The Coffee Book Tag

It’s time for my first tag of 2020 2023 and this time it’s all about coffee. Firstly thank you so much to Sahi @ My World Of Books for tagging me in this. All of you should definitely go and check out their answers, along with the rest of their wonderful page. Secondly I’m so incredibly sorry for how ridiculously late my response to this is. I’ve honestly had this typed up since sometime in early 2020 (hence the original introduction) then somehow never got around to posting it. And thirdly I have a confession to make: I’m not a fan of coffee.

Yeah so that last bit is no longer true! When I was freezing cold one day I caved and tried a coffee to warm up and loved it. I will say that it has to have milk in it and some kind of sweetener but there are times when coffee definitely hits the spot. And tbh I pretty much always adore the flavoured varieties now. Cinnamon bun coffees – which I believe were limited edition only – were absolutely divine. So please, please bring them back one day!

Black Coffee:
A series that’s tough to get into but has hardcore fans

There were two answers that immediately came to mind in regards to this question but, as I haven’t attempted reading the other before (what the hell was it?!?), I’m going with The Lord Of The Rings. To be fair I only attempted to read this once, years and years ago, and gave up without really giving it much of a chance. It definitely strikes me as a series that could be harder to get into though and yet it’s certainly also one with a lot of major fans. One day I do plan to try and read this series again. Maybe next year; maybe much later… basically it depends on how my reading goes.

This is one series that I definitely plan to finally get read this year. It’s also certainly a series that seemed to get a lot more popular as winter started approaching. I’ve seen the Winternight Trilogy mentioned on a lot of different book lists lately. It sounds absolutely spectacular and I honestly can’t wait to finally discover this magical world for myself.

Hot Chocolate:
Your favorite children’s book

I had a lot of favourite series when I was growing up but the one that I couldn’t help but instantly think of was the My Naughty Little Sister books. I remember loving both the stories and illustrations in these stories and know that I picked up the book on many an occasion. I can still remember certain scenes from it now so I really must have read this series a lot!

Double Shot Of Espresso:
A book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish

The Wicked King certainly kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish; how could it not with all that action, intrigue, betrayal and plot twists? There was literally always something happening in this book and I constantly had to keep turning pages to discover what would happen next.

Name a book you see everywhere

Once again there were two books that popped into my head in regards to this question straight away. (And I hopelessly need to read both of them still but they’re definitely both books that I plan to get to during 2020). ((What was the second one?? The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo maybe?)) I’ve gone with Red, White & Royal Blue this time though as I mentioned the other of these in my last book tag. I can’t wait to finally get my hands on a copy of this book to find out why it’s so popular. Although there’s definitely pressure there too because what if I don’t like it? I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how I find this book for myself.

And it will surprise no one to hear that this book is still on my TBR.

The Hipster Coffee Shop:
Give a book by an indie author a shout-out

Sorry if Darkness Falls isn’t by an indie author but I think it is? It came up when I searched for ‘books by indie authors’ anyway so fingers crossed. I ended up going for this one as I actually own a copy of it. It’s still sat unread on my Kindle but I do plan to read it eventually!

Oops! I Accidentally Ordered Decaf:
Name a book that you expected more from

I’m sorry to say this but for me this has to be Slayer. It was still an alright book (and I gave it an additional star for capturing the ‘feel’ of Buffy The Vampire Slayer so well although on reflection I wish I’d just gone with half a star for this) but something was missing for me. I think it needed a bit more grit and additional darkness. It honestly breaks my heart to say this though as I had such, such high hopes for this book.

The Perfect Blend:
Name a book or series that was both bitter and sweet, but ultimately satisfying

With a category heading of ‘The Perfect Blend’ I feel like I have to pick the Harry Potter Series for this one. To me these are the perfect books and I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving them. They’re also bitter, sweet and satisfying too though as there are so many moments of warmth and wonderful, darkness and despair and everything comes together in such a magnificent manner. So these books are both bitter and sweet; and I loved every single minute of them!

Chai Tea:
Name a book or series that makes you dream of far off places

Oh wow, why is this question so hard? I have a lot of books on my TBR that I think would fit this tag but I can’t think of any that I’ve read yet. I feel like The Kingdom Of Copper would be the perfect answer to this but I haven’t read it so I don’t know for sure. Okay I’m just going to go with Diary Of A Crush: French Kiss as that was the book that first made me desperate to go to Paris. That isn’t that far off from me but it definitely ignited a deep dream to visit the capital of France. So it counts. Besides which all of the fantasy novels that tend to come to mind are set in wildly dangerous places…

Earl Grey:
Name your favorite classic

Can I skip this one? I don’t have a favourite classic. I’ve only read one so far and I don’t feel right about calling it my favourite by default as my feelings about it were rather mixed. I found it – much to my surprise – to be fine at first but I can only read one book at a time and it started seeming to take forever; I wanted to get back to my regular books and I got fed up. (The book was Great Expectations by the way). Anyway I am hoping, once I get my TBR under control, to try and get a couple of classics read.

Ooh wait I finally have an answer that isn’t entirely by default. Emphasis on the entirely as it’s now the only classic that I’ve picked up by choice but I did actually enjoy it more than I expected to. Knowing that part of Dracula was set in Whitby I decided to finally read my copy when I spent some time there last year and was pleasantly surprised by it. The atmosphere that the novel created was wonderful and it was certainly intriguing to read one of the early vampire novels. Honestly if it weren’t for Van Helsings tendency to ramble I may have gone so far as to say I loved it.

Second update – I HATE Earl Grey. I was under this impression already but I accidentally made myself one the other week (heaven only knows how I got the peppermint and earl grey tea bags mixed up) and it was vile. Initially I thought it was tolerable but a few sips later I felt like I was going to be sick. Honestly I felt kind of ill for several hours afterwards. Why on earth would anyone pick earl grey over any other tea?

I Tag:

Sophie @ Me & Ink
Kaya @ A Fictional Bookworm
Naemi & A Book Owl’s Corner
& anyone else who wants to do this.

Naturally there’s no pressure for anyone to do this but I really wanted to tag some people as this is my first tag of the year and I do look forward to seeing your answers if you decide to join in. I also cannot believe that this tag has been sitting completely filled out in my drafts since early 2020. Sorry again for how late this is coming to you all. Although, bright side, at least I got to update this post to say that I now adore coffee!

Most Anticipated Reads 2023

My Most Anticipated Sequels, Prequels & Companion Series Of 2023:

So here’s the final part of my most anticipated releases of 2023 list; the part that I somehow failed to post – despite having typed up – last year. I honestly can’t believe we’re already nearing the end of January. For a supposedly slow passing month it always seems to fly by. I’m also happy to report that I’ve already read – and adored – one of these books. Also as the title suggests these aren’t all necessarily sequels, some are prequels and others companion novels set within the same world as previous books by the authors.

Series I’m Up To Date With:

The Stolen Heir by Holly Black

Obviously I’m desperate for this book, The Folk Of The Air is undoubtedly one of my all time favourite series after all. So anything by Holly Black is going to be anticipated by me, especially when it’s a new series set in the glorious world of Elfhame. I’ve now seen the blurb too and oh my does this sound amazing. There’s ‘an ancient relic being used to create monsters of stick and snow’, Suren – the child queen of the Court of Teeth living lonely and feral in the woods of the human world, using her time to release ‘mortals from foolish bargains’. And there’s Oak – now ‘charming, beautiful and manipulative’ who wants Suren’s help…even though she’s resented him for years as she was once promised to him in marriage.

I’ve already read and adored this one; so much so that I was kind of disappointed to discover it’s only a duology. Book two cannot come soon enough however after that ending!

Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo

I feel like I’ve been waiting years for this book (probably because I have) but I’m over the moon that it’s finally coming in January. Ninth House was dark, gritty, disturbing and addictive. And it left things in such an agonizing position. I. Need. More… I miss my Darlington…

Barrow Of Winter by H.M. Long

Not only have I loved both of the previous books in this series (technically I think they’re companion novels but I do advice reading them in publication order still) but this one sounds epic. It’s about Thray, the half immortal Last Daughter of Winter who visits the northern land where her father once ruled and meets her demi-god siblings who are powerful and deathless. Naturally it sounds as if trouble will be brewing…

A Venom Dark And Sweet by Judy I. Lin

Oh how I adored the world that this was set within; the tea based magic, the conflicts (both past and brewing), the mythology, the food…just everything really. Plus after that ending I need more already! Promise me darkness and I’m intrigued. I can’t wait to see how this duology ties up.

Chain Of Thorns by Cassandra Clare

So this was actually written for my 2022 sequel list and I am SERIOUSLY impatient for this finale! If I’m being honest I am in absolute awe of Cassandra Clare. Every time she writes a new book it seems to become a newfound favourite of mine. And every time I find myself thinking ‘well the characters from her last series can’t be topped’. And they are. Without fail. I adore the cast of The Last Hours immensely and can’t wait to visit them all again. Although, let’s be honest, I’m terrified of the upcoming anguish too because nobody does bittersweet and beautiful quite like Cassandra Clare. Her romances are always utterly believable, swoon-worthy and anguishing. Oh goodness give me book three already.

Side Note: I seriously cannot wait to see the cover for this one. The first two are breathtaking. This one is too; I think I may actually have swooned when it was released.

Arca by G.R. Macallister

I first wanted to read Scorpica because I saw it described as a feminine Game Of Thrones. It’s set in a fantasy land that I adored and definitely has the sort of cast where you wonder if anyone is truly safe. Needless to say I’m desperate for book two and cannot wait to dive back into this glorious land. I’d personally consider this series a must read for fantasy lovers.

The Battle Drum by Saara El-Arifi

The Final Strife was one of my favourite fantasy novels last year (and trust me the competition was tough) so naturally I’m itching to pick up book two as soon as it comes out. The world-building involved in this novel was superb and left no stone untouched. Yet there’s still so much more to discover with the sequel. And the ending? That blood related mystery? I need answers!

The Midnight Kingdom by Tara Sim

The reaction to the first book in this series was pretty mixed but I ended up adoring it in the end. Some of the things that it’s central characters did left me speechless on occasion. Wow are some of their deeds dark. Plus it left off in such a gloriously enticing place so I simply canot wait to discover exactly what will happen in book two.

A Curse For True Love by Stephanie Garber

In my defense I did finally re-read & finish the Caraval series last year and fully intended to get this series started too but time got away from me. At the moment this series so far is about fourth on my 2023 TBR (after the final Throne Of Glass book, a nutcracker retelling that I meant to read over the festive period & Holly Black’s latest book).

I wrote the above paragraph earlier this month but I’m thrilled to say that I’ve finally read this series so far so my previous ramblings are irrelevant. After the ending of The Ballad Of Never After I NEED this book already! Although I will confess that I’m somewhat terrified to discover how the series will end…

Her Radiant Curse by Elizabeth Lim

Let’s pretend for a moment that I haven’t read anything by Elizabeth Lim before. A tale of two sisters – ‘one as beautiful as the other is monstrous’ – and ‘a betrothal contest gone wrong’ unleashing an evil along the way… Whether I’d read anything by this author before or not then this would absolutely be on this list. But last year I read and adored four of the author’s previous books and this is in fact one of the stories that they left me itching for. So yes, yes, yes, yes, yes I’m 100% reading this. I also can’t wait to see the cover for this as books by this author generally get such stunning designs.

The Scarlet Veil by Shelby Mahurin

Last year I finally read the Serpent & Dove series and fell head over heels in love with it. I’ve always had a weakness for vampire novels too – particularly the romantic ones – so the fact that this is described as ‘a dark and thrilling vampire romance’ and it’s following two of the characters from the Serpent & Dove books makes this an absolute must read for me. It’s one of the few books that I already know I’ll be purchasing in hardback this year. I won’t say anything else to keep this spoiler free but I’m definitely excited to see exactly where this book will take me.

Series I Need To Get Up To Date With:

Rather than constantly repeat myself let me just say that I truly don’t know how I haven’t kept up to date with any of these series.. I adored all that I’ve read in these series so far, all of them finding their way onto my list of favourites. So I truly could kick myself for falling behind with them.

Master Of Souls by Rena Barron
The Mirrored Heavens by Rebecca Roanhorse

Cover To Come.

Throne Of The Fallen by Kerri Maniscalco
The Ruined by Renee Ahdieh

A Grim And Sunken Vow by Ashley Shuttleworth

Series I STILL Need To Start (Oops):

A Day Of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon
The Bone Shard War by Andrea Stewart
Painted Devils by Margaret Owen
Foxglove by Adalyn Grace
The Ashfire King by Chelsea Abdullah

In my defense in this case I pre-ordered a signed copy of this novel but it didn’t arrive until after Christmas so I haven’t really had a chance to read it yet, especially as I’ve been in the middle of a series.

House Of Roots And Ruin by Erin A. Craig

And that’s it for my most anticipated books of 2023. I’m not entirely sure when I’ll post next to be truthful. I have hundreds of posts in my drafts as well as lots of ideas for more new content but I really do want to try and get my TBR under control before returning to this blog properly. That being said I’ll hopefully try to get some of my backlog of posts up at some point otherwise I’ll have years worth of reviews to try and post at once. Either way I’ll make an effort not to vanish entirely and stay on top of comments this year.

What are your most anticipated sequels of 2023? Have you read any of them yet? Is anyone else infinitely thrilled about some of these companion novels?

Most Anticipated Reads 2023

My Most Anticipated Releases Of 2023 Part Two:

So here’s part two of My Most Anticipated Books Of 2023; if you haven’t checked out part one already you can do so here. Curiosity got the better of me whilst I was finalizing this post off and I decided to see how many books from my 2022 list I actually read. It’s a subject I plan to do a post on eventually (with others for the previous years too) but for now I’ll simply share that I’ve managed to read 10 of the 29 books listed in part one although a couple of those were sadly let downs. Out of part two I only read 4 (a pretty horrifying result) although I will stress that I did at least adore all of those novels and two of them even made my top 3 books of 2022. Plus seven of those books were actually postponed until 2023 so let’s blame that for my failings…Now onto the list.

Dance Of The Starlit Sea by Kiana Krystle

Cover To Come.

On Luna Island – where disgraced ballet dance Lila Rose Li is sent by her own parents – a girl is ‘sacrificed as a bride to the Devil’ every seven years. Okay that premise sounds incredible!! To protect herself Lila seeks the help of ‘the angel who keeps appearing in her dreams’…an angel that, unbeknownst to her, is actually ‘the Devil’s servant in disguise.’ How on earth could my dark fantasy loving heart ever hope to resist that kind of promise?

Garden Of The Cursed by Katy Rose Pool

That title! I’ll admit I added this back when it was called ‘Cursebreakers’ but I adore the new one even more. Doesn’t ‘Garden Of The Cursed’ just scream gothic intrigue? This novel follows Marlow who has ‘made a name for herself as the best godsdamn cursebreaker in Caraza City’ yet is still ‘haunted by the mystery of her mother’s disappearance.’ When Adrius – an old friend and scion of one of the city’s ‘most affluent spell-making families’ – asks her to help him break a ‘life-threatening curse’ she’s reluctant. Until a new lead makes her realize that the ‘only way to get the answers she desperately seeks’ is to help him and return to Evergarden society ‘even if it means suffering through a fake love affair with him to avoid drawing suspicion from the conniving Five Families.’ There’s promises of ‘a web of deadly secrets’, ‘powerful enemies’, ‘shocking truths’ and an even larger mystery…

‘one that could unravel the very foundations of Caraza and magic itself.’

The Only One Left by Riley Sager

Back in 1929 ‘the Hope family murders shocked the Maine coast’ and seventeen year old Lenora was assumed responsible. The police were unable to prove it though and she denied it. Since then she hasn’t set foot outside the cliffside mansion where the massacre occurred. Now it’s 1983 and Lenora, in her seventies, is confined to a wheelchair. Her last nurse ‘fled in the middle of the night’ but Lenora offers to tell her new home-health aide Kit everything, communicating over an old typewriter as she’s now mute. Kit learns there’s ‘more to the tale than people know’ but details about her predecessor’s departure leave her wondering if Leonra is telling the whole truth…‘and that the seemingly harmless woman in her care could be far more dangerous than she first thought.’ Plus it’s described as a ‘gothic chiller’ and oh how I adore those.

Bonesmith by Nicki Pau Preto

Any book blurb that mentions The Cruel Prince inevitably catches my attention and when I read this one in full I was instantly impatient for it to release. It follows a ‘failed ghost fighting warrior’ who has to journey into the ‘haunted wasteland of the Breach to rescue a kidnapped prince.If that wasn’t enough how’s this for a further complication? She’s ‘forced to team up with the very person responsible for the kidnapping in the first place!

Sing Me To Sleep by Gabi Burton

Promise me a central character like Saoirse and obviously I’m 100% on board. She’s a sirenwho struggles constantly against an impulse to kill – who has to hide what she truly is to avoid execution. She’s the top trainee in her class as a soldier-in-training and spends her nights working as an assassin for a dangerous group of mercenaries. And she ‘survives on lies’. How could anyone resist? If that alone somehow isn’t enough to entice you it’s set in a kingdom with ‘brutal creature segregation laws’ and a mysterious blackmailer threatens Saoirse’s sister, pushing her to take on a dangerous job in an effort to investigate. The job? Becoming a personal bodyguard to – the surprisingly kind, thoughtful and charming – crown prince. Together they’re forced to work together to stop ‘a deadly killer who’s plaguing the city’. Unfortunately that killer just so happens to be Saoirse herself. Give this to me already!

The Invocations by Krystal Sutherland

Information is limited still as I’m writing this up but after House Of Hollow you bet I’m going to read whatever Krystal Sutherland writes next. Especially as it’s another gloriously intriguing sounding blend of contemporary and fantasy. It’s about three lonely girls ‘one cursed, one haunted and one out for revenge’ who come together to ‘track down and take out a brutal supernatural killer. And it’s set in a world where only women can use magic ‘and the men who know about it seek to eradicate them’. Obviously I’m itching for this novel!

Threads That Bind by Kika Hatzopoulou

In truth I was going to wait to write about this one once a full blurb of it was released but re-reading the information now I just want to scream about it already. It’s set in ‘a half-sunken city where the descendants of the gods have inherited their powers and follows Io, ‘a descendant of the Greek Fates’. When she ‘witnesses a murder committed by a woman who should be dead’ (I must know more!) she’s ‘drawn into a conspiracy that reaches from the darkest underbelly of the city to its shiniest heights.’ How can one short premise make me infinitely excited?

The Jasad Heir by Sara Hashem

‘At ten-years-old, the Heir of Jasad flees a massacre that takes her entire family.

At fifteen, she buries her first body.

At twenty, the clock is ticking on Sylvia’s third attempt at a home.’

Okay you’ve convinced me to read this book already! If those few lines of the blurb somehow haven’t enticed you then let me mention that this book is set in a world where ‘Nizahl’s armies have laid waste to Jasad and banned magic’ across it’s four remaining kingdoms. When Aylvia accidentally exposes her magic to Arin – whose ‘tactical brilliance is surpassed only by his hatred for magic’ she’s surprisingly offered an escape. The chance to ’compete as Nizahl’s Champion in the Alcalah tournament and win immunity from persecution’ although in exchange Arin ‘will use her as bait to draw out the Jasadis he’s hunting.’ It sounds like a game of cat and mouse with the pair forced to work together to ‘free her trapped magic’ whilst Sylvia struggles to keep her identity hidden. It promises a world of ‘cunning royals and double-dealing politics’.

‘The scorched kingdom is rising again, and Sylvia will have to choose between the life she’s earned, and the one she left behind.’

So yes, I’m certainly impatiently awaiting this one…

Dark Water Daughter by H.M. Long

I’ve adored The Hall Of Smoke books so far so naturally I’m bursting with excitement over H.M. Long’s new series too. It’s set in ‘a baroque fantasy world of warring fleets and winter seas’ and follows Mary Firth a Stormsinger (‘a woman whose voice can still hurricanes and shatter armadas’) who’s ‘faced with servitude to pirate lord Silvanus Lirr’. To escape this fate Mary ‘barters her skills’ to his arch-rival in exchange for protection and ‘aid in putting Lirr in a watery grave’. Complicating matters are Mary’s dark dreams ‘full of ghistings’ (‘spectral creatures who inhabit the ancient forests of her homeland and the figureheads of ships’), the fact that her new ally has a vendetta of his own and the disgraced pirate hunter on their trail…who ‘will stop at nothing to restore his good name and claim the only thing that stands between himself and madness: a talisman stolen by Mary herself.’ Oh I need this book!!

A Twisted Love Story by Samantha Downing

I’ve adored everything that I’ve read by Samantha Downing (how I still need to read her debut I do not know) so obviously I was excited to finally learn what her newest book would be about. The title reeled me in further and the premise sounds fantastic. It’s about a toxic sounding relationship with major ups – grand gestures, deep meaningful conversations – and downs – vengeful fights, damaged property, arrest warrants. Wes and Ivy, the couple in question, find a common enemy in a detective because ‘the night of their worst breakup, when one of them took things too far someone ended up dead’. Plus this author writes the most compelling – fascinating yet not necessarily likable – characters so I have a feeling this will be a major hit with me. Fingers crossed.

Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong

How have I not read anything by this author yet? I’ve seen the hype and her books sound incredible so truly there’s absolutely no excuse. This year I shall do so! Including this mesmerizing sounding new novel. It follows Calla, ‘a former princess who wants to remove her uncle, the king, from his throne’ and is set in the ‘dense and ruthless twin cities of San-Er’ a place where certain individuals possess ‘the ability to take over others’ bodies’. To take vengeance on her uncle ‘who only ever appears to congratulate the winner’ Calla enters ‘a deadly city-wide competition – and makes alliances with both her cousin and her fiercest competitor, an exiled aristocrat. If that wasn’t somehow enticing enough ‘Calla is running from a dark past’ and the final kicker?

‘Only one of them can walk out of the games alive.’

Mister Magic by Kiersten White

 ‘Magic never forgets the taste of your friendship…’

That single line – and the fact that I adored ‘And I Darken’ by the author (although how I still haven’t finished that series I seriously do not know) – enticed me. Then I found the full blurb and was immediately itching for more. It’s set thirty years after a tragedy shut down the classic children’s program ‘Mister Magic’; a show that has ‘no remaining video, no evidence of who wrote the show, who produced it, who-or even what-Mister Magic actually was.’ Amber, one of the surviving members of ‘the circle of friendship’ was abducted by her father the night before the show ended with the death of its youngest cast member. Now there’s an invitation to a reunion, ‘coupled with a threat that makes it impossible to refuse’, where answers may finally be held. If this is done correctly then I have a feeling that it’ll be eerie as hell.

Guardians Of Dawn by S. Jae-Jones

This feels like it has been on my TBR forever but – with a full blurb, actual release date and gorgeously enchanting cover all up – I think it will finally release in 2023. It’s described as ‘Sailor Moon meets Cinder’ which just screams intriguing. I’ll admit my memories of the former are hazy but I’m sure I enjoyed a couple of episodes of it in the past. Besides which the blurb sounds fascinating. It’s set in a world where ‘magic is forbidden’ and ‘magicians are called abomination’ as they’re ‘blamed for the plague of monsters that razed the land twenty years before’. The main character is Jin Zhara who has to ‘appease her stepmother’s cruel whims’ and look after ‘her blind younger sister’ whilst ‘keeping her own magical gifts under control’. There’s ‘a secret magical liberation organization called the Guardians of Dawn’ and ‘a mysterious plague is corrupting the magicians of Zanhei and transforming them into monsters’. If all of that somehow wasn’t enough it’s believed that a demon is responsible for this plague.

Impossible Creatures by Katherine Rundell

For some reason this book doesn’t have a Goodreads page yet so I’ve linked this to Fantastic Fiction instead.

The one and only MG novel to make this list but something about this one makes me think – and hope – that it could be the next big thing. It’s about Christopher who ‘witnesses an avalanche of mythical creatures’ whilst visiting his reclusive grandfather who, he then learns, is the guardian of one of the ways ‘between the non-magical world and a place called the Archipelago, a cluster of magical islands where all the creatures we tell of in myth live and breed and thrive alongside humans.’ For thousand of years they’ve been protected from discovery but now the protection has worn thin and ‘creatures are breaking through.’ Together with Mal – a girl in possession of a flying coat whose being chased by a killer – and the baby griffin she’s pursuing Christopher embarks on an ‘urgent quest across the wild splendor of the Archipelago’. It’s a place ‘where sphinxes hold secrets and centaurs do murder’. And I hope it lives up to the hype that it already appears to be creating.

A Study In Drowning by Ava Reid

If you’ve read anything by Ava Reid then surely you know exactly why this book made it onto this list. Her writing is utterly divine and her most recent book was the most glorious – and disturbing – mix of beautiful and macabre. I’m writing this only from a limited blurb but even so this book promises ‘a contest to design a favourite author’s family manor’ which ends up being a ‘crumbling estate filled with disturbing secrets’. Throw in a rival student, decades-old mystery and dark forces that are both mortal and magical and naturally I’m sold. My countdown to this book began the second I finished Juniper & Thorn.

A Prayer For Vengeance by Leanne Schwartz

Okay yes I said I’d avoid writing about anymore novels with vague blurbs on this list but I simply couldn’t resist in this case. This was pitched as ‘Strange the Dreamer meets Girl, Serpent, Thorn’ and features a central character who has spent centuries trapped as a statue, now she’s out for revenge. To ‘kill the immortal man who doomed her and usurped her sister’ she’ll need to get a hold of ‘the handsome autistic poet whose prayers woke her.’ And her blade may well be involved. I seriously cannot wait to see the full blurb of this one!

Paramour by Robin Alvarez

Cover To Come.

Oh how I adore the premise of this; here’s hoping it lives up to my expectations. It’s about Sadie, ‘a banshee aging over the span of a thousand years’, who ‘is built from rules’ and ‘likes to keep an emotional distance from humans’. ‘Her paranormal abilities to warn of impending death, inspire loved ones to say their goodbyes, and help grieving souls rests easier at night’ but when she meets Nathan – ‘who is fated to lose someone he loves’ – they have no effect, forcing her ‘to comfort him like a true banshee for the first time in her long life.For the first time ever she finds herself falling for someone but then she discovers the truth of why her abilities don’t work on Nathan…his family has hunted the supernatural for centuries.

‘With their families at war for centuries, it becomes increasingly unclear whether Nathan’s intense passion for her is love, or his instinct for the hunt.’

If this is done in the way that I imagine then it could absolute be the sort of dark romance to send me head over heels.

This Dark Descent by Kalyn Josephson

Technically I had decided to hold off on writing about anymore books with vague blurbs until the full versions were released but with this one I simply couldn’t resist. It’s described as The Scorpio Races’ meets ‘Peaky Blinders’ and although I’ve read/seen neither I’ve heard glorious things about both. It’s ‘set in a world of enchanted animals inspired by Jewish folklore’ and focuses on ‘a cutthroat horse race’ with a cast of characters ‘forced together to win it.’ I’m infinitely intrigued and must know more!

A Tempest Of Tea by Hafsah Faizal

Cover To Come.

Details of this novel are still vague but let’s be honest – I see the word ‘vampires’ and instantly I’m intrigued. A Tempest Of Tea is said to have been ‘pitched as King Arthur meets Peaky Blinders with vampires.’ That definitely sounds like an interesting and unique combination. It follows ‘a gang of outcasts in a deadly heist’ to save Arthie’s tearoom – ‘which fronts an illegal blood house, where local vampires can purchase fresh blood.’ Vampires, Camelot inspiration and gangsters? Plus a tearoom with secret illegal dealing in blood. How am I meant to wait until October for this? Or possibly even 2024 as it’s changed to on Amazon…I seriously hope that change of date is misinformed.

The Scarlet Alchemist by Kylie Lee Baker

How have I not read The Keeper Of Night yet?…Anyway onto this book and I’ll confess it was the title that first caught my eye. Who can resist looking into the premise of a book with a name like this one? It’s set in ‘an alternate Tang Dynasty China’ in a world where ‘the rich eat gold to achieve eternal youth.’ Fascinating, right? It follows ‘a poor biracial girl’ with ‘the ability to raise the dead’ who ‘gets caught up in the dangerous political games of the royal family’. Magic, danger, darkness and royals? Sign me up already

Sword Catcher by Cassandra Clare

A non shadowhunters book by Cassandra Clare that I’m itching to read (let’s hope it finally comes out this year!). In an effort to make you all as impatient for this book as me let me still share a few details… It’s the story of ‘a young man raised to be the body double for an unworthy prince’ and ‘a young woman destined to change the world.’ Cassandra Clare’s writing is gloriously beautiful (and let’s face it, devastating too a lot of the time) so I can not wait for this to come out. Why do release dates constantly have to change? (I wrote up the information for this way back in 2021, that’s how much the date has changed). Also we finally have a cover and I’m in love! Please, please, please let Waterstones do a special edition with a hidden cover beneath and glorious end pages.

The Scorpion Queen by Mina Fears

Cover To Come.

When a book promises to be inspired by a Malian fairy tale and is steeped in West African traditions then it goes without saying that it’s going to end up on my most anticipated books of the year list. Especially when it features a disgraced merchant’s daughter who’s forced to become a chambermaid to the emperor’s daughter...a princess who challenges her suitors to trials described as both gruesome and impossible in an effort to win her hand. Needless to say, I’m intrigued. This one also appears to have moved to 2024 but I’ll leave it here for now.

Starling House by Alix E. Harrow

‘Step Into Lark House – if you dare…’

Even without a blurb this book would 100% be on my 2023 list. Why? Because both books that I’ve previously read by the author are incredible, one even becoming my surprise favourite read of 2020. With the blurb already released my excitement couldn’t be higher however with it’s alluring promise of ‘a sweeping gothic fairytale’ (AKA one of my favourite kind of reads) that features Lark House – rumored to be ‘the beginning of Eden’s bad luck.’ When Opal find herself working at the house in question she discovers ‘there are monsters beneath Lark House’ who are ‘clamoring to escape’ but even worse?

‘they might not be the biggest threat…’

Please, please, please can this book come out already?!?

Wish Of The Wicked by Danielle Paige

‘A dark spin on fairy godmothers’; as a fan of both retellings and villainous characters I’m 100% on board for that promise. It’s set in a world where ‘the enchanted members of the Entente have worked in tandem with the Three Fates’ for centuries to ‘maintain destiny across the Thirteen Queendoms.’ At least until Queen Magrit burns Hecate at the stake and ‘decrees death to all Entete’ in an attempt to live forever. ‘But some survive’ and it’s one of them that this story follows as she ‘hatches a dangerous plan to seek revenge.’ I’ll confess that the talk of Fates made me think of Stepsister which instantly intrigued me. So I must know more…

To Kill A Shadow by Katherine Quinn

Yet another book that I’ve not only added to my TBR but also marked as high priority despite it’s current summary being just several lines long. When it promises ‘a warrior recruit’ venturing into ‘a monster-filled mist’ in an effort to ‘free the cursed sun goddess’ how can I possibly do anything else though? Especially when she’s ‘led by the handsome young commander whose secrets may doom them all.’ Honestly I don’t need to know anymore than that to know that this is my sort of read.

The Bad Ones by Melissa Albert

Cover To Come.

Somehow I’ve still only read the author’s debut but I adored it and am naturally curious about everything else that she writes. Even if that wasn’t the case this book sounds fascinating though. It’s a YA contemporary fantasy that’s set in a suburb where four seemingly unconnected people disappear in a single night. Whilst trying to uncover the truth about what’s happened the best friend of one of the vanished individuals ‘uncovers her hometown’s elusive shadow history, including a piece of local lore about a goddess folk figure who played an eerie role in her own childhood games.’ Strange disappearances, eerie childhood games, local lore and a goddess folk figure? Obviously I have to read this.

What Monstrous Gods by Rosamund Hodge

Cover To Come.

I love a good fairytale retelling and I adore dark and twisty novels that blend danger and allure. This sounds like it will be both of those things and I’m honestly ever so impatient for it. The story starts where Sleeping Beauty leaves off with Lia – ‘a girl chosen by the gods of Runakhia’ – releasing ‘the royal family from 500 years of enchanted sleep’ and killing ‘the heretic sorcerer who trapped them’. What should be the end of the story is only the beginning though as she discovers

‘that the gods are not as benevolent as they appear, and the ghost of the sorcerer she killed may be her only help to protect her life and country.’

This is 100% a me book and I need it already! Please, please come out this year; I’ve already had to move this off of my 2021 list… & now my 2022 one too

We Shall Be Monsters by Tara Sim

Cover To Come.

Last year I read my first book by Tara Sim and loved it. I’ll admit it’s received pretty mixed reviews but as someone who thoroughly enjoyed City Of Dusk I’m naturally curious to check this book out too. Especially as it promises ‘Mary Shelley meets Indian mythology’; a combination I never would have guessed at and follows a young woman who is desperate to resurrect her sister and ends up joining a group of rebels in her efforts to escape accusations of witchcraft. The condition they set her? That she raise their rightful prince from the dead…

Another that may well have moved to 2024, somehow it looks like next year’s list may well already be writing itself.

The Voice Upstairs by Laura E. Weymouth

Another that I added way before a full blurb was released. But come on; ‘Downton Abbey with ghosts’. Downton Abbey with ghosts?!? Need I say more? All I currently know is that this book features a young housemaid with supernatural gifts which warn her an opulent manor house is connected with a string of murders…something that jeopardizes her secret romance with the wealthy family’s youngest son. Oh how I need this. Books that merge history and the supernatural always fascinate me to no end.

Fallen City by Adrienne Young

Cover To Come.

Firstly how on earth have I not read anything by this author yet? Secondly I can’t say overmuch about this book as the details are limited but I’m definitely intrigued. It’s a ‘Greco-Roman inspired fantasy’– and is set in ‘a glittering world’ with ‘a lottery built on lies’. It follows 18 year old Maris as she ‘desperately attempts to escape a city under siege.’ And it features a forbidden romance! I’m itching for this already and simply can’t wait to read it’s full blurb… and see the cover; this author’s ones are always stunning.

The Girl That Time Forgot by Victoria Lee

Cover To Come.

Another two line summary? Another author who I’ve heard tremendous things about but still need to read? Another book that I literally cannot wait to get my hands on? Yes, yes and hell yes. All I know is that this book follows a teenage girl who is ‘one of five adepts training in a mysterious new magic.’ Alone that premise would be intriguing enough but there’s more…she discovers that her fellow trainers have recently murdered someone. And unless she can stop them, will do so again.

Thieves’ Gambit by Kayvion Lewis

I was waiting to see if a full blurb for this one would release or not but it’s now January and I’m finishing this list off so here comes the vague premise that left me itching to read this book. It’s a YA thriller that follows ‘a cutthroat competition for the world’s best thieves’ and is ‘filled with intrigue and secrets buried within secrets’. It’s a ‘globe-trotting adventure’ with ‘spectacular museums, opulent galas, and elite boarding schools.’ And one teen girl must win to ‘save her parents’ lives‘. Deciding ‘who to con and who to trust’ is vital to survival and the title, I confess, also helped to reel me in.

Bad Blood by Morgan Rhodes

Cover To Come.

As the information is super vague for this one & I somehow still haven’t read any of the author’s other books I debated whether I should include this book. But it’s vampires and I’m a weak vampire fiction addict so… It’s described as the start of ‘an epic saga’ and is about ‘a wealthy vampire family, their badly behaved heirs, and the long-lost sibling who never even knew she was half-vampire.’ That is quite literally all that I know but I’m still intrigued enough to include this. Wealthy vampires, badly behaved heirs and long lost siblings? Naturally I’m curious.

Orphia And Eurydicius by Elyse John

All you have to do to know that I adore Greek mythology is look back over the rest of this two part list so when I discovered this offering very last minute (Wednesday) I instantly added it in. It’s the story of Orphia who ‘dreams of something more than the warrior crafts she’s been forced to learn’. ‘Her blood sings with poetry and her words can move flowers to bloom and forests to grow but her father, the sun god Apollo, has forbidden her this art.’ Need I say more really? After a chance meeting with Eurydicius, Orphia uses her gifts to ‘defeat one final champion’ and ends up drawing ‘the scrutiny of the gods.’ Thanks to her poetry she ‘wins the protection of the goddesses of the arts’ and is welcomed into their sanctuary on Mount Parnassus. When Eurydicius joins her she ‘struggles with her desire for fame and her budding love.’ She also ‘joins the Argonauts on their quest for the Golden Fleece.’ There’s promises of dragons, sirens, ruthless warriors and an even darker journey too. And this lovely line from it’s blurb:

‘Their love transcends every boundary. Can it cheat death?’

Naturally I need this. Although one small warning – I can’t yet see any release information for this in the UK.

And that’s it for part two of this mammoth list. I hope it helped you discover some new books. And I apologize if it’s left you impatient for any that end up not releasing until next year. Past experience has certainly taught me that there will be a few. I’ll also update this to include any covers as they release.

What are your most anticipated books of 2023? Have you read any of them yet? Are there any that I’m missing?

Most Anticipated Reads 2023

My Most Anticipated Releases Of 2023 Part One:

Before I say anything else I want to start this post off with an apology for disappearing once again. I’m so, so incredibly sorry that I vanished on you but I have tried to at least blog hop a little bit from time to time. I’d really like to say that this post is the start of my return but truthfully I think that I need to try and get my TBR under control before I try to return to blogging properly once more. Mine seems to have hydra-like tendencies; one book gets knocked off of it only for seven more to spring up within its place. That being said I do have two more posts ready to follow for now and am determined to stay on top of comments and continue keeping my reviews up to date over on my Goodreads page. You can also always find me on Instagram; I know I haven’t posted on it in ages but my messages on there are always open.

Anyway onto this post, the one that I can never resist doing, no matter how bogged down in books I may be. Sharing my most anticipated releases with you all – and hopefully bringing some new ones to your attention – is something I always love to do. And honestly I love the excuse to scream about the upcoming releases that I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on.

A Ruinous Fate by Kaylie Smith

Where to start with this one? Mentions of witches, fae, a central character – Calliope – who is ‘a witch with a long streak of bad luck’ and powerful artefacts known as ‘Witch’s Dice’ which bless witches ‘with limitless magic but also set them on a path toward destruction’. How incredible does that sound? Yet there’s more. Calla is only three Rolls away from ‘becoming the last Blood Warrior and starting the Final War that will decimate her people and eradicate their magic.’ And she makes an attempt to reset her fate; leading her into ‘the deadly Neverending forest’. I need this already!!

Godkiller by Hannah Kaner

Gods in fantasy novels fascinate me so it probably isn’t any kind of a surprise that the title of this one is what originally caught my eye. Initially I marked it as high priority but held off on adding it to this list. Yet I keep seeing it hyped up everywhere and my anticipation for it is constantly growing as a result. It’s about Kissen who ‘kills gods for a living’ until ‘she finds a god she cannot kill’ who turns out to be ‘Skediceth, god of white lies’ and is connected to ‘a little noble girl on the run.’ There’s also Elogast who ‘fought in the god war’ and is sent ‘racing back to the city he destroyed’ by a ‘mysterious request from the King.’ A quest that the others, who he meets along the way, can’t find out about. Intriguing right? So honestly I’m not sure why I didn’t add this one to this list straight away. I’m definietely committed to reading it in 2023.

Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim

Promise me a fantasy world and I’m instantly intrigued; throw in the bonus of spice based tea magic and naturally I’m going to be infinitely excited to devour the resulting book. It’s set in a hidden desert city and there are dangerous dijinn, ghouls & other monsters lurking in the sands beyond it’s limits. It follows Imani who has an infinity for iron – meaning she ‘wields a dagger like no other’ yet is overshadowed by her brother’s actions – stealing the nation’s coveted spice. When she discovers he may still be alive – and ’spreading their nation’s magic beyond the desert‘ – Imani strikes a deal to bring him back, accompanied by ‘a roguish handsome dijinn‘ and an arrogant but powerful beastseer. If that somehow isn’t enough to entice you it’s also compared to the works of Sabaa Tahir, Hafsah Faizal and Elizabeth Lim. And look at that cover: breathtaking!

Song Of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amelie Wen Zhao

Writing this shortly after finishing two divine fantasy novels inspired by Asian mythology let’s just say I’m intrigued. It’s about Lan who lost her name when her mother was killed and her people’s magic outlawed. She spends her nights as a songgirl and her days ‘scavenging for remnants of the past’ hoping to understand ‘the strange mark’ that her mother burned into her arm. A mark that no one can see…until Zen ‘appears at the teahouse and saves her life’. He’s a practitioner‘one of the fabled magicians of the Last Kingdom’ with abilities rumoured to be drawn from demons.  It’s said to be perfect for fans of Daughter Of The Moon Goddess and The Final Strife (both of which I adored last year) and then there’s this enticing end to it’s blurb:

‘Both Lan and Zen have secrets buried deep within. Fate has connected them, but their destiny remains unwritten. Both hold the power to liberate their land. And both hold the power to destroy the world.’

The Whispering Muse by Laura Purcell

So far I’ve read two of Laura Purcell’s gothic horror novels and adored them so naturally her upcoming release immediately caught my eye. And this one sounds superb to say the least. Set within The Mercury Theatre in London’s West End her latest offering sounds quite different to the two books I’ve read by her previously. There are ‘rumours of a curse’ and ‘it is said that the lead actress Lilith has made a pact with Melpomene, the tragic muse of Greek mythology, to become the greatest actress to ever grace the stage.’ Greek mythology, whispers of a curse and a theatre setting? Need I say more? Desperate for money Jenny spies on Lilith for ‘the jealous wife of the theatre owner’ before befriending her. But then ‘strange events begin to take place around the theatre’ and, if the rumours are true, ‘when the Muse comes calling for payment’ what will the cost be?

Seven Faceless Saints by M.K. Lobb

Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kerri Maniscalco; I really don’t need to know anymore.

‘In the city of Ombrazia, saints and their disciples rule with terrifying and unjust power, playing favorites while the unfavored struggle to survive.’

After her father is murdered Rossanna is ‘willing to do whatever it takes to dismantle the corrupt system’ whilst Damian, the youngest captain in the history of Palazzo security, has been left with ‘deeper scars than he wants to admit’ after three years spent ‘fighting in a never-ending war.’ If all of that somehow wasn’t enough there’s also a murderer stalking the streets, one who the Palazzo are happy to ignore ‘until a disciple becomes the newest victim’. And the final alluring lines of the blurb:

‘As they dive into the underbelly of Ombrazia, the pair will discover something more sinister—and far less holy. With darkness closing in and time running out, will they be able to save the city from an evil so powerful that it threatens to destroy everything in its path?’

The Heroines by Laura Shepperson

Greek Mythology retellings are everywhere lately and I love it! I stumbled across this one entirely by accident but I desperately need it now. It follows ‘the most shocking trial of the ancient world’ when Phaedra – a foreign queen, daughter of an adulteress and sister of a monster accuses the son of Theseus – hero, king, slayer of the Minotaur – of rape. It’s the men of Athens who must decide the truth but according to this ones blurb the women have been silent …until now…

Revelle by Lyssa Mia Smith

When this book’s blurb mentioned Moulin Rouge and magic I was instantly intrigued. Tragic romance is one of the best kinds and the one promised here sounds superb. Luxe’s family’s livelihood is being threatened by Prohibition but the son of one of Charmant’s wealthiest family can fix that; all she has to do in return is pose as his girl whilst helping him become mayor. Jamison is ‘an orphan with ‘as few memories as gemstones’ and ‘he’s desperate to learn what happened to his parents’. When these two meet sparks fly but keeping secrets from powerful people is a dangerous game…’one that could destroy them both.’ Already adoring the beautiful tragedy that is Moulin Rogue – as well as anything magical – I seriously cannot wait to ravenously devour this book!!

The Last Tale Of The Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi

Adult debuts by popular YA authors (even if I have somehow failed to read any of their previous books yet) always intrigue me. So when I saw this one I was instantly excited. Especially when it’s blurb threw around the word gothic so readily and mentioned ‘the danger of believing in fairy tales’. ‘A scholar of myths’ marries a ‘heiress to a fortune’; all she asked for in ‘exchange for her love’ was that ‘her bridegroom would never pry into her past.’ But when the pair are forced to return to her childhood home things start to fall apart. Within the manor ‘lurks the shadow of another girl’ who disappeared and ‘the house slowly reveals his wife’s secrets’. If that somehow wasn’t intriguing enough this book is compared to both Mexican Gothic and The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue; two books that I adore deeply.

The Shadow Of Perseus by Claire Heywood

What is it with Greek retellings this year? Every time I think I must have found them all I stumble upon another incredible sounding offering. Somehow I haven’t yet read the author’s previous Greek tale (Daughters Of Sparta) but this sounds incredible regardless. It’s the story of Perseus told through the voice of three womenDanae (his mother), Medusa (‘his trophy’) and Andromeda (his wife). Together these viewpoints ‘reveal a man who is not, in fact, a hero at all.’ Danae was ‘banished from her homeland’ after a prophecy foretold that her unborn child would ‘one day cause the death of her father’. Medusa is ‘a member of a reclusive band of women who live deep in the woods, known as the Gorgons.’ And Andromeda ‘knows that a sacrifice will be required to appease the gods and end the storm’ when her desert tribe’s way of life is threatened by a harsh sandstorm but her life is set on an entirely new path after a meeting with young Perseus. I seriously can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book. Somehow I think I’m going to be reading a lot of Greek mythology in 2023.

Delicious Monsters by Liselle Sambury

A dual storyline novel from the author of Blood Like Magic? Naturally I’m intrigued. Daisy can see dead people and after being unexpectedly dumped by her boyfriend she decides to go with her mother to the ‘secluded mansion’ that she’s inherited. It’s not long before ‘she begins to realize that her experience with the supernatural might be no match for her mother’s secrets, nor what lurks within these walls…’

A decade later Brittney – whose ‘desperate to get out from under the thumb of her abusive mother’ who claims her stay at “Miracle Mansion’ allowed her to see the error of her ways  – decides to use the newest season of her web series to ‘uncover what happened to a young Black girl in the mansion ten years prior’ in the hopes of finally exposing her mother’s lies.

And then this: ‘…propelling the girls to face the most dangerous monsters of all: those that hide in plain sight.’

The Adventures Of Amina Al-Sirafi by S.A. Chakraborty

How on earth have I not read The City Of Brass yet? I’m honestly horrified at myself for this failure. Doesn’t the author’s latest offering also sound amazing though? It’s a historical fantasy that may possibly also be an adult novel. Although I’m not entirely sure of that factor as I’ve seen it listed as both adult and YA. It was ‘pitched as Sinbad the Sailor meets Oceans 11’ and follows an infamous, retired pirate. Let’s be honest, there are nowhere near enough books about pirates out there. ‘When she’s offered to right a wrong from her past and score a fabled treasure’ she has to try not only to assemble her old crew and outwit a ruthless ex-Crusader but also to contend with the ‘fantastical legends behind such treasures’ which, she’s learnt the hard way, ‘hold deadly truths… and they’re coming for her.’ Truthfully I’m not 100% convinced that this will be out when it says as it doesn’t even have a title yet but come on! The least I can do is make everyone else as impatient as I am for this book. Thank goodness that last part no longer holds true & this definitely looks to be releasing!!

Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati

Okay wow! Look it’s no secret that I adore Greek retellings but this one sounds absolutely incredible. Rather than say too much about what it’s about I’m instead going to advice you to read the blurb; do so and I’m sure this will end up on your TBR too. Let me say simply that this is described as ‘Circe meets Cersei Lannister’ and promises to be ‘a thrilling tale of power and prophecies, of hatred, love, and of an unforgettable Queen who fiercely dealt out death to those who wronged her.’

‘As for queens, they are either hated or forgotten. She already knows which option suits her best…’

As I said above, please, please go and read the blurb in full!

Lies We Sing To The Sea by Sarah Underwood

Firstly I adore all of the Greek mythology inspired books that I’ve read so far so naturally I’m curious about this one. And secondly, it sounds so good! Every spring Ithaca condemns twelves maidens to the noose; the price that ‘Poseidon demands for the lives of Queen Penelope’s twelve maids, hanged and cast into the depths centuries ago.’ But when Leto meets this fate things are different than she imagined and she wakes on a mysterious island, meeting ‘a girl with green eyes and the power to command the sea’. A girl who says ‘one more death can stop a thousand.’

‘The prince of Ithaca must die—or the tides of fate will drown them all’

The Foxglove King by Hannah F. Whitten

‘When Lore was thirteen, she escaped a cult in the catacombs beneath the city of Dellaire.’ Ever since she has done all she can to remain hidden; ‘easier said than done, when her death magic ties her to the city.’ When she’s taken by the Presque Mort – a group of warrior-monks sanctioned to use Mortem (magic born from death) for the Sainted King – she expects death. Instead she is tasked with finding out why entire villages on their country’s outskirts have been dying overnight – thrusting her into a glittering court where ‘no one can be believed and even fewer can be trusted.’ How could I ever resist that kind of premise? Especially when there’s a ‘duke-turned-monk’ and ‘ne-er-do-well heir’ thrown into the mix…along with the past that longs to catch up with Lore…

Damsel by Evelyn Skye

This fantasy offering is about Elodie who, in exchange for enough wealth to save her people, agrees to marry a Prince from a rich, reclusive kingdom. Once there she’s swept away by the beauty of the realm and by her betrothed, Prince Henry but whilst undertaking ‘the rituals to become an Aurean princess’ Elodie starts to have doubts and spots ‘cracks in the kingdom’s perfect veneer.’ ‘A young girl who appears and vanishes from the castle tower. A parade of torches weaving through the mountains. Markings left behind in a mysterious “V.”’ Then she learns that each harvest season the ‘kingdom sacrifices its princesses to a hungry dragon.’ And she’s next. It’s an arrangement that has ‘persisted for centuries’ and led hundreds of women to their deaths. But these women’s’ ‘blood pulses with power and memory, and their experiences hold the key to Elodie’s survival.’ Obviously I’m intrigued by this one.

Lucha Of The Night Forest by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Somehow I still haven’t read We Set The Dark On Fire (trust me, I definitely do plan to) but I’ve seen such wonderful things about it so naturally I’m curious to see what the author’s writing is like. Even if that wasn’t the case this book sounds amazing though with its promises of ‘dark forces’, ‘forgotten magic’, ‘a scorned god’, ‘a mysterious acolyte’, ‘a forgetting drug’ and ‘a dangerous forest’. What more could I possibly ask for? Besides all of those wonderful sounding elements this book also promises to be about a girl who ‘will do anything to protect her sister’ including making ‘a dangerous bargain’. And then there’s this:

‘Under the cover of the Night Forest, will Lucha be able to step into her own power…or will she be consumed by it?’

The Moonlight Blade by Tessa Barbosa

Firstly just let me stress that the information below may be about another book called ‘The Glass Fortress‘ although I believe that this is probably the same book and that the title has simply changed…

I know very little about this one but what I do know makes it too irresistible not to mention. It’s about a girl who is cursed by the sins of her past lives and enters a deadly competition in an effort to save her imprisoned mother. If that somehow isn’t intriguing enough she then comes face to face with her immortal enemy who has been tasked with ‘destroying her once and for all.’ How could I possibly resist that?

Chaos & Flame by Tessa Gratton & Justina Ireland

Okay how on earth could I possibly resist this book when it promises ancient magic, fiery prophecies, warring factions, Houses (with names like Dragon and Kraken) and ‘a romance between the two people in the world with the most cause to hate one another’. Enemies to lover fans (AKA me) rejoice!! It follows Darling who can’t remember anything before her entire family were murdered at the hands of House Dragon. When her ‘adoptive Kraken father is captured in battle’ she vows to save him ‘even if that means killing each and every last member of House Dragon. Then there’s Talon – ‘a dutiful War Prince for House Dragon’ who has factions turning to him, wanting him to unseat his brother the ‘High Prince Regent’. A brother whose obsessively painted a ‘fierce girl’ for years… And, if that somehow wasn’t enough on its own, I loved Strange Grace when I read it previously.

The Surviving Sky by Kritika H. Rao

‘High above a jungle-planet float the last abodes of humanity—plant-made cities held together by magic and tradition.’

Mention magic and I’m sold but this sounds like such a unique tale and I’m seriously curious to see what it turns out like. In these cities ‘magical architects are revered above anyone else’ as without them ‘the city would fall into the devastating earthrage storms below’. Ahilya is the wife of one such architect yet she is ‘born without magic’ making her a second-class citizen. Her marriage is ‘already rocky’ but then ‘the earthrage storms become longer and deadlier’ and her husband ‘falls under investigation for being too powerful.’  If that wasn’t enough ‘deadly truths emerge that challenge everything Ahilya believes about their privileged society and the origin of the storms.’ And to make matters even worse? The city’s magical architecture fails…

Have you ever heard of anything like this? I’ve come across floating cities before but none quite like this. I believe this is an adult fantasy novel too which is definitely a bonus.

Blood Debts by Terry J. Benton-Walker

‘Thirty years ago, a young woman was murdered, a family was lynched, and New Orleans saw the greatest magical massacre in its history. In the days that followed, a throne was stolen from a queen.’

Need I really say more than that? Doesn’t that quote immediately make you want to pick this book up? This book follows Clement and Cristina, the sixteen year old twin heirs to the ‘powerful, magical, dethroned’ family in question. Cristina has given up magic for good after an ancient spell, that she cast, killed her father. Whilst for Clement – ‘magic is his lifeline.’ Their mother has been cursed ‘by someone on the very council that their family used to rule’. And somehow, despite their differences, the twins will have to come together to try and find out whose coming after their family all whilst solving the decades old murder.

And if they don’t succeed, New Orleans may see another massacre. Or worse.’

The Last Heir To Blackwood Library by Hester Fox

Gothic is one of those words that always draws me in so of course I’m curious about this book. Ivy unexpectedly becomes owner of Blackwood Abbey – a sprawling but foreboding estate on the Yorkshire moors. It’s servants are ‘reserved and suspicious’ but Ivy finds herself drawn to it’s ‘magnificent library’ despite the ‘cryptic warnings’ of the staff. There are rumors about the abbey’s previous owners, as well as ones about ghosts, curses and ‘an enigmatic manuscript at the center of it all.‘ Plus ‘she senses something else in the library too, a presence that seems to have a will of its own.’ What is this mysterious presence? I can’t wait to find out…

Silver In The Bone by Alexandra Bracken

‘Tamsin Lark didn’t ask to be a Hollower.’

She’s a mortal with ‘no magical talent’ yet is forced to ‘break into ancient crypts’ and ‘compete with sorceresses and Cunningfolk for the treasures inside’ after her ‘thieving foster father disappeared’. There are rumors that her guardian vanished with ‘a powerful ring from Arthurian legend’; a ring that she hopes could free herself and her brother ‘from a curse that threatens both of them’. With other Hollowers also after the ring Tasmin finds herself forced to partner with her rival. And if that hasn’t sold you on this novel then read this final quote:

‘Together, they dive headfirst into a vipers’ nest of dark magic, exposing a deadly secret with the power to awaken ghosts of the past and shatter her last hope of saving her brother. . . .’

Plus, after Lore, naturally I’m itching for this novel.

One For My Enemy by Olivie Blake

I’ve seen the hype for The Atlas Six (even if I still do need to get on and read it) so naturally I’m curious about the author’s upcoming book. Even if that wasn’t the case though this book would be on this list thanks to it’s glorious premise. It follows two rival witch families: ‘the Antonova sisters’ who are ‘beautiful, cunning, and ruthless’ and whose mother, ‘known only as Baba Yaga’ ‘is the elusive supplier of premium intoxicants’ & ‘the influential Fedorov brothers’ who serve their crime boss father ‘named Koschei the Deathless’ – whose enterprise ‘dominates the shadows of magical Manhattan’. After a twelve year stalemate ‘everything is thrown into disarray’ ‘even as fate draws together a brother and sister from either side.’ Then there’s this wonderful line from the blurb:

‘That is, if the enmity between empires doesn’t destroy both sides first.’

Basically give this book to me already, please…

A Realm Of Ash & Shadows by Lara Buckheit

Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Kerri Maniscalco are you serious? If this comparison is true to it’s word then this book is going to be epic. Valeria is a princess exiled from her home of Empyrean. When her prom is crashed by a horde of demons – and she narrowly escapes being captured by the realm of the Forsaken – Valeria finds herself back in Empyrean before she’s due to return. Instead of ‘the beautiful utopia from her bedtime stories’ she discovers a realm where the poor are dying, the rich are thriving and her claim to the throne is in jeopardy. I’ll admit the mention of prom gave me pause but this final paragraph…read it then try to resist this premise:

The overwhelming desire to belong and a craving for power has her making choices that make it harder and harder to guard her heart against the man who’s bound to protect her, the god she’s vowed to hate, and the darkness that’s growing inside her. Only time will tell if the secrets she unravels and the alliances she makes will lead to the throne or the pyre.

Atalanta by Jennifer Saint

Back in 2021 I devoured Jennifer Saint’s debut Ariadne so I’m somewhat surprised that Elektra is still on my TBR. Considering my love of her debut – along with my adoration of Greek mythology – I’m itching to check out her 2023 release though. This time it’s about Atalanta, born to the king of Arcadia but raised by a mother bear after being left, as a defenceless infant, on a mountainside. She’s under the protective eye of the goddess Artemis and swears to prove herself, joining Jason’s band of Argonauts, determined to become a legend within ‘a world made for men’.

Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross

‘When two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection, they must face the depths of hell, in a war among gods, to seal their fate forever.’

Doesn’t that one sentence make you desperate to devour this book? After sleeping for centuries ‘the gods are warring again’ but Iris has more personal worries on her mind with a mother suffering from addiction and a brother missing from the front lines. In an effort to ‘combat her worries’ she writes letters to her brother which mysteriously vanish when she slips them beneath her wardrobe door. When she gets anonymously written back Iris unknowingly forms a connection with her journalistic rival; a connection that ‘will follow Iris all the way to the front lines of battle: for her brother, the fate of mankind, and love.’ This book sounds quite unlike anything that I’ve read before and I love it.

The Isle Of The Gods by Amie Kaufman

Did the title of this one initially draw me in? Yes; mention Gods and I’m on board. I haven’t seen the full blurb of this one yet (to be honest I probably shouldn’t be writing the bulk of this post in late August) but I adore the mix of characters hinted at already. There’s ‘a sleeping god’, ‘a playboy prince’ whose forced to take life seriously for the first time, the girl ‘raised on the seas’ who has to protect him, ‘an irritated scholar who did not ask to go on a quest’ a girl ‘who wants to start a war’ and ‘a private school boy who fell from grace.’ Beside the characters I know that there’s magic and ‘glamour and grit and gangsters’ dens’. I can’t wait to learn more…

A Crown Of Ivy And Glass by Claire Legrand

I have so many of Claire Legrand’s books on my TBR (how have I not read any of them?) and now here’s another highly anticipated one, this time her adult debut. Apparently it was pitched as Bridgerton (okay I couldn’t get into that particular series as I found the humour too silly BUT I’m hoping this means more period style than anything else) meets A Court Of Thorns and Roses (yep, still on my TBR but it’s Sarah J. Maas and the fae so come on!). It’s about ‘three sisters of a noble magic family’ who have to ‘fight hidden dark forces trying to destroy the Mist’; ‘an ancient barrier that protects their world from the dangerous realm of the old gods.’ Say no more! Dangerous old gods, hopefully a historic regal setting, magic, potentially fierce female characters and it’s an adult debut? Obviously I need this!

Scarlet by Genevieve Cogman

Vampires and the French Revolution? Honestly need I say more? This sound incredible. It’s a ‘reinvention of the tale of The Scarlet Pimpernel with the addition of magic and even more mayhem’‘The aristocrats are vampires’ and ‘the Scarlet Pimpernel, a disguised British noble, is determined to rescue them’. These predators are offered sanctuary by their British kin, ‘but at great cost to London’s ordinary people.’ But then ‘an English maid discovers the only power that could stop them.’ If she survives… How could anyone resist this? This was originally due out in 2022 and if it doesn’t release this year I may well cry.

So there you have it, the first half of this accidentally massive list. I’ll post part two next Friday and the list of my most anticipated sequels, prequels and companion novels on the Friday following that. I hope all of you are well and have a wonderful year of reading. I opted to hold off on finalizing this post until I’d read my first book of the year which I have…a book that, according to my kindle, was 984 pages long. And I adored every minute off it. I’ve also watched my first film of the year – A Man Called Otto – and adored that too; it’ll definitely be making my favourite movies of 2023.

What are your most anticipated books of 2023? Have you read any of them yet? Are there any early ones that I’m missing?

Most Anticipated Reads 2022

My Most Anticipated Releases Of 2022 Part II:

So here I am, back for part two of My Most Anticipated Releases Of 2022 – if you haven’t already done so you can check out Part One here. Lately I feel like there’s a new book out every week and, after realizing that part one only covered up to the end of April, I can see why. There are an insane number of books out this year that I’m itching to read…and probably plenty more that I’m still to discover. But here are the rest of the books I’m most eager to get my hands on in 2022.

Book Of Night by Holly Black

Come on; after The Cruel Prince is it even remotely possible that I’m not going to check out whatever Holly Black writes in the future? Besides which, this sounds absolutely incredible. Shadow magic which can be used to alter a person’s feelings and memories but takes hours, or even days, off of your life in return. A low level con artist whose trying to stay away from the shadow trade. A terrible figure from her past. And then this glorious line:

‘Determined to survive, Charlie throws herself into a maelstrom of secrets and murder, setting her against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, shadow thieves, and her own sister—all desperate to control the magic of the shadows.’

Plus it’s her adult debut. So let’s be real…I. Need. This. Now. Yesterday.

Not Good For Maidens by Tori Bovalino

A horror-fantasy retelling of ‘Goblin Market’ which is described as ‘Salem’s Lot meets ‘The Darkest Part Of The Forest’.  A protagonist who doesn’t believe in magic or superstitions… until her aunt is kidnapped to the goblin market a place full of hauntingly tempting  food, wares and individuals. A three day limit before the market disappears and Lou’s aunt becomes one of them forever. And the possibility that the market will claim her too. Doesn’t this just sound fantastic? It absolutely has the potential to be the kind of gloriously dark tale that merges danger and allure together seamlessly!

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas

‘Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca’. Need I say more? Desperate for a home again Beatriz accepts the proposal of Don Rodolfo Solórzano despite the rumors surrounding the sudden demise of his first wife. But her home isnot the sanctuary she imagined.’ ‘Visions and voices’ invade her sleep; invisible eyes follow her every move. The cook burns incense at the edge of the kitchen and mark’s it doorway with strange symbols. And Rodolfo’s sister, despite dismissing her fears, refuses to enter the house at night. Beatriz’s one chance at help? A young priest with skills as a witch…because

‘far from a refuge, San Isidro may be Beatriz’s doom.’

Idol by Louise O’Neill

Fame is always a fascinating subject to read about but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it from quite this angle before. Samantha is everything to ‘her girls’ – her young fans – and her ‘career is booming’. ‘Determined to speak her truth and bare all to her adoring fans’ she writes an essay ‘about her sexual awakening as a teenager, with her female best friend, Lisa’ which goes viral. But Lisa’s ‘memory of that night is far darker’ and now it’s one woman’s word against the other. ‘Whose ‘truth’ is really a lie?’ Having loved ‘After The Silence’ I’m definitely intrigued to see what the author’s next book is like. And it certainly sounds like she’s taking a rather different angle to some major subjects than what I’ve seen before.

Juniper & Thorn by Ava Reid

‘A gruesome curse. A city in upheaval. A monster with unquenchable appetites.’

Ava Reid’s second novel is set within the world of her debut, The Wolf And The Woodsman, and described as a ‘gothic horror retelling of The Juniper Tree’. It follows Marlinchen who lives with her two sisters and tyrannical, xenophobic, wizard father in a ‘city shifting from magic to industry.’ At night she and her sisters sneak out to ‘enjoy the city’s amenities’ and, at the recently established ballet theater, Marlinchen meets ‘a dancer who quickly captures her heart.’ If that somehow wasn’t enough to entice you then let me also point out that it also features a monster ‘borne of intolerance and resentment and suffused with old-world power.’ Give this to me already!!

Having now read the author’s debut I want to repeat my ‘give this to me already’ sentiment once more!!

The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi

Female led adult fantasy offerings are on fire this year! This is another that I’m itching to read as it sounds absolutely mesmerizing. It’s blurb promises an African and Arabian-inspired adult fantasy trilogy where people are divided by the colour of their blood. It follows Sylah who grew up ‘being told she would spark a revolution’ but lost her belief the ‘day she watched her family murdered before her eyes’; Anoor the daughter of ‘the most powerful ruler in the Empire’ who grew up being told she’s nothing; and Hassa who ‘moves unseen by upper classes’ and knows ‘what it means to be invisible.’ It’s last line absolutely hooked me:

‘As the Empire begins a set of trials of combat and skill designed to find its new leaders, the stage is set for blood to flow, power to shift, and cities to burn.’

And then I spotted the author’s review which ignited my excitement further with it’s promises of: Enemies to lovers, ‘a drug addicted chosen one who TOTALLY misses her calling’ and blood magic among other intriguing aspects. Ooh and I almost forgot according to Goodreads it’s 640 pages long!!

This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede

Three weddings; three funerals and a gift from the gods that is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic but instead kills every suitor it touches. A deadline… only weeks to go until a hungry swarm of demons destroys everything. A powerful priest who decides killing Alessa is the island’s only hope. And a bodyguard with dark secrets of his own. This sounds amazing! And look at that cover!! Basically I’m in love with this book before even picking it up.

Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert

After The Hazel Wood it goes without saying that I want to check this book out. Especially with it’s vast array of dark and alluring promises… An accident, a punishment, a mystery; eerie offerings, corroded memories, a secret about a mother and a stranger ‘whose appearance in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night, heralds a string of increasingly, unsettling events.’ And that’s just the ‘now’ storyline. In the past we get to see Dana as, along with her best friend and an ambitious older girl, ‘her gifts bloom into a heady fling with the supernatural’. And the trio ‘find themselves speeding towards a violent breaking point.’ Plus there’s a mention of ‘the dark forces they never should’ve messed with’ so of course I’m intrigued. How could I not be?

Wake The Bones by Elizabeth Kilcoyne

‘The sleepy little farm that Laurel Early grew up on has awakened. The woods are shifting, the soil is dead under her hands, and her bone pile just stood up and walked away.’

Umm hello, way to grab my attention! If that quote from the blurb isn’t enough to convince you to add this book to your TBR let me also point out that it includes ‘a devil’ returning to  court Laurel and a desperate need to ‘unravel her mother’s terrifying legacy’ and tap into her own ‘innate magic’ or ‘everyone she loves is doomed’. I need this! Seriously. And surely you do too?

Violet Made Of Thorns by Gina Chen

Violet is a prophet and a liar’ who influences the court ‘as Seer with her cleverly phrased – and not always true – divinations.’ Cyrus is the Prince who ‘plans to strip her of her title once he’s crowned’. When the king asks Violet to ‘falsely prophesy’ the prince’s love story for an upcoming ball ‘Violet awakens a dreaded curse about the prince’s future bride.’ So what will happen when a doomed attraction starts to grow between her and the prince? Enemies to lovers, lying prophets, courts, curses and the promise that it’s perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince! OMG this can not come soon enough.

Spells For Forgetting by Adrienne Young

So I’ve actually written elsewhere that this author is the only one to appear on this list twice…I was wrong. With the announcement of Spells For Forgetting Adrienne Young became the only author to feature on this list three times! Crazy for an author whose presently new to me. This is an adult offering though that sounds absolutely fascinating. It’s set on an island with a ‘community steeped in the mystical superstitions of its founders and haunted by an unsolved murder’. And it’s central characters are Emery Blackwood – ‘whose life was forever changed on the eve of her high school graduation, when the love of her life, August Salt, was accused of murdering her best friend, Lily.’ And accused murderer August himself who returns for the first time in fourteen years just as the island ‘begins to show signs of strange happenings’ and ‘unearths the past that no one wants to remember.’ Ah how could anyone resist? This sounds atmospheric, mysterious, haunting and compelling. Everything that a good book should be.

The Art Of Prophecy by Wesley Chu

Read this then tell me that you’re not intrigued:

‘What follows is a journey more wondrous than any prophecy can foresee: a story of master and student, assassin and revolutionary, of fallen gods and broken prophecies, and of a war between kingdoms, and love and friendship between deadly rivals. ‘

How could I possibly resist a story that features a ‘spoiled hero’, ‘an immortal god-king’ and ‘the greatest war artist of her generation’? Especially when it includes a prophecy gone wrong and sounds simply epic. I need this already!

Babel by R.F. Kuang

Remember when I admitted earlier that I hadn’t read one incredibly popular book? Well the same applies with The Poppy War unfortunately. But I seriously intend to read the series this year after all of the incredible things that I’ve heard about it. Babel sounds incredibly intriguing but also – unless it’s just me? – pretty complex.  It’s set in 1828 and follows Robin who is ‘brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell.’ Once there he trains for years in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in ‘Babel’ – ‘the world’s centre of translation and, more importantly, of silver-working: the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation through enchanted silver bars, to magical effect.’ ‘Serving Babel inevitably means betraying his motherland’ for Robin and eventually he finds himself caught between Babel and ‘the shadowy Hermes Society’ .

‘When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide: Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence? What is he willing to sacrifice to bring Babel down?’

This definitely sounds like a complicated but interesting and unique read that will blend historical details and magic together seamlessly. I’m certainly eager to check this out.

Belladonna by Adalyn Grace

Was it the title of this novel that immediately captured my attention? Yes! And does it sound every bit as gloriously dark yet achingly beautiful as you’d imagine given such a name? Yes again! Signa has been raised by a string of guardians since being orphaned as a baby – all of which have died under mysterious circumstances and been more interested in her wealth than her wellbeing. When she goes to live with her last remaining relatives at Thorn Grove – ‘a manor as glittering as it is gloomy’ – she’s confronted by the spirit of the patriarch’s late wife who ‘claims it was poison that killed her and not an illness’. With the family’s daughter suffering from the same ‘illness’ Signa sets out to solve the murder… something that involves making ‘an alliance with Death himself’. If all of that somehow wasn’t enough, well…

And Death, that fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side, shows her that their connection may be more powerful than she ever dared imagine.’

Something Wicked by Laura Purcell

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So far I’ve read two of Laura Purcell’s gothic horror novels and adored them so naturally her upcoming release immediately caught my eye. And this one sounds superb to say the least. Set within The Mercury Theatre in London’s West End her latest offering sounds quite different to the two books I’ve read by her previously. There are ‘rumours of a curse’ and ‘it is said that the lead actress Lilith has made a pact with Melpomene, the tragic muse of Greek mythology, to become the greatest actress to ever grace the stage.’ Greek mythology, whispers of a curse and a theatre setting? Need I say more? Desperate for money Jenny spies on Lilith for ‘the jealous wife of the theatre owner’ before befriending her. But then ‘strange events begin to take place around the theatre’ and, if the rumours are true, ‘when the Muse comes calling for payment’ what will the cost be?

Wish Of The Wicked by Danielle Paige

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‘A dark spin on fairy godmothers’; as a fan of both retellings and villainous characters I’m 100% on board for that promise. It’s set in a world where ‘the enchanted members of the Entente have worked in tandem with the Three Fates’ for centuries to ‘maintain destiny across the Thirteen Queendoms.’ At least until Queen Magrit burns Hecate at the stake and ‘decrees death to all Entete’ in an attempt to live forever. ‘But some survive’ and it’s one of them that this story follows as she ‘hatches a dangerous plan to seek revenge.’ I’ll confess that the talk of Fates made me think of Stepsister which instantly intrigued me. So I must know more…

The Witch And The Tsar by Olesya Salnikova Gilmore

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Since hearing about her elsewhere any mention of Baba Yaga leaves me intrigued and this novel that features her sounds glorious. It promises that:

‘…the maligned and immortal witch of legend known as Baba Yaga will risk all to save Russia and her people from Tsar Ivan the Terrible–and the dangerous gods who seek to drive the twisted hearts of men.’

Come on; who doesn’t get intrigued by that? It’s set in ‘a sixteneenth century Russia on the brink of chaos’ and features Anastasia – wife of the Tsar – whose ‘suffering from a mysterious illness’. This novel promises that it ‘weaves a rich tapestry of mythology and Russian history’ and says that ‘old gods and new tyrants vie for power.’ Basically it sounds like the sort of novel that I’ll devour.

Princess Of Souls by Alexandra Christo

Fairytale inspired stories are one of my fictional addictions so it goes without saying that this, as a Rapunzel inspired fantasy romance, would get added to my TBR. I also adored To Kill A Kingdom when I read it so I know how gorgeously this author writes. And then there’s the actual premise:

the story of a young witch who is bound to steal souls for an immortal King, until she discovers her fate is tied to a boy who’s trying to bring down her kingdom.’

How could anyone hope to resist this?

What Monstrous Gods by Rosamund Hodge

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I love a good fairytale retelling and I adore dark and twisty novels that blend danger and allure. This sounds like it will be both of those things and I’m honestly ever so impatient for it. The story starts where Sleeping Beauty leaves off with Lia – ‘a girl chosen by the gods of Runakhia’ – releasing ‘the royal family from 500 years of enchanted sleep’ and killing ‘the heretic sorcerer who trapped them’. What should be the end of the story is only the beginning though as she discovers

‘that the gods are not as benevolent as they appear, and the ghost of the sorcerer she killed may be her only help to protect her life and country.’

This is 100% a me book and I need it already! Please, please come out this year; I’ve already had to move this off of my 2021 list…

Somehow I still haven’t read either of this author’s books despite them sounding absolutely incredible but I’ve heard fantastic things. And the limited information available about her upcoming offering has already fascinated me too. It’s a ‘reimagining of the Chinese military epic Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ which, I confess, I know nothing about… It says that a strategist must help her warlordess to victory against rival kingdoms to both the north and south whilst also ‘overcoming her fate as written by the gods.’ Promise me gods and I’m on board. Also is anyone else simply itching to see what the cover of this will be like? Because so far Joan He’s books have been absolutely dazzling when it comes to those.

The Whispering Dark by Kelly Andrew

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Look I was sold the second I saw this described as ‘The Raven Boys meets Ninth House’ despite being the only person in the world not to have read the first of those yet. This sound incredible though. It follows Delaney – a deaf student with unusual talents who hears voices ‘calling to her from the shadows’ and Colton who died when he was nine years old; only to wake up several weeks later. When a student at their university – which ‘trains students to slip between parallel worlds’turns up dead they are forced to ‘form a tenuous alliance.’  If that somehow isn’t enough to entice you then read this quote from the end of the blurb:

But Delaney and Colton discover the cost of opening the doors between worlds when they find themselves up against something old and nameless, an enemy they need to destroy before it tears them — and their forbidden partnership – apart.’

A Tempest Of Tea by Hafsah Faizal

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Details of this novel are still vague but let’s be honest – I see the word ‘vampires’ and instantly I’m intrigued. A Tempest Of Tea is said to have been ‘pitched as King Arthur meets Peaky Blinders with vampires.’ That definitely sounds like an interesting and unique combination. It follows ‘a gang of outcasts in a deadly heist’ to save Arthie’s tearoom – ‘which fronts an illegal blood house, where local vampires can purchase fresh blood.’ Vampires, Camelot inspiration and gangsters? Plus a tearoom with secret illegal dealing in blood. How am I meant to wait until October for this?

Scarlet by Genevieve Cogman

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Vampires and the French Revolution? Honestly need I say more? This sound incredible. It’s a ‘reinvention of the tale of The Scarlet Pimpernel with the addition of magic and even more mayhem’. ‘The aristocrats are vampires’ and ‘the Scarlet Pimpernel, a disguised British noble, is determined to rescue them’. These predators are offered sanctuary by their British kin, ‘but at great cost to London’s ordinary people.’ But then ‘an English maid discovers the only power that could stop them.’ If she survives… How could anyone resist this? It’s not due out until November but – writing this in October of 2021 – I may have already planned to pre-order this over a year in advance…

A Consuming Fire by Laura E. Weymouth

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Ah this sounds incredible!

‘Weatherell girls aren’t supposed to die’

In Weatherell, every eighteen years, a girl is asked to be sent to ‘the god of the mountain to give a sacrifice for the good of all of Albion before returning home. But when Anya’s twin Ilva volunteers for this task she ends up dead, causing Anya to volunteer to make her own journey to the god of the mountain. But in Anya’s case:

‘Anya Astraea has not set out to placate a god. She’s set out to kill one.’

Not only does this sound spectacular but I’ve also read and adored A Treason Of Thorns by this author so I’m definitely excited to check out more of her work.

The Surviving Sky by Kritika H. Rao

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‘High above a jungle-planet float the last abodes of humanity—plant-made cities held together by magic and tradition.’

Mention magic and I’m sold but this sounds like such a unique tale and I’m seriously curious to see what it turns out like. In these cities ‘magical architects are revered above anyone else’ as without them ‘the city would fall into the devastating earthrage storms below’. Ahilya is the wife of one such architect yet she is ‘born without magic’ making her a second-class citizen. Her marriage is ‘already rocky’ but then ‘the earthrage storms become longer and deadlier’ and her husband ‘falls under investigation for being too powerful.’  If that wasn’t enough ‘deadly truths emerge that challenge everything Ahilya believes about their privileged society and the origin of the storms.’ And to make matters even worse? The city’s magical architecture fails…

Have you ever heard of anything like this? I’ve come across floating cities before but none quite like this. I believe this is an adult fantasy novel too which is definitely a bonus. Fingers crossed that it’s 2022 release date is right as I don’t think I can bear to wait any longer than that for this one.

Fallen City by Adrienne Young

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Firstly how on earth have I not read anything by this author yet? Secondly I can’t say overmuch about this book as the details are limited but I’m definitely intrigued. It’s a ‘Greco-Roman inspired fantasy’– and is set in ‘a glittering world’ with ‘a lottery built on lies’. It follows 18 year old Maris as she ‘desperately attempts to escape a city under siege.’ And it features a forbidden romance! I’m itching for this already and simply can’t wait to read it’s full blurb… and see the cover; this author’s ones are always stunning.

So that’s it for part two of an incredibly long list which probably contains more books than I could possibly hope to read in a year. Oh well; fingers crossed that I’ll get to read a few of these at least. I hope that, over both parts, I’ve managed to bring some new books to your attention. Next time I’ll be back with the sequels I can’t wait for in 2022…because I haven’t raved about enough new releases already.

What are your most anticipated books of 2022? Have you read any of them yet? Are there any that I’m missing out on?

Most Anticipated Reads 2022

My Most Anticipated Releases Of 2022 – Part I:

It’s here; part one of my favourite post of the year to write! And, I confess, I’m kind of alarmed by just how long my list is this year. Next year I may well have to set a limit as to how many books I can include. But here it is anyway and, just as a head’s up, it doesn’t stop based on month – it stops based on the half way point of the original post, more or less. So, if a book comes out after Elektra, it could well be listed in part two.

The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman

Magic is ‘a precious resource that has kept Ashoka safe from conflict’ but the country’s only quarry is running out of magic, there’s a looming threat of war and if ‘enemies discover this, they’ll stop at nothing to seize the last of the magic.’ Vira, ‘desperate to get out of her mother’s shadow and establish her legacy as a revered queen of Ashoka’, hopes to ‘find a mysterious object of legend: the Ivory Key’ which is rumored to unlock a new source of magic. But to do so she needs to reunite with her estranged siblings…and each of them have very different plans for what to do with the key.  I can’t wait for my copy of this book to turn up; it sounds absolutely fantastic. Scheming siblings, dwindling magic and the threat of war…what more could I possibly ask for?

Nightrender by Jodi Meadows

‘Kingdoms will fall, gods will die, and hearts will be broken’

How on earth have I not heard of this sooner? If the opening quote somehow hasn’t intrigued you then let me mention it’s wholly unique sounding setting – a place where reality bends, villages disappear and forests burn forever. Salvation; a land where three kingdoms have been at war for a thousand years. Malice, ‘an incursion from the demon plane’, is it’s greatest threat and could lead to the ‘total unravelling of night and day, light and dark, life and death.’ Characters include ‘the serpent bride’ and the prince she’s supposed to marry who has noticed the growing darkness. And then there’s Nightrender herself: ‘the hammer of the gods, an immortal warrior more weapon than girl.’ Who, when last summoned, ‘slaughtered every royal in Salvation, and no one knows why.’ Seriously how could anyone resist a premise like this? I need this already!!

The Amber Crown by Jacey Bedford

Okay so I’ll admit it – what initially caught my eye about this novel was the fact that the dead king’s ghost is setting tasks from beyond the grave. How intriguing does that sound? If that somehow doesn’t entice you though let me also mention that this adult fantasy follows ‘three societal outcasts’ who must work together to save their nation from ‘the usurper king’ whose driving their land to the brink of war. This team of three consists of: the failed bodyguard whose now been accused of murder; a Landstrider witch with the ability to walk the spirit world and the clever assassin, with a traumatic past, who killed the king to begin with. Oh and, of course, there’s a ‘dangerous magical power’ rising up. Need I say more?

Thank you so much to Sophie for bringing this book to my attention.

The North Wind by Alexandria Warwick

For three hundred years the Gray has been encased in ice, surrounded by a great barrier called the Shade which protects it from the Deadlands. ‘But day by day, the shade weakens.’ And the only thing that can stop it’s fall is a mortal woman being taken captive and ‘bound in wedlock to the dark god who reigns over the Deadlands.’

‘He is the North Wind, the Frost King, an immortal whose heart is said to be as frigid as the land he rules.’

This story is said to be ‘in the vein of Beauty and The Beast & Hades And Persephone‘, features enemies-to lovers and is ‘sprinkled with Greek Lore.’ And then there’s this:

‘Long before civilization, there were the gods. And before the gods, there was the earth, the celestial bodies, and air given flesh. They are the Anemoi—the Four Winds—and they have been banished to the four corners of the world.’

I, for one, certainly can’t wait to learn more.

Real Easy by Marie Rutkoski

Having thoroughly enjoyed The Winners Curse I was instantly intrigued when I saw that Marie Rutkoski was writing an adult book. And then extremely curious as to how her take on the thriller genre would go. In 1999 Samantha, whose danced at the Lovely Lady strip club for years, drives a new dancer home, only to be run off the road. When the police arrive at the scene, they discover only one body. Georgia, another dancer, tries to assist detective Holly who has ‘a complicated story of her own’. The point of view is said to shift ‘from dancers and detectives to club patrons and children’ so not only am I eager to find out exactly what’s going on in this novel I’m also excited to find out how all the points of views converge. Plus I get the impression it’s going to be pretty powerful and emotional too. Definitely curious to see what it ultimately turns out like.

The Last Legacy by Adrienne Young

So I know that this came out for a lot of people last year but over in the UK it’s only being released this year. I’m also yet to read Fable which I believe is set in the same world but I’m intrigued regardless. Bryn Roth receives a letter from her uncle Henrik on her eighteenth birthday, ‘summoning her back to Bastian’ where she is eager to prove herself and take her place in her long-lost family. But ‘Henrik has plans for Bryn’ and she must ‘win everyone’s trust if she wants to hold any power’ in the family. ‘Despite their growing influence in upscale Bastian, their hands are still in the kind of dirty business that got Bryn’s parents killed years ago.’ There’s a forbidden romance, dangerous work and blood ties. And this author is the only one to feature twice on this list! But I do feel that this book sounds like it’ll be exceedingly gripping.

Daughter Of The Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan

Mention forbidden magic and I’m in. But this promises so much more than that alone. Xingyin has lived in solitude since her mother stole an elixir for immortality from the ‘feared Celestial Emperor’. Until her magic flares and reveals her existence. This book promises hidden identities, archery, magic, legendary creatures, vicious enemies, a dangerous bargain, ancient Chinese mythology and a rather complicated sounding romance. What more could you possibly ask for in a book? Plus look at that cover! The UK edition appears to be different but it’s also pretty stunning.

The Red Palace by June Hur

This is one of the few non fantasy offerings on this list but it seriously sounds amazing. Set in Joseon (Korea) 1758 it follows eighteen year old Hyeon who has earned her position as a palace nurse. When someone murders four women in one night she finds herself ‘thrust into the dark and dangerous world of court politics’, especially as her closest friend and mentor is the primary suspect, pushing her to hunt for the truth. And then evidence starts to point towards the crown prince himself. Interested?  I certainly am…

To enter the palace means to walk a path stained in blood…

Castle In Their Bones by Laura Sebastian

‘The plot: overthrow a kingdom. The goal: world domination. The plan: marriage.’

Well that’s one way to go about it anyway! And I, for one, am rather intrigued. The triplet princesses of Bessemia have been ‘trained from birth in espionage and seduction’. Why? So their Queen mother can enact her ‘plan to rule from sea to sea’. Unfortunately their task may not be quite so simple and their ‘mother’s motives may not be what they seem.’ The possibilities for this novel sound endless to be honest and I can’t wait to see what happens romance wise within this book.

This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi

Forbidden romances are always exciting but this one sounds like it truly has the potential to be epic. Alizeh is the long lost heir to an ancient Jinn kingdom, hiding in plain sight as a servant. Kamran is the crown prince who can’t get her off of his mind. Besides the obvious problems there’s the fact that one day soon Alizeh will ‘uproot his kingdom – and the world.’ And there’s even prophecies foretelling the death of the king. If all of that somehow isn’t enough it’s also inspired by Persian mythology. So basically I’m counting down the days to it’s release…

A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross

‘Enchantments run deep on Cadence: gossip is carried by the wind, plaid shawls can be as strong as armor, and the smallest cut of a knife can instill fathomless fear.’

Intrigued yet? Jack is called back to Cadence – after studying music at the mainland university – when ‘young girls start disappearing from the isle.

‘The capricious spirits that rule the isle by fire, water, earth, and wind find mirth in the lives of the humans who call the land home.’

Jack’s childhood enemy – and heiress of the east – Adaira knows that ‘the spirits only answer to a bard’s music.‘ And so she hopes that Jack can entice ‘them to return the missing girls.’ If all of that – along with the serious enemies to lovers potential that this book has – isn’t enough to entice you then read this final line of its blurb:

‘an older, darker secret about Cadence lurks beneath the surface, threatening to undo them all.’

From Dust, A Flame by Rebecca Podos

Firstly why the name change? I have nothing against the new title but personally I preferred ‘The Dust Alphabet’; it was the sort of unusual title that left me immediately wanting to learn more. But anyway this book sounds fantastic. It’s the story of Hannah who on her 17th birthday is ‘cursed by a sheyd (a Jewish demon) as the price for a desperate bargain that her mother made long ago.’ Doesn’t that instantly leave you itching for more information? To break the spell Hannah and her brother must find her ‘mother’s estranged family’ and ‘discover a legacy they never dreamed of – one that traces back to the famous Golem of Prague.’ I need this already.

I wrote this for last year’s Most Anticipated Releases posts then discovered that it’s release date had been changed. Having now read the full length blurb I can honesty say that this sounds even more incredible then I first realized. Check it out. Seriously!

Bright Ruined Things by Samantha Cohoe

Mae has only ever known life on the island, ‘living on the charity of the wealthy Prosper family who control the magic on the island and the spirits who inhabit it’. Soon her time there may come to an end ‘but tonight is First Night’; a time to celebrate the night ‘Lord Prosper first harnessed the island’s magic and started producing aether – a magical fuel source that has revolutionized the world.’ Then the spirits start inexplicably dying and ‘Ivo, the reclusive, mysterious heir to the Prosper magic, may hold all the answers.’ Including a secret from Mae’s own past that she doesn’t remember. Magic, secrets, spirits, a wealthy family and so much potential for intrigue. It goes without saying that I want this!

Scorpica by G.R. Macallister

Okay please just give me this book already! Seriously; it sounds incredible. Set within a world where five hundred years of peace are shattered when girls inexplicably stop being born this series features five queendoms. It’s cast is made up of a warrior queen, a healer in hiding whose daughter has a secret explosive power, a queen whose desperation leads to her risking ‘using the darkest magic’, a ‘sorcerer demigod’ and ‘the generation of lastborn girls’… doesn’t this sound epic? And it’s blurb literally screams ‘girl-power’. Please just give me this book already! I know I’ve already said that but honestly it bears repeating.

League Of Liars by Astrid Scholte

OMG, what the hell did I just read? This blurb sounds like nothing I’ve ever come across before and I need this. League Of Liars follows a legal apprentice who’s tasked with helping convict three criminals for their illegal use of magic…’including the princess who was arrested for erasing the king’s entire existence. If that somehow wasn’t intriguing enough (which lets face it, it is) it was also pitched as ‘How To Get Away With Murder meets The Breakfast Club set in Azkaban’; yes I’m a failure who hasn’t seen those two things but set in a place like Azkaban? Obviously I’m interested. Plus I adored the author’s debut novel so that only adds to my level of curiosity and excitement. After writing this I’ve also now spotted the author’s note which has further increased my excitement as she’s shared the fact that this book will feature multiple POVs with letters, diagrams and illustrations. Plus asks ‘how can you tell the truth from the lies’ ‘in a world where reality can be distorted by magic.’ Seriously just give me this now!

The Girl Who Fell Beneath The Sea by Axie Oh

‘Deadly storms have ravaged Mina’s homeland for generations’, causing her people to believe the Sea God, who was once their protector, ‘now curses them with death and despair’. Their solution? To throw a maiden into the sea, year after year, in the hopes that one day his ‘true bride’ will be ‘chosen and end the suffering’. To save her brother Mina dives into the sea in the place of his beloved, only to find herself in the Spirit Realm a magical city of lesser gods and mythical beasts.  Once there she discovers that the Sea God is stuck in an enchanted sleep and – not only does she have limited time to wake him ‘there are those who would do anything to keep the Sea God from waking’. How could I not want to read this? It sounds incredible!! A fascinating setting, gods, demons, magic, danger… basically I think this book was written for me. And – yes I’m saying it again – but look at that cover!!

Extasia by Claire Legrand

As someone who adored The Grace Year I knew that I had to check this out as soon as I saw it mentioned in it’s blurb. It’s the story of a girl who will ‘become one of the four saints of Havens’ and, along with her sisters, ‘stand against the evil power that lives beneath the black mountains.’ An evil which has already killed nine of her village’s men. She has secrets – ‘white-eyed beasts that follow her’ being just one of them – and is unafraid of her mission to ‘save her people from destruction.‘ But are you? Truthfully I highly recommend checking out the full blurb for this one.

Gallant by V.E. Schwab

Ooh so I think this is my first time reading the full blurb for this book (it had one of those summarized ones before) but it sounds absolutely incredible. There’s a mother’s journal that descends into madness; an invitation that leads to a trip to Gallant, a place where our protagonist, Olivia, was unexpected; a hostile cousin; half formed ghouls and so much more… Including a ruined wall that, when crossed at just the right moment, leads to a very different Gallant where ‘the manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all.’

‘Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him?’

I seriously need this book! Especially after the absolute wonder that was Addie LaRue. Truthfully the one and only reason that I haven’t yet pre-ordered this is because I’m hoping that Waterstones will announce one of their gorgeous special editions...hint, hint…

Edgewood by Kristen Ciccarelli

No matter what the forest of Edgewood always comes for Emeline Lark and when her grandfather disappears from his nursing home she finally succumbs to it’s call, ‘entering the forest she has spent years trying to escape.’ In the ‘court of the fabled Wood King’ she trades her voice for her grandfather’s freedom whilst totally unaware that she’s ‘stumbled into a curse much bigger than herself.’ Oh doesn’t this sound good! Creepy forests and fabled wood kings just screams fae vibes and by now surely you know how much I love those. And that cover!! Let’s be honest; 2022 should be named the year of stunning book covers already.

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

Somehow I haven’t yet managed to read An Ember In The Ashes (*hides in shame*) but I’ve seen the rave reviews so naturally I was curious about this book. So I read the blurb and wow, just wow. This sounds like it’s going to be beautiful but harrowing in so many ways. It’s a contemporary (on this list, surprising right?) and sounds as if it could have dual storylines. ‘Then’ Misbah, ‘a dreamer and storyteller’ whose newly married to Toufiq in an arranged match moves to the United States and opens a motel after their life is shaken by tragedy. ‘Now’ Solahudin and Noor are the closest of friends...until ‘The Fight’ destroys their bond. Sol ‘scrambles to run the family hotel as his mother Misbah’s health fails and his grieving father loses himself to alcoholism.’ Noor works ‘at her wrathful uncle’s liquor store while hiding the fact that she’s applying to college so she can escape him.’

‘When Sal’s attempts to save the motel spiral out of control, he and Noor must ask themselves what friendship is worth—and what it takes to defeat the monsters in their pasts and the ones in their midst.’

See what I mean about the potential for beauty and devastation? No matter what I’m fairly certain that this will be a truly powerful read.

The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta

Indir is a Dreamer, ‘descended from a long line of seers’ she carries the rare gift of ‘Dreaming truth’. She also has two secrets that she’s struggling to keep – and yes I’m certainly curious about those. When the beloved king dies, his son, who ‘has no respect’ for the time-honored tradition of Dreaming, wants an opportunity to ‘bring the Dreamers to a permanent end’. ‘Saya is a seer, but not a Dreamer’ as she’s never been ‘formally trained’. She never stays in one place for too long – ‘almost as if they’re running from something’ – and travels from village to village with her mother who passes her gifts off as her own. When she loses ‘the necklace she’s worn since birth’ she learns that ‘seeing isn’t her only gift’ and ‘begins to suspect that everything she knows about her life has been a carefully-constructed lie.’ I’m definitely intrigued by this book and can’t wait to explore it’s world. Fingers crossed it’s a good as it sounds because honestly? This absolutely has the potential to be epic.

A Thousand Steps Into Night by Traci Chee

OMG this sounds amazing!! How did I forget what this was about? And how on earth have I still not read The Reader… Anyway this book is set in ‘the realm of Awara, where gods, monsters and humans exist side by side‘ and follows Miuko, a normal girl… at first. When she’s cursed Miuko begins to ‘transform into a demon with a deadly touch’; leading to an attempt to reverse said curse. Along the way she’s ‘aided by a thieving magpie spirit’ and ‘thwarted by a demon prince.’ There are also tricksters, demon hunters and even feral gods. But, in the end,

‘she’ll have to decide if saving her soul is worth trying to cram herself back into an ordinary life that no longer fits her… and perhaps never did. ‘

Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye

‘Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will—she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods.’

I’ve definitely read at least one book that includes the Orisha gods before and I adored it so naturally I’m intrigued about this. Plus that power; wow!! If her powers are discovered it will mean death for Sloane; but then, when she is ‘forcibly conscripted into the Lucis army’ she comes up with a plan… ‘to overcome the bloody challenges of Lucis training, and destroy them from within.’ But will she become a monster in doing so? I can’t wait to find out! This is definitely my kind of book, and from the sounds of it, my sort of central character too! So many fantastic new fantasy series seem to be coming out this year.

The City Of Dusk by Tara Sim

Firstly I seriously recommend checking the blurb of this one out for yourself in full. Re-reading it now has left me itching to get my hands on it. ‘The Four Realms – Life, Death, Light and Darkness, all converge on the city of dusk. Each realm has a god and each god has a heir. But now the gods have withdrawn their favour, meaning that all the realms are dying. If that wasn’t exciting enough this book follows those four heirs – a necromancer, an elementalist, a shadow-wielding rogue and a solider. And then there’s the final line of this book’s blurb:

‘But their defiance will cost them dearly.’

Need I say more?

A Magic Steeped In Poison by Judy I. Lin

Surely I’m not alone in seeing ‘magical art of tea-making’ and finding myself instantly intrigued? I need to know more about this magic! This story follows Ning who ‘unknowing brewed the poison tea’ that killed her mother and is now also threatening to take her sister’s life as well. Her only chance to save her seems to be to enter into a competition to ‘find the kingdom’s greatest shennong-shi – masters of the ancient and magical art of tea-making’; the winner of which will receive a favour from the princess. Backstabbing competitors, bloody court politics and a mysterious boy with a shocking secret all await Ning in the imperial city. And with that blurb I am simply itching to get a hold of a copy of this book. In print, obviously, because have you seen that cover?!?

The Drowning Summer by Christine Lynn Herman

‘Six years ago, three Long Island teenagers were murdered – their drowned bodies discovered with sand dollars placed over their eyes.’

Although this mystery was never solved the town has always been convinced that Evelyn Mackenzie’s father did it. ‘Charges were dropped only because Evelyn summoned a ghost to clear his name. She swore never to call a spirit again. She lied.’ Intriguing right? But there’s more… Mina, a former friend of Evelyn’s, is from a family that has always worked as mediums – ‘using the ocean’s power to guide the dead to their final resting place.’ But rising sea levels has led to increasingly dangerous ghosts and ‘Mina has been shut out of the family business.’ When Evelyn performs a summoning that goes horribly wrong the two girls must team up to solve the mystery of the Drowning Summer ‘before the line between life and death dissolves for good.’

The Blood Trials by N.E. Davenport

Oh wow, this sounds like it’s going to be one incredibly epic fantasy offering. From its promise that ‘It’s all about blood’ and it’s central character, Ikenna’s, plans of revenge this sounds absolutely riveting. After Ikenna’s grandfather – the man who ‘trained her in secret’ in both martial skills and ‘in harnessing the blood gift that coursed through her’ – is murdered she’s ‘bent on revenge as much as discovering the truth’ and so she ‘pledges herself to the Praetorian Trials – a brutal initiation that only a quarter of aspirants survive’. And all this time she has to hide a power that ‘if found out would subject her to execution…or worse.If that somehow hasn’t sold you on this book then check out these final lines:

‘Mareen has been at peace for a long time…

Ikenna joining the Praetorians is about to change all that.’

Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel

“I was born on the full moon under an auspicious constellation, the holiest of positions—much good it did me.”

Kaikeyi is a young woman ‘determined to create her own destiny in a world where gods and men dictate the shape of things to come’ who transforms herself from an ‘overlooked princess’ into a ‘warrior, diplomat, and most-favored queen.’  She’s ‘the vilified queen of the Indian epic the Ramayana’ which I don’t truly know so I’m excited to discover her story. Plus the blurb compares it to Circe so naturally I’m intrigued. Please just give me all of these new retellings already!

Elektra by Jennifer Saint

Immediately after finishing ‘Ariadne’ I added this book to my TBR and have been waiting impatiently for it ever since. Needless to say I adored the author’s debut. I’m also constantly on the lookout for feminist retellings of well known stories since devouring ‘Circe’.  Plus the first line of this blurb instantly hooked me: ‘The House of Atreus is cursed.’

‘This is the story of three women, their fates inextricably tied to this curse, and the fickle nature of men and gods.’ Clytemnestra is the sister of Helen and wife of Agamemnon whose ‘hopes of averting the curse are dashed when her sister is taken to Troy’. Cassandra is Princess of Troy and cursed by Apollo ‘to see the future but never to be believed when she speaks of it.’ And Elektra, the novels namesake, is ‘youngest daughter of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, Elektra is horrified by the bloodletting of her kin. But, can she escape the curse, or is her own destiny also bound by violence?

Truthfully I don’t really know anything about Elektra – although her story may well be familiar to me once I pick up this book – but I’m curious to say the least. Who can resist a Greek retelling which focuses upon some of it’s wronged women?

So that’s it for part one; look out for part two, coming Monday. Thank you so much if you read this incredibly lengthy post; I hope it brought some new books to your attention. Because, really, is anyone’s TBR ever long enough?

What are your most anticipated books of 2022? Have you read any of them yet? Are there any early ones that I’m missing?

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My Return To Blogging Plans & Reading Goals:

Firstly just let me say that I’m so, so sorry for disappearing for so long. It wasn’t planned in the slightest. I’ve missed blogging a lot and don’t really know what happened. And now, truthfully, it’s hard to know exactly where to start with everything. My desire to share my most anticipated books of 2022 has pushed me to make a return though…and the fact that we’re nearing the end of January has made me realize that I should hurry up and schedule it…

Blogging Plans:

So let’s get down to business; my first proper return post, excluding this one, will be ‘My Most Anticipated Releases of 2022’ which I seriously cannot wait to share with you all (and have split into two parts as it was ridiculously long). These are always so much fun to write and I just adore reading other people’s and discovering even more exciting new books as well. That will be followed up with another anticipated releases post, this time purely for sequels. Then, I admit, I may not post too much for a while as I really want to make a bit of a dent in my TBR before returning to blogging fully. I do have a list of my 2020 & 2021 reads to share though. And I will try and get a couple of my catch up posts shared over this time too, do a bit of blog hopping and stay up to date with comments…no more answering them five months late!

So catch up wise? Well there’s a lot…seriously.

My Monthly Release Posts from May 2020 up until now.
19 Tags
My reviews for 2020 & 2021

Once I’ve caught up with all of that (mostly, anyway) I’ll start my Literacy Lists and TBR Thursday posts back up. Then next year I’d love to finally start the Fairytale Retelling series that I’ve had planned for ages now and also sort out exactly what else I have saved within my draft posts (without looking I know that I have a now out of date books to TV/movies adaptation post, a new series called ‘Meet The TBR’ that I began but never shared and a Library Haul. Oops).

Of course I also have to catch up with all of your wonderful content too. I can’t wait to read some more of your fantastic posts! And hopefully get my scarily overcrowded inbox sorted over time. (I have over 1800 emails related to blogging at the time of posting this. And that’s after an initial clear out and several catch up sessions.)

The Coffee Book Tag (My World Of Books)
The Sunshine Blogger Award (A Book A Thought)
I Should Have Read That (Sophie’s Corner)
The Liebster Award One (Elated Books) & (Amber Reads)
The Liebster Award Two (A Few Chapters ’til Love) & (Tall Blonde Tales)
The Mystery Blogger Award (A Few Chapters ’til Love)
The Awesome Blogger Award (A Few Chapters ’til Love) & (Sophie’s Corner)
My Favourite Characters In Quarantine (Sophie’s Corner)
The Flowers Book Tag (My Reading Escape)
Books As First Dates (A Few Chapters ’til Love)
The Stuck At Home Book Tag (Kozy Words)
The Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award (Tall Blonde Tales) & (Illustrated By Hannah)
The Outstanding Blogger Award (Tall Blonde Tales)
The Folklore Book Tag (Tall Blonde Tales)
The Mid Year Freak Out (A Few Chapters ’til Love)

Yep catch up is scary, scary, scary! I honestly have over 150 blog posts in my drafts at the moment and…well I’ll get there. Hopefully… Let’s go onto my goals instead. The first set were the ones that I never got around to sharing during 2021 so I’ll check in with those and add a couple of others on afterwards.

Book Goals From 2021:

  • To fall back in love with reading again; to kick this slump aside for good. Yeah I didn’t really manage this. I did at times then stopped reading again inevitably. But this year I will manage this!
  • To start reading my most anticipated books instead of putting them aside out of some irritating fear of not enjoying them. So I actually started off the year by accomplishing this goal but then I stopped. Although it wasn’t really out of fear then; instead I kept putting off my most anticipated releases in favor of my second priority reads which I ordered into the library.

More specifically I’d also like to:

  • Catch up with Cassandra Clare’s books (at the very least I hope to re-read The Infernal Devices so that I can finally read Chain Of Gold. And also finish The Dark Artifices as I adored the first two books. Truthfully though I hope to read/re-read everything by her.) Kind of? I did re-read The Infernal Devices and get both Chain Of Gold & Chain Of Iron read. But I still need to finish The Dark Artifices and read several other books by her.
  • To finish The Folk Of The Air series because how on earth have I not done this yet? Yay I did one! Do I get bonus points for reading the novella collection too?
  • To catch up on Sarah J. Maas’s many books. Um yeah no this didn’t happen. At all. How did I not read any of her books in 2021?
  • To re-read The Wicked Lovely series and finally sink my teeth into Cold Iron Heart. Again no. And, to save myself the repetition I failed in the next two goals too.
  • To read Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse novels before the adaptation comes out.
  • To read the latest additions to some of my previously loved series.
  • To finally read something by V.E. Schwab & Marie Lu. Well I read The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue so that’s half the goal done.
  • To read The Beautiful series so far (which I was literally counting down the days to and yet have still failed to read). I only have The Righteous left to read and since that came out right at the end of the year I’m counting this.
  • AND to read Empire Of The Vampire when it comes out. If I fail in these last two can I even consider myself a vampire fiction fanatic anymore? Oops… BUT it is a book that I majorly hope to get to within the next two months.
Book Goals For 2022:

Well let’s be honest – most of my 2021 goals are still active. This year though I will achieve them! Or at least the majority of them I hope I will. I’ll still set a couple more though as I do really want to start getting my TBR under control.

  • To make any books that I preorder a priority. That means not putting them aside for dozens of library books…
  • To catch up – somewhat – on my TBR. More specifically to get caught up on any high priority reads that I own and – later in the year – to start trying to get some of the older unread books off of it too.
  • To read some of the major series that I don’t own but want to read. The Diviners, All Souls, The Raven Cycle, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Book Of The Ancestor & Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children to name a few.
  • To finish some of the series I started & adored but never completed.
  • To read some of my ebooks. I honestly think I read one last year… and that was a re-read.
  • To check out some of the retellings on my TBR. How can I possibly do the retelling series I have planned otherwise? Plus they sound incredible.
Bonus Goals (AKA fingers crossed I’ll reach them but it’s doubtful):
  • To read the Dune books.
  • To read the books any major adaptations are based on before seeing them. What are the major movies coming out this year anyway? I’ll have to look into this.
  • To try and read more from a couple of different genres. Specifically sci-fi as I realized I tend to veer away from it yet enjoy it on screen. And contemporary as I never get around to picking it up.

If you want to see what I thought of any of my 2021 reads then reviews for them are all over on my Goodreads page. 2020 reads I’m happy to share with you and have reviews saved for but haven’t yet posted anywhere. And 2022 reviews should go up on Goodreads as and when I read them…fingers crossed.

How have you all been? Read anything interesting lately? How’s 2022 treating you so far? Let me know as I’d love to hear from you all. I’ll be back Friday with part one of My Most Anticipated 2022 Releases.

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I’m Back (Sort Of) – Favourite Three Books Of 2020 & Current TBR

Hey, I guess the first thing that I should say is sorry for disappearing for so long. It wasn’t intentional at all; I’m just stuck in a terrible reading slump and find it kind of odd to be posting about all of the books that I love whilst failing to read them. I am seriously hoping to push passed this in the next week or two though and majorly fall back in love with reading as I miss it immensely. Plus there are some majorly magical releases coming out over the next few months and I HAVE to be reading if I want to pick those up. The rest of 2020 simply can not be a yet another year where I count down the days until a book’s release then promptly fail to read it.

Anyway this is just a quick post to say that I’ll be back and posting properly soon. I’m currently finishing off my attempts to play catch up and then I’m going to throw myself in to finishing off my library books (or reading another three of them at the very least) then I’ll return properly and start posting more regularly.

Long introduction aside this is just a quick post to share my favourite three books so far this year (reviews for them are all typed up and will get shared on Goodreads in the next few weeks then gradually added to my blog) and then to remind myself – and tell all of you – why I wanted to read my remaining library books in the first place. Hopefully that way I’ll start sparking up a bit more enthusiasm!!

Favourite Reads Of 2020 So Far:
Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

If you love villains, pick up this book. The bad guys in this one were fantastic and multi-layered. There were even a handful of scenes from some of their perspectives. The world had a unique system of magic, the characters were wonderful and the Orisha were fascinating. Bonus point: there are even some small chapters from the POV of a deity; how unusually wonderful is that?

Circe by Madeline Miller

When it comes to Circe the hype is definitely real. From the very first line I was hooked on this fantastic story. The characters mesmerized me and I constantly wanted to know more about each and every individual to grace the page. (Seriously I’d read all of them if they were written). The writing was utterly enchanting and I seriously do need more. Want a beautiful, powerful book with some truly enchanting writing? Then look no further.

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Once I picked ‘The Grace Year’ up I literally couldn’t put it down. Brutal yet beautiful, disturbing but addictive this book left me spellbound. It was definitely dark but it’s eerie world and setting left me fascinated. The survivalist nature of certain sections of the story even gave me Hunger Games vibes at times which is so, so rare. Once again, upon finishing this book, I wanted much, much more. I could read several thousand pages of Kim Liggett’s hypnotic writing.

Please be aware that all of the above books contained potentially triggering content.

Library Books To Read Still:

Please note that my summaries of why I want to read these books are based on a combination of memory and/or a quick skim of the blurb as I plan to read them all soon and don’t generally like reading blurbs right before picking books up.

A Throne Of Swans by Katharine & Elizabeth Corr

Okay so this isn’t actually a library book but it is one that I definitely want to get read before returning to my blog properly. It’s a review copy and I feel terrible for not reading it yet. I kept falling into slumps between books and didn’t want to start this in case my slump affected my opinion of the story.

Shape-shifting magic, court politics, a brutal uncle, love, revenge and a main character who wants to protect her lands. What more could I possibly ask for? This sounds incredible and will definitely be one of the books that I read before posting again.

A Treason Of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth

Well with a title like ‘A Treason Of Thorns’ how could I possibly not want to read this book? I think it also involved an unusual sense of magic, a house that was almost a character on it’s own and I’ve seen some people whose opinions I trust love this book. It’ll probably be the one I start next.

Havenfall by Sara Holland

A fascinating sounding world, murder, a mysterious dead body, missing romantic interests, dark secrets and a dangerous creature on the loose. Once more what more could I ask for in a book? A stunning cover perhaps? Well I think it’s safe to say that this has that too!

What Kind Of Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

A girl turns up at school claiming that her boyfriend is abusive and everybody rushes to take sides. Is she telling the truth? And if so why did she go to her principal rather than the police? I’m curious about whether the main character is being honest or not and believe that either way this will be a hard hitting book! I was constantly checking to see if my copy of this had came in yet so I have absolutely no idea how I haven’t read this one yet.

The Foundling by Stacey Halls

A woman leaves her daughter at a home and returns years later to discover that ‘shes’ already claimed her. How can I resist a storyline like that? I’m curious about the authors work too and once again adore the stunning cover. I feel like this will be the sort of twisty, historical tale that will engulf me.

All The Wrong Places by Joy Fielding

This is the book that I’m most wary about reading tbh as I did not like the only other book that I’ve read by the author. The idea of internet dating gone wrong is a fascinating one though. Plus this starts with a POV of the killer (or villain anyway, I’m assuming he kills his victims) and I just adore books that do this. So hopefully it’ll be chilling and get under my skin.

The Boy Series by Meg Cabot

I picked this up because A) I own two of the books already B) I love books that are written in email format like this and C) it seemed like a good idea to have an ‘easy’ read option in case I struggled to read (so why I haven’t read this yet I can’t say). I know that I read some of the books before and enjoyed them and am looking forward to diving into a sweet, romantic, email style story.

So those are my favourite books of the year so far, along with the library (and one review) books that I need to read. I’m probably going to be away for another week or so once I’ve caught up on everybody else’s content a bit more (basically I want to get at least three, preferably five, of these read before returning and I know I can do it in a a week to two as long as I actually get started and don’t convince myself that I can’t focus between each and every book). So I’ll post again most likely in the second week of June and then officaily be back and blogging. In the meantime I shall hopefully get reading and reignite my passion for books.

What are you hoping to read at the moment? Have you read any of these books? What are you favourite books of the year so far? And do you have any suggestions of blogs for me to follow? Let me know everything in the comments.
I’ve missed you all.

Features · Monthly Book Releases

My Most Anticipated April Releases:

I honestly can’t believe that we’re almost in April already; where has the time gone? This month I definitely hope to return to my blog and get caught up with everything – including all of your posts which I look forward to reading. Initially I thought April was a quieter month than March book release wise but apparently I was wrong as there are a lot of books here, many of which I can’t wait to get my hands on. I believe May is quieter (although I’m probably wrong) but June is definitely going to be another top ten month as a LOT of the releases that I’m super excited for are coming out then.

The Lucky Ones by Liz Lawson

May is a survivor. But she doesn’t feel like one. She feels angry. And lost. And alone. Eleven months after the school shooting that killed her twin brother, May still doesn’t know why she was the only one to walk out of the band room that day. No one gets what she went through–no one saw and heard what she did. No one can possibly understand how it feels to be her.

Zach lost his old life when his mother decided to defend the shooter. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends bailed, and now he spends his time hanging out with his little sister…and the one faithful friend who stuck around. His best friend is needy and demanding, but he won’t let Zach disappear into himself. Which is how Zach ends up at band practice that night. The same night May goes with her best friend to audition for a new band.

Which is how May meets Zach. And how Zach meets May. And how both might figure out that surviving could be an option after all. 

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

A decade ago near Chicago, five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. The seemingly un-extraordinary teens—Sloane, Matt, Ines, Albie, and Esther—had been brought together by a clandestine government agency because one of them was fated to be the “Chosen One,” prophesized to save the world. With the goal achieved, humankind celebrated the victors and began to mourn their lost loved ones.

Ten years later, though the champions remain celebrities, the world has moved forward and a whole, younger generation doesn’t seem to recall the days of endless fear. But Sloane remembers. It’s impossible for her to forget when the paparazzi haunt her every step just as the Dark One still haunts her dreams. Unlike everyone else, she hasn’t moved on; she’s adrift—no direction, no goals, no purpose. On the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, a new trauma hits the Chosen: the death of one of their own. And when they gather for the funeral at the enshrined site of their triumph, they discover to their horror that the Dark One’s reign never really ended.

The Silence Of Bones by June Hur

I have a mouth, but I mustn’t speak;
Ears, but I mustn’t hear;
Eyes, but I mustn’t see.

1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.

As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.

But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.

Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova

I am Renata Convida.
I have lived a hundred stolen lives.
Now I live my own.

Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.

Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace.

When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez’s top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.

But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything. 

He Started It by Samantha Downing

Beth, Portia, and Eddie Morgan haven’t all been together in years. And for very good reasons—we’ll get to those later. But when their wealthy grandfather dies and leaves a cryptic final message in his wake, the siblings and their respective partners must come together for a cross-country road trip to fulfill his final wish and—more importantly—secure their inheritance.

But time with your family can be tough. It is for everyone.

It’s even harder when you’re all keeping secrets and trying to forget a memory—a missing person, an act of revenge, the man in the black truck who won’t stop following your car—and especially when at least one of you is a killer and there’s a body in the trunk. Just to name a few reasons.

But money is a powerful motivator. It is for everyone.

April Sequels:

Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan
The Empire Of Dreams by Rae Carson
Find Her Alive by Lisa Regan
Aru Shah And The Tree Of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi
Looking Glass by Christina Henry
The Seven Endless Forests by April Genevieve Tucholke
Venom by Bex Hogan
The Deck Of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman
The Cerulean Queen by Sarah Kozloff
The Eve Illusion by Giovanna & Tom Fletcher
Starbreaker by Amanda Bouchet
Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

Other April Releases That I’m Looking Forward To:

Deep Water by Sarah Epstein
Strangers by C.L. Taylor
A Werewolf In Riverdale by Caleb Roehrig
Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan
Robin Hood by Robert Muchamore
The Loop by Ben Oliver
Sin Eater by Megan Campisi
Pretending by Holly Bourne
The Southern Book Club’s Guide To Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
The Glass Magician by Caroline Stevermer
Meet Me At Midnight by Jessica Pennington
The Secrets They Left Behind by Lissa Marie Redmond
What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter
The German Heiress by Anika Scott
Kind Of Famous by Mary Ann Marlowe
The Best Laid Plans by Cameron Lund
Crave by Tracy Wolff

Bonds Of Brass by Emily Skrutskie
The Perfect Escape by Suzanne Park
It Sounded Better In My Head by Nina Kenwood
Batman: Gotham High by Melissa de la Cruz
A Bad Day For Sunshine by Darynda Jones
Something She’s Not Telling Us by Darcey Bell
The Book Of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate
The Book Of Koli by M. R. Carey
Elysium Girls by Kate Pentecost
Girls Save The World In This One by Ash Parsons
The Lightness of Hands by Jeff Garvin
Redemption Prep by Samuel Miller
The New Husband by D. J. Palmer
Not That Kind Of Guy by Andie J. Christopher
The Switch by Beth O’Leary
Rules For Being A Girl by Candace Bushnell & Katie Cotugno
Race The Sands by Sarah Beth Durst
The Age Of Witches by Louisa Morgan
Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier
Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan
The Easy Part Of Impossible by Sarah Tomp
In The Role Of Brie Hutchens by Nicole Melleby
Time Of Our Lives by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Queen Of Coin And Whispers by Helen Corcoran
Don’t Call The Wolf by Aleksandra Ross
Clique Bait by Ann Valett
The Apartment by K. L. Slater
Take Me Apart by Sara Sligar
The Girl And The Stars by Mark Lawrence
Q by Christina Dalcher

Firstly sequel wise I just want to mention Empress Of Flames by Mimi Yu; I didn’t include it above as it came out last month but I somehow missed it off of my March post (I had it listed as May so I’m guessing the date changed?). As I can’t wait to read book one I wanted to make sure to include it, especially in case others had also missed the change of date. Other than that I unsurprisingly need to start most of the series that I’ve included here. There are a fair few that I’m determined to pick up soon though (I’d say which but to be honest it’s about half of them).

There are a lot of books that came incredibly close to being included in this month’s top five. The ones that I’m most curious about are The Southern Book Club, Pretending, Queen Of Coin And Whispers, Don’t Call The Wolf and Q (called Master Class in some places). Contemporary wise I’m very interested in Meet Me At Midnight and Clique Bait. And I’m incredibly curious about The Girl And The Stars but I’m not sure if I’d be better off reading Red Sister first (how have I not read that series yet?). So all in all it’s definitely another busy month for books.

What are your most anticipated April releases? Have you read any of them yet; if so which would you most recommend? Let me know and, of course, I hope you all enjoy your reading.

Features · TBR Thursdays

TBR Thusday – Historical Fiction

Hello and welcome to another ‘TBR Thursday.’

In case you’re wondering ‘TBR Thursday’ is a feature where I pick five books from my TBR to share with you. They’re generally books that I feel are lesser known (have fewer ratings on Goodreads and/or I rarely see mentioned) and it’s basically an excuse to bring some more attention to these seemingly underrated books.

If anyone wants to join in you’re more than welcome to do so. I have a list of the year’s topics here and would love the excuse to learn more about the books that you feel deserve some more appreciation. Feel free to link back to me, comment on this post or contact me via the contact page of my blog if you do join in and want me to link to your post here.

This month’s topic is another genre that I want to read more of: Historical Fiction. I generally adore period dramas and movies and find history absolutely fascinating. There are certain periods of time that I love in particular – the Tudor and Victorian Era for instance – but plenty of others that I want to learn more about. So why don’t I read this genre more? I honestly don’t know. This year I fully intend to try and do so though.

The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen

Just seventeen years old, Henry IX, known as William, is a king bound by the restraints of the regency yet anxious to prove himself. With the French threatening battle and the Catholics sowing the seeds of rebellion at home, William trusts only three people: his older sister Elizabeth; his best friend and loyal counselor, Dominic; and Minuette, a young orphan raised as a royal ward by William’s mother, Anne Boleyn.

Against a tide of secrets, betrayal, and murder, William finds himself fighting for the very soul of his kingdom. Then, when he and Dominic both fall in love with Minuette, romantic obsession looms over a new generation of Tudors. One among them will pay the price for a king’s desire, as a shocking twist of fate changes England’s fortunes forever.


I love the idea of this story! What if Anne Boleyn had given Henry VIII the son that he wanted; what would happen next? It’s definitively an idea that intrigues me so I can’t wait to get stuck into this book soon. How could I possibly resist a book that promises yet more secrets, betrayal and murder within the Tudor Court? And that’s not even mentioning the new romantic obsession that’s looming. This book is so me!

The Second Duchess by Elizabeth Loupas

In a city-state known for magnificence, where love affairs and conspiracies play out amidst brilliant painters, poets and musicians, the powerful and ambitious Alfonso d’Este, duke of Ferrara, takes a new bride. Half of Europe is certain he murdered his first wife, Lucrezia, the luminous child of the Medici. But no one dares accuse him, and no one has proof-least of all his second duchess, the far less beautiful but delightfully clever Barbara of Austria.

At first determined to ignore the rumors about her new husband, Barbara embraces the pleasures of the Ferrarese court. Yet wherever she turns she hears whispers of the first duchess’s wayward life and mysterious death. Barbara asks questions—a dangerous mistake for a duchess of Ferrara. Suddenly, to save her own life, Barbara has no choice but to risk the duke’s terrifying displeasure and discover the truth of Lucrezia’s death—or she will share her fate.


Yet another book that sounds as if it’s written for me to read! A historical novel where the second wife of a powerful duke finds herself in danger. What really happened to his first wife? Was it murder? And what on earth can Barbara possibly do if she discovers that it was? I absolutely can not wait to find out!

Mayflowers For November by Malyn Bromfield

Avis Grinnel’s life is forever changed when a young musician arrives unexpectedly to escort her to the innermost sanctum of King Henry VIII’s royal court.

However, it is not the king who has demanded her presence but his new queen, the much-disliked Anne Boleyn.

She has been told Avis is a “little cunning wench who has the sight” and demands she uses her powers to divine whether the queen is pregnant with a girl, or with the boy child the king expects.

From the moment she gives her fateful answer, Avis becomes embroiled in an extravagant world of intrigue, deceit and murderous plotting that is far removed from her lowly home life in the king’s kitchens at Greenwich Palace.

She becomes an unwilling participant and watcher in the alliances and misplaced loyalties of court life as the King wages religious war with the Pope and the churches while changing wives and mistresses in his relentless pursuit of a male heir.

Whispers, lies and rumours abound as the Queen fights for her survival and Avis struggles to balance her life of opulence in the royal chambers with the humble world of her baker parents and a mysterious suitor.

Her story is revealed partly as it unfolds and partly as a deeply-felt memory told to the faithful blind White Boy, who has been at her side for most of her life.

The brutal ending of Anne Boleyn’s reign is already known and written into history but this dramatic and vividly drawn story records the stark reality with an intricate and colourful portrayal of life at all levels in Tudor England.


Because it’s about the Tudors and I couldn’t resist buying it when I discovered it on my Kindle for only 99p? That’s basically why I brought it anyway but overall the blurb does sound pretty amazing. So this is definitely one book that I need to get stuck into soon!

Prisoner Of Night And Fog by Anne Blankman

In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her “uncle” Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf’s, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler. And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can’t stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can’t help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she’s been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she’s always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?


I honestly can’t remember how I first learnt about this book but I do know that I seriously need to read it soon! How could I resist a blurb like this one? What will happen when Gretchen, who grew up under the wing of her ‘uncle’ Dolf finds herself falling for someone that she’s wrongly been taught to hate? Someone who tells her that her father was murdered and didn’t willingly give up his life. I really need to know more about this one because it sounds incredible!

Gilt by Katherine Longshore

In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free–
and love comes at the highest price of all.

When Kitty Tylney’s best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII’s heart and brings Kitty to court, she’s thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat’s shadow, Kitty’s now caught between two men–the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat’s meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.


Tudors! Need I say more after how many books featuring them that I’ve mentioned here? I’m also pretty curious about how Kitty will handle the situation that she finds herself trapped within. And, again, I can’t wait to learn more. I actually learnt about this book when I was looking at my library’s recent additions online once and spotted the companion novel ‘Brazen’. As I’m kind of hopeless when it comes to reading things – even standalone companions – out of order I want to pick this one up first.

Have you read any of the books that I’ve mentioned here today? Do you have any overlooked books on your TBR? Do you have any historical fiction recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments section below, I’d love to hear from you.