Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

“But in trying times, truth is the first thing we betray.”

Friends, this book gripped me from the first page to the very last. Descendant of the Crane is a stunning debut fantasy that delivers on the “Chinese version of Game of Thrones” comparison that I’ve seen. This is a fast paced and action packed book that you cannot miss!

The plot of the book seems simple enough: the king died mysteriously and his daughter launches an investigation because she’s convinced it was murder and is determined to uncover the truth. But it is so much more than that. It turns out the truth is more than just with the king’s death, but the 300 year history of the country following the revolution against the previous empire. The oppressed rose up to make things more equal for everyone… except for the sooths. I appreciated Hesina’s sympathy for the sooths and the moral dilemma she faces while having to also not increase tensions and fear for her people.

“A dead king. A deceived populace. A truth seeker. Sounds like a story that could end very well or very poorly, and I want to spectate.”

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A Spark of White Fire (The Celestial Trilogy #1) by Sangu Mandanna

“Your arrow was a spark. A spark of fire so hot and white that no one will be able to put it out. And even a spark of fire can consume an entire forest if it can jump from tree to tree…Watch as one act leads to another and then to another after that. Watch the trees pass white flames on. Watch the forest burn.”

If you enjoy political intrigue, space operas, complex characters, and amazing worldbuilding A Spark of White Fire is for you! This is one of my most anticipated releases in a year with a large number of young adult releases focused on the politics of rule, and I am happy to say that this book did not disappoint! This is a genre-bending retelling of the Mahabharata that is easily accessible to YA fantasy readers and I cannot wait for you to fall in love with Esmae, Rama, and the rest of these characters!

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Mirage by Somaiya Daud [Blog Tour]

Friends, Mirage is such a beautifully written debut novel from Somaiya Daud and I cannot wait for the rest of you to experience it! Poetically written and instantly captivating, this book draws you into a new world so vivid you feel as if you could walk the streets. This is a powerful own-voices Moroccan inspired SFF tale of culture, family, oppression, and rebellion with a diverse cast of complex characters that you cannot help but adore.

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Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope

This is a powerful book that sucks you in its first page. Song of Blood & Stone is really well written and delves into very important topics of race, privilege, power, corruption, and a refugee crisis without over burdening the fantasy story. Continue reading

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Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan

4.5 stars. Wow. I am currently at a loss for words. This debut novel by Clarissa Goenawan is a book that will stay with you when you finish. Rainbirds begins with the funeral of Keiko Ishida, a young teacher that was brutally murdered late one night. The police have no leads, and her brother Ren discovers just how much he didn’t know about her. Continue reading

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