Must-Have Monday #51!

Posted 13th September 2021 by Sia in Must-Have Mondays / 0 Comments

We have another packed week, with TEN new releases to be excited about – including robber girls, queer vampires coming for their exes, and dream-yokai!

Daughter of the Yellow Dragon: A Mongolian Saga (Fractured Empire, #1) by Starr Z. Davies
Representation: Mongolian cast
Published on: 13th September 2021

Genghis Khan united a nation and created a vast empire for his heirs. But after 200 years of civil war, his empire has fallen into the dark ages.

Mandukhai dreams of being a fierce warrior woman, but her dreams are shattered when she is forced to become the second wife to the Great Khan. Unebolod spent his life in the Great Khan's shadow, preparing for a day when he can seize control of the empire. But when he forms a dangerous alliance with Mandukhai, it swiftly transforms into a passion that could destroy them both.

Just as the two are certain their fate will one day bring them together and make Unebolod the next Great Khan, a young prince surfaces to steal the Great Khan's attention and the hearts of the nation.

Daughter of the Yellow Dragon is the first book in a gripping, gritty historical fiction series based on the epic life of one of the most underrated women in history. The series draws you into a world of brutal Mongol steppe life, deadly political games, and supernatural beliefs.

Please be advised: This book contains adult situations, graphic violence, assault, and personal loss.
PINNACLE BOOK ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNER!Daughter of the Yellow Dragon is the Winter 2021 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award Winner for outstanding Historical Fiction.
“This story is nothing short of a masterpiece!” – Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews
"A Mongolian Game of Thrones!" – Katherine Roberts, author of Prince of the Wolves: The Legend of Genghis Khan

Out today is a High (or maybe even Epic?) Fantasy set in ancient Mongolia! Personally I’m crossing my fingers for literal dragons to show up, but either way it definitely sounds like it sohuld be interesting!

When Sorrows Come (October Daye, #15) by Seanan McGuire
Representation: Bi/pansexual love interest, secondary sapphic characters
Published on: 14th September 2021

Toby's getting married! Now in hardcover, the fifteenth novel of the Hugo-nominated, New York Times-bestselling October Daye urban fantasy series.
It's hard to be a hero. There's always something needing October "Toby" Daye's attention, and her own desires tend to fall by the wayside in favor of solving the Kingdom's problems. That includes the desire to marry her long-time suitor and current fiancé, Tybalt, San Francisco's King of Cats. She doesn't mean to keep delaying the wedding, it just sort of...happens. And that's why her closest friends have taken the choice out of her hands, ambushing her with a court wedding at the High Court in Toronto. Once the High King gets involved, there's not much even Toby can do to delay things...

...except for getting involved in stopping a plot to overthrow the High Throne itself, destabilizing the Westlands entirely, and keeping her from getting married through nothing more than the sheer volume of chaos it would cause. Can Toby save the Westlands and make it to her own wedding on time? Or is she going to have to choose one over the other?

Includes an all-new bonus novella!

I can’t believe this series is going to be FIFTEEN books strong as of tomorrow! (And that’s without including all the short stories and novellas we’ve gotten too!) One of my favourite aspects of this series was that it took Toby and Tybalt a good while to get together, but I’m SPINNING IN CIRCLES OF GLEE that we’re finally getting the wedding!!! I just love them and want them to be happy, okay? And although that obviously doesn’t necessitate a wedding, I s2g I will take a nice iron FIREPLACE POKER to any asshat who tries to get in their way!

Tl;dr: I can’t wait to read this!!!

The Robber Girl by Franny Billingsley
Genres: Fantasy
Published on: 14th September 2021

Part literary mystery, part magical tour de force--an incantatory novel of fierce beauty, lyricism, and originality from a National Book Award Finalist

A brilliant puzzle of a book from the author of Chime and The Folk Keeper plunges us into the vulnerable psyche of one of the most memorable unreliable narrators to grace the page in decades. The Robber Girl has a good dagger. Its voice in her head is as sharp as its two edges that taper down to a point.

Today, the Robber Girl and her dagger will ride with Gentleman Jack into the Indigo Heart to claim the gold that's rightfully his. But instead of gold, the Robber Girl finds a dollhouse cottage with doorknobs the size of apple seeds. She finds two dolls who give her three tasks, even though she knows that three is too many tasks. The right number of tasks is two, like Grandmother gave to Gentleman Jack: Fetch unto me the mountain's gold, to build our city fair. Fetch unto me the wingless bird, and I shall make you my heir.

The Robber Girl finds what might be a home, but to fight is easier than to trust when you're a mystery even to yourself and you're torn between loyalty and love.

The Robber Girl is at once achingly real--wise to the nuances of trauma--and loaded with magic, action, and intrigue. Every sentence shines, sharp as a blade, in a beautifully crafted novel about memory, identity, and the power of language to heal and reconstruct our lives.

Chime and The Folk Keeper are still among my favourite books 10+ years after I first read them, so I’m BEYOND excited that we’re getting a new Billingsley book!!! I confess to finding the blurb a little unclear, but I don’t see that as a problem; I’d rather have as few preconceptions about the story as possible when I dive in. Billingsley always turns the table on the reader anyway!

The Hollow Heart (The Midnight Lie, #2) by Marie Rutkoski
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Sapphic MCs
Published on: 14th September 2021

Intrigue, romance, and magic abound in the heart-stopping conclusion to Marie Rutkoski’s Forgotten Gods duology.

At the end of The Midnight Lie, Nirrim offered up her heart to the God of Thieves in order to restore her people’s memories of their city’s history. The Half Kith who once lived imprisoned behind the city’s wall now realize that many among them are powerful. Meanwhile, the person Nirrim once loved most, Sid, has returned to her home country of Herran, where she must navigate the politics of being a rogue princess who has finally agreed to do her duty.

In the Herrani court, rumors begin to grow of a new threat rising across the sea, of magic unleashed on the world, and of a cruel, black-haired queen who can push false memories into your mind, so that you believe your dearest friends to be your enemies.

Sid doesn’t know that this queen is Nirrim, who seeks her revenge against a world that has wronged her. Can Sid save Nirrim from herself? Does Nirrim even want to be saved? As blood is shed and war begins, Sid and Nirrim find that it might not matter what they want…for the gods have their own plans.

I’ve been hearing about The Midnight Lie, the first book in this duology, since it came out last year, but there was always something else higher up on my tbr. Last week I opened it up on a whim, and it dragged me under like a riptide – so I was kind of delighted when I realised the sequel is out tomorrow! PERFECT TIMING, because I really need to know what happens next!

The Wolf Among the Wild Hunt by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor, Andrew Garin
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Asexual aromantic MC, asexual aromantic nonbinary bestie/partner, queernorm world
Published on: 14th September 2021

Skythulf wants to live. Raised in the fight pits, trained to kill or be killed, he yearns for freedom that's out of reach. He's a scythewulf: a wolf-shifter considered neither fully man nor beast, his life worth nothing to his keepers…until Brennus, knight-champion of Saorlland, rescues him from certain death and offers him a new life.

When he mistakenly kills a corrupted nun, Skythulf has one chance to redeem himself and restore his honor. He must run with the Wild Hunt: an age-old trial of blood and courage, where every step hides peril and carnage. If he survives, he will be pardoned. If he fails, Brennus will die brutally at his side.

Few have ever returned from the fae-haunted land, where horrors unnamed dwell beside the enchanted and the damned. There is no rest, no relent, and no mercy.

In the Wild Hunt, you run or you die.

A fantasy-horror novella with lyrical prose and full-on mythopoeic worldbuilding, this is strange and wonderful and really does not hold back on the horror aspects – but Sky is very much a character worth going through horrors for, even if he himself doesn’t believe that. I love this and am very annoyed I only found out about it at the very last second!

The Lost Girls: A Vampire Revenge Story by Sonia Hartl
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Bi/pansexual MC, F/F
Published on: 14th September 2021

Getting over Your Vampire Ex is as Easy as Killing Him and Stealing His Girlfriend

Holly Liddell has been stuck with crimped hair since 1987 when she agreed to let her boyfriend, Elton, turn her into a vampire. But when he ditches her at a gas station a few decades into their eternity together, she realizes that being young forever actually means working graveyard shifts at Taco Bell, sleeping in seedy motels, and being supernaturally compelled to follow your ex from town to town—at least until Holly meets Elton’s other exes.

It seems that Holly isn’t the only girl Elton seduced into this wretched existence. He turned Ida in 1921, then Rose in 1954, and he abandoned them both before Holly was even born. Now Rose and Ida want to kill him before he can trick another girl into eternal adolescence, and they’ll need Holly’s help to do it. And once Holly starts falling for Elton’s vulnerable new conquest, Parker, she’ll do anything to save her.

To kill Elton for good, Holly and her friends will have to dig up their pasts, rob a bank, and reconcile with the people they’ve hurt in their search for eternal love. And to win the girl, Holly will have to convince Parker that she’s more than just Elton’s crazy ex—even though she is trying to kill him.

I am so here for someone finally giving the creepy-ancient-vampire-who-turns-teens what he deserves! And bonus points for being queer!

Yume by Sifton Tracey Anipare
Genres: Fantasy
Representation: Black MC,
Published on: 14th September 2021

A modern-day fantasy novel about demons, dreams, and a young woman teaching English in Japan.

Cybelle teaches English in a small city in Japan. Her contract is up for renewal, her mother is begging her to come back to Canada, and she is not sure where she belongs anymore. She faces ostracism and fear daily, but she loves her job, despite its increasing difficulties. She vows to do her best — even when her sleep, appetite, and life in general start to get weird, and conforming to the rules that once helped her becomes a struggle.

Meanwhile, yokai feast and cavort around Osaka and Kyoto as the barrier between their world and the human world thins. Zaniel spends his nights walking the dream world and serving his demon “bodyguard,” Akki. But there is a new yokai on the scene, and it has gotten on Akki’s bad side. When Cybelle gets caught up in the supernatural clash, she has to figure out what is real and, more importantly, what she really wants … before her life spirals out of control altogether.

I have very little idea what to expect of this one, but I’m fascinated by that bright colourful cover, and I’ve seen the story described as a ‘grown up Spirited Away’. So it definitely seems appropriate to include it here!

Landfill Mountains by Rab Ferguson
Genres: Sci Fi
Published on: 14th September 2021

In a world ravaged by the effects of climate change sixteen-year-old, Joe has been left with nothing but mountains full of junk.

When Joe and his friends are caught in an avalanche of waste, a six-year-old girl named Lily is left deathly ill. Joe travels to the city to seek out help for her.
Nothing could prepare him for what he finds on the way: a dangerous prince wearing a suit made of stars, the wolf from Red Riding Hood bearing its teeth, and the reality-changing power of storytelling aloud.

I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but…that is a really beautiful cover. Just saying! But the cover is also quietly sad, and that seems appropriate, since Ferguson’s story is set post-environmental collapse. Several earlier reviews have called it a dystopia (I’m not convinced they’re using that word properly, or if there’s some horrible governing body still existing in this future), but mixed up with folk tales and fairytales. It might be too bleak for me right now, but I’d like to give it a try.

A Dark and Starless Forest by Sarah Hollowell
Genres: Fantasy
Representation: Fat MC, secondary Black, Deaf, Mexican-American, pansexual, transgender, asexual, and nonbinary characters
Published on: 14th September 2021

When her siblings start to go missing, a girl must confront the dark thing that lives in the forest—and the growing darkness in herself—in this debut YA contemporary fantasy for fans of Wilder Girls.

Derry and her eight siblings live in an isolated house by the lake, separated from the rest of the world by an eerie and menacing forest. Frank, the man who raised them after their families abandoned them, says it’s for their own good. After all, the world isn’t safe for people with magic. And Derry feels safe—most of the time.
Until the night her eldest sister disappears. Jane and Derry swore to each other that they’d never go into the forest, not after their last trip ended in blood, but Derry is sure she saw Jane walk into the trees. When another sibling goes missing and Frank’s true colors start to show, feeling safe is no longer an option. Derry will risk anything to protect the family she has left. Even if that means returning to the forest that has started calling to Derry in her missing siblings’ voices.

As Derry spends more time amidst the trees, her magic grows more powerful . . . and so does the darkness inside her, the viciousness she wants to pretend doesn’t exist. But saving her siblings from the forest and from Frank might mean embracing the darkness. And that just might be the most dangerous thing of all.

This is packed full of diversity, magic, and family, and if you’re curious you can read an excerpt over here!

Stalking Shadows by Cyla Panin
Genres: Fantasy
Published on: 14th September 2021

A gothic YA fantasy debut about a young woman striving to break her sister's curse and stop the killing in her small French town

Seventeen-year-old Marie mixes perfumes to sell on market day in her small eighteenth-century French town. She wants to make enough to save a dowry for her sister, Ama, in hopes of Ama marrying well and Marie living in the level of freedom afforded only to spinster aunts. But her perfumes are more than sweet scents in cheap, cut-glass bottles: A certain few are laced with death. Marie laces the perfume delicately--not with poison but with a hint of honeysuckle she's trained her sister to respond to. Marie marks her victim, and Ama attacks. But she doesn't attack as a girl. She kills as a beast.

Marking Ama's victims controls the damage to keep suspicion at bay. But when a young boy turns up dead one morning, Marie is forced to acknowledge she might be losing control of Ama. And if she can't control her, she'll have to cure her. Marie knows the only place she'll find the cure is in the mansion where Ama was cursed in the first place, home of Lord Sebastien LaClaire. But once she gets into the mansion, she discovers dark secrets hidden away--secrets of the curse, of Lord Sebastien . . . and of herself.

Stories about sisters are always intriguing, and I’m majorly interested in a pair where one marks people for the other to kill! This is supposed to have some pretty unexpected twists, too, so I’m definitely going to be checking it out.

That’s it this week! Did I miss any? Will you be reading any of these? Let me know!


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