An Arrow to the Moon: Emily X.R. Pan Beautifully Blends Love and Lore in This Magical Mix of Romeo & Juliet and Houyi & Chang’e

Retellings have been trending on book lists and for all the right reasons. Whether it’s Chloe Gong’s YA romantic historical fantasy, These Violent Delights, or CB Lee’s fresh exploration of Treasure Island, as part of the “Remixed Classics” series by BIPOC authors, A Clash of Steel. Even reimaginings of Hindu epics like Ramayana (Vaishnavi Patel’s…

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Mini Reviews — Two Middle-Grade Books, Two Contemporary Romances, And A Translated Fiction

A Mystery at Lili Villa by Arathi Menon Enid Blyton’s Five Find-Outers meets Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew in this small-town mystery set against the beautiful backdrop of Kerala, India. For a desi kid, summer vacations are more than school holidays: they’re the perfect time for meeting up with distant family, delicious food, running wild while the elders napped in…

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Book Review: The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

The Poppy War is a story centred around war and the gruesome politics, violence, and dark themes that come along with it. Set during the Second Sino-Japanese War, it takes opium as a source to possess shamanic powers to consequently, destroy in order to save. The themes of lost humanity, gore violence, calling Gods, and doing too many wrong things while aiming for what’s right can quickly turn dark, but I’m all here for such exploration so this is easily one of my favourite fantasy books ever!

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