Today’s TTT theme is Books On My Fall 2019 TBR – and it was not easy to limit myself to ten! 2019 has been an epic year for books, and is looking to keep being epic right up to the end.
I count March as the first month of Spring, so my Fall = September, October, November.
Now, onwards!The Library of the Unwritten (A Novel from Hell's Library, #1) by A.J. Hackwith
Representation: Queer Protagonists
Published by Ace Books on 1st October 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
In the first book in a brilliant new fantasy series, books that aren't finished by their authors reside in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell, and it is up to the Librarian to track down any restless characters who emerge from those unfinished stories.
Many years ago, Claire was named Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing-- a neutral space in Hell where all the stories unfinished by their authors reside. Her job consists mainly of repairing and organizing books, but also of keeping an eye on restless stories that risk materializing as characters and escaping the library. When a Hero escapes from his book and goes in search of his author, Claire must track and capture him with the help of former muse and current assistant Brevity and nervous demon courier Leto.
But what should have been a simple retrieval goes horrifyingly wrong when the terrifyingly angelic Ramiel attacks them, convinced that they hold the Devil's Bible. The text of the Devil's Bible is a powerful weapon in the power struggle between Heaven and Hell, so it falls to the librarians to find a book with the power to reshape the boundaries between Heaven, Hell....and Earth.
I have been waiting for this book for over a year. A magical library where unfinished stories go? Say no more! But seriously, I’m fascinated by the theology and mythology of Hell and am always interested to see how it’s presented by different writers. Demons and angels are very much one of my Things – my shelves are loaded down with Enochian dictionaries and grimoires of angelic magic, and I’ve spent years reading, researching, and writing about them. I’m very hopeful that the angels here won’t be fluffy babies with wings.
So toss the librarian of unfinished stories into the middle of a Celestial/Infernal war, and throw in queer rep, and you’ve pretty much ticked every box on my list!How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse (The Thorne Chronicles, #1) by K. Eason
Published by DAW Books on 8th October 2019
Genres: Science Fantasy
First in a duology that reimagines fairy tale tropes within a space opera--The Princess Bride meets Princess Leia.
Rory Thorne is a princess with thirteen fairy blessings, the most important of which is to see through flattery and platitudes. As the eldest daughter, she always imagined she'd inherit her father's throne and govern the interplanetary Thorne Consortium.
Then her father is assassinated, her mother gives birth to a son, and Rory is betrothed to the prince of a distant world.
When Rory arrives in her new home, she uncovers a treacherous plot to unseat her newly betrothed and usurp his throne. An unscrupulous minister has conspired to name himself Regent to the minor (and somewhat foolish) prince. With only her wits and a small team of allies, Rory must outmaneuver the Regent and rescue the prince.
How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is a feminist reimagining of familiar fairytale tropes and a story of resistance and self-determination--how small acts of rebellion can lead a princess to not just save herself, but change the course of history.
This just sounds like a ridiculous amount of fun. I love the title, I love the cover, I love the pitch, and I can’t wait to curl up somewhere comfy and crack this one open.The Never Tilting World (The Never Tilting World, #1) by Rin Chupeco
Representation: F/F or wlw, PoC
Published by HarperTeen on 15th October 2019
Genres: Secondary World Fantasy
Frozen meets Mad Max in this epic teen fantasy duology bursting with star-crossed romance, immortal heroines, and elemental magic, perfect for fans of Furyborn.
Generations of twin goddesses have long ruled Aeon. But seventeen years ago, one sister’s betrayal defied an ancient prophecy and split their world in two. The planet ceased to spin, and a Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in perpetual night, the other scorched by an unrelenting sun.
While one sister rules Aranth—a frozen city surrounded by a storm-wracked sea —her twin inhabits the sand-locked Golden City. Each goddess has raised a daughter, and each keeps her own secrets about her sister’s betrayal.
But when shadowy forces begin to call their daughters, Odessa and Haidee, back to the site of the Breaking, the two young goddesses —along with a powerful healer from Aranth, and a mouthy desert scavenger —set out on separate journeys across treacherous wastelands, desperate to heal their broken world. No matter the sacrifice it demands.
I’ve never quite managed to sit down and finish this author’s Bone-Witch trilogy, but I remember being entranced by her decadent writing style and am eager to try those books again – as well as this new one! Twin goddesses of light and dark, plus a queer romance and seriously gorgeous writing? I’m swooning already.The Burning White (Lightbringer #5) by Brent Weeks
Representation: PoC, fat/heavy lead, disability
Published by Orbit on 22nd October 2019
Genres: Secondary World Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
The nail-biting conclusion to the Lightbringer series!
Stripped of both magical and political power, the people he once ruled told he's dead, and now imprisoned in his own magical dungeon, former Emperor Gavin Guile has no prospect of escape. But the world faces a calamity greater than the Seven Satrapies has ever seen... and only he can save it.
As the armies of the White King defeat the Chromeria and old gods are born anew, the fate of worlds will come down to one question: Who is the Lightbringer?
Finally, finally, the climax to one of the best epic fantasy series of all time is almost here! I adore this series so much – the magic system is incredibly unique and clever, the worldbuilding is unparalleled, the stakes are high, the cast is just brilliant… I could go on, but we still have the rest of the ten to get through!
I reread these books almost every year, and am delightedly rereading them now so I can pounce on Burning White the moment it releases. I don’t begrudge Weeks a moment of how long it’s taken, but I genuinely cannot wait to find out how it all ends – and with the book clocking in at just under a thousand pages, I’m confident it’s going to be a worthy finale.The Name of All Things (A Chorus of Dragons, #2) by Jenn Lyons
Representation: Bisexual Male Protagonist, PoC, multiple secondary queer characters
Published by Tor Books on 29th October 2019
Genres: Epic Fantasy, Secondary World Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
"Everything epic fantasy should be: rich, cruel, gorgeous, brilliant, enthralling and deeply, deeply satisfying. I loved it."―Lev Grossman on The Ruin of Kings
You can have everything you want if you sacrifice everything you believe.
Kihrin D'Mon is a wanted man.
Since he destroyed the Stone of Shackles and set demons free across Quur, he has been on the run from the wrath of an entire empire. His attempt to escape brings him into the path of Janel Theranon, a mysterious Joratese woman who claims to know Kihrin.
Janel's plea for help pits Kihrin against all manner of dangers: a secret rebellion, a dragon capable of destroying an entire city, and Kihrin's old enemy, the wizard Relos Var.
Janel believes that Relos Var possesses one of the most powerful artifacts in the world―the Cornerstone called the Name of All Things. And if Janel is right, then there may be nothing in the world that can stop Relos Var from getting what he wants.
And what he wants is Kihrin D'Mon.
Jenn Lyons continues the Chorus of Dragons series with The Name of All Things, the epic sequel to The Ruin of Kings
I loved The Ruin of Kings, book one in this series, and after getting to meet Jenn Lyons at Worldcon this year and hearing a little bit about what’s coming in book two, I’m even more excited for this sequel. RoK was an incredibly fresh, subversive take on a whole bunch of traditional epic fantasy tropes, while also reclaiming some of the things that make the Fantasy genre so special, but that have been a bit neglected lately. (Aka, PROPER DRAGONS!) So I can’t wait to see Lyons’ unique spin on fantasy applied to a whole new book!Beyond the Black Door by A.M. Strickland, AdriAnne Strickland
Representation: Asexual protagonist
Published by Imprint on 29th October 2019
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Fantasy
Kamai was warned never to open the black door, but she didn't listen ...
Everyone has a soul. Some are beautiful gardens, others are frightening dungeons. Soulwalkers―like Kamai and her mother―can journey into other people's souls while they sleep.
But no matter where Kamai visits, she sees the black door. It follows her into every soul, and her mother has told her to never, ever open it.
When Kamai touches the door, it is warm and beating, like it has a pulse. When she puts her ear to it, she hears her own name whispered from the other side. And when tragedy strikes, Kamai does the unthinkable: she opens the door.
A.M. Strickland's imaginative dark fantasy features court intrigue and romance, a main character coming to terms with her asexuality, and twists and turns as a seductive mystery unfolds that endangers not just Kamai's own soul, but the entire kingdom ...
I had a Moment with this author on Twitter, when we commiserated about both being happily married asexuals (something far too many people consider to be an oxymoron – but we know who the actual morons are, don’t we?) So I’m extra excited to see some ace rep in a fantasy with such an interesting premise. And as someone who spent four years studying religion and philosophy, I’m really interested in what sounds like a very unique take on the concept of the human soul.Deeplight by Frances Hardinge
Published by Macmillan Children's Books on 31st October 2019
For centuries the gods of the Undersea ruled the islands of the Myriad through awe and terror: they were very real, and very dangerous. Sacrifices were hurled into the waters to appease them, and every boat was painted with pleading eyes to entreat their mercy. They were served, feared and adored. Then, thirty years ago, the gods rose up in madness and tore each other apart.
Now, none remain. The islands have recovered and the people have patched their battered ships and moved on.
On one of these islands live Hark and his best friend Jelt. To them, the gods are nothing but a collection of valuable scraps to be scavenged from the ocean and sold.
But now something is pulsing beneath the waves, calling to someone brave enough to retrieve it.
It’s by Frances Hardinge. I literally do not need to know anything else about it.Unnatural Magic by C.M. Waggoner
Representation: Queer characters, non-binary gender system
Published by Ace on 5th November 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Secondary World Fantasy
A “brilliant and terrifically fun”* debut novel brings an enchanting new voice to fantasy.
Onna can write the parameters of a spell faster than any of the young men in her village school. But despite her incredible abilities, she’s denied a place at the nation’s premier arcane academy. Undaunted, she sails to the bustling city-state of Hexos, hoping to find a place at a university where they don’t think there’s anything untoward about providing a woman with a magical education. But as soon as Onna arrives, she’s drawn into the mysterious murder of four trolls.
Tsira is a troll who never quite fit into her clan, despite being the leader’s daughter. She decides to strike out on her own and look for work in a human city, but on her way she stumbles upon the body of a half-dead human soldier in the snow. As she slowly nurses him back to health, an unlikely bond forms between them, one that is tested when an unknown mage makes an attempt on Tsira’s life. Soon, unbeknownst to each other, Onna and Tsira both begin devoting their considerable talents to finding out who is targeting trolls, before their homeland is torn apart…
*Kat Howard, Alex Award-winning author of An Unkindness of Magicians
This is the ‘trolls not gender roles’ book! Again, I feel like I don’t need to know anything else, but I have in fact heard incredibly good things about this one from many reviewers and authors whose taste I trust. It sounds like it’s got a bit of that Jonathan Swift and Mr Norrell vibe, only more openly feminist and with non-binary genders included in the worldbuilding. I’ll be very surprised if I don’t end up in love with this one.The Deep by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes
Published by Gallery / Saga Press on 5th November 2019
Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.
Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.
Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.
I mean…the mermaid descendants of African slaves. I don’t think this will be an easy read – Solomons’ debut Unkindness of Ghosts was exquisite and is definitely going on my Best of the Decade list, but it’s soul-scouring – but I do think it will be more than worth it.The Impossible Contract (Chronicles of Ghadid #2) by K.A. Doore
Representation: PoC, Queer Protagonist
Published by Tor Books on 12th November 2019
Genres: Secondary World Fantasy, Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Second in K. A. Doore's high fantasy adventure series the Chronicles of Ghadid, a determined assassin travels to the heart of the Empire in pursuit of a powerful mark, for fans of Robin Hobb, Sarah J. Maas, and S. A. Chakraborty
Thana has a huge reputation to live up to as daughter of the Serpent, who rules over Ghadid’s secret clan of assassins. Opportunity to prove herself arrives when Thana accepts her first contract on Heru, a dangerous foreign diplomat with the ability to bind a person’s soul under his control.
She may be in over her head, especially when Heru is targeted by a rival sorcerer who sends hordes of the undead to attack them both. When Heru flees, Thana has no choice than to pursue him across the sands to the Empire that intends to capture Ghadid inside its iron grip.
A stranger in a strange city, Thana’s only ally is Mo, a healer who may be too noble for her own good. Meanwhile, otherworldly and political dangers lurk around every corner, and even more sinister plans are uncovered which could lead to worldwide devastation. Can Thana rise to the challenge―even if it means facing off against an ancient evil?
Doore’s debut, the first book in this series, was the first time I’d seen an asexual romance on-page. It was a very, very big deal to me, and even aside from that, the writing, worldbuilding, and characters were all wonderful. One of the secondary characters of the first book takes the lead in this one, and from things Doore’s said on Twitter, this trilogy (series?) will only get more queer as it goes along. So sign me up!
That’s it from me! What is everyone else looking forward to?