RELEASED: April 7, 2020
PUBLISHER: Rock the Boat
FORMAT: eBook [eARC, thanks to the publisher!]
GENRE: YA Science Fiction, Fantasy
GOODREADS RATING: 4.08
TRIGGERS: On-page giving birth,
REPS: LGBTQIA+, POC
Ari Helix may have won her battle against the tyrannical Mercer corporation, but the larger war has just begun. Ari and her cursed wizard Merlin must travel back in time to the unenlightened Middle Ages and steal the King Arthur’s Grail—the very definition of impossible.
It’s imperative that the time travelers not skew the timeline and alter the course of history. Coming face-to-face with the original Arthurian legend could produce a ripple effect that changes everything. Somehow Merlin forgot that the past can be even more dangerous than the future…
I had the chance to read and review an eARC of Once & Future, the first book in this amazing queer duology and.. I couldn’t resist requesting the sequel as well. I lost my heart to this mix of sccience fiction and fantasy filled with queer rep so.. prepare for some gushing on my part!
If you didn’t know yet, both these books retell the story of King Arthur in the most brilliant way. Set in space, Once & Future already hit a lot of my expectations but I have to say.. Sword in the Stars slayed my new – and somewhat higher – expectations in the best way possible.
Not only are there still plenty of science fiction-elements, the fantasy-ones get bigger and more important in this book. Time-travelling to medieval times, our cast has to overcome new and more challenging hurdles. I never thought I’d enjoy a mix of scifi and fantasy this way, but I’ve come to love it and can’t imagine anything like these two books even existing? [If you know of any, do let me know!]
There is a lot happening in Sword in the Stars. With all the time-travelling, the past and present blurring together at times, you really do have to keep focus. The authors try their best to make it as easy to follow as possible and I’m glad to say they succeed at it too. I never felt confused or like I lost track of the plot. A huge plus if you have some kind of idea how different timelines are woven together. I’m sure I’ll be picking up on a lot of new things if I ever have the time to reread these wonderful books!
Power is the worst kind of loneliness.
Let’s just take another moment to applaud all the queer rep in this duology. Not only sexuality-wise, but also gender-wise, the authors definitely give a new meaning to queer books. I don’t think I ever saw this many diversity in queer rep in one book before and.. It deserves to be mentioned, celebrated and.. more!
The characters.. There are SO MANY FEELINGS concerning those. Especially Merlin, who quickly became one of my favorites – if not the favorite – of the bunch. He’s so precious and complicated and amazing and.. worth getting to know! It’s hard saying why you should give these books a read solely for the sake of getting to know him without spoiling anything but.. He is the character that threw me on a rollercoaster of emotions all throughout the book. I loved it. I love him. I love how his complicated personality and past makes sense in a way I rarely come across in books.
To simply prove my point, I want to share with you a note I made on my phone while reading: “OMG. WTF. HOW CAN -spoiler-?! THE TWIST. THE AUDACITY. THE.. THE..” I’m sure that.. gets across how invested I was in this story?
Dragons and misogyny could fuck right off.
Safe to say this is one of my favorite books of the year so far. Easily. And I’m set on rereading them eventually! This weekend, I also found out that the authors are working on a new book and I’m SO HERE for it already. I can’t wait to find out more!
Please tell me you’ve either read Once & Future or are planning on it?
What is another book that brilliantly combines science fiction and fantasy?