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  • Writer's pictureKulsoom Usman

Books of the Month; June

This Article was written by Kulsoom Usman, Year 12

I knew you would be eagerly waiting for more recommendations! Here I am, back with some reads for you to enjoy over the summer holidays!

Whether you are a bookworm- or prefer to watch motion pictures; you can never go wrong with a good book!


by Tracy Deonn

Genre; Young Adult Fantasy Fiction

Age recommendation; 13+

“The most important thing you can do in this world, the most necessary thing, is to survive it. You can't do anything for anyone else if you don't take care of yourself first.”

Legendborn is a modern day twist to the Arthurian legend. It follows Bree, a 16 year old black American girl, as she navigates grief, and infiltrates a white magic secret society of so called ‘Legendborn’, in order to find answers for her mother’s death. Amidst this journey, she discovers the power hidden within herself.

Tracy Deonn so skillfully weaves Arthurian legend, fantasy elements and modern-day issues together in this debut novel that even though some tropes were familiar to me, the novel still felt fresh and unique.

The heavy world-building in this novel is absolutely phenomenal and the author not only crafts one, but two fascinating, complex magic systems (it is no joke!). What’s even better is that if you end up devouring the novel, the sequel will be there to entertain you some more!

The Island of Missing Trees

by Elf Shafak

Genre; Coming of Age Story

Age recommendation; 16+

“If you weep for all the sorrows in this world, in the end you will have no eyes.”

The Island of Missing Trees is a tale of love and division as it moves between postcolonial Cyprus and London, exploring themes of generational trauma and belonging.

The novel effortlessly jumps from contemporary London to Cyprus in 1974 and the early 2000s, and many chapters are told from the perspective of a fig tree, as it conveys how our ancestors’ stories can reach us obliquely and unconsciously.

Especially when the fig tree speaks, it asks readers to see beyond themselves, consider cultures and conflicts that are not their own, and see how each action ripples. It is an ambitious and thought-provoking novel!

An Ember in the Ashes

by Sabaa Tahir

Genre; Young Adult Fantasy Fiction

Age recommendation; 13+

“The field of battle is my temple. The swordpoint is my priest. The dance of death is my prayer. The killing blow is my release.”

This novel is a part of the Ember quartet and my personal favourite. It is the type of book that will keep you awake until 3 in the morning and is most definitely a page turner.

The Scholars have lived under the Martial rule for about 500 years, downtrodden and in many cases enslaved. Scholar Laia has spent a lifetime hiding her connection to the Resistance—the rebellion—but when her grandparents are killed and her brother’s captured by Masks, the eerie, silver-faced elite soldiers of the Martial Empire, Laia must go undercover as a slave to the Blackcliff Military Academy, where the Martials are trained for battle. Meanwhile, Elias, a soldier of the Martial Empire, wants to run away from Blackcliff, until he is named an Aspirant for the throne by the mysterious red-eyed Augurs. Together, their destinies will collide, setting course for a whirlwind of a journey and challenges they would have never imagined.

There is so much to love about this book (and the quartet in general) but one of my favourite things is the fact it is inspired by Ancient Rome and Middle-East Mythology. The world-building is so immersive and full of djinns, efrits, wrights and ghouls - carefully plotted and executed, this novel is an exhilarating ride (although, a little warning - Sabaa LOVES to kill off her characters, so don’t get too attached!!)

Happy reading!!

There it is! Join the KCDSpeaks book club by reading these books, sending your take on them and then sharing some new reads we can add to the list next month!

Just email us your views & recommendations at: - you can also email me directly at:

P.S. Make sure to check out the KCD Library- borrow books and donate.

Until next time!




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