Book Haul: November 2019

(Last Updated On: January 22, 2020)

You know how time just gets away from you? I swear the months keep flying by and my haul posts keep going by the wayside. Unacceptable. This post was also supposed to go up yesterday, but surprise, I hadn’t written it yet. Oops. I was going to skip the post but really didn’t want to continue this habit of quarterly haul posts of doom, so here we are. December & January will be posted together next month.

As always, I want to reiterate that you do not need to buy and own a lot of books in order to be considered a book blogger or lover. I am quite frugal with everything else so that I can buy books because I love them, but I do not ever want to make you feel bad if you cannot afford to buy books or have poor access where you live.


Physical Book Haul – November

November19 Haul
November physical purchases & ARCs

Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger (signed)
Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT

Steel Crow Saga coverFour destinies collide in a unique fantasy world of war and wonders, where empire is won with enchanted steel and magical animal companions fight alongside their masters in battle.

A soldier with a curse
Tala lost her family to the empress’s army and has spent her life avenging them in battle. But the empress’s crimes don’t haunt her half as much as the crimes Tala has committed against the laws of magic… and her own flesh and blood.

A prince with a debt
Jimuro has inherited the ashes of an empire. Now that the revolution has brought down his kingdom, he must depend on Tala to bring him home safe. But it was his army who murdered her family. Now Tala will be his redemption—or his downfall.

A detective with a grudge
Xiulan is an eccentric, pipe-smoking detective who can solve any mystery—but the biggest mystery of all is her true identity. She’s a princess in disguise, and she plans to secure her throne by presenting her father with the ultimate prize: the world’s most wanted prince.

A thief with a broken heart
Lee is a small-time criminal who lives by only one law: Leave them before they leave you. But when Princess Xiulan asks her to be her partner in crime—and offers her a magical animal companion as a reward—she can’t say no, and soon finds she doesn’t want to leave the princess behind.

This band of rogues and royals should all be enemies, but they unite for a common purpose: to defeat an unstoppable killer who defies the laws of magic. In this battle, they will forge unexpected bonds of friendship and love that will change their lives—and begin to change the world.

My friend Shealea wrote the most beautiful review of this book and I added it on my need to buy list. When I went to Mysterious Galaxy for their Black Friday sale, they had one autographed copy remaining… which was a sign!

I can’t wait to read it next month during the readalong that Shealea is hosting!


The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (signed)
Adult, Fantasy, Standalone

The Starless Sea coverFar beneath the surface of the earth, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories. The entryways that lead to this sanctuary are often hidden, sometimes on forest floors, sometimes in private homes, sometimes in plain sight. But those who seek will find. Their doors have been waiting for them.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is searching for his door, though he does not know it. He follows a silent siren song, an inexplicable knowledge that he is meant for another place. When he discovers a mysterious book in the stacks of his campus library he begins to read, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities, and nameless acolytes. Suddenly a turn of the page brings Zachary to a story from his own childhood impossibly written in this book that is older than he is.

A bee, a key, and a sword emblazoned on the book lead Zachary to two people who will change the course of his life: Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired painter, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances. These strangers guide Zachary through masquerade party dances and whispered back room stories to the headquarters of a secret society where doorknobs hang from ribbons, and finally through a door conjured from paint to the place he has always yearned for. Amid twisting tunnels filled with books, gilded ballrooms, and wine-dark shores Zachary falls into an intoxicating world soaked in romance and mystery. But a battle is raging over the fate of this place and though there are those who would willingly sacrifice everything to protect it, there are just as many intent on its destruction. As Zachary, Mirabel, and Dorian venture deeper into the space and its histories and myths, searching for answers and each other, a timeless love story unspools, casting a spell of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a Starless Sea.

I read The Night Circus years ago but don’t really remember if I liked it or not. But I rated it 3 stars so I guess I didn’t hate it? Anyways, this one sounds really good.


The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising #1) by Kiersten White (signed)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling

The Guinevere Deception coverFrom New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes a new fantasy series reimagining the Arthurian legend, set in the magical world of Camelot.

There was nothing in the world as magical and terrifying as a girl.

Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom’s borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution–send in Guinevere to be Arthur’s wife . . . and his protector from those who want to see the young king’s idyllic city fail. The catch? Guinevere’s real name–and her true identity–is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot.

To keep Arthur safe, Guinevere must navigate a court in which the old–including Arthur’s own family–demand things continue as they have been, and the new–those drawn by the dream of Camelot–fight for a better way to live. And always, in the green hearts of forests and the black depths of lakes, magic lies in wait to reclaim the land. Arthur’s knights believe they are strong enough to face any threat, but Guinevere knows it will take more than swords to keep Camelot free.

Deadly jousts, duplicitous knights, and forbidden romances are nothing compared to the greatest threat of all: the girl with the long black hair, riding on horseback through the dark woods toward Arthur. Because when your whole existence is a lie, how can you trust even yourself?


I keep buying Kiersten’s books because she writes retellings of stories I love. I am most excited about this particular trilogy though and hope I like it!


Ruse (Want #2) by Cindy Pon (signed)
Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia

Ruse by Cindy PonIn near-future Shanghai, a group of teens have their world turned upside down when one of their own is kidnapped in this action-packed follow-up to the “positively chilling” sci-fi thriller Want.

Jason Zhou, his friends, and Daiyu are still recovering from the aftermath of bombing Jin Corp headquarters. But Jin, the ruthless billionaire and Daiyu’s father, is out for blood. When Lingyi goes to Shanghai to help Jany Tsai, a childhood acquaintance in trouble, she doesn’t expect Jin to be involved. And when Jin has Jany murdered and steals the tech she had refused to sell him, Lingyi is the only one who has access to the encrypted info, putting her own life in jeopardy.

Zhou doesn’t hesitate to fly to China to help Iris find Lingyi, even though he’s been estranged from his friends for months. But when Iris tells him he can’t tell Daiyu or trust her, he balks. The reunited group play a treacherous cat and mouse game in the labyrinthine streets of Shanghai, determined on taking back what Jin had stolen.

When Daiyu appears in Shanghai, Zhou is uncertain if it’s to confront him or in support of her father. Jin has proudly announced Daiyu will be by his side for the opening ceremony of Jin Tower, his first “vertical city.” And as hard as Zhou and his friends fight, Jin always gains the upper hand. Is this a game they can survive, much less win?

I’ve owned Want for a long time and haven’t read it yet, but I couldn’t resist picking up the sequel and end to the duology since it was signed.


Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw
Young Adult, Fantasy, Standalone

Winterwood coverBe careful of the dark, dark wood…

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

For as long as there have been fairy tales, we have been warned to fear what lies within the dark, dark woods and in Winterwood, New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw, shows us why.

From New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep comes a haunting romance perfect for fans of Practical Magic, where dark fairy tales and enchanted folklore collide after a boy, believed to be missing, emerges from the magical woods—and falls in love with the witch determined to unravel his secrets.

I really enjoyed The Wicked Deep and am a huge fan of Shea’s writing. Looking forward to losing myself in this one!


eBook Purchases (Kindle deals)

The Deepest Roots by Miranda Asebedo
Young Adult, Fantasy

The Deepest Roots coverCottonwood Hollow, Kansas, is a strange place. For the past century, every girl has been born with a special talent, like the ability to Fix any object, Heal any wound, or Find what is missing.

Best friends Rome, Lux, and Mercy all have similar talents, but to them, their abilities often feel like a curse. Rome may be able to Fix anything she touches, but that won’t help her mom pay rent or make it any easier to confide in Lux and Mercy about what’s going on at home. And Rome isn’t the only one. Lux has been hiding bigger, more dangerous secrets.

As Rome struggles to keep her friendships close, she discovers the truth about life in Cottonwood Hollow—that friends are stronger than curses, that trust is worth the risk, and sometimes, what you’ve been looking for has been under your feet the whole time.


Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger
New Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Last Call at Nightshade Lounge coverA sharp and funny urban fantasy for “new adults” about a secret society of bartenders who fight monsters with alcohol fueled magic.

College grad Bailey Chen has a few demons: no job, no parental support, and a rocky relationship with Zane, the only friend who’s around when she moves back home. But when Zane introduces Bailey to his cadre of monster-fighting bartenders, her demons get a lot more literal. Like, soul-sucking hell-beast literal. Soon, it’s up to Bailey and the ragtag band of magical mixologists to take on whatever—or whoever—is behind the mysterious rash of gruesome deaths in Chicago, and complete the lost recipes of an ancient tome of cocktail lore.

This sounds hilarious and I couldn’t pass it up when it was on sale.


The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2) by Rin Chupeco
Young Adult, Fantasy

The Heart Forger coverIn The Bone Witch, Tea mastered resurrection―now she’s after revenge…

No one knows death like Tea. A bone witch who can resurrect the dead, she has the power to take life…and return it. And she is done with her self-imposed exile. Her heart is set on vengeance, and she now possesses all she needs to command the mighty daeva. With the help of these terrifying beasts, she can finally enact revenge against the royals who wronged her―and took the life of her one true love.

But there are those who plot against her, those who would use Tea’s dark power for their own nefarious ends. Because you can’t kill someone who can never die…

War is brewing among the kingdoms, and when dark magic is at play, no one is safe.

I haven’t read the first book yet, but I couldn’t pass up the other 2 books in the trilogy when they went on sale!


The Shadowglass (The Bone Witch #3) by Rin Chupeco
Young Adult, Fantasy

The Shadowglass coverIn the highly anticipated finale to the Bone Witch trilogy, Tea’s life—and the fate of the kingdoms—hangs in the balance

Tea is a bone witch with the dark magic needed to raise the dead. She has used this magic to breathe life into those she has loved and lost…and those who would join her army against the deceitful royals. But Tea’s quest to conjure a shadowglass—to achieve immortality for the one person she loves most in the world—threatens to consume her heart.

Tea’s black heartsglass only grows darker with each new betrayal. And when she is left with new blood on her hands, Tea must answer to a power greater than the elder asha or even her conscience…


Electronic ARC Approvals

None! I behaved, can you believe it?!


Physical Review Copies from Publishers

Be sure to check out Flapping Pages as I am passing along a few of these to international readers once I finish reading them!

Master of Sorrows (The Silent Gods #1) by Justin Travis Call
Young/New Adult, Fantasy

Master of Sorrows coverYou have heard the story before – of a young boy, orphaned through tragic circumstances, raised by a wise old man, who comes to a fuller knowledge of his magic and uses it to fight the great evil that threatens his world.

But what if the boy hero and the malevolent, threatening taint were one and the same?

What if the boy slowly came to realize he was the reincarnation of an evil god? Would he save the world . . . or destroy it?

Among the Academy’s warrior-thieves, Annev de Breth is an outlier. Unlike his classmates who were stolen as infants from the capital city, Annev was born in the small village of Chaenbalu, was believed to be executed, and then unknowingly raised by his parents’ killers.

Seventeen years later, Annev struggles with the burdens of a forbidden magic, a forgotten heritage, and a secret deformity. When he is subsequently caught between the warring ideologies of his priestly mentor and the Academy’s masters, he must choose between forfeiting his promising future at the Academy or betraying his closest friends. Each decision leads to a deeper dilemma, until Annev finds himself pressed into a quest he does not wish to fulfil.

Will he finally embrace the doctrine of his tutors, murder a stranger, and abandon his mentor? Or will he accept the more difficult truth of who he is . . . and the darker truth of what he may become . . .

I was sent a personalized copy by the author for review that has a really cool drawing/clue in blacklight ink. I really can’t wait to read this one at the beginning of February! Releases in the United States on February 25, 2020.


The Killing Fog (The Grave Kingdom #1) by Jeff Wheeler
Adult, Fantasy

The Killing Fog coverThe Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Kingfountain series conjures an epic, adventurous world of ancient myth and magic as a young woman’s battle with infinite evil begins.

Survivor of a combat school, the orphaned Bingmei belongs to a band of mercenaries employed by a local ruler. Now the nobleman, and collector of rare artifacts, has entrusted Bingmei and the skilled team with a treacherous assignment: brave the wilderness’s dangers to retrieve the treasures of a lost palace buried in a glacier valley. But upsetting its tombs has a price.

Echion, emperor of the Grave Kingdom, ruler of darkness, Dragon of Night, has long been entombed. Now Bingmei has unwittingly awakened him and is answerable to a legendary prophecy. Destroying the dark lord before he reclaims the kingdoms of the living is her inherited mission. Killing Bingmei before she fulfills it is Echion’s.

Thrust unprepared into the role of savior, urged on by a renegade prince, and possessing a magic that is her destiny, Bingmei knows what she must do. But what must she risk to honor her ancestors? Bingmei’s fateful choice is one that neither her friends nor her enemies can foretell, as Echion’s dark war for control unfolds.

This was an unsolicited ARC sent my way by Wunderkind PR, but I swear that they always know just the books to send me. Releases on March 1, 2020.


Now Then and Everywhen by Rysa Walker
Adult, Science Fiction, Time Travel

Now Then And Everywhen coverFrom the bestselling author of the Chronos series comes a page-turning novel of time travel, fast-paced action, and history-changing events.

When two time-traveling historians cross paths during one of the most tumultuous decades of the twentieth century, history goes helter-skelter. But which one broke the timeline?

In 2136 Madison Grace uncovers a key to the origins of CHRONOS, a time-travel agency with ties to her family’s mysterious past. Just as she is starting to jump through history, she returns to her timeline to find millions of lives erased—and only the people inside her house realize anything has changed.

In 2304 CHRONOS historian Tyson Reyes is assigned to observe the crucial events that played out in America’s civil rights movement. But a massive time shift occurs while he’s in 1965, and suddenly the history he sees isn’t the history he knows.

As Madi’s and Tyson’s journeys collide, they must prevent the past from being erased forever. But strange forces are at work. Are Madi and Tyson in control or merely pawns in someone else’s game?

This was another unsolicited arc from Wunderkind PR that I am really excited to read. Releases on April 7, 2020.


Library Recommendations

Library Nov19

Do we have any books in common? What books should I read first? Let’s talk book acquisitions in the comments, friends!

spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!


  1. Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

    January 23, 2020 at 6:38 AM

    I have a copy of Master of Sorrows as well, and I’m very excited to start it! Awesome haul, Kal😁

    1. Kal

      February 16, 2020 at 6:44 PM

      I actually started it the other day and am enjoying it for the most part, although I am a little iffy on an aspect of the worldbuilding — but I’m reserving judgement until I finish. Happy reading!

  2. Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

    January 24, 2020 at 1:36 AM

    A great haul! I’ve read Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge, it has its moments, I hope you enjoy it.
    I keep a monthly scheduled post, each time I receive a new a book I add it to goodreads then my catalogue then my review schedule, then I add it to the scheduled post. That way it’s generally ready to go for my monthly post.

    1. Kal

      February 16, 2020 at 6:55 PM

      Yea I really need to start doing that instead of just flagging it for later and then being like “oh crap I need to post” and having to update everything at once, hahaha.

  3. Lisa @ waytoofantasy

    January 24, 2020 at 8:40 AM

    Looks like a lot of great books, Kal! Totally understand how things can just get away from you. I spent most of the end of last year playing catch up and now that I’m finally mostly caught up I feel like I don’t know what to do with myself.

    1. Kal

      February 16, 2020 at 6:57 PM

      Hahaha, I feel you there! Whenever I do catch up with things it’s just weird to me and it doesn’t take long to fall behind again. Balance. I need to learn balance in my recovery!

  4. Haley

    January 24, 2020 at 1:45 PM

    What a fantastic haul! I definitely stopped thinking about what books I hauled because I did not behave at all whether it was eARCs or book sales…Niiice catch with the last signed copy on Steel Crow Saga tho!

    1. Kal

      February 16, 2020 at 7:09 PM

      Yea, I think the more I misbehave with the hauls the more I put off writing them, which exacerbates the issue? Like out of sight out of mind and then I realize OH GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE!?

  5. Mere @ Lore of the Books

    January 25, 2020 at 9:06 AM

    Guin Deception! I love White, and her writing style is always so good for me, so I was so pleased with that one. Also I really loved The Bone Witch series by Chupeco, but not The Never Tilting World! I’m about to try Wicked…so we’ll see how I like that one! Also winterwood was awesome. REALLY love Ernshaw’s writing.

    1. Kal

      February 16, 2020 at 7:18 PM

      Ahhh I am so glad that you liked so many of these books! I own SO MANY of White’s books but have only read Dark Descent so far, I need to read more of her books and Guin Deception may be next!

  6. Isabelle @ Nine Tale Vixen

    January 25, 2020 at 2:26 PM

    I AM JEALOUS OF YOUR SIGNED COPY OF THE STARLESS SEA. honestly I was a little worried about not liking it since I love The Night Circus so much, but it was at least as wonderful and whimsical and brilliant.

    go you, not requesting any e-ARCs! 💪🏻

    I still need to finish The Bone Witch trilogy, I think I was through the second book waiting for the third, but at this point I’m probably gonna just reread lol. I picked up The Never Tilting World with the Books and Tea readalong and it was also fantastic!

    1. Kal

      February 17, 2020 at 12:00 AM

      I was so surprised to find a signed copy??? And I am really happy to hear that you enjoyed it given how much you love The Night Circus! I want to re-read Night Circus so I remember whether or not I liked it, and then can’t wait to dive into this one.

  7. Kristina

    January 25, 2020 at 4:41 PM

    Looks like we had the same idea, ahaha! I just wrote a Book Haul too earlier today before I stumbled on your post 😂 you have WAY more books on it than me, though… ahaha

    I almost picked up a copy of the Starless Sea.. but i’m kinda wary of it ? Knowing the Night Circus gave me such a hard time i’m not sure I wanna commit to that one yet… The deepest Roots does sounds like a good one, I may add it onto my virtual wanna read.

    1. Kal

      February 17, 2020 at 1:57 PM

      Yeaaaa…. I have a book buying problem LOL!

      I haven’t read The Starless Sea yet, but my understanding is that the writing style is very similar to Night Circus. So if you struggled with it, the book may not be for you 🙁

  8. Heather @ The Frozen Library

    January 25, 2020 at 6:55 PM

    Ooh Guinevere Deception and Starless Sea sound cool! Though I haven’t read The Night Circus yet and I think I should. XD

    1. Kal

      February 17, 2020 at 1:59 PM

      I need to re-read Night Circus because I remember nothing about it and it’s bothering me, lol.

  9. Krisha

    January 26, 2020 at 7:21 AM

    What an awesome haul! I intend to buy Steel Crow Saga because of how much Shealea loved it! And I LOVE the Bone Witch series so much and I hope you can read it soon 💛💛

    1. Kal

      February 17, 2020 at 2:03 PM

      Shealea is the reason that I bought Steel Crow Saga as well!!! I am hoping to get to it before the readathon that she’s currently hosting ends.

  10. Lauren

    January 31, 2020 at 12:57 PM

    “None! I behaved, can you believe it?!” – hows that holding up for you this year? 😛 heheh.

    i really need to read want! iv eheard great things about it and d’uh u need to read the bone witch

    1. Kal

      February 17, 2020 at 3:27 PM

      I’ll read The Bone Witch when you read Rules for Vanishing.

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