Upcoming releases that I’ve already read

Hello everyone,

I’ve been busy writing book 3 in the Gael Song series as well as editing The Words of Kings and Prophets – however, I’ve also been busy reading upcoming books.

I thought I’d share the ones I really enjoyed that are coming out in the next couple of months. As always, let me know your thoughts!

The sci-fi thriller

Ascension by Nicholas Binge

Release date – 27th April 2023

So this was my mini review from the previous blog 👇

This book will part of the bookish conversation next year, and not only within SFF. It’s a genre defying novel – part speculative, part sci-fi, part contemplation on the nature of humanity. Perhaps I’d even go as far to say that it could be this generations Life of Pi or Atonement. 

As you can tell, I loved it. And for so many reasons. 

A mystery. We all love them. 

This book has the greatest mystery of them all. How has a mountain suddenly appeared in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Where has it come from?

A group of scientists, each from a different specialist field, are sent up the mountain to answer this question. 

But the mountain seems to have a mind of its own. Strange things start to happen. Time moves differently. People’s personalities change. Why is this?

The mystery intensifies with every page. I was absolutely drawn into the science, theories, conjecture and debate. But the real drama was contained within the mind of our protagonist, Harold Turnmore.

I think people will love this book for different reasons. Some will be drawn to the science, some to the action, some to the internal thoughts of Harold. In that sense, it is a book that will fuel many a conversation – and I expect to see that discussion unfolding when the book is released. Some may find elements controversial, others may find parts pushing boundaries. 

But isn’t that the point? 

And more to think on… 

Can a mountain really exist if no one knows it’s there? 

What if we all already know the mountain is there… and have forgotten?

French Revolution and vampires

Scarlet by Genevieve Cogman

Release date – 11th May 2023

What a romp. It’s really the most fun I’ve had in ages.

To set the scene, this book is set during the time of the French Revolution. Vampires live, not in secret, but amongst the aristocratic classes. Barred from holding positions of government, nonetheless, they are very rich and influential. So what happens when their lives come under threat during a bloody and brutal revolution?

Meanwhile, we start the story in England. Eleanor is a housemaid living in a grand house. She doesn’t know much about the French Revolution, and keeps busy working for an aristocratic vampire. Due to an unexpected coincidence, she is suddenly thrust into a world of spies, espionage, and the league of the scarlet pimpernel.

It’s a fun concept, pacy, very well written. Eleanor is a character you can really get behind too.

If I could comp this book, I’d say it’s like A Discovery of Witches meets The Three Musketeers.

If you are looking for a lighter fantasy with a female protagonist, this will certainly keep you entertained!

The fantasy/sci-fi

The Book That Wouldn’t Burn by Mark Lawrence

Release date – 11th May 2023

Blending elements of fantasy and sci-fi, this is the new book from Mark Lawrence – and people – it’s GOOD.

The prose in here is just beautiful. Several times I had to re-read passages just to soak in the masterful way Mark Lawrence is able to convey emotion and complex thoughts.

A full review will come out closer to release date, but to give you a taste – to me it felt like Narnia and Stargate – but with a library setting.

One of the main characters is Evar – who has lived his whole life trapped within a vast library. This is a very dangerous library, though he doesn’t understand why. The mystery here is really captivating.

The other main character is Livira. She ends up working in a library which is shrouded in mystery. And Livira is not a girl who likes to do as she’s told.

It’s really quite a masterpiece, I already know I’m going to read it again. I’m not going to give any more away – as I know Mark likes readers to go into his stories without knowing too much. I will say, I’m looking forward to seeing more people reading this and discussing!

The romance

Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez

Release date – 11th April 2023

So I usually only review fantasy and historical fiction. However, for Abby Jimenez I make an acception. Her books are just so beautiful and funny and sweet.

Sometimes it’s nice to switch genres – so if you are looking for a sweet romance – or maybe know someone in you life who loves romantic fiction, this is a great pick.

It focuses on two doctors who start off on the wrong foot with each other, but end up writing each other letters and find a connection exists between them. I loved the two main characters – one of them sassy but hurt, the other anxious and shy.

They both felt very relatable – and it was also nice to have a romance between two people in their late 30’s. Maybe that’s why it spoke to me so much.

And oh – the letters – they are so romantic!

The historical fantasy

The Judas Blossom by Stephen Aryan

Release date – 11th July 2023

I’ll be posting a full review closer to the release date, however, I shall give a little mini review here.

The Judas Blossom is a historical fantasy set during the 13th century during the height of the Mongolian Empire and its expansion into Persia.

The historical details are really amazing as are the array of characters. From Halagu Khan to rebel spies to desperate sons – this book offers many perspectives on what it means to live in a time of war. Power draws many people, both those who crave it and those who wish to destroy it, and this is something Stephen Aryan shows wonderfully well.

If you enjoyed the Marco Polo Netflix series, or if you enjoy historical fantasy in general, then this is the book for you!

The Arthurian retelling

The Cleaving by Juliet E McKenna

Release date – 11th April 2023

I love historical fantasy. Obviously.

Why? Why has this genre such a grip on my heart.

I suppose I love how the fantastical and magical can be woven into human lives. Almost as if the magic is true and attainable.

Arthurian legend is one of the founding stories of the genre. Set in dark age England, with historians believing there is some truth to the tales, the name of Arthur and Merlin is ingrained into English folklore and history. In these tales magic sits alongside history in much the same way that Merlin stands beside Arthur. 

In The Cleaving, we have a different perspective on these legends. Through the eyes of Nimue, we see how the lives of Ygraine, Morgana and Guinevere were impacted by the stories we already know. Magic, sorcery, jealously, adultery. We know what happened, but not from their perspective.

Set firmly in the courts of England, the woman must live within the social constructs of the time. We have no warriors nor assassins. We have women who sew, manage their households and talk. But life at court is precarious. War looms often as the different tribes of Britain vie for supremacy and Uther Pendragon and then his son, Arthur, strive to hold it. But how and at what cost?

Magic certainly has a cost as Nimue well knows, and as such must be seldom. However, using magic is a slippery slope which Nimue discovers. She strives to help the women in her life, but often finds even magic cannot save those she loves.

Thematically, this novel ponders what it is to be a woman during a time of war. I think fans of Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls will find much to enjoy here. It also feels like a work of historical fiction in terms of stylisation which was nicely done and reminded me a little of Katherine by Anya Seton.

Current read – Epic Fantasy

The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson

Release date – 18th May 2023

I started this a few days ago – and it’s already EPIC. Dark magic and an army of the dead threaten the kingdom of Eidyn. Sounds like my cup of tea alright.

So far, it feels like a serious version of Kings of the Wyld. I shall keep you posted on whether or not that’s true once I’ve finished!

Arcs coming up

So these are the arcs I currently have in my possession and hope to get to over the next month or two.

If you’ve read these or have them on your TBR, let me know your thoughts!

The Combat Codes by Alexander Darwin

Release date – 15th June 2023

Seeds of War by João F. Silva

Release date – 1st May 2023

Dark Water Daughter by H.M. Long

Release date – 11th July 2023

The Return of the Knights by Gregory Kontaxis

Release date – 9th May 2023

Gods of the Wyrd Wood by RJ Barker

Release date – 27th June 2023

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2 thoughts on “Upcoming releases that I’ve already read

  1. Hi, I want to thank you for kind of encouraging me to read that Mark Lawrence e-arc I told you about on IG without giving much away. Also I had that RJ Barker on my radar because last year I read the whole “Bone Ships” trilogy and some books I liked better than others, but I throughly enjoyed the whole journey so I wanted to read more books by the same writer. Thank you for that too. I need books to spend my time with until your next book comes out!

    Liked by 1 person

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