Alas, it is already the end of the month again and time to go over the books and think about what we’d like you to think about putting on your March TBRs. Have a look over our choices in the yearly Megapost here, and then read through these additional books here – we’re sure you’ll find something that tickles your fancy! From the Megapost, I’d especially like to point out Lakelore by Anna-Marie McLemore – all of their books have been five-star reads for me, and even though I haven’t read this one yet I’m sure it will be fantastic too – and Travelers Along the Way by Aminah Mae Safi, the Robin Hood retelling of my dreams – set in the Holy Land, with a Muslim girl protagonist (see my review over at Grimdark Magazine here). The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller is also one that will likely appeal to lots of readers here, I’ve been comping it as Gideon the Ninth meets Alix E. Harrow (review at Grimdark Magazine here).
Squire by Sara Alfageeh and Nadia Shammas is a YA graphic novel out on March 8th. And we all know how much both graphic novels and knights are catnip for me… The blurb sounds super interesting, a new take on the usually westernised concept of knighthood – definitely one I’ll try to get my hands on very soon. Order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link) if the blurb below catches your attention too.
Aiza has always dreamt of becoming a Knight. It’s the highest military honor in the once-great Bayt-Sajji Empire, and as a member of the subjugated Ornu people, Knighthood is her only path to full citizenship. Ravaged by famine and mounting tensions, Bayt-Sajji finds itself on the brink of war once again, so Aiza can finally enlist in the competitive Squire training program.
It’s not how she imagined it, though. Aiza must navigate new friendships, rivalries, and rigorous training under the unyielding General Hende, all while hiding her Ornu background. As the pressure mounts, Aiza realizes that the “greater good” that Bayt-Sajji’s military promises might not include her, and that the recruits might be in greater danger than she ever imagined.
Aiza will have to choose, once and for all: loyalty to her heart and heritage, or loyalty to the Empire.
The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories: A Collection of Chinese Science Fiction and Fantasy in Translation from a Visionary Team of Female and Nonbinary Creators, edited by Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu Wang is also out on March 8th. I’ve really been getting into Asian translated fiction in the past year or so, and adored Rebellion’s anthology Sinopticon (translated and edited by Xueting Christine Ni), so I’m especially excited about this anthology made up fully of contributions by women and non-binary authors, translators and editors. All of the stories included here have not been published in English before and give a great insight into the vivid culture of Chinese SFF past and present, preparing the Western audience for the Worldcon in Chengdu in 2023. From the blurb: “In The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories, you can dine at a restaurant at the end of the universe, cultivate to immortality in the high mountains, watch roses perform Shakespeare, or arrive at the island of the gods on the backs of giant fish to ensure that the world can bloom.” I love discovering other culture’s approaches to storytelling, and I know I’m going to fall head over heels for this anthology when I get my hands on it. Order a copy from Book Depository here.
A Thousand Steps Into Night by Traci Chee is a YA fantasy out on the 1st of March. Inspired by Japanese legends, this is full of demons, adventure and plans gone wrong – and it sounds delightful. From the blurb: “In the realm of Awara, where gods, monsters, and humans exist side by side, Miuko is an ordinary girl resigned to a safe, if uneventful, existence as an innkeeper’s daughter. But when Miuko is cursed and begins to transform into a demon with a deadly touch, she embarks on a quest to reverse the curse and return to her normal life. Aided by a thieving magpie spirit and continuously thwarted by a demon prince, Miuko must outfox tricksters, escape demon hunters, and negotiate with feral gods if she wants to make it home again. But with her transformation comes power and freedom she never even dreamed of, and she’ll have to decide if saving her soul is worth trying to cram herself back into an ordinary life that no longer fits her… and perhaps never did.” Order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta is another YA fantasy out on March 1st. I really like how I have been able to travel in time and space through YA while being firmly rooted to my tiny London flat during the past two years. The Lost Dreamer promises to transport us to ancient Mesoamerica and introduces the reader to a lineage of seers resisting the patriarchical state that would like to see them destroyed. And I’m all here for the destruction of the patriarchy! It tells the story of Indir, a Dreamer, descended from a long line of seers – she carries the rare ability to Dream truth. But she also holds secrets that will allow the new king to bring the Dreamers to a permanent end… Interwoven with hers is Saya’s story. She is a seer, but not a Dreamer, never been formally trained, and exploited by her mother as they travel from town to town. But as Saya loses the necklace she’s worn all her life, she discovers that she may have more gifts and that the life she knows may be a carefully constructed lie… This sounds really interesting and unusual! Order a copy via Book Depository here.