Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger: Asian-coded fantasy world, normalized queerness, & a nuanced dissection of colonialism

Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger: Asian-coded fantasy world, normalized queerness, & a nuanced dissection of colonialism
Steel Crow Saga
by Paul Krueger

a book review (hardcover)
published 26 September 2019
adult & fantasy

tagged for authors of color (asian authors), poc representation (asian-coded: chinese, filipino, japanese, korean), lgbtqiap+ (normalized) & miscellaneous (fat representation)

read the full synopsis.

A soldier with a curse
Tala lost her family to the empress’s army and has spent her life avenging them in battle. But the empress’s crimes don’t haunt her half as much as the crimes Tala has committed against the laws of magic . . . and her own flesh and blood.

A prince with a debt
Jimuro has inherited the ashes of an empire. Now that the revolution has brought down his kingdom, he must depend on Tala to bring him home safe. But it was his army who murdered her family. Now Tala will be his redemption – or his downfall.

A detective with a grudge
Xiulan is an eccentric, pipe-smoking detective who can solve any mystery – but the biggest mystery of all is her true identity. She’s a princess in disguise, and she plans to secure her throne by presenting her father with the ultimate prize: the world’s most wanted prince.

A thief with a broken heart Lee is a small-time criminal who lives by only one law: Leave them before they leave you. But when Princess Xiulan asks her to be her partner in crime – and offers her a magical animal companion as a reward – she can’t say no, and soon finds she doesn’t want to leave the princess behind.

This band of rogues and royals should all be enemies, but they unite for a common purpose: to defeat an unstoppable killer who defies the laws of magic. In this battle, they will forge unexpected bonds of friendship and love that will change their lives – and begin to change the world.

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All my most highly anticipated releases on one day? (aka why October 15 is the best)

All my most highly anticipated releases on one day? (aka why October 15 is the best)

It is no secret that readers and self-confessed bibliophiles have a nice selection of new book releases to look forward to every month — and this has its upsides and downsides.

On the upside, yes, yes, and YES(!!!) to more books on shelves! There is always room in our spacious reader hearts for more stories to love and adore (and, you know, for stories to cause crippling pain to our feelings). But on the downside, new books are a huge, huge temptation that can likewise cause crippling pain to our little wallets. But I digress.

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Crier’s War by Nina Varela: Alchemy, androids, philosophical thought, & other things to geek about (ft. giveaway)

Crier’s War by Nina Varela: Alchemy, androids, philosophical thought, & other things to geek about (ft. giveaway)
Crier’s War
by Nina Varela

an ARC review (digital)
published 01 October 2019
young adult, dystopia, & fantasy

tagged for #ownvoices, lgbtqiap+ representation (sapphic, bisexual, lesbian), & poc representation

read the full synopsis.

After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will.

Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death…by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.

Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly, before she met Ayla.

Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.

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14 upcoming releases in 2019 that I wish would magically appear in my hands right now

14 upcoming releases in 2019 that I wish would magically appear in my hands right now

Am I the only one who can’t believe that we only have a quarter of the year left? Time flies so insanely fast, and it’s been a while since I’ve last talked about things that I am looking forward to before 2019 ends. Especially bookish things! Likewise, I haven’t written a bookish list in a while either.

So, put those two facts together and the result is this blog post: fourteen (14) upcoming book releases in 2019 that I am most excited for!

Needless to say, there are a lot of amazing books that haven’t hit the bookstore shelves yet, but I think I managed to successfully curate a list containing my must-have-them-right-now titles! And by that I mean: I wish these 2019 books could magically appear in my hands literally right this second.

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Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan: The literary love child of steampunk & supernatural

Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan: The literary love child of steampunk & supernatural Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan
Stronger Than A Bronze Dragon
by Mary Fan

an ARC review (paperback)
published 11 June 2019
young adult, fantasy, & science fiction

tagged for authors of color (asian authors), #ownvoices, POC representation (chinese), & disability representation (dyslexia)

read the full synopsis.

When a powerful viceroy arrives with a fleet of mechanical dragons and stops an attack on Anlei’s village, the villagers see him as a godsend. They agree to give him their sacred, enchanted River Pearl in exchange for permanent protection—if he’ll marry one of the village girls to solidify the alliance. Anlei is appalled when the viceroy selects her as a bride, but with the fate of her people at stake, she sees no choice but to consent. Anlei’s noble plans are sent into a tailspin, however, when a young thief steals the River Pearl for himself.

Knowing the viceroy won’t protect her village without the jewel, she takes matters into her own hands. But once she catches the thief, she discovers he needs the pearl just as much as she does. The two embark on an epic quest across the land and into the Courts of Hell, taking Anlei on a journey that reveals more is at stake than she could have ever imagined.

With incredibly vivid world building and fast-paced storytelling, Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon is great for readers who are looking for something fresh in epic fantasy.

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With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo: A compelling story that set my feelings on fire (ft. giveaways)

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo: A compelling story that set my feelings on fire (ft. giveaways) With the Fire on High
With the Fire on High
by Elizabeth Acevedo

an ARC review (physical)
to be published 07 May 2019
young adult & contemporary

tagged for authors of color (black authors), #ownvoices, poc representation (black, latinx, biracial/multiracial), & lgbtqiap+ representation (sapphic)

read the full synopsis.

With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

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The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf: A thoughtful take on Malaysia’s dark history that had me weeping (ft. giveaways!)

The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf: A thoughtful take on Malaysia’s dark history that had me weeping (ft. giveaways!) The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf
The Weight of Our Sky
by Hanna Alkaf

an ARC review (digital)
published 5th February 2019
young adult & historical fiction

tagged for authors of color (asian authors), #ownvoices, poc representation (malaysian, chinese) & mental health (ocd)

read the full synopsis.

Melati Ahmad has imagined her mother’s death countless times. Plagued by gruesome thoughts she believes are put into her head by a djinn, Melati has developed an intricate set of tapping rituals to tame the monster within and keep her mother safe.

But there are things that Melati can’t protect her mother from. On the evening of May 13th, 1969, racial tensions in her home city of Kuala Lumpur boil over. The Chinese and Malays are at war, and Mel and her mother become separated by a city in flames.

With a 24-hour curfew in place and all lines of communication down, it will take the help of a Chinese boy named Vincent and all of the courage and grit in Melati’s arsenal to overcome the violence on the streets, her own prejudices, and her djinn’s surging power to make it back to the one person she can’t risk losing.

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