June 10, 2021

She’s the One Who Gets in Fights

She’s the One Who Gets in Fights
The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters Book Three
by S. R. Cronin

Published 14 May 2021
Cinnabar Press

Rating: 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Genre: Historical Fantasy

I received a complimentary review copy of She’s the One Who Gets in Fights as part of my participation in a blog tour for this title with Goddess Fish Promotions. Thank you to the author for kindly sending a copy of this book, and to Goddess Fish Promotions for once again affording me the opportunity to be on the review team for the latest book in this series. My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.

This is my favourite book yet in this series! Sulphur has absolutely won me over, far better than Coral was able to do in book two, and there’s so much interesting action in this book that takes us to different places and into different meetings than what we saw in book one. My biggest critique of book two was that while I get this is a series of companion novels, (at least to start, I hope the story will progress beyond the cliffhanger these all end on,) Coral’s side of the story is more world-building than plot development. It very much felt like a re-hash of the same snippet of the timeline as Ryalgar’s story. Sulphur’s story? I would almost say this book could be read as a stand-alone. Almost only because I do think we glossed over too much prior world-building lore under the assumption that the books have been read in order, and someone jumping in at this point isn’t going to understand at all who the Velka is or the finer points of what sort of grand scheme Ryalgar has set in motion.

It’s not just Sulphur who won me over, either. This book has the most likeable supporting cast of the series so far if you ask me. Tamara and Rooslin are awesome, Giorgi is entertaining, and I genuinely grew to like the side of Davor Sulphur sees. Don’t get me wrong, the side Coral gets to know is a sleaze bag and that’s still acknowledged here, but once Sulphur earns his respect and he treats her as equal and a fellow man, I like the soldier and mentor Davor presents. I guess that’s a prime example of why Cronin is such a good author. Her characters are realistically complex and flawed, and she can make you love or hate any of them as she chooses. Sometimes she makes you do both.

Let’s also take a moment to celebrate all of the awesome LGBTQIA+ representation in this book in particular. It has been acknowledged throughout the series so far that while non-heteronormative relationships aren’t exactly celebrated and encouraged in this setting, they’re accepted and tolerated or politely ignored. In this book, though, we’re tossed into the military (the Svadlu) where the male to female ratio is 9 to 1. Obviously, there will be less than traditional pairings. What we end up with from the main cast is a confident woman who would probably label herself by modern standards as genderqueer and demisexual, and I’m here for it. 100%! We then have this queer/demi warrior goddess choosing to keep company with a closeted gay man and a fierce woman who occasionally seeks the affection of someone with matching parts, even if she typically prefers the opposite. And fear not, fellow readers who avoid the romance genre because of the bedroom scenes, there are only three that come close in this book and they are not at all descriptive.

I’m looking forward to finding out more about Olivine and Celestine in the next two books, respectively, as their stories have been well teased by now. I’m perhaps more eager to get further into the series, though, and spend time with Gypsum. All the rebellion and free-spiritedness will be interesting to read, and I’m SO curious to know more about the reczavy.

Do I recommend this book? Heck yes! I recommend this series to all lovers of historical fiction and fantasy. Do I think you need to read the books in order? I think you should read the first book first, and after that it probably doesn’t matter as much, but I will say I think you’re meant to see Davor through Coral’s eyes first and I’m not sure his role in her story would land the same way on a first reading if you already respect him the way Sulphur does.

I will be continuing to read and review this series regardless of whether or not I catch future tours, though I sincerely hope I can participate in more tours for this series and I’ll be keeping my eyes wide open for the opportunities. Thank you again to the author for sending a copy for this review! I’m now extremely tempted to order physical copies of the previous two books to keep this one company on my shelf.

Author

  • Jenna is an independent editor & illustrator, book reviewer, and aspiring author from Newfoundland, Canada. Although she has been known to read just about anything, her passion is for science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction books for young adult and older audiences. When she’s not working on bookish or artsy endeavours, Jenna enjoys spending time with her family and her feline overlords.

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