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Half Sick of Shadows

I am definitely half sick of shadows. One of my favorite places to read that lacks shadows is at the beach. I find nothing more relaxing than cracking open a good book in the sun (after applying plenty of SPF, of course), sneaking in a cheeky wine, and being transported to a literary world to the backdrop of crashing waves. Sadly, summer is over, but since I’m trying to catch up with reviewing the books I read over the summer, I’ll treat you to a throwback of me reading on the beach. 

Now on to the book. Who else is a fan of Arthurian legends? 

What happened in a nutshell:

You all know the legend, but this time, it’s told from the point of view of Elaine of Shalott, the oracle and friend in the inner circle of King Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot. Almost every future she sees ends in betrayal for the group of friends, and she works endlessly to try and stop it.

My favorite themes:

This is a classic – Fate. I liked watching Elaine wrestle with not accepting that her future, despite her being an oracle and having seen her future, is out of her control.

My favorite thing about the book:

I enjoyed reading about their time in Avalon. Avalon seems like a wonderful place to grow up. Overall, I love reading any take on the legend of Arthur and his crew. 

My least favorite thing about the book:

It was a little jumpy. Elaine spent a lot of time seeing different futures, retelling the past, and then being in the present. Sometimes it was a little hard to follow along, especially because there were slightly different outcomes for the future, so every other chapter, something would change and I’d be lost. The characters changed overnight once they left Avalon, and that felt disjointed to me. I also did not see the women in the story as being particularly feminist characters, despite the book marketing them as such, because they sacrificed everything about themselves for… a man. 

My favorite quote:

I will die drowning; it has always been known.

– Half Sick of Shadows

The book starts with this line, and it’s probably my favorite. I love a story that starts out with foreshadowing. You know what’s coming, but somehow, the ending still surprised me.

My wine pairing:

Habla del Silencio… “Habla del Silencio” means “Speak of Silence” in Spanish, and because Elaine could not speak of the future to her friends, I thought this was fitting. I also think it’s fitting because this wine is probably my favorite wine of all time. It is furthermore fitting because it happens to be from Extremadura, Spain, where I read part of the book! The wine is medium intensity, fruity, and has hints of chocolate. It’s excellent with tapas and practically everything else. There are just SO many reasons to try this wine. It’s quite excellent.

My rating: 6/10

Was I entertained? Yes! The book had everything, fantasy, romance, battles, plotting, foreshadowing, and fun characters. I wish the female characters were a little stronger and that the timeline was easier to follow, but otherwise, it was an enjoyable read!

Have you read Half Sick of Shadows? What are your thoughts?

For more bookish content, check out my #bookstagram account, @uncorked.bookshelf. If you want to get your hands on a copy, feel free to visit my bookshop, powered by bookshop.org which is a great alternative to Amazon for buying books AND it raises money for local bookshops. Also, please keep in mind I can make a small commission for any purchases.

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