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
Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Never mind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes. But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either.
Siren stories are always intriguing to me, but it always seems to take me awhile to get to them. A Song Below Water was no different. I knew I wanted to read it because it sounded so good. Two best friends grapple with their world. A world that has mythical creatures like sirens. Effie has secrets to unravel and Tavia is trying to keep her voice under wraps. Trigger warnings: past suicide attempt, self-harm, anxiety
It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again. Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . . This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.
This book was one my radar because I knew it was queer. It was also on my radar because it sounded like a fascinating fairy tale retelling. But, it was on my radar on in a very quiet way, and I wasn’t sure when I was going to get to it. Though, some of my friends read and fell completely in love with it, so it got bumped up on my list! I wanted to read it and see if I would love it as much as they did. Trigger warnings: sexism, blood
Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price.When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles and make a powerful choice.
Ever since I finished The Never Tilting World, I was curious about the other books the author had written. I knew there was a ton of hype around The Bone Witch, so a copy had been sitting on my shelves for awhile. Then, drama popped up around the author, so my friend and I decided it was finally time to read it and we could buddy read too! I think I might’ve finished before she even started, but let’s not get into that. The point is, this book sounded like something dark and full of magic and I was eager to read it!
JK Rowling decide to up her amount of trashiness. She was already trash because she liked transphobic tweets, then she followed transphobic people, then she decided to tweet openly transphobic things, and then decided to write a whole transphobic essay about how she’s not transphobic. She’s also racist and homophobic and all around trash. I have a lot of feelings. It feels weird to have these feelings, but I want to talk about them.
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.
I had seen a lot of hype for this book online, and I have to admit, it looked good. Plus, the cover is nothing short of gorgeous. I don’t know why, but I didn’t have the overwhelming urge to read it. The synopsis didn’t make it sound like something I would be drawn to, but something I would like to try eventually. Eventually came a lot sooner than I thought, and I ended up wanting to give it a shot! Trigger warnings: blood, grief, torture
Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences. Nirrim keeps her head down and a dangerous secret close to her chest. But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away who whispers rumors that the High Caste possesses magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.
I have seen so much excitement for this book, that I couldn’t help but be intrigued by it. Then finding out it was queer pretty much sealed the deal for me. A girl who lives a lowly life, tries to keep her head down, and has secrets she wants to keep close. It sounds like something I would definitely like, so I decided to give it a try! Trigger warnings: emotional and physical abuse, gaslighting
In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes. As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next. The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide
Knowing almost nothing about the Phantom Of The Opera or Moulin Rouge expect for the love or brief glimpses I’ve seen online, I was of course very much interested in a book inspired by both of them. It sounded like something decked in red, with mystery, and a lot of secrets. It was something I was curious about reading and I wanted to find out more.
As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic. When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic. But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.
With a title like that, I knew I wanted to read this book. Plus, it has magic, princesses forced to flee, and pirates. It sounded like an amazing fantasy book and I definitely wanted to give it a try. Trigger warnings: mentions of sexual abuse, death, violence, emotional and physical abuse
Aza Wu knows that real magic is dangerous and illegal. After all, casting killed her sister, Shire. As with all magic, everything comes at a price. For Aza, it feels like everything in her life has some kind of cost attached to it. Her sister had been casting for money to pay off Saint Willow, the gang leader that oversees her sector of Lotusland. If you want to operate a business there, you have to pay your tribute. And now with Shire dead, Aza must step in to save the legacy of Wu Teas, the teahouse that has been in her family for centuries. When Aza comes across a secret invitation, she decides she doesn’t have much else to lose. She quickly realizes that she’s entered herself into an underground casting tournament, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Real magic, real consequences. As she competes, Aza fights for her life against some very strong and devious competitors. When the facts about Shire’s death don’t add up, the police start to investigate. When the tributes to Saint Willow aren’t paid, the gang comes to collect. When Aza is caught sneaking around with fresh casting wounds, her parents are alarmed. As Aza’s dangerous web of lies continues to grow, she is caught between trying to find a way out and trapping herself permanently.
I first heard about this book when the cover was revealed. It has an absolutely stunning cover, and it definitely sets the stage for what this book is about. And then I learned it’s about magic and the price that has to be paid for it. There’s underground tournaments, secrets, and mysteries too. It sounded like something I would like to read, and I wanted to give it a shot.