ARC Review: Crownchasers

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A deadly competition for the throne will determine more than just the fate of the empire in this riveting duology opener, perfect for fans of The Hunger GamesAurora Rising, and Three Dark Crowns.

Alyssa Farshot has spent her whole life trying to outrun her family legacy. Her mother sacrificed everything to bring peace to the quadrant, and her uncle has successfully ruled as emperor for decades. But the last thing Alyssa wants is to follow in their footsteps as the next in line for the throne. Why would she choose to be trapped in a palace when she could be having wild adventures exploring a thousand-and-one planets in her own ship?

But when Alyssa’s uncle becomes gravely ill, his dying wish surprises the entire galaxy. Instead of naming her as his successor, he calls for a crownchase, the first in seven centuries. Representatives from each of the empire’s prime families—including Alyssa—are thrown into a race to find the royal seal, which has been hidden somewhere in the empire. The first to find the seal wins the throne.

Alyssa’s experience as an explorer makes her the favorite to win the crown she never wanted. And though she doesn’t want to be empress, her duty to her uncle compels her to participate in this one last epic adventure. But when the chase turns deadly, it’s clear that more than just the fate of the empire is at stake. Alyssa is on her most important quest yet—and only time will tell if she’ll survive it.

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Crownchasers

Rebecca Coffindaffer

Published: 29th September 2020
Goodreads
Rep: pan mc, lesbian, gay and nonbinary side characters
CWs: alcohol use, blood, gore, death of a loved one, emotional withholding from a parental figure, murder, guilt and trauma, science fiction-related violence

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ARC Review + Blog Tour: Iron Heart

If you know me (Anna), you know I absolutely adored Crier’s War. And if you don’t know, you can just read my review of it. So when Shealea @ Caffeine Book Tours announced she’s organising a book tour for the sequel, I immediately decided I need to be a part of that!

So here we are. Below you will find all the details about Iron Heart, five reasons why you should buy and read the book right this second (if you haven’t actually preordered it), and a very sapphic playlist. Enjoy! And please check out the full schedule for the blog tour so you can get more sapphic content in your life!

An unstoppable love between two girls—one human, one Made—both set on destroying the Iron Heart.

For too long the cruel, beautiful Automae have lorded over the kingdom of Rabu, oppressing the humans who live there. But the human revolution is on the rise, and at its heart is Ayla. Once handmaiden, now fugitive, Ayla escaped the palace of Lady Crier, the girl Ayla had planned to kill . . . but instead fell in love with. Now Ayla has pledged her allegiance to Queen Junn, whom she believes can accomplish the ultimate goal of the human rebellion: destroy the Iron Heart. Without it, the Automae will be weakened to the point of extinction.

But playing at Ayla’s memory are the powerful feelings she developed for Crier. And unbeknownst to her, Crier has also fled the palace, taking up among travelling rebels, determined to find and protect Ayla.

As their paths collide, neither are prepared for the dark secret underlying the Iron Heart.

In this stunning sequel to acclaimed author Nina Varela’s Crier’s War, the love that launched a revolution must now pave the way for a whole new era . . . and the ultimate change of heart.

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Iron Heart

Nina Varela

Published: 8th September 2020
Goodreads | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound
Rep: lesbian poc mc, bi poc mc, poc cast, side m/nb couple, side mlm & wlw couples
TW: body horror (chapter 6 & 14), panic attack, torture, murder

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ARC Review: Spindrift

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Sometimes love finds you when you least expect it.

Morgan Donovan had everything she ever wanted: a dream job as a large animal veterinarian, awesome friends, and a loving and supportive fiancée. But it all comes crashing down when her fiancée dumps her after realizing that Morgan’s job will always come first. And, while Morgan still has the job and friends, her heart is broken into a million tiny pieces.

Emilia Russo is a burned-out shelter vet. When the unexpected death of her father triggers a mental breakdown that hastens the end of her relationship, she retreats to his house in Seal Cove, Maine. She plans on spending the summer renovating it while she figures out how to pull the pieces of her life back together. But when she runs into Morgan at the dock where her father’s sailboat is moored, her plans for a quiet summer of healing and reflection sink like a stone—the attraction is immediate and obvious, and Emilia finds herself slipping seamlessly into Morgan’s world.

Each woman knows this fling will end when Emilia returns to Boston at the end of the summer, but they’re unprepared for the intensity and depth of their attraction. And, as the gales of fall begin to drive leaves like spindrift upon Seal Cove, Morgan and Emilia must each come to terms with how much they’re willing to give up to stay together.

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Spindrift

Anna Burke

Published: 25th August 2020
Goodreads
Rep: lesbian mc with depression, lesbian mc, bi and lesbian side characters
CWs: past suicidal depression, death of a parent (off page), mentions of animal euthanasia

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Book Reviews: Backlist Releases You May Have Missed

Something a bit different for you today, with a series of reviews of books that have been published recently (and a little less recently) that you might have missed out on. A little disclaimer first up, though: copies of these books were kindly provided us by the authors, but these are my unbiased reviews.

So dive in! And I hope you find something here that interests you.

Continue reading “Book Reviews: Backlist Releases You May Have Missed”

ARC Review: Of Dragons, Feasts and Murders

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From the author of the critically acclaimed Dominion of the Fallen trilogy comes a tale of dragons, and Fallen angels—and also kissing, sarcasm and stabbing.

Lunar New Year should be a time for familial reunions, ancestor worship, and consumption of an unhealthy amount of candied fruit.

But when dragon prince Thuan brings home his brooding and ruthless husband Asmodeus for the New Year, they find not interminable family gatherings, but a corpse outside their quarters. Asmodeus is thrilled by the murder investigation; Thuan, who gets dragged into the political plotting he’d sworn off when he left, is less enthusiastic.

It’ll take all of Asmodeus’s skill with knives, and all of Thuan’s diplomacy, to navigate this one—as well as the troubled waters of their own relationship….

A sparkling standalone book set in a world of dark intrigue.

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Of Dragons, Feasts and Murders

Aliette de Bodard

Published: 7th July 2020
Goodreads
Rep: Vietnamese bi mc, gay side character

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Blog Tour: Queen of Coin and Whispers

Something exciting for you today as we are part of the blog tour for Helen Corcoran’s Queen of Coin and Whispers which released last month. If you haven’t read it yet, and you’re looking for a sapphic royal fantasy with a slowburning romance and political machinations, this book is for you!

For this tour stop, I figured I would make a mix for the book, complete with reasons why I added each song. Or at least, I tried to give reasons. Sometimes it’s just about how the song feels…

Before we begin though, you can check out all of the other stops on the tour here and read my review of the book here.

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‘She loved me as I loved her, fierce as a bloodied blade.’

When teenage queen Lia inherits her corrupt uncle’s bankrupt kingdom, she brings a new spymaster into the fold … Xania, who takes the job to avenge her murdered father.

Faced with dangerous plots and hidden enemies, can Lia and Xania learn to rely on each another, as they discover that all is not fair in love and treason?

In a world where the throne means both power and duty, they must decide what to sacrifice for their country – and for each other …

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Queen of Coin and Whispers

Helen Corcoran

Published: 1st June 2020
Goodreads
Rep: lesbian mcs

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ARC Review + Blog Tour: The Falling in Love Montage

Lesbians everywhere, hello, I have a gift for you! Well for other people, too, but lesbians specifically… I’m part of the blog tour for The Falling in Love Montage organised by Fantastic Flying Book Club! This means that not only do I have a review for y’all, but also a giveaway and a playlist!

Saoirse doesn’t believe in love at first sight or happy endings. If they were real, her mother would still be able to remember her name and not in a care home with early onset dementia. A condition that Saoirse may one day turn out to have inherited. So she’s not looking for a relationship. She doesn’t see the point in igniting any romantic sparks if she’s bound to burn out.

But after a chance encounter at an end-of-term house party, Saoirse is about to break her own rules. For a girl with one blue freckle, an irresistible sense of mischief, and a passion for rom-coms.

Unbothered by Saoirse’s no-relationships rulebook, Ruby proposes a loophole: They don’t need true love to have one summer of fun, complete with every cliché, rom-com montage-worthy date they can dream up—and a binding agreement to end their romance come fall. It would be the perfect plan, if they weren’t forgetting one thing about the Falling in Love Montage: when it’s over, the characters actually fall in love… for real.

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The Falling in Love Montage

Ciara Smyth

Published: 9th June 2020
Goodreads | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Book Depository | Kobo | Indiebound
Rep: lesbian mc & li, lesbian side character

Find the full schedule for the blog tour here!

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ARC Review: The Four Profound Weaves

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Wind: To match one’s body with one’s heart
Sand: To take the bearer where they wish
Song: In praise of the goddess Bird
Bone: To move unheard in the night

The Surun’ do not speak of the master weaver, Benesret, who creates the cloth of bone for assassins in the Great Burri Desert. But Uiziya now seeks her aunt Benesret in order to learn the final weave, although the price for knowledge may be far too dear to pay.

Among the Khana, women travel in caravans to trade, while men remain in the inner quarter as scholars. A nameless man struggles to embody Khana masculinity, after many years of performing the life of a woman, trader, wife, and grandmother.

As the past catches up to the nameless man, he must choose between the life he dreamed of and Uiziya, and Uiziya must discover how to challenge a tyrant, and weave from deaths that matter.

Set in R. B. Lemberg’s beloved Birdverse, The Four Profound Weaves hearkens to Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness. In this breathtaking debut, Lemberg offers a timeless chronicle of claiming one’s identity in a hostile world.

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The Four Profound Weaves

R. B. Lemberg

Published: 4th September 2020
Goodreads
Rep: trans mcs, nonbinary side character, past polyamory
CWs: deadnaming, misgendering, transphobia

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ARC Review: The Stone of Sorrow

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In a land of myth and ice, seventeen-year-old Runa Unnursdóttir is not the runecaster her clan has been hoping for. She spends her days daydreaming of sailing away and exploring the world instead of studying the runes and learning her spells. The villagers consider her odd, in looks and in manner. She’s nothing like her talented sister, Sýr, keeper of the sacred moonstone that ensures the village’s continued survival. But when a rival clan led by an evil witch raids the village and kidnaps her sister, Runa is forced to act. With a fallen Valkyrie by her side, and the help of a gorgeous half-elf Runa is not quite sure she can trust, the apprentice must travel to the site of an ancient runecasting competition to try to win back the magical gem. But the journey will not be easy; the three unlikely companions encounter malevolent and supernatural creatures at every turn. Somehow, Runa must summon the courage and strength to face her destiny, a destiny she never wanted. Or die trying.

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The Stone of Sorrow

Brooke Carter

Published: 7th April 2020
Goodreads
Rep: nonbinary character, wlw characters

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