Book Review: Dragons Don’t Celebrate Passover (2023)

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Dragons Don’t Celebrate Passover by Michelle Franklin

Dragons themselves are not kosher … The dragons are happy about this, because this means they get invited round for dinner instead of being dinner.


Dragon fire is great for making matza. Matza* is unleavened bread, which may or may not be origin of cardboard.

This is just such a sweet, lovely, adorable, funny educational little book about Passover (and dragons! One mustn’t forget to include the dragon knowledge!)

Dragons love wine, and they especially love making wine, because crushing grapes makes them feel as though they’re crushing the heads of their enemies.

You will laugh and smile the whole way through this! I honestly can’t recommend this book (and Franklin’s others) enough! Everyone should check them out!!

My review of Werewolves Don’t Celebrate Hanukkah is here.
My review of The Orc Who Saved Christmas is here.

Book Review: The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (2012)

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The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (Throne of Glass, #0.1) by Sarah J. Maas

Three assassins had been found murdered by pirate hands, and Arobynn had sent her to be his personal dagger—to extract retribution, preferably the gold kind, for what their deaths would cost the Assassins’ Guild.

This is the first Throne of Glass book I’ve read, but to be honest I don’t know that I loved it enough to continue. I found the opening quite interesting, but the more I read, the more I found Celaena to be a frustrating lead. She was all show, all talk, all arrogance, but then just failed to live up to her own rep? I dunno, I was hoping to be more impressed by the ‘assassin’ telling everyone and everything that she’s the best in the world, the most beautiful person ever, the smartest, etc, etc. But I just don’t feel like we got to see that? I don’t feel like it was ever actually relayed to the audience why we’re supposed to believe Celaena is the best assassin ever other than her own word on the matter? The text didn’t seem to show us her purported badassery, either. I was waiting for it, but it didn’t seem to quite get there (this could definitely be a case of it’s not you it’s me, though!).

I may or may not read the rest (because it does sound like it really picks up the pace later on!), but at the moment, I’m not sure this series is for me.

Book Review: What Hedgehog Likes Best: Rhymes for children (2023)

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What Hedgehog Likes Best: Rhymes for children by Erwin Moser

The owl is too awake to dream.

This line resonates, ha!

What Hedgehog Likes Best is such a lovely little book filled with colourful illustrations of animals and all the things they do and places they go. The rhymes are fun and it’s a fast and cute read!

Thank you Netgalley for the review copy.

Book Review: Books Aren’t For Bears (2023)

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Books Aren’t for Bears by Mark Barry and Katy Halford


But one day, Bear found something that changed everything. He found … a book.

Oh my gosh, this is such a sweet little story about a bear who finds a book and loves it so much that he learns to read and then travels to the big city to find more books. I do wish there had been a few more pages where the Bear was able to respond to the teacher and the bookshop owner who said that bookshops and books weren’t for bears, but I did like that he was welcomed at the library at the end! Overall a great little book for young kids!

Thank you Netgalley for the eARC.

Book Review: The Priory of the Orange Tree (2019)

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The Priory of the Orange Tree (The Roots of Chaos, #1) by Samantha Shannon


‘Even as Cleolind wondered at the miracle, the orange tree yielded its fruit. When she ate of it, she was healed – not only healed but changed. She could hear the whispers in the earth. The dance of the wind. She was reborn as a living flame.’

This was my second attempt at cracking open this tome, but I managed to get through two books of The Wheel of Time this year, so why not give Priory another go! I absolutely adored The Bone Season, so I know I’ll love this one, but it’s JUST SO BIG that I’ve put it off and off and off! And I’m so glad I can finally say I’ve read this one! It’s definitely going to become a classic of the dragon/fantasy genre.

I will say, Shannon’s writing is so layered and complex that it took me a few chapters to sink into this one (same thing happened with The Bone Season). I keep seeing it compared to A Game of Thrones, but I don’t think that comparison is quite on point. The similarity seems to be the dragons, but Shannon’s dragons are there from the start, talking to their riders and very much a part of the story. Throughout reading the book, I actually thought that Priory was more like The Wheel of Time. The Priory reminded me of the Aes Sedai and the magic split of sterren and siden reminded me of Jordan’s saidin and saidar; there’s also a whole lot of journeying of the characters, but that’s really where I’d say the comparisons end. Priory is very much it’s own setting and with influences from multiple cultures and histories. I thought Shannon did an incredible job of worldbuilding here.

By the end, Loth, Niclays, Tané, Lintley, Margret and Marosa were my favourite characters. I also adored Nayimathun!!! And Aralaq!!!! (And of course Kit!!) I did appreciate Ead’s storyline and wanted to learn more about the Priory and all that it was doing/aimed to do. Sabran is definitely a character I wanted to like, but I just never quite got there. Her and Ead’s love for each was endearing and I appreciated them looking out for each other and being all cute, but I struggled with Sabran.

‘How much suffering might have been avoided if they had felt safe enough to broach their ideas with you, Sabran, rather than take matters into their own hands.’


Sorry, Sabran, I know you got your shit together at the end, but you still drove me up a wall for at least 5/6ths of the story. And, honestly, I don’t even know if I liked her at the end, but I do think she’s going in a better direction politically, at least. And while I think she does make a very believable character – she’s a rich, spoiled queen raised in ignorance and she’s arrogant and thick-headed up until the very end. So, I dunno. That’s not a complaint, though! I loved plenty of books where the characters frustrated me. This is one. I got mega teary eyed on more than one occasion near the end for sure.

And for all my frustration with Sabran, I adored most of the rest of the cast. The Tané and Nayimathun and Loth riding scenes were great and I really want more of them! I thought they had a great dynamic. I love Tané and Nayimathun’s battle scenes and wish we’d had a bit more of them.

I think I also would have preferred this to be two or three books? All the way up to the point where Ead’s cured and Tané comes to the main court, I thought the pacing was perfect, but the final battle(s) just happened so fast that I felt like we didn’t get to see enough of Sabran knowing the truth and being a decent ruler; of Ead learning about her mother and all the secrets of the Priory; of Loth finding out what happened to Marosa. Like we only got a vague hint that she might still be alive but it was so fast!! I just really wanted more of the ending scenes, but it felt like it wrapped up so quickly. I really hope there’s a second book that expands on all this because it felt like there was still so much I wanted to know!! I’m left with a lot of questions and I’m definitely going to be diving into the prequel when I get a chance, but I hope we get a second book with these characters, too!

Thoughts as I read [SPOILERS]:

– I feel really bad for Niclays so far. And his heartbreak over Jan is gutting.
– Ead is a great character to read about and I love seeing her work her magic so far. Not sure if I actually like her yet, but I love her sections. (Also, how do you say Ead? E-add or Aid???)
– Loth and Kit are fun and I hope their journey doesn’t end in tragedy. (I also can’t help but wonder if Kit’s name is an ode to Kit Marlowe??)
– Tané is probably my favourite in terms of likeability. I love reading about her water trials and the dragons are SO COOL.
– Not remotely a fan of the West/Virtudom thus far. I understand that they’re superstitious and worried about the returning wyrms, but the whole NO YOU CANNOT LEARN ABOUT THE OTHER CONTINENT rankles every fibre of my being. I cannot stand their whole ‘ignorance is best’ attitude. No, bros, it’s really not.
– On that note, Sabran is driving me up a tree. She’s got courage, I’ll give her that, and it’s clear that she’s crushing on Ead, but she’s so up herself and so obnoxious. I really cannot stand her yet. I’m hope she has a character growth moment but as of right now, I cannot understand what Ead’s fascination is with her. She’s a twit (so far, but I hold out hope …).
– The dragons/wyverns/wyrms/draconic crossbreeds are so freaking interesting and I love how Shannon’s written them and set them up. I can’t wait to read more about the dragons!! I’m gonna guess we’ll get water v fire dragons towards the end.
– Lowkey shipping Loth/Marosa. Poor thing.
– Marosa >>>> Sabran. Seriously. Marosa is such a good queen and trying her best. All Sabran does is whinge. I do feel bad for her that she has to secure an heir she clearly doesn’t really want, but she’s just not a likeable person at all. I don’t get why Ead likes her. She’s just someone who always gets what she wants and then pitches a fit when it doesn’t happen. Oi vey.
– I don’t trust Lievelyn at all. I feel like he’s going to try something nefarious.
– I’m so glad Niclays finally got a break and found some friends. I really do feel for him.
– I really like Tané’s relationship with her dragon. So cute (and now I want a dragon to cuddle with!!!!).
– Okay, so I was wrong about Lievelyn. Poor homie.
– Loth, my dude, I’m worried about you.
– I love all the close bonds with animals the characters have. I really like that addition!!
– Still not feeling the Sabran/Ead romance, alas.
– I want to learn more about the Priory!!! I’m 300~ pages in and all we know so far is that they’re secretly protecting Sabran and want Ead to come home.
– I have some questions about how relationships work inside the Priory. Like, Ead was born there, her mother was a sister – okay, and??? How are these mages meeting outsiders? I got vibes of the Aes Sedai from the Priory of the Orange Tree. I also thought the split in the magic kinda vibed like saidin and saidar in the Wheel of Time. Although where the Priory’s magic splits across firelight and starlight (I think?) WOT magic splits between genders.

Overall very much looking forwards to A Day of Fallen Night!

Anyone else read Priory? Or its prequel? I’d love to know your thoughts!

Book Review: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (2019)

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A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, #1) by Holly Jackson 

I didn’t quite know how I would feel about this story going into it. I haven’t read too many mysteries (although I do watch a lot of them) but I’m so, so glad I picked this one up! I loved Pip and Ravi from the first introduction. They’re smart characters with their wits about them and their determination to solve Andie’s murder and prove Sal’s innocence was great. I was on Pip and Ravi’s side from minute one and never thought Sal actually did it. But there were so many potential suspects and I kept changing my mind about who I thought did it and what I thought happened.

I also really liked the layout of the book, where you get Pip’s notes and interviews along with the story itself. Very well done!

If you, like me, adored Veronica Mars and/or Home Before Dark, definitely check out this book! It’s absolutely gripping and enthralling.

I can’t wait to read the next book and find out what’s in store for Pip and Ravi!

Thoughts as I read [SPOILERS]:

– Pip is great.
– Love Ravi already.
– I’m trying to work out the mystery and keep changing my thoughts on what happened lmao.
– Pip’s notebook and research process is really good – my only critique is how she cited her footnotes lmaoooo. You need more info than just the URL, Pip!
– Her parents are fantastic.
– I want to know why, at their trip to the Ivy, Pip didn’t pick up on the guy with the HH initials. GURRRRRRL HE’S SUSPECT TOOOOOOO.
– The backstory the others were hiding reminded me so much of I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Book Review: The Bridge Kingdom (2018)

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The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom, #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

All she had ever known was violence. It was nothing to her. And everything.

I heard so much about this book for years before I picked up a copy (not because I wasn’t interested, but because I’m slow and my TBR is insane). And I’m so glad I finally dove in because OH MY GOSH! Everything about this is just YES!

The whole cast of main characters were likeable and believable and even when they were frustrating, I understood why and supported both sides. Lara and Aren make sense, Ahnna and Jor make sense. All the soldiers, all the islanders and townsfolk. I loved all the focus on the dynamic between the nations/kingdoms. The setting was seriously cool and I want to learn more about Ithicana in the next book! Overall, TBK was very well written and thought-out without ever being boring or convoluted. The book moved along at a cracking pace and I loved seeing Lara and Aren’s relationship develop. I’m so, so excited for book two! Especially after that ending!

She would fight for him.
She would bleed for him.
She would die for him.



Thoughts as I read [SPOILERS]:

– I was not expecting the opening to be that bloody, what the heck.
– Liking Lara so far. Her father is actually so awful.
– Aren and Ahnna seem pretty cool so far!
– Pleasantly surprised by so much of this! Lara is likeable, Aren is likeable, the soldiers are likeable. The only one I haven’t liked so far is the grandmother. She’s just so mean? I mean, she obviously has reasons to be, but it seems like she goes out of her way to be unpleasant.
– The layout of The Bridge and Ithicana’s layout is very cool. A kingdom on the bridge between two kingdoms, each one trying to control the seas and trade. It’s honestly such a cool premise?? And like I haven’t seen it before, I don’t think.
– Love Lara/Aren by the end oh my goshhhhhh \o/

Book Review: The Great Hunt (1990)

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The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time, #2) by Robert Jordan

It was his name that caused the problem, and a similarity. Rand al’Thor. Al’Lan Mandragoran. For Lan, according to the custom of Malkier, the royal “al” named him King, though he never used it himself. For Rand, “al” was just a part of his name, though he had heard that once, long ago, before the Two Rivers was called the Two Rivers, it had meant “son of.” Some of the servants in Fal Dara keep, though, had taken it to mean he was a king, too, or at least a prince. All of his argument to the contrary had only managed to demote him to lord.

My review of The Eye of the World is here.

I finished book one recently and basically dove right into book two. I loved the journey of book one and the way all the character’s storylines developed and progressed. What I loved about the end of the book was everyone coming back together for the end. I was a bit sad, then, to see them all go off in different directions for book two, but I ended up loving it all the same!


There’s much, much less focus on Moiraine in this one – I think she only had a chapter or two? There’s much more focus on Rand’s travels with Mat, Perrin, Loial, Ingtar and Hurin as they try to track down the dagger that they need for the final battle and to cure Mat’s sickness. I felt so bad for Rand with how alone he felt and trying to protect his friends while they misinterpreted him. I couldn’t stand Selene from the first scene. She was just so power hungry and obnoxious (like, I know WHY, but it was still annoying lmao). I was so glad when they parted ways.

I loved seeing Nynaeve, Egwene and Elanye getting some bonding time. Their dynamic is super cute. I like Min, too, but her possessiveness of Rand towards the end struck me as a little strange. She sort of shouldered her way in while he was asleep? I know she can read auras or whatever, but it did seem a bit ‘uhhhh, wait, what??’ And it seemed rather dismissive of Rand’ s feelings, since his entire focus was on Egwene up to that point. I wanted more scenes from them! Their loyalty to each other was really lovely.

I’m really loving the unfolding storyline and I can’t wait to see where book three takes the Emond’s Fielders!

Thoughts from while I was reading [SPOILERS!]:

– The opening was chilling. Black Ajah Aes Sedai? And the man who calls himself Bors.
– I loved Rand immediately worrying about Egwene and Mat and finding his way to them. Mat subsequently shutting Rand out is so sad. ;_; Jeez, let the lad apologise!
– Lan and Nynaeve are cute and need more scenes.
– Liandrin is horrible and I just know she’s only going to increase her horribleness. Ugh.
– Moiraine and Siuan have a great rapport.
– Fain freaks me out.
– The hunt is getting gruesome like whoa.
– The Aes Sedai are not very likeable as a group, lmao. Like, seriously, other than their magic, I can’t think of any reason anyone would want to join them. I’m not sure how I feel about Egwene and Nynaeve going to Tar Valon. I’m worried about them.
– Loial is adorable and I got so sad when Rand hurt his feelings.
– Poor Rand. He’s trying his best!!!
– Ingtar seems cool so far.
– I adore Hurin. I hope he’s at Rand’s side for the next twelve books!
– Selene is so fucking power hungry and it drives me mad that Rand, Hurin and Loial just went along with it. Yeah, I’m sure she’s using power against them, but STILL. If she talks about ‘GLORY! RAND! GLORY!’ one more time I’m going to climb into the book and kick her. So glad when she left. Ugh.
– Nynaeve’s third test with Lan :((((( MEAN!
– Why are so many ladies after Rand lmaoooo.
– So glad Rand, Mat and Perrin finally made up.
– I hate hate HATE Fain. Ugh, terrible excuse for a person.
– I adore the friendship between Nynaeve, Egwene, Elayne and Min. I just love their dynamic and I hope we get more of them!

Review Roundup: The Orc Who Saved Christmas (2023), No Period (2020), She Was the Storm (2018), Super Gay (2022), Symphony of Secrets (2022)

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The Orc Who Saved Christmas by Michelle Franklin

He wasn’t frightening at all—in fact, he looked quite huggable, his muscles rounding his shoulders and arms in a way that made him seem comfortable and pleasant to sleep on.

Once again, Michelle Franklin has penned a lovely and wholesome and adorable holiday book for children! The illustrations are also top tier. I must say am utterly impressed by the artwork!

I absolutely adored Werewolves Don’t Celebrate Hanukkah – I honestly cannot recommend it enough – and I was delighted to learn that Michelle had another children’s book coming this year! SUCH LOVELY STORIES AND SUCH ADORABLE ART AND SUCH JOY OH MY GOSH! If you haven’t picked up your copy of Werewolves Don’t Celebrate Hanukkahdon’t walk, run to get it!

“And what if Father Christmas was an Orc?” Karla rejoined. “He saved our men and brought us our tree and firewood—isn’t that what Father Christmas ought to do? What’s the difference if he wears a costume or not?”

This is just such a wholesome little tale about an Orc who wants to belong and the little girl who helps him do it! It’s about broadening one’s mind and accepting others. Very sweet and kind and lovely!

I can’t wait what adorable little tale Franklin publishes next!

Thank you so much to the author for the eARC!

She Was The Storm by Cherie Avritt

the passion between us
burned hot and fast
it felt like a fairytale
that should’ve been my first
warning sign;

This is a quick read of uplifting, kind-hearted poems!

Super Gay by Jessi Hersey

Very cute! The art was super adorable and it had a lovely message. I do wish it had been a bit longer, though!

Symphony of Secrets by Mia Sanchez

I decided to replace you
With the moon

I’ve been meaning to check out Mia Sanchez’s debut poetry collection for a while now, but alas I’ve been so busy that I didn’t get to dive into it straight away. But I’m such a poetry fan and I love finding new poets so I’m glad I finally found some time recently to catch up on some of the collections I’ve picked up (also reading Roaring Twenties and Blushing Muse: Poems).

Also, I just want to say that the cover is gorgeous! I love the atmosphere and vibes and title.

What will it take for us to realize
The worth of all of this

This collection of poetry is filled with emotion and commentary on modern relationships and had some really great lines!

I will make the midnight mine

Definitely excited to see what Sanchez publishes next!

No Period by Harry Turtledove

and you come to the mournful and melancholy conclusion that, regardless of what you do to the world and its past, there is no period, no period at all, you can change that gives you any real chances of making a go of it with your ex, and that makes yet another Gedankenexperiment, this one dealing with altering the Cambrian Explosion, pretty pointless when you get right down to it,

A stream of consciousness story where a man imagines various different scenarios of how his relationships and life – and the direction of history and wars and evolution – could have gone. No full stops used! I definitely felt a little dizzy by the end, but thought it was a cool way to write a story.

Book Review: The Eye of the World (1990)

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The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time has intimidated me since I was a kid. I’ve always wanted to read them, but I just never did. I’ve picked up The Eye of the World a couple of times since, but never properly immersed myself in Jordan’s world until now. It was the television series that finally drew me in, and I’m so glad to finally be able to label myself a fan, ha! And, after having gone into the book world now, I do think I prefer it (just a bit!) to the show. I really do enjoy the show, but I think I liked Jordan’s pacing a bit more. You get all the side stories, all the poems and songs, all the world-building. And I feel closer to the characters in the book as opposed to the show.

This book is very different from the show. I’m glad, in a sense, that I saw the show first, because it helped me visualise parts of the book that were a bit dense, but on the other hand, I find myself wishing things had been kept from the book that didn’t make it into the show. Egwene comes with them because she’s stubborn, not because she might be a Dragon (which is implied in the show); Nynaeve is frustrating and stubborn in the book in a way she really isn’t in the show; we don’t have the wolves and Elyas in the show the way we do in the book; Mat and Perrin’s origins are different; Thom doesn’t leave the Two Rivers with them in the show, which I’m now sad about because I LOVED him as their grumpy sidekick and guide in the book; and I actually find Moiraine more likeable in the book than the show. I couldn’t tell you why, I just felt like I understood her more in the book. In the show she seems so cold. And where Rand and Egwene can barely stammer around each other in the book, they’re wholly involved in the show. All that said, I like both versions, but I do think I’m more swayed by the book now.

The journey of the characters feels very different, too. There’s less focus on the Children of the Light in the books than in the show. On the one hand, I get that they tried to show what was happening with all the characters, but I also just really loathe them, ha! There’s more focus on the dreams and the journey of each of the lads in the book, too.

As I mentioned, I loved the stories the characters were told on the journey. My favourite, though, was undoubtedly the tale of Manetheren.

‘But the price was high for Manetheren. Eldrene had drawn to herself more of the One Power than any human could ever hope to wield unaided. As the enemy generals died, so did she die, and the fires that consumed her consumed the empty city of Manetheren, even the stones of it, down to the living rock of the mountains. Yet the people had been saved.

Nothing was left of their farms, their villages, or their great city. Some would say there was nothing left for them, nothing but to flee to other lands, where they could begin anew. They did not say so. They had paid such a price in blood and hope for their land as had never been paid before , and now they were bound to that soil by ties stronger than steel. Other wars would wrack them in years to come, until at last their corner of the world was forgotten and at last they had forgotten wars and the ways of war. Never again did Manetheren rise. Its soaring spires and splashing fountains became as a dream that slowly faded from the minds of its people. But they, and their children, and their children’s children, held the land that was theirs. They held it when the long centuries had washed the why of it from their memories. They held it until, today, there is you. Weep for Manetheren. Weep for what is lost forever.’

The tale of Manetheren is where I fell in love with Jordan’s storytelling, I reckon. It made me tear up, it was so powerfully told and I think it’s here that I was like, okay I’m going to love this book series.

I loved the journey once all the characters got back together again in Caemlyn. I really wish we’d seen Caemlyn in the show, as opposed to jumping straight to Tar Valon. The journey through the Ways was fascinating and eerie and spooky. The Blight was horrifying, but I loved learning more about Lan’s history and the scene between Lan and Nynaeve was EVERYTHING. I can’t wait to see their relationship develop throughout the series because I already ship them. OTP feels! And I loved the journey to the Green Man. Wonderfully done! (Also, the book kinda made me ship Rand and Mat haha. I know this will never happen, but I loved their relationship and Rand/Egwene are cute and all, but in the book he and Mat definitely read as closer, at least to me.)

I’m really stoked to see where book two goes. I’ve got a vague idea from reading spoilers over the years, but honestly I think even a five hour conversation about the series probably couldn’t spoil everything because it’s just so richly detailed. Can’t wait for The Great Hunt!

Previous audiobook thoughts:

And the Shadow fell upon the land, and the world was riven stone from stone. The oceans fled, and the mountains were swallowed up, and the nations were scattered to the eight corners of the World. The moon was as blood, and the sun was as ashes. The seas boiled, and the living envied the dead. All was shattered, and all but memory lost, and one memory above all others, of him who brought the Shadow and the Breaking of the World. And him they named Dragon.

What an opening. Wowzers.

I like the focus on Rand and Mat at the start of the book. Everything is moving at a much slower pace than in the show, but also now that I’m getting through the book, I wish the show had gone a bit slower, ha! Moiraine also seems a bit less austere in the book, also less centric? The show is definitely an ensemble, but the book is much more Rand-centric so far. I really love the relationship between Egwene and Nynaeve, too.

Paused the audiobook because I was having trouble focusing. Switched to paperback.


I have been meaning to read these books since I was like twelve. BUT IT’S SO EPIC that I was always a bit daunted. Dunno why, I devoured A Game of Thrones and The Pillars of the Earth. But I’ve now started the show and I love Rand, Lan, Egwene and Mat, so I must start the books. I’ve heard they’re different from the show though, so I’m curious about the changes!