edited on December 3rd, 2023 at 07:50 pmFluttering Crueling by Ripley Sinclair
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Fluttering Cruelty by Ripley Sinclair is a beautifully written and engaging fantasy romance.
Centuries ago, unnatural rips in the land, the Rives, opened all over Samerta Island, brimming with horrible monsters. Amongst them was one species intelligent and human enough to seek more than carnage: Vrani, bird-like creatures who emerged with a proposition. In exchange for protection against the other rivespawn, they would be given a human bride to prolong their species.
A transaction. An exchange. A fate worse than death.
Saorise knows their grotesque appearance, unnatural power, and infamous cruelty. Yet she will stop at nothing to be chosen. Wedding a Vrani is the only chance she has to find her sister. When Rifen picks her out of the line, she is closer to getting what she wants.
Thank you to NetGalley and Ripley Sinclair, who provided me with an eARC in exchange for an honest, voluntary review!
One of the qualities of Fluttering Cruelty is the profundity and intricacy of its characters. The protagonist, Saoirse, is a flawed and complex character driven by her love for her sister and sense of obligation to her family. Even if it means putting herself in danger, she will make sacrifices and endure hardships to safeguard those she cares about. She can, however, be stubborn, impulsive, and sometimes insensitive to the feelings of those around her, so she is not always easy to like.
But she’s growing and learning about the new world, she’s about to enter and how not everyone always has to be how it seems at first sight.
On the other hand, Saoirse’s Vrani husband, Rifen, is a fascinating character. From the start, he seems, by all accounts, to be cold and ruthless. Meeting a vulnerable male protagonist was energizing, since in most cases they’re far from vulnerable.
Rifen is very enjoyable as he’s a bit different than other Vrani husbands and treats her wife also differently in that manner.
There’re also side characters that play different roles in various situations but are still important for the FMC to grow. Out of her pure hate towards the half-bird creatures, there might grow something else entirely. With unexpected allies all along.
The author creates a world through intricate and precise depictions of various cultures and mythologies. Notably, the Vrani culture is impressively fleshed out, with its unique language, traditions, and folklore adding to the narrative’s richness. The romance between Saoirse and Rifen, influenced by Beauty and the Beast, is one example of the story’s subversion of traditional fairy tale tropes and transformation into something novel and exciting.
The writing is poetic and evocative, with a keen attention to detail and empathy for human emotion. The investigation of fundamental issues in the present society, for example, war and constrained marriage prompting abusive behavior at home and rape, as well as its ramifications and injury on spouses and youngsters, adds profundity and multifaceted design to the story.
As the only flaw, I found some parts progressing slower than needed. But if you like that trope, you should be fine.
Final Thoughts on Fluttering Cruelty
Fluttering Cruelty is a novel that might resonate with anyone who has ever experienced loss, grief, or deals with mental illness. It is beautifully written and provokes thought out of the reader to discuss those topics. Enthusiastically suggested for devotees of Excellence and the Monster and Celtic folklore.
I enjoyed the book, its characters, and the story as it’s progressing. The Vrani culture is one to enjoy for sure.
POV: Saoirse POV
To be released on June 6th, 2023