What we’re Reading – Sally Green, Melinda Salisbury and Margaret Rogerson!

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

An Enchantment of Ravens is an incredibly beautiful winter read. It is a gorgeous lyrical story that takes a talented painter with a set of unusual client – Faeries. This urban fantasy followed Isobel, a painter who’s skill is something that is envied and coveted by the fair folk. However when she receives a royal commission she makes a grave error, she paints weakness into her subjects eyes, something he could be killed for. So she finds herself spirited away to the dangerous faerie court where she has to use her art to defend herself and save her life. We absolutely adored it and cannot wait for Margaret Rogerson’s second book due out in May!

State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury

Sorrow is a Queen governing the court of tears, stepping in for her ailing father who slips further and further into madness every day. Sorrow seeks some sort of comfort in the arms of the boy she loves but she has to try and protect the place that she has inherited.The book is fuelled by political intrigue where we witness Sorrow try to navigate the political landscape of her home and try to save her people.

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

The Smoke Thieves has been burning up our TBR bookshelf for the last few months! From the brilliant mind of Sally Green, of the Half Bad series, comes a new, gorgeously purple edged book that is pure adventure and joy. The beginning of a new series it follows four teens, a princess, a thief, a revenger and a hunter. Fleeing demons and fighting marriages and planning revenge, this is the Princess Bride of books, everything you are looking in for in a fantasy. The characters are brave and charming and will have you gagging for the next instalment.

Recommended reading: Katherine Arden, Image Comics, Ursula, K. Le Guin

 

The Girl in the Tower By Katherine Arden

The Girl in the Tower is the sequel to the amazing Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. We reviewed The Bear and the Nightingale in Cinders Says in our very first issue, and we were delighted with the dark, wintery Russian fairy tale. The story continues with this year’s offering, the second in a promised trilogy. The Girl in the Tower is exceptional, a beautiful story that envelops you just as well as the Bear and the Nightingale did before it. Once again we are immersed in Vasya’s world full of stories and adventures. This time she is forced to pose as a male monk with her brother Sasha in order to survive. Vasya has to escape the people’s scrutiny having been thought a witch by her community when she left. She has new challenges to face in this installment and Arden leads us through the winter with her usual blend of lyricism and beauty. You’ll want to curl up with  it on a cold evening with a cup of hot chocolate.

Twisted Romance by Image Comics

Any regular readers of Cinders know just how much we love a good comic book. Back in Volume One  Issue One we raved about Ms Marvel, Fresh Romance, Nimona and Saga. We’ve since raved even more about Saga, and talked about Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka’s turn on Marvel’s Runaways (Runaways is excellent by the way – you should absolutely check out the collected edition in April). However this month, with romance back on the brain, we’ve taken to Image Comic’s one off weekly publication, Twisted Romance. This takes two love stories in each of its four issues, with different artists and writers and offers them up to the reader. If comics are your thing then you’ll really enjoy this foray into the fantastic and the very weird, with it’s ‘through the wrong side of a looking glass’ look at love, and romantic entanglements. It’s an unusual addition to the comic book pile, but one you’ll be glad you sunk your teeth into.

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula Le Guin is one of the most celebrated fantasy and science fiction authors of this century, filling the world with truly beautiful tales about women, men and what it means to deconstruct gender. She died earlier this year and it has made us take another look at her most famous works. This month we’ve returned to one of Le Guin’s classics, namely The Left Hand of Darkness, a sci-fi classic that takes us to a world known as ‘Winter’ where there are no men and no women – it’s an entirely genderless society and lets us see what that might look like. Frequently described as one of the books that ‘everyone should read’ we enjoyed being able to return to The Left Hand of Darkness and see just what a visionary Le Guin was.

Happy International Women’s Day! Cinders Reading List

Happy international women’s day to all of the friends, mothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, co-workers, inspirations and activists out there! You all inspire us daily and make us take pride in who we are and make us choose who we want to be.

This year our thanks go out to all of the brave women who have told their stories and truths in the hope that we can be part of a better future. Both in the workplace and outside of it.

Here in Cinders we love brave confident women and we look up to them every day. Here’s hoping that we can grow up to be like them.

If you’re looking for some fantastic International Women’s Day reading then look no further, here’s our definitive list:

If you like non-fiction and badass women:

Rocking the System by Siobhan Parkinson

If you like scientific Victorian feminism:

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Gross

If you like sci-fi dystopias:

Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin

If you like realistic stories:

Almost Love by Louise O’Neill

If you like relatable stories with musicals in the end:

Like other Girls by Claire Hennessy

If you like fairytales:

Tangleweed and Brine by Deirdre Sullivan and Illustrated by Karen Vaughan

Make sure to check out the CBI #BOLDGIRLS hashtag for more brilliant reading recommendations!

New year, new volume of Cinders

Welcome to volume two! This last year has been one of the best experiences all of us who work on Cinders have ever had. It has been so wonderful to watch this magazine become a reality, moving on from a dream that many of us have shared for many years. It gives us so much pleasure to take our little magazine that could from its first issues into our second year.

We’ve had some incredible highlights from issue one, from interviews with the likes of Ashely Clements, Mary Kate Wiles, Deirdre Sullivan, Meg Grehan, Karen Vaughan and Diana Mirza to looking at feminist influences in pop culture. We’ve looked at some of our favorite tv shows, brilliant movies and incredible historical figures with all around feminist and entertaining writer, Grainne Coyne! We also were lucky enough to be finalists in the V by Very Blog awards Ireland in the books and literature category and shortlisted in the Politics category!

Continue reading New year, new volume of Cinders

Book Review Corner: The Space Between by Meg Grehan

First published in Cinders volume issue three

Spoken word novels are a new trend in YA literature. We saw it with last year’s highly successful One by Sarah Crossan and Meg Grehan’s The Space Between uses the same format. And it uses it so very well. 33972290

Once you are a few pages into The Space Between it’s difficult to imagine the book being written in anything but verse – it’s the absolutely perfect format to tell Beth’s story.

The Space Between is a beautiful examination of how mental health disorders can pin someone inside their own mind and then how through small but significant battles they can work their way out and live with them.

Beth is not okay. She has made a decision to remain within her house for a year. She is falling in on herself and only going further down when she meets Mouse. Mouse is friendly and kind and fluffy and warm.

Continue reading Book Review Corner: The Space Between by Meg Grehan

Recommended Reads: Garth Nix, Leigh Bardugo and Truman Capote

First published in issue one of Cinders magazine.

Goldenhand by Garth Nix

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Most of you will probably be too young to remember Sabriel and Lireal by Garth Nix but there are few more kickass, capable heroines around. Sabriel and Lireal are necromancers but instead of raising the dead, they send them back to die proper deaths. The pair return to their adventures after more than ten years in Goldenhand and are all well worth a read. You’ll be battling undead zombies in your head for the rest of the month!

Continue reading Recommended Reads: Garth Nix, Leigh Bardugo and Truman Capote