Must-Have Monday #58

Posted 1st November 2021 by Siavahda in Must-Have Mondays / 0 Comments

There are EIGHT releases of interest this week, ranging from Black mermaids to libraries in Hell to sapphics against the apocalypse!

Star Mother by Charlie N. Holmberg
Published on: 1st November 2021
Genres: Fantasy
Goodreads

When a star dies, a new one must be born.

The Sun God chooses the village of Endwever to provide a mortal womb. The birthing of a star is always fatal for the mother, and Ceris Wenden, who considers herself an outsider, sacrifices herself to secure her family’s honor and take control of her legacy. But after her star child is born, Ceris does what no other star mother has: she survives. When Ceris returns to Endwever, however, it’s not nine months later—it’s seven hundred years later. Inexplicably displaced in time, Ceris is determined to seek out her descendants.

Being a woman traveling alone brings its own challenges, until Ceris encounters a mysterious—and desperate—godling. Ristriel is incorporeal, a fugitive, a trickster, and the only being who can guide Ceris safely to her destination. Now, as Ceris traverses realms both mortal and beyond, her journey truly begins.

Together, pursued across the Earth and trespassing the heavens, Ceris and Ristriel are on a path to illuminate the mysteries that bind them and discover the secrets of the celestial world.

I love stories about stars and celestial bodies, so this one grabbed my attention straightaway. I have no idea what to expect from the time-travel aspect though!

Her Name is Knight by Yasmin Angoe
Representation: Black MC, Black cast
Published on: 1st November 2021
Goodreads

Her Name Is Knight revolves around Nena Knight, codename Echo, a highly trained assassin for The Tribe – a clandestine international organization dedicated to the protection and advancement of the peoples and countries of Africa around the world. Her Name Is Knight is a propulsive character story and action thriller driven by retribution, passion, strength — and coming to terms with your own true self, regardless of what anyone calls you.

This just sounds amazing from start to finish. Action/thriller is not typically my genre, but who the hell can resist a premise like that?!

A Marvellous Light (The Last Binding, #1) by Freya Marske
Representation: M/M, secondary Desi character
Published on: 2nd November 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Goodreads

Robin Blyth has more than enough bother in his life. He's struggling to be a good older brother, a responsible employer, and the harried baronet of a seat gutted by his late parents' excesses. When an administrative mistake sees him named the civil service liaison to a hidden magical society, he discovers what's been operating beneath the unextraordinary reality he's always known.

Now Robin must contend with the beauty and danger of magic, an excruciating deadly curse, and the alarming visions of the future that come with it--not to mention Edwin Courcey, his cold and prickly counterpart in the magical bureaucracy, who clearly wishes Robin were anyone and anywhere else.

Robin's predecessor has disappeared, and the mystery of what happened to him reveals unsettling truths about the very oldest stories they've been told about the land they live on and what binds it. Thrown together and facing unexpected dangers, Robin and Edwin discover a plot that threatens every magician in the British Isles--and a secret that more than one person has already died to keep.

I got to read this early, and can confirm that it absolutely lives up to all the hype! You can read my review here, but this is an incredibly readable fantasy with lots of Feels and hidden depths.

Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen
Representation: Black MC, Black cast
Published on: 2nd November 2021
Genres: Fantasy
Goodreads

An unforgettable fantasy debut inspired by West African mythology, this is Children of Blood and Bone meets The Little Mermaid, in which a mermaid takes on the gods themselves.

A way to survive.
A way to serve.
A way to save.

Simi prayed to the gods, once. Now she serves them as Mami Wata--a mermaid--collecting the souls of those who die at sea and blessing their journeys back home.

But when a living boy is thrown overboard, Simi does the unthinkable--she saves his life, going against an ancient decree. And punishment awaits those who dare to defy it.

To protect the other Mami Wata, Simi must journey to the Supreme Creator to make amends. But all is not as it seems. There's the boy she rescued, who knows more than he should. And something is shadowing Simi, something that would rather see her fail. . . .

Danger lurks at every turn, and as Simi draws closer, she must brave vengeful gods, treacherous lands, and legendary creatures. Because if she doesn't, then she risks not only the fate of all Mami Wata, but also the world as she knows it.

Mermaids! BLACK mermaids! Honestly that’s really all I need to hear, I’m sold.

The God of Lost Words (Hell's Library, #3) by A.J. Hackwith
Representation: Brown pansexual MC, secondary bi/pansexual character, casual background queerness
Published on: 2nd November 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Goodreads

To save the Library of the Unwritten in Hell, former librarian Claire and her allies may have to destroy it first.

Claire, the rakish Hero, the angel Rami, and the muse turned librarian Brevity have accomplished the impossible by discovering the true nature of unwritten books. But now that the secret is out, Hell will be coming for every wing of the library in its quest for power.

The third and final book of the Hell’s Library trilogy! It’s very much a case of, I don’t want it to be over but I need to I know how it ends, you know???

The Demon Equilibrium by Cathy Pegau
Representation: F/F
Published on: 2nd November 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Goodreads

When the demonic Horde threatens to unleash Hell on Earth, two women must summon every bit of their shared power to save the world.

Grace Carter, a “source” of magic, has spent the last nine months searching for Maggie Mulvaney, her “catalyst.” The joy of reuniting with her partner—and her lover—is thwarted by her worst fear: Maggie doesn’t remember Grace or their life together. Grace blames the Order of Saint Teresa, the centuries-old organization that trained them to be the strongest demon-hunting duo in generations. But why has the Order done this?

As Maggie and Grace begin to piece their lives back together, they discover that their memories have been masked by someone within the Order. Should the Horde succeed in their plan, those who have committed their lives to slaying worldly demons will be relegated to little more than minions as humans are completely enslaved.

Now, Grace and Maggie must sacrifice everything, possibly even their lives, as they battle to save humanity.

The cover initially made me think this was going to be some kind of post-apocalyptic story, but no, it’s historical fantasy! Which is interesting, because I don’t think I’ve come across this sort of story in a historical setting before. I just hope everyone gets their memories back!

Dreams Lie Beneath by Rebecca Ross
Published on: 2nd November 2021
Genres: Fantasy
Goodreads

Perfect for readers of The Hazel Wood and The Night Circus, this lush and layered story about magic and the captivating power of dreams is delivered with acclaimed author Rebecca Ross’s signature exquisite style.

A curse plagues the realm of Azenor—during each new moon, magic flows from the nearby mountain and brings nightmares to life. Only magicians, who serve as territory wardens, stand between people and their worst dreams.

Clementine Madigan is ready to take over as the warden of her small town, but when two magicians challenge her, she is unwittingly drawn into a century-old conflict. She seeks revenge, but as she secretly gets closer to Phelan, one of the handsome young magicians, secrets begin to rise. Clementine must unite with her rival to fight the realm’s curse, which seems to be haunting her every turn.

I’m reading an ARC of Ross’ adult debut – A River Enchanted – at the moment, and I’m enjoying her writing so much that I definitely want to check out her YA!

Terciel and Elinor (The Old Kingdom, #6) by Garth Nix
Published on: 2nd November 2021
Genres: Fantasy
Goodreads

Bestselling novelist Garth Nix returns to the Old Kingdom for the never-before-told love story of Sabriel’s parents, Tericel and Elinor, and the charter magic that brought them together—and threatened to tear them apart. A long-awaited prequel to a classic fantasy series.

In the Old Kingdom, a land of ancient and often terrible magics, eighteen year-old orphan Terciel learns the art of necromancy from his great-aunt Tizanael. But not to raise the Dead, rather to lay them to rest. He is the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, and Tizanael is the Abhorsen, the latest in a long line of people whose task it is to make sure the Dead do not return to Life.

Across the Wall in Ancelstierre, a steam-age country where magic usually does not work, nineteen year-old Elinor lives a secluded life. Her only friends an old governess and an even older groom who was once a famous circus performer. Her mother is a tyrant, who is feared by all despite her sickness and impending death . . . but perhaps there is even more to fear from that.

Elinor does not know she is deeply connected to the Old Kingdom, nor that magic can sometimes come across the Wall, until a plot by an ancient enemy of the Abhorsens brings Terciel and Tizanael to Ancelstierre. In a single day of fire and death and loss, Elinor finds herself set on a path which will take her into the Old Kingdom, into Terciel’s life, and will embroil her in the struggle of the Abhorsens against the Dead who will not stay dead.

The covers for all the various editions of Terciel and Elinor are so awesome I couldn’t choose between them – though I admit to having a soft spot for the one on the left, which features Mogget too! (And also a glimpse of the belt-of-bells, which, haven’t we all been fascinated by that???) But ultimately: NEW OLD KINGDOM BOOK! If you’re not at least a little bit excited, you’re Wrong.

That’s all I’ve got for this week! Will you be reading any of these? Did I miss any books I should know about? Let me know!

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