Quick Reviews: Mélusine | The Forbidden Wish | They Called Us Enemy

Here are the latest books I’ve read!

Mélusine by Sarah Monette


Felix Harrowgate is a dashing, highly respected wizard. But his aristocratic peers don’t know his dark past — how his abusive former master enslaved him, body and soul, and trained him to pass as a nobleman. Within the walls of the Mirador — Melusine’s citadel of power and wizardry — Felix believed he was safe. He was wrong. Now, the horrors of his previous life have found him and threaten to destroy all he has since become.

Mildmay the Fox is used to being hunted. Raised as a kept-thief and trained as an assassin, he escaped his Keeper long ago and lives on his own as a cat burglar. But now he has been caught by a mysterious foreign wizard using a powerful calling charm. And yet the wizard was looking not for Mildmay — but for Felix Harrowgate.

Thrown together by fate, the broken wizard Felix and the wanted killer Mildmay journey far from Melusine through lands thick with strange magics and terrible demons of darkness. But it is the shocking secret from their pasts, linking them inexorably together, that will either save them, or destroy them.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

It starts out rough, content-wise, but evens out into a darker fantasy I couldn’t put down. Felix’s madness is quite interesting to read. The author throws you into the worldbuilding without holding your hand, but it isn’t difficult to make sense of everything. And Mildmay…oh, Mildmay! What a complex, competent, broken, memorable character! I adore the relationship between Mildmay and Felix, especially toward the end when their words and actions reflect months of journeying together. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for them in the next book.

You might like this if you like: Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner; Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury


When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.


Rating: 2 out of 5.

DNF. On paper, this book sounds great: powerful women, magic, a slow-burn romance, high stakes all around, a lush Middle Eastern setting. The beginning was promising, but by halfway through I was bored of the fluff and hadn’t connected to the main characters very much.

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei


George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father’s — and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future. 

In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten relocation centers, hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard. 

They Called Us Enemy is Takei’s firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother’s hard choices, his father’s faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future. 

What does it mean to be American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do? To answer these questions, George Takei joins co-writers Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott and artist Harmony Becker for the journey of a lifetime.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

“That remains part of the problem—that we don’t know the unpleasant aspects of American history, and therefore we don’t learn the lesson those chapters have to teach us. So we repeat them over and over again.”

“Our democracy is a participatory democracy. Existentially, it’s dependent on people who cherish the shinning, highest ideals of our democracy and actively engage in the political process.”

The injustices in this book, both inherently and in the context of continued injustice of the same type today, are disheartening to read. The book doesn’t shy away from the unconstitutional, racist actions of the government, but it also has a strong thread that takes hope in the democratic process as it should be.

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