Reviews for Glorious Day, by Skye Kilaen

esuchyta's review

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=== I received an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review ===

Glorious Day is an enjoyable, nothing-to-lose single sitting kind of novella. Nevertheless, do not mistake it as breezy and content-free. It's all-too-current, in the face of police/government resistance to protest. I thought the author made a great choice to set it in a future-seeming world. Stories of this kind are more often found in a (Medievalish) fantasy setting, but the issues at the heart of the action have not been laid to rest in the past, and will plague future civilization without careful attention.

Likely you'll see this book with a romance tag. I used to be one of those people who looked down on that tag, (and I urge you not to be that guy), but now I try ignore useless genre reservations. Admittedly, I'm not a big fan of the overly sap-o-rific, and if that worries you, that's not a concern in this book. It's genuine and sweet, but also pragmatic and palatable.

Where this novella really shines is in its representation. The princess is blind, but not handicapped by it. A character has to adjust after losing several fingers. Nonbinary gender pronouns are found, not as if they are something otherly, but just matter of factly, as it should be out there in the real world, as normal as he/him and she/her. And I almost forgot to mention that the main love interest is F/F -- there's just a lot inclusivity.

I will say, this might have been even better as a full novel. In many places, the back story could be developed further, with the civil unrest, different members of the court/guard, etc. At the same time, I give the author credit for trying to do as much as she does in the space of novella, and not coming out with a complete mess. I was left wanting in a few places, but such is a novella.

In conclusion, this is a good title if you're looking for a short foray into Indie publishing, which once you know where to look, tends to be ahead of the curve compared to major publishers on disability and LGBTQIA+ issues.

danaichristopoulou's review

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adventurous challenging emotional hopeful tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

My only problem with this novella is that I desperately wanted it to last longer.

Glorious Day is, well, glorious. Skye Kilaen manages to weave a story that contains soft sci-fi elements, court intrigue, action, some very important conversations about ableism and people with special abilities... and one of the softest F/F romances I've ever read. One of the MCs is blind and the other is forced to deal with life-altering trauma later on (no spoilers) and they're both such strong, captivating personalities you can't help but fall for them — and pity the fools who underestimate them. Another thing I personally loved was the wry humor, always cutting through tense and dark moments and making this novella a beautiful balancing act.
5 stars, will recommend to everyone, when can we have some more?

P.S. I'd like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for offering me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. The gushing is 100% mine. 

siclarke's review

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dark hopeful inspiring tense medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Elsenna is second in command of the king's security forces. She's also a traitor to the brutal, horrible dictator, secretly working with insurrectionists to overthrow the oppressive regime. Oh, and she's also in love with the king's only daughter. What could possibly go wrong.

I make no secret of the fact – in books or in life – I have no use for romance. Too often I find it distracts from a story and/or attempts to stand in for genuine character development. Not so here. The characters are flawed and realistic and fully rounded.

Ninestar Press describes this as science fiction romance. I'd describe as a political intrigue thriller tale of found family. Beautifully diverse and disability positive.

If you've ever thought that what the world really needs is Heinlein's classic, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, but left-wing and queer, then this book is for you.

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brigid10049's review

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2.0

Glorious Day starts with a captain getting a call from her gay Princess she once kissed in a garden. Did I mention this happens while she’s plotting against her tyrannical father, the king? So that happens.

Set in space, Glorious Day reads like a fantasy with a taste of Star Trek. The princess, Banyelle, calls Captain Elsenna Hazen to ask of the threats towards the kingdom. Hazen keeps her moonlighting a secret, as she is unsure of Banyelle’s stance towards her father. These two, despite having apparently shared a kiss, do not really know each other very well.

The Princess asks Hazen to once again be her bodyguard. A plot of rebellion and anti-monarchal plots ensues, as does a supposed developing romance between Hazen and Gloria.

Sounds fun right? Swoony. All the gay things. Rebellious gays kissing their way into rebellion.

It would have be great. If it hadn’t been completely and utterly lacking in chemistry or emotional development. I can not find it. It seems to have been lost. If you have seen chemistry, the sizzles or any sort of development call me. It is dry.

Also the fact that the heroine describes wanting to suck on Banyelle’s finger like a baby kinda weirded me out? It wasn’t even sexy. It was more like……some sorta child fetish in my mind. No. Did not interest me. Not fun.

Where is the sizzle.

Lost like my respect for J.J. Abrams.

Another point which I would like to discuss is the antagonist. I have thought a great deal about this and cannot see an actual purpose for her. There’s rebellious themes with a lot of action. A secret. There’s a bodyguard/Princess thing going on. Why do you need an ableist antagonist constantly going on about Elsenna wanting to get into the Princess’ pants and treating a blind woman like a child? Can we not have romances where there is a threat of hatred towards a disabled gay woman?

Call me the day when disabled and/or gay people get to be happy and that is completely normal in a fantasy world. I would love to see that. Sounds refreshing.

I also could not find much lead up to decisions or actions taken throughout the novella. Actions seem to just happen. Period. The pacing, plot, and emotional development do not work in conjunction to create a fluidity in decisions made by the characters. It took me out of the book. It was very jarring and sudden.

I’m Bi, a fantasy nerd, and I have a thing for the bodyguard trope. I wanted a f/f SFF romance just like what was in the description. I’ve been desperate for more romances like this but with better writing. The writing did not work for me the way it seems to with other people. It seems that I am more interested in the idea than the actual book.

Thank You To NineStar Press for an advanced readers copy via Netgalley

murdersheedited's review

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adventurous fast-paced
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

fun, quick read -- author really cut anything that did not spark joy

farahmendlesohn's review

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3.0

Nice fluff. Sweet romance set against rather too easy revolution. SF dressing.

phoebesrandoms's review

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5.0

Skye Kilaen writes a dramatic tale of rebellion and redemption in Glorious Day. Kilaen drops us into the story right at the end of the synopsis and the Princess has called Vice-Captain Hazen aka Elsenna into her suite to find out what is happening outside of her walls. Then the Princess decides that to be safe she needs her bodyguard back and assigns the Elsenna as her guard once again.

Kilaen brews up some trouble here. We hear the story from Enna’s point of view and get to understand the quandary she is between what is right for the people and her love for the princess. How she came to the difficult decisions that she has and how she comes to the traumatic decisions to come. Kilaen does not shy away from the harshness of war - bewarned my rainbows there are some harsh scenes ahead. The scenes happen off-stage, but the echoes are imprinted even as I type this. (I almost cried...almost!)

Kilaen writes twists and turns within the story so that you do not know who is the enemy and who is not. It’s awesome!

The romance itself is an emotional one rather than a physical one though it does get to fruition at the end and that is in euphemisms. This is the only area where I just did not feel the connection between Day and Enna. I definitely know how Enna felt, but I just did not feel it from Day. I say this because of one scene early on in the book where if you knew that someone you cared about was coming you wouldn’t be busy doing something else.

Overall, the uprising story and the happily ever after ending is a roller-coaster read!

I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

eliwray's review

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5.0

If you enjoy pining bodyguards, frilly badass princesses, romance novels that get a smidge violent, pining, political intrigue, high stakes, slow burn, or, have I mentioned pining? You may well need to read this book.

This was extraordinary. I absolutely loved the painstaking work the leads had to do to walk so carefully through the turmoil around them. The careful dance of learning about each other from glimpses and glances and delicate conversations. The deep bond they have by the end, built from their own strengths. They're flawed, relatable, enjoyable characters and I was so pleased to see their happy ending after a lot of risk and sacrifice.

This was a very good time. Be sure and read the content warning.

Disclosure: I've chatted with the author on twitter and in writing circles, and I was given an ARC to read. Opinions here are my own.

qace90's review

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I received an early copy from the author; this in no way influences my thoughts, opinions.

This is a sweet f/f romance set against a coup and political machinations. Be on the lookout for it in August!!

jessticulates's review

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4.0

Review to come!