Must-Have Monday #47!

Posted 16th August 2021 by Sia in Must-Have Mondays / 0 Comments

If last week was a little quiet, this week more than makes up for it! We have NINE new releases to feature, ranging from angel-speakers to dragon veterinarians to an Empress out to redeem her empire!

Redemptor (Raybearer, #2) by Jordan Ifueko
Genres: Fantasy, High Fantasy
Representation: Cast of colour, queernorm world, minor achillean + sapphic characters, major secondary asexual character
Published on: 17th August 2021

The hotly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Times bestselling YA fantasy about Tarisai’s quest to change her fate.

For the first time, an Empress Redemptor sits on Aritsar's throne. To appease the sinister spirits of the dead, Tarisai must now anoint a council of her own, coming into her full power as a Raybearer. She must then descend into the Underworld, a sacrifice to end all future atrocities.

Tarisai is determined to survive. Or at least, that's what she tells her increasingly distant circle of friends. Months into her shaky reign as empress, child spirits haunt her, demanding that she pay for past sins of the empire.

With the lives of her loved ones on the line, assassination attempts from unknown quarters, and a handsome new stranger she can't quite trust . . . Tarisai fears the pressure may consume her. But in this finale to the Raybearer duology, Tarisai must learn whether to die for justice . . . or to live for it.

Raybearer was one of my favourite books of 2020, and Redemptor has been one of my most-anticipated reads for this year! I can’t believe it’s FINALLY about to be in my hands!!!

Faeries of the Faultlines: Expanded, Edited Edition by Iris Compiet, Brian Froud, Alan Lee
Genres: Fantasy
Published on: 17th August 2021

Iris Compiet is the rarest of artist: That who invokes a complete and cohesive reality with every image she creates. Beautiful, powerful and contemplative all at once. — Guillermo Del Toro

Let me tell you about Faeries, let me take you away on a journey, an adventure.

The Faultlines is an ancient name given to those places where the veil between this world and the Other is thinnest. It is the place where faeries dwell, creatures creep, and magic oozes through the cracks. Recently the Faultlines have been stirring, opening up to all who wish to see, and to all who dare to venture...

Faeries of the Faultlines was an instant Kickstarter success in 2017, and this edited, expanded edition includes the complete original documentation from the greenmen to mermaids, with expanded sections and many more faeries to meet!

I included this in an earlier Must-Have Monday post because I had the wrong publication date, but I’m 99.9% sure Faeries of the Faultlines really does release this week! Which is WONDERFUL because I am dying to get my hands on it. I missed the original kickstarter campaign, but I’m definitely not letting this edition slip through my fingers! This is another book that made it onto my Most Anticipated of 2021 list, and I’ll be honest, the anticipation at this point is killing me!

The Left Hand of Dog by Si Clarke
Genres: Sci Fi
Representation: Trans MC
Published on: 17th August 2021

Escaping intergalactic kidnappers has never been quite so ridiculous.

When Lem and her faithful dog, Spock, retreat from the city for a few days of hiking in Algonquin Park, the last thing they expect is to be kidnapped by aliens. No, scratch that. The last thing they expect is to be kidnapped by a bunch of strangely adorable intergalactic bounty hunters aboard a ship called the Teapot.

After Lem falls in with an unlikely group of allies – including a talking horse, a sarcastic robot, an overly anxious giant parrot, and a cloud of sentient glitter gas – the gang must devise a cunning plan to escape their captors and make it back home safely.

But things won’t be as easy as they first seem. Lost in deep space and running out of fuel, this chaotic crew are faced with the daunting task of navigating an alien planet, breaking into a space station, and discovering the real reason they’re all there…

Packed with preposterous scenarios, quirky characters, and oodles of humour, The Left Hand of Dog tackles complex subjects such as gender, the need to belong, and the importance of honest communication. Perfect for fans of Charlie Jane Anders’ Victories Greater than Death– especially ones who enjoy endless references to Red Dwarf, Star Trek, and Doctor Who. This book will show you that the universe is a very strange place indeed.

I know next to nothing about this book, but it sounds like an enormous amount of fun, and fun is exactly what I’m craving at the moment!

The Bachelor's Valet (Flos Magicae) by Arden Powell
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Historical Fantasy
Representation: M/M or mlm
Published on: 17th August 2021

Alphonse Hollyhock is blessed with wealth, class, and more beauty than brains. Though he hasn't got a lick of wit or magic to his name, he's perfectly content living life as an airheaded bachelor with his valet—the clever, unflappable Jacobi—by his side to ensure everything runs smoothly. All he lacks, according to his mother, is a wife.

Despite Alphonse's protests, he's to marry Aaliyah Kaddour: a bright, headstrong young woman who would probably be charming company if she didn't threaten everything about Alphonse's way of life. Marrying means giving up his fashionable flat, his fast car, and, worst of all, it means losing Jacobi.

Perhaps most distressingly, this talk of marriage is bringing all sorts of confusing feelings to the forefront. Because rather than falling for the beautiful girl being pushed into his arms, Alphonse seems to be falling for his valet. Except a man can't fall in love with another man. Can he?

Meanwhile, Aaliyah has plans of her own. She's as devious as she is pretty, but if Alphonse wants to get through this marriage business in one piece, he'll have to trust her. Her and Jacobi, and, most dangerously, his own feelings.

This is another one that sounds like a sweet, possibly slightly silly read – right up my alley! And the flowers on that cover have me absolutely enchanted. Plus, Powell is the author of The Faerie Hounds of York, and I’m interested to see what story they’ve decided to tell after that one.

Never Say You Can't Survive: How to Get Through Hard Times by Making Up Stories by Charlie Jane Anders
Published on: 17th August 2021

From Charlie Jane Anders, the award-winning author of novels such as All the Birds in the Sky and The City in the Middle of the Night, this is one of the most practical guides to storytelling that you will ever read.

The world is on fire.
So tell your story.

Things are scary right now. We’re all being swept along by a tidal wave of history, and it’s easy to feel helpless. But we’re not helpless: we have minds, and imaginations, and the ability to visualize other worlds and valiant struggles. And writing can be an act of resistance that reminds us that other futures and other ways of living are possible.

Full of memoir, personal anecdote, and insight about how to flourish during the present emergency, Never Say You Can’t Survive is the perfect manual for creativity in unprecedented times.

Never Say You Can’t Survive was always going to be on my radar, because Anders, but I have to admit that my heart skipped a beat or two when I heard her nonfiction collection was going to be about storytelling. Writing in specific and storytelling in general are near and dear to my heart, and I’m eager to hear what Anders has to say about them -especially in the context of telling stories when you must, when life is at its worst. Really excited for this one!

A Terrible Fall of Angels by Laurell K. Hamilton
Published on: 17th August 2021

Angels walk among us, but so do other unearthly beings in this brand new series by #1 New York Times Bestselling author Laurell K. Hamilton.

Meet Detective Zaniel Havelock, a man with the special ability to communicate directly with angels. A former trained Angel speaker, he devoted his life to serving both the celestial beings and his fellow humans with his gift, but a terrible betrayal compelled him to leave that life behind. Now he’s a cop who is still working on the side of angels. But where there are angels, there are also demons. There’s no question that there’s evil at work when he’s called in to examine the murder scene of a college student—but is it just the evil that one human being can do to another, or is it something more? When demonic possession is a possibility, even angelic protection can only go so far. The race is on to stop a killer before he finds his next victim, as Zaniel is forced to confront his own very personal demons, and the past he never truly left behind.

The first in a new series from the author of the Anita Blake and Merry Gentry series.

I’m fascinated by angels, and I keep hoping for fiction that will do justice to them, so I’m willing to take a gamble on Hamilton’s new series. Really don’t know what to expect from it – I’ve only read Hamilton’s Merry Gentry series, and that was as a teenager – but the premise has my attention!

Battle Royal (Palace Insiders, #1) by Lucy Parker
Published on: 17th August 2021

Beloved author Lucy Parker pens a delicious new romantic comedy that is a battle of whisks and wits.


Four years ago, Sylvie Fairchild charmed the world as a contestant on the hit baking show, Operation Cake. Her ingenious, colorful creations captivated viewers and intrigued all but one of the judges, Dominic De Vere, the hottest pastry chef in London. When her glittery unicorn cake went spectacularly sideways, Dominic was quick to vote her off the show. Since then, Sylvie has managed to use her fame to help fulfill her dream of opening a bakery, Sugar Fair. The toast of Instagram, Sugar Fair has captured the attention of the Operation Cake producers…and a princess.


Dominic is His Majesty the King’s favorite baker, the go-to for sweet-toothed A-List celebrities, and a veritable British institution. He’s brilliant, talented, hard-working. And an icy, starchy grouch. Learning that the irksome Sylvie will be joining him on the Operation Cake judging panel is enough to make the famously dour baker even more grim. Her fantastical baking is only slightly more troublesome than the fact that he can’t stop thinking about her pink-streaked hair and irrepressible dimple.


When Dominic and Sylvie learn they will be fighting for the once in a lifetime opportunity to bake a cake for the upcoming wedding of Princess Rose, the flour begins to fly as they’re both determined to come out on top.

The bride adores Sylvie’s quirky style. The palace wants Dominic’s classic perfection.

In this royal battle, can there be room for two?

It’s true that Battle Royal isn’t SFF, but as mentioned, lately I’ve been craving feel-good sweetness, and this sounds pretty perfect. I don’t venture outside of SFF very often, but I’m willing to give this one a tentative try!

The Forever Place (Summerhill Supers #2) by J.C. Lillis
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Sci Fi
Representation: Gay MC, past M/M
Published on: 18th August 2021

Since his breakup with his longtime boyfriend, small-town superhero Levon Ludlow has undergone an extreme life makeover. He’s got two new jobs, a remodeled house, custom-tailored trousers, and the power to talk to an even wider array of snarky and cantankerous animals. He swears he’s too busy with his new life to miss his old love—so when Jay calls with a problem only Levon can help with, he’s sure he can keep it professional and drama-free. Even if it DOES involve two weeks at a honeymoon resort with his ex.

Pairing up as a makeshift team, Levon and Jay head for the Valentines island resort in the Florida Keys, where an outbreak of scandalous guest behavior is linked to a flock of red birds and their strange and alluring song. Levon’s mission: use his animal-talking expertise to decode the birds’ song, uncover their goal, and send them back where they came from. Jay’s mission: use his water-moving skills to protect the island from a storm that’s brewing on the horizon.

As Levon and Jay work together and reminisce in this land of heart-shaped tubs and vibrating beds, a flood of old feeling pulls them under—but unresolved issues and guilty secrets could kill their second chance before it gets off the ground. Can they come back together, once and for all, and find a new forever place that works for them both?

The sun-drenched sequel to the bittersweet YOU FIRST, this adult romcom is a funny valentine to superhero stories, found families, and love of all kinds, the old and the new.

This is the second book in the Summerhill Supers series, and don’t you DARE jump in before reading You First first! You First was one of my favourite books of 2019, a quiet, soft, sweet – and bittersweet – little book about superheroes and love and the different ways there are to be a grown-up, and I flat-out SCREECHED with delight when I found out we were getting a sequel!!! It went straight onto my Most-Anticipated list, of course. And now I’m basically LEVITATING with excitement that it’s out in just a few more days!!!

After the Dragons by Cynthia Zhang
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Queer Chinese MC, biracial MC, M/M or mlm
Published on: 19th August 2021

Dragons were fire and terror to the Western world, but in the East they brought life-giving rain…

Now, no longer hailed as gods and struggling in the overheated pollution of Beijing, only the Eastern dragons survive. As drought plagues the aquatic creatures, a mysterious disease—shaolong, or “burnt lung”—afflicts the city’s human inhabitants.
Jaded college student Xiang Kaifei scours Beijing streets for abandoned dragons, distracting himself from his diagnosis. Elijah Ahmed, a biracial American medical researcher, is drawn to Beijing by the memory of his grandmother and her death by shaolong. Interest in Beijing’s dragons leads Kai and Eli into an unlikely partnership. With the resources of Kai’s dragon rescue and Eli’s immunology research, can the pair find a cure for shaolong and safety for the dragons? Eli and Kai must confront old ghosts and hard truths if there is any hope for themselves or the dragons they love.

DRAGON VETS DRAGON VETS DRAGON VEEEEEEEEEETS! And no, not like veterans (although that would also be cool, someone write me that book, please), but like veterinarians!!! I love magical-creature vets, and this is that with DRAGONS, and also queerness, and prose that has been lauded as absolutely stunning, and HI HOW DO I FAST-FORWARD TO THURSDAY, PLEASE AND THANK YOU??? This has been on my Most Anticipated of 2021 list since I heard about it, and as you might guess from the caps lock I am VERY EXCITED INDEED!

That’s it! Will you be reading any of these? Let me know!


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