A quest of self-discovery that will test her every strength and all her reserves '“ and leave us gasping in her wake.
Why I love it
Something is rotten in the kingdom of Bohemia and it will be up to Mouse, the most badass heroine I’ve encountered in a long time, to rescue not only her kin and country but quite possibly all of mankind. Set in war-torn and superstition-ridden 13th century Bohemia (modern-day Czech Republic), I was hooked from the very first page, as Mouse flexes her powers to save the life of a young man (who turns out to be heir apparent to the throne of Bohemia).
I never expected Bohemian Gospel to knock me off my feet but it did. Bohemian Gospel is one part historical thriller, in which Mouse becomes both pawn and broker in the fight for power between the Pope in Rome and the warring factions in Bohemia; one part adventure fantasy, in which Mouse battles evil literally in the form of creepy half-dead creatures and figuratively in the anger stirring in her own soul; and all parts girl power, in which Mouse sets out on a quest of self-discovery that will test her every strength and all her reserves '“ and leave us gasping in her wake.
What makes Mouse such a marvelous heroine is that she defies all stereotypes of female superhero: she ages (and then turns back to middle-aged again); she becomes ugly (at one point she is a Golem-like character relegated to the edge of humanity); she suffers through gut-wrenching episodes of self-doubt and hopelessness; and sometimes she is just not very nice. Instead of relying on typical female strengths of beauty and kindness, Mouse's power derives from her ability to think and to reason and to fight. When she cares about someone or something, she cares all the way and will go to the ends of the earth to protect what she loves from harm. Wonderfully, her epic battles against evil are fought through the power of reasoning and persuasion, not through deadly weapons or brute force.