Must-Have Monday #81

Posted 11th April 2022 by Sia in Must-Have Mondays / 2 Comments

TEN books this week, with necromancers, ghosts, and vampires galore!

A Crown of Blood (The Deimachy #1) by Lincoln Law
Genres: Fantasy
Published on: 11th April 2022

A bloodthirsty army. A long forgotten god. A power believed lost.

Roisin Latenda is a Groundformer Acolyte in training, a person with the ability to manipulate the earth. Long ago—before the people rose up, killed their Gods, and fashioned their corpses into weapons—these powers could move mountains, form cities, shift countries. Now with the Gods dead, the powers are weaker, but humanity controls it. And wrestling power from the gods was always about autonomy.

When a powerful army arrives in Roisin’s small village, supported by an unknown god named the Soulmonger, all is sent into chaos. They ravage the village, killing many, and force Roisin to choose between those she loves, and her duty to her Groundformer training.

But Roisin’s life isn’t the only one to be horrifically transformed by the Soulmongers’ arrival. Piritta, the political aspirant, will find her drive for power warped in the most terrible way. Bree, the apprentice cartographer, will have to face her past; a past bathed in blood. And Kaori, whose porcelain mask hides many secrets, will seize the vengeance she seeks for a world which wronged her.

These four young women find their fates intertwined. If they make the right decisions, three of them may save the world from this new and deadly force. And should they fail, one will destroy it.

A dark and epic tale about friendship, power and the cost of war begins in A Crown of Blood, the first book of the Deimachy Trilogy.

I know almost nothing about this book, but between the blurb and the cover I’m definitely going to be giving it a go!

Saint Death's Daughter by C.S.E. Cooney
Genres: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Queer MC, nonbinary love interest, queerplatonic-coded F/F
Published on: 12th April 2022

Fun, froofy and glorious: a coming-of-age story in a new trilogy from World Fantasy Award-winning author C.S.E. Cooney.

Nothing complicates life like Death.

Lanie Stones, the daughter of the Royal Assassin and Chief Executioner of Liriat, has never led a normal life. Born with a gift for necromancy and a literal allergy to violence, she was raised in isolation in the family’s crumbling mansion by her oldest friend, the ancient revenant Goody Graves.

When her parents are murdered, it falls on Lanie and her cheerfully psychotic sister Nita to settle their extensive debts or lose their ancestral home—and Goody with it. Appeals to Liriat's ruler to protect them fall on indifferent ears… until she, too, is murdered, throwing the nation's future into doubt.

Hunted by Liriat’s enemies, hounded by her family’s creditors and terrorised by the ghost of her great-grandfather, Lanie will need more than luck to get through the next few months—but when the goddess of Death is on your side, anything is possible.

What if Gormenghast was pink and also had more knives? That maybe gives you a starting point for the book I called a cross between Catherynne Valente and NK Jemisin! And also, the most perfect book to ever book. Read it and find out why!

The Lawless: A Triptych by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor
Genres: Sci Fi
Published on: 12th April 2022

A Good Citizen follows all the Laws set forth by the benevolent Government. Trust the authority of the State. Questions are against the law.

The Government cares about you. The Government wants you to be happy. Do not deviate from the Government's prescribed conditions of happiness.

Never question the Law, for that leads to anarchy. Always obey, lest you be found undesirable. Undesirables do not deserve life. And you, Good Citizen, want to live, don't you?


THE LAWLESS: A Triptych collects three tales of near future America, and the people who fight against the totalitarian regime that wants to destroy them — plus a bonus story about resistance in a dystopian nightmare.

I love Wolfmoor’s writing, so you bet I’m pouncing on this collection! I believe all of these have been previously published, but I haven’t read them, so I’m grateful they’re being gathered into one volume!

Sanctuary by Andi C. Buchanan
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary or Urban Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Autistic MC, queer BIPOC nuerodiverse cast
Published on: 12th April 2022

Morgan’s home is a sanctuary for ghosts.

The once-grand, now dilapidated old house they live in has become a refuge for their found family. From Morgan’s partner Araminta, an artist with excellent dress sense, to Theo, a ten-year-old with an excess of energy, to quiet telekinesthetic pensioner Denny, all of them consider this haunted house their home. In a world that wasn’t built for their queer, neurodivergent selves, they’ve made it into a place they belong.

Together they welcome not just the ghosts of the house’s former inhabitants, but any who need somewhere to belong. Both the living and the dead can find themselves in need of a sanctuary.

When a collection of ghosts trapped in old bottles are delivered to their door, something from the past is unleashed. A man who once collected ghosts – a man who should have died centuries before – suddenly has the house under his control. Morgan must trust their own abilities, and their hard-won sense of self, to save their home, their family, and the woman they love.

Super, super diverse, super soft, very gentle. It didn’t quite work for me, but it’s one of those books where I’m happy it exists, you know? If you’re looking for a gentler story that mixes slice-of-life with diversity and a little bit of magic, I recommend Sanctuary!

Amongst Our Weapons (Rivers of London, #9) by Ben Aaronovitch
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary or Urban Fantasy
Representation: Biracial Black MC, Black love interest/partner
Published on: 12th April 2022

The ninth novel of the bestselling Rivers of London urban fantasy series returns to the adventures of Peter Grant, detective and apprentice wizard, as he solves magical crimes in the city of London.

There is a world hidden underneath this great city.

The London Silver Vaults–for well over a century, the largest collection of silver for sale in the world. It has more locks than the Bank of England and more cameras than a celebrity punch-up. Not somewhere you can murder someone and vanish without a trace–only that’s what happened.

The disappearing act, the reports of a blinding flash of light and memory loss amongst the witnesses all make this a case for Detective Constable Peter Grant and the Special Assessment Unit.

Alongside their boss DCI Thomas Nightingale, the SAU find themselves embroiled in a mystery that encompasses London’s tangled history, foreign lands and, most terrifying of all, the North!

And Peter must solve this case soon because back home his partner Beverley is expecting twins any day now. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s about to encounter something–and somebody–that nobody ever expects…

Effortlessly original, endlessly inventive and hugely entertaining–step into the world of the much-loved, Number One bestselling Rivers of London series.

The US release!

Chef's Kiss by Jarrett Melendez, Danica Brine, Hank Jones, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary or Urban Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Achillean MC
Published on: 12th April 2022

Watch things start to really heat up in the kitchen in this sweet, queer, new adult graphic novel! 

Now that college is over, English graduate Ben Cook is on the job hunt looking for something…anything…related to his passion for reading and writing. But interview after interview, hiring committee after hiring committee, Ben soon learns getting the dream job won’t be as easy as he thought. Proofreading? Journalism? Copywriting? Not enough experience. It turns out he doesn’t even have enough experience to be a garbage collector! But when Ben stumbles upon a “Now Hiring—No Experience Necessary” sign outside a restaurant, he jumps at the chance to land his first job. Plus, he can keep looking for a writing job in the meantime. He’s actually not so bad in the kitchen, but he will have to pass a series of cooking tests to prove he’s got the culinary skills to stay on full-time. But it’s only temporary…right? 

When Ben begins developing a crush on Liam, one of the other super dreamy chefs at the restaurant, and when he starts ditching his old college friends and his old writing job plans, his career path starts to become much less clear. 

This looks like a super sweet graphic novel, and given that he talks to some kind of fairy creatures (possibly imaginary?) I’m willing to call it SFF and include it! Plus, who doesn’t love queer stories with food???

Woman, Eating by Claire Kohda
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary or Urban Fantasy
Published on: 12th April 2022

A biracial half-human, half-vampire must find a way to balance her mixed heritage, her bottomless hunger, and her life in this stunning debut novel from a writer-to-watch.

Lydia is hungry. She's always wanted to try Japanese food. Sashimi, ramen, onigiri with sour plum stuffed inside - the food her Japanese father liked to eat. And then there is bubble tea and iced-coffee, ice cream and cake, and foraged herbs and plants, and the vegetables grown by the other young artists at the London studio space she is secretly squatting in. But, Lydia can't eat any of these things. Her body doesn't work like those of other people. The only thing she can digest is blood, and it turns out that sourcing fresh pigs' blood in London--where she is living away from her vampire mother for the first time - is much more difficult than she'd anticipated.

Then there are the humans--the other artists at the studio space, the people at the gallery she interns at, the strange men that follow her after dark, and Ben, a boyish, goofy-grinned artist she is developing feelings for. Lydia knows that they are her natural prey, but she can't bring herself to feed on them. In her windowless studio, where she paints and studies the work of other artists, binge-watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer and videos of people eating food on YouTube and Instagram, Lydia considers her place in the world. She has many of the things humans wish for--perpetual youth, near-invulnerability, immortality--but, she is miserable; she is lonely; and she is hungry--always hungry.

As Lydia develops as a woman and an artist, she will learn that she must reconcile the conflicts within her--between her demon and human sides, her mixed ethnic heritage, and her relationship with food, and, in turn, humans if she is to find a way to exist in the world. Before any of this, however, she must eat.

Another book that had its UK debut a little while ago, and releases in the USA this week!

The Devil in the Dust by Chaz Brenchley
Genres: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: M/M
Published on: 14th April 2022

Outremer—a harsh and barren kingdom born of blood and at war with the world around it.

For forty years, the Order of the Knights Ransomer has been the sword-arm and conscience of the kingdom. Their stronghold, the Roq de Rançon, is the key to Outremer’s defence. But nomadic tribes on the kingdom’s borders threaten to reclaim this land that was once theirs.

Marron, a young man training to be a Ransomer, and Julianne, a noble-born girl betrothed to a man she’s never met, are journeying to the Roq. There each of them will be put to the test, as they become inextricably bound up in the coming upheaval that will decide the fate of Outremer.

Chaz Brenchley’s Outremer series has been out of print for TWENTY YEARS – but now it’s becoming available again! I’ve had this preordered since I saw the announcement in the Book Cafe newsletter, and I seriously cannot wait to read it!

The Language of Roses by Heather Rose Jones
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Aromantic MC, F/F
Published on: 14th April 2022

A Beauty. A Beast. A Curse. This is not the story you know.

Join author Heather Rose Jones on a new and magical journey into the heart of a familiar fairytale. Meet Alys, eldest daughter of a merchant, a merchant who foolishly plucks a rose from a briar as he flees from the home of a terrifying fay Beast and his seemingly icy sister. Now Alys must pay the price to save his life and allow the Beast, the once handsome Philippe, to pay court to her.

But Alys has never fallen in love with anyone; how can she love a Beast? The fairy Peronelle, waiting in the woods to see the culmination of her curse, is sure that she will fail. Yet, if she does, Philippe’s sister Grace and her beloved Eglantine, trapped in an enchanted briar in the garden, will pay a terrible price. Unless Alys can find another way…

Beauty and the Beast…but make it aromantic! Um, yes please??!

Blood to Poison by Mary Watson
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary or Urban Fantasy
Representation: Black South African MC and cast
Published on: 14th April 2022

Seventeen-year-old Savannah is cursed. It's a sinister family heirloom; passed down through the bloodline for hundreds of years, with one woman in every generation destined to die young. The family call them Hella's girls, named for their ancestor Hella; the enslaved woman with whom it all began. Hella's girls are always angry, especially in the months before they die.

The anger is bursting from Savannah - at the men who cat-call her in the street, at her mother's disingenuous fiancé, even at her own loving family. Each fit of rage is bringing her closer to the edge and now Savannah has to act to save herself. Or die trying. Because the key to survival lies in the underbelly of Cape Town, where the sinister veilwitches are waiting for just such a girl.

Blood to Poison is a furious and mesmerising story about discovering magic, historical rage and love in all its guises.

This has had somewhat mixed reviews, but I’m just in love with any story that combines fantasy and femme rage, so I’m here for it!

Will you be reading any of these? Did I miss any books I should know about? Let me know!


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