It’s that time of year! I’m a bit early this year in posting my most anticipated 2022 releases, but I think my list looks already pretty good and, honestly, I can write on this list for another year and it won’t be completely finished, so I’ll stop now. I bet on the day this goes live I immediately want to add another 5 books – but it is what it is. I always look forward to seeing what’s on everyone’s lists so please le me know in the comments which books you’re looking forward to reading next year!
To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara / January 11th 2022
I don’t know much about this book, except that it spans three centuries and it’s probably heartbreaking and dark, but I really liked A Little Life so I am very excited to see this unexpected new release by Hanya Yanagihara. I think I’ll wait for a few more reviews to come out before I pick it up, though.
From the author of the classic A Little Life, a bold, brilliant novel spanning three centuries and three different versions of the American experiment, about lovers, family, loss and the elusive promise of utopia.
In an alternate version of 1893 America, New York is part of the Free States, where people may live and love whomever they please (or so it seems). The fragile young scion of a distinguished family resists betrothal to a worthy suitor, drawn to a charming music teacher of no means. In a 1993 Manhattan besieged by the AIDS epidemic, a young Hawaiian man lives with his much older, wealthier partner, hiding his troubled childhood and the fate of his father. And in 2093, in a world riven by plagues and governed by totalitarian rule, a powerful scientist’s damaged granddaughter tries to navigate life without him—and solve the mystery of her husband’s disappearances.
These three sections are joined in an enthralling and ingenious symphony, as recurring notes and themes deepen and enrich one another: A townhouse in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village; illness, and treatments that come at a terrible cost; wealth and squalor; the weak and the strong; race; the definition of family, and of nationhood; the dangerous righteousness of the powerful, and of revolutionaries; the longing to find a place in an earthly paradise, and the gradual realization that it can’t exist. What unites not just the characters, but these Americas, are their reckonings with the qualities that make us human: Fear. Love. Shame. Need. Loneliness.
To Paradise is a fin de siècle novel of marvellous literary effect, but above all it is a work of emotional genius. The great power of this remarkable novel is driven by Yanagihara’s understanding of the aching desire to protect those we love – partners, lovers, children, friends, family and even our fellow citizens – and the pain that ensues when we cannot.
Nine Lives by Peter Swanson / March 15th 2022
I loved The Kind Worth Killing but heard very bad reviews for Every Vow You Break, so I am unsure if I will pick this up – depends on the reviews! My sister recommended this author to me, so we might even read this together. But the premise is super intriguing – nine strangers with no connection to each other but then they receive a mysterious mail with their names on it and start dying, one by one, in mysterious circumstances. This is giving me And Then There Were None Vibes, I’m super curious to read it!
Nine strangers receive a list with their names on it in the mail. Nothing else, just a list of names on a single sheet of paper. None of the nine people know or have ever met the others on the list. They dismiss it as junk mail, a fluke – until very, very bad things begin happening to people on the list. First, a well-liked old man is drowned on a beach in the small town of Kennewick, Maine. Then, a father is shot in the back while running through his quiet neighborhood in suburban Massachusetts. A frightening pattern is emerging, but what do these nine people have in common? Their professions range from oncology nurse to aspiring actor.
FBI agent Jessica Winslow, who is on the list herself, is determined to find out. Could there be some dark secret that binds them all together? Or is this the work of a murderous madman? As the mysterious sender stalks these nine strangers, they find themselves constantly looking over their shoulders, wondering who will be crossed off next…
A Taste for Poison by Neil Bradbury / February 1st 2022
This sounds like a darkly interesting non-fiction about poisons and how they affect the body!
A brilliant blend of science and crime, A TASTE FOR POISON reveals how eleven notorious poisons affect the body–through the murders in which they were used.
As any reader of murder mysteries can tell you, poison is one of the most enduring—and popular—weapons of choice for a scheming murderer. It can be slipped into a drink, smeared onto the tip of an arrow or the handle of a door, even filtered through the air we breathe. But how exactly do these poisons work to break our bodies down, and what can we learn from the damage they inflict?
In a fascinating blend of popular science, medical history, and true crime, Dr. Neil Bradbury explores this most morbidly captivating method of murder from a cellular level. Alongside real-life accounts of murderers and their crimes—some notorious, some forgotten, some still unsolved—are the equally compelling stories of the poisons involved: eleven molecules of death that work their way through the human body and, paradoxically, illuminate the way in which our bodies function.
Drawn from historical records and current news headlines, A Taste for Poison weaves together the tales of spurned lovers, shady scientists, medical professionals and political assassins to show how the precise systems of the body can be impaired to lethal effect through the use of poison. From the deadly origins of the gin & tonic cocktail to the arsenic-laced wallpaper in Napoleon’s bedroom, A Taste for Poison leads readers on a riveting tour of the intricate, complex systems that keep us alive—or don’t.
Devotion by Hannah Kent / February 3rd 2022
I was actually not going to pick this one up (as a rule I am not too interested in historical fiction), but I read a few glowing reviews about this book that really convinced me. This is set in 19th century Prussia and centers around two girls who are in love and end up escaping to Australia. This will probably break my heart.
1836, Prussia. Hanne is nearly fifteen and the domestic world of womanhood is quickly closing in on her. A child of nature, she yearns instead for the rush of the river, the wind dancing around her. Hanne finds little comfort in the local girls and friendship doesn’t come easily, until she meets Thea and she finds in her a kindred spirit and finally, acceptance.
Hanne’s family are Old Lutherans, and in her small village hushed worship is done secretly – this is a community under threat. But when they are granted safe passage to Australia, the community rejoices: at last a place they can pray without fear, a permanent home. Freedom.
It’s a promise of freedom that will have devastating consequences for Hanne and Thea, but, on that long and brutal journey, their bond proves too strong for even nature to break…
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley / February 15th 2022
I loved The Hunting Party, had lots of fun with The Guest List, so I will definitely be reading Lucy Foley’s new novel! This one appeals to me especially because of its location (Paris! I crave travelling of any kind, even if it’s through books) and there is something really interesting about character living lives that they clearly can’t afford, there is a bit of glamour but also some dark secret behind it all… sounds just really cool!
Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.
The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.
The socialite – The nice guy – The alcoholic – The girl on the verge – The concierge
Everyone’s a neighbor. Everyone’s a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling.
Moon Witch, Spider King (The Dark Star Trilogy #2) by Marlon James / February 15th 2022
This is a visceral, dark, incredible fantasy story about a group of people who go on a mission to find and bring back a missing boy – and what truly happened in the quest they failed. Each book tells a different point of view and I am SO HYPED for this one, which tells the witch’s side of the story!
In Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Sogolon the Moon Witch proved a worthy adversary to Tracker as they clashed across a mythical African landscape in search of a mysterious boy who disappeared. In Moon Witch, Spider King, Sogolon takes center stage and gives her own account of what happened to the boy, and how she plotted and fought, triumphed and failed as she looked for him. It’s also the story of a century-long feud—seen through the eyes of a 177-year-old witch—that Sogolon had with the Aesi, chancellor to the king. It is said that Aesi works so closely with the king that together they are like the eight limbs of one spider. Aesi’s power is considerable—and deadly. It takes brains and courage to challenge him, which Sogolon does for reasons of her own.
Both a brilliant narrative device—seeing the story told in Black Leopard, Red Wolf from the perspective of an adversary and a woman—as well as a fascinating battle between different versions of empire, Moon Witch, Spider King delves into Sogolon’s world as she fights to tell her own story. Part adventure tale, part chronicle of an indomitable woman who bows to no man, it is a fascinating novel that explores power, personality, and the places where they overlap.
The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James / March 15th 2022
I loved this author’s other book Sundown Motel, and the premise of this sounds SO cool (true crime bloggers! Cold cases! Mysterious mansions!), it just sounds like such a perfect read!
A true crime blogger gets more than she bargained for while interviewing the woman acquitted of two cold case slayings in this chilling new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel. In 1977, Claire Lake, Oregon, was shaken by the Lady Killer Murders: Two men, seemingly randomly, were murdered with the same gun, with strange notes left behind. Beth Greer was the perfect suspect-a rich, eccentric twenty-three-year-old woman, seen fleeing one of the crimes. But she was acquitted, and she retreated to the isolation of her mansion. Oregon, 2017. Shea Collins is a receptionist, but by night, she runs a true crime website, the Book of Cold Cases-a passion fueled by the attempted abduction she escaped as a child. When she meets Beth by chance, Shea asks her for an interview. To Shea’s surprise, Beth says yes. They meet regularly at Beth’s mansion, though Shea is never comfortable there. Items move when she’s not looking, and she could swear she’s seen a small girl outside the window. The allure of learning the truth about the case from the smart, charming Beth is too much to resist, but even as they grow closer, Shea senses something isn’t right. Is she making friends with a manipulative murderer, or are there other dangers lurking in the darkness of the Greer house?
Four Aunties and a Wedding (Aunties #2) by Jesse Q. Sutanto / March 29th 2022
I LOVED the first Aunties book, it was such a joy to read! I’ll definitely be picking this one up, too!
The aunties are back, fiercer than ever and ready to handle any catastrophe–even the mafia–in this delightful and hilarious sequel by Jesse Q. Sutanto, author of Dial A for Aunties.
Meddy Chan has been to countless weddings, but she never imagined how her own would turn out. Now the day has arrived, and she can’t wait to marry her college sweetheart, Nathan. Instead of having Ma and the aunts cater to her wedding, Meddy wants them to enjoy the day as guests. As a compromise, they find the perfect wedding vendors: a Chinese-Indonesian family-run company just like theirs. Meddy is hesitant at first, but she hits it off right away with the wedding photographer, Staphanie, who reminds Meddy of herself, down to the unfortunately misspelled name.
Meddy realizes that is where their similarities end, however, when she overhears Staphanie talking about taking out a target. It turns out Staphanie and her family are The Family–actual mafia, and they’re using Meddy’s wedding as a chance to take out a target. Her aunties and mother won’t let Meddy’s wedding ceremony become a murder scene–over their dead bodies–and will do whatever it takes to save her special day, even if it means taking on the mafia.
Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong / April 5th 2022
This is a poetry collection by an author who writes SO wonderfully I’ll probably read everything he writes, ever.
In this deeply intimate second poetry collection, Ocean Vuong searches for life among the aftershocks of his mother’s death, embodying the paradox of sitting within grief while being determined to survive beyond it. Shifting through memory, and in concert with the themes of his novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Vuong contends with personal loss, the meaning of family, and the cost of being the product of an American war in America. At once vivid, brave, and propulsive, Vuong’s poems circle fragmented lives to find both restoration as well as the epicentre of the break.
The author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection Night Sky With Exit Wounds, winner of the 2016 Whiting Award, the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize, and a 2019 MacArthur fellow, Vuong writes directly to our humanity without losing sight of the current moment. These poems represent a more innovative and daring experimentation with language and form, illuminating how the themes we perennially live in and question are truly inexhaustible. Bold and prescient, and a testament to tenderness in the face of violence, Time Is a Mother is a return and a forging-forth all at once.
In a Garden Burning Gold by Rory Power / April 5th 2022
I am hypnotized by this cover. IT’S JUST EVERYTHING. This is giving me Middlegame vibes and I’m all for it – I loved Wilder Girls and look forward to reading this epic fantasy!
Twins imbued with incredible magic and near-immortality will do anything to keep their family safe—even if it tears the siblings apart—in the first book of a mythic epic fantasy from the New York Times bestselling author of Wilder Girls.
Rhea and her twin brother, Lexos, have spent an eternity helping their father rule their small, unstable country, using their control over the seasons, tides, and stars to keep the people in line. For a hundred years, they’ve been each other’s only ally, defending each other and their younger siblings against their father’s increasingly unpredictable anger.
Now, with an independence movement gaining ground and their father’s rule weakening, the twins must take matters into their own hands to keep their family—and their entire world—from crashing down around them. But other nations are jockeying for power, ready to cross and double cross, and if Rhea and Lexos aren’t careful, they’ll end up facing each other across the battlefield.
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel / April 19th 2022
I’m probably the only blogger who hasn’t read Station Eleven yet (I will rectify this eventually, I promise), but I really enjoyed The Glass Hotel, so I will very likely pick this up! I adore literary mystery books and this is a mix of historical fictional, a bit magic, a bit of a detective novel… I’m really hyped for this!
Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal—an experience that shocks him to his core.
Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive’s bestselling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.
When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.
A virtuoso performance that is as human and tender as it is intellectually playful, Sea of Tranquility is a novel of time travel and metaphysics that precisely captures the reality of our current moment.
Seasonal Fears (Middlegame #2) by Seanan McGuire / May 3rd 2022
I’m actually surprised that Middlegame has a sequel? I read it a few years ago (LOVED IT), so I’m excited for Seasonal Fears but a bit confused as to how it will follow on the story. Still, this sounds like a dark fantasy and I will probably pick it up!
Melanie has a destiny, though it isn’t the one everyone assumes it to be. She’s delicate; she’s fragile; she’s dying. Now, truly, is the winter of her soul.
Harry doesn’t want to believe in destiny, because that means accepting the loss of the one person who gives his life meaning, who brings summer to his world.
So, when a new road is laid out in front of them—a road that will lead through untold dangers toward a possible lifetime together—walking down it seems to be the only option.
But others are following behind, with violence in their hearts.
It looks like Destiny has a plan for them, after all….
Book of Night by Holly Black / May 3rd 2022
This is Holly Black’s adult debut and I’m so excited! I remember loving The Cruel Prince but just wishing it wasn’t YA, so this will probably be very high on my reading list.
In Charlie Hall’s world, shadows can be altered, for entertainment and cosmetic preferences—but also to increase power and influence. You can alter someone’s feelings—and memories—but manipulating shadows has a cost, with the potential to take hours or days from your life. Your shadow holds all the parts of you that you want to keep hidden—a second self, standing just to your left, walking behind you into lit rooms. And sometimes, it has a life of its own.
Charlie is a low-level con artist, working as a bartender while trying to distance herself from the powerful and dangerous underground world of shadow trading. She gets by doing odd jobs for her patrons and the naive new money in her town at the edge of the Berkshires. But when a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie’s present life is thrown into chaos, and her future seems at best, unclear—and at worst, non-existent. 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.
With sharp angles and prose, and a sinister bent, Holly Black is a master of shadow and story stitching. Remember while you read, light isn’t playing tricks in Book of Night, the people are.
Siren Queen by Nghi Vo / May 10th 2022
This is an adult fantasy about Hollywood but with monsters and Sapphics and it sounds really fun! I’ve read two novellas by Nghi Vo and loved them, so I will probably pick this up!
“No maids, no funny talking, no fainting flowers.” Luli Wei is beautiful, talented, and desperate to be a star. Coming of age in pre-Code Hollywood, she knows how dangerous the movie business is and how limited the roles are for a Chinese American girl from Hungarian Hill—but she doesn’t care. She’d rather play a monster than a maid.
But in Luli’s world, the worst monsters in Hollywood are not the ones on screen. The studios want to own everything from her face to her name to the women she loves, and they run on a system of bargains made in blood and ancient magic, powered by the endless sacrifice of unlucky starlets like her. For those who do survive to earn their fame, success comes with a steep price. Luli is willing to do whatever it takes—even if that means becoming the monster herself.
Siren Queen offers up an enthralling exploration of an outsider achieving stardom on her own terms, in a fantastical Hollywood where the monsters are real and the magic of the silver screen illuminates every page.
The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd
I loved Book of M! I am not sure if the synopsis of this one calls to me, but it does sound intriguing (maps! dark family secrets! murder!) so there is a very high chance I pick this up!
What is the purpose of a map?
Nell Young’s whole life and greatest passion is cartography. Her father, Dr. Daniel Young, is a legend in the field, and Nell’s personal hero. But she hasn’t seen or spoken to him ever since he cruelly fired her and destroyed her reputation after an argument over an old, cheap gas station highway map.
But when Dr. Young is found dead in his office at the New York Public Library, with the very same seemingly worthless map hidden in his desk, Nell can’t resist investigating. To her surprise, she soon discovers that the map is incredibly valuable, and also exceedingly rare. In fact, she may now have the only copy left in existence… because a mysterious collector has been hunting down and destroying every last one—along with anyone who gets in the way.
To answer that question, Nell embarks on a dangerous journey to reveal a dark family secret, and discover the true power that lies in maps…
Patricia Wants to Cuddle by Samantha Allen / July 28th, 2022
Okay this sounds bonkers and I am very curious to see if I will love it or hate it! It’s about a queer contestant in a Bachelor-style reality show but also there are woods and they’ll have to survive things? This sounds chaotic, I’m confused and excited to pick this up.
The contestants of a reality television dating show compete for love— and their lives— in this pulse-pounding and viciously funny fiction debut from the GLAAD Award-winning author of Real Queer America.
When the final four women in competition for an aloof, if somewhat sleazy, bachelor’s heart arrive on a mysterious island in the Pacific Northwest, they mentally prepare themselves for another week of extreme sleep deprivation, invasive interviews, and of course, the salacious drama that viewers nationwide tune in to eagerly devour. Each woman came on “The Catch” for her own reasons— brand sponsorships, followers, and yes, even love— and they’ve all got their eyes steadfastly trained on their respective prizes.
Enter Patricia, a temperamental, but woefully misunderstood local, living alone in the dark, verdant woods and desperate to forge a connection of her own. As the contestants perform for the cameras that surround them, Patricia watches from her place in the shadows, a queer specter haunting the bombastic display of heterosexuality before her. But when the cast and crew at last make her acquaintance atop the island’s tallest and most desolate peak, they soon realize that if they’re to have any hope of making it to the next Elimination Event, they’ll first have to survive the night.
A whirlwind romp careening toward a last-girl-standing conclusion and a scathing indictment of contemporary American media culture, Patricia Wants to Cuddle is also a love story: between star-crossed lesbians who rise above their intolerant town, a deeply ambivalent woman and her budding self-actualization, and a chosen family of misfit islanders forging community against all odds.
Babel, or The Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F. Kuang
It says “R. F. Kuang”. I don’t even need to know what it’s about to know that I’m going to read it. BUT in case you really need to know, it’s a fantasy about knowledge, translations, and power – it’s giving me dark academia vibes & I love it already.
Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal.
1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation — also known as Babel.
Babel is the world’s center of translation and, more importantly, of silver-working: the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation through enchanted silver bars, to magical effect. Silver-working has made the British Empire unparalleled in power, and Babel’s research in foreign languages serves the Empire’s quest to colonize everything it encounters.
Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, is a fairytale for Robin; a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge serves power, and for Robin, a Chinese boy raised in Britain, serving Babel inevitably means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to sabotaging the silver-working that supports imperial expansion. 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?
Babel — a thematic response to The Secret History and a tonal response to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell — grapples with student revolutions, colonial resistance, and the use of translation as a tool of empire.
The Ones We Burn by Rebecca Mix / Ocobert 2022
I don’t actually remember why I added this one to my “on the radar” list but I’m sure I must have heard amazing things about the book or the author, but either way! This is, according to Goodreads, a “Sapphic, dark, witchy” YA Fantasy that sounds so good and if I’m on the mood for some YA I might pick it up!
A young blood-witch’s mission to assassinate her betrothed—a gentle human prince—gets complicated when they uncover a witch-killing plague, and in their race to stop it, she falls for the prince’s sister. Coming fall of 2022 from Simon & Schuster.
The Cistern by Susanna Clarke / Octobert 13th 2022
There is no cover or description for this book yet but it’s immediately on my TBR.
Nona the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #3) by Tamsyn Muir
I will obviously be reading all the books in this series, which is one of my favorites of all time! I’m highly intrigued by the postponing of Alecto the Ninth to 2023 (!) and the introduction of this new title. I might need to re-read the other two books because now it’s been two or three years since I read them and the details are a bit fuzzy, but this was an incredible, dark, hilarious fantasy and I LOVED it so much! I need a release date asap!
The Whispers by Ashley Audrain
I loved Ashley Audrain’s The Push (so!! good!! and creepy), so I will definitely pick this up at some point!
One morning on Harlow Lane, four families’ lives are changed forever.
Whitney Loverly can only sit by her son’s hospital bed after he falls from his bedroom window in the middle of the night. She refuses to speak to anyone.
Back at home, the Loverlys’ neighbours must reckon with their own roles in the tragedy – their selfless best friends who live across the street, the ambitious Goldsteins who desperately want a family of their own, and the quiet elderly couple who spend their days people watching on the front porch.
But what happens next, when over the course of a week, the hidden and explosive truths that connect these families must come out?
Exploring envy, motherhood and the intuitions that we silence, this is a novel that asks what happens when good people make bad choices.
Perfect for fans of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies.
Into the Riverlands (The Singing Hills Cycle #3) by Nghi Vo
I loved the first book in this series and really enjoyed the second one – this is a series of quiet, magical, lovely fantasy novellas centered around women, love, sacrifice, power, stories, history… it’s an incredible series and I can’t wait to read more!
Wandering cleric Chih of the Singing Hills travels to the riverlands to record tales of the notorious near-immortal martial artists who haunt the region. On the road to Betony Docks, they fall in with a pair of young women far from home, and an older couple who are more than they seem. As Chih runs headlong into an ancient feud, they find themselves far more entangled in the history of the riverlands than they ever expected to be.
Accompanied by Almost Brilliant, a talking bird with an indelible memory, Chih confronts old legends and new dangers alike as they learn that every story beautiful, ugly, kind, or cruel bears more than one face.
The Sun and the Void by Gabriela Romero Lacruz
Full of twisted family politics, dark magic, and fantastical beings, THE SUN AND THE VOID transports readers into a lush world inspired by the history and mythology of 1800s South America.
When Reina arrives at Aguila Manor, her heart stolen from her chest, she’s on the verge of death—until her estranged grandmother, a dark sorceress in the Don’s employ, intervenes. Indebted to a woman she never knew—and smitten with the upper-caste daughter of the house, Celeste—Reina will do to earn – and keep – the family’s favor. Even the bidding of the ancient god who speaks to her from the Manor’s foundations.
The Water Outlaws by S.L. Huang
I really enjoyed Burning Roses so I’ll probably pick this epic fantasy at some point!
Shi Nai’an’s sprawling fourteenth century novel is one of China’s best-known works of literature, spawning sequels, spin-offs, numerous adaptations, and fields of study. Originally published during the dynastic upheaval between the fall of the Yuan Dynasty and the rise of the Ming, it’s been banned by nervous governments and then canonized as one of the Four Great Novels of Chinese literature, but remains the least known to English-language readers.
The Water Outlaws brings this raucous classic into the vivid present of the genre and turns it upside down. In Huang’s take, the famously bawdy bandits are women and genderqueer martial artsts ready to break the law, and the jianghu has never been ready for them.
This is wuxia fantasy that owes as much to classic Hong Kong action movies as it does to classic literature, from stunts professional, armorer, and award-winning author S. L. Huang.
You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi
SO excited for this book, and what a glorious title!
“You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty [is] a love letter to the brave choices we make in the name of love, the costs we pay for it, and the glory of the reward at the end.”