Must-Have Monday #61

Posted 22nd November 2021 by Sia in Must-Have Mondays / 0 Comments

Can you believe I’ve officially done sixty of these posts now?! Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess!

Anyway, this week I have SEVEN releases-of-interest for you, ranging from bone-magic to Yuletide stories!

The Bone Shard Emperor (The Drowning Empire, #2) by Andrea Stewart
Genres: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Asian-coded cast, biracial MC, sapphic MCs, F/F
Published on: 23rd November 2021

Andrea Stewart returns with The Bone Shard Emperor, the second installment of this unmissable, action-packed, magic-laced fantasy epic.

The Emperor is Dead. Long live the Emperor.   

Lin Sukai finally sits on the throne she won at so much cost, but her struggles are only just beginning. Her people don’t trust her. Her political alliances are weak. And in the north-east of the Empire, a rebel army of constructs is gathering, its leader determined to take the throne by force.   

Yet an even greater threat is on the horizon, for the Alanga – the powerful magicians of legend – have returned to the Empire. They claim they come in peace, and Lin will need their help in order to defeat the rebels and restore peace.   

But can she trust them?  

I finished rereading The Bone Shard Daughter this weekend so I could jump right into this tomorrow!!! I’m ridiculously excited to see where the story’s going to go, and what’s going to happen to all the characters. AND THE ALANGA ARE BACK??? EEEEEEEE!

A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger
Representation: First Nation asexual MC
Published on: 23rd November 2021

Nina is a Lipan girl in our world. She's always felt there was something more out there. She still believes in the old stories.

Oli is a cottonmouth kid, from the land of spirits and monsters. Like all cottonmouths, he's been cast from home. He's found a new one on the banks of the bottomless lake.

Nina and Oli have no idea the other exists. But a catastrophic event on Earth, and a strange sickness that befalls Oli's best friend, will drive their worlds together in ways they haven't been in centuries.

And there are some who will kill to keep them apart.

Darcie Little Badger introduced herself to the world with Elatsoe. In A Snake Falls to Earth, she draws on traditional Lipan Apache storytelling structure to weave another unforgettable tale of monsters, magic, and family. It is not to be missed.

The ebook released last week, but this week the hardcover comes out! So anyone who wants a paper copy can get one from tomorrow-onwards!

Fated Blades (Kinsmen, #3) by Ilona Andrews
Genres: Sci Fi
Published on: 23rd November 2022

An uneasy alliance between warring families gets heated in this otherworldly novella from bestselling author Ilona Andrews.

At first glance, the planet Rada seems like a lush paradise. But the ruling families, all boasting genetically enhanced abilities, are in constant competition for power―and none more so than the Adlers and the Baenas. For generations, the powerful families have pushed and pulled each other in a dance for dominance.

Until a catastrophic betrayal from within changes everything.

Now, deadly, disciplined, and solitary leaders Ramona Adler and Matias Baena must put aside their enmity and work together in secret to prevent sinister forces from exploiting universe-altering technology. Expecting to suffer through their uneasy alliance, Ramona and Matias instead discover that they understand each other as no one in their families can―and that their combined skills may eclipse the risks of their forbidden alliance.

As the two warriors risk their lives to save their families, they must decide whether to resist or embrace the passion simmering between them. For now, the dance between their families continues―but just one misstep could spell the end of them both.

I love the Kinsmen series, and it was a lovely surprise to discover that we’re getting a new installment! It sounds like this probably works as a standalone, but I do recommend you read the other novellas in the series too, just because they’re kinda awesome!

Forging a Nightmare by Patricia A. Jackson
Genres: Fantasy
Representation: Black MC, Black secondary characters
Published on: 23rd November 2021

Unknown to Humanity, the descendants of Fallen Angels live among us. After millennia of living in anonymity, a serial killer has discovered their secret and has marked them for death. FBI Agent Michael Childs is brought in to investigate a series of grisly murders in New York City. The only link between the victims is they were all born with twelve fingers and twelve toes, known in occult circles as the Nephilim, a forsaken people.

A break in the case leads to Marine Corps sniper Anaba Raines who is listed as killed in action in Syria. Michael finds the hardened soldier alive and well, but no longer Human. After getting too close to the truth, Michael refuses to be an unwitting pawn in a 3000-year old vendetta. With the killers closing in, he is forced to confront his own unique heritage or die. Only Anaba can save his life, but at a terrible cost – her freedom.

This one didn’t work for me, but hopefully it’ll work for someone else!

A Country of Ghosts by Margaret Killjoy
Genres: Fantasy
Published on: 23rd November 2021

Dimos Horacki is a Borolian journalist and a cynical patriot, his muckraking days behind him. But when his newspaper ships him to the front, he’s embedded in the Imperial Army and the reality of colonial expansion is laid bare before him. His adventures take him from villages and homesteads to the great refugee city of Hronople, built of glass, steel, and stone, all while a war rages around him. The empire fights for coal and iron, but the anarchists of Hron fight for their way of life.

A Country of Ghosts is a novel of utopia besieged that challenges every premise of contemporary society.

If the name Margaret Killjoy sounds familiar, it might be because you’ve heard of their Danielle Cain series (The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion + The Barrow Will Send What It May)! A Country of Ghosts was originally published in 2014, but it’s getting a new edition and, I hope, a lot more attention than it did the first time around, now that the Cain series was such a hit!

The Night the Stars Fell by Amber D. Lewis
Genres: Fantasy
Published on: 23rd November 2021

"My name is Astra Downs, and in three days I may destroy the word."

The earth trembles and the stars fall. Things that were long forgotten return and Astra and her twin, Kato, are at the center of it all. Magic has been dead for centuries, but when Astra and Kato are born, it's a sign that something is about to happen. No twins have ever been born before--not in their kingdom of Callenia or anywhere else on their continent. Beneath their skin prowls an unknown, ancient power and the closer they get to their eighteenth birthday, the closer it comes to breaking free.

When a handsome young stranger with connections to the crown prince appears in their nothing town of Timberborn, they may finally have access to the answers they've been seeking their entire lives. Soon, they're running for their lives from a fearful king and the trust of strangers and new friends may be their only chance at survival and controlling their manifesting powers.

I don’t know much about this book, but the early reviews are glowing, so I want to check it out!

Once Upon a Winter: A Folk and Fairy Tale Anthology by H.L. Macfarlane, Caroline Logan, Rebecca F. Kenney, Laila Amado, Jake Curran-Pipe, Katherine Shaw, Ella Holmes, Bharat Krishnan, Jenna Smithwick, M.J. Weatherall, Adie Hart, R.A. Gerritse, A.J. Van Belle, Kate Longstone, Joyce Reynolds-Ward, S. Markem, Josie Jaffrey
Genres: Fantasy
Published on: 23rd November 2021

A shape-shifting spirit haunts a family in England during the depths of winter. A woman must locate a snowflake for a magical trickster to save her frozen true love. A witch knocks upon a young man’s door to take his life on Christmas day. A small boy meets a faerie housed within a snow drop.

Once upon a time stories travelled from place to place on the tongues of merchants and thieves and kings alike. Under the blanket of night they were exchanged between children, and passed on to their children, and their children after them. Details were altered from one generation to the next until thousands of tales existed where once there were few. In the spirit of these age-old stories comes Once Upon a Winter, a seasonal anthology of folk and fairy tales from 17 authors across the globe. It covers the Gothic, the romantic, the whimsical, the frightening and everything in-between, and features both intriguing twists on classic tales and exciting original stories.The first of four planned seasonal anthologies from Macfarlane Lantern Publishing, Once Upon a Winter is sure to have a story for just about everyone. Grab your copy in time for Christmas today!

Anthologies are often hit and miss for me, but seasonal stories from all over the world? I am intrigued. Hopefully it’s wonderful, and I can keep an eye out for the Spring/Summer/Autumn collections the publisher is planning!

That’s it from me! Will you be reading any of these? Did I miss any books I should know about? Let me know!


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