Books I’m Dying to Get My Hands On: June-December

Posted 31st May 2020 by Siavahda in Blogathons, Book News, Lists / 0 Comments

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As Wyrd and Wonder wraps up for the year, instead of feeling sad about it, I’d rather look forward. There are so many amazing books coming out in the next six months! My tbr is unending, but all of these are books that will be jumping to the top once I get them in my hands!

(I decided not to include books whose covers haven’t been revealed yet, despite the fact that a few of them are ones I’m especially looking forward to. It just makes the lists prettier when you’ve got covers to feature.)

Representation: Queer MCs
Genres: Fantasy

The Wicked Deep meets A Curse So Dark and Lonely in this gripping, dark fairy-tale fantasy about two girls who must choose between saving themselves, each other, or their sinking island city.

Every year on St. Walpurga's Eve, Caldella's Witch Queen lures a boy back to her palace. An innocent life to be sacrificed on the full moon to keep the island city from sinking.

Lina Kirk is convinced her brother is going to be taken this year. To save him, she enlists the help of Thomas Lin, the boy she secretly loves, and the only person to ever escape from the palace. But they draw the queen's attention, and Thomas is chosen as the sacrifice.

Queen Eva watched her sister die to save the boy she loved. Now as queen, she won't make the same mistake. She's willing to sacrifice anyone if it means saving herself and her city.

When Lina offers herself to the queen in exchange for Thomas's freedom, the two girls await the full moon together. But Lina is not at all what Eva expected, and the queen is nothing like Lina envisioned. Against their will, they find themselves falling for each other. As water floods Caldella's streets and the dark tide demands its sacrifice, they must choose who to save: themselves, each other, or the island city relying on them both.

I am so so SO excited for this one!!! I’ve been anticipating Dark Tide since before it had a title, and I was heartbroken when the release date was pushed back (for understandable Corona-related reasons). But the ebook edition is still coming out this Tuesday, which works for me since I can only read ebooks. (I have fibromyalgia, and can’t hold onto or bear up the weight of paper books anymore). I just can’t believe the wait is almost over!

Representation: Characters of Colour, Bi MC, enby love interest

The final volume in K. A. Doore's critically-acclaimed assassin fantasy series

Seven years have passed since the Siege — a time when the hungry dead had risen — but the memories still haunt Illi Basbowen. Though she was trained to be an elite assassin, now the Basbowen clan act as Ghadid's militia force protecting the resurrected city against a growing tide of monstrous guul that travel across the dunes.

Illi's worst fears are confirmed when General Barca arrives, bearing news that her fledgling nation, Harthage, also faces this mounting danger. In her search for the source of the guul, the general exposes a catastophic secret hidden on the outskirts of Ghadid.

To protect her city and the realm, Illi must travel to Harthage and confront her inner demons in order to defeat a greater one — but how much can she sacrifice to protect everything she knows from devastation?

I’ve loved this trilogy since book one, and I’m sad it’s nearly over – but I’m so excited to read the finale! Doore has consistently written amazing queer characters, having intricate adventures in a unique (and really cool!) setting, so I know this is going to be brilliant!

Representation: Queer MCs
Genres: Urban Fantasy

Sawkill Girls meets Beautiful Creatures in this lush and eerie debut, where the boundary between reality and nightmares is as thin as the veil between the living and the dead.

If I could have a fiddle made of Daddy’s bones, I’d play it. I’d learn all the secrets he kept.

Shady Grove inherited her father’s ability to call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle, but she also knows the fiddle’s tunes bring nothing but trouble and darkness.

But when her brother is accused of murder, she can’t let the dead keep their secrets.

In order to clear his name, she’s going to have to make those ghosts sing.

Family secrets, a gorgeously resonant LGBTQ love triangle, and just the right amount of creepiness make this young adult debut a haunting and hopeful story about facing everything that haunts us in the dark.

Ghost Wood Song was only on my to-read-maybe list until I learned it featured a bisexual love triangle. That’s not something I’ve seen before (I think it’s a bit more common these days in Contemporary YA, but not so much in Fantasy – at least not the fantasy books I’ve been reading), and it made me curious. Then I saw it compared to Sawkill Girls, which is only one of my favourite books of all time! Now I’m really eager to see what it does with the deal-at-the-crossroads myth and the queer rep.

Representation: F/F, Characters of Colour
Genres: Science Fantasy

The greatest dangers hide the brightest treasures in this bold, planet-hopping science fiction adventure series.

The crew of the legendary Capricious may have gone legitimate, but they're still on the run.

With devastatingly powerful enemies in pursuit and family and friends under attack planetside, Nilah and Boots struggle to piece together rumors of an ancient technology that could lead to victory.

Ensnared by the legend of Origin, humanity's birthplace, and a long-dead form of magic, the Capricious takes off on a journey to find the first colony ship...and magic that could bring down gods.

I love, love, love the Salvagers trilogy, with its totally unique blend of science fiction and magic, and I’ve been dying to find out how the adventure ends for ages. The Worst of All Possible Worlds kept getting pushed back, but fingers crossed we’ll be getting it this July!

Representation: Oppressed peoples, Bi love interest
Genres: Fantasy

Kings become outcasts and lovers become foes in the thrilling sequel to Margaret Owen's The Merciful Crow.

As the new chieftain of the Crows, Fie knows better than to expect a royal to keep his word. Still she’s hopeful that Prince Jasimir will fulfill his oath to protect her fellow Crows. But then black smoke fills the sky, signaling the death of King Surimir and the beginning of Queen Rhusana's merciless bid for the throne.

With the witch queen using the deadly plague to unite the nation of Sabor against Crows—and add numbers to her monstrous army—Fie and her band are forced to go into hiding, leaving the country to be ravaged by the plague. However, they’re all running out of time before the Crows starve in exile and Sabor is lost forever.

A desperate Fie calls on old allies to help take Rhusana down from within her own walls. But inside the royal palace, the only difference between a conqueror and a thief is an army. To survive, Fie must unravel not only Rhusana’s plot, but ancient secrets of the Crows—secrets that could save her people, or set the world ablaze.

I still haven’t been able to write a worthy review for the first book of this duet, The Merciless Crow – so you can imagine how excited I am for the sequel!

Representation: Latino MC
Genres: Urban Fantasy

Some people ARE illegal.

Lobizonas do NOT exist.

Both of these statements are false.

Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who's on the run from her father's Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.

Until Manu's protective bubble is shattered.

Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past—a mysterious "Z" emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.

As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it's not just her U.S. residency that's illegal. . . .it’s her entire existence.

The only way you can be not excited for Lobizona is if you haven’t heard of it yet. Immigration, Latin American mythology, werewolves and brujas? Sign me the hell up!

Representation: Characters of Colour
Genres: Fantasy

This gorgeously imagined YA debut blends shades of Neil Gaiman's Stardust and a breathtaking landscape of Hindu mythology into a radiant contemporary fantasy.

The daughter of a star and a mortal, Sheetal is used to keeping secrets. Pretending to be "normal." But when an accidental flare of her starfire puts her human father in the hospital, Sheetal needs a full star's help to heal him. A star like her mother, who returned to the sky long ago.

Sheetal's quest to save her father will take her to a celestial court of shining wonders and dark shadows, where she must take the stage as her family's champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of the heavens--and win, or risk never returning to Earth at all.

Brimming with celestial intrigue, this sparkling YA debut is perfect for fans of Roshani Chokshi and Laini Taylor.

I was in love with the sound of this story even before they revealed that jaw-dropping cover…but let’s be real, the cover helps! I love all things astral and I can’t wait to see star magic mixed up with Hindu mythology.

Representation: Characters of Colour, Major Asexual Character, minor gay and lesbian characters
Genres: Fantasy

The epic debut YA fantasy from an incredible new talent—perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi and Sabaa Tahir

Nothing is more important than loyalty.

But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself? With extraordinary world-building and breathtaking prose, Raybearer is the story of loyalty, fate, and the lengths we’re willing to go for the ones we love.

I’m cheating, because I’ve read this one already, but like I said, I can’t wait for its release so that I can talk about it with more people! And this is another book with a stunning cover – I would love to have a print of it on my wall, and once you’ve read the book, there’s so many details in that cover that are related to the story. But if you want to know what they are…well, you’ll have to read it for yourself 😉

Representation: Queer and Latinx MCs
Genres: Urban Fantasy

A trans boy determined to prove his gender to his conservative Latinx family summons a ghost who refuses to leave in Aiden Thomas's paranormal YA debut.

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can't get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school's resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He's determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

I’ve never liked the idea of magic specific to specific genders, because those systems never seem to leave room for genderqueer people. But a trans bruja out to prove his gender via magic??? I’ve been in love with this concept ever since I first caught a whisper of this book; I want to read it so badly. I don’t know how I’m going to make it to September!

Representation: Queer MCs
Genres: Fantasy

An orphan girl must face untold danger and an ancient evil to save her kingdom’s prince in this lush, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Girls of Paper and Fire and Tess of the Road.

How can you live without your heart?

In the vast palace of the empress lives an orphan girl called Nothing. She slips within the shadows of the Court, unseen except by the Great Demon of the palace and her true friend, Prince Kirin, heir to the throne. When Kirin is kidnapped, only Nothing and the prince’s bodyguard suspect that Kirin may have been taken by the Sorceress Who Eats Girls, a powerful woman who has plagued the land for decades. The sorceress has never bothered with boys before, but Nothing has uncovered many secrets in her sixteen years in the palace, including a few about the prince.

As the empress’s army searches fruitlessly, Nothing and the bodyguard set out on a rescue mission, through demon-filled rain forests and past crossroads guarded by spirits. Their journey takes them to the gates of the Fifth Mountain, where the sorceress wields her power. There, Nothing will discover that all magic is a bargain, and she may be more powerful than she ever imagined. But the price the Sorceress demands for Kirin may very well cost Nothing her heart.

I always love the premises of Gratton’s books, but I’ve not yet ever been able to finish one – something that feels like a personal failure. Night Shine has me hopeful, though, especially since I’ve heard whispers of polyamory having a place in the story – something I really want to see more of in the books I’m reading, since I’m poly myself. Fingers crossed this is the one!

Representation: Black MC
Genres: Urban Fantasy

Filled with mystery and an intriguingly rich magic system, Tracy Deonn’s YA contemporary fantasy Legendborn offers the dark allure of City of Bones with a modern-day twist on a classic legend and a lot of Southern Black Girl Magic.

After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.

I’ve never had any patience for King Arthur retellings – the whole mythology is so tied up with Christianity and white people romanticism – but Legendborn is so far outside the box that I can’t help but want to read it. Black girls kicking the ass of the white patriarchy, with magic? Gimme!

Representation: Queer MCs
Genres: Urban Fantasy

An outcast teenage lesbian witch finds her coven hidden amongst the popular girls in her school, and performs some seriously badass magic in the process.

Skulking near the bottom of West High’s social pyramid, Sideways Pike lurks under the bleachers doing magic tricks for Coke bottles. As a witch, lesbian, and lifelong outsider, she’s had a hard time making friends. But when the three most popular girls pay her $40 to cast a spell at their Halloween party, Sideways gets swept into a new clique. The unholy trinity are dangerous angels, sugar-coated rattlesnakes, and now–unbelievably–Sideways’ best friends.

Together, the four bond to form a ferocious and powerful coven. They plan parties, cast curses on dudebros, try to find Sideways a girlfriend, and elude the fundamentalist witch hunters hellbent stealing their magic. But for Sideways, the hardest part is the whole ‘having friends’ thing. Who knew that balancing human interaction with supernatural peril could be so complicated?

Rich with the urgency of feral youth, The Scapegracers explores growing up and complex female friendship with all the rage of a teenage girl. It subverts the trope of competitive mean girls and instead portrays a mercilessly supportive clique of diverse and vivid characters. It is an atmospheric, voice-driven novel of the occult, and the first of a three-book series.

We’ve already had several books about queer teen witches this year, but having checked out them all and currently in possession of an arc of this one, I feel confident in saying that Scapegracers is the best of the lot. It’s utterly breathtaking, and I need it to come out already so the rest of you can share my adoration!

Representation: Bi/Pan MCs, polyamory
Genres: Urban Fantasy

What if your deepest wish came with dark consequences?

At the end of Caesar's feline life, he makes a deal with the goddess Zosma to rejoin Ophelia, the girl he loves, for his ninth and final life.

However, waking in the body of seventeen-year-old Austin Price isn't what he anticipates. Neither is Austin's handsome roommate, Cooper—a boy who moves him in unexpected ways. And coming face-to-face with a messy past Austin can't remember living makes being human even harder than he thought.

The chaos and wonder of his ninth life urges Austin to get to know Ophelia on human terms, and sends him stumbling into complicated friendships that might mean more to him than he ever imagined. But his wish has a price, and even as Austin is pulled in two impossible directions, the very heart beating in his chest is on a countdown of its own—a countdown he has no control over.

This is a unique and beautifully written contemporary-fabulist story with romantic and heartbreaking moments, and a strong happy ever after.

Reincarnation+a cat’s ninth life, plus queerness and poly??? It’s like this book was written just for me!

Genres: Historical Fantasy

From the New York Times bestselling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, an intoxicating, hypnotic new novel set in a dreamlike alternative reality.

Piranesi's house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house-a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.

For readers of Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane and fans of Madeline Miller's Circe, Piranesi introduces an astonishing new world, an infinite labyrinth, full of startling images and surreal beauty, haunted by the tides and the clouds.

I fell in love with Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell again when I reread it last year, and although this isn’t the sequel some of us were hoping for, it’s still a brand new novel by Susanna Clarke! I just know it’s going to be amazing!

Genres: Fantasy

Learning has never been this deadly

A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets. There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere. El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.

Aside from a bump or two in her Temeraire series (which I loved overall), I’ve yet to meet a Novik book I didn’t adore. This sounds significantly darker even than Uprooted (which somehow didn’t feel dark to me, despite all the deaths???) but I’m excited just because it’s Novik. It doesn’t hurt that I’m also interested in the mythology of the Scholomance, and that this series is being presented as a dark feminist counter to the Harry Potter series – which I wasn’t a fan of even before She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named revealed herself to be a TERF.

Or, put more simply…gimme!

Genres: Fantasy

How to Train Your Dragon meets Quidditch through the Ages in this debut fantasy, set in an alternate contemporary world, in which dragons and their riders compete in an international sports tournament

Lana Torres has always preferred dragons to people. In a few weeks, sixteen countries will compete in the Blazewrath World Cup, a tournament where dragons and their riders fight for glory in a dangerous relay. Lana longs to represent her native Puerto Rico in their first ever World Cup appearance, and when Puerto Rico’s Runner—the only player without a dragon steed—is kicked off the team, she’s given the chance.

But when she discovers that a former Blazewrath superstar has teamed up with the Sire—a legendary dragon who’s cursed into human form—the safety of the Cup is jeopardized. The pair are burning down dragon sanctuaries around the world and refuse to stop unless the Cup gets cancelled. All Lana wanted was to represent her country. Now, to do that, she’ll have to navigate an international conspiracy that’s deadlier than her beloved sport.

When your opening line is, Dragons are better company than people., you have my attention. That’s really all I need to know, even before you give me comparisons to How to Train Your Dragon – which is one of my favourite film franchises. (I know they’re books too – I read the first few when I was a kid, but they didn’t grab me.) So hell yes, I’m looking forward to this one!

Representation: Characters of Colour, matriarchy
Genres: Fantasy

From the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Resistance Reborn comes the first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic.

A god will return
When the earth and sky converge
Under the black sun

In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.

Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.

Crafted with unforgettable characters, Rebecca Roanhorse has created an epic adventure exploring the decadence of power amidst the weight of history and the struggle of individuals swimming against the confines of society and their broken pasts in the most original series debut of the decade.

I’ve been excited for Black Sun since the blurb was just a mention of Pre-Columbian magics and matriarchies. I’ve got to be honest, I really didn’t need to hear more than that – but now that we have the full summary, it just makes me even more eager to get to read it. Soooooooooon!

I’m not including the blurb for Brothersong, because if you haven’t read the rest of the series yet, it contains spoilers. And if you have read the other books, then you don’t need me to sell you on this one.

Whereas if, by some strange happenstance, you haven’t read this series yet? You really, really need to!

Genres: Historical Fantasy

In 1893, there's no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when the Eastwood sisters--James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna--join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women's movement into the witch's movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

There's no such thing as witches. But there will be.

All I really need to know is that it’s by Alix E. Harrow – after The Ten Thousand Doors of January, I’ll read anything she writes – but also? That blurb sends shivers down my spine. I can’t wait for this one, I really can’t!

Discover where faeries and other mythical creatures are hiding in our modern, urban environment with this beautifully illustrated guide to uncovering magical beings.

From the musty corners of libraries to the darkest depths of urban sewers, faeries, boggarts, redcaps, and other fantastical species can be found all around us—but only if we know where to look. And like every other being in the modern world, these wonderous creatures have been forced to adapt to the climate, industrial, and cultural changes of the modern era. Many formerly common creatures from akeki to cave trolls have been driven out by the urban sprawl, technological advancements, and climate change while others, including ether sprites and brownies, have been able to thrive in abundance, creating homes within electrical hotbeds and massive landfills.

Featuring descriptions of magical creatures from around the globe, this encyclopedic collection details the history and adaptability of more than fifty different species of fae. Describing little-known and fascinating creatures such as the Luck Pigeon of Baltimore, the Ghost Cat of India, and the Brain Sucker of South Africa, this book will expose readers to fantastical species from a variety of cultures and communities.

Combining scholarship with modern lore and environmentalism, and featuring stunning hand-drawn illustrations, Finding Faeries is a captivating look at the fantastical beings that inhabit our world today.

If you’ve read any of my reviews, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I’m a total worldbuilding addict. So a book all about how magical creatures might have adapted to the modern world? Is my jam.

Representation: Agender MC, Asian setting
Genres: Fantasy

The cleric Chih finds themself and their companions at the mercy of a band of fierce tigers who ache with hunger. To stay alive until the mammoths can save them, Chih must unwind the intricate, layered story of the tiger and her scholar lover—a woman of courage, intelligence, and beauty—and discover how truth can survive becoming history.

Nghi Vo returns to the empire of Ahn and The Singing Hills Cycle in this mesmerizing, lush standalone follow-up to The Empress of Salt and Fortune

I fell head over heels in love with the first book in this series, Empress of Salt and Fortune, so obviously I want to get my hands on the sequel! Vo’s writing is just so incredibly beautiful – Empress read like poetry – I’m so looking forward to get to read it again!

What are some of the books you’re most looking forward to?

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