Mini E-Arc Review: Spindle and Dagger by J. Anderson Coats


40858640._SY475_Title: Spindle and Dagger
Author: J. Anderson Coats
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Publication Date: March 10th, 2020

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley for review. All opinions are my own.

synopsis header
“This rich literary novel follows Elen, who must live a precarious lie in order to survive among the medieval Welsh warband that killed her family.

Wales, 1109. Three years ago, a warband raided Elen’s home. Her baby sister could not escape the flames. Her older sister fought back and almost killed the warband’s leader, Owain ap Cadwgan, before being killed herself. Despite Elen’s own sexual assault at the hands of the raiders, she saw a chance to live and took it. She healed Owain’s wound and spun a lie: Owain ap Cadwgan, son of the king of Powys, cannot be killed, not by blade nor blow nor poison. Owain ap Cadwgan has the protection of Saint Elen, as long as he keeps her namesake safe from harm and near him always.

For three years, Elen has had plenty of food, clothes to wear, and a bed to sleep in that she shares with the man who brought that warband to her door. Then Owain abducts Nest, the wife of a Norman lord, and her three children, triggering full-out war. As war rages, and her careful lies threaten to unravel, Elen begins to look to Nest and see a different life — if she can decide, once and for all, where her loyalties lie. J. Anderson Coats’s evocative prose immerses the reader in a dark but ultimately affirming tale of power and survival.” (Goodreads)

I was rooting for this book because of the cover. It is beautiful! The thing is, sometimes covers can be deceiving. For me, this had its moments of being a good book but it was overshadowed by the slowness and simplistic plot.

Elen has had a harsh life. Losing a loved one, or two, can have a huge effect on your life. I’m still grieving from a loss from almost a year ago, I couldn’t imagine losing two so close. I think that she is a very strong character to deal with that and also being so close to the one who helped start the war that ended with her losses. I just wouldn’t have the strength for that. He’d be dead, ha.

Like I said above, this book is very slow. I  have a hard time really connecting with a book that seems to drag on. It makes me not want to pick it up and it takes me a bit to get through. The plot is very simplistic and not much happens that is surprising or makes you want to continue turning the pages.

Overall, it was an okay read. I think if you are a fan of historical fictions, Wales, or a strong female character then this book could be for you.

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

The Green Children of Woolpit: NetGalley Review

NetGalley Review


40500417._SY475_.jpgTitle: The Green Children of Woolpit
Author: J. Anderson Coats
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Publication Date: September 10th, 2019

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

grey line

Synopsis: “It is the autumn of 1160, and twelve-year-old Agnes is helping with the harvest when she hears a frightened voice calling from the nearby woods. When she goes to investigate, Agnes can’t believe what she sees. There, at the bottom of the deep wolf traps, are two children. They are shouting in a language no one understands—and their skin is bright green.

Agnes soon discovers that these are no ordinary children; in fact, they aren’t even human. They are of the Fair Folk, and they are here to take Agnes home to their world. Trusting that the Fair Folk cannot lie, Agnes agrees to venture underground. But she soon learns just how dangerous their world is—and what it will take to break the ancient bargain meant to keep her there.” (Amazon)

grey line

My Review:

I will say that in the beginning it was hard to get into this book because it was quite slow and I wasn’t a fan of the writing style. As the story progressed, I found myself being intrigued with the plot but the characters were just alright.

Agnes has heard stories about The Good People from her granny and she repeats the lessons she was told throughout the book. Although she may have this advice, she still manages to find herself in trouble. I did like that she didn’t give up. Besides the green children, the other characters are pretty minor. They don’t have any background or character development. They are simply there for minor parts in the plot and that’s about it. The green children have the most development and are really the driving force for everything that goes on. They are sneaky but even then, nothing always goes as planned.

The plot had its slow parts in the beginning but it eventually smoothed out and continued at a rapid pace. There were a few plot twists and they were quite surprising so I did enjoy them. There are two point of views in this story once you get a bit in and at first I was confused by it because there isn’t much of an indicator for it but as I got used to it, it does help to understand the characters.

Overall, it was an interesting tale and if you are a fan of fairy folk or like fairy-tales then you should definitely give this book a try!