I received an eARC of Hush by Dylan Farrow from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I hadn’t heard a lot about this book when I requested it except that it was a fantasy novel, so I didn’t have any preconceived thoughts going in (besides what the synopsis said). I didn’t know if I would like it, but I’m here to report that I loved it!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
They use magic to silence the world. Who will break the hush?
Seventeen-year-old Shae has led a seemingly quiet life, joking with her best friend Fiona, and chatting with Mads, the neighborhood boy who always knows how to make her smile. All while secretly keeping her fears at bay… Of the disease that took her brother’s life. Of how her dreams seem to bleed into reality around her. Of a group of justice seekers called the Bards who claim to use the magic of Telling to keep her community safe.
When her mother is murdered, she can no longer pretend.
Not knowing who to trust, Shae journeys to unlock the truth, instead finding a new enemy keen to destroy her, a brooding boy with dark secrets, and an untold power she never thought possible.
Set in a world where words can be dangerous, Shae, our main character, is a peasant girl who has suffered many loses. Her brother and father are dead. Her mother is mute, and then murdered, and Shae is an outcast in her own village. There’s a lot riding on this poor girls shoulders, but that doesn’t stop her from finding a sense of normalcy or happiness.
Until her mother is murdered. Once the action gets going, we fly through this story. I like how everything comes to be as Shae goes from hiding in the shadows to trying to uncover the truth. Even if it kills her.
One thing about this character that I didn’t like about Shae was her trusting nature. She trusts the wrong people too quickly and I just wanted to smack her across the face and point to all of the red flags we see! Shae has a good heart, which I love about this character – she’s not all about right or wrong, but treating people kindly and decently. Like a certain scene with gloves. Too kind for this world.
And she’s rash. She’s not cold and calculating or an over thinker. When Shae has an idea, when she wants to do something, she goes out and does it. No other thought put into than “I’m gonna do it” – which I find is not a trait we see in YA female protagonists often.
And along with Shae, I really like the plot. I thought it was a really cool idea that magic comes from words and the power of those words can be amazing or devastating. One thing I didn’t like so much though was how fast the book was. Not necessarily pacing, because that was fine, but the fact that I felt like the book was short. I felt like we could have had a little more time in certain scenes or situations, but from what we get, I still really enjoyed this book.
Overall, this was a fun, magical read with an interesting magic system and a character who can’t let things go. This was a .75 // 5 stars for me!
If this book sounds interesting, check out Ignite the Sun by Hanna Howard or The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert!
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