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Book Notes: Fantasy Roundup

Or, some ideas for what to read when you have a book hangover from Iron Flame:

Curious Tides by Pascale Lacelle

When Emory is the sole survivor of a secret ritual in the caves below Aldryn College, her healer powers, given to those born during the new moon on a rising tide, begin to shift into something strange and uncontrollable. Will her estranged friend Baz, brother to one of the students who died, help Emory figure out her new powers and what really happened that night? This debut fantasy has it all — dark academia, an upper YA that crosses over beautifully into adult, a murder mystery, secret societies, forbidden magic, a pining romance and the most gorgeous book design I’ve seen in a while. The magic system is built around the moon phases and the tides. Curious Tides is book one of a planned duology.

The Hurricane Wars by Thea Guanzon

What happens when Talasyn and Alaric, two soldiers from opposite sides of an entrenched war meet on the battlefield and discover their opposing powers combine to create something entirely new and unexpected? They continue to absolutely hate each other while having to work together to save their people from an even worse fate. Of course. And we all know what happens when two attractive people hate each other. Drawing inspiration from Southeast Asia, debut Filipino author Thea Guanzon has penned a fun, fresh fantasy that balances an authentic depiction of the toll of conflict on a population with a strong cast of characters and all the political machinations of Machiavelli. The Hurricane Wars is book one of a planned trilogy.

Godkiller by Hannah Kane

In a world where gods, fed by the attention, prayers, and offerings of humans, can also be destroyed by them, three disparate people come together to travel to the ruined city that was the last stand in the wars between gods and people. Kissen, a godkiller for hire. Elo, a former knight turned baker. And Inara, a young girl whose life has become intertwined with a god of white lies, Skedi. The four travel together to Blenraden, hopeful that they will find a way to untangle Skedi from Inara. All the feels of quest fantasy with characters that are delightfully flawed and human. The world building was immersive and queer normative with a host of diverse characters. The religious and magic system was at once familiar but with enough twists to make it unexpected. Godkiller is book one of a planned trilogy.

The Fragile Threads of Power by V.E. Schwab

From page one of The Fragile Threads of Power, I was invested all over again in the world of the four Londons, seven years after the events from The Shades of Magic trilogy (also excellent, if you want to start there). The plot works together like interchanging gears, or a chess game, the movement of each character affecting the others, often unknowingly. There are characters from the original trilogy, new additions, and Tes, the one who, unconsciously, holds the key to everything. Schwab investigates power in this novel -- who has it and who controls it, and by whose standards its morality is judged. Schwab puts a lot of things in motion in this book, and only a few are resolved by the end. The Fragile Threads of Power is book one of planned trilogy. You can always go back and read The Shades of Magic series in the meantime!

What the River Knows by Isabel Ibañez

I can’t think of a more fun combination than 1880’s Egyptian archeological digs, a feisty heroine determined to find out what happened to her explorer parents, and a current of magic running through it all. When Inez Olivera hears that her parents, on a dig in Egypt, are presumed dead, she takes matters into her own hands. Inez books passage from Bolivia to Egypt, intent on discovering the truth. What she finds in Egypt is an infuriatingly handsome young man, assisting her guardian in carrying on her parents discoveries, and men thwarting her inquiries at every turn. Add to this a mysterious ring that connects Inez to the magic of the past and the questions continue to pile up. It will take a trip up the Nile and many near escapes just to get Inez closer to any answers. Packed with action, a slow burn romance, and a huge twist kept me enthralled to the very last page. What the River Knows is book one of a planned YA duology.

Hopefully you find one, or many, of these titles to be a satisfying read!

— Lori