Tour & #Giveaway: She’s the One Who Won’t Behave by Sherrie R. Cronin
@GoddessFish, @Archaeolibrary, @cinnabar01,
Gypsum, the sixth of seven sisters, has always been a rebel. Yet no one thought she would go so far as to join the reczavy, a group living in tents on the edge of the desert and known for their sexual promiscuity and playful ways.
But as the date of the Mongols’ return draws near, Ilarians of all types must work together if they are to have any hope of surviving. And the reczavy, for all of their odd ways, do have plenty of tricks up their sleeves. Well, up their sleeves whenever they are bothering to wear clothes, that is.
Gypsum is touched when her oldest sister Ryalgar comes to call, and brings an olive branch with her. Ryalgar recognizes that the reczavy have as much to lose as anyone, and as much to contribute. Will Gypsum accept a key role in the plan to stop the invasion? Of course she will.
Unfortunately, her playmates don’t all feel the same sense of urgency. Many would rather simply enjoy the time they have left. A few claim to be allergic to long term planning. And some are too busy with their own poorly-timed plans to overthrow the government Ilari already has.
Good thing needlepoint is the one traditional skill at which Gypsum has always excelled. She will need to thread a fine needle in order to coax this recalcitrant group into becoming life-saving warriors of a very different kind.
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I had trouble believing Ryalgar would run away and live with a bunch of old women because a man dumped her. Prince or not, she had more sense than that. I confronted her the next morning when we met in the kitchen.
“The world is full of men, Ryalgar. They make up half the population. What gives?”
Her face was half hidden beneath her thick dark hair, but I saw it soften at the mention of him.
“This one is special, Gypsum. He understands me. And, well, don’t tell anyone, but I’ll be able to see him after I do this.”
I gave her a grin of appreciation.
“Well, that’s better, at least. You’re sure he’s worth something this drastic?”
“Yes, but I’m not only doing this for him. The Velka are going to train me. I’ll learn their ways.”
“Wait. You want to be a witch?”
“I want to be a person who lives on her own and does what she wants and knows a surprising number of things, some of which involve magic. Does that sound so bad?”
No, it didn’t. But that kind of freedom didn’t exist …. not really …
“What makes you think you can trust these women? What if once you’re there they, I don’t know, chain you up in their kitchen and make you scrub pots for the rest of your life?”
She laughed. “I guess that could happen, but I don’t think it will. I’ve got someone on the inside looking out for me. Someone I didn’t even know existed.”
I watched panic cross her face as she finished the sentence. She’d spoken of something she’d meant to keep quiet about, though I couldn’t imagine why. We’d always talked freely.
It wasn’t Ryalgar’s way to lie.
“I guess you’re entitled to know,” she said. “Perhaps more so than anyone.” She took a sip of her citrusy breakfast wine as she considered her words. “Our grandmother, mine and yours, didn’t die years ago like we were told. She lives with the Velka.”
I felt my insides get cold, the way they did when anyone mentioned the odd circumstances that had brought me into this family.
“So my grandmother was alive when I was born?”
“It looks like it,” Ryalgar said. “I’m told she joined the Velka a year earlier. Right after her husband died.”
“You’re saying that when my mother got pregnant by a man she refused to name, and tended to her needs with only the help of two well-meaning but useless brothers, her own mother wasn’t dead? Her mom could have been there helping her, if she hadn’t been off playing witch instead?”
“I guess …”
I leaned back in my chair. This was too much to take in.
4 out of 5 (very good)
SHE'S THE ONE WHO WON'T BEHAVE is the penultimate book in the War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters series and we get Gypsum's story, the unwanted 'daughter'.
It can be hard to not fit in or to want something you think is unattainable. This is how Gypsum feels. She has felt unwelcome for most of her life at home and wants nothing more than to be free to choose her own path. This leads her to the reczavy, where she learns sexual freedom is only one of the paths open to her with them.
Not only that, but Gypsum has a brain and isn't afraid to use it, concerned for what lies ahead from the Mongols. She learns all she can, figuring out plans and contingencies before she meets Ryalgar. I do think Gypsum was the most under-estimated sister and loved seeing her 'behind the scenes' actions.
Only one book to go and I really can't wait. This whole series has been a fantastic read that I have no hesitation in recommending.
** same worded review will appear elsewhere **
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
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Sherrie Cronin writes stories about people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had. She’s made a lot of stops along the way to telling these tells — living in seven cities, visiting forty-six countries, and working as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. She’s lost too many beloved cats to mention, but has acquired a husband and three children who are all doing fine, despite how odd she is.
Today she lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina where she writes, answers a hotline, and occasionally checks her phone for a message from Captain Picard. She still hopes to get the chance to pursue her remaining dream in life and become Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise.
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