Monday 1 May 2023

Book Review: Silenced by Ann Claycomb (Fantasy)

Title: Silenced
Author: Ann Claycomb
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: 25 April 2023
Pages: 291
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Fantasy
Source: ARC via NetGalley
Four women. Four enchantments. One man. But he is no handsome prince, and this is no sugar-sweet fairy tale. Jo, Abony, Ranjani, and Maia all have something in common: they have each been cursed by the CEO of their workplace after he abused his power to prey on them. He wants them silent and uses his sinister dark magic to keep them quiet about what he did. But Jo, Abony, Ranjani and Maia are not fairy-tale princesses waiting to be rescued. They are fierce, angry women with a bond forged in pain, and they’re about to discover that they have power of their own.

In this sharply written, bitingly relevant modern fable, the magic is dark and damaging, and the women are determined to rescue themselves.


Silenced was an interesting read. From the very nature of the story it is fiercely feminist and owes a lot to the MeToo movement. The way the fairytales were woven into the narrative worked well and the book is perhaps better described as magical realism than out-and-out fantasy. While I applaud the fact that the story showed abused women stepping forward and reclaiming their agency, and its message overall was a positive one that deserves to be heard, a part of me was a little over the heavy-handed feminism by the end. I tend to like my messages within literature more on the subtle side, but that's just a personal preference. Suffice to say the message in this book is projected loud and clear and that may appeal to some readers but not to others. The way in which the story is told is clever and captivating though, and it will likely also appeal to general readers of fairytales retold. It gets four stars from me.

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

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