Review: The Queen of the Night

The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee

Genre: Historical Fiction
Maturity Level: 5
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆

Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role, every singer’s chance at immortality. When one is finally offered to her, she realizes with alarm that the libretto is based on a hidden piece of her past. Only four could have betrayed her: one is dead, one loves her, one wants to own her. And one, she hopes, never thinks of her at all.  As she mines her memories for clues, she recalls her life as an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe and was swept up into the glitzy, gritty world of Second Empire Paris. In order to survive, she transformed herself from hippodrome rider to courtesan, from empress’s maid to debut singer, all the while weaving a complicated web of romance, obligation, and political intrigue. 


Half historical fiction, half love-letter to Romantic-era Opera, The Queen of the Night is an unusual and engrossing novel worth the effort of reading.

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Dear cover designers, please don’t…

As book bloggers we can all pretty much agree that good cover design is a must. A great cover can make you pick-up a book, and a terrible cover can make you pass it up.

That is NOT what I’m here to talk about today.

Rather, today I would like to talk about cover design pet-peeves that don’t necessarily detract from the look of the cover, but bother me for other reasons. They aren’t things that make a cover ugly, but are things that may make me vaguely annoyed or grumpy. These things don’t make the cover bad, but they could still be improved in my oh so humble opinion.

Don’t include a dragon just for decoration.

I guess this most often happens when cover designers are imitating medieval page illuminations, so it doesn’t happen very often. But seriously, if I see a dragon I want to read about a freaking dragon, okay? Putting a dragon on the cover of a fantasy book that doesn’t have dragons in it is extremely misleading, and it isn’t fair to people who read every dragon book they can find (aka me).

This happened to me once in college. The book was called The Book of Joby, and there were no dragons. The book was fine, I guess, but I was seriously disappointed when I got to the last few chapters and realized no surprise dragons were coming to save or ruin the day.


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2nd Half of 2020 Reading List

If you’ve gotten a comment from my on Instagram or the blogosphere in the last month and a half you’ve probably heard me say “I’ve had that book on my tbr FOREVER, and I just haven’t gotten to it yet!” (Is that the book blogger motto or what?) I’ve also got a quarter million new releases out or coming out in 2020 that I want to read.

The obvious problem here is that I have a hard time prioritizing certain books. As a very much mood reader I tend to skip on heavier or more serious books, even if I *really* want to read them. I DON’T WANT TO DO THAT!!!

So I hand-wrote a list of must-reads in 2020! (Any other type As out there??) Here they are!

Must-Read New Releases

The Year of the Witching
Have had this Salem-esque book on my TBR since January, and a fellow bookstagramer just gave me the green-light that it’s not too scary to read. Can’t wait!

The Angel of the Crows
First of all, Katherine Addison is my everything. Second of all, an alt-history London with monsters, Jack the Ripper, and a Sherlock vibe? Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!

Deacon King Kong
Heard a great interview with James McBride that made me decide to pick this book up. Excited for the slice-of-life storytelling, religious characters, and light satire.

I’ll Be the One
I’m in a fluffy mood lately, and this looks like the funnest book on my tbr. Plus East-Asian rep AND body-positive rep!

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