I picked this book as my first read of 2021 because I was honestly being cutesy and thought it was low-key funny to read a book with this title on January 1st. I have actually been avoiding this book, and it was so weird in my brain that I was doing that, because I love portal fantasies, and this is a portal fantasy and it’s got great reviews, so I should read it! Maybe I thought there were enough portal fantasies and what could one more add to the genre? I don’t know. I also don’t know if this book “adds anything” to the subgenre of portal fantasies, but who even cares! It’s a good book to read. Anyway, I overcame whatever was going on in my brain where I was fighting with this book for no reason because I read Harrow’s second book, The Once and Future Witches, and liked it very much. Turns out I liked this one even more!
First I want to say that if you know nothing about this book but like fantasy, and portal fantasy in particular, you should just go into this book cold like I did. That’s all I knew going in and it was much more fun that way.
And now for talking about the actual book, if you are into that kind of thing. I really don’t want to talk plot, even if you are a person who likes to know what they’re getting into, so instead of a full plot summary, I am instead just going to tease you with some things instead. Here are some things in this book:
- A good dog named Bad.
- Parents loving and missing their children, and children missing and loving their parents.
- A good ending.
- A morally complex villain.
- Lots of pleasing book metaphors.
- Lots of awesome lady characters.
- Star-crossed romance.
- Historical vibes.
- A nefarious secret society.
I will be reading it again, can’t wait to see what Alix E. Harrow does next!
Read Harder Challenge 2021: Read a book featuring a beloved pet where the pet doesn’t die. (Discovered I could use this book for this challenge as a happy accident!)