Saturday 6 May 2023

Book Review: A Season of Monstrous Conceptions by Lina Rather (Historical Fiction/Fantasy)

Title: A Season of Monstrous Conceptions
Author: Lina Rather
Publisher: Tor
Publication Date: 31 October 2023
Pages: 160
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Source: ARC via NetGalley

In 17th-century London, unnatural babies are being born, with eyes made for the dark and webbed digits suited to the sea.

Sarah Davis is intimately familiar with such strangeness—having hidden her uncanny nature all her life and fled to London under suspicious circumstances, Sarah starts over as a midwife’s apprentice to a member of the illegal Worshipful Company of Midwives, hoping to carve out for herself an independent life. But with each new unnatural birth, the fear in London grows of the Devil's work.

When the wealthy Lady Wren hires her to see her through her pregnancy, Sarah quickly becomes a favorite of her husband, the famous architect Lord Christopher Wren, whose interest in the uncanny borders on obsession. Sarah soon finds herself caught in a web of magic and intrigue created by those who want to use her power for themselves, and whose pursuits threaten to unmake the earth itself.


A Season of Monstrous Conceptions was an intriguing novella I finished in a single sitting. The concept was interesting and I liked Sarah as a character, especially enjoying her interactions with Wren, of which I wish there could have been more even though the book, as a whole, felt the right length for the story. This is a genre-blending piece that is part historical fiction and part fantasy with a dash of gothic flare. It gets fours stars from me and I recommend it to readers looking for a quick historical fantasy read.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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