I Can’t Wait For…Talio’s Codex by J. Alexander Cohen

Posted 19th June 2024 by Sia in Can't-Wait Wednesday / 0 Comments

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about but haven’t yet read. Most of the time they’re books that have yet to be released, but not always. It’s based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme, which was originally hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

This week my Can’t-Wait-For Book is Talio’s Codex by J. Alexander Cohen!

Talio's Codex by J. Alexander Cohen
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Queer MC, queer love interests, non-binary and trans characters
Protagonist Age: mid/late-30s?
Published on: 16th July 2024

Is love worth destroying his reputation?

Ten years ago, the theft of his codex destroyed Talio Rossa’s career as a magistrate in the four cities. But when his ex-wife—finally willing to forgive finding him in bed with a man—presents him a long-shot legal case, he has the chance to get his career back on track.

While fighting to rejoin the legal community, Talio uncovers a conspiracy so big it threatens the origins of the four cities themselves. Their prosperity is only thanks to their connection by magical floating waterways and the brilliance of their legal system, now regarded as near scripture.

To save his career, Talio must work with both the one who doomed his marriage and the hooded, heretical man who sets his heart aflame but is determined to plead guilty to a murder he didn't commit. To stand a chance of winning the case, saving his career and the man of his dreams, Talio will have to uncover an explosive secret destined to blow the legal system apart.

Fantasy legal thrillers are not thick on the ground, but that’s what Talio’s Codex purports to be! Which – is an amazing concept I would love to see more of, please and thank you! As a worldbuilding nut, I ABSOLUTELY want to dive into the legal system of a world that has nothing to do with ours – AND you’re giving me queerness too?


From what I’ve read of early reviews, poor Talio’s living in a queerphobic society – something that would usually make me uninterested in a book, because I really do not have any interest in queerphobia in my fiction…but I’m willing to make an exception for a story serving me up a ton of fantasy laws-and-legal-system. It may be that Talio’s Codex is too heavy and grim for me – especially as the legal case Talio gets caught up in has something to do with a person being non-binary, apparently? But I’m hopeful – the content warnings on the author’s website promise a happy ending, and most of the time I’m willing to see characters through a lot of angst as long as things end well!

Also, I have been promised sky-ships – there’s even one on the cover! Along with a…is that some kind of ocean in the sky??? The blurb mentions ‘magical floating waterways’… I am confused, but extremely intrigued!

What’s a codex, in this world? I gather that losing it is a Very Big Deal, but that doesn’t tell me exactly what it is. Could it be something like a record of all the cases a lawyer or magistrate has worked on? But why would losing something like that be a career-ender? No, it must be something much more important than a simple book of records… Could it be magical in some way? Is it an important symbol, or does it have a practical purpose too? HMM…

As a BIG fan of intrigue (even if I can’t always keep perfect track of the very complex court stuff) I’m already itching to know what the secret Talio uncovers is. Getting different cities to cooperate on anything at all is NOT EASY, so working together on a conspiracy??? It has to be something very…I don’t know what the right word is here…something Very, anyway, to get politicians and law-makers and whatnot who would typically be at odds to instead work together to Hide The Thing.


So yes, I’m excited and hopeful for this one, and fully intend to pounce on it when it comes out next month!

(If anyone has fantasy legal thrillers to rec me, don’t bother suggesting Justice of Kings. Been there, done that, despised it utterly.)


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