I’ve decided that, at least for the foreseeable future, I’m going to be participating in WWW Wednesdays, which is a meme hosted over at Taking On a World of Words. To take part, you just answer the three questions below, and link back to TOaWoW!
What are you currently reading?The Stone Knife (Songs of the Drowned, #1) by Anna Stephens
Representation: Cast of Colour, Deaf MC, M/M or mlm
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Epic Fantasy
An astonishing new fantasy trilogy of gods and monsters by the acclaimed author of GODBLIND.
In the humid jungles of Ixachipan, a war has been raging for fifty years as the Pechaqueh, by order of their supreme ruler the Singer, conquer their neighbouring tribes and bring them into the glory of the Empire of Songs. Only the Yaloh and their neighbours, the Tokob of the hills, remain.
Meanwhile, the Tokob fight a second war – against the Drowned. Clawed and fanged humanoid predators who dwell in water, luring unwary victims to their deaths.
As the Pechaqueh army advances ever closer, conquering Yaloh land and taking its people as slaves to the glory of the Singer and their gods, the Tokob must find a way to survive the war and the waters both. But within their home, the Sky City, not everyone is who they seem, and one people’s gods are another’s monsters.
I’m a little nervous of this one, because Stephens is known for her grimdark fantasy, and that’s not my thing at all. But I couldn’t quite resist an Aztec/South-American inspired epic fantasy with queer and disabled main characters. I mean, come on!
So far I’m enjoying it immensely; the worldbuilding is everything I could hope for, and it’s wonderful to see this kind of epic fantasy with a queernorm setting!
What did you recently finish reading?The Tethered Mage (Swords and Fire, #1) by Melissa Caruso
Representation: important bisexual character
Genres: Secondary World Fantasy
CONTROL THE MAGIC, CONTROL THE WORLD
In the Raverran Empire, magic is scarce and those born with power are strictly controlled -- taken as children and conscripted into the Falcon Army. Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that threatens the entire empire.
Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations.
But fate has bound the heir and the mage. And as war looms on the horizon, a single spark could turn their city into a pyre.
The Tethered Mage is the first novel in a spellbinding new fantasy series.
I read and loved Caruso’s Obsidian Tower which was published earlier this year; when I found out she’d previously written a trilogy set in the same world, I jumped on it! Officially Obsidian Tower is Adult and the Swords & Fire trilogy is YA, but I really couldn’t detect any difference. The Tethered Mage is set mostly in Fantasy Venice, which rules a big chunk of the world in large part because they conscript anyone born with the mage-mark (aka, powerful magic) and use them in war. Shenanigans ensue when a nobleborn young woman accidentally ends up bound to a mage who is really not interested in being conscripted.
I thought the worldbuilding was just detailed enough to make the world feel real, and the prose was lovely. It was impossible not to fall in love with pretty much every character, and I didn’t try. I’ve already started the sequel!
What do you think you’ll read next?A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan, #1) by Arkady Martine
Representation: Cast of Colour, Sapphic MC
Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn't an accident--or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court.
Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan's unceasing expansion--all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret--one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life--or rescue it from annihilation.
I was approved for an arc of A Desolation Called Peace, so I need to reread the first book in the series, A Memory Called Empire! I adored this when I read it last year – it made it onto my Best of the Decade list – and I’m hoping that this time, I can take notes as I read and write a review for it!
What’s everyone else reading?