Must-Have Monday #31!

Posted 19th April 2021 by Siavahda in Must-Have Mondays / 2 Comments

This week presents us with FIVE new releases I want to draw your attention to, ranging from grounded spaceships to Russian fairytales!

The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (Wayfarers, #4) by Becky Chambers
Representation: Secondary nonbinary character, queernorm world
on 20th April 2021
Genres: Sci Fi
ISBN: 0062936042
Goodreads

With no water, no air, and no native life, the planet Gora is unremarkable. The only thing it has going for it is a chance proximity to more popular worlds, making it a decent stopover for ships traveling between the wormholes that keep the Galactic Commons connected. If deep space is a highway, Gora is just your average truck stop.

At the Five-Hop One-Stop, long-haul spacers can stretch their legs (if they have legs, that is), and get fuel, transit permits, and assorted supplies. The Five-Hop is run by an enterprising alien and her sometimes helpful child, who work hard to provide a little piece of home to everyone passing through.

When a freak technological failure halts all traffic to and from Gora, three strangers—all different species with different aims—are thrown together at the Five-Hop. Grounded, with nothing to do but wait, the trio—an exiled artist with an appointment to keep, a cargo runner at a personal crossroads, and a mysterious individual doing her best to help those on the fringes—are compelled to confront where they’ve been, where they might go, and what they are, or could be, to each other.

It’s time for The Galaxy, and the Ground Within to hit the US! Becky Chambers needs no introduction, and although you can read my full review of the book here, the tl;dr version is that it’s soft and sweet and an absolutely perfect ending to a perfect series.

Lodestone by Katherine Forrister
on 20th April 2021
Goodreads

Lodestone-peddler Melaine is desperate to stop hustling her raw magic for a tuppence. Her rare gift of infusing her magic into a lodestone to sell for another's use and never keeping any for herself is nothing but a degrading path to an early grave.

Yearning for a better life, Melaine turns to her unconventional childhood idol, the powerful but sinister Overlord, sorcerer-ruler of Centara. When she achieves an audience and arrives at his reclusive retreat of ancient Highstrong Keep, she finds that the compelling, handsome man who conquered a kingdom by the age of twenty is now a weak, shadowed husk, and he needs her lodestones to give him strength. In exchange, he will take her on as his apprentice.

Trapped in Highstrong with a half-crazed prisoner, a strict servant, and the Overlord, Melaine learns that they may all be prey to far more malevolent forces than the Overlord's black-magic experiments. Faced with menacing apparitions, ancient curses, and an even greater horror that could threaten the entire kingdom if unleashed, Melaine's penchant for survival is contested by her growing feelings for the Overlord and her path toward finding a deeper meaning to life than the pure power she once craved.

I have heard almost nothing about this book, but between that synopsis and that cover, I’m intrigued!

Witches Steeped in Gold (Witches Steeped in Gold, #1) by Ciannon Smart
on 20th April 2021
ISBN: 006294598X
Goodreads

Divided by their order. United by their vengeance.
Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but every day brings her closer to freedom - and vengeance.
Jazmyne is the Queen’s daughter, but unlike her sister before her, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power.
Sworn enemies, these two witches enter a precarious alliance to take down a mutual threat. But power is intoxicating, revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain - except the lengths they will go to win this game.
This Jamaican-inspired fantasy debut about two enemy witches who must enter into a deadly alliance to take down a common enemy has the twisted cat-and-mouse of Killing Eve with the richly imagined fantasy world of Furyborn and Ember in the Ashes.

Now this is a cover that makes me swoon. Jamaican-inspired fantasy featuring witches – do you really need to hear more than that?! Whether you do or you don’t, you can read an excerpt from the book over here, which I think gives us a pretty good idea of what we’re getting into!

These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames, #1) by Alexandra Overy
Representation: Lesbian MC, lesbian love interest
on 20th April 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
ISBN: 1335147969
Goodreads

A queer retelling of “The Firebird,” a Russian folktale.

When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm.

But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned.

As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.

If ‘F/F Firebird retelling’ somehow doesn’t sell you, These Feathered Flames also has an excerpt up online for you to peruse: over here! I adore the story of the Firebird, and I’ve been waiting ages to see what Overy plans to do with it. Just one more day now!

In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens
Representation: M/M, love interest of colour
on 20th April 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
ISBN: 1534480528
Goodreads

A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to save him when he is kidnapped during his coming-of-age tour in this swoony adventure that is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Pirates of the Caribbean.

Prince Tal has long awaited his coming-of-age tour. After spending most of his life cloistered behind palace walls as he learns to keep his forbidden magic secret, he can finally see his family’s kingdom for the first time. His first taste of adventure comes just two days into the journey, when their crew discovers a mysterious prisoner on a burning derelict vessel.

Tasked with watching over the prisoner, Tal is surprised to feel an intense connection with the roguish Athlen. So when Athlen leaps overboard and disappears, Tal feels responsible and heartbroken, knowing Athlen could not have survived in the open ocean.

That is, until Tal runs into Athlen days later on dry land, very much alive, and as charming—and secretive—as ever. But before they can pursue anything further, Tal is kidnapped by pirates and held ransom in a plot to reveal his rumored powers and instigate a war. Tal must escape if he hopes to save his family and the kingdom. And Athlen might just be his only hope…

Until April 30th, you can read a longer excerpt from In Deeper Waters over here (although it does require you to sign up for the Riveted newsletter). Alternatively, there’s a shorter excerpt over at Tor.com. But basically, this seems like it should be a lot of sweet fun wrapped up in an adventure.

That’s all I’ve got! Did I miss any? Will you be reading any of these? Let me know!

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