Brace yourself for a long Hype Post this month, as I’m trying to boost as many authors as I can in these insecure and unpredictable times! I’m not putting in pre-order links this time, please try to message/email small bookshops, they’ll be very happy to help you! I’m partial to the Portal Bookshop in York (although I haven’t had the chance to visit in person yet) and have just put in a big order. If it is Kids/YA books you are after, I recommend Round Table Books in Brixton. These small shops are just as dependent on your continued custom as are the authors publishing right now.
Usually, I’m the one who finds books that other people have not heard about and raves about them until they cannot resist reading them. With Queen of Coin and Whispers, however, most of the British fantasy authors I follow, and quite a few people in the fantasy (publishing) community have been raving about this queer debut fantasy by Irish author Helen Corcoran. Featuring a young queen and her spymaster, plots and treason, this promises to be an intriguing read!
I’m an absolute sucker for anything medieval inspired and queer – so I devoured last year’s Once & Future, the queerest sci-fi King Arthur retelling you’ll ever encounter! On April 7th, Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta are back with a vengeance and a sequel: Sword in the Stars. This time, Ari, Merlin, and the rest of the gang are travelling back in time to get their hands on the legendary Holy Grail… NEED THIS NOW. Also this counts as research. Muahaha.
Also out on the 7th is book three in Roshani Chokshi’s wonderful Aru Shah series: Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes. Part of my favourite children’s imprint, Rick Riordan Presents, she uses Indian mythology as a basis for her children’s adventure series. The first two were amazing, and I have high hopes for this third installment – I love these diverse, mythology inspired middle grades and I suggest you check them out too!
I have actually read an ARC of Incendiary by Zoraida Còrdova, and can vouch that it is a great book! My review will be up in the next couple of days, but I can promise that Renata’s story will capture you and transport you into a world where memories and magic are the key to revolution. This is Zoraida’s best work to date, and I can’t wait to read more of this luscious, latinx-inspired fantasy! I also highly suggest you check out the podcast she co-hosts with Dhonielle Clayton, Deadline City.
My big issue with books and series ending is that I always want to know what happens after, I just have a hard time believing in HEA – and I’m not talking about the ’19 years later’ thing in Harry Potter! Chosen Ones addresses exactly that: Taking place ten years after a group of five chosen ones defeated their world’s Dark One, they are confronted with the death of one of their own, trauma, and the possibility that they have to do it all again. I’m currently reading Chosen Ones, and am about halfway through – I’m loving it. There are nuanced depictions of characters dealing with difficult pasts, a compelling story and I can’t wait to see how the plot develops! This is out on the 7th of April, and if you are very keen, Fairyloot are even doing a special edition…
Last, but not least, on this list is The Devil’s Blade by Mark Alder. I have been extremely keen to read this one ever since I saw it announced in the Gollancz catalogue for Spring 2020, and am very excited to have it waiting for me on my Kindle. This intriguing historical fantasy is out on the 2nd of April, and is based on the life of Julie d’Aubigny. Legend has her as a bisexual, sword-wielding performer, but what if she also made a deal with the devil…? If we’re being honest, who wouldn’t want to read all about her?