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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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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Shealea vlogs for the first time? (ft. ya girl losing her voice over Descendant of the Crane)

Shealea vlogs for the first time? (ft. ya girl losing her voice over Descendant of the Crane)

When I first arrived in Kuala Lumpur last week (can you believe that the start of #KateLeaLumpur was exactly a week ago?), I jokingly “vlogged” about my arrival. I was running on nearly 48 hours of sleep deprivation, but my haggardness was outweighed by how excited I was to travel outside of the Philippines with a friend, instead of with my family member — and yes, it was a huge first for me. Plus, the airbnb that we got was too fancy and wonderful to not film. You can easily watch the video on Twitter (cough, don’t forget to give me a follow while you’re at it, cough).

Kate @ Your Tita Kate and I have been high-key hyping up our trip to Kuala Lumpur for months (honestly, I could not have asked the universe for a better traveling companion!), and us being us, we will most likely recount our adventures in Malaysia on our respective blogs sometime soon. Hopefully. But I digress.

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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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