Must-Have Monday #163

Posted 20th November 2023 by Sia in Must-Have Mondays / 0 Comments

Must-Have Monday is a feature highlighting which of the coming week’s new releases I’m excited for. It is not meant to be a comprehensive list of all books being published that week; only those I’m interested in out of those I’m aware of! The focus is diverse SFF, but other genres sneak in occasionally too.

Just FOUR books this week!

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

Til Death Do Us Bard by Rose Black
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: M/M
Published on: 21st November 2023

Marriage isn't always sunshine and unicorns... sometimes it's monsters and necromancy.

It's been almost a year since Logan 'The Bear' Theaker hung up his axe and settled down with his sunshiny bard husband, Pie. But when Pie disappears, Logan is forced back into a world he thought he'd left behind.

Logan quickly discovers that Pie has been blackmailed into stealing a powerful artifact capable of creating an undead army. With the help of an old adversary and a ghost from his past, Logan sets out to rescue his husband.

But the further the quest takes him, the more secrets Logan uncovers. He'll need all his strength to rescue his husband - but can he save their marriage?

Everything about this sounds like it’ll be super fun, adorable, and brain-fuffy, which is EXACTLY what I’m craving at the moment. Plus, look at all those unicorns on the cover! Surely that means some will appear in the story. (And we all know I’ll pounce on any book that promises me a unicorn!)

Warrior of the Wind (The Nameless Republic Book 2) by Suyi Davies Okungbowa
Genres: Fantasy
Representation: West African-coded cast and setting, nonbinary love interest
Published on: 21st November 2023

From city streets where secrets are bartered for gold to forests teeming with fabled beasts, Suyi Davies Okungbowa's sweeping epic of forgotten magic and violent conquests continues in this richly drawn fantasy inspired by the pre-colonial empires of West Africa. 

There is no peace in the season of the Red Emperor.

Traumatized by their escape from Bassa, Lilong and Danso have found safety in a vagabond colony on the edge of the emperor’s control. But time is running out on their refuge. A new bounty makes every person a threat, and whispers of magic have roused those eager for their own power.

Lilong is determined to return the Diwi—the ibor heirloom—to her people. It’s the only way to keep it safe from Esheme’s insatiable desire. The journey home will be long, filled with twists and treachery, unexpected allies and fabled enemies.
But surviving the journey is the least of their problems.

Something ancient and uncontrollable awakens. Trouble heads for Bassa, and the continent of Oon will need more than ibor to fix what's coming.

African-inspired epic fantasy: we always need more of it, and Okungbowa is delivering! This is the sequel to Son of the Storm, so you should read that first if you haven’t, but: so much yes please!!!

A Spoonful of Malaysian Magic: An Anthology by Anna Tan, Collin Yeoh, Hamizah Adzmi, Ilnaz A Faizal, Ismim Putera, Joni Chng, Joshua Lim, Julia Alba, Rowan C, Sharmilla Ganesan, Stuart Danker, Syazwani Jefferdin, Zufar Zeid
Genres: Fantasy
Representation: Malaysian MCs
Published on: 23rd November 2023

A burong descends from Tansang Kenyalang in the midst of a dire catastrophe. A shapeshifter frees Kedah from the dreaded Raja Bersiong only to uncover a darker secret. A woman learns to channel her family’s food magic. A young huntress of supernatural creatures charts her own path of love.

This anthology of short stories offers fresh takes on Malaysian folklore and fairy tales, adds enchantment to the ordinary, and bursts with new, wonderful flavours. Stir a little spoonful of magic into your tea, whether you’re from these shores or from far away.

Along with African and African-inspired fantasy, I DEFINITELY need more Malaysian SFF in my life – have I ever read anything Malaysian??? I’m honestly not sure, which is terrible. But a spoonful seems like a good amount to get me started!

The Gilded Crown (The Raven's Trade, #1) by Marianne Gordon
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Sapphic MC
Published on: 23rd November 2023

The Witch’s Heart meets The Priory of the Orange Tree in this debut novel about a woman who can bring people back from the dead, and the princess — and only heir to the throne — that she must protect, no matter the cost.

The first time Hellevir visited Death, she was ten years old…

Since she was a little girl, Hellevir has been able to raise the dead. Every creature can be saved for a price, a price demanded by the shrouded figure who rules the afterlife, who takes a little more from Hellevir with each soul she resurrects.

Such a gift can rarely remain a secret. When Princess Sullivain, sole heir to the kingdom’s throne, is assassinated, the Queen summons Hellevir to demand she bring her granddaughter back to life. But once is not enough; the killers might strike again. The Princess’ death would cause a civil war, so the Queen commands that Hellevir remain by her side.

But Sullivain is no easy woman to be bound to, even as Hellevir begins to fall in love with her. With the threat of war looming, Hellevir must trade more and more of herself to keep the princess alive.

But Death will always take what he is owed.

This releases in the US next year (with an infinitely better cover, imo) but the UK gets it this Thursday! I have tentative hopes for this one – I hated Witch’s Heart and Priory, but I know what they mean when they use those comps, and what they mean is something I’m here for. Do NOT like the paranormal romance vibes of this cover though, blegh. Fingers crossed, I guess???

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


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