Whether it's a galaxy far, far away, or a sprawling kingdom that's a little bit closer to home, Kylie loves stories from any genre with memorable characters, high stakes, and prose that keeps you reading late into the night.
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Kylie's Picks (reviews below)
The time of the Emirate of Granada - the last Muslim kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula - is running short. The forces of Ferdinand and Isabella of Christian Spain are closing in, and agents of the Spanish Inquisition aren't far behind. For Fatima, the sultan's favorite concubine, life outside the palace grounds is unfathomable. But for her best friend, Hassan, the palace mapmaker, who has an uncanny ability to create detailed maps of places he's never been, staying put could be lethal. For love, they will brave the oustide world and all its dangers, and with the help of some magic, jinn, and unexpected allies, they will fight for a place to call their own. From the author of celebrated Ms. Marvel comics, this is a beautiful tale of faith, love, and sacrifice!
Maia Tamarin has only one dream - to become the Imperial Tailor. She is skilled enough, and determined enough, but only men can be chosen. So instead she spends her days makin gsure that her father's shop stays afloat, even after her brothers leave to fight in the Emperor's war. When the war is over and a summons for a tailor comes from the Imperial Palace, Maia must answer the call, disguised as her brother, to save her family. Maia must navigate the pitfalls of palace politics, all while discover the magic she holds within and coming under the watchful eye of the Emperor's mysterious Lord Enchanter. When she is given an impossible task, one that will make or break the fragile, newfound peace of her country, will she find the strength she needs to see it through? Or will she lose the people and the work she has grown to love? Enchanting and heartbreaking, this is the beginning fo a fantasy tale that will leave you breathless and sweep you into a magical world, with an inspiring heroine that you're sure to root for.
Hesina never wanted to be queen. But when her father, the king, is murdered, she is thrust into power, forced to lead an unstable kingdom that is on the brink of war with its neighbor. As she tries to find justice for her father, she must confront forbidden magic, devastating secrets, and lies that are centuries old. Will she be able to save the people she loves as well as the kingdom? Or must she sacrifice one for the other? With entrancing prose, surprising twists, and memorable characters, this book will capture your imagination as it pulls you deep into the realms of court politics and scheming officials, family secrets and budding love. Even after you read the final page, the beginning of Hesina's journey and her indomitable spirit will stay with you long after.
A woman bound by vows that live in her blood, restless gods whose dreams and nightmares affect the balance of the world, and an empire that grows and prospers despite the corruption lurking at its core, Empire of Sand is sure to capture your attention. In her Mughal India inspired debut, Tasha Suri deftly weaves a spellbinding tale of magic, legacy, choice, and the love that binds us to each other.
Maia, the youngest, unwanted half-goblin son of the Emperor of the Elflands, never expected that he would live anywhere other than the dreary mansion on the moorlands, nor would he ever have any company other than his dreadful cousin, who blamed Maia for his exile. But when a messenger from the capital arrives in the middle of the night and announces that Maia's family has suffered a tragedy, and that Maia is now the emperor, he is torn from obscurity and thrust into the center of a court that is poised to disintegrate. Maia was never trained to deal with court intrigue, and with no allies to speak of, he does his best to remain true to himself and build relationships where he can, all while trying to create a kinder, more stable government. If you love fantasy politics, intricate worldbuilding, and extremely Hufflepuff protagonists, you will love this book!
Alanna of Trebond only wants one thing: to become a knight. But in the kingdom of Tortall, only boys can become knights, while girls are expected to become fine, well-mannered ladies. So when she gets the chance, Alanna switches places with her twin brother, disguises herself as a boy, and rides to the capital to become a squire. The Song of the Lionesss follows Alanna on her quest for knighthood as she navigates the dangers of court politics, the comlexities of growing up, and the difficulties of proving herself worthy of becoming a knight of the realm. Filled with colorful characters and plenty of twists and turns, this is a heroine's journey that you will want to visit again and again.
How would you live if your destiny was determined by the stars that hung in the sky on the night of your birth? In this stunning retelling of King Lear, Tessa Gratton pulls you headlong into a world of stars and roots, where magic is found in the whispers of the trees and the prophecies hurled down from the distant stars above. Follow the daughters of King Lear as they fight, plot, and vie for the throne as their father begins to lose his mind and the island they love is thrown into chaos. Will their sisterhood be enough to keep the island from collapsing beneath them, or will old secrets, old loves, and old enemies make peace impossible? This book was filled with breathtaking magic and heartrending relationships, and I didn't want to put it down! If you're a fan of epic fantasy, or perhaps Shakespeare, this absolutely is the book for you.
Shakespeare and Ren Faire nerds unite! Emily has been roped into being her niece's chaperone at the annual Renaissance Faire in the small town of Willow Creek. Just off the heels of a bad breakup, she's helping out her older sister while she gets back on her feet, and the Ren Faire seems like the perfect disctraction. But Simon, the Ren Faire's coordinator, seems to find fault with every little thing she does. When the Faire gets into full swing, things heat up between the two - but is the spark between them only because the two can't help but flirt in-character, or is it indicative of something more? Something real? Get swept off your feet and wooed in true Elizabethan fashion by this delightful debut! With pirates and jousting and tavern wenches galore, Jen DeLuca's relatable characters and enchanting setting make this the perfect end of summer (or anytime) read.
V.E. Schwab's Shades of Magic Trilogy is a must-read for lovers of the magical and mysterious! Get pulled into the world of Kell - a world of magic, woven with wonder and horror and beauty and intrigue - and then get pulled into another, and another! Kell lives in London, but it isn't the London we're familiar with. It's an alternate world, one of four, and Kell is one of the few who are able to hop between them all. When he's drawn into a plot that might destroy not only his world, but all the others, he'll have to use all of his magic, as well as the help of a dagger-wielding pickpocket named Lila Bard, to survive and save all he loves. Reading this trilogy was like jumping through one of Kell's portals - I couldn't help but get lost in the rich worldbuilding and incredible cast of characters.
There is a curse on the land - magic has dwindled to little more than a vague memory and the Arz, a ravenous forest, is devouring Arawiya. Zafira is the only person capable of hunting in the Arz without being killed or driven mad, and soon she is swept away on a quest to find a magical artifact that will save Arawiya from being destroyed. But to do so, she must team up with a motley crew with conflicting loyalties. In her spellbinding debut, Hafsah Faizal waves the beginning of an epic fantasy inspired by ancient Arabia, filled with magic, romance, adventure, and twists and turns that will keep you guessin gon each turn of the page!
What if you were able to gain extraordinary abilities? Would that turn you into a hero - or a villain? Vicious might seem like a familiar story about great power and great responsibility, but its twists and turns take you to a far darker place. Victor and Eli begin as friends, roommates, and partners in a science experiment that will change both of their lives forever. As bonds fracture and grudges form, who will survive? With characters that are sure to spook you, enthrall you, and make you question where evil ends and good begins, Vicious keeps you hooked from the very beginning.
Taking place in Kuala Lumpur during the deadly race riots of May 1969, The Weight of Our Sky is the harrowing tale of a young girl who is trying desperately to be reuinted with her mother. Mel is an ordinary sixteen-year-old - she loves The Beatles, going to the movies with her best friend, and is chiefly concerned with helping her mother and doing well in school. But Mel also has a secret: she is being haunted by a djinn who plagues her with images of death and destruction and who can only be placated if she performs an elaborate counting ritual. When violence breaks out and separates her from her family, Mel must survive long enough to make it back home. This book tackles some intense subject matter: racism, OCD, family, bravery, and sacrifice. Hanna Alkaf does a masteful job in writin gwith compassion, from the visceral, heart-pounding action to her beautiful and haunting prose thatwill move you to tears. Pick up this book and join Mel as she discovers her own bravery on her journey home!
Join Joan of Arc in her final hours as she contemplates the events that brought her to such an untimely and unjust end through the spellbinding poetry of David Elliot! Joan weaves her story through rhyme and meter, captivating you and pulling you into her mind and the minds of those she came across and touched on her quest to save France. This book is absolutely perfect for those fascinated by Joan of Arc's legacy, and those who love inventive re-imaginings of classic figures. Pick it up and let Joan speak to you from across the centuries!
It starts with a small group of smugglers getting caught in the Unknown Regions, and ends with a battle to preserve the fringes of a galaxy that doesn't even know that it's in deadly danger, and it all centers on one, iconic character: Thrawn. Have you ever wondered where Thrawn came from, or if he was always a mastermind in the employ of the Empire? This book introduces new characters from the Star Wars universe that you're bound to love, while also giving you a glimpse into the time before the Clone Wars and before Thrawn even knew of the Galactic Republic. If you've never delved into the extended Star Wars universe, I recommend you give Outbound Flight a shot!
Sisterhood is survival. Enter a world of rollicking seas and bloody conflict, where Caledonia Styx and her brave crew sail on the Mors Navis in search of freedom. The Net is controlled by a brutal warlord who captures young men and women, forcing them into his service, and after having her family stolen from her by his army of Bullets, Caledonia not only wants peace - she wants revenge. When a boy from Aric Athair's fleet ends up on her ship, she is faced with a choice: protect her sisters, her crew, and throw him overboard, or use the knowledge he offers her to take the warlord down. Natalie C. Parker's Seafire is captivating from page one. It takes you from invigorating battles, filled with fire and fury, to tender and poignant scenes between Caledonia and her crew, all of it painted upon a backdrop of vivid worldbuilding. If you enjoy tales of pirates, high-stakes adventures on the high seas, and girl gangs, then you'll love Seafire!
For Nahri, a con artist on the streets of Cairo, life is far from magical - most of what she earns (or steals) goes towards survival and her seeming impossible dream of journeying to Istanbul to train and become a doctor. When she accidentally summons Dara, a centuries-old djinn warrior, during one of her cons, life gets ... complicated. Journey with Nahri to the distant city of Daevabad, the locus of djinn politics, culture, and magic. Intrigue and betrayal, secrets and usurped dynasties all await in its streets. The City of Brass is the first chapter in an epic adventure, effortlessly weaving a spellbinding tale of a young woman discovering who she was born to be. - Kylie
Enter a world of corrupt empires, fading gods, and an evil so great that it could consume the universe. Kihrin is a musician by day & a key, a street thief good at picking locks & picking pockets, by night. His only aspirations are to save enough money to move far away from the capital city of Quur with his father and his sweetheart, buy a tavern, & live life in obscurity & comfort. But when he accidentally witnesses the summoning of a demon by powerful wizards from the royal households, he is thrown into a web of deceit, political machinations, and cosmic conflict - and at the center of it all is a web of prophecies that all lead back to him. What do you do when your destiny is not to save the world, but to destroy it? Pick up this book & be transported into an epic fantasy that will have you grasping for answers as you journey alongside Kihrin and make deals with dragons, learn magic, and maybe, if you're lucky, save the world.
With brutal warriors and mystical shamans, vengeful gods and misfit allies, The Poppy War captivates from page one. Follow Rin, our fierce and gifted protagonist, as she strives to find a place for herself and discovers the steep price of power in a world that is tearing itself apart. - Kylie
Katherine Arden's Winternight Trilogy is a step into history, myth, & fairy tale. The bleak winter of Rus is the home of gods and monsters, spirits of the air and hearth that can menace or protect. The old ways have long been honored, but as the Church begins to hold more sway in Russian society (and politics) the old ways are fading from favor. Vasya is the youngest daughter of a country boyar, and as such is expected to behave as a good Russian girl should, but she is wild, like her mother, and can see and talk to beings of myth & story. She was born for a more magical world, and she must either forsake herself and conform to the person her family wishes her to be, or step out into the winter night and forge a path that could very well get her killed. But it might be the only way to save her home, her family, and her people. This trilogy enchants and horrifies, with prose as deep and mystical as a snow-laden forest in the middle of winter, and just as cold and beautiful.
Ileth’s dream to become a dragoneer seems far-fetched - she is a penniless orphan with a stutter, pitied and scorned by those around her. But one day, a dragon and his dragoneer stop by Ileth’s small out-of-the way village, and Ileth’s entire perspective shifts. She makes the dangerous journey to the Serpentine, an academy for those who wish to ride and care for dragons, and rises unexpectedly in the esteem of her superiors and peers by way of her own determination, resilience, and honor-clad spirit. E. E. Knight weaves a deft tale of beginnings and hopeful aspiration, triumphs and near failures, all while inviting us into a charming and dangerous realm of valiant dragons and their dragoneers, rival nations, and scheming students. This is a promising beginning for a promising young heroine, and once you flip that final page with a racing, joyous heart, you’ll wish you had the sequel in hand!
Captain Will Laurence of the British Navy has been dreaming of a brilliant naval career since he left home to join the service, but when his crew captures a French ship and they find a rare prize — a dragon egg — in the hold, all those dreams crumble to dust. When the dragon allows Laurence to put him into harness and to give him a name, Laurence is duty-bound to care for the dragon, christened Termeraire, for the rest of his life. The two must learn to work together and to look out for one another in a time of upheaval and uncertainty — with Napoleon advancing across Europe, every single dragon in His Majesty's service is sorely needed. Masterfully blending history and fantasy, Naomi Novik creates a rollicking, charming tale of two soulmates navigating war, social etiquette, and aerial combat training.
Annie Mathers is country music's next darling - with parents whose country stardom met a tragic end and a voice that enchants anyone with ears to listen, she is the industry's next big thing. When she gets recruited to be the opening act for the summer tour of Clay Coolidge - country music's resident bad boy - it seems inevitable that this will catapult her to the top. However, things aren't always what they seem. Annie couldn't care less about the fame, and Clay's demons are sending him headlong into a downward spiral. When they're brought together, sparks fly, and if they're able to find the strength to open up and let go of the facades they've created to keep themselves safe, they could be the answer to each other's problems. You'd Be Mine is a story about the joy of music, the importance of family, and the redemptive power of love. Only a few turns of the page and you'll be hooked!
“That's how you get deathless, volchitsa. Walk the same tale over and over, until you wear a groove in the world, until even if you vanished, the tale would keep turning, keep playing, like a phonograph, and you'd have to get up again, even with a bullet through your eye, to play your part and say your lines.” Enter a hidden world of myth & mystery, where creatures from Russian folklore navigate the treacherous world of 1930s & 40s Leningrad. A war between the Tsar of Death and Tsar of Life, brothers and enemies since time immemorial, infiltrates the life of young Marya Morevna, who discovers that she has walked this road before many times, and is fated to repeat it endlessly. With prose that entrances and haunts you in turn, Catherynne M. Valente's Deathless investigates war, love, the struggle for identity in a world filled with chaos and violence, and the power of the stories we tell over & over again.
Trisha Raje has no time for family drama - she's a neurosurgeon working to create ground breaking tech that will save lives. But her oldest brother is running for governor, and it looks like she won't be able to avoid getting involved for much longer. DJ Caine also seems to be running out of time. He's a talented chef with a younger sister in and out of the hospital and a fledgling business to build. When they meet, misunderstanding mars their encounter and they're both thrust into an uneasy partnership that creates more tension than it solves. This is Pride & Prejudice like you've never read it before! Sonali Dev's reimagining of the classic love story is charming, endearing, and has you laughing and cheering along with every success and gasping at every fiery exchange. It will remind you why you love the original, and keep your imagination on its toes!
Noor, a city of diverse peoples, beliefs, and ways of life, is recovering from an attack by chaotic djinn that wiped out all but three of its inhabitants. The city rebuilt itself, and with the partnership of the Ifrit, djinn of order and reason, it has begun to thrive once more. Fatima, one of the three human survivors, has grown up with the knowledge that she was spared. But why? When she is witness to a strange and mystical murder, she is launched upon a path that will lead either to Noor’s salvation or its utter destruction once again. This colorful debut is filled to the brim with life and heart — bursting with fascinating characters and a beautiful romance, you’ll be hard-pressed to put it down! Join Fatima on her journey to save the people and the home that she loves, as she is given a new destiny and learns just how powerful a name can be. – Kylie
Zuhra has never seen the world beyond the hedge that guards her home - she's spent the past eighteen years in the Citadel of the Paladin, a fortress abandoned by those Paladin when they fled Zuhra's world for their own, with only her mother, a woman from the nearby village, and her sister, Inara. They can never leave, because the magical hedge protects and traps them there, and Inara has a strange power that would get them all killed if anyone from the outside world were to witness it. When a boy, a scholar named Halvor, somehow makes it past the hedge and into the citadel, Inara's power spirals out of control, setting them all on a course of events that could change the landscape of their world. This book is captivating - from the touching portrait of sisterhood, to the twists and turns and family drama that keeps you turning page after page, this story will pull you through a gateway into a different, magical, terrifying world of mythical beasts, hidden power, and the steep price (and great reward) of stepping into the wider world.
Kalanthe is about to become a knight, but in order to pay for her training, she must marry. Olsa was a thief before the Quest, and she continues to thieve now that it's done, not knowing what else she should fill her time with. Though they shared a deep and powerful bond during their time on the road, they must now decide if the bond will be able to survive in their new, less dangerous lives. And even though the kingdom is peaceful once again, perhaps there are still some things - and some people - worth saving. What happens when the epic Quest is all finished and the valiant heroes who saved the kingdom need to come home and get back to business as usual? In The Afterward, E.K. Johnston weaves a touching love story into the pastoral conclusion of an epic tale with finesse and feeling, bringing us into the relatable complexities and concerns of every day life in a magic-filled kingdom. Pick it up and get swept away! - Kylie
Annie Cassidy loves rom-coms. In fact, she's something of a rom-com expert. She knows all the ins and outs of the genre, and can cite every iconic line and analyze every cliche. But what will she do when her life accidentally becomes one? After an embarassing chance encounter with Hollywood's class clown, Drew Danforth, her life becomes a confusing tangle of reality and the silver screen, and she has to make a decision: will she keep waiting for the picture perfect rom-com ending, or will she get up, get out, and find that imperfect but lovely ending for herself? Pick up this winsome, heartwarming book and get ready for plenty of laughs and plenty of Nora Ephron references.
Iris wants nothing more than to create a life for herself outside of the confines of her family's expectations and her economic constraints - nothing more than that and to paint beautiful works of art. But instead she is stuck painting faces upon dolls in a small London shop, with no hope of anything more than an eventual marriage and a life keeping house. Silas wants nothing more than for his genius and artistry to be recognized, but he is stuck peddling to poor artists and curiosity seekers in his shop of the strange and unusual, with little chance that he will gain notoriety. A chance meeting between the two propels both onto divergent paths that will define them, with Iris discovering her artistic talent and Silas spiraling into obsession. Dive headlong into 1850s London with Macneal's haunting prose and get swept away into a thrilling tale of desperation and the power hope.
Buttercup and Westley have an epic love, one that will go down in history. That's what they think, of course, until Westley sails off to seek his fortune and his ship is attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who notoriously leaves no survivors. Buttercup is forced to accept the marriage proposal of Prince Humperdinck, who ruthlessly plots her murder in order to start a war between the kingdom of Florin and its longtime-enemy Guilder. This book is a swashbuckling, riotous, and hilarious ride from beginning to end. If you liked the movie, you'll love the book! Written by the screenwriter of the film, The Princess Bride brings you into the minds of all your favorite characters and gives you even more reasons to love them. Pick it up for a good laugh or even for a not-so-serious examination of the definition of true love and all that comes with it.
Gu Miyoung just started at a new school in Seoul. Usually, this would be daunting for an eighteen-year-old, but Miyoung is used to it. She's had to move too many times to count. When you're half-human, half-gumiho, you don't really get the chance to stay in once place for very long. According to Korean folklore, gumiho are nine-tailed foxes who masquerade as beautiful women and feed off men's gi, or energy, to survive. And the myths aren't that far from the truth. Miyoung's carefully controlled life is turned upside down one night when she accidentally meets Ahn Jihoon, a boy in her class who's never taken life too seriously, and their fates are intertwined. Wicked Fox has it all! Magical creatures, romance, life-or-death stakes - if you're a fan of mythology or Kdramas or both, you'll love this book! - Kylie
January Scaller's childhood is filled with treasures from far-off places, sent back by an absent father to the sprawling estate of his employer. She is little more than another keepsake herself, but spends her time trying to fashion herself into a well-bred young lady, who minds her manners and doesn't make too much noise. But when a mysterious book falls into her hands, she is confronted by the fact that the world she thought she knew is altogether too magical to be explained, or to pass through quietly and well-behaved. She discovers the ten thousand doors - portals to other worlds, where things and people leak through like light, spreading stories and sharing magic - and that she might be the key to them all. This book is its own sort of portal, romantic and tender, with a heroine whose discovery of herself and her history is as inspiring as the journey she embarks on. Brilliant and evocative of every time you've ever looked out the window and wished you could step through the panes to another world, filled with undiscovered mysteries, The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a debut you won't want to miss, so pick it up and let it sweep you away! - Kylie
Manu has spent her life dreaming about other worlds - worlds where she doesn't have to hide, worlds where she & her mom can live safely without fear of ICE or her father's mysterious family coming to find them, worlds where she can fully be herself, with her strange eyes, her heightened senses, & her inquisitive mind. It only takes one awful day, with herm other taken in an ICE raid and her small apartment home lost to her, for her to stumble upon a hidden, magical world, one that might be perfect for her -- if she can keep her true identity a secret. Manu must learn to navigate a strange world of brujas and lobizones and conspiracies that threaten to steal this new world away from her, too. Lobizona is as magical as it is enthralling, with characters that you quickly grow to love and a backdrop of Argentinian myth that entrances. This is the first chapter of an adventure that will have you clamoring for more!
The kingdom of Vetia is slowly being crushed beneath the heavy-handed rule of the despotic king, Karolje. When young Anza finds the journal of Queen Mirantha, the wife whom Karolje disappeared years prior, it sets in motion a chain of events that will ultimately prove to be either kingdom's salvation, or its final end. With a tightly knit plot, The Vanished Queen has all the world-building hallmarks of an epic fantasy, while painting an imtimate portrait of a woman, a prince, and a queen's memory all caught up in the building resistance plotting to remove the king from power. This book eloquently uncovers the layers of tyranny, abuse, and trauma that accompany the rule of those hungry to grab and maintain power, and shows how the pursuit of justice can fan a spark of hope until it becomes a flame, bright and powerful enough to burn injustice down.
Bree Matthews just wanted to get away from the claustraphobic grief of her hometown and the well-meaning people giving her cliché condolences about her mother's tragic passing. Joining the early college program and UNC Chapel Hill was supposed to give her the space she needed to move on, but how was she suppoed to know that her first night there she'd stumble upon magic, demons, and a centuries-old secret society founded by King Arthur, Merlin, and the knights of the Round Table tasked with protecting the world from destruction? When Bree discovers that secret society might have sinister ties to her mother's death, she decides to infiltrate its ranks and find out the truth. The truth, however, might be more complicated than she bargained for. Legendborn is non-stop from page one, filled with twists and turns that send your heartbeat skyrocketing and your mind whirring as it searches for answers. It is a story about the intricately bound legacies of family, country, trauma, and duty - join Bree as she discovers the power and love passed down to her by her ancestors, which, in her hands, is enough Southern Black Girl Magic to save the world.
Enter a labyrinthine fantasy of dying worlds, pacts with ancient gods, sword-fights with the undead, and mages who will go to unspeakable lengths to gain power. Csorwe has spent her whole life preparing to die – she’d never thought of a life past her fourteenth year, but when a mysterious wizard visits and offers her a way out, she takes it. When Csorwe is sent on a mission to obtain a powerful magical artifact, she becomes entangled with Shuthmili, a young mage whose home is desperate to make use of her powerful magical gifts and will do anything to make sure they get their way. Csorwe and Shuthmili must team up and navigate a treacherous maze of conflicting loyalties and their blossoming love.
When a girl strikes a deal with the darkness, things go awry. Addie LaRue wishes to be free to live her own life, on her own terms, not beholden to the strictures and censures of her small, isolated 18th-century French village. But when she sells her soul for this freedom, the darkness with whom she makes her deal curses her to live an immortal life, forgotten by everyone. So begins her journey through the intervening centuries – Addie learns how to carve her place upon the world, not with scratches of a pencil or the sharing of words, but through ideas and inspiration. And then one day, after 300 years of being forgotten, she meets a 20th-century man who remembers her. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a heartaching, twisting journey about time, memory, love, and one woman's unceasing efforts to make her mark.
Noemí's socialite days come to a screeching halt when her father sends her to investigate the strange and troubling letter they've received from her cousin, who'd recently and swiftly married and moved to her husband's family estate in the mountains. What she encounters there - a dilapidated mansion, a lurking menace, a sinister history - is more than she could have ever bargained for. Follow Noemí down shadowed corridors and through mist-covered graveyards as she uncovers the truth at the heart of High Place, and almost loses everything in the process. With a biting indictment of those who claim power as a birthright, merely by virtue of where and whom they came from, Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Mexican Gothic pulls you in from the start and doesn't release you until the shocking end - it's the perfect book for a gloomy day, when you want a chill to run down your spine.
Beatrice Clayborn must marry - that is the only way to save her family from financial and social ruin. But when a woman marries, she is cut off from magic, unable to perform even the simplest of cantrips, to prevent that magic from harming her potential progeny. Beatrice Clayborn must marry, but to do so would be to give up her dearly-held dream: to be the first woman to become a full-fledged Magus, a powerful wielder of the arcane arts. When she encounters a fellow aspiring magician, a young woman whose ambitions match Beatrice's own, and that magician's brother, a young man who seems to understand her in a way that no one has before, Beatrice's choice becomes fraught. Follow Beatrice's journey through balls and bookstores, gardens and Grimoires, as she tries to find a way to follow her dreams and her heart, when choosing either seems impossible. C. L. Polk guides us through a fantastical alternate of Regency England with such deft skill and delightful prose that this book is hard to put down, especially as the plot reaches its victorious crescendo.
To be a witch, you need the will, the ways, and the words. The three Eastwood sisters - torn apart by cruel circumstance and crueler misunderstandings - want to bring the lost art of witching back into the world. But New Salem, a bastion of that old adage, thou must not suffer a witch to live, is bent on burning every hint of witching to the ground. Set against the backdrop of the early 20th century and the Women's Suffrage Movement, The Once and Future Witches is a tale of sisterhood, courage, and the witch-ways of women who have for too long been crushed into smallness. This book is lyrical and wrathful and leaves you breathless. Open it if you have the will and the ways - it will, of course, it will give you the words.
When Count Jainan’s husband, Prince Taam, dies unexpectedly, the Empire’s tenuous hold on their vassal planets begins to fracture, just weeks before the renewal of a treaty that will see them through another 20 years of stability. Enter Prince Kiem, the charming, charismatic, and absolutely disappointing royal substitute called upon by the Emperor to do his duty and keep the Empire intact. When Jainan and Kiem are tied together in a politically convenient marriage, neither expects it to be anything other than an impersonal arrangement, but soon they’re both embroiled in political schemes and top secret investigations while the fates of their planets hang in the balance. And soon enough, their ‘politically convenient marriage’ becomes much more than they bargained for. Winter’s Orbit is a space opera that is mischievous, touching, and suspenseful in turn - from somber beginning to gleeful end, it is altogether delightful.
Searing and intimate, sensual and horrifying in turn, Dowry of Blood takes you on a journey through the centuries alongside of one of Dracula’s immortal brides. Constanta, a medieval peasant girl rescued from a brutal death and turned into a vampire, begins her undead life in awe of her savior. But as the years trudge on, the relationship twists and contorts and becomes a cage through which Constanta can only glimpse the rest of the world. As new brides are found and turned by Dracula, Constanta resolves to protect them, no matter the cost. Dowry of Blood is contemplative horror, pulling us into the labyrinthine nature of a love that withers and decays - but not before something whole can emerge from the rot.