Debut Novel Picks, Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult

Debut Novel Pick for November: Blood Heir

Blood Heir by Amelie Wen Zhao

In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are unnatural—dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, has a terrifying secret. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls.

When Ana’s father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered. Framed as his killer, Ana must flee the palace to save her life. And to clear her name, she must find her father’s murderer on her own. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is far different from the one she thought she knew. Corruption rules the land, and a greater conspiracy is at work—one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to its core: Ramson Quicktongue.

A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has sinister plans—though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.

Full disclosure: I’m not intending to dive deeply into the uproar on Twitter that originally led to the author deciding to pull publication of her book. It’s been highly publicized so you can use Google to read more about it.

But I will say that I was interested in reading this book when I originally read the back cover copy and was rather disappointed to hear that it wasn’t going to be published. I’m glad the author has since changed her mind (it’s unclear to me if the book has also been significantly changed or not) and Blood Heir will finally be released this month!

I’m just as excited by the back cover copy now as I was when I read it originally and I absolutely adore this cover of a moody, dangerous-looking princess with an equally dangerous-looking crown. I love the idea of a Russian-inspired young adult fantasy with magic, danger, and political intrigue.

Blood Heir is scheduled to be released on November 19th from Delacorte Press.

Debut Novel Picks, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult

Debut Novel Pick for October: Fireborne

Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone–even the lowborn–a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.

Recently I feel like I’ve been going through Game of Thrones withdrawals. It sort of just hit me recently that the story is done done. True, we may eventually get The Winds of Winter and whatever comes after it, but we already know the ending. So in effect, that story is done.

So when I was browsing debut releases in fiction for October this one caught my eye because it’s being compared to Red Rising, Seraphina, and Game of Thrones. It also reminds me of course of Eragon and also weirdly enough, Dinotopia (the TV miniseries anyway). A YA fantasy, Fireborne is apparently the first in a new series featuring dragons, friendship, and the aftermath of war.

Fireborne is scheduled to be released on October 15th from G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers


Debut Novel Picks, Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult

Debut Novel Pick for September: Serpent and Dove

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

Starting a new series on the blog this month! Each month I’ll be sharing a new debut that catches my eye. This month I picked Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin.

I saw this book on Facebook of all things. There was a video promo that stopped my scroll and when I saw that Sarah J. Maas was blurbing it, I knew I wanted to look the book up.

And it sounds GREAT.

Somewhere I read that this world is inspired by 17th century France, which, sign me up. Also a forced marriage between a witch and a witch hunter who doesn’t know his wife is a witch? DRAMA. Then I scanned through some of the advance reviews on Goodreads and people are loving this book which makes me very excited. And that cover is just gorgeous.

Though I haven’t seen much hype elsewhere for it, I’m interested to see if this one starts popping up on bookstagram. I’m looking forward to getting a copy myself…though probably not right away as my book collection is a little bit out of control (but what else is new).

Serpent & Dove is scheduled to be released on September 3rd from HarperTeen.