Creatures of Will and Temper by Molly Tanzer

Creatures of Will and Temper

“A delightful, dark, and entertaining romp . . . Molly Tanzer is at the top of her form in this beautifully constructed novel.”—Jeff VanderMeer, best-selling author of the Southern Reach trilogy Victorian London is a place of fluid social roles, vibrant arts culture, fin-de-siècle wonders . . . and dangerous underground diabolic cults. Fencer Evadne Gray cares for none of...

Title:Creatures of Will and Temper
Author:
Rating:

Creatures of Will and Temper Reviews

  • Nostalgia Reader

    3.5 stars.

    There are so many things I want to say about this book, but at the same time, I feel like a short and sweet review will do it much more justice.

    I wasn’t sure what to expect from this when I started reading, but even with the slow build to the action and actual plot, I got sucked into the world and wanted to know more and more about the characters. We focus on two sisters, who are a mish-mash of tropes, but the exact opposite of what their general look would clue you in on. I loved the

    3.5 stars.

    There are so many things I want to say about this book, but at the same time, I feel like a short and sweet review will do it much more justice.

    I wasn’t sure what to expect from this when I started reading, but even with the slow build to the action and actual plot, I got sucked into the world and wanted to know more and more about the characters. We focus on two sisters, who are a mish-mash of tropes, but the exact opposite of what their general look would clue you in on. I loved the contrast between the two of them, and it really allowed each of their two storylines to stand separate from each other, while still melding excellently together in the end.

    The pacing is excellent and while I suspicious of almost every character, I was still surprised exactly how everything played out in the end. While the entire demonology aspect did seem a bit lacking in straightforward explanations, there was still enough divulged to understand what exactly was going on.

    This was slightly inspired by

    , but I found the similarity to that to be more of a sub-plot than a part of the main plot. However, it does end up playing into the demon explanation in the end, so it’s a fun Easter egg of sorts to follow throughout.

    Definitely recommended to those who enjoy paranormal thrillers!

    Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy to review!

    (Cross posted on

    .)

  • Sh3lly ✨ hates the holidays - bah humbug! ✨

    Review also found at:

    This book isn't released until November 2017, so I'll try and keep this brief and nonspoilery. Loosely based on

    , the story revolves around a young woman named Dorina Gray and her sister, Evadne.

    Dorina and Evadne have a difficult relationship. When Evadne catches her with a girl and tells their parents, she is forced to chaperone her younger sister in London for the summer. They stay with their Uncle Basil, w

    Review also found at:

    This book isn't released until November 2017, so I'll try and keep this brief and nonspoilery. Loosely based on

    , the story revolves around a young woman named Dorina Gray and her sister, Evadne.

    Dorina and Evadne have a difficult relationship. When Evadne catches her with a girl and tells their parents, she is forced to chaperone her younger sister in London for the summer. They stay with their Uncle Basil, who is an artist. He introduces them to Lady Henry, who Dorina becomes smitten with, while Evadne views her hedonistic lifestyle as distasteful.

    The two sisters continue to struggle to get along and eventually choose to mainly ignore each other. Dorina spends her time with Henry, while Evadne finds a fencing club. Fencing plays a very large role in this story. We find out that Henry has a secret club of her own that is occultic.

    I thought this book was fabulous! It reads more like historical fiction at first, with the paranormal aspects coming to the front towards the end. It is well-written and focuses a lot on sensuality and appreciating the five senses, physical pleasure, art, food - and the philosophies revolving around a life lived in the pursuit of these pleasures.

    Dorina is a lesbian and I got the impression that Henry was a bit of a cross-dresser. Sexuality was treated as a non-issue; the characters loved who they loved and lived as they wanted to live and no one made much of it.

    Evadne was at first a rigid and unlikable character, but wow, does she have some surprises in store for the reader.

    This book is very unique and I found it pleasantly, surprisingly FANTASTIC.

  • Kristen Burns

    *I received an ecopy of this book via NetGalley. This has not influenced my review.*

    This book was not quite a retelling but was inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray. And while it wasn’t all that similar, it was still a good book in its own right.

    I don’t actually know what it’s like to grow up with a sibling, so reading about siblings is always interesting to me. And this book had a type of sibling relationship I have not come across often in books, or at least not seen explored

    *I received an ecopy of this book via NetGalley. This has not influenced my review.*

    This book was not quite a retelling but was inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray. And while it wasn’t all that similar, it was still a good book in its own right.

    I don’t actually know what it’s like to grow up with a sibling, so reading about siblings is always interesting to me. And this book had a type of sibling relationship I have not come across often in books, or at least not seen explored so deeply, even though I feel like it was a realistic one. Evadne and Dorina didn’t always get along, they often annoyed each other, sometimes they purposely pushed each others’ buttons or said/did hurtful things, they often didn’t feel like the other cared about them, but they did still love and cared about each other. They wanted to be closer as sisters, but they just had a really hard time trying to figure out how to do that. And that relationship seemed to be the focus of the book more than anything.

    As for the characters themselves, I’ll be honest, neither Dorina nor Evadne was wholly likeable, but they weren’t wholly unlikeable either. They were realistic. I appreciated that. And by the end, as they both grew some, they grew on me as well.

    The writing was also very good. It matched the tone and setting of the story and had this way of drawing me in.

    The fencing aspect was another thing I enjoyed. I didn’t know anything about fencing, so that was fun to read about, and Evadne’s passion for something athletic helped me to relate to her.

    My one main complaint is that took a long time for things to really start happening. I feel like the first half or so was just kind of, “Ok, here they are doing stuff in London. Here are Dorina and Evadne not getting along. Here is Dorina hanging out with Lady Henry. Here is Evadne fencing.” I wanted to get to the stuff about the demons sooner. Once it did get to the demons, things got faster-paced and more interesting.

    I also want to note that I generally don’t categorize books as LGBT+ unless the protagonist is LGBT+, but I’m making an exception in this case. Dorina, who is a lesbian, is a POV character and has a big part (even though I’d say Evadne is the protag), Dorina’s relationship with Henry plays a big role in the story, and multiple other characters are LGBT+ as well.

    So even though this book wasn’t very similar to the original Dorian Gray, the author did ask what it would be like if Dorian’s quest for aesthetic experiences didn’t actually lead to corruption and stated that her intent was to create a less dark variation on the story, and in that regard, I think she succeeded.

    Anyone who likes the original Dorian Gray, slow-paced stories, sibling relationships, demons, and Victorian London.

  • Max

    Tanzer's written a fantasy novel of great focus and balance, a chamber drama of demons, romance, and swashbuckling, where the plot hinges on characters' misapprehensions of one another and of themselves. Evadne and Dorina, the sister protagonists, have a well-drawn tense and tender relationship—tender, at least, in the sense a wound's tender—and the occult mysteries, demon hunting, and so on, reinforced and heightened the character drama without dissolving it into plot.

    I'd advise against going

    Tanzer's written a fantasy novel of great focus and balance, a chamber drama of demons, romance, and swashbuckling, where the plot hinges on characters' misapprehensions of one another and of themselves. Evadne and Dorina, the sister protagonists, have a well-drawn tense and tender relationship—tender, at least, in the sense a wound's tender—and the occult mysteries, demon hunting, and so on, reinforced and heightened the character drama without dissolving it into plot.

    I'd advise against going into Creatures of Will and Temper hunting Dorian Gray parallels, though they are there. Just treat the book as its own thing, and let it unfold.

  • Emma

    This book ticked all my boxes! Victoriana, demons, romance and surprise. By the halfway mark I was looking up what else this author has written. A thumping good read, a great action scene near the end and a twist and reversal in the story that I wasn’t expecting!

    Recommended.

    Many thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book. All opinions are my own.

  • Jessica

    Thanks to HMH Books for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

    Victorian England, demons, and fencing - what more could you want in a fantasy novel? This was definitely a more unique read and I think that's what I liked most about it. CREATURES OF WILL & TEMPER by Molly Tanzer seemed to have a little of everything, but they were combined so well that it wasn't awkward.

    We follow two sisters, Evadne and Dorina as they venture to London. Dorina is an aspiring art critic, and Evadne

    Thanks to HMH Books for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

    Victorian England, demons, and fencing - what more could you want in a fantasy novel? This was definitely a more unique read and I think that's what I liked most about it. CREATURES OF WILL & TEMPER by Molly Tanzer seemed to have a little of everything, but they were combined so well that it wasn't awkward.

    We follow two sisters, Evadne and Dorina as they venture to London. Dorina is an aspiring art critic, and Evadne is along for the ride as she chaperone's her younger sister. Being an avid fencer, Evadne enrolls herself in a fencing school where she meets her instructor, George Cantrell. George not only opens her eyes to new fencing techniques, but also to a hidden world of demons and the cults that worship them. He has dedicated his life to getting rid of demons and the diabolists that serve them and he enlists Evadne's help. However, this will prove to be difficult because the woman that Dorina has become enamored with might be a diabolist. What's worse, Dorina could be turned as well.

    When you hear the combination of elements in this story you may think they sound like an odd mixture. I definitely did at first, but Tanzer blends all perfectly. Nothing felt out of place and I loved how realistic the characters were - you didn't love them but you didn't hate them. The relationship between the sisters felt like an authentic sibling relationship. Lots of disagreements and rebellion on Dorina's part. If a book has demons and cults in it, then it's going to pique my interest. Fencing is something that I know very little about, so having a swordplay element was unique.

    Overall, if you want a unique story with a historical fiction feel, then this is one you should add to the TBR list. Cults, swords, and Victorian London - what else could you want in a fantasy novel?

    I give this 4.5/5 stars!

  • Gary

    Molly Tanzer’s Creatures of Will and Temper is the kind of novel that looks up at you with a mischievous smirk. It is the story of two Victorian-era sisters, Dorina and Evadne Gray, who go to spend a summer in London with their Uncle Basil. Dorina, 17 years old and the younger of the two, wants to be an art critic and is eager to soak up the culture of the big city; Evadne, eleven years Dorina’s senior, is conscripted against her will and charged with keeping her sibling’s wilder impulses in che

    Molly Tanzer’s Creatures of Will and Temper is the kind of novel that looks up at you with a mischievous smirk. It is the story of two Victorian-era sisters, Dorina and Evadne Gray, who go to spend a summer in London with their Uncle Basil. Dorina, 17 years old and the younger of the two, wants to be an art critic and is eager to soak up the culture of the big city; Evadne, eleven years Dorina’s senior, is conscripted against her will and charged with keeping her sibling’s wilder impulses in check. Once in London, the two are introduced to Lady Henrietta Wotton (Henry for short), a wealthy dandy who takes an interest in mentoring Dorina, to Evadne’s consternation. Unbeknownst to the Gray sisters, Henry traffics with a demon, one that seems to have something to do with the untimely death of Henry’s beloved twin brother, who was also Basil’s lover.

    The novel’s greatest strength is its depiction of the Gray sisters’ combative relationship, which overlies their zealous devotion to each other. Even motives born of affection and goodwill seem to turn into grounds for conflict between them. The raffish Lady Henry makes the perfect deciding agent for their mutual antagonism, as she, by her very nature, leans to encouraging the very behavior in Dorina that Evadne was sent along to quash. But as Evadne grows more exhausted in a battle she seems destined to lose, she begins to pursue her own interests, which spins their story in quite an unforeseen direction.

    Without delving into anything too spoilery, let me say that the final act of Creatures of Will and Temper is not for the faint of heart. It took me a minute to reorient myself from the supernaturally tinged melodrama I had been reading to the Grand Guignol horror show that it became, so I am compelled to pass along a friendly warning. But if your tolerance for viscera is sturdy enough, at least know that the novel stays true to the heart at its core, and is buoyed throughout by Tanzer’s lucid and lustrous prose.

    Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this ARC.

  • nat

    this was strange but delightful. I just love reading about monsters and the supernatural set in a Victorian era. it warms me.

    and in the center of all this, are sisters Evadne and Dorina, who on their trip to London to visit their uncle, meet Lady Henry. Dorina is quickly enamored while Evadne gets a bad feeling about her.

    ... they soon discover a world full of demons and rituals. and these people called diabolist who, in a way, live to serve them.

    my only complaint? I wanted to see more demon-w

    this was strange but delightful. I just love reading about monsters and the supernatural set in a Victorian era. it warms me.

    and in the center of all this, are sisters Evadne and Dorina, who on their trip to London to visit their uncle, meet Lady Henry. Dorina is quickly enamored while Evadne gets a bad feeling about her.

    ... they soon discover a world full of demons and rituals. and these people called diabolist who, in a way, live to serve them.

    my only complaint? I wanted to see more demon-worshiping or whatever the hell they do. or maybe it was boring and I should be thankful there wasn’t any? who knows.

  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)

    Set in Victorian London, we learn of two sisters who are about as opposite as you can get. While they struggle in their relationship with each other, their trip introduces other characters who become vast influences on each of them. The beginning of the book lays a foundation of their individual characters and their sisterly fights while still having that underlying loyalty of love that only siblings share. Then as we get into parts 2 and 3, the book starts to take off.

    I'm not a huge fan of hist

    Set in Victorian London, we learn of two sisters who are about as opposite as you can get. While they struggle in their relationship with each other, their trip introduces other characters who become vast influences on each of them. The beginning of the book lays a foundation of their individual characters and their sisterly fights while still having that underlying loyalty of love that only siblings share. Then as we get into parts 2 and 3, the book starts to take off.

    I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction, but I LOVE Dorian Gray and books about demons and the dark arts. This book is a mix of both and as such, I have mixed feelings with this story. The writing itself is fine but the slow start had my attention being pulled away from the pages. I struggled to continue at certain points but was really curious where the demon and Dorian Gray feel would enter into play as the first half was pretty deplete of any inkling of either of these two things. Keeping in mind this book is INSPIRED by the story and not a retelling, it's fitting it played more into the subplot rather than into the main storyline. By the time we are introduced to the diabolists, demons and the dark side of the book, I was just "eh" about it. It did get interesting but the demons still had little influence... Demons aside, this felt like more of a story of sisterly love and finding that chord that solidifies their relationship than anything darker or supernatural.

    I think those who like historical fiction will be more apt to enjoy this book more than I did. I think I may have expected more than what I ended up getting and was hoping for a darker read.

    Thank you to Mariner Books for this copy!

  • Sherwood Smith

    The best way I can think of to describe this weird fantasy set in

    London one universe over is to compare it to Shostakovich's Eleventh Symphony, which blends classical and modern musical themes as it tells the story of the 1905 Revolution.

    It starts with deceptive slowness, as Victorian novels do, sedate, with attention to late-Victorian detail, but with contemporary viewpoints skewing the Victoriana, and period language mixed with modern.

    Here and there sharp thematic hints: the men

    The best way I can think of to describe this weird fantasy set in

    London one universe over is to compare it to Shostakovich's Eleventh Symphony, which blends classical and modern musical themes as it tells the story of the 1905 Revolution.

    It starts with deceptive slowness, as Victorian novels do, sedate, with attention to late-Victorian detail, but with contemporary viewpoints skewing the Victoriana, and period language mixed with modern.

    Here and there sharp thematic hints: the mention of demons, pooh poohed, of course, by modern thinkers. Unabashedly queer-friendly, at a time when there were life-destroying courtroom dramas on this very subject.

    Central are two sisters, ten years apart, Dorina Gray and Evadne. Dorina is seventeen, pretty and socially savvy, and knows what she wants. Evadne is not pretty, socially awkward, disappointed at pretty much everything, except her fencing. At that, she's very, very good.

    The girls do not get along, though deep down they do care for each other, and wonder how to communicate. This aspect kept me reading, painful as it was a times, but Tanzer is very deft at characterization, never letting even minor characters remain one note, or predictable.

    I totally believed in the sisters' arc (I have a sister exactly four years younger, and all the time we had to share a room we fought like hyenas, but as soon as we got our own rooms, we got along great; our blend of tearing at each other and yet having each other's back matches the difficult emotional arc I read here), which is very important. Meanwhile the demonic theme is tantalizingly dangled before the reader.

    Then, like the Shostakovich, the relatively quiet beginning slowly begins to intensify, until the bloody and thunderous rush of the climax.

    Very engrossing, vivid, intense, a real page turner.

    Copy provided by NetGalley

Books Finder is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.