Girls Make Better Kings

“Merlin loved magic, but sometimes it was unmistakably the worst.”

Once & Future was one of my favorite reads last year. The imagination of putting the legend of King Arthur in space with a diverse set of knights and a girl as King was genius. I loved every single twist and turn and thought the pure creativity in making the story a clever retelling while also ensuring it was uniquely it’s own was just beyond! I don’t even care if that’s not a grammatical sentence––the sheer execution is just that brilliant!

BUT

Holy Merlin’s Magic there’s absolutely no way I saw Sword In The Stars coming!!!

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I knew I’d love it. Because facts and reasons. But if I thought Once & Future was spectacular in creative scope, Sword In The Stars is sheer fucking perfection.

First, there’s time fuckery. And it’s awesome. Several times I had to put the book down and just sort out the timelines and implications and what it all means. Nothing says amazing sci-fi like good old-fashioned time fuckery. It’s basically the law.

“Their problems had gotten much bigger than stealing from the Authurian legend. Now they had to survive it.”

Second. The diversity is still out of this world. I love, love, love how the authors smack the white-washing of history straight in the face. But not just that, they give depth to their characters, refusing to fall into cliche storylines or confining gender roles for anyone. I adore how this entire series is accessible, allowing all readers to see themselves in these characters, both big and small. They tackle the difficulty of historical times but also show that we’ve been diverse throughout history and to not acknowledge that is criminal.

“Dragons and misogyny could fuck right off.”

Third. THE FAMILY AND THE LOVE!!! There is nothing but heart written in every line. It’s a tangible feeling. No matter what obstacles this crew faces, they do it with love driving them forward. Found families are one of my favorites, but this story shows that the term ‘found family’ is inaccurate. Family is family, no matter where they start or when you join. It’s about love and acceptance and fighting through the tough times.

And this crew does not have it easy. I mean, take away magical swords and lost spirits and vindictive lake spirits. Time fuckery takes no prisoners, making the added twists just HEARTWRENCHING!!! But in all the best ways.

“Power is the worst kind of loneliness.”

But most of all, I love the messaging wrapped into all of the characters and throughout the entire series. That being a hero is about the small decisions we make every day. It’s about who we are and who we’re willing to be. That anyone, at any time, in any situation can be a hero. And if that isn’t a stellar message to give to teens today, I seriously don’t know what is.

“Her heroic moment would never be met with parades or universe-wide celebration, but most heroic moments weren’t. Each was a single drop in the great flow of time, but every drop mattered. And the right one, at the right moment, could change the water’s direction entirely.”

From beginning to end this story is just perfection. I loved every single moment and will be revisiting Ari and her knights many more times in the future. Being part of this street team has been amazing and I can’t wait to see what magic this dynamic duo casts next.

Thank you Jimmy Patterson Books for sending me a copy!

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