as I'm not entirely sure what all just happened. From what I can tell the world in which burning exists has magic. The most notable magic is telepathy and dragons. Some of the telepaths reach a higher rank which earns them the title of Torch. Torches have the power to control dragons with their minds. This story is about Rue, a powerful telepath who has recently been bestowed the title Torch.

3 out of 5 stars

A Dance With Death by Marc Turner

Jenna is an assassin and it seems someone wants to kill her. Considering her line of work, she probably deserves it.

A Dance With Death reads as though it's literally the beginning of a larger book. Just as things begin to get really interesting it's over. This story is the book equivalent of telling someone how hungry you are and them giving you a single cracker.

2.5 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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City of Light

City of Light (Traveler's Gate, #3)City of Light by Will Wight
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Incarnations are all loose as the Hanging Trees have been destroyed. Alin is transforming Enosh into a version of Elysia as the madness of Incarnation overtakes him. Leah, Simon, and Indirial hunt down Incarnations until the Incarnations mysteriously go missing.

City of Light was a fitting conclusion to the Traveler's Gate trilogy. The conclusion has many reveals including the beginning of the Hanging Tree process. The book also had some heart wrenching moments that I didn't really think it was capable of providing. Valinhall's Travelers find themselves on the front line assisting Leah in ending the Incarnation threat. They also played heavily into the story in more than a few unexpected ways which is always a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

Valinhall's Travelers and territory made the series for me. Simon, Indirial, Kai, and the Eldest all were incredibly interesting characters. At the end my favorite character was Simon. Simon's growth from House of Blades to City of Light was immense. Simon hardly resembles the scared boy caring for his mentally broke mother by the end. For a boy whose only desire was to be able to save a friend and fight Travelers, Simon achieved far more than he initially set out to achieve. It makes me smile thinking about it.

Unfortunately I have to say the other two key characters Leah and Alin never quite came to life for me. Leah was slightly interesting in City of Light which is an improvement over the last two books where I had no real interest in her. Alin was more interesting in this book than the prior two because his Incarnation created complexity in a vain generally unlikable character. His madness forced him to listen to the various color's thoughts which truly were far more interesting than Alin.

City of Light was a good conclusion to an enjoyable series.

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