Today’s theme is Books With Numbers in the Title, and I’m stupidly pleased with myself for managing to get from one to ten!One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
Representation: Bisexual MC, lesbian Asian-American love interest, F/F or wlw, trans secondary character, Black secondary character, Jewish secondary character, secondary M/M or mlm, queer cast
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
From the New York Times bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue comes a new romantic comedy that will stop readers in their tracks...
For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.
But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.
Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.
Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop is a magical, sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.
I have made no secret whatsoever about the fact that this is one of my favourite books of all time, so it seems only appropriate that it be #1! You can read my woefully inadequate review here.The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two (Fairyland, #3) by Catherynne M. Valente, Ana Juan
September misses Fairyland and her friends Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday. She longs to leave the routines of home, and embark on a new adventure. Little does she know that this time, she will be spirited away to the moon, reunited with her friends, and find herself faced with saving Fairyland from a moon-Yeti with great and mysterious powers.
Here is another rich, beautifully told, wisely humorous and passionately layered book from New York Times bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente.
This is actually the third book in the Fairyland series and concludes a pretty major arc of September’s journey – but like every other book in the series, it’s ridiculously beautiful, with Valente’s signature whimsy and imagination on full display.Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence, #1) by Max Gladstone
Representation: Black MC
A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart.
Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot.
Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith.
When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts—and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.
Set in a phenomenally built world in which justice is a collective force bestowed on a few, craftsmen fly on lightning bolts, and gargoyles can rule cities, Three Parts Dead introduces readers to an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.
Are there still any self-respecting fantasy fans who haven’t read Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence??? If so, you’re in for a serious treat, because this series is incredible, and the first book – even if it has Three in the title! – is still one of the best of the best.The Four Profound Weaves by R.B. Lemberg
Representation: Cast of colour, trans MCs
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Wind: To match one's body with one's heart
Sand: To take the bearer where they wish
Song: In praise of the goddess Bird
Bone: To move unheard in the night
The Surun' do not speak of the master weaver, Benesret, who creates the cloth of bone for assassins in the Great Burri Desert. But Uiziya now seeks her aunt Benesret in order to learn the final weave, although the price for knowledge may be far too dear to pay.
Among the Khana, women travel in caravans to trade, while men remain in the inner quarter as scholars. A nameless man struggles to embody Khana masculinity, after many years of performing the life of a woman, trader, wife, and grandmother.
As the past catches up to the nameless man, he must choose between the life he dreamed of and Uiziya, and Uiziya must discover how to challenge a tyrant, and weave from deaths that matter.
Set in R. B. Lemberg's beloved Birdverse.
I really wish the publisher had included the short story Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds, which immediately precedes the events of Four (and which you can read here) in this book – but even without it, this is a deeply beautiful book set in one of my favourite worlds, which, among other things, will leave you never thinking of magic carpets in the same way again!The Tale of the Five Omnibus by Diane Duane
Representation: Queernorm world, queer cast, nonbinary/genderfluid love interest, polyamory/group marriage
Genres: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
All three of Diane Duane's classic "Middle Kingdoms" novels together in one volume for the first time. The Omnibus contains The Door into Fire, The Door into Shadow, and The Door into Sunset, all in the author's preferred versions, updated and revised from the previous print editions for this omnibus.
This is totally cheating, but do I care??? Absolutely not, when it means another chance to wave this series in your face! This is full-on Epic Fantasy, except queerness is so normal they don’t have words for different sexualities – the only label is ‘people’. There’s a sorcerer who needs to claim his power, an outcast prince who must claim his throne, and what are still the coolest take on dragons I’ve ever seen – all arrayed against a dark god who can’t be destroyed without destroying all of reality. Duane also writes some of the most beautiful magic that actually feels magical, and you seriously need to read these books, okay?Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente
Representation: Biracial queer MC
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
A New York Times bestselling author offers a brilliant reinvention of one of the best-known fairy tales of all time with Snow White as a gunslinger in the mythical Wild West.
Forget the dark, enchanted forest. Picture instead a masterfully evoked Old West where you are more likely to find coyotes as the seven dwarves. Insert into this scene a plain-spoken, appealing narrator who relates the history of our heroine’s parents—a Nevada silver baron who forced the Crow people to give up one of their most beautiful daughters, Gun That Sings, in marriage to him. Although her mother’s life ended as hers began, so begins a remarkable tale: equal parts heartbreak and strength. This girl has been born into a world with no place for a half-native, half-white child. After being hidden for years, a very wicked stepmother finally gifts her with the name Snow White, referring to the pale skin she will never have. Filled with fascinating glimpses through the fabled looking glass and a close-up look at hard living in the gritty gun-slinging West, this is an utterly enchanting story…at once familiar and entirely new.
Another beautiful novella, Snow White as a half-Indigenous sharpshooter! Come on, do you really need to hear anything else?The Seventh Perfection by Daniel Polansky
Daniel Polansky returns with The Seventh Perfection, an innovative, mind-bending fantasy mystery.
When a woman with perfect memory sets out to solve a riddle, the threads she tugs on could bring a whole city crashing down. The God-King who made her is at risk, and his other servants will do anything to stop her.
To become the God-King's Amanuensis, Manet had to master all seven perfections, developing her body and mind to the peak of human performance. She remembers everything that has happened to her, in absolute clarity, a gift that will surely drive her mad. But before she goes, Manet must unravel a secret which threatens not only the carefully prepared myths of the God-King's ascent, but her own identity and the nature of truth itself.
It’s not very often that we get a book written in second person, and even less often do we get a book that does it well, but Seventh Perfection is definitely one of them. Every chapter is a transcript of a character speaking to the main character, whose voice we never hear except in the questions answered. It’s a brilliant approach to a sharp and shining story that you won’t forget in a hurry.Osmo Unknown and the Eightpenny Woods by Catherynne M. Valente
Published on: 26th April 2022
From New York Times bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente comes an inventive new fantasy following a boy journeying away from the only home he’s ever known and into the magical realm of the dead in order to fulfill a bargain for his people.
Osmo Unknown hungers for the world beyond his small town. With the life that Littlebridge society has planned for him, the only taste Osmo will ever get are his visits to the edge of the Fourpenny Woods where his mother hunts. Until the unthinkable happens: his mother accidentally kills a Quidnunk, a fearsome and intelligent creature that lives deep in the forest.
None of this should have anything to do with poor Osmo, except that a strange treaty was once formed between the Quidnunx and the people of Littlebridge to ensure that neither group would harm the other. Now that a Quidnunk is dead, as the firstborn child of the hunter who killed her, Osmo must embark on a quest to find the Eightpenny Woods—the mysterious kingdom where all wild forest creatures go when they die—and make amends.
Accompanied by a very rude half-badger, half-wombat named Bonk and an antisocial pangolin girl called Never, it will take all of Osmo’s bravery and cleverness to survive the magic of the Eightpenny Woods to save his town…and make it out alive.
As one of Valente’s patreons I’ve actually gotten to read drafts of the first few chapters of this, and it’s so breathtakingly gorgeous and strange and sweet. Alas, it won’t be released until next year, but I’ve already got my copy preordered and I know it’s going to be worth the wait!Nine Years of Silver (Love Has Claws, #1) by Parker Foye
Representation: M/M, minor nonbinary character
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Briar Augustin, a bounty hunter, returns to his hometown on the trail of a killer. There he becomes once more entangled with his first love, Quinn Lawrence, who is as integral to Briar's hunt as he is to the mythology of Lastings. Can Briar find his bounty and return to the city, resisting the call of the sea? Or will he be drawn back into Lastings' secrets—and the arms of Quinn Lawrence?
Lastings: Where some things can only be mined out.
Nine Years of Silver is the first story from Love Has Claws, a speculative romance trilogy linked by the town of Lastings.
Content Warnings: mentions of abusive childhood; bloody violence; off-screen murder; drowning (real/dream); claustrophobic scenes.
All you have to do is yell ‘Selkie!’ in my general direction and I’ll come running, but when you feature a male selkie? In a story of dark magics and queerness? I am there. And honestly, it’s even better than it sounds!The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
Representation: MC of colour, secondary sapphic character
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Portal Fantasy
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.
Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
Jumping right past Ten and directly for Ten Thousand is another all-time favourite of mine! Not that that will surprise anyone who’s read it, because this is a gorgeous, intense, truly magical book, one of those that so perfectly taps into all the deepest secret longings of your heart that it hurts.
But in a really good way.
There we go – 10 books, from one to ten, all of them fabulous must-reads!