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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16 wonderfully queer books that you’ve probably never heard of (AND WHY THAT NEEDS TO CHANGE!)

16 wonderfully queer books that you’ve probably never heard of (AND WHY THAT NEEDS TO CHANGE!)

Celebrating queerness* and supporting our friends in the LGBTQIAP+ community is something we definitely ought to do all year round, but it doesn’t hurt to cheer a little louder and to go the extra mile whenever our calendars hit the month of June!

Otherwise known as Pride Month, June is an incredibly meaningful time for several reasons. It is a celebration of three of the most beautiful things: love, identity, and expression. It recognizes the many hard-earned triumphs of the LGBTQIAP+ community and its allies. Most of all, amidst all the parades and colorful festivals, Pride Month is a continued protest that seeks and clamors for true equality. Lest we forget, the month of June was selected to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots, which have played a very pivotal role in the progress we’ve made as a society in dismantling the prejudice, discrimination, and oppression experienced by our LGBTQIAP+ friends.

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Quick Kindle Steals (Vol 3): Queer books you can buy for $2.99 or less

Quick Kindle Steals (Vol 3): Queer books you can buy for $2.99 or less

The essence of Quick Kindle Steals is pretty simple and straightforward: hunt down any number of discounted (preferably $2.99 or less) or free e-books (either permanently or time-limited prices) and share these finds on my blog. Hopefully, doing this will help introduce struggling readers, such as myself, to more titles that they can afford!

This isn’t a weekly feature, but I lurk around Amazon so frequently that I’ll definitely be doing more volumes of this! I also make Twitter threads about limited-time Kindle deals so be sure to follow me on Twitter and check out the #QuickKindleSteals hashtag. Also, please take note that you need to have the free Kindle app installed in your device before purchasing any of these books.

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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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COVER REVEAL & BLOG TOUR: War of Mist by Helen Scheuerer

COVER REVEAL & BLOG TOUR: War of Mist by Helen Scheuerer

Hello, friends! As y’all know, when I’m not championing books by Asian authors, I like to hunt for underrated literary gems — a lot of which are found in the indie or self-published side of this virtual town. Aside from Secondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth (I’m giving away a couple of copies here!), I absolutely adore The Oremere Chronicles by Helen Scheuerer.

With morally gray characters your heart will loyally root for, an immersive plot that’ll always keep you on your toes, and a terrifying fantasy realm where magic is forbidden, this trilogy truly has it all! I easily fell in love with Heart of Mist, the first book in this YA fantasy series, and I was left even hungrier for more after finishing its sequel, Reign of Mist. With that said, I am incredibly happy to reveal the third and final book to all of you!

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THIS IS NOT A DRILL: Revealing the cover of The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

THIS IS NOT A DRILL: Revealing the cover of The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

Friends, as the title of this post suggests, this is not a drill. This is actually happening. I am not even exaggerating when I say that I never ever imagined that I would be given the honor to write this post. In case you’re still a little bit lost, you can easily refer to the incredibly unsubtle hint I dropped on Twitter recently:

Yep, I can officially tick off “reveal the book cover of my favorite author queen’s upcoming release on my blog” off my book blogging bucket list! I am extremely ecstatic and humbled to announce that today, I am introducing the book cover of Rin Chupeco’s next YA fantasy novel, The Never Tilting World, to all of you!

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