Friday 56 – Song of the Crimson Flower

song of the crimson flowerThe Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple – turn to page 56 in your current read (or 56% in your e-reader) and post a few non-spoilery sentences.

This week’s quote is from Song of the Crimson Flower, the third book in the Forest of a Thousand Lanterns trilogy by Julie C. Dao. (The second book was Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix.) These are a gorgeous pair of paragraphs, and illustrate why I love this author.

And yet, as night began to fall, Bao could easily imagine this part of the river to be home to a witch. Here the trees bent their ropy necks over the water, blocking out the sun, and the limestone mountains hovered like malicious giants casting shadows over the land. The riverbanks seemed to close in on either side, and the branches in the water were sentinels, lifting their thick, mold-strewn leaves in warning.

Bao shivered despite the pungent heat, forgetting his hunger. He considered turning the boat back and trying an alternate route; he was certain that while dreaming his disturbing dreams, he had missed other possible paths. But his resolve hardened before he could dig his oar into the riverbank and flip himself around. Going back in the direction from which he had come felt like losing a battle. It felt like returning to Lan, like admitting his worthlessness. This was meant to be a new beginning, and what was a new beginning without adventure?

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Friday 56 – You Are Your Own

you are your ownThe Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple – turn to page 56 in your current read (or 56% in your e-reader) and post a few non-spoilery sentences.

This week’s quote is from one of my rare nonfiction reads, You Are Your Own, about being an ex-evangelical woman. As an ex-Christian woman myself, a lot of this hits very close to home, and it’s a pretty difficult book to read.

While this may sound ridiculous or possibly not even that big of a deal, it’s important to recall that for a girl growing up in Evangelicalism, the only option available to me for stability was submission as a wife to an Evangelical man. Pursuing an education or becoming a working woman were largely discouraged – and are discouraged even still today. This idea may sound old fashioned, but for so many cisgender girls and women it is very much alive and well within that belief paradigm. So, if one of those women were to compromise her “purity”, she would effectively be compromising her entire future.

Friday 56 – The Storm Crow

the storm crowThe Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple – turn to page 56 in your current read (or 56% in your e-reader) and post a few non-spoilery sentences.

This week’s quote is from The Storm Crow, the first volume in a duology. I’m very excited because the main character struggles with depression and PTSD – the first one stated, the second one obvious but not named on the page. Yay for representation! My full review will be up soon.

Kiva eyed me as if seeing something she hadn’t expected to find. “I hate to say it, but Ericen might actually be good for you.” I must’ve looked absurd, because a grin split across Kiva’s face, and she hastened to explain. “Don’t get me wrong. He’s worse than an ice bear in heat, but I haven’t seen you that engaged with something in months.”

I stared at her. “An ice bear in heat?”

She shrugged. “They’re notoriously foul and vicious. And strangely fond of chocolate.” I rolled my eyes, and she laughed. “I’m serious, Thia. You’ve always needed an opponent. Your mother, Caliza, other riders; you’re the most competitive person I know, and Ericen’s nothing if not a challenge.”

Friday 56 – Serpent & Dove

serpent & doveThe Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple – turn to page 56 in your current read (or 56% in your e-reader) and post a few non-spoilery sentences.

This week’s quote is from Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin, an enemies-to-lovers young adult fantasy romance about a witch and a witch hunter.

Bas was already moving, slamming the safe shut and hauling the portrait back into place. “Can you get us out?” His eyes were still wide with panic – desperate. We could both hear the constables and Chasseurs surrounding the manor. All the exits would soon be blocked.

I glanced down at my hands. They were shaking, and not just because of the broken fingers. I was weak, too weak, from the exertion of the evening. How had I let myself become so inept? The risk of discovery, I reminded myself. The risk had been too great –

“Lou!” Bas grabbed my shoulders and shook me slightly. “Can you get us out?”

Tears welled in my eyes. “No,” I breathed. “I can’t.”

Friday 56 – The Rage of Dragons

rage of dragonsThe Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple – turn to page 56 in your current read (or 56% in your e-reader) and post a few non-spoilery sentences.

This week’s quote is from The Rage of Dragons, an African-inspired fantasy by Evan Winter.

It was one of the Gifted. Not the one who had skimmed Tau with her enervating blast and not the one directing the dragon. This Gifted had stood quiet and still, surrounded by soldiers, and far from combat. She was convulsing and coughing up blood, her skin bubbling and bursting. It looked like she was being torn to pieces from the inside out. It looked like what had happened to the hedena Jabari had captured and questioned.

A soldier took hold of her and, with tenderness, helped her to the ground. The other soldiers tightened the circle around her, blocking Tau’s view. he could still hear, though. He could hear her dying, and he started toward them, thinking to help, when a hand fell on his shoulder.

Friday 56 – The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics

lady's guide to celestial mechanicsThe Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple – turn to page 56 in your current read (or 56% in your e-reader) and post a few non-spoilery sentences.

This week’s quote is from The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics, picking up right after our main character has presented her translation of a scientific text to the exclusively male “Polite Science Society.”

Mr. Hawley kept his eyes on Catherine, swept out his hand, and brushed the pages, unread, to the floor.

Aunt Kelmarsh gasped, hand over her mouth, and Mr. Frampton’s eyebrows shot up.

Mr. Hawley sighed. His tone was all sweet disappointment. “My dear countess: you must know you are being unreasonable.” While Catherine choked on shock and outrage, he turned to Miss Muchelney, putting a hand on her wrist and gripping it with earnest entreaty. “Please do not think I disparage your eagerness to help, my dear girl – it is only that as men of science, we must uphold certain standards if our work is to be accorded its proper value in the community. You understand, of course.”

“Oh yes, Mr. Hawley,” Miss Muchelney replied tightly. “I understand you perfectly.”