I have yet to find out why, but I noticed years ago that March and September both seem to be major months for fantasy releases. Since March is my birthday, I’m not complaining in the least, and this September promises to be especially epic! So this month’s Must-Have Monday posts will be dedicated to keeping everyone up to date with all the fab books September’s spoiling us with.
All the books listed here are out tomorrow.The Unkindest Tide (October Daye, #13) by Seanan McGuire
Published by DAW Books on 3rd September 2019
Hundreds of years ago, the Selkies made a deal with the sea witch: they would have the sea for as long as she allowed it, and when the time came, she would call in all their debts at once. Many people assumed that day would never come. Those people were wrong.
When the Luidaeg—October "Toby" Daye's oldest and most dangerous ally—tells her the time has come for the Selkies to fulfill their side of the bargain, and that Toby must be a part of the process, Toby can't refuse. Literally. The Selkies aren't the only ones in debt to the Luidaeg, and Toby has to pay what she owes like anyone else. They will travel to the fabled Duchy of Ships and call a convocation of the Selkies, telling them to come and meet the Luidaeg's price...or face the consequences.
Of course, nothing is that simple. When Dianda Lorden's brother appears to arrest Dianda for treason against the Undersea, when a Selkie woman is stripped of her skin and then murdered, when everything is falling apart, that's when Toby will have to answer the real question of the hour.
Is she going to sink? Or is she going to swim?
First up is book thirteen (!!!) in Seanan McGuire’s amazing October Daye series. All the Daye books are written with little recaps in the opening pages, so new readers can jump in wherever they want to if that’s truly their heart’s desire; however, I recommend beginning at the beginning, because you’re truly missing out otherwise. One of the things that makes this series so special is McGuire’s incredible ability to lay the groundwork for future twists, turns and reveals five or six books in advance; details you don’t even note as you read them turn out to have world-changing implications later in the series, and revelations or dei ex machina that at first glance break the rules can be traced back to offhand comments in the very first or second book. I don’t know if McGuire has a photographic memory, or if she just has a whole wall of her house covered in October Daye notes that are all connected to each other with different colored strings, but somehow she keeps track of everything and nothing – absolutely nothing – is ever meaningless or unintentional in these books.
Unkindest Tide promises to finally deal with the selkies, something that the series has been building up to for a while, and I really don’t think you’ll get the full impact of whatever’s coming without all that context. I’m not usually a urban fantasy fan myself, but I urge anyone with doubts to try the first two or three books; they’re pretty short, very readable, and will excite anyone who wants to geek out on their faerie lore (I knew I’d found something special when the pronunciation guide of book one listed mythical creatures I knew, but that I’d never seen in fiction before. Or since, for that matter!) And although I usually decry first-person narration – with the argument that most narrators just aren’t unique enough to make being in their head that interesting – October, the eponymous lead character, really is unique, even if you might not think so at first glance, and I’m constantly glad McGuire decided to write this series in first-person instead of third – not something I say often.
So fans of this series should already have this pre-ordered; everyone else can take this as a reminder to go check out these books already!There Will Come a Darkness (The Age of Darkness, #1) by Katy Rose Pool
Published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers on 3rd September 2019
The Age of Darkness approaches.Five lives stand in its way.Who will stop it... or unleash it?
For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations―until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.
All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. As chaos takes hold, five souls are set on a collision course:
A prince exiled from his kingdom.A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand.A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart. A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone.And a dying girl on the verge of giving up.
One of them―or all of them―could break the world. Will they be savior or destroyer? Perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Children of Blood and Bone, and An Ember in the Ashes.
This is a debut novel from a debut author I’m unfamiliar with. There’s been a huge amount of hype around this one. I have to admit I’m not getting the vibe that says this will be a good fit for me, and I haven’t enjoyed the excerpts posted on sites like EW and Hypable, but it ticks enough boxes that I think a lot of other readers are going to enjoy it!Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron
Published by HarperVoyager on 3rd September 2019
Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay.
Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval.
There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.
She uncovers something worse. The long-imprisoned Demon King is stirring. And if he rises, his hunger for souls will bring the world to its knees… unless Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him.
Another debut, from another debut author. I first came across this one back before it had a cover or a proper title attached to its Goodreads listing, and put it on my to-watch-for list, but I probably wouldn’t have gone ahead a pre-ordered it if not for this excerpt of the opening chapters, which I liked a lot despite the first-person voice – it sounds like there’s plenty of really cool worldbuilding here, and the writing style seems to have just enough description to keep me happy. It’s also fab to see a brown girl on a YA fantasy cover, which is something that’s still too rare.The Mythic Dream by Dominik Parisien, Navah Wolfe, Indrapramit Das, Amal El-Mohtar, Sarah Gailey, Carlos Hernandez, Kat Howard, Stephen Graham Jones, T. Kingfisher, Ann Leckie, Carmen Maria Machado, Arkady Martine, Seanan McGuire, Naomi Novik, Rebecca Roanhorse, Alyssa Wong, J.Y. Yang, John Chu, Leah Cypess
Published by Gallery / Saga Press on 3rd September 2019
An all-new anthology of eighteen classic myth retellings featuring an all-star lineup of award-winning and critically acclaimed writers.
Madeleine L’Engle once said, “When we lose our myths we lose our place in the universe.” The Mythic Dream gathers together eighteen stories that reclaim the myths that shaped our collective past, and use them to explore our present and future. From Hades and Persephone to Kali, from Loki to Inanna, this anthology explores retellings of myths across cultures and civilizations.
Featuring award-winning and critically acclaimed writers such as Seanan McGuire, Naomi Novik, Rebecca Roanhorse, JY Yang, Alyssa Wong, Indrapramit Das, Carlos Hernandez, Sarah Gailey, Ann Leckie, John Chu, Urusla Vernon, Carmen Maria Machado, Stephen Graham Jones, Arkady Martine, Amal El-Mohtar, Jeffrey Ford, and more, The Mythic Dream is sure to become a new classic.
I’ve been in love with mythology since I was a little kid – growing up in Ireland, where no one believes in faeries but no one will touch a tree belonging to the Good Folk for love nor money, will do that to you. So I’m always hopeful about collections like this one, although I’m crossing my fingers that it’s not packed full of reiterations of the Greek myths – unless it’s about a modernised Persephone, I’m pretty bored with the Greek legends. This one’s been hyped a lot and is featuring a lot of great authors, so I guess we’ll see how it goes! (The lovely cover doesn’t hurt, either.)
That’s four of the biggest releases this week! Did I miss any you’re excited for? Let me know!