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)

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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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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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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)

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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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The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi: Elaborate heists, dark grandeur, & hard-hitting colonialism

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi: Elaborate heists, dark grandeur, & hard-hitting colonialism The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
The Gilded Wolves
by Roshani Chokshi

an ARC review (digital)
published 15 January 2019
young adult, fantasy, & historical fiction

tagged for authors of color (asian authors), #ownvoices, poc representation (black, filipino, indian, biracial/multiracial), lgbtqiap+ representation, disability representation (autism), & miscellaneous (jewish representation)

read the full synopsis.

Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can’t yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

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