Throughout most of July and August I have only really been able to keep up with reviews and whilst I totally appreciate what a privileged position I am in to receive these kindly gifted copies it does mean that my own personal Tbr has suffered significantly (yup Priory is still only halfway through.) So I am dedicating September to my own personal reading list and in order to give me some sense of order I’m going to read books that I either picked up at Yalc or as a direct result of interactions at Yalc. It’s totally over ambitious but I’m going to try!
The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young
I loved seeing Adrienne as part of the New Voices of Adult Fantasy Panel and I got to meet her to have my copy of Sky in the Deep signed, she was talking about her next book and I knew that Titan were in the process of sending review copies. I’m cheating a little in that I started reading this properly yesterday!
For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.
For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.
The Kingdom by Jess Rothenburg
This and the next 2 books I was able to pick up for a 3 for £10 deal at the publishers table. I was talking with the representative about the types of book I enjoyed and when I discovered this had a dystopian feel with an air of Westworld I was totally sold, I can’t wait to start reading!
Welcome to the Kingdom… where ‘Happily Ever After’ isn’t just a promise, but a rule.
Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom™ is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species―formerly extinct―roam free.
Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful “princesses” engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time… love.
But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana’s memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty―and what it truly means to be human.
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsa Faisal
This was a book that I had been seeing everywhere and I was really intrigued by it, at the time I had obviously been seeing US copies and I didn’t realise that these were early UK copies available just at YALC, whilst I didn’t manage to actually read it early I am so happy that I grabbed a copy as such a bargain.
People lived because she killed. People died because he lived.
Nobody knows that Zafira is the Hunter. Forced to disguise herself as a man, she braves the cursed forest to feed her people. If she is exposed as a girl, all of her achievements will be rejected.
Nasir is the infamous Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the sultan. If he refuses he will be punished in the most brutal of ways.
Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya – but neither wants to be. And when Zafira embarks on a quest to restore magic to her suffering world, Nasir is sent by the sultan on a similar mission: retrieve magic and kill the hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds, and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine . .
Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian
Again a recommendation by the representative of the publisher, given the 2 I had already picked up, this was apparently a natural 3rd choice. Biba had clocked it earlier on our rounds and was taken by the cut out cover so she was happy that I picked this one up too!
The queen you were meant to be
The land you were meant to save
The throne you were meant to claim
Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed Ash Princess.
When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can’t ignore her feelings and memories any longer. She vows revenge, throwing herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser’s warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn’t expect to develop feelings for the Prinz.
Forced to make impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she’s willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she’s willing to sacrifice to become Queen.
The Binding by Bridget Collins
Honestly being there on Sunday has a fair few cons, however, the Pro’s of picking up bargains at the end of the weekend are so good! This book has been everywhere for most of the year and being able to bag a hardback for just £5 was amazing!
Imagine you could erase grief.
Imagine you could remove pain.
Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.
Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.
For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored.
But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten.
Sanctuary by V.V. James
Most of you will know that we camped out with the wonderful people at Geeky Clean for most of our day (I still can’t thank Steph and James enough for Biba sitting whilst I stood in signing queues) James was absolutely raving about this book, which I admit hadn’t been on my radar at all, I kicked myself that I didn’t take his advice and pick up a copy, especially as the author was there! I did however, treat myself to the Goldsboro edition which is super shiny!
The small Connecticut town of Sanctuary is rocked by the death of its star quarterback.
Daniel’s death looked like an accident, but everyone knows his ex-girlfriend Harper is the daughter of a witch – and she was there when he died.
Then the rumours start. When Harper insists Dan was guilty of a terrible act, the town turns on her. So was his death an accident, revenge – or something even darker?As accusations fly and secrets are revealed, paranoia grips the town, culminating in a trial that the whole world is watching . . .
The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey
Another book that I kicked myself for not getting at the time, every time I walked past the authors table she was either busy talking with fans or I just couldn’t pick up the courage to talk to her because of my anxiety. I was really intrigued by everything I heard her saying about her series and when I discovered that after the event she was selling signed copies of book 1 for just £5 I seized the opportunity! I don’t know if it’s wishful thinking that I will get this far in my September reading, but I will try!
In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.
Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.
But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.
Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.
One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.