Mini Review Monday: Opal & The Serpent and the Pearl

opal.jpgOpal by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #4.5
Published by: 
Scholastic Inc
Pub Date: 
March 1, 2018
e-book| Source: purchased
young adult, paranormal, novella
Rating: 5_star_rating_system_3_stars

*Spoilers if you haven’t finished The Raven Cycle* An enchanting story from Maggie Stiefvater featuring Opal, Ronan, and Adam from her bestselling Raven Cycle, taking place after the events of The Raven King.


The last 10 or so pages were very good, very interesting, very Raven Boys-y. And there was a really intriguing part in the middle that I think will have big consequences for the Ronan trilogy. Ronan and Adam has some good character moments; I just like when they’re existing together. But otherwise, I did not like being in Opal’s head at all. It was too weird and a little distasteful, and I think unnecessary. Originally I was hoping that this story would be about Opal but not from Opal’s POV.

serpent and pearlThe Serpent and the Pearl by Kate Quinn
Series: The Borgias #1
Published by: 
Pub Date: 
August 6, 2013
paperback| Source: purchased
adult, historical fiction
Rating: 5_star_rating_system_3_stars

One powerful family holds a city, a faith, and a woman in its grasp–from the national bestselling author of “Daughters of Rome” and “Mistress of Rome.”
Rome, 1492. The Holy City is drenched with blood and teeming with secrets. A pope lies dying and the throne of God is left vacant, a prize awarded only to the most virtuous–or the most ruthless. The Borgia family begins its legendary rise, chronicled by an innocent girl who finds herself drawn into their dangerous web…
Vivacious Giulia Farnese has floor-length golden hair and the world at her feet: beauty, wealth, and a handsome young husband. But she is stunned to discover that her glittering marriage is a sham, and she is to be given as a concubine to the ruthless, charismatic Cardinal Borgia: Spaniard, sensualist, candidate for Pope–and passionately in love with her.
Two trusted companions will follow her into the Pope’s shadowy harem: Leonello, a cynical bodyguard bent on bloody revenge against a mysterious killer, and Carmelina, a fiery cook with a past full of secrets. But as corruption thickens in the Vatican and the enemies begin to circle, Giulia and her friends will need all their wits to survive in the world of the Borgias.

I will never get tired of Kate Quinn’s fantastic writing, even if I didn’t love this as much as her Empress of Rome series. I didn’t feel as deep a connection to the characters and it took a bit of time to get into. I’m also not sure why she felt the need to italicize various Italian words- it was distracting. But watching Giulia’s progress and those last 40 pages!! That’s one way to make sure I read the sequel.

Do you read novellas in general or only if they’re part of a favorite series? What era of historical fiction is your favorite to read about? Let me know!

3 thoughts on “Mini Review Monday: Opal & The Serpent and the Pearl

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