Tuesday, July 18, 2023

*Review* Mortal Follies by Alexis Hall


Genre: Historical Fantasy/LGBTQ+
Published: June 6, 2023
Pages: 400

It is the year 1814, and life for a young lady of good breeding has many difficulties. There are balls to attend, fashions to follow, marriages to consider, and, of course, the tiny complication of existing in a world swarming with fairy spirits, interfering deities, and actual straight-up sorcerers.

Miss Maelys Mitchelmore finds her entry into high society hindered by an irritating curse. It begins innocuously enough with her dress slowly unmaking itself over the course of an evening at a high-profile ball, a scandal she narrowly manages to escape.

However, as the curse progresses to more fatal proportions, Miss Mitchelmore must seek out aid, even if that means mixing with undesirable company. And there are few less desirable than Lady Georgiana Landrake—a brooding, alluring young woman sardonically nicknamed “the Duke of Annadale”—who may or may not have murdered her own father and brothers to inherit their fortune. If one is to believe the gossip, she might be some kind of malign enchantress. Then again, a malign enchantress might be exactly what Miss Mitchelmore needs.

With the Duke’s help, Miss Mitchelmore delves into a world of angry gods and vindictive magic, keen to unmask the perpetrator of these otherworldly attacks. But Miss Mitchelmore’s reputation is not the only thing at risk in spending time with her new ally. For the reputed witch has her own secrets that may prove dangerous to Miss Mitchelmore’s heart—not to mention her life.

Or perhaps you're all just nostalgic for the staggering social inequality.

"But don't worry," added Miss Bickle eagerly, "when you are murdered, I have simply hundreds of plans for vengeance."

"You cannot simply replace a love affair for the ages with...with paid companionship."

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

When I started reading this book, I didn't realize it was a sapphic romance because one, I basically never read book blurbs before reading books, and two, although I requested the book because of the gorgeous cover, I didn't look at it that closely to really notice the two characters entwined at the top. So it was a pleasant surprise for me when I really got into the story in June (when I read the book) to realize it was a perfect read for Pride month. 

The narrator of this tale is a hoot. Although I found myself getting annoyed with some of the ways he made sure we the readers knew he was keeping himself well hidden. Like I'm not really sure all the form changes were really necessary for him to observe the characters, but he did, so we got to hear about it. He really came across as a person who wants more attention that they're getting, without wanting to draw attention to themself. 

My favorite character in this tale was Miss Bickle. She has some serious Luna Lovegood vibes about her in the best way possible. She's a real ride or die for Miss Mitchelmore, in spite of the obvious danger. She's just honestly the kind of friend everyone should have. 

There were so many quotable lines in this tale, that it was a wee bit difficult for me to narrow down my favorites. There were so many times I found myself giggling over the narrator's or one of the character's lines, making this book just a real joy to read. 

Overall I give Mortal Follies 4.875 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

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