It’s time for another late haul! January saw a lot of books added to my shelves, much to my chagrin. What’s worse is that I read very little in February to make up for it. So many books, not enough time!
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
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1 – 4.5) by Marissa Meyer
Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
With high-stakes action and a smart, resourceful heroine, Cinder is a Cinderella retelling that is at once classic and strikingly original.
Months ago, I missed out on grabbing this boxed set from Book Outlet, so when it came back in stock, you bet I checked out immediately! I haven’t read the series yet but I am excited for it.
Reverie by Ryan La Sala
Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT+, Debut novel (2019)
All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can’t remember how he got there, what happened after, and why his life seems so different now. And it’s not just Kane who’s different, the world feels off, reality itself seems different.
As Kane pieces together clues, three almost-strangers claim to be his friends and the only people who can truly tell him what’s going on. But as he and the others are dragged into unimaginable worlds that materialize out of nowhere—the gym warps into a subterranean temple, a historical home nearby blooms into a Victorian romance rife with scandal and sorcery—Kane realizes that nothing in his life is an accident. And when a sinister force threatens to alter reality for good, they will have to do everything they can to stop it before it unravels everything they know.
This wildly imaginative debut explores what happens when the secret worlds that people hide within themselves come to light.
Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orisha #2) by Tomi Adeyemi
Young Adult, Fantasy
Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath.
With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.
I couldn’t pass up this signed copy when I was at Mysterious Galaxy for their New Years Day sale. I really enjoyed Children of Blood and Bone (read my spoiler-free review) when I read an eARC of it in 2018 and am excited to dive back into the world… even though it is a low priority at this point.
We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1) by Hafsah Faizal
Young Adult, Fantasy, Debut novel (2019)
People died because he lived.
Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.
Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.
War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.
Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.
This is a signed Owlcrate edition; thank you Michelle for the birthday gift!
Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance by Jennieke Cohen
Historical Romance, Mystery, Debut novel (2019)
Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an older sister happily wed, the future of her family estate secure, and ample opportunity to while her time away in the fields around her home.
But now Vicky must marry—or find herself and her family destitute. Armed only with the wisdom she has gained from her beloved novels by Jane Austen, she enters society’s treacherous season.
Sadly, Miss Austen has little to say about Vicky’s exact circumstances: whether the roguish Mr. Carmichael is indeed a scoundrel, if her former best friend, Tom Sherborne, is out for her dowry or for her heart, or even how to fend off the attentions of the foppish Mr. Silby, he of the unfortunate fashion sensibility.
Most unfortunately of all, Vicky’s books are silent on the topic of the mysterious accidents cropping up around her…ones that could prevent her from surviving until her wedding day.
I’ve been really into period romance again for months now, so when I found out about this Jane Austen inspired tale? Yes please. Thank you Meeghan for the birthday gift!
Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin
Historical Romance, Mystery, Debut novel (2019)
Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.
Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.
The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.
And love makes fools of us all.
Everyone who has read this book has screeched about it to me. EVERYONE. Which is why I am super stoked that Clo gifted me a copy for my birthday!
I’ve been looking for pretty hardcover editions for some of my beloved Classics (I really dislike the Clothbounds), so I was so excited to see the new Seasons Editions coming out from Thomas Nelson!
These editions all have sprayed edges, die-cut covers, and are limited to 10,000 print runs. I got all of the Winter editions but A Tale of Two Cities because – with all due respect – fuck that book.
eBook Purchases (Kindle deals)
Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire
Young Adult, Fantasy
Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.
But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.
Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.
But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.
No matter the cost.
Everyone and their mother has recommended this book, so of course I nabbed it when it was free! (Let’s not forget the irony of Macmillan’s library stance but continues to do freebies like this.)
Electronic ARC Approvals
I behaved! Someone give me a cookie.
The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett
Young Adult, Fantasy | Standalone
Expected publication: March 3, 2020 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
When Ekata’s brother is finally named heir, there will be nothing to keep her at home in Kylma Above with her murderous family. Not her books or science experiments, not her family’s icy castle atop a frozen lake, not even the tantalizingly close Kylma Below, a mesmerizing underwater kingdom that provides her family with magic. But just as escape is within reach, her parents and twelve siblings fall under a strange sleeping sickness.
In the space of a single night, Ekata inherits the title of duke, her brother’s warrior bride, and ever-encroaching challengers from without—and within—her own ministry. Nothing has prepared Ekata for diplomacy, for war, for love…or for a crown she has never wanted. If Kylma Above is to survive, Ekata must seize her family’s power. And if Ekata is to survive, she must quickly decide how she will wield it.
Part Sleeping Beauty, part Anastasia, with a thrilling political mystery, The Winter Duke is a spellbinding story about choosing what’s right in the face of danger.
The Crow Rider (The Storm Crow #2) by Kalyn Josephson
Young Adult, Fantasy
Expected publication: July 7, 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire
But so many obstacles stand in her way. Res excels at his training, until he loses control of his magic, harming Thia in the process. She is also pursued by Prince Ericen, heir to the Illucian throne and the one person she can’t trust but can’t seem to stay away from.
As the rebel group prepares for war, Res’s magic grows more unstable. Thia has to decide if she can rely on herself and their bond enough to lead the rebellion and become the crow rider she was meant to be.
I read and reviewed B.A.’s debut The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray almost two years ago, and was sent the sequel as a widget from the publisher. I really enjoyed the first book and am excited to see what happens next!
The Storm Crow was one of my favorite books of 2019 and I am so excited to have an eARC of the sequel! You can read my spoiler-free review or a Twitter thread about how much this book means to me… and then add it to your TBR immediately.
Physical Review Copies
Be sure to check out Flapping Pages as I am passing along a few of these to international readers once I finish reading them!
Anna and the Moonlight Road (Metiks Fade #2) by Thomas Welsh
New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Published: December 17, 2019 by Owl Hollow Press
Anna’s only hope for survival lies with new friends and a desperate plan to walk the Moonlight Road—a ghostly passage of frozen moonlight through worlds she can never touch—straight into the arms of the most dangerous Dreamer alive.
But no one, neither friend nor enemy, is prepared for the power Anna now wields. Her flame has kindled, and when they threaten those she loves, she’ll burn them to the ground.
Anna and the Moonlight Road is book two of The Metiks Fade trilogy.
Anna Undreaming completely surprised me last year (read my spoiler-free review), and I am so happy to have the sequel in my hands! I tried to pick it up last month, but unfortunately felt slumpy so I set it aside and played video games.
Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal
Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT+, Debut Novel (2020)
Published: February 11, 2020 by HMH Teen
Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine’s will and guide the actions of the recipients. It’s considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison.
Their opportunity to escape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time . . . until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob’s now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further.
To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all—Profeta itself.
THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD.
The Golden Key by Marian Womack
Adult, Historical Fantasy, Debut Novel (2020)
Published: February 18, 2020 by Titan Books
London, 1901. After the death of Queen Victoria the city heaves with the uncanny and the eerie. Séances are held and the dead are called upon from darker realms.
Samuel Moncrieff, recovering from a recent tragedy of his own, meets Helena Walton-Cisneros, one of London’s most reputed mediums. But Helena is not what she seems and she’s enlisted by the elusive Lady Matthews to solve a twenty-year-old mystery: the disappearance of her three stepdaughters who vanished without a trace on the Norfolk Fens.
But the Fens are a liminal land, where folk tales and dark magic still linger. With locals that speak of devilmen and catatonic children found on the Broads, Helena finds the answer to the mystery leads back to where it started: Samuel Moncrieff.
I love the sound of this one and am looking forward to reading it in a couple of months. For now, you can read my interview with Marian Womack!
The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu
Young Adult, Historical Fantasy
Publishing: March 3, 2020 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart.
Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish—to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age—her tyrannical father has made that much clear.
And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true—but his help may cost her everything.
In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically-told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.
I read the excerpt and oh man, I dig it. I am going to try to read it this weekend… but I am very slumpy so we’ll see.
The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag
Young Adult, Historical Fantasy
(UK ARC; Giveaway win)
Publishing: March 31, 2020 by Harper Voyager (US) | February 6 (UK)
Once upon a time, a demon who desired earthly domination fathered an army of dark daughters to help him corrupt humanity . . .
As children, Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea dreamed of a strange otherworld: a nightscape of mists and fog, perpetually falling leaves and hungry ivy, lit by an unwavering moon. Here, in this shadowland of Everwhere, the four girls, half-sisters connected by blood and magic, began to nurture their elemental powers together. But at thirteen, the sisters were ripped from Everwhere and separated. Now, five years later, they search for one another and yearn to rediscover their unique and supernatural strengths. Goldie (earth) manipulates plants and gives life. Liyana (water) controls rivers and rain. Scarlet (fire) has electricity at her fingertips. Bea (air) can fly.
To realize their full potential, the blood sisters must return to the land of their childhood dreams. But Everwhere can only be accessed through certain gates at 3:33 A.M. on the night of a new moon. As Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea are beset with the challenges of their earthly lives, they must prepare for a battle that lies ahead. On their eighteenth birthday, they will be subjected to a gladiatorial fight with their father’s soldiers. If they survive, they will face their father who will let them live only if they turn dark. Which would be fair, if only the sisters knew what was coming.
So, they have thirty-three days to discover who they truly are and what they can truly do, before they must fight to save themselves and those they love.
Do we have any books in common? What books should I read first? Let’s talk book acquisitions in the comments, friends!
Let’s go on another adventure together!