Tania de Batz is most herself with a sword in her hand. Everyone in town thinks her near-constant dizziness makes her weak, nothing but “a sick girl”; even her mother is desperate to marry her off for security. But Tania wants to be strong, independent, a fencer like her father—a former Musketeer and her greatest champion. Then Papa is brutally, mysteriously murdered. His dying wish? For Tania to attend finishing school. But L’Académie des Mariées, Tania realizes, is no finishing school. It’s a secret training ground for a new kind of Musketeer: women who are socialites on the surface, but strap daggers under their skirts, seduce men into giving up dangerous secrets, and protect France from downfall. And they don’t shy away from a swordfight. With her newfound sisters at her side, Tania feels for the first time like she has a purpose, like she belongs. But then she meets Étienne, her first target in uncovering a potential assassination plot. He’s kind, charming, and breathlessly attractive—and he might have information about what really happened to her father. Torn between duty and dizzying emotion, Tania will have to lean on her friends, listen to her own body, and decide where her loyalties lie…or risk losing everything she’s ever wanted.
I’ve been excited for this book before it was even announced that it was going to be a book. I’ve followed Lillie on Twitter for a few years, so I saw her talk about her fencing book, and I was so eager to read it when it finally sold (because it had to sell, it sounded freaking amazing). A gender-bent retelling of the Three Musketeers, with a disabled main character and a sisterhood that likes to stab things. Yes, it sounded incredible. Trigger warnings: ableism, internalized ableism, implied sexual assault blood
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
Eighteen-year-old Ziva prefers metal to people. She spends her days tucked away in her forge, safe from society and the anxiety it causes her, using her magical gift to craft unique weapons imbued with power. Then Ziva receives a commission from a powerful warlord, and the result is a sword capable of stealing its victims’ secrets. A sword that can cut far deeper than the length of its blade. A sword with the strength to topple kingdoms. When Ziva learns of the warlord’s intentions to use the weapon to enslave all the world under her rule, she takes her sister and flees. Joined by a distractingly handsome mercenary and a young scholar with extensive knowledge of the world’s known magics, Ziva and her sister set out on a quest to keep the sword safe until they can find a worthy wielder or a way to destroy it entirely.
I have a soft spot for Tricia Levenseller books, so I was ready to read whatever her new one was going to be. She has a way of writing that makes it so easy to fly through her books. They don’t take themselves too seriously, so they feel light, fluffy, and the good kind of cheesy. So, a Tricia Levenseller book about a blacksmith with social anxiety sounded like it would be right up my alley. Like, I love swords. And the MC MAKES magic swords? Yes, I was very, very eager to read this one. Trigger warnings: minor self-harm, anxiety
When the Emperor dies, the five royal houses of Etrusia attend the Call, where one of their own will be selected to compete for the throne. It is always the oldest child, the one who has been preparing for years to compete in the Trial. But this year is different. This year, these five outcasts will answer the call…. THE LIAR: Emilia must hide her dark magic or be put to death. THE SOLDIER: Lucian is a warrior who has sworn to never lift a sword again. THE SERVANT: Vespir is a dragon trainer whose skills alone will keep her in the game. THE THIEF: Ajax knows that nothing is free–he must take what he wants. THE MURDERER: Hyperia was born to rule and will stop at nothing to take her throne.
I heard dragons and I was on board. Then I saw the cover, with all those swords, and I was totally on board. And then I learned that it was about five people fighting for the chance to become emperor, all with their own secrets and struggles, and I was ready to scream with how awesome this book sounded. Trigger warnings: grief, rape (kind off page, not explicit) violence, gore, blood)
After eight long years, Evadne will finally be reunited with her older sister, Halcyon, who has been proudly serving in the queen’s army. But when Halcyon appears earlier than expected, Eva knows something has gone terribly wrong. Halcyon is on the run, hunted by her commander and charged with murder. Though Halcyon’s life is spared during her trial, the punishment is heavy. And when Eva volunteers to serve part of Halcyon’s sentence, she’s determined to find out exactly what happened. But as Eva begins her sentence, she quickly learns that there are fates much worse than death.
I originally sort of pushed this book to the side. It sounded good, but something I would get to in the future. I’m not sure what pulled me back to it, but I decided I really wanted to read it. My friend is a huge fan of this author (hi Mo!), so I knew I wanted to at least give it a try. Plus, I’m finding that I’m really drawn to sisters stories. And one of the sisters takes on part of the other sister’s punishment? And its a fate worse than death? But the punishment isn’t described and we have no idea what it could be. Yes, that sounded like something I wanted to read and something I wanted to know more of.