Happy April everyone! The days are longer, and spring is in the air – except that here in the UK you never know what the weather is going to do. I’m hoping for days of sunshine where I can sit out in the garden and read, but we’ll see what happens!
I don’t usually put together a monthly TBR, because I often tend to choose my next book based on how I feel after finishing the last one, but what with my NetGalley ARCS waiting, Wyrd And Wonder coming up in May, and the fact that I’ll be participating in The Write Reads April Challenge over on Instagram, I thought I’d put together a list to keep me focused.
Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa
In the thriving city of Bassa, Danso is a clever but disillusioned scholar who longs for a life beyond the rigid family and political obligations expected of the city’s elite. A way out presents itself when Lilong, a skin-changing warrior, shows up wounded in his barn. She comes from the Nameless Islands–which, according to Bassa lore, don’t exist–and neither should the mythical magic of ibor she wields. Now swept into a conspiracy far beyond his understanding, Danso will have to set out on a journey that reveals histories violently suppressed and magic only found in lore.
This is my first read for the month. I’ve already started it, and am about 20% of the way through. I’m really enjoying it so far, it’s got some really awesome world building and characters with doubtful morals. That’s a very basic description, but this is an ARC for NetGalley, so I’ll be posting a full review for it closer to the publication date, which is 13th May.
The Betrayals by Bridget Collins
At Montverre, an exclusive academy tucked away in the mountains, the best and brightest are trained for excellence in the grand jeu: an arcane and mysterious contest. Léo Martin was once a student there, but lost his passion for the grand jeu following a violent tragedy. Now he returns in disgrace, exiled to his old place of learning with his political career in tatters. Montverre has changed since he studied there, even allowing a woman, Claire Dryden, to serve in the grand jeu’s highest office of Magister Ludi. When Léo first sees Claire he senses an odd connection with her, though he’s sure they have never met before.Both Léo and Claire have built their lives on lies. And as the legendary Midsummer Game, the climax of the year, draws closer, secrets are whispering in the walls…
I absolutely loved Bridget Collins’ first book, The Binding, and so I got this beautiful hardback of her second novel. I have no idea what to expect from it, but I know her writing is beautiful and I’m excited to dive in. I may write a review for it towards the end of the month.
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing. It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.
I’m a massive fan of Samantha Shannon’s stand-alone fantasy novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree -and will be reviewing it for my reread in May- and so I’ve decided to catch up on her first series, as I keep seeing good things about it. I have a feeling I may become slightly addicted…
Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky
My name is Rex. I am a good dog.
Rex is also seven foot tall at the shoulder, bulletproof, bristling with heavy calibre weaponry and his voice resonates with subsonics especially designed to instil fear. With Dragon, Honey and Bees, he’s part of a Multiform Assault Pack operating in the lawless anarchy of Campeche, south-eastern Mexico. Rex is a genetically engineered Bioform, a deadly weapon in a dirty war. He has the intelligence to carry out his orders and feedback implants to reward him when he does. All he wants to be is a Good Dog. And to do that he must do exactly what Master says and Master says he’s got to kill a lot of enemies. But who, exactly, are the enemies? What happens when Master is tried as a war criminal? What rights does the Geneva Convention grant weapons? Do Rex and his fellow Bioforms even have a right to exist? And what happens when Rex slips his leash?
Having read the second in this series first, I’m excited to go back and see where it all started.
Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma. Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility. So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.
I’ve been wanting to read this for ages, as I’ve only ever read one other Robin Hobb series, so I decided to finally tackle it, and will be reviewing it for Wyrd And Wonder in May.
The Blue Salt Road by Joanne M. Harris
A stunning tale of love, loss and revenge, against a powerful backdrop of adventure on the high seas, and drama on the land. The Blue Salt Road balances passion and loss, love and violence and draws on nature and folklore to weave a stunning modern mythology around a nameless, wild young man. Passion drew him to a new world, and trickery has kept him there – without his memories, separated from his own people. But as he finds his way in this dangerous new way of life, so he learns that his notions of home, and your people, might not be as fixed as he believed.
This is a little book, and I stumbled upon an old proof copy at work while clearing through things, and since I’ve loved everything my Harris that I’ve read so far, I’m sure I’ll adore this one too! May review it later in the month.
Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade him in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers. After earth was destroyed, mankind created a fighting elite to save their species, enhanced humans such as Idris. In the silence of space they could communicate, mind-to-mind, with the enemy. Then their alien aggressors, the Architects, simply disappeared – and Idris and his kind became obsolete. Now, fifty years later, Idris and his crew have discovered something strange abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects – but are they returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy hunting for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, that many would kill to obtain.
Yes, another Adrian Tchaikovsky! I have so far not been disappointed, and the premise for this one sounds incredible! This is another ARC for NetGalley, so I will be posting a review closer to the publishing date, which is 27th May.
I’m sure I’ll read more than I have put down (and I may or may not have ordered more books after saying I wouldn’t) but these are the ones I’m definitely planning on getting to. I also mentioned I’m taking part in The Write Reads April Challenge, and this post is actually part of the first day. If you’d like to join in, you can find the prompt here, on their Instagram page.