The Passion of Dolssa
by: Julie Berry
Genre: Historical Fiction x100
Side Note: I DNF’d this book at about 50%.
Okay, when The Passion of Dolssa I was ecstatic. Women main characters, epic friendship, and historical fantasy! What more could my little 10-year-old self who only wanted to be a historian when she grew up ask for! All these things seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. Boy was I wrong! The thing that confused me the most about The Passion of Dolssa is the genre it is placed in. YA is marketed for teenagers and for the most part are the audience that reads it. Taking this into consideration, I don’t even think my history loving 16-year-old self would have been able to finish this. There is a very heavy theme of religion and heracy that I’m not sure would appeal to younger people. Not saying it won’t, but it’s a very niche number of young folks who would like it. I think that even though it doesn’t have any “adult” themes it should have been labeled New Adult (I think that’s what it’s called). Now, I’m not saying to NOT read this book because from what I did read Berry’s writing is on point for creating a rich and inviting setting for historical fiction it was more that I was floored by the intensity of this book. I might pick up the audiobook to give it a listen and maybe I can make it through but it won’t be a priority.
Summers at Castle Auburn
by: Sharon Shinn
Genre: Light Fantasy
Ah, Summers at Castle Auburn. This was my first introduction to Sharon Shin’s writing way back when I was still in high school. When I went to read it again I was hesitant because for the most part I do not reread stories. But I’m so glad that I gave Summers at Castle Auburn another chance. Some of the original magic did wear off, but for the most part it was still as utterly absorbing as it was the first time I read it. The story revolves around an illegitimate daughter of a noble who spends her summers at the Castle Auburn as a noble and the other half of the year with her witch grandmother apprenticing as a wise woman.
As a girl, Corrie is absorbed with thoughts of the Prince (who is pitifully out of reach for anyone) and growing up to be a wise woman like her grandmother. Now I don’t want to give anything, but I couldn’t help but when I read Corrie’s childhood and how she views things as VERY similar to Sansa Stark from GoT in the beginning. This was where the magic died off because seeing that similarity (and raging at Sansa) made me grate my teeth a bit at the foolishness of her actions and thoughts when dealing with Prince Bryan.
This was my only gripe about this book and it passes quite fast. Shinn does a fantastic job at pacing the book and getting to the point of things and Corrie realizing how things are not as she believed. If you’re looking for an action packed fantasy that is filled with sword fights and magic this will not be the book for you. But, if you want a charming light fantasy this would be the one for you!