Must-Have Monday #116

Posted 12th December 2022 by Sia in Must-Have Mondays / 0 Comments

FIVE new SFF releases this week!

(Books are listed in order of pub date, then Adult SFF, Adult Other, YA SFF, YA Other, MG SFF.)

Secrets of Dorley Hall: The Sisters of Dorley Book Two by Alyson Greaves
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Speculative Fiction
Representation: Trans MC
Published on: 12th December 2022

Stef Riley worked hard to get into the Royal College of Saint Almsworth, so he could find out what happened to the women who live at the mysterious Dorley Hall.

But now he’s on the inside his plan is falling apart. Because what’s saving his life is torture to the men he now lives with, and he can’t just ignore their suffering.

Worse, he’s growing closer to one man in particular, a man who isn’t, if the Sisters have their way, going to be a man for much longer…

A closeted trans girl successfully infiltrated a secret underground forced feminisation programme. Now she must deal with what comes next.

Book two of The Sisters of Dorley.

Some of you might remember me raving about the amazing first book in this series a little while back; well, today we get the sequel! I wasn’t expecting it until next Summer, so it was an amazing surprise to discover it’s actually out today! I’m so looking forward to getting back to Stef and the others!

The Map and the Territory (Spell and Sextant #1) by A.M. Tuomala
Genres: Fantasy, Secondary World Fantasy
Representation: Brown MCs
Published on: 12th December 2022

When the sky breaks apart and an earthquake shatters the seaside city of Sharis, cartographer Rukha Masreen is far from home. Caught in the city's ruins with only her tools and her wits, she meets a traveling companion who will change her course forever: the wizard Eshu, who stumbles out of a mirror with hungry ghosts on his heels.

He's everything that raises her hackles: high-strung, grandiloquent, stubborn as iron. But he needs to get home, too, and she doesn't want him to have to make the journey alone.

As they cross the continent together, though, Rukha and Eshu soon realize that the disaster that's befallen their world is much larger than they could have imagined. The once-vibrant pathways of the Mirrorlands are deserted. Entire cities lie entombed in crystal. And to make matters worse, a wild god is hunting them down. The further they travel from familiar territory, the more their fragile new friendship cracks under the strain.

To survive the end of their world, Rukha and Eshu will need more than magic and science—they'll need each other.

I pay very close attention to Candlemark & Gleam’s books – so far this publisher has released some very fabulous SFF – and between the breathtaking cover, all the awesomeness in the description, and bits and pieces I’ve seen the author say on twitter? I am seriously grabby-hands for this one!

Mayatte's Catharsis : A Feathered Serpent Reborn by Jack E Mohr
Genres: Fantasy
Representation: Brown MC
Published on: 12th December 2022

The mythical Island of Mayatte was never meant to be discovered by anyone, and its natives are about to find out why.

When a ship of foreigners crashes along the coast, everyone but Naña is wary of their inexplicable arrival. While others are suspicious and fearful, Naña is curious and even helpful, especially when one of the outsiders becomes gravely ill. But her goodwill might be a fatal flaw that puts the entire island in jeopardy.

While she grows closer to the foreigners, they discover something that could revolutionize the outside world. A resource so powerful, they’re compelled to harvest it at any cost. Naña is now pit against forces that could wipe her people from existence. How can she stop an enemy that’s more powerful than any of them can handle?

Mayatte’s Catharsis is a bittersweet tale of humanity in all its madness. Follow Naña through mystic battles, political unrest, and acts of kindness with magic leading every step of the way.

I haven’t been able to find out much about this book (novella?) but I love the premise and the hints of story in the cover! Plus, we don’t get to see feathered serpents/dragons very often, but they’re one of my favourite magical creatures, and I’m always happy to get more of them!

The Bleeding Stone (The Spellbinders and the Gunslingers, #1) by Joseph John Lee
Genres: Fantasy
Representation: Indigenous MC
Published on: 13th December 2022

The island nation of Ferranda is the jewel of the Acrarian Kingdom, and its Founder, Aritz a Mata, is revered as a god amongst men. But twenty-five years ago, Aritz was merely a man, a colonizer, an Invader seeking glory and fame in the name of his King and Queen, and Ferranda was a nameless union of indigenous Tribes, reverent of the heightened powers and aptitudes granted to them by their Animal Deities, but sundered by the foreigners claiming their lands to the south.

In the unconquered north, the Stone Tribe has for fifteen years offered a safe haven for the southern Tribes displaced by Aritz's Invaders, whose occupying march north has been ostensibly halted by a dense forest barrier dividing north and south. Among the Stone people lives Sen, an outcast for the circumstances of her birth, preserved in society only by her status as daughter of her Tribe's Chief. Forever relegated to the fringes of society, she is forced to watch as countless of her kin, including her sister and brother, complete their rites of passage into adulthood and accordingly earn their aptitudes by the Deity to whom they share an affinity-the Bear, the Wolf, or the Owl.

Despite this, Sen finds comfort in her life of forced solitude with her close inner circle, but hers is a comfort in days of waning tenuous peace. When Aritz's technologically-advanced forces push north, Sen is thrust into a singular quest to rescue one of her precious few captured in the ensuing struggle. While her goal is earnest - save someone dear to her and prove her worth to her Tribe - her people's goal is far more dire: survival in the face of uncertainty.

I’m hopeful that this is going to be not-a-trainwreck, because the author has talked about the problems with how the West teaches colonisation and wanting to work against that. Meaning there’s a very good chance of the themes of Bleeding Stone being handled well, for once! I’m definitely going to be giving it a go, because if isn’t a trainwreck I really want to know about it!

Sweep of the Heart (Innkeeper Chronicles, #5) by Ilona Andrews
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary or Urban Fantasy
Published on: 13th December 2022

From the New York Times #1 bestselling author, Ilona Andrews, comes a fun and action-packed new adventure in the Innkeeper Chronicles! We invite you to relax, enjoy yourself, and above all, remember the one rule all visitors must obey: the humans must never know.

Life is busier than ever for Innkeeper, Dina DeMille and Sean Evans. But it’s about to get even more chaotic when Sean's werewolf mentor is kidnapped. To find him, they must host an intergalactic spouse-search for one of the most powerful rulers in the Galaxy. Dina is never one to back down from a challenge. That is, if she can manage her temperamental Red Cleaver chef; the consequences of her favorite Galactic ex-tyrant's dark history; the tangled politics of an interstellar nation, and oh, yes, keep the wedding candidates from a dozen alien species from killing each other. Not to mention the Costco lady.

They say love is a battlefield; but Dina and Sean are determined to limit the casualties!

This is the fifth installment of the Innkeeper Chronicles – I’m a couple of books behind on this series, but I’m fond of it and want to catch up when I can!

Will you be reading any of these? Let me know!


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