I don’t have a lot of extra time off in January, and we aren’t going away anywhere, but I still couldn’t resist pulling together a bit of a summer reading stack. My reading right now is pretty focused on Aussie fantasy novels, as I’m currently working my way through Aurealis Awards entries. I’ve been so impressed by how broad the range of books we’re seeing is, in terms of style and subgenres – I really think there is a fantasy book out there for everyone, even those readers who think they don’t like fantasy!
Today I thought I’d share a stack of some of the books that I’ll be reading across the next few weeks. These are all on my tbr so I haven’t read them yet, and as always when I’m discussing books that we’re seeing as entries I just want to note that any reviews or comments I make here are my personal opinion and do not reflect the opinion of any judging panel, the judging coordinators, or the Aurealis Awards management team.
Read on for the blurbs of each of these books, and click on the title to go to the Goodreads page.
Dirt Circus League by Maree Kimberley
I stumbled towards the Meat House, my body shaking with the violence that raged within me, as the realisation of the mistake I had made in coming here rose to the surface of my mind. This was the last place I should be. That thought was crossed by another, even more terrifying.
This is exactly where I belong.
Asa’s running from a troubled past. To a remote outback town, a disappointing father and a fresh start that’s already souring.
But then the notorious Dirt Circus League arrives. A troupe of outcast teens performing spectacular fight sequences and challenging any who dares to take part.
They’re ruthless. Menacing. Thrilling. And led by the magnetic Quarter. He’s dark, powerful and intensely attractive—and he faces a threat only Asa can see.
Will Asa be drawn into the league’s mysterious community?
And, as she discovers the violent secrets at its heart, will she delve into her own untapped abilities to save herself—and heal those caught in its evil web?
Fancy Meeting You Here by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus
Evie Berry is a thirty-year-old wannabe screenwriter who spends her days managing a London cinema bar and making the podcast Pasta La Vista with her best friend Ben. She’s also obsessed with Hugo Hearst. Have you heard of him? Of course you have. He’s only one of the most influential and not to mention swoon-worthy bestselling writers of his generation.
When Evie’s not hooking up with her on-again, off-again booty call ‘Ever-Ready Freddy’ (and sometimes even when she is), she fantasises about what might have been if she’d met Hugo years ago, when he was just a struggling writer.
After Evie interviews a psychic to the stars on her podcast, her life is catapulted ten years into the past. But the grass isn’t quite as green as she remembers . . .
The Godess of Blood and Bone by Nattie Kate Mason
With a heart as black as night, Nushka was born different to her kin.Banished by the Gods to rule over a realm of the Afterlife rife with eternal pain, she bides her time… and makes the Pitts of Moor her very own.In this dark place, free of morals and constraints, Agnes, a former princess, is delegated to Nushka’s harem of handmaidens. Faced with the choice of fulfilling the Queen of Moor’s every sinful desire, or enduring an eternity of pain, she does what she must to survive.Yearning for freedom, both wicked souls refuse to accept their dark fates… Together, they strike a bargain.Unlikely allies, with a deadly army of monsters at their backs.Should they succeed in their mission, unimaginable power will be theirs. Should they fail, a fate worse than death awaits.
She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan
A historical fantasy reimagining of the rise to power of Zhu Yuanzhang. Zhu was the peasant rebel who expelled the Mongols, unified China under native rule, and became the founding Emperor of the Ming Dynasty.
In a famine-stricken village on a dusty plain, a seer shows two children their fates. For a family’s eighth-born son, there’s greatness. For the second daughter, nothing.
In 1345, China lies restless under harsh Mongol rule. And when a bandit raid wipes out their home, the two children must somehow survive. Zhu Chongba despairs and gives in. But the girl resolves to overcome her destiny. So she takes her dead brother’s identity and begins her journey. Can Zhu escape what’s written in the stars, as rebellion sweeps the land? Or can she claim her brother’s greatness – and rise as high as she can dream?
Terciel and Elinor by Garth Nix
In the Old Kingdom, a land of ancient and often terrible magics, eighteen-year-old orphan Terciel learns the art of necromancy from his great-aunt Tizanael. But not to raise the Dead, rather to lay them to rest. He is the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, and Tizanael is the Abhorsen, the latest in a long line of people whose task it is to make sure the Dead do not return to Life.
Across the Wall in Ancelstierre, a steam-age country where magic usually does not work, nineteen-year-old Elinor lives a secluded life, her only friends an old governess and an even older groom who was once a famous circus performer. Her mother is a tyrant, who is feared by all despite her sickness and impending death . . . but perhaps there is even more to fear from that.
Elinor does not know she is deeply connected to the Old Kingdom, nor that magic can sometimes come across the Wall, until a plot by an ancient enemy of the Abhorsens brings Terciel and Tizanael to Ancelstierre. In a single day of fire and death and loss, Elinor finds herself set on a path which will take her into the Old Kingdom, into Terciel’s life, and will embroil her in the struggle of the Abhorsens against the Dead who will not stay dead.
A Song of Flight by Juliet Marillier
Two warriors. One wields the power of music, one the strength of her sword. Both face a grave threat in this enthralling historical fantasy.
After a violent encounter with masked men and the sinister Crow Folk, Prince Aolu of Dalriada disappears without a trace, and his companion Galen is seriously injured.
Liobhan and the Swan Island warriors seek answers to the prince’s abduction. For Liobhan this mission is personal, as Galen is her beloved brother.
While she and her team investigate, Liobhan’s younger brother Brocc is in serious trouble. Brocc’s secret attempt to communicate with the Crow Folk triggers a shocking incident, and sends him on a path which endangers the one he loves above all else.
What brought the Crow Folk to Erin? And who plots to use them in an unscrupulous bid for power? As Liobhan and Brocc seek the truth, it becomes clear the two missions are connected – and an extraordinary mystery unfolds.
That should keep me busy for a bit =)
I always love to know what other people are reading, so do leave me comment and let me know if you’re got summer reading plans, and what’s on your tbr!
Looking for more posts about Aussie books and writers? Check out some of my previous #AusLit posts here.