• Hardcover copy of Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo in a pile of golden leaves

    86. Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo

     This week we are discussing Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo, which was suggested by patron and friend-of-the-show Deanna. Both of us loved Acevedo’s novel-in-verse The Poet X, but we had some differing opinions about this newly released adult novel.   Recommend if you like… magical realism, generally Isabel Allende Cien años de soledad by Gabriel García Márquez and/or The Inheritance of Orquidia Divina by Zoraida Córdova (winding, multigenerational narratives) The book k mentions about the Mirabal sisters is called En el tiempo de las mariposas (In the Time of the Butterflies) by Julia Álvarez. Trujillo regime information The Dictator Next Door: the Good Neighbor Policy and the Trujillo Regime in the Dominican Republic…

  • The Final Strife lays on top of a white cloth and blue marble background, flanked by 2 skeins of blue yarn and one skein of orange yarn

    81. The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi

    In this episode, we discuss The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi, which was recommended to us by Melisa, one of our patrons (hey!!). Please consider supporting this work on Patreon for early episodes and a direct line to J & k via the podcast Discord.  Note: this is an adult fantasy novel that has a lot of explicit violence on the page. Repeat, this is not young adult / YA! The Final Strife tells the story of mainly Sylah, who was trained from a young child to be a rebel with the Sandstorms, but things kind of fall apart when the family who trained her is murdered, and we see what her life has…

  • The Atlas Six on a white cloth and blue marble background. 4 skeins of orange yarn flank the book on each corner

    76. The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

    Our winter podcast hibernation is over, and we’re back with fortnightly episodes starting with a discussion of The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake, an adult fantasy novel about six magical adults who join a secret(ish) society. Again this is a book for adults, but it could be an ok fit for a mature teen as the story does deal with some pretty heavy topics at times. We chose this book because it was making the rounds on social media, and we wanted to see for ourselves what all this hype was about.  Notes for this ep are short and sweet. Did you read The Atlas Six? Let us know what you think! Recommend if…

  • Hard cover copy of Circe on blue marble background

    63. Circe by Madeline Miller

    Dearest coven, this episode comes on the recommendation of J’s good friend and podcast Patron, Deanna! We dig into the novel Circe by Madeline Miller, which is a retelling of the Greek Circe’s story from being born half-nymph half god… are nymphs also gods?…idk…to her exile on Aiaiya, her love life and lots of other things. Normally we’d say chaos ensues, but there’s not too much in this novel. Also, this book is a book for adults, although a mature young adult might enjoy it as well. Content warning for this episode and the book for discussions of sexual assault We will be preparing for our next season soon! If you want…

  • Mexican gothic sits atop a pile of orange pumpkins with scrub brush in the background

    60. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-García

    Dearest coven, our non-YA streak continues with the perfect read for fall slash Halloween: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-García. It’s the right amount of creepy and has a badass young woman MC who’s determined to solve a morbid mystery. Shoutout to our lovely patron Melisa who picked the book for this show! Content warning for sexual assault and eugenics talk. We repeat: this is a book for adults. It is not YA book.  Without further ado, show notes! Recommend if you like.. The House on Haunting Hill by Shirley Jackson. There’s also a Netflix show for that book The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina by Zoraida Córdova (also not YA) Lovecraft Country by Matt…

  • light purple stationary items, pens, Washi tape beside an iPhone with the screen showing The Burning God on audiobook

    59. The Burning God by R.F. Kuang

    Hey, coven! In this episode, we discussing The Burning God  by R.F. Kuang — the third and final book in The Poppy War series. Rin is working to take down a bunch of people, and change the way Nikara is run. But is she the best person to do that? Rin doesn’t think so! Let’s just start with the content warnings for this episode and for the book. This is a book for adults. It is not YA book. Content warnings for war, violence, murder, starvation, drug use, cannibalism, and suicide.  With that said, on to the show notes! Recommend if you like.. A Game of Thrones (aka A Song of Ice…

  • Paperback copies of The Fifth Season, The Stone Sky and The Obelisk Gate stacked on blue fabric

    46. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

    Hold on to your hats, folks! This fortnight we’re reading The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, the first book in The Broken Earth Trilogy. And no matter how many people talk about their love for this book, it was not our cup of tea! We spent a lot of time being confused, and maybe had more questions than answers in this episode. What are your thoughts on this book? Content Warning for discussions of murder, torture, child abuse, and cannibalism On to the notes, which are quite short this week! The Witcher season 1 – slight spoilers about the timeline in that show K brings up Avatar: The Last Airbender (as she is…

  • paperback copy of Queen of the Conquered on top of a purple and white decorative paper

    45. Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender

    In this episode we’re discussing Queen of the Conquered Kacen Callender (they/them), the first book in the Islands of Blood and Storm series. The book takes place in a Caribbean-inspired fantasy world and follows our main character, Sigourney, as she makes a bid for power as the only Black person in contention to rule the islands that have been colonized by the white Fjern. When all those in line to the throne are gathered for the storm season and start to be killed off one by one, chaos ensues. As it does. Content warning for discussions of rape and white supremacist violence.  Callender also wrote Felix Ever After. It’s on our TBR!…

  • Hardcover of The Dragon Republic lays on top of decorative paper with anatomical heart drawings

    43. The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

    Hello everyone, and most especially to Saidah, who emailed us in December 2019 asking about when we were going to record an episode about R.F. Kuang’s The Dragon Republic. Saidah, we’re only a year late, but that time is now! If y’all need to recap the first book in the series, you can check out Episode 15 of the podcast in which we discussThe Poppy War.  Full disclosure: this series is not YA and Kelly uses verbal air quotes an embarrassing number of times in the episode. You’ve been warned. Enjoy! Content Warning for discussions of genocide, sexual assault, drug use and other instances of extreme violence.  This isn’t the first time…

  • Book Gods of Jade and Shadow on a black marble background

    33. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

    Hey, magical folx! In this episode we discuss Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, which is *NOT* YA. We gotta say this at the top because its some sexist bs that women/femme adult fantasy writers get miscategorized as YA (read about how sexism impacts genre categorization). *Call to action* This fortnight, we’re urging our magical community to learn more about abolishing borders, abolishing ICE and migrant justice as well as to support organizations doing this work. Watch/listen to the final plenary from this year’s Allied Media Conference, “From Dreams to Practice: Abolition in Our Lifetimes”. The panel features a TON of rad ppl doing abolitionist work, including Miski Noor, Tawana “Honeycomb” Petty,…

  • The Poppy War by RF Kuang against the backdrop of a snowy landscape

    15. The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

    This fortnight J & K are discussing The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang. We’re diverting a bit from our usual YA Fantasy books. This book is definitely for adults, and not for the faint of heart! The characters are complicated, the story is complex and violent, and there is a ton of action. Content Warning: In this episode we discuss drug use, rape, genocide, and other instances of extreme violence.  ChildHelp – Child Abuse – Call 1-800-422-4453 for assistance We apologize ahead of time for any mispronounced words, names, and/or places. As is usual, we referenced quite a few things, and you can find more information below! Shamanism Drug traditions from around the world and hallucinogenic drugs The history of The War on Drugs in the US K…