Review | Bad Girls Throughout History | Ann Shen

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Bad Girls Throughout History

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Aphra Behn, first female professional writer. Sojourner Truth, activist and abolitionist. Ada Lovelace, first computer programmer. Marie Curie, first woman to win the Nobel Prize. Joan Jett, godmother of punk. The 100 revolutionary women highlighted in this gorgeously illustrated book were bad in the best sense of the word: they challenged the status quo and changed the rules for all who followed. From pirates to artists, warriors, daredevils, scientists, activists, and spies, the accomplishments of these incredible women vary as much as the eras and places in which they effected change. Featuring bold watercolor portraits and illuminating essays by Ann Shen, Bad Girls Throughout History is a distinctive, gift-worthy tribute.

I’m going to start off by saying that had this book existed when I was a kid, and had they taught us about all of the women featured in here, I would have become a self-declared feminist so much earlier. Nothing about this book is uninspiring—including the fact that it is written and illustrated by another badass woman. The best way to sum up the experience of reading this book is to say that I am so proud to come from such a lineup of women throughout history and hope to, in some way or another, make them proud of me, too.

What are the top three elements of this book? 1. The illustrations. As someone who is very much into comic books right now, having this great balance of unique and thoughtful illustration alongside the prose was a great reading experience. 2. The balance of diversity. Yesterday I went to pick up Women in Sports—which has a very similar feel to Bad Girls—but most of the examples are American. Bad Girls had women from all across the world, which opened my eyes so much to names I’d never even heard before. 3. The fun prose. Ann Shen has taken her research on each woman and condensed it into one page or less, giving you only the most interesting or significant anecdotes about each woman. It makes reading exciting and not at all boring—which is the danger of reading some biographies or non-fiction titles.

Bad Girls Throughout History is a must-own for anyone who calls themselves a woman. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m surprised Emma Watson hasn’t selected this as one of her feminist titles to-read. It’s so empowering and awe-inspiring—I continue to be blown away even days after finishing it. Ann Shen—well done.


LEGACY OF KINGS by Eleanor Herman & FREE Prequel!

legacy of kings

5 out of 5

[ARC provided to me in PDF format in exchange for an honest review in my work as a VIP Trendsetter for Paper Lantern Lit. You can view their website here.]

Alexander – The crippled prince regent who wants nothing more than to prove himself to his father and his people.

Cynane – The daughter of King Philip II, the half-sister of Alexander, Cynane is sick of being expected to sit idly by and is determined to not let the same fate that befell her mother befall her as well.

Kat – A feisty peasant girl who will not be at peace until she has travelled to the royal palace and avenged her mother’s murder.

Jacob – A peasant boy chosen to participate in the Blood Tournament, Jacob needs to win so that he can provide the life to Kat that she deserves. Only, things take a dark turn when Jacob suspects that Kat doesn’t want that life after all.

Zo – Lovesick and forced into a diplomatic marriage that she does not want, Zo runs away from the comforts of her palace life in search of the Persian warrior she loves so much. But something else finds her before she finds him.

Heph – As Alexander’s best friend, Heph’s past makes his position in the palace a precarious one. Pride is his weakness, along with women. When things take an unexpected turn in the Blood Tournament, he begins to doubt Alex’s friendship and his own place in the world.

Olympias – If she had been given the choice, she would have chosen a different life for herself—one with the immortal man she loves and one that leaves her free to worship the snakes. But she did not have a choice, and for that she has become bitter, seeking revenge on anyone who crosses her path.

In Eleanor Herman’s Legacy of Kings, the tales of seven characters—some factual and some fictional—intertwine to create an engrossing epic on the scale of The Iliad and Odyssey. Not in years has something so spectacular graced the publishing world, and readers both young and old will truly delight in perusing its pages. Fans of Game of Thrones and the Starcrossed trilogy by Josephine Angelini are sure to love this brilliant new novel featuring the rise of Alexander the Great and the books to follow. Legacy of Kings is truly such an amazing read.

Let me start off by saying that this book is amazing. I think it’s pretty clear based on my synopsis how in love with this book I am. I don’t think I’ve reviewed a book yet that I was this excited about, so I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you and encouraging you to buy this book at your earliest opportunity!

The world-building in this book is awesome, though at times I did wish for a tiny bit more description of the actual setting rather than the characters’ movements and thoughts. That being said, Legacy of Kings is like a travel guide through the ancient Mediterranean. I genuinely hope that the printed version comes with a map detailing the different characters’ journeys throughout the Mediterranean because it is just so fascinating to me, and I hope to all of you as well.

As I’ve said before, I’m normally not a fan of books that switch points of view, but I loved it in this book. I think it works so well because the book is told from a third-person perspective. It felt to me very much like reading The Odyssey in terms of narrative voice, which, of course, is enormously appropriate and awesome given the context of the novel.

This novel was filled with so many interesting facts and legends, as well as tidbits about the various mythologies from the periods surrounding that time (the mid to late-300s BC). Not only was the book fun to read, but I learned something as well. As a history nerd who has studied this time period many times throughout university, I really enjoyed the more historical aspects of the novel.

There were many pleasant surprises throughout the book that make it hard to guess what will happen next or how it will end. My only complaint is that Zo doesn’t have much of a role or storyline. Hopefully her journey has something to do with Book 2 (to be released September 2016). I also don’t like love triangles, so hopefully that doesn’t happen in Book 2, but it looks like it might…

As I’ve said, I absolutely loved this book and I think everyone needs to buy it/borrow it the minute it comes out on August 25th, 2015. If you like Game of Thrones or the Starcrossed trilogy by Josephine Angelini (which I posted about here), then you are going to absolutely die for this book. It truly is that amazing. My favourite read of 2015 so far, and it may just take the cake on that.

Please read this book and let me know what you think in the comments below. I’d love to get in touch with any of you guys and have a chat about the books we love!

-Ember Book Reviews xxoo

P.S. Is it a coincidence that there is a little person referred to as “the Tyrrhian” in the novel? Game of Thrones, anybody?

You can get the prequel for FREE on Amazon.

Check out this book on Goodreads!

Pre-order this book and email with proof of purchase to receive a pre-order reward! Details here.

Or, wait until August 25th and check out your local indie bookstore or library. 🙂