Book Review – The Second Mango by Shira Glassman

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Queen Shulamit never expected to inherit the throne of the tropical land of Perach so young. At twenty, grief-stricken and fatherless, she’s also coping with being the only lesbian she knows after her sweetheart ran off for an unknown reason. Not to mention, she’s the victim of severe digestive problems that everybody thinks she’s faking. When she meets Rivka, an athletic and assertive warrior from the north who wears a mask and pretends to be a man, she finds the source of strength she needs so desperately.

Unfortunately for her, Rivka is straight, but that’s okay — Shulamit needs a surrogate big sister just as much as she needs a girlfriend. Especially if the warrior’s willing to take her around the kingdom on the back of her dragon in search of other women who might be open to same-sex romance. The real world outside the palace is full of adventure, however, and the search for a royal girlfriend quickly turns into a rescue mission when they discover a temple full of women turned to stone by an evil sorcerer.

Review:

I bought Tales from Perach yesterday which made me realise that as much as I enjoyed the series, I hadn’t reviewed any of the Mangoverse books so time to fix that now because I highly recommend them!

Now, I’m a huge fan of books with dragons and while having a browse for more, I discovered this book and to be honest, I wanted to read it just for that cover alone! I mean who doesn’t want to read a book with a cover featuring two woman on a dragon?

Everything about this book is just great. The worldbuilding, the characters, the diversity – I loved it all. It’s super sweet and my only complaint is that it was so short and that I finished it too quickly! Indeed, as soon as I finished the first book I went straight away to get the second as I wanted more! It’s just such an enjoyable, fun read.

Although this is a fantasy setting, Perach is a Jewish land and all the characters from there follow Jewish traditions which is incorporated really nicely. For example, Shulamit can’t take part in some due to her digestive issues.

The characters are just fantastic. I think this is definitely one of the first times I’ve seen a character with digestive issues in a book, especially in a Fantasy one! Shulamit is delightful and I really liked her, and I just adore Rivka and I really enjoyed reading a book that focuses on female friendship as the first part of the book focuses on them travelling around trying to find anybody interested in girls, like Shulamit is. The characters are all very diverse and reading it just gives you such a happy feeling as you’re so happy when the characters are happy. I felt like the end was a bit rushed, and I would have liked to have had more time for things to develop but at the same time, it was such a nice ending that stretching it out might have made it less enjoyable.

This is a book that I’d definitely recommend, as the whole series is just fantastic and I can’t wait to read the collection of short stories! It’s also one I’d warn not starting too late, because I read it in one sitting as I just didn’t want to put it down.

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