It’s that time once again to pick out the books I’m most excited to read for the next month. I’m still behind on January and February, so it’s a good thing that I’ve already read one of these! This post is a general update on the blog; at the bottom you can find my current reading plans. This is a new feature that I may or may not like.
A Desolation Called Peace, by Arkady Martine
Expected publication March 2nd, 2021 by Tor Books, 496p. Science Fiction, Aliens, Space
An alien armada lurks on the edges of Teixcalaanli space. No one can communicate with it, no one can destroy it, and Fleet Captain Nine Hibiscus is running out of options. In a desperate attempt at diplomacy with the mysterious invaders, the fleet captain has sent for a diplomatic envoy. Now Mahit Dzmare and Three Seagrass—still reeling from the recent upheaval in the Empire—face the impossible task of trying to communicate with a hostile entity. Whether they succeed or fail could change the fate of Teixcalaan forever.
See my review here. In short: once again, Martine is brilliant.
The Bone Maker, by Sarah Beth Durst
Expected publication March 9th, 2021, by Harper Voyager Dark Fantasy, Adult, BONES
Twenty-five years ago, five heroes risked their lives to defeat the bone maker Eklor—a corrupt magician who created an inhuman army using animal bones. But victory came at a tragic price. Only four of the heroes survived. Since then, Kreya, the group’s leader, has exiled herself to a remote tower and devoted herself to one purpose: resurrecting her dead husband. But such a task requires both a cache of human bones and a sacrifice—for each day he lives, she will live one less. She’d rather live one year with her husband than a hundred without him, but using human bones for magic is illegal in Vos. The dead are burned—as are any bone workers who violate the law. Yet Kreya knows where she can find the bones she needs: the battlefield where her husband and countless others lost their lives. But defying the laws of the land exposes a terrible possibility. Maybe the dead don’t rest in peace after all. Five warriors—one broken, one gone soft, one pursuing a simple life, one stuck in the past, and one who should be dead. Their story should have been finished. But evil doesn’t stop just because someone once said, “the end.”
I’m a sucker for BONES [see: Ninth, Harrow] and this sounds like precisely the kind of horror-tinged fantasy I love. Plus I’m about 100 pages from finishing Durst’s previous book, Race the Sands, and it’s terrific.
The Unbroken, by C.L. Clark
Expected publication March 23rd, 2021, by Orbit, 464p. Fantasy, LGBT, Adult
Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought. Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet's edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne. Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren't for sale.
I have an ARC of The Unbroken that I will probably read next, so look out for my review soon. I’ve been hearing great things about this one!
There are plenty of other books releasing in March that look cool, but that I may or may not have time to read. They include:
- The Councillor, by E.J. Beaton (March 2nd)
- We Shall Sing a Song Into the Deep, by Andrew Kelly Stewart (March 9th)
- Skyward Inn, by Aliya Whiteley (March 16th)
- Brightfall, by Jaime Lee Moyer (March 23rd)
I’ve been trying to catch up on some 2020 books, but have only managed to really get through one – the above-mentioned Race the Sands, by Sarah Beth Durst (I suspect I’ll finish it later today). The Hugo voting deadline is March 19th, so I’ve about run out of time to read new books. Most likely I’ll reveal my personal Hugo ballot for Novel and Novella sometime later this week, as I move on to focus exclusively on 2021 books.
Speaking of, I still have some catching up to do on this year! This week I plan to read my ARC of The Unbroken, by C.L. Clark, which I’ve very much been looking forward to. Next up will be Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell and, most likely, A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson, because I already own copies of those books. And I still need to pick up copies of Remote Control, by Nnedi Okorafor, and The Gilded Ones, by Namina Forna, if I wanna get totally caught up on January and February. Not to mention the other ARCs I have, and the books listed above coming out this month…
Wow, I, uh, kind of have a lot of reading to do, huh?