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 The Jaguar Path by Anna Stephens!
Genres: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Mesoamerican-coded cast & setting, queer MCs, Deaf MC, bi/pansexual rep, queernorm setting
Published on: 16th February 2023
The Empire of Songs reigns supreme. Across all the lands of Ixachipan, its hypnotic, magical music sounds. Those who battled against the Empire have been enslaved and dispersed, taken far from their friends and their homes.
In the Singing City, Xessa must fight for the entertainment of her captors. Lilla and thousands of warriors are trained to serve as weapons for their enemies. And Tayan is trapped at the heart of the Empire’s power and magic, where the ruthless Enet’s ambition is ever growing.
Each of them harbours a secret hope, waiting for a chance to strike at the Empire from within.
But first they must overcome their own desires. Power can seduce as well as crush. And, in exchange for their loyalty, the Empire promises much.
You might remember that back in October, I was EXTREMELY ENTHUSIASTIC about a certain Central American Epic Fantasy??? The one featuring Deaf monster-hunters with their monster-hunting service dogs??? And song-magic??? And a queernorm, gender-equal setting that is about as far as you can get from quasi-Medieval Europe???
YEAH. THAT ONE.
Well, it was the first book in what I believe is a trilogy, and next month The Jaguar Path, aka book two, will be unleashed upon us! It’s not really a spoiler to say that book one didn’t end well for most of our favourite characters (we all knew the Empire of Songs was going to win the war ;__; ) but there was also that JAW-DROPPING REVEAL in the final pages that tied so many things together and, you know, I NEED TO KNOW MORE LIKE YESTERDAY, PLEASE AND THANK YOU!
I am Very Concerned that this will be a hard read for me – I don’t do well with particular flavours of violence, and the first book, The Stone Knife, had plenty of very dark scenes/parts that I needed to skim over – but damn it, I simply CANNOT abandon this series! I NEED to know what happens to Xessa and Tayan and Lilla – specifically, I need to know they escape and everything ends okay for them! And, you know, THAT REVEAL. And what is going to happen with the World Spirit??? ARE WE ABOUT TO GRADUATE FROM HIGH FANTASY (which I define as involving the fate of kingdoms/countries) TO EPIC FANTASY (fate of the world)?!?!?!
I NEED TO KNOW, OKAY?
So yes, I am waiting EXTREMELY IMPATIENTLY for The Jaguar Path – which I just now realised might be an in-verse metaphor/term for guerrilla warfare, because jaguars are stealth predators, IS THAT WHAT THE TITLE MEANS?! – but luckily for the rest of you, there’s juuust about enough time to read The Stone Knife first, if you haven’t yet!
Meanwhile, I’ll just be. Over here. Making very frantic grabby-hands!
Join me in hitting the jaguar path running on Feb 16th!!!