C. L. Polk’s 2020 The Midnight Bargain is a secondary world fantasy, due out in October.
Beatrice Clayborn could be one of Chasland’s greatest magi — if only she were a man. But she is a woman and the only roles she’s allowed are those of wife and mother. Oh, she can do a little magic once she is too old to bear children, but even that permission is grudgingly given and strictly circumscribed.
But women will hone their talents, disregarding patriarchal restrictions. There are grimoires intended for women, disguised but recognizable to those with talent. Beatrice, desperate to escape matrimony, has been methodically searching them out. The final volume she needs, the one that will permit her to “summon a greater spirit and propose the pact of the great bargain,” thus becoming a mage of unquestionable power, is one quick purchase away.