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  • Writer's pictureAbbie Smith

Y'all just know I had to hop on over to my favorite bookstore on my lunch break to grab a copy of the latest tea on the royals!

Growing up, who didn't know about Prince Harry and Prince William? I was eight years old when Princess Diana was killed in that car accident. My grandfather literally had a frame photograph of her on his living room wall. I was also one of those girls who thought Prince William was quite handsome growing up. I loved seeing his relationship with Harry.

But with everything that's happened in the press over the last five years, I've really found that Prince Harry is where it's at. I mean, c'mon. Look at young Harry and look at him now and he truly glowed up.

That said, I've been caught up on the Netflix docuseries, and plenty of people talk about the royals on TikTok. I found the announcement of the memoir interesting, because I really think Harry wanted to wait to publish it until the queen had passed.

My first thought is: I never imagined I would be able to relate to a royal prince.

The memoir starts around the single most defining moment in Harry's life: his mother's death. By page 21, I was in tears because as Harry spoke about the stories he made up that his mother was in hiding, I felt that. I'm a child of divorce. I was very young. I made up stories about my absent parent. God, I felt so hard what it is to make up stories to yourself just so you can cope.

There were many times throughout the novel that I just stopped and had to process the things Harry was saying. Not because it was scandalous (trust me, he holds nothing back), but because I can relate. At one point, he talks about being the bachelor in the family after William married Kate, and how that made him feel. As an unmarried woman in my mid-thirties, I could completely understand his lack of importance (or feeling that way when it came to his family).

Harry talks a lot about his relationship with his brother. He talks about how they promised they wouldn't play games in the media like others did. He talks about how that all changed when Meagan started becoming more popular than the rest of the royal family. What's sad is knowing how much Harry wants to be able to have his relationship back with his brother, even though it would probably be healthier for him to . . . not.

I devoured this book in two days, because it was so good. There are passages that I've highlighted, things that really stuck out to me.

If you've ever been interested in getting Harry's uncensored side of the story, pick up a copy of Spare immediately! You won't regret it!


This novel was all the rage on TikTok because the author was a Booktoker, but it was being sent out anonymously. I snagged a copy at my local Barnes and Noble, just because I was curious.

Honestly, I didn't know if I would like this one. Most of the time when I take recommendations from Booktok, I end up not liking them as much as I anticipated. This one surprised me!

Keera is a killer. Her official title is the "King's Blade." She's responsible for handling anything unsavory that the king needs done. She's a Halfling--born between two different races--which makes her the king's property. She trained in the Order and rose to the highest position allowed for someone of her background.

But she hates every minute of it.

The setup for this novel was done really well. First off, I love that she wasn't a super young character. She was literally at least 60 years old, though even she isn't exactly sure how old she is because she was a foundling when she was a child, left to die.

Keera is a complex character. One who struggles with addiction, trauma, and self-harms. Keera has been after her archnemesis, a man known only as the Shadow.

From there, Keera learns the truth about the world and remembers a promise that she made a very long time ago--one she's commiserated over for decades.

I really enjoyed this book. I thought I had guessed the identity of the Shadow early on. However, there was a twist that I felt Blair did a great job of foreshadowing from the beginning. I look forward to reading the next in the series!


Y'all know I love my witches. This is another Fairyloot novel. I might not have discovered it if it didn't come with my subscription.

This novel begins with a prologue setting up the main characters as a group of friends in the nineties. They're witches and love 90s pop culture. I didn't think it was necessary, because there were so many references throughout the book that could have accomplished both their found family relationships and their love of the culture.

From the start of the novel, I had trouble keeping up with each character and who was who. This is a challenge when you have a large cast of characters. I found that most of the voices weren't varied enough for me to understand who was who until about midway through the book.

That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I loved seeing how the author adapted a Charmed-esque world into modern society.

One of the friends from the group is now the High Priestes of Her Majesty's Royal Coven--a secret society that is in the background of everything that's happened over the last century. Others have left the coven since a war ten years ago, and one of them even branched off to form their own coven - Diaspora.

One thing I have to highlight is the diversity in this novel. You had characters of color, LGBTQ! rep, and one of the main storylines was about a young character coming to terms with their gender. I thought it was really good. I would love to speak with trans people that have read this book to see what their perspective of the novel was good. As a CIS woman, I can't truly understand or relate to that journey, but I thought it was well done, except for the magical fix at the end (this could be really harmful to trans people).

Overall, the political intrigue and loose ends have convinced me to read into the next novel.

My only complaint is that there were a lot of events that happened ten years prior to this--a whole war, in fact--and I sort of wish the series started there instead of here.


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