It’s time for another Book Haul post. One of my blogging goals for 2020 is to be to be more intentional about Book Haul posts. I’m aware that it’s possible nobody cares about the books I’ve bought or received, but I kinda like when bloggers post these because it not only puts new books in front of my eyeballs that I might not be aware of, but they also give me an idea of the blogger’s tastes. For my purposes a Book Haul post can include any book I’ve come to possess, not just those I buy, so arcs requested or just sent from publishers will be listed as well.
This is actually part II of my May Book Haul Post. I ended up with so many hauls in May I thought it best to split them up into multiple posts. Check out the first post in the link above and then see below for more…
So I ended up with a number of free downloads in May from Tor and their monthly e-book giveaways.
The Traitor Baru Cormorant, by Seth Dickinson
The Masquerade #1
“Tomorrow, on the beach, Baru Cormorant will look up from the sand of her home and see red sails on the horizon.
The Empire of Masks is coming, armed with coin and ink, doctrine and compass, soap and lies. They’ll conquer Baru’s island, rewrite her culture, criminalize her customs, and dispose of one of her fathers. But Baru is patient. She’ll swallow her hate, prove her talent, and join the Masquerade. She will learn the secrets of empire. She’ll be exactly what they need. And she’ll claw her way high enough up the rungs of power to set her people free.
In a final test of her loyalty, the Masquerade will send Baru to bring order to distant Aurdwynn, a snakepit of rebels, informants, and seditious dukes. Aurdwynn kills everyone who tries to rule it. To survive, Baru will need to untangle this land’s intricate web of treachery – and conceal her attraction to the dangerously fascinating Duchess Tain Hu.
But Baru is a savant in games of power, as ruthless in her tactics as she is fixated on her goals. In the calculus of her schemes, all ledgers must be balanced, and the price of liberation paid in full.” – Goodreads blurb
So I’ll be honest, I don’t really know anything about The Traitor Baru Cormorant other than I’ve seen it on lots of lists. When I saw it was a free giveaway I thought what better time to pick it up and see what I think of it. The blurb sounds pretty cool though I’m wondering if I’ll like or hate the protagonist. We’ll see I guess. I’ll get to this one at SOME point, I just don’t know when.
The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
The Stormlight Archive #1
“I long for the days before the Last Desolation.
The age before the Heralds abandoned us and the Knights Radiant turned against us. A time when there was still magic in the world and honor in the hearts of men.
The world became ours, and yet we lost it. Victory proved to be the greatest test of all. Or was that victory illusory? Did our enemies come to recognize that the harder they fought, the fiercer our resistance? Fire and hammer will forge steel into a weapon, but if you abandon your sword, it eventually rusts away.
There are four whom we watch. The first is the surgeon, forced to forsake healing to fight in the most brutal war of our time. The second is the assassin, a murderer who weeps as he kills. The third is the liar, a young woman who wears a scholar’s mantle over the heart of a thief. The last is the prince, a warlord whose eyes have opened to the ancient past as his thirst for battle wanes.
The world can change. Surgebinding and Shardwielding can return; the magics of ancient days become ours again. These four people are key.
One of them may redeem us. And one of them will destroy us.
From Brandon Sanderson-who completed Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time-comes The Stormlight Archive, an ambitious new fantasy epic in a unique, richly imagined setting. Roshar is a world relentlessly blasted by awesome tempests, where emotions take on physical form, and terrible secrets hide deep beneath the rocky landscape.
Speak again the ancient oaths
Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination.
and return to men the Shards they once bore. The Knights Radiant must stand again!”
So…yeah…*looks around*…um…I’m one of those guys who hasn’t read this one yet. I know, I know, like what the hell right? I KNOW. If you’re a reader of fantasy in the current age you almost have to read Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. I hate telling anyone they have to read a particular book or series but this is one of those were it really feels like you do. I know that’s not true. But it’s kinda true. Anyway, I’ve never read it; I’ve wanted to read it; I’ll read it at some point now that I have it. This was another free download from Tor and I’m glad I saw it because this book has been on my want list for a while now. I’m really looking forward to reading it and to seeing how it fits within Sanderson’s larger cosmere.
The Jealousy of Jalice, by Jesse Nolan Bailey
A Disaster of Dokojin #1
“The Realms have split apart, the Stones of Elation have been hidden, and warnings of dokojin drift among the tribes.
The land and its people are corrupted. The Sachem, chief of the Unified Tribes, is to blame.
It is this conviction that drives Annilasia and Delilee to risk their lives. Afraid of the aether magic he wields, they enact a subtler scheme: kidnap his wife. In her place, Delilee will pretend to be the chieftess and spy on the Sachem.
Unaware of this plot against her husband, Jalice is whisked away by Annilasia. Pleading with her captor proves futile, and she rejects Annilasia’s delusional accusations against the chief. After all, the Sachem has brought peace to the land.
Yet a dangerous truth hides in Jalice’s past. As she and Annilasia flee through a forest of insidious threats, they must confront the evil plaguing the tribes and the events that unleashed it.” – Goodreads blurb
I first came across The Jealousy of Jalice while watching the entrants for the latest #SPFBO competition get updated. Then around the same time I saw Storytellers On Tour did a blog tour for it and it was listed for a short time for free on Kindle. I don’t know if that was all lucky timing or if someone is just really good at their marketing, but I grabbed it real quick. I’ve seen a couple reviews now and it looks like a it might be a book I’ll really like. I’m debating reading this one as one of my Self Published Fantasy Month reads in September but I haven’t decided yet. Stay tuned…
The Bone Shard Daughter, by Andrea Stewart
The Drowning Empire #1
“In an empire controlled by bone shard magic, Lin, the former heir to the emperor will fight to reclaim her magic and her place on the throne. The Bone Shard Daughter marks the debut of a major new voice in epic fantasy.
The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.
Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.
Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people.” – Goodreads blurb
I’ve wanted this book from the moment I saw Orbit announce it. It has what looks to be a really unique magic system, and the story sounds really cool. And then there’s that AMAZING cover! WOW! I put in an ask for this and was told yeah they might be able to swing one my way and lo and behold it shows up on my doorstep. I was just a bit excited. It’s set to be released September 8th so I’m gonna need to get to it soon. And I really can’t wait.
The Once And Future Witches, By Alix E. Harrow
“In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.
But when the Eastwood sisters–James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna–join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.
There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.”
So…you know what book is probably my most anticipated read of the year? This one. I’ve been waiting for this since around the time Harrow released The Ten Thousand Doors of January which was my favorite read of last year. I LOVE her writing. It’s magical and lyrical and just altogether beautiful. And beyond that she just weaves a great story. And all of what I just said applies whether you’re talking about her previous book or her short stories. I mean she won a Hugo. But when she said her next book was gonna be about suffragette witches I was all like “Sign me up!” I had the pleasure of meeting Harrow at a book signing after the release of Ten Thousand Doors at the Kentucky Book Festival and she was actually working on edits to The Once And Future Witches on her laptop between signing books. I had a fleeting thought of stealing the laptop and making a run for it but thankfully I restrained myself. I’m glad I did because now we have this stunning book. It comes out in October but I may have to kick it up the stack and read it sooner. I have every confidence it will be amazing!
Secret Arc, by Secret Author
“Secret book blurb.”
So I received one more book in May that I can’t talk about yet. Well, I was asked by the publisher not to mention it yet. That’s been weeks ago and part of me feels like maybe I COULD mention it now, but nobody has told me I could. And no, I haven’t asked. But because they asked nicely, and because they sent me the book, and because I like this publisher a lot, and because I don’t want to go back on my word not to mention it, and because I’m still waiting, I’m not gonna tell you what it is. But I’m excited. And you should be too.