Others assume she has fallen in love with another artist, and it’s not a match Mother would consider suitable. But it’s much worse that.
Welcome to the August 23rd stop on the blog tour for She’s the One Who Doesn’t Say Much by S. R. Cronin with Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for 6 more reviews and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
I’ve reviewed this entire series so far through these tours, and I’m absolutely loving it. Check out my reviews for the previous books as well!
– She’s the One Who Thinks Too Much (Book 1, 4 stars)
– She’s the One Who Cares Too Much (Book 2, 4 stars)
– She’s the One Who Gets in Fights (Book 3, 5 stars)
Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means there is no additional cost to you if you shop using my links, but I will earn a small percentage in commission. A program-specific disclaimer is at the bottom of this post.
About the Book
She’s the One Who Doesn’t Say Much
War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters Book Four
by Sherrie R. Cronin
Published 13 August 2021
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Page Count: 234
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Olivine, the fourth of seven sisters, has been hiding a secret as she travels to K’ba to meet her artist friends. Others assume she has fallen in love with another artist, and it’s not a match Mother would consider suitable. But it’s much worse that. For on the way to K’ba is the dirt poor nichna of Scrud, a place scorned by all other Ilarians. And in Scrud is the one man who understands her.
However, Bohdan is also is a realist, and a man who recognizes the dangers posed by an impending Mongol invasion. When he learns of Olivine’s unusual visual powers, he convinces her to pick up her bow and arrow and start practicing.
She does, though she’s more concerned with producing enough art to raise the funds to run away from home and live in K’ba, where she can paint all day and see Bohdan as often as she wants. If only her sister Ryalgar hadn’t learned of what she can do and decided Olivine and her fellow long-eyes held one of the keys to defending the realm.
Then, as if life wasn’t complicated enough, Olivine learns the artist community she yearns to be part of has developed a different take on the invasion. They feel certain the only way to survive is to capitulate completely to the Mongols demands. Artists who feel otherwise are no longer welcome.
Where does her future lie? The supposed invasion is coming soon and Olivine doesn’t have much time to decide.
“What’s your name?”
The softness in his face told me he meant to be polite, nothing more, but such a direct question from a Scrudite made me nervous. Yes, I needed his help, but I’d been taught to use caution when dealing with these people.
“Must you know my name in order to tend to my injured horse?” I asked. I stood tall, willing my slight frame into all the bulkiness I could.
He laughed, but his shoulders slumped as he turned away from me.
“No, I’ll help you no matter how disagreeable you are.”
Bold words from one such as him. “I’m not disagreeable.”
“Perhaps not,” he said. “Maybe you’re frightened. I have trouble telling the difference.”
His words froze the response on my lips. I was scared of him and his people. Most Vinxites, especially those from families like mine, had never spoken to a Scrudite.
I turned my artist’s eye upon him. Despite his weathered skin he was young, like me. Unlike me, he had muscles from a life of strenuous work. His hair, lightened by the sun, shown with glints and his clothes were the usual mishmash of tattered rags worn by Scrudites.
“It’s just a sprain,” he said as felt around my horse’s front right ankle. The mare stood still, unusually cooperative around a stranger. He massaged her leg gently.
“I’ll get a poultice on it. Let her rest overnight; she’ll be able to walk on it tomorrow and carry your things, though you shouldn’t ride her yet. Not for a few days.”
“She can’t possibly rest here for the night. I’ve no place to stay.”
I had to pass through a small piece of Scrud to get from my parents’ farm to the art studios in K’ba where my friends lived. I knew our poorest nichna lacked the inns found throughout the rest of the realm, but I hadn’t worried. My journey was short, and I didn’t intend to stop. Who knew what a stranded traveler did here.
“No Scrudite would expect a stranger to sleep alone in the desolation.” He seemed offended at the thought as he pointed out toward the dusty openness. “Our wolves are far too bold. You’ll sleep with me.”
“I’ll do no such thing!”
Another laugh, this one more amused.
“That’s not what I meant. The people of Scrud do not force themselves on each other, much less on those passing through. One of my sisters will be glad to share my hut to put you at ease. I’ve room for three. I’d prefer to send you to her hut, but your horse needs to remain still, and I suspect she’ll only do so if you stay nearby.”
This man, this Scrudite, was doing his best with me. It wasn’t his fault my horse had managed to step into a hole only paces from where he made his pitiful life. Despite his situation, he’d offered me as much courtesy as any gentleman in Pilk would have. Perhaps more.
“Thank you. If your sister is as kind as you, I look forward to meeting her.”
I looked around. He and his family had to be part of the clan of Scrudites who lived in tiny huts hugging the forest’s scraggly edge, making their meager living carving the beautiful hard woods growing at the margins of their nichna. Our entire realm valued the products they produced, and some thought his clan accessed ancient magic to infuse into their creations.
I’d always considered that last bit to be wishful thinking. Some Ilarians imagined they saw the old magic everywhere they looked.
As he turned to fetch his sister, I reached out for his arm to stop him. He seemed startled at my touch.
“Olivine,” I said. “My name is Olivine.”
“Odd name. Mine’s Bohdan.”
“Thank you for helping a traveler, Bohdan.”
My Rating: 5 Stars
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I was granted complimentary access to She’s the One Who Doesn’t Say Much as part of my participation in a blog tour for this title with Goddess Fish Promotions. Thank you to all involved in affording me this opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
This series just keeps getting better and better! Book 3, Sulphur’s story, is still my current favourite but I enjoyed Olivine’s story so much more than I thought I would. Maybe it’s the artist in me, but I really connected with Olivine and I think the life path she’s trying to follow sounds so nice. Hopefully she’ll get to see it through when this mess with the Mongols is over!
Bohdan was such an interesting character, and by far my favourite male love interest so far in the series, and I enjoyed getting to know everything Olivine learned about his people. I don’t know exactly why and I doubt it was intentional, but Bohdan and the Scrud people made me think of Turtle Heart and the Quadlings in Gregory Maguire’s version of Oz. Humble, honest, nature- and community-based minimalists, misunderstood by outsiders, not thrilled about being a conquered people who no longer have the same independence they once had but also not eager to give up the changes their conquerors brought.
So far each book in this series, each sister’s story, has done an important job revealing key aspects of either the world or the conflict. This one’s more focused on revealing more about the world and I loved getting to know so much more about how ordinary Ilarians function day to day, what sort of layman’s politics are going on, and how the different regions view each other. We also get to know the father more in this book, and I finally feel like he’s a sympathetic character worth following rather than a supporting role in the background of everyone else’s story.
I’m very much looking forward to reading Celestine’s story in January, but as I mentioned after the previous book, I’m very eager to get to Gypsum & Iolite. I’m still so curious about the reczavy, and we got a much more relaxed, defences-down glimpse at Gypsum in this one. Iolite’s story is sure to be an entirely different sort of ride as well, and I’m so curious to find out how a disabled POV will work out in this storyline.
And, naturally, I’m also still SO curious about “what happens next.” These are all companion novels to one another, covering the same timeline and ending at the start of the war these sisters are preparing for. I’ll be sad to see the series end, but I’m hoping once we’ve met all seven sisters and we’ve been fully prepped and filled in we’ll finally get to see how this war goes for them.
So, do I recommend this book? Yup! I recommend the whole series. Readers should absolutely start with She’s the One Who Thinks Too Much, as it has important set-up for the war and explanation on the Velka are that are quite necessary to understanding Ilaria and this family. Beyond that, it’s mostly a free for all so far. I do think readers should read She’s the One Who Cares too Much before She’s the One Who Gets in Fights because you need to see the scorned lover view on Davor before he wins your respect, but where you stick this one (She’s the One Who Doesn’t Say Much) between those is entirely up to you.
About the Author
Sherrie Cronin is the author of a collection of six speculative fiction novels known as 46. Ascending and is now in the process of publishing a historical fantasy series called The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters. A quick look at the synopses of her books makes it obvious she is fascinated by people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had.
She’s made a lot of stops along the way to writing these novels. She’s lived in seven cities, visited forty-six countries, and worked as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. Now she answers a hot-line. Along the way, she’s lost several cats but acquired a husband who still loves her and three kids who’ve grown up just fine, both despite how odd she is.
All her life she has wanted to either tell these kinds of stories or be Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise. She now lives and writes in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where she admits to occasionally checking her phone for a message from Captain Picard, just in case.
S. R. Cronin will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway
|August 30||Kit ‘N Kabookle||Long and Short Reviews|
|September 6||Gina Rae Mitchell||Fabulous and Brunette|
|September 13||Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!||The Avid Reader|
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