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Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski // Monsters, Banter and adventure through a dark forest

  GOODREADS // AMAZON // BOOK DEPOSITORY Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents' castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst... Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever. Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger—and unsolicited help of the sardonic stranger who inserts himself on her quest—she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch. This is the story of a cursed princess, A crestfallen killer, The town that wants them to burn, And the witch

Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer // Modern Witchcraft, badass females and all the diversity

Seventeen-year-old Dayna Walsh is struggling to cope with her somatic OCD; the aftermath of being outed as bisexual in her conservative Irish town; and the return of her long-absent mother, who barely seems like a parent. But all that really matters to her is ascending and finally, finally becoming a full witch-plans that are complicated when another coven, rumored to have a sordid history with black magic, arrives in town with premonitions of death. Dayna immediately finds herself at odds with the bewitchingly frustrating Meiner King, the granddaughter of their coven leader.

And then a witch turns up murdered at a local sacred site, along with the blood symbol of the Butcher of Manchester-an infamous serial killer whose trail has long gone cold. The killer's motives are enmeshed in a complex web of witches and gods, and Dayna and Meiner soon find themselves at the center of it all. If they don't stop the Butcher, one of them will be next.

With razor-sharp prose and achingly real characters, E. Latimer crafts a sweeping, mesmerizing story of dark magic and brutal mythology set against a backdrop of contemporary Ireland that's impossible to put down.
  (A huge thank you to the FFBC tours and the publisher for the eARC and the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour. Click on the tour banner above to view the tour schedule) (US Giveaway at the end of the post)

(+ favourite quotes)

     I keep saying we need modern Witchcraft books. This is why. I'm so here for a witch who studies Particle Physics in school then goes home to her coven to brew potions. I mean, that's the coolest ever. Also say hello to my latest favourite book and now I'll be over here flailing until the sequel comes out because DAMN I NEED THE SEQUEL.

(TW - homophobia and mentions of conversion therapy, somatic OCD, panic attacks)


~Hello there diversity~

     You say the word diversity and I'll bend over backwards to read the book. Witches of Ash and Ruin scores full points for diversity-

-a bisexual protagonist 
-with somatic OCD
-who gets panic attacks at the most terrible of times 
-a protagonist who is queer 
-secondary characters who are queer
-cultural diversity

     And can we talk about the mental health rep?? The realistic depiction of panic attacks and there are even discussions of the stigma surrounding taking medication and just, the author does it SO well.
“It started the same way it always did. Some small shift in the air around her. Subtle, but enough to make her breath catch. Suddenly it was all she could think about”

     As the Goodreads synopsis says, the MC Dayna has been outed as bisexual in her conservative Irish town and it doesn't help that her father is the Reverend. I really felt for Dayna. The anger at being outed without permission, the fear that her father might send her to conversion therapy, the confusion she feels about her ex-boyfriend and I just wanted to reach in and give her a hug.

~Found Family and female friendships and complex relationships~

     I adore found families okay? I'm legit trash for this trope.

     I loved how Dayna was literally adopted into her coven, especially by Reagan ad her mother Yemi. Yemi is that motherly figure bustling around making tea and fussing with your hair until someone does something stupid and she's hands-on-the-hip glowering lioness (she reminded me of Mrs. Weasley a lot but I think i prefer Yemi)

~Female friendships and complex relationships~

     Reagan and Dayna's friendship is goals and I loved how they appreciated each other and it was such a non-toxic, extremely lovely friendship and I again have all the feels, excuse me.

     Meiner and Cora on the other hand have a toxic, competitive friendship and honestly it made a bit sick how Cora would go behind Meiner's back and just as easily backstab her. Kids, this is the kind of relationship you avoid at all costs because it be TOXIC. Kudos to the author for having written contrasting relationships in the same book and showing that in reality, both kinds exist and which is the kind of friendship you ought to aim for.

     There is also the complex relationship between Sam and Dayna with Dayna not sure if she wants to get back together and Samuel just pining after her. There were pooints where I wanted to smack Sam on the head and tell him to um, move on plis.

     Also I think Dayna and Meiner happened in a super awkward way but I did like it once they got over the initial annoyance towards each other. I wouldn't exactly call it hate to love though. But also my weird favourite thing was how Dayna didn't let Meiner get away with her temper tantrums. She point blank told her 'stop giving excuses for losing your temper. That doesn't make it better' and I was like YASS

~Alternating PoVs~

Okay so I generally don't like it if the PoV shifts all the freaking time but i really liked it here?

- Dayna, the main protagonist who was recently outed as bi without her permission
- Meiner who is being made to travel all the way across the country with her coven which includes her horrible and possibly evil grandmother and Cora
- Cora who is one super scheming, ambitious witch and honestly a huge JERK
- Samuel, Dayna's ex boyfriend and a true crime fanatic who is obsessed with The Butcher, a certain serial killer
- Dubh, the murderer himself and an absolute sickward (okay it's not an actual word, sue me) whose chapters creeped me out because he has one sick mind

~All the dark modern Witchcraft and Celtic myhtology~

     Buying potion ingredients after school, discussing schoolwork while brewing potions, wearing good luck charms to school; the modern witch aesthetic speaks to my soul and there were scenes that had me grinning like a monkey.
“Witchcraft doesn't pay the bills, grandmother. You think she can walk into a grocery store and trade that luck talisman for food? We don't work on the barter system anymore.”
“And I'll pray to the great Oracle, Google” Reagan pulled the laptop back over.

     I'd never read anything with Celtic mythology before and I found this utterly fascinating. You know I'm going to obssesively google everyhting about Celtic myths now for the next two weeks or so.


     Um Ms.Latimer NO. You can't write an ending like that when book two isn't even available that is cruel OKA?

I will sacrifice souls to get book two mind you.

~Witches of Ash and Ruin is a super diverse and witchy book replete with badass females, found families and a fair share of mythology ~

(Actual rating - 4.5)

Have you read any modern witchcraft books? Or anything with Celtic mythology? Tell me in the comments below!