Undertaker Lorena knows what her future holds—she’ll finish her apprenticeship, marry her best friend Julian, and live in a land ruled by a bloodthirsty family convinced they alone can keep ancient demons from descending on the kingdom. But when Julian receives news that his father has been convicted of crimes against the crown, the two head to the capital to help. When Lorena is kidnapped by Crown Prince Alistair, she learns he’s not the violent inheritor rumors have painted him to be. He explains that the sacrifices are a necessary evil—the demons are very real and require more and more blood to keep them at bay. As a rebellion grows more certain, Lorena becomes less sure of her loyalties. Should she trust the boy she thought she loved and the world she thought she knew? Or should her loyalties lie with the centuries-old legends of the boy she barely knows who has everything to lose?
I was intrigued by this book to some extent, but I wasn’t 100% sure on it. I’m not quite sure why. I knew it was something I’d like to pick up eventually. But one of my friends was super, super excited about this book and we have very similar taste, so my mild excitement ramped up a lot. Plus, ancient demons descending upon the kingdom, a girl who does not know what to trust, and rebellion coming closer and closer all sounds like things that I would really, really enjoy! Trigger warnings: blood, gore, grief, self-harm based magic system
Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother. Raikama has dark magic of her own, and she banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die. Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and, on her journey, uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne—a conspiracy more twisted and deceitful, more cunning and complex, than even Raikama’s betrayal. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to contain—no matter what it costs her.
This cover knocked me off my feet. I mean, LOOK AT IT. It’s just downright gorgeous. I know I shouldn’t judge books by their covers, but dang, this one is amazing. And I did enjoy Spin The Dawn, so I was curious to see what this author was going to be writing next. And a book about a princess with hidden magic, who is cursed voiceless and who’s brothers are cursed to turn into cranes, sounds like something I would enjoy!
Andromeda is a debtera—an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. She would be hired, that is, if her mentor hadn’t thrown her out before she could earn her license. Now her only hope of steady work is to find a Patron—a rich, well-connected individual who will vouch for her abilities. When a handsome young heir named Magnus Rochester reaches out to hire her, she takes the job without question. Never mind that he’s rude and demanding and eccentric, that the contract comes with a number of outlandish rules… and that almost a dozen debtera had quit before her. If Andromeda wants to earn a living, she has no choice. But she quickly realizes this is a job like no other, with horrifying manifestations at every turn, and that Magnus is hiding far more than she has been trained for. Death is the most likely outcome if she stays, the reason every debtera before her quit. But leaving Magnus to live out his curse alone isn’t an option because—heaven help her—she’s fallen for him.
I mean, with a title like that I was completely sucked in and wanting to read this book. I knew it was a Jane Eyre retelling and there would be some wicked walls, and something inside them, but if I’m being honest, that’s all I really knew haha. I know that seems like very little go on, but all the love for it I’d seen online and my own intrigue, it was absolutely enough for me to be incredibly eager to read it. Trigger warnings: parental abuse, blood, gore
Seventeen-year-old Vanja Schmidt is the thirteenth daughter of a thirteenth daughter, and wherever she goes, misfortune follows. Luckily, her godmothers are Death and Fortune, each of whom blesses Vanja with magic in exchange for a life of servitude when she comes of age. But when the time comes, Vanja flees, swiping an enchanted string of pearls that allows her to impersonate a princess. So begins a life of merry mayhem posing as a royal to rob the nobles blind. At first, Vanja is thrilled with her luck, but soon, she crosses the wrong god, and is cursed to turn into the jewels she covets, gem by gem, unless she can right her wrongs and pay back her debts—quickly.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Owen’s duology, The Merciful Crow. After finishing The Faithless Hawk, I was already ready to devour whatever she wrote next. So, a book about a maid who steals a princess’s identity, one that was confirmed to have knives and a main character with sharp edges, sounded like something I absolutely wanted to read. Trigger warnings: attempted sexual assault, physical and emotional abuse
Everyone knows the legend. Of Arthur, destined to be a king. Of the beautiful Guinevere, who will betray him with his most loyal knight, Lancelot. Of the bitter sorceress, Morgana, who will turn against them all. But Elaine alone carries the burden of knowing what is to come–for Elaine of Shalott is cursed to see the future. On the mystical isle of Avalon, Elaine runs free and learns of the ancient prophecies surrounding her and her friends–countless possibilities, almost all of them tragic. When their future comes to claim them, Elaine, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Morgana accompany Arthur to take his throne in stifling Camelot, where magic is outlawed, the rules of society chain them, and enemies are everywhere. Yet the most dangerous threats may come from within their own circle. As visions are fulfilled and an inevitable fate closes in, Elaine must decide how far she will go to change fate–and what she is willing to sacrifice along the way.
A retelling of The Lady Of Shallot where she leaves her tower. That was basically all I needed to know to be incredibly intrigued about this book. I knew it was going to be a feminist King Arthur retelling, and that is basically it. But that was enough for me to be ready and eager to see what this book was going to hold. Trigger warnings: suicide, emotional abuse, blood, violence
Tess Matheson only wants three things: time to practice her cello, for her sister to be happy, and for everyone else to leave her alone. Instead, Tess finds herself working all summer at her boarding school library, shelving books and dealing with the intolerable patrons. The worst of them is Eliot Birch: snide, privileged, and constantly requesting forbidden grimoires. After a bargain with Eliot leads to the discovery of an ancient book in the library’s grimoire collection, the pair accidentally unleash a book-bound demon. The demon will stop at nothing to stay free, manipulating ink to threaten those Tess loves and dismantling Eliot’s strange magic. Tess is plagued by terrible dreams of the devil and haunting memories of a boy who wears Eliot’s face. All she knows is to stay free, the demon needs her… and he’ll have her, dead or alive.
I mean, a book bound demon getting released. A cello player, who wants everyone to leave her alone. Manipulating ink. Yes, I was very, very intrigued by this book. Plus, I had heard a whole lot of love and excitement for it online, so I was curious to see what I would think of it! Trigger warnings: grief, parental abuse (emotional and physical), self-harm, blood, gore
On Wendy Darling’s first night in Chicago, a boy called Peter appears at her window. He’s dizzying, captivating, beautiful—so she agrees to join him for a night on the town. Wendy thinks they’re heading to a party, but instead they’re soon running in the city’s underground. She makes friends—a punk girl named Tinkerbelle and the lost boys Peter watches over. And she makes enemies—the terrifying Detective Hook, and maybe Peter himself, as his sinister secrets start coming to light. Can Wendy find the courage to survive this night—and make sure everyone else does, too?
I’d heard too many praises for Ancrum not to be looking forward to this book. I’ve heard people absolutely rave over her previous works, so I was intrigued about them. Though, a Peter Pan retelling? Something about the synopsis, and the cover, and the online love, just completely drew me in. I was intrigued. And I wanted to know just what this book was all about. Trigger warnings: murder, grooming
It’s been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the middle of the road, and gets pulled into the mystery haunting the town. Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, claims that if they don’t do something, the missing children will meet the same fate as her brothers. In order to find them and rescue the missing kids, Wendy must confront what’s waiting for her in the woods.
Another book by Aiden Thomas. Heck yes, I was interested in it. I was slightly wary because I’m always wary about Peter Pan books; it’s just a thing for me. But, after read Cemtery Boys and Darling (another 2021 Peter Pan retelling!), I was incredibly eager to see what this book was about! Trigger warnings: panic attacks, anxiety
“Make a way out of no way” is just the way of life for Rue. But when her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, life for her and her younger sister changes forever. Rue’s taken from her neighborhood by the father she never knew, forced to leave her little sister behind, and whisked away to Ghizon—a hidden island of magic wielders. Rue is the only half-god, half-human there, where leaders protect their magical powers at all costs and thrive on human suffering. Miserable and desperate to see her sister on the anniversary of their mother’s death, Rue breaks Ghizon’s sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston, only to discover that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. And her sister, Tasha, is in danger of falling sway to the very forces that claimed their mother’s life. Worse still, evidence mounts that the evil plaguing East Row is the same one that lurks in Ghizon—an evil that will stop at nothing until it has stolen everything from her and everyone she loves. Rue must embrace her true identity and wield the full magnitude of her ancestors’ power to save her neighborhood before the gods burn it to the ground.
I’ve been excited for this book since I found out the slightest inkling of what it was about. A girl who is half-god and half-human was enough to sell me on this book. Plus, along with the cover and the amazing marketing the author is doing for this book, I was completely drawn to this book. Trigger warnings: violence, racism, drugs, blood
Aurelia is a princess, but they call her a witch. Surrounded by spirits and burdened with forbidden magic, she lives in constant fear of discovery by the witch-hunting Tribunal and their bloodthirsty mobs. When a devastating assassination attempt reveals her magical abilities, Aurelia is forced to flee her country with nothing but her life. Alone and adrift in an enemy kingdom, Aurelia plans her revenge against the Tribunal, desperate to bring down the dark organization that has wrought terror upon her people for hundreds of years. But there’s something deeply amiss in her new home, too, and soon she finds herself swept into a deadly new mystery with a secretive prince, the ghost of an ancient queen, and a poison vine called Bloodleaf. Aurelia is entangled in a centuries-long game of love, power, and war, and if she can’t break free before the Tribunal makes its last move, she may lose far more than her crown.
I’ve been wanting to read this book for awhile. It sounded intriguing, the cover pulled me in, and I had heard some pretty decent things about it! For some reason, I pushed it to the back burner. Though, I’ve recently seen so much love for this series online (I think because the second book was just released!), that my interest in finding out what this series is about shot up. A princess accused of being a witch, hiding out in an enemy kingdom, and trying to come into her powers while trying to untangle the turmoil surrounding her made this book sound like it would be right up my alley! Trigger warnings: graphic animal death, self-harm (for blood magic), ableism