Books Received, March 18 — March 24
New Eves: Science Fiction About the Extraordinary Women of Today and Tomorrow edited by Forrest J. Ackerman, Janrae Frank, and Jean Marie Stine (January 1994)
The New Eves, the brave and innovative women writers of science fiction, have been challenging their readers for more than half a century to postulate a different kind of society, one where visionary women are nourished with forbidden knowledge and become the
powerful leaders of a new kind of civilization.
He Who Drowned the World by Shelley Parker-Chan (August 2023)
How much would you give to win the world?
Zhu Yuanzhang, the Radiant King, is riding high after her victory that tore southern China from its Mongol masters. Now she burns with a new desire: to seize the throne and crown herself emperor.
But Zhu isn’t the only one with imperial ambitions. Her neighbor in the south, the courtesan Madam Zhang, wants the throne for her husband―and she’s strong enough to wipe Zhu off the map. To stay in the game, Zhu will have to gamble everything on a risky alliance with an old enemy: the talented but unstable eunuch general Ouyang, who has already sacrificed everything for a chance at revenge on his father’s killer, the Great Khan.
Unbeknownst to the southerners, a new contender is even closer to the throne. The scorned scholar Wang Baoxiang has maneuvered his way into the capital, and his lethal court games threaten to bring the empire to its knees. For Baoxiang also desires revenge: to become the most degenerate Great Khan in history―and in so doing, make a mockery of every value his Mongol warrior family loved more than him.
All the contenders are determined to do whatever it takes to win. But when desire is the size of the world, the price could be too much for even the most ruthless heart to bear…
The Jasad Heir by Sara Hashem (July 2023)
Ten years ago, the kingdom of Jasad burned. Its magic outlawed; its royal family murdered down to the last child. At least, that’s what Sylvia wants people to believe.
The lost Heir of Jasad, Sylvia never wants to be found. She can’t think about how Nizahl’s armies laid waste to her kingdom and continue to hunt its people — not if she wants to stay alive. But when Arin, the Nizahl Heir, tracks a group of Jasadi rebels to her village, staying one step ahead of death gets trickier.
In a moment of anger Sylvia’s magic is exposed, capturing Arin’s attention. Now, to save her life, Sylvia will have to make a deal with her greatest enemy. If she helps him lure the rebels, she’ll escape persecution.
A deadly game begins. Sylvia can’t let Arin discover her identity even as hatred shifts into something more. Soon, Sylvia will have to choose between the life she wants and the one she left behind. The scorched kingdom is rising, and it needs a queen.
The Apothecary Diaries: Volume 7 by Natsu Hyuuga (March 2023)
Maomao attempts the court service exam once more, winning herself a position as an assistant in one of the medical offices. That’s only the beginning of her troubles, though, as a new consort enters the rear palace and brings new riddles with her. What does a former emissary to the court want with three young medical assistants? How is that connected to a mysterious shrine maiden from Shaoh? And will one particular monocled freak ever just mind his own business?
Kelcie Murphy and the Hunt for the Heart of Danu by Erika Lewis (July 2023)
It’s hard having a father who’s an infamous traitor. It’s even harder having a mother who’s an omen of doom.
After a summer away, Kelcie Murphy is excited to be back at the Academy for the Unbreakable Arts. But she and her friends have barely settled in when they receive a visit from her mother — the war goddess, Nemain — with a warning of coming calamity.
The Heart of Danu, the legendary source of all light and warmth in the Lands of Summer, is going to be stolen. And only Kelcie and her mates can stop it. As they travel with the rest of the students to Summer City to take part in the glorious Ascension Ceremony, Kelcie has no time for the military parade, the lavish ball, or even to visit her father: she’s determined to protect the Heart and her new home.
But the Lands of Summer are still not a welcoming place for Kelcie. When disaster strikes, the Queen, the High Guard, and even some of her schoolmates suspect Kelcie is to blame.
As the world is plunged into darkness, Kelcie will have to decide: does she keep fighting for a place that may always see her as a traitor’s daughter, or for a future greater than the war to come.
Find Him Where You Left Him Dead by Kristen Simmons (September 2023)
Four years ago, five kids started a game. Not all of them survived.
Now, at the end of their senior year of high school, the survivors―Owen, Madeline, Emerson, and Dax―have reunited for one strange and terrible reason: they’ve been summoned by the ghost of Ian, the friend they left for dead.
Together they return to the place where their friendship ended with one goal: find Ian and bring him home. So they restart the deadly game they never finished―an innocent card-matching challenge called Meido. A game without instructions.
As soon as they begin, they’re dragged out of their reality and into an eerie hellscape of Japanese underworlds, more horrifying than even the darkest folktales that Owen’s grandmother told him. There, they meet Shinigami, an old wise woman who explains the rules:
They have one night to complete seven challenges or they’ll all be stuck in this world forever.
Once inseparable, the survivors now can’t stand each other, but the challenges demand they work together, think quickly, and make sacrifices―blood, clothes, secrets, memories, and worse.
And once again, not everyone will make it out alive.