Its the beginning of April and I’m trying something new. Here are some of the books being released in April that I’m looking forward to. I have read some of these already as review copies or ARCs but I will be rereading them.
The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni
Here at Zalindov, the only person you can trust is yourself.
Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years fighting for survival in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer.
When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals.
Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: Don’t let her die. We are coming. Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.
But no one has ever survived.
With an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.
The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L Armentrout
She’s been the victim and the survivor…
Poppy never dreamed she would find the love she’s found with Prince Casteel. She wants to revel in her happiness but first they must free his brother and find hers. It’s a dangerous mission and one with far-reaching consequences neither dreamed of. Because Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers.
The enemy and the warrior…
Poppy has only ever wanted to control her own life, not the lives of others, but now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. And they will stop at nothing to ensure that the crown never sits upon Poppy’s head.
A lover and heartmate…
But the greatest threat to them and to Atlantia is what awaits in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans, ones she has waited hundreds of years to carry out. Poppy and Casteel must consider the impossible—travel to the Lands of the Gods and wake the King himself. And as shocking secrets and the harshest betrayals come to light, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for, they will discover just how far they are willing to go for their people—and each other.
And now she will become Queen…
These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm.
But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned.
As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.
Gilded Serpent by Danielle L. Jensen
THEIR BATTLES ENDED IN VICTORY
Lydia returns to Mudaire to enter training at the healing temple. But instead of fighting to save lives, she’s convinced she is doing more harm than good. She delves into the history of the gods only to discover a truth that will change her life forever.
His birthright as commander of the Royal Army is finally in his grasp, but Killian feels anything but victorious. Burdened by his past, he embraces the darker side of his mark―and in doing so, risks starting a war.
BUT THE WAR HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN
Having defeated the tyrant Urcon, Marcus struggles to form a lasting alliance with the Arinoquians. But he is plagued by the knowledge that there is a traitor among his friends, and it could cost him everything that he’s fought for.
Torn between her growing allegiance to the Thirty-Seventh legion and her need to liberate her people, Teriana finds herself mired in a web of secrets. She embarks upon a path that will either save everyone she loves―or put them all in their graves.
Lore by Alexandra Bracken is a novel and I want to thank Hachette Australia for the review copy.
Trigger warnings: blood, violence, gore, attempted murder, murder, murder of children (graphic), murder of parents (graphic), terminal illness, abuse, attempted rape, arranged marriage
Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.
Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.
The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.
I absolutely love Greek mythology so it was great to have another book full of Greek gods. The relationships between the characters and the plot was excited very well.
I really enjoyed the main character Lore and the complexity of her pas and how it relates to what happens in the present, however, I still have questions that need to answered.
I definitely recommend it to lovers of Greek mythology but the book may not be for everyone.
Witch by Finbar Hawkins is an amazing debut which is set in the 17th century. I want to thank HarperCollins Publishers Australia for the review copy
After witnessing the brutal murder of her mother by witch-hunters, Evey vows to avenge her and track down the killers. Fury burns in her bright and strong. But she has promised her mother that she will keep Dill, her little sister, safe.
As the lust for blood and retribution rises to fever pitch, will Evey keep true to the bonds of sisterhood and to the magick that is her destiny?
Hawkins did an amazing job creating a dark and haunting atmosphere in his novel. This book features witchcraft, revenge, the trauma from grief and strong family ties. It also deals with the witch trials which has intrigued me.
This book fit perfectly in the era and had me entranced from the first page.
The World Between Blinks is by Amie Kaufman and Ryan Graudin.
Have you ever blinked, and thought you saw something that was gone a moment later? Have you ever turned to pick up an item, only to find it wasn’t where you left it?
Jake and Marisol are cousins. Jake’s great at leaving things behind – his mum’s a diplomat, and he never settles anywhere for long. His latest friends and new favourite places are lost with depressing regularity. Marisol’s great at finding things – she’s American and she’s Bolivian, and this cross-cultural childhood has taught her to pay attention to details. She’s got such an eagle eye, and she’s so gifted at finding things, that sometimes she even wonders if things find her.
Together, Jake and Marisol are about to discover The World Between Blinks. The place where everything we lose – from the front door keys to ancient cities buried under hot desert sands – eventually appears.
The trick’s going to be finding a way home. Before they’re lost forever.
I really loved this book and the concept of the story. It is perfect for history buffs as well as middle grade readers. You definitely can easily get lost in the world.
I really enjoyed the cousins’ relationship as it changes and deepens throughout the story as they work together.
This book teachers great lessons about grief and loss that are handled really well as well as amazing world building that uses fantastic descriptions.
I can’t wait to the second book.
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong is a Romeo and Juliet retelling and a debut novel.
Trigger warnings: blood, violence, gore, murder, transphobia, alcohol consumption and parental abuse.
The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.
It was a fantastic debut novel by Chloe Gong. It was great to read a story set in 1920 Shanghai with the story giving me West Side Story vibes with the rival gangs. Gong has done an amazing job describing the locations and characters as well as having a fast paced plot.
I enjoyed the relationship between Juliette and Roma as their relation ship blurred the line between love and hate as well as the roles they played in the plot. I loved the mysterious creature aspect and how the characters figure out what’s happening. The side characters were also amazing.
I’m looking forward to the next book!
The Thief on the Winged Horse by Kate Mascarenhas. I would like to thank HarperCollins Publicity Australia for the review copy.
The Kendrick family have been making world-famous dolls since the early 1800s. But their dolls aren’t coveted for the craftmanship alone. Each one has a specific emotion laid on it by its creator. A magic that can make you feel bucolic bliss or consuming paranoia at a single touch. Though founded by sisters, now only men may know the secrets of the workshop.
Persephone Kendrick longs to break tradition and learn the family craft, and when a handsome stranger arrives claiming doll-making talent and a blood tie to the Kendricks, she sees a chance to grasp all she desires.
But then, one night, the family’s most valuable doll is stolen. Only someone with knowledge of magic could have taken her. Only a Kendrick could have committed this crime..
I was intrigued by the book from its cover and synopsis. This book was written really well and was interesting but had a slow build.
I enjoyed the characters and the use of magic is interesting. There are interesting characters but none that really made me care about them.
I will give this book another go to see if my thoughts change about the book.
When Wishes Bleed is the first book in the duology by Casey L Bond.
One Prince. One Witch. One Fate.
The upheaval in my life began the moment a prince stumbled into my house and asked me to read his fortune. Any other night, I might have made an excuse to get him to leave, but this was no normal visit. My fingers prickled to touch him. So, I granted his request by handing him a single wishbone. When he snapped it, the wish … bled.
Hearing me suck in a shocked breath, he asked what it meant. Such an ominous omen could only mean one thing: his death was imminent. Fate revealed that he wouldn’t die of natural causes. Someone wanted him dead. Stunned by the revelation, the man I now knew as Prince Tauren disappeared into a night I feared he wouldn’t survive. The following day, I received an invitation to the castle. While it seemed the prince believed I could intervene and uncover who was plotting his death, his motives didn’t stop there. I was being summoned to join twelve other women in vying for the opportunity to be his wife and future queen.
Going could mean jeopardizing my plans to reclaim my heritage and resurrect the House of Fate. But staying would guarantee Tauren’s death, and the blood of his wish would be on my hands.
What an amazing and intriguing book by Casey Bond. From the beginning of the book, I was hooked. I have read other books with witches and witchcraft but this has topped my list.
Fate, I knew all too well, was real. He wasn't an obscure concept of destiny, or a dream of what the future might hold. And he certainly wasn't luck or a wishing well. He was sentient and very much alive. I was Fate's daughter, and he lived inside me.
The world building and characters are varied and rich. I can truely imagine myself walking through the streets and seeing the people along with Sable. Sable hasn’t had the easiest life and on her birthday things will change for her.
Children would ignore their own experiences and feelings if adults pressed them hard enough into the straight and narrow line. It was how prejudice and ignorance were perpetuated through the generations.
Sable’s life changes as soon as she gets a visitor looking for a reading, who turns out to be the prince. I loved the relationship that built between Tauren and Sable as she heads to the palace to stop his death.
Besides, every girl, witch or not, dreamed of becoming a princess. Not with crowns and gowns, but princess of the of someone she loved, and who loved her in return. Witches only hoped to tolerate their hand-fasted for a year.
This book explores different societal structures as well as beliefs about marriage. I loved the coming together over Sable and Tauren, who love each other but have different backgrounds, find a way to be together. The ending was fantastic and I’m looking forward to The Omen of Stones.
We had to process death with emotion, and experiencing death, and mourning the loss of someone you loved, was not only inevitable for all of us, it was something that transformed us into a stronger version of ourselves.
This book had me at the end and had me cry! I definitely recommend this book.
Curse of the Celts by Charlie N. Holmberg is the second book in The Once and Future Queen trilogy.
You are accused of crimes against the Code. How do you plead?
After failing to escape the Roman metropolis of Londinium with Devyn, her lover, and Marcus, her betrothed, Cassandra wakes in inky darkness to find the ground giving way to sand beneath her feet.
All three of them have been carted back to the notorious arena at the heart of the city to stand trial by public vote. Cass knows they must escape at any cost: to warn the Celts of the mysterious blood curse ravaging their kin, to foil the schemes of the imperial council…
To find the fabled Lady of the Lake, the one who could save them all.
But even as the jaws of death close in around her, another threat looms in the shadows, a danger she never could have foreseen, a betrayal that could burn down her entire world.
I enjoyed jumping back into this world again. I really loved seeing what Cass, Devyn and Marcus got up to in this book.
The story was interesting and the ending has me wanting the last book already. I really like how O’Conner expanded on the world and law in this book which I absolutely love.