Monday, June 13, 2022

✱✱Book Review✱✱ Blog Blitz: Her Majesty's Royal Coven by Juno Dawson

 


“Superb and almost unbearably charming, Her Majesty’s Royal Coven… expertly launches an exciting new trilogy." —The New York Times Book Review
 
"Talk about a gut punch of a novel. …A provocative exploration of intersectional feminism, loyalty, gender and transphobia [that] invites readers into an intricately woven web of magic, friendship and power." —The Nerd Daily

A Discovery of Witches
 meets The Craft in this epic fantasy about a group of childhood friends who are also witches.

If you look hard enough at old photographs, we’re there in the background: healers in the trenches; Suffragettes; Bletchley Park oracles; land girls and resistance fighters. Why is it we help in times of crisis? We have a gift. We are stronger than Mundanes, plain and simple.

At the dawn of their adolescence, on the eve of the summer solstice, four young girls--Helena, Leonie, Niamh and Elle--took the oath to join Her Majesty's Royal Coven, established by Queen Elizabeth I as a covert government department. Now, decades later, the witch community is still reeling from a civil war and Helena is the reigning High Priestess of the organization. Yet Helena is the only one of her friend group still enmeshed in the stale bureaucracy of HMRC. Elle is trying to pretend she's a normal housewife, and Niamh has become a country vet, using her powers to heal sick animals. In what Helena perceives as the deepest betrayal, Leonie has defected to start her own more inclusive and intersectional coven, Diaspora. And now Helena has a bigger problem. A young warlock of extraordinary capabilities has been captured by authorities and seems to threaten the very existence of HMRC. With conflicting beliefs over the best course of action, the four friends must decide where their loyalties lie: with preserving tradition, or doing what is right.

Juno Dawson explores gender and the corrupting nature of power in a delightful and provocative story of magic and matriarchy, friendship and feminism. Dealing with all the aspects of contemporary womanhood, as well as being phenomenally powerful witches, Niamh, Helena, Leonie and Elle may have grown apart but they will always be bound by the sisterhood of  the coven.

Momma Says: 3 stars⭐⭐⭐

Her Majesty's Royal Coven is urban fantasy that makes a statement. Juno Dawson tackles some big issues here - some important issues - and this book is certainly timely, considering some of the opposite views that have been publicized recently. With that, we spend some time in a certain character's head, and there were times when I had to just set the book aside and walk away to clear my head. I guess you could say that particular point of view left a bad taste in my mouth. I'm trying to be vague here to avoid spoilers, so I'll just say that I enjoyed the other points of view, the time inside the heads of more fair-minded characters, but the one was almost too much for me. Don't let that deter you, though, because the message here is an important one, and I'd say the book is definitely worth the read. 

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Juno Dawson is a bestselling novelist, screenwriter, and journalist. Juno’s books include the global bestsellers, This Book is Gay and Clean. She also writes for television and has multiple shows in development both in the UK and US. An occasional actress and model, Juno appeared on HBO's I May Destroy You. This is her adult debut.

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